Find Nursing Schools Blog

  • Stay-at-Home Moms Going Back to School to Become a Nurse

    The scenario often goes that a couple, upon having children, re-evaluate their situation. Where both were working full-time, they mutually decide for one of them to quit their career and become a full time stay-at-home parent. Both parents have been working for some time, however it is traditionally the mother who takes on this role.

    The scenario continues with the mom giving up her career in the workplace for PTA meetings and boo-boos only to find herself out of a job, again, after 16 to 18 years. Now the kids are all grown up with their own lives. They don’t need 24/7 access to a parental figure. As a stay-at-home mom, you’ve done your job and have successfully emptied your nest. You’re now faced with the next chapter in your life where you don’t need to spend so much time at home and you can start thinking about being one of those stay-at-home moms going back to school to become a nurse.


    These moms are going back to school because there aren’t many professions that would quickly hire someone who has been out of the office for more than a decade. Getting a second bachelor’s degree in nursing can be a great way to open doors into a new profession and a new career.

    Why Did You Quit Your Job to be a Stay at Home Mom?

    Now that your days, which used to be filled with making lunches, scheduling after-school activities and helping with homework, aren’t nearly as full, it’s easy to look back and question why you made the decision to become a stay-at-home mom. Remember all the valid and logical reasons why you chose to become a stay-at-home mom all those years ago.

    • Financial Reasons. Maybe the cost of child daycare outweighs the salary you would be making if you continued to work full time. This is often especially the case if you have more than one child.
    • Kids Come First. Maybe the reason you want to be a stay-at-home mom is because you want to give your child’s/children’s upbringing your full attention. You want to always be there for the soccer games or play recitals and not have to worry about other time commitments that could come from late nights at the office.
    • Equally Dividing Parental Responsibilities. Rather than having both parents trying to do it all—raise children, keep house and work full time—sometimes it’s easier to split parenting responsibilities up by one parent taking the home life and one working full time.

    It’s Never too Late to Go Back to Nursing School

    Just because you’re not in your 20s doesn’t mean you can’t go back to school. Age has nothing to do with higher education. In fact, more and more studies are showing that the mind of someone in their 30s, 40s and 50s have more improved cognitive abilities than someone in their 20s, which allows them to retain information better through learning and memory.

    So if you’re a stay-at-home and already have a bachelor’s degree, you could become a nurse by finding an accelerated BSN program and complete your degree in 12-20 months. While your high school student is studying for finals, you could be studying for exams and working towards an online nursing degree. By the time your child is graduating and heading out into the world, you can be a stay-at-home mom going back to work as a registered nurse with a BSN.

    5 Ways Nursing is Like Being a Stay at Home Mom

    There are several ways being a stay-at-home mom is just like being a nurse. Your background as a full-time mom will provide you with patience and understanding, not to mention these five repeating experiences to draw from:

    1. One-on-one patient care. Whether it is kissing a boo-boo in your own family room or stitching up a patient’s wound in the ER, you are providing one-on-one care for your patient and helping them through the pain.
    2. Caring for patients more than they care about themselves. Stubborn kids and stubborn adults can make for difficult patients. But you know patience will win out, and nothing can keep you from caring about your patient’s health.
    3. Making a difference in the world. Nurses impact lives every day, affecting the world around them. Not unlike mothers who raise children and prepare them for the endless possibilities of what they will do in the world.
    4. There isn’t much you haven’t seen. Mothers see and hear it all, just like nurses. From dirty diapers to mysterious injuries and broken bones, there isn’t much that will surprise a seasoned mother or nurse.
    5. Self-doubting. Not glamorous and not fun, but self-doubt plagues many stay-at-home moms and nurses every day. Wondering if you did the right thing or made the right decision is not a weakness, but a strength. It means you’re questioning and therefore challenging yourself to always improve. This is a strength nurses and mothers both experience.

    Financial Aid for Stay-at-Home Moms Going Back to School

    For many, higher education can unfortunately come with student loans. But you can offset the cost of nursing school by applying for nursing scholarships and grants.

