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Indeed Guide: Difference Between RN and BSN

Article written by Indeed Editorial Team

There can be a variety of fields that nurses can choose to enter after earning their registered nursing (RN) license. However, there are several differences between nursing fields and the jobs they perform. For instance, an RN and a BSN may both possess their RN certifications, but there are differences in their degree levels, duties and responsibilities they may take on. In this article, you will learn the key differences between working as an RN with an associate degree and working as a Bachelor of Science (BSN) registered nurse.

What is an RN?

A registered nurse (RN) is a medical professional who has earned their RN certification. Registered nurses work with a variety of patients to provide care and medical treatment. RNs may work closely with physicians and other nursing staff in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. An RN may also specialize in a nursing field like pediatrics, ICU and critical care, surgical and other nursing specialties open to certified RNs.

Additionally, RNs may possess either a two-year associate degree in nursing (RN) or a four-year Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN), and this is usually the biggest difference between a BSN and an RN.

Read more: Learn About Being a Registered Nurse (RN)

What is a BSN?

A BSN is a registered nurse who has completed their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. While a BSN may also be a registered nurse (BSN-RN), they can have more job openings and nursing specialty opportunities available to them than RNs who only possess an Associate Degree in Nursing. A BSN-RN may also perform more medical duties, such as prescribing some medications and specializing in nursing fields, than an RN without a BSN.

Differences between an RN and a BSN

While both BSNs and RNs are certified registered nurses, there are several key differences between the two designations. Firstly, the degree levels will differ, as a BSN completes a four-year degree while a general RN may only have a two-year degree. There are also differences in the job duties, qualifications and salary levels between an RN and BSN.

Related: 10 Highest Paid Nursing Jobs

Job duties

The job duties may differ between a BSN registered nurse and a general RN with an associate degree. This is because a BSN typically has more training and nursing education than an RN with an Associate Degree in Nursing. Because of this, the job duties can differ between a BSN and an RN.

A BSN may generally provide diagnoses, treatments and medical care to patients in a variety of health care settings. A BSN can work in a hospital, doctor’s office, health care clinic or other medical facilities. Some of the typical job duties that a BSN may perform can include:

  • Evaluating and assessing patient symptoms and conditions to provide a diagnosis and treatment plan
  • Prescribing and administering medications, IVs and other medical treatments
  • Using diagnostic testing and equipment to assess patient symptoms and health
  • Assisting physicians and other nursing staff in caring for and monitoring patient health
  • Monitoring patient vital signs and filing and organizing patient medical records
  • Educating patients on diagnoses and treatments
  • Working with staff to develop nursing techniques, methods and best practices to better care for patients

While these job duties can be common between both BSNs and RNs, there are some medical tasks a BSN may perform, such as prescribing medications and making diagnoses, that an RN with an associate degree may not. The following job duties can be considered typical for an RN with an Associate Degree in Nursing:

  • Providing medical care and treatment to patients
  • Evaluating symptoms and conditions to help physicians make diagnoses
  • Working with physicians and patients to develop treatment plans appropriate to the patient’s medical needs
  • Evaluating and record patient medical history and information
  • Monitoring patient health through checking vital signs and providing emergency care in the case of deterioration of patient health
  • Using medical equipment to assist physicians and physicians’ assistants with the diagnoses and assessment of patient health problems
  • Maintaining patient records like medical forms, treatment plans and diagnoses history

Both an RN and a BSN may take on additional responsibilities throughout their careers. However, a BSN may generally hold more responsibilities than a registered nurse with an associate degree. This is typically due to the level of qualifications each nursing professional can attain.

Qualifications

The qualifications required for RNs and BSNs can also differ. A BSN typically possesses their four-year bachelor’s degree while a general RN will only possess a two-year associate’s degree in nursing. Because of the additional education and training, a BSN may be more qualified than an RN with only a two-year degree. A BSN degree may also help prepare registered nurses for completing higher-level degrees and additional specialty certifications to advance their nursing careers.

Salary

Another key difference between an RN and a BSN is the earning potential. While nurses can typically enjoy substantial incomes, the differences in education level between a BSN and a general RN can mean differences in salary level, too.

For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on each salary link. According to Indeed’s salary guide, the national average salary for an RN is $61,671 per year.

A BSN, conversely, may be able to earn a higher income as a clinical nurse at $77,080 per year, depending on the nursing specialty.

Read more: How to Negotiate Salary (With Tips and Examples)

Job outlook

Registered nurses may be in-demand for many years to come, and this can be related to the advance and continuous need for medical services. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses (ADN or BSN) can expect a 12% growth in available jobs between 2018 and 2028. Registered nurses with their BSNs may also expect a 12% increase in the overall job availability between 2018 and 2028.

The job outlook appears to be increasing because of the demand for highly qualified nurses and medical professionals. Likewise, a BSN may also pursue certification in additional nursing fields, making a BSN a highly desirable degree to complete. Both RNs and BSNs can expect substantial job security, as the medical field can be considered a high-demand industry.

