Accelerated Associate Degree in Nursing Programs

To become a nurse is a serious ambition for many students today. Even those who are already holding employment look to obtaining a nursing degree so that they can join a hospital, clinic, or any such facility as a nurse. The growing desire to become a nurse is borne out of several factors. One among them is definitely the higher paycheck the occupation pays these days. Also, the job of a nurse is considered very noble and you get due respect for being a nurse. Life, therefore, is quite comfortable in for nurses compared to many other jobs. That is why more and more students, even if they happen to be employed, look to get a nursing degree online so that they can have a more prosperous future.

An ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing) is one of the strongest qualifications you can gain when you’re heading for the top. With many courses you can also choose to specialize in a certain area of nursing, which should help steer your career in the direction you are most interested in. Think about the amount of time you will be able to dedicate to your studies, and choose accordingly. Of course choosing the right college is also going to be very important.

A visit to mynursingdegree.com will provide complete details of how to select the right type of college or university to pursue accelerated ADN programs. Be it the different online nursing programs or nursing schools that offer the courses you wish to gain access to, all you need to do is to browse the site, enabling you to make a thorough comparison of the various educational institutions that offer different types of online programs at varying costs. You can also find opportunities for obtaining financial aid to carry forward your nursing goals.

If you’ve really made up your mind to join one of the accelerated ADN programs, the first thing you must do is find online schools available locally.

Mynursingdegree.com offers full details of the long list of online educational institutions that offer Associate Degrees in Nursing and Healthcare Administration, such as Everest University, Chamberlain College of Nursing, AIU Online and Argosy University. Exploring these online nursing degree programs and comparing them on various aspects is much simpler than what you may have actually anticipated.

Career Options with a Healthcare Associate Degree

Registered Nurse
Registered nurses are responsible for direct patient care, health education, and patient advocacy. An RN can practice in a variety of settings, including hospitals, surgical centers, chronic care units, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, hospice facilities, schools, the military, correctional facilities, community mental health centers, and in private homes. An RN must complete an associate degree in a nursing program at an college. Average annual salary: $64,690

Dental Hygienist
Dental hygienists provide teeth cleaning services, examine patients for oral diseases, and educate patients on dental health. They may work in dentist’s offices, hospitals, the military, correctional facilities, schools, and extended-care facilities. A dental hygienist needs a license and an associate degree in dental hygiene. Average annual salary: $68,250

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
Working with special imaging equipment that uses sound waves, diagnostic medical sonographers perform ultrasound examinations. A sonographer needs an associate degree, but and one-year certificate programs are available for those already employed in healthcare. Average annual salary: $64,380

Radiation Therapist
Using specialized equipment, radiation therapists work with a medical team that provides radiation treatment for cancer patients. Radiation therapists are qualified to work after completing a 12-month certificate program, but most employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed an associate or higher in radiation therapy. Average annual salary: $74,980

Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Using scanners and radioactive drugs, nuclear medicine technologists scan patients for internal physical conditions. Nuclear Medicine Technologists need a license and an associate degree in nuclear medicine technology. Average annual salary: $68,560

Healthcare Administrator
Ensuring the efficient operation of a medical facility is the primary responsibility of a healthcare administrator. Associate degree options include an A.S., A.A.S., A.O.S, or an A.A. in Healthcare Administration or Medical Office Administration. Programs include an externship at a healthcare facility. Several programs are available online. Career options include medical secretary, executive administrative assistant, medical transcriptionist or medical office manager. Average annual salaries – medical secretary: $30,530; healthcare executive administrative assistant: $43,520; medical transcriptionist: $32,900.

Resources:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, retrieved July 7, 2013, from Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/ooh
http://allhealthcare.monster.com/careers/articles/1892
http://degreedirectory.org/articles/Health_Care_Administration_Associates_Degree.html
http://www.healthecareers.com/article/top-10-healthcare-jobs-for-2-year-degrees/172562

The Great 100 Nurses

The Great 100 Nurses of Northeast Florida is a non-profit organization devoted to the recognition of excellent nursing in the area. The group achieves this goal through the organization of scholarships, the honoring of local nurses, and the recruitment and support of Floridian nurses.

100 Great NursesThe Great 100 Nurses of Northeast Florida got its start in 2000 due to actions by a coalition of nursing organizations led by District 2 of the Florida Nurses Association. They created the first gala event, raising more than $30,000 with the help of community sponsors.

