Education for nurses has a tremendous range.

You may be aware of the varying levels of education for nurses, such as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), a Registered Nurse (RN), or a Nurse Practitioner (NP).  Did you know each one of these has to complete different levels of eduction?  And once you have passed your state exams and are designated as a nurse, then you have to take continuing education units!  Plus,

There are numerous certificates you can get to help you in your specialty- some of which may better your pay as well.


We will briefly touch on these topics in this post as a sort of general information guide and then, my intent is to begin to delve deeper into each area of education for nurses.  I am not going to go into what each career’s overview or tasks are here, you can find that in some of my other posts.  I really want to concentrate on what type of education is required for each level of nursing.

Now, keep in mind that depending on the program, the specialty and state regulations, the time required can vary quite a bit.  A little research will go a long way.  However, I will be talking more specifically about each level of nursing so you shouldn’t have to look far to get the info you need.

If you are looking to get into nursing fast- this is the way to go.

Ok let’s start with training as an LPN. By the way, I have found that sometimes people also call it a licensed vocational nurse versus licensed practical nurse.  This is really the fastest way to become a nurse.  Education for nurses desiring their LPN can take about a year. Keep in mind here that this also tends to have lower pay and a smaller amount of privileges to go with it.

Education for nurses that are becoming RNs has a couple different paths.

You can get an Associate’s degree in Nursing, a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) or a Nursing Diploma.  I tend to see a lot of people go for the Associate’s degree.  This is because it is only a two year program- but usually takes three to complete- which means you can start you nursing career more quickly.  Many nurses that follow this path often go on to get their Bachelor’s.

If you go right into the Bachelor’s program it will most likely take you about 4 years, plus or minus.  The BSN tends to give more options to those nurses whom obtain it.

The Nursing Diploma was once much more popular that it is today.  Back in the day, it was the main way of education for nurses.   Today I hardly see this option.  I have seen a couple of studies that have stated their decline has continued over the years and they now only comprise about 5% of the methods of education for nurses.

Open doors to management and more:

The Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) is an advanced degree.  Career choices like that of the Nurse Practitioner or the Clinical Nurse need to get advanced degrees like the MSN.  This option will open doors to management positions, more privileges like prescribing medication, and even can lead to opening your own practice with out requiring doctor supervision in some States.

Well, this is getting to be a long post and I want to be able to give you quick, concise information- and not bore you to tears- so I am going to end it here for now and will do more posts on Continuing Education Units and Certificates soon.  I hope this info on education for nurses has been helpful to you.  As always I look forward to your comments and questions.  Please subscribe to the RSS feed so you dont miss any of the great information that I have in store for this site!

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Today I wanted to share a little information about different types of nurses.  And by this I mean the different nursing career types of registered nurses not the different nursing degrees like LPN, BSN or others.

Different nursing career paths like an ER nurse or a pediatric nurse are sometimes not really thought about when students are first starting out.  So I thought rather than write a lengthy post will dull descriptions of a bunch of different (and too numerable to cite all of them here) types of nurses, that I would provide some good links to videos and other blog post to help you get on your way at looking at nursing careers.

Nursing Profession : About Different Types of Nursing Careers

A nurse can be an RN, an LPN, an LVN or a nurse practitioner, which can do almost anything a doctor can do. Discover what nursing careers exist with help from a board-licensed practical nurse in this free video on nursing and becoming a nurse. Expert…

Nursing Jobs : Different Job Types for RNs

RNs, or registered nurses, can work in a variety of jobs, including everything from intermediate care to the ICU. Discover how to work as an RN in home health, travel nursing or oncology with help from a licensed RN in this free video on nursing jobs…

Hospice Care & Grief Counseling : How to Become a Hospice Nurse

To become a hospice nurse, each hospice chapter has different types of requirements, which vary for education, training, background and experience. Learn about the benefits of becoming a hospice nurse in this free video from a hospital dietitian abou…

Obstetrical Nursing: Complications of Pregnancy

To Purchase the FULL DVD, please go to: www.heatinc.ca OVERVIEW: Obstetrical Nursing: Complications of Pregnancy is designed to familiarize nurses with the different types of complications that can occur during pregnancy. The course also describes ap…

Nursing Jobs : What Is Pediatric Nursing?

