Online Series Offers Tips for Mid-Career Nurses Earning Advanced Degrees

mid-career nurses back to schoolAre you a mid-career nurse looking to go back to school to earn an advanced degree?

If the idea of hitting the books again at this time in your life scares you, fear no more. [Read more…]

Jump Into a High-Demand Job With a Master of Science in Nursing

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)The Baby Boomers are retiring. The millennials are coming up, but in the mean time, there’s going to be a major healthcare shortage. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that healthcare currently comprises one-third of the country’s fastest growing occupations. Between 2010 and 2020, the United States will have openings for 712,000 new registered nurses. A Master of Science in Nursing can help you nab the a job in that field.

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Accelerate Your Career With an Online Nursing RN to BSN Degree

If you’re a working nurse who’s looking to climb the ladder faster, this degree is for you. Online Nursing RN to BSN degrees are designed to fast-track you from your current job to the next level. Fast is the key word here. Online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs typically take a year to 18 months of full-time study to complete, though many students tackle their degree part-time. Because of the online study format, students who are working or have family responsibilities can complete coursework on their own time without having to leave home.

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Career on Life Support? Become a Nurse Practitioner

Registered nurses administer medicine, dress wounds, take blood, and work with patients to create plans of attack for dealing with their diagnoses. Nurse practitioners take it to the next level. Armed with graduate-level training, nurse practitioners (NPs) take on many of the same responsibilities as their RN counterparts such as performing diagnostic tests, interpreting patient’s medical histories, and informing patients about how to manage multiple medications. On top of RN duties, they also can order their own diagnostic tests and write prescriptions on some medications, though certain states require a doctor’s co-signature.

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Ease Career Tension as a Physical Therapy Aide

The barriers for entry into the world of physical therapy are low, but the rewards are high. Working under the supervision of licensed physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapy assistants (PTAs), physical therapy aides do the groundwork so that patients can recover quickly. Physical therapy aides don’t administer treatments and they cannot work with patients directly, but they do help prepare treatment facilities for patients, complete necessarily administrative tasks to keep the PT office running smoothly, and perform clerical tasks.

Students won’t need a four-year degree to get into the field, but they will need at least a high school diploma or the equivalent. Some employers may prefer to see a diploma or certificate from a physical therapy aide program of study. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those new to the field should expect on-the-job training and unlike physical therapy assistants, physical therapy aides do not need to be licensed in their state in order to work.

Diploma programs in this field may last anywhere from a few months to a full year and students can choose to attend a campus-based or online physical therapy aide program. Curricula typically covers the basics of reading patient reports, tracking their progress, interpersonal communication skills, and how physical therapy healthcare works. Students may also have to complete coursework in general education areas like writing or basic math.

You may not plan on stopping at the physical therapy aide level. Many students start as an aide then work their way up to physical therapy assistant or physical therapist. If you’re thinking about getting further physical therapy education sometime in the future, it’s best to do some research now before enrolling in a diploma program. PTs and PTAs must attend a degree program that’s accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you’re hoping that some of your physical therapy aide credits will transfer when you’re ready to go for a higher degree, investigate those transfer agreements before enrolling.

The job outlook for physical therapy aides is rapidly expanding. Finding work in hospitals, physical therapy offices, nursing and longterm care facilities, specialty clinics, community, and public health groups and home health care companies, physical therapy aides can find work in nearly any sector of the country. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the field will grow 43 percent between now an 2020, due in large part to the Baby Boomer population living longer and staying active into their twilight years.

Physical therapy aides earn a median salary of $23,680 per year (approximately $12.11 per hour), but that varies depending on where you live. States like Massachusetts, Alaska, and the District of Columbia offer significantly higher wages with average mean salaries sitting at $29,180, $30,140 and $31,240 respectively.