Secrets to Living Longer: What We Can Learn from Blue Zones

Secrets to Living Longer

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Secrets to Living Longer: What We Can Learn from Blue Zones

Global life expectancy in 2016 72 years – but today, more people than ever are joining the ranks of centenarian (person who lives to be 100 (or more))

Worldwide centenarian* population is projected to grow 8X by 2050
2050: 3,767,000
2015: 451,000

Secrets of People Who’ve Lived the Longest

From Ponce de León to present, everyone is looking for a way to live longer ― what can we learn from those who are among the oldest in the world?

When asked, centenarians accredit varying reasons to their extended lifetime:

“Attitude, attitude, attitude” – Trudi Fletcher, 100
“Move it or lose it” – Louise Calder, 101
Clean living
“Just stay out of trouble” – Harry Adler, 101
Cigars and Whiskey?
“Just keep living, don’t die” – Richard Overton, 112
With so many factors, is there really a way to predict who will live the longest?

In 2016, the global average life expectancy after age 60
Men: 19 years
Women: 22 years
The offspring of centenarians stay healthier than same-age counterparts
60% lower prevalence of heart attacks
71% less risk of cancer mortality
Blue Zones are geographic regions of particular longevity and health
Higher concentrations of centenarians
Lower risk of middle-age mortality
Fewer cases of dementia and Alzheimers

What is it about Blue Zones that cause people to live longer?

Secrets of the Blue Zones

Okinawa, Japan
Life expectancy is 85.3 years ㅡ the highest overall life expectancy in the world
Emphasis on plant-based diet and lifelong social groups
Tradition of Ikigai or “reason for being” emphasizes a purposeful life
Loma Linda, California
Life expectancy is over 10 years longer than for average Americans
Follow “Biblical diet” of vegetables, grains, fruits, and nuts
Tight-knit community stems from strong religious motivations
Ikaria, Greece
1 in 3 Ikarians live to be at least 90 years old
Prevalent Mediterranean diet ― healthy fat, small amount of meat and dairy
Mountain living means vigorous exercise is part of daily life
Sardinia, Italy
Home to nearly 10X more centenarians than the US*
Traditional lifestyle features low-protein, plant-based diet
Close family relationships tie into a strong sense of community
Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
Men over 60 are 7X more likely to reach age 100*
Roots of indigenous diet linger with diet of mostly squash, corn, and beans
A strong sense of life purpose is cultivated ㅡ a plan de vida
Patterns within these Blue Zones ㅡ like diet and emphasis on community ㅡ contain possible answers for prolonging and improving quality of life

Not-So-Secret Ways to Live Longer

How long we live is determined by
Genetics: 25%
Lifestyle and choices: 75%

“It follows that if we optimize our lifestyles, we can maximize our life expectancies within our biological limits” ― Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones

30-minute intervals of physical activity, 5X per week helps keep weight and blood pressure under control

Recommended to eat lots of vegetables and low amounts of meat and dairy
As far as what not to do ㅡ not smoking is one of the most important factors in maintaining good health

Having a close familial bond can help prevent behaviors stemming from childhood that would negatively affect physical health over time

Socializing and engaging with others releases natural pain-relieving hormones and lowers stress levels

Enjoying work is associated with living a longer and healthier life

Those with a positive outlook on aging were 50% less likely to develop dementia than those with a negative view

What habits can you start now to help you live better and longer?

Secrets to Living Longer


S.A.D. Tech: Treating Your Winter Blues

Winter Blues SAD Tech

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S.A.D. Tech: Treating Your Winter Blues

Seasonal Affective Disorder. Winter Blues. Cabin Fever.

Seasonal Depression Affects Millions
1 in 5 American adults has diagnosed seasonal depression
5% have seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
14% have the winter blues 一 a milder seasonal depression
1 in 4 American workers say January is their least happy month
1 in 3 say winter has a negative impact on their mood at work
It’s not just adults ー SAD affects 2 million children in the US, age 9-17

While the exact cause of SAD is unknown, the answer may lie in how light affects us

Beyond Sight: Light & The Human Brain

Intrinsically Photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells (ipRGCs)
Signals non-image-forming effects in response to environmental light

ipRGCs regulate:
Circadian rhythms
Pupil reflexes
Mood and energy level

SAD appears to be linked to the activation of ipRGCs, caused by either lack of daylight, or abnormal signalling
Less daylight in winter months makes ipRGCs fail to regulate circadian rhythms

Result: SAD sufferers experience:
Mood swings
Melatonin: The Sleep Hormone
Signals the body to calm down at night, enabling sleep
Melatonin regulates
Circadian rhythms
Body temperature
Blood pressure

Artificial light suppresses melatonin levels, affecting our perceptions of “night” and making harder to fall asleep

Winter brings more screen time and indoor lighting ー Delaying melatonin release and disrupting sleep

Result: Lack of sleep and increased risk of:
Heart disease

Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin

Receptors for vitamin D are present in nearly all cells of the body

Vitamin D affects:
Bone growth
Mineral absorption
Immune function

When sunlight hits your skin, energy from ultraviolet B (UVB) rays activates vitamin D synthesis

Northern regions get fewer UVB rays, and winter keeps people indoors ー Robbing them of needed vitamin D

Result: Vitamin D deficiency causes:
Frequent illness

Light can have a big impact on your sleep, alertness, and mood

Make Light Work For You

Spending time outdoors may be the simplest way to get the light your body needs 一 But when winter weather makes that impossible, tech is here to help

Tech To Hack Light Patterns

Establishing the right lighting for each time of day will improve your sleep, mood, and alertness

Morning: Bright, cool light will help you feel alert and boost your mood

In a 2018 study, spending 30 minutes wearing blue light emitting goggles in the early morning significantly reduced participants sleepiness

Try This ー Philips Wake-Up Light: Slowly shifts from dim red to bright yellow light, mimicking sunrise

Evening: Block blue light to increase melatonin and get better sleep

Harvard researchers found that after 6.5 hours of exposure to blue light, participants’ circadian rhythms shifted by an average of 3 hours

Try This ー Philips HUE Smart Bulbs: Easily programmed to shift to warmer tones in the evening

Night: Use dim red night lights, or skip the night light all together

Just 8 lux, 2x the brightness of a typical night light, is enough light to disrupt sleep 一 Red light has the least impact on sleep

Try This ー SomniLight Night Light: Dim red light helps you see in the dark, without disrupting sleep

Tech To Block Blue Light

Blue light suppresses melatonin levels, helping you feel more alert during the day, but making harder to fall asleep at night

Blue-blocking glasses: Filtering or tinted lenses block out harmful blue light
For All-Day Wear一Bluwinx: Clear lenses filter out 59% of blue light
For Evening UseーUvex Skyper: Tinted lenses block 98% of blue light
Color filter apps: Automatically reduce screen brightness and shift to warmer colors at sunset
Night Shift ー Built-in feature for iOS and Mac
Twilight ー App for Android phones and tablets
F.lux ー App for Mac, Windows, and Linux

Tech to Get Some Sun

Bright Light Therapy*
Proven to treat SAD 一 Artificial sunlight triggers ipRGCs and resets your circadian rhythm

Choosing A Therapy Light
Light box: Widely available and affordable
Desk lamp: Easily blends into your decor
Visor: Allows patients to move freely during sessions

Look For These Features
2,500 – 10,000 lux: Low intensity lights require longer sessions
Short wavelength light: Cool tones, mimicking daylight, are best
UV filtering: Ultraviolet (UV) light can be damaging to your eyes

DMinder App
Diet alone won’t provide the Vitamin D your body needs ー The best source is sunlight

Location-based tracking of vitamin D from sun exposure
Notifications and forecasting of best time to go outside
Warnings help prevent sunburn based on skin type

For those living more than 37 degrees from the equator, it’s nearly impossible produce vitamin D from sunlight during winter months ー Experts recommend taking supplements to get 800 – 1,000 IU per day

Feeling blue this winter? These apps will help you get active and start feeling better

Apps For Your Winter Blues

Track your moods for warning signs of SAD
Assesses your risk of depression with a research-based screening
Tracks scores over time, helping you know when to seek help

Get active with daily exercise and time outdoors
Created by Duke’s Behavioral Economics Lab
Helps users build toward healthy habits in small, easy steps

Focus on a healthy diet and lower stress
Tracks your mood, diet, caffeine intake, and sleep to identify patterns
Offers meditation, journal space, and other relaxation aides

Ask for the help and support of others
Online community provides the support of others with depression
Allows users to post anonymously, and chat with others

Whether you’re suffering from SAD or just hate winter 一 Technology can help

Winter Blues SAD Tech


School Profile: Saint Peter’s University


Healthcare Degree Choices at Saint Peter’s

Saint Peter’s University appears in our ranking of the Top 10 Best Online Nursing Degree Programs.

Dedicated to “Cura Personalis,” Saint Peter’s University pairs the School of Nursing and College of Arts & Sciences to award 14 healthcare degrees at an engaging 13:1 learner-faculty ratio. For example, the AAS in Health Sciences partners with the Englewood Hospital School of Radiography for a 62-credit diagnostic imaging curriculum and ARRT exam prep. With UMDNJ, the 127-credit BS in Health Information Management trains undergrads to design computerized patient systems. Led by Dr. Leonard Sciorra in Gannon Hall, the 125-credit BS in Clinical Laboratory Sciences offers Cytotechnology or Medical Lab Science concentrations. Each 15-week semester, the MSN in Primary Care: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner program admits 39-credit Jersey City cohorts for CCNE-accredited courses like Health Disparities. Other Saint Peter’s offerings include the MBA in Health Administration, Doctor of Nursing Practice, BS in Health and Physical Education, and BS in Pre-Physical Therapy with Rutgers.

About Saint Peter’s University

Saint Peter’s University was opened in 1878 on Warren Street as St. Peter’s Preparatory School for all-male liberal arts education that drew 71 teens initially. Exactly 40 years later, it closed due to the economic strain of World War I. In 1936, Jesuit priests reopened the school at its current 30-acre McGinley Square campus in Jersey City near Liberty State Park. By the 1960s, Saint Peter’s College was born, women were admitted, and admission was desegregated. Given university status in August 2012, Saint Peter’s further expanded to Englewood Cliffs, The Meadowlands, and online. Recently raising $64 million, Saint Peter’s University now has 3,544 Peacocks, including healthcare majors, from 35 nations who contribute 16,000+ service hours. Boasting over 30,000 alumni, Saint Peter’s has graduated medical pioneers like Nicholas Cifarelli, Robert Lahita, Joseph McGinn, Gary Horan, and more.

The U.S. News & World Report ranked Saint Peter’s the 97th best Northern school with 80 percent retention. On Niche, Saint Peter’s has America’s 237th most diversity, 367th safest campus, and 418th top value tuition. The Princeton Review featured Saint Peter’s University among its “Guide to 375 Green Colleges.” College Factual named Saint Peter’s the 120th best Catholic school with the 149th top-paid healthcare grads nationally. PayScale estimated the 277th highest mid-career salary of $96,800 at Saint Peter’s. In Washington Monthly, Saint Peter’s University has the country’s 242nd top graduation rate and 100th best buck. Given three Beacon Awards for Critical Care Excellence, Saint Peter’s Healthcare System ranks 14th in the NYC Metro. According to College Raptor, Saint Peter’s University has the largest New Jersey endowment at $30.99 million too.

Saint Peter’s University Accreditation Details

In 2013, Saint Peter’s University underwent a self-study review with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) to continue Level V accreditation for another 10 years under its 22nd president, Dr. Eugene Cornacchia, who earned the 2018 ACE/Fidelity Institutional Transformation Award. Located just 94 miles south in Philadelphia, this six-state Mid-Atlantic accreditor is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education to check the quality of Saint Peter’s six associate, 64 baccalaureate, 11 master’s, and two doctoral degrees. The School of Nursing hosted an accreditation visit from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) in 2014. The International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) has also approved the Health Administration MBA since 2009.

Saint Peter’s University Application Requirements

Applying to Saint Peter’s University is labeled “moderately difficult” on Peterson’s because 3,425 of the 4,613 Fall 2016 candidates were admitted for 74 percent acceptance. First-year Peacocks flocking to healthcare degrees need to finish a high school diploma or GED. On average, freshmen hold a 3.15 GPA, 1000 SAT score, and 19 ACT score. Hopeful BSN majors must finish the Pre-Nursing Track with a cumulative “B” average or better. The 21-month RN to BSN option requires transferring 30+ accredited nursing credits like Anatomy and Basic Microbiology. For the Graduate School, applicants need a four-year bachelor’s education and minimum 3.0 GPA. The Health Administration MBA track seeks prerequisites, such as Statistics and Macroeconomics, graded “C” or better. MSN entrants need a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, RN licensure, one year of practice, and $6 million malpractice coverage.

Saint Peter’s University started an Early Action deadline of December 15th with rolling freshman admission thereafter. International undergrads must apply by November 1st for Spring and June 1st for Fall entrance. Graduate programs like the MSN suggest applying at least two months before start dates. Interested students should submit the Common Application or Saint Peter’s Online Application accordingly. Printed PDF copies can be mailed to 2641 John F. Kennedy Blvd. in Jersey City, NJ 07306 for free also. Please contact or (201) 761-7100 for further instruction. Most healthcare degrees request the following:

  • Official high school and post-secondary records
  • College entrance exam (ACT or SAT) scores
  • Two recommendation letters on student potential
  • Résumé detailing clinical and volunteer work
  • Unique, 500-word personal statement of intent
  • Verification of unencumbered RN licensure
  • Evidence of physical assessment skills

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2018-19, Saint Peter’s University will charge full-time bachelor’s students $18,193 per semester or $36,386 annually. Adult SPCS courses in Jersey City or Lyndhurst cost $595 per credit. Online undergrad courses are further discounted to $495 per credit. Healthcare majors expect paying the $1,076 comprehensive fee and $290 orientation fee. Living at the Hudson County campus’ dorms like Millennium Hall adds $15,334 for room and board. Saint Peter’s suggests budgeting $1,000 for textbooks and supplies. Annual bachelor’s attendance costs around $54,326 on-site and $41,042 with family. The Graduate School presently prices the Nursing MSN and DNP at $1,148 per credit for $44,772 to $89,544 total.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Office of Financial Aid connects 89 percent of full-time Saint Peter’s Peacocks to colorful assistance packages averaging $27,524 for $65.6 million combined. University funds include the Arrupe Award, Pavonia Scholarship, Ignatian Academic Scholarship, Magis Residential Award, Donohue Family Scholarship, Bastek Endowed Scholarship, Cornelius Heeney Memorial Scholarship, Eugene F. Kinkead Scholarship, and James Wood Scholarship. The Jesuit Tuition Exchange covers costs for children of Catholic colleges’ full-time employees. Federal Pell and FSEOG Grant money is available with FAFSA forms coded 002638. Federal Work-Study jobs provide maximum earnings of $2,000. The Yellow Ribbon member honors 100 percent of GI Bill benefits for 36+ months of U.S. Armed Forces service. New Jerseyans receive the Tuition Aid Grant (TAG), Educational Opportunity Fund, NJSTARS Scholarship, and Governor’s Urban Scholarship. Ranked 266th, Saint Peter’s University also reports median debt of $17,500 from Federal and alternative loans to Money magazine.

Learn more about Saint Peter’s University at the School of Nursing website.

School Profile: Bellevue University


Bellevue University Healthcare Degrees

Bellevue University appears in our ranking of the Top 10 Best Master’s in Health Informatics Degrees.

At Bellevue University, students find a diverse mix of healthcare degrees. Whether applicants are hoping to progress toward a medical degree or are seeking a more administrative role, they are likely to find an appropriate degree program.

The Healthcare Management baccalaureate degree prepares individuals to lead medical facilities as they provide increasingly integrative care to patients. Graduates may find employment in the health insurance field or as an administrator in a managed care facility. Others will enter the fields of financial management, human resources or health information technology. Coursework combines business skills with healthcare knowledge to produce well-rounded professionals. Both in-class and online programs are offered.

The RN to BSN degree is designed for registered nurses who already have professional experience but want to expand their educational and professional horizons. Earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree can provide upward mobility for nurses who want to become supervisors or take on an administrative role.

As the modern healthcare landscape becomes increasingly streamlined and integrative, communication between the various parties that provide medical care will be crucial. Both online and on-campus programs are available for Health Communication. Through their coursework, students will become skilled at creating, implementing and evaluating marketing campaigns and public relations health campaigns. They will gain knowledge regarding how to influence target audiences on healthcare-related issues and how to guide crisis communication for an organization.

The Bachelor of Health Science degree utilizes a multi-disciplinary approach to study a variety of related topics. Students explore health and the prevention of disease for individuals and communities. Two tracks are available. One is the Science Emphasis, which is designed for students who want to enter the medical profession. The other track is the Eldercare Emphasis. With this program, graduates are prepared for the National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards.

With a Bachelor of Science Public Health Education degree, students are prepared to inform the public about health concerns, work toward preventing community health crises and communicate healthy living guidelines to at-risk individuals. Students may choose a specialization within this program that prepares them for a role as a secondary-level health education teacher. This degree must be earned on campus.

The online Master of Healthcare Administration degree program prepares individuals for careers as health services managers. They may find employment in medical clinics, hospitals, public health administration or long-term care facilities. Students hone their decision-making skills while refining the strategies that are essential to the delivery of excellent healthcare. This cohort-based program is ideal for working professionals.

About Bellevue University

Since its opening in 1966, Bellevue University has provided access to higher learning for more than 50,000 graduates around the world. The institution utilizes a “Real Mastery” approach that is designed to help students attain expert-level knowledge and skills that are highly desirable in the workplace. A concerted effort is made to apply classroom learning to real-world situations, leading to greater understanding and competence.

Located a short distance from Omaha, the college’s main campus is in Bellevue, Nebraska. The initial goal of the institution was to provide a higher education for adults who were working in the local area. Within a decade of its founding, it had become the fourth-largest private college in the state. Full accreditation was achieved in 1977, and the institution diversified its offerings with accelerated bachelor’s degree programs, master’s degrees and online learning.

Bellevue University Accreditation Details

The Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation agency, accredits Bellevue University at the institutional level. Bellevue’s online degree programs receive the same accreditation as the on-campus programs. Additionally, the RN to BSN degree program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Bellevue University Application Requirements

New students seeking entry into a baccalaureate program must fill out an online application. A one-time application fee of $50 is required at the time the application is submitted. A high school diploma or equivalency is required before applying. If a student is transferring from another four-year college, then they are required to provide official transcripts.

Students with professional experience who are returning to academics may want to review the college’s “Discover Your Value: Turning Experience into College Credit” course. This class is designed to enable students to perform a personal evaluation concerning their learning preferences and any experiential learning that they may have mastered. Upon completion of the online course, students may pay a $150 fee to have their results reviewed by a counselor who may grant undergraduate-level credit for professional and life experience.

Prospective master’s degree program students also must fill out an online application and pay a non-refundable fee. Prerequisites for applying include holding a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. Students must have maintained at least a 2.5 GPA during their most recent 60 credits of college-level coursework. Transcripts of undergraduate coursework are required, and some programs may request letters of recommendation.

Military veterans are highly encouraged to apply for all Bellevue University degree programs. Such individuals may receive undergraduate-level credits as a result of their military experience and training.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Nebraska-state residents will pay approximately $298 per credit hour at the undergraduate level. Undergrads who enroll in an online program will pay approximately $415 per credit hour. A “Military Preferred” rate, which may be applied to active duty service members and their spouses is $250 per credit hours for certain degree programs. The per-credit-hour rate at the graduate level is $575 regardless of on-campus or online study.

Bellevue University is generally considered one of the Midwest’s most affordable private universities. Nonetheless, a majority of students choose at least one form of financial aid. While employers occasionally pay for a worker’s academic expenses, most enrollees choose federal financial aid in the form of education loans. A limited number of scholarships are available to Bellevue University students, mainly at the undergraduate level.

Individuals who are serious about gaining a college education in the healthcare field may benefit from a degree program at this respected institution. Completion of one of the many undergraduate and master’s degree healthcare programs at Bellevue University is a natural choice for anyone who wants to enter the medical industry or demonstrate their professional competency.

School Profile: Kent State University


High-Quality Healthcare Degrees at Kent

Kent State University appears in our ranking of the Top 10 Best Online Nursing Degree Programs.

Designated an NLN Center of Excellence in 2013, the College of Education, Health, and Human Services has created seven associate and 14 bachelor’s majors for health-related Kent State University study. For example, the Physical Therapist Assistant AAS offers its 65-credit curriculum in East Liverpool or online with 640 clinical hours in injury intervention. At Henderson Hall, the 120-credit Nursing BSN chaired by Dr. Barbara Broome lets Ashtabula majors prepare for the NCLEX-RN exam with the Olga A. Mural Simulation Lab. Exclusively in Salem, the 120-credit Radiologic Imaging Sciences BRIT narrows with Computed Tomography, Sonography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and Radiation Therapy tracks. The School Health Education BSE unlocks K-12 Ohio teacher licensure to promote fit lifestyles with 120-157 credits. Other undergrad offerings include the Nursing ADN, Respiratory Care BS, Health Services Administration BSPH, Integrated Health Studies BS, and Medical Billing Certificate.

Partnered with the Florence Health Institute, Kent State University’s College of Graduate Studies deepens clinical know-how in 14 master’s and 11 doctoral degrees. For instance, the 36-credit Health Informatics MS integrates seven-week online courses to innovate biomedical uses for technology. The Health Policy & Management MPH developed a 46-credit, CEPH-accredited curriculum online for effective administrator prep. For 34-47 credits, the Nursing MSN unlocks advanced practice in nine paths like Nurse Educator, Adult Gerontology Nurse Specialist, and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. Directed by Dr. Vincent Hetherington, the four-year Podiatric Medicine DPM has utilized its Cleveland Foot & Ankle Clinic to graduate over 6,000 specialists. Additional graduate offerings include the Nutrition MS, Rehabilitation Counseling MED, Nursing Ph.D., Exercise Physiology Ph.D., Clinical Epidemiology MS, Biomedical Sciences MS, Prevention Science Ph.D., Health Promotion MED, and Audiology Ph.D.

About Kent State University

Kent State University was established by the 1910 Lowry Act signed by Governor Judson Harmon as the Kent State Normal School with an inaugural class of 34. It was placed upon William S. Kent’s donated 53 acres in Northeast Ohio near the Cuyahoga River. During the 1950s, Kent State expanded greatly to six regional campuses. In 1994, it officially earned Carnegie’s RU/H status for public, residential doctoral-level education. Budgeting $686 million, Kent State University now trains 28,972 Golden Flashes from six continents in classes averaging 20. The U.S. News & World Report ranked Kent the 176th best national university, 136th best nursing college, and 30th top audiology school. On Niche, Kent State boasts America’s 195th best campus, 273rd best student life, and 256th best healthcare degrees. Times Higher Education also placed Kent State University among the globe’s top 600 institutions.

Kent State University Accreditation Details

In April 2013, Kent State University hosted a focused visit from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA) to reaffirm the Level VI accreditation for another decade under its 12th president, Dr. Beverly Warren, who won the 2016 NASPA Region IV-East Award. Based over 365 miles west in Chicago, this renowned 19-state Great Lakes accreditor is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education to perform quality checkups on Kent’s 325 degrees from Salem to New Philadelphia and online. Healthcare programs are specifically accredited by these:

  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC)
  • Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)
  • American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
  • Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT)
  • Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC)
  • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME)
  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)

Kent State University Application Requirements

Classified as “moderately difficult” by Peterson’s, Kent State University okayed 13,782 of the 16,145 Fall 2017 applications for selective acceptance of 85 percent. First-year Golden Flashes must finish a secondary diploma, GED, or home education program. The Ohio State Board of Education stipulates four units of English and Math. Specific grades aren’t listed, except for the Nursing BSN. Here aspiring registered nurses need a minimum 2.7 GPA, 20 ACT score, or 1030 SAT score. The College of Graduate Studies mandates a four-year accredited bachelor’s with “B” average or better. English language learners need an 82 MELAB score, 65 PTE score, or 587 TOEFL score. Nursing MSN entrants must hold unrestricted RN licensure. Doctorates like the Health Promotion Ph.D. seeks master’s grads in the top 50th GRE percentile.

Kent State University has set a priority deadline of January 15th and a final deadline of March 1st for freshmen. The preferred date for transitioning undergrads is February 1st. Graduate programs have varying deadlines, so check accordingly. Aspiring healthcare majors create a login PIN for Kent’s online application system. Official documents are forwarded to 161 Schwartz Center at 800 East Summit Street in Kent, OH 44242. Please contact (330) 672-2444 or for more details. The application checklists usually include the following:

  • $45 application fee ($70 for non-U.S. citizens)
  • Electronic or paper transcripts of all academics
  • Score reports for the SAT, ACT, GED, or GRE
  • Active medical licenses in Ohio or other states
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae of healthcare work
  • Three letters of reference from faculty/supervisors
  • Didactic Program in Dietetics verification if applicable

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2018-19, Kent State University has set undergrad tuition and fees at $10,756 for Ohio residents or $19,458 for non-residents. Regional campuses give in-state discounts to $6,090 per year. Living at the Portage County campus’ 25 dorms like Prentice Hall adds $11,362 for room and board. Kent suggests budgeting $1,358 for transport, $1,200 for texts, and $1,992 for personal needs. Annual bachelor’s attendance equals $26,736 in-state and $35,438 out-of-state. The College of Graduate Studies presently bills Ohioans $11,536 and non-residents $21,524 yearly, except for online programs. The Online Health Informatics MS charges $725, the MPH costs $655, and the MSN/MBA requests $830 per credit.

According to the NCES College Navigator, 67 percent of full-time Kent Golden Flashes strike average financial aid packages worth $6,564 each for $99.9 million combined. University funds include the Oscar Ritchie Memorial Scholarship, President’s Grant, Trustee Scholarship, Amison Family Scholarship, David J. Wilson Scholarship, Pottertown Scholarship, Michelle D. Thomas Award, William Hiller Scholarship, and Sarah Positano Scholarship. The Jane G. Cunningham Fund also gifts $3,000 to accelerated BSN students with 3.4 GPAs or better. FAFSA forms coded 003051 calculate expected need for Federal Pell and FSEOG Grants. Ohioans pursue the College Opportunity Grant, Forever Buckeyes Grant, and Safety Officers Memorial Fund. Along with Perkins, Plus, and Stafford options, students could receive Nurse Education Assistance Loans. Kent State’s Federal Work-Study program offers biweekly paychecks for $2,500 to $3,000 total too.

Learn more about Kent State University at the School of Health Sciences website.

Northeastern University


Northeastern University Healthcare Degree Options

Northeastern University appears in our ranking of the Top 10 Best Master’s in Health Informatics Degrees.

Northeastern University (NU) offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees in the healthcare field. Most of these degrees are offered through the Bouvé College of Health Sciences. The college emphasizes interdisciplinary training and offers students the opportunity to participate in original research projects. The fields of study within the college are applied psychology, communication sciences and disorders, health sciences, nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, movement, and rehabilitation sciences, physician assistant, and interdisciplinary programs.

Health Sciences offers the following undergraduate degrees: Health Sciences, Exercise Sciences Minor, Global Health Minor, and Health Sciences Minor. Graduate programs include a Master of Science in Exercise Sciences, a Master of Public Health in Urban Health, a Master’s in Health Informatics, and an Exercise Science for Clinicians Graduate Certificate. Within each of the graduate degrees, candidates may participate in joint programs that combine their chosen discipline with other degrees such as a physician assistant degree or an undergraduate pharmacology degree. These dual-study options make NU’s healthcare programs unique in preparing professionals who hold a holistic understanding of their client’s needs.

Other graduate healthcare degrees at NU are offered through the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. The business degrees, like those offered through the Bouvé College, may also be taken as part of dual-degree tracks of study. The School of Business offers an MBA in Healthcare Management. This program teaches strong critical thinking skills and offers students paid corporate residencies to boost their level of experience as they enter the job market. Students may choose from courses about subjects like informatics, consumer behavior, and supply chain operations. The D’Amore-McKim School of Business also offers a Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Administration and Policy. This certificate is designed as a continuing education opportunity for healthcare professionals. The material presented through evening classes has immediate application for students who are working professionals during the daytime. NU offers an online option for the certificate.

About Northeastern University

Northeastern University is a private research university located in Boston. NU maintains satellite campuses that offer graduate degrees in Charlotte, North Carolina; Seattle, Washington; and San Jose, California. The student body at NU consists of over 25,000 students. The university is notable for its cooperative education model that seeks to integrate real-world experience through internships and professional opportunities with classroom learning. These opportunities give students the advantage of learning alongside seasoned professionals and of experiencing their future career field first-hand. A robust study abroad program completes this model, offering a diverse range of experiences for students who wish to develop a global perspective. NU maintains a relationship with the over 170 partner institutions that make up its study abroad program.

NU was founded in 1898 as the Evening Institute for Younger Men at a local Boston YMCA. The first programs of study were law, automobile engineering, and finance. In 1916, a bill was passed to grant the institution status as a college. Like many schools, NU flourished in the aftermath of WWII, and it was at this point that the university began to admit women. Some of the most recent changes to the school include the development of an extensive online education program designed for working adults. In the past twenty years, NU has drastically improved the quality of its programs and increased attendance and retention by providing a well-organized cooperative educational model and employing world-class faculty.

Northeastern University Accreditation Details

Northeastern University is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). The US Department of Education recognizes the NEASC as an accrediting organization. NU first received accreditation in 1940 and has maintained accredited status throughout its most recent reaffirmation in 2009. It is scheduled for reaffirmation in 2019.

The D’Amore-McKim School of Business at NU, which offers healthcare administration and policy degrees, is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB). The Bouvé College of Health Sciences has received numerous accreditation for each of its fields of study. Nursing accreditations include ones from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing. Pharmacology degrees are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. Other accrediting bodies include the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc., the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, and the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education.

Northeastern University Application Requirements

Applicants to the Bouvé College graduate programs must submit an online application with a $75 non-refundable fee. The fee may be waived for Northeastern alumni, current AmeriCorps members, and to individuals affiliated to the Graduate Education for Minorities or the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Programs. Candidates must also submit three letters of recommendation from academic and professional references, a statement of purpose, a current resume, and official transcripts from any higher learning institutions attended. Some programs require the submission of GRE or GMAT scores. Nursing program applicants must submit a copy of any professional certifications, including a current US nursing license.

Applicants to the D’Amore-McKim School of Business must submit an online application, a personal statement, a current resume, two letters of recommendation, GMAT or GRE results, and all university-level transcripts.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The cost for one year of undergraduate study at Northeastern is $49,497. This includes full-time tuition and fees. Students who are accepted to NU will automatically be considered for a number of grants and scholarships based on their academic performance. In addition to these, students may qualify for work-study throughout their time in their program.

Graduate student tuition varies based on the field of study chosen. Most classes from the Bouvé College of Health science cost $1,500 per credit hour. The cost for an MBA degree is $68,000. NU offers assistantships, scholarships, loans, and work awards to make their programs affordable for students. Candidates who are interested in an assistantship should contact their department of study to apply for part-time or full-time assistantships. Departments may also offer Graduate School Scholarships to eligible candidates. Both undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year by the deadline.

For more information about any of these programs, visit the Northeastern University healthcare program page.

5 Great Careers in Nutrition

5 Top Nutrition Careers

  • Public Health Nutritionists
  • Clinical Dietitians
  • Health and Wellness Coaches
  • Weight Management Experts
  • Nutrition Instructors

Careers in nutrition are increasing at a rapid pace as more and more people are concerned with their health. Choosing a career in this highly-rewarding field offers an abundance of opportunities, and nutrition specialists can even choose to work independently if they wish. A sample of the opportunities available to nutrition graduates can be found in the sections that follow.

1. Public Health Nutritionists

Some of the most popular nutrition careers today are those in the public health sector. The main responsibility of public health nutritionists is to make sure that the nutritional needs of individuals within a community are met. They accomplish this through such things as educational programs, nutrition counseling, the distribution of health and wellness materials, and food assistance when needed. Common work environments for these professionals include public health centers, WIC programs, government agencies, and educational facilities.

2. Clinical Dietitians

Clinical dietitians are employed by a variety of medical facilities to ensure that patients receive the nutrition they need while in recovery. There are many specialties associated with clinical dietetics, and some of the most common are pediatrics, diabetes, and renal care. Some clinical dietitians also choose to specialize in nutrition support, which involves nutrition obtained through feeding tubes or IVs. Persons who choose one of these careers in nutrition qualify for positions in such facilities as hospitals, nursing homes, and out-patient medical centers.

3. Health and Wellness Coaches

To help keep employees in good health and to keep insurance costs at a minimum, many businesses and insurance companies employ the services of health and wellness coaches. Common duties of these experts include advising employees about health issues, conducting biometric surveys, and providing educational materials pertaining to health and wellness. Statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that positions in this field will grow by as much as 16 percent over the next several years.

4. Weight Management Experts

Other terrific careers in nutrition are those involved with weight management. Weight management experts work with a variety of clients including border-line and diagnosed diabetics, people with osteoarthritis or other bone deficiencies, and people who simply want to keep their weights at acceptable levels. Nutrition graduates who choose this path are often employed in such places as independent clinics, weight-loss clinics, fitness centers, healthcare facilities, and rehabilitation centers.

5. Nutrition Instructors

Nutrition instructors are employed by a variety of organizations including high schools, colleges and universities, local and state governments, businesses, non-profits, weight-loss centers, and research centers. The main responsibilities of nutrition instructors are to teach people about proper nutrition, health and wellness, and exercise. Other duties may include creating educational curriculum, assisting with clinical trials, and advising clients when necessary.

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Health students specializing in nutrition will be delighted to learn that there is a wealth of great job opportunities waiting for them after graduation. Careers in nutrition are many and varied, and the five careers described above are certainly worth examining further.

5 Great Places to Work as a Dietitian

5 Best Places For Dietitians to Work

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing Homes
  • Schools
  • Clinics
  • Public Health Programs

You need to have completed the appropriate academic requirements before seeking out great places to work as a dietitian. Once you’ve achieved a college associate’s degree or higher and have completed a dietetic technician program accredited by an agency recognized by the State Department of Health Services, you can begin your career in this satisfying field of nutritional health.


A hospital is a great place to work as a dietitian if the goal is to improve a patient’s health and wellness through the development of specific meal plans, by personally counseling patients on healthy eating habits, and assessing their dietary needs. A dietitian working in a hospital has the satisfaction of seeing firsthand results of the work accomplished when patients recover more swiftly and learn to make healthier food choices because of a dietitian’s recommendations and direct intervention.

2.Nursing Homes

According the the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 5,150 people work as dietitians in skilled nursing facilities. The BLS estimates their mean annual wage to be $58,200, making a nursing home a financially great place to work as a dietitian. In a skilled nursing facility, dietitians have the opportunity to develop rewarding relationships with the residents.

3. Schools

A great place to work as a dietitian is in a school setting. The National Center for Education Statistics notes that 99 percent of public schools offer nutrition education somewhere within their curriculum. As a school dietitian, you have the opportunity to offer an important safety net for children from lower income families via school meal programs. Educating children about nutrition and watching a child excitedly eat a new vegetable for the first time is just one more perk to working in a school as a dietitian. It’s also a school dietitian’s job to help plan lunch and breakfast menus to ensure children are getting the nutrients they require while also helping with the management of food allergies and cooperating with teachers in hands-on learning opportunities.

4. Clinics

Weight control clinics are a great place to work as a dietitian. Dietitians working in a clinic help clients either lose or gain weight by helping them with meal planning, grocery shopping, creating food journals, and by providing recipe suggestions. Setting goals, helping manage chronic diseases or allergies are part of a dietitian’s role in a clinical setting. A clinical dietitian can either work in a hospital or doctor’s clinic or for a private weight loss clinic or retreat center.

5. Public Health Programs

A public health dietitian helps improve the nutritional habits of the public rather than working with individuals. Dietitians can positively impact the lives of others in a community by working for an organization to develop strategies for improving nutrition, educating the community, and promoting better nutrition.

Related Resource: Top 10 Best Healthcare Careers for the Future

The work that a dietitian does is rewarding, regardless of the setting, though a particular person’s personality, characteristics, and strengths will help with the decision as to where to actually apply for a position. The settings listed above are great places to work as a dietitian, but many other opportunities in this broad field also exist.

5 Great Dermatology Specializations

For those interested in the field of dermatology, there are a number of great dermatology specializations in ever-present demand. Dermatology, the medical branch specifically concerned with the skin, hair, and nails, is vast, and employs hundreds of thousands each day. For a deeper look into this field and some of its more specialized areas of focus, here is a brief rundown of five great dermatology specializations right now.

1. Immunodermatology

Immunodermatology is the specialized branch of dermatology that involves skin, hair, and nail issues related to the immune system or certain deficiencies thereof. Lupus, pemphigus vulgaris, and bullous pemphigoid are just some of the immune-related conditions treated by this type of specialist. To become specialized in this area of discipline, one must complete some additional educational requirements involving studies of the human immune system and its relation to the greater bodily systems.

2. Dermatopathology

As the term implies, dermatopathology is essentially a mixture of the otherwise separate dermatology and pathology disciplines. In more layman’s terms, dermatopathology is the highly specialized study of certain diseases of the hair, nails, and skin. Diseases specifically affect these areas of the body in a different way compared to other conditions and must be approached in unique ways. To work in this specialty, one can count on some considerable coursework that addresses pathology, or the study of diseases, in addition to that of dermatology.

3. Cosmetic Dermatology

Cosmetic dermatology is the specialized area of the field focused almost entirely on cosmetic or visual attributes of the skin, hair, and nails. These professionals themselves are also known to individually go into sub-specialty services such as laser treatments, liposuction, and more. While these doctors usually don’t perform procedures that are medically necessary to life, they no doubt change lives dramatically each and every day.

4. Pediatric Dermatology

Pediatric dermatologists primarily treat children and adolescents.  This age group displays its own unique needs, body chemistry arrangements, skin properties, and more that call for a specialized approach.  Prospective workers in this field can expect additional coursework in pediatric medicine in addition to dermatology studies.

5. Dermatoepidemiology

Finally, dermatoepidemiology combines epidemiology, the medical study of disease spread and prevention, with dermatology. This means that someone specialized here will understand disease communicability involving the skin, hair, and nails. By many in the medical realm, this understanding is considered to be the cornerstone of the entire medical community and human wellness as a whole. Communicable skin disease represents a relatively small portion of all dermatological issues but nonetheless, remains an important matter of global effect.

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Working in a specialized field of dermatology can offer incredible rewards, but it is important to also note that doing so requires some additional studies and educational credentials. According to the American Board of Dermatology: “Although all general dermatology residents receive comprehensive training in each of these subspecialties, candidates who pursue the additional year(s) of training in subspecialty fellowships will have met additional standards and qualifications that will prepare them for specialized careers in teaching, research, and/or the practice of these subspecialties.”

5 Must-Know Facts About Forensic Nursing

5 Important Forensic Nursing Facts

  • Becoming a Forensic Nurse
  • Specializing as a SANE
  • Practice Sites
  • Master’s Degree in Forensic Nursing
  • Forensic Nurses are Appreciated

What is forensic nursing? Few nursing students know how to become a forensic nurse or what classes to take to achieve this career. Some students have never even heard of this specialty. If you’re curious about how to combine an interest in legal matters with your passion for healthcare, keep reading to learn five important facts about forensic nursing.

1. Becoming a Forensic Nurse

The most important fact to know about forensic nursing is that there’s no clear entryway into this profession. Any nurse, including Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), can work in a forensic nursing capacity. The true barrier is in convincing employers of the need to hire a forensic-specialty nurse. If you’re just beginning your nursing degree, seek out electives on healthcare policy and legal matters. You might even consider a minor in criminal justice.

2. Specializing as a SANE

Forensic nurses can earn a number of specializations and certifications. The most common is the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) designation. To obtain SANE certification, you must practice as a Registered Nurse (RN) for two years in an area of care that teaches advanced assessment skills. You must also pass a board certification and understand local and state laws. You can choose to specialize as a SANE-A, for adult patients, or SANE-P, for pediatric patients, nurse examiner. With either SANE certification, you’ll be qualified to guide victims of sexual crimes through post-crime physical examinations in a compassionate manner.

3. Practice Sites

Forensic nurses work in a surprising number of places. For example, trauma facilities prefer to hire certified forensic nurses to work with the families of potential organ donors. These nurses combine compassion with medical knowledge and a strong understanding of the law. Forensic nurses also work closely with the criminal justice and correctional systems; some prisons hire trained forensic nurses to conduct mental health examinations or fill in staffing gaps. Some nurses specialize their forensic investigations into the pediatric realm and assist victims of child abuse and neglect. This role requires strong mental resiliency. A few forensic nurses become legal consultants and specialize in providing expert testimony at criminal trials.

4. Master’s Degree in Forensic Nursing

You can advance your forensic nursing career by earning a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a graduate certificate with a focus in forensic nursing. This won’t expand your scope of practice, but it will signal to employers that you’re serious about your work. It will also make you a better witness in legal cases. Unlike traditional nursing programs, which tend to focus on clinical skills, graduate programs in forensic nursing teach a mixture of legal and nursing skills.

5. Forensic Nurses are Appreciated

Former Vice President Joe Biden has been quoted saying there should be a forensic nurse in every emergency room, according to the International Association of Forensic Nurses. He has a long-standing appreciation of nurses stemming from the medical tragedies his family has suffered, including the untimely death of his son to brain cancer. Although he’s never personally needed help from a forensic nurse, he understands how important these professionals are, especially for crime victims.