    Finding Nursing School Scholarships

    For those willing to put in the time to look, there are a lot of scholarships available for nursing students. Sometimes the school you’re interested in offers scholarships specific to a program could qualify for, so make sure you ask when you’re going through the admissions process.

    There are plenty of other nursing scholarships you could looks into as well. Find Nursing Schools offers a list of 20 nursing scholarships to get you started.

    Grants Specifically for Moms Going Back to School

    You might be surprised to learn that there are grants specifically for women who are going back to school. These grants are not program, school or industry specific, so they could be applied to almost anything. Federal Pell Grants would be a great place to start your search. They offer financial assistance based on need, tuition costs, if you’re a full-time or part-time student and how long you plan on being in school.

    When it comes to financial aid and finding nursing scholarships, never be afraid to ask or submit an application.

    Still not convinced you’re one of those stay-at-home moms going back to school that shouldn’t become a nurse? Check out our free nursing career guide to learn more about the profession.

  • The Evolution of Education

    Think back to when you were in elementary school. Do you remember practicing your cursive on the blackboard, copying notes from a projector and watching Bill Nye the Science Guy? How many of your everyday activities would seem foreign to the kids of today? The evolution of education presents itself when you stop think how nowadays, few schools even teach cursive, kids are given tablets and personal computers at the beginning of them school year and notes are typically offered online.


    Education continues to evolve at a rapid rate as technology advances and more research is done on learning. Learning has gone from private tutors for the wealthy, royal and clergy to dedicated teachers for students of all backgrounds.

    Medieval Ages

    Education has only recently become widely available to everyone throughout the United States. In the medieval decades, very few were allowed to learn. If you were the son of a royal, wealthy merchant or a clergy member, you were offered the best education, typically at your own home. Some of the best-educated minds were employed as private tutors to teach boys Latin, French, English, arithmetic and writing. Very few girls were offered the same education, although there were some exceptions. Girls were typically taught at home by their mothers, and were only taught enough to be a good wife. Some were taught basic reading and book-keeping, as well as dancing, embroidery and singing. The poor were typically not educated beyond their basic trades, such as farming or working as a blacksmith.

    Before universities, most higher-learning occurred at monasteries. Many universities were paid for by either the students, churches or the state.

    Distance Learning in the 1700s

    It may seem like a new idea only available through advanced technology, but distance-learning education was first advertised in 1728 by Caleb Phillips for a shorthand course. Students enrolled in the course would have assignments mailed to them, which they would complete and send back to be revised by the course director.

    1800s to Early 1900s

    Following the evolution of education, by the 1800s, children were taught in single-room schoolhouses. Children within a five-mile radius of the school would walk to and from school every day, where they memorized facts and focused on reading, writing and arithmetic. The teachers were typically single women who passed a qualifying exam to receive a teaching certificate.

    Before the 1900s, and even up until the last 50 years, it was common for students to drop out of school to help on the family farm or seek employment to help the family. Few earned a complete education.

    Technology Jumps In

    Although technology was being developed to improve education in the first half of the twentieth century, the first great technological advance was in 1953 when the University of Houston televised college courses through the first public television in the US. Broadcasts were between 13 and 15 hours each week and ran at night.

    The Last 20 Years

    Even as few as 20 years back, education has evolved to look vastly different. Although there were more education regulations and changes in teaching style, students would still have to be present in a classroom. Students have gone from taking notes from the blackboard to an overhead projector to copying them from the SMART board to downloading notes from the school website on their personal computers.

    Online Classrooms Today

    For those who have never taken an online class, the idea of earning an entire nursing degree online can be overwhelming and a bit daunting. Many imagine it as a completely independent process that involves teaching yourself based on textbooks and slideshows. However, now that technology is practically one step ahead of us, online learning has become a more viable option for many people.

    Students who earn degrees from online classrooms are as involved with the professors as if they were in a traditional classroom. Professors will post lectures online, provide notes and activities, chat with students in real time and virtually meet with students to help them understand a topic. Students can even engage with one another to form study groups or just chat about the class.

