Find Nursing Schools Blog

  • What You Can do with a Nursing Degree

    When most people think about earning their bachelor’s degree in nursing, they think of becoming a registered nurse in a hospital or working bedside in another type of healthcare institution. While many RNs do take that path, there are other directions where you can take your nursing degree as well. What you can do with a nursing degree is endless.

    What You Can Do with a Nursing Degree

     

    Below we have outlined a number of nursing options both inside and outside the hospital that allow for other activities besides standard bedside nursing.

    1. Patient Advocate: A patient advocate assists patients through their diagnosis and treatment. From coordinating care to helping make treatment decisions, patient advocates play an important role in health care and are usually employed by hospitals to make a patient’s experience better.
    2. Healthcare Recruiter: As the need for nurses is expected to keep rising, healthcare recruiters will play an important role in attracting the staff that hospitals and other healthcare institutions need. Nurses working in these roles will help to market open jobs and pre-qualify candidates for various positions.
    3. Nurse Practitioner: Many nurses don’t stop learning after earning their bachelor’s degree. Those who continue their formal education sometimes become nurse practitioners. Nurse practitioners can serve as a patient’s primary healthcare provider and diagnose and treat a wide range of ailments, both mental and physical. Nurse practitioners work in a wide range of settings, from hospitals to private practices.
    4. Nurse Educator: A nurse educator is a nurse who helps students become nurses. Depending on how much education they’ve received, nurse educators can teach anything from licensed practical nurse (LPN) programs to advanced practice classes. Nurse educators come from all different types of backgrounds.
    5. Nurse Administrator: A nurse administrator takes on a leadership role in organizations where nurses work. With duties such as managing, budgeting, staffing and other decision-making functions, nurse administrators are important employees in healthcare facilities.
    6. Nurse Sales Liaison: In this position you work as a marking representative. Typically, nursing sales liaisons are trying to inform different medical organizations of the benefits that the company that they work for has to offer. There is typically less patient interaction but more contact with administration.
    7. Personal Care Services – This is one of the higher-paying jobs within nursing if you can get a job as a personal care nurse. Typically a nurse in this position will assist individuals who are unable to complete daily tasks such as dressing, using the bathroom, and cleaning themselves. Nurses also provide any necessary medical procedures. The higher earning nurses typically work for celebrities.
    8. Quality Improvement Nurse – This type of nurse often still works in a clinical setting but doesn’t often do the day-to-day clinical work. Instead, a quality improvement nurse looks at ways to improve the way that other nurses and hospital staff are doing their job. They are looking for ways to improve the hospital system as a whole and prevent injury to the patients.
    9. Legal Nurse Consultant – A legal nurse consultant (LNC) often acts as a liaison between the medical staff and a litigation team. If you have an interest in becoming an LNC you must first have a BSN and then you can get an additional certification. This is a great area for any nurse interested in the legal side of the medical world.
    10. Research Nurse – These nurses keep the pulse on new medical technology and drugs. They research new drugs and medical devices and are also responsible for coming up with and implementing healthcare studies. These nurses typically have a lot of education behind them and they often work with scientist and researchers in other fields besides nursing. The settings that they work in are diverse; they can work in universities, laboratories, and other research organizations.
    11. Public Health Nurse – A public health nurse works with a whole population of individuals all at once. Typically this type of nurse tries to solve some type of problem within a given population. These nurses can focus their efforts on things like education, vaccinations, supplying nutrition, or a number of other activities to help a community or population.
    12. Medical Office Manager – Nursing isn’t even in the title of this job. This is because you don’t have to be a nurse to be a medial office manager. However, nurses are typically very well suited for this job as they understand the ins and outs of a medical office. This job doesn’t typically pas as much as other nursing specialties.
    13. Holistic Nursing – This is a new and growing field of study. The general philosophy of a holistic nurse is that treating the whole person/body is better than treating an individual problem or ailment. There are certifications that nurses can get to become a holistic nurse. Some examples of techniques used by holistic medicine that aren’t as traditionally used in medicine include massage, herbs and vitamins, and aromatherapy.
    14. Medical Writer – This job doesn’t require a nursing background or degree. However, many nurses find that they excel in this position. It’s especially good for nurses who don’t like blood or prefer not to work directly with patients. Some nurses often take on medical writing as a second job or supplementary income to their standard nursing job.
    15. Pharmaceutical Sales Rep – This is yet another job that doesn’t necessarily involve having a nursing degree, but it’s well suited for those who do. This is a great job for outgoing individuals who don’t mind sales. The job invoices selling supplies to hospital and medical facilities. It can involve a lot of traveling but the pay is typically pretty good for someone in this position.

    All of these jobs are a part of a different nursing specialty. To learn more about the different specialties offered in nursing check out the nursing specialties page.

    Each of these jobs requires a different level of education in terms of degrees and certifications. To learn more about the degree options available in nursing visit our nursing degree options.

    A nursing degree opens a world of opportunity in the healthcare world. Whether you decide to work as a bedside nurse, pursue a graduate degree, or play an administrative role, there is no shortage of options when you choose a nursing career. If you are interested in starting in the world of heathcare and becoming a nurse, be sure to contact us today or give us a call at 866-892-1466.

    Is there another nursing role that isn’t listed here that you would like to learn more about? If so, leave us a note in the comment section below and we will write a future post about a nursing specialty that you are most interested in!

  • Spirit Animals That Shouldn’t Be Nurses

    Didn’t see your spirit animal on last week’s list of animals who would make good nurses?

    Maybe that is because your spirit animal should pick a new spirit career! We at Find Nursing Schools had so much fun making that list of spirit animals who would be great nurses, we wanted to make a list of animals that would make bad nurses. If you relate to any of these animals’ behaviors or if you consider them your spirit animal, maybe nursing isn’t for you.

    Spirit Animals that Should not be Nurses

    Spirit animals that should choose a different spirit career include…

     

    1. House Cat (Felis catus)

    Spirit Career: Judge

    Key Attributes: While some cats make great companions, they are much more independent than their house-pet counterpart, dogs, and have varying degrees of appreciation for human interaction. Because nursing is a very hands-on position that requires nurses to be around people very often and work toward their well-being, cats aren’t the best candidates for nursing because they are more likely to fend for themselves than provide for others. Their impatience and choosiness in people to interact with, situations, food and housing arrangements makes them more likely to have a spirit career as a judge or business professional than a nurse.