Related Resource: Top 10 Highest Paying Careers For Nurses

The best part about forensic nursing is that you can pursue this specialization without limiting your career options. If you find that the fact-heavy approach of forensic nursing isn’t the right field for you, it’s easy to transition back to bedside work.

5 Top Careers in Biomedical Engineering

5 Great Biomedical Engineering Careers

  • Researcher
  • Materials Engineer
  • Physician
  • Quality Engineer
  • Manufacturing Engineer

Careers in biomedical engineering are on the rise and in-demand. This field is a combination of engineering and healthcare. Because specialized knowledge of complex subjects is needed to enter this profession, salaries tend to be quite high. This industry involves using engineering principles to create solutions for the medical field and to develop the types of devices that change the lives of people affected by severe medical conditions or limitations. Continue reading to discover some of the more popular jobs for biomedical engineers.

1. Researcher

Researchers work behind the scenes in all sorts of fields to optimize user experience and to ensure the safety of the public. When it comes to biomedical engineering, these researchers are using their specialized knowledge to discover the solutions to complex problems affecting people’s health and wellbeing. A frequent part of this job is to research ways to aid in the creation of medical products that are safe and effective. In addition, researchers frequently teach university classes and oversee research laboratories.

2. Materials Engineer

Materials engineers are responsible for the development, production and safe usage of materials used in products for use in the healthcare industry. Such products may include computer chips, pacemakers, hearing aides and prostheses. These scientists even work to develop materials at the micro level that go into the manufacture of larger products. Substances like plastics, composites, ceramics and metals all must be properly formulated and structured in order to be safely used within the human body.They must meet stringent and detailed requirements.


Lots of people might not consider physician to be one of the top careers in biomedical engineering. However, because the academic preparation for this major is so rigorous across the disciplines of math and science, it’s actually the perfect foundation for those wishing to move onto medical school, according to the US News and World Report. A background in this field is perfect preparation for becoming a doctor.

Quality Engineer

People’s very lives are at stake when they use modern technological medical products and devices. That’s why it’s so important that these items be properly manufactured and inspected before going to market. Quality engineers inspect medical devices to be certain they meet structural specifications and requirements. These experts are charged with making modifications when necessary so that products are safe for patient use.

Manufacturing Engineer

Manufacturing engineers play a very vital role when it comes to careers in biomedical engineering. They develop and design the medical products used in the healthcare industry today. Exact and complex knowledge is essential to this type of manufacturing, as the results are a matter of life and death. Devices created by these biomedical engineers include prosthetics, imaging devices, medical instruments and others.

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These are just some of the careers in biomedical engineering. There are so many specialties within this industry. The need for professionals with this highly developed knowledge is great. Medical tech relies on these engineers to create materials used in medical devices, design healthcare products, research proper protocol, teach future scientists and provide medical care. Careers in biomedical engineering are some of the most essential and carry tremendous responsibility.

What Career Specialities are in the Field of Dermatology?

Dermatology is the study of the skin, and there are a number of career specialties in dermatology people may not know about. Many simply know that a dermatologist is a doctor that takes care of the skin, hair and nails. However, the types of specializations within this field are actually quite vast. Let’s take a closer look at some of these subspecialties.


The pathology of the skin is the area of expertise for a dermatopathologist. These highly trained medical professionals are most concerned with the causes and effects of skin diseases. Much of their work is done in the laboratory, where they study samples to diagnose specific conditions. A year of specialized fellowship training is required for this position.

Pediatric Dermatology

Another of the specialties in dermatology is pediatric dermatology. Pediatrics is a specialization in meeting the medical needs of children. Dermatologists within this subspecialty frequently come across conditions such as birthmarks, warts, genetic skin diseases and acne. In order to become a pediatric dermatologist, one must complete residencies in both dermatology and pediatrics or complete a fellowship post-residency,  according the the American Academy of Dermatology.


Teledermatology is an innovative specialization in which dermatologists use various media to assist other medical professionals in identification and diagnosis of hair, skin and nail conditions. Technologies such as audio, visual and data use are employed to share information between providers. It allows a second-opinion to be given without requiring the patient make a special trip and allows off-site dermatologists to weigh in on patient cases with their specialized knowledge.

Mohs Surgery

Mohs surgery is the removal of skin cancers. This is a very specific type of surgical procedure that allows practitioners to make a complete assessment of tumor margins peripherally. It was named after its developer, Frederic E. Mohs, who discovered the technique in the 1930s. Dermatologists who choose to enter this specialty must commit to becoming proficient in both surgery and pathology during their time in residency. In addition, it’s possible to obtain training during a fellowship in Mohs Surgery.

Cosmetic Dermatology

A popular specialization within the dermatological field is cosmetic dermatology. This subspecialty focuses on procedures that are aesthetic involving the skin, hair and nails. They help to improve their patients’ appearance. Common treatments performed by cosmetic dermatologists are fillers, laser surgery, liposuction, botox and skin resurfacing. Most of the procedures undertaken by these professionals are minimally invasive, rather than extensive surgery. Specialized fellowships are required for this specialization.

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These are five common specializations within the field of dermatology that future medical professionals can consider. While dermatology is itself a specialization within the medical field, there are a wide assortment of subspecialties available to study. Patients benefit from seeing these specialists because of the peace of mind that’s provided in knowing their doctor is specifically and extensively trained in the types of medical issues the patient is experiencing. These specializations require additional training in residencies or fellowships, but these experiences provide professionals the knowledge and experience required to properly treat very particular skin, hair and nail conditions. These career specialties in dermatology are necessary within the profession.

How Do You Become a Dermatologist?

Should you become a dermatologist? If you enjoy science and aren’t afraid to tackle years of training, this might be the career path for you. Dermatologists are specialized medical doctors, so you’ll need to take multiple undergraduate science classes, complete medical school and finish a competitive residency before you can hang up your shingle.


Your journey to a career as a dermatologist begins as an undergraduate student. You can enter medical school with any bachelor’s degree, but you must meet certain course requirements. To be a viable candidate for medical school, you’ll need at least two semesters of biology, chemistry, organic chemistry and physics plus their associated lab courses. This often means taking three credits of lecture and one credit of laboratory time. Some schools also require coursework in English, calculus and biochemistry. If you’ve already completed an undergraduate degree but didn’t pick up enough science credits, don’t worry. Many schools offer post-bacc pre-med programs with specialized attention to help you realize your dream of becoming a doctor. These condensed programs provide academic counseling and science classes to get you into med school.

Medical School

Have you heard the saying that even a medical student who graduates at the bottom of the class is still called a doctor? While true, performing poorly in medical school will make it almost impossible for you to become a dermatologist. That’s because dermatology is one of the most competitive medical specialties, according to the National Residency Matching Program. Dermatologists earn a high salary and enjoy consistent office hours with limited on-call expectations, so many medical students dream of entering this specialty.

To stand out from the pack, you’ll need to do a few things. First, you’ll need to do well on the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1, which you’ll take after the first two years of medical school. Next, you’ll take Step 2 of the exam at the end of your third year. Finally, you’ll go through a number of six-week clinical rotations in your third and fourth year of medical school. Do well in these practical sessions and impress your clinical supervisors to earn a good performance review. These three factors – USLME Step 1 and Step 2 scores plus your clinical evaluations – are the most important considerations for matching into a dermatology residency.

Residency and Fellowships

Your quest for a career in dermatology is not finished after four years of undergraduate studies and four years of medical school. You’ll need to complete a three-year residency, where you’ll receive hands-on training and work up to 80 hours per week. More experienced dermatologists will guide you through diagnosing and treating skin, hair and nail diseases. You’ll learn how to perform dermatological surgery and navigate hospital bureaucracy. After these three years of intensive study, you’re finally ready to start working as a dermatologist. If you aren’t sick of school, you can complete a one to two year fellowship to specialize in pediatric dermatology (working with children), dermopathology (analyzing skin cells and tissue) or dermatological surgery to hone your skills.

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The road is long, but the destination is rewarding. Dermatologists love their work, their pay and their consistent schedules. If you want to become a dermatologist, start working on your science pre-requisites today.

What is a Dermatologist?

A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in conditions of the skin as well as the hair and nails. Dermatologists generally make a high salary and can specialize in a number of different areas. They may deal primarily with patients who have skin cancer, focus on cosmetic procedures or specialize in skin pathology among other specialties. Dermatologists may also perform skin allergy tests.


Dermatologists are highly educated. Like any other medical doctor, they must attend medical school. Following that, they must have an internship and residency, and this generally lasts a minimum of three years. A dermatologist does not have to be board-certified to practice, but it is generally recommended that patients see a board-certified dermatologist even for minor cosmetic procedures. This certification may give patients more confidence that the dermatologist will be able to manage any complications that may arise.

Cosmetic Dermatology

The demand for cosmetic procedures that dermatologists can provide is booming. In 2016, the New York Times reported that TV has made many of these procedures seem mainstream. Cosmetic dermatologists may reduce the appearance of wrinkles and acne, improve the appearance of scars, address issues such as thinning hair and might even do liposuction.

Hair and Nails

Although most people associate dermatology with the skin, dermatologists also deal with the health of hair and nails. These are often where the first signs of many illnesses and disorders that originate in other parts of the body turn up. The American Academy of Dermatology lists a number of tips from dermatologists on how to best care for nails and hair as well as for skin.


This specialty combines the fields of dermatology and pathology. Most practitioners come from the field of dermatology although a few may be primarily pathologists, which is essentially a field that specializes in diseases. Dermapathologists may be certified by the American Board of Pathology instead of or in addition to the American Board of Dermatology. Dermapathologists may deal with various types of skin cancer as well as other skin conditions such as impetigo, vitiglio and more.

Other Specialties

In addition to working as a generalist, a dermatologist may specialize in a large number of other areas. For example, a dermatologist’s specialty might be on a specific part of the body such as the foot. There are pediatric dermatologists and dermatologists who specialize in skin diseases related to the immune system. The field of epidemiology and dermatology combine to create dermatoepidemiology, which examines skin disease at the population level. There are a number of other areas of specialty as well.

Work Environments

Many dermatologists work in medical offices, but they may also work in hospitals. Some dermatologists may work in research and education, so they may spend most of their time in laboratories and university classrooms. A cosmetic dermatologist may even work at a spa or another establishment that offers various types of skin and facial therapy.

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Dermatology is a growing and lucrative profession. As a practice, it may offer less stressful conditions than some other medical specialties. However, a dermatologist has the opportunity to improve the lives of many people whether that is through making them more comfortable with their appearance or diagnosing and curing their skin cancer.

What Careers are in Biomedical Engineering?

Today’s careers in biomedical engineering are many, diverse, and quite often, very rewarding. Biomedical engineering, the engineering branch specifically adapted to the use of medical and biological concepts in creating new medical treatments and devices, is a very important and rapidly growing industry.

Mechanical Engineer

A very common component to many biomedical projects and companies is that of the mechanical engineer. Mechanical engineers work with sophisticated mechanical systems in any number of capacities. These professionals design, build, improve, troubleshoot, experiment, and more – all in the name of creating the most advanced end product possible. Such expertise is widely applicable in the biomedical engineering industry, and therefore, a common and very important element.

Compliance Specialist

In this industry, there is little room for error in final products and services produced. During the production process alone, incredibly expensive and important materials and tools are utilized. These must even be cared for and utilized in virtual perfection.

Compliance specialists are those professionals who oversee operations, services, protocols, and end products for correctness in every way. In addition, there are even compliance specialists who are responsible for overseeing other areas of the biomedical firm such as adherence to rules and regulations, proper employee relations, budgeting matters, and more. In an industry where accuracy and assuredness reign supreme, this particular worker is as important as any other.

Clinical Recruiter

Again, in an industry so dependent on accuracy and correctness, certain elements need to be well-established. A quality workforce is absolutely one of those. According to an article from Entrepreneur,  “All employers quickly learn, there’s a world of difference between a worker who’s correctly matched to their job and their organization, and one who is not.” This fact is amplified in the biomedical field.

In that spirit, clinical recruiters work with others in the company to establish hiring and other workforce goals, plans, and procedures. They also work with the public in seeking out qualified job candidates for the specific roles within their respective biomedical facility. In the end, a company or project’s success can really hinge significantly on the efficacy of the person in this position.

Biomedical Technician

Biomedical technicians are much like the above-mentioned mechanical engineer. These professionals test, repair, troubleshoot, and perform a whole host of other duties with regard to products and services of company interest. The primary exception between the two, aside from possible levels of compensation, is that the engineer is more responsible for beginning phases of product creation, design, and experimentation, while the technician focuses more on duties that arise only after these beginning phases have concluded.


Managers are yet another crucial component to virtually all biomedical engineering efforts out there. While these professionals manage as a broad understanding, they also do so in key and very specific areas of focus. There are production managers, engineering managers, project managers, human resource managers, and even managers who oversee all other managers. Someone working in such management roles will likely hail with an education in management and/or educational merits in their specific area of oversight – i.e. engineering, human resources, production, etc.

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While this list provides some great introductory info to this industry and some of the roles found therein, it is important to remember that this field is expansive and becoming even more so by the day. More in-depth information on this ever-evolving field and its roles is becoming more readily available as well.

What is Biomedical Engineering?

Biomedical engineering is a specific type of engineering that as it is combined with and applied to the biological and medical sciences. The results of this field may be best known through innovations in implantable medical devices like artificial hips, pacemakers and 3-D prosthetic organ printing. Biomedical engineers greatly influence technological medical advances today. Keep reading to learn more about this field and the impact it has on people’s lives.

About Biomedical Engineering

This type of engineering is unique in that it relies on the engineer’s expert knowledge about biological sciences in the development of medical designs and advancements. Information from other specialties is also applied in biomedical related engineering. Various forms of engineering come into play, including chemical, electrical and mechanical. In addition, mathematics, materials science, computer science and chemistry are also incorporated into this exciting field. This large amount of expertise is necessary for such biomedical engineering feats as the development of prostheses, identification of microorganisms, engineering of stem cells and design of various medical devices.

What Biomedical Engineers Do

Biomedical engineers must be highly knowledgeable, as noted above, in a variety of science and mathematical pursuits. They work across a vast array of disciplines, and they could be employed in any number of settings. Along with working to develop and design new medical technologies, biomedical engineers can also focus on research or provide safety standard testing and other such pursuits for government agencies. They may work in tech startups or even engage in entrepreneurial efforts of their own. The possibilities are quite broad. This field is growing exponentially and quickly. There are tons of possibilities for working within the industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Education Requirements

Biomedical engineering requires extensive knowledge among a variety of subjects. This is particularly important with regard to the specialty or concentration one chooses to study, according . In general, the educational requirements of a biomedical engineer start with a foundation in a broad range of engineering types. Other topics in the curriculum will depend upon the area of expertise that is chosen. Some examples include organic chemistry, biomechanics, physiology or computer science. Because this entire industry is constantly evolving with new technologies and advancements, it’s important that biomedical engineering professionals commit to the completion of continuing education credits on a regular basis in order to maintain their current level of skills and to stay up-to-date with emerging practices. Because these jobs are so technical most require an advanced degree, such as a master’s or doctorate in the field.

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Biomedical engineers of all types are in-demand, and the industry is growing quite rapidly. Aging populations are in need of medical devices, implants and other healthcare related innovations. Those with advanced knowledge of the types of specialized skills for these jobs will likely to be able to find a job within their specialty interest. Biomedical engineering is a vast field with a broad range of specializations; therefore, employment opportunities are likely to be readily available for those professionals who are committed to gaining new skills and honing their current ones.

School Profile: Drexel University

Drexel University Healthcare Degree Programs Available

Drexel University appears in our ranking of the Top 10 Best Master’s in Health Informatics Degrees

The Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration at Drexel University provides students with a foundation in management and economic principles as well as knowledge in operations, healthcare policies and administrative structure. The program requires 180 quarter credits and is a four-year full-time course of study. Students must also complete one cooperative experience comprised of two consecutive quarters during the first half of their junior year. The curriculum provides interdisciplinary courses that deal with religious, ethical, political, legal and historical perspectives regarding healthcare practices. The program also provides an online certificate in Medical Billing and coding. Courses required include:

  • Accounting for Professionals
  • Economics of Healthcare Systems
  • Ethics in Healthcare Management
  • Financial Management in Healthcare
  • Healthcare Ethics I
  • Healthcare Human Resources
  • Healthcare Law
  • Healthcare Marketing
  • Healthcare Policy
  • Introduction to Business Statistics
  • Introduction to Health Systems Administration
  • Leadership in Health Services Administration
  • Management of Health Services
  • Non-profits and Healthcare
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Principles of Macroeconomics
  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Statistics for the Health Sciences

The online MS in Health Informatics at Drexel partners with the College of Nursing and Health Professions, Dornsife School of Public Health and LeBow College of Business to provide students with the skills necessary to improve health outcomes myriad health facilities upon completion of a 45 credit degree program.

About Drexel University

Drexel University was founded by Anthony J. Drexel, a financier and philanthropist, in 1891. He wanted to create a university that would address a growing industrial society, providing education for young men and women. Initially, the school was known as the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry, but did not offer degrees. It was in 1914 when various departments were combined and bachelor of science degrees were issued. Drexel was one of the first schools to offer a cooperative education program when it created it in 1919.

Drexel donated more than $3 million of his own money, the largest gift in the history of the university. The building where his new school opened is still used by the university today. From the beginning, the school had no restrictions on race, religion, gender or economic status unlike other institutes of higher learning at the time.

The school began offering master’s degrees in 1927 and, in 1936, the school was renamed Drexel Institute of Technology. After the school was granted the privilege of awarding doctorate degrees in 1970, the school became Drexel University.

Today, there are 24,190 students enrolled at Drexel University. One year after graduation, Drexel graduates report earnings of over 14 percent above the national average and ten years after graduation, their earnings are as much as $17,852 higher than graduates of comparable institutions. Drexel University ranked in the top 21 of public health schools according to US News and World Report. The Department of Public Safety was ranked third nationally according to Security Magazine.

Drexel University Accreditation Details

Drexel University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education which means students are provided an education that meets or exceeds criteria identified by the Commission that indicates excellence. The university also undergoes voluntary periodic evaluations to confirm that they have the resources to meet their goals and the school agrees to address any issues identified as needing improvement during the review. Programs throughout the school are accredited by the following organizations:

  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
  • Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant
  • American Art Therapy Association
  • American Bar Association
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Council for Construction Education
  • American Library Association
  • American Music Therapy Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Commission on Accreditation of Health Informatics
  • Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
  • Commission on Accreditation of Marriage & Family Therapy Education
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
  • Commission on Sport Management Accreditation
  • Council for Interior Design Accreditation
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
  • Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
  • Council on Education for Public Health
  • Liaison Committee on Medical Education
  • National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
  • National Architectural Accreditation Board
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design

Drexel University Application Requirements

Freshmen who have not earned college credit after high school graduation are entered as freshmen. They must complete an application and provide official high school transcripts. A 250- to 650-word essay is required as well as two letters of recommendation. One must be completed by a high school counselor. Official SAT or ACT scores are also required. Some programs may have specific admission requirements like portfolios, auditions, and interviews.

Students who have earned college credit after high school graduation are considered transfer students. In order to be considered a transfer student, a minimum of 24-semester credits must have been earned from an accredited college or university. Students with less than 24-semester credits must also submit official high school transcripts as well as official SAT or ACT scores. An essay is also required.

Graduate students must submit an application as well as official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. One transcript must display the conferring of a bachelor’s degree or higher. Students must provide official GRE, GMAT or MAT scores. An essay and current resume are required. Some programs may also require letters of recommendation.

Drexel University Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time undergraduate tuition is $16,958 per year while part-time tuition is $1,144 per hour. Graduate tuition varies depending on the program the student plans to enter and ranges from $824 to $2,000 per credit hour. Most graduate programs at Drexel University are $1,265 per credit hour.

Financial aid is available in the form of scholarships, grants, federal work-study or federal loans. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to qualify for any financial assistance. Drexel University also accepts veterans and military benefits as well as employer-funded tuition.

Since the beginning, Drexel University has provided an outstanding education to students regardless of gender, race or socioeconomic status. Healthcare programs at Drexel University provide individuals with the knowledge and skills to advance in a current career or move into a new career by achieving their higher education goals.

School Profile: The University of Illinois at Chicago

Healthcare Degrees From UIC

The University of Illinois at Chicago appears in our ranking of the Top 10 Best Master’s in Health Informatics Degrees

Founded in 1979, the College of Applied Health Sciences is the University of Illinois at Chicago’s fourth-largest division currently training 997 undergrads with 99 full-time faculty in eight majors. For example, the B.S. in Health Information Management follows a 63-credit, upper-division online plan for digitalizing patient records with 100 percent RHIA success. The 120-credit B.S. in Kinesiology offers the Exercise Science & Health Promotion track directed by Prof. Michelle Adams, the 2016 Silver Circle Award winner. Accredited in 2015, the junior-entry B.A. in Public Health strengthens students’ community welfare tactics with 90 practicum hours. The Nursing Division also confers a 120-credit Traditional BSN or 57-credit RN to BSN program to hone patient care skills with the $5 million Schwartz Simulation Lab.

Serving 7,915 total in America’s #1 best city in Time Out, the Graduate College boasts 91 percent six-month job placement for 19 health-related degrees. For instance, the 60-credit Master of Healthcare Administration integrates courses like Physician Relations with a 16-week preceptorship for managerial experience. Headed by Dr. Anthony Faiola, the 38-credit M.S. in Health Informatics utilizes Blackboard for CAHIIM-accredited online training on clinical tech solutions. At all six campuses, the M.S. in Nursing trains advanced generalist RNs in 34 credits and 405 clinical practicum hours. The 36-credit, non-thesis M.S. in Patient Safety Leadership blends online courses like Error Science with one three-day residency and capstone projects.

About the University of Illinois at Chicago

The University of Illinois at Chicago was initially founded in 1913 as the healthcare branch to the Champaign-Urbana campus called the Colleges of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmacy. In 1919, it acquired the former Chicago Cubs park to erect today’s 485-bed Level II trauma center. Fifty years later, an influx of returning WWII veterans caused the University to diversify while respecting its medical roots. Budgeting $2.09 billion, UIC now educates 30,539 Flames, including Healthcare majors, as an AAU and Horizon League member. The University of Illinois at Chicago has grown beyond the 311-acre Near West Side campus to Peoria, Rockford, Quad Cities, Springfield, and Urbana. Linked to 144,143 LinkedIn alumni, Chicago has trained medical greats like Sheila Tlou, Stanley Korsmeyer, David Sackett, and Mohan Nair.

The U.S. News & World Report ranked Chicago the 145th best national university, 10th top nursing school, 17th best public health department, and sixth top pharmacy college. On Niche, UIC has America’s 93rd best location, 112th most diversity, and 170th best kinesiology program. Forbes placed the University of Illinois at Chicago 292nd overall with the 72nd top value. Times Higher Education featured UIC as the globe’s best 300 universities. The CWUR recognized Chicago for the 169th highest research output. According to Sierra Club, the University of Illinois at Chicago is the country’s 75th coolest school. The Campus Pride Index included UIC among the 30 most LGBT-friendly universities. PayScale also reported the 227th highest mid-career median salary of $102,500 for Chicago graduates.

The University of Illinois at Chicago Accreditation Details

In October 2017, the University of Illinois at Chicago successfully completed its 10-year institutional evaluation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA) to retain Level VI accreditation under its 20th president, Dr. Timothy Killeen. Located just 1.1 miles away near Willis Tower, this 19-state regional accreditor has authority from the U.S. Department of Education to judge the quality of Chicago’s 86 baccalaureate, 99 master’s, and 65 doctoral majors. Other health-related programmatic accreditations at UIC include the following:

  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)
  • Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)
  • Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
  • Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM)

The University of Illinois at Chicago Application Requirements

Classified as “moderately difficult” by Peterson’s, the University of Illinois at Chicago only accepted 74 percent of the 17,931 applications in Fall 2016. First-year Flames should rank in the top half of their high school classes. Bachelor’s requisites include four years of English and Math. Freshmen present an average GPA of 3.25. The College of Applied Health Sciences accepts median ACT composite scores of 21-26 or equivalent. Transfers must hold 12 to 70 non-remedial undergrad credits from accredited sources. The RN-BSN Completion track specifically requires an associate degree in nursing and 2.75 average. Graduate applicants verify a four-year bachelor’s, minimum 3.0 GPA, and GRE scores with code 1851. Prerequisites vary; for example, the M.S. in Pathology needs Biology, Organic Chemistry, and Physics courses.

The University of Illinois at Chicago has an Early Action deadline of November 1st and Regular Decision deadline of January 15th for freshmen. Undergrad transfers apply freely until October 15th for Spring and April 2nd for Fall. The Graduate College has highly variable dates like January 15th for the M.S. in Bioinformatics and February 1st for the M.S. in Public Health Sciences. Either the UIC or Common Application can be submitted wholly online. If needed, mail extras to 1200 West Harrison Street Suite 1100 in Chicago, IL 60607. Please contact (312) 996-4350 or for help. Healthcare programs generally seek these:

  • $50 application fee ($70 for M.S./Ph.D.)
  • Transcript requests for each institution
  • Official test scores directly from agencies
  • Two to three required recommendations
  • Personal statement of intended goals
  • Copies of valid RN licensure if applicable
  • English language proficiency verification

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2018-19, the University of Illinois at Chicago will guarantee undergrad in-state tuition of $5,292 per semester. Non-resident bachelor’s students will pay $11,900 each term. Budgets must include the $431 general fee, $350 service fee, $92 health service fee, and $570 insurance fee. Living at the “Windy City” campus’ dorms like Marie Robinson Hall adds $10,792. Annual full cost of attendance equals $30,662 in-state and $43,518. Undergrad online programs like the B.S. in Health Informatics bill $500 per credit though. The Graduate College has base tuition of $5,830 to $11,950 per semester. Tuition differentials range from $625 (M.S. in Nutrition) to $4,038 (M.S. in Biomedical Visualization).

According to the NCES College Navigator, 65 percent of full-time UIC Flames share $145.04 million total for median annual financial aid offers worth $12,463. Health-related institutional funds include the Alan W. Donaldson Award, Hamilton Research Scholarship, Estelle Goldstein Memorial Scholarship, Nursing Education Scholarship, Gertrude E. Skelly Emergency Grant, and Scrimshaw Family Latino Health Scholarship. Completing the FAFSA application with code 001776 opens Federal Pell and FSEOG Grant possibility. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission provides the Monetary Award Program, Veteran Grant, and Dependents of Correctional Offices Program. Federal Work-Study jobs offer at least $8.25/hour. Half-time graduate assistantship positions require 20 weekly hours. Ranked 96th, Chicago also leaves average student debt of $15,000 from Perkins, Nursing, Direct, and private loans.

Learn more about the University of Illinois at Chicago via the College of Applied Health Sciences website.

School Profile: Saint Joseph’s University

Health Care Degrees at SJU

Founded in 1982, the Haub School of Business pairs with the College of Arts & Sciences to give Saint Joseph’s University undergrads four health-related bachelor’s options. The B.S. in Interdisciplinary Health Services is a 40-course, pre-professional program chaired by Dr. Michelle Rowe in Post Hall to introduce fundamental clinical knowledge. Adhering to BCaBA exam standards, the 120-credit B.S. in Autism Behavioral Studies prepares healthcare assistants capable of treating patients with ABA therapy in the Kinney Center. With SJU’s 12:1 student-faculty ratio, the B.S. in Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Marketing follows a 120-credit, AACSB-accredited curriculum with internships at Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, and others. Partnered with Thomas Jefferson University, the 3+2 BSN Pace Option trains registered nurses in courses like Health Promotion, Introduction to Pharmacology, and Practicum.

The Graduate Studies Division invites Saint Joseph’s students into four advanced clinical-oriented degrees too. First, the 42-credit M.S. in Health Administration adheres to the NCHL competency model in two on-campus or online tracks for Health Informatics and Organization Development & Leadership for a median alumni wage of $96,500. Coordinated by Dr. Eileen Sullivan, the M.S. in Health Education starts thrice annually for a 48-credit, 24-month plan that trains community wellness advocates with an optional Applied Behavior Analysis Concentration. The 48-credit Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Marketing MBA attracts executives at an average age of 36 to deepen medical sales expertise with courses like Device Regulations. SJU and Thomas Jefferson University launched the 4+2 MSN option to produce APRNs in eight specializations, including Nursing Informatics and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner.

About Saint Joseph’s University

Saint Joseph’s University was founded by Father Felix Barbelin, S.J., in September 1851 with 30 men studying Jesuit ideals at the Willings Alley Church. Raising $1 million in the 1922 First Capital Campaign, Saint Joseph’s expanded to its 23-acre, Gothic-style Merion Park campus five years later. Coeducational since 1970, SJU was shaped into a private, four-year Catholic PCRC member of the Philadelphia Archdiocese near Lankenau Medical Center. Budgeting $217 million yearly, Saint Joseph’s University now attracts 8,086 Hawks, including several Health Care majors, from 59 nations with cooperative education. Linked to 57,032 LinkedIn alumni, SJU has graduated Muffet McGraw, John Lehman, Isabel Saint Malo, DeAndre Bembry, William Bryon, and more with 90 percent retention.

The U.S. News & World Report ranked Saint Joseph’s the 11th best North school, 34th top value, and sixth best for vets campus with the 66th best part-time MBA nationally. On Niche, SJU has America’s 171st top business school, 231st best location, and 398th most active student life. Forbes placed Saint Joseph’s University 189th overall with the 255th happiest grads. Times Higher Education crowned SJU the 322nd best national institution. College Factual picked Saint Joseph’s for the 223rd best college, 29th best Catholic university, and 185th top-paid health care grads. The New York Times declared SJU the 179th best college for low-income earners. Bloomberg BusinessWeek featured Saint Joseph’s University 89th. Washington Monthly also lauded SJU for the 56th best financial aid.

Saint Joseph’s University Accreditation Details

In July 2018, Saint Joseph’s University is undergoing comprehensive evaluation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) to continue the Level V accreditation for a fourth decade under its 28th president, Dr. Mark Reed. Located just 4.8 miles east on Market Street, this seven-state East Coast is respected by the U.S. Department of Education to investigate the academic quality of SJU’s 68 baccalaureate, 53 master’s, one doctoral, and 12 special study programs from Lower Merion Township to Overbrook. The 3+2 Nursing Option is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Marketing MBA courses were reaffirmed by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) in 2015 too.

Saint Joseph’s University Application Requirements

Classified as “moderately difficult” by Peterson’s, Saint Joseph’s University okayed 6,947 of the 8,914 Fall 2016 applications for 78 percent acceptance. First-year Hawks eyeing the B.S. in Interdisciplinary Health Services or similar majors need a high school diploma. Scoring at least 2250 combined on the GED also qualifies. On average, freshmen have a 3.52 GPA in strong college-prep curricula. Tests are optional, but undergrads present a mean SAT score of 1210. The Honors Program needs a 3.75 GPA, 1400 SAT score, or 30 ACT score. Pursuing the M.S. in Health Administration or Education mandates a bachelor’s GPA over 3.0. Prerequisites are Biology, Psychology, Sociology, and Research Methods. Having two to three years of medical experience is preferred. The Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Marketing MBA also necessitates GMAT scores under seven years old.

Saint Joseph’s University set freshman deadlines of November 1st for Early Action, January 15th for Early Decision, and February 1st for Regular Decision. Transfers apply until April 1st for Fall or November 1st for Spring. The Graduate Studies Division has rolling admission though. Create an online account to submit the SJU Application or Common Application. Attachments are sometimes mailed to 5600 City Avenue in Philadelphia, PA 19131. Please contact (610) 660-1300 or for any questions. The prescribed application checklist asks health care practitioners for these:

  • $35 fee (waived if attended the Open House)
  • Official sealed transcript(s) of coursework
  • Letter of intention outlining one’s objectives
  • Two academic/work recommendations
  • Résumé or CV of healthcare experiences
  • Verification of English skills and bank funds

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2018-19, Saint Joseph’s University will bill full-time Interdisciplinary Health Services B.S. majors $44,794 annually. Part-time study incurs $1,492 per credit. Leave room for the $100 technology support fee, $250 orientation fee, and $180 activity fee. Autism practicum also delivers a $756 supervision fee. Living at the Philadelphia campus’ dorms like McShain Hall costs $14,840 per year. Annual bachelor’s attendance equals around $60,854 on-site and $47,232 with family. M.S. in Health Administration/Education tuition is currently $870 per credit. Graduate business courses charge $1,043 per credit, but EMBA pricing jumps to $1,349.

According to the NCES College Navigator, 91 percent of full-time SJU Hawks wing toward mean financial aid offers of $20,895 each for $102.19 million total. Institutional funds include the Jesuit Preparatory Scholarship, Legacy Award, Cristo Rey Scholarship, Deans’ Scholarship, Father George Ruggieri S.J. Scholarship, Fly For Leukemia Scholarship, Maguire Scholarship, and Our Mother of Sorrows Scholarship. The “Military Friendly” school processes Yellow Ribbon Program benefits up to $21,970. Requiring code 003367, the FAFSA application determines Federal Pell, SEOG, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant amounts. Keystone State natives unlock PHEAA offerings like the Pennsylvania State Grant and PATH Program. Part-time FWS jobs arranged by the Career Development Center pay at least $8/hour. Money magazine ranked Saint Joseph’s 271st for median Stafford, Plus, and private loan debt of $19,500. Some might qualify for the Nurse Corps or National Institutes of Health loan repayment though.

Learn more about Saint Joseph’s University at the Department of Health Services website.

School Profile: Brandeis University

Healthcare Degrees at Brandeis

Brandeis University appears in our ranking of the Top 10 Best Master’s in Health Informatics Degrees

Near Newton-Wellesley and Waltham Children’s Hospitals, Brandeis University has five top-tier healthcare programs for entering the prosperous $3 trillion industry. For example, the Health: Science, Society, and Policy Major started in 2003 expands undergrads’ interdisciplinary knowledge of human disease. Chaired by Dr. James Morris, the 2013 Louis Dembitz Brandeis Prize for Excellence winner, the 128-credit B.A./B.S. integrates one internship into courses like Epidemiology and Biodiversity with a 10:1 professor ratio. Adhering to the ABGC exam, the Master of Science in Genetic Counseling trains clinical lab specialists for testing hereditary conditions. Founded by Dr. Judith Tsipis in 1992, New England’s oldest such program spans two years with 60 credits like Genomics and Reproductive Health with seven internship weeks.

The Heller School partners with Brandeis University’s Institute on Healthcare Systems to confer a 16-month Healthcare Management MBA with 100 percent placement in senior-level jobs. Directed by Dr. Darren Zinner, the 64-credit, practical-based program includes Waltham courses like Health Economics and the Team Consulting Project. Similarly, the M.S. in Global Health Policy & Management parallels an MPH for Brandeis post-grads seeking to foster better population outcomes. This 32-credit, nine-month degree led by Dr. Diana Bowser, the 2015 Schneider Institute Research Award winner, belongs to the Boston Consortium with courses like Health Financing. Online via Moodle, the M.S. in Health & Medical Informatics currently has 63 students innovating IT solutions to safeguard patient data. Graduates of the flexible 30-credit, part-time master’s have excelled with Novartis, Bayer, AstraZeneca, Massachusetts General, and more.

About Brandeis University

Brandeis University was opened in 1948 by National Hillel Commission chairman Abram Sachar to address higher education’s discrimination against Jews. Welcoming an inaugural class of 107 that October, Brandeis attracted First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to its Board in 1949. Elected to the elite AAU 36 years later, the private, nonsectarian research institute continually upholds its namesake’s dedication to justice. Budgeting $296.2 million yearly, Brandeis has 569 faculty teaching 5,702 Judges, including several healthcare majors, each 15-week term with 260+ clubs. Brandeis University occupies a 235-acre Cedarwood campus in Middlesex County just 15 miles west of Boston on Interstate 90. Linked to 38,840 LinkedIn alumni, Brandeis University has trained Sidney Blumenthal, Rachel Zimmerman, Angela Davis, Tony Goldwyn, and more.

The U.S. News & World Report ranked Brandeis the 34th best national university, 39th top high school counselor pick, and 11th best health policy school. On Niche, Brandeis has America’s 77th best biology program, 77th hardest academics, and 118th top education. The Princeton Review recognized Brandeis for the sixth most service-engaged students. Forbes placed Brandeis University 99th overall with the 71st happiest alums. Times Higher Education placed Brandeis in the world’s top 250 universities. Kiplinger’s declared Brandeis the country’s 31st best private value. The CWUR noticed Brandeis University for the 79th best faculty and 169th most research influence. According to the Social Mobility Index, Brandeis has the 307th best opportunity for low-income learners. Washington Monthly also crowned Brandeis the 77th best affordable elite school.

Brandeis University Accreditation Details

In September 2018, Brandeis University will undergo all-inclusive evaluation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) to keep Level VI accreditation for another 10 years under its ninth president, Dr. Ronald Liebowitz. Based 13 miles north in Burlington, this Northeast accreditor is authorized by the U.S. Department of Education to check the quality of Brandeis’ 42 baccalaureate, 47 master’s, and 18 doctoral majors in Waltham. The Heller School’s Healthcare Management MBA holds Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) approval. The Master of Science is accredited by the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC) too.

Brandeis University Application Requirements

Getting into Brandeis University is labeled “most difficult” by Peterson’s because just 3,796 of the 11,351 Fall 2016 applications were successful for 34 percent acceptance. First-year Judges should have attempted AP or IB-level courses during their high school diploma. Three-fourths of freshmen rank in the top 10 percent of their graduating classes. On average, undergrads have a 3.95 GPA, 1420 SAT score, and 30 ACT score, but Brandeis has test-optional admission. The Rabb School of Graduate Professional Studies requires a bachelor’s or foreign equivalent with 3.0 GPAs or better. The Healthcare Management MBA accepts a mean GMAT score of 708. The Genetic Counseling M.S. has undergrad prerequisites of Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry, and Psychology. All also require non-native English speakers to achieve minimum 68 PTE or 600 TOEFL scores.

Brandeis University has an Early Decision deadline of November 1st and Regular Decision deadline of January 1st for freshmen. HSSP Major transfers apply until March 15th for Fall or November 1st for Spring entry. Graduate dates vary greatly though; for example, the M.S. in Global Health Policy & Management has a Round 1 deadline of January 15th and Round 2 deadline of March 1st. File the Brandeis Application or Common Application online accordingly. Extra materials can be mailed to 415 South Street in Waltham, MA 02453. Inquire more at (781) 736-3500 or Future healthcare practitioners shouldn’t forget these:

  • $75 application fee via credit card
  • Official copies of transcripts/diplomas
  • GMAT/GRE scores less than five years old
  • Two professional recommendation letters
  • Personal motivation statement (500 words)
  • Résumé of recent healthcare experiences
  • Evidence of English proficiency if international

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2018-19, Brandeis University will bill Health: Science, Society, and Policy B.A./B.S. undergrads $53,260 full-time. Mandatory fees add $1,780 per year. Living at the Waltham campus’ 19 dorms like Rosenthal Quad costs $8,660. Standard meal plans charge $6,600. Annual bachelor’s attendance has a $70,300 price tag. The M.S. in Health & Informatics presently costs $1,178 per credit or $35,340 total online. Graduates pay $50,728 with $544 for fees in the Healthcare Management MBA or M.S. in Global Health Policy & Management. The Genetic Counseling M.S. bills slightly less at $50,184 for yearly full-time tuition.

According to the NCES College Navigator, 59 percent of full-time Brandeis Judges share $74.5 million in annual financial assistance for average offers of $35,310 each. Institutional funds include the Edward Fein Scholarship, Stroum Family Waltham Scholarship, Leonard Bernstein Fellowship, Wien International Scholarship, Richard & Barbara Silverman Scholarship, Presidential Scholarship, and Giumette Academic Achievement Award. The Heller School has 50 percent tuition discounts for AmeriCorps and Peace Corps volunteers. The Post-9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program offers up to $18,077 annually. Completing the FAFSA application with code 002133 could open Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, Direct Loan, and Work-Study opportunities. Bay State natives might earn the Christian A. Herter Scholarship, MASS Grant, or Gilbert Matching Grant. The Massachusetts Loan Repayment Program can also forgive a maximum of $50,000 for healthcare professionals.

Learn more about Brandeis University at the Rabb School of Graduate Professional Studies website.

School Profile: Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University Healthcare Degree Programs Available

Southern New Hampshire University appears in our ranking of the Top 10 Best Master’s in Health Informatics Degrees

The Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education at Southern New Hampshire University focuses on improving the health of individuals based on their lifestyle needs. Students develop methods for planning, developing, implementing and evaluating community health programs. Students gain an understanding of public health education, including social and behavioral health, research, assessment, epidemiology and the treatment of both chronic and communicable disease. The curriculum is aligned with the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing for Health Educator Specialists as well as the Certified Health Education Specialist examination.

The Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management is designed for someone just starting out in the industry. Students gain an understanding of technology, terminology, and skills necessary for a career in health informatics through experiential learning. The program includes a structured field experience and is based on the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Health Information Management Education programs. Students develop an understanding of problem-solving solutions and the guiding principles of managing patient health data. The MS in Information Technology: Healthcare Informatics is available online and prepares students for careers managing the healthcare technology needs of a wide variety of healthcare facilities.

