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FAQ’s on Medical Assisting

Here are answers to frequently asked questions about the medical assisting profession – Content from the AAMA.

7 Habits of Highly Effective Nursing Students

Nursing school is challenging, whether you’re a new student or a seasoned professional in an RN to BSN. Between the volume of material to cover, the hours of studying to understand it all and learning to care for patients, nursing students have to work hard to stay on top of it all.

The good news is that it is possible to do a great job in nursing school and still have time for family, friends and fun. Making these seven habits a part of your life can make you a more effective – and successful – nursing student, no matter what stage you’re in.

Habit 1: Manage Your Time

There’s a reason this is the first habit to master: it’s the most important! Balancing classes, studying, work, family obligations and a personal life takes some serious planning.

Break each day into blocks of time and then decide what’s the most important thing for each block. For example, you know you need time to sleep. Will you manage to get eight hours every day? Or should you plan for seven? Proper sleep is the foundation for a healthy, stress-free nursing school experience, so don’t skimp on it.

Schoolwork is the next important chunk for nursing school students. Tests, papers, and important assignments all require a certain amount of study time. Plan ahead and block out sufficient study time every day. Try not to let it get away from you.

Working nurses who are studying for a BSN or MSN need to become experts at balancing school, studying and their shifts, often while caring for family members.

That’s where strict scheduling helps.

Enlist your family to keep a master calendar so everyone knows when you’re working, going to class and studying. And be sure to schedule some free time for the things you like to do, whether it’s working out, reading, listening to music or spending time with your family. That balance will help you get through the rigors of nursing school.

Habit 2: Study Smart

Some people can cram for a test and make it work. But in nursing, you really have to understand the material and how to apply it in real-world situations. You’ll be using your reasoning skills to apply the right choices to different conditions, and not choosing between answers “A” or “B” on a test. That’s why you need to study smart. Try these ideas to make your study time work more effectively for you:

  • Study effectively. Don’t spend four hours on something that should really take two. Try dividing a four-hour study block into four, one-hour study segments, and space them out a bit. You’ll probably comprehend the material much better and finish faster.
  • Avoid distractions. When you sit down to study, put away any books, materials and devices that you don’t need. Avoid the temptation to check your texts or social media.
  • Review classwork ahead of time. Read through text before you get to class.
  • Practice. When you finish a section of reading, run through some practice test questions. See if you can answer them without your notes.
  • Give yourself enough time. Most students underestimate the amount of time it will take to finish an assignment, study or write a paper. Be realistic.

Habit 3: Ask for Help

This is a tough one! For most of us, asking for help seems like a sign of weakness or failure, but it’s not. Seek out someone who’s been in your nursing shoes, and can offer advice or just listen. They’ll help you get through the difficult spots.

Habit 4: Focus

Now more than ever, nursing students are multi-tasking. It’s so easy to get distracted by a message or alert, and get way off track. The fact is that almost no one is good at multi-tasking. So try to focus on one thing at a time. Eliminate distractions by organizing your study space, and turn off your phone, TV and music. When you focus on studying, you’ll finish faster, leaving more time for catching up on social media and your favorite shows.

Habit 5: Make Realistic Goals

Keep it real, and you’ll be much more successful in reaching your goals. Sure, it would be great to study for eight hours over the weekend, but is it really possible? Can you aim for four and make that happen? How about setting daily goals like covering one major section and one smaller chapter? You’ll feel better about yourself when you make and reach smaller goals along the way to the big goal – your BSN or MSN degree.

Habit 6: Be Proactive

Planning ahead and staying on top of your assignments will save you lots of time, and prevent a rush to complete everything right before the end of the term. Also, take the initiative to ask questions of your instructors. Find out early about their standards and preferences, and you’ll complete assignments right the first time.

Habit 7: Reward Yourself

With all the challenges of nursing school, it’s not easy to do your best over the long haul. You will probably get tired of studying when you’d rather be spending time with your family or friends. That’s when it’s time to set a goal and reward yourself when you reach it. Getting into the habit of motivating yourself, controlling your behavior and doing something nice for yourself will take you far, both in nursing school and in your career.

These 7 Habits Can Make Nursing School Better

Creating good habits can make nursing school much easier, no matter how challenging it can be. Managing your time, being proactive, rewarding yourself, studying smart, focusing and asking for help will keep you happy and healthy while you earn that degree. Also, consider online nursing programs, which are designed for working professionals, and allow you to attend classes as your schedule permits.

Content shared from Daily Nurse.

Learn more:

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses Occupational Outlook Handbook

 

Summary

Quick Facts: Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses
2020 Median Pay $48,820 per year
$23.47 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Postsecondary non-degree award
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2020 688,100
Job Outlook, 2020-30 9% (As fast as average)
Employment Change, 2016-26 88,900

What Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses Do

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) provide basic nursing care. They work under the direction of registered nurses and doctors.

Work Environment

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses work in many settings, including nursing homes and extended care facilities, hospitals, physicians’ offices, and private homes. Most work full time.

