Saturday 30 October 2021

Nursing Orientation, Nursing Schools, Nursing Skill, Nursing Job, Nursing Career, Nursing Degree, Nursing Degree US

What is Nursing Orientation?

Nursing orientations are for new nurses or nurses who change specialties. Orientation can be overwhelming, but it's designed to ensure all nurses receive consistent information regarding policies, procedures, and documentation within their new healthcare facility. Generally, nursing orientation will pair an experienced nurse with a relatively inexperienced nurse in order to facilitate this. The orientation process is then overseen by a clinical nurse expert or a nurse educator within the department. 

Orientations can include a general orientation as well as a specific orientation for your nursing unit. They can last for as little as a few weeks on a medical-surgical floor to several months in an ICU. It is during this orientation process that a new-to-practice nurse will learn both in a classroom as well as on the unit floor. Hospitals structure orientations differently based on the needs of the unit; however, as with most things in a hospital, orientation can and will be unpredictable.

Nursing is extremely detail-oriented and a new unit can be daunting. As a new to practice nurse, I wish someone had told me things to remember and be prepared for.

10 Nursing Orientation  Tips

1. Nursing school only teaches the basics. In fact, it covers only a VERY small percentage of real world nursing.

2. Orientation is overwhelming. Be mentally prepared to feel like you’re sinking.

3. Classroom education will only take you so far. Straight A’s in the classroom do not always translate to solid nursing abilities. 

4. Always ask questions. Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t understand something or know how to complete a task. 

5. Observations are worth a thousand words. Try to observe as much nursing care as possible, even if it isn’t your patient.

6. You don’t have to do it all on your own. In fact, delegating tasks is a sign of great leadership.

7. Prioritize your learning. Learn the most common drugs on your floor: generic name, actions, side effects, and so on.

8. Don’t be a doormat. Know that sometimes it is okay to say no.

9. Speak up. Touch base with your clinical educator and ask for a new preceptor if your current one is not a good fit. 

10. Find a good support system. It’s okay to cry and ask family and friends for support and guidance. 

Still feel unprepared for your first day of orientation? That’s okay. Most nurses are never truly prepared. The following tips can help make your orientation as smooth as possible while reducing anxiety and stress!

Be Prepared and Get Organized

Start waking up earlier each day or staying up later each night to prepare for the long shifts. 

◉ Have your uniform ready the night before!

◉ Pack a healthy lunch and snacks the night before. 

◉ Ask if you need to obtain your own stethoscope.

◉ Know which certification cards you need to bring the first day (ie PALS, CPR, ACLS)

◉ Complete all necessary paperwork and/or online educational offerings as required.

◉ Review any information relevant to your nursing specialty. 

◉ Look over onboarding information sent from the hospital which may include managers names. 

◉ Study the hospital’s webpage to find key information such as cafeteria hours, parking locations, and unit specific information. 

◉ Download helpful medical applications to your cell phone. Be aware, some hospitals do not allow cell phones in the units. 

Meet, Greet, and Remember Names

Try to meet and remember as many names and faces you can prior to starting on the unit. Take notes about doctors, nurses, and support staff to help maximize the number of people you know. Seeing familiar faces can help reduce first day jitters. 

Nursing Orientation, Nursing Schools, Nursing Skill, Nursing Job, Nursing Career, Nursing Degree, Nursing Degree US

◉ Ask to meet with schedulers on the unit. Discuss policies for taking time off and vacation availability. Get any known requests in ASAP. 

◉ Seek out new educational opportunities. 

◉ Stop talking! Listen to others and their experiences. It will be more helpful than sharing about your life. 

All the Extra Stuff You Need to Know About Nursing Orientation

◉ Bond with fellow new orientees.

◉ Identify the nurses that can act as a resource once off orientation. 

◉ Don’t be scared to speak respectfully to physicians and advocate for your patient. 

◉ Document in the here and now. Don’t wait until the end of the shift. 

◉ Gather all supplies before entering a patient’s room. 

◉ It’s okay to mess up but remember what went wrong and don’t do it again. 

Nursing orientations can last for months and sometimes it will still not feel like enough. Understanding your limitations is important in succeeding in orientation.

Ask questions, take the time to look up information regarding a patient’s disease process, and always seek out those on the unit that can help you achieve your goals of becoming a successful new nurse.  


Friday 29 October 2021

Healthcare, Nursing Skill, Nursing Career, Nursing Responsibilities, Nursing Degree

California recently launched a new strategy to help erase the stain of racial disparity in healthcare October 1st by signing and enacting CNA-sponsored bill AB 1407.  In light of this, we thought we'd dig into what implicit bias training entails, what are the racial disparities in healthcare it's trying to combat, and what this means for nurses. 

What is Implicit Bias in Nursing?

Implicit bias refers to having attitudes or beliefs one is not aware of that lead to unintentional discriminatory treatment of people based on their race, religion, gender, sexual identity, culture, etc. 

A study reported in JAMA examined data collected from 596,355 adults in the National Health Interview Survey from 1999-2018. The purpose of the study was to identify how racial and ethnic differences have changed over this almost 20-year time period regarding self-reported access to health care, health care affordability, and health status. 

While researchers found improvement in some subgroups, they also found ethnic and racial disparity in healthcare still “largely persisted.” 

And while the study attempted to identify factors that might be contributing to this ongoing disparity such as “different patterns in care-seeking” (which did exist), ethnic and racial disparity in healthcare persisted “even when Americans….shared the same insurance, like Medicare, the government health plan for seniors.”

How States are Combatting Racial Disparities in Healthcare Through Implicit Bias Training

According to the California Nurses Association (CNA) press release, signing this bill “enacted landmark legislation to require implicit bias education and training for nursing students and new graduates in California, an important step in addressing persistent racial disparities, particularly in health care.”

Michigan took similar action earlier this year on June 1, 2021 when Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) instated new rules effective June 1, 2022.

In the new guidelines set forward in Michigan, new healthcare professionals seeking licensure and/or registration will be required to complete a minimum of 2 hours of implicit bias training while those applying for renewal will need to complete a minimum of 1 hour of training every year.

As of January 1, 2023, nurses who are within the first 2 years of holding a nursing license after obtaining their initial licensure will be required to complete a 1-hour implicit bias course from a board-approved continuing education provider to meet this requirement. 

Nursing students enrolled in a nursing program as of January 1, 2023 or later will receive this training as part of their nursing education.

What Topics Does Implicit Bias Training Cover?

This mandated training will require new graduates and nursing students to directly participate in 1 hour of implicit bias in nursing education that involves the following:

◉ Identifying current and previous misinformation and unconscious biases.

