DiversityNursing Blog

Do Health Exchange policies Change the Game for Full-Time Nurses?

Posted by Wilson Nunnari

Fri, Feb 28, 2014 @ 08:43 AM

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For: http://onlinelpntorn.org

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It just occurred to me that the new health exchange insurance policies could change the nursing career marketplace and give nurses a lot of new employment options: we can play job Tetris. Why? Read on.

Before the individual policies were available, nurses without spouses or another source of health insurance were bound to full-time work with benefits unless they opted to live dangerously. Individual policies were just totally unaffordable (I used to pay about $1,000 per month for an individual policy when I was self-employed). Now they are affordable, and they are particularly so if you consider the salary differential between full-time and PRN hourly wages. It is usually significant.

This one factor allows some mix-and-match in job searches. Perhaps your dream job has a part-time position available, so you take that and pick up PRN shifts somewhere else. Perhaps you have interests in two areas, so you find PRN positions in both. Perhaps it even works out financially for you to work full-time hours as a PRN nurse where you already are, if you work at one of the hospitals where PRN nurses can always pick and choose hours (this plan will not work if PRN hours are what they were intended to be and not guaranteed).

Disclaimer: this does not include other benefits such as retirement contributions and term life insurance that are generally offered, nor does it generally offer paid time off. Speaking as someone who was self-employed for a decade, I can readily state that employer matching for retirement and paid time off are benefits worth accepting a lower hourly rate than I would get for PRN status. However, I know that for many people health insurance is the sticking point, and for those people a whole new world may have just opened up.

Of course, your mileage may vary with the exchange policies versus a group insurance policy with an employer. I have found so far that with mine, the benefits are either similar to or better than the group policy I used to have, and I even bought a lower-tier policy because I thought it would be much more temporary than it has ended up being. They really do cover preventive screens and such at 100%. They really do pay what they say they will for copays and prescriptions, and this was not the case for my group policy. There was always an exception. As I say, this is my mileage only.

Just think, though, of the possibilities. This is important given the tight job market for nurses right now. What if you were not tied to benefits? Do you have a hobby or a sideline you could monetize and be a nurse two shifts per week? Do you have a previous career you could still put to use part time and pick up shifts now and then as a nurse?

Thinking of job opportunities this way opens up a new range of options if you are willing to, I hate to say it, think outside the box. Just keep in mind the question, “What if I didn’t have to look just in the full-time section?”

Topics: full-time, nurses, nursing career, Toward a More Diverse Health Care Workforce

Diversity in Nursing Education Helps Students Learn Respect and Appreciation for Differences

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Mon, Jun 10, 2013 @ 01:13 PM

By Mable Smith, PhD, JD, MSN, BSN, RN

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A diverse nursing student body builds the foundation for a diverse workforce that can become effective in the provision of culturally competent care to patients. Our student body at Roseman University of Health Sciences is reflective of the diversity seen in the population that consists of Caucasians, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders, to name a few.  This diversity is reflected in the health care system among workers and patients. Students bring a wealth of information that is shared with each other and with faculty.

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For example, in a class discussion on nutrition, students from various cultures shared how and what types of foods are used to treat certain illnesses. There were discussions on how food should be presented, such as hot versus cold, raw versus cooked.  Some students shared the significance of family presence during meals even for hospitalized patients. These discussions quickly incorporated religious practices and certain etiquettes to promote “religious correctness” when interacting with various cultural and religious groups. Students also provided insight into generational differences and changes with emphasis on the fact that many in the younger generation have not adopted the strict traditions of their parents and grandparents.

Several students picked up on the stereotyping of religious and cultural classifications.  Two students of the same racial group, but from different parts of the U.S., highlighted the differences in their beliefs, values, health practices, diets and even religion. Both are African American students, with one raised Catholic and the other Baptist.

Students in the College of Nursing are assigned to groups and remain with their group through the program of study. They learn to work with a racially and culturally group of people, address issues, confront problems, and share in successes. They rely on each other during clinical rotations to address the diverse needs of patients. More importantly, this foundation in education provides the tools for them to effectively interact with members of the interprofessional health care team.

The diversity in the College is the strength of the program. Learning from each other promotes collaboration, encourages innovation, and leads to respect.

Nursing is both an art and a science. While the science is fairly uniform, the art is often learned from experiences and interacting with others. These students graduate with a strong knowledge base, but most importantly with a mutual respect and appreciation of individual differences.  Educational policies should promote, not hinder, diversity.

Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Topics: nursing schools, diversity, nursing, nurses, Education and training, Nevada (NV) M, Human Capital, Executive Nurse Fellows, Toward a More Diverse Health Care Workforce, Voices from the Field

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