How to Become a Licensed Practical or Licensed Vocational Nurse

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses must complete a state-approved educational program, which typically takes about 1 year to complete. They must be licensed.

Pay

The median annual wage for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses was $48,820 in May 2020.

Job Outlook

Employment of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses is projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. As the baby-boom population ages, the overall need for healthcare services is expected to increase. LPNs and LVNs will be needed in residential care facilities and in-home health environments to care for older patients.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

Learn more from the Bureau of Labor Statistics about What They Do      Work Environment     How to Become One    Pay    Job Outlook    State & Area Data   Similar Occupations

 

Learn more: 

Nursing Shortage

The U.S. is projected to experience a shortage of Registered Nurses (RNs) that is expected to intensify as Baby Boomers age and the need for health care grows. Compounding the problem is the fact that nursing schools across the country are struggling to expand capacity to meet the rising demand for care given the national move toward healthcare reform. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is working with schools, policy makers, nursing organizations, and the media to bring attention to this healthcare concern. Learn more by visiting the website https://www.aacnnursing.org/News-Information/Fact-Sheets/Nursing-Shortage

or download a PDF version https://www.aacnnursing.org/Portals/42/News/Factsheets/Nursing-Shortage-Factsheet.pdf

How to Avoid Burnout in a Challenging Environment
By: American Nurses Association – Article shared

While correctional nursing comes with a unique work environment and patient roster, it also comes with additional stressors and issues that can lead to compassion fatigue, corrections fatigue, or burnout.

Compassion Fatigue

Compassion fatigue occurs when nurses continuously tap into their empathetic emotions on a constant, and regular basis – so much so that these feelings begin to feel depleted. Especially nurses working in a correctional facility may be exposed to the suffering of others so frequently that this depletion of their feelings of compassion may occur. This can be harmful in that it can affect their overall sense of happiness, and strain a caring nature that they may typically exhibit.

Corrections Fatigue

Similar to compassion fatigue, corrections fatigue comes to play when nurses are routinely exposed to a stressful, depressing or negative environment. This can slowly impact their feelings of happiness, wellbeing and can build up feelings of stress, anxiety, depression or even pose a threat to their mental health.

Burnout

Burnout is defined as a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Some signs that someone may be suffering from burnout include:

  • Difficulty relaxing
  • Prolonged irritability
  • Persistent anxiety
  • Sleep problems

How to Prevent Burnout & Fatigue

It’s important for correctional nurses to continue the following preventative and restorative measures to reduce or keep from experiencing burnout.

  • Build a support system: When nurses are starting to experience stress, one of their first reactions may be to pull away from others. It is important to keep friends, family and colleagues involved in their lives. Talking and spending time together regularly can help to reduce stress and put their challenges in a positive perspective.
  • Practice mindfulness: Nurses should treat themselves similar to how they treat patients and always be asking questions and aware of the responses. Activities such as journaling, meditation and exercise may help to calm and ease a troubled mind.
  • Find non-work-related activities: It’s important that the mind has a chance to break away from the same structure of the work environment from time to time. Correctional nurses should look for activities such as a club, organization, or sport to do that will keep them active outside of their workplace.
  • Look for signs of problems – and get help: If a correctional nurse is doing appropriate self checks they should know the signs that burnout is getting close. If a nurse, or their friends, family or coworkers recognize that their friend is close to burnout, there are support systems and resources that can help. Start by encouraging a visit to a medical professional to determine if any measures should be taken to prevent larger problems such as depression, panic attacks or substance abuse.

While burnout may sound like a small, almost mundane problem, unfortunately it can lead to far more serious problems, so it’s important to keep an eye out, and take preventative measures. All the issues that Correctional Nurses face are outlined, explored, and advised upon in our Scope and Standards, Correctional Nursing 3rd Edition, now available here.  An invaluable resource, don’t miss it!  Correctional nurses especially, understand that this work environment is one that can lead to a higher chance of burnout – stay vigilant!

Categories: Career Advice

Should I be a Nurse?
By: American Nurses Association – Shared from the ANA website

6 Things to Consider When Choosing a Nursing Career

Nursing is a fantastic career choice that has a huge amount of benefits, ranging from fantastic opportunities to personal fulfillment. Before you jump into a nursing course or role, however, it’s important to make sure that the role fits you. Nursing can be one of the most rewarding careers in the world, but it does require commitment and compassion, so it’s best to get a realistic understanding of what’s involved before you start. We’ve highlighted six key things to consider before pursuing a career in nursing.

To give some insight into how these points affect real nurses, we’ve spoken with Beth Hawkes, a Registered Nurse, to see how she balances them in her work.

Beth Hawkes is a Nursing Professional Development Specialist with a long and diverse background in acute care. She’s a published author, owner of the award-winning blog, nursecode.com and popular career columnist for allnurses.com. She is widely known on social media as Nurse Beth.