    2. Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)

    Spirit Career: Unemployed

    Key Attributes: The mystery of pandas runs as long as time, and no one is quite sure if they have this species figured out. From what we do know, pandas may look cute, but looks can be deceiving. Pandas are not known to have a very strong maternal instinct and will often leave cubs to fend for themselves only days after birth, a trait that would not fly in the hospital when patients are in need and a nurse is not interested. They are also often mean-spirited, abusive toward fellow pandas, especially their young, and have bad tempers. Combined with being rather lazy, none of these traits would make a panda an applicable candidate for most jobs, let alone nursing!

    3. Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentine)

    Spirit Career: Security Guard

    Key Attributes: Snapping turtles’ main defense traits are their powerful jaws in addition to large thick claws, making them not very approachable or friendly. Nurses need to have good tempers and be caring and gentle with patients, qualities that snapping turtles do not possess. Instead, they are good at keeping guard and defending themselves, which could make them good security guards in their spirit career, but not care providers. Plus, at the slow pace they move, patients would have to practice patience for their treatment.

    4. Nurse Shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum)

    Spirit Career: Garbage Collector

    Key Attributes: While nurse sharks may fool you with their name, seemingly making them an obvious choice for a spirit career in nursing, the many rows of sharp, serrated teeth that these and all shark breeds possess isn’t an exactly effective smile for calming patients down in the hospital. Even though all sharks have an unmatchable interest in blood, which may make you think that they would do well as a wound care nurse or other type of specialty nurse, a few behavioral traits prove that nurse sharks would make better garbage collectors or street sweeps than nurses due to their bottom-dwelling and unselective hunting habits. Their mean appearance, combined with slightly aggressive tendencies against other nurse sharks and even humans would make a nurse shark a bad nurse.

    5. Squirrel (Sciuridae)

    Spirit Career: Beat-Boxer/Performing Artist

    Key Attributes: With their adorable faces, social tendencies, and reasonably high intelligence for a small rodent, some may say that squirrels could be great pediatric nurses or happy registered nurse in a hospital or clinic, but they would be mistaken. Squirrels have rather poor personal hygiene and can be the carriers of serious diseases and plagues. Of the 56 cases of plague in the United States between 2000 and 2009, squirrels were the main transmitters of more illnesses than even rats, the culprits of the bubonic plague. That’s not hospital materiel. Squirrels also tend to be hoarders and rather pesky pests with a penchant for chewing on cords and tubes, habits that aren’t appreciated during patient care. Squirrels would do much better in a musical spirit career, quarantined in a music studio laying down high pitch tracks or beat boxing.

    Do you have any animals to add to our list of spirit animals with spirit careers outside of nursing? We would love to hear them! Be sure to follow us on Twitter and tweet your #SpiritCareer to @FindNursing or connect with us on Facebook and comment on our Find Nursing Schools‘ page with what your spirit animal is and what your spirit career would be.

    To learn about different nursing specialties or nursing degree options, check out our Find Nursing Schools blog for exciting updates in the nursing career field, tips on finding a nursing school, online education, advice for nursing students, and free nursing resources. Ready to get started on your way to become a nurse? Call 1.866.892.1466 today to speak with an academic advisor or fill out this contact form so can contact you!

  • Would Your Spirit Animal Make a Good Nurse?

    Do you believe you have a spirit animal inside of you?

    Some people believe they have the heart of a lion and identify with the king of the jungle as their counterpart in the animal kingdom, or “spirit animal.” A few of us at Find Nursing Schools believe that we have spirit animals and this got us thinking… What if the tables were turned and these animals were asked the same question, and spirit animals had to pick their “spirit human,” complete with a career? For example, a beaver may chose a “spirit career” as a builder or architect because they build a lot. Since so many animals live to serve others and care for humans, we started thinking that some animals would make great nurses! And others… not so much. So here is Find Nursing Schools’ picks of animals who would make great nurses and animals who would not.

    what-is-your-nursing-spirit-animal-Find-Nursing-Schools

    Spirit Animals that would make great nurses include…

     

    1. Dog (Canine lupus familiaris)

    Spirit Career: Critical Care Nurse

    Key Attributes: Dogs would make great nurses for all ages, from children needing specialized pediatric care, patients with disabilities, geriatric patients, and everything in between. There is a dog breed for every type of person, just as there is a nurse for everyone. Dogs by nature are attentive, as are good nurses. Dogs can handle stressful situations, follow directions, stay on their feet long periods of time, and do whatever they can to help their “master” or “patients” on demand. They are nurturing and selfless, they make special bonds with humans, and dogs always aim to please. Because dogs are ultra-attentive, alert, and available at any beck and call, canines would make great critical care nurse. Plus, they could cheer anyone up!

    Also, with organizational skills and experience, they could make great material for nursing management!

    2. Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes)

    Spirit Career: Registered Nurse

    Key Attributes: Chimpanzees exhibit very human-like traits, probably due to this species of primate having a very similar neurobiology as humans, meaning that humans and chimpanzees produce some of the same hormones in their brains. This makes chimpanzees have human-like tendencies, such as conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness as well as disagreeableness, and aggression. Just like with humans, it depends on the type of chimpanzee or person you encounter on whether they would be a good nurse, but generally, chimpanzees are very intelligent, open, generous, and loving towards other chimpanzees, as well as humans. Due to their intellect, good memory, and big hearts, as well as inherent problem solving skills, they would make a great registered nurse in a hospital setting.

    3. Sloth (Bradypus torquatus)

    Spirit Career: Neuroscience Nurse

    Key Attributes: These adorable, often falsely accused “lazy” sloths would actually make great specialty nurses, such a neuroscience nurses, because of their patient and thoughtful demeanor. These medium-sized, unique mammals are surprisingly intelligent and help other sloths with tasks, such as grooming themselves, which would come in handy with patients needing help completing tasks due to disabilities and injury. Because they are sensitive, calm, and often happy animals, they would provide a good healing environment for patients with neurological disorders.