Pediatric nurses are the same as other nurses in terms of training, but they primarily work with a pediatric population, which usually encompasses infants to children who are 17 or 18 years old. Learn about the environment that pediatric nurses work …

I hope you enjoyed the videos.  Now here are some other blogs that talk about different types of nurses.

Types Of Nursing Jobs » iArticle.org

Of the different types of nursing jobs, contract nursing is rapidly becoming the favored RN career opportunity. For those who prefer a stable position in one location, full-time nursing job is the right choice. Part-time nursing and …

Publish Date: 02/08/2011 5:36

http://iarticle.org/jobs-career/types-of-nursing-jobs-2/

A Review Of Several Employment Types With Regard To The Registered

With almost 2.6M registered nurses (RN) in the US , registered nursing has become the biggest health care industry in the United States. If you believe that private hospitals are the primary place a nurse might be located, …

Publish Date: 02/06/2011 17:52

http://www.100bloggers.com/a-review-of-several-employment-types-with-regard-to-the-registered-nurse/

What are the various types of nurses that you can become?

I want to get into nursing but Im not sure what kind I want to become. Does anybody know all of the types of nurses there are that I can choose from and the yearly salary(its optional, you dont have to put the salary) Thanks! …

Publish Date: 02/05/2011 8:17

http://www.health-knowledge.info/what-are-the-various-types-of-nurses-that-you-can-become/

Types of nursing jobs to major in « HOWWHYPEDIA.COM

There are many different types of nursing that you can go into. Once you become a nurse, you can major in sub-specialties. There are Operating room nurses, medical surgical nurses, pediatrics nurses, rehab nurses, ICU nurses, OB nurses, …

Publish Date: 01/31/2011 23:14

http://howwhypedia.com/archives/17397

Types of Nursing Jobs | Nursing Opinions

categories of nursing jobs and pay scale per category.

Publish Date: 01/27/2011 23:03

http://www.nursopinions.com/2011/01/types-of-nursing-jobs/

Well, that is about it for today.  I hope you have learned something and take some time to investigate the videos and blogs provided here.  Just remember there are a lot of different types of nurses out there and you can find a career path that suits your interests.

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Becoming a nurse practitioner may be the nursing career path for you. Although it has become a lot easier to find nurse practitioner programs than in the past, it can cost quite a bit of cash. So you want to be sure that it is right for your goals.

becoming a nurse pratitioner

An advanced nursing degree is required for becoming a nurse practitioner. Most programs require that you get a Masters of Science in Nursing degree (MSN) first. You should so some research on what your State Board requires and take a look at the education options available to you.

At the end of your education, you’ll be required to take a nursing exam in order to get your license as a nurse practitioner. You’ll still be a registered nurse, but you’ll now be able to diagnose and treat a number of medical conditions, prescribe medications, and even work independently of a doctor in many states. Getting a master’s degree in any field isn’t easy because of the work and dedication it takes to prepare for your career at this level, but becoming a nurse practitioner online doesn’t have to be more difficult than taking classes at a typical campus college.
How to Become a Nurse Practitioner

As well as getting your degree, then you will have to spend some time in a nurse practitioner residency program.

Even newly graduates residents have to work and assist physicians and experienced nurse practitioners in various medical settings in order to gain practical experience. After completion of your master’s degree, you can take up license nurse practitioner exam.
NP resident practical experience

This thing about a Nurse Practitioner (NP) career path is that you are not limited to hospitals or nursing homes. Many doctors offices have NPs that are critical to servicing the general healthcare patients. In fact, in some areas, nurse practitioners can have their own practice.

Due to the fact that health care seems to be ever evolving, NPs tend to work collaboratively with other industry professionals. Becoming a nurse practitioner means that your extra training in research, management, and public health is utilized to diagnose patients, manage health care staff, and serve a broader purpose.