    If you are attending an online nursing school, you will even have the chance to meet with your professors and classmates while you are doing your clinical placements and working in the simulation labs.

    Education will continue to evolve. You never know- you may be able to project a hologram into classes in the future.


    Are you interested in becoming a nurse? Take a look at the various nursing programs near you available throughout the country.

  • Thinking about Going Back to School for a Second Degree BSN?

    Going back to school for a second degree BSN can be scary. Many may worry about the cost of earning a second degree when they have already paid for a first. Others may feel anxious about the time commitment involved. Still more may be concerned about recommitting to school.

    Although all of these concerns are valid, going back to school to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing is likely to lead to a very successful second career as a registered nurse.


    You Know About Hard Work

    Earning any sort of degree in college is time consuming and requires absolute dedication. It’s all too easy to procrastinate on homework, decide hanging out with friends is more important and fail out of school. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you have clearly demonstrated your ability to succeed as a student. Not only will taking classes be familiar, but you may find it is easier to slip back into the old routines of learning, studying for exams and doing homework than it was the first time around. While nursing school is certainly a huge challenge, a familiar routine can make it less stressful.

    Your First Degree is Useful

    Admitting that you don’t like your current job takes a lot of guts. It’s a life-changing realization, and it can be at once exhilarating, freeing, terrifying and disappointing. You’ve worked hard to earn your first degree and start your career. But returning to school does not mean that you are wasting your first degree. Many careers teach people valuable lessons that will be helpful as a nurse. For example, if you work in marketing, you will find that all of the communication skills you developed so far will be vital in the healthcare settings.

    Not only will your current career play a role in your development as a nurse, but your past education can provide the stepping stones towards your second degree in nursing. Many accelerated nursing programs allow you to earn a BSN in 12-20 months. You have already taken the fundamental core classes required in four-year BSN programs, so there is no need to repeat them and add on an extra three or four semesters. You may even have already completed the necessary prerequisite courses through your first degree.

    A BSN is Worth the Investment

    Higher education is expensive, but that shouldn’t deter you from following your dreams and becoming a registered nurse. As mentioned above, even though you have already paid for a first bachelor’s degree, that degree is not being wasted since the courses you’ve already completed and the skills you’ve acquired will roll over into your new career.

    But what about after you’ve earned your degree? As you may already be aware, there is a growing nursing shortage across the country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 19 percent growth in the nursing field by 2022, faster than any other field. Registered nurses can work in a variety of settings, from hospitals to physician’s offices to nursing homes and plenty more. More hospitals are requiring nurses to have a BSN, so earning a second bachelor’s degree will set you apart from the many nurses who earn an associate’s degree. Registered nurses earn a median annual salary of $65,000, so paying back any student loans you may take out won’t put you in the poorhouse.

    There is Plenty of Growth

    Those who enter the nursing field with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing have already set themselves apart in the nursing field. Not only will you be more desirable as a job candidate, but you can go on to further your career in a variety of ways. You can continue your education and go on to a career as a nurse anesthetist, a certified nurse educator, a neonatal nurse practitioner or many others. And you won’t be limited to working in a hospital either. Nurses work in plenty of different environments, so you never have to worry about getting bored in one setting or not finding the right setting. You can even become an army nurse.


    If you are ready to begin a successful and rewarding career as a nurse, take a look at the various nursing schools near you you can apply to.

  • Are You the Right Student for an Online Nursing Degree?

    Higher education is starting to keep pace with today’s high-tech, mobile, convenience-oriented world by offering more and more degree programs online, and nursing is no exception. Of course, a nursing degree still requires substantial hands-on experience in simulation labs and with real patients, but many accelerated BSN programs now offer at least the core theory courses in an online format.