    4. Crow (Corvus)

    Spirit Career: Travel Nurse

    Key Attributes: Of the avian species, crows are among the most intelligent, with their brain-to-body ratio being not far off at all from that of a chimpanzee or even human! They have an excellent memory, problem solving skills, can learn a language, can recite words and melodies, and have developed the ability to use tools. Crows also can feel and demonstrate emotions. Members of the Corvid family are all-in-all great survivors and adapt very quickly to their environment. These attributes combined with their ability to fly so far in their lifetime (nearly an average of 40 miles per day) would make crows great candidates for travel nurse positions.

    5. Pig (Sus scrofa)

    Spirit Career: Wound Care Nurse

    Key Attributes: Pigs and humans have always had good bonds, and perhaps it is because they demonstrate similar behaviors. Pigs are the fourth-smartest mammal on the planet. The highly intelligent, affectionate, and social manners that pigs demonstrate make them excellent contenders for a spirit career in nursing. However, it is their very tidy organizational habits and reputation as the “cleanest animals in the world” that would make them particularly good wound care nurses or even burn care nurses. It may be surprising to know that pigs are such clean animals since they are famous for rolling in the mud, but they only do this to cool down since they do not have sweat glands. Their cleanliness and self-cleaning skills would make them awesome specialty nurses when sterility is an important factor.

    We hope you enjoyed this list of spirit animals who would have a great spirit career in nursing. If you would like to learn about more nursing specialties and nursing degree options, stay tuned to our Find Nursing Schools blog to keep up with news in the nursing career field, online education, tips for nursing students, nursing resources, and help on finding a nursing school. If you are ready to get started on your way to become a nurse, call 1.866.892.1466 today to speak with an academic advisor or fill out this contact form and we will reach out to you soon!

     

  • Getting Ahead in Your Healthcare Career

    Working in the healthcare field can be a tremendously rewarding experiences. You get to experience the joy of making a difference in the lives of your patients on a daily basis. However, you may find that your current certain career in healthcare is not quite what you imagined when you initially set upon that path. Perhaps you are ready for something more challenging. Maybe the opportunities for growth are limited. Whatever your reason, you will find there are many ways of getting ahead in your career while staying in the field you love. For instance, using your current job as a basis, you can start getting ahead in your healthcare career by extending it into nursing.

    Registered nurses have myriad versatile duties and plenty of different job options. No matter what your current healthcare job is, odds are many of your duties will translate directly into your nursing career. If you currently work in one of the healthcare careers below, you can easily transition to a rewarding career as a nurse.

    Getting Ahead in Your Healthcare Career

    Why You Should Change Healthcare Careers?

    Those considering nursing will find that their options are much more expansive than in many other medical careers. Whether you prefer working in a medical office, at a school, for a business, in the military, at a lab, or in an administrative role, you will find that registered nurses can find work wherever their passions lie.

    Starting your nursing career with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing is already a huge advantage. Nurses who start their careers with an associate’s degree may have to return to school to earn their BSN in order to qualify for managerial, leadership, and specialty positions. But once you earn your bachelor’s degree, you’ll find yourself able to work in many different specialties, as well as continue on to earn your master’s or doctorate degrees.

    If you already work in the medical field, you have one important advantage. Your time at your job has allowed you to start networking in the field well before you are in nursing school. Networking is an important step towards finding a job post-graduation, so it’s a good idea to stay in touch with your colleagues while you are pursuing your Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

    Medical Assistant

    Medical assistants typically work in medical offices or clinics. Although demand is relatively high for medical assistants, career growth is limited and you may find the work repetitive.

    Medical assistants work under the supervision of a nurse or physician, completing administrative and clinical tasks. Duties include answering the phone, recording patient history, scheduling appointments, assisting during patient examinations, drawing blood, and performing basic lab tests.

    Why would a Medical Assistant Make a Good Nurse?

    Medical assistants are already comfortable working closely with patients. As a nurse, you will be able to take an even more active role in patient care. You will monitor your patient’s care, administer medication, and act as one of the primary caregivers of your patients. You can also work with a variety of patients in settings such as the ER, ICU, private homes, and many more. If you prefer seeing similar patients on a day-to-day basis like you experienced as a medical assistant, you may prefer to work in an OB-GYN or other specialty physician’s office.

    Nurses are also tasked with keeping strict records on patient care. Your administrative duties as a medical assistant will translate well to this aspect of nursing.

    Home Health Aide

    Home health aides are typically not required to undergo any formal education programs, but instead go through a training program. Home health aides work with a wide variety of patients to help with daily tasks and may provide medications. Unlike certified nurse assistants, home health aides work with patients in their own homes. If you work as a home health aide, you probably chose that career based on your passion to help people recover from major life events or help make their daily lives easier.

    Why would a Home Health Aide Make a Good Nurse?

    Home health aides are often required to build strong relationships with both patients and their families. They may frequently find themselves working with a large range of patients, including those recovering from an illness or injury, those with chronic disabilities such as Alzheimer’s, and those recovering from surgery.. Working with such a variety of patients as a home health aide will prepare you for the patients you will work with as a nurse. One big difference as an RN is that you will be taking care of your patient during an illness or injury, as opposed to helping with post-illness tasks and recovery. However, your ability to connect with and care for your patients will be beneficial to your nursing career.

    Certified Nurse Assistant

    If you work as a certified nurse assistant, or CNA, you are already familiar with the duties required of a registered nurse. You probably work in a hospital or similar clinical setting. Certified nurse assistants work with patients and help with day-to-day tasks, such as eating and bathing, as well as record vital signs under the supervision of registered nurses or physicians. Certified nurse assistants may be able to take on some additional medical tasks, such as giving medication, if the state you work in allows it.

    Why would a Certified Nurse Assistant Make a Good Nurse?

    CNAs work in medical settings and handle many of the minute details necessary for quality patient care. By extending your healthcare career into nursing, you’ll be able to take a larger role in your patient’s care. You already understand the ins and outs of working in the settings where nurses work, so your adjustment to the workplace will be minimal.