During the 1960s, the nation had a physician shortage, which created the position of “Nurse Practitioner.” These professionals provide care very similar to physicians, diagnosing and treating conditions. Currently, the demand for Nurse Practitioners is on the rise, and these individuals earn a generous wage, about $86,486 annually according to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (2009).
Nurse Practitioner Careers

Check out my other post on nurse practitioner vs. physician assistant if you want more information on becoming a nurse practitioner.

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Somehow with all of the information that is out there on nursing education, sometimes we forget to remember nursing history.  Nurses have a long and prestigious, though sometimes not very glamorous story.   I have done a bunch of research for you and highlighted a few nursing history videos and some blog resources for your entertainment and education.  I hope you enjoy!

Here are some Nursing History Videos I thought you might enjoy:

Nursing History

research college of nursing. nursing history

World History of Nursing (video Project)

World History of Nursing (video Project) Baliuag University College of Nursing BSN 1-B SY 2009-2010 2nd semester NC100

The History of Nursing – Celebrating our past

While ideas of who is a nurse and what constitutes nursing have changed over time, the rich heritage of nursing provides an insight into its complexity and diversity, as well as how nurses have shaped health care. From an educators perspective, under…

Below are some blogs that have some nursing history discussions.  Feel free to pick and choose for the following posts:

Nursing opens doors for History Week – News and Events

Step back through time and explore the lives of the women who shaped nursing and midwifery in Australia when the University of Sydney’s Nursing History Research Unit opens its doors for History Week, 6 to 11 September. …

Publish Date: 09/06/2010 17:00

http://sydney.edu.au/news/84.html?newsstoryid=5574

UMSL Presents the 4th Annual African-American Nursing History

UMSL Presents the 4th Annual African-American Nursing History Conference. Conference offers the community a chance to explore unique contributions African American nurses have made in addressing health care disparities, identify local …

Publish Date: 01/11/2011 15:08

http://www.prlog.org/11212365-umsl-presents-the-4th-annual-african-american-nursing-history-conference.html

A short history of medicine

Ever get the feeling that medicine has a circular history? This funny timeline confirms your hunch is right on the money. 2000 B.C. – Here, eat this root. 1000 A.D. – That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer. 1850 A.D. – That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion. 1940 A.D. – That potion is snake oil. … Related Posts. Top 10 reasons I went into nursing · Top 10 ways for nurses to relieve stress · 10 questions I’d love to ask SOME MDs… …

Publish Date: 01/24/2011 17:00

http://scrubsmag.com/a-short-history-of-medicine/

Urgency Amid Violence: What Forensic Nursing History Is Telling Us

Since forensic nursing is a fairly new field in nursing care, not too many people are aware yet of their roles. So many of these medical-legal professionals are already in the field helping victims of crimes by becoming instruments in …

Publish Date: 01/17/2011 17:48

http://articlesplace.cz.cc/urgency-amid-violence-what-forensic-nursing-history-is-telling-us/

Nursing history is an important part of your heritage and should be part of your nursing education.  So find some time to do a little research on people like Florence Nightingale, Clara Barton and other tid-bits of info. Maybe you will impress the nurses on your floor with some nursing history facts!

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Lateral violence is a big problem in health care & the nursing profession

However, hospitals are beginning to be more proactive about addressing the inappropriate behavior.

It is also known as horizontal violence.  Lateral violence, basically bullying or verbal abuse, not only elevates stress levels in nursing staff, but it can endanger patient care.

There really has not been too much research on nurse hostility, but there needs to be in order to better understand the phenomenon in order to better address it.  Identifying lateral violence is one thing, and its a starting point- but there is much investigation to be done in order to help reduce the occurrence.

Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility:

For the past few years, nurse education on lateral violence has been included more often in orientation programs in many health facilities.  The nurses spend a few hours learning to recognize acts of lateral violence such as verbal abuse and then practice different techniques to address it.

Nurse Hostility Is Everywhere

Nurses often report seeing cases of other nurses ‘eating their young’ but what is more disheartening is that they believe their nurse manager is aware of the inappropriate behavior and did nothing about it.  Or even worse, that the managing experienced nurses seem to actually encourage it! In fact, an astounding number of nurses (I’ve seen reports between 80% and 95%) have either seen lateral violence and nearly 50% say they have been subjected to it in their nursing career.