    Being an online nursing student isn’t for everyone, though. It takes a certain personality type and skill set to succeed in such a self-directed environment. Do you have what it takes? Check out these common traits of successful students who are working towards an online nursing degree:

    • Savvy scheduling.The greatest benefit of online coursework is also its greatest challenge: you set the schedule. You’re free to take classes, listen to lectures, engage in online learning activities or review content any time you want. But you have to make that time. Similar to successful freelancers, successful online students set a specific schedule for their coursework at the start of each day or week and execute it religiously. It takes a fair amount of self-discipline to shut out distractions and honor the time you’ve put aside for your studies, which brings us to the next item. . .
    • A firm “no”. Especially for online students who have family or work obligations, the ability to set limits and enforce them is a must. No matter when you decide to do your online coursework, there will always be something else you could be doing, or feel like you should be doing, or have someone asking you to do. Don’t. Say no. When you set aside time for school, make sure family members, friends, co-workers and others know that you’re off-limits during that time unless there’s an emergency. It’s up to you to be the guardian of your own time, because no one else will. Too many yes’s can turn into delays and distractions, starting you down a slippery slope that leaves you significantly behind on your coursework. Plus, good habits are self-reinforcing, so the sooner you establish firm boundaries and ground rules, the easier it will be for you (and everyone else) to adhere to them consistently.
    • Technological enthusiasm. Being open-minded and willing to embrace technology doesn’t mean you have to be on the Geek Squad. It means you’re open to exploring the various technologies offered to you as an online student. Today’s online learning platforms have a number of built-in features intended to help you stay engaged with your professors, your fellow students and your course material. Use these tools. Make the most of them. Make sure you DO interact with your teachers and classmates, and take the time to complete the online learning activities designed to enhance your understanding of the material. Schools typically don’t offer online degree programs unless they have the robust technology to support them, so to maximize your success in an online program, be prepared to take full advantage of that technology. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. It’s your education, and you should benefit from all the tools available to you.
    • Commitment to your classmates. Just because you may not see your classmates face-to-face every day doesn’t mean they won’t still play a big part in your success. Even as an online student, you’ll learn a lot from your fellow students and benefit from the diverse perspectives they bring to the program. In fact, most online programs include some amount of group project work, and the worst thing you can do is be the one who never shows up to the meetings or weasels out of your share of the assignment. Nursing, in particular, is a highly collaborative profession, so nursing school purposely fosters teamwork among its students in order to prepare them for today’s healthcare jobs. Playing an active role in your classmates’ success only helps you to ensure your own.


    So, think you have what it takes to be an online nursing student? Check out our listing of nursing programs to get started! Or better yet, inquire today about which nursing programs with no wait list you could qualify for.

  • Guest Post: Thoughts Behind “From New to ICU”

    From New to ICU ThumbnailToday’s guest post comes from Courtney with She shares her thoughts behind creating the site and her desire to help those researching nursing programs.

    Nursing is a specialty that requires a great deal of education, whether you are a nursing student or a registered nurse. I recently started a website, From New to ICU, that is focused on helping nurses at all stages of their career. I’m passionate about nursing and helping nurses to develop themselves as medical professionals.

    When I was applying for nursing schools, I found it very difficult to quickly find the admission information that I needed for a BSN program. I remember searching the internet for hours looking at the programs that were available to me. It was a process to even figure out what nursing schools require to apply to their programs. I was sifting through page after page of university websites to try and compile the information I needed to make a good decision. I had a prior bachelor’s degree which allowed me to apply for accelerated BSN programs rather than go the traditional route. I only evaluated two different accelerated programs because I had no idea how many were available across the United States. Because of this experience, I have created my website, From New to ICU, to make the decision of which school to attend and finding prerequisite information for admission much easier for future nurses.

    From New to ICU is one of the most comprehensive nursing school information websites. It provides reviews of over 300 BSN, RN-to-BSN, and Second-Degree Accelerated BSN programs. Information provided for each school includes prerequisite GPAs, admission tests, application information, etc. to help pre-nursing students find the right nursing program quickly. If this had been available to me, I would have made a much more informed decision about which BSN program I would have chosen. From New to ICU also acts as the liaison between future nursing students and the university counselors when there are questions about a particular program.