1. Caring is Key

As a nurse, you’ll be there for your patients through the good times and bad, you’ll become a vital part of their support network and often play a pivotal role in their comfort and happiness. Being able to make a difference in people’s lives is one of the most fulfilling aspects of being a nurse. But it’s not without its challenges.

Supporting patients can be emotionally and psychologically draining. A busy schedule can mean you don’t always feel like you’re there as much as you like for your patients. It can also leave you finding yourself emotionally drained at the end of a difficult day. To be a successful nurse, you must be driven by compassion and the desire to help people. This will enable you to get satisfaction from your work, even during the tougher times.

Nurse Beth says that creating these caring connections is her favourite thing about being a nurse. She says “I didn’t know this before I became a nurse, but my favourite thing about my job is the connection I make with my patients in times of need. It’s a privilege to be allowed in that space. There is nothing more gratifying to me than providing comfort and safe passage. Sometimes it’s when I recognize early signs of sepsis and intervene. Other times it’s creating a safe, non-judgmental space. And sometimes it’s simply a warm blanket tucked in just so.”

2. Be Resilient

Resilience has long been cited as a key characteristic of those in nursing. The nature of the job you’re doing means you have to take the highs with the lows. Choosing nursing means you can be with people as they overcome some of the biggest challenges they’ll face in their lives. But you may also be there at their lowest points too.

It’s important to establish this skill at the beginning of your career. Nurse Beth learnt resilience early on, working in emotional situations. She says “I would empathize with a patient or family, maybe to the point of tears, but then step out into the hall and quickly be composed and available for my next patient. It’s when I cared for a brain dead 45-year-old mother of two being kept alive for organ harvesting while the eleven-year-old daughter was at the bedside. Being therapeutic means meeting my patients at their point of need, which calls for both sensitivity and resiliency.”

This can be emotionally draining and may mean you have to work with people at their most vulnerable and upset. It’s important for nurses to be resilient enough to work in a wide variety of situations and still be there for their patients. If you are compassionate and resilient, nursing is likely to be a fantastic and incredibly rewarding career for you.

3. The Pros and Cons of Shift Work

The demand for nursing never stops, so the reality of life for most nurses includes shift work and some unsociable hours. A regular nursing shift pattern involves three days working 12-hour shifts, followed by four days off. 12-hour shifts let nurses become involved in and familiar with their patients’ care plans and lessen the number of changes of staff. Meaning more consistency for those under their care.

Taking four days off following three days of shifts allows nurses to rest and relax, giving time to keep themselves in top condition to provide quality care for their patients. The three on, four off pattern of working also allows nurses time to spend with their family or pursue their hobbies.

In order to handle shift work and make the most of the potential benefits for your lifestyle it’s important to get the best sleep you can. Some helpful tips to achieve this include:

  • Block out light from your bedroom with window coverings or blackout blinds
  • Turn your phone off when trying to sleep
  • Invest in a good quality, comfortable, and supportive mattress and pillow
  • Ask for support from friends and family by being considerate of your sleeping pattern

Nurse Beth says that it is important to find a pattern that works for you, while pulling your weight as part of a team. “While less desirable shifts have to be shared fairly, I advocate for nurses finding the right fit for themselves, and managers working with their staff to help them do the same. Some nurses simply cannot tolerate night shift. Others thrive. When you find the right place for you, your performance is at its best.”

4. Keep Active

Being a nurse will definitely help you keep on your feet and remain active. A common part of the job is spending a lot of your time walking, doing rounds, and helping patients. A study from 2006 found that nurses walk an average of between four and five miles in the course of a 12-hour shift.

A good level of fitness is a great benefit to potential nurses. It’ll help you stay focused and energetic while getting your job done. It’s also worth taking care of your body and investing in shoes and clothing that will support your body and stave off fatigue. Supportive clogs and trainers can help prevent weary feet. If you make the choice to pursue nursing, try changing your shoes half-way through your shift. This way you’ll have the benefit of uncompressed support round the clock.

5. There’s a Balance Between Science and Service

A career in nursing means undertaking the dual roles of providing excellent service and care to all patients and visitors, while also taking a scientific approach to monitoring their condition and analyzing their progress. This can be a fine line to walk and it’s okay to be stronger in one area than the other. But it is important that you’re happy and able to work in both of these areas.

The balance you’d have to strike between science and service in your career as a nurse varies depending on the type of nursing work you choose. Certified nursing Assistants (CNAs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) tend to work either under Registered Nurses (RNs) or in care homes or home health facilities. These roles are often more weighted towards service, with some routine medical monitoring.

Specialized nursing roles like Nurse Practitioner, however, may require more extensive scientific skills and understanding. This position requires classification, treatment, and management of chronic diseases, interpretation of diagnostic tests, and performance of a wide range of procedures. It’s important to take into account where you want your balance to be between science and service when you’re planning your nursing career.

There is pleasure to be taken from both sides of the role, as Nurse Beth has found throughout here career. “I apply my expertise to each patient while being cognizant of their comfort and needs. I know how to start an IV with the least amount of pain while paying attention to their unspoken fears and anxiety. Sometimes I can administer subcutaneous insulin and they don’t even know it was given.