RN to BSN 100% Online Course

Even governmental agencies like the Department of Veteran Affairs and the US Army require those seeking nursing positions to have BSN degrees. The American Nurses Association has also passed laws that require all the registered nurses with diplomas or associate’s degrees to upgrade to BSN within 10 years of licensure. It’s time to consider the RN to BSN program at Sumner College. Our program is offered 100% on line, offering you the time needed to complete your studies while still working.

Visit the RN to BSN page to learn more.

Medical Assisting Portland

Medical Assistants play a vital role in the healthcare field by working collaboratively with a team in doctors’ offices, medical clinics, hospitals and specialty practices. Sumner College’s 30-week program is designed to provide students with the administrative and clinical skills necessary to deliver safe, quality care in ambulatory settings.

Medical assistants gather information on patients’ medical histories and health issues, and provide patients with information and instructions regarding treatment. They prepare rooms, patients, and instruments for the physician, as well as offer basic support during procedures. On the administrative side, they work to keep records current and organized, schedule appointments, file insurance claims, answer phones, schedule appointments, and more.

The career outlook for medical assistants is very promising. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists medical assisting as one of the occupations expected to see the fastest growth over the next decade. Employment opportunities in this field are expected to grow by at least 23% through 2028. As the field of healthcare advances and an aging population creates an increased need for healthcare services, this growth is expected to continue for many years to come. The outlook is even brighter for Certified Medical Assistants, with job prospects that are considered “excellent.”

Indeed, an online job search engine lists numerous medical assisting jobs open in Portland. For more information INDEED

 

ONA – Racial Justice and COVID-19 Discussion Series

Information, resources and image shared from the ONA (Oregon Nurses Association) Website.

Free ANA Videos on Racial Disparities and COVID-19

The highly acclaimed and important American Nurses Association (ANA) COVID-19 webinar, “How You Can Have a Direct Impact on Reducing The Devastating Racial Disparities of COVID-19,” is now available as a free series of short 5-15 minute videos.

COVID 19 and Racial Equity: Understanding and Addressing Health Equity

View this on-demand webinar, “COVID 19 and Racial Equity: Understanding and Addressing Health Equity” presented by AFT and featuring ONA Director of Health Policy, Deborah Riddick, JD, RN.

Join the Oregon Nurses Association, for our Racial Justice and COVID-19 Discussion Series examining the intersection of nursing, race, and health care access or utilization disparities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As nurses, we are called upon to care for black and brown patients who face lifelong, systematic barriers to health care access and to utilization. Too often, barriers exist even for POC patients to be believed and heard. We see the disparities in our health care system every day as we fight for our patients and advocate for the life saving care they deserve yet so often can’t attain.

ONA is proud to hold a discussion series to bring together nurses from across the state with community leaders to have important and difficult conversations.

Friday, August 7: Asians and Pacific Islanders in Health Equity

On Friday, Aug. 7, 2020, ONA held another installment of the Racial Justice and COVID-19 Discussion Series examining the intersection of nursing, race, and health care access or utilization disparities during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Asians and Pacific Islanders in Health Equity: Nurses and Community Speak” featured the following panelists discussing ongoing work in advancing health care and racial equity, barriers the Asian/Pacific Islander (API) community face and recommendations to break down the barriers.

 
 
Wednesday, June 10: Continued Health Care Disparities in Oregon’s Latinx Community During COVID-19

On Wednesday, June 10, we examined why the Latinx community in Oregon has been impacted disproportionately by COVID-19 and what can be done going forward to address this inequity.

Our panelists shared their ongoing work, the barriers their Latinx communities are facing and their recommendations to address these barriers.

 


Friday, May 1: Racial Justice and Covid-19

On Friday, May 1, ONA held our inaugural livestream discussion examining the intersection of health care, racial justice, and COVID-19. We welcomed three panelists:

Our panelists answered questions and discussed what the next phase of navigating COVID-19 might look like for nurses! View the full video below.

 

ONA – COVID-19 Practice Guidelines and Resources

Information and resources shared from the ONA (Oregon Nurses Association) Website

COVID-19 PRACTICE GUIDELINES AND RESOURCES

ONA FAQs and Resources

Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Resources

CDC COVID-19 Resources for Health Professionals

Health Professionals and Allied Employees and AFT Resources

Other Resources

ONA – COVID-19: Childcare, Assistance and Other Resources

Information and resources shared from the ONA (Oregon Nurses Association) Website.

COVID-19: CHILDCARE, ASSISTANCE AND OTHER RESOURCES
ONA – COVID-19 and Nurse Staffing

Information shared from the ONA (Oregon Nurses Association) website

Oregon Nurse Staffing Collaborative: COVID-19 and Nurse Staffing

The COVID-19 outbreak is evolving rapidly. We want to ensure that you and your teams have the resources they need to put patients first and manage the situation effectively.