Some nurses actually feel forced to leave their positions because lateral violence is so pervasive in their workplace.  There has been research showing 60% of new nurses right out of nursing school will leave their first positions within six months due to lateral violence in the workplace.

What causes Lateral Violence?

There seems to be many reasons for and types of the nurse hostility.  Sometimes it is just due to high stress and tension levels by individuals due to circumstances like being over worked.  This can happen when experienced nurses, already with a heavy workload are required to precept a new nurse or nursing students-adding to the workload.  Patience tends to run short, and the more experienced nurses are resentful for the extra work.

Often this is where verbal abuse, and even sabotage of other’s work can happen.  Unfortunately, it is not only the nursing staff that is affected, but this behavior can affect patients’ well being and can even endanger their lives.

Bottom line is this horrible behavior needs to come to an end.  More study in to the matter will help devise methods to address the behavior.  Nurse managers must also be first responders to stop lateral violence immediately.  In order to do this, they must become familiar with it and solutions.

Beyond this, health care facilities must be hyper aware of and vigilant at addressing issues like under-staffing and other staff stressors.  Nurses must work together with management to help stomp out lateral violence.

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There has always been talk to one level or another about nursing burnout.  However, these days I seem to be hearing it vocalized much more than in the past.  And appears to be an increasing problem in today’s institutions.

So, it seems prudent to have a discussion on nursing burnout, what it is, what its effects are, and how to avoid it.

What is Nursing Burnout?

Nursing BurnoutBasically it is a condition that some registered nurses experience that shows itself as being fatigued all of the time, readily irritable, insomnia and poor performance.  Physical manifestations can be chronic headaches, back pain, weight gain and/or GI problems.

Nursing burnout can happen to nurses with years of experience, newly graduated RNs and even students in nursing school experience burnout. You must take care to avoid it in your nursing career. Read the rest of this entry

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Are you starting to apply to nursing schools?

Looking for nursing programs to get your nursing degree can be a stressful task.  Whether you are high school student looking to become a licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse or an RN looking to do advanced practice nursing as a nurse practitioner, you will have to deal with the nursing school transcript process.

Nursing SchoolAs a side note, remember to verify that the nursing programs that you are applying to are accredited nursing schools.  To learn more about this issue, please visit our post about accredited nursing schools.

If you are looking to start your nursing career or just advance it, you will need to have transcripts sent for your previous schools and jump through the application hoops.  It can be time consuming and costly with application fees.

Dealing with nursing school transcripts may be getting a bit easier.

There is a new trend happening at nursing schools as they are beginning to offer unofficial transcript evaluations.  But before we get into that, I suppose we should talk a little bit about what transcripts are.

What is contained in a transcript?

In short, a nursing school transcript contains your academic career record from your High School and/or college or university.  It will itemize all sorts of information.  The primary elements are as follows:

  • Name of Student,
  • Previous Schools Names, Addresses, and Phone Numbers
  • List of Courses You Took – Usually by Year
  • Dual Enrollment and/ or Any Honors – As Applicable
  • Your Class Grades (either letter or numeric)
  • Total GPA [Grade Point Average]
  • Number of Credits Taken/ Achieved Per Semester & Year
  • Grade Scale Used by That School
  • Any State Proficiency Exams [if any]
  • Graduation Date and Degrees Achieved

So as you see, there is quite a bit of information that each school keeps record of and includes in your transcripts.  You will most likely need a transcript from each school that you have graduated from, or at least partially attended and what classes you had learning experiences.

Unofficial vs Official Transcript

There are a couple of types of transcripts that you can order from each school.  Usually there is a resource center at each university and sometimes a location online from where you can order your transcripts.

The official transcript is the type that each program to which you are applying will need from you.  An official transcript is sealed in an envelope by the originating school to prevent tampering.  You can request the official transcript be sent directly to the nursing programs to which you are applying (and some require that) or to your home so that you can package everything together and send off as one unit to avoid missing information later down the line.

