By Jennifer Larson
If you’re looking for a nursing job in 2013, you could be in luck--especially if you have pursued your education and have some experience in the field. While the recovering job market is looking strong for the most part, it holds even more potential in future years. The important thing for nurses is to understand how to position themselves for success, both now and in the coming months.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent report on registered nurses predicted a 26 percent growth rate in employment for registered nurses during the 2010-2020 period. That’s considered “faster than average” when compared to all other populations.
A number of factors are expected to contribute to growth in particular areas. For instance, the aging of the baby boomer population and increasing pressure on hospitals to discharge patients as soon as possible is expected to spur job growth in outpatient care centers, as well as in home health and long-term care facilities.
For the coming year, however, it’s unlikely that the overall employment situation will be significantly different from last year.
“I haven’t seen a lot of change,” said Geraldine “Polly” Bednash, PhD, RN, FAAN, chief executive officer and executive director of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), which surveys nursing schools to gauge the experiences of new graduates in finding employment.
Do your homework
If you plan to look for a new nursing job in 2013, it’s important to prepare yourself. Check out the job market in the area where you wish to live, or, if you’re open to different locations, find out where nurses with your specialty have the most opportunities. Know which employers are hiring, and what types of positions are in most demand.
For example, in the field of school nursing, some areas of the country are eagerly looking for qualified candidates to fill vacant positions in schools, while other regions can barely afford the nursing staff they already have, due to funding issues.
“It’s all over the map, depending on the state,” said Linda Davis-Alldritt, RN, president of the National Association of School Nurses. “Some states are seeing not so much a shortage of school nurses but a shortage of funded positions. The further west you go, that’s the situation, especially in California.”
Although the overall job market for nurses is predicted to be good, nurses in certain pockets of the country--particularly the ones with the least amount of experience--may have trouble landing their dream job right away. But that’s been true for the last few years in high-demand areas like the Bay Area in California and a few other places, and experts typically recommend that job seekers show flexibility in those situations.
If you’re willing to move or work the night shift or try other types of nursing jobs, you’ll be in a better position to get hired; this flexibility can also help new graduates acquire the basic experience that so many employers are seeking.
Take advantage of advanced education
What is most likely to help you land a new job in the current health care environment? More education and training. That might mean attaining a certification in your specialty area, or it could mean returning to school for another degree.
A baccalaureate degree could be especially useful. The Institute of Medicine’s landmark Future of Nursing report, released in 2010, called for increasing the percentage of the nursing workforce with a BSN to 80 percent by 2020, and a growing number of hospitals are prioritizing candidates with the degree.
According to information gathered from nursing schools in August 2012 by the AACN, 88 percent of new graduates with a BSN degree received job offers within four to six months of graduation.
“We’re always very pleased to see the baccalaureate graduates are getting hired,” said Bednash, adding that employers “understand they can make a choice, and they are going straight to the best-educated clinicians and hiring them.”
Graduates with master’s degrees fared even better; within four to six months after graduation, 92 percent of them were fielding job offers, according to the AACN’s survey.
“The hottest commodity on the market today is a graduate-prepared nurse practitioner,” said Bednash.
Expect more jobs on the horizon, thanks to ACA
When the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in June 2012, many noted that the law will likely expand the possibilities for nurses in the future.
As the law continues to undergo implementation, more than 30 million additional people could be added to the insurance rolls. Those people will need primary care--and primary care providers. Advanced practice nurses will be called upon to fill those spots in many places, especially in light of the ongoing shortage of primary physicians. In fact, the January 2013 issue of Health Affairs even noted that the use of “non-physicians” could help improve access to care for many people and avert a physician shortage in the future.
“They ought to be thinking carefully about going on to get a graduate degree,” Bednash said of nurses who are interested in the new possibilities opening up.
The Affordable Care Act also encourages the patient-centered medical home model, which utilizes care coordinators.
“And that’s a nursing role,” said Bednash.
Copyright © 2013. AMN Healthcare, Inc. All Rights Reserved
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has released preliminary survey data showing that enrollment in all types of professional nursing programs increased from 2011 to 2012, including a 3.5% increase in entry-level BSN programs.
The AACN’s annual survey findings are based on data reported from 664 of the 856 nursing schools in the U.S. with baccalaureate and/or graduate programs (a 77.6% response rate). In a separate survey, the AACN found a strong hiring preference for new nurses prepared at the baccalaureate level, and a comparatively high job-placement rate for new BSN graduates.
"AACN is pleased to see across-the-board increases in nursing school enrollments this year given our commitment to encouraging all nurses to advance their education as a catalyst for improving patient care," AACN President Jane Kirschling, RN, PhD, FAAN, said in a news release.
Baccalaureate nursing education
The AACN said its annual survey is the most reliable source for actual — as opposed to projected — data on enrollment and graduations reported by the nation’s baccalaureate- and graduate-degree programs in nursing. This year’s 3.5% enrollment increase for entry-level baccalaureate programs is based on data supplied by the same 539 schools reporting in both 2011 and 2012 (see www.aacn.nche.edu/Media-Relations/EnrollChanges.pdf for year-by-year enrollment changes in baccalaureate nursing education from 1994 to 2012).