We reached out to OHA on the issue of nurse staffing in preparation for the likely impacts this epidemic could have on your hospital nurse staffing plans. We know there are specific regulations that address an epidemic. Below are the two specific rules that address nurse staffing in the event of an emergency or disaster.

First, Oregon Administrative Rule 333-510-0130(10) suspends some of the mandatory overtime rules in the following circumstances:

(a) In the event of a national or state emergency or circumstances requiring the implementation of a facility disaster plan; or
(b) In emergency circumstances that include:
(A) Sudden and unforeseen adverse weather conditions;
(B) An infectious disease epidemic suffered by hospital staff;
(C) Any unforeseen event preventing replacement staff from approaching or entering the premises;

The mandatory overtime rule would come up if there’s a declared state of emergency in which the facility disaster plan is implemented. Alternatively, mandatory overtime rule would come up if staff suffer from the disease or if the facility is quarantined and replacement staff cannot enter. The Nurse Staffing Interpretive Guidance has a question about this specific rule on page 11.

Second, Oregon Administrative Rule 333-510-0140 allows the hospital to suspend the nurse staffing plan in the following circumstances:

(a) A national or state emergency requiring the implementation of a facility disaster plan;
(b) Sudden and unforeseen adverse weather conditions; or
(c) An infectious disease epidemic suffered by hospital staff.

In that situation either co-chair could call a nurse staffing committee meeting and the committee could modify the staffing plan as needed. This rule contemplates the nurse staffing committee modifying the staffing plan to address staffing needs for the duration of the emergency and the aftermath.

In addition, the nurse staffing committees can work with other the emergency preparedness team in the hospital to prepare for any implementation of the facility disaster plan and talk about how plan scenarios will impact nurse staffing.

If you have questions, please contact ONA at practice@oregonrn.org.

 

Staffing Request and Documentation Forms and COVID-19

Many processes within hospitals have changed since COVID-19 came to Oregon. With the current state of emergency, it is not required that the hospital follow staffing plans or the Oregon Hospital Nurse Staffing Law.

However, it continues to be crucial to collect staffing data from within our facilities. The SRDF collects many data points in addition to whether the staffing plan has been followed, and we encourage all members to continue filling out SRDFs when an unsafely staffed shift occurs or patient care is impacted.

To make filling out an SRDF as accessible as possible, the online form is mobile compatible, and a computer is not required to fill it out.

The information gathered in SRDFs allow ONA to track staffing data and provide information to hospital wide staffing committees. It also provides valuable information to labor representatives about how specific units are staffed and can be used to assist with OHA complaints.

How to Fill Out an SRDF

If you work a shift with insufficient nurse staffing, you should complete the following steps:

  1. Notify someone in the chain of command;
  2. Ask for additional staff;
  3. Ask for a response in a reasonable period of time, (e.g., minutes, hours) and;
  4. Complete the SRDF as detailed below.

The nurse should complete the SRDF at the end of the shift or as soon as is possible. T

Visit www.OregonRN.org/SRDF to complete the form

A PDF copy is automatically emailed to the nurse and to ONA, and it is the nurse’s responsibility to forward a copy of the completed form to the nurse manager, PNCC chair, and staffing co-chair. The SRDF should be completed even if the problem is corrected quickly.

Questions about the SRDF process? Email SRDF@OregonRN.org

How to Manage Your Time In Nursing School

Whether your semester has just begun or your classes are in full swing, it’s never too late to revise your strategy and give your time management approach a reality check. Nursing school can be overwhelming and push you in ways you didn’t know you could be challenged. Getting to the finish line will not be easy but a clear and deliberate plan of action will help you get there unscathed.

TIME EFFICIENCY

In nursing school, everything else becomes secondary to studying. Create a daily and or hourly schedule and stick to it to be the most efficient. An hour by hour plan will help tremendously in keeping you on track to hit your daily milestones. In addition, it will be helpful to get conditioned to studying first before everything else. On days when on site classes are held, commuters should consider staying on campus to complete studying for the day instead of wasting precious time in stop and go traffic. If you stay on campus, avoid trips back and forth between classes to the your room and use small breaks to stick it out in the library. Keep flash cards on hand for quick study breaks when your schedule allows. Downloading audio lectures can be helpful for learning on the go and can be accessed on your headset or in the car. Parents should try to maximize time when children are sleeping or at school and use this time to study also. Lastly use weekends to meal prep, do house chores, prepare for the week and of course study!

STAYING ORGANIZED 

Getting organized can drastically change your nursing school experience for the better and create more time for focused learning.. Allocating specific folders, binders and bags for each class or day of the week will help you tremendously. Printing the syllabi for each course, outlining major deadlines and noting all test and assignment dates can be lifesaving. Large calendars are also great for providing a monthly view of classes, assignments, tests and clinicals. Small planners  can provide a great weekly view of your obligations and phone reminders can be essential. Organization will allow you the space and peace of mind to study. Preparing class and clinical materials ahead of time can be lifesaving.