    While creating From New to ICU, I realized that there is a great deal of education that can be provided to nurses after completing their formal education. There have been many topics that I have needed more information on as I have grown as a nurse. Because nursing is a profession in which you are always learning, I decided to create a “Nursing Basics” section, which discusses various nursing interventions in great detail. Some of these tutorials include inserting IVs, assessing chest tubes, administering medications, and much more. There are always tips and tricks to be learned from older nurses, so why not share them?

    Lastly, the “Nursing News” section has a weekly article posted regarding a topic that is either nursing or medically based. Some of the most recent articles have been focused on types of BSN programs, interesting diagnostic cases and even how to do a thorough head-to-toe assessment. Nurses can subscribe to these weekly postings if they want an interesting read.

    From New to ICU is focused on developing our current and future nurses. Nurses are a very influential force in the healthcare industry. The need for nurses will continue to increase as our population ages. From New to ICU is the perfect website to help nurses with continuing their education, whether it be to complete their BSN or simply learn how to better read an EKG.

  • Nursing Humor: Memes to Make You Laugh

    Looking for a laugh after a rough shift? Check out these nursing memes.
























    Are you interested in becoming a registered nurse? Take a look at the various nursing degrees you can earn to start your new career as an RN.


  • How to Find a Nursing School: 5 Things to Look For

    how-to-find-a-nursing-schoolBy the year 2020, it is predicted that the United States will have a serious nursing shortage. As the large number of baby boomer RN’s start retiring around the year 2018, more than 260,000 qualified RNs will be desperately needed by 2025. This situation is not helped by the fact that many nursing programs have limited resources to train and educate the next generation of nurses to fill those spots.

    As a result, nursing programs have expanded into new areas and new nursing schools have become available to those called to the nursing profession. For example, Indianapolis-based school Marian University recently opened a new campus in Nashville, TN.

    With so many choices, it can be difficult to sort through it all and select the right nursing school for you. You start comparing apples to oranges to tomatoes to pencils and before you know it, you’ve confused one school with another.

    Keep Good Notes on Each Nursing Program and School

    When you’re researching a nursing school and/or program, create an excel spreadsheet, or something similar, so you can write out the details and criteria that are important to you. Keep track of the school name, program type/name, how long the program will take to complete, location, accreditation, tuition and anything else that you find important. Include links to the program site so you can easily find your way back if you forgot anything.

    For Example:

    School Program Accreditation Location Program Details Notes
    Northeastern University Direct Entry Hybrid CCNE, NEASC Boston, MA 16 months, hybrid learning format, Prior bachelor’s degree needed


    5 Things to Look for in a Quality Nursing Program

    1. Accreditation. It is important for your nursing career that your nursing school and program be properly accredited. There are two main accrediting bodies you should pay attention to when researching nursing programs.

      There are others out there. For example, The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) accredits nurse anesthesia programs and The American College of Nurse Midwives Division of Accreditation (ACNM) accredits midwife programs. The ACEN and CCNE are two key accrediting bodies that will give you an idea as to the curriculum.

