Accelerated BSN Programs: Fast Track Into an RN Career

There are many pathways into a career as a nurse, but more and more, having a bachelor’s of science degree is the best way to position yourself for advancement, and compete for the best jobs. If the thought of embarking on a four-year degree journey – especially if you’ve already got a bachelor’s under your belt – isn’t appealing to you, you might consider an Accelerated BSN program. An Accelerated BSN is specifically geared toward career changers who already earned a college degree in another field, but want to become RNs. In many cases, going this route can get you in scrubs even more quickly than a two-year associate degree program. That’s because accelerated, or sometimes referred to as second-degree, nursing programs can be completed in as little as 12 – 18 months. It’s no wonder that these programs have been gaining popularity over the last decade, as more and more people set their career sights on nursing careers. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, there are approximately 230 accelerated BSN programs in the nation’s colleges and universities. If you’re aiming to get on the fast track toward becoming a Registered Nurse, here’s what you need to know about Accelerated BSN programs. What you’ll learn The concept of the accelerated BSN in nursing is that students take intensive coursework, and don’t have to repeat all of the usual required courses in a regularly-paced bachelor’s program (since they already did that the first time they went to college). In other words, you won’t have to take English, history, and other liberal arts type classes. However, you will take lots of science-based courses including anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and chemistry, for starters. In addition, you’ll need to complete […]
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Getting the Nursing Job: Resume Tips for RNs

You’ve taken all of the coursework, put in the clinical hours, and passed the NCLEX and state licensing exams to become a Registered Nurse. Now what? It’s time to start the job hunt, and that begins with crafting a solid resume. The fact that you are a licensed RN ready to get to work already puts you in the running for great job opportunities since nursing is a field that is always in need of new professionals. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 19 percent during the decade of 2012 to 2022, which is faster than the average occupation. That being said, you’re competing with a lot of other new nurses for the best positions so having a strong resume to grab the attention of prospective employers can help you be a stand out job candidate. Consider this your RN resume prescription so you know the correct dosage of skills and professional credentials to help get you hired. What should be included on a nursing resume The most important goal of your nursing resume is to show that you’re credentialed, qualified, and have the skills to work as an RN. If you have any relevant healthcare experience, that of course is a plus, and should be noted. Finally, you should also include your licensing details, professional affiliations, and education. If you have any additional expertise that can set you apart from other job candidates – whether it’s a specialty certification or the fact that you’re bilingual – definitely include that on your resume, too. Your nursing resume should begin with a “summary” that describes your expertise, credentials, and professional goals. Although some people still use an “objective” at […]
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Tips on Applying for Your First Nursing Job

Getting your RN license has been one of your greatest achievements. Now it’s time to enter the nursing profession. Getting started might be a bit overwhelming at first since there are so many career avenues to explore – but that’s a good thing! Being an RN opens a lot of career doors for you, and once you start putting some job experience on your resume, the possibilities are limitless. But you have to start somewhere. Here’s a gameplan for finding, applying for, and landing your first nursing job. Finding the right job for you  Of course you know that you want to work as a nurse, but there are a number of different types of nursing jobs out there. Is it your preference to work in a hospital setting? Would you prefer caring for the elderly in a nursing home? Did you hear about an open position with a local health care facility? Perhaps your dream job is to be a school nurse? These are just a few of the questions to ask yourself as you begin your job search. If you’re open to all of the above, you’ll have more options from which to choose, of course. But either way, here are some possible places to look for employment opportunities: Area hospitals Clinics Nursing homes, residential care providers, or rehabilitation centers Health insurance providers Travel nursing agencies Home health care agencies Local government agencies Searching job openings Once you have a plan of attack, it’s time to start looking for specific open positions with any of the above employers. You can start by going to the websites of health care providers in your area to see if they list any job openings. Next, try conducting a targeted job search on platforms like LinkedIn or on […]
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Pathway from Registered Nurse to Nurse Practitioner