    Certified nurse assistants will also work similar shifts as those of a registered nurse. However, CNAs may also find themselves working double shifts and more days per week to supplement their incomes. Nurses have a lot more flexibility in their schedules. You can find yourself working Monday-through-Friday during business hours, or you could be working three 12-hour shifts each week.

    How do I Get Ahead in my Healthcare Career?

    Once you research a career in nursing, you can pursue an education through different paths. As already mentioned, earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing provides you with the best opportunities for growth as a registered nurse. While you can earn an associate’s degree with a major in nursing and take the NCLEX-RN, a bachelor’s degree will allow you to take on additional responsibilities and will provide you with a well-rounded education. You may be eligible to enroll in an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and earn your BSN in 16 months or less.

    After you’ve decided to pursue your nursing degree, you will have to get some letters of recommendation and perhaps write an essay when you apply to the program. Your bosses and coworkers will be able to provide great letters of recommendation for you.

    Before you begin your nursing courses, you may have to take some prerequisites and meet other necessary requirements. An admissions advisor will be able to help you develop a timeline so you can get an idea of when you can begin your nursing education. Once you complete your pre-licensure program, you can then take the NCLEX-RN and start your nursing career.

    Want to learn more about available nursing programs? Visit our “Find a Nursing School” page.

  • How to Find Nursing Job Shadowing Opportunities

    Whether you have always wanted to be a registered nurse or you have only recently discovered your passion for healthcare, it’s important to understand what you will be doing on a day-to-day basis in your career. Before you commit to a career as a registered nurse, follow these steps so you can make a fully-informed decision about you future.

    How to Find Nursing Job Shadowing Opportunities

    Speak to a Registered Nurse

    It’s important to sit down with a registered nurse and talk to him or her about life as an RN. You may be lucky enough to already know a nurse, perhaps a family member or friend. If so, ask her out for coffee. If you don’t know any RNs, ask some of your friends if they have any connections. Some nursing programs also hold open houses and other events where program graduates and registered nurses may be available to speak with you.

    If you already have an idea of a nursing specialty you are interested in, try to find a registered nurse who is in that specialty.

    When you do finally get the chance to speak to a nurse, try to learn as much as you can about nursing school and the nursing profession. This is your chance to learn about the good, the bad, and the ugly of the nursing profession from someone who lives it every day. The following questions offer a good starting point for your conversation:

    • Why did you become a nurse?
    • How was nursing school for you? What can I expect?
    • What’s your favorite part of being a nurse?
    • What’s your least favorite part of being a nurse?
    • What is a typical day like as a registered nurse?
    • Do you know if your hospital/clinic allows job shadowing?

    Visit Nursing Forums and Blogs

    Once you’ve had the chance to speak to a registered nurse in person, visit some online forums and blogs. Nurses share plenty of tips and stories on these sites, allowing you to hear from many different perspectives. You may find some nurses who regret going into certain specialties, while other nurses are thrilled with their nursing experiences.

    These forums offer you the chance to reach out to thousands of registered nurses and nursing students simultaneously. Through them, you can find out what hospitals offer job shadowing opportunities. You can also find out what nurses and nursing students thought of their own job shadowing experiences.

    You will also find some forums specifically for nursing students. These can give you a great idea of what to expect in nursing school, so you’ll feel more prepared and confident when you start your nursing education.

    Job Shadow

    One of the best ways to ensure you are ready for a nursing career is to shadow a nurse. Job shadowing a registered nurse allows you to see exactly what a nurse does every day, experience how a medical team works together with patients, see how nurses work with various types of patients and conditions, and learn how nursing schedules work.

    How to Find Nursing Job Shadowing Opportunities

    If you know a nurse or someone who works in the medical field, find out if his or her hospital or clinic allows job shadowing. Sometimes, you will be lucky and may be able to shadow someone you already know.

    If you don’t know a nurse, call a couple of local places where you are interested in shadowing. Tell them that you are interested in job shadowing and would like to be connected to whomever can help you. Once you are speaking to someone in charge of shadowing, let them know who you are and why you are interested in job shadowing.

    You may find that some clinics or hospitals do not allow job shadowing, but keep researching until you find one that does. Those that already have job-shadowing programs established will have set guidelines that must be followed, as well as set mentors available to be shadowed.

    If you are already enrolled in a nursing program, contact an advisor to ask about whether shadowing is an option prior to starting clinicals. Your school may have a relationship with a local hospital or two that allow students to shadow.

    If you find that the area around you has limited job shadowing opportunities or doesn’t have any openings for a couple of months, consider volunteering at a hospital while you wait.

    Volunteer

    Volunteering at a hospital or clinic offers great exposure to the medical field. Most hospitals greatly appreciate volunteers and offer them a variety of opportunities. You may find yourself crafting with patients, helping in birthing centers, working at information desks, or running errands within the hospital for different departments.

    Volunteering will not only provide insight into the medical environment, but it will also enhance your nursing school application. Additionally, you may make some great contacts during your time as a volunteer, which can be extremely helpful once you graduate and start your own RN career.

    Curious about how to become a registered nurse? Take a look at the different degree options that lead to an RN career.

  • Is the Nursing Shortage Real?

    Checking and Understanding Various Nursing Workforce Demand Data Sources

    Students today have more career data and statistics available than ever before. Before beginning a registered nurse education program, for instance, you can research job statistics such as average pay, number of employed RNs, projected demand and job growth, school accreditation, and NCLEX pass rates from reliable sources with a simple Google search. However, just because you can find a plethora of data doesn’t mean it all translates into something that is easy to understand. It is quite possible that you could find data predicting a nursing shortage in your area right alongside a recent article talking about area hospital layoffs. So is the nursing shortage real?

    While a heart for helping others may have led you to nursing, we understand that you also want to find a job after investing time and money in your nursing education. Instead of relying on anecdotes about nursing shortages and layoffs or trying to wade through the statistics and projections on your own, this article will review the main data sources and backgrounds for nursing workforce projections and help you understand why the question, “Is the nursing shortage real?” is actually more difficult to answer than you might think. In fact, it deserves much more than a yes or no answer.

    Is the nursing shortage real?