An unofficial transcript is all of the same information that is in an official transcript but it is not sealed.  You can order these, and in fact can sometimes print right from the school’s website for your records.

At many Nursing Schools you can now ask for an unofficial or an official evaluation.

An unofficial evaluation is helpful, as some offer this service prior to submitting a full application- thus it gives you a better ideas as to what your chances of acceptance are, and what deficiencies you may need to correct prior to a full submittion.  This unofficial evaluation can give you time to take additional classes, or retake classes with less than desirable grades while you are getting an official evaluation submittal compiled and therefore you will be saving some time.  Most nursing schools are doing unofficial transcript evaluations in less than 24 hours.

Be certain to keep back-up copies of your official unopened transcripts.

You should order and have several copies of official unopened transcripts from all of your schools in a file at home to be ready to send to the nursing school programs to which you are applying.  This is just in case they somehow get misplaced at the intended school, or get lost in the mail from your previous school.  Unfortunately this happens quite often and if you have spare copies of the official unopened transcripts at home, you can provide them right away instead of waiting the weeks it can take to get new ones sent from the originating school.

How to get your School Transcripts

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Are looking to advance your nursing career path but are wondering which path to take- nurse practitioner or physician assistant?

Physician AssistantWell, in this post we are going to do a comparison of the two job descriptions and the educational requirements for achieving both.  Let’s take a look shall we?

The thing about being a Nurse Practitioner or a Physician Assistant is that at first glance they seem very similar and thus it can be difficult to make choice for your nursing career.  But as we look closer at the two, we see some significant differences that should be considered when making your choice to be either a Nurse Practitioner or a Physician Assistant.

Let’s start talking about how similar these two career paths are.

As a Nurse Practitioner, or a Physician Assistant, you will have the availability to work closely with and care for your patients.  You will prepare medical histories, examine the patients and develop care plans for them.

As a Nurse Practitioner, or a Physician Assistant you will be able to diagnose and treat your patients, however this is where the differences start to show.  A Nurse Practitioner can do this unsupervised, where as a Physician Assistant needs to have a doctor to oversee their efforts.  Now, the level of supervision varies from doctor to doctor and their comfort with the PAs experience, level of education, and skills in their particular specialty.

Both Can Prescribe Medication For Their Patients

Prescribe MedicationHowever, here again the Physician Assistant usually is supervised by a doctor where an NP does not require the supervision.

Also, there are some medicines that a PA can not prescribe such as narcotics and because they are licensed by the state, there may be other medications that the particular states restricts.

Education Can Vary Slightly

To be a Nursing Practitioner you need to be a registered nurse and obtain a Master’s degree.  Some states require a MS in Nursing, but in others it just has to be a Master’s and preferably related to the healthcare field.  You will also need to take care to get additional clinical experience.

A Physician Assistant also need to get an advanced degree, along with a qualified background experience in nursing, paramedic training or equivalent emergency medical services.  The PA will go for a Masters of Science in Physician Assistance and then apply for a PA license.  You must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) in order to achieve your license.

What about Salary?

Again these to career paths are similar.  All of the statistics that I have seen state that the average pay for both a Nurse Practitioner and a Physician Assistant are around $70,000-85,000 a year with an average work week of about 35 hours.  With this kind of pay and hours it makes sense why there are so many nurses that are pursuing advanced education!

So, to sum it up:  the tasks and daily efforts of the Nurse Practitioner and the Physician Assistant are very similar.  The biggest difference I see is the autonomy that the NP gets vs. the PA.  The Nurse Practitioner may have their own clinic or practice (in some states) and the Physician Assistant requires the supervision of a doctor (hence the PA title).

What differences impact in the Nurse Practitioner vs. Physician Assistant choice?

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hospitalWe have touched on advanced nursing degrees in other posts like Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing Equals More Money and Education For Nurses.  But due to the recent activity that we are sing at hospitals all over the United States, we need to focus on nursing education criteria that is quietly being enforced in the current health care environment.