◉ Discussing organizational decision-making and the dynamics of power.

◉ Exploring the effects of oppression and exclusion of minority communities historically and currently and the effects this continues to have on individuals affected.

◉ Exploring cultural, racial, identity, and provider-community relation issues from the perspective of experts and local, diverse groups. 

◉ Examining the cultural identity of various ethnic and racial groups.

◉ Exploring various barriers to inclusion including cultural, institutional, structural, interpersonal, and personal barriers.

◉ Identifying corrective measures such as policies and practices to reduce implicit bias interpersonally and institutionally.

◉ Exploring ways to communicate more effectively with people of varying identities related to gender, ethnicity, racial background, and religion.

◉ Exploring the concept of reproductive justice.

◉ Examining how implicit bias affects infant and maternal health outcomes leading to health inequities in perinatal care.

What Patients are at the Highest Risk of Facing Racial Disparities in Healthcare?

In a 2018 Critical Care Nurse editorial titled Implicit Bias in Patient Care: An Endemic Blight on Quality Care, JoAnn Grif Alspach, EdD, MSN, RN highlights the characteristics of patients most at risk of implicit bias and substandard healthcare. 

Alspach (2018) noted patients with the following characteristics “have cause for concern regarding whether they will receive the current standard of care for their health problems”

◉ Older age

◉ Female

◉ Non-White

◉ Non-English speaking

◉ Disabled

◉ Poor socioeconomic status

◉ Non-heterosexual 

◉ Mentally ill

◉ Have AIDS

◉ Drug addicted

◉ Obese

As Alspach points out, female gender patients represent roughly half the global population, which offers just a glimpse into the magnitude and the scope of this problem.

What Aspects of Patient Care are Most Affected by Implicit Bias?

A systematic review published in 2015 in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) examined the degree to which implicit bias regarding race and ethnicity exists in healthcare professionals and how this bias affects health care outcomes.

While the authors discovered some “nonsignificant” associations between healthcare outcomes and implicit bias, the results also revealed a significant relationship between implicit bias and 4 key areas of patient care:

◉ Patient–provider interactions

◉ Treatment decisions

◉ Treatment adherence

◉ Patient health outcomes

The authors also identified that “implicit attitudes were more often significantly related to patient–provider interactions and health outcomes than treatment processes.”

When is Implicit Bias in Nursing More Likely to Occur?

Experts explain awareness is the first step to help reduce implicit bias including the ongoing racial disparity in healthcare. Part of this awareness requires an understanding around when unconscious discrimination is more likely to occur. 

For example, implicit bias is more likely to rear its ugly head when healthcare staff encounter stressful situations. It’s also more likely to occur when nurses are busy, tired, feeling pressured, or mentally preoccupied with several different things. It can also occur when healthcare staff have to make decisions without all the information they need.

What Are Some Effective Strategies for Reducing Implicit Bias in Nursing?

Eradication of implicit bias directly through prevention alone is not effective. Instead, experts suggest a two-tiered approach consisting of bias awareness strategies and bias control strategies.

Bias Awareness Strategies

Bias awareness strategies often include self-reflection activities while emphasizing the normality of stereotyping in a safe setting that allows for the private self-discovery of personal biases to emerge. Activities that may help reveal unconscious biases include self-reflection exercises such as completion of the Implicit Association Test (IAT), class discussion of bias and the role implicit bias plays in perpetuating health disparities, and reviewing related research.

Bias Control Strategies

Bias control strategies aim to stop automatic discriminatory responses before they occur. The most common bias control strategy is learning to put oneself in another person‘s shoes—also known as perspective-taking. 

This strategy helps nurses see things from the patient’s perspective which helps increase empathy and results in better nurse responses. Other bias control strategies include:

Building partnerships where nursing care is patient-centered and collaborative versus hierarchical with nurses telling patients what to do.

◉ Finding common-group identities so nurses gain experience with groups different than their own.

◉ Replacing stereotypes through conscious choice.

◉ Individuation, which involves forming perceptions and responses to patients based on their unique characteristics rather than stereotypes.

◉ Counter-stereotyping which is seeing patients as the opposite of a stereotype.

◉ Affirming egalitarian goals in which nursing team members agree together to seek the best possible outcomes for patients while working to reduce disparities.

For more implicit bias resources including the only U.S. annual review of implicit bias research addressing ethnic and racial disparity in healthcare and other public sectors worldwide, visit the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University (OSU).


Monday 25 October 2021

Nursing Responsibilities, Nursing Career, Nursing Job, Nursing Skill, Nursing Degree US, Nursing Professionals

While people in the U.S. are free to decide to be vaccinated or not, nursing students across the country now have to think carefully about this decision because this might be a dealbreaker in their choice to become a nurse— at least while the pandemic continues.

According to a survey of the Covid-19 vaccination status of nursing students, new graduates, and faculty conducted from July 1st to August 15th, 2021 by the National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA), less than 15% of nursing students and new graduates and less than 8% of nursing faculty were unvaccinated. 

Despite this small percentage, the potentially career-altering choice to remain unvaccinated is a problem some U.S. nursing students now face. This comes after the NCSBN and eight other leading nursing organizations issued a news release and policy brief on September 28, 2021, in which these organizations provide recommendations to boards of nursing and nursing programs that are receiving requests from unvaccinated nursing students for alternate clinical placements.

Nursing Programs Not Obligated to Make Special Clinical Accommodations for Unvaccinated Nursing Students

In their policy brief, the NCSBN and other leading nursing organizations such as the National Student Nurses' Association (NSNA) state nursing programs are not obligated to make special clinical accommodations for unvaccinated nursing students who don’t meet exemption requirements due to “disability laws” or a “sincerely held religious belief.” 

What Nursing Organizations Worked On This Policy?

Eight leading nursing organizations who collaborated on this policy with the NCSBN include:

◉ Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)

◉ American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)

◉ American Nurses Association (ANA)

◉ American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL)

◉ National League for Nursing (NLN)

◉ NLN Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CNEA)

◉ National Student Nurses' Association (NSNA)

◉ Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN)

What Does This Mean for Current Nursing Students?

So, what does this mean for nursing students currently enrolled in a nursing program? Students who aren’t able to complete the clinical component of their nursing program as assigned may be “disenrolled” from the institution or nursing program or be unable to graduate because they cannot meet program requirements.

This follows on the heels of the 4th wave delta-led variant of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic which became a public health crisis in February of last year in the U.S. and most other parts of the world. 

As the pandemic began early last year, college and university campuses closed and students were refused entry to assigned clinical placements in hospitals and other facilities. This left nursing programs scrambling for alternate clinical experiences such as simulation to help nursing students meet clinical requirements. 

