Getting A Nursing Degree Will Change Your Life And Maybe the World

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Submitted By Katherine Smith

nurseIf you’re thinking of a career change, getting a nursing degree can transform your life. What’s more, it doesn’t have to take as long as would think. As a career, nursing is a rewarding option, pays really well and is a profession where demand far exceeds supply.

Rewarding Career

Economic philosophers like Tai Lopez say that there are three levels of business. Level one businesses make the human race worse. Level two businesses are neutral, neither helping nor hindering our species. Level three businesses benefit humanity. The work of the medical practitioners falls into level three work because the world is far better off with more caring people.

Nursing provides an invaluable service to humanity, and, as a nurse, you will feel good about your contribution to human welfare. Essentially, your job is to ease the suffering of people in distress and help to restore their well-being.

Compensation and Demand

According to Nursejournal.org, the average salary for a nurse ranges from $60,934 to $96,582. Numerous factors determine pay, like level of education, years of experience, and the state you live and work in. However, even those just starting out get paid much more than beginners in other careers. In addition, profit sharing bonuses can be about $19,866 a year.

Considering all these factors, it will actually be quite realistic for you to be making six figures a year within a relatively short time. Moreover, with older nurses retiring, there may be even more opportunity for higher compensation due to a potentially huge shortage of nurses in the future.

What’s more, from a career perspective, things get even better. Nursejournal.org shares some startling facts and statistics about career opportunities for nurses:

“The job outlook for family nurse practitioners is very good. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected growth in demand for FNPs [Family Nurse Practitioners] is 19% by 2020, which is well above the national average. Furthermore, salary growth over that same period of time is believed to be 22%, again above the national average. This is mainly due to the fact that the world of primary health care is changing due to a significant shortage in physicians. In addition, the shortage becomes more acute because of the aging population.”

Accelerated Programs

The fastest route to become a registered nurse (RN) is to enroll in an accelerated nursing program. If you have already completed either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in another discipline, then you will have to take the accelerated baccalaureate in nursing. This can take as little as 11 to 18 months to complete, which includes taking prerequisites. If you’re already a nurse and want to advance in your career, you may want to take the fast-track master’s degree program, which will take an average of 3 years.

What It’s Like

Accelerated programs work as fast as they do because they are designed for older adults rather than young adults. Consequently, you can get credit for prior undergraduate education or work experience.

However, these are not leisurely courses and are only designed for those prepared to commit fully toward their career goal. Classes are often long and intense, sometimes with few or no breaks between sessions. This rapid pace is necessary because the same amount of clinical hours is packed into a shorter time frame, and students learn as much as those in slower-paced traditional, entry level nursing schools.

Since the work requires academic rigor, admission standards are naturally high. Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA to get through the strict pre-screening process. Administrators only select those students they believe will be able to do well in a fast-paced academic environment. While there is no restriction on working while studying, this is not really encouraged because it will take a tremendous amount of focus and discipline to graduate.

Employment after Graduation

Usually, students who go through an accelerated program tend to be older in years, more mature in attitude, and much more motivated than traditional college students fresh out of high school. These students also tend to have higher academic expectations of themselves than students in a traditional, entry-level nursing program. Consequently, they not only tend to excel in class but appear more eager to get clinical experience.

Employers recognize these attributes and accelerated program graduates are highly prized in the workplace. Past experience with graduates has shown that they are more responsible, possess a higher level of clinical skill, and are quick studies during job training.

Conclusion

Many employers are so impressed by the quality of nurses that come out of accelerated programs that many hospitals may offer tuition repayment to graduates as a strategy to recruit tap-caliber nurses. In addition, state and federal legislators are seeking ways to increase grants and scholarships to candidates willing to enroll in an accelerated nursing program because of the perceived shortage of nurses in the coming decade.

Loyola Nursing Student Fights Childhood Obesity

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From Your Health Journal…..”Found a great article today on Tangilena.com about some local nursing students fighting childhood obesity in Louisiana. Through the years, I have heard so much about childhood obesity (and obesity in general) being a large issue in this state, as so many children have been suffering not only from obesity, but from heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Nursing students from Loyola University received a $4,000 grant, which will be used to educate some local high school students on healthy lifestyle. Please visit the Tangilena web site (link provided below) to read the complete article. It is a great story of children (or young adults) helping other children.”

From the article…..

One nurse is setting out to change the way health care providers in New Orleans talk to patients—inspiring instead of mandating healthier lifestyles to curb childhood obesity. Loyola University New Orleans Doctor of Nursing Practice student Monica Alleman won a $4,000 grant Jan. 1 from the American Nurse Practitioner Foundation to teach health care providers at John Ehret High School health center in Marrero, La., counseling skills to help reduce the causes and effects of childhood obesity at a local level. The idea was born from Alleman’s capstone project as a part of the Loyola DNP program.

Louisiana is the ideal testing ground for solutions to the childhood obesity epidemic, according to Alleman. Louisiana has the fourth-highest statistics for childhood obesity rates in the nation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reports.

“Monica’s passion for children and fighting obesity is contagious,” said Gwen George, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, assistant professor and DNP program coordinator.

The project focuses on the idea that when health care providers speak to patients in ways that illicit the patients’ own solutions versus commanding solutions, it results in healthier patients. The technique is called motivational interviewing skills—borrowed from counseling practices—and Alleman is teaching health care professionals at John Ehret High School how to use it.

“We can more effectively engage patients in healthy living and I believe it’s by us the providers changing how we communicate with our patients,” Alleman said. “Research shows the more patients talk about their own change, the more likely they are going to start to try to change.”

Using motivational interviewing techniques, a conversation with the nurse may include phrases like, “What kinds of things worked for you in the past?” and “How can you make that change in your life?” That kind of conversation in the clinic avoids guilt, shame and judgment surrounding what is childhood obesity, according to Alleman.

“Loyola University New Orleans DNP students are educated to embrace such research-supported interventions in behavioral health to improve the outcomes in health care delivery systems, thereby accelerating quality, reducing costs and increasing appropriate access,” said Ann H. Cary, Ph.D., MPH, RN, professor and director of the School of Nursing.

To read the full article…..Click here