    2. Prerequisites/Program Requirements. Not every nursing program is alike in what they ask of their applicants. Some programs, like the second degree BSN or some accelerated nursing degrees, require you to already have a bachelor’s degree. Other programs ask you to interview, take different admissions tests (such as the TEAS), submit program applications and fees, letters of recommendation, etc. Before you even apply, you should know what is expected of you, if you qualify (or can qualify by your desired start date) and any associated expenses.
    3. Tuition Costs. With so many different nursing degree options, you have options when choosing your nursing program. There are diploma, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, masters and more. The shorter degrees can be more enticing because they will get you in the workforce faster, and these programs only take months or a couple of years and may cost less since you’ll be in school for a shorter period of time. Maybe the traditional four-year nursing program is the better option for you. You may pay more for school right now, but a BSN-educated nurse will receive higher pay than an associate’s degree. It all has to do with your nursing career goals. Educate yourself and think big picture, not just semester to semester. Knowing what you can afford and what you can’t will help you immensely in the long run. Higher education is something to be budgeted for. There are often scholarships you can take advantage of to help cut the costs.
    4. Location. In today’s technological age, you have the option to take courses online. However, just because a nursing program is online doesn’t always mean that you can be anywhere you want in the country. Programs that have online coursework often have in-person clinicals and practicals that require you to be in a specific city. However, you shouldn’t limit yourself based on the program’s location. Many nursing students will relocate for the length of the program. That’s the beauty of a nursing career: nurses are in demand just about everywhere.
    5. How helpful is your advisor. Typically, when you first inquire at a nursing school you will be assigned an advisor or an admissions representative to field your questions. This initial interaction can tell you a lot about the program and the type of people who will be helping you along the way. Are they friendly? Are they helpful? Do they genuinely seem interested in you? Or are you just another number in the system? At this stage in your nursing school research, you are not committed to anyone yet, so be shrewd in your observations. This first conversation is a great opportunity to get to know the program on an emotional level. Whatever program you choose will be a big part of your life for (at least) the next couple of years, so make sure your head and gut agree on the decision.

    Wherever you decided to attend nursing school, you’ve made an excellent career choice. Find a nursing school today that will help you achieve your dreams.

  • How to Find Nursing School Scholarships

    how-to-find-nursing-school-scholarshipsReturning to school to earn your nursing degree takes a lot of organization and planning. You are faced with understanding the work that will go into your new career, finding the right nursing program for you and your family and figuring out how to pay for your education.

    Luckily, paying for your nursing education does not mean you have to break the bank. Along with traditional student loans, future nurses can also apply for various scholarships.

    So where can you find nursing school scholarships?

    Nursing School Websites

    Before spending hours looking up various scholarship websites, go to your school’s website. Your school wants to help you succeed, so many will list financial aid options. Take a look at the scholarships suggested by the school. Even a smaller scholarship of a couple hundred dollars can cover the textbooks you’ll need. Before you apply for a scholarship, make sure you meet the qualifications. You may qualify for one based on where you live, your income or your past education.

    Nursing School Scholarship Websites

    1. Johnson&Johnson Discover Nursing

    This site allows you to take a look at many of the available scholarships for nursing students. You can search for scholarships based on the state you planning on studying in as well as your education level. It also displays the requirements applicants should meet.

    2. American Association of College of Nurses

    The AACN provides a list of various nursing scholarships with a short description of the scholarship. Many of these scholarships apply to nurses seeking bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees.

    3. outlines the various scholarships available to various students. Deadlines are included, as well as some background on the scholarships. It even offers scholarships for students in specific years of their nursing students. Don’t feel like you can’t get a scholarship just because you are in your second year of your nursing education.


    Many of those who want to start a career as a nurse are second-time college students. Whether they lost their jobs or are simply unhappy in their current career path, these students are eager to start their new lives. There are scholarships created for adults returning to college. Earning one of these scholarships allow them to go back to school without worrying about taking additional money away from family expenses or adding on more student loans to those that may already exist.

    5. Find Nursing Schools’ Nursing School Scholarships

    Find Nursing School’s provides a list of 20 scholarships available for nurses. It isn’t a complete list of everything available to you, however it can give you a place to start.

    Go Army

    The army needs nurses just as much as hospitals and clinics. By joining the army as a nurse, you will be able to serve your country and work in a career you love. You could work as a nurse anesthetist, a critical care nurse, emergency room nurse or a family nurse practitioner, among many other options. Not only can you get a bonus from signing up, but the army also repays loans for nursing school. While it may not be considered a traditional scholarship, it does work as a retro-grade scholarship, so you won’t be stuck with hefty student loans.