Since 2000, the Great 100 Nurses of Northeast Florida have put on 5 gala events in celebration of fabulous nurses. Nominations are taken from professional health care workers, patients and their families and community members in order to decide who exceeds expectations through their dedication to excellence at work and desire for further knowledge outside of work via online nursing programs or traditional college. These winners are selected by a panel of nursing peers. The gala events, which are sponsored by businesses and private donors from the community, reward these nurses for their honorable service with good food, awesome entertainment and lots of fun.

In response to the growing health care debt, the Great 100 Nurses of Northeast Florida uses these gala events to additionally find support from the community for a number of nursing scholarships. A 501(c)(3) organization, the Great 100 Nurses of Northeast Florida awards scholarships and grants to health care research projects.

The Great 100 Nurses of Northeast Florida is an awesome resource for health care professionals in the Northeastern Floridian area because they keep a Speakers Bureau of Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Administrators on hand, available to speak to groups in the area.

The concept of Northeast Florida’s Great 100 Nurses is nothing new. In 1998, a registered nurse in North Carolina named Heather Thorne began devising plans for a group that would recognize nursing excellence while bringing more nurses into the fold through scholarships. Since the North Carolinian chapter was founded the group has raised over $140,000 in scholarships.

The Louisiana Great 100 Nurses is also one of the older Great 100 programs. Currently celebrating their twentieth anniversary, health care professionals, patients, families and community members make their nominations with essays applauding the nurses’ accomplishments. Similar to the other Great 100 programs, the money from this incredible anniversary celebration will go towards promoting nursing and increasing the amount of money awarded to scholarship recipients.

Iowa’s program is among the newer of the Great 100 programs. Founded in 2005 by the Iowa Nurses Foundation, all 99 Iowa counties participate in nominating and awarding nurses with this honor. The 100 Great Iowa Nurses and Iowa Nurses Foundation also support nurses by awarding scholarships that range between $500 and $1500. This is paying off in the University of Iowa Hospitals, as those awarded this honor represented 18 University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics at the five year anniversary of the program, that was held in Des Moines in May.

Online College Programs vs. Campus College Programs

While most employers will value a degree from an established campus college without question, there is a different response from employers reviewing applications for those that list an online college degree completion. Should a degree from an online college be valued the same as a campus college degree? The times are quickly changing and while the question is valid now, as online education continues to grow and improve their technology for course delivery, in the near future there may be no question at all to consider.

Frequently, online students encounter questions about the validity of their degree. However, if you avoid the “degree mills” that give you an official sounding degree but offer no accreditation, you should wind up with a legitimate degree. Consider taking virtual courses from an established school, like George Washington University, or register for a recognized online classroom course.

Online vs Classroom School
Students that enroll in an online nursing degree program from an accredited university typically have no problem during the interview process post-graduation. Hospitals and healthcare facilities have embraced online education and many offer financial assistance for their nurses that want to pursue advanced degrees.

Students that enroll in an online nursing degree program from an accredited university typically have no problem during the interview process post-graduation. Hospitals and healthcare facilities have embraced online education and many offer financial assistance for their nurses that want to pursue advanced degrees.

Unfortunately, un-accredited universities and degree mills are besmirching the reputation of distance learning. It may be worth your time to perform a quick search online for the name of the college you are considering with the word “unaccredited” or “fraud”. The results can either bring you peace of mind or reasons to investigate further.

However, there are still dozens of schools with quality reputations; just make sure to research your online college before you enroll. Employers have expectations about the quality of worker hired when his credentials list Harvard University, Boston College or UC Berkeley, but there is less known about distance learning institutions.

As a consequence, completing a degree program with very little history or reputation as a credible establishment can have an effect on how your education is perceived. Those who attend more recognized online schools like University of Phoenix or Walden University will see that human resource managers have less questions about the validity of those types of colleges as they are well-known across the country.

In terms of what kinds of degrees you should be taking classes towards in an online program, Masters degrees are considered more credible than bachelor’s degrees, although neither have the prestige of a traditional degree. 26% of human resource professionals accept an online degree as the equivalent of a campus degree, while they accept 37% of Masters degrees as a brick and mortar equal.

Depending on the industry you plan on entering, some online degrees may be more accepted. Those in technology, interior design or culinary arts fields can expect employers to be more open to interviewing applicants with degrees from an online institution, whereas those seeking employment at law firms or in specialized fields of medicine will have a more of a challenge competing with other applicants who have traditional campus degrees. This is due to the face-to-face interaction of standard classroom format. Degrees that are based on computers allow you a day-by-day interaction through the class, whereas a Biology major from an online program would not have been given the same materials as a traditional student.