How Are Nursing Programs Dealing With This Issue?

While the answer to this problem may be to simply offer unvaccinated students simulation experiences in lieu of in-person clinical experiences in healthcare facilities, nursing programs are restricted in how much simulation they can provide students.

This is because nursing programs must follow professional nursing guidelines established for nursing programs laid out in documents like The Essentials for Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice so they meet accreditation standards set by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

In this document, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) explains “Simulation is a valuable element of clinical preparation. However, patient care experiences with actual patients form the most important component of clinical education.”

Can Simulated Clinicals Provide an Alternative For Unvaccinated Nursing Students?

How much simulation can a nursing program offer students so they still meet nursing school clinical experience requirements is the question that arises next.

From 2011-2013, the longitudinal, randomized, controlled NCSBN Simulation Study evaluated participating pre-licensure programs that had a significant portion of student clinical hours replaced with simulation. At the end of the study, researchers concluded up to 50% of “traditional clinical hours” may be substituted with “high-quality simulation” and still produce new graduate nurses “ready for clinical practice”.

With the possibility of simulation replacing only some of their clinical practice hours, unvaccinated students will be left with few options if they want to continue in their nursing program. Seeking a recognized exemption from the vaccine is the route many unvaccinated students are trying to take.

Can Nursing Students Apply for a Vaccination Exemption? 

As of October 4, 2021, ABC News reported that the Biden administration was still working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to identify “approved medical exemptions” for the vaccine. 

Conditions reported to merit a medical exemption so far include a previous history of allergic reactions to the vaccines. A 90-day delay in vaccination is reportedly recommended by the CDC for those currently receiving treatment with monoclonal antibodies and those with “a history of multisystem inflammatory syndrome”.

Although the CDC recommends that women planning to get pregnant, those already pregnant, and those breastfeeding should receive the COVID-19 vaccine, ABC News reports that the federal government will take individual medical circumstances into consideration if a pregnant woman requests to delay being vaccinated.


Sunday 24 October 2021

Nursing Responsibilities, Nursing Skills, Nursing Career

On October 20, 2021, the U.S Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved both the Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson booster doses for protection against COVID-19 in eligible populations under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The Moderna booster dose is half of the dose given in the primary series. 

Additionally, the FDA approved the use of mix-and-match booster doses, meaning that individuals can receive a different type of booster from the original vaccine they received. “The FDA has determined that the known and potential benefits of the use of a single heterologous booster dose outweigh the known and potential risks of their use in eligible populations,” the press release explained. 

Dr. Janet Woodcock, acting FDA commissioner, also pointed out to USA Today that allowing people to mix-and-match booster doses provides “flexibility” and could let people choose a different type of vaccine from the one they originally had. For instance, if they want to avoid a certain side effect associated with one type or if they have a preference for a certain kind of booster, the heterologous (or “mix-and-match”) dose can allow for that. Furthermore, it also increases availability of booster shots. For example, if a specific vaccine is not available at the time, individuals can still get the booster. 

Who Can Get the Booster?

In their press announcement, the FDA outlined the guidelines for the use of the Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson booster. They noted that: 

The Moderna booster can be given at least 6 months after the completion of the original 2-dose vaccine series if you: 

◉ Are 65 years or older

◉ Are 18-64 and at high risk of severe COVID-19

◉ Are 18-64 with “frequent institutional or occupational exposure” to the virus

The same guidelines apply to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster dose. On the other hand, Johnson & Johnson booster shot can be given to anyone ages 18+ who completed the original single-dose vaccine. 

And finally, the FDA approved the use of heterologous booster doses, meaning that, depending on what’s available, you can use a different type of booster from the original type of vaccine you received––as long as you completed the primary series in the appropriate time frame (2 months for Johnson & Johnson and 6 months prior for Moderna or Pfizer-BioNtech). 

The New York Times reports that while the FDA hasn’t yet officially released guidance on the preferred formula, it’s expected they will recommend that you try to get the same type of booster as your original vaccine series, but if it’s not available, to get a different available booster. If you meet the eligibility for the booster doses, you can get a booster dose immediately as soon as it is available. 

Booster Safety + Efficacy Data

According to the FDA’s announcement, they analyzed safety and efficacy data, including immune response and side effects. For the Moderna vaccine specifically, the FDA explained it analyzed immune response data from 149 participants (who were all over age 18) who got the booster and compared that data to 1,055 participants who were fully vaccinated but did not receive the booster. 

The analysis showed what the FDA called a “booster response” 29 days after the booster dose was given. They also found that, based on the Delta surge rates of infection over summer 2021, vaccine effectiveness does decrease over time. 

Safety evaluation for the Moderna vaccine was based on 171 participants, all over the age of 18, who were followed for an average of about six months following the booster. They found no significant safety signals that differed from the original vaccine series; however, they did find a higher incidence of swollen lymph nodes in the underarm of the side the vaccine was given in with the booster vs. the regular vaccine series.  

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine booster dose was also based on a relatively small sample size. The FDA evaluated the immune response data from 39 participants (24 who were 18-55 and 15 who were 65+). Their results also demonstrated a booster dose was effective. 

The safety data for Johnson & Johnson was based on much larger sample sizes; however, over 9,000 clinical trial participants received a booster dose at least two months from the first and of those, 2,700 have been followed for two months. According to the FDA, “Janssen’s safety analyses from these studies have not identified new safety concerns.”

What are the Risks of the Booster?

Aside from the swollen underarm lymph nodes that were seen more with the booster, there were no other different side effects or risks reported by the FDA. They did not have the side effects for each booster, which are in line with the primary vaccine series as well. 

The side effects for the Moderna booster included: 

◉ chills

◉ fever

◉ headache

◉ increased risks of inflammatory heart conditions, myocarditis and pericarditis, especially following the second dose and most often in men 18-24 and most often developing only a few days after vaccination 

◉ muscle and/or joint pain

◉ nausea and vomiting

◉ pain at the injection site

◉ swollen lymph nodes in the same arm as the injection

◉ tiredness

The Johnson & Johnson booster dose carries the same risks as the primary vaccine dose, which are: 

◉ Increased risk of Guillain BarrĂ© syndrome within 42 days of receiving the vaccine

◉ TTS, with symptoms beginning 1-2 weeks after vaccination and most often in females 18-49

Should You Get the Booster?

If you’re already fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and aren’t at high risk, the best thing you can do is talk to your doctor about if you should receive a booster dose. While the data does show that there is waning immunity after all types of vaccination, it’s also important to understand that waning immunity is actually not only normal after a vaccination, it’s also important. 