As a registered nurse, sometimes you just want to do more in your profession. That’s why so many are heading towards earning an advanced degree to become a nurse practitioner. In fact, more than 16,000 men and women graduated from a nurse practitioner program in 2014 in the United States, according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) in Austin, Texas. “Many times, the average nurse practitioner student has been practicing as a registered nurse for 10 years or so,” says Ken Miller, president of the AANP. “They just get to a point in their career that they want more autonomy. There is just such a need for this profession because of the Affordable Care Act.” Miller says that between 30 and 40 million more people have been added to the primary care system after finally getting health insurance. “But no single discipline can handle that. So, the nurse practitioners are picking up a lot of that primary care that needs to be done,” he said. “They also can own their own clinics. In fact, there are 250,000 nurse-owned and managed clinics across the country.” It’s such a good job that U.S. News & World Report ranked it #2 Best Health Care Job of 2015 and #2 in the 100 Best Jobs overall this year. Advantages of being a nurse practitioner “Once you become a nurse practitioner, the increase in salary is tremendous,” Miller says. For instance, a licensed practical nurse makes an average of $26 an hour and a registered nurse makes $47 an hour. But a nurse practitioner averages $96,000 a year. “Those who work in acute care, start out even higher. In many places, their salaries are $150,000 a year,” he says. Nurse practitioners can prescribe medications in all 50 […]
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Benefits and Opportunities as a Travel Nurse

If you are a person who likes adventure, seeks out new places to eat and play, and loves meeting new people, travel nursing might just be your ticket. Whether you choose to work somewhere near your home or travel across an ocean like to Hawaii, the choices are unlimited. Plus, there are more than 400 travel nursing companies nationwide can who match nurses with available positions at hospitals, clinics and other facilities. Or some nurses choose to get their own contracts and work as an independent. “A traveling registered nurse is a highly educated and flexible healthcare professional who is interested in broadening their scope of care, and learning how differing facilities executive proper nursing care,” says Joe Bartoszek, director of staffing services at TaleMed. TaleMed was rated the No. 1 travel nursing company in 2015 by Highway Hypodermics, the website and name of a series of travel nursing books by author Epstein LaRue, a registered nurse. Bartoszek adds that traveling RNs are also motivated for other main reasons – money and adventure. “As traveling healthcare professionals, they receive premium pay with a number of tax-free benefits in accordance with the IRS. They also get the opportunity to travel the country and see areas they have always wanted to visit,” he says. “Whether you like to shop, eat at unique restaurants, climb mountains, ski, or camp, travel nursing affords professionals the opportunity to experience the best of the best that this great country has to offer.” Reasons Travel Nursing is in Demand Traveling healthcare professionals, especially nurses, are in high demand because many hospitals try to maintain an appropriate staffing budget based on their quarterly and seasonal needs which are based on census, Bartoszek reveals. This is why most hospitals want […]
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Survival Tips for Nurses Working the Night Shift

Throughout the country every night, nurses put on their uniforms and head to work as everyone else is sleeping. It’s one of those professions that doesn’t stop at 5 p.m. when everyone else goes home. But night shift work can cause problems with someone’s health not just their sleep patterns. According to the International Classifications of Sleep Disorders, shift workers are at increased risk for a variety of chronic illnesses such as heart disease and gastrointestinal diseases. Working in the health field, nurses understand they are at risk for a lot of problems if they work late at night. But for those who have been doing the night shift for a while, they have some great advice to bestow upon others on how to keep happy and healthy despite the dark forces against them. “It’s about having the right attitude,” says Felicia Rasmussen of Lincoln, Neb. She just recently spent two years on the night shift as a registered nurse at the Tabitha Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. “If you are passionate about what you do, the hours are irrelevant. It is about being the best nurse you can and giving the best care to your patients.” But it is also about being the best you can be to yourself and your family, she says. Here are some survival tips for being a nurse on the night shift: Food for Thought It would be so easy to just pick something up to eat at the hospital each night. But Michelle Diederich, registered nurse at the Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines, brings her own lunch to work most nights. “By doing this, I am able to make healthier choices. I also try to limit myself from going to the cafeteria at work to […]
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Effective Time Management Skills for Nurses

Sandi Thorson not only works as a registered nurse on 12-hour shifts, but this South Dakota woman is a wife, mom, grandmother and a student earning her masters of nursing administration. “So my life is very hectic. Sometimes, I feel I am just lucky to get the things done that I need to,” she says. She works in the Women’s Center at Avera McKennan Hospital, Sioux Falls, S.D. She carries around a piece of paper during her shifts that lists all of the important tasks and times they are to be completed. Time management remains an important skill she tries to perfect every day. “My day can change in a heartbeat. So, I try to stay on top of things and not get to where I am feeling behind,” she says. Developing organizational skills and patience and utilizing well-needed short breaks can eliminate a lot of the normal stresses that others might not be able to. That allows you to flourish in all the tasks that get piled up during a nurse’s shift and to then enjoy your time at home. Here are some of the skills, personality characteristics and other tips that can help nurses manage their workload and their home lives, and hopefully be happier and more productive in both areas of their lives: Flexibility and Patience “Nurses have to stay organized. They have to know how to prioritize, yet there are so many things going on around them that they also have to be flexible in an ever-changing environment,” says Susan Freeman, president of Healy Johnston, Inc., a management and technology consulting firm in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Those can be hard traits to exude all at once. But Freeman has worked with many professionals such as nurses that need […]
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Registered Nurses: Salary Facts and How to Earn More