Southern New Hampshire University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing RN to BSN program that is designed for those who are already in the nursing field. The University understands that today’s complex healthcare environment needs individuals who understand health promotion, evidence-based care, disease prevention and the use of technology. The program is a 10-course curriculum that delivers competencies recommended by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Students must have an active unencumbered RN license that is the equivalent of NCLEX-RN. Students must hold a diploma or associate degree in nursing with a 2.5 minimum cumulative GPA. They must also have graduated from a nursing program within three months of applying. The curriculum is built on the Institute of Medicine’s “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.”

About Southern New Hampshire University

Initially, Southern New Hampshire University’s focus was to train bookkeepers. The private university opened as the New Hampshire Accounting and Secretarial School in 1930. Students were able to attend school on Monday evenings, allowing them to work during the day. The school also allowed students to pay tuition in installments so that cost was not a deterrent to attendance. The name of the school was changed to the New Hampshire School of Accounting and Finance in 1936.

Soldiers returning from service in World War II swelled enrollment significantly. Most were searching for typing and clerical skills in order to obtain employment. The school began offering courses on the Manchester military base which added a military secretarial studies program. The school was the first to offer such a program in the United States. A vocational program was established in 1944 to assist disabled soldiers who were unable to work at jobs they held prior to the war due to injuries they sustained in battle.

Another name change occurred in 1948 when the school became known as the New Hampshire School of Accounting and Commerce. The school continued to market to veterans with classes held in the evening since veterans tended to be older than the average college student. This meant they had work, family and social obligations that made it difficult for them to attend traditional classes. In 1958, the school became the New Hampshire College of Accounting and Commerce and, in 1969, became New Hampshire College. The school moved to a new campus in 1971 and online education was established in 1995 This led to a rapid growth in enrollment. In 2001, the school gained university status and was renamed Southern New Hampshire University.

Southern New Hampshire University Accreditation Details

Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Accreditation indicates that the school meets or exceeds criteria set by the Association that indicates excellence in education. The school undergoes voluntary periodic evaluations to confirm that they have the resources to meet their goals and objectives. In addition, the school agrees to address any areas that the Association determines needs improvement during their evaluation. Programs at the university are accredited by the following industry-specific associations and commissions:

  • Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration
  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Southern New Hampshire University Application Requirements

In order to attend courses online at Southern New Hampshire University, students must fill out an application. Once the application is received, an admissions counselor will call to discuss the remainder of the steps necessary to attend the school. Students will be required to submit official high school transcripts as well as SAT or ACT scores. One letter of recommendation is required and some programs have additional application requirements which the admissions counselor will discuss. Transfer students must submit the application along with an attestation form and transcript form. Transfer students may transfer up to 45 credits toward an associate’s degree and 90 credits towards a bachelor’s degree.

In order to attend graduate programs at Southern New Hampshire University, students must submit an application and must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university. Each program has specific admissions requirements which the admissions counselor will explain during the phone call.

Southern New Hampshire University Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for on-campus undergraduate programs is $1,025.20 per credit hour and $1,881 per credit hour for on-campus graduate programs. Online tuition is $960 per credit hour for undergraduate courses and $1,410 for online graduate courses.

Even students who feel they are financially unable to receive financial aid should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). There is merit-based assistance as well as need-based, so it is important to fill out the FAFSA each year. Students may be eligible for loans, grants or scholarships as well as work-study programs.

Southern New Hampshire University has had adult learners in mind since they were formed almost 100 years ago. Adult learners are able to meet family, work and social obligations at Southern New Hampshire University while still achieving their higher education goals, allowing them to move into a new career or advance in a current career.

5 Great Professional Organizations for Dentists

5 Top Dental Professional Associations

  • American Dental Association
  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • National Dental Association
  • International Association for Dental Research
  • State Dental Associations

During dental school, professors and mentors provide students with the most current information in the field of dentistry and encourage them to network. These tasks are just as important for maintaining good dentistry practice. The easiest way to remain current in dentistry and have meaningful interactions with others in the field is to join and participate in professional organizations. These five professional organizations provide dentists with lifeline learning and networking opportunities.

1. American Dental Association

The American Dental Association (ADA) is the largest professional association for dentists in the United States. It is therefore the best place to look for a wide variety of information and connect with a diverse group of fellow dentists. The ADA produces some of the most cutting edge research in the field. It offers opportunities to participate in dental health advocacy. It offers continuing education education opportunities that range from online forums to large conferences in exciting locations. The ADA 2018 Annual Meeting will take place in Honolulu on Oahu, Hawaii from October 18th to 22nd.

2. Academy of General Dentistry

The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is perfect for those dentists who loved dental school. It focuses on providing a plethora of continuing education opportunities. They offer webinars, annual nationwide scientific sessions, local specialized gatherings, and self-paced instruction courses. AGD is one of the best ways to gain hands-on learning experience with the latest dental knowledge in order to maintain the most up to date practice possible. For those who missed registering for the 2018 event, the 2019 Premier Meeting for General Dentistry will take place from July 18th to 20th at the Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort in Connecticut.

3. National Dental Association

The National Dental Association (NDA) was founded to provide continuing education and networking opportunities for the nation’s minority dentists. During and after dental school, minority members of the dental community encounter unique challenges. The NDA assists these individuals in completing their educations and succeeding in their careers. They also specialize in gaining and disseminating information about minority dental health issues, and providing minorities with access to dental health services. The 2018 NDA Convention will take place from July 11th to 15th in Orlando, Florida.

4. International Association for Dental Research

It is important to stay connected to the global development of dentistry. The International Association for Dental Research brings together the greatest minds of the dental field from across the globe. Membership provides access to publication and awards, a wealth of current information, and worldwide network opportunities. The 2018 General Session & Exhibition is scheduled for July 28th to 25th in London England, and the 2019 event will take place from June 19th to 22nd in Vancouver British Columbia, Canada.

5. State Dental Associations

It is equally important to remain current on one’s state and local dental policies and practices. The ADA offers a Guide to State and Local Dental Associations. This is a great opportunity to participate in events more frequently and collaborate with colleagues closer to home who share similar clientele and practice under the same laws and policies.

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Joining professional organizations for dentists, such as these five, is the key to lasting career enjoyment and success. They provide opportunities for both networking and learning. Membership includes professional and financial discounts, as well as multiple excuses to travel.

5 Great Places to Work for an Occupational Therapist

5 In-Demand Job Locations for Occupational Therapist

  • Physical Therapy Practices or Rehabilitation Centers
  • Nursing Homes
  • In-Home Care
  • Schools
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Centers

There are lots of places to work for an occupational therapist. This profession is quite diverse and offers numerous opportunities to help people live fulfilling lives. An occupational therapist helps individuals to perform activities of daily living independently. Physical or cognitive issues can sometimes prevent people from doing everyday tasks on their own. An occupational therapist (OT) teaches these folks how to compensate for such limitations. Read on to learn where OTs can work.

1. Physical Therapy Practices or Rehabilitation Centers

Accidents or injuries can leave people without their former range of physical abilities. OTs in physical therapy offices and physical rehabilitation centers help these patients to discover new ways to perform essential tasks. They also provide them with tools to assist in such acts.

2. Nursing Homes

The elderly can lose a great deal of their former mental and physical abilities simply due to the aging process. Accidents or illness can also contribute to impairments. Occupational therapists who work in these facilities are a tremendous help to this population of citizens. They can help these folks to enjoy their golden years as productively and independently as possible.

3. In-Home Care

Working individually with clients in their homes is common for occupational therapists. In home care is definitely one of the top places to work for an occupational therapist. Particularly following an accident or injury, individuals need assistance with learning to navigate their new limitations. These issue can affect them physically, cognitively or both. OTs help patients to learn how to dress themselves, perform daily hygiene tasks and care for their homes, among other things.

4. Schools

Students may need occupational therapy services for a number of reasons. Cognitive impairments, physical limitations or even behavioral issues can adversely affect their learning. Occupational therapists provide a great deal of assistance in helping students, along with their parents, teachers and classmates. They help to improve students’ academic performance, along with aiding in issues like interpersonal relations and appropriate social behaviors.

5. Vocational Rehabilitation Centers

Everyone desires a job in which they can feel productive. Sometimes people with developmental disabilities or those who have recently had an accident may find working to be a challenge. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of working or finding joy in their vocations. This is where occupational therapists come in. These professionals can teach clients new skills that allow them to complete the jobs they wish to perform. They can also demonstrate adaptive techniques to help them overcome their limitations. In addition, they work with employers to ensure that employees who need assistance receive it and that workplaces are compliant in disability law.

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As you can see, occupational therapists can work in a variety of settings. There is a great need for these professionals who assist their clients with overcoming the obstacles and challenges they face. The field of occupational therapy is a broad one with a range of opportunities. These are just some of the places to work for an occupational therapist.

5 Great Places to Work for a Speech and Language Pathologist

5 Great Career Options for a Speech Language Pathologist

  • Stroke Center Rehab
  • Speech Evaluations
  • Teaching Sign Language
  • Speech Injury Rehabilitation
  • Travel Therapy

A career in speech and language pathology can be a very rewarding and strong career choice. Once you have achieved your degree in this area of studies and you are ready to job search, the options for job placement is vast. You might work with children who are diagnosed with a language disorder, elderly population recovering from a stroke or other medical impairments and much more. Below are five great places that you can work as a speech and language pathologist.

1. Stroke Center Rehab

When a person has a stroke their brain is affected in a number of ways. Depending on the severity of the stroke and what part of the brain suffered the injury, speech is often affected to some degree. Sometimes this side effect of a stroke will go away in a few weeks after recovery, but sometimes a patient will need to re-learn how to speak. Essentially they are teaching a different part of their brain to take over speech. This is a really great group of patients to work with if you have the interest, according to the US News and World Report.

2. Speech Evaluations

Speech evaluations are used for a number of different age groups of people. A lot of children will go through speech evaluations when they first begin speaking if their parents think they are a bit behind on the learning curve. You may evaluate older children that are in the school system but seem to have some issues learning. There will be the need to evaluate other patients because of injury, illness and sometimes to see if there is a justification for their health insurance to cover their assistance.

3. Teaching Sign Language

The study sign language is an important skill for a speech pathologist, because it will allow you to communicate in your job with people who are having communication disorders. Sign language teachers are always in high-demand and will allow another avenue to this rewards career. Sign language is very important for young children who are having difficulty learning to speak. Teaching sign-language to children at a young age will often help ease in their frustration of not being able to communicate.

4. Speech Injury Rehabilitation

When a person has speech issues from a traumatic event, such as a brain injury, there will be rehabilitation needed for them to be able to regain their ability to speak. This might be on a subtle level, to simply help perfect sounds; however often, the patient will need to learn to speak again. This career takes patience and understanding, as often the patient is recovering from physical injuries in addition to their brain injury. These jobs are often found in hospitals and rehabilitation centers.

5. Early Intervention

Many speech and language pathologists will work for agencies that go into the homes, daycares and schools of clients who are in need of speech related services. This is most-often done in early intervention programs that are contracted through state agencies. They will help children from birth to age three that are having difficulty learning to speak from medical conditions. These pathologists will not only give services to help correct speech, but will often perform evaluations to monitor the progress of their clients.

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Working towards a degree in the field of speech language pathology is a big undertaking but the end result is worth it. This is a lucrative career field but it is also incredibly rewarding. While you are still in school, you might want to intern and find out as much as you can about a variety of jobs so you can decide what area you would like to specialize in.

5 Common Characteristics of a Pharmacist

5 Important Pharmacist Traits

  • Detail-oriented
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Knowledgeable
  • Skilled in Science and Math
  • Good Memory

There are several common characteristics of a pharmacist that are critical for success in the field. Although most people think of pharmacists as the people who work behind the counter in drugstores filling and dispensing prescriptions, they may be found in a variety of environments. For example, they might work in hospitals or in consulting positions. A pharmacist’s job might be in the pharmaceutical industry doing research and development or marketing. Wherever a pharmacist works, these qualities are necessary.

1. Detail-oriented

A detail-oriented approach to work is one important characteristic of a pharmacist because the work involves reading prescriptions, dispensing medication correctly and keeping accurate records. Medication errors could lead to serious consequences for customers. Pharmacists must also be aware of drug interactions, side effects and how a drug might exacerbate other conditions. Being detail-oriented will help prevent errors and ensure that medicines are dispensed safely.

2. Interpersonal Skills

Pharmacy Times reports that pharmacists are some of the most trusted professionals. Good skills in dealing with people is another important characteristic of a pharmacist. People often consult pharmacists when they are under stress and not feeling well and may share private information with them. It is important that pharmacists are able to convey a sense of trust and reassurance to their customers. They also need to be able to communicate with them effectively and talk about sensitive issues without making them uncomfortable.

3. Knowledgeable

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacists must attend a doctor of pharmacy program and take two licensing exams. Doctor of pharmacy programs vary in their requirements for entry. Most require two to four years of an undergraduate program and an additional three to four years of study while a few will take people who have finished high school into longer programs. A pharmacist who wishes to specialize or who wants to work in research or clinical pharmacy may need to do an additional one to two years of a residency. It is also important for pharmacists to stay up to date with knowledge about new drugs and new findings in pharmacology.

4. Skilled in Science and Math

An affinity for science and math is a characteristic of a pharmacist. Pharmacists need a background in anatomy, chemistry and physiology because they need to understand how various drugs affect the body. Although they have tools to assist them, including computers and pill counting machines, they must be able to calculate units of measurement as well as fractions and percentages. They also need to use this knowledge analytically.

5. Good Memory

Although pharmacists are not required to carry every piece of knowledge about every drug in their heads, they need to be able to keep track of facts such as common drug interactions, allergies, side effects and nomenclature. They may also need to be cognizant of the needs of regular customers. Knowing what types of drugs are prescribed for various conditions may help prevent errors.

Related Resource: Top 10 Best Master’s in Health Informatics Degrees

These are some of the common characteristics of a pharmacist, but the list is not an exhaustive one. A head for business, empathy and computer skills may also be important for a pharmacist. A pharmacist’s job can be demanding, but with these skills in place, it can also be both lucrative and rewarding.

5 Great Jobs for a Respiratory Therapist

5 In-Demand Respiratory Therapist Careers

  • Nursing and Rehabilitative Care Homes
  • Hospitals
  • Sleep Centers
  • Medical Sales
  • Education

Respiratory therapy involves the treatment of breathing diseases and breathing disorders. These breathing disorders can derive from numerous causes including serious illnesses such as cancer or heart disease to traumatic injuries such as car accidents that inhibit a person’s ability to breathe or breathe easily on their own. Of all of the health professions, respiratory therapists provide one of the most vital health services in the entire industry, keeping patients breathing. Because the profession of respiratory therapy overlaps numerous healthcare settings you can gain employment in several settings, from high-adrenaline to managed care. Here are five great jobs for respiratory therapists.

1. Nursing and Rehabilitative Care Homes

The elderly are some of the most susceptible to upper and lower respiratory diseases including pneumonia, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Because of this fact, many nursing and rehabilitative care homes will hire respiratory therapists on staff to see to the health, treatment, and prevention of respiratory illnesses among their residents.

2. Hospitals

Many respiratory therapists will find employment in a hospital setting at some point or another during their careers. In this setting, you will be expected to act fast and may need to respond to emergency codes, set up ventilators, assist with intubations, and run arterial blood gas tests as part of your daily duties. Because hospitals are opened 24/7, they will typically hire respiratory therapists to be on staff 24/7, making it no surprise that according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), hospitals are the largest employer of respiratory therapists.

3. Sleep Centers

According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, individuals with obstructive sleep apnea — commonly known as snoring — are more likey to have a heart attack, two to three times more likely to have a stroke, and have more than three times the risk of premature death than those who do not suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Respiratory therapists can help to combat this dangerous condition by conducting a sleep study that monitors your overnight sleep activity, heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels in your body.

4. Medical Sales

From Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines to ventilators, there are several specialized tools used by respiratory therapists every day. As a trained and licensed respiratory therapist yourself, you’re in a perfect position to work with the manufacturers of these tools to develop sales plans that can creatively and effectively sell their equipment to the practitioners who need it.

5. Education

As the respiratory therapy profession grows and evolves, there will start to become a greater demand for practitioners, which in turn means that additional faculty will need to be hired on to train these incoming practitioners. As a professor of respiratory therapy, you will get to advance the mission of your profession while empower new students who have the same passion and desire to help others that you do.

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Respiratory therapy is an exciting career with a vibrant future. There are currently 130,200 respiratory therapy positions available in the U.S. today and the BLS expects that by the year 2026, an additional 30,400 jobs will be available. While many of these practitioners will be employed in hospitals and clinics, there are numerous opportunities abound for anyone interested in this direly needed profession.

What is a Respiratory Therapist?

Heart disease, cancer, lower respiratory disease, traumatic injury, and strokes are reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as being the top five causes of death in the U.S. While it may not be immediately evident, respiratory therapists play an important role in stabilizing and maintaining patients afflicted with these ailments and are vital to their ongoing care and recovery. Respiratory therapists treat all things breathing related, from monitoring infants connected to ventilators in a neonatal intensive-care unit, to assisting elderly patients suffering from diseases including pneumonia and emphysema.

Becoming a Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory therapy is a branch of the allied health professions, which includes all non-nursing non-physician health care practitioners and make up about 60 percent of the health care workforce according to the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions. Many states allow respiratory therapists to practice with either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy, although bachelor’s degree practitioners are becoming more common in the workforce. While the specifics of your training will vary from program to program, this will typically involve about two years of academic prerequisite coursework and two years of clinical training from a program accredited by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC). These programs will yield the ability to sit for the licensing examinations to become either a Certified Respiratory Therapist or Registered Respiratory Therapist.

Day in the Life of a Respiratory Therapist

According to the AARC, respiratory therapists may experience a variety of tasks during a given day. The critical-care nature of the field may have them managing ventilators for patients who require assistance to breathe on their own, to having them responding to “Code Blue,” typically a cardiopulmonary episode or arrest, in hospitals or responding to other emergency situations. Because of the varied needs of hospitals and clinics, respiratory therapists may be employed in settings in which they are primarily diagnosing and treating breathing disorders or performing routine physical exams, to working directly with ventilators and performing more direct interventions for patients with an impaired ability to breathe on their own.

Career and Advancement

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, respiratory therapists earned an average salary of $61,810 in 2016, with salaries ranging from $43,120 – $83,030. The majority of respiratory therapists employed in the U.S. that year were employed by hospitals and specialty clinics, and consequently the highest-paid respiratory therapists were also employed by hospitals and specialty clinics in that year. BLS also suggests that the job outlook for respiratory therapists is strong, with a current 130,200 respiratory therapy jobs available in the workplace and an anticipated 160,600 jobs expected in the workplace by the year 2026.

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Respiratory therapy is a career that both stands on its own, and opens new doors for potential health care students. While respiratory therapists have the ability to advance their licensing credentials, moving from Certified Respiratory Therapists to Registered Respiratory Therapists, some practicing respiratory therapists may combine their wealth of hands-on critical-care experience in the health professions, with their rigorous academic background to pursue the admissions requirements for other health professions including applying to medical or physician assistant programs to further their career.

What is an Occupational Therapist?

Becoming an occupational therapist is a rewarding career path. These professionals provide specialized assistance to people of all ages so that they may lead more independent lives. Clients with issues that affect their mobility, emotional state or psychological development seek occupational therapy to learn new skills and to improve their current level of functioning. Read on to learn more about this field and the ways in which occupational therapists assist their patients, along with the types of traits required of those working in this profession.

About Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy is a line of work that emphasizes living life to the fullest in spite of various obstacles. Such issues that may hinder this type of living include disability, illness, environment, emotional impairment or physical limitation. The term “occupational” refers to the types of everyday living activities we all take on throughout life. Occupational therapists help their clients to be able to accomplish these occupations as independently as possible. This work may require assisting these individuals by modifying or adapting such activities. OTs also teach new skills so that independent functioning is possible. Occupational therapy is grounded in both the medical and social science sectors.

What Occupational Therapists Do

As an occupational therapist, one would work in a number of different settings, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These include hospitals, corporate health centers, clinics, private practices and skilled nursing facilities. Their duties span a wide array. Occupational therapists may be charged with creating community programs for certain populations to help them lead fulfilling lives. They might work with the elderly to assist them in maintaining as much of their physical and cognitive function as possible. They could teach skills to those with physical disabilities that would help them overcome some of their limitations. They also show people how to overcome social or emotional issues that hinder their relationships and quality of life. The possibilities truly are quite numerous.

Who Should Study Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists help bring about real change in the worlds of their clients. They encourage and make possible independent living, leading to full and satisfying lives. An OT should be creative and possess strong problem-solving skills. Critical thinking is a must. Good interpersonal skills are also necessary in this field. Communication, listening and conflict resolution abilities are definitely helpful when working in occupational therapy. These therapists should have a proclivity for science, as concepts of human anatomy and physics underlie much of what is done in this profession. An interest in social sciences is also necessary. Aspects of psychology and counseling are utilized every day in this line of work in order to best help people overcome their perceived limitations and to encourage them to live their best lives. Finally, a sincere desire to help people is probably the most important characteristic needed in this profession.

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Occupational therapy is a rewarding profession with numerous opportunities to help in a variety of settings. As an occupational therapist, workers can make a tremendous difference in the quality of life of their clients.

What is a Speech and Language Pathologist?

A speech and language pathologist is a medically trained pathologist who performs examinations, diagnoses and treats children and adults who suffer from communication and swallowing disorders. Speech and language pathologists are also referred to as speech therapists because they help many patients with speech problems. Speech and language pathologists are highly educated and board-certified medical professionals. Here is information on speech and language pathologists, including what they do, what it takes to become one and career outlook/wage potential.

What is a Speech and Language Pathologist?

A speech and language pathologist is a trained medical professional who works with and helps patients suffering from swallowing and communication programs resulting from stroke, autism, hearing loss, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease and delayed development. They see and evaluate patients, corroborate on treatment plans and also perform treatments.

They also help patients to strengthen their swallowing muscles and learn to make specific sounds that can improve their overall speech. The pathologist also works with the patient’s family members to offer suggestions on how to help the patient and better deal with the disorder. Speech and language pathologists may find employment in hospitals, nursing homes or with schools.

Becoming a Speech and Language Pathologist

Becoming a speech and language pathologist requires lots of education, training, experience and certification. Speech and language pathologists are required to have a master’s degree from an accredited program. Graduating from a school accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation is necessary for certification.

Although the applicant is not required to hold a bachelor’s degree prior to entering the graduate program, he or she may be required to complete specific courses as prerequisites to the program. Course topics in the graduate degree program include swallowing disorders; speech and language development; age-specific speech disorders; and alternative communication methods. The student must also complete clinical education as part of the program requirements.

Certification Requirements

Although their actual licensure requirements may vary, all the states require speech and language pathologists be registered or licensed. Requirements can be obtained through the state’s medical licensing board. To become licensed, the candidate is typically required to complete the training program and pass a certification exam. There are various types of certification available to speech and language pathologist. Some may require just passing a certification exam, and others may require completing a supervised fellowship.

Certifications in specialized areas of speech and language pathology can be obtained from the American Board of Fluency and Fluency Disorders, the American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders and the American Board of Child Language and Language Disorders.

Career Outlook for Speech and Language Pathologist

U.S. News & World Report ranks speech and language pathologists number 28 among 100 best jobs and number 20 among the best healthcare jobs, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Speech therapists are predicted to experience a job growth of 18 percent between 2016 and 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

According to a BLS wage report, speech and language pathologists earn wages that range from $48,830 to $118,910 with the average yearly wage at $79,770. Below are the top-paying states for speech and language pathologists along with their annual wages.

  • Connecticut – $93,340
  • California – $92,280
  • Alaska – $91,710
  • Colorado – $88,500
  • New York – $87,420

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Speech and language pathologists are special individuals because they strive to help others with speed and communication issues, which can greatly improve a patient’s wellbeing and self-confidence. Speech and language pathologists are constantly in demand, and the career is one that can be extremely rewarding.

How Do You Become a Pharmacist?

With careers in health care fields in increasing demand, many people wonder how they can become a pharmacist. This prestigious profession offers excellent pay and a low-stress schedule with regular daytime hours. It requires a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree as well as knowledge of medicine and the treatment of many illnesses.

Pharmacist Prerequisites

As a pharmacist, you’ll dispense prescription medications to patients who are under the supervision of a doctor. You will also be responsible for performing blood tests and other common exams for customers buying medication at your pharmacy. The steps to becoming a pharmacist are fairly straightforward. You should ensure that you have the necessary interest in natural sciences before you begin this process. Your education will require four to six years of medical school and three to four years of undergraduate training in science. If you believe you would be a good fit for the pharmacological profession, you have a very stable, reliable career to look forward to.

Training to Become a Pharmacist

If you’re still in high school, you can get a head start by taking any science classes that are available at your school. To gain experience in chemistry and biology labs, you can enroll in the appropriate advanced placement courses. If your high school offers statistics and other advanced math classes, you should take them to prepare yourself for college-level coursework.

As a college undergraduate, you will need to have a strong introduction to math subjects that are relevant to chemistry and biology. Calculus, statistics, and trigonometry are the most important math classes for pharmacy majors to take as undergraduates. You should also have exposure to biology, chemistry, biostatistics, bioengineering, computer science, and any other natural sciences you find interesting. It may not be necessary to complete your bachelor’s degree before enrolling in pharmacy school, but finishing your undergraduate studies will help to place you in valuable internships as a medical student.

Other Requirements to Become a Pharmacist

Before you begin practicing pharmacology, you will need to finish your studies, receive your Pharm.D. degree, and complete any residency hours required by your state. You will also need to become licensed to practice pharmacology, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Obtaining a license involves completing a rigorous certification process that includes two comprehensive professional exams as well as a standard pharmacology training program. This program is included in the curriculum of many pharmacy schools, but you may be required to complete this step separately if your school doesn’t offer this option.

Salary and Job Prospects for Pharmacists

Pharmacology is a high-paying field with steady growth projected for the future. The median annual salary for pharmacists is $124,170, according to the United States Department of Labor. If you have family obligations or other responsibilities distracting you from your career, you can still expect to earn a respectable $87,420. Pharmacists who reach the top 10 percent of earners in this field make around $159,410. Over the next decade, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 6 percent job growth in this field.

Related Resource: The Top 10 Cities With the Most Health Care Jobs

A pharmacy career is a dream job for many young people and adults who love science and want to help people stay healthy. If you think you have the interest and determination to become a pharmacist, you should begin your journey by speaking with a guidance counselor.

What is a Sonographer?

A sonographer is an important part of the healthcare industry because of the important role he or she plays in diagnosing illnesses and injuries. While working alongside of surgeons and physicians, sonographers create tests and images of the body using special imagining equipment. Sonographers are also referred to as diagnostic medical sonographers or diagnostic imaging workers. Here is an overview of sonographers, including what they do, educational requirements and career outlook.

What is a Sonographer?

A sonographer is a trained medical professional who works in the X-ray or imaging department of a hospital, clinic or healthcare facility. Sonographers work alongside vascular and cardiovascular technologists and technicians in taking and developing images used to help patients and assess the patient’s condition. They prepare the patients for the test, explain the procedure, operate the imaging equipment, review and analyze the test results, provide a summary for the physician and document test results and monitor patient health records. Although sonographers do not directly give results to the patient, the sonographer does have the knowledge to recognize the difference between a normal and abnormal test.

How to Become a Sonographer

Becoming a sonographer requires completing an approved sonography program, which is usually offered at community colleges and technical schools. Most sonography programs are associate degree programs, but some students may choose to earn bachelor’s degrees in sonography. For a program to be approved, it should be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

Sonography students will take courses in medical terminology, anatomy, applied sciences and various sonography classes. They also complete lab studies and clinical education. The clinical component typically is an internship where the students obtain hands-on training. Certification may not also be required but is required in some areas of employment. Most employers prefer hiring candidates who are certified.

Sonography graduates can obtain certification by completing formal training and passing an exam through agencies like the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists or American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. Certification can also be earned through the Cardiovascular Credentialing International. A sonographer can specialize in a specific type of sonography by completing a sonography program and obtaining certification in the specialized area. Below are some of the possibilities.

  • Abdominal sonography
  • Breast sonography
  • Cardiac sonography
  • Musculoskeletal sonography
  • Pediatric sonography
  • Obstetric and gynecologic sonography
  • Vascular sonography

Career Outlook for Sonographers

Diagnostic medical sonographers are predicted to see an employment growth of 23 percent during the decade of 2016-2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The aging population is consistently in need of diagnostic imaging tests to help diagnose illnesses, which puts sonographers highly in demand. The BLS reports that sonographers earn an average annual wage of $71,410, with wages ranging from $50,760 to $99,840 or more. Factors like experience, years of training, certifications, employee and geographical location can all play a role in determining wages.

While the highest number of sonographers are employed in general medical and surgical hospitals, sonographers may also find positions working in physicians’ offices; medical and diagnostic laboratories; outpatient care centers and specialty hospitals. Here are the states that pay the highest wages for sonographers.

  • California – $91,700
  • Hawaii – $90,250
  • District of Columbia – $89,140
  • Washington – $87,440
  • Oregon – $86,140

Related Resource: The Top 10 Cities With the Most Health Care Jobs

Imaging technology is often a necessity in diagnosing and treating illnesses and diseases. It’s also a safer alternative to radiation treatments, which makes sonographers a valued member of the healthcare industry. A career in sonography can be lucrative, challenging and very rewarding.

School Profile: Grantham University

Grantham University Healthcare Degrees Available

Grantham University appears in our ranking of the Top 10 Best Colleges for a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Informatics.

Health Information Management (Bachelor of Science)

Students who have a desire to work in healthcare and IT will benefit from the Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management program at Grantham University. They will learn to analyze information needs, design solutions and manage the storage, transfer, and retrieval of data in healthcare environments. The program is 122-credit hours and is available completely online. Students can complete the degree in just 38 months. Upon graduation, students are able to use information system tools and methodologies that pertain to the healthcare system as well as how to apply project management to information systems. They also gain an understanding of structure information collection used for executive-level planning and how to apply design concepts as well as problem-solving strategies to IT problems.

Health Systems Management (Bachelor of Science)

The Bachelor of Science in Health Systems Management provides graduates with the skills to analyze information needs, design solutions and how to store, transfer and retrieve information in a healthcare setting. The program requires 122-credit hours and is available online. Students can complete the degree program in 38 months. They will learn to use information system tools, techniques, and methodologies used in the healthcare system and to apply management principles to systems in order to promote development efforts. Students learn to structure information collection in order to facilitate executive-level planning as well as how to report and support capabilities while making executive healthcare decisions.

RN to BSN Degree Completion (Bachelor of Science in Nursing)

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing RN to BSN program is designed for nurses who want to advance in a nursing career. The program is available completely online with students studying curriculum designed in accordance with the NLN Competencies for Nursing Graduates and QSEN Competencies. In order to apply for the program, students must hold an associates’ degree in nursing from an accredited nursing program with a GPA of 2.5 or higher. They must also hold a current an unencumbered RN license. The program is 123-credit hours and students can complete the program in 24 months. They are able to use effective communication and employ clinical judgments based on evidence-based practice. Students are able to identify accountability and ensure safe, quality patient care. They are also able to synthesize available resources and select competent care concepts for individuals across their lifespan.

Health Systems Management (Master of Science)

Students who complete the Master of Science in Health Systems at Grantham University are prepared to analyze information needs, design solutions and manage information in a healthcare setting. Enrollees must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in computer or information systems. They may also apply if they hold a bachelor’s degree and two-to-four years computer systems experience. The program is 37-credit hours and can be completed in as little as 24 months. Students learn to manage healthcare information systems development projects designed to meet health administration needs. They also develop the skills to report and support capabilities used in healthcare decisions while ensuring information policy consistent with clinical, ethical, legal and financial requirements of healthcare institutions.

Healthcare Administration (Master of Healthcare Administration Degree Program)

Individuals who complete the Master of Healthcare Administration program at Grantham University are able to assess the legal, regulatory and ethical challenges characteristic of the healthcare industry as well as to manage the performance of health professionals in a wide range of organizational environments. They are able to apply basic management skills and to integrate multiple functional perspectives used to create innovative solutions to complex problems.

Master of Science in Nursing – Case Management Specialization

The Master of Science in Nursing with a Case Management Specialization prepares nurses for advanced careers in healthcare with the desire to deliver personalized service to patients. Students explore current trends in leadership and management as well as human diversity and social issues. The curriculum focuses on health promotion, disease prevention, and research. Students gain knowledge and clinical expertise in case management in health maintenance organizations. They gain an understanding of how to improve patient outcomes and to evaluate the healthcare system. As part of a final research seminar, students complete a Capstone project in case management.

Master of Science in Nursing – Education Specialization

Students who complete the Master of Science in Nursing with an Education Specialization are prepared for emerging trends in nursing education in both the academic and healthcare setting. They explore trends in human diversity, social issues, leadership, management, disease prevention, health promotion, and research. The program builds on the BSN degree, highlighting tenure, promotion, governance, academic freedom and ethics related to nursing education. Students complete a Capstone project as part of a final research seminar.

About Grantham University

Grantham University was founded in 1951 with the main campus in Southern California as part of the university movement in the late 20th century. The founder of the university, World War II veteran Donald Grantham, understood how the GI Bill would transform colleges in the United States. Initially, the school was known as the Grantham Radio License School, but the name was soon changed to Grantham School of Electronics.

In 1955, campuses opened in Washington DC and Hollywood, California, with Seattle, Washington, and Kansas City, Missouri, soon following. A second campus was established in Los Angeles in 1974. In 1968, the name of the school changed to Grantham College of Engineering. As the college grew, it developed distance education programs. That same year, the school combined activities to one Los Angeles location and offered distance only programs. In 1971, the campus moved to Falls Church, Virginia. All campus classes ended in 1976 and the school focused solely on distance education. In 1977, Grantham College of Engineering was the only college offering an accredited Bachelor of Science in Electronics through distance learning.

In 1993, Grantham moved to Louisiana and, in 2002, the school became Grantham University. After the campus was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the school relocated to Kansas City, Missouri.

Grantham University has been named a Top Military Friendly School by Military Advanced Education and Transition and by GI Jobs.

Grantham University Accreditation Details

Grantham University is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Accreditation provides public recognition to an institution that meets standards set by the accrediting agency. Accreditation confirms to parents, students and employers that the school operates on a sound financial basis, has approved curriculum, adequate facilities and equipment, as well as approved recruitment and admissions policies. Grantham is also recognized by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

Business degrees are accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, while engineering programs are accredited by the Engineering Technology Commission of ABET. The College of Nursing is a candidate for accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and project management programs are approved by the Project Management Institute.

Grantham University Application Requirements

In order to apply for programs at Grantham University, undergraduate students must provide official high school transcripts. They must also complete a Participation and Substantive Interaction. A funding plan must be in place within seven days of the start of the term or registrations are canceled. Some programs have additional enrollment requirements, so students are encouraged to speak to an admission counselor before applying.

Graduate applicants must have an undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher. They must provide official copies of all colleges or universities attended. One transcript must display the conferring of a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Grantham University Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergraduate tuition at Grantham University is $265 per credit hour and graduate tuition is $325 per credit hour. Military and veteran tuition is $250 per credit hour. Financial aid is available in the form of scholarships, grants, and loans. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify for assistance. They also must renew the FAFSA each year to remain eligible.

Grantham University began offering online and distance education many years before other colleges and universities. Their programs are specifically designed for working adults who may have obstacles that prevent them from attending traditional classes.

5 Important Books on Pediatric Medicine

5 Top Pediatric Medicine Books

  • The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
  • American Academy of Pediatrics Guide to Your Child’s Symptoms
  • The Harriet Lane Handbook
  • The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog
  • Pediatric Physical Examination

Books on pediatric medicine must walk a fine line between providing too much detail for parents and too little detail for pediatricians. The best books can manage this balance act. Other authors avoid the dilemma completely by writing to a specific audience. This list on important books about pediatrics is split between books for parents, books for clinicians and books for both. Hopefully, readers of all backgrounds will find useful information here.

1. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

This beloved non-fiction work profiles two pediatric doctors as they care for Lia, the child of Hmong immigrants. The doctors must balance their medical knowledge with the traditional beliefs of Lia’s family. It’s a must-read for any medical professionals who work with diverse populations. First published in 1997, it continues to be one of the best-selling books about pediatric medicine because of author Anne Fadiman’s thoughtful exploration of the clash between modern medicine and ancient practices.

2. American Academy of Pediatrics Guide to Your Child’s Symptoms

Pediatricians love recommending this book to parents. It’s won numerous awards for its evidence-based, easy-to-understand descriptions of common childhood illnesses. Parents can learn when to call a doctor, how to treat illnesses with over-the-counter medicines and basic first aid. Because it’s published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, doctors and patients don’t have to worry about inaccurate or controversial information.

3. The Harriet Lane Handbook

This is the CliffsNotes of pediatric medicine. It contains concise explanations of common pediatric ailments so busy residents can get the information they need quickly. It has chapters on pediatric pharmacology for quick, accurate medication dosing, and covers pediatric presentation of dermatology, gynecological and pulmonary symptoms. Now in its 21st edition, the handbook has been trusted by generations of residents and clinicians who need reliable information in the palm of their hands. Every new purchase comes with a free electronic version of the book for a more in-depth look at the graphs and pictures.

4. The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog

Child psychiatry is a controversial field. Are doctors overdiagnosing mental illness in children? Psychiatrist Bruce Perry shows that, for some children, pediatric psychiatry is the only path to a healthy life. Dr. Perry explores his work with traumatized children with a focus on how these resilient patients recovered from the horrors of their early life. He shares detailed anatomical knowledge of how stress affects young brains. The book also includes Dr. Perry’s techniques for helping young patients overcome early traumas. This book will be equally enjoyed by parents of children with mental illness, pediatricians wanting to expand their clinical knowledge and readers interested in the medical humanities.

5. Pediatric Physical Examination

This pocket-sized handbook is packed with features. It has examples of patient history flowcharts, guides on how to chart pediatric findings and more than 300 illustrations. Clinicians will return to the sections on medication dosage and development markers over and over. The spiral binding makes it easy to flip to any page, and the laminated cover and small size mean this pediatric handbook is designed to slip into a lab coat pocket.

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Every book on this list has been through multiple printing runs. That’s because the most important books on pediatric medicine resonate with parents and providers across time.

5 Informative Blogs About Pediatric Medicine

5 Must-Read Blogs About Pediatric Medicine

  • The Pedia Blog
  • The Journal of Pediatrics
  • Medical News Today
  • Children’s National Health System
  • Child Health Blog

There are many informative blogs about pediatric medicine on the Web for pediatric professionals, aspiring pediatric professionals and parents. These pediatric medicine blogs offer information on pediatric medicine, pediatric careers and also parenting tips. Readers can join in on forums, ask questions or just absorb the fountain of information that’s added to the sites regularly. Here are five informative blogs about pediatric medicine.

1. The Pedia Blog

Started by Dr. Ketyer, a Pennsylvania pediatrician with interests in preventative medicine and developmental pediatrics, the Pedia Blog is a site where parents and pediatric specialists can go to contribute and obtain information on anything involving children and children’s health. The blog offers videos, serious articles and a touch of humor here and there. Topics like childhood allergies, nutrition and children sleeping disorders are a few of the many topics touched on the Pedia Blog.

2. The Journal of Pediatrics

The Journal of Pediatrics is more than just a blog site for parents and pediatric professionals. It’s also an international peer-reviewed journal to help pediatricians manage and diagnose health problems in infants, children and teenagers. The Journal of Pediatrics is also loaded with research articles. Neonatal care, childhood immunizations, early caffeine use and treating lupus are just a sample of the variety of topics covered in the Journal of Pediatrics.

3. Medical News Today

Medical News Today is a blog site for both parents and pediatric specialists. Almost anything you’d want to read or write about regarding children can be found on this blog, including childhood diseases and illnesses; learning and development; breastfeeding; social skills; infant care; preventative health services, and caring for acutely or chronically ill children. This blog includes simple topics like the common cold as well as complex topics like reactive airway disease or transgender children issues.

4. Children’s National Health System

The Children’s National Health System is a site that offers four very informative blogs: Rise and Shine; Innovation District; Children’s Insider Blog; and Pediatric Career Blog. Readers and bloggers can follow all of them or choose the one that best meets their needs. Rise and Shine is a parenting blog that offers parenting tips as well as information childhood health issues. Pediatric Career Blog is ideal for the pediatric professional or the individual pursuing a career in pediatrics. Information on all the latest research and clinical innovations can be found on the Innovation District blog. Children’s Insider blog covers everything that’s happening at the Children’s National Health System plus a little bit of everything else.

5. Child Health Blog

Although most of the Child Health blog is aimed at parenting topics, it also includes information on child psychology, before-birth tips, growth and development and much more. There are articles on child abuse, nurturing, nursing, seasonal flu, childhood diseases, pollution, childhood eating disorders and nutrition. The Child Health blog even includes recipes for children. It also includes a special section for all things children that include articles on newborn babies, school issues and teenagers.

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In addition to the blog sites listed above, there is also an enormous amount of information to be gained from the American Academy of Pediatrics. This site is for professionals, parents, children or anyone interested in reading anything related to children. With all the tragedies occurring in our society today, parenting has become very difficult today. Finding informative blogs about pediatric medicine can be very valuable for parents and pediatric professionals today.