As an article in the Atlantic explains, waning immunity actually signifies that the vaccine is working as it’s supposed to. Following an initial flurry of activity, primarily from the less-sophisticated B cells, eventually, the immune system slows down the production of general antibodies and produces more targeted and sophisticated antibodies. In other words, your immune system might produce fewer antibodies against COVID-19 over time, but chances are, those antibodies will also be a whole lot more effective in fighting the virus should you encounter it. 

So, in individuals whose immune systems are working as they should, it might boil down to being more about quality, not necessarily quantity. However, that’s a big “if” and you should talk to your doctor about your own risks and if a booster might be right for you. 


Thursday 21 October 2021

Nursing Job, Nursing Skill, Nursing Career, Nursing Professionals

If you’re looking to further your education or advance your career with a master’s degree in nursing, chances are, you’re probably curious if an online degree could be right for you. Online MSN degrees have a lot of advantages for nurses today because they allow you to have the flexibility to pursue the degree while keeping up with your busy schedule and well, life. 

Despite the advantages of an online MSN program, it can be difficult to wade through the many different options that are available. It’s important to look carefully at any program before applying because many advertised online programs either require some kind of on-campus participation or have restrictions on eligibility based on where you live. Furthermore, it is important to know that most MSN programs do require in-person clinical experiences.

5 Fast & Affordable Online MSN Programs 

To help guide your decision, here are 5 accredited online MSN programs that can get you your degree as quickly and affordably as possible. The MSN programs selected vary in on-campus requirements and degree tracks. Again, check with the school prior to applying to determine your state’s eligibility requirements for online completion. 

1. Fort Hays State University

◉ Cost per credit hour: $298.55 per credit hour

◉ Accreditation: Committee on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) 

◉ Application Deadline: February 1 for the summer, July 1 for the fall semester, and September 1 for the spring semester

◉ Length of program: 2 years

◉ Total approximate cost of the program: $10,747.80

Contact Information: 785-628-4256

Fort Hays State University offers two MSN degrees: Nurse Administration and Nursing Education. Fort Hays works with clinical sites across the country to accommodate out-of-state students and notes that if an acceptable site can not be found in your area, a site will be made available to you on their campus. However, it’s recommended that you work with a preceptor well in advance to ensure that you can find acceptable clinical site approval before enrolling. 

Additionally, the program does not accept students from Tennessee, Utah, Alabama, or Washington based on licensing restrictions. 

2. The University of Alabama 

◉ Cost per credit hour: $440 per credit hour

◉ Accreditation: Committee on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) 

◉ Length of program: 1-3 years 

◉ Total tuition cost of a 40 credit program: $17,600

◉ Contact Information: 205-348-6639 or 800-313-3591

The University of Alabama offers 4 different online MSN concentrations: Nurse Administrator, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Dual Psychiatric Mental Health and Family Nurse Practitioner. The programs are available 100% online, with clinical sites chosen by you (although they are subject to approval by the college of nursing) and two on-campus sessions that have to be completed over the course of the study. 

Although the program is designed for a BSN-prepared nurse, they do offer an RN to BSN program with a pathway to the MSN program if you meet the requirements. 

Currently, only residents of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia are eligible for the Nurse Practitioner concentrations.

The concentrations do vary in required credit hours and time, with a sampling below: 

◉ MSN-NP: 2 to 3 years; 45 - 66 total credit hours

◉ MSN Nurse Administrator: 1 (full-time) to 2 years (part-time); 33 total credit hours

3. University of Texas-Tyler

◉ Cost per credit hour: Approximately $1469 per credit hour for out-of-state residents

◉ Accreditation: Committee on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) 

◉ Length of program: 2 (full-time) or 3 years (part-time)

◉ Total sample tuition cost: Varies based on program, credit hours per semester, and resident eligibility

◉ Contact Information: 903-566-7457

Also boasting a low per-credit tuition cost and a low credit requirement to degree completion, the University of Texas-Tyler has four online MSN tracks:

◉ Online Nursing Administration-MSN

◉ Online Nursing Education-MSN

◉ Web-Enhanced Nurse Practitioner


◉ Online MSN-MBA

Although the NP program coursework is offered online, it is a hybrid program, so 25 clinical hours are required 1 to 2 days a semester on the Tyler campus.     Anyone enrolling in the program must have an RN license in Texas as all clinical hours are required to be completed in Texas. The other degree tracks, however, are completely done online. 

4. Briar Cliff University

◉ Cost per credit hour: $525 per credit hour

◉ Accreditation: Committee on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) 

◉ Length of program: 3 years

◉ Total cost of program: $27,000

◉ Contact Information: 800-662-3303 or 712-279-5200

Briar Cliff comes in at one of the cheapest online MSN-NP programs with a variety of advanced track specialties--students can choose to specialize as a Family Nurse Practitioner, an Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, or Psychiatric Mental Health Care Practitioner. 

This program allows you to choose a clinical site near your home area for the 600 required practicum hours. However, all students are required to attend a 6-day seminar (3 days in Summer Year 1 during Advanced Health Assessment and 3 days in Summer Year 2 during Advanced Skills Lab).

Additional requirements to enroll include that you must have an RN license that is valid in Iowa and you must have the ability to demonstrate with a letter from your employer that you have worked at least 2,000 hours as an RN within the last two years to be eligible to apply. 

5. University of Arizona

◉ Cost per credit hour: $680 

◉ Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the Western Institute of Nursing member

◉ Length of program: 15 to 24 months + one 16-week capstone

◉ Total approximate tuition cost: $28,000

◉ Contact Information: 520-621-0898 or

The University of Arizona offers one of the fastest available MSN programs, allowing you to earn an MSN in Nursing Clinical Systems Leadership completely online in approximately 15 months. 

There are ADN and BSN-prepared tracks. The ADN track does take longer to complete and costs more money due to the increase in the number of credit hours. 

The actual coursework for a BSN-prepared nurse is 8 7-week courses, with a capstone project that will take an additional semester. However, the Nursing Clinical Systems Leadership is the only track available, so if you’re looking for an MSN-NP program, this online program won’t be right for you. 

This program has the advantage of being made up of 7 week-long courses, so admission rotates every 5 months, allowing students three opportunities per year to enroll. In order to be eligible for admission, you must have a BSN and have passed a 3-credit, college-level statistics class within the last 5 years, test out, or take the class at the start of the program.

Residents of Tennessee, Washington D.C., as well as the US Territories, are not eligible.


Wednesday 20 October 2021

American Nurses Association (ANA), Nursing, COVID-19, Nursing Career, Nursing Responsibilities, Nursing Skill, Health Professionals, Nursing News, Midwife

The American Nurses Association (ANA) has urged the Department of Health and Human Resources (HHS) to address the critical shortage of nurses across the US urgently. They asked the Administration to declare a national nurse staffing crisis and immediately identify and implement solutions.