Many heath care facilities are attempting to obtain Magnet status, a certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).  Having more nurses with advanced degrees like the BSN- bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, will help them attain this coveted status.

Then, there is the “BSN in 10″ bills that are in New Jersey and New York awaiting legislation.

Nursing Education

These bills are promoting the requirement that registered nurses being hired must have at minimum a BSN nursing education or be enrolled within two years of their hiring into a nursing program seeking this nursing degree.

The requisite stems from the distinct evidence that the critical thinking skills gained from BSN or MSN nursing education degree programs are more suited to the current healthcare needs of the ever increasing complexity of the health system.

Evidence shows that hospitals with more nurses educated at or above the BSN level have lower death rates.


Now as with all statistics you have to consider- what facilities have over 70 percent of their nursing staff with advanced nursing education?  Perhaps their area of concentration is not a high death probability.  But regardless of this fact- it is the number that the health care system is using.

Thus, we are seeing hospitals and other facilities looking to increase nurse education so they provide full or partial tuition payments and even time off for registered nurses to go back to a nursing school and obtain their BSN.

Clearly this nurse education an increasingly important issue for healthcare providers or they wouldn’t be offering such incentives!


So if you are a registered nurse with just an associates degree, then you should really consider obtaining information on BSN nursing degree programs. Some nursing courses in a higher education program will help advance nursing careers, and you can find online nursing programs that take a little less contact hours in a physical classroom.

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Ser una enfermera puede ser una carrera maravillosa que viene con un buen sueldo.

Sin embargo, la enfermería es un reto agotador que requiere una enorme cantidad de dedicación.

Ayudar a los que están enfermos, heridos, o en el borde de la muerte es parte de lo que significa ser una enfermera. Usted intenta de traer de vuelta a un estado saludable a las personas. Al controlar los síntomas del paciente y educarlos  cómo mejorar su condición. Tú eres la que consola paciente y su familia. Vosotros sois la luz fuerte en la noche que guía a través de tiempos difíciles. Y para todo esto, ser una enfermera por lo general significa obtener un sueldo bastante decente también.

Read the rest of this entry

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Let’s face it, nursing school is a demanding and stressful path.

It pays to be organized and have ready access to good information.  This post has 5 resources to make your life easier on your nursing career path.
Read the rest of this entry

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You may be aware that on June 16th, the President addressed the the American Nurses Association, which represents more than 3 million registered nurses across the United States. The topic was about how the health care reform affects nurses.

He started out (rightfully so) talking about how wonderful nurses are:

“America’s nurses are the beating heart of our medical system.  You’re on the front lines — (applause.)  You are on the front lines of health care in small clinics and in large hospitals, in rural towns and in big cities, all across America.”

He talks about the Support from the ANA for passing the health care reform.  He suggests that there are positive effects being seen and that the consumer (read patient) now has more “power and protection in the health care system”.

Here are a few things that the President says the reform covers: Read the rest of this entry

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Have you taken a nursing competency assessment?

Since we have been talking a little about the NCLEX and nursing school clinicals lately, my mind has been pondering on nursing competency assessment a little.

Nursing competency assessment really has a little more to do with the management level of healthcare, but I think is a relevant topic for us now due to the vain (excuse the pun) of information that we have been talking about lately.

Measuring nursing competency is becoming more and more prevalent in the health care industry. Read the rest of this entry

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Are you planing on studying to being a nurse?

Well then you will have to do nursing school clinicals.  At most nursing schools, your classes and clinicals will work hand in hand, feeding off of each other.

Often, you will have to have some pre-required classes and may actually need to pass some exams in order to take the clinicals.  Somethings you may be tested on prior to being allowed to take your nursing school clinicals are: catheter insertions, dressing wounds, administering medication, etc.

Not all schools are the same and so your experience may be different from a nursing student at a different school. Read the rest of this entry

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Let’s talk about how to prepare for the NCLEX.

But first you need to know a little about the NCLEX exam.  This can be a stressful event in your path to being a nurse.

The main purpose of the NCLEX is to provide a certain level of standardization for testing competency levels.  In other words, are you a safe and effective nursing professional?