In the end, the credibility and validity of your degree truly depends on the person that is hiring you and your ability to sell yourself based on the knowledge you gained through your online education. Some may favor work experience; others may care about the university from which you graduated upon. Additionally, choosing a college with a broad alumni base will help you network in the future, as it increases the potential that one of the employees already hired will be from the same college as you. Nonetheless, as the number of students enrolling online continues to increase exponentially, companies are being forced into the 21st century and are incorporating ways to seriously consider virtual degree applicants evenly with campus degree applicants.

A lot of companies these days are adding continuing education to employee benefits and support those that want to advance their career through online training. Many employers even offer financial assistance or paid leave for employees to participate in these programs, just like they would for someone heading back to a campus for traditional schooling.

The Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence

One of the biggest problems facing healthcare today is the nursing shortage. There are at least 100,000 nursing vacancies across the country, but 500,000 registered nurses aren’t working in their field due to dissatisfaction and a number of other causes. Combined with aging baby boomers who will need assistance in the coming years, America simply doesn’t have the healthcare infrastructure to support the demand.

The Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence is doing their part to help right the shortage. The primary goal of the Jonas Center is to increase nursing recruitment and retention in New York City hospitals, but they hope to expand the limits of their philanthropy. The Center is funded in part by the Barbara and Donald Jonas Family Fund.

The Jonas Center aspires to reward and promote effective nursing programs and leadership. By signing grants to and acknowledging hospitals that meet and exceed the expectations of the center, the group hopes to decrease nursing vacancies and improve the diversity among nurses. Though the Jonas Center focuses on New York City, they recognize hospitals elsewhere as well.

One of the most important aspects of the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence’s nursing recruitment and retention programs is their intermediary function. Representatives of the Jonas Center help to facilitate discussion between nurses, healthcare workers, lobbyists and business owners. These discussions can greatly improve nursing conditions by raising awareness of problems in the workplace and drawing attention to funding concerns. Furthermore, by involving lobbyists and policy makers, the Jonas Center helps to bring small scale changes to the national level.

Another impact of the Jonas Center is their work with grant-makers. Many fully-deserving hospitals and nursing programs miss out on excellent opportunities for funding because of simple ignorance. The Jonas Center fosters relationships between hospitals and the academic world, which helps to bring changes where they need to be brought. This connects the hospital directly with grant benefactors, greatly increasing their chances of getting the funds they need.

Furthermore, the Jonas Center brings even more grants to the market by encouraging donors to create grants for hospitals. By interacting with numerous philanthropic groups and donors, the Jonas Center is making it easier than ever for hospitals to find the funding they’ve lacked over the years.

The Jonas Center works personally with nursing leaders to improve conditions both in the workplace and in the entire hospital as well. The Center supports and provides leadership that works toward the betterment of everyone involved in New York City healthcare. By presenting the findings from these changes to medical journals and practices, the Jonas Center is creating a working healthcare model, an example to hospitals across the country.

This year, the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence gave four grants to institutions that met the standards for their Jonas Nursing Scholars program. The entire program is awarding $2.5 million to deserving nursing schools. The Columbia University School of Nursing was one of the beneficiaries.

New Bill that would allow 20,000 foreign nurses annually to enter the US

Despite concerns about employment as a consequence of the recession, nursing vacancies grow steadily everyday. Over the course of the last ten years, Americans have experienced a nursing shortage the likes of which had not been seen since the 1960s. Despite attempts at righting the shortage, America is still looking at a gap of over 100,000 nursing positions nationwide.

It is almost impossible for the need for nurses created by aging baby boomers to be satisfied with current resources. Without major changes made soon by legislators, the vacancy rate could as much as quadruple. Obama’s healthcare reforms could only exacerbate the problem by increasing the number of insured Americans by millions, without a healthcare infrastructure in place to take on the burden. There simply aren’t enough nurses who to fill the demands.

Floridian Representative Robert Wexler has proposed a bill to help fill in the short term nursing crisis. The Democrat announced in May of 2009 that his bill would allow for the extension of 20,000 visas to foreign nurses every year for the next three years, bringing in 60,000 nurses total, and providing for 60% of today’s shortage. Should the bill in its current form not pass through the Senate, legislators plan to add an immigration reform package to the bill. Obama spoke to the legislators about the bill this summer in order to discuss even further immigration reform.