DEVELOP AN EFFECTIVE STUDY STRATEGY

Undoubtedly, studying is the most time intensive task in nursing school. There’s an exorbitant amount of info to read, digest and retain and seemingly not enough time in the day to tackle it all. Study at times that you are most energized and receptive. Create a dedicated area in your home that’s conducive to studying helps to set the tone and environment for optimal learning that’s free of distractions. It is also  important to master the skill of intaking and dumping information. Unlike your pre-nursing courses, being super detailed oriented could actually work against you in nursing school. After your first test, there should be an analysis of the materials you covered as it relates to what you were actually tested on. Let this information guide your future study habits per course. Your learning style may be auditory or visual; however, most people study best in groups and are able to grasp concepts from peers more concisely. Lastly, grab a few classmates with similar schedules to form a study group and test your knowledge by explaining and teaching one another.

KEEP SOCIAL TO A MINIMUM

“Do what you have to now  so you can do what you want later.” While cliche, the aforementioned expression holds true. Nursing school is no joke and is a real life commitment and sacrifice of time. Depending on the rigidity of your program, you may want to consider minimizing social outings for the duration of your program. This does not mean that you can’t have a life or shouldn’t see your friends and family; however, it does mean you should be doing so a lot less. Remember, self-care is a huge component of keeping your sanity during this challenging time.  Be sure to prioritize time for things that make you happy, recharge your energy and allow you to step away for mental breaks. Schedule your social time in advance to be sure your interactions are not becoming distractions to your focus and productivity. Also, it may not be a bad idea to limit time on social media as well. You can use various apps to track and limit your usage.

ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER

In nursing school you have countless assignments, deadlines, tests and obligations. In this environment a hectic schedule can get the best of them despite proper planning and time management. Therefore, having a human reminder  can really go a long way. Identifying a buddy in the program will be gold and in addition to helping you stay on top of all your deadlines, they can provide moral support and encouragement which can improve your nursing school experience drastically.

Tips and content shared from The Nurse Link

9 Ways To Be Mentally Prepare For Nursing School

People will tell you nursing school was not easy. You might need to mentally prepare yourself for the challenges of a nursing career. Here are some ways to overcome the challenges and make your nursing journey a bit easier.

Be One Step Ahead In Nursing School

Don’t get blind sided in nursing school. The more you know, the less you will become surprised. A part of being mentally prepare is to know what is going to happen before it happens. A good nurse always prepare for the possibility of a bad situation. Be one step ahead in nursing school with these tips.

Learn How to Become Confident

You worst enemy in nursing school is self-doubt. Nursing school will make you feel like you are on a emotional roller coaster. Sometimes you will be full of doubt after taking an exam and be at an all time high after finding out you’ve passed. You can avoid this by being confident in what you know.
 
As a nursing student and as a nurse, you will experience plenty of self-doubt as well as other people doubting you. The only way you can overcome this is to become more confident in yourself. It’s important for you to work on and build up your confidence in nursing school. This will better prepare you for the NCLEX and your career as a nurse.
 
Here are some exercises to help build up your confidence.

Stop Overthinking And Trust Your Instinct

If you allow yourself to overthink every question on the exam, you will be mentally drained. You will feel a sense of confidence when you trust your instinct and go with the first choice. Don’t allow yourself to overthink anything in life. Be confidence you made the right choice given the circumstances that you are in.

Practice Turning Negative Situation Into A Positive One

There will be a good side and a bad side to every situation. Learn to avoid focusing only on the negative side. Find the positive reason for every situation and you will appear more confident even if your not. With practice, you will not even think about why things are so bad and just keep moving forward.

Be Prepare For Any Situation

When you are prepare for any foreseeable situation, you will give off an aura of confidence. Things won’t catch you by surprise. Even if it did, you have the practice you need to quickly prepare for it mentally.

Look Like A Grade A Student

By playing the part of an A+ student, you need to look and act like an A+ student. An A+ student comes to class ready to learn and sit in the best seat. They dress accordingly and pay attention to gain the respect of their professors. Knowing who you want to be is a part of being confident.

It doesn’t help you if you go to class in pajamas and look tired. You will end up taking a nap after class instead of studying. Don’t play the part of a student who will fail their next exam. Your professor will not take you serious and may lose confidence in you. Thus making you lose confidence in yourself.

Forgive Yourself and Move On

Nursing school will have a lot of challenges. You may not overcome every challenge so easily. Don’t waste your time and blame yourself for what you don’t have the ability to control. Being hard on yourself will only make you lose confidence in yourself and your ability. Be happy that you can learn from the experience and move on.

Face Your Fears

Your fear is only a barrier between you and your goals. If you’ve learned how to overcome your fears, you will realize there’s nothing to be afraid about. You now know that you won’t let anything stand in your way of reaching your goals. You will feel better about yourself and that’s how you have confidence in what you can achieve.