Among the most noteworthy findings, the number of students enrolled in RN-to-BSN programs increased by 22.2% from 2011 to 2012 (471 schools reporting). This year marks the 10th year of enrollment increases in these programs, signaling a growing interest among nurses and employers for baccalaureate-prepared nurses, the AACN noted.
Stakeholders inside and outside the nursing profession — including the Institute of Medicine, Tri-Council for Nursing, National Advisory Council for Nursing Education and Practice, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and many others — are calling for higher levels of academic progression in nursing.
Graduate nursing programs
Preliminary data from the AACN’s 2012 survey show that enrollment in master’s and doctoral degree nursing programs increased significantly this year. Nursing schools with master’s programs reported an 8.2% jump in enrollment, with 432 institutions reporting data. In doctoral nursing programs, the greatest growth was seen in DNP programs, where enrollment increased by 19.6% (166 schools reporting) from 2011 to 2012.
During this same time period, enrollment in research-focused doctoral programs (PhD, DNS) edged up by 1.3% (96 schools reporting), even though 195 qualified applicants were turned away from these programs, based on preliminary findings.
"Momentum is clearly building for advancing nursing education at all levels," Kirschling said. "Given the calls for more baccalaureate- and graduate-prepared nurses, federal and private funding for nursing education should be targeted directly to the schools and programs that prepare students at these levels.
"Further, achieving the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations related to education [calling for 80% of nurses to have BSNs by 2020] will require strong academic-practice partnerships and a solid commitment among our practice colleagues to encouraging and rewarding registered nurses committed to moving ahead with their education."
Although interest in nursing careers remains strong, many individuals seeking to enter the profession cannot be accommodated in nursing programs, despite meeting all program entrance requirements. Preliminary AACN data show that 52,212 qualified applications were turned away from 566 entry-level baccalaureate nursing programs in 2012. The AACN expects this number to increase when final data on qualified applications turned away in the fall of 2012 are available next March.
The primary barriers to accepting all qualified students at nursing colleges and universities continue to be a shortage of clinical placement sites, faculty and funding, according to the AACN (see www.aacn.nche.edu/Media-Relations/TurnedAway.pdf for information about the number of qualified applicants turned away from entry-level baccalaureate nursing programs over the past 10 years).
In addition to its annual survey, the AACN has collected data on the employment of new graduates from entry-level baccalaureate and master’s programs to assess how these RNs fare in securing their first jobs in nursing.
Conducted for the third consecutive year, survey findings show baccalaureate nursing graduates remain more than twice as likely to have jobs at the time of graduation as those entering the workforce in other fields. While the employment rate at graduation increased slightly, from 56% in 2011 to 57% in 2012 for BSN students, the employment rate at four to six months after graduation was identical over the two-year period (88%). By comparison, the National Association of Colleges and Employers conducted a national survey of 50,000 new college graduates across disciplines and found that only 25.5% of new graduates in 2011 had a job offer at the time of graduation.
The AACN also collected data on entry-level MSN programs, which remain a popular pathway into nursing for those transitioning into nursing with degrees in other fields. Graduates from these programs were most likely to have secured jobs at graduation (73% for MSNs vs. 57% for BSNs) and at four to six months after graduation (92% for MSNs vs. 88% for BSNs). These data further illustrate a renewed employer preference for hiring the best educated entry-level nurse possible.
Once again this year, the AACN queried nursing schools about whether hospitals and other employers express a preference for hiring new nurses with a bachelor’s degree. A significant body of research shows that nurses with baccalaureate level preparation are linked to better patient outcomes, including lower mortality and failure-to-rescue rates, according to the news release. With the Institute of Medicine calling for 80% of the nursing workforce to hold at least a bachelor’s degree by 2020, moving to prepare nurses at this level has become a national priority.
In terms of this year’s survey, schools of nursing were asked whether employers in their area were requiring or strongly preferring new hires with baccalaureate degrees, with the findings showing that 39.1% of employers require the BSN for new hires while 77.4% strongly prefer BSN-prepared nurses.
To download the complete research brief on the "Employment of New Nurse Graduates and Employer Preferences for Baccalaureate-Prepared Nurses," visit www.aacn.nche.edu/leading_initiatives_news/news/2012/employment12.
The AACN works on several fronts to enhance the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses in the workforce, including:
• Working collaboratively with leaders from associate degree programs and the community college arena to encourage academic progression in nursing (see www.aacn.nche.edu/news/articles/2012/academic-progression).
• Partnering with the National Organization for Associate Degree Nurses to disseminate a new brochure titled "Taking the Next Step in Your Nursing Education" (see www.aacn.nche.edu/students/your-nursing-career/Academic-Progression-Brochure.pdf).
