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DiversityNursing Blog

How to Succeed in the Current Job Market

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Tue, Feb 05, 2013 @ 01:55 PM

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.”

Be flexible

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

Topics: 2013, growth, education, nurse, succeed, job market

Take Your Specialty Skills on the Road with Travel Nursing

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Tue, Feb 05, 2013 @ 01:52 PM

By Linda Beattie

Are you between jobs, or just considering a change? If so, 2013 might be a good time to consider travel nursing. Recruiters report that hospitals and other employers are actively seeking nurses and there are a number of excellent opportunities available.

Travel nursing provides a chance to use your current nursing skills in a different city and a different setting on a temporary basis. Traditional travel assignments last 13 weeks, while critical staffing assignments, also known as “rapid response,” can be much shorter; some assignments also offer the option to extend.

Travel nursing companies are looking for qualified registered nurses with a minimum of 18 to 24 months of experience in an acute care setting, and can help you find positions in a variety of specialties. Once contracted, travelers can enjoy guaranteed hours at good pay rates, along with furnished housing and other employment benefits.

In today’s rapidly changing health care environment, however, staffing experts advise potential travelers to be on their toes.

“As the economy continues to strengthen, there are more travel nursing jobs opening up all over the country,” said Marina Chowaiki, senior recruitment manager for American Mobile Healthcare, an AMN Healthcare company. “Now that the elections are over, the Affordable Care Act is moving forward, flu season is here, and hospitals are implementing electronic medical records conversions, hospitals are seeing an increase in their staffing needs. In some cases, once they have budget approval, they need nurses immediately, so you need to be ready.”

Chowaiki advises nurses to work with their recruiters to remove any barriers to employment. “Work alongside your recruiter. Make sure you have all of your health documents, licensure, references and other requirements fulfilled and be ready to go.”

Chowaiki reported that travel pay rates continue to be attractive, as well. “You’re still better off traveling and you can find many travel assignments with great incentive packages.”

"Our highest needs right now are labor and delivery, ICU, NICU, OR, CVOR and PICU," added Caitlin Grubaugh, senior recruitment manager with American Mobile. "The high need specialties list is consistently growing, but the ones that I see always staying on top are ER, telemetry, ICU, PCU, CVICU, CVOR and L&D." Other areas that are in demand include cath lab assignments.

So what kind of job market can travel nurses look forward to?

According to Kerry Sirkka, senior director of recruitment for American Mobile Healthcare, the growth trends for nursing in general and the continuing changes from health care reform translate into a consistent and long-term demand for well-qualified travel nurses. “What we continue to see is that high quality travel nurses are needed to help meet current and future demand.”

Chowaiki offered additional advice for nurses interested in pursuing travel nursing careers.

“Be flexible and open to ideas,” she advised. “There’s not just one option anymore. In addition to traditional travel assignments, you might consider critical need, EMR, per diem, or even permanent placement. It is a very fluid market, and American Mobile is making sure there is something for everyone. If you are considering a move, make sure you have a recruiter that knows what they are doing and has a lot of options to offer.”

“There are so many reasons to travel in 2013,” Chowaiki added. “It should be a great year to consider becoming a traveler.”



Seven reasons to consider travel nursing in 2013

If you are considering becoming a travel nurse in 2013, recruiters point out that these are just a few reasons to give it a try:

1. Gain a new perspective. A new work situation can shake you out of the doldrums and help you look at nursing with fresh eyes. Opportunities are available in teaching hospitals, specialty trauma centers, children’s hospitals, Magnet-designated facilities, and more.

2. Find fun and adventure. Experiencing a different part of the country or a new community is half the fun of travel nursing, said Chowaiki, and will energize your work life. You can use your off-hours to experience your new hometown’s cultural activities and attractions, explore the natural surroundings, pursue a new hobby, or visit with nearby friends and family.

3. Remove distractions. One of the key reasons that full-time workers decide to try to temporary work is because they are unhappy in their current positions where they may feel hindered by red tape or unit politics, according to a 2012 study inNurse Management. Travelers are able to stay out of political and management issues, focusing more of their time on patients.

4. Acquire new skills. Travel assignments may put you in different units or using new equipment and methods, all of which improve your nursing abilities and enhance your résumé for future employment.

5. Build your confidence. The ability to enter a new situation and succeed can do great things for your psyche and job satisfaction. The more assignments you take the more confident you become, in both your personal and professional life.

6. Learn from others. With every assignment, you’ll meet other nurses who can share their knowledge, career tips and their own love of nursing. Many assignments offer special orientations for travelers along with opportunities for on-the-job training.

7. Take control of your work situation, with some help. Travel nursing offers the freedom to choose assignments at a guaranteed pay rate without the worry of being stuck in a long-term job situation you don’t like. Chowaiki and Grubaugh point out that your recruiter can find some great options and help you through the entire process.

Copyright © 2013. AMN Healthcare, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Topics: 2013, recruitment, travel nursing, specialty

How many healthcare firms made it to Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2013?

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Tue, Feb 05, 2013 @ 01:48 PM

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Fortune Magazine is out with its 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2013 list and I was curious to see how many companies that are part of the healthcare industry made it to that list.

By my count, there were 16 companies.