    A main cause of confusion about whether the nursing shortage is real stems from the wide range of data sources that discuss nursing demand. Several organizations work to predict healthcare demand in general and nursing demand specifically. Nursing is the largest healthcare profession and continues to grow at a higher rate than U.S. employment overall.

    The varied sources also use different models, methodologies, and timeframes for their nursing workforce projections, so it is important to understand the background of each. Also, overall projections for the U.S. may not match demand in your state, and even statewide projections may not match demand for nursing in your particular city or area. As with other careers, many nurses have discovered that a longer commute or move to a different city can open up additional job opportunities.

    Let’s briefly explore some of the main nursing workforce projection sources:

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

    In December, 2014, the HRSA released The Future of the Nursing Workforce: National- and State-Level Projections, 2012-2025. The model uses a 2012 baseline of 2.9 million RNs active in the US workforce and assumes that the supply of RNs equals the employment demand at this baseline level. A detailed description of the methodology and projections is available here. The HRSA’s 2025 RN projection indicates a surplus of 340,000 RNs in the U.S. overall (projected demand for 3,509,000 RNs but projected supply of 3,849,000 RNs.) However, 16 individual states are projected to have a shortage of RNs by 2025, with the largest shortages (at least 10,000 fewer RNs than needed) predicted in Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina and Maryland.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)–Employment by industry, occupation, and percent distribution for 2012 and projected for 2022

    In December, 2013, the BLS released employment projections by occupation, which showed that employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 19% from 2012 to 2022– higher growth than the overall average of 11% for all occupations. Overall, this predicts growth from 2,711,500 employed RNs in 2012 to 3,238,400 in 2022. While the BLS does not quantify supply projections along with employment demand, it does state that job opportunities for RNs are expected to be good.

    United States Registered Nurse Workforce Report Card and Shortage Forecast

    In January, 2012, the American Journal of Medical Quality published an article entitled “United States Registered Nurse Workforce Report Card and Shortage Forecast” that details projected shortages of RNs by state and region and forecasts worsening shortages in the two decades from 2009 to 2030. In this article, only two states—Massachusetts and South Dakota—are predicted to have a surplus of RNs in 2030.

    Individual State RN Projections

    A website called Projections Central gathers data on 2012 to 2022 projections for all states from the labor market information sections of each State Employment Security Agency. By selecting “registered nurses” and each individual state, you can see the base 2012 employment level, the projected change through 2022 (ranging from 11%-31% for all states and the District of Columbia), and the average annual job openings for RNs. Although not provided on this site, some states’ Nursing Workforce Centers also analyze RN supply information to make detailed supply and demand projections, but the timeframe and amount of detail for the projections varies by state.

    Several important additional factors are difficult to pinpoint and enumerate within RN workforce projection models, but could have a significant impact on the demand for nurses. Some of these are covered below.

    Aging RN Workforce and Delayed Retirement

    Before the recession, there were widespread concerns within the healthcare industry that many members of the aging RN workforce would be retiring. At the time, the nursing education system was not keeping pace with this anticipated increase in demand on top of an already increasing need for RNs. But the number of new graduates entering the RN workforce more than doubled from 2001 to 2012, increasing from 68,000 to 150,000 nationally. In the meantime, expected increased RN retirement levels did not materialize. RNs delayed retirement, re-entered the workforce because of the recession, or simply switched to less physically taxing roles away from bedside care. There has also been a general trend toward baby boomers and older Americans remaining in the workforce longer. But older RNs will need to exit the workforce eventually, and it is impossible to predict the extent to which mass retirements could increase demand beyond the current projection levels.

    Trends in Nursing Education

    Some states suffered funding cuts to their nursing programs during the recession, including North Carolina, one of the states consistently predicted to have an ongoing RN shortage. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) reports that, across the U.S., 53,667 qualified applicants from entry-level baccalaureate nursing programs were turned away in 2013. In many cases, there are just not enough faculty, clinical sites, and/or classroom space to increase the size of nursing programs. Enrollment growth is also slowing for entry-level BSN programs, up by only 2.6% from 2012 to 2013, according to the AACN. This is the lowest enrollment increase in the past five years. Although it may not yet be a significant concern, if nursing program enrollment begins trending down, the assumptions made by RN workforce projection models will not hold.

    Geographic Mobility

    The HRSA’s state-level projections assume that nurses will enter practice in the states where they have been trained. The accuracy of this assumption varies widely by state and area. For instance, border areas in some cases have enough nursing demand that they draw nurses from across state lines. Such commuting patterns between states and cities can be quantified, but not easily by profession. Some states’ boards of nursing capture and share data on where nurses live and work, but others do not. Also, some nursing students go away to school with the intention of returning to their home state or area to practice after graduation. Finally, Census data clearly shows a five-year mover rate to a different state of between five and ten percent for each five-year period since 1965. This state-to-state mover rate was at its lowest point in the 2005-2010 timeframe, with the recession and other factors causing many to remain in their state of residence. But it is likely that the five-year mover rate will return to its pre-recession levels of eight to ten percent in the future.

    The HRSA’s The Future of the Nursing Workforce: National- and State-Level Projections, 2012-2025 may summarize it best:

    “… since the 1980s, the annual number of nurse graduates has been cyclical and characterized by high growth, followed by declines of up to 25%. In an alternative supply and demand scenario, if nurses begin retiring two years earlier than pre-recession levels, and there is a 10% drop in new graduates, future supply would fall below projected demand–resulting in a shortfall of 86,000 RNs in 2025.”

    Ultimately, there are no easy or definitive answers to the question of whether there will be a nursing shortage in the future. However, it is clear that nursing remains a high-demand career. If you are interested in becoming a nurse, let us help you find a nursing program near you or in a high-demand location where you would like to move.

  • It’s Never Too Late to Earn Your BSN

    You may have researched plenty of reasons to get a BSN but are still be hesitant to make the commitment. While the career is appealing, you may feel that your age is a barrier to returning to school to earn an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

    No matter how long you have been working in your current field, whether it’s only been a couple of years or a couple of decades, feeling unsatisfied in your career should not be acceptable. While some people may know right away that the field they are working in isn’t satisfying, for others it may take some time to come to that realization. Perhaps the business has changed since you first started your career. Maybe you are unhappy with the same work after years of repetition. Regardless of your reasons, you shouldn’t feel trapped in your current career.

    its-never-too-late-to-earn-your-bsn-Find-Nursing-Schools

    You may find that your experience could be hugely beneficial to your nursing education and career.