    Your Current Employer

    One of the nation’s most recognizable brands, Starbucks will help it’s employees return to college by paying for some of the tuition. And Starbucks isn’t the only company that helps students achieve their dreams. AT&T, Home Depot, and Google offer employees the chance to further their education. And of course the company of dreams, Disney, has a college plan as well. Be sure to check with your company. Even if the tuition they offer is relatively small, it can help pay for supplies or textbooks.

    If you are currently working as a nurse and want to continue your education, sometimes hospitals offer tuition reimbursement. Check with your employer; it doesn’t hurt to ask.

    Are you interested in becoming a nurse? You can start a brand new life by finding the right nursing school today.

  • Warning Signs of Nursing Burnout

    warning-signs-for-burnout-nursesBurnout is a risk we all take when it comes to accepting a position in our career path, especially in nursing. The trick is catching nursing burnout before it gets the best of you. We have created this list of five warning signs of nursing burnout. While studying these warning signs, keep in mind that burnout is a natural response to over stimulation in the field of nursing and in other careers. Do not get discouraged or blame yourself for your feelings of burnout. Help is available if any of these warning signs apply to you.

    1. Serious Exhaustion: Whether on the job or out with family and friends, are you struggling to stay awake and energized? Feeling exhausted on the job and during everyday life is the first sign of career burnout. Other signs of exhaustion may be headaches, having little to no energy regardless of getting enough sleep, upset stomach, insomnia, weakened immune system and getting sick often, as well as experiencing weight gain or loss.

    Before assuming exhaustion definitely means burnout, schedule a checkup with your healthcare provider to make sure that you are in healthy shape and have no other ailments that may be making you more tired or ill.

    2. Feeling Under-Appreciated: If you believe your exhaustion is due to burnout, you may relate to feeling under-appreciated at work. It is common for nurses to feel like they are not valued for all the hard work they do. That is to be expected with such a selfless career choice. When you are feeling like no one appreciates the work you do, try to hone in on these feelings and analyze them. If you are feeling taken advantage of, try to pinpoint why that is and what you are doing that makes you feel that way. If it is something your coworkers or supervisors are making you feel, you should address this with them.

    Remember, if you are feeling overworked, you can say no to extra assignments, appointments and so on to lighten your load. Be sure to practice daily affirmations and try to motivate yourself every morning.

    3. You Don’t Look Forward to Work Anymore: We all have days where waking up to go to work seems like a major struggle. In fact, it would be safe to say that after the holiday season or a vacation, we all have that uneasy pit-of-the-stomach protest of going back to our routine and giving up our time off. However, feeling this often is not normal or healthy. Are you waking up and dreading going in to your job at a hospital, clinic or other facility where you are a nurse? Is this because something happened that caused you stress or because you are simply thinking about the work to be performed and not looking forward to it?

    This dread is a serious sign of burnout that needs to be addressed. If the thought of going to work is causing you stress because of your coworkers, certain assignments, hours, schedule and so on, it may be time to look for a new job or see it as time to pick up a new skill or take a class to aid in your career satisfaction.

    4. You are Losing Interest in Being a Good Nurse: When you start to just go through the motions of a job, there is a problem in both your work ethic and the work that you are putting out. No one wants to have to nurse who is just going through the motions and not specializing care for them. This sign of burnout is both dangerous for your patient and your career. When you begin avoiding “unnecessary” interactions with patients and coworkers and when you just simply check things off your list of tasks with no sense of pride or determination, there is a serious case of burnout going on. The bare minimum is never enough in the world of nursing.

    When you begin losing interest in what you are doing from day to day in the world of nursing, it may be time for a break. Schedule a meeting with your nurse manager or mentor to discuss your feelings of burnout with them. You are not alone in feeling burnt out in the world of nursing, so do not be afraid to express your feelings. You two can work together to form a plan of action to ease your burnout frustrations.

    5. You Stop Putting Your Patients First: Are little things your patients do bothering you big time? So much so that you would just rather not deal with them? If you are beginning to feel a combination of uncertainty, cynicism, helplessness and failure in addition to exhaustion, you are experiencing the most dangerous sign of nursing burnout and should take a break or leave your position immediately. Do this for the sake of your career and for the patients. Taking a break is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength and showing that you put the integrity of your work first.