Support Your Friends With What You Know

Your support network will make you feel confident if you are using what you know to support them. In return, you will receive compliments and appreciation for your help. This will make you want to know more and provide more to your friends. You will be more confident with the information you are able to share.

Find your competitive side

To have a higher chance at passing nursing school, you should find your competitive side. Dig a little deeper and find the person within you that likes to win. Being competitive doesn’t mean you have to be mean-spirited or arrogant. You could be passively competitive by trying to be the best version of yourself. Identify where you want to be academically but aim a little higher.

Here are some reasons you should find your competitive side.

A Way of Pushing Yourself

Being competitive doesn’t mean being aggressive. It’s a way of encouraging yourself to do all you can to win in this phase of your life. It helps you stay on the top without worrying about failing.

In nursing school, you want to be the winner. Being the loser means failing nursing school. No one wants to waste their own time and effort. Once you’re determined you want to become a nurse, put all your eggs in the basket and win at all cost.

Like an Olympic athlete, you need to hone in within yourself to find the focus you need to push yourself to study. They do this everything by picturing how they won the gold metal in their head. That is what you should do to stay on path and reach your goal.

Find Ways To Help You Improve

By being competitive, you will look for ways to do things better. Once you are able to focus on your goal. Ideas will naturally come to you to help you increase your chances of passing nursing school. You will learn to study better, build good supportive relationship and find motivation.

You will get creative in producing better results. Your mind won’t get distracted by social media because its not imperative to studying. Remember that you are in it to win it!

Pass The NCLEX Easily

You already developed a drive from the very beginning of nursing school. You will use the same focus to help you pass the NCLEX. This competitive drive is necessary to build up the confident you need to become a nurse. You will find any challenge that you face will be easy to overcome.

Your effort to pass every class is a way that you can prepare yourself for the NCLEX. Even if you’re not an A+ student, being competitive will help you become a A- student. By being a good student, you already understand the nursing material well enough. Passing the NCLEX will be less of a challenge and more of a breeze.

Be Determined To Pass Every Class

Go in with the mindset of getting As in every class. Be ultra prepare in knowing how to tackle your studying. You can ask around on what you should study for each class. You will also want to avoid overworking yourself where your mind shuts down by finding better ways to study.

Know that by aiming high, you won’t fall short. Even if you don’t get an A, you tried hard enough that you might get a B in your class. You will less likely to fail out of the nursing program if you put in effort to getting the best grade you can.

By going into every class with this mentality, you won’t be scrambling at the end of your semester trying to pass. You could avoid this situation by aiming high from the start of the semester.

Be Mentally Tough

Learning to be mentally tough is a skill that nursing requires. Being to deal with patients, doctors, management requires us to know how to deal with our emotions. You will learn that a nursing student will have a lot emotional highs and lows. It will help your sanity to be mentally ready for what you are going to deal with.

Embracing the nature of nursing means you will develop a tough mental will power. Nothing will stop you from getting your license to become a nurse. This mentality will transfer into you doing your job as a nurse. It is up to you to remain sane and power through. By accepting the challenge and facing it head on, you will learn a lot more about yourself and what you capable of.

Learn ways to deal the stress as a nursing student. You can only power through if you are in good mental health.

Be Prepare to Study A Lot

As a nursing student, you need to embrace studying like its your job. If you’re serious about nursing school, you will be studying around 20-24 hours a week. This mean you will be sitting still and learning new information for about 30 hours a week. This is not an easy task but if you prepare yourself, you can make studying more enjoyable and effective.

To maintain proper focus during your study hours, you need to know how to prepare ahead of time. It doesn’t help for you to run around, not get enough rest, not eat the right type food and get easily distracted. You should know when you are going to study and for how long. Having good habits will help you prepare for the time you need to focus the most. Finding a comfortable environment with the right resources is important to remaining focused.

Having everything ready and prepared will allow you to study better and help you pass your exams. This all takes self-control and proper planning but you see the results on your exams.

Learning to Work Together

As a nurse, you will be working with other healthcare providers to offer care to your patients. You will need to start learning this skill in nursing school. There will be group projects in certain nursing classes. You may need to rely on your study buddies for some support.

If you learn how to share you work with others, you will benefit in many ways. Everyone has their own strength and weaknesses. You can learn from others and use it as a way to strengthen your weakness. Be open minded about how you can help others and how other can help you.

As a nursing student, you will learn to build certain skills that will prepare you for the nursing world. Working together is one of them.

Understand Why You Want to Become A Nurse

You will be expected to know why you want to become a nurse. Having a good solid reason will give you the motivation you need to actually become a nurse. If you don’t know yet, take the time to figure it out. Start building a mental foundation that will help your nursing career grow.

Having an idea of why you want to become a nurse will give you reasons to work harder. You will remember things easily and you have a reason to use that information in the future. As an example, you want to be a nurse that takes care of babies. Information you learn about mothers and babies will have more of an interest to you. You will be more ready to take on a role as a NICU nurse if the opportunity presents itself.