“I am as gratified brewing a cup of fresh coffee for my post-angiogram patient who was NPO for twelve hours as I am in recognizing when he shows early signs of a retroperitoneal bleed.

“Patients often don’t know my expertise because my critical thinking skills are always working on their behalf but behind the scenes. Even when they think we are just talking I’m critically assessing them. And in the words of Maya Angelou, they do know how I made them feel.”

To learn more about the different roles and responsibilities of nurse roles, take a look at our information on types of nurses.

6. On-Going Education is Important

One of the huge benefits of a career in nursing is the opportunities it offers for development and progress. There are so many ways for you to shape your career, whether it’s through diving into a specialism, like oncology, or striving for a senior role like Nurse Practitioner.

Nurse Beth has made a career out of advocating for nursing professional development, becoming a Nursing Professional Development Specialist. She believes that life-long learning is what will take nursing professionals to the next level. In her work, mentoring has been a big part of what can drive professional development, whether this is in a formal or informal setting.

To really get the most of all the incredible opportunities open to you on this career path, you need to be committed to on-going education. As a nurse, you’ll find opportunities for learning all around you every day. In addition to this, you should also pursue other opportunities to develop your skills. This could be reading academic articles, attending seminars and workshops, or undertaking new certificates and qualifications.

To keep up to date with qualifications and courses that will help your career in nursing, sign up to our newsletter.

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If these sound like qualities you possess, then a career in nursing could be the perfect path for you. Although nursing can be challenging, those in the profession are overwhelmingly happy with their choice. 83% of those surveyed by AMN Healthcare’s 2017 Survey of Registered Nurses said they were satisfied with their choice of career.

Being a nurse is one of the most fulfilling jobs in the world. It allows you to make a real, tangible difference in people’s lives and offer them support when they need it most.

It also offers fantastic stability, benefits, and advancement opportunities, so you can support you and your family. If you think you’re suited to a career in nursing and want to get started, sign up for our newsletter written by experts from American Nurses Associations (ANA), to get expert help on taking the next steps.

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Categories: Nurse Career Path

Finding your Place: What Are the Types of Nursing Positions and Specialities Available?
By: American Nurses Association

A career in nursing offers many different opportunities. The wide variety of positions and specialties available to you mean you can shape your progress however you want. You can work on progression up the hospital hierarchy, aiming for roles like Nurse Practitioner, or concentrate your work on a nursing specialty you’re passionate about, such as Oncology.

Whether you’re already a nurse and are looking to redirect your career, or are just starting out and want to plan your progression, it’s good to get a handle on what each of these different types of nursing positions entail. To get your started, we’ve pulled together key information about common nursing positions to help you decide what’s right for you.

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Certified Nursing Assistants are also known as Nursing Assistants, Patient Care Assistants (PCAs), Patient Care Technician (PCT), or Nurse’s Aids. The focus of a CNA is on day-to-day patient care in a medical or long-term care facility. Their duties are carried out under the supervision of a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Registered Nurse (RN). Responsibilities of a CNA often include:

  • Bathing, feeding, and caring for patients
  • Turning and repositioning patients
  • Dressing wounds
  • Preparing rooms and gathering supplies for RNs and physicians
  • Assisting with medical procedures

Many people pursue a CNA position while training for the role of LPN or RN. The position lets you get used to the operating procedures of a hospital and other medical facilities while giving you experience with patients and procedures. If you are just getting started in your nursing career, consider working as a CNA before or during your study to build up your practical expertise and bedside manner.

Qualifications: State-certified 6 to 12-week CNA certificate program

Median average salary: $28,530*

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), also known in some states as a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), takes care of basic duties in institutions such as hospitals, care homes, and long-term care facilities. LPNs work under the supervision of RNs and physicians to provide excellent levels of care for patients. Responsibilities commonly include:

  • Monitoring and measuring patient vital signs
  • Giving and monitoring medication
  • Helping patients eat, dress, and bathe
  • Updating doctors and nurses on patient statuses
  • Maintaining patient records

Working as an LPN lets you get involved in the healthcare profession without the rigorous training required of RNs and physicians. In this role, you’ll be working very closely with your patients, not only contributing to their medical care but helping to improve their day-to-day comfort.

To find out more about being a Licensed Practical Nurse, visit our LPN career page.

Qualifications: National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)

Average median salary: $46,240*

Registered Nurse (RN)

The overarching theme of what Registered Nurses (RNs) do is patient care. Whether they work in hospitals, rehab facilities, care homes, outpatient centres, or other healthcare settings, this central element will underpin the responsibilities of the role. RNs support physicians in providing care and treatment to patients. Key responsibilities often include:

  • Observing patients and recording information
  • Collecting patient histories
  • Interpreting patient information and medical data
  • Conducting research to improve patient outcomes
  • Consulting with supervisors and physicians to develop patient treatment plans
  • Supervising CNAs, LPNs, and other healthcare professionals to deliver care plans
  • Performing exams and diagnostic tests
  • Educating patients about treatment plans

Being an RN gives you more responsibility for planning your patients’ care. You have more opportunity to impact the treatment patients will receive and will be more involved in diagnostics working alongside a physician.