• Advancing the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s "Academic Progression in Nursing" initiative as part of the Tri-Council for Nursing, which is focused on implementing state and regional strategies to create a more highly educated nursing workforce (see www.aacn.nche.edu/news/articles/2012/rwjf).
• Joining with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to enhance diversity in the nursing workforce through the "New Careers in Nursing" program, which provides financial support and guidance to students from under-represented groups enrolled in accelerated nursing programs (http://www.newcareersinnursing.org).
Overall, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) expects the Class of 2013 to total 1,744,000 bachelor’s degree graduates. Women will account for approximately 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees. This continues a trend that started in the early 1980s, the last time men earned more bachelor’s degrees than women.
In addition to the gains women are making, most racial/ethnic groups are gaining ground. Hispanic graduates, in particular, are responsible for much of that growth.
Overall, racial/ethnic minorities account for approximately 29 percent of bachelor’s degrees. That’s up from around 25 percent at the end of the 1990s. (See Figure 1.)
Just as females account for a larger portion of degrees conferred, so too are females driving much of the gains in diversity. For example, the most current data show that African-American females account for 6.5 percent of degrees; their male counterparts, just 3.4 percent. Meanwhile, Hispanic females earned 5.2 percent of bachelor’s degrees, compared to 3.3 percent earned by male Hispanics.
Figure 1: Degrees Conferred by Racial/Ethnic Group, 2009-10 versus 1999-00
Source: 2011 Digest of Education Statistics, Table 300. National Center for Education Statistics. Data are for bachelor’s degree graduates.
By Debra Wood via NurseZone.com
July 12, 2012 - Who says that mentorships are only useful for new, fresh-out-of-school nurses? Health care facilities, schools of nursing and professional associations are trying new approaches to reach out and support nurses throughout their careers, resulting in benefits for all parties involved.
Mentors can guide a nurse’s career and help the mentee weigh alternatives and avoid pitfalls; at the same time, mentors enhance their own skills and the profession as they pass along knowledge and intangibles necessary for success. And employers can realize a double bonus--by improving retention rates at both levels within their workforce.
“Mentors are critical to our profession,” said Lois L. Salmeron, Ed.D, RN, MS, CNE, ANEF, associate dean for academic affairs and professor at the Kramer School of Nursing at Oklahoma City University in Oklahoma. “This is one way to nurture our own and retain nurses.”
The Kramer School offers a formal mentoring program, assigning a seasoned faculty member to someone new to the program, ideally team teaching. Most remain close after the one-year formal program ends.
“We view [mentoring] as key to a positive transition,” said Salmeron, who adds that mentors also are important when a nurse wants to change specialties.
Cynthia Nowicki Hnatiuk, EdD, RN, CAE, executive director of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses, called mentors the single most effective way to help nurses learn a new role and increase their confidence.
“It provides a one-on-one opportunity for two individuals to teach and learn together,” Hnatiuk said.
“Mentorship is something that never really stops, and something each person has to take responsibility for themselves,” added Ora Strickland, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, dean of the Florida International University (FIU) College of Nursing and Health Sciences in Miami. “You will have many mentors through your career, and more than one mentor at one time, depending on what you are trying to gain skills in.”
Strickland has found most mentors enjoy the experience.
FIU offers a research mentorship program to increase the research productivity of its faculty and help them learn how to network, seek funding, conduct studies and publish their findings. The mentorships cross disciplines to encourage collaboration.
Formal mentoring programs
Many nursing employers provide formal mentoring programs.
UnitedHealth Group Center for Nursing Advancement built its own nurse mentoring initiative, leveraging best practices. It facilitates monthly in-person and virtual mentor/mentee interactions. Mentees submit profiles about development needs and potential mentors’ strengths, and the center electronically matches them. After the one-year mentorship ends, mentees can continue attending special events.
Dawn Bazarko, DNP, MPH, RN, senior vice president of the Center for Nursing Advancement, reports 100 percent of the first cohort of nurse mentees has continued working at UnitedHealth and 21 percent have received a promotion. The center is now building a new mentoring program for more seasoned nurses within the organization to take on broader leadership roles.
“We’re taking our experience to inspire and evolving that to address the needs of our senior nurses,” Bazarko said. “Nurses are critical to the people we serve, modernized health care and our business success. It’s a deliberate investment in their personal and professional enrichment.”
MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore also offers a formal mentoring program and has found it reduces turnover and increases productivity, reported Joy Burke, RN, MSN, CCRN, a clinical specialist at Good Samaritan. The hospital offers mentoring classes to prospective mentors, who must have at least two years of experience. Approximately 130 nurses have taken the course and are currently mentoring 67 novice nurses.
“The nurse has a friend, a buddy, someone they can call on,” Burke said. “They get critical feedback from the mentor.”
Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, Calif., pairs new hires with a mentor, said Lynette Dahlman, MSN, RN-BC, director of clinical education and academic partnerships. Serving as a mentor earns credit toward a nurse’s career ladder.
Nurses do everything they can to help a nurse grow, so they are proud to work alongside [of them],” Dahlman said.
Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston also offers a formal mentoring program. The hospital matches mentors and mentees with like backgrounds and with the skills the mentee needs. Formalized classes provide resources and an objective look at internal resources.
Kara Boakye, RN, BSN, CPN, nurse manager of the progressive care unit at Texas Children’s, said she has gotten to know herself better and become a better leader after being mentored by Emily Weber, RN, NEA-BC, nursing director for newborns at the hospital.
“I feel I gain just as much from the relationship, because it makes me pause and think about why I would make that decision,” Weber said. “Both parties gain a lot from it.”
South Nassau Community Hospital in Oceanside, N.Y., takes a slightly different approach with its mentoring program, designed to help nurses advance to the expert level. It matches nurses with potential to move up with outstanding stars who can mentor and coach them in communication skills, working within the organization and understanding the health care industry.
“Mentoring isn’t about clinical skills,” said Sue Penque, Ph.D, RN, CNP, chief nursing officer at South Nassau. “A mentor is above and beyond what you get in didactic training.”
South Nassau conducts annual assessments of nurses’ strengths and performance to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. It also identifies experiences where people can grow and take on new responsibilities while the mentor is present and able to coach.
Finding a mentor
While a formal program might make it easier to connect with a mentor, nurses often can find one independently. Nurses should observe others who practice as they aspire to and approach that person, advises Hnatiuk.
Penque has asked a nursing leader in academia whom she admired to mentor her.
Strickland has approached subject-matter experts whose abilities and skills she respected and asked them for mentoring and has never been turned down.
Finding the right mentor “can be just as hard as finding a good husband or wife--and well worth the search,” said author and relationship expert April Masini of Naples, Fla. She recommended being persistent and trying until you connect with the right person; when you succeed, be careful not to seek more time than agreed upon and to respect professional boundaries.
The Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses recently launched a free, self-directed mentoring program with online validated tools, including mentor and mentee guides, for nurses new to the specialty and those who are changing settings.
“We would love for people to use the resources,” Hnatiuk said.
Mentoring across the profession
In addition to mentors in clinical and academic settings, nurses also mentor each other in professional associations.
The Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses recently introduced a members-only, two-year mentoring program, which matches experienced mentors with mentees. The goal is to facilitate member’s career growth and leadership development.
Ramón Lavandero, RN, MA, MSN, FAAN, senior director of communications and strategic alliances for the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses and a clinical associate professor at Yale University School of Nursing in New Haven, Conn., said mentoring is embedded in the fabric of the association’s community of nurses. The organization has a formal process for newly elected board members, and chapter advisors offer mentorship to local leaders.
“Mentorship ranges from coaching on leadership development and succession planning to problem solving challenging situations,” Lavandero said. “A newer chapter known for its innovative activities may mentor an experienced chapter that wants to explore new direction.”
University of Stirling researchers have secured funding to investigate the effectiveness of training student nurses in mindfulness to reduce stress levels.
The study, which begins next month, will involve student nurses undergoing a stress test and then carrying out four weeks of mindfulness training. The participants will then undergo another stress test to find out if the mindfulness has helped reduce stress levels and increase their ability to cope with stress.
The student nurses will have guided meditation sessions and keep a journal about their own practice sessions at home as part of the research.
Mindfulness, or meditation, is a technique which can be learned and helps individuals to relax and cope better with stressful situations.
PhD research student Jenny Jones and Research Fellow Mariyana Schoultz, based at the Highland Campus in Inverness, are carrying out the study with Professor Stephen Leslie, a cardiologist consultant at Raigmore Hospital and Professor Angus Watson.
Researcher Jenny Jones said: "Hospitals can be a very stressful environment to work in. In my nursing training there was no mention of how to cope with stress but this is something that nurses face on a daily basis. Student nurses are not prepared for the very emotional and sometimes traumatic events they may witness at work, or equipped with the tools to cope and carry on with their job effectively. This study hopes to change that.
"We want to find out if mindfulness will impact on how nursing students cope with stress. If the results are positive, we want it to be introduced as part of nursing training. The ultimate hope is that this will make the nurses of the future more resilient to work related stress."
Nurses experience high levels of work related stress and are at risk of stress related illness. At any one time up to four per cent of trained nurses and up to six per cent of health care assistants are off work with stress or stress-related illness.
By Amy Standen via NPR
If there is a founding ethos in the world of high-tech startups, it's this: The idea is everything. Facebook's initial public offering might have seemed like the perfect illustration. A simple concept, conceived by a college student, became a $100 billion empire in just 8 years.
But if you look around California's Silicon Valley, ideas all seem to be coming from the same kinds of people. By a recent estimate, 1 percent of technology entrepreneurs are black. Only 8 percent of tech companies are founded by women. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg isn't just a model of success in the Valley; he's a blueprint.
A new three-week boot camp for entrepreneurs is aimed at adding more diversity to Silicon Valley's startup scene.