Nursing Shortages Have Reached Crisis Level

Every day for the past few weeks, US news feeds have been filled with reports on nurse shortages at hospitals, in towns, and statewide. They cannot recruit enough nurses to care for the soaring number of COVID-cases brought on by the Delta variant.

More and more nurses, who have now battled through one-and-a-half years of the pandemic, are retiring or resigning. Some are leaving their current jobs to fill shortages in hospitals offering huge sign-on bonuses and higher pay.

“The nation’s health care delivery systems are overwhelmed, and nurses are tired and frustrated as this persistent pandemic rages on with no end in sight. Nurses alone cannot solve this long standing issue, and it is not our burden to carry,” said Ernest Grant, ANA President. “If we truly value the immeasurable contributions of the nursing workforce, then it is imperative that HHS utilize all available authorities to address this issue.”

ANA Advocates a National Strategy to Solve Nurse Shortages

As the national representative of over 4 million registered nurses in the US, the ANA sent a letter to Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Resources, on September 1. The communication was also forwarded to the US Secretaries of Education and Labor.

The letter urged the Administration to acknowledge and address the crisis-level of nurse shortages, not only for the present but also to ensure an adequate nursing workforce in the future.  Otherwise, the current crisis would have long-term consequences for nursing, the health care system, and, ultimately, the health of American citizens.

The ANA suggested a whole government approach to finding and implementing solutions for the nurse staffing crisis involving all stakeholders. As a starting point for discussions, the ANA attached an extensive document with proposed policy solutions.

ANA’s Proposed Solutions

To address the nurse staffing crises, the ANA suggested that the HHS do the following:

◉ Convene all relevant stakeholders to discuss the staffing challenges, not only related to nursing but the healthcare system as a whole.  The purpose of the discussion would be to come up with short- and long-term solutions.

◉ Work with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to find ways to appropriately reimburse services provided by registered nurses and ANP’s, recognizing them as primary care providers and ensuring pay equity.

◉ Provide additional resources to support and increase nurse recruitment and retention to meet the current demand for critical health services created by the pandemic.

◉ Remove regulatory barriers which prevent APRNs from practicing to the full extent of their education and training.  The ANA calls for permanent lifting of various restrictions on their scope-of-practice, many of which were waived in response to the pandemic.

◉ Continue educating the public on the importance of the COVID vaccine and providing support and resources for the distribution and administration of vaccines.

◉ Work with the nursing profession to ensure a resilient nursing workforce, able to meet the current and future demands for healthcare delivery. This includes effective workforce planning and also addressing a wide range of challenges, such as prioritizing nurses’ mental health, appropriate compensation to ensure retention, a supportive working environment which also involves nurses in decision making, and re-evaluating electronic health records requirements where they have become a burden which reduces nurses’ time with their patients.

Nurse Leaders Ready to Work with Government

The ANA committed to working with HHS and other stakeholders to address the current nurse staffing crisis and to find ways of ensuring a strong nursing workforce for the future.

“Our nation must have a robust nursing workforce at peak health and wellness to administer COVID-19 vaccines, educate communities, and provide safe patient care for millions of Americans,” said Grant. “We cannot be a healthy nation until we commit to address underlying, chronic nursing workforce challenges that have persisted for decades.”


Monday 18 October 2021

Nursing Career, Nursing Job, Nursing Skills, COVID-19

As the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic and focus remains on the three FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines, there has been another very important vaccine development. On October 6th, the World Health Organization (WHO) supported the RTS,S vaccine and recommended its widespread use among children in sub-Saharan Africa, which is home to the deadliest malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. 

Malaria Statistics

According to the WHO, malaria is transmitted through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes and is preventable and curable. In 2019, approximately there were 229 million cases of malaria worldwide with an estimated death toll of 409,000. The WHO African Region carries a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden. In 2019, the region was home to 94% of malaria cases and deaths. 

Children under the age of five are the most vulnerable. Every two minutes, a child under five dies of malaria. Of the recorded deaths, 67% were children under the age of five. This translates into a daily toll of nearly 750 children under age 5.  

The long lifespan and strong human-biting habit of the African mosquito species is the main reason why approximately 90% of the world's malaria cases are in Africa. Over the years, individuals develop partial immunity due to repeated exposure. While not providing complete coverage, it does decrease the risk of severe disease. For this reason, children are more susceptible because of lower immunity.   

Vaccine Development 

Known by the brand name Mosquirix, the vaccine was initially developed in 1987 as part of a collaboration between GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and a pilot program was initiated in 2019 to determine its effectiveness.  

The vaccine is intended for initial use in children aged 6 weeks to 17 months and requires four shots. Mosquirix is not approved for older children, teens, nor adults. The highest efficacy was seen in children who received three doses prior to the rainy season –when malaria peaks -and a fourth dose roughly 18 months later. Furthermore, when given in conjunction with a seasonal malaria chemoprevention the efficacy was even higher. Seasonal malaria chemoprevention is when healthy children take a monthly dose of antimalarial drugs to help prevent the disease. This was the only prevention option for malaria in children prior to the development of the vaccine. 

Initially, seven African countries including Burkina Faso, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania were part of a large-scale clinical trial. The vaccine was effective at preventing a first or only clinical malaria episode in 56% of children aged between 5-17 months and in 31% of children aged 6-12 weeks. The efficacy of the vaccine decreased after one year. In other words, among children who received four doses in the clinical trials, the vaccine prevented approximately 4 in 10 cases of malaria over a 4-year period. 

Further testing was done in a pilot program held only in Ghana, Malawi, and Kenya. These countries were specifically picked because of the extreme interest expressed by the ministry of health as well as established malaria and immunization programs. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, a health partnership based in Geneva, helped to fund the pilot programs, which have distributed 2.3 million vaccine doses across Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi.  

This specific study followed 6,000 children for three years and found approximately a 70% decline in child hospitalizations and deaths from malaria.  

While this vaccine might not have the highest efficacy in clinical trials, it is currently the first and only vaccine of its kind. Additionally, the prospect of it even saving one child due to a preventable illness is worth it to researchers.  

Medical Community Rejoices 

Medical providers throughout the world, particularly in Africa, are rejoicing over the development and implementation of the malaria vaccine.  

Ndifanji Namacha, a doctor based in Malawi, is overcome with joy and excitement. Namacha told BBC, “Being trained in a Malawi hospital, especially in the malaria season, you see mothers coming in with convulsing children because of severe malaria. You see pregnant women who are suffering, even miscarriages that are resulting from malaria, low-birth-weight babies because of malaria. You're sort of accustomed to it." 