5 Important Characteristics of a Pediatrician

5 Pediatrician Characteristics

  • A Deep Well of Patience
  • A Diagnostic Laser Focus
  • Holistic Awareness
  • Excellent Organization
  • Emotionally Anchored

Any physician must practice medicine with a certain amount of rigor, but there are unique characteristics doctors need to be pediatricians. Working with children presents particular challenges and requires more fortitude than that seen in many other specialized fields. The article below lists five of the most important attributes and explores why they are essential.

1. A Deep Well of Patience

While all doctors should be both patient and methodical when in practice, it’s vital that pediatricians are calm and know how to cope with children. Young patients are often afraid of new procedures or shy of expected pain. Pediatric specialists and generalists alike must be able to calmly and clearly explain what’s going on with kids, and connect with them on their level of understanding. Patience is also essential when dealing with parents, who may be protective but misinformed about the real consequences of forgoing procedures, such as vaccinations or regular booster shots.

2. A Diagnostic Laser Focus

Usually, physicians can ask patients for their symptoms and receive a relatively straightforward answer. Pediatricians must not only be well-versed in potential symptom assessment, but they must also be able to extract meaning from the often garbled or unusual descriptions given by children. Parents can be helpful, but they can also confuse the issue further. When dealing with a pre-verbal patient, this attention to detail and ability to correlate data is even more critical. Attention to the details of behavior, physical presentation, and even changes to speech patterns of the very young can make the difference in diagnostic success. Many childhood illnesses and deaths in the past occurred because the symptoms were overlooked, dismissed or misunderstood.

3. Holistic Awareness

Pediatricians must view their patients from all aspects of health—mental, physical, and emotional. While these realms are essential in adult patients, hyperspecialization has the unfortunate result that only the immediate symptoms are treated, which can be disastrous in a child. Many disorders present during the first few years of life, and timely diagnosis is crucial, but these mental and physical maladies often show first with unremarkable characteristics, which can be misinterpreted. Similarly, signs of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse are often subtle, and the child lacks the vocabulary or conceptual understanding of abuse necessary to seek help.

4. Excellent Organization

While it’s true that all physicians should keep detailed notes and records, pediatricians must exhibit these attributes to a higher degree. As Samantha Ley notes in The Houston Chronicle that pediatric doctors are responsible for the care of patients at a uniquely vulnerable phase of life, and must thus keep detailed records of diagnoses, treatments, regular vaccinations, and observations of specific traits in their patients. These characteristics also help to build the bond of trust with parents and ensure a long-term medical relationship between practice and patients.

5. Emotionally Anchored

In an ideal world, the young patients of every pediatrician would recover from illnesses and injuries, going forward to lead fulfilling lives. This is not always the case. Children do not always get well, in spite of the best efforts of everyone working to heal them. Similarly, pediatricians often bear witness to atrocious abuse, unintentional neglect, or the battles parents wage with insurance companies to cover essential treatments for their children. It is vital that any pediatrician have an emotional grounding outside their practice. This improves their resiliency, so they can return to heal and help each day, no matter what that day holds. Otherwise, they become quickly drained and jaded, two qualities that distinctly clash with their profession of choice.

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Physicians of every sort should possess the qualities of attention to detail or a perspective of holism to one degree or another. However, the five characteristics described above are essential for any pediatrician, irrespective of specialization or focus.

5 Great Pediatric Medical Specializations

5 Specializations in Pediatric Medicine

  • Hospitalist
  • Child Abuse Pediatrician
  • Hematology/ Oncology
  • Neonatalists
  • Emergency Pediatric Medicine

Pediatric medical specialists receive extra training to treat patients with complex issues. Pediatric specialists work in many of the same fields as adult practitioners, like dermatology and gastroenterology. Some fields, like neonatalogy and development psychiatry, are found exclusively in children’s medicine. Pediatricians need clinical knowledge and good bedside manner as they help patients who may struggle to clearly express their symptoms. Here are five of the best specializations for pediatricians.

1. Hospitalist

This pediatric specialty doesn’t require a fellowship, so doctors can start working after completing their three-year residency. Hospitalists work entirely for a hospital, primarily managing acute conditions in a variety of units. Pediatric hospitalists might spend part of a shift in the emergency room before rounding in the critical care unit and finishing in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). This is a good match for doctors who want a fast-paced environment and the corporate feel of most hospitals. However, hospitalists rarely develop close relationships with patients because they never serve as a primary care provider. Physicians who want to work with patients for years should look to another specialty.

2. Child Abuse Pediatrician

For doctors with iron stomachs, specializing in child abuse brings a strong sense of purpose to the workday. These heroes complete a three-year fellowship to learn about chronic and acute symptoms of child abuse and how to differentiate normal injuries from those caused by abuse. Child abuse physicians work closely with social workers and lawyers. Many split their time between academic roles training other healthcare providers and services to the state. They may also work directly with parents to teach appropriate discipline methods.

3. Hematology/ Oncology

Pediatric oncologists diagnose patients with cancer and blood disorders. Because these are chronic diseases with long-term case management needs, these pediatricians can develop meaningful relationships with patients and their families. This specialization requires high levels of emotional intelligence and resiliency as many patients are unable to recover from their illnesses and may pass away. Some oncologists further specialize in particular types of cancer or organs. Doctors can earn a board certification from the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology (ASPHO).

4. Neonatalists

In high-risk pregnancies, obstetricians treat the mother. Neonatalists monitor the fetus before birth and treat the infant during the critical first days of life. These physicians must treat problems affecting many different organs while working with limited treatment options. Most work in the NICU section of hospitals, although a few work for universities as researchers or in the regular nursery units of large hospitals, where they treat infants who are ill but not critically so.

5. Emergency Pediatric Medicine

Emergency medical doctors must diagnose and treat a wide spectrum of illnesses ranging from trauma to internal medical emergencies. Most work at children’s hospitals, although some are employed by large general hospitals with a steady stream of young patients. This is a fast and exciting pediatric specialty that combines several fields of knowledge. A typical day can instantly switch between stitching a small cut to running a code blue on a trauma patient.

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Not every pediatrician specializes. Many open individual or small practices where they give vaccines, treat minor illnesses and help children without serious issues become healthy adults. As long as the patients and the provider are happy, any sub-field can become the best pediatric specialization.

5 Top Medical Careers in Pediatrics

5 Top Pediatrics Medical Careers

  • Pediatrician
  • Child Psychologist
  • Neonatal Nurse
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Registered Nurse

Individuals who want careers in healthcare and want to spend their time working with children can choose from several medical careers in pediatrics. Pediatrics is the branch of medicine that deals with children of all ages from birth until they become adults. There are various medical programs requiring various degree levels and training requirements. Here are five top medical careers in pediatrics.

1. Pediatrician

Pediatricians are medical doctors who specialize in the treatment of babies, young children and adolescents. It takes many years to become a pediatrician. The individual must complete four years of undergraduate courses as well as four years of medical school. Once this is finished, the student can obtain a medical license. The aspiring pediatrician must then complete a pediatric residency that can take from three to seven years to complete. As of an April 2018 wage report by, pediatricians earned an average annual wage of $193,108.

2. Child Psychologist

Child psychologists are trained medical professionals who provide mental health services to children from toddler age to adulthood. They speak with the children, assess their behavior, research their emotional and behavioral patterns, make diagnoses and initiate treatment. To become a child psychologist, an individual must earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in psychology and complete a two-year clinical internship. If the child psychologist wants to work in private practice, the candidate must earn a doctoral degree. The individual must also be licensed to work in all states. As of a May 2018 wage report by PayScale, child psychologists earned an average annual wage of $67,526.

3. Neonatal Nurse

Neonatal nursing, another medical career in pediatrics, involves registered nurses who have been specially trained to work in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) where babies who have been with medical conditions requiring additional medical care are treated. To work as a neonatal nurse, the candidate must earn an RN license, work in a neonatal department for at least two years and obtain certification as a neonatal nurse. This can be accomplished by passing the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing or the Critical Care Neonatal Nursing certification exams. The annual wage for neonatal nurses as of May 2018 was $60,453, according to PayScale.

4. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Also known as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), pediatric nurse practitioners work as specialty and primary care providers in a pediatric department such as a hospital, school or similar medical facility. Their workload is very similar to that of a doctor. Pediatric nurse practitioners have completed a master’s degree in nursing with a concentration in pediatric nursing. After obtaining the nursing license, the individual obtains work experience and obtains certification as a pediatric nurse practitioner. The Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified and the Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary Care are two credentials the pediatric nurse practitioner can earn. As of May 2018, pediatric nurse practitioners earned an annual wage of $85,753, according to PayScale.

5. Pediatric Registered Nurse

A pediatric registered nurse is an RN who works with children of all ages. This RN may work in a hospital, clinic or a private setting. They often work alongside a licensed pediatrician. Becoming a pediatric RN requires first becoming a licensed RN. To do this, the candidate must complete a nursing bachelor’s degree program and pass the NCLEX-RN. The final stages of the program have the RN working in a pediatric internship. Upon completion, the candidate can take the Certified Pediatric Nurse Examination to obtain certification as a pediatric registered nurse. PayScale states that pediatric nurses earn an average annual salary of $57,739 as of May 2018.

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Working with children can be demanding and stressful at times, especially when the patients are very ill, confused, in pain and out of sorts. In addition to requiring education and training, medical careers in pediatrics require patience, love of children and a very special individual.

What is a Neonatal Nurse?

A neonatal nurse, also known as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse, is a registered nurse (RN) who specializes in neonatal care, which involves working with infants born with medical problems requiring special medical care. It’s often been said that it takes someone caring and giving to become a nurse. That’s even more the case with neonatal nurses, who provide medical care to infants and emotional support to parents. Here is an overview of neonatal nurses, including what they do and how to become one.

What Are Neonatal Nurses?

A neonatal nurse is an RN who has additional training to work in neonatal or NICU departments of a hospital. Unlike RNs who work with many types of patients, neonatal nurses work with young infants and premature newborns. A neonatal nurse’s primary patients are premature or sick newborn babies in need of monitoring or medical care for days, weeks or even months after they’re born and until they’re ready to go home with their parents.

What Neonatal Nurses Do

Neonatal nurses work with infants who were either born too early or are at risk. An infant can be a full-term baby and still be in need of medical care due to injuries, serious illnesses or some life-threatening problem. Neonatal nurses hold the babies, monitor them and provide basic medical care to them.

Their work is not limited to just the babies because they also spend time comforting and educating the parents and family members on what’s going on with the infant. Some of their duties include:

  • Holding and comforting new babies
  • Changing diapers
  • Resuscitating newborn infants
  • Administering medications
  • Delivering and transporting babies and mothers

Although neonatal nurses most often work in hospitals and ICUs, they may also work in private clinics, women’s clinics, and maternity wards or as home healthcare nurses.

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How to Become a Neonatal Nurse

Becoming a neonatal nurse requires education, training, commitment and a real desire to work with and help infant babies. A neonatal nurse must first become an RN, which can be accomplished by completing an approved nursing program. These can be two-year associate degree programs or four-year bachelor’s degree programs.

Once the student has completed the nursing program, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN), which is a computer-based exam administered through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. After passing the exam, the candidate can apply for licensing through his or her state board of nursing.

To work as a neonatal nurse, the registered nurse must gain experience working in a hospital’s pediatric department or NICU. states that RNs should get at least two years of experience working in the following areas:

  • Maternal-Child Nursing
  • Well-Baby Nursing
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Labor and Delivery Nursing

An RN must have at least two years of experience working in one of those areas before he or she can take the neonatal certification exam. While neonatal certification is not a requirement to work as a neonatal nurse, it’s highly recommended. The neonatal nurse, however, is required to have Neonatal Resuscitation Program certification, according to Neonatal nurses may also obtain the following certifications:

  • Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing
  • Critical Care Neonatal Nursing
  • Low Risk Neonatal Nursing
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing
  • Electronic Fetal Monitoring
  • Neonatal Pediatric Transport
  • Basic Life Support
  • Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support

Neonatal nurses are a special kind of nurse because they are part of a team that often helps keep infants alive and well. Making the decision to become a neonatal nurse puts a candidate in a career that’s rewarding, challenging and constantly in demand.

How Do You Become a Neonatal Nurse?

Individuals who enjoy being around babies and have a desire to help them often wonder how to become a neonatal nurse. Neonatal nurses, also known as neonatal intensive care unit or NICU nurses, work with infants born with conditions requiring extra medical care. Education and work experience is required to become a neonatal nurse, but the rewards that come from being part of this career make it all worth the effort. Here are the steps required to become a neonatal nurse.

Education Requirements

In order to become a neonatal nurse, an individual must first become a registered nurse (RN). This can be accomplished by completing an associate degree or bachelor’s degree program in nursing. Nursing programs include nursing courses, lab studies and clinical education. Students complete courses like anatomy, physiology, chemistry, psychology, microbiology and nutrition as well as some liberal arts and social science courses. The clinical education consists of clinical rotations in a hospital. Once the educational requirements are complete, the candidate must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).

Work Experience

Clinical education is a required part of any nursing program, but the individual pursuing a career as a neonatal nurse must have additional work experience. Although the RN may have a nursing license to work as an RN, he or she must also have neonatal experience to work as a neonatal nurse. The candidate must get at least two years of clinical experience working with neonatal infants to become a neonatal nurse. indicates that many students obtain their experience by working in pediatric nursing, well-baby nursing, maternal-child nursing, or labor and delivery nursing. Depending on where the neonatal nurse wants to work, the individual may be required to have experience working in a well-newborn nursery or in a pediatrics department.


Registered nurses are required to be licensed in all the states. To be licensed, the individual must complete an approved nursing program and pass the NCLEX-RN, a computer-based exam consisting of 265 multiple-choice questions. The candidate must correctly answer at least 75 of those questions. The candidate has six hours in which to complete the exam.

Once the exam is passed, the candidate must apply for licensure with his or her state board of nursing. Neonatal nurses aren’t required to obtain additional certification, but obtaining certifications will benefit the nurse when seeking work as a neonatal nurse. The neonatal nurse can obtain the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing certification through the National Certification Corporation or the Critical Care Neonatal Nursing certification through the American Association of Critical Care Nursing. Additional certifications that neonatal nurses are advised to get are Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support, Basic Life Support and Neonatal Resuscitation Program. The neonatal nurse must complete continuing education credits to maintain certification.

Career Outlook

Between the aging population requiring medical care and the nationwide demand for more qualified medical professionals, registered nurses continue to be in demand. RNs are expected to see a job growth of 15 percent from 2016-2026, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Neonatal nurses, according to Nurse Journal, should experience a job growth of 31 percent. Neonatal nurses earn an annual median wage of $89,960, but this can increase with work experience and additional certifications. Location can also play a role in determining wages as well. The top paying state for an RN is California, where the average wage for registered nurses is $102,700.

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About 40,000 low-birth-weight babies are born every year in the United States. Due to the contributions made by neonatal nurses and medical advancements, the survival rates for these babies is ten times better than it was 15 years ago. Deciding to become a neonatal nurse may be the most rewarding decision you ever make.

What Medical Careers are in Pediatrics?

Individuals who want to work with children will be happy to know there are several medical careers in pediatrics other than just a being a pediatrician. Pediatrics is a branch of medicine that involves the medical and health care of children from birth and up to the age of 18. In the Greek language, pediatrics means “healer of children.” Individuals who want to become healers of children can choose from various medical careers in pediatrics. Here are some options.


Pediatricians are medical doctors who treat children from birth until the age of 18. Becoming a pediatrician requires a bachelor’s degree plus four years of medical school. After graduating from medical school, the doctor completes a residency working in the pediatric department of a hospital. The residency can last from three to seven years. Pediatricians earn an average annual income of $187,540, according to a May 2017 wage report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Pediatric Nurse

A pediatric nurse is a registered nurse who works in pediatrics usually alongside of pediatricians. They may work in clinics, hospitals or in home hospice settings. To become a pediatric nurse, the candidate must complete an accredited nursing program and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. Becoming a registered nurse can be accomplished by completing a nursing associate degree or bachelor’s degree program. The end of the program includes an internship where the RN can choose pediatrics as the area of specialty. Pediatric nurses typically take the Certified Pediatric Nurse Examination. RNs earn an average annual salary of $73,550 as of 2017.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Pediatric nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) who work as primary and specialty care providers in a pediatric health setting. They assess children and determine the best treatment plan. They work in hospitals and clinics and often work independently. To become a pediatric nurse practitioner, the individual must earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing, complete a master’s degree in nursing with a major in pediatric nursing, obtain work experience and earn the pediatric nurse practitioner certification. The candidate can earn the Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified or the Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary Care Credential. The Bureau reports that nurse practitioners earned an annual wage of $107,480 as of May 2017.

Neonatal Nurse

Also known as neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurses, neonatal nurses are registered nurses who work with babies born with medical conditions that require special medical care. To become a neonatal nurse, the individual must complete a nursing program and pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become an RN. Nursing programs also include clinical education, and this is especially true for the neonatal nurse. After becoming a licensed RN, the nurse must get at least two years of work experience working in a neonatal unit. The neonatal nurse can obtain the Critical Care Neonatal Nursing certification or the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing certification.

It’s worth noting that in the case of the neonatal nurse, pediatric nurse and the pediatric nurse practitioner, the wages listed are for RNs and nurse practitioners. These medical professionals who have certifications in areas of specialization (pediatrics), typically are offered higher wages.

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Working with children in a medical setting can be rewarding and challenging but also very heart-wrenching, particularly when children are chronically or terminally ill. Because qualified workers are in such need, pediatric specialists continue to be in demand. It takes a very special individual to choose medical careers in pediatrics.

What is a Pediatrician?

A pediatrician is a medical doctor who specializes in providing medical care to children from birth until adulthood. They not only diagnose and treat children’s ailments but also try to help them maintain good health throughout their lives. Becoming a pediatrician takes years of education, training and a commitment to helping children stay as healthy as possible. Below is an overview of pediatricians, including what they do and what it takes to become a pediatrician.

What is a Pediatrician?

A pediatrician is known as a children’s doctor because his or her career is spent helping children from birth until they become adults. This can be until a child is in the teens or until they turn 21 years of age. Pediatricians work in clinics, private practice or in hospitals. They see children for medical reasons, diagnose illnesses and injuries, prescribe medication and treat ailments, whether it’s with infants, children, adolescents or young adults.

What a Pediatrician Does

One of the main duties of a pediatrician is to promote and help children maintain physical, mental and emotional health. In addition to diagnosing and treating children’s illnesses, they also address issues such as malignancies, genetic defects, injuries and childhood infections. Here are some of the many duties pediatricians perform:

  • Develop age-appropriate treatment plans
  • Perform routine examinations, annual checkups and immunizations
  • Prescribe medication, order necessary tests and perform medical procedures
  • Help reduce child and infant mortality
  • Provide health care to acutely or chronically ill children
  • Monitor a child for normal growth and development
  • Provide counseling and preventative maintenance to children
  • Help children work through developmental disorders, behavioral problems, depression, anxiety disorders and social stresses

How to Become a Pediatrician

To become a pediatrician, an individual must have a doctoral degree. The path to get to that point starts with earning a bachelor’s degree. After earning a bachelor’s degree, the student must apply to a medical school. One requirement is that the student earns a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) degree. Applicants to medical school are required to submit MCAT scores.

Medical school generally takes many years, with the first two years spent in the classroom and the final four years completing internships in a hospital or clinic. During the internship, the student learns about various specialties, such as psychiatry, internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine and cardiology, among others.

After the internships are finished, the student completes a three-year pediatric residency working under the supervision of a pediatrician in a hospital or clinic. When the residency is completed, the individual must take and pass the medical licensing exam.

Areas of Specialization for Pediatrician

A pediatrician who wishes to treat patients with specific issues may pursue different areas of specialization and sub-specialties. Pediatricians choosing specialization areas often pursue fellowships in those areas. Once the pediatrician has completed all education and training requirements, he or she can work as a pediatrician. The doctor also has the option of becoming board-certified in any area of specialization he or she may have chosen. Some popular areas of specialization include:

  • Allergy
  • Cardiology
  • Dermatology
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Orthopedics
  • Otolaryngology

Related Resource: The Top 10 Cities With the Most Health Care Jobs

As long as we have children in the world, we’ll have a need for qualified pediatricians to tend to their emotional, mental and physical health needs. There are few things that can be more rewarding than knowing you’re helping children get through important times in their lives. This is the life of a pediatrician.

How Do You Become a Pediatrician?

The road to become a pediatrician is long but rewarding. Students must complete two degrees, a multi-year training program and pass a series of rigorous tests. At the end, though, most pediatricians wouldn’t trade their career for anything. The satisfaction of reassuring a worried parent or watching a child overcome a difficult illness overcomes any frustrations along the way. Here’s how prospective pediatricians can go from the first day of school to seeing their first patient in the office.


Medical schools do not accept applicants without bachelor’s degrees. Most medical students have a Bachelor of Science in Biology or Chemistry, although any degree is acceptable. Students must complete classes in biology, statistics, chemistry, sociology, organic chemistry and calculus. Before acceptance to medical school, applicants must demonstrate their mastery of undergraduate science through the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Many students also work part-time in a health-related field. Universities may offer college credit for Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) classes. This work lets students interact with patients and commit themselves to a career helping others.

Medical School

Pediatricians must earn a four-year medical degree. Both allopathic degrees (M.D.) and osteopathic medical degrees (D.O.) are good preparation for a career specializing in pediatrics. Because osteopathic schools take a more holistic approach to student admission, second-career students or those with big hearts and low GPAs often prefer the D.O. path. There are no specialties in medical school, so future pediatricians will take classes on the anatomy, pharmacology, psychiatry and biochemistry of adults and children. Clinical rotations will cover obstetrics, surgery, oncology and other specialties. Students must also pass the first two sections of the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE), which covers adult and children’s medicine. The exam is administered by the National Board of Medical Examiners. In the last year of medical school, students apply to residency programs for the next stage of training to become a pediatrician.


Specialization begins in residency. Pediatricians complete a three-year program to learn more about treating children. Residencies involve long hours as junior doctors learn everything there is to know about the diagnosis and treatment of children’s illnesses. Most pediatric residencies take place at children’s hospitals. Residents rotate between every section of the hospital while senior physicians, called attendings, provide hands-on education. It’s common for pediatric residents to complete 24- or 36-hour shifts or work 100-hour weeks. This may be the hardest stage of becoming a pediatrician.

Fellowships and Board Certification

After completing residency and passing the third and final step of the USMLE, pediatricians are ready to start seeing patients. Some choose to continue their education before opening a practice. Fellowships are a way to further specialize; for example, doctors can complete a two-year training in pediatric oncology or a one-year fellowship in pediatric psychiatry. Other specialties include pediatric surgery, dermatology and cardiology. Pediatricians can take an additional examination to become board certified.

Related Resource: Top 10 Best Colleges for a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Informatics

It takes many hands to keep children healthy. Registered nurses, psychologists and nurse practitioners also care for children. If the journey to become a pediatrician is too daunting, any of these medical careers with children is a worthy alternative.

School Profile: Anna Maria College


Studying Health Care Professions at Anna Maria College

Anna Maria College appears in our ranking of the Top 10 Best Master’s in Health Informatics Degrees.

Anna Maria College offers its students several majors from which to choose on the topics of health, health care, and related areas like community service, human development, and administration. Degrees available for study include a Bachelor of Arts in Health Sciences, a Bachelor of Science in Health and Community Service, and a Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration. Each of these degrees helps students obtain the skills and knowledge needed to work in industries like biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and general health care, as well as specific businesses like medical device companies. Students interested in working in healthcare in an administrative capacity should explore these and other degree programs at Anna Maria College.

For students who understand the importance of efficient administrative departments within healthcare and associated industries, the Bachelor of Arts in Health Sciences may provide the best opportunity to learn skills like navigating health insurance plans, understanding the organization and management of human resources, and applying ethical decision-making and reasoning to health services administration. The college shares that the employment opportunities for individuals working in health services and medical management will grow significantly over the next decade and will greatly exceed the growth expected for all professions. Some of the courses a student may expect to take in the major include Applied Statistical and Quantitative Reasoning, Computer Applications for Business, and Principles of Financial Management.

The Bachelor of Science in Health and Community may appeal to students if they wish to participate in the delivery of healthcare in environments like hospitals, community clinics, health insurance companies, and ambulatory care organizations. Once receiving their bachelor’s degree, students may choose to enter the workforce immediately or continue into graduate school in related fields like public administration, health care, and social services. The program places a significant emphasis on fostering a sense of social justice in students, as well as the opportunity to explore different career paths. Some of the environments where students may receive a field placement include centers for disabled adults, adult day care facilities, public schools, hospitals, and health insurance companies.

The Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration is an ideal degree for students who would like to focus on the business responsibilities that exist in healthcare delivery. The college describes this degree as one that combines the foci of business and health informatics. The major helps students learn healthcare management, as well as understand the responsibilities of various careers within healthcare organizations. Not only will students receive a theoretical foundation in business, but they will also learn the practical skills needed to operate successfully within health care. Topics covered in the major include medical terminology, billing, documentation, and the rules and regulations that exist within federal and state healthcare policies. Students are encouraged to seek out internships while enrolled in the program to further their real-world knowledge in advance of graduation.

About Anna Maria College

Established in 1046, Anna Maria College is a coeducational school affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. Located in Paxton, Massachusetts, the school is home to 1,100 undergraduate students and more than 330 graduate students. The rural campus covers 190 acres in Paxton where students attend classes, and the college also offers online degree options in areas like nursing, fire science, and public administration. There are six academic schools within the college with the School of Business being the most recent addition to the college’s departments. The sports teams participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in basketball, football, and cross country, as well as lacrosse and soccer. The teams at Anna Maria College are nicknamed the Amcats, and the school’s official colors are cardinal and white.

Anna Maria College Accreditation Details

The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE), which is part of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, has accredited Anna Maria College as its primary regional accrediting agency. The Board of Regents of Higher Education has also approved the programs at the college for veteran’s benefits. Some of the programs at Anna Maria College are also accredited by national accrediting bodies. The program in fire science is recognized by Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) for providing core courses required by the FESHE National Professional Development Model. The RN-BSN program has received accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), or the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.

Anna Maria College Application Requirements

Anna Maria College accepts applications on a rolling basis with students entering in the fall or spring semester. The application process requires several pieces of documentation that include the official application, the student’s high school transcripts, a personal statement or essay, and a letter of recommendation. An audition is required for students entering the music program, and prospective art majors must submit a portfolio. There are also additional requirements for nursing majors that include having a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and an ACT score that exceeds 19 or an SAT score above 900. Students who have taken Advanced Placement (AP) courses may apply for college credit with each class evaluated individually.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Anna Maria College is a private school and charges the same tuition for students whether they’re residents of Massachusetts or are from another state. Tuition for full-time study is $35,480 for the year. Students must also pay a comprehensive fee of $2,140, a student government fee of $240, and room & board of $14,230 for a total of $52,090 per year. Graduate tuition is charged per credit and costs $585 per credit hour per semester. There are some programs that feature different tuition rates like the Health Emergency Management program that costs $990 per credit hour, the Master in Social Work program that costs $900 per credit hour, and the Continuing Education Undergraduate programs, which cost $428.33 per credit hour.

Financial aid options at Anna Maria College include scholarships, grants, Work Study awards, and loans. Students may participate in the federal loan program, as well as seek out additional funding from private lenders. According to the university, around 98 percent of full-time undergraduate students receive some financial aid. When a student receives notification of a financial aid award, the communication will include information about any merit-based scholarships and grants that have been awarded to the student. Students are encouraged to fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form in advance of applying for entry into the Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration or another program at Anna Maria College.

School Profile: Boston University


Healthcare Degrees Offered at Boston University

Boston University appears in our ranking of the Top 10 Best Master’s in Health Informatics Degrees.

Boston University offers its students the opportunity to study traditional areas in healthcare with their nursing and medicine programs, as well as healthcare with administration degrees like a Master of Public Health in Health Law, Bioethics & Human Rights, a Master of Science in Health Sciences Education, and a Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics. From studying healthcare emergency management at the graduate level to engaging in health services research at the doctoral level, Boston University offers its students a comprehensive and broad selection of degrees from which to choose. Prospective students interested in studying healthcare degrees at Boston University will need to contact the School of Public Health or the School of Medicine with inquiries about degree offerings.

In the case of the Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics, students will enroll in that program within the Department of Computer Science. This certificate program requires that students provide an official transcript, two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a resume to be considered for admission. The objective of the health informatics program is to help students understand how information is shared, transmitted, and stored in modern health care. Students will learn about data collection, storage, and processing of data, as well as the types of electronic medical data generation that is common within the industry. Classes in the program include Biomedical Sciences and Health Information Technology, Electronic Health Records, and Health Informatics.

Students who wish to attend school at Boston University through one of the school’s online degree programs may wish to enroll in the Master of Science in Health Communication program, which is designed to help students understand how to communicate on complex topics within health care. The program requires that students have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school and be able to provide professional and academic references, at least two personal statements, and a list of relevant work experience. Remaining in the program requires that students maintain a 3.0 GPA. Students will take ten classes in the program for a total of 40 credits. Classes for this graduate degree include The Biology of Disease, Contemporary Public Relations, Health Communication, Advanced Writing for Health Communicators, and Introduction to Epidemiology for Health Communicators.

Another degree option for those interested in advanced healthcare research is the Doctor of Philosophy in Health Services Research (Ph.D.) program, which is offered by the Department of Health Law, Policy & Management. Health care professionals who wish to conduct advanced research in the areas of industry, government or academic settings will benefit from entering this degree program. Students will take courses that include Quantitative Methods for Health Services and Other Public Health Research, Theory and Research on Organizations, and Evaluating Health Care Quality. Students must complete the requirements for the degree within seven years of entering the program which includes writing and defending a dissertation.

About Boston University

Established in 1839, Boston University is a private research university that was established by the United Methodist Church. The school is now considered a nonsectarian facility and has more than 3,900 faculty members providing services to a student body of more than 33,000. The school has an endowment of almost two billion dollars and is labeled by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as an R1: Doctoral University, which means it has very high research activity. The school has had eight Nobel Laureates, 10 Rhodes Scholars, and 23 Pulitzer Prize winners acting as faculty at one time or another. The school’s athletic teams participate in NCAA Division I with a mascot named Rhett the Boston Terrier.

Boston University Accreditation Details

Boston University’s regional accrediting agency is the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, and many programs, schools, and colleges also feature separate accreditations and approvals. For example, the American Dental Association, Commission on Dental Accreditation has accredited the program in Dental Public Health and the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education has accredited the graduate degree programs in health services administration. The Council on Education for Public Health has given its accreditation to the graduate level programs in public health at the university, and the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education has accredited the Ph.D. program in healthcare management.

Boston University Application Requirements

Boston University requires most of the standard application items routinely submitted for college applications. Undergraduate applicants will submit The Common Application, their high school transcript, a teacher evaluation, evidence of standardized tests, and additional items like portfolio materials if necessary. Some majors may require interviews or auditions, and all students must prove they are proficient in English if their first language is one other than English. Students interested in applying to graduate school will need to visit the college within Boston University under which their prospective program is offered. For example, graduate admissions to the College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences and its Athletic Training major will need to submit an application using the Athletic Training Centralized Application Service, as well as submit GRE scores.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergraduate students at Boston University will pay $52,816 for tuition for the year, $10,390 for room charges, and $5,330 for a dining plan. Students should also expect to pay for books and supplies, as well as pay various fees associated with their programs. Tuition for graduate-level programs varies. For example, students in a program offered by the College of Communication will pay $50,980 for tuition while students in programs within the Goldman School of Dental Medicine will pay $74,500 for tuition. Boston University offers room and board options for graduate students, so overall costs may increase for those programs if a student decides to live in one of the campus housing options.

To qualify for financial aid at Boston University, students must submit their FAFSA form on time. After receiving an acceptance letter from the university, a student will later receive a notification of an award from the financial aid office. The award may include federal loans, grants, or Work Study awards. Students may also apply for need-based grants and scholarships through private entities, as well as from the university for certain programs. For students entering programs in the School of Public Health and related areas, Boston University recommends that students investigate opportunities for tuition remission in addition to other forms of assistance like need-based aid, scholarships, loans, and fellowships.

School Profile: Montana Tech of the University of Montana


Health Care Degrees at Montana Tech

Montana Tech appears in our ranking of the Top 10 Best Colleges for a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Informatics.

The College of Letters, Sciences, and Professional Studies (CLSPS) headed by Dr. Doug Abbott has a 14:1 student-faculty ratio at Montana Tech of the University of Montana for four healthcare bachelor’s options. Partnered with Missoula College, the 120-credit, 2+2 Health Informatics B.S. program focuses on the management of patient record systems. Boasting 98 percent job placement, the 128-credit Occupational Safety & Health B.S. strives to eliminate workplace hazards with OSHA certification. Known for its GERT Age Simulation Suit, the Nursing Department confers a 120-credit BSN or 48-credit BSN Completion track for advanced patient care. The 129-credit Applied Health & Safety Sciences B.S. integrates practicum for learning to appraise and improve people’s fitness.

Chaired by Dr. Dave Gurchiek, Highlands College is another subset of Montana Tech that provides four two-year associate pathways. Adhering to ARRT standards since 2004, the 72-credit Radiologic Technology A.A.S. covers the basics of diagnostic imaging exams. With Missoula College, the 67-credit Surgical Technology A.A.S. gives the clinical experience to support operating room procedures. Integrating Basic Life Support certification, the 69-credit Medical Assistant A.A.S. accepts cohorts of 10 for practicing clinical tasks. The 65-credit Business Technology A.A.S. features the Medical Office Specialist track with courses like Advanced Coding. The Graduate School also grants the 37-credit, ABET-accredited Industrial Hygiene M.S. in Butte or online via Moodle for protecting employee health.

About Montana Tech of the University of Montana

Montana Tech of the University of Montana reaped funds from the Enabling Act of 1889 to open Main Hall’s doors in 1900 to an inaugural class of 21 as the School of Mines. By 1965, Francis Thompson’s tenure had redesigned the School beyond technical study and paved the way for public acquisition in 1994. Budgeting $35.3 million, Montana Tech now trains 2,594 Orediggers, including Health Care majors, as a state-funded, coed STEM-centric member of the Frontier Conference. Montana Tech occupies a 108-acre Northern Rockies campus atop the “Richest Hill on Earth” in Silver Bow County. Linked to 7,995 LinkedIn alumni, Montana Tech of the University of Montana has graduated Mike Mansfield, Amanda Curtis, Brad Huse, Arnold Olsen, and more.

The U.S. News & World Report ranked Montana Tech the third best West college, ninth top value, and third best for vets on campus. On Niche, Montana Tech is America’s 192nd best public school, 227th best small college, and 389th top faculty. Forbes placed Montana Tech of the University of Montana 182nd among liberal arts institutions. College Factual declared Montana Tech the 257th best health professions school with the 20th highest-paid grads. The Social Mobility Index crowned Montana Tech of the University of Montana #1 for opportunity. PayScale positioned Montana Tech 175th for its mid-career median salary of $106,600. Note that the Princeton Review named Montana Tech the 16th most LGBTQ-unfriendly school with the 12th least happy students though.

Montana Tech of the University of Montana Accreditation Details

In Spring 2017, Montana Tech of the University of Montana concluded the seven-year review cycle to renew its Level V accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) under Chancellor Donald Blackketter. This regional body in Redmond is authorized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) to ensure the quality of Montana Tech’s 73 undergrad, 21 master’s, and two doctoral majors. Healthcare degrees also feature programmatic accreditations from the following:

  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
  • American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT)
  • Committee on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)

Montana Tech of the University of Montana Application Requirements

Becoming a healthcare practitioner at Montana Tech involves passing the “moderately difficult” admission process with 89 percent acceptance on the U.S. News & World Report. First-year Orediggers must prove their high school graduation or earn at least 2250 on the GED equivalency exam. Academic fitness is judged by cumulative GPAs over 2.5 or top 50th percentile rankings. For math, students need a minimum ACT score of 22 or SAT score of 27.5. For English, freshmen score at least 18 on the ACT or 25 on the SAT. The BSN Completion only considers registered nurses who transfer 60 credits graded “C” or better. The Graduate School admits bachelor’s grads with four-year degrees and at least 19 credits of math or science courses. Full admission requires a 3.0 GPA and GRE scores.

Montana Tech of the University of Montana follows a rolling admission policy with an August 10th undergrad deadline. Master’s programs like the M.S. in Industrial Hygiene review applicants until April 1st for Fall, October 1st for Spring, and January 1st for Summer starts. Create a CollegeNET account to submit the Application for Admission online for $30. If needed, extra materials could be mailed to 1300 West Park Street in Butte, MT 59701. Future healthcare leaders shouldn’t forget these:

  • Transcript requests for every institution
  • College entrance tests (SAT, ACT, or GRE)
  • Three sealed, direct reference forms
  • Typed personal essay or writing sample
  • Rubella and measles immunization records
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae (graduate only)

Tuition and Financial Aid

Enrolling at Montana Tech of the University of Montana incurs undergrad in-state costs of $7,125 full-time. The annual price outside of Montana is currently $21,959. Living at the Butte campus’ dorms, such as Centennial Hall, adds $9,289 yearly. Tech suggests budgeting $1,100 for books, $1,700 for transport, and $1,650 for extras. Annual bachelor’s cost of attendance equals $20,864 in-state and $35,895 out-of-state. Highland College’s programs like the A.A.S. in Radiologic Technology cost considerably less at $3,351 in-state and $8,557 out-of-state per year. The Graduate School publishes a full-time tuition rate of $3,823 for Montana and $9,289 for non-resident master’s students.

According to the NCES College Navigator, 62 percent of full-time Montana Tech Orediggers share $7.5 million in annual financial aid offers that average $6,372. Institutional funds include the Marie Moebus Presidential Scholarship, Advantage Scholarship, Frances and Ralph Mitchell Scholarship, and Montana Resources Opportunity Scholarship. The Western Undergraduate Exchange helps regional students save $7,800 per year. The Ron Verbeck Matched Education Savings Account program will provide $5 for every dollar saved. Filing the FAFSA application with code 002531 could unlock Federal Pell and FSEOG Grants. Master Promissory Notes may be signed for Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and Plus loans. Sky Country natives receive the Montana Higher Education Grant or Tuition Assistance Program. Federal Work-Study jobs at Montana Tech of the University of Montana, including in the Health Center, also pay at least $8.30/hour.

Learn more about Montana Tech of the University of Montana at the College of Letters, Sciences, and Professional Studies website.

School Profile: Colorado Technical University

Studying for a Healthcare Career at CTU

Colorado Technical University appears in our ranking of the Top 10 Best Colleges for a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Informatics.

Colorado Technical University offers a large number of health degree programs for students who want to work in this rapidly growing field. Its Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is actually an RN to BSN program that makes it easy for students to continue their studies and work on a BSN degree while still working as a nurse. Students can start classes at the beginning or in the middle of each month, which allows them to start as soon as possible. Depending on the number of credits that they bring with them, students can complete this program in only nine months.

Those who want to spend less time in school may find the university’s online nursing program appealing. This program allows students to make the transition from an RN program to a BSN program and then get a Master of Science in Nursing too. Once students complete the online BSN program, they’ll enroll in the MSN program, which takes around 18 months to complete. Though nursing students must do practicums, the university will let them do that work in their current positions. The university also offers an online Doctor of Nursing Practice.

Graduate students have more options than just an MSN though. They can also earn a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management. This program is available on its Aurora and Colorado Springs campuses and online. It features 48 credits of required MBA classes and healthcare management classes, including Systems in Healthcare, Managing the Healthcare Organization, Strategic Human Capital Management and Applied Managerial Economics. The university’s Master of Science in Healthcare Management includes many of the same classes. and students can choose from the general track or an informatics concentration.

CTU offers two other programs for students with little to no college experience. One of those programs is an Associate of Science in Health Administration Services, while the other is an online Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management. Students can pick a concentration based on their future goals. This program features 180 credits and is available on its Colorado Springs campus too.

About Colorado Technical University

Colorado Technical University is a large for-profit university system that operates several campuses in Colorado and an online campus. Founded in 1965 as Colorado Technical College, it opened as a school for military veterans. The founders of the college noticed the problems that these men and women had when making the transition from military to civilian life and wanted to make things easier for them. Students could use their benefits and take classes to learn new skills. It wasn’t until 1995 that it became Colorado Technical University (CTU). Though many of its students are current or former military, the university also accepts both traditional and nontraditional students.

Though the university opened a campus in South Dakota, enrollment numbers fell, which led to the closure of that campus. Students can still take classes on its Aurora campus, which is close to Denver, or on its Colorado Springs campus. More than 90 percent of its students take all their classes online. U.S. News & World Report included CTU on many of its top lists, including its lists of the top bachelor’s programs, top MBA programs, and best graduate degree programs.

Colorado Technical University Accreditation Details

The university has regional accreditation as well as specialty accreditation. Its regional accreditation comes from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NSACS). NCACS accreditation is important for any students who want to transfer classes and any student who needs financial aid. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) accredited its business programs, and it has specialty accreditation for its engineering programs too.

Colorado Technical University Application Requirements

Unlike other schools, CTU does not have an application deadline. Classes start regularly and usually start each month. Students can apply and then start classes at the beginning of the next session. The university encourages students to speak with one of its admissions counselors. Those counselors can collect all the necessary information from students, which lets students skip filling out the online application. Students who use the online system will find that they can complete the application in 15 minutes or less. CTU accepts undergrads who have high school diplomas, those who completed a homeschool program and those with a GED.

