RN to BSN – The difference between RN and BSN

by Michael V. Gruber, MPH
The complexities of a changing medical field in technology, advanced information, and facing a growing leadership role among nurses has increased the need for a degree of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing among registered nurses (RN to BSN). This higher level of education takes commitment and dedication and in the following article, we will outline how to achieve these goals.

Advancing your nursing degree – The difference between RN and BSN

Beginning a career in nursing for those who desire an abbreviated education will get an associate’s degree (AD) which usually involves 2-3 years of schooling. A nurse may also follow a diploma program, usually through a hospital, that is also 2-3 years in length before becoming an RN. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Sample Survey, 70% of nurses have AD or diploma level degrees. An RN must also pass all required examinations such as the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses) before practicing with patient contact.

For many nurses looking to advance their careers, the RN to BSN Degree Program is the natural next step. It is a 4 year program that includes research oriented learning, leadership training, and liberal arts. Many of the students that are enrolled in the BSN program are previous RN’s with associate degrees or diplomas. They are now going back to school with all the hardships involved; financially, time inflexibility, family and other outstanding commitments.

The differences between an RN and BSN are not necessarily clear to the patient who is being treated with basic care. A nurse treating a patient won’t be asked, “excuse me, are you a RN or a BSN?” Yet the differences lie within. The education gained, the additional technical training, and the potential advancement are not immediately recognized by the patient. A nurse with a BSN can review research papers, advocate for the patient, work with leaders in the hospital or medical facility with confidence and advanced management skills. A nurse with an RN may have all these abilities, yet a BSN enhances them and increases advancement opportunities.

Career Opportunities with a BSN

RN’s return to school for a number of reasons, yet many are personal in nature: To become leaders in the nursing industry, advancing their careers, or move to the next level and receive a master’s or doctoral degree.

Management-level nursing requires an advanced degree such as a BSN. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, in management, nurses can become anywhere from the assistant head nurse or head nurse, to assistant director, director, and vice president and upwards. Other career opportunities include research, consulting, and teaching. A nurse with a BSN can manage a home health care clinic and ambulatory services, etc. Nurses can also move into the business side of nursing to becoming an manager of an insurance company, pharmaceutical manufacturer, and managed care organization (U.S. Dept. of Labor, 2005).

Embarking on a Raw Food Diet

Because there are so many fad diets, the simplest approaches to eating are often overlooked.  The Raw Food diet is not exactly a diet, but rather a way of life for those who choose to change to this style of eating. In essence, this diet embraces only eating those foods that are unprocessed and uncooked, such fresh fruit, vegetables, sprouts and seeds.

Many nurses and professionals in the healthcare industry will suggest a raw food diet to adult patients who suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia, acid reflux-digestive, sleep issues or headaches. It is also an incredibly effective way to lose weight.

The premise behind the raw food diet is that cooking food above 116 degrees will rob fresh, healthy food of its enzymes that help aid with digestion and absorption. Cooking also removes a lot of the vitamins and minerals that are inherent in fresh food. In addition, packaged food is full of potential toxins and pollutants that our bodies must adapt to over time. Food is meant to be eaten in its natural state in order to keep us healthy, and this is why some choose to opt for a 100% raw food lifestyle.

Those who have a raw food diet report less health issues, better skin complexion, weight loss, and reduced risk of cholesterol and heart disease.  Trans fat has been a huge concern for families across the country in recent years, as have saturated fats.  In packaged and processed foods we cannot avoid these fats to a large degree, but a raw food diet that is packed in fiber and other nutrients will provide everything a body needs as well as contribute to a healthy lifestyle.

The types of foods that can be eaten vary as well as do the way you can prepare them.  At least 70% of the foods you consume must not be prepared over 116 degrees.  These foods include organic fresh fruits and vegetables of any kind, nuts, sprouts, seeds, beans, whole grains, dried fruit, fruit juice, coconut milk, and seaweed.  To process the food for consumption, you can either juice the fruits or vegetables or dehydrate them. Soaking nuts makes them easier to eat, as does blending grains, beans, and vegetables. There are many raw food cookbooks available both online and in bookstores that can provide you with recipes.