Every county for themselves?  

While the development of the vaccine is being hailed as a medical breakthrough, the plan for distribution is a little less clear. GSK, the vaccine distributor, has pledged to make 15 million annual doses available at no more than 5% above the cost of production. However, roughly 100 million doses will be needed annually if all children in high burden countries are to receive the shots.  

The greatest concern amongst healthcare professionals is who will pay for the vaccine. Cash strapped African countries may not be willing to foot millions of dollars each year to provide the vaccine. If left to individual families, only the “rich” will be able to afford this life-saving vaccine. Researchers suggest that it could cost $325 million dollars each year across ten African countries with a high incidence of malaria. 

Nurses Will be Called to Action 

Africa has long been a country scarce on medical care and medical providers. Many, who have the ability, leave to train in Europe and/or the United States and secure work visas to continue working in those countries. Unfortunately, this leaves many countries in Africa without the properly trained personnel to care for patients. With limited resources, the global medical community will be called upon once a mass vaccination plan has been fully developed. Additionally, citizens of these countries will require education to ensure the children are receiving the vaccine.  

Healthcare relief agencies such as UNICEF, the WHO, Doctors With Borders, and Mercy Ships are already developing plans on developing programs and aid specifically for malaria vaccination distribution, administration, and support.   

Nursing Career, Nursing Job, Nursing Skills, COVID-19

Nurse Dinah Mauti Maragwa gives a malaria candidate vaccine to an infant at the Siaya KEMRI/CDC Malaria Vaccine Trial Site in Kenya.


Thursday 14 October 2021

Nurses, COVID Vaccines, COVID-19, COVID, Nursing

Religious exemptions are not new. Long before the development of the COVID vaccine, many healthcare workers would ask for religious exemptions to the annual flu vaccine, TDaP vaccine, as well as other mandatory vaccinations. However, since the implementation (and requirement) of the COVID vaccine at healthcare facilities around the country, the number of individuals applying for religious exemptions has skyrocketed. 

The reality is - the increase in requests for a religious exemption to the COVID vaccine is also rising in schools, universities, and other places of employment. Currently, there is no federal or state law regarding religious exemptions to any vaccination. It is at the discretion of each individual healthcare institution if any employees are awarded a religious exemption. 

History of Religious Exemptions

In the early 19th century, states began to institute the first vaccine mandates to help stop the spread of smallpox. As a result, the first compulsory vaccination law was enacted.  

Additionally, the right to request a religious exemption allows stems from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects workers from discrimination on the basis of religion. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that employers must provide reasonable accommodations for workers who have sincerely held religious beliefs. It also allows employers to question the sincerity of an individual’s religious beliefs. 

Religious Leaders Support the COVID Vaccine 

Even before President Joe Biden announced that companies with more than 100 employees must mandate their workers be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing, major religious leaders around the world openly supported and encouraged the COVID vaccine. 

Currently, the Dutch Reformed Church and Church of Christ, Scientist are the only two major religions that have not openly supported vaccination, including the COVID vaccine. Individuals of the Dutch Reformed Church decline vaccines because it interferes with divine providence and the Church of Christ, Scientist, teaches that prayer will alleviate and prevent disease; however, neither discourage vaccination. 

Pope Francis has publicly urged Catholics, as well as all citizens, to get vaccinated. He calls it “an act of love” and added that the vaccine would “bring hope to end the pandemic, but only if they are available to all and if we collaborate with one another.”

Other major Catholic leaders have embraced the vaccine and advocated for their members to become fully vaccinated. 

Honduran Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga, Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, and Salvadorian Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez have ALL supported the approved vaccines and believe the decision to not get vaccinated affects others and it is our moral responsibility. 

The Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Union for Reform Judaism, and the Orthodox Union have all released multiple statements supporting vaccination.

Leaders of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America stated that while some people may have medical reasons for not receiving the vaccine, “there is no exemption in the Orthodox Church for Her faithful from any vaccination for religious reasons, including the coronavirus vaccine. For this reason, letters of exemption for the vaccination against the coronavirus for religious purposes issued by priests of the Archdiocese of America have no validity, and furthermore, no clergy are to issue such religious exemption letters for any reason.”

In a letter to its members in August 2021, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encouraged members to become vaccinated to protect themselves against severe infections and that “available vaccines have proven to be both safe and effective.”

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America issued a statement encouraging vaccine use and saying that “there is no evident basis for religious exemption” in its own or the wider Lutheran tradition. 

The Fiqh Council of North America, made up of Islamic scholars, has advised Muslims to receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and to debunk “baseless rumors and myths” about them.

While all of the aforementioned statements by major religious leaders specifically state the COVID vaccine, the religions encourage all types of vaccinations including the yearly flu vaccine as well as other normal childhood vaccines. 

Deadlines Looming

As the deadline to become vaccinated against COVID-19 nears, there has been a rush of healthcare workers applying for religious exemptions. Some healthcare systems are providing religious exemptions to vaccines while others are not. Remember, it is entirely up to the healthcare system and varies from state to state. 

Bristol Health, a health system with only 1,800 employees, approved 46 applications for COVID vaccine exemptions this year, 39 of which were granted on religious grounds.

In other states, such as Rhode Island, healthcare institutions have denied vaccine exemptions and workers have filed suits in state court. Legacy Health in Oregon has denied hundreds of religious exemptions for the coronavirus vaccine as well as the flu vaccine. 

Regardless of religion, the COVID vaccine, as well as the flu vaccination, are all recommended and highly encouraged. Religious exemptions are not guaranteed and individuals should not assume they will be granted one. The best course of action is to become fully vaccinated against not only the coronavirus but also the flu. 


Monday 11 October 2021

A career in nursing is a suitable option for an individual who has good organization and communication skills and enjoys caring for people. To practice as a nurse, there are various education and certification requirements that must be met. These are covered in more detail below, in addition to expectations of workplace roles and environment.

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Image Copyright: Lighthunter / Shutterstock

Training and Education

There are various types of nurses that require different levels of education to practice and have a different role in the healthcare team. Types of nurses include:

◉ Nursing Assistant (CNA): High school diploma and state certification exam are required to practice.

◉ Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): State certification program and state certification exam are required to practice.

◉ Registered Nurse (RN): Associate Degree in Nursing, NCLEX exam, and RN license is required to practice.

◉ Nurse Practitioner (NP): Master of Science in Nursing, RN license, and NP credentialing exam is required to practice.

◉ Nurse Midwife (CNM): Master of Science in Nursing, RN license, and CNM credentialing exam is required to practice.