    Do not feel ashamed or embarrassed if you are experiencing signs of burnout. If you do find that you do have career burnout, check out these tips on how to defeat current career burnout or check out this list of how to avoid nursing burnout.

    Burnout can happen to anyone. Take a break, go on vacation, seek help/advice from your peers, or consider going back to school to re-inspire your passion for the nursing field. To find a nursing school that can help supplement your current degree, search by state for a nursing school in your area.

  • Is Your BSN Worth the Cost of Tuition?

    is-your-bsn-worth-cost-of-tuitionWhile considering different nursing schools and programs, you’ve probably noticed that there are a lot of options available. You can become a registered nurse (RN) by obtaining either an associate degree or a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), or by completing a certificate program. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in another field or enough college credits, you could also consider an accelerated BSN program or even an entry-level master’s nursing program. The only common requirement is that you must pass the NCLEX national licensing exam at the end of any of these educational paths.

    All other things being equal, an associate degree or certificate nursing program costs less than a BSN. These options also take less time than a traditional four-year BSN program. So, if you haven’t yet, over the course of your journey you are likely to ask yourself, “Is a BSN worth the cost of tuition?” Let’s examine some considerations behind this question, remembering that worth isn’t always just about the price tag or the pay you get back in return.

    Salary Potential

    Typically there is not much, if any, difference in the starting salary for a new RN, whether you have a bachelor’s or an associate degree. That often changes with experience and increased opportunities for BSN-educated RNs. PayScale reports a median national annual salary of $58,491 for RNs with a bachelor’s degree, but $55,520 for RNs with an associate degree. While even that difference may not seem like much, over the course of 20 years it adds up to $59,420, or more than an extra year’s worth of pay. Similarly, an analysis of nurse job postings over three months in 2013 using showed an even larger mean pay difference between nursing job listings requiring a post-secondary or associate degree ($66,620) and those requiring a BSN ($75,484).

    Job Opportunities

    National Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projections show that our country will need over one-half million more registered nurses by 2022. While second of the top 20 for the most projected new jobs, registered nursing is first among these 20 in 2012 median annual pay ($65,470). These projections include registered nurses of all education levels, but the aforementioned analysis of nurse job openings shows that 37% of the openings required a bachelor’s degree. In an October 2010 report, the Institute of Medicine called for increasing the number of BSN-educated nurses to 80% by 2020. Some states’ legislatures are even considering bills that would mandate RNs getting their BSN within 10 years of becoming a certified RN. In fact, enrollment in RN-to-BSN educational programs, where registered nurses educated at a lower level go back to school to receive their BSN degree at an accelerated pace, increased much more quickly than enrollment in entry-level BSN programs (12.4% since last year compared to 2.6%). The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) also reports that 78.6% of employers express a strong preference for BSN graduates. A full 59% of new BSN graduates had a job offer at the time of graduation compared to only 29% of new college graduates across various disciplines.

    Career Options

    A BSN degree offers career options and later paths that are not available to registered nurses with only a certificate or associate degree. For instance, nurse educators must have a BSN to even be considered for teaching positions. A BSN degree is also a pre-requisite to Advanced Practice Registered Nurse specialty education and other master’s degrees in nursing. The only exception to this is some entry-level MSN programs which allow students to earn their master’s degree in nursing if they have a bachelor’s degree in another field.

    In summary, a BSN degree offers more flexibility, job opportunities and pay than an associate degree or certificate nursing program. Registered nursing also offers the highest pay of any of the 20 jobs with the most projected job openings. And if you already have a bachelor’s degree in another field and want to make a career switch, why would you consider an associate degree in nursing when you can likely get a BSN just as quickly through an accelerated program? Your specific nursing school tuition will vary, depending on the school and program you choose.

    If you’ve decided, like we have, that a BSN is clearly worth the cost of tuition, why not take the next step and find a nursing school to start your education today?