Although there are many benefits to a raw food diet, there are also a few side effects. When a person consumes unhealthy food such as sugar and caffeine, over time their body develops a dependency on it. When starting a raw food diet, you will essentially go through withdrawal and have symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, nausea, and cravings that can last for several days. Once over this period, you should begin to feel significantly better. Those who should avoid a raw food diet include pregnant women, individuals with anemia, and children as they have different dietary needs than most.

Embarking upon a raw food diet is a good step for those who wish to start off on the road to a healthy lifestyle. The energy, vitality, and overall well being that can result from eating only the most natural of foods are only a few of the benefits you’ll see when you begin a raw food diet.

Certified Nurse Midwife Career Facts

Certified Nurse Midwife Career Facts

More women are turning to Certified Nurse Midwives to provide high-quality prenatal and maternal care from conception through delivery of a baby. A Certified Nurse Midwife is an advanced practice nurse that has achieved a Master of Science in Nursing degree, as well as credentials as a Registered Nurse and certification by the American Midwifery Certification Board. With a high level of education and unsurpassed nursing care, a CNM is a trusted partner in the journey of motherhood.

7.6% of all US births were attended by CNMs and CMs in 2009.

Women cared for by CNMs compared to women cared for by physicians had:

  • Lower rates of cesarean birth
  • Lower rates of labor induction
  • Reduced perineal tearing
  • Lower use of anesthesia
  • Higher rates of breastfeeding

CNM Education & Training Requirements:

  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN Desgination
  • Certification by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB)

Nurse Shortage Solutions are on the Horizon

Across the nation and locally, a serious shortage of nurses and nurse educators exists. An aging baby boomer population is increasing the demand for quality health care and beginning to put a strain on our nation’s health care infrastructure. At the local level solutions are beginning to surface as an attempt is made to make a dent in the nursing shortage.

The Health Initiative Task Force – a group of people representing many organizations – will roll out a new solution in January. The group has been meeting for months to come up with a collaborative program. Current, working registered nurses from participating hospitals will work toward a masters in nursing, doctorates and Ph.D. degrees while they continue part time at their jobs. Their employers, who will pay them their full salary during the estimated two years of education and training, will select participants. During that time, each will spend a third of his/her time in school, a third at work and a third teaching. Nurses for the program will be chosen based on their clinical ability and experience, their desire to teach and their ability to do well in a rigorous work/study program.

The goal of the project is to increase the number of local-area nurse educators by eight to 10 in the next two to three years. And, if the project goes as well as expected, the task force plans to expand it so that even more nurse-students can benefit in the future. Partners in the program include Bay Regional Medical Center, Covenant HealthCare, Delta College, the Hospital Council of East Central Michigan, Kirtland Community College, Mid Michigan Community College, MidMichigan Health, Saginaw Valley State University, and St. Mary’s of Michigan.

Nursing Scholarships & Grants for the Military

Joining the Military can be a useful way to both earn college credit while working and to pay for college. But did you know that in addition to your GI Bill, you can also obtain scholarships and grants to help pay for your tuition, books, and living expenses? There are several options, from general scholarships and grants to major-specific ones, including Nursing scholarships and grants.

Many online nursing schools and campus schools, provide opportunities for both general and nursing-specific scholarships and grants, in addition to scholarships and grants for military members and their families. Speaking with a financial aid office and/or veteran’s office at a prospective or chosen university can not only help narrow down the available options, but even begin the process of finding the right campus-based or online nursing school program and financial assistance needed. Also, a college or university website can provide a quick overview of available options for nursing school scholarship and grant qualifications and applications.