Making Their Pitch In Silicon Valley
The New Media Entrepreneurship boot camp trains startup hopefuls to focus their business ideas and present them to investors. Some recent participants:
Seizing Opportunities, From An Early Age
It may be safe to say that some people are just born entrepreneurs. Take Chris Lyons of Johns Creek, Ga., outside Atlanta. When he was 12, he started mowing lawns.
"I'd take my mom's trash can and I would take my lawn mower," he says. "And I would push my lawn mower up and down the hill with one hand, and carry the rolling trash can for the other. I had over 30 lawns in my neighborhood. Then I bought a John Deere tractor."
Someone like that isn't going to stay in John's Creek forever. By the time he was 25, Lyons had set his sights on Silicon Valley.
"There's no other choice," he says. "Like, I want to be in an area that nurtures strong-willed, forward-thinking individuals. And there's no better place than Silicon Valley or San Francisco."
The thing is, when you look at Silicon Valley, especially at people who are starting businesses, they don't typically look like Chris Lyons, who is black.
And that is the whole point of the three-week boot camp for startups called NewMe, for New Media Entrepreneurship.
Reporting To Camp
On the first day of the camp, Lyons is sitting in the living room of a San Francisco townhouse, along with six other entrepreneurs — all women or African-Americans, most of them in their early 20s.
NewME director Angela Benton presents them with bags of swag — sponsor-donated items like shirts, headphones and mobile tablets.
Everyone here came with business ideas. Lyons' company is called PictureMenu, which he hopes will eliminate paper menus.
He's thinking big.
"We're trying to make this a worldwide mobile application," Lyons says.
The idea behind the boot camp is that when it attracts people like Lyons to the area, it also helps nudge Silicon Valley toward diversity.
And that, says venture capitalist and consultant Freada Kapor Klein, is something the Valley badly needs.
"This isn't about being bigots, this isn't about who's mean-spirited and who's enlightened," she says. "This is about how our brains are wired.
Klein says it's human nature: People tend to help people who look like them and who come from similar backgrounds. It's largely subconscious.
"We're not even aware of that hurdle that we've put in the place of a different kind of entrepreneur," she says.
Klein sees the NewME program as a two-way street because without diversity, the industry — and consumers — are missing out.
"If we've got a very insular world, then the kinds of companies that are created — most scratch the itch of a particular set of people and ignore everyone else," she says. "And I think that's the real loss for everybody."
Trouble With The Pipeline
One reason Silicon Valley is so homogenous is what's called the pipeline issue. There just aren't a lot of women, blacks and Latinos enrolling in science and engineering programs.
But there are subtler forces at work, too.
"No one's gonna say, 'I'm not gonna fund you cause you're black,' " says Chris Bennett, a NewME alum who is now a working entrepreneur. "No one's dumb enough to say that. But everyone will tell you that there is a bias."
Working with attorney Nnena Ukuku, Bennett started a Bay Area group called Black Founders.
"I think for some people it's sort of like a chicken-and-egg issue," Ukuku says.
"They've never seen a successful black entrepreneur, so it's hard for them to envision it. But then, they do exist ... it's just a mess."
Removing Self-Imposed Roadblocks
It's a mess because tangled up in all of this are roadblocks that women and people of color often put in front of themselves.
Take, for example, NewME participants Rachel Brooks and Amanda McClure. One day I asked them why instead of NewME, they hadn't applied to a different, more established program, one that wasn't based on race or gender.
And when I asked them this, they seemed kind of stumped.
"I don't know, maybe it just felt a little out of reach," Brooks says.
"Definitely," McClure agrees.
"Maybe that's what it was," Brooks says.
"It wasn't in my realm of conception, you know?" McClure adds.
"That's a much deeper issue," says Ukuku, with a sigh and a laugh.
She's laughing, she says, because she hears this all the time. It's the mindset, Ukuku says, that people have to be brilliant, at the top of their game, to even take a stab at Silicon Valley success.
"And the people that sort of have that tendency to say that tend to be women and minorities," she says. "Whereas I'll talk to some of my friends who I adore, who don't fit into one of those two buckets, and they'll say: 'I got an idea. I'm going for it.' "
Ukuku says she recognizes this confidence because she's seen it among her own relatives back in Nigeria.
"They're the majority in that culture," she says. "There's just an assumption that you will, like — why would you not succeed?"
Campers Pay A Visit To Google
That confidence of belonging is exactly what the NewME participants are trying to cultivate on the program's second day.
They're at the Google headquarters in Mountain View. And guess what? It's exactly the dot-com fantasy everyone imagined it would be. Lyons sounds giddy.
"I just walked outside, and they're playing pool and drinking coffee," he says. "And I saw a yoga session when we walked in here."
But Lyons is nervous, too. Tonight is a bit of an initiation: An American Idol-style pitch session.
At the event, the emcee is Navarrow Wright, an established entrepreneur in the Valley.
"What we're going to do tonight is give the NewME founders an opportunity to pitch their companies for the first time in public," he says. "They will have two minutes to pitch their startup, and we will each have one minute to give feedback."