If you want to find out more about Registered Nurse careers, you can take a look at our career page.

Qualifications:

NCLEX

Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Average median salary: $73,550*

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)

APRNs are nurses who have a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Post-Master’s Certificate, or practice-focused Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree (DNP). Through their additional experience and qualifications, APRNs are able to complete a higher level of tasks and handle cases with greater independence than regular RNs. APRNs can fall into one of four specialist roles:

  • Nurse Practitioners (NP): NPs take on additional responsibilities for administering patient care. They can prescribe medication, examine patients, and diagnose conditions. In 20 states, NPs can conduct this work independent of physicians. In others, they still need to obtain permission for certain things.
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS): CNSs are heavily involved in the planning and optimizing of practices when it comes to patient care. They concentrate much of their time on educating patients and families on how to manage conditions, researching best practices, and analyzing patient data and outcomes to improve processes.
  • Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs): CNMs undertake similar roles to OB/GYNs. They provide healthcare to women, including family planning, gynecological care, and prenatal services. They also help women deliver babies safely and naturally. In these cases, CNMs can work independently of physicians to assist with births. If there are complications, or the birth is a c-section, a physician is still needed.
  • Certified Nurse Anesthetists: A Certified Nurse Anesthetist plays a big part in patient pain management, alongside overseeing recovery. In locations across the US, particularly those away from large hospital complexes, Certified Nurse Anesthetists are often the main providers of anesthesia for those undergoing surgery and in recovery.

Working towards an APRN position allows you to take more responsibility in your role and opens up greater earning potential. It allows you more independence in your work and more control over how you operate.

For more in-depth information about how to pursue the APRN positions in your career, visit the APRN page for guidance.

Qualifications:

NCLEX

ADN or BSN

MSN or higher degree

Average median salary: $113,930*

Nurse Educator

A Nurse Educator helps to educate the next generation of nurses. In this role you would work in hospitals as well as colleges and other educational settings. Key duties include:

  • Planning and delivering a curriculum to meet course aims
  • Supporting nursing students throughout their study
  • Overseeing lab and clinical work of students
  • Delivering lectures on a wide variety of topics

Nurse Educator positions are perfect for those who have developed extensive nursing skills throughout their career and education. In this role, you’ll be able to guarantee quality care for patients for many years to come, passing on important values and considerations to a new generation of student nurses.

If you want more information about the steps you need to take to become a Nurse Educator, we’ve put together more detailed information together for you on our career page.

Qualifications:

NCLEX

ADN or BSN

MSN, PhD, or DNP

Average median salary: $78,470* (based on the salary of Post-Secondary Educators)

Medical-Surgical Nurse

When it comes to types of nurse, it’s not just their position in hospital hierarchy that can set different roles apart. As a nurse, you’ll find lots of roles open to you that allow you to specialize by subject or area of care. One example of this is med-surgical nurses. Medical-surgical nursing is the biggest nursing specialty in the US. Medical-Surgical Nurses primarily care for hospitalized patients and are responsible for coordinating care for a wide variety of medical conditions. In their role, Medical-Surgical Nurses also assist patients recovering from surgery. They are fantastic multi-taskers.

Key responsibilities of the role include:

  • Effective and efficient provision of quality patient care
  • Co-ordinating patient care plans
  • Demonstrating a compassionate approach to patients
  • Developing a strong understanding of a wide variety of medical and surgical issues

In this role you will be supporting around 5 to 7 patients at any one time, so you have plenty of opportunity to help a range of patient and develop a speciality.

Qualifications:

NCLEX

ADN or BSN

Average median salary: $71,730 (Registered Nurse)

ER Nurse

An ER Nurse is an RN, responsible for patient care in the Emergency Room. This role is varied, fast-paced, and allows nurses to treat a huge range of ailments for people of all ages and backgrounds. The role requires quick thinking and fantastic teamwork skills under pressure. Key responsibilities include:

  • Monitoring health conditions and vital signs
  • Administering medicines
  • Using medical equipment
  • Performing minor medical operations
  • Cleaning and dressing wounds
  • Triaging patients and treating symptoms in order of life-threatening priority

ER nursing is a great opportunity for those who thrive in fast-paced environments. No two days in ER nursing will ever be the same, so the job is full of adrenaline rushes and opportunities to learn.

Qualifications:

NCLEX

ADN or BSN

Average median salary: $71,730 (Registered Nurse)

Oncology Nurse

Oncology Nurses specialize in treating and caring for patients who have been diagnosed or are suspected of having any form of cancer. Oncology Nurses work in a range of different settings including hospitals, cancer centres, clinics, physician offices, and hospices. Oncology Nurses are RNs with specialist responsibilities including:

  • Educating patients and their families about disease
  • Screening patients referred by physicians
  • Monitoring patient health throughout treatment
  • Developing in-depth knowledge of the expected side effects of cancer treatment
  • Co-ordinating patient care
  • Administration of cancer treatments

Oncology Nursing can be challenging as you’ll be working with people through trying times. With the continuing advancements of cancer treatments, you’ll also find yourself part of some of the highest points in patients’ lives. Oncology nursing allows you to make a real and significant impact on your patients and their families.