    Will I Be Accepted into a Nursing Program?

    Your age is not going to be factored into your nursing school application. In fact, if you already hold a bachelor’s degree, you are eligible for many accelerated BSN programs, which allow you to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in about 16 months. You will have to meet the standards established by the school prior to acceptance, which may include a minimum GPA and successful completion of certain prerequisites.

    Will I Be Able to Keep Up with the Classes?

    Most nursing programs are time-consuming, and accelerated ones can be even more demanding than traditional four-year nursing programs. You may even be worried about returning to an academic environment after a long hiatus. However, you will get a taste of education while you complete your prerequisites. This will help you establish a study routine prior to starting nursing courses. If you are hard working and driven, you are just as likely to pass your nursing courses as your classmates.

    Consider these tips to help you excel as a nursing student:

    • Develop a Routine: After so many years in your field, you have certainly developed habits that help you succeed at work. School requires a routine as well. Establish a set time to study every day and develop good study habits. Don’t cram for exams last minutes, and be organized with your notes and textbooks.
    • Develop Relationships: If you end up in an accelerated BSN program, you may find that you will be a part of a cohort. Your cohort moves as a single unit through all of your nursing classes. This will help establish a built-in network for you to reach out to during classes. Regardless, it’s important to create study groups and establish friendships, or at least professional relationships, with your classmates. Not only will this help you while you are studying and completing your nursing degree, but you will also develop a professional network that could help you find a job once you graduate.
    • Get Support: Nursing school requires dedication, so it’s important to have support from your family and friends. It’s good to have a network of people who will encourage you throughout your journey.

    What Can I Do After Earning my BSN?

    Earning your BSN offers you plenty of opportunities in a nursing career. A BSN allows you the chance to work as a nurse manager, ICUs, ERs, and many other places. Earning your BSN also allows you to expand your education and continue on to earn your master’s or PhD in case you want to hold an even more advanced position, such as a nurse anesthetist.

    Can My Current Career Help?

    If you have graduated college within the past ten years, some of your credits may be transferable to your nursing degree. However, this depends on the school you are applying to. Your current career can also help you decide on where you want to go as a BSN-educated registered nurse.

    • Teacher: If you are a teacher and are burnt out from being in the same environment day after day, you may find that nursing is a great opportunity for you. Nursing requires constant learning, whether in formal programs or informally on the job. You have already lived in an academic environment, so this transition will be a bit smoother for you than others. You may also feel the calling to become a nurse educator, where you teach future generations of RNs in classrooms, at simulation labs, and in clinicals.
    • Healthcare: Many students who return to school to earn a nursing degree do so after already starting a different healthcare career, such as a physical therapist, occupational therapist, or medical assistant, among many others. You may already be familiar with the clinical environment you will work in as a nurse, have a great professional medical network, and be familiar with the terms, situations, and procedures you will be expected to do as a nurse.
    • Business: No matter where you work, business is a multifaceted career. Being able to understand the various roles teams play in the whole project is an important part of a career in both business and nursing. Working as a team is a crucial component to a patient’s health.

    How do I go About Earning my Degree?

    It’s probably been quite a few years since you have been through the college application process. Applying to a college is different when you aren’t in high school. For example, you will not be expected to take standardized tests like the SAT or ACT.

    So what is the application process?

    • Speak to an academic advisor: Some schools have advisors that will be with you throughout the application process. He or she will help you determine your eligibility for the nursing program, necessary prerequisites, and establish a start date. Your advisor will also be able to answer any questions you may have about the classes you are expected to take, your clinicals, and your simulation labs. He or she will guide you through the entire application process.
    • Research and apply for scholarships and financial aid: Whether you plan on paying for your education through student loans or out of pocket, be sure to look up any scholarships or grants that can help curb the expense.
    • Stick to deadlines: Write down all important deadlines. You don’t want to have to delay your education by six months because you forgot to turn in a form on time.
    • Complete any prerequisites: You may have a couple or none. Either way, be sure to complete this as soon as you can.
    • Apply for the nursing program: Do this as soon as you are eligible. Some programs even allow you to apply to a nursing program while you are completing your prerequisites.

    Are you feeling more confident about your ability to earn an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing? Let us help you find the nursing school that’s best for you and get started on your journey towards a successful career in nursing.

  • Rethinking Nursing Gender Stereotypes

    The feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s brought many more women into the workforce in general, and many more specifically into male-dominated professions. Unfortunately, the opposite has not yet held true for men in nursing, with less than 10% of registered nurses being male as recently as 2011. An overwhelming majority of nurses being female is a distinctly 20th century phenomenon. In prior centuries, men from religious orders sometimes provided nursing services, and there were even nursing schools in the US for men only.

    Rethinking Nursing Gender Stereotypes

    An occupation that shows this similar slow trend towards gender equalization for women is engineering, which increased from 10.2% women engineers in 2004 to 11.7% in 2013. The increase for men as RNs for the same time period is from 7.8% in 2004 to 9.9% in 2013. Women have otherwise gradually made up a growing share of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce. For instance, 26.1% of mathematical or computer scientists are women as of 2013. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey, accessed from this site)

    Interestingly, while there are countless articles and reports, as well as educational and social encouragement, recently examining how to increase the amount of females who pursue STEM occupations, the inverse does not seem to be as prevalent for males in nursing. In other words, men are not encouraged to pursue nursing to the same degree that women are encouraged to pursue STEM occupations in the 21st century.

    Rethinking nursing gender stereotypes means taking a look at those that exist.

    Gender Stereotype #1: Women are more caring and nurturing than men.

    Men have historically participated in the caregiving of nursing, as before the 1900s, it was actually a male-dominated field. In the military, there is a larger proportion of male nurses than in the general population of US nurses. Men and women may care and nurture in different ways, which may be more or less overt between the two genders, but the nursing profession can certainly benefit from varying methods of patient care.