The top healthcare-related company on that list CHG Healthcare Services, which came in at no. 3, up six spots from the year before. This medical staffing firm is beloved by employees for several reasons including the incentive of extra paid time off if sales people meet their goals. And this year, the company is offering two health centers on its premises.

At rank 20 is Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Co., a drugmaker focusing on curing cancer. The company offers new hires three weeks of vacation plus three weeks of holidays. Employees also can take as much sick time as they want but it’s based on an honor system.

Southern Ohio Medical Center came in at no. 29. The company had a 5.7 percent job growth in the year and employees love the fact that their employer has won numerous awards for patient care. That reflects in an average employee tenure of 20 years.

Genentech takes the 30th spot on the list and motivates and inspires workers by playing videos of patients whose lives have been transformed by the company’s products.

At 39, is Meridian Health, which had a 25.8 percent job growth in 2012. Employees who are parents can take advantage of three on-premise child care centers paying much lower than the national monthly average.

The nonprofit Mayo Clinic comes right behind Meridian Health at no. 41. Employees get massages and its Arizona location offers “stress-free zones” that provide help in dealing with work-related anxieties.

Scripps Health takes the 43rd spot on the list. Who wouldn’t want to work for a healthcare system where 19 percent of the workers earn more than $90,000 annually and there is a 100 percent 401(k) match.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta assumes rank 46. The hospital does a good job of attracting nursing talent by throwing slumber parties for out-of-state candidates who can meet with senior leaders, while family members can engage in sightseeing and attend events.

Another drugmaker Novo Nordisk came in at no. 48. The U.S. employees of the the Danish company enjoy a summer picnic, a black-tie holiday celebration and offers a take-your-child-to-work day.

Novo Nordisk is followed by Atlantic Health System at rank 49. The hospital chain saw a 15.3 percent increase in jobs and 25 percent of its employee base are 55 and older.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is ranked 52nd on the list. The hospital keeps it light with an annual field day featuring hula hoops and musical chairs.

Everett Clinic’s ranking jumped to 58 this year from 87 in 2012. It offers new physicians a referral bonus of 10,000 and employees can partake of profit sharing of up to 5 percent of pay. Its job growth in 2012 was 15.6 percent.

Methodist Hospital saw its rank slip to 67 from 53 in 2013. But new CEO Dr. Marc Boom still got love for pre-loading credit cards with $200 for every employee in recognizing their efforts to promote the hospitals ICare philosophy.

At rank 69 is OhioHealth, which employees appreciate for providing plenty of opportunity for training with salaried full-time workers getting 206 hours of training annually while their hourly brethren receive 123.

Baptist Health South Florida saw its rank drop to 76 from 42. Its employees appreciate the fact that problems can be addressed through a network of advisory groups comprised of employees.

At no. 89 stands Roche Diagnostics Corp. which offers an on-site medical clinic, a fitness center and a $300,000 budget for intramural sports. Employees are also offered a variety of insurance plans tied to their income levels.

Topics: 2013, Fortune 500, healthcare, firms

2013 Nursing Job Projections

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 @ 12:34 PM

Which states will need nurses most in 2013?

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Topics: United States, 2013, job projection, US Bureau of Labor Statisitics, nurses

2013 jobs forecast for nurses

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 @ 03:17 PM


describe the image

You’re the kind of person who’s in the right place at the right time.

No, I mean it.

Look at yourself. You’re a nurse when it’s a great time to be a nurse. Plus, you’re obviously thinking about your future (You’re reading this article, right?). You want to know where you need to be in 2013 in order to make the most money –– and be in the most demand.

I’ve pulled together the numbers to help you plan your next steps (and determine where your competition lies). These stats from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) may surprise you with some interesting projections.

Where the Jobs Are

If you love med-surg, get ready for some good news. According to the BLS, nurses can expect to find a variety of employment opportunities in privately owned, general medical surgical hospitals. This includes physician’s offices, local medical surgical hospitals, home health care agencies and nursing care homes. Job seeking nurses may also want to consider government agencies, nursing education and administrative roles in hospitals and insurance companies.

Salary Forecast

Although it may not seem like it sometimes, nursing is among the higher paid professions. In May 2010, the average annual median salary for nurses was $64,690 per year (the top 10 percent earned more than $95,130). So how will your salary stack up in the near distant future?

Nurses in private medical surgical hospitals can expect to earn $66,650 per year. Those who work in doctor’s offices, local medical surgical hospitals and home health agencies can all expect a salary just above $60,000.

Where the Competion Will Be

Although anecdotal evidence in the nursing community doesn’t necessarily point to a nursing shortage, statistics show that growth for the nursing profession is expected to increase exponentially by the year 2020. In fact, growth is projected to increase by 26 percent, while all other professions are only expected to grow by 14 percent.

That isn’t to say that some venues aren’t more competitive than others. Hospital nursing is a good place to find a job due to the relatively high turnover of nurses and the progressive aging of retirement-eligible nurses. The competition is expected to be much higher for positions in doctor’s offices and outpatient care centers as well due to the family-friendly shifts and relatively lower patient care demands.

Should You Beef Up Your Credentials?

The demand for nurses with at least a BSN is expected to rise in the US. Additionally, all advanced practice registered nurses, such as certified registered nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists are expected to be in higher demand. If you’re looking for the hot jobs in this profession, you would do well to advance your education as far as possible.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Registered Nurses.

Topics: jobs, 2013, opportunities, RN, nurses

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