Making A Pitch To Investors
When it's his turn, Lyons walks up to the lectern and flashes a winning smile at the audience.
"How's everyone doing today? Good, good. Well my name is Chris Lyons and I am the founder and CEO of PictureMenu."
He starts out pretty strong.
"And what we do is we allow any restaurant the opportunity to transform your boring paper menu into a beautiful mobile application for your smartphone, for free."
But after that, things get a little muddy, as Lyons compares the service to the way you can upgrade a car. After he wraps up, the critique begins. One of the judges is Chris Genteel, Google's development manager for global diversity.
"It was a great first half of the pitch and the second half kind of went off the rails," he says.
As Genteel goes on, Lyons' face falls a bit.
"I think you gave me a lot of ideas in the beginning," Genteel says. "And then confused me with a lot of kind of features."
For Lyons and the others, it's just a starting point. They've got three months of training ahead of them. And their pitches are all going to need some work.
You might think working well into your eighth decade is preposterous. But it is becoming relatively commonplace. The number of working people age 65 and older reached an all-time low in 2001, when just 13% held jobs. Now that rate is rebounding, and the number of workers older than 65 is 18% of the workforce.
The Future Workplace “Multiple Generations @ Work” survey asked 1,189 workers across the generations how likely they thought they were to work past age 70.
Seventy-seven percent of baby boomers (between ages of 48 and 66) said they believed they would work into their 70s. What is surprising is that 82% of Gen Xers (between ages of 36 and 47) agreed.
There are a number of reasons for employees to believe they will be working longer. First, they are already living longer. Boomers are expected to live longer than any previous generation of Americans. Of the 3.4 million born in 1946 — including Bill Clinton, George and Laura Bush, Donald Trump, Susan Sarandon, Steven Speilberg and Sylvester Stallone — 2.8 million are still alive. The men can expect to live another 22 years, the women another 25.
By 2030, when the first baby boomers reach the age of 84, the number of Americans older than 65 will have grown by 75%, to 69 million. This means more than 20% of the population will be older then 65.
And since we are living longer, we may want and need to work longer – especially to meet the financial needs caused by sagging retirement accounts, and plunging property values. As careers get longer, workplace culture will have to accommodate age diversity. Some traditionalists (those 66 and older) and baby boomers are already working further into their 70s and 80s, so as a new batch of employees from “Generation 2020″ (born after 1997) graduates from college and joins the workforce, it will become common to find five generations working side by side at the office.
A multigenerational workplace has plenty of advantages, including the potential for knowledge sharing, mentoring and coaching. But it can also create tension, the likes of which can erode office morale and sabotage productivity.
The “Generations @ Work” survey asked workers about their expectations and requirements for an employer. The study found the struggles among the generations often eclipsed the advantages.
As originally discussed, in my book, The 2020 Workplace, each generation brings its own lens to the workplace, and individual and group talents can become obscured by assumptions, myths and real or perceived tensions and criticisms. This can lead to havoc in the workplace.
Here are five ways to address and prevent generational tension at your company:
Teach your managers to anticipate generational differences, starting in the recruiting process.
Many young workers today approach job interviews differently than their predecessors. For our survey, we asked a sample of 150 managers to give us examples of surprising questions they’ve been asked by interviewees, most of whom were of millennial age. To the surprise of managers, millennials asked questions such as:
“Do I have to show up each day?”
“Can I use my own tablet, phone and laptop at work?
“Do I have to wear shoes to work?”
These questions can seem irreverent, but managers must understand what’s really behind them. The applicant who asks if he has to show up each day is really inquiring about the company’s telework policies and flexibility. The applicant who inquires about her ability to bring her own devices to work each day is really asking if the company has a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work policy in place to allow employees to use their own devices instead of company-owned, standard devices.
And, if you are ever faced with a question about shoes, remember Steve Jobs – he frequently went barefoot to work!
Be aware of each generation’s preferred learning and communication styles.
In our survey, 35% of Generation 2020 said they consider mentoring and coaching the most valuable form of career development with only 20% preferring the classroom. This generation also prefers to use the latest tools – such as mobile devices, gaming, video sharing and social networks – for learning new skills.
A study by Deloitte Consulting and the IABC confirms this finding as it relates to communication styles. The study concluded that younger workers want information delivered immediately, and in shorter and more-frequent chunks. Speed and frequency of communication are important to them.
Google provides a good example of how to use games to boost productivity. Google‘s management realized that the company’s large spread of office space was cutting down on human interaction. To help foster connections, the company built an online, multiplayer social game called GoCrossOffice, modeled after the game Risk. Players collaborate, organize and socialize with each other, and in the process, strengthen their team-building and strategic-thinking skills. Since then, other companies have joined in this trend, too.
Enlist Millennials as subject-matter experts on what appeals to their generation.
Some companies think of millennials as a problem to be solved in the workplace. But the forward-looking ones enlist millennials when they are trying to adopt a new product or service inside the company.