The Military also offers its own scholarships for its members, based the choice of major and length of service. These can come in the form of an ROTC scholarship (such as Air Force or Navy ROTC programs), or a scholarship from the particular branch of the Military in which one serves such as the Navy Nurse Candidate Program or the Army Nurse Corps Nurse Anesthetist Scholarship. The National Health Service Corps is another option for those considering a career as a nurse, or who are currently enrolled in a campus or online nursing school program.

In addition to scholarships offered by the Military, your Military training and service can also serve to train you to be a nurse. For example, the Army Medical Department Enlisted Commissioning Program (AECP) allows you to both complete a college degree in Nursing and serve as a nurse for the Army at the same time, earning both an education and priceless experience in the field. All military scholarships pay tuition and fees, plus offer a stipend for things such as fees, books, and living expenses while attending college.

Military scholarships are not just for those who serve.  Military children, spouses, and family members are also afforded a variety of opportunities to obtain assistance in paying for their schooling, from scholarships and grants to military-specific degree programs, job placement services, and career matching services. These opportunities can be especially important for military and their family members who are facing relocation, deployment, or some other hardship as a result of their military service and/or affiliation.

The U.S. military is a great way for nurses to gain experience in nursing, and can be a strong foundation for a nursing career. From the training provided while enlisted, to scholarships, grants and incentives for nurses in the military, it’s easier than ever to transition from a military to a civilian nursing career.

Nurse Practitioner Career

Nurse practitioners are highly skilled primary and specialty care providers who are responsible for treating patients in a variety of health care settings. Often considered an extension of a physician, nurse practitioners, also known as advanced practice nurses, are able to provide full primary care services and prescribe medications in all states and the District of Columbia.

Nurse practitioners can choose to specialize in a wide range of health disciplines including mental health, orthopaedics, and neonatology. However, the most common areas for specialty are pediatrics, geriatrics, family practice, and women’s health. Daily responsibilities often include:

  • Diagnosing and treating medical conditions
  • Ordering tests and diagnostic procedures
  • Prescribing medications
  • Performing physical exams and some surgical procedures

A Bright Future for Nurse Practitioners
Nurses comprise the largest health care occupation, holding 2.6 million jobs. And, employment opportunities in the field are expected to grow faster than any other occupation–particularly for advanced practice nurses such as nurse practitioners. As a nurse practitioner, you can expect to earn a higher annual salary than the median for registered nurses, which is about $63,000, due to the advanced training and education that is required.

Nurse Practitioner Education Requirements
A nurse practitioner must have advanced education and training–beyond that needed to become a registered nurse. The majority hold a master’s degree.
There are two roads you can travel to become a nurse practitioner:

  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing, obtain registered nursing licensure through the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), and then move forward to earn a master’s degree in nursing. This is the most common route taken.
  2. Another option is to train to be a registered nurse while fulfilling the requirements of the nurse practitioner certification boards.

Regardless, you must successfully pass the NCLEX-RN before being admitted to a master’s program.

Health Information Technician Online

Online schools instruct future Health Information Technicians (also known as Medical Records Technicians) to handle patient accounts and serve as a liaison between the doctor and the patient. Through the Internet, individuals can earn a college degree in Health Information Technology at their own convenience, and without giving up current employment.

One of the fastest-growing and highly-paid fields in medical administration, Health Information Technology combines IT with Health Care Administration. Health Information Technicians and medical records managers are highly trained individuals who serve as a connection between the doctor and the patient. They assign diagnostic codes to patients’ records in order to determine the amount of insurance reimbursement the facility will receive, while making sure each patient’s account complies with current privacy laws.

An online Health Information Technology curriculum includes training in medical terminology, physiology, and anatomy, as well as IT. Graduates must pass a written examination to be certified as a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT).

Working professionals can go online to earn 100 percent of the credits needed for certification as a Medical Coding Specialist, or to get a degree in Health Information Technology. Distance learning courses make it convenient to advance your education on your own time and without commuting to classes.

Available online degrees include Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Health Information Technology, a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Information Management, a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis on Health Information Technology, and many others.