Many proponents of the bill to allow immigrants to fill positions in American hospitals are looking for temporary relief. Unpopular areas have a difficult time attracting qualified nurses, and the bill would help to assuage this problem. Dozens of nurses from Canada, the Philippines and Mexico would be eager to take any position, regardless of the area. Though these visas would eventually expire, sending the nurses back to their nations of origin, hospitals currently undergoing shortages of registered nurses would be helped quickly.

Labor unions disagree. Unions are arguing that providing a foreign labor source would limit the incentive of hospital administrators to create more pleasant working environments because they know that their positions will be filled no matter how they treat their employees. Labor unions are afraid that removing such a significant number of nurses from other countries could cause nursing shortages overseas. Bringing in already registered nurses who have been driven from the field by stagnant pay and poor work conditions is the favored plan, as it brings experience back to the field.

Supporters of Obama’s healthcare reforms also reject Representative Wexler’s Bill, hoping that Obama’s economic stimulus does enough to promote a long term solution to the nursing shortage. Obama included $500 million to benefit healthcare workers, by increasing education and encouraging students to pursue the field either at traditional universities or via distance learning with an online nursing degree. Additionally, Obama hopes to cut down on the effects of the recession by increasing the capacity at nursing schools, allowing workers from other industries to gain the education they need to become nurses. This would cut down on unemployment while closing the nursing gap, simultaneously.

MyNursingDegree.com Provides Nursing Shortage Relief

My Nursing Degree helps students find their chosen path in nursing while at the same time helping to curb the nursing shortage epidemic.

Online publishing company MND, publishers of the education portal MyNursingDegree.com has been at the forefront of providing prospective nursing students and Registered Nurses online educational opportunities. By allowing current RNs and other nursing candidates an easy to use and central database of online educational opportunities, My Nursing Degree is assisting students in finding the career they love and helping to curb the nationwide nursing shortage plaguing the healthcare industry.

The nursing shortage epidemic in the U.S. is expected to intensify as baby boomers age and the need for heath care grows. The latest projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, published in the November 2007 Monthly Labor Review, predict that more than one million new and replacement nurses will be needed by 2016. Unfortunately even with current enrollment steadily increasing on an annual basis U.S. nursing schools turned away 40,285 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2006 due to insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors, and budget constraints. To tackle this ongoing problem statewide initiatives are underway from nursing schools to hospitals all working in tandem in developing new strategies to meet the need for qualified nurses.

One particular strategy has been the increased usage of online coursework. Nursing students all across the country are fulfilling much of their text based coursework utilizing online programs. Harnessing the power of the Internet, registered nurses looking to enroll in accelerated nursing programs, achieve their MSN, or enter into specialized fields of nursing are fulfilling much of their requirements in the comfort of their own homes and on their own schedules. The growing popularity of nursing degree online programs has contributed to increased enrollment. Nursing students, many who already work fulltime, enjoy the flexibility to complete coursework on their schedule and nursing schools are provided a needed relief from scarce traditional brick and mortar classroom space.

A leader since 2005 My Nursing Degree Online features a wealth of article resources relating to the various online nursing programs, a nursing shortage blog, and career planning tools to help students save money, find the work they love and, most importantly, make well-grounded career decisions. In a small way the education portal My Nursing Degree Online is helping more students find their chosen path in nursing while at the same time helping to curb the nursing shortage epidemic. After all it’s the small steps that count.

Candy Striper – The Star Volunteer in Hospitals

A candy striper is a hospital volunteer who functions under nurse supervision. The name came from the traditional uniform that volunteers wore, that looked like peppermint candy, although this outfit isn’t frequently worn today. Previous generations of female volunteers wore pink and white dresses, but the modern candy striper will wear a uniform shirt with pants, as well as a hospital ID that lists name and position.

The modern candy striper is between thirteen and eighteen years of age and are typically female, because the role was originally created as a female job, but the number of men in the field is ever increasing.

Candy StriperThese volunteers are integral to the success of the hospital, thanks to their interactions with both nurses and patients. Duties range, but are frequently constrained to clerical activities, as a result of insurance liability. Candy stripers usually work in reception, gift shops, and nursing and administration stations. Some will transport items between units, or visit lonely patients, but these jobs require more experience.