Neiman Marcus Director of Learning and Development Keith Meyerson relied on millennials who work for Neiman Marcus to promote the collaboration module of the company’s learning management system (LMS). Instead of using a top-down communication program, Neiman Marcus focused on communicating from the bottom up by using millennials to drive participation and share this practice with older workers who are typically not early adopters of new tools in the workplace.
Don’t believe the myths about each generation in the workplace.
It would be easy to put each generation in a box and characterize them based on stereotypes. But there are also plenty of similarities to be found among workers of all ages.
For instance, flexibility has become an increasingly valued workplace characteristic by workers of every generation. When Future Workplace asked how important a flexible work environment was, 35% of our survey respondents, across all ages, answered either “important” or “very important.” For all generations, flexibility –flexible hours and flexibility of location (i.e., telework) – was more important than both compensation and opportunities for advancement.
As more organizations see the importance of offering flexibility in the workplace, we will see this touted in recruiting materials as a way to attract talented new hires. Organizations will need to probe for more cross-generational priorities such as flexibility, and communicate with both current and prospective employees about how they are delivering on those demands.
Be prepared for generational tension.
Intergenerational conflict is impossible to prevent entirely, so be prepared to address it when it does arise.
In our survey, 66% of millennials agreed with the statement, “my personal drive can be intimidating to other generations in the workplace,” and the generations’ divergent views on what to expect in the workplace of the future further outlined that tension. A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers found the same.
Take a cue from Bank of America and Pratt & Whitney. Both organizations have created Employee Resource Groups focusing on Multi Generational issues.
Why focus on the needs and expectations of a multi-generational workforce? Just think of your future employee, the one entering your workplace in 2030. According to the Office of National Statistics, one third of the babies born today in 2012 will live to see their hundredth birthday! Now consider the age of the oldest member on your team in 2030.
The employers who adapt most quickly to the realities of a multigenerational workforce will become the ones who attract and retain the highest-quality employees now and in the future.
From Advance for Nurses By Beth Puliti
The Institute of Medicine recently appealed for a change in nurses' roles, responsibilities and education, proposing to implement nurse residency programs to assist in the clinical practice transition (Advancing Health, October 2010).
The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, identified the need for support much earlier.
Its Gateway to Critical Care Program started 10 years ago and offers new nurses and registered nurses with less than 1 year of critical care experience the opportunity to work alongside experienced ICU nurse preceptors to become safe and competent critical care nurses.
"The competency-based orientation program helps foster the knowledge and skills necessary to care for patients within the different critical care units in our hospital," said Lisa Fidyk, MSN, MS, RN, coordinator of the Gateway to Critical Care Program.
Catering to the Adult Learner
Participants enrolled in the program adhere to an educational plan that defines competency expectation, patient assignment and preceptor/learner responsibilities.
"We base our program on Patricia Benner's From Novice to Expert model. We work to assist the graduate nurse's progress from advanced beginner to competent nurse utilizing her framework," explained Fidyk, who is also a professional development specialist in the Department of Nursing Education, Innovation and Professional Development.
As Fidyk mentioned, Benner's framework of skill acquisition and development of the essence of critical thinking is utilized in the Gateway to Critical Care Program. Goals are reached through segmented learning, faculty guidance, a supportive environment and preceptor/orientee relationships.
The 16- to 20-week program consists of 4-5 weeks of classroom/clinical and 11-16 weeks of full-time clinical. It enrolls new-to-practice surgical, cardiac, neuroscience, cardiothoracic and medical ICU nurses, as well as nurses from the emergency department. Fidyk noted the nurses learn from various teaching strategies, including classroom instruction, clinician-supervised skill labs and clinical experiences.
"The program caters to the adult learner and provides different ways for these nurses to learn about the critical care arena. We incorporate case studies, lectures, discussions and simulation to help them develop the skills they would need to care for critically ill patients," she said.
Throughout the program, nurses learn the following core competencies: airway and ventilator management; cardiac monitoring; critical care pharmacology; hemodynamic monitoring; arterial blood gases analysis; acid-based balance; pain, sedation, neuromuscular blockade; and end-of-life care.
Working Alongside Experienced Nurses
Clinical support comes in the way of clinical preceptors, Gateway to Critical Care faculty and critical care advanced practice nurses/clinical nurse specialists/clinical nurse IV staff nurses.
While enrolled in the program, nurses work beside experienced ICU nurse preceptors.
"A preceptor is a mentor," Fidyk said. "They work with that person when they are on the unit taking care of patients. Preceptors are experienced nurses who know what it's like to go through the Gateway Program, how to collaborate and how to make it a great experience."
When the nurses return to their floor, they practice and hone their skills with a preceptor for the duration of the program.
"My nurse preceptor was a nurse on the unit for 5 years," recalled Lauren Mang, BSN, RN, clinical nurse I in the neuro ICU at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. "She was fabulous. She really gave me the confidence and courage I needed to become a better nurse."