Qualifications:

NCLEX

ADN or BSN

Average median salary: $71,730

The types of nurses discussed above should provide some insight into opportunities offered by nursing and where you could move onto if you are already in the sector. There are many other positions and specialties open to you within a career in nursing. If you are passionate about providing care in a specific area, or want to influence policy in a particular sphere, there is ample opportunity for you to do so as you accrue experience and expertise.

For further information about opportunities in nursing sign up for our Nurse Focus newsletter, with up to date advice and information from American Nurses Association.

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Categories: Nurse Career Path

Tags: Career Advice

ANA Urges US Department of Health and Human Services to Declare Nurse Staffing Shortage a National Crisis

This press release was originally published Sep 1, 2021 by the ANA. For more information visit their website.

SILVER SPRING, MD – The American Nurses Association (ANA), representing the interests of the nation’s 4.2 million nurses, urges the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to declare the current and unsustainable nurse staffing shortage facing our country a national crisis. In a letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, ANA calls for the Administration to acknowledge and take concrete action to address the current crisis-level nurse staffing shortage that puts nurses’ ability to care for patients in jeopardy.

“The nation’s health care delivery systems are overwhelmed, and nurses are tired and frustrated as this persistent pandemic rages on with no end in sight. Nurses alone cannot solve this longstanding issue and it is not our burden to carry,” said ANA President Ernest Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN. “If we truly value the immeasurable contributions of the nursing workforce, then it is imperative that HHS utilize all available authorities to address this issue.”

ANA calls on the Administration to deploy these policy solutions to address the dire nurse staffing shortage crisis. HHS must:

  • Convene stakeholders to identify short- and long-term solutions to staffing challenges to face the demand of the COVID-19 pandemic response, ensure the nation’s health care delivery system is best equipped to provide quality care for patients, and prepared for the future challenges.
  • Work with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on methodologies and approaches to promote payment equity for nursing services and remove unnecessary regulatory barriers to APRN practice.
  • Educate the nation on the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine to provide resources for widespread administration of the COVID-19 vaccine and any subsequent boosters.
  • Sustain a nursing workforce that meets current and future staffing demands to ensure access to care for patients and prioritize the mental health of nurses and other health professionals.
  • Provide additional resources including recruitment and retention incentives that will attract students to the nursing profession and retain skilled nurses to the demands of patient care.

“ANA stands ready to work with HHS and other stakeholders on a whole of government approach to ensure we have a strong nursing workforce today and in the future,” said Dr. Grant. “Our nation must have a robust nursing workforce at peak health and wellness to administer COVID-19 vaccines, educate communities, and provide safe patient care for millions of Americans.  We cannot be a healthy nation until we commit to address underlying, chronic nursing workforce challenges that have persisted for decades.”

# # #

The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation’s 4.3 million registered nurses. ANA advances the profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. For more information, visit www.nursingworld.org.

What can I expect from a nursing career?

This article is shared from MedicalNewsToday. For more information visit their website.

Nurses are one of the most trusted groups of professionals in the United States, according to results of an annual survey published by the American Nurses Association.

They represent almost 3 million of the workforce, while there are also more than 700 thousand licensed practical nurses (LPN’s) in addition to this.

After receiving the required education, nurses must become licensed in their practicing state and are required to complete continuing education courses to maintain their licensure, depending on their state’s regulations.

Fast facts about nursing:

  • Nursing is one of the most trusted professions in the U.S., polls show.
  • Nurses can choose from a wide range of specialties.
  • Qualifications range from a 1-year certificate to a PhD, depending on the role. Most nurses begin with a science degree.
  • Training can take from 1 to 4 years, depending on the desired entry level.
  • There is an ongoing need for nurses, resulting in good job security, a competitive salary, and a range of professional opportunities.

What do nurses do?

Nurses work in a variety of settings and specialties. They may choose to practice in hospitals, nursing homes, medical offices, ambulatory care, occupational health, and community health centers, schools, clinics, camps, and shelters.