If you are a technically-minded person who would like to work in a challenging and lucrative medical environment, an education in Health Information Technology may be right for you. You can research online colleges, universities and distance learning programs right here, at SchoolsGalore.com

The MSN/MBA/HCM program is intended to provide nurses with the blend of advanced nursing and business management skills necessary to manage today’s health care delivery systems. The MBA/HCM curriculum emphasizes the identification, analysis and solution of multifaceted management problems that require technical understanding and balanced decision making.

If you would like to work in a challenging and lucrative medical environment, we invite you to review the Health Information Management Degreeprogram at University of Phoenix Online.

Nurse Retention Strategies

Many nurses have a clear vision of the type of work environment they want and how they want to practice care. Experienced nurses have likely worked in a number of facilities, in a variety of roles and over time have seen their vision come to fruition in bits and pieces. True job satisfaction though comes only when the complete vision is realized and success stories show that most nurses share the same vision of what the ultimate work environment should be. Facilities that listen and react to the needs of nurses regarding their needs for a satisfying work place are the ones with the best retention rates.

Staffing Levels
One of the top reasons that nurses leave positions in bedside care is mental and physical exhaustion. Either there are not enough nurses to provide the level of care that makes nurses feel confident about their work or the balance of experienced and inexperienced nurses is not where it should be and nurses are put in uncomfortable positions where they aren’t sure how to handle a specific health concern of a patient. Facilities that incorporate having fully staffed shifts as part of their core beliefs results in a confident staff that is feels good about coming into work and actually performing their jobs well rather than a shift of dealing with crisis after crisis. When staffing levels are optimal, nurses have a more positive outlook and work together as a team to share knowledge and feel secure.

Support from Management
Nurses take great pride in their work and the biggest frustration comes when they are put in a position where they are unable to give their patients the level of care they feel they deserve and that they want to provide. They feel that they are not getting the support they need from management and that patient outcomes suffer. Over time, this can cause enough stress on the nurse to make them seek employment elsewhere where they feel management puts quality care as a priority over staffing budgets.

New nurse graduates are now able to conduct much more research on facilities before they even apply. With information available online, they can find out which facilities have the best nurse-to-patient ratios, which ones have won quality care awards and who includes ongoing education as an employment requirement. Most of the facilities that portray these high standards for care typically have waiting lists for employment which shows that a change in how to approach patient care can make all the difference in the quality of staff that they attract.

Costs for Nurse Retention
Studies have also shown that by improving nurse-to-patient ratios, operating costs actually decrease and money spent to make a change in philosophy about this topic is recouped. Facilities see the costs for overtime pay and agency help decreases well beyond the cost of having more regular staff on the floor during all shifts. In making a change to improve nurse-to-patient ratios and developing a culture of open communication between management and nursing staff, retention increases. This reduces turnover costs that can be quite significant when you look at recruiting and training expenses.

When nurses are living their vision of the optimal work environment, they report that what they enjoy most about their jobs is patient interaction and that they feel appreciated by their co-workers and management.

10 Featured Nursing Schools in the United States

An individual who wants to pursue a nursing degree should make a thorough research about the school he wants to go to. When selecting a nursing school, one should consider his goals, the type of nursing career he wants to practice, and school accreditation.

To better help you in choosing the right nursing school, we listed the top 10 nursing schools according to U.S. News & World Report. The ranking is based on several criteria including students’ standardized test scores, tuition fees, faculty resources, graduation rates and alumni donation rates.

1. University of Washington

Since 1984, the U.S. News and World Report ranked the University of Washington as the top undergraduate nursing school in the country due to its experiences and renowned faculty, as well as the opportunities for research and community partnerships.

2. University of California-San Francisco

The University of California San Francisco is one of the top undergraduate nursing programs in the US because of the amount of research funding it receives, the diversity of their programs and the large number of specialty areas it offers. The UCSF School of Nursing adheres to the four primary goals of nursing education: teaching, research, patient care and public service, which enables them to remain at the forefront of nursing education.