Mang noted preceptors help new nurses become more at ease because, as an experienced nurse who knows the ins and outs, they are able to impart their knowledge at a comfortable level.
"She was there side by side with me until toward the end when she started to hide from me so I would learn how to answer questions on my own. She gave me the confidence to be able to do that," she said.
New Graduate Nurse Retention
After the Gateway to Critical Care program, nurses are enrolled in the Nurse Residency Program, a yearlong series of learning and work experiences designed to support nurses as they transition into professional nursing practice.
The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania participates in the United HealthSystem Consortium (UHC)/American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) National Nurse Residency Program and was actually the first Philadelphia hospital to participate in the National Nurse Residency Program.
The UHC/AACN Nurse Residency Program consists of an evidence-based curriculum developed by academic and nursing experts across the country. It boasts a reduction in voluntary turnover rate for first-year nurses to well below the median of 27.1 percent. Programs that have implemented this residency program model have attained retention rates of more than 94 percent.
Fidyk commented that both the Gateway to Critical Care Program and the Residency Program at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania act as a great support system, and with that support she's seen a "huge" increase in retention. A 98 percent retention rate to be exact.
A higher nurse retention rate delivers better patient outcomes by increasing the nursing staff's experience and competency. Retention also helps preserve new graduate nurses' knowledge, experience and competence gained during the first year of professional practice.
"I know a lot of hospitals don't have these programs, and when I was in a leadership class in nursing school, we actually talked about Penn's Gateway program. That really opened my eyes to research this program more," Mang said. "I needed just a little bit of extra help one-on-one and it really helps you with that. Right now, I'm only 11 months into this and I feel very confident and have learned a lot from this program."
Fidyk noted that, for most of the nurses who come into the program, it's their first job - and it's an intense arena.
"You're saving people's lives, you're dealing with emotional aspects of your job, you're coming in contact with many different healthcare providers - it's all very overwhelming. The Gateway to Critical Care Program is a great way to help new nurses figure everything out and have someone to talk to who will listen," she concluded.
Vocational Nursing students at Stanbridge College met with over 40 representatives from Southern California healthcare employers to schedule interviews, hand out résumés and gain insight to their future careers.
Stanbridge College, a technical college that offers training in Healthcare and Information Technology, hosted over 40 representatives from Southern California healthcare employers at the Vocational Nursing Career Fair on June 6th. Over 150 students networked with representatives from skilled nursing facilities, home health organizations, hospice organizations, hospitals, medical offices and other healthcare facilities. Many of the students and alumni made lasting impressions on the employers that lead to potential job interviews.
According to Alice Brinkmann, VN student who is scheduled to graduate this July, “I was blown away by yesterday! I handed out my résumé to 10 employers and by 3pm I had email [responses] from 8 out of 10 employers.”
Subsequently, Ms. Brinkmann stated that she received four more interviews as a result of the connections made at the career fair.
Arman Goshtasbe, Assistant Director of Career Services at Stanbridge College also emphasized the positive results of the career fair. He stated, “One student came to me and within 30 minutes had two interviews.”
Stanbridge College offers career fairs as part of its career preparation for its students and alumni. The Career Services Department at Stanbridge College offers assistance with job placement, résumé preparation, mock interviews and career advising. Alumni members are able to receive life-long job placement and access to educational workshops for continuing education.
Mr. Goshtasbe continued, “I think the career fair was a great success. Our VN students came prepared with questions and were very engaged in conversation. I think they walked away with a clear picture of where they need to grow professionally. Many of the employers were also very impressed by the event and our students.”
From Advance for Nurses
Findings from the NLN's Annual Survey of Schools of Nursing Academic Year 2010-2011 attest to the continued need for more nurse faculty to meet the needs of the U.S. healthcare system.
Conducted October-November of last year, the NLN survey reveals demand for pre-licensure program entry continues high despite a shifting student demographic, while competition for entry into post-licensure is increasing.
Unfortunately, notes NLN CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN, the percentage of post-licensure programs that turned away qualified applicants also rose between 2009 and 2011.
Most strikingly, the percentage of MSN programs turning away qualified applicants jumped by 15 percent over the past 2 years, from just one in three programs to almost half in 2011.
The survey also shows the percentage of racial-ethnic minority students enrolled in pre-licensure RN programs fell from a high of 29 percent in 2009 to 24 percent in 2011.
The majority of that decline stems from a steep reduction in African American students enrolled in associate degree nursing programs, which dropped by almost 5 percent to 8.6 percent in just 2 years.
Hispanics remain dramatically underrepresented among nursing students as well, according to NLN, representing only 6 percent of baccalaureate and associate degree nursing students.
But while educational capacity is still insufficient to keep up with demand, some promising trends were uncovered by the survey, says NLN president Judith Halstead, PhD, RN, FAAN,
"For example, the percentage of male pre-licensure graduates in 2011 was up to 15 percent after inching up only a percentage point a year since 2009," she notes. "In addition, the percentage of pre-licensure RN students over age 30 has declined in recent years."