    Gender Stereotype #2: Male nurses are more likely to quit nursing.

    Men tend to pursue nursing education at an older age, on average. They are generally in the minority in their nursing education programs. With different physical characteristics compared to their female counterparts, they sometimes feel that they stand out among their peers. It is actually quite a testament to men in nursing that they are an increasing population despite often being discouraged along the way.

    Gender Stereotype #3: Male nurses earn more.

    On average, male nurses do earn more than their female counterparts. However, this is not more likely pronounced than in other professions. If fact, the nursing wage gap is smaller than the average across all occupations, with women earning 93 cents for every dollar men earn as RNs compared to only 77 cents for all occupations. Recent research on pay gaps has shown that women are less likely to negotiate a higher salary than men. The 2008 national sample study of registered nurses (NSSRN) found that men earn more than women in nursing and that men are more likely than women to leave a nursing job due to salary. Men also tend to choose higher paying nursing specialties, like becoming a nurse anesthetist (41% of nurse anesthetists are men).

    Gender Stereotype #4: Male nurses are more feminine than typical males.

    A 1996 study by L.E. McCutcheon concluded that the nursing profession does not make males more feminine, since experienced male nurses surveyed in the Orlando, Florida area were no more feminine than inexperienced male nurses. A National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) membership study in 2009 concluded that male nursing students are very masculine and no more feminine than the average male. While some studies have had different or questionable findings, enough evidence exists to conclude that male nurses should not be stereotyped as feminine.

    Gender Stereotype #5: Male nurses are good for the heavy lifting.

    Another common stereotype facing male nurses is that they are at least valued for their physical abilities. While it is true that many direct patient care nursing roles do require lifting, it isn’t a responsibility held by only the male nurses. Yes, males are physically larger than females, on average, which can sometimes translate into added strength. But, neither male nor female nurses should seek to propagate the stereotype that male nurses are just good for the heavy lifting and other tasks involving physical strength.

    Gender Stereotype #6: Male nurses are accurately portrayed in television.

    Satire in television often takes many of the stereotypes about male nurses and exaggerated them in fictional characters. A study by Dr. Roslyn Weaver published in the August 2013 issue of the Journal of Advanced Nursing shows that TV’s portrayal of male nurses makes it harder to recruit men into nursing and to retain them as nurses. Further, males who do choose nursing as a profession have to combat the negative stereotypes that are perpetuated in television shows and movies.

    Have you encountered these or other gender-based stereotypes in nursing or while deciding whether you wanted to pursue a nursing career? If so, you’ll understand why rethinking nursing gender stereotypes is an important priority going forward.

    If you are ready to overcome stereotypes by becoming a nurse, we can help you find a nursing school today.

  • Jobs for Nurses Outside the Hospital Setting and How to Find Them

    If you are considering pursuing a degree in nursing, it’s important to understand what your career options will be upon graduation.

    Demand for nurses is continuing to rise, and hospitals are giving existing staff longer hours. A large segment of older nurses are slated to retire soon, so the demand for health care is expected to explode due to an aging population. This goes beyond hospitals and into other healthcare settings as well.

    Jobs for Nurses Outside the Hospital Setting and How to Find Them

    Record levels of graduating nurses have plunged into a highly-competitive job market. Graduates are pursuing a career in nursing because there is a high demand for nurses. New nurses are greatly needed, but how does one start finding jobs for nurses outside the hospital setting?

    How to compete in the current job market

    New nurses trying to find work have to be resourceful. Only 160,000 US nursing positions went unfilled last year. Here are some things nurses can do to keep their careers on track:

    • Gain job experience. Employers prefer applicants with previous work experience. Take any job you can get; midnight shift, work in a nursing home or even volunteering part-time.
    • Volunteer. It won’t put any money in your pocket, but it could pay off in the long run experience wise.
    • Putting yourself out there and getting noticed. It’s all about visibility. Get yourself in front of people who will make the hiring decisions. Instead of just sending resumes, unemployed nurses should visit the units where they would like to work and politely ask for an interview.
    • Catch nursing conferences. Doing so is a great way to make connections. Wear proper attire and maintain a neat appearance to make yourself stand out.
    • Be willing to relocate. Nurses who are willing to relocate can take advantage of high demand in rural areas and certain parts of Florida, Texas and the Southwest.
    • Go back to school. Nurses can greatly benefit from moving forward in their career with an accelerated nursing degree from schools like Northeastern University, Marian University, Roseman University, Utica College and more.

    Jobs for Nurses outside the Hospital Setting

    • Long-term care. The elderly are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, and only three percent of graduates are entering this field. Certification requires at least two years in a nursing home and passing an examination. This career has a median $67,000 salary.
    • Community healthcare. Only eight percent of graduates are entering community healthcare, despite there being a variety of opportunities, including domestic violence, forensics, HIV/AIDS, hospice, public health and telemetry. Home health nurses help patients regain physical independence and manage their medication, and their base salary is usually around $57,000 a year.
    • Dialysis nurse. One of the nation’s fastest growing nursing specialties, which pays a salary of $63,000 a year, is dialysis nursing. You will need at least 2,000 hours of experience before taking the certification exam.
    • Nurse practitioner. There’s a growing shortage of primary care physicians. Nurse practitioners (NPs) can tackle 60 to 80 percent of a primary care provider’s work and make on average $78,000 a year working in clinics, offices or independent practice. A master’s degree is required.
    • Nurse Health Coach. Any registered nurse can call themselves a nurse coach while staying within their scope of practice. Nurses can legally start their own business and coach others in their area of expertise. Many companies hire nurses as health coaches in an effort to keep their customers as healthy as possible.
    • Nurse Navigator. Owning your own business as a nurse navigator can be ideal for the nurses who understand insurance policies and who can help patients obtain the care they need. This is ideal for nurses who enjoy paperwork and research in addition to helping their patients.
    • Academic Nurse Writer. A nurse with a graduate degree in nursing and excels in writing can author textbook chapters in their specialty or obtain a publisher to write their own book.
    • Legal Nurse Consultant. Attorneys hire legal nurse consultants to help interpret medical records and serve as expert witnesses.
    • Air National Guard. Nurses attracted to the rush of a fast-paced environment or critical care may want to consider being an Air National Guard nurse. They may find themselves in the middle of the action during a natural disaster, civil emergency or homeland crisis, all situations in which their skills are critical. The Air National Guard has a variety of opportunities that allow nurses to stay close to home and serve their community.