Some programs have other admissions requirements. Students enrolling in the RN to BSN program must have a nursing degree from an accredited school. The university does not require that they have their nursing licenses though. Students can actually enroll in the program and take classes before passing the national licensing exam. Those living in nine states, including Louisiana and Virginia, cannot enroll in this program. Students can check with the university to see if they can take online classes while living in a different state.

All the MBA and graduate programs available from the university require that incoming students have a college degree from an accredited school too. Students may need to provide those departments with other documents like a writing sample or a personal statement. CTU may also ask for letters of recommendation from the student’s previous employers or college professors also.

Tuition and Financial Aid

CTU makes it easy for students to find out how it costs to earn a degree because it often charges a flat rate for its programs. Students in the RN to BSN program can finish their degrees for around $13,000, while those who want to earn an MSN degree will pay this amount and then spend around $18,000 to finish the graduate program. All of the university’s bachelor’s degree programs cost $325 per credit hour, but students must also pay some university fees. CTU charges $585 per credit hour for most of its graduate programs and $370 per credit hour for its graduate nursing programs.

One benefit of taking online classes from the university is that students can save on some fees and costs. Online students of all ages can apply for financial aid too. Aid packages for undergrads usually include grants and loans from the government. The university offers institutional grants for doctoral students and will accept military benefits too. More than $30 million of the money that the university receives each year comes from students using the GI Bill. Graduate students can apply for federal loans and use alternative student loans to pay for the cost of attending Colorado Technical University.

5 Great Books for Nursing Students

5 Important Reads for Nursing Students

  • House of God
  • Why Hospitals Should Fly: The Ultimate Flight Plan to Patient Safety
  • The Everything New Nurse Book
  • Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters
  • The Total Money Makeover

It’s impossible to choose just five great books for nursing students. That’s why this list cover the most important topics, like how to get along with doctors and how to survive your first day on the job. Readers will get an overview of everything they need to be great nurses and an idea of which topics need further exploration.

1. House of God

This is a book about a physician’s first year of medical training. What’s it doing on a list of five important books for nursing students? It’s simple. Nurses carry first-year residents through the struggle of applying med-school theory to the real world. This book will give you more empathy for the baby doctors you encounter every year.

2. Why Hospitals Should Fly: The Ultimate Flight Plan to Patient Safety

In this book, aviation expert John J. Nance details his theories for why hospitals should incorporate safety lessons from the aviation industry. This is a must-read if you’re interested in healthcare administration or just keeping patients safe. Nance discusses common mistakes made by hospital staff and the simple solutions to fix them. A big piece of the puzzle centers around making nurses valued member of the healthcare team. If nothing else, this book will give you the motivation to go for your Master’s of Science in Nursing.

3. The Everything New Nurse Book

Every graduating nursing student should receive a copy of this book. Long-time registered nurse (RN) Kathy Quan covers everything you need to manage your career, your patients and your life. You’ll learn about dealing with doctors, working through patient life and which specialty is the best fit for your personality. Quan’s book is targeted at new nurses who want to thrive on the job, but it’s also helpful for student nurses wanting to prepare themselves for their career. You need this practical guidebook so you can hit the ground running your first day on the ward.

4. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost ten percent of nurses work in skilled nursing facilities like rehabilitation facilities or nursing homes. Many newly graduates nurses work at these facilities because of the ease of getting hired, particularly in understaffed rural areas. That’s why any list of required reading for new nurses has to include an entry on skilled nursing facilities. Dr. Gawande’s book is a thoughtful exploration of the history of long-term care in the United States and efforts to improve it. You’ll learn how small animals can make a big difference in patient outcomes and the complicated legislation that forces facilities to focus on patient safety over patient happiness. You might even gain more understanding of the difficult decisions nurse managers have to make every day.

5. The Total Money Makeover

This personal finance book might not seem like it belongs on a list of great books for nursing students. However, far too many new nurses find themselves wondering how their shiny new paychecks disappeared. Before you sign a lease for a new car, agree to give money to family members or treat yourself to a five-star vacation, learn to manage your money. Financial guru Dave Ramsey will ensure the monetary rewards of your nursing career last beyond pay day.

Related Resource: Top 10 Highest Paying Careers For Nurses

Don’t let your exploration of nursing stop here. Use this list of five awesome books for nursing students as a springboard and continue building your library.

5 Informative Websites for Nurses

Five Useful Nursing Websites

  • All Nurses
  • Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository
  • American Holistic Nurses Association
  • Nursing Infomatics Learning Center
  • Nursing Times

Nurses are on the front lines of clinical patient care, and they must keep their skills sharp by regularly visiting informative websites for nurses. While nursing is a supportive role, these professionals often spend more time with patients than physicians and, if properly trained, can notice early signs and symptoms of more serious complications. Other nurses assist with procedures, complete dressing changes, and teach patients diabetes management. These specialties along with almost every other area of medicine are constantly evolving, and in order to provide the best patient care, nurses need to stay current on these advances using resources like those listed below.

1. All Nurses

This site is essentially a forum for nurses around the world to share information, ask and answer questions, and provide encouragement. There are different discussion sections for career development, advice for students, and information about working conditions in different specialties. In another part of the website, nursing experts write columns and review products and nursing schools.

2. Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository

Sigma Theta Tau International, a nursing honor society, runs this online journal focusing on academic nursing and research. Any nurse or team can submit research papers related to nursing theory or practice which are then peer-reviewed and potentially published. For readers, the site is well organized allowing users to filter searches based on skill level, date, author name, and subject. One remarkable thing about this journal is that it is available free of charge for both readers and writers.

3. American Holistic Nurses Association

This is an informative website for nurses who focus on treating all aspects of a patient’s health, emphasizing things like nutrition, mental and emotional health, and interpersonal relationships. While some professionals are certified specifically as holistic nurses, others combine this perspective with more traditional nursing practices. The AHNA site offers learning modalities and educational resources for all nurses interested in holistic health.

4. Nursing Informatics Learning Center

Providing 14 classes, a blog, and a quarterly magazine, this informative nursing website focuses on how technology is changing nursing practices. With self-assessments, nurses can determine their current skill level and then use the NILC resources to learn more. According to Forbes, this area of nursing, called informatics, is not only changing the delivery of individual healthcare services but also is allowing researchers to quickly analyze a large amount of data, potentially changing current standardized medical practices.

5. Nursing Times

Starting in print over 100 years ago, Nursing Times is now online and one of the longest-running nursing news resources offering information about new scientific developments, relevant public policy updates, and analysis of current events and trends by industry experts. The site also has a section dedicated to continuing education classes and career development.

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Working in healthcare is unlike other professions because nurses and medical providers are directly impacting an individual’s health, so the stakes are higher. As such, it is the responsibility of nurses to educate themselves throughout their careers, a task that is made easier by the many reliable and informative nursing websites available.

5 Top-Paying Psychology Concentrations

Five Lucrative Concentrations in Psychology

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Engineering Psychology
  • Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Psychology is essentially the study of the human mind including motivation, cognition, and personality among other things, and given this broad base, depending on a professional’s interests, there are a variety of high-paying psychology specialties to pursue. In some cases, these skills are obtained through an undergraduate emphasis as part of a bachelor’s degree track, but often, they require a master’s or doctorate degree along with experience in the field. Some popular psychology concentrations include the following.

1. Clinical Psychology

This is one of the most common high-paying psychology specializations. These professionals work with psychiatrists to diagnose and treat psychiatric illnesses. Some states even allow them to prescribe psychotropic medications independently. Entering this profession usually requires a doctoral degree along with a residency period before licensing, but then, clinical psychologists can find work in a variety of environments including hospitals, schools, and private practice.

2. Forensic Psychology

This branch of psychology focuses on the overlap of psychology, criminal justice, and law. These professionals evaluate defendants before trials and then testify in court as to their findings. They may also perform assessments of police offers and other criminal justice professionals before hiring and after incidents. In other situations, they examine evidence and help solve crimes by developing profiles of criminals based on their behaviors.

3. Neuropsychology

This is one of the highest-paying psychology concentrations due to the complexity and breadth of the field including neuroscience, biochemistry, and physics as well as psychology. Neuropsychologists study the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behavior and the actual biochemical processes in the brain. They rely on cutting-edge imaging technology to examine brain function of both humans and animals in different situations. Many of the careers in this field focus on research, but some neuropsychologists have very practical jobs diagnosing and treating patients suffering from brain damage.

4. Engineering Psychology

Using many of the principles found in engineering, these professionals study the interaction between humans and technology. They often work for corporations on product development or software design teams to help more technical employees make products that are helpful for the less savvy general public. These psychologists need a solid understanding of data analysis and statistics as well as the ability to evaluate the effects of technology, both on the individual user and on society.

5. Industrial-Organizational Psychology

I-O psychologists combine business and management practices with psychology, and their main goal is increasing productivity while creating a positive work environment for employees. Talent recruitment and retention, developing training modules, and ensuring the wellness of employees, both mentally and physically, are some of the main focus areas of these professionals. According to Business Insider, this position will become increasingly important as workplaces are overall becoming more toxic. They use statistical modeling to determine problem areas and also to measure the effectiveness of new programs or policies.

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Since psychology essentially involves the study of individuals and their relationship with themselves and the outside world, there are many different focus areas within the broader field. Many of these areas are top-paying psychology concentrations because they require years of education and practice.

5 Great Internet Resources for Mental Health Specialists

Five Internet Sites for Mental Health Professionals

  • BioMed Central
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • Treatment Advocacy Center
  • Online Therapy Institute
  • The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Mental health professionals usually see patients with a variety of conditions which is why they often rely on internet resources geared toward mental health specialists for access to new information. Between seeing clients and completing necessary documentation, there is little time left for them to stay up-to-date on psychiatric developments and new counseling techniques. Some of these sites have information about all disciplines of psychology and mental health, while others specialize on a particular population or condition. A few popular resources include the following.

1. BioMed Central

This website contains scientific open-access journals with hundreds of articles available. Some relevant publications for mental health professionals include “Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health,” “Addiction Science & Clinical Practice,” and “Borderline Personality Disorder & Emotional Dysregulation.” Some of these publications allow anyone in the field to submit their own work and encourage readers to peer-review published articles.

2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

SAMHSA is a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and their website has information for both professionals and the public relating to mental illness, social issues, and substance abuse. One especially useful section of the site for mental health specialists is the database that contains extensive reports detailing the findings of surveys and experiments the agency has completed throughout the country. Another section contains articles by leaders in the industry detailing the efficacy of new treatments and suggested gold standards of care for different conditions.

3. Treatment Advocacy Center

This site is run by a nonprofit organization and is a useful online resource for professionals in mental health who are looking for information about the legal and social aspects of their field. There is extensive information about the mentally ill population in the criminal justice system, psychiatric hospital bed shortages, and housing issues as well as analysis of recently passed and proposed legislation.

4. Online Therapy Institute

Experienced therapists, Kate Anthony and DeeAnna Nagel began this site in 2008 to address the increasing impact of technology on an individual’s mental health as well as overall counseling practices. Since then, they have published numerous articles and training courses detailing the most effective methods for providing remote mental healthcare. These practices will only become more important as Forbes reports that many large healthcare corporations are perfecting interfaces for telemedicine and are planning on significantly expanding these services.

5. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Trauma-informed care is gaining traction among many psychologists, and this is an extensive online resource for mental health professionals who work with children and adolescents. The articles and research focus on identifying clients who may be at risk of developing behavioral and emotional problems from events in their pasts and the most effective therapeutic techniques for these situations.

Related Resource: Top 10 Best Colleges for a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Informatics

These are just a handful of the many useful sites containing the latest mental health news and personal accounts by other workers in the helping professions. Regardless of career focus, there are great internet resources for mental health specialists available.

5 Important Mental Health Jobs

Five In-Demand Mental Health Jobs

  • Psychiatrist
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Marriage and Family Therapist
  • Psychologist
  • Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

If you are thinking of pursuing a career in the wide-ranging fields of psychology, psychiatry or counseling, it’s important to know the types of mental health jobs that may become most important, both now and in the near future. Building and maintaining a career is easier if you know where the job market is headed, which jobs will be most rewarding to you, and what is involved in attaining your goals.

1. Psychiatrist

In order to become a psychiatrist, you must first complete your bachelor’s degree and go on to medical school. After medical school, you will complete a two- to four-residency training, where you’ll practice clinical psychiatry under the guidance of a professional in a hospital or outpatient setting. When your residency is completed, you can take the exams that will earn you board certification to practice psychiatry. The road to a career in psychiatry is long and sometimes arduous, but these very important mental health jobs can be extremely rewarding and offer a generous yearly income.

2. Substance Abuse Counselor

In this mental health job, you counsel those who are struggling with drug or alcohol use. This career entails helping patients understand destructive behaviors and situations that can trigger relapse. If you train to become a substance abuse therapist, your efforts will help those who wish to maintain their sobriety, find work in the community, and overcome a potentially lethal habit. Earning a counseling degree requires a Bachelor’s Degree or earning a degree in a certificate program. If you then go on to obtain a Master’s Degree or a PhD, you can become a licensed counselor.

3. Marriage and Family Therapist

Helping couples and families work out their problems is a very rewarding career goal. A Marriage and Family Therapist eases the way for family members to communicate better and understand each other more clearly. You can help people work through marital stress and conflict at mental health centers or in a private setting. You will need a Master’s Degree in that specific or a related field in order to become licensed in your state.

4. Psychologist

The work that a psychologist does is very important in today’s world. One of the many conditions a psychologist treats is anxiety disorder, one of the most common mental illness diagnosed in the US today. Anxiety affects over 18% of the adult population annually, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. After graduating from college with a BS or BA in psychology, you’ll need a Master’s Degree or doctorate for licensed practice. If you intend to become a school psychologist, you’ll need a Master’s Degree, while most other fields require the PhD degree.

5. Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

A mental health nurse practitioner can diagnose, treat, and prescribe medications to patients who have psychiatric disorders. A mental health nurse practitioner is a well-compensated and emotionally rewarding career. The path to this mental health job requires a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. It’s helpful to have a BS in Nursing prior to admission to this type of Master’s program.

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Each of these five important mental health jobs entail helping people in a system that has become increasingly overburdened. If you are compassionate, work well with others, and enjoy building relationships in order to help people, one of these mental health jobs may be the right one for you.

What is the Difference Between a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist?

Understanding the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist is both easy and hard. It’s easy because one is a licensed physician and one is not. It’s challenging because psychologists and psychiatrists have different treatment options, career possibilities and legal restrictions. Hopefully this article will provide a full explanation of the contrasts between psychiatrists and psychologists.


Psychiatrists and psychologists follow different schooling paths. Psychiatrists are medical doctors. They earn an undergraduate degree in any field, complete four years of graduate medical education and an additional four-year residency in psychiatry. They’re licensed by state medical boards. Psychologists who treat patients have either a master’s in clinical psychology or a doctorate in psychology. Some psychologists earn a Doctor of Philosophy, or Ph.D., and undertake research, but it’s rare for Ph.D. holders to provide therapy services. Patient-facing psychologists usually complete a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree. Both psychiatrists and psychologists must complete regular continuing education courses to maintain their clinical licenses.


The biggest difference between psychiatrists and psychologists is the treatment options each can offer. As doctors, psychiatrists are able to offer prescription medications like Adderall, Prozac and Zoloft. Psychologists are not allowed to prescribe medication in most states, although some argue they should be granted that ability. For now, many psychologists partner with psychiatrists to manage patients’ needs. You might see a psychologist for talk therapy and a psychiatrist in the same clinic for medication management. Many psychologists specialize in a certain treatment area like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or group therapy.


Although psychiatrists can offer talk therapy services, a big difference between psychologists and psychiatrists is the focus of their treatment. Psychiatrists go into medicine to help patients with complicated cases and serious mental health concern. This means psychiatrists often prefer to concentrate on patients with co-morbidities, or multiple diagnoses. You might find psychiatrists consulting on seriously ill patients who need to continue their psychotropic drug regimen while also taking medication for heart disease or high blood pressure. Psychologists, by contrast, are more likely to accept patients with minor medical health issues like mild depression or anxiety. In many cases, patients with relatively simple illnesses prefer to work with experienced, patient psychologists who are dedicated to giving patients the stress-reducing tools to navigate challenging situations.

Work Environment

According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals are the biggest employers of psychiatrists. It’s common for psychiatrists to work in out-patient office settings and in-patient hospital facilities; many doctors prefer to split their time between these two job roles. Psychologists are more likely to concentrate on private or group practice settings, although some work in hospitals as well. Many psychologists also work for universities or foundations in research roles. One thing that psychologists and psychiatrists have in common is the ability to choose their preferred work environments.

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Both career fields are financially rewarding, intellectually stimulating and helpful towards society. If you’re thinking about entering one of these helping professions, remember that the main differences between psychologists and psychiatrists are the length of time you’ll spend in school and how many treatment options you’ll be able to offer patients.

What is a Psychiatrist?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who treats mental illnesses. It is an excellent career to pursue for doctors who want to focus on curing and managing mental illness. Counselors or other mental health professionals who want career advancement may also decide to pursue this profession. Below is some additional information about psychiatrists and what they do.

What Psychiatrists Do

Psychiatrists focus more on the medical aspects of curing or managing mental illness in patients as opposed to the mental and emotional aspects. They focus on the complex connections that ailments of the mind and body have on each other. They diagnose patients and prescribe medication, in addition to pursuing other treatment options. Recognized mental disorders are listed in the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which psychiatrists use to diagnose conditions. They also may perform tests on patients to see if any physiological conditions are present. Most psychiatrists work in private clinics or hospitals and generally must be on call when patients need them, which can result in long or odd hours.

Psychiatrist Qualifications

Because psychiatrists are doctors, they receive all medical training that regular physicians do and are required to hold an M.D. To start with, they complete a bachelor’s degree. They go to medical school for four years after that, and depending on the program may be able to specialize in psychiatry. They then do a two-year residency after completing medical school to get their degree in psychiatry. All states require psychiatrists to be licensed in order to practice, which usually requires some level of continuing education to remain current and legal. It is also necessary for psychiatrists to remain knowledgeable about new methods of diagnostics, new treatments, changes in condition classification and more.

Psychiatrist Skills

To become a good psychiatrist, you will need to have better interpersonal skills and higher levels of empathy than regular doctors. Your patients will be mentally ill and coming to you in times of severe distress. You will need the communication skills to connect with them and get them to trust you so you can help them. It is imperative for psychiatrists to be kind, understanding and welcoming to patients in their practice. They must be able to speak with patients and their families about care and explain treatment options in a way that patients can understand. They also must be good problem solvers and critical thinkers in order to diagnose conditions and put together treatment plans.

The Difference Between Psychiatrists and Psychologists

Many students are confused by these two professions, because they not only sound similar but are very similar in actuality. While psychiatrists pursue a medical degree, psychologists pursue a Ph.D. or Doctorate of Psychology (Psy.D). Both careers involve counseling patients with mental illness, although psychologists cannot prescribe medications in most states. Psychiatry is a highly paid profession, with a median annual salary of $195,180 according to PayScale, although psychologists have high salaries as well. The two professions generally work together and a single patient may actually see both a psychiatrist and a psychologist simultaneously.

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Psychiatry is an intricate, intimate and unique profession within the medical field and is projected to remain in demand. If this sounds like a career you want to pursue, begin charting your career path to becoming a psychiatrist.

What is the Difference Between a CNA and an LPN?

There are many important differences between a certified nursing assistant (CNA) and a licensed practical nurse (LPN), although the details regarding licensing and job responsibilities are dictated by individual state laws. Both types of nurses work alongside doctors in a variety of settings and often spend a lot of time interacting with patients. There are a lot of opportunities for advancement and continuing education in the nursing field, so it’s possible to become a CNA as a stepping stone towards a career as an LPN or registered nurse (RN).

Education and Experience Requirements

Typically, neither type of certification requires applicants to have a college degree, although this can depend on state licensing requirements. Becoming certified as a nurse’s assistant is faster and easier than getting a license, and the standard training program only takes a couple months in most cases. Licensed nurses must complete a longer qualifying program, which usually takes one or two years, and pass the National Council Licensure Examination.

Working as a CNA

As their occupational title suggests, nursing assistants spend most of their time supporting the work of doctors and licensed nurses in a healthcare setting. CNAs are also called patient care assistants (PCA) since they are directly involved with providing basic aid to patients, including maintaining personal hygiene, grooming, feeding and monitoring vital signs. Nursing assistants can also fill important duties outside of direct patient care, like sterilizing examination rooms, organizing supplies and assisting with other areas of clinic or hospital operations.

LPN Role and Responsibilities

Licensed nurses are qualified for all the duties of a CNA and are able to perform other essential medical tasks depending on their state’s specific regulations. Generally, LPNs are qualified to check patient vital signs, administer medicine and conduct injections under the supervision of senior staff members. In hospitals and other large organizations, licensed nurses often work as part of a team under the direction of a RN or doctor. They can also serve as in-home nurses or work with elderly patients at a long-term care facility.

Comparison of Nursing Careers

Many people who pursue a nursing career find it incredibly rewarding and challenging, but it can also be taxing on a physical and emotional level. LPNs often have more flexibility and ability to manage work schedule, but both licensed nurses and certified assistants can face long hours in a demanding work environment during their career. Licensed nurses reportedly earned a mean annual salary of $45,000 in 2017 compared to the $27,000 earned by nursing assistants, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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As an occupation, nursing continues to grow and provide diverse career opportunities for qualified professionals. There is also a steady and clear progression beginning with entry level positions as a certified assistant, which makes it more accessible without the need to commit to a long-term training program. The difference between a CNA and LPN can also fluctuate with local law and a specific employer’s needs, so nurses have plenty of options for broadening their horizons and honing their professional skills.

What is a CNA?

A certified nursing assistant (CNA) is an integral part of the healthcare industry. They provide basic care to patients in a variety of healthcare settings. CNAs provide a wide variety of duties throughout the course of their day. Working as a certified nursing assistant is often a stepping stone towards a career in the nursing field. Below is an overview of CNAs, including job description, training requirements and career outlook.

What is a Certified Nursing Assistant?

A certified nursing assistant (CNA) is a trained healthcare professional who provides basic care to patients under the supervision of licensed nurses. They typically work in nursing homes and long-term care facilities but also work in hospitals and clinics. Before the individual has completed the training and passed a certification exam, he or she can work as a nursing assistant or nurse aide. Passing the certification exam earns the credential of certified nursing assistant or CNA. Duties of a CNA may include the following.

  • Taking and documenting vital signs
  • Responding to patient calls
  • Getting supplies for nurses and physicians
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Assisting patients in going to bathroom
  • Feeding patients and recording dietary intake
  • Repositioning patients or assisting them in turning over
  • Cleaning and dressing wounds
  • Stock medical supplies
  • Changing bed linens and cleaning patient rooms
  • Preparing rooms for admission and cleaning out after discharge
  • Assisting with certain medical procedures

How to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant

In order to work as a CNA, the individual must complete an accredited training program approved by the state. Training programs may be found at community colleges, vocational schools, in hospitals and through the Red Cross. Interested candidates can also find a list of approved programs through their state’s nursing board.

CNA programs are also found online, but only the coursework can be completed through distance learning. The student will still need to complete the clinical portion at a healthcare facility. Certified nursing assistant programs generally take from four to eight weeks to complete depending on the program. CNA programs don’t generally have many requirements, but students may need to satisfy these requirements.

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Attend CNA orientation session
  • Pass criminal background check
  • Pass health examination and TB screening
  • Be current with immunizations

To successfully complete the CNA program, the candidate must complete both coursework and the number of hours of clinical education required by that state. Once the student has completed all the training requirements, he or she must pass a two-part nursing assistant certification exam. The test consists of a practical exam and a written portion. When both parts are passed, the student’s name will be added to the state’s nurse aide registry.

Career Outlook for Nursing Assistants

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that CNAs should see a job growth of 11 percent during the decade of 2016-2026. Certified nursing assistant wages ranged from $20,040 to $37,900 or more with the annual median wage at $26,590 as of May 2017. Wages can vary from city to city, state to state and even from one employer to another.

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Nursing assistants will always be in demand because they can provide the basic care patients need and free up nursing to do their work and perform duties that CNAs cannot perform. Whether nursing assistants use their job as experience they can use if they wish to advance their training or intend on remaining CNAs, these medical professionals continue to be an asset to the healthcare profession.

How Do You Become an LPN?

An individual who decides to become an LPN (licensed practical nurse) can have many excellent career opportunities available upon completion of the required training and passing the licensing exam. The first step towards becoming an LPN is deciding what type of program the candidate wishes to take: certificate, diploma or associate degree program. Below is everything you need to know regarding how to become an LPN as well as information about this field.

How to Become an LPN – Licensed Practical Nurse

An individual who aspires to become an LPN must successfully complete a state-approved accredited nursing program. A list of approved programs can usually be found on a state’s nursing board website. LPN programs are offered at technical schools, vocational schools and community colleges. Diploma and certificate programs usually take one year to complete, while associate degree programs take two years.

The LPN training program consists of three parts: lab courses, classroom studies and clinical education. The clinical education usually takes place the final semesters of the program and includes supervised rotations in a hospital. The student must complete a designated number of hours of clinical education. The number is different from state to state.

LPN Certification

Completing the LPN training program is only the first part of becoming an LPN. Once the training is done, the candidate has to apply to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing to take the licensing examination. All the states require LPNs be licensed, which can only happen by passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN).

To pass the multiple-choice exam, the nursing candidate must pass at least 85 questions out of 205 and has five hours in which to do so. Once the nurse has obtained licensure, he or she may also choose to obtain certification in specialty areas of nursing.

What Are an LPN’s Duties?

LPNs are often the backbone of a nursing department. They work alongside and under the supervision of RNs and doctors as they provide basic nursing care to patients. The type of work they perform once they become an LPN may depend on where they choose to work. The majority of LPNs work in nursing homes. The duties of an LPN typically include the following.

  • Taking and recording patient vital signs
  • Documenting patient medical histories
  • Providing medical care, such as dressing wounds or inserting catheters
  • Providing basic care like bathing or feeding
  • Speaking with family members about aftercare for the patient
  • Communicating with patient regarding health issues

Career Outlook for LPNs

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that LPNs should see an employment growth of 12 percent during the 2016-2026 decade. The demand for qualified nurses continues to increase in an effort to keep up with the demand for more and improved healthcare. The bureau reported that LPNs earned wages ranging from $32,150 to more than $60,420 with the median yearly wage at $44,090 as of May 2017.

Nurse Journal reports that LPNs earn about $20.21 per hour. According to the BLS, there were about 702,400 LPNs working nationwide in 2016, and by 2020 the number should increase to 837,200.

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LPNs are a vital part of the medical field and continue to show their value every day, whether in a clinic, physician office or hospital. Many LPNs find the work so rewarding that they choose to further their education and become RNs. Individuals who chose to become an LPN are beginning a career that is not only high in demand but also deeply rewarding.

Top 5 Salaried Medical Degrees

5 Highest Salaried Medical Degrees

  • Doctors and Surgeons
  • Dentists
  • Pharmacists
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Optometrists

The top five salaried medical degrees offer candidates the opportunities to not only earn good salaries, but also work in a field that can be extremely rewarding. Few things can be as rewarding as knowing you’re able to help others feel better. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of healthcare jobs should grow 18 percent between 2016 and 2026. The top salaried positions typically require the most education as well. Here are the top five salaried degrees.

1. Doctors and Surgeons

To become a doctor or surgeon, an individual most complete several years of education and training. In addition to having a bachelor’s degree, the candidate must also attend medical school for four years. The first two of those years are for classroom and lab classes, and the final four are for supervised internships. When this is finished, the candidate enter a residency, which can last from three to seven years. When all is said and done, the doctor has a master’s degree or a doctoral degree. Doctors earned a median annual wage of $208,000 as of May 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

2. Dentists

As is the case with doctors, becoming a dentist requires several years of school. The aspiring dentist must first have a bachelor’s degree to enroll in dental school. The student spends four more years in dental school, which entails coursework and lab studies the first two and supervised work the last two. After dental school, the candidate will choose a specialty area and complete a residency, which can take as long as four more years. Dentists generally have doctoral degrees. The BLS reports that dentists earned average annual wages of $159,770 in 2016.

3. Pharmacists

Pharmacists are required to have a Doctor of Pharmacy degree (Pharm.D.) and must go to school for several years but not quite as long as doctors or dentists. If they enroll in school immediately after high school, they can complete a six-year pharmacy program followed by a two-year residency. Upon completion of training, the pharmacist must become certified and licensed. A median annual wage of $122,230 was earned by pharmacists as of a May 2016 report by the BLS.

4. Nurse practitioners

Nurse practitioners, also known as advanced practice registered nurses (APRN), work alongside of doctors and assist them in treating patients. Nurse practitioners are required to complete at least a master’s degree. Typically, the student enrolls in the program with a bachelor’s degree already. Once the master’s degree is completed, the candidate must complete a clinical internship. Many APRNs earn the Doctor of Nursing Practice or a Ph.D. Nurse practitioners earned a median annual wage of $107,460 according to a May 2016 BLS report.

5. Optometrists

Optometrists, like the previous medical professionals, must also complete years of college, obtain certification and obtain licensure. Candidates pursuing this career must have three years of postsecondary education before they can enroll in the four-year optometry school. Students in optometry school complete lab classes and supervised internships. After this is completed, the candidate may choose to complete one-year residency. When all the training requirements are met, the candidate can use the credential Doctor of Optometry. The bureau reported that optometrists earned an average median wage of $106,140 as of May 2016.

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The healthcare industry continues to be a growing field with more positions opening every year. Just as many healthcare positions are available to students who earn associate and bachelor’s degrees as those with master’s degrees. An individual interested in pursuing a career in healthcare has many options from which to choose even if they’re not the top five salaried medical degrees.

School Profile: Herzing University

Healthcare Degrees at Herzing University

Herzing University appears in our ranking of Top 10 Best Colleges for a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Informatics.

Herzing University offers twelve different healthcare programs that include Dental Assisting, Dental Hygiene, Health Information Management, Healthcare Administration, and Healthcare Management. Students at Herzing University may also choose Medical Assisting, Medical Billing and Coding, Medical Office Administration, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Physical Therapist Assistant, Radiologic Technology, and Surgical Technology Program.

According to a news release in 2016 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on employment projections for the next decade, healthcare professions are slated to remain some of the fastest-growing types of employment in the United States. Healthcare is a dynamic field that can appeal to students of all types, from creative people to those who enjoy math and analytical problems. Exploring the offerings from Herzing University may help a student find a satisfying and rewarding profession.

For students who are detail-oriented, earning an Associate’s Degree or Diploma in Medical Billing and Coding may offer the best start for a career in healthcare. Medical billing specialists enter patient information into a computer, code procedures and diagnoses, and transfer the information to patients, doctors, insurance companies, and medical facilities. Available positions exist in many healthcare environments including insurance companies, hospitals, medical clinics, and assisted living facilities.

Those who are interested in combining business and healthcare into a single profession may wish to take a look at the Medical Office Administration option at Herzing University. Depending on a student’s choice of location for this degree, available programs include an Associate and Associate of Applied Science in Medical Office Administration or a Diploma in Medical Office Administration. Students may then choose to move on to a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management degree.

Another interesting and valuable degree is Herzing University’s Health Information Management program. Depending on a student’s location, available degrees include a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management, an Associate and Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Management, and a Diploma in Insurance Billing and Coding Specialist. Conveniently, these programs are offered online, which means students who aren’t in the immediate vicinity of the school may still attend classes at their own pace.

Future healthcare workers interested in a job that requires frequent communication with patients may wish to consider the degree program for a medical assistant at Herzing University. The degree is available as an Associate of Applied Science in Medical Assisting Services or as a Diploma in Medical Assisting Services. Not only can students take classes online for this program, but they may also participate in classroom learning in locations like Akron, Ohio and New Orleans, Louisiana.

About Herzing University

Herzing University was established in 1965 and is a non-profit educational institute. The school focuses on offering students professional degrees in areas like nursing, business, healthcare, and technology. The school was founded by Suzanne and Henry Herzing as an institute for computer training and would grow to offer classes in other subjects. The school’s main source of growth was through the acquisition of other campuses like Massey Junior College in Atlanta, Georgia, which was founded in 1940, as well as the Electronic Computer Programming Institute of Birmingham, Alabama, which was founded in 1965.

Today, there are 11 campuses available for students, as well as a comprehensive online division where many of the school’s degrees can be earned entirely online. Some degrees have an option for students to attend a hybrid program where some classes are given through the online division, and other classes are taken at one of the school’s physical campuses. The headquarters of the school is in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

Herzing University Accreditation Details

Herzing University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and also offers business programs accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). Healthcare programs with accreditation include the Medical Assisting Services, which is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The Dental Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). The Medical Laboratory Technician program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).

Herzing University Application Requirements

The application process at Herzing University begins with an interview with an admissions advisor at the university and the submission of the school’s official application. Factors considered in the approval include the student’s prior education, standardized test scores, and the results of the student’s initial interview. A student may offer a GED, a state-authorized high school proficiency exam, an academic transcript from a two-year college program, or a diploma from a foreign school. The university will also take into account the student’s ability to commit to a class schedule that will result in a reasonable timeline for program completion.

Applicants who cannot meet the minimum standards of the program may gain provisional admission after having successfully completed the Student Success Skills test, as well as the Fundamentals of Mathematics and Principles of Communication test. A positive recommendation from the campus academic dean at the conclusion of the student’s provisional admission will help secure general admission to the university. Dental hygiene has some additional requirements for admission, but fulfilling this additional requirement may benefit students as they will be prepared to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam when they graduate.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition at Herzing University varies depending on the program a student chooses since some programs have additional fees attached to enrollment. For example, Occupational Therapy Assistants, Dental Hygiene students, and Physical Therapist Assistant students will pay a $100 enrollment fee. Associate and Bachelor of Science in Nursing will also pay a $100 enrollment fee. All other programs pay a $50 fee. Books and materials at Herzing fall under the Learner Resource Fee, which ranges from $125 to $425 a semester.

The cost per credit varies with each program, and students are encouraged to speak with a representative from Herzing to discuss the total potential cost of their education. For example, the Diploma in Insurance Billing and Coding Specialist costs $570 per credit, and the estimated total cost of the program is $19,500. Fortunately, students are eligible for a wide variety of financial aid types that vary from loans, scholarships, and grants to VA and military benefits. The cost of an education is just one factor in a student’s choice of school, and choosing one of the Healthcare Programs at Herzing University begins with an exploration of program benefits and costs, and concludes with an interview with one of the school’s admissions representatives.

School Profile: University of Mississippi

Health Related Professions from the University of Mississippi

This school appears in our ranking of the Top 10 Best Colleges for a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Informatics.

Health degrees at the University of Mississippi are housed within the School of Health Related Professions. Degrees are available at the bachelors, masters, and doctoral levels, and the school also offers residency opportunities for students of neurology, orthotics, prosthetics, and sports physical therapy. The university has an open house each year in the spring where prospective students can come to the school and learn about the available degree programs and the importance of health-related professions.

Bachelor’s degrees at the university include Health Informatics and Information Management, Histotechnology, Radiologic Sciences, Medical Laboratory Science, and Health Sciences. Graduate degrees include Health Informatics and Information Management, Health Sciences, Nuclear Medicine Technology, Occupational Therapy, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Doctoral degrees at the University of Mississippi include Health Administration, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy.

The university also offers several online learning opportunities at each level of study. Students may choose from a Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences or in Health Informatics and Information Management. Master’s degrees include Health Informatics, Health Information Management, and Health Sciences. The university also offers an online learning option for Health Administration. For degrees earned online, students can choose from a traditional or accelerated learning option, depending on whether the student is already licensed in a relevant area or has yet to gain licensure.

Students who wish to become involved in the growing healthcare industry may wish to consider the Health Informatics and Information Management (HIIM) degree, which leads to employment in a highly analytical and data-driven environment. Students will analyze and interpret healthcare data, as well as manage the collection, retrieval, and storage of that data. Classes in the program include Health Information Management Across Health Care Settings, Database Applications in Health Information Systems, and Topics in Health Informatics & Information Management. The school also offers this degree at the graduate level.

Applicants interested in filling leadership roles in healthcare may wish to consider the Bachelor of Health Science degree, which helps students develop the necessary skills to lead others in health care. The primary method of learning in this degree program is through online lesson delivery. Some face-to-face time on campus is required with students required to attend an orientation and capstone presentation at the campus. Courses in the program include Survey and Settings of Health Care Delivery, Cultural Competency in Health Care, and Writing for Health Professionals.

Students interested in a doctoral program at the University of Mississippi may want to consider the Doctor of Health Administration program. Advancing one’s career with a doctorate may allow a graduate to reach the top of the ladder in healthcare administration, as well as enjoy a higher salary. The program is particularly convenient for individuals who are already installed in their careers as the majority of the program’s classes are taken online. Students will attend just a few face-to-face campus sessions over the course of the program. Courses include Foundations of Health Policy, Strategic Change Management, and Leadership Strategies in Health Entities.

About The University of Mississippi

Often referred to as “Ole Miss,” the University of Mississippi is a public university in Oxford, Mississippi. A Medical Center connected to the university is located in Jackson. Enrollment numbers at the school have exceeded 24,000 with more than 2,200 faculty members and 10,600 staff members supporting those students. About 60 percent of the student body comes from Mississippi, and the rest of the students come from other states and countries. The campus covers more than 2,000 acres in Oxford, and the school’s yearly budget is around two billion dollars.

The school’s official colors are Cardinal Red and Navy Blue. The sports teams at the school are the Rebels, and students participate in NCAA Division I games. The school was founded in 1848 after having been chartered in 1844. There were 80 students attending classes at the school’s opening. The school was the only public college for more than two decades, and it would also be the only comprehensive university in the state for more than a century.

The University of Mississippi Accreditation Details

The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has granted the university accreditation to award degrees from the baccalaureate to doctoral level. Some programs and departments at the university also have specialized accreditations. Programs offered by the School of Health Related Professions also have accreditation from many associations that include the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education, and the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences.

The University of Mississippi Application Requirements

The University of Mississippi is not a particularly competitive school, but it does require that students meet and maintain certain standards during the application process. The average GPA at Ole Miss is 3.54, but the university doesn’t require a minimum cumulative GPA to enter the school. The university does, however, require that students complete the College Preparatory Curriculum (CPC) and maintain a minimum 2.50 on the classes listed on its page for Applying to Ole Miss. In addition to its curriculum requirements, students must also submit SAT or ACT scores.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The University of Mississippi is a public college and charges different tuition for in-state students versus out-of-state students. Fees students will pay include tuition, a capital improvements fee, and books & supplies. Some students who live on campus will pay for housing and food costs at the university, and out-of-state students will pay an additional fee of $15,264 whether they are in a graduate or undergraduate program. Some programs have a different fee attached, so students in the pharmacy program, law school, or the MBA program may pay more for their degrees.

Financial aid at the University of Mississippi includes virtually all types of expected aid like scholarships, grants, work-study programs, federal loans, and private loans. Most grants are offered through financial need while many scholarships are merit-based. For students who must rely on federal student loans, the cost of attending school at Ole Miss may exceed the amount allowed by the federal government so that private student loans may be necessary. When considering the University of Mississippi and its School of Health Related Professions, students should also consider whether any health profession scholarships and grants are available to assist with tuition.

School Profile: Western Governors University

Bachelor’s Degrees in Healthcare and Nursing

WGU appears in our ranking of the Top 10 Best Colleges for a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Informatics.

Western Governors University offers several degrees in the area of healthcare that include the subjects of nursing, health information management, and healthcare management. The university shares that the healthcare industry is one of the swiftest-growing areas of the economy and trained healthcare providers are in high demand. The degrees from Western Governors University are appropriate for individuals entering the workforce for the first time, as well as seasoned professionals looking to enhance their marketability in the workplace.

The nursing degrees at Western Governors University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The program in health information management is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Additionally, the National League for Nursing (NLN) named the university a “Center of Excellence in Nursing Education” for 2015 to 2019. The accolade has only been granted to 45 schools around the nation and was the result of an extensive review process by NLN.

The first of four degrees available at Western Governors University, the B.S. Nursing (RN to BSN Online) program, is designed to offer Registered Nurses (RNs) the education they need to advance their careers. The university shares that the majority of students complete their degree within six to 22 months. More than 20,000 students have successfully graduated from the program. Courses in the program include a selection of general education, healthcare education courses like Applied Healthcare Statistics and Human Growth and Development Across the Lifespan, as well as classes in health sciences, chemistry, nursing theory, and nursing science.

The second healthcare degree offered by Western Governors University is a bachelor’s degree for future nurses who do not yet have licensure as RNs. The university describes its program as “one-of-a-kind” and that it’s offered in the states of California, Indiana, Utah, Texas, and Florida. The university has partnered with various healthcare providers in those states to provide practice sites and local coaches for degree instruction. Courses in the program include Introduction to Nursing Arts and Science, Medical Dosage Calculations, Applied Healthcare Statistics, and Care of Adults with Complex Illnesses.

The third degree at WGU is the B.S. Health Information Management degree, which will qualify the graduate for jobs like Director of Informatics, Information Systems Auditor, Health Records Manager, Outpatient Coder, and HIMS Chief. Since the program is accredited by CAHIIM, students are eligible to take the RHIA exam after graduation to become a Registered Health Information Administrator. The program usually takes students around two years to complete. Classes in the program include Healthcare Reimbursement, Introduction to Healthcare IT Systems, Healthcare Compliance, and Medical Terminology.

