DiversityNursing Blog

Health care industry experiencing new demands for nurses

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Fri, Apr 25, 2014 @ 02:05 PM

by BPT

Nursing continues to be one of the fastest-growing occupations in the nation, as nurses make up the majority of the health care industry workforce. In fact, recent projections from a January 2014 report published in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook estimate the job growth to be 19 percent faster than the average occupation through 2022.

Besides a strong job market, a degree in nursing can be even more rewarding than you may think. A nurse usually has a flexible schedule and the option to work in a variety of establishments, from hospitals to schools, home care facilities and even government agencies. Few professions can provide the same number of options in terms of where to work, areas to specialize in, or degrees to use. The range of nursing specialties is almost as varied as the personalities of the nurses themselves. So no matter what kind of person you are, you’ll have a place in nursing.

However, the industry has changed over the years and this has led to a higher demand of registered nurses. Patient treatments have become more complicated, and with an increased workload, nurse positions require even more critical thinking skills.

Brenda McAllister, the national director of nursing of the Brown Mackie College system of schools, knows first-hand how the industry has changed. "I have watched the industry grow over the years as nurses become more involved than just taking vital signs, giving medications and bathing patients,” she says. “There is a more team-oriented approach which has developed in hospitals, and this naturally makes it a more rewarding career option. As a result, more and more nursing programs are in demand.”

Nurses must be able to work through problems that don't have a standard cookie-cutter18674671 web resized 600 solution. If a life-threatening problem occurs, the nurse must take action within their scope of practice to save a patient. Nurses must have the ability to think on their feet and assure patient safety.

On the other hand, nurses continue to go the extra mile to help their patients. Many people, especially the elderly, are reluctant to take medicine prescribed by a doctor other than their regular doctor. "Nurses will sometimes even call a patient's regular doctor to explain their current health care needs," McAllister says. "Usually a word from that trusted source will help the patient comply. It’s an additional step, but all the more rewarding when you help a patient out.”

In addition, there are a lot of things a nurse can do other than work at a hospital. In fact, not all aspects of nursing require physical, hands-on care. One employment option, which appeals to those who don't necessarily want to touch every patient physically, is to become a care manager or care coordinator. This position involves managing outpatient care to make sure needs are met and health is maintained when a patient leaves a medical facility.

The home health care coordinator's job is broadly based on patient education. Good health assessment skills and good nursing skills are necessary elements of care. These skills, plus teaching skills, continue to help keep the patient as independent as possible.

Another example would be a care coordinator's position at an insurance company, which is similar to one employed by a hospital. They work with an eye toward keeping treatment aspects in line with guidelines. A knowledge base is essential to perform the job. One must be able to be a manager, have a broad understanding of the body and a scientific background.

Even with attractive career options and expanding nursing programs, there is still a growing nursing shortage. Higher complexity of care, a growing geriatric population, expanding health and disease prevention services, and many other conditions regarding individual health demand more qualified nurses to fill an increasing variety of positions. So if this is a path you choose to follow, research your options and determine which fields and programs meet your needs to have a rewarding career in nursing.

Source: Journal Sentinel

Topics: nursing, healthcare, growing, BLS, demand

Nursing industry is growing, flexible

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Wed, Jun 05, 2013 @ 12:18 PM

The job of nurse anesthetist comes with many attractions. There’s a high level of responsibility, a challenging work environment and the chance to do good for others. There’s also the prospect of virtually assured employment.

“I saw that there was going to be job security. It would pretty much always be there,” said Navy Reserve Lt. j.g. Loren Gaitan.

Gaitan, 33, is working on her master’s degree at Florida International University in a full-time, 2½-year program. A former neonatal nurse, she is looking to the anesthetist specialty as a way to increase her skills and take on more responsibility.

It could be a lucrative move: Salary.com puts median annual pay at nearly $180,000.

Nurse anesthetist is one of several fast-growing nursing specialties. Thanks to changes in national health-care laws, a range of concentrations in the nursing field are rising to the fore. With new mandates requiring employers to insure their workers, the health-care system will see a flood of new patients, said Connie White Delaney, dean of the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. “The opportunities across the nation will be just profound,” she said.

Job options

Any of these growing jobs could be an easy fit for a veteran with training as a military nurse:

Nurse practitioner: This person typically has a master’s degree as well as a certification from one of several national bodies. The practitioner may diagnose illnesses, examine patients and prescribe medication. “They are not just going to treat the symptom. They will say, ‘You need to diet. You need to exercise,’ where a physician might just give you a pill,” said Gerrit Salinas, director of the recruiting agency Snelling Medical Professionals. “A nurse practitioner can help people feel like they are more than just a number.” The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners puts the mean salary at $91,310.

Nurse informatics: With the rise of electronic medical records, the role of the informatics nurse has become increasingly significant. These workers don’t just convert paper into electronic records; they also must be well-versed in patient care, privacy issues and technology. They may work in medical settings but also in home health agencies, insurance companies and other entities involved in the management of digital records. The average salary is $98,702, according to the Health Informatics Forum.

Case management nursing: Here again, changes in health-care law are driving demand. As new care models evolve, providers will be expected to coordinate medical treatments in order to ensure efficient and effective care. That’s a big part of the case management job description. Case management nurses typically coordinate long-term treatment, especially for patients with chronic conditions. The average salary is $73,000, according to job site Indeed.com.

Geriatric nursing: Care for seniors is a fast-growing field as the nation’s aged population swells. Medical issues may include diabetes, respiratory problems, hypertension and other conditions. Geriatric nurses offer treatment, while also offering guidance to patients and families. The average salary for a geriatric nurse is $54,457, according to ExploreHealthCareers.com.

Home health nursing: As the name suggests, home health-care providers deliver services to those whose conditions allow them to stay at home but who still require ongoing medical attention. The field is growing fast, largely on account of the rapidly expanding population of older Americans. Salaries average around $40,000 but can vary widely by geography.

Go anywhere

There are numerous avenues into nursing, including specialized fields. The American Nurses Association,http://www.nursingworld.org/, offers guidance.

To support veterans in the field, the government’s Health Resources and Services Administration makes grants to colleges and universities with expedited curricula that help train vets for careers as physician assistants. The Veterans Affairs Department employs a range of nurses.

“We recognize this as an opportunity to support veterans who have served the nation, and as a chance to help fill some shortages in the health care area. It’s a win-win situation,” said Joan Wasserman, Advanced Nursing Education Branch chief for HRSA’s Bureau of Health Professions.

Many schools offer programs of various lengths for those looking to get into the field. Advocates say it’s worth the effort.

“Nursing is one of the best careers you can get into because it is so flexible,” said Pat Harris, associate director of a program at Arizona State University Online that helps practicing nurses earn the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. “No matter what changes are in the wind in health care, you are going to be in a key position. Once you have that license to practice medicine, you can go anywhere.”

Source: Marine Corps Times

Topics: nursing, career, ANA, NP, growing

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