3. University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is ranked third among the top undergraduate nursing program because of its long history of excellence in education. Their School of Nursing offers technologically advanced approach to learning specializing in biobehaviorial and health sciences as well as family and community health.

4. Johns Hopkins University – Baltimore, MD

Located in Baltimore, MD, the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHUSON) is one of the nation’s oldest and pre-eminent schools for nursing education in the country. The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing aims to provide leadership to improve health care and advance the nursing profession through education, research, practice, and service. JHUSON is also one of the recipients of research funding in nursing from the National Institutes of Health.

5. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

Founded in 1817, the University of Michigan – School of Nursing in Ann Arbor, MI is the state’s oldest university. It is one of the original eight schools known as the Public Ivy.

6. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill (School of Nursing)

The University of North Carolina – School of Nursing located in Chapel Hill, NC claims to be the oldest public university in the US. It is also one of the original eight schools known as the Public Ivy.

7. Oregon Health and Science University

Formed in 1974, the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) is a public university that combines state dentistry, medicine, and nursing programs into a single center.

8. University of Illinois – Chicago

The University of Illinois – Chicago (UIC) is the largest university in the Chicago area. UIC is the second member of the University of Illinois system serving approximately 25,000 students within 15 colleges, including the nation’s largest medical school.

9. University of Maryland – Baltimore

The University of Maryland – School of Nursing was founded in 1889 by Nightingale Fund graduate Louisa Parsons. It is known for innovative educational programs that address urgent health care needs nationally and internationally.

10. University of Pittsburgh – Main Campus

Founded on April 6, 1939, the University of Pittsburgh – School of Nursing in Pittsburgh, PA educates nurses for the increasing demanding environment through comprehensive curriculum combining rigorous academic work, intensive clinical experiences, and research.

Choosing a Nursing School

Careers in nursing are abundant throughout the nation. In fact, there is a reported nursing shortage that is expected to grow even larger in the future. Nursing is the top healthcare occupation in the United States, and career opportunities are widely available. Below are some important things to know and look for in nursing training programs.

Nursing School Accreditation. To train for a career in the nursing field, one must receive training from a specialize school that focuses solely on nursing. Nursing schools are by the National League of Nursing Accreditation Commission and are recommended for all pursing a nursing career. There are other accreditation boards that focus on masters or doctoral level programs or on specific nursing specialties.

Available Degrees. There are several levels of education that can be obtained to work in a nursing field. Diploma programs for Certified Nursing Assistant take about one year to complete. ASN (Associates Degree Nursing) and BSN (Bachelor’s Degree Nursing) programs prepare students for certification in order to become a LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) or RN (Registered Nurse).BSN is not required for LPN, but is for most RN’s. Other nursing careers include Nurse Practitioner (NP), Legal Nurse Consultant(LNC), and Nursing Master’s Degree (MSN, and they all require advanced nursing education on the master’s or doctoral level.

Things to Look For. There are several things to consider when choosing an online nursing school:

*Online Classroom Quality: Request an online demo of the cyber learning environment class size.

*Accreditation: Accreditation is not required, but is it an advantage when it comes to employment and examination.

*Clinical Rotation: Clinical rotation should be sufficient in order to receive adequate clinical training in preparation for examination.

*Exam Pass Rates: Review exam pass rates to see how well other nursing students at the school are doing on their respective examination.

*Tuition: Tuition may be an issue for some, for nursing programs can take anywhere from 1 to 8 years to complete. Fortunately, many institutions will pay off student loans pending 1 year of employment.

Beginning a nursing career is easy as finding courses online or at a nursing school in your area. Nurses enjoy high compensation for their training, and are highly compensated due the shortage of nurses. A good nurse starts with a good nursing school. Use Healthcare-Trainingcenter.com to find nursing schools in your area and start a training program today.

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