The final degree available at WGU is a B.S. Business – Healthcare Management program designed for future leaders in healthcare. Some of the jobs available to students who graduate include Community Service Manager, Nursing Home Administrator, Health Information Manager, and Medical Records Manager. The curriculum for this degree covers a wide variety of areas like healthcare management, marketing & communications, business law & ethics, and economics. Students may qualify for federal student aid through the Department of Education for each of these programs.

About Western Governors University

Western Governors University is a non-profit, online university whose primary location is in Salt Lake City, Utah. The university was created during a meeting of the Western Governors Association in 1997 as a competency-based learning system. There are more than 91,000 students attending the online school across the nation with some of those students also attending traditional classes in various states. The university has partnered with businesses, educational facilities, and organizations across the nation to deliver face-to-face content where necessary.

The university offers 55 degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and post-baccalaureate levels, as well as various preparation programs for teachers. The four colleges include the College of Business, the College of Information Technology, the Teachers College, and the College of Health Professions. The university also encompasses several affiliate schools around the nation in states that include Indiana, Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Nevada, Missouri, and Washington. There are more than 2,400 academic staff members working for the university, as well as more than 780 part-time faculty members.

Western Governors University Accreditation Details

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has accredited Western Governors University to grant degrees. The accrediting agency is part of the U.S. Department of Education. The university also has a variety of programs with accreditation from other agencies that include the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education. The university also boasts accreditation from other regional accrediting commissions due to the nationwide and online approach to education delivery at the university.

Western Governors University Application Requirements

The application and admissions process at WGU requires multiple steps. The most important include an interview with an enrollment counselor, delivery of the student’s prior college and work experience, the results of the university’s Collegiate Readiness Assessment, and a demonstration of the time commitment the student can make to his or her education. Students interested in an undergraduate program must have earned a high school diploma or GED, submit their transcripts to the university, have reached the age of 16-years-old, and met all program-specific requirements. Students interested in the graduate program must similarly submit transcripts, be at least 16, and complete an interview with an enrollment counselor.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition at Western Governors University is unique in that it’s charged per session rather than per class. Students who choose to enroll full-time in classes to finish quickly can reduce their overall tuition investment. The tuition for each six-month term is similar in each college within the university. For the College of Health Professions, tuition is $3,190 for each of the undergraduate programs and $3,750 for the graduate degrees and the pre-licensure nursing program.

Students have many options for financial aid at Western Governors University including federal student aid, grants, scholarships, and benefits for VA & military students. The university shares that most students at WGU apply for federal student aid and that most applicants qualify for at least one type of federal aid. The American Association of University Administrators bestowed an “Exemplary Model Award” to Western Governors University for its efforts in helping students make smart decisions about financing their education, which means students interested in the university’s Bachelor’s degrees in healthcare and nursing may wish to explore their options at WGU.

School Profile: Walden University

Online Health Degrees at Walden University

This school appears in our ranking of Top 10 Best Colleges for a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Informatics.

Walden University offers several online health degrees ranging from the certificate level to the doctoral level. The university describes its degrees as “highly relevant” and helpful for students interested in gaining a combination of academic theory and firsthand knowledge. The university developed its degree in healthcare administration with the assistance of leading healthcare associations. Its graduate degrees and doctoral degrees in public health offer one of the largest online degree programs on that subject anywhere in the world. Faculty members providing instruction in healthcare feature a variety of researchers, scholars, and professors with experience in the public and private sectors.

The program at Walden University that is available at the certificate level is a Graduate Certificate in Public Health. Healthcare bachelor’s degrees at Walden University include a BS in Health Studies, BS in Healthcare Management, and a BS in Public Health. Masters degrees include an MS in Health Education & Promotion, a Master of Public Health (MPH), a Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA), and a Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) with a Tempo Learning option. Doctoral programs at Walden include a Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA), Ph.D. in Public Health – Completion Program, Doctor of Public Health (DrPH), Ph.D. in Public Health, a Ph.D. in Health Education and Promotion, and a Ph.D. in Health Services.

Admissions to the Graduate Certificate in Public Health are based on rolling admissions. Students may transfer up to 15 credits when earning this certificate. Courses in the program include Perspectives on Health and the Developing Scholar-Practitioner, SPSS Revealed, Public Health Administration & Leadership, and Environmental Health: Local to Global. Students will also take Epidemiology: Decoding the Science of Public Health, Interpretation and Application of Public Health, and Socio-ecological Perspectives on Health. The program requires 31 total quarter credits. Students may choose to move on to a master’s program after earning their certificate.

At the bachelor’s degree level, Walden’s BS in Healthcare Management is appropriate for students interested in advancing their healthcare careers with knowledge of complex healthcare systems. The program is designed to provide several learning outcomes like the ability to conduct financial management and fiscal evaluation of healthcare environments and the ability to analyze the pros and cons of a particular healthcare delivery system. The curriculum requires 181 quarter credit that includes a selection of general education courses, core courses, elective courses, and a capstone course. Healthcare-related courses in the program include Health Informatics, Ethical and Legal Issues in Healthcare, Current Issues in Healthcare Policy and Practice, and Aging Across the Lifespan.

At the graduate level, Walden University’s Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program will help public health professionals confront the challenges of the modern healthcare environment. The program features the five core areas of public health that include biostatistics, social & behavioral sciences, epidemiology, public health administration, and environmental health. During the program, students will engage in research activities to advance the profession and undertake a curriculum that helps prepare them to offer positive contributions to public health. Courses taken for this degree program include Biological Foundations of Public Health, Interpretation and Application of Public Health Data, and Epidemiology: Decoding the Science of Public Health.

About Walden University

More than 50,000 students attend Walden University, which is a for-profit school located in Minneapolis. The school is part of a global education network that offers classes in almost 30 countries around the world. The university was established in 1970 by a pair of teachers from New York. The school’s original purpose was to provide education in the form of doctoral degrees to teachers. The first classes were held in Naples, Florida. Over the years, the school underwent changes in venue, name, and size. It would move to Minneapolis in 1990 and become accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools in 1995.

Recommended: Top 10 Best Colleges for a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Informatics

Walden University Accreditation Details

Walden University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), which is one of the regional accrediting bodies responsible for examining schools for the integrity of their programs. Attending an accredited school ensures students are eligible for federal financial aid. In addition to institutional accreditation, there are several programs and departments within the university with accreditation. Those accreditations include the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) for its Master of Social Work (MSW) program and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) for its professional education programs. The university is also accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Walden University Application Requirements

Before applying to Walden University, admissions counselors recommend that students gather their unofficial transcripts for a pre-admission evaluation, official transcripts for the official application, a resume of work history, and a list of former employers and educational institutions attended. To apply to the university, students will create a MyHomepage account, complete a student profile, upload relevant documents, submit their application, and wait for an acceptance offer. Once accepted, students will set up their school email, enroll in their first course, and start the Student Readiness Orientation.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition varies at Walden University depending on the degree a student seeks. For example, the per-credit cost of the Doctor of Public Health – Track 1 – Accelerated Program for Students with an MPH is $575 per quarter hour for coursework credits. The program requires 58 quarter credits overall. For the Bachelor of Science in Public Health, students will pay $325 per credit hour and complete a total of 181 total credit hours. The school offers liberal transfer credit opportunities, so students may have the opportunity to reduce the cost of their degree by several thousand dollars.

Students have a variety of options for financing their education that range from federal student loans to grants and scholarships. Walden University is an accredited school, so students are eligible for federal student aid. In cases where a student’s tuition exceeds that amount offered by the federal government, the student may choose to apply for private student loans. Walden University does have some tuition reduction opportunities, and there are ways to reduce tuition costs by transferring credits from previous education. It’s also recommended that students explore the options for grants and scholarships designed for students seeking online health degrees from Walden University since there are monies available specifically for students in healthcare programs.

School Profile: University of Cincinnati

Health Degrees Available at the University of Cincinnati

UC appears in our ranking of the Top 10 Best Colleges for a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Informatics.

The University of Cincinnati has several healthcare degrees available for students that range from Advanced Medical Imaging Technology and Communication Sciences & Disorders to Veterinary Technology and Radiologic Technology. There are a significant number of programs designed for future dentists, nurses, and veterinarians, and the programs also vary from associate degree programs to pre-professional tracks for medical degrees. The school also offers non-degree programs for professions like dental hygiene and bachelor’s degree programs in areas like health sciences and health education.

Students interested in obtaining an associate’s degree that will provide support for entering an eventual bachelor’s degree program may wish to consider the Associate of Arts Degree in Pre-Health Education. After earning this degree, students are expected to transition to the bachelor’s degree program in health education. Students in this program should expect to find work in areas where they can design activities and programs that will improve the health of local populations. Some of the associations students may find valuable for membership after graduation include the Society for Public Health Educators, the Association for Worksite Health Promotion, and the National Athletic Trainer’s Association.

The university also has a wealth of programs relating to health information management, laboratory science, and health information security through its Department of Clinical and Health Information Sciences. For example, a student may want to explore the AS to BS in Health Information Management because it’s offered online and helps students complete their degree program without extensive time spent in a classroom setting. Students can graduate in as few as six semesters, and the program also has a high exam pass rate of 95 percent for the RHIA degree. It’s also a CAHIIM accredited Health Information Management Program.

Students who would like to enter a bachelor’s degree program may be interested in the Bachelor of Radiation Sci-Tech Degree in Radiation Science, which is a degree that is offered completely online. Students may choose a Management or Education-based internship, as well as transfer credits from programs already attended. The university reveals that radiation science and medical imaging are some of the swiftest growing areas of healthcare, which is already growing fast as an industry in the United States. Students should have already earned an associate degree in radiation therapy or medical imaging before applying to the program.

Future nurses may wish to explore the nursing program at UC Blue Ash College, which is a two-year associate of applied science degree in nursing. The degree is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, as well as the Ohio Board of Nursing. Anyone who graduates from the program will be eligible to take the licensing test to become a registered nurse. The program is considered one of the more selective options at the college, and students must meet a variety of minimum requirements before applying. Students must also pass an admissions test after submitting the official application.

About the University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati was established in 1819 as Cincinnati College, and it’s the oldest school for higher education in the state. With more than 44,000 students attending, it’s also one of the largest schools in the country. Interestingly, the school experienced some financial difficulties in its early years, and it would close for a short time before being reopened and combined with the Cincinnati Law School. A donation of land from benefactor Charles McMicken in 1858 would help reestablish the university, and the legislature in Ohio did so in 1870. Over the years, the university would expand and create colleges like the Ohio Medical College, the Teacher’s College, and the Graduate School.

University of Cincinnati Accreditation Details

Like other universities in Ohio, the University of Cincinnati is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, as well as a variety of other organizations for its schools and programs. For example, the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) accredits the Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology and the Clinical Entry-Level Doctoral Degree in Audiology from the College of Allied Health Sciences. The Ohio Board of Nursing accredit the Associate of Applied Science, Nursing Technology, and the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics accredits the Bachelor of Science in Dietetics.

Read: Top 10 Best Colleges for a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Informatics

University of Cincinnati Application Requirements

The University of Cincinnati is not a highly competitive school and has basic requirements for standardized test scores and a high school diploma or GED for undergraduate admissions. Steps in the application process for the University of Cincinnati include a visit to the campus, submission of the application and supplemental materials, and the application for financial aid. The University compares academic and non-academic factors when deciding whether to extend to a student an offer of acceptance. Admissions criteria for students applying for graduate-level study require that the student has a baccalaureate degree from an accredited school and a B average on any relevant undergraduate coursework. Students may apply to multiple programs at the university, but they must submit separate applications for each program they wish to enter.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition costs at the University of Cincinnati vary based upon whether a student is from Ohio, from a metro area in Ohio or is a non-resident. For example, the UC Blue Ash school charges $251 per credit hour for Ohio residents and $617 per credit hour for non-residents. That comes out to $6,010 for the year as a resident or $14,808 for the year as a non-resident. Students interested in entering the College of Medicine for their medical degree will pay $1,253 as an Ohio resident or $2,014 as a non-resident. That equals $30,048 for the full year as a resident or $48,312 as a non-resident. Students from Kentucky and Indiana may be eligible for in-state rates based on reciprocity agreements with those two states. Students will also pay some additional fees depending on the program they decide to enter.

As a major university, the University of Cincinnati offers its students a wide variety of financial aid options that range from grants and scholarships to loans guaranteed by the federal government. When a student applies for aid through the school’s Financial Aid Office, the office will examine all facets of the student’s application to determine aid eligibility. Aid offered may include grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans. Some financial aid options will be based on the student’s merits, and others will be based on whether there is a financial need for aid. Students are encouraged to apply for financial aid swiftly after gaining acceptance to a program in the College of Allied Health Sciences at the University of Cincinnati.

School Profiles

5 Great Medical Careers with a Master’s Degree

5 Jobs in the Medical Field with a Master’s Degree

  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Physician Assistant
  • Healthcare Administrator

Healthcare professionals with a bachelor’s degree can find many rewarding medical careers by pursing a master’s degree. Generally speaking, the further the individual takes his or her education, the better the career opportunities. While each career choice may have different requirements and training, the choices are almost endless. Here are five great medical careers that can be found with a master’s degree.

1. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

As an advanced practice registered nurse, certified registered nurse anesthetics are the professionals who administer anesthesia to patients undergoing diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical procedures. The also provide emergency services and pain management while also overseeing the care of patients following surgery. Certified registered nurse anesthetists must complete a master’s degree program on nurse anesthesia and have a valid registered nurses license. In addition to also passing a certification exam, the nurse anesthetist must spend at least one year working in an acute-care setting. These professionals earned a median annual wage of $176,212 as of a March 2018 report by

2. Chief Nursing Officer

The chief nursing officer, also referred to as director of nursing, is a registered nurse who is in charge of the management of an entire nursing unit or department. The chief nursing officer collaborates with other medical professionals, organizations and advocacy groups regarding healthcare matters. Their duties also include trying to make the department more efficient while still providing the best medical care to patients. The individual generally completes either a Master of Health Administration or Master of Science in Nursing program. As of March 2018, chief nursing officers earned an average annual wage of $104,405 according to This is probably one of the highest paying medical careers with a master’s degree.

3. Clinical Nurse Specialist

A clinical nurse specialist is a registered nurse who specializes in a specific area of nursing. Their work consists of three areas: patients and their families, administration and nurse management. They manage and advise other nurses and help make the nursing unit more efficient. Their roles include teaching, clinical practice, management, research and consulting. To become a clinical nurse specialist, the candidate must complete a master’s degree in nursing with a concentration in clinical nurse specialty program, pass the NCLEX-RN exam and also pass the Certified Nurse Specialist certification exam. As of March 2018, reports an average annual wage of $101,082 was earned by clinical nurse specialists.

4. Physician Assistant

Becoming a physician assistant (PA) is often a choice made by an individual who wants to treat patients without being a physician. Like physicians, PAs examine, diagnose and treat patients, but they often work alongside physicians. Their duties include taking medical histories, examining patients, prescribing medication, diagnosing illnesses or injuries, ordering tests and educating the patient on healthcare issues. Becoming a physician assistant requires at least two years of postgraduate studies. Additionally, the individual must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination to obtain licensure, which is required in the states. PAs earned a median annual salary of $101,960 according to a March 2018 report.

5. Healthcare Administrator

Individuals who want to work in a leadership role in the medical field without having daily contact with patients often work as healthcare administrators. Also known as medical and health services managers, these highly trained individuals manage a medical facility. As part of their duties, they plan, lead and coordinate health and medical services while ensuring everything conforms to healthcare laws and regulations. Aspiring healthcare administrators typically complete a two- to three-year graduate program that also includes a year of supervised experience working in an administrative role in a healthcare setting. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics reports medical and health services managers earn an average annual wage of $96,540 as of May 2016.

Related Resource: 5 Great Medical Careers with an Associate’s Degree

Medical careers continue to be part of a growing field that’s constantly in demand. The increasing number of treatable medical diseases increases the need for qualified medical professionals higher than ever. Earning master’s degrees may be the best way towards great medical careers.

5 Great Medical Careers with an Associate’s Degree

5 Jobs in the Medical Field with an Associate’s Degree

  • Dental Hygienist
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Licensed Practice Nurse
  • Surgical Technologist

Someone interested in working in healthcare can find several great medical careers with an associate’s degree. Healthcare careers continue to grow every year and generally offer good wages and rewarding work. According to a 2016 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), healthcare careers should see an employment growth of 18 percent in the next 10 years. Here are five great careers an individual can find with an associate’s degree.

1. Dental Hygienist

Dental hygienists assist and work alongside dentists. They perform routine dental tasks like examining oral x-rays, applying sealants or fluoride, cleaning teeth and discussing oral hygiene with patients. Dental assistants must complete a formal training program and pass both a written and clinic exam. Dental hygienists rank right up there with the fastest growing occupations. U.S. News & World Report ranks dental hygienists number three among the best health care support jobs and number 17 among the 100 best jobs.

2. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Diagnostic medical sonographers operate special imaging equipment and high-frequency sound waves to create images of the human body to detect illnesses. They assist doctors in assessing and diagnosing medical problems. In addition to earning an associate’s degree, the sonographer must obtain certification. They also have the option of obtaining certification in various areas of sonography. Diagnostic medical sonography was ranked number two among best health care support jobs and number 26 among the 100 best jobs by U.S. News & World Report.

3. Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical therapist assistants or PTAs work with physical therapists in helping patients recovering from accidents or illnesses return to normal activities. They also provide routine care to patients and help set up therapy equipment. Physical therapist assistants must complete an accredited associate’s degree program. PTAs are required to be licensed in all the states, so they must obtain pass the National Physical Therapy Exam for PTAs. This occupation was ranked number two among best health care support jobs and number 20 among 100 best jobs.

4. Surgical Technologist

Surgical technologists work alongside of surgeons in the operating room during surgical procedures. Their tasks also include stocking the operating room, calibrating equipment, cleaning operating room, handing instruments to surgeon, communicating with patient and bringing patient from his or her room to the operating room and back again. To work as a surgical technologist, the individual must complete a formal training program. Although it’s not required by law, surgical technologists may obtain certifications. U.S. News & World Report ranked this occupation number 23 among best health care support jobs and number 92 among 100 best jobs.

5. Licensed Practice Nurse

Licensed practical nurses or LPNs work under the supervision of RNs and doctors and assist them in providing basic health care to patients. Their duties include taking and monitoring patient’s vital signs, documenting patient’s medical history, administering immunizations, communicating with patients and family members, helping patients eat, dress and bathe, and dressing wounds. LPNs are required to be licensed in all the states, so the candidate must pass the NCLEX-PN exam and apply for licensure. LPNs were ranked number 96 among the 100 best jobs by U.S. News & World Report.

Related Resource: 5 Important Characteristics of a Nurse

As long as we need healthcare, we’ll continue to need the services of medical professionals, especially those who work in the area of health care support jobs. As health care support jobs are used more frequently, it allows the physicians more time with patients. It’s fortunate that so many of these great careers are possible with an associate’s degree.

5 Great Nursing Specialties

Nursing Specialties in Demand

  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
  • Certified Dialysis Nurse
  • Nurse Researcher
  • Certified Nurse Midwife
  • Nurse Practitioner

The nursing field continues to be a growing field and one constantly in demand, particularly with so many nursing students pursuing nursing specialties. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that registered nurses (RNs) should see job growth of about 15 percent between 2016 and 2026. RNs who earn certifications in different nursing specialties generally have the best career opportunities.

1. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are the most popular nursing specialties, according to Nurse Journal. CRNAs are advanced practice nurses who provide anesthetics with assistance during surgical, obstetrical and trauma care procedures. They work with not just anesthesiologists and surgeons but also with podiatrists, dentists and various other healthcare professionals. They administer anesthesia in every type of procedure and in every practice setting. According to, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists earn an annual median wage of $176,212 as of March 2018.

2. Certified Dialysis Nurse

Certified dialysis nurses work with patients who use dialysis machines because their kidneys are not functioning as they should. While they typically work in hospitals and clinics, certified dialysis nurses are also high in demand on cruise ships. In addition to having to pass a certification exam, certified dialysis nurses must also have completed at least 2000 hours working with dialysis patients in the last two years. states that certified dialysis nurses earn a median annual wage of $75,309.

3. Nurse Researcher

Nurse researchers are RNs who study different aspects of illness, health and healthcare in general. As a way to improve healthcare services and healthcare outcomes, research nurses create and implement various scientific research and studies. In addition to writing articles and reports for medical and nursing journals, they also teach in clinical or academic settings. Their careers are often started by working as clinical research monitors or research assistants. According to PayScale, nurse researchers earn an average annual wage of $104,500 as of March 2018.

4. Certified Nurse Midwife

Certified nurse midwives are Advanced Practice Registered Nurses who assist and provide healthcare to pregnant women during the pregnancy as well as during the post-partem time. They may work in a clinical setting or within the patient’s home. Certified nurse midwives offer prenatal care, genealogical exams, labor and delivery assistance, and neonatal care. The demand for certified nurse midwives continues to grow every year. The American College of Nurse-Midwives predicts that one in ten babies will be delivered by midwives in the near future. Certified nurse midwives earn an annual median wage of $104,390 according to a March 2018 report by

5. Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners are healthcare professionals who work with patients throughout their lives. Unlike some nurse specialties that deal with a certain group of patients, nurse practitioners work with all patients. They provide physical examinations, administer immunizations, diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries, order diagnostic tests, perform procedures and education patients and their families. In many states, they can also prescribe medications. They also assist physicians in clinics. As of a March 2018 report by, nurse practitioners earned a median annual wage of $103,212.

Related Resource: 5 Important Characteristics of a Nurse

With the aging population continuing to need good healthcare to improve their quality of life, RNs continue to be in demand. Pursing nursing specialties can not only increase the career opportunities available to them but can also result in more rewarding work and higher wages.

5 Important Characteristics of a Nurse

5 Characteristics Every Nurse Should Have

  • Emotional Resilience
  • Scientific Passion
  • Ethical
  • Physically Fit
  • Communicative

What characteristics make a great nurse? With a constantly evolving healthcare field, the huge variety of nursing fields and the ever-changing education and licensure requirements, the most important trait any nurse can have is flexibility. That’s not the only characteristic that matters. Here are five personality traits that any potential nurse should possess.

1. Emotional Resilience

Nursing school isn’t easy. It takes an ability to roll with the punches, to shake off a bad grade on an exam and put on a smile before heading into a patient’s room. Life as a nurse doesn’t get easier after graduation, either. Nurses help patients navigate trauma, unwanted diagnoses and struggles with the healthcare system. Whether it comes through meditation, journaling or time with family, successful nurses must be able to move past difficult events and recover in time for the next shift.

2. Scientific Passion

Nurses don’t just change bedpans, give sponge baths and follow doctors’ orders. In modern healthcare, nurses are an important part of the healthcare team. The average floor nurse cares for 12 patients; a typical doctor manages more than 100 cases at a time. Nurses know their patients – their allergies, support systems and cultural backgrounds. This means nurses have an obligation to advocate for their patients’ unique needs. Without a strong scientific background, other healthcare providers won’t respect nurses or their suggestions. An important trait for successful nurses is the scientific understanding to explain why a patient needs a special order or a different therapist. Nurses also double-check medication dosages and interactions, often catching serious errors before they affect patients.

3. Ethical

Nurses have great power. A home health nurse might be the only person interacting with a mentally challenged patient. Without ethics, that nurse could lounge around the house all day and ignore the patients’ needs. Unethical nurses might steal opiate medication, abuse patients or deliberately lie on patients’ medical charts. The vast majority of nurses would never actively harm a patient, and the nursing profession takes great pride in being ranked as the most honest and ethical profession in America by Gallup International for over 15 years. That’s why an important trait for nurses is being ethical – nurses without ethics will quickly face disciplinary hearings and possibly lose their licenses.

4. Physically Fit

Nursing is not an easy profession. The average nurse spends twelve hours a day rushing between patients with barely enough time to visit the restroom or scarf down a meal. Without physical fitness, nurses will struggle to find work in bedside care. Of course, hospitals need nurse managers and nurse educators, but it’s important for nurses to be physically fit enough to build up work experience before moving behind a desk.

5. Communicative

Patients don’t always share their medical issues. A good nurse needs great listening skills to encourage patients to open up. This means an ability to deftly navigate conversations to build rapport with patients while preserving enough time to deliver quality care to everyone. Plus, nurses need to communicate with other healthcare providers.

Related Resource: 5 Promising Advancements in the Field of Prosthetics

These aren’t the only five traits that matter. Cultural competency, empathy, problem-solving abilities and critical thinking are also important characteristics for successful nurses.

What is a Medical Biller?

Medical billers play a critical role in the healthcare industry. Any time a patients seeks medical treatment, a bill is submitted for the services. It’s the medical biller who makes sure the patient gets billed for the services and gets billed for the right procedure and right amount. Here is an overview of medical billers, including how to become one and the career outlook for these professionals.

What is a Medical Biller?

A medical biller is a trained professional who submits bills to patients and/or health insurance companies and follows up to make sure the healthcare provider receives payment for the services. When the medical biller receives a claim for the healthcare services, it’s represented by a code, and it’s the medical biller who translates it into a claim. It’s the medical biller’s responsibility to follow up on the bill until the provider has the final reimbursement.

Medical Billers vs. Medical Coders

Because there is a group of medical workers called medical billing and coding specialists, many people think that medical billers and medical coders are the same. They are two different employees and typically have different jobs. When the bill first comes to the billing department, the medical coder is the one that assigns a code to the medical procedure performed.

The medical coder then sends the claim to the medical biller, and the medical biller translates the code and sends out the bill for reimbursement. Some employees who take the required training program may work as medical billing and coding specialists and perform both tasks.

How to Become a Medical Biller

An individual can become a medical biller a couple of ways. Depending on the employer, the individual may receive on-the-job training. However, most medical billers or medical billing clerks complete formal training programs. These programs, found at technical schools and community colleges, may be either diploma or two-year associate degree programs. The U.S. News & World Report states that there are online medical billing programs available as well.

Certification isn’t require by law, but many prefer to become certified to improve their career opportunities. Medical billers can obtain certification through the American Academy of Professional Coders. Medical billers who don’t complete a formal training program need to have a lot of work experience as a medical biller because eligibility for certification is often either completing an approved training program or having sufficient work experience. There are a few different certifying agencies, and they each have their own requirements.

Career Outlook for Medical Billers

Despite some of their differences, medical billers are often lumped in the same group medical records and health information technicians. In other organizations, they’re categorized as medical billers and coders or medical billing clerks. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that medical records and health information technicians should see a job growth of 13 percent during the decade of 2016-2026. reports that medical billing clerks earned an annual median wage of $36,820 as of March 2018.

Related Resource: 5 Jobs With a Master’s in Public Health Degree

As rewarding as it must be to help patients get better, not everyone is comfortable with having direct contact with patients. Many people want careers where they can contribute to the medical industry without having that contact. Working as a medical biller is the ideal career choice for those individuals.

What Does a School Nurse Do?

If you’ve ever wondered what a school nurse does, the simplest answer is everything possible to keep the students and staff emotionally, mentally and physically healthy. They also help teachers develop a curriculum for health and physical education programs. Here is an overview of school nurses, including how to become one, their career outlook and a list of what a school nurse does.

What is a School Nurse?

A school nurse is a registered nurse (RN) who works in a school or for a school district. The school nurse is not only educated on the basics of nursing but is also trained to work with children and recognize health issues and determine the best health treatment plan. School nurses work as health care leaders in their communities.

What a School Nurse Does

The responsibilities of a school nurse may vary depending on the school district, the school size and the state requirements. School nurses often share similar responsibilities and perform the following tasks:

  • Evaluate and monitor sick or injured children.
  • Act as child advocate in recognizing families in need of social services intervention.
  • Recognize potentially serious health problems
  • Create and implement disease prevention programs
  • Promote health wellness, hygienic health measures and disease management
  • Communicate with parents and family doctors
  • Administer prescription medicine and education teachers on correct procedure
  • Administer basic first aid
  • Create and manage individualized education plans
  • Perform medical procedures for physically disabled students

School nurses typically oversee health services departments, offer outreach programs that promote wellness among students and their family members. School nurses also offer their professional opinion on physical education, athletic and nutrition programs. When answering the question of what a school nurse does, the duties and responsibilities seems to be almost overwhelming.

How to Become a School Nurse

To become a school nurse, the individual must be a registered nurse, which can be accomplished by completing an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing and passing the RN exam. However, the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) recommends that school nurses complete a four-year bachelor’s degree program and have RN certification.

Nurses are required to be licensed in every state, but each state may also have specific requirements regarding school nurses. Students in a nursing program complete classroom instructions and an extensive clinical internship in a health care setting. Once the student completes the training, he or she must pass the NCLEX-RN exam and obtain licensure. While it may not be a legal requirement, the NASN recommends that the aspiring school nurse become nationally certified by earning the National Certified School Nurse credential.

In addition to passing the exam, the RN must meet both educational and work experience requirements to be eligible for the NCSN certification. Some schools also like to employ school nurses who have at least two years of experience working in an acute care setting.

Related Resource: 5 Jobs With a Master’s in Public Health Degree

Career Outlook for School Nurses

In an effort to keep our children healthy, school nurses are highly in demand. Registered nurses in general are expected to see a 15 percent increase in job growth between 2016 and 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Based on a March 2018 report by, school nurses earned a median annual wage of $48,195. Because of everything a school nurse does, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that every school have at least one registered school nurse employed.

How Do You Become a Surgical Nurse?

To become a surgical nurse, an individual must complete a formal training program. The training program prepares the student for a career in nursing and working in an operating room. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that registered nurses (RNs) could see a job growth of 15 percent between 2016 and 2026. RNs who specialize in certain areas, such as surgical nurse often see better career opportunities. Here is an overview of surgical nurses, including how to become a surgical nurse and what the career entails.

How to Become a Surgical Nurse

Before an individual can become a surgical nurse, he or she must first become a registered nurse. Nurse Journal indicates that there are a few different paths towards this goal.

  • Diploma program – This option often takes place in a hospital and takes two to three years to complete.
  • Associate degree program – This two-year option is generally the most popular.
  • Bachelor’s degree – Although it takes four years to complete, it offers the most comprehensive education and includes two years of clinical education.

Upon completing any of the above options, the student must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to be licensed as an RN. Once the RN determines that he or she wants to become a surgical nurse, the candidate has the option to specialize in surgical nursing. This can be accomplished by earning a master’s degree with a concentration in surgical nursing or complete a two-program on peri-operative nurse training.

Another path the RN might take to become a surgical nurse is to become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) with a specialization in surgical nursing. According to, the surgical nurse candidate must also complete a residency, fellowship or internship working in a surgical ward.


Nurses are required to be licensed in all 50 states. Licensure requires passing the NCLEX-RN exam. This is a requirement for working as an RN and has nothing to do with working as a surgical nurse. To be eligible to take the exam, the individual must apply with the state board of nursing. The exam is a computer-based, multiple-choice test that consists of up to 265 questions. The candidate must correctly complete at least 75 questions to pass and has five hours in which to do so.

After the aspiring surgical nurse has completed the clinical portion and obtained a nursing license, he or she must then obtain certification. To become certified as a surgical nurse, the individual must pass the Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse Examination, which is offered by the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses. The American Nurses Credentialing Center also offers the Medical –Surgical Nursing Certification.

The surgical nurse may also earn the Registered Nurse First Assistant and/or the Certified Nurses in the Operating Room Certifications. The surgical nurse candidate may be required to complete a certain number of hours in the operating room to be eligible to take certification exams. Each exam has its own requirements. Depending on the state requirements, the surgical nurse may be required to complete continuing education to maintain licensure.

Career Outlook for Surgical Nurses

Surgical nurses appear to have a very positive career outlook. PayScale reports that surgical nurses earned a median annual wage of $66,326 as of March 2018.

Related Resource: 5 Jobs With a Master’s in Public Health Degree

Although working as a surgical nurse may be a lucrative and rewarding career, it does come with some requirements. For those that are not faint of heart, a surgical nurse career can be a great choice. Determining what the individual needs to do to become a surgical nurse is the first step.

What is an LPN?

The LPN, a licensed practical nurse, is a trained medical professional who assists registered nurses (RNs) and doctors in providing healthcare to patients. LPNs typically work in hospitals, clinics, outpatient clinics, insurance companies or any place that employs nurses. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that LPNs, licensed practical nurses. could see a job growth of 12 percent between 2016 and 2026.

What Does the Licensed Practical Nurse Do?

While working under the supervision of doctors and RNs, the LPN provides basic nursing care to patients. Some of their duties include the following:

  • Taking and monitoring vital signs
  • Providing care, including inserting catheters and applying bandages
  • Documenting patient health records and medical histories
  • Basic care, including feeding and bathing
  • Providing companionship to patient
  • Discussing and communicating with patient regarding conditions
  • Talking to family members about aftercare for patient

Although LPNs work in various medical settings, the majority of them work in nursing homes, according to

How to Become an LPN

To become an LPN the individual must complete a state-approved training program. These programs, which can be found at community colleges and technical schools, generally take a year to complete. Depending on the school and program, the student can earn a diploma or certificate of completion.

The LPN programs include a blended curriculum of classroom studies, lab classes and clinical education. The clinical education has the student completing supervised clinical work in a hospital or clinic. The hours of clinical education that’s required depends on the state’s requirements. Students may be required to complete CPR training.

Certification for the Licensed Practical Nurse

After completing the LPN program, the candidate must apply to take the licensing exam through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. LPNs are required to be licensed in all states, which requires passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN). The multiple-choice licensing exam consists of 205 questions, and the student must correctly answer at least 85 questions. The student also answers 25 experimental questions, but these questions do not count against the student. The student has a total of five hours to complete the NCLEX-PN.

In addition to licensure, the LPN may obtain certification in other areas such as IV therapy or gerontology to name a couple. Although certification is not required, it looks good on a resume and can enhance career opportunities for the LPN.

There is often confusion regarding the titles LPN and LVN. While they are both similar, the LPN stands for licensed practical nurse, and the LVN stands for licensed vocational nurse. The term LVN is used in California or Texas while LPN is used in the rest of the states.

Career Outlook for Licensed Practical Nurses

Licensed practical nurses earned a median annual wage of $44,090 as of a May 2016 BLS report. Wages range from $32,150 at the low end to more than $60,420 at the high end. Various factors can affect wage potential, including location, experience and employer. The bureau also reports that there were approximately 702,400 licensed practical nurses in the U.S. in 2016 and the number should increase to 837,200 by 2020.

Related Resource: Top 10 Online Medical Billing and Coding Schools

As the need for high quality health care continues to increase, so will the demand for LPNs. The demand for new licensed practical nurses continues to grow because the LPN – licensed practical nurse is such a valued asset to the healthcare industry.

What is a Nursing Assistant?

Also called nursing aide, the nursing assistant is a trained professional who provides basic care to patients in nursing home, long-term care facilities and hospitals. As the number of elderly people entering nursing homes and other long-term healthcare facilities increases, so does the demand for nursing assistants. Nursing assistants can expect to see a job growth of 11 percent between 2016 and 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

What a Nursing Assistant Does

A nursing assistant is healthcare professional who works under the supervision of a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a registered nurse (RN) and provides care to patients in long-term care facilities like nursing homes or hospitals. After all required training, the candidate is typically called a certified nursing assistant or CNA. Nursing assistants have many responsibilities throughout the course of their day. Their duties may include the following:

  • Answering patient calls
  • Getting supplies or the doctors or nurses
  • Taking vital signs as required
  • Bathing patients
  • Feeding patients and recording dietary intake
  • Turning patient or repositioning them as required
  • Stocking supplies
  • Providing personal care such as shaving, combing hair or brushing teeth
  • Cleaning rooms and changing bed linens
  • Preparing rooms for patients’ admissions
  • Dressing wounds
  • Helping patients go to bathroom
  • Assisting with medical procedures

There were approximately 1.4 million individuals employed as nursing assistants in 2016 according to the BLS. The states with the highest number of nursing assistants employed are California, New York, Florida, Texas and Pennsylvania.

What It Takes to Become a Nursing Assistant

Nursing assistants are required to complete a formal training program approved by that state. CNA programs are usually found at vocational colleges, technical schools, community colleges or hospitals. The programs generally last anywhere from four to eight weeks. According to, some nursing assistant programs are also offered online, but students will be required to complete clinical education in an actual healthcare facility.

Although this may vary by program, students may be required to satisfy these prerequisites:

  • Attend an orientation session
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Pass criminal background check
  • Pass physical examination and TB screening

Nurse assisting programs consist of both classroom assignments and clinical education. The number of clinical hours that must be completed is different in each state, but they must be completed to be eligible for certification.

Once the student has completed the training program, the individual must pass a nurse aide competency exam. This two-part exam includes both a written portion and a practical skill-based exam. When the individual passes this exam, his or her name is added to the state’s registry, and the individual has earned the title of certified nursing assistant.

Career Outlook for Nursing Assistants

As stated above, CNAs continue to be in demand in many healthcare facilities. As of a May 2016 report by the BLS, the annual median wage earned by nursing assistants was $26,590 with wages ranging from $20,040 to more than $37,900. Factors like CNA work experience, type of employer and geographic location all play roles in determining the CNA’s wages.

Related Resource: Top 10 Online Medical Billing and Coding Schools

Although nursing assistants are not required to complete as much training as RNs and LPNs, their work load is equally as full. In addition to being a rewarding career, nurse assisting can also lay the groundwork for the individual who wants to advance his or her education and become a nurse.

5 Jobs With a Master’s in Public Health Degree

5 Exciting MPH Jobs

  • Global Health Expert
  • Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer
  • Health Policy Analyst
  • Program Manager
  • Biostatistician

Listing the range of public health jobs available is challenging because public health is a broad field. Some public health experts work one-on-one with clients. Others never leave the laboratory. Some of the most prestigious jobs in public health only last a few years. Others provide a lifetime of challenges. Perhaps the biggest strength of a master’s in public health (MPH) degree is the range of career options it gives to students.

1. Global Health Expert

The world is full of major public health issues: maternal mortality, Ebola, and malnutrition. Public health experts with graduate-level training can address these issues. Employees in this field typically work for a non-profit or government agency, although private companies like John Snow, Inc. are also an option. Job opportunities range from managing inventory and supply chains for Doctors Without Borders to leading vaccination or public health education programs in low-income countries. Serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer for two years is a good way to get a foot in the door and demonstrate an ability to thrive in challenging conditions.

2. Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer

Movies like “Contagion” and “Outbreak” are based on real-life people: EIS officers, or America’s Disease Detectives. EIS officers begin their career with a prestigious two-year fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). They fly into disease outbreaks, investigate the origin of the epidemic and implement a plan to contain the disease. After finishing their fellowship, EIS officers go on to exciting jobs in state- and national-level epidemiology.

3. Health Policy Analyst

Federal and state organizations need smart, dedicated analysts to guide policy decisions. A master’s degree in public health with a focus on health policy or health management is the ideal degree for these positions. Analysts must be passionate and committed to advancing evidence-based health practices. Legislative experience or interest is also important because analysts will need to communicate with elected officials.

Related: How Do You Become a Health Policy Nurse?

4. Program Manager

Program management is one of the most common public health jobs because it’s such a diverse option. Public health programs range from local nutrition classes with 20 first-time parents to national initiatives to lower teenage smoking rates. Someone has to coordinate employees and volunteers, communicate program goals, track funding efforts and solve problems. MPH degrees often provide the hodge-podge of skills necessary to excel in health program management. This public health specialty offers many opportunities for advancement; managers can move up to more complicated programs or eventually lead entire organizations. Plus, program management skills are useful in almost any career.

5. Biostatistician

Public health students with an affinity for mathematics should consider a career in biostatistics. These quantitative experts are some of the highest paid public health workers; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates biostatisticians earn an average of $85,160 per year. Biostatisticians typically work in research teams and provide statistical expertise to colleagues designing public health studies. Common employers include universities, pharmaceutical companies, and government agencies. With experience, biostatisticians might lead research efforts of their own, but this isn’t required for advancement. Many successful biostatisticians are happy being behind-the-scenes experts.

As Americans continue to live longer lives, the need for public health workers will continue to grow. In ten years, today’s MPH students might find themselves in fields that didn’t exist when they were in school. This list only scratches the surface of available public health jobs.

5 Popular Essential Oils and What They’re Used For

5 Most Commonly Used Essential Oils

  • Lavender
  • Clary Sage
  • Eucalyptus
  • Rosemary
  • Ginger

Essential oils may strike some as a relatively new concept, but humans have been exploring and utilizing naturally occurring plant sources for millennia. When investigating the most popular or most widely used oils, it can be difficult to narrow it down to only five contenders, because each substance has a specific catalog of benefits. However, there are those with multiple applications and a long history of human use.

1. Clary Sage

In dietary doses, this close relative of the garden sage is considered safe. It’s also used as a fragrance, so even those unfamiliar with the uses of essential esters and oils will likely have had contact with it at some point. As noted, the oil can be ingested in small amounts. However, it does increase the soporific effects of some drugs and should be used cautiously. Primarily, it is thought to be efficacious in the treatment of digestive and renal complaints when taken orally. Topically, holistic adherents use it to treat minor skin complaints, tumors, eye inflammation, splinter removal, and other adhesions.