Understand The Information You Are Studying

Many of us try to memorize our study material instead of trying to understand it. In nursing school, you will be tested on your ability to think like a nurse. In order for you to pass the NCLEX, you will do better by understanding the information. This way you will be able to answer critically thinking questions with no trouble.
 
The information you understand will allow you to apply it to your patients in the real world. You have the knowledge to make your patients more comfortable. Making sure your patient get their treatment as comfortable as possible is crucial. When your patients are comfortable, they are more compliant with their care. In many circumstances, this will help them recover faster.
The article is shared from Nurses Fix Website
When School Nurses Are Not Enough

There is no better time than now to bump up the health resources for children in schools, experts say.

School children have had an especially challenging time navigating the tedious months of the pandemic, with recent reports showing that students fell four to seven months behind in math and reading compared to previous years, and with the most vulnerable students showing the steepest declines.

But while schools have typically tried to improve student achievement by focusing on academic testing and additional classes, they’ve too often neglected a major factor in their success: physical, mental and social health. This is especially true for children living in economically disadvantaged communities, who unlike their peers in wealthier communities often lack access to quality health care and resources.

There are many reasons such children often struggle to do well in school, but education specialists say there is no better time than now to devote more resources to their often-limited access to needed health services. Just as shouting doesn’t enable a deaf person to hear or better lighting a blind person to see, feeding facts and figures to youngsters with untreated health problems is unlikely to help them learn.

Charles E. Basch, a professor of health and education at Columbia University’s Teachers College, wrote in a special issue of the Journal of School Health in 2011: “Healthier students are better learners,” a fact he called “a missing link in school reforms to close the achievement gap.” In the report, he said that schools trying to enhance academic achievement should target their efforts on reducing health disparities that might impair a student’s education.

“The health needs of children have not been considered a central mission of schools,” Dr. Basch told me. “Yet there’s a clear connection between mental and physical health and the ability of children to learn.” And by not adequately addressing such needs, he said, “society is losing talent.”

Enter school-based health centers — facilities either in the school itself or nearby that not only tend to acute health issues like cuts and bruises, but also provide a suite of health services including primary, mental and dental care; substance abuse counseling; nutrition education and more. “They bring health care to where the children are, and they’re a very good way to provide health care to children who might not otherwise get it,” said Nicholas Freudenberg, a professor of public health at the City University of New York School of Public Health.

School-based health centers are a cardinal feature of community schools and other public schools that have increasingly recognized how difficult it is for many children to get their health problems adequately detected and treated. Such challenges may be especially acute for those living in low-income urban centers or rural areas. If a parent has to take time off from work or find a babysitter, or if transportation is unavailable or unaffordable to get a child to a medical visit, needed services are too often neglected until there’s a crisis, experts have said.

The nonprofit Paramount Health Data Project, which recently published a report on students’ health conditions in public and private schools in Indiana, found that the more often children visited the school nurse, the poorer their academic achievement on statewide tests, Azure Angelov, the project’s director, told me. The project’s data suggest “that students who are frequent visitors to the school nurse are simply unhealthy and frequently do not feel well during the school day,” Dr. Angelov and colleagues wrote in the report. “This is impacting their ability to learn.”

Although the majority of public schools have at least one full-time or part-time nurse, that’s hardly adequate to care for kids who often have complex and interrelated health problems that can get in the way of learning. For example, a child with poorly controlled asthma may avoid exercise and have trouble sleeping, which is when the brain consolidates memory. In addition to medication and routine follow-up, that child may need dietary and exercise advice and assistance in clearing allergens from the home.

10 Ways To Increase Your Focus As A Nursing Student

It’s frustrating sitting there staring at your textbook and losing focus. Every nursing student has been through it and you will feel like you’re wasting time. Here are some ways to help you focus better during your studying time.

1. Get Better Sleep

We have all been there as a college student and even as a working nurse. When we know we should be sleeping, we are not. Instead we are scrolling through our phones or catching up with the latest show.

It takes a lot of discipline for us to close our phone and go to sleep. By creating small habits, we can have better self-control. Put your phone somewhere far away before you go to bed. Only allow yourself to indulge in your shows after you finished studying for the week.

Getting better sleep is all about prioritizing your sleep over everything else. Have a routine that will prepare your body for sleep. Start preparing for bed 1 hour before bedtime. Avoid having caffeine late in the evening where it will affect how well you fall asleep.

This will take self-discipline at an ultimate level but it will pay off when you pass all your nursing exams. Give yourself small rewards along the way will make it easier. Rewards are something you enjoy such as hanging out with friends or treating yourself to a nice meal.

Maybe you just need a little to rejuvenate yourself. A nap will do you wonders if that’s what your body needs. Sometimes we feel guilty for wasting time napping when we know we should be studying. The lack of focus could be that we are pushing ourselves too hard and not giving your brain a break. Schedule in a power nap to rejuvenate your brain before studying. You will retain information better with a mind at 100% capacity then a brain performing sluggishly.