One of the candy stripers most important duties is attending to patients. Overburdened hospitals don’t have the resources to provide patients with frequent one-on-one care, past the necessary time spent diagnosing and treating. Candy stripers make a hospital visit pleasant by eating with, reading to, assisting or delivering items to patients. Though they fulfill many other duties, these are the primary jobs fulfilled by the volunteer.

Experienced candy stripers have a number of opportunities in a hospital to gain knowledge about the medical field. Seasoned volunteers clean rooms, transport records and drugs from unit to unit, and can bring in lab specimens for testing. Overall, older candy stripers will spend more of their time interacting with health care professionals than do younger candy stripers, who spend most of their time with patients.

Training for the job usually takes only a few days. Candy stripers are most frequently employed at teaching hospitals, because the volunteering experience allows pre-med students and those working towards an advanced nursing degree a chance to work with patients, while relieving the care staff of more menial duties. Many students volunteering at the hospital find the familiarity worthwhile, as it’s one of the rare chances for a high school or college student to get a hands-on learning experience in a medical environment.

Finally, there are a number of steps before you can jump into volunteering at your local hospital. You’ll need to complete an application, which includes references and parental consent if you’re less than eighteen years old, and interview. Should you be chosen to volunteer, you will need to take a tuberculosis skin test and undergo a physical exam. This ensures that you won’t infect patients under your care.

When applying to become a candy striper, it’s important to keep a dependable schedule. Be sure that you leave time every week for volunteering, as the experience is impossible to replace for those interested in the medical field.

To make your experience as a candy striper the best it can be, you must make sure that you maintain first-rate behavior at all times, because your conduct reflects on the institution you work for. If you are able to observe all hospital policies, you’ll be sure to get a great reference in the future.

Community Creates Nursing School Scholarship

To try and address the issue of nursing homes and their shortage of staff, a Rochester retirement and nursing home did something about it. They raised money from both their staff and from the community and then awarded 10 of their employees with over $13,000 worth of nursing school scholarships from the money that was raised.

St. Ann’s community agreed to this idea for the first time when the idea was brought up from the human resources department, as well as the foundation for the organizations’ fundraising project. Spokesperson Stephanie Schifano works for the organization, and provided this information, as well as helped handle the massive fundraising organization.

The organization is totally nonprofit, and most of the employees who are there are working towards some type of nursing degree, whether it is ingeriatric nursing, bachelors of nursing or some other type of nursing related program.

There were requirements to be eligible to receive the money that was raised throughout the community and staff. The employee must have been already pursuing a degree in some area of the nursing field with a C average or above in their studies. They had to also agree to stay at St. Ann’s for at least 2 years. This agreement prompted 30 employees to apply for the nursing school scholarship.

The nursing school scholarships that were awarded to the employees of St. Ann’s went to: Annell Boone, a licensed practical nurse; Tina Cenname, a reimbursement nurse specialist; Rachel Holmes, a nursing supervisor; Muriel James, a licensed practical nurse supervisor; Karen Keymel, a universal worker; Glenda King, a team leader; Rola O’Meally, director of adult day and dementia services; Elizabeth Tomaszczuk, a special-care unit nurse leader; Denise Watson, a licensed practical nurse supervisor; and Heather Wojtczak, a licensed practical nurse.

Many congratulations go out to the winners of these nursing school scholarships.

Colleges Seek Out Nursing Shortage Solutions in Texas and Virginia

With a severe nationwide shortage of 1 million nursing looming in 2012, colleges and hospitals are taking steps and coordinating events around the common goals of helping students succeed in nursing.

At the University of Texas, faculty at the health science center recently hosted a workshop for about 75 local professors to give them concrete examples of what nursing students are expected to know after completing their science coursework. The hope is that nurse educators, and professors will adequately prepare students for a lasting career in the nursing field. During one panel, three students shared stories of how they struggled through nursing school. One had dropped out of high school and the other two had babies. All are minority women, who make up a small percentage of registered nurses. Professors in the audience asked questions about whether they preferred traditional or nursing degree online programs, what kind of grade point average would get students into the nursing program, and what they could do to make microbiology more relevant.

With Virginia also in the grip of a nursing shortage, faculty at Piedmont Virginia Community College is attempting to raise funds to start a new nursing program. The program for licensed practical nurses, or LPNs, would cost about $195,000. PVCC President Frank Friedman said the funds needed was for direct costs only, and not overhead. Most of the price tag would come from the cost of faculty. He said he did not expect a state budget increase large enough to cover the cost, and so officials will approach the localities and hospitals in PVCC’s service area.

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