2. Eucalyptus

This essential oil has a long history of human use. Today, many over-the-counter cold remedies and skin care products include it. According to the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy, it’s strongly indicated for children with respiratory complaints because of its mildness. The ancient cultures that included it in their pharmacopeia recognized its benefits as an anti-microbial, insect-repellant, and deodorizing substance. Those properties are still valued, along with its demonstrable qualities as an anti-inflammatory and decongestant agent. The oil contains volatile compounds that render it astringent and make it a potent disinfectant. Many who utilize hair and skin care products, cold- or flu-easing remedies, and natural deodorants or soaps are familiar with the invigorating and sharply green scent.

3. Ginger Root

While it’s a common ingredient in many Asian cuisines and featured as a whole food in many Eastern medicinal traditions, the oil itself can be utilized in both dietary and topical applications. All lily rhizomes are edible, but the ginger lily is the most historically popular. It bears antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties when used in hair or skin products. But its claim to holistic fame is its benefits to the digestive system. Like peppermint, it calms an upset stomach, and may even bolster natural resistance to minor gastrointestinal complaints. It also reduces intestinal gas and bloating, making it uniquely attractive.

4. Rosemary

While this unassuming culinary herb can be found in many kitchen gardens, it also has a long history as a topical medication. In the millennia before modern shampoos, individuals who lived in the climates it calls home found it useful for bathing. Volatile esters contained in the oil have an anti-microbial property and also kill or discourage common lice and other unpleasant insects that enjoy living in human hair. Its sharp scent is also useful as a decongestant, and rosemary has been used to ease the symptoms of bronchitis, colds, and flu by many cultures.

5. Lavender

Human groups residing in the Mediterranean Basin (Northern Africa, the Levant, and Southern Europe) have been utilizing lavender for millennia. In fact, all languages influenced by Latin use some form of the name itself in their words for washing, because the Romans used lavender in their baths and other purification activities. It is antimicrobial, anti-spasmodic, and anti-inflammatory when applied topically.

When ingested in dietary doses, it reduces gas, acts as a mild soporific, and may even help to settle minor digestive complaints. The pleasing floral aroma of leaves, flowers, and oil make it a natural choice for ancient perfumes. Cultures from Persia to Celtic Gaul used lavender to perfume bathwater and ritual cleansing ablutions, wrap the dead, burn during rituals, and strew on the floor to provide a pleasing aromatic experience.

While Western pharmaceutical medication cannot be equaled for efficacy in many cases, the regular use of botanical substances has a time-honored place in human cultures. Many oils effectively treat skin conditions or settle upset stomachs, sooth menstrual cramps or drive away unpleasant pests. Organic chemistry is now used to verify these claims as well as those that assert various oils will elevate or sooth the human emotional state. In many ways, western chemistry is validating thousands of years of human practice and use of essential oils, which may render them even more popular.

5 Promising Advancements in the Field of Prosthetics

Prosthetic Advancements to Watch

  • Osseointegration
  • Sensation in Prostheses
  • Microprocessor Knees
  • Pro-Flex Ankle
  • BionX emPOWER Ankle

Each year, engineers and scientists discover new ways to deliver promising advancements in the field of prosthetics that strive to improve the lives of an increasing number of amputees. This year, there are several exciting technologies that may mean big things for those in need of prosthetic aid.

Here are five to watch in the near future:

1. Osseointegration

In 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Osseoanchored Prostheses for the Rehabilitation of Amputees (OPRA) device. The device, manufactured by Integrum, was designed for amputee patients as an alternative to traditional sockets. Individuals who have undergone osseointegration are fitted with a prosthesis that is directly connected to their residual limb via titanium implants inside their bones. Although the device is a potential solution to socket pain and discomfort, it may not be for all patients, and it carries a higher risk of infections and bone fractures if the patient experiences a bad fall. Nonetheless, the technology shows promise and provides amputees with another option to consider.

2. Sensation in Prostheses

Over the last few years, technological advances have shown promise in helping upper and lower extremity amputees use their minds to control their prostheses. DARPA’s Revolutionizing Prosthetics are some of the more recent breakthroughs as they promise that amputees will be able to not only control but also feel sensation in their prostheses. In other words, amputees will be able to use signals from their brains to manipulate objects with their prosthetic devices as well as precisely sense what it is their devices are touching. This is a potential game-changer for amputees because it essentially shuts the neural feedback loop.

Recommended: 5 TED Talks About Healthcare in America

3. Microprocessor Knees

Also known as MPKs, microprocessor knees have recently exploded onto the scene since their first debut back in 1999. Today, a number of manufacturers produce MPKs, including Ossur, Ottobock, Freedom Innovations, and Endolite. A standard MPK integrates a battery, sensors, software, a microprocessor, and either a pneumatic or hydraulic resistance system. The goal is to provide amputees with greater control and mobility at different speeds and over different terrains, thereby improving an amputee’s overall well-being and health and reducing his or her risk of injury from falls.

4. Pro-Flex Ankle

This new prosthesis uses a unique system of a posterior strut and carbon fiber strings that allow an amputee to feel as though he or she has a powered ankle and foot system without the added weight or inconvenient recharging requirements of a traditional battery. This is a radical change from today’s standard carbon fiber prosthetic foot, and it reportedly delivers 93 percent more ankle power. The manufacturer, Ossur, is a known leader in the field of prosthetics and boasts a history of innovation and promising advancements.

5. BionX emPOWER Ankle

The emPOWER BionX ankle provides control, stability, and power that normalizes walking and gives amputees confidence over any surface. This is a breakthrough for moderately active amputees with below- or above-the-knee amputations, and it is the most advanced ankle BionX offers. The emPOWER features a number of strong improvements over previous ankle and foot prostheses, including enhanced power delivery that feels more life-like at all speeds, an integrated battery design that feels and looks less bulky, and improved battery runtimes.

These are just a few of the more recent technological advancements for amputees that have taken the world by storm over the past few years. As technology continues to expand and grow, it is safe to say that we can expect even more promising advancements in the field of prosthetics.

What is a Physician Assistant?

For those pursuing a career in the field of medicine, the role of a physician assistant is a fascinating and fulfilling one. But many may wonder how this profession differs from other highly trained assistants and nursing specialists? Below, we’ll explore the duties, education, and additional salient details of this fascinating and vital medical specialization to help interested parties better understand it.

First Things First

You may have encountered the term before, but assumed that these specialists were similar to nurse practitioners or nurses. While they do share some common educational ground, the physician assistant must surmount different educational challenges. Also, this position is a relatively new one in the sphere of healthcare. As of today in America, the AAPA represents oversight for these professionals.

They must complete one of 218 nationally accredited programs, which are typically graduate level and require a prerequisite bachelor’s degree. Additionally, physician assistants are expected to pass a national certification exam. Physician assistants train in the same way as those students planning to become medical doctors. However, because their degree is nominally a terminal masters degree, they do not complete much of the additional education required of doctors.

Primarily, their education prepares them to assume a vital role within a healthcare team, with expert knowledge similar to the physicians they support, according to to the Physician Assistant Life. While a physician assistant degree can be a precursor to additional, advanced medical training, currently it does not grant individuals the right to practice medicine on their own. For those wishing to pursue further education beyond a master’s degree, they may apply to one of 49 programs, which offer highly focused training in fields such as trauma and critical care, neurology, or oncology. The Association of Postgraduate Physician Assistant programs operates to provide oversight and support for these advanced studies.

Field History

Physician assistant training and educational requirements are modeled after those standards set for swiftly educating field doctors during WWII. In brief, the physician assistant courses are grounded in essential skills and knowledge for treating wounds, diseases, and curtailing the spread of illness under demanding and hectic conditions, often with limited materials at their disposal. While you won’t be studying to practice in trenches during hostile engagements, the core merit of this approach provides a deep understanding of the needs of both patients and doctors during treatment.

Following Charles Hudson’s recommendation to the AMA, Eugene Stead of Duke University designed and implemented the first program of this type, graduating four students. It’s to his credit that today’s physician assistants receive such rigorous and thorough training. However, several other key figures followed his example. Richard Smith of the University of Washington, Hu Meyers of Alderson-Broaddus College, and J. Willis Hurst of Emory each launched independently crafted programs to this end.

By 1971, the United States Army caught onto the trend and began educating physician assistants in classes of 30, accredited by Baylor University. Today, these specialists are internationally recognized and practice as part of medical teams around the world. From Afghanistan to Germany and Ghana to New Zealand, individuals with rigorous medical training and deep understanding of their vital role assist medical professionals in a variety of contexts and scenarios.

Related Resource: 5 Great Podcasts for Health Science Students

Those interested in pursuing this profession are often keenly aware of the need to support medical personnel with a team of knowledgeable and skilled individuals. Although it is a relatively new position in the healthcare world, it was created to meet an identified need not served by other members of a caregiving team. The physician assistant offers focused support, tailored to the needs of doctors by a battle-tested course of education.

5 Great Podcasts for Health Science Students

Medical, Wellness and Nutrition Podcasts for Health Science Enthusiasts

If you need some stimulation when you’re driving to school, exercising or running errands, check out these 5 great podcasts for health science students. These podcasts will help you keep up-to-date on the latest trends in medical research, nutrition, fitness, sports and wellness.

TEDtalks Health Podcast

For health science fans who want to stay updated on breaking news in the niche, the TEDtalks podcast offers a wide variety of interesting topics to wrap your head around. Prominent physicians and medical researchers share insights about new scientific discoveries, medical health, daily health habits, wellness and other topics of interest to health science students.

Health Sciences Research Podcast From Emory University

As the recipient of $628 million in research funding in the year 2017, Emory University is at the forefront of health sciences research. This podcast covers insights from several different facilities on the Emory University campus including the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, the School of Medicine and the Rollins School of Public Health.

The Wellness Mama Podcast With Katie Wells

This top-rated podcast for health science enthusiasts provides fascinating insights into topics of interest in the alternative health niche. Hostess Katie Wells provides real-world insights covering the latest medical research on diverse subjects including food, nutrition, sleep, stress, fitness, toxins and many others.

Balanced Bites: Modern Paleo Living with Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolfe

At first glance, this podcast might seem out of place on a list of great podcasts for health science students. For one thing, it isn’t a serious, scholarly type of broadcast; this production is lighthearted, funny and engaging. Fans have consistently awarded it high ratings at the Itunes website. Some episodes come off a lot like “edutainment,” which might make it challenging for hardcore science buffs to take the production seriously. But it would be a mistake to dismiss the Paleo diet and lifestyle off as a hyped-up fad. It’s well worth investigating the science behind it.

Ph.D. Loren Cordain is at the forefront of the Paleo movement, and his scientific research is worth reading. He has contributed peer-reviewed nutrition articles to a number of well-respected, scholarly scientific journals. His ideas have resonated with legions of individuals seeking to improve their health through the science of nutrition. The creators of this entertaining podcast ride on the coattails of Dr. Cordain’s health, wellness and nutrition philosophies.

Your podcast hostess, Diane, is a certified nutrition consultant. She is also the author of two related books called The 21-Day Sugar Detox and Practical Paleo. Her sidekick, Liz, is a practitioner of nutrition therapy and has also written two books, The Purely Primal Skincare Guide and Eat the Yolks. Their broadcast covers a range of topics in the health and wellness sphere, with a consistent theme of Paleo-friendly news coverage.

Men’s Health Podcast by Rodale

Rodale has been a trusted source of information since the 1930s, and this podcast is an extension of their privately-owned media empire. It’s a top-rated broadcast that informs men about how to get fit, consume the right balance of nutrition, lose weight and stay motivated. You’ll gain insights from a variety of doctors, scientists, trainers and other experts, from Crossfit trainer Jason Khalipa to UFC heavyweight champion Bas Rutten.

These 5 podcasts offer an interesting mix of health-related info that will appeal to a broad range of health science students. Of course, there are many more options for fascinating podcasts available. Forbes published a list of biotech and health science podcasts that you might find interesting if you want to brush up on the business side of the biotech industry. NPR maintains a diverse list of science and medicine podcasts that can provide many hours worth of thought-provoking education. If you need some stimulating listening material while you’re out and about in the world, consider tuning into any of these great podcasts for health science students.

What is a Lactation Consultant?

If you’ve never interacted with a lactation consultant, it’s only natural to wonder what it is, exactly, that these healthcare professionals do. What kind of services does a lactation consultant offer? Why would someone need to consult with one? What credentials does a lactation consultant have, and what kind of training do they receive? If you need one, how do you go about finding a good one? Let’s explore the unknowns regarding lactation consultants and the services they perform.

Typical Job Description and Responsibilities

Lactation consultants help new mothers learn everything they need to know about breastfeeding their newborn babies. While breastfeeding is a natural act, most new moms don’t instinctively understand how to do it. They have questions that need answering, and they often need support in getting started with breastfeeding. Common questions include:

  • How do I know my baby is getting a substantial enough quantity of milk to drink?
  • How do I know I’m making enough milk to supply my baby’s needs?
  • How should my baby be positioned when breastfeeding?
  • What do I do if I feel pain when breastfeeding my baby?
  • How do I use a breast pump?

A qualified lactation consultant can help a new mother answer all these questions and others. Lactation consultants also offer hands-on help with a variety of issues that new mothers experience when learning how to breastfeed.

It’s common for new mothers to have difficulty figuring out how to position their babies for optimum success with breastfeeding. Little flailing arms can get in the way, and a sleep-deprived mom may feel helpless to grab the baby and get him into position. Often the baby’s latch is incorrect. The mother may be experiencing nipple soreness or pain. Sometimes a milk duct gets plugged, which causes problems with feeding. A lactation consultant can help a new mother work through all these problems to fix them and achieve success with nursing her baby.

Some lactation consultants will weigh a newborn before and after a feeding session to ensure the baby is actually consuming breast milk.

How Does a New Mother Find a Qualified Lactation Consultant?

Many new moms find lactation consultants through the facilities where they give birth; their doctor, nurse, midwife, hospital or insurance provider may have helpful recommendations to share.

It’s also possible to find excellent lactation consultants by searching on the Internet. La Leche League, International, ILCA and the IBLCE are three reputable organizations you can contact to find a lactation consultant.

What Credentials Does a Lactation Consultant Need?

Credentials varies depending on the lactation consultant’s employer and state of practice. IBLCE certification is an excellent credential to look for.

Does Health Insurance Cover the Costs of a Lactation Consultant’s Services?

It is likely that your health insurance will cover the costs of a lactation consultation under some circumstances. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Affordable Care Act was responsible for a dramatic increase in the coverage available to new moms for lactation consultation services. Check with your insurance provider for details of the specific services that are covered by your plan.

Related Resource: 5 Qualifications of a Medicaid Compliance Auditor

We hope these insights are helpful to you in understanding more about lactation consultation services. If you’re interested in either finding a lactation consultant or becoming one, you’re now empowered with the information you need.

5 Qualifications of a Medicaid Compliance Auditor

What are five qualifications of a Medicaid compliance auditor? Since Medicaid has now been found to outmatch private plans on cost and is still integral to the health and well-being of the elderly and disabled, ensuring that companies in the healthcare sector are compliant with regulations is a necessary job. Here are the top qualifications for this position that any interested candidate should keep in mind.

1. Education

Most jobs in this field require at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university; it is preferred that the degree is in the field of health services. A minor in finance or accounting is also preferred. For more advanced positions, a master’s degree in health services, business, or accounting is necessary; law degrees, preferably in the field of healthcare, are also accepted. While some positions do not require a degree, these are few and far between and are not suitable for professionals interested in a long-term career.

2. Healthcare Compliance Certification

One of the five most important qualifications for this position is certification. Many positions, especially those in the health insurance industry, require a Healthcare Compliance Certification, known as the CHC, which is granted by the Compliance Certification Board. The certification demonstrates that the professional who obtained it is knowledgeable in current healthcare regulations and the compliance process.This is a certification that is valid for two years and must be maintained on a consistent basis by any professional who obtains the certification. While not required for many positions, it is highly valued by the healthcare industry and is the mark of a professional who believes in the standards set forth by the Health Care Compliance Association.

3. Work Experience

Work experience is a necessary qualification for this position and may vary depending on the state and employer. However, it is a general guideline that any professional seeking the position of Medicaid compliance auditor have at least five years of working within the healthcare industry, with a preference for any work experience relating to Medicaid or regulatory environments. It is also suggested that a candidate have work experience in performing audits in the industry, with preference given to candidates who can demonstrate a working relationship with state and federal regulators.

4. Understanding of Medicaid Requirements and Regulations

The field of healthcare continues to evolve; therefore, candidates for this position must be able to demonstrate, through work experience or through interviews, that they have a thorough understanding of Medicaid requirements and regulations for the state in which they are seeking employment. This understanding is important for the position because candidates must be able to jump head-first into an environment that continuously changes and improves regulations as the health care sector undergoes advancements in law and technology. State regulations also vary, so it is advised that a candidate seek employment in their current state of residence so they will not have to gain more work experience based on the regulations of a new state.

5. Skills

One of the major qualifications for this position lies in the realm of both soft and technical skills. An auditor must possess both communication and negotiation skills as well as demonstrate proficiency in data analysis, organization, and tech skills, such as statistical analysis and experience with computers and their various applications. The role of an auditor also requires time and project management skills as well as the ability to effectively present information to companies, both in written and verbal form. Additionally, an understanding of regulations and health care law are important for valuable candidates.

Medicaid is an important part of the healthcare system in America; as the healthcare industry changes based on the regulations put forth by federal and state regulators, it is crucial to have an auditor that understands the intricacies of those regulations and can ensure that a company is compliant. These five qualifications of a Medicaid compliance auditor will help potential candidates understand what is required of them to hold the position and will benefit them if they are starting on the career path of becoming an auditor.

You might also like: What Jobs are Available in Health Informatics?

What is a Long-Term Care Nurse?

Although many injuries and illnesses require short-term treatment, patients who are suffering from more serious injuries or illness may require care from a long-term care nurse. A long-term care nurse is a professional in the field of nursing who is dedicated to patients who require medical care for months or years. In some cases, a long-term care nurse may care for a patient for the rest of the patient’s life.

What is a Long-term Care Nurse?

The field of long-term nursing is growing, and the number of available positions for long-term care nurses is expected to dramatically increase over the next decade. According to Discover Nursing, long-term care nurses often care for the same patients each day. Therefore, these nurses often wind up developing familiar, comfortable relationships with their patients and, in some cases, close friendships. However, many patients who need long-term care will pass away while in the care of a nurse, so long-term care nurses must be emotionally mature about losing patients and must be able to view death as a natural component of the life cycle. Successful long-term care nurses will also be committed to helping others in need and compassionate. Most long-term care nurses work in long-term care facilities such as home care agencies, retirement communities, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities as well as some hospitals.

What Do Long-term Care Nurses Do?

Long-term care nurses are dedicated to caring for patients who need nursing assistance over an extended period of time, including those who are suffering from illnesses such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, or AIDS as well as those living with debilitating injuries. These nursing professionals are also responsible for caring for elderly patients who are unable to care for themselves or who need frequent medical care. Long-term nurses are responsible for administering medications as well as monitoring and recording vital signs on a routine basis. Some long-term nurses will perform other treatment and therapeutic procedures such as range of motion exercises and massages. In addition to administering medical care, these nursing professionals may also need to tend to their patients’ daily needs by helping them with tasks such as dressing, using the toilet, bathing, and eating. Long-term care nurses often frequently act as sources of comfort, guidance, and support for patients and their families.

How to Become a Long-term Care Nurse

In general, a long-term care nurse may begin his or her career by becoming a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN). This involves earning a diploma or degree in the field of nursing and receiving a passing score on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). As soon as a nurse earns his or her license, he or she may begin working as a registered nurse in either a long-term or short-term care position. Some nurses choose to continue their education by enrolling in a program that focuses on gerontology or long-term medical care. In addition, the American Association for Long Term Care Nursing (AALTCN) offers certification, and in order to be eligible, nurses must first complete one of the AALTCN’s certification programs that includes study materials and a comprehensive examination.

Related Resource: What Jobs are Available in Health Informatics?

Long-term care nursing is a crucial component to the healthcare system. Patients who are living with injuries, illnesses, or disabilities rely on their long-term care nurse for assistance with daily tasks, to administer medication, and to provide a shoulder on which they can lean during particularly difficult times.

5 Responsibilities of a Patient Advocate

In the complex and often bewildering world of health care, many individuals feel the need for additional advice or help, which is the primary role of a patient advocate. But understanding what these advocates do for those in their care is crucial, both to assist those who choose this career path and to inform individuals who may need to call for their assistance. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the five primary responsibilities advocates fulfill.

1. Powerful Company

One of the simplest but most important aspects of an patient advocate’s position is that of a companion. While they are also educated to offer advice and negotiate with third parties, patient advocacy’s priority is the comfort and peace of the patient. Many people who undergo procedures, fall ill or grow old are alone. Without the support network of a family or a community of friends, the experience can be frightening and disorienting. That can represent a host of complications, from stress or panic to impaired decision-making skills.

Advocates are compassionate, but they also have the advantage of being removed from the direct emotional repercussions of medical choices. That means they can accompany you to the doctor’s office and ask difficult questions while you are absorbing a diagnosis. They can help you seek a second opinion, or they can accompany you during your time in the hospital. These specialists can also visit you in your home during convalescence to ensure that you are recovering as you should be. Ultimately, they act as an interlocutor between patients and the medical or insurance businesses, using their skills to ensure that patients are not taken advantage of or abused.

2. For Purposes of Insurance

Navigating the maze of insurance claims, payments, and correspondence can be mind-boggling on the best of days. Especially if patients are undergoing stressful procedures, have suffered injuries or are having trouble coping with the myriad details of illness, injury, recuperation, and therapy, the intricacies of insurance policies are the last thing on their minds.

Patient advocates assist individuals with selecting the insurance plan that is appropriate for their needs in both short and long-term perspectives. They may also assist in the interpretation of policies, track and respond to communications from the insurance provider, and mediate any disputes related to coverage of essential procedures or care.

3. Medical Billing and Integrity

There are numerous cases in which accidental oversight or intentional padding of medical bills lead to fraudulent charges against a patient. Many advocates are trained to interpret billing language. They help patients keep track of medical visits and procedures. In the event of a disagreement or an unclear transaction, these individuals will contact and effectively negotiate a clear understanding with the health care provider. Should clarity not be attained, they may also enter more complex negotiations to reconcile disputes or incorrect billing for services and treatments.

4. Interpretation and Exploration of Patient Options

In cases that warrant the consideration of End of Life options—whether that includes hospice care, pain management regimens, or grief counseling—advocates are trained to offer support, active care, and advisement. They can also provide rigorously researched options for assisted living care or in-home treatments and rehabilitation. For individuals who are considering options for elderly relations or parents, this skill set is invaluable because it applies a focused and educated opinion or appropriate skill sets to the many options for care.

5. A Healthy Start

There are also advocates for expectant parents. In the U.S., the infant mortality rate has fallen drastically in the past few decades. However, the maternal mortality rate is the highest in the developed world. This is mainly due to a healthcare system that does not include the mother-to-be in her care and treatment. What advocates of expecting patients can do are asserting the right of the mother to be a participant in these decisions. They can provide advice about prenatal care. If the mother wishes, they offer suggestions and recommendations for in-home birthing, including doula services and water birth preparations. Their sole concern is to ensure the safest possible experience for mother and child before, during, and after birth.

The labyrinthine structure of the healthcare system—from insurance policies to appointments with specialists and surgeries—can be baffling. Patients who feel they are unsupported can wind up making poor choices or being taken advantage of by these vast and impersonal systems. This is why the patient advocate exists, to communicate with health care personnel and insurance providers, dispute unclear or fraudulent billing, negotiate existing bills, ask difficult questions at the moment, and provide companionship, consultation or both to patients.

See also: What is a Nurse Advocate?

What Jobs are Available in Health Informatics?

The number of jobs available in health informatics is expected to increase in the coming years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, opportunities for health information and medical records technicians will increase 15 percent between 2014 and 2024, representing 29,000 new openings nationwide.

There are a number of factors that contribute to this positive career outlook, including the wider availability of health insurance, an aging population and rapidly evolving medical systems and technologies. In addition, this field encompasses two hot disciplines, healthcare and technology, combining skills such as organizational analysis, coding and systems management. Here are several promising careers open to graduates with a degree in health informatics.

Health Informatics Specialist

Health informatics specialists work as a go-between for information technology (IT) departments and clinical practices. They help to determine what types of information technology is necessary in order to achieve a specific healthcare provider’s objectives and goals. These professionals must be tech-savvy as they may also train others on the IT systems, create manuals and act as a liaison between clinical personnel, the IT department and software vendors. Finally, health informatics specialists must troubleshoot problems that arise with the IT systems, offer administrative support and remain up-to-date on any developments in regulations or technology.

Health Informatics Manager

Also known as a clinical informatics manager, these individuals operate at an executive or managerial level, developing and implementing a health informatics system. In order to ensure that the facility adopts the technology as seamlessly as possible, they periodically assess the needs of the clinic and use that information to modify or develop a customized IT solution. A clinical informatics manager must also present these systems to employees and train them how to use it. They work with a number of other clinical and technology professionals, including developers, drug safety specialists and data quality associates, to make the IT systems as effective as possible. The manager will monitor the system to determine whether it’s appropriate for the specific healthcare setting and, if necessary, oversee the implementation of any adjustments or enhancements. Depending on the size of the facility, a health informatics manager may also manage a team of nurse informatics and health informatics specialists.

Clinical Informatics Data Analyst

Clinical informatics data analysts work directly with the IT system implemented by a manager or director and perform a number of tasks related to data acquisition, use and storage. Specifically, these professionals assess how data is acquired in a clinical setting as well as how the facility documents, maps and analyzes the data. In addition, clinical informatics data analysts may perform a quality assurance role, making sure that the data integration and documentation processes are not only efficient but also meet the needs of the clinic. Above all, they monitor systems to guarantee that the maintenance methods, storage and acquisition of healthcare data are performed in compliance with certain healthcare legislation such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, according to the Department of Labor.

Related Resource: What is a Holistic Nurse?

These are only a few of the opportunities available to graduates with a background in health informatics. While there are certainly overlapping responsibilities among the job titles, one thing is for sure: individuals with skills and education at the intersection of healthcare and technology are expected to have access to a significant number of jobs available in health informatics.

5 Temporary Staffing Firms for Healthcare Professionals

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare industries and occupations are expected to have the fastest employment growth and to add the most jobs between 2014 and 2014. Those looking to gain employment in this field may consider working with a temporary staffing agency to find a position that best meets their skills, education and career goals.

1. Delta Healthcare Providers – Staffing

Inavero named Delta Healthcare Providers to its Best of Staffing Client list in 2015 and awarded the company with a Diamond Award in its Best of Staffing Talent category. This designates Delta Healthcare Providers as one of the top 2% of temporary staffing agencies in the U.S. for service excellence. Job seekers rated this company 4.4 out of 5 stars, making it one of the best places for healthcare providers to work. The company has made numerous enhancements to make it easier for providers to begin their careers as travel therapists. From healthcare benefits to instructions on the first day, Delta Healthcare Providers gives its employees helpful tips to help them embark on a successful career.

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2. Weatherby Healthcare

Weatherby Healthcare also earned a “Best of Staffing” award from Inavero for providing superior service quality. This company stands out for continuously exceeding expectations throughout the industry, and the award identifies the staffing industry’s elite leaders in high-quality service. The company earned 4.5 out of 5 stars from more than 500 job-seekers, making it one of the highest rated temporary staffing firms in the country. For more than two decades, Weatherby Healthcare has built a reputation for excellence. Its providers are specialty-focused to ensure the company has the experience, resources and contacts to make each assignment as rewarding as possible.

3. The Plus Group, Inc.

Another winner of Inavero’s “Best of Staffing” award is The Plus Group, Inc. of San Ramon, CA. Best of Staffing winners stand out from the rest for providing high-quality customer service and for exceeding expectations of both clients and healthcare providers. Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars by more than 100 job-seekers, The Plus Group is one of the top temporary staffing agencies for professionals. The company puts each provider’s career path as its priority, providing extensive networks and inside knowledge to help providers find the job that is best-suited for them.

4. Rx Relief

Fresno, California-based Rx relief has continued to provide remarkable service quality. With a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars from nearly 200 providers and job-seekers, Rx relief staffing is dedicated to helping its providers proceed. With more than six decades of pharmacist experience on its management team, Rx relief has developed a professional network geared toward understanding the needs of the industry. The company can match a pharmacist’s skills with those required by its clients, and it works with pharmacists to better prepare them for the new directions pharmacy is heading as well as for new environments that pharmacists may face.

5. VISTA Staffing Solutions

VISTA Staffing Solutions of Salt Lake City, UT is another winner of the “Best of Staffing Award” From Inavero. More than 450 job seekers rate the company a 4.4 out of 5 stars, and VISTA has helped thousands of healthcare providers take the next step in their careers. VISTA prides itself on being a career partner, from residency to semi-retirement. Healthcare providers can visit the company’s job board to find a variety of allied health professional, physician assistant, nurse practitioner and both permanent and temporary physician jobs across the U.S. and abroad.

Trust is essential in building and maintaining any relationship, and these five companies work hard to establish trust throughout the industry. They take great measures to ensure that they are always on top of their game, using direct feedback from customers to improve their performance and streamline their services. Not only do these temporary staffing firms devote themselves to their customers and staff, but they also pride themselves on being able to help those communities who count on their service.

What is a Holistic Nurse?

A holistic nurse might also be called a complementary health nurse. Holistic nursing has become a highly sought after field that is always looking for good nurses. Holistic nurses can become involved in associations like the American Holistic Nurses Association to learn about how to connect with other nurses in their field.

What is a Holistic Nurse?

A holistic nurse is involved in a section of health care that takes into account the person’s entire life, mind and body. They believe in traditional medicine, but they also believe that the patient’s mind, body and emotional health have an impact on the well-being of the patient.

History of Holistic Nursing

The holistic nursing that exists today has its roots in the work done by Florence Nightingale. Nursing didn’t exist as a profession until the middle of the 20th century. Holistic healing, which focuses on the entire person as a whole, has been around since the 1970s. The AHNA mentioned previously has been working with the Holistic Nurses Certification Corporation to bring about certification opportunities for holistic nurses. The American Nurses Association recognized holistic nursing as a valid specialty in 2006.

Education for Holistic Nurses

All registered nurses have to go through a standard core education process. They must be able to pass the National Council Licensure Examination or NCLEX-RN before they can land a job as a nurse in any specialty. Once a nurse has achieved the schooling required to pass the NCLEX-RN, he or she can practice holistic nursing in on-the-job training environments where they gain experience. The basic certification for holistic nurses involves being actively practicing in a holistic capacity for one year on a full-time basis. Each holistic nurse has to be recertified every five years.

Job Duties They Perform

A holistic nurse doesn’t deny the ability of traditional medicine to cure illnesses or sickness, but uses traditional medicine in conjunction with holistic treatments for curing ailments and keeping the body free of issues. Physical and emotional health works together and are promoted within the holistic nursing field. Holistic nurses will perform massage for relaxation, acupuncture, hypnosis and aromatherapy. They focus on Eastern healing practices too. They will coach their patients in wellness therapy and stress management, which is often what leads to sicknesses and pain.

Where Can They Work and Median Salary?

Holistic nurses can work in many facilities and centers focused on an overall approach to wellness. It’s popular in birthing centers where pregnant woman want to achieve a more natural birth experience. Home health care facilities, clinics and hospitals are all moving towards a holistic approach to medicine. Depending on the level of education, some holistic nurses can work as midwives, nurse anesthetists or nurse practitioners. They’ll need advanced degrees though. Registered nurses can earn approximately $67,000 per year while specialty nurses like those focused on holistic treatments can earn more.

Related Resource: How Do You Become a Health Policy Nurse?

A student who wants to focus on becoming a holistic nurse will decide on where they want to work and learn what kind of advanced education they’ll need. Holistic nurses are becoming an incredibly popular position in major cities and the salary reflects that popularity.

5 Great Reasons to Try Travel Nursing

There are numerous benefits to travel nursing. It looks great on your resume, but there are also other reasons to become a travel nurse including the chance for adventure. It’ll never be dull or boring when you’re traveling from one location to another. While it’s not for everyone, if you’re considering this exciting career path, you’ll be experiencing a unique way to apply your skills.

Excellent Pay

As a travel nurse, you’re compensated a bit differently from a nurse who is staffed permanently in a hospital or clinic. Many travel nurses will work for an agency that has contracts with hospitals around the world who need qualified nursing staff. The agency covers most travel expenses as well as providing a stipend for accommodations. In some areas of the country, that stipend will leave you with plenty of money left over plus you’ll get your paycheck too. Most travel nurses are provided with compensation that will equal or exceed the pay for a local position. In an area with a low cost of living, a travel nurse can save money or spend it exploring and experiencing the location.

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Adventure Opportunities

If you want to travel the world, this is a great adventure. You won’t have to save money all year to spend 3 days in a new location. Instead, you’re able to travel to a new location every few months. Most agency assignments last from 2 to 4 months. You’ll be able to explore a new locale while working at a career that you love. The agency will ask what kind of location you want. Everyone wants to visit the beach, so you might have to wait for assignments in certain locations, but you can travel places that have other activities you’ve always wanted to try. The chance for adventure, new experiences or once-in-a-lifetime opportunities is what brings nurses to this career path.

New Career Avenues

This kind of career path isn’t only available for new nurses. Some nurses begin to experience burnout or fatigue after working in the same location for an extended period of time. It can be quite difficult to care for patients all day without a break especially for the most compassionate nurses. A change of scenery, new staff and patients to work with and a new environment might be all a nurse needs to avoid the burnout or reinvigorate their passion.

Flexibility and Freedom

Working for an agency, you’ll be able to pick and choose the locations as well as the types of jobs you want to take. Imagine a scenario where you get a 3-month assignment to a great location. After the assignment is over, you spend time with family and friends while waiting for your next assignment. That kind of flexibility and freedom is what many people envision as the ideal life. It’s available for travel nurses.

Resume Builder

The title of travel nurse has a certain glamour and mystique surrounding it. You’re flying around the world to fill in with your numerous skills exactly where you’re needed. Human resource managers love to hire nurses who are flexible and have developed a variety of skills in different environments.

Travel nursing is a career that doesn’t have the stability of working full-time for one employer, but it’s a terrific way to embark on an adventure. If you’re new to the career and want to travel before settling down, this is a great career choice. For those who are established but at risk for burnout, you might need a change of pace and scenery to reignite your passion.

How Do You Become a Health Policy Nurse?

Nurses interested in public policy and public health can choose to become a health policy nurse. Increasingly, policy decisions and matters affecting the economy and lifestyles impact health. According to the nursing school at the University of California, San Francisco, nurses may increasingly realize that health problems they see in hospitals and clinics have roots in bigger policy issues. Diabetes is affecting more patients and younger patients every day, and it has a clear association with high-calorie, low-nutrition junk foods constantly being marketed to children and young parents. Campaigns for smoke-free environments in schools and public areas are rooted in health policy advocacy. Skills in advocacy, research, policy development, evaluation and implementation are all needed in order to determine which health policies nurses can and should help to develop and support.

Educational Requirements

At the minimum level, health policy nurses should have a nursing degree with a minor in nursing health policy. Most nurses in this field have a master’s degree. Options for post-baccalaureate education include a Master of Science in Nursing with a health policy emphasis, a post-Master’s degree, and a Ph.D. in nursing health policy. You should have a nursing degree or diploma, and be working as a Registered Nurse (RN) for at least two or three years before attempting to enter a health policy nursing graduate program.

Employment and Experience Pathways

Some nurses who work in health policy are also attorneys, or have years of experience working in legislative offices. They are qualified to assess legal and health matters and write and speak about policies. Another area of specialty is research. Public health experience is important for nurses with a research emphasis. A third form of related specialty is the nurse-educator. Depending on the type of nursing practice you work in before you obtain additional education, your work experience can influence the type of policy job you will be able to get after completing your education. One such pathway includes a nurse who worked in a bilingual community health clinic later went to work as a policy expert for a large healthcare nonprofit advocacy organization.

Opportunities Available

Working to change health policy or health impacts in the broader community opens up job opportunities in many different sectors. Large insurance and pharmaceutical companies may employ nurses with health policy education and backgrounds. Government organizations, including local, and regional public health agencies, employ nurses in this field. Large hospitals and clinics also employ nurse policy experts, as do advocacy organizations devoted to health, environmental and ethnicity-related issues. You will also find independent research organizations which employ nurses with policy expertise.

Related Resource: How Do You Become a Critical Care Nurse?

Health policy nursing is a growing career field, but it isn’t typically the type of job a nurse can obtain right out of nursing school. At a minimum, you will need to complete your nursing degree, pass the NCLEX-RN exam, and work for at least two to three years as an RN before investigating public health research, advocacy or educational positions. In this position, you could influence legislation, educate the public, and increase access to health care. If you become a health policy nurse, you can have an opportunity to influence other people’s health on a much broader scale than one patient at a time.

How Do You Become a Critical Care Nurse?

Before you become a critical care nurse, you need to know what it takes to thrive in your profession. This includes understanding the skills and personal traits required, educational qualifications and key responsibilities. Here is a comprehensive list of what you need to do.

Understand the Key Responsibilities of a Critical Care Nurse

A critical care nurse works with patients suffering from acute conditions that require emergency treatment. These may include heart attack, stroke, shock, severe trauma, respiratory congestion and any other medical emergency. In this case, a critical care nurse may help provide advanced life support, assist physicians to perform procedures, observe vital signs and asses the patient’s condition. They may also educate and support the patient’s family and administer intravenous medications.

Get the Right Education and Certifications

A critical care nurse should have at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing to practice. All nursing degree degree programs take an average of four years to complete. One must complete courses in patient management, clinical research, patient care procedures and clinical assessments.

A majority of critical nursing employers expect nothing less than an RN designation, meaning you have to pass the NCLEX-RN to qualify. You must also pass an examination administered by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACCN) before you qualify for registration. Other additional certifications include Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).

Acquire Key Skills and Personal Traits

You need to have great critical thinking, listening, assessment, interpersonal, leadership and communication skills to succeed as a critical care nurse. You must also be an expert in making quick decisions, administering the right care, recognizing complications and coordinating with other team members.

Gain Experience

You should first gain at least one year of experience in primary patient care before you sign up for a critical care nursing position. You will also need to gain at least two years of experience in the critical care unit before you apply for the Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) certification exam.

Understand the Work Environment

Critical care nurses work in the emergency rooms, intensive care units, walk-in clinics and physicians’ offices. They usually work round the clock because of the volatile situations of their patients. This is often done is rotating shifts that include days, nights, holidays and weekends. The job is physically demanding, as it involves a lot of lifting, moving, standing and stretching.

Critical Care Nurse Salary and Job Outlook

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, critical care nurses earn an average salary of $104,610 per year. The bottom 10 percent earn $72,420 while the top 10 percent earn $140,930. Critical care nurses have a higher earning potential than the regular RNs. This is mainly because of their specialized nature, advanced level of education and the demanding conditions of their work.

The demand for critical care nurses is expected to increase significantly. This is due to the rapid advancements in technology and healthcare, which has made it possible to save more patients in emergency rooms. The acute staffing shortages in some states will also affect the demand.

Related Resource: What is a Flight Nurse?

Working in a critical care unit is a serious business that requires individuals who are specialized and well-educated in emergency care. The items discussed above will give you helpful insights on what you need to do to become a critical care nurse.

5 Myths About Planned Parenthood

In modern American history, few organizations have been so hotly contested as Planned Parenthood. This charitable organization, which is dedicated to providing reproductive health care and family planning services to low-income women and children, has its fair share of both fervent defenders and outraged detractors. As with any such situation, a series of popular perceptions have arisen in regard to the organization: who they are, what they do, and what their mission is. Either side of the debate, to some extent, is guilty of stretching the truth to suit their own narrative.

Here are 5 common myths about Planned Parenthood:

Planned Parenthood is Part of a Modern Liberal Conspiracy

Planned Parenthood is frequently regarded as being a modern phenomenon, and is often blamed for problems with “the current generation.” Ironically, this claim — along with the organization itself — can be traced steadily back through several “current generations.” In 2016, the organization celebrated its 100th birthday. Planned Parenthood’s inception coincides closely with American involvement in the first World War. It predates such noteworthy periods in our history as the Depression, and Prohibition, and was established several years before women’s voting rights were recognized. It predates Roosevelt’s New Deal, which pulled America out of its depression and revitalized the economy through thoroughly liberal economic actions, by almost 20 years.

Planned Parenthood Discriminates Against Men

In recent years, some opponents of Planned Parenthood have taken up the rallying cry that the organization only offers services to women and children. While these do represent the most common patients under the care of the organization, men can (and do) visit Planned Parenthood for a variety of treatment and care. The organization offers men a variety of cancer screenings, including for colon and prostate cancer. It also offers vasectomies, male infertility screenings, and a variety of sexual health services, all of which are accompanied by all of the usual procedures inherent to a regular checkup (such as having one’s weight and blood pressure checked). Men are treated with no less dignity and respect than the women who visit the clinics.

Federal Funding Pays for Abortions, Not Family Care

The use of federal money to pay for low-income families is often too controversial for many people. The notion that federal money is being used to pay for abortions, however, leaves many conservative and religious Americans (as well as some who don’t fall into either of those two groups) outraged. However, none of the federal subsidies ever authorized by congress have been enough to see to basic needs for the estimated 17 million Americans who require some measure of publicly funded care related to family planning and pre-natal care. Federal funding is not freeing up money for abortions; there are always more patients in need of other services.