2. Have An Exercise Routine

Going from classes to clinical and studying gives us little to no time to exercise. You might find that you focus better at the beginning of the semester then you do towards the end.

The time you spend sitting for class and for studying is not making enough blood flow to your brain. You will learn in nursing school that blood is the delivery system for oxygen and nutrient. This means circulation is important to the organs in your body especially to your brain. Your brain needs proper fuel and oxygen to function and learn new information.

Make it a habit to include exercise in your weekly routine. If you don’t have much time, try to fit an intensive training (HIIT) exercise in 15-30 minutes once or twice a week. A low intensity workout like Yoga or Pilates everyday for 15-20 minutes is also an option. You will feel the difference in your mind once you have a good exercise routine.

You don’t need to exert too much effort to make exercising possible. Try using YouTube videos for a quick and easy workout that you prefer. Make the process easier being in comfortable workout clothes if it is appropriate. This way you will find sticking to the routine a lot easier.

If you need to be a better environment to work out, you can check out your school gym. There are inexpensive gym membership you can try to join. Plan your studying time strategically around your workout location for better productivity. You may find that you study better before or after a workout.

3. Eat Nutrient Dense Whole Foods

You will learn that fast food has a price when it comes to how well your body performs. We have all eaten food that makes us sleepy or hungry after an hour. These type of food are convenient but will get in the way of your studying.

It takes effort to be consciously aware of what we eat and how it benefits our ability to study and perform on our test. One way is to avoid food with empty calories such as carb based snacks. Start to identify what you eat everyday and replace it with whole unprocessed foods.

You may need to set aside time to prepare food to bring with you. We all know time is limited as a nursing student. Go for pre-portioned packaged food that you can take with you. Carry packaged nuts and/or healthy energy bars to help hold you over until you get home.

Eating nutrient dense food will offer plenty of fuel for your body to function optimally. It may be a hassle to bring food with you to the library or classroom but it will pay off in the end.

4. Have An Effective Study Schedule 

To be productive, you need to learn how to manage your time. Having a strategic study schedule will give you the edge you need to pass your nursing exams. You could be running around and wasting precious time if you don’t strategize your day. Put the initial effort required to create a study schedule and you will reap the benefits it has to offer.

5. Have Nursing Study Buddies

Being in a nursing program, you will find there are many challenges to overcome. Having a group of people who are going through the same thing you are will make things easier. The amount of information that you will learn in nursing school is a lot to handle by yourself.

Finding friends in the nursing program will help you get through nursing. You may need to be selective of who your study group will be. Not everybody who get accepted into the nursing program will graduate as a nurse. It helps to know that your nursing buddies are serious about studying. You will need the mental support from each other to make it through every semester and pass the NCLEX.

Offering support to each other will also include sharing ways to study. With so many mind working towards the same goal. You will learn better ways to motivate yourself and reach your goals.

You can easily drive yourself crazy by creating the fear of failing every exam. Having a group of nursing buddies will give you back some sanity when you find you are not the only one with doubts.

6. Find Your Secret Study Place

You need to know where you study best in order to have the focus you need to process those chapters in the textbook. It will be productive to hunt down your own little study area. This could be your little secret. The right area will offer everything you need to make you feel comfortable. You will realize how zoned in you will be once you are studying in your secret place.

Having a designated place to hide away from others will come in handy. Sometimes you will find that studying in a group could come with a lot of distraction. This will result in a less productive way of using your precious study time. You may find yourself thinking of a way to sneak off into your comfort zone for an hour or two to actually study.

This secret study space of yours will take some time for you to find. You will be happy knowing there is a place just for you that will increase your chance of passing your exams.

7. Study Smarter

A popular saying is work smarter and not harder. You are not guaranteed to pass your exams just because you studied long hours. It may be counterproductive by studying until you burnout. By implementing ways to study smarter, you will find studying more enjoyable.

Understand How You Learn

One way of studying smarter is to understand what type of leaner you are. There are visual, auditory, linguistic, physical, logical, interpersonal and intrapersonal types of learners. Knowing how you learn best will make things easier for you. Once you’ve understand what type of learner you are, you can explore ways to help you study better.

This article Different Learning Style will help you identify your learning type. This link will take you to Time4Learning.com.

Take Good Notes in Class

Taking perfect notes in class is another way to give your studying a boost. Most information discussed in class will be on the exam. A useful hack is to learn short hand writing such as abbreviation to help you take faster notes in class. You can also try using a voice recorder in class to avoid missing anything important. Getting permission from your professor may be necessary before recording the lesson.

Use Technology To Give You An Edge

Using smart devices will make it easier to study. Having a laptop can speed up the process of creating study notes by typing them up. A laptop will also give you accessibility to the web to look up information quickly. Utilizing a smartphone with a camera built-in for a quick snap shot of notes on the board to review later. The are many apps you can use to give you the edge you need to have the information you need at your disposal. You only need to be creative with what you already have.