The test is geared for entry level nurses

So don’t get stressed out about knowing absolutely everything there is to know about being a nurse. Though the test is adaptive which basically means if you miss a difficult question, the next one shouldn’t be as hard. Read the rest of this entry

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Licensed Practical Nurses are also called Licensed Vocational Nurses.

We have talked about Registered Nurses (RN) and Nurse Practitioners (NP) in some detail in previous posts, so I thought we should talk about Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) and give an LPN job description.
Read the rest of this entry

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Where, Oh Where, Have All The Nursing Jobs Gone?

I have posted some information related to this topic in an earlier post, but it seems to be a popular question so I thought I would give a little more insight on the matter of nursing jobs here.

There are reports from many agencies that indicate a need for more RNs.

There are also many reports that suggest that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that in a few years we are going to see a huge number of open positions. Here I will give you a little more specific information about the outlook of nursing jobs. Read the rest of this entry

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Understanding nursing research could lead you into a great specialty.

Understanding nursing research seems to be a good topic after my last post on informatics.  As I said in the post, as a nurse your focus is in caring for patients and their families as well as promoting education for managing their condition.

Nurse researchers use the scientific method to define criteria to improve patient care, safety procedures, as well as save costs.  There are many other specific areas of research but I see these as the primary three.  Research gets highly specific with studies like The Effectiveness of an Aspiration Risk-Reduction Protocol or Evaluating Central Venous Catheter Care.

Nursing researchers generally need to have a PhD in order to be the principal investigator of a particular area of study.

National funding will often dictate this criteria.  A nurse with an MSN (Master’s of Science in Nursing) may be eligible for a research assistant position.

understanding-nursing-research

Understanding Nursing Research - This can be a Specialty Specific Career Path

The National Institute of Nursing Research is a great resource and funds training opportunities for nursing research.  They provide finding to universities, hospitals, and medical centers.  The NINR also has in-house opportunities so take a look at their site if you are interested in understanding nursing research.
Some other resources that you may want to check out are the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the journal for Applied Nursing Research.

If you are an RN are interested in understanding nursing research then take a look at the sites mentioned above.  If you think that is a career path that is of interest to you, then start pursuing a higher degree such as an MSN or PhD. In the near future I will have some information for you regarding school options, so keep your eyes peeled!  Please, if you have any experience in this area, I would love to see your comments on understanding nursing research.

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Nursing informatics is a specialty that combines computer expertise as well as data and information research within the field of nursing.

The end goal is promoting better patient care.

The nursing profession is primarily about patient care and education.  As a nurse you are at the bedside taking vitals, delivering meds, observing patient behavior and symptoms, not to mention dealing with bodily fluids.  Education of the patient, or to their family, on how and what the care should be after they return home is also a large part of the nursing profession.
Something else that is becoming more and more prevalent in nursing is the use of technology.  More and more electronic medical records are being employed, mobile applications are entering the market in what seems to be a daily basis,  new and updated medical devices are also continually showing up.  Nurses need to be able to stay current, understand how to use the information and technology, and be comfortable enough with these things that their personal touch toward patient care is not hindered.

The nursing informatics specialist gathers information on all of the technology mentioned above, and much more. Read the rest of this entry

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Can I Work and be Successful in Nursing School?

I get this question a lot. The short answer is that it is doable, however this is not the most desirable situation. Of course you should check the program that you are considering because some actually have strict restriction against working while in nursing school.

If you are considering to work in nursing school there are a number of things that you should keep in mind. Read the rest of this entry

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If You Get a BSN Degree Will You Make More Money?

Ok, this is a common questions full of yes, no and maybe answers. It also tends to be a tender subject amongst nurses because, sometimes it seems to be interpreted as a suggestion that as an Associate’s Degree Nurse (ADN) you might somehow be less competent in your job than a Bachelor’s of Science Nurse (BSN). Let me clear the air regarding this topic, right up front- then we can talk about the actual question about making more money with a higher degree.

To become a Registered Nurse (RN) you need one of 3 degree types and then you must pass the NCLEX. Read the rest of this entry

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