Planned Parenthood is Essentially an Abortion Clinic

Politicians, in seeking to defund Planned Parenthood, have made numerous wild assertions about the percentage of the organization’s services that revolve around providing abortions. One congressman has even gone on record as asserting that up to 94% of provided services consist of abortions. This is a dramatic falsehood, rooted in clever manipulation of the data. It requires the largely arbitrary classification of certain services as being the primary focus of the organization, and in so doing discounts literally millions of non-pregnancy-related services provided to women and children each year, both in the United States and abroad.

Family Planning is an Unnecessary Extravagance

Many people have asserted that the services Planned Parenthood provides are not vital to the well-being of the public. In response to that, it is worth pointing out that this argument comes primarily from the conservative end of the political spectrum, from which vantage point people are primarily looking at the short-term cash outlay. The simple, unfortunate fact here is that, in areas of the United States where this view holds sway, rates of teen pregnancy and STD transmission are higher than they are elsewhere. Rates of such problems as infant mortality and complications in childbirth are also increasing in these regions, so quickly as to dramatically affect them at the national level. The organization provides supportive, compassionate services for people in a wide range of situations, many of whom have nowhere else to turn.

By staying informed, and listening to reputable news sources, a person will be better equipped to untangle some of the mass of untruths and exaggerations which has grown up around the services provided by Planned Parenthood. The organization provides vital services, which benefit the health of our population as a whole, to more than 3 million Americans annually. Given the resources, they would be able to provide their same high standard of care to more of the millions of American citizens who are in need of basic reproductive care.

See also: Top 10 Online Healthcare Administration Degree Programs

What is a Flight Nurse?

If you’ve ever seen a massive car pile up on the highway with multiple injuries, you’ve likely seen a helicopter called to bring the serious victims to a hospital. It’s the quickest way to get them the life-saving care they need to survive. On the way to the hospital, flight nurses are there to ensure that the patient receives advanced medical care.

What is a Flight Nurse?

The professional health care provider on the flight is a flight nurse. He or she is trained to provide care while on a helicopter or plane. Emergency care is one of the biggest reasons for a flight nurse to give patients medical care on a helicopter, but there are other times when they are needed for non-emergency care. Patients can be moved from one facility to another on a plane or helicopter too.

What Do Flight Nurses Do?

After an accident, the patient has to be secured to the plane or helicopter for the flight, which can be incredibly bumpy depending on the weather. The nurse could need to give life-saving treatments, revive the patient and give them medications. In flight, the nurse will need to start an IV line or perform emergency first aid to ensure the patient stays alive, so the hospital can continue giving them medical care.

When the flight lands, the nurse will remove the patient from the vehicle and allow the hospital staff to continue life-saving procedures. The flight nurse will report on the patient’s progress on the flight as well as vitals and what the treatments were during the flight.

Where Do They Work?

Flight nurses can work for private companies, hospitals or the military. There are opportunities for flight nurses to get positions in fire departments or government agencies that participate in search and rescue operations or medical evacuations.

Much of their duties will be performed in the air on a helicopter or plane high overhead. They’ll start by stabilizing the patient on the ground for moving to the helicopter, but most of the treatment will happen in the air.

What’s the Salary of a Flight Nurse?

The specific occupation of flight nurse falls under the heading of Registered Nurse, which brings in a median pay of approximately $67,000 per year. That can be higher or lower depending on the area of the country as well as the experience of the nurse, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Kind of Schooling is Needed?

To become a flight nurse, you’ll need to find a nursing program that will give you a nursing degree to be a registered nurse. A four-year bachelors degree program will provide all the knowledge you need to take the registered nurse exam. Once you have your nursing license, you can get some experience on the job as a nurse in an emergency room. It’s a place where you’ll learn to triage patients, perform emergency procedures and deal with life and death situations on a daily basis. After some experience, you can study and take the certified flight registered nurse examination. It’s given by the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing.

Related Resource: 5 Jobs With a Health Science Degree

A flight nurse can have a very satisfying career helping patients who are critically injured. As a nurse, helping people is much like breathing or eating, and a flight nurse can feel satisfied over the difference they’re making daily.

5 Benefits of Didactic Group Therapy

Addiction is a growing problem, the breadth and insidiousness of which our society is only just beginning to comprehend. Didactic group therapy (often presented simply as “didactic therapy”) is based on an educational model designed and developed to help with the fostering of skills like self-informing and self-educating. It is widely used therapeutically to help addicts break the vicious cycle of addiction. Didactic therapy typically focuses on the abuse of substances which are inherently dangerous, using visual media and other aids in a classroom-style setting to help addicts learn to recognize the consequences of substance abuse. This is done in a deliberately low-key manner.

Here are 5 of the best benefits of Didactic group therapy:

Didactic Therapy Encourages Rational Thinking

Rational, logical thought processes are easy to discard when we become emotionally involved, or identify with a negative influence. By encouraging a rational approach to analysis and problem-solving within an individual’s life, Didactic methods encourage more generally responsible and reliable behavior, improving overall self-discipline and personal confidence.

The Instructional Model Includes Valuable Life Skills

The Didactic method is a teaching method that is often employed in early childhood education. In this environment, it helps children learn how to do things like organize their work, perform research, cite references appropriately, and generally guide their own studies, in lieu of relying upon a teacher’s repeated instructions for each individual assignment. Used therapeutically, this method can help to impart basic life skills which are not self-evident, and may not have been picked up as children or young adults.

Related resource: Top 10 Online Healthcare Administration Degree Programs

Group Therapy Sessions Provide a Supportive Environment

Didactic sessions occur in an environment with other people, all of whom face similar issues within their own lives. This can be used to generate a deeply supportive environment, where everyone is able to grow and develop their coping skills in the company of other people who are doing the same. It helps to remove the feeling of being critically analyzed, or otherwise reduced to a “case study” or a statistic, as addicts are often the subjects of harsh judgments outside of any context.

The Therapy Involves Widely Applicable Coping Strategies

Part of the therapy involved in the Didactic model involves the instruction of valuable skills. These skills are a mixture of commonly effective relapse avoidance strategies and personalized coping skills that fit the individual addict’s needs. These skills will help an individual to avoid relapsing into their addiction, but they are also applicable in other parts of their lives. By constructively coping with that which previously drove them to their substance of choice, an addict is better enabled to resist other destructive influence elsewhere (different substances, addictive behaviors, and physical abuse, for instance).

Didactic Therapy Lacks Emotional Intensity

Didactic therapy occurs in an academic environment, an almost classroom-like setting, and uses visual aids to help drive home the realities of substance abuse in a way that is not accusatory or high-strung. This allows for the intended message to be picked up by people who don’t feel like their entire existence is being judged or criticized. Many older approaches to substance abuse accused the individuals suffering from said addiction of being somehow weak or faulty as people; that kind of approach is more likely to drive a person to continue abusing.

In short, the application of Didactic group therapy relies upon a safe and comfortable setting to help people with substance abuse challenges break the cycle of their addictions. It does this constructively, through the building of self-esteem, life skills, and coping mechanisms, all of which offer the potential for a strong positive impact throughout the addict’s life and day-to-day activities.

5 Myths about Single Payer Healthcare

Healthcare is a complicated topic in America today; the only thing that everyone seems able to agree upon is that everyone has need of it at one point or another throughout their lives. Unfortunately, our country is faced with runaway healthcare costs and high uninsured rates, and there are vastly divergent opinions on how best to confront the problem. With that in mind, one potential solution — that of a single payer healthcare system — is caught up in a quagmire of misleading information and myths. Before a fair comparison of ideas can begin, these myths require unraveling.

Here are five of the most widely disseminated myths about single payer healthcare:

“A single payer plan represents a shift toward a socialist economy.”

There are two types of national healthcare systems being proposed today, and the one with the most solid backing in America is a national health insurance program. Under this model, the government would be billed for medical services, but healthcare providers and organizations would remain private, and would be subject to free market forces; we see healthy competition in the parcel delivery industry, with several multi-billion-dollar corporations competing with the United States Postal Service. The difference between that, and what we have already, is that costs would be reduced through collective bargaining power, and overall healthcare expenses in America would either be reduced, or else increase at a slower rate than that which we presently see.

Related resource: Top 10 Online Healthcare Administration Degree Programs

“Government programs are inefficiently managed.”

What strikes us as inefficiency and over-expenditure is often taken out of context with the overall scope of government-managed organizations; we have to remember that costs are relative, and no program (public or private) is ever going to be managed with 100% efficiency. There are enormous sums of money involved in Medicare, for example, but the program’s overhead averages about 3%; it operates on the national level, so straight financial figures are much larger. By comparison, however, the total overhead (including profit) in a private insurance corporation ranges from 15-25%. If we look at that collectively, across the entire insurance industry, the straight-up overhead dwarfs that of the government-administered Medicare program.

“Waits for services would be extremely long due to people over-utilizing the system.”

In countries which have an established national healthcare insurance plan, emergency services and other vital healthcare measures are consistently provided immediately. Elective procedures do experience longer waiting periods, and frequently. However, if we were to maintain our current level of healthcare expenditure (we’re already spending twice as much per capita as other countries with single payer insurance plans) predictive models suggest that these elective wait times would disappear — even dropping below what is experienced in America today. In this case, the major difference between what we have now, and the NHI plan, would be the breadth of services made available to people who have need of them, who cannot presently afford them. The overall savings of an NHI plan would easily compensate for the increased in utilization of the system.

“Small businesses will suffer.”

There will be a period of adjustment; healthcare reform is one of many parts of our economy where progress is needed in new solutions. However, it can be demonstrated that most businesses will actually save money under a single payer system. Major multinational corporations with a strong presence in countries which have national health insurance programs frequently come out in favor of such programs. The overall savings in healthcare costs, compared to what the US spends on healthcare today, translate to savings over private insurance fees and a reduced tax burden for healthcare programs.

“The government will mandate what services would be made available.”

This is something that we already have in America today, only it isn’t the government: it’s the private insurance agencies. Medical professionals frequently have to request permission of insurance agencies or other private bodies before ordering treatments, prescribing drugs, scheduling surgeries, or performing other procedures. Even routine lab tests, which are often used to prove the existence of a problem, often require some evidence of the problem gathered by other, less reliable or definitive means, before they can be approved. By contrast, countries with national insurance plans typically only investigate medical practices when there is direct evidence of fraud, leaving medical professionals to do the jobs they’ve been trained to do. The government’s overriding concern is that of ensuring that a treatment or procedure is safe, and that it works to its intended effect, which we also have in America already.

There is much more information available about single payer healthcare plans, what one would mean for the American economy, and how a single payer plan compares to having a completely private insurance industry. Hopefully, as responsible efforts to educate the public as to the nature of the facts at hand become more prevalent, America will be able to make forward strides in addressing the present needs of its existing healthcare apparatus.

What is a Nurse Advocate?

Nurses have been advocates for patients throughout the history of nursing, but a nurse advocate is now a formally recognized nursing career that may be pursued within the overall field of nursing. Nurse advocates focus on acting as strong liaisons between physicians, patients and families to promote patient health. They may specialize in specific health challenges and conditions, including cancer or diabetes, or they may serve specific patient groups, such as women or under-served populations.

Basic Educational Requirements

Nurse advocacy requires a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN) to start. While most BSN degrees take four years, there are some accelerated programs. You may also already have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, in which case you may be able to obtain the BSN degree in less than four years. You will also need to take the NCLEX exam to become a registered nurse.

Additional Education and Experience

In addition to your BSN and RN, nurse advocates also have specialties in different areas of patient advocacy. Some of these may relate to complex and challenging diseases and conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Other specialties include additional certificate programs and education such as social work, medical research, patient education and insurance. A combination of additional education and experience will help you in selecting your practice as a nurse advocate.

Education Standards and Accredited Programs

To be a registered nurse, a requirement to practice as a nurse advocate, you must also meet the licensing requirements in your state. You will also need to have a good grade point average (GPA) while in school, and be able to show proficiency in required courses in math, science and English (including passing the TOEFL test for non-native English speakers).

Nurse Journal, the social community for nurses, advises that you should be certain that you are taking nurse advocacy courses from a school that is accredited from either the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Certification Requirements

At present, the certification standards for nurse advocates are the same as those for any registered nurse, according to American Nurse Today. You will need to prove that you can create a safe and effective environment for patients and carers, including infection control. You will also need to show that you can cope with job demands and adapt to the constantly-changing environment in healthcare provision, and also show ability to promote and maintain better health, including strong knowledge of early intervention and disease prevention.

Related Resource: How Do You Become a Certified Nurse Midwife?

Becoming a nurse advocate is a rewarding career working with patients to help them understand their health and medical conditions, as well as communicate effectively with physicians and other specialists. You will work directly with patients to help them achieve better health outcomes, and you will use research and problem-solving skills every day. This career also helps to overcome challenges in healthcare culture, promoting good communication and environments of safety that respect patients, families and caregivers. Nurse advocates are strongly committed to helping individuals to achieve and keep good health.


How Do You Become a Certified Nurse Midwife?

Are you wondering about the education or credentials you would need to become a certified nurse midwife? While there are multiple career paths you could take if you want to be a nurse midwife, in all cases you do need to invest substantially in your own education to achieve this career goal. A certified nurse midwife is considered an APRN (advanced practice registered nurse), a role that requires both relevant clinical training and a specialized graduate degree. Read on for more information about how to start a career as a certified nurse midwife.

Academic Credentials and Requirements for Becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife

Certified nurse midwives need the following credentials:

  • An Undergraduate Degree – This can be either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science. It is also possible to become a certified nurse midwife if you hold a nursing diploma or an associate’s degree in nursing. In that case, you may need to complete additional coursework or a bridge program. If you’re interested in a career in midwifery, it makes sense to choose a relevant course of study in nursing or the sciences. A bachelor’s degree in nursing is ideal. It is possible to become a nurse midwife after having pursued another major course of study that bears some relationship to either midwifery or nursing. Candidates with undergraduate degrees in biology, pre-med studies or similar disciplines can typically continue with the necessary graduate training to become certified nurse midwives.
  • A Master’s Degree – From a Certified Nurse Midwife program with proper accreditation from the American Midwifery Certification Board.
  • Certified Nurse Midwife Exam – Passing grade on the exam.

Licenses Needed to Become a Certified Nurse Midwife

The relevant governing bodies are currently attempting to standardize licensing and other requirements for APRNs. Their goal is to require certified nurse midwives to be licensed as registered nurses and to also earn second specialized licenses relating directly to their APRN specialty. This has not been fully implemented in all states. We recommend that you check the current status of requirements your state of residence deems necessary in regards to licensure and clinical work experience. The National Council of the State Board on Nursing website has more information.

Which Location Is Best for Finding a Job as a Nurse Midwife?

The US cities with the highest known numbers of nurse midwives include New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver, Houston and San Diego. Living in one of these cities may offer an advantage in finding work as a certified nurse midwife, but a midwife’s skills are in demand in numerous other locations throughout the USA.

Where to Find More Information About How to Become a Certified Nurse Midwife

The US Department of Labor maintains a guide to how to become a nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife or nurse practitioner at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A related resource they make available is the occupational outlook for nurse midwives.

Related Resource: What is a Perioperative Nurse?

We’re positive this information will be beneficial to you as you direct your future course of study and decide whether to pursue a career in midwifery. Now that you’re empowered with knowledge about how to become a certified nurse midwife, you can make better-informed choices about which path you’d like to follow as you make your career goals reality.

5 Most Popular Destinations for Medical Tourism

Medical tourism is becoming a booming industry as health care service and insurance costs continue to rise. To make things worse, unscrupulous health care, pharmaceutical and medical technology companies continue to dominate, control and monopolize industries that offer limited benefits, high prices and long wait times. Here are five of the most popular destinations for medically motivated tourists.


America’s neighbor to the South actually treats around one million foreign patients a year. Most of these patients are native expats and Hispanics from states like California, Arizona, Texas and New Mexico returning home for medical care.

However, Mexico’s standard of living continues to grow alongside improved tourism support and medical infrastructure. Now, many clinics and hospitals can treat foreign patients because a growing number of the medical staff is bilingual or natives returning to contribute to their homeland.

While dental work and weight-loss surgery are popular in Mexico, Brazil has a reputation for the best and cheapest plastic surgery. There are more professional cosmetic surgeons in Brazil than any other country in the world.


China is becoming a popular destination for stem-cell related medical research and operations, but Taiwan is much more westernized and friendly to American tourists. Taiwan has a high number of skilled and qualified doctors who provide surgical, cosmetic and even spa treatment at low costs.

Related resource: Top 10 Online Healthcare Administration Degree Programs

Traveling to Taiwan is very easy because the tourist visa process is user-friendly, which cannot be said for communist China. Taiwan is globally connected to all major airports in the world. As an Asian island alternative, Singapore is the most advanced country in Asia. They specialize in every major medical treatment. Keep in mind that the Singaporean government is quite strict – spitting in public and selling chewing chum are illegal.


People often joke about customer service being outsourced to India, but now medical treatments are being outsourced to the country that offers inexpensive solutions for high-difficulty surgeries. Every year, the Indian economy earns billions of dollars from medical-based tourism. India is known for specializing in eye, spine and heart bypass surgeries. Cardiac, fertility, orthopedic and oncology treatments are also popular. Many patients come from neighboring countries with less developed health care systems. Western medical tourists may end up saving 70 to 90 percent of costs. Health care in India is now more accessible because the government offers visa-free travel for tourists from English speaking countries.


The land of smiles is one of the world’s leading destinations for medical tourism, but it has always been one of the leading destinations for regular tourism in Asia and the world. Most medical procedures in Thailand will cost 50 to 70 less. Thailand has over 1,000 hospitals, so it makes sense that over a million medical tourists visit here every year. Many people also travel to Thailand for plastic and cosmetic surgery, so Thailand competes with Brazil in this way. Medical infrastructure is improving and most medical staff speak English and have been educated in an English speaking country like Singapore.

Lastly, Turkey has become a popular destination among medical tourists because they have the most American-accredited hospitals in the region. Explore more of the top medical tourism destinations here.

What is a Certified Nurse Midwife?

A Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) is dedicated to the lifelong health welfare of women that they care for. A CNM provides care for women throughout all stages of life, and the scope of includes everything from birth control to pregnancy management. Nurse midwifery is an advanced practice with strong requirements for organizational, practical and interpersonal skills, according to Explore Health Careers.

Education and Certification Requirements

While the minimum educational requirement for a registered nurse (RN) is a bachelors degree, becoming a CNM requires the possession of at least a graduate-level degree such as a doctorate or masters. After acquiring their graduate degree, prospective applicants will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), just as all other prospective registered nurses entering the field, according to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

If and when the graduate passes the NCLEX and becomes an active registered nurse in their state, their next priority will be preparing for the American Midwifery Certification Board exams. Successfully clearing the American Midwifery Certification exam will earn the registered nurse their certification to practice as a CNM.

Scope of Practice

Rather than primarily caring for patients who are suffering from unpleasant symptoms, midwives are commonly in the employ of women who are in a good state of health. The woman that a CNM most typically provides care for will generally have had low-risk pregnancies. though high-risk pregnancy women can still benefit from a CNM’s care as well.

In their line of work, a CNM will give women medical prescriptions, diagnostic consultation, and device-assisted examinations to maintain a state of good health and facilitate uncomplicated pregnancies. The CNM’s areas of healthcare practice encompass women’s sexual health, neonatology, gynecological care and disease treatment.

CNMs may provide specialized care for teenage and middle-aged women having their first experiences with puberty and menopause respectively. Specialized care paradigms are also developed for women in the antepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum stages.

Cooperation With Other Medical Professionals

The ideal CNM develops a solid network of collaboration with specialized healthcare providers such as physicians and gynecologists. Women who gradually develop sudden complicated factors in their pregnancies may be referred to a CNM by their primary healthcare provider if deemed necessary.


A CNM can find employment in a diverse array of different potential facilities. A CNM is licensed to work both in a privately-practicing medical clinic and a public hospital. Some CNMs primarily operate in birthing centers, some may primarily provide outpatient care, and others might use their certification to become institutional educators.

Founding and Spread

Established in the year 2010, the role of the CNM is still a relatively new addition to the nursing practice field. The first class of CNMs were all graduates from Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) training programs, and today, there are far more sites offering RNs the opportunity to become CNMs.

Related Resource: 5 Jobs With a Health Science Degree

Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the number of nurse midwives in the nation was 170,400 in the year 2014. Currently, the BLS projects that nurse midwifery’s likely job outlook growth rate by 2024 is 31 percent, making its outlook for future job availability a bit more generous than average.

5 Promising Breakthroughs in Stem Cell Research

In an effort to understand how disease functions and how to counter its destructive effect on human life, scientists have been conducting Stem Cell Research since the early 1900s.

Stem cells are cells that can become many different kinds of tissue. There has long been interest in using them to replace cells damaged by disease and even to grow transplant organs with them. Great strides have been made in the field in the last several years due to advances in technology.

The research is bound up in ethical concerns and is very costly. The government had funded some of the research, but in 2015 taxpayer support was suspended. Now, stem cell studies are funded by private foundations. There have been significant breakthroughs made. Here are five of them.

Research into Adult Stem Cells

The ethical problems of studying stem cells have caused much debate and delay in the field. This is because scientists have used human embryonic cells created when cells divide. The stem cells are harvested when the embryo is only a few days old, but harvesting the cells kills the embryos. That sparks debate with people who support the sanctity of human life at all stages. Now, researchers have been able to isolate adult stem cells. These cells can be reprogrammed to act like embryonic cells. Another name for them is Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. They are more stable then embryonic cells, but seem to be a little less flexible. Nevertheless, when used in creating a custom medicine for a patient, or a transplant organ, the adult cells could eliminate the rejection process of the body because the cells would come from the patient himself.

Related resource: Top 10 Online Healthcare Administration Degree Programs

Stem Cell Research on Disease in a Dish

Scientists have used stem cells to create diseases in the laboratory. Studies in human subjects are limited because doctors cannot experiment on sick people. They can study the diseased cells at a microscopic level, however, when they are grown in the lab. Scientists used stem cells taken from ALS patients and turned them into motor neuron cells. These are the cells ALS damages. Using the altered cells, researchers can study the disease and its responses to different drug therapies.

Research on Stem Cells and Chemotherapy

Doctors have long wondered why cancer treated successfully with chemotherapy sometimes comes back years later. The answer seems to lie in stem cells. Adult stem cells in the body become cancer stem cells which produce the actual cancer cells. After producing the cancer stem cells, the adult stem cells hibernate. Chemotherapy only targets active cells, so it kills the cancer cells, but not the dormant stem cells which produced them. Years later, those cells can wake up and produce the cancer cells again. Knowing that, researchers hope to develop drug therapies that will target the cancer stem cells.

New, Cheap Method of Producing Stem Cells

Researchers have found that they can turn various types of cells into stem cells. Even skin cells will work. They can do this by injecting them with foreign DNA. The process takes time and is costly. In addition, there are risks in introducing genetic material into subjects. Recent studies have shown that putting the cells in an acidic environment seems to mimic the way they develop in nature and is much cheaper, faster and safer than other methods.

Research on Stem Cells to Grow Transplant Organs in Animals

One of the newest developments in stem cell studies involves using a chimera as a host for a transplant organ. Chimeras are animals with cells of different species. In this case, scientists injected human stem cells into a pig embryo, then placed the embryo inside a sow. They removed the embryos after a month of development and found the human cells still maintained their integrity. Not only that, but they had begun to form the beginnings of a pancreas, a liver and other organs. The focus now is on keeping the cells from integrating with the pig cells, so the pig brain, sperm and eggs do not contain human material. It is very early in the research, but researchers hope to grow human transplant organs in the animal and then harvest them.

Science, for all its research, is still in the infancy of these studies. There are many practical, theoretical and ethical issues to resolve in the field of stem cell research.

5 Healthcare Conferences in 2017

As a doctor, nurse or another healthcare professional, attending one of the top healthcare conferences can help you find a new job, improve your bedside manner and find out about new research and innovations in that field. No matter what type of work you do in the healthcare field, you can find the right conference to attend.

Healthcare Marketing and Physician Strategies Summit

Austin, Texas is the location of the 2017 Healthcare Marketing and Physician Strategies Summit, which will take place April 24-26. The Healthcare Strategy Institute plans to bring together doctors and marketing professionals to discuss some of the unique ways of marketing healthcare services to the general public. It will focus closely on some of the newer problems facing those professionals, including those with less insurance coverage and patients who seek medical advice online. The Institute plans to offer a number of workshops too.

Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference

The Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference 2017 will run from March 1-3 in Orlando, Florida. Designed for healthcare managers, billing and coding workers and others who may not work directly with patients, it looks at some of the ways those professionals can improve the services they offer. The experts speaking at the conference will talk about the healthcare industry as a business and how patients are similar to customers. In addition to networking opportunities, the conference also has displays from companies that sell medical software and other tools, workshops that guests can attend and panels with leading experts in the field.

Related resource: Top 10 Online Medical Billing and Coding Schools


HIMISS ’17 is an upcoming conference that looks at healthcare trends and changes in that industry. Guest speakers will include former House of Representatives member John Boehner and celebrity investor Kevin O’Leary. The cybersecurity command center features new products and methods of protecting your patients’ private information, while the exhibition area features tools and supplies for sale that your facility might need. Scheduled for February 19-23, the conference takes place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. More than 45,000 people will come out for one or more days of the conference.

Summit on Improving Patient Care in the Office Practice & the Community

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement will hold its 18th annual Summit on Improving Patient Care in the Office Practice & the Community April 20-22 in Orlando. Scheduled events include nine smaller classes, three keynote speakers and networking opportunities. According to the official site, it will also offer more than 30 workshops and an exhibit gallery that features some of the leading medical and healthcare products for sale. The conference focuses on teaching medical professionals how they can offer their patients a higher level of care.

American Medical Directors Association Conference

The American Medical Directors Association Conference, also known as the AMDA conference, is one of the best healthcare conferences. It opens on March 16 and closes on March 19, and it takes place in Phoenix, Arizona at the Phoenix Convention Center. Dietitians, nurses, doctors and pharmacists are just some of the professionals who attend every year. It includes an exhibition area that features vendors selling medical supplies and keynote speakers who represent some of the top names in the healthcare industry. You can also sign up for workshops and other sessions relating to patient care and other topics.

Conferences for healthcare professionals cover some of the most important topics in the industry, including cybersecurity, reaching out to patients in the community and using new forms of technology. When you sign up for one of the upcoming healthcare conferences scheduled for 2017, you’ll have the chance to attend workshops relating to all these topics.

5 Jobs With a Health Science Degree

For those that have already obtained their health science degree, there are many, valuable health science jobs now available to you. All you have to do at this point is look. This is if you have a specific career goal in mind already. If not, we’re here to help. Here are five, great health science jobs of today that you can proudly pursue.

Clinical Researcher

As stated by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, clinical research is “research that directly involves a particular person or group of people, or that uses materials from humans, such as their behavior or samples of their tissue.” The job of the clinical researcher is therefore to study the efficacy of drugs and other treatments on patients via these means and methods. This career choice is great for those that enjoy making a difference via raw, scientific process, trials, and observation.

Healthcare Delivery Director

The ways in which healthcare is delivered are diverse and quite numerous. The healthcare delivery director is the expert that maintains quality delivery practices within a specific healthcare organization. How do patients feel about the facility? How effective is the current doctor-patient ratio? What technologies can be incorporated into the practice so as to boost overall efficacy and modernized operations? This important professional must answer questions like these with regard to their healthcare organization on a regular basis.

Health Researcher

Health researchers are responsible for attaining information previously unknown with regard to human health. This statement may seem broad, as it is – and appropriately so. The health researcher may be assigned to research countless topics of interest at any time by their employer. Profit and health-driven goals alike often shape the nature of such research. Someone working in this career of daily discoveries may work for a private pharmaceutical company, a government health agency, or even an individual in search of solid human health data.

Public Health Inspector

Everywhere you go in public, assessments and measures to assure your safety and health have been taken. Enter the public health inspector. It is the job of the public health inspector to first inspect all areas of public facilities and establishments for safety and health concerns. Second, the inspector enforces local, state, and federal code with regard to these areas if violations are found and subsequently neglected. This important job utilizes the health science degree in a manner directly involved with public health, safety, and quality of life for people in your community, right now.

Public Health Administrator

The public health administrator is another, important job that affects people right at ground-level. This expert in health science often works for the government or a non-profit organization in the effort to buffer public health concerns in an area. For example, in struggling, inner-city areas, the administrator would likely focus more on community outreach and programs that would hone in on birth control, sexually transmitted disease, and drug and alcohol issues in the area. In a less plagued community, the public health administrator may focus on community programs and outreach with regard to doctor well-visits, cancer screening, and nutrition and exercise. Customized attention to the needs of the community is the name of the game here.

Health science is all about the ways in which our health is tended-to by the professional community. These five career choices in this field are certainly excellent ways to help others and also experience an amazing career all at once. The promising world of health science jobs awaits you and your skills and credentials.

What is a Perioperative Nurse?

The realm of registered nursing careers continuously evolves to reflect the advancement of the medical profession, which includes titles such as perioperative nurse. While these professionals pursue the same standard education as every individual who enters the field, their duties and specialized skills are essential to an efficiently run surgical facility. If you are interested in exploring the options available to you as a student of nursing, the article below will elaborate on the duties and skills required of these nursing professionals.

In the Future of Surgery

Much like a medical surgery nurse, the perioperative nurse works in the operating room (OR) to assist surgeons with successful procedures. However, their duties neither begin nor end there. Perioperative nursing professionals also fill vital roles in the preoperative and postoperative world, prepping patients for surgeries and assisting in the journey of recovery immediately thereafter, according to the Mayo Clinic. They may work in the ambulatory surgery unit of a hospital, assisting in all facets of out-patient surgeries or fulfill vital therapeutic roles in private practices and clinics. The only aspect of this career that can be called standard is that there is never a dull moment.

In addition to assisting the surgeon during an operation as either a Scrub Nurse or a Circulating Nurse, these professionals will also work closely with the patient and their family members to ensure an optimum level of care. They are integral to the successful planning and implementation of a treatment and post-surgical care regimen. As such, the skill set they must acquire is multi-disciplinary, drawing on a number of different fields to ensure patient health.

Essential Skills

As we mentioned, there’s never a dull moment in the life of a perioperative nurse, who draws on a variety of different skill bases in order to accomplish their role in the healthcare universe. While there is a great deal of structure essential to the role, you’ll also need to develop an intensely dynamic interpersonal repertoire, because these nurses engage with both the patients and their families. Both before surgery and afterward, your primary focus is ensuring the comfort and safety of the patient.

Perioperative nurses assist the surgical team during an operation. They act as scrub nurses, passing materials and instruments to the surgeons as needed. They may also act as a circulating nurse, who ensures a safe, comfortable environment for the surgical team during physically and mentally demanding operations. During surgery, these nurses are responsible for maintaining a sterile, safe, and comfortable operating room. They monitor the patient’s vital signs and remain alert for signs of danger.

However, they also interview the patient on the day of surgery, ascertaining any dangerous signs that may delay the operation and ensuring that all the necessary preparations for surgery have been completed in a timely fashion. Following the surgery, whether major or ambulatory, the perioperative nurses are the professionals responsible for ensuring patient comfort. They will also walk patients and family members through the necessary home care processes in order to ensure healing and avoid additional complications, such as infection.

Related Resource: What is a Geriatric Nurse?

While surgeons may claim the limelight of the medical world, it isn’t their faces that a patient will remember. Nurses are responsible for a vast array of care giving duties and are also often the first and last individual in the surgical team with whom the patient will interact. They monitor and interact with patients prior to surgery, watch over them in the OR, and guide them on the path to recovery. The perioperative nurse, while one of many specialized nursing professions, is an essential member of a successful surgery team.

5 Helpful Apps for Nursing Students

There are many helpful apps for nursing students and varying medical majors out there. Which of these in particular are the best apps for nursing students’ needs specifically? Let’s take a look at five of the most helpful and beneficial of options in this niche line of apps.

Essential Skeleton 4

Any student studying in areas of human anatomy and physiology can benefit from an interactive breakdown of the human body. Essential skeleton provides just this experience, with specific regard to the skeletal system. Users of the app can interact with, name, and analyze each individual component to the human skeleton.

A huge distinction of this app is its visual clarity. The 3D renderings provided are quite detailed and offer a very deep and complete, visual learning aide. The added ability to zoom in provides even more descriptive imagery. Take a quiz, name bones, or just marvel at our skeletal design – once in the app, the nursing student has plenty to discover.

Pocket Body

In the specific arena of helpful apps for nursing students, this one ranks highly. Pocket Body is a very popular app that provides a complete 3D model of the body. Especially focused-on are the areas of the muscular and nervous systems. The visual experience offered to medical students by this app are extremely helpful because of the otherwise general difficulty in memorizing the anatomical parts covered therein.

The app is a very detailed, interactive map of the human body. There are also quizzes built in to test the learner’s progress. Additionally, and of great importance to many students, the app features a note and pin system with which users can pin personal notes throughout their 3D body.

Resource: Top 10 Best Online Nursing Degree Programs

Nurse’s Pocket Guide

As its name implies, this extremely helpful app for nursing students provides a very broad guide to typical nursing-related subjects. With one touch, users can pull up diagnosis tools to help diagnose patients as well as further understand diagnostics in treatment. Interventions, treatments, and the ideologies behind them can also be found. In addition, sample care plans, tips and calculators, and plenty of topic reference guides are found within this all-inclusive and extremely useful nursing app.


The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing published an analysis of 40 years worth of studies on nurse diagnoses. The results were startling. Clearly illustrated were the extreme importance of accurate diagnoses as well as a lush history of trouble with the subject of diagnoses in the nursing world in particular.

With this all said, nursing students can certainly benefit from an official symptom and diagnosis-assisting resource. Symptomia provides this exact service, acting as a deep database of symptoms, symptom analysis, and subsequent guidance on diagnosis. The app is easy to use, designed for simplicity, and very deep in its database on human conditions.


Web MD’s MedScape app is an authoritative and very complete resource tool for anyone in the medical field. One great offering of this app is its provision of up-to-the-minute news bits on all kinds of medical field topics. In addition, it provides diagnostic aids, visual models, and ailment-specific research tools. Perhaps the biggest attraction to the app however is its formulary of over 8,00 generic and brand-name drugs. This resource itself is an immeasurably important quick-reference tool for doctors, nurses, and students alike.

There is a lot to know when it comes to getting the necessary education and ultimately becoming a nurse. The complexity of our bodies and the responsibility levels inherent in medically treating them combine, thus calling for extensive knowledge and education ahead of such work. These five of the most helpful apps for nursing students are sure to help make the journey that much easier.


What is a Forensic Nurse?

The forensic nurse is a professional who incorporates the skills and knowledge of two different fields of study. While they pursue the course of a traditional nursing education with its many specialized requirements, they’re also well-versed in the investigative skills needed to solve violent crimes, according to the Forensic Nurse. Read on to explore this fascinating interdisciplinary profession and defines the skills such nurses need to successfully enact their duties.

So Much More Than Hollywood

While popular television shows such as Bones and CSI have familiarized the general public with the concept of forensics, the glamour of Hollywood doesn’t approach the fascinating career path these nursing professionals follow. In 1992, the inaugural national convention for sexual assault nurses convened, and these dedicated nurses coined the term. While the forensic nurse is trained to gather evidence and document all details critical to solving a violent crime, they are often the first line of therapy for the victims of sexual assault.

Hence, among the many acronyms for this specialization (SANE, SAE, SAFE, FNE, SANC) the common ethos is one that battles violent sexual assault. However, these nurses fulfill a variety of functions. Their first function is the aforementioned gathering and documenting evidence, which may in some ways counter the traditional nursing wisdom of cleansing wounds and caring for patient injuries. They may also be specially trained to assess the evidence of child abuse, partner abuse, and violent altercations which are especially important tasks in the cultural goal of ending abusive behaviors.

But they do work with crime labs to assess the ultimate cause and means of violent incidents between unrelated parties or those that end in fatality. They also work with disaster relief agencies in the wake of widespread natural catastrophes or acts of terrorism to identify individuals, locate remains, and assist in the recovery and treatment of the victims of these events. While it is certainly not the only function of a forensic nursing professional, medicolegal death investigations (MDL) are an important career path.

Beyond Triage and Treatment

Individuals who train in forensic nursing boast a complex collection of skills. While triage, or initial assessment of damage and provision of emergency care measures, is a part of their training, they do much more. The collection and preservation of vital evidence, whether the nurse works with living victims of assault and abuse or engages in MDL work, is one primary feature of their specialized training. Because they may be among the first individuals to assess a situation, critical reasoning and the ability to understand the finer points of a violent altercation is essential.

Another vital feature of this specialized field is the ability to provide coherent, expert testimony of the gathered evidence, the procedures followed, and an experienced medical opinion of the underlying causes of factors they have observed. In fact, this ability is so important that the individuals who study this field are trained in the best methods to deliver their statements before a court of law.

Related Resource: Geriatric Nurse

The tools of medical knowledge are combined with methods of inquiry and data collection, enabling these nurses to provide crucial witness to crimes, assist in recovery and assessment of remains in the wake of terrible tragedies, and provide fellow investigators with the evidence they need to bring relief to victims of assault or abuse. The forensic nurse, while he or she bears a relatively new designation, performs the timeless function of a nursing professional while aiding in the enactment of justice.

What is a Geriatric Nurse?

A desire to help older patients may lead you to look into the possibility of becoming a geriatric nurse. Geriatric nursing, also called gerontological nursing, gives you the opportunity to work specifically with patients who are elderly and facing health issues that are more likely to affect older people. Since elderly people can be diagnosed with a number of chronic and long-term illnesses, nurses who work with them may also spend a lot of time with families, care-givers, and social and medical services that focus on elderly patients.

Education and Certification in Geriatric Nursing

It’s possible to work as a geriatric specialist at various levels. If you are a licensed practical nurse (LPN) it’s quite probable that you will find employment opportunities with elderly patients in a nursing home, since 37% of all LPNs work in that setting. If you are a registered nurse, you can go on for specific certification in geriatric nursing, according to the American Nurses Credentialing Center. In order to be eligible for that certification, you will need to be an RN for at least two years, have at least 2,000 hours of clinical experience in geriatrics, and have a minimum of 30 hours of relevant continuing education. Once you have completed all of those things, you can be credentialed and your title will be RN-BC.

Geriatric nursing possibilities do not stop there. If you decide to become an advanced practice nurse, then you can take geriatric focused classes during your masters level coursework. Once you have graduated, you can work toward certification as a gerontological nurse practitioner.

Duties and Settings

There are many places where you can use your skills in geriatrics to help elderly patients. Nursing homes probably come to mind first, but geriatric nurses are also needed to help patients in hospitals, clinics, home health service organizations, and assisted living organizations. While there are a variety of diseases and health issues that can come about as patients age, some of the more prominent ones include dementia related illnesses or bone and joint related problems such as osteoporosis or arthritis. However, there are plenty of other illnesses that can affect older patients, including heart ailments, cancers, diabetes, or respiratory problems. Older patients may also sometimes have problems due to falling down. Whatever problems they face, they can be helped by nurses who help them and their care-givers learn to manage their particular illnesses, take their medications regularly, deal effectively with pain, and make needed appointments with their doctors. These kinds of duties, whether carried out in a doctor’s office, a home, or a hospital, can make a tremendous difference in the life of an elderly person dealing with a chronic illness.

Related Resource: Become a Cardiac Nurse

In geriatrics, the focus of your work may change depending on your level of experience and your specific role. Sometimes you will serve patients directly, and other times you might be involved in counseling families and helping patients set up long term care plans for something chronic. If you are interested in an administrative role, you might end up supervising a nursing staff in an nursing home. If any of these roles sound right for you, then it can be well worth your time to become a geriatric nurse.

5 Great Blogs About Health Care 2016

Whether you’re a health care worker or an interested patient, reading blogs about health care can be a good way to stay updated on news and trends. Advances in technology, among other things, ensures that health care is a rapidly changing field. Keeping up with news and issues related to health care doesn’t need to be boring or sporadic. Bookmarking some solid blogs that provide interesting and timely posts can help to keep you informed.

Below are 5 informative blogs about health care.


This catchy one word title of the health care blog of the New York Times is a reminder that we read health care news not just for information but so that we can be well. The NYT blog packs their page with posts about current health care topics that matter to everybody, including posts on exercise, food choices, and medicines. Their weekly health care quiz helps you see if you’ve been keeping up with health care headlines. You can also send health care questions to their experts.

Public Health Matters

An interest in public health might take you to Public Health Matters, a health care blog put out by the Centers for Disease Control. Some of the recent posts on PHM include articles on holiday food safety tips, tips for preparing for natural disaster emergencies, preparing for heat waves, and mosquito control awareness issues.

Wego Health Blog

Wego Health is an unusual and important blog space. Posts are written by various health activists who personally struggle with illnesses such as autoimmune disease, irritable bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other issues. These activists advocate for changes in health education and awareness and provide encouragement and information for others who suffer. This blog provides inspiration for patients who are educating themselves and advocating for themselves too.

Upstream Downstream

So much health care information is disseminated these days that it can be difficult to keep up on issues that are truly important or to know who to trust or where to go for information. Upstream Downstream is a university-student run blog that delves into the all important area of health communication and invites debate on that topic. Issues under discussion there include research dissemination, planning medical publications, health care myths, health care marketing language, and more. The students who manage the blog are studying interdisciplinary health communication at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Discover Health and Medicine

Discover magazine’s tag line is “science for the