Specialties

Nurses perform many professional tasks which may differ based on where they work or what area they specialize in. The American Nurses Association (ANA) lists nursing responsibilities to include tasks such as:

  • performing physical exams
  • obtaining medical/health histories
  • providing patients with health promotion, counseling and education
  • administering medications, wound care, and other health interventions
  • coordinating patient care collectively with other members of the healthcare team
  • supervising staff such as LPN’s and nursing assistants
  • taking part in critical decision making
  • research responsibilities

The degree they hold may also dictate which are of specialty they are competent in practicing in. There are over 100 nursing specialties, including:

  • Ambulatory
  • Burn care
  • Camp or school
  • Diabetes care
  • Emergency nursing
  • Flight/transport
  • Forensic nursing
  • Geriatrics
  • Home health
  • Hospice
  • Labor and delivery
  • Medical surgical care
  • Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
  • Nephrology
  • Neuroscience
  • Obstetrics and gynecology
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatric care
  • Radiology
  • Rheumatology
  • Telemetry
  • Transplant
  • Trauma
  • Wound, ostomy and continence care

Some specialties and practice settings require certain educational criteria such as an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN or ASN), Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN), Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN), ), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP,), Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD), or for legal nursing specialties, a Juris Doctor (JD) may be required. A registered nurse can also earn a specialty certification.

What to know about psychiatric nurses

This article is shared from MedicalNewsToday. For more information on this topic and other related topics, visit their website.

Psychiatric nurses are specially trained nurses who care for the psychological and physical well-being of people with mental health conditions or behavioral problems.

In this article, we explore what psychiatric nurses do, their education and training, how they differ from other mental healthcare workers, and the conditions that they treat.

We also explain how and when to seek mental health help from a psychiatric nurse or other mental health professional.

Psychiatric mental health nurses (PMHNs) work to improve or support the mental and physical well-being of people with mental health or behavioral conditions.

They may also support the people close to a person with these conditions, such as family members or romantic partners.

According to the American Psychiatric Nurse Association, PMHNs may work with individuals, groups, families, and communities.

They assess mental health needs and develop a nursing plan of care. Then they implement the plan and evaluate its effectiveness over time.

Jobs they do

The jobs that a PMHN does will depend on their clients’ needs, the healthcare setting, and their own specific training.

A PMHN’s job may include:

  • assessing dysfunction and observing and evaluating progress
  • helping people regain or improve coping abilities
  • administering psychotropic medications and helping monitor and manage their side effects
  • promoting factors and environments that help prevent further disability
  • promoting general health
  • assisting with self-care activities
  • administering and monitoring psychobiological treatment regimens
  • providing health education, such as psychoeducation
  • assisting with crisis intervention or management
  • offering basic counseling, such as general guidance or other types of interpersonal support
  • carrying out the role of case manager to help coordinate and support care with other healthcare professionals
  • participating with clients in recreational activities
  • conducting group or family therapy sessions
  • helping educate families and other interpersonal support members about mental health issues and lifestyle factors that may help improve or worsen someone’s condition

Where they work

PMHNs work in a variety of healthcare settings alongside other healthcare professionals.

Common work settings for a PMHN include:

  • inpatient and outpatient general and psychiatric hospitals
  • doctors’ offices
  • assisted living facilities
  • long-term care centers
  • rehabilitation centers
  • private homes
  • correctional facilities
  • community mental health centers
  • local, state, and federal mental health agencies
  • private clinics
  • schools and colleges of nursing
  • behavioral care companies
  • military clinics or hospitals

Clients they work with

PMHNs can work with almost every segment of the population. They may also obtain specialty training to work with specific populations, such as:

A PMHN may also specially train to work in forensics or as a consultant or liaison.

What conditions can they treat?

PMHNs cannot specifically treat any condition.

Instead, PMHNs work with other healthcare professionals, such as social workers, psychotherapists, and psychiatrists, to develop and implement plans of care.

Healthcare professionals design these plans to help people with mental health or behavioral conditions improve their general well-being and functioning.

A PMHN can, therefore, be involved in the care of almost anyone who has a mental or behavioral health condition that is negatively impacting their life and requires monitoring and maintenance care.

Education

Psychiatric nurses are registered nurses who work in the mental healthcare sector.

To become a registered nurse, a person must obtain one of three degrees and pass the registered nurse (RN) licensing examination in their state after graduating.

The three degree options for becoming an RN are:

  • 2-year associate’s degree program in nursing
  • 3-year diploma program in nursing
  • 4-year university or college bachelor’s degree program in nursing

According to the American Psychological Association, a psychiatric nurse must also complete additional training in pharmacology, as well as the social and behavioral sciences.

After a person passes the RN licensing exam, they must also complete the following to become certified as a psychiatric nurse:

  • 2 years of practice as a full-time RN
  • a minimum of 2,000 hours of clinical experience in psychiatric mental health nursing within 3 years of passing the exam
  • 30 hours of continuing education in psychiatric mental health nursing within 3 years of passing the exam

A registered nurse can complete additional training, such as a master’s or doctoral degree, to become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).

The salary of a PMHN depends on their level of experience and the amount of specialized training they have undergone.

How to Decide Between Med School and Nursing

This article is shared from US News and World Report. For more information visit their website. Written by: Ali Lotfi, MD

Consider factors such as training required and interactions with patients.

Health care teams are becoming increasingly diverse in today’s world of medicine, comprising many different providers with distinct roles. Anyone interested in pursuing a career in health care has to decide which of these roles most distinctly matches their interests and aspirations.