8. Teach Others What You’ve Learned

Grab anybody around you and try teaching them what you’ve just learned. This is a way that you can help your brain process and understand information. If you understand something thoroughly, you will be able to explain it very well.

You may find through your explanation that you don’t quite understand it yourself. That is how you can pinpoint the information you need to review. You will find your mind focus better when trying to find the answer. Your ability to recall this information is better because of the energy you put into it.

Just try it and see how well it works for you.

9. Test Yourself

Testing yourself is another way of identifying what you don’t know. Questions from nursing study guides may cover information you are suppose to know. There are options that you can use to quiz yourself.

Nursing Questionnaire Apps

Free nursing apps are easily accessible if you have a smartphones. There are different apps created for specific nursing classes. Find a good app with further breakdown that follows the chapters in your textbook. This way you can avoid confusion of getting questions of topics that aren’t discuss yet. Start testing yourself a week before the exam to help you gauge how prepare you are.

Nursing Study Guides

Nursing apps might have a limit on how well you will understand the reasoning for the correct answer. You will find a good study guide will offer the complete package to help you understand better. It will highlight information you need to know and have questionnaire with rationales. Critical thinking questions are challenging because you need to find the best answer out of the option of good answers. You will want to understand why that is the best answer to help you learn how to process questions for future (the NCLEX).

The smart way to approach this is to not over test yourself and loose confidence in what you know. Instead use it to help you gauge what you don’t know or understand. The tip is to understand why you got that question wrong and use your textbook to clear up the information.

10. Ask Others What You Should Focus On

When you look at the mountain of information in your textbook, you could get lost on what to focus on. Sometimes even with good study notes, you are still not sure if you’ve covered everything. There is just too much information in the textbook for you to memorize it all. You need to find a way to narrow your focus to what is important.

A proactive measure is to actually ask what you should be focusing on. You can ask your professor, your study buddies and even nursing students who are more senior than you. By find out what you should look for will give you the hyper focus you need to retain the information. This will also save you a lot of time and energy.

Content shared from Nurses Fix website

Free up to 3 hours of doctors’ time daily with smart use of MAs

What would you do with three more hours each day? Trained medical assistants (MAs) integrated into your medical practice can free up to three hours of physicians’ time daily—if they take on the right tasks.

Medical assistants are under-utilized in most medical practices, according to Marie Brown, MD, director of practice redesign at the AMA. Dr. Brown is a professor emeritus at Rush University and a practicing physician in internal medicine. She presented tips on recruitment and retention of medical assistants during a recent session that is part of the AMA STEPS Forward™ webinar series that focuses on physician well-being, practice redesign, and implementing telehealth during COVID-19.

The series also provides various toolkits that off real-world solutions, success stories and downloadable resources that address common practice challenges.

Dr. Brown said many of the daily practice tasks that physicians perform do not require a physician’s level of expertise, such as record keeping, medication review, pending routine orders and identifying care gaps. These can be performed by another member of the medical team, such as a medical assistant.

Properly assigned medical assistants can free up to three hours a day from a physician’s schedule by taking some of the administrative and clinical tasks and allow a physician to focus more time on direct interaction with patients, she said.

However, making best use of medical assistants can pose some challenges. Staffing can be difficult, she noted. “There’s just not enough of them. The ideal staffing ratio may be two MAs to every one physician or clinician. But what I hear from around the country is there are not enough assistants to hire.”

Dr. Brown said in order to recruit and retain MAs, practice managers need to understand the various ways employees can become MAs, determine the best role for MAs in a certain practice, make a good business case for MAs in a practice, and then develop a plan to onboard and retain trained MAs.

While MAs generally do not need to be licensed or certified by law, their scope of work and state regulatory requirements vary from state to state and practice to practice. Types of certification include the certified medical assistant (CMA), registered medical assistant (RMA), and certified clinical medical assistant (CCMA).

Medical assistants can qualify in several ways to sit for a certifying exam.

MAs can be involved in pre-appointment agenda setting, documenting the chief complaint and history of present illness, reviewing medications and helping physicians in the exam room. Many MAs around the country—following protocols—help identify care gaps such as a need for a screening mammogram, routine blood tests such as hemoglobin A1c, and pend these orders.

It is important to match individual MA skills to tasks, because training and background varies so widely. Case studies indicate that practices using MAs saw time to provide care go down and patient and physician satisfaction go up—along with revenue, Dr. Brown said.

When you have recruited, trained and integrated an MA into your practice, it is important to develop a plan for continuous professional development and a career progression ladder with different titles, levels and skill sets, she added.

Return on investment increases as MAs progress along a defined career development and job title path, she said. Titles can be simple stages such as MA I, II and III or more descriptive, such as team care coordinator and lead MA.

Pursue your next career as a MA by enrolling today at Sumner College’s Medical Assisting program. Classes start soon.

Content shared from ama-assn.org
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