     

    Get out there, work hard, gain experience, and you too will be able to find nursing jobs in the field of your interest. We can help you find a nursing school near you that can help you become a nurse.

  • Cut the Cost of Nursing School by Saving Money on Books and Nurse Supplies

    The cost of nursing school is significant when you go to are considering earning your nursing degree, but only a small fraction of the outcome that a degree in nursing gives you. For the price it costs to go to nursing school, you earn a lifetime’s worth of lessons on how to care for patients, be a healthcare team member, save lives and make lifelong friends, and you will have a vast array of nursing career options at your fingertips.

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    After learning how to find a nursing school and choosing the right program for you, preferably in one of the nursing schools with no waiting list, either a traditional nursing program or online nursing school, you will enroll in classes. It is important to note during your nursing school selection process what is included in the tuition. In most cases, books, uniforms, and the NCLEX exam fees are not included. If that information is not stated in your tuition breakdown, then that is one of the questions you should ask before enrolling in the nursing program.

    By the time you are ready to enroll in classes, you will have a good idea about how you are going to pay for nursing school, and with luck you will qualify for one of the nursing school scholarships available to students. However you plan on paying for nursing school, you should remember that there are always additional costs and fees that will not be included in your tuition. These variable costs can add up in nursing school, but are mandatory to earning your degree. As stated before, if supplies and books are not included in your tuition, you will be responsible for paying for your scrub uniforms, books, supplies, test preparation and tests (such as the TEAS, if required, and the NCLEX), and you will be paying for these things on your own dime. There are many ways to save money and help ease the stress of paying for nursing school, including saving money on books and supplies. Consider the following options:

    Cut the Cost of Nursing School by Renting Your Textbooks instead of Buying

    There are several reliable sources for renting textbooks while in school. Some students love this option, because:

    • The prices are much lower to rent than to buy.
    • If you do not want the book for future reference, you do not lose money when you return the book.

    However, some students also don’t like this option because:

    • They are not able to write or take notes in the book.
    • If there is a CD or access code that is needed with the book, there is a chance the rental may not come with this feature.
    • If you end up needing the same book in a class later in nursing school, you will need to rent it again and might have saved money by buying the book.

    If you do decide to rent, check out these places:

    • Amazon.com: Amazon offers a large selection of text books used in nursing schools across the United States. Once you find the one you need, Amazon gives you the option to buy or rent the text book you need. Amazon rents out textbooks by the semester and follows a standard school-year calendar. For example, when renting for the fall semester, you have the book until finals around December 22. Amazon offers extensions on the rentals for 15 days or an additional semester, and offers free return shipping. Most rentals are eligible for Amazon Prime free 2-day shipping. At any time, you may buy the book to keep.
    • eCampus: A great source for inexpensive textbook rentals is eCampus.com. This site allows you to rent, buy and sell-back textbooks all on one easy-to-navigate website that offers a wide array of medical and nursing textbooks. The eCampus.com Marketplace is also available on the website to compare prices from private sellers. Textbook rentals are issued on three time periods: short term, semester or quarter.
    • Textbooks.com: This website sells new and used textbooks, allows customers to rent textbooks, has a selling platform for used textbooks and also sells e-textbooks for immediate electronic download. Textbooks.com covers the return shipping on the item and also offers deep discounts if you buy your book and then sell it back instead of renting. Most rentals are by the semester.

    Buy Used Textbooks instead of New

    Buying textbooks is a great cost-savvy option for you if you would like to keep textbooks for future reference. All of the sites listed above offer new and used textbooks, in addition to rentals. If you aren’t finding the textbook you need at one of those sites, check out some of the sites listed below. Keep in mind that when buying a used textbook, there may be notes and highlighted sections in the used books. This can be confusing for your reference if you like to make your own notes in your books. If that is the case, try using post-its or different colored pens and highlighters. Another thing to note is that when you buy used textbooks, the CD or access code that comes with the textbook may not be included. Be sure to check the quality of the book and if possible, buy “like new” textbooks.

    • Valore Books: Dubbed “The Students’ Marketplace,” Valore Books is an e-store that offers the option to buy, rent and sell textbooks. Used textbooks are offered at deep discounts and offer a 30-day money back guarantee for their new and used textbooks. The website lets you to browse through different offers in a marketplace format, allowing you to compare prices and choose the best option for you.
    • Abe Books: This easy to navigate website offers everything from rare edition books to new and used textbooks. Textbooks are listed by different sellers and are easily searchable so that you can find the best deal. There is also a community page on the website complete with a forum, blog and tools for helping you find the right book for you with a form called BookSleuth®, GiftSleuth® and BookHints.

    Shop Smart for Nursing School Supplies

    School supplies needed for nursing school include the standard back to school items, such as a day planner, pens, highlighters, binders, paper and index cards. You can take advantage of beginning-of-the-school-year sales for these items. However, there are a few additional items you will need when starting nursing school including a stethoscope, Maglite, watch (for taking pulse), scrubs and comfortable walking shoes. These items are a little bit harder to find on sale, but shop around at local medical supply stores and online to compare prices. Check out our blog giving tips on how to shop online for nursing school supplies.

    Take Advantage of Free Resources to Cut the Cost of Nursing School

    Succeeding in nursing school is made easier when you take advantage of resources such as test preps, how-to guides and other materials. When buying resources like quick reference guides or practice tests, the cost can add up. Save money by taking advantage of free resources available to you online. Find Nursing Schools offers an array of free resources, including our TEAS Study Guide pdf, free Nursing Career Guide and tips on the NCLEX-RN exam.

    In addition to cutting the costs of nursing school through your books and supplies, check out these tips on how to make money in nursing school and find more ways to save. If you are ready to start nursing school, use Find Nursing School’s “Nursing Schools Near Me” tool to find the right program for you to advance your career into nursing.

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