Becoming a registered nurse takes a lot of commitment, and working in the job itself not only requires a specialized set of skills, but a special kind of person. Choosing a career as an RN is not something that should be taken lightly, which is why it’s important to get a sense of nursing salaries. Depending on your level of expertise and areas of specialization, the number of years experience you gain, and the city and state in which you work, your RN salary can range quite a bit. This comprehensive look at nursing salaries will help you see how you’ll be compensated depending on the direction you decide to take your nursing career. The good news is even those who are just entering the profession can expect a healthy starting RN salary. From there, the possibilities and income potential are only limited by your willingness to pursue advanced certifications and/or seek out a higher-paying employer. RN Salaries: How They Compare to Other Nursing Jobs Before diving into the various RN specialties or which areas of the country offer the most lucrative opportunities for nurses, you might be interested to learn about the value of the RN license itself. In other words, how much will an RN make in comparison to a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)? The short answer is that you can earn significantly more, plus you are positioned to keep advancing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for registered nurses as of 2012 was $65,470. Remember, that means that half of the workers earned more (as high as $94,720) and half earned less, but that number should give you a good idea of […]
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Neonatal Nurse Salary and Career Opportunities

Salary Overview Neonatal nursing is a nursing sub-specialty.  Neonatal nurses work with infants born with a variety of problems such as premature birth, surgical complications, heart malformations, birth defects and infection.  Although the neonatal period is the first month after birth, these nurses often care for children up to age 2 who have long-term medical issues. According to the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN), about 40,000 infants with low birth weights are born each year.  Thanks to many medical advances, the survival rate for these babies is 10 times higher than it was 15 years ago.  As a result, the demand for neonatal nurses is robust.  In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports demand for registered nurses overall will jump 19 percent between 2012 and 2022, a rate higher than average. The average salary of a neonatal nurse if $66,000, reports. Paths to Increase Neonatal Nurse Salary Neonatal nurses are registered nurses (RNs).  Nursing Education indicates that they can advance their careers through three levels: Level 1 nurses care for infants born healthy and with short hospital stays. Level 2 nurses take care of babies who were born prematurely or who are ill. Level 3 nurses work in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where babies need specialized care and equipment such as ventilators. Candidates for neonatal nursing positions prepare for this career by earning an associate’s (two-year) degree or a bachelor’s (four-year) degree in nursing.  They must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, more commonly cited as NCLEX-RN. Neonatal nursing also requires passing a secondary certification exam in order to be hired as a clinical nurse.  Offered through the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, it is available only after […]
By |June 19th, 2015|Nursing Salaries|Comments Off on Neonatal Nurse Salary and Career Opportunities

Nurse Administrator Salary and Career Opportunities

Salary Overview Nurse administrators are individuals who enjoy the challenges of leadership and the elevated compensation that accompanies them.  GraduateNursingEDU says that these nurses work in a number of healthcare settings to design, manage, and then facilitate the delivery of patient care.  In some situations, they’re responsible for negotiating contracts and managing interdisciplinary support services.  They’re experienced registered nurses (RNs) working at a managerial level. These professionals might also establish a budget and maintain its compliance.  They often recommend policy and necessary structural changes and oversee that they occur.  In short, they’re nursing leaders. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 2012 median yearly pay of medical and health service managers such as nurse administrators was $88,580. This contrasts with $65,470 for RNs in general. The BLS job outlook for RNs includes a projected 2012-2022 growth rate of 19 percent.  As nursing jobs increase due to the overall graying of the U.S. population, the need for nurse administrators will also grow. Paths to Increase Nurse Administrator Salary In order to become a nurse administrator, a candidate must be an RN with several years’ experience.  Obtaining the RN credential requires completing a two-year associate program in nursing, a four-year bachelor’s degree in that field, or a three-year hospital nursing program.  Candidates must also pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, or NCLEX-RN. A supervisory RN with administrative abilities can advance to nurse administrator with at least a bachelor’s degree.  Most earn a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing or health services administration, according to Jacksonville University. Some nurses opt to increase their compensation through completing certification programs.  Two examples of designations are Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP) and Certified Nurse Manager and […]
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