◉ Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA): Master of Science in Nursing, RN license and CRNA credentialing exam is required to practice.

◉ Nursing Instructor: Master of Science or Doctorate of Nursing Practice and CNE credential is required to teach.

Additionally, a registered nurse may go on to do further study to allow them to practice in a specialized field. Possible specializations include:

◉ Addiction nurse: Cares for patients who are overcoming addiction to alcohol, drugs, or other substances.

◉ Cardiovascular nurse: Cares for patients with heart disease or recent heart surgery.

◉ Critical care nurse: Cares for patients with serious or acute illnesses in intensive-care units in hospital.

◉ Genetic nurse: Cares for patients with genetic disorders, such as cystic fibrosis.

◉ Mental health nurse: Cares for patients with psychological disorders.

◉ Neonatal nurse: Cares for newborn babies.

◉ Nephrology nurse: Cares for patients with illnesses related to the kidneys.

◉ Oncology nurse: Cares for patients with cancer.

◉ Rehabilitation Nurse: Cares for patients with disabilities.

Throughout their nursing career, nurses are required to maintain up to date knowledge and skills, through continued professional learning. This encompasses range of education and experience guidelines that must be met in order to maintain registration as a nurse.


Nurses are responsible for the provision and coordination of patient care, as well as educating, advising, and supporting patients, family and community members who they interact with. The role of the nurse may include tasks such as:

◉ Recording patient medical history and symptoms

◉ Monitoring patient signs and symptoms

◉ Administration of medications and treatments

◉ Collaborating with other health professionals

◉ Educating patients and families about illness and treatments

Workplace Environment

The majority of nurses work in a hospital, although there are several other workplaces where a nurse may practice, including residential care facilities, medical clinics, in-home care services, governmental services, schools, military and research facilities.

The role of the nurse is physically demanding and nurses typically spending much of their time at work walking, bending, and standing. They also need to lift objects and move patients, which can contribute to back injuries in the long term.

Given the close proximity to sick individuals who may have serious illnesses, nurses are more likely than other individuals to be affected by infections and exposure to hazardous drugs. There are strict guidelines in place for safe hygiene and injury protection practice that help to reduce the risk that nurses will experience related effects.

Due to the requirement of continuous patient care at hospitals (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), nurses typically work in shifts and may be required to work at night, on weekends, and holidays.

Professional Growth and Career Outlook

In the United States, there are currently more than 3 million nurses, which is more than double the number of nurses in 1980. This, coupled with a rise in employment rate of more than 10% highlights the demand for nurses in the nation.

Additionally, the profession of nursing is projected to grow in the future at a faster rate in respect to other professions. This is due in large part to the increased population size and the aging population in the United States, as well as changes in the healthcare system that render healthcare more affordable for individuals.


Wednesday 6 October 2021

A nurse may practice in a wide range of settings. Although the most common is in a hospital , nurses may also work in other places such as in the home of the patient, in residential care, at schools, in research environments, and other medical clinics. They may also work in the public health sector to advocate for positive patient health outcomes in the health system. Each of these workplaces of a nurse is covered in more detail below.


The majority of nurses work in a hospital-based setting. In this environment, a nurse works alongside other health professionals in a medical team to provide optimal care to patients.

The role of the nurse is to advocate for the patient and monitor for any changes in their health to act accordingly. They often follow the directions of other health professionals who make the primary decisions about the care of the patients but are also involved in the decision-making process and may offer observations and advice to advocate for the patient.

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(c) Marbury /

In-home and residential care

Nurses may also practice in residential care homes, particularly for elderly or disabled patients. In this environment, nurses often have more control over the care of the patients, as they assist in day-to-day care on an ongoing basis and have a thorough understanding of each patient’s overall health. Some nurses may also provide care to patients in the patient’s own home, which is usually on a regular basis.

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Some nurses also practice in a research setting, such as in a pharmaceutical company testing the safety and efficacy of new medications. They may be involved in administering the medications to the patients and monitoring the effects. Throughout this process, it is the responsibility of the nurse to care for the patient and ensure that they receive the care that is required.

Cruise ships and military

Nurses are also needed to provide patient care in other settings outside of the ordinary healthcare environment. This may include children at schools, passengers of a cruise ship, or soldiers in the military. Some nurses practice in an industrial or occupational health setting to provide care to workers.

Naturally, the role of the nurse in these environments adapts to the particular needs of the situation and the skills needed may differ. However, the primary task - to provide care to all individuals, both sick and healthy - remains true for all of these settings.

Workplace safety

There are several health and safety hazards that are associated with the various workplaces of a nurse, including:

◉ Exposure to biological agents such as viruses and other microbes

◉ Exposure to chemical products such as cleaning products, drugs, and latex

◉ Physical exertion when lifting heavy loads or walking or standing for long periods of time

◉ Exposure to radiation and lasers used in therapy

◉ Mental and emotional stress associated with care for others

To minimize the harm associated with these hazards, it is important for nurses to wash their hands frequently and keep the workplace as clean as possible. They should also be aware of the risks so that they can endeavor to reduce their impact on his or her health.


Tuesday 5 October 2021

Nursing as a profession has existed throughout history, although it has evolved considerably over time. In the current healthcare system, nurses are one of the most trusted healthcare professionals with a significant role to play in the treatment and medical care of the sick.

History of Nursing, Nursing Responsibilities, Nursing Career, Nursing Job, Nursing Professionals, Nursing Roles, Nursing Degree US

The term nurse originates from the Latin word nutire, which means to suckle. This is because it referred primarily to a wet-nurse in the early days and only evolved into a person who cares for the sick in the late 16th century.

Early history

The first known documents that mention nursing as a profession were written approximately 300 AD. In this period, the Roman Empire endeavored to build a hospital in each town that was under its rule, leading to a high requirement for nurses to provide medical care alongside the doctors.

The profession of nursing became considerably more prominent in Europe in the middle ages, due to the drive for medical care from the Catholic church. In this period, there were many advancements and innovations that took place, which eventually went on to form the base of modern nursing, as we know it.

The first Spanish hospital was built in the late 500s to early 600s in Merida, Spain, with the intent to care for any sick individuals regardless of ethnic origin or religion. Several others were created in the following centuries but their upkeep was neglected until Emperor Charlemagne began to restore them and update the supplies and equipment in the 800s.

Throughout the 10th and 11th centuries, the nursing profession expanded due to changes in rulings in Europe. Hospitals began to be included as part of monasteries and other religious places and the nurses provided a range of medical care services, as was required, even beyond traditional healthcare. This all-encompassing model gained popularity and continues to be responsible for the wide range of duties a nurse is responsible for today.