Many students aspiring to enter health care deliberate between going to medical school and nursing school. While these two fields can be similar in some respects, they are very different in other respects. If you are debating between a career in medicine and nursing, it is important to carefully consider both so that you can arrive at a well-informed decision.

Considering a few factors can help you make a better decision about which of these two career paths is better for you:

  • The nature of the practice
  • The interactions with patients
  • The different training
  • The opportunities for leadership roles

The Nature of the Practice

Nurses and doctors are both critically vital to a well-functioning health care team. The primary role of the physician is to ascertain what problem a patient may have and to make decisions about treatments for management of the patient’s condition.

Nurses implement the care plan that physicians come up with. This may include preparing patients for diagnostic tests or administering medicines.

The line between the two roles is blurred with advanced practice nurses, who have the credentials and training to diagnose patients and make treatment decisions. For example, nurse practitioners can examine patients, order tests and prescribe medications to treat various conditions.

The Interactions With Patients

Doctors and nurses both interact with patients. However, the extent and nature of their interactions may vary.

Physicians, being involved in the higher-level decision-making about care, may spend less time at the bedside and more time behind the scenes, monitoring a patient’s progress and adjusting the treatment plan accordingly.

In some respects, nurses serve as the liaison between the patient and doctor. They execute the plan put in place by doctors and may relay the doctor’s decisions to the patient. They also communicate concerns voiced by a patient to the physician.

In many settings, nurses also play a key role in educating patients and members of the community on various health issues, which provides a unique opportunity to connect with others.

The Different Training

Medical training involves four years of undergraduate education that leads to a bachelor’s degree followed by four years of medical school. After finishing med school, doctors must spend at least three years, but often longer, training in a specialty of their choice such as family practice or surgery. Though the process is lengthy, doctors in specialty training are paid a salary and do not have to pay tuition.

Much of the early training in med school involves in-depth exploration of the basic biomedical sciences such as physiology and pharmacology as they relate to disease and its treatments. The latter half of medical school is spent learning clinical medical science. This involves learning about conditions of different diseases, thoroughly understanding how to diagnose these conditions and learning about the various treatment options.

Aspiring nurses, on the other hand, can become a registered nurse by first obtaining an associate’s degree in nursing or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from an accredited program, either of which is a qualification to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX, and become a registered nurse.

Students who complete a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing can obtain a second bachelor’s degree via an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, for example, or enroll in an entry-level master’s program in nursing, which would allow them to subsequently apply for their registered nurse license. Those wishing to become nurse practitioners or get involved in teaching may continue by gaining further training at the master’s or doctoral level.

The Opportunities for Leadership Roles

There is sometimes a misconception among students that opportunities for leadership or research are limited in nursing. This is not true at all. Many nurses go on to obtain doctoral degrees and enter academic institutions where they can teach and be involved in research. Others take on high-level leadership roles at hospitals, where they work on improving patient care through various initiatives.

For example, nurses may lead hospital-level initiatives to improve quality of care or be involved in efforts to improve patient safety. With ongoing health care reform and new models of care delivery across the U.S., the role of nurses is likely to further expand and allow them to take on new and dynamic roles in health care.

For anyone choosing between a career in nursing and medicine, it’s important to remember that both careers can be immensely rewarding. The best way to determine which career is a better fit for you is by immersing yourself in each field, observing the roles of both types of providers, and talking to nurses and doctors to learn about their work.

New ICN code of ethics puts spotlight on role of nurses in global health

This article is shared from the Nursing Times . For more information on this topic visit their website.

The International Council of Nurses has launched a newly revised version of its code of ethics, with a greater focus on the role of nurses in global health and the ethical dilemmas the profession faces.

According to the ICN, it is used by “many countries around the world” as part of their regulatory processes and as a framework for ethical conduct.

Around every 10 years the code is subjected to a review and the new 2021 version has been published this month.

Howard Catton, chief executive of the ICN, told Nursing Times that the biggest change within its revised code was its focus on “nurses and global health”, which has been given its own dedicated chapter.

“The discussions that we had and what we wanted to do was to bring nurses’ role in relation to global health… forward more prominently as a standalone section within the code and that’s what we’ve done,” he explained.

This section explores issues of healthcare access the globe and the role of nurses in “advocating and supporting” improvement around this.

It also covers the responsibility of nurses in “ensuring dignified healthcare, free from exploitation”, noted Mr Catton.

“We have had some very real issues around this, for example human trafficking and child labour, where nurses may be some of the first healthcare professionals who become aware,” he added.

The chapter also considers how nurses contribute and work towards the achievement of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to deliver transformative change for all people in all countries by 2030.

ICN president Annette Kennedy said the new code aimed to reflect and highlight the changing working environments of nurses, as well as the challenges and “ethical dilemmas” the profession faces – something she said had been “brought to the forefront during Covid-19”.

“Used as a guide by nurses in everyday choices, the revised code highlights the need to protect and support nurses and ensure they have the appropriate education, training and resources to provide the highest quality of care to all patients,” she added.

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