At the beginning of the 17th century, the nursing as a profession was rare due to various reasons, such as the closing of monasteries that housed the hospitals. However, in some regions of Europe where the Catholic church remained in power, the hospitals remained and nurses retained their role.

Modern nursing

Florence Nightingale was a nurse who tended to injured soldiers in the Crimean War in the 1850s and played a significant role in changing the nature of the nursing profession in the 19th century.

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(c) Everett Historical /

During this time, the role of nurses continued to expand due to the need for their presence on the front lines of wars, where poor hygiene standards often led to fatal infections in the injuries. Nightingale campaigned for improved hygiene standards in the hospital attending the wounded soldiers, which drastically reduced the number of deaths from infections.

The profession of nursing was pushed further forward in 1860 with the opening of the very first nursing school in London. This was the beginning of many other schools for new nurses so that they received appropriate training and education before they began practice on the field.

However, the need for nurses expanded with the world wars in the twentieth century, and many nurses were required to begin providing care without adequate training. Since this time, education institutions for nurses have continued to expand.

The profession has also branched out into various specializations with further education in particular fields of nursing care, such as pediatrics or oncology.


Monday 4 October 2021

Pediatric Nursing, Nursing Professionals, Nursing Responsibilities, Nursing Job, Nursing Skill

Pediatric nursing is a specialization of the nursing profession that focuses on pediatrics and the medical care of children, from infancy to the teenage years. This is an important field because the health of children is distinct from that of adults due to the growth and development that occurs throughout childhood.

Pediatric Nursing, Nursing Professionals, Nursing Responsibilities, Nursing Job, Nursing Skill
Image Copyright: sfam_photo / Shutterstock

It is worth noting that a certification as a pediatric nurse is not required to work as a nurse for children. However, obtaining specialized knowledge and training helps to improve job prospects and is recommended for nurses who have a passion for caring for children.


Pediatric nurses usually work in a multidisciplinary team with other health professionals to provide the best medical care possible for children. They play an important role to monitor the health of young patients and provide care and support throughout their treatment.

They may administer childhood vaccinations or immunizations and make sure that children keep up to date with their vaccination schedule. Additionally, a pediatric nurse communicates with the children and their families to explain their health and the phases of treatment.

A pediatric nurse may be involved in teaching and administration of children’s health, either to the community or other heath professionals. They can also help to conduct clinical research about health conditions that commonly affect children and the appropriate treatment methods.

Some pediatric nurses also choose to specialize further in a particular field of children’s health, such as anesthetics, oncology, or neurology.

Education and Training

As pediatric nursing is a specialization of nursing, it is necessary for a nurse to first undergo the appropriate training with an undergraduate degree in nursing, before beginning the specialization.

After graduating with a Bachelors degree in nursing and passing the examination to become a Registered Nurse, an individual wishing to become a pediatric nurse then needs to complete a Masters degree in Nursing Practice and Doctorate degree.

The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) offers certification as a pediatric nurse. This certification requires the pediatric nurse to complete the appropriate education requirement and a minimum amount of time of work experience, currently 1,800 hours of clinical experience with pediatric patients in the last two years.

Pediatric Nurse Career

Individuals well suited to a career as a pediatric nurse is likely to have the following traits:

◉ Cheerful and friendly
◉ Good communication skills with people of all ages
◉ Organized and able to follow complex treatment plans
◉ Works well under pressure
◉ Patience and willingness to adapt
◉ Interest and love for children

Pediatric nurses may work in a range of environments, including hospitals, private pediatrician clinics, nursing homes, schools, government agencies, and social services. Similar to other types of nurses, pediatric nurses who work in a hospital environment provide round-the-clock care and, as a result, work in shifts including time at night, on weekends and public holidays.

The demand for all Registered Nurses is expected to grow in coming years and nurses with a specialization such as pediatric nurses are likely to have more positive job prospects.


Saturday 2 October 2021

Mental health nursing, also known as psychiatric nursing, is a specialized field of nursing practice that involves the care of individuals with a mental health disorder to help them recover and improve their quality of life.

Mental health nurses have advanced knowledge of the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of psychiatric disorders that helps them provide specialized care. They typically work alongside other health professionals in a medical team with the aim of providing the optimal clinical outcomes for the patient.

Mental illness can affect individuals of any age, ethnic origin, or socioeconomic status. For this reason, a mental health nurse may need to work with many different individuals from various backgrounds.

Mental Health Nursing, Health Services, Health Professionals, Nursing Responsibilities, Nursing Career, Nursing Job
Male Patient Being Reassured By Nurse In Hospital Room - Image Copyright: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock


A mental health nurse is responsible for the

◉ Assessment and evaluation of the patient’s mental health

◉ Development of treatment care plan

◉ Consultation with other health professionals about treatment plan

◉ Provision of care and psychotherapy treatment

◉ Maintenance of medical records

◉ Support and education to the patients and their family

This primary role of a mental health nurse is to provide care to patients with a psychiatric disorder, mental health issue, or behavioral problems. Many of the tasks performed by a mental health nurse are similar to that of a psychiatrist and include diagnosis, psychotherapy, and prescription of medications.

Some mental health nurses also choose to specialize further, such as in the management of individuals with a psychiatric disorder of a certain age or association. These may include pediatrics, adolescents, geriatrics, substance abuse, and eating disorders.

Training and Education

There are several training education pathways that can lead to a career  mental health nurse practitioner (APRN-PMH). As it is a specialization of nursing, an individual must first complete a Bachelor degree in Nursing and pass the board examination in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN).

Following graduation and registration, they may then go on to complete a master’s degree or doctorate in advanced practice nursing, with a specialization in psychiatry and mental health. This degree includes extensive clinical experience as a core part of the curriculum and, upon graduation, the nurse may also choose to complete a one-year residency to develop their skills further.

In the United States, mental health nurses are certified as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP-BC), which is conducted through the America Nurses Credentialing Center.


An individual well suited to a career as a mental health nurse may have the following qualities:

◉ Interest in mental illness and behavioral disorders

◉ Compassionate, empathetic, and non-judgmental

◉ Exemplary communication skills

◉ Emotionally stable with strong self-awareness

◉ Problem-solving and critical thinking skills

◉ Attentive to detail

Mental health nurses may work in a range of environments, depending on the position and the role that they play. This includes hospitals, psychiatric practices, substance abuse programs, in-home care services, and community agencies.

The work schedule of the nurse will depend greatly on the setting in which they work. For those working in hospitals or practices with round-the-clock care, it may include shifts at nighttime, on weekends, and holidays. However, those in community agencies or private practices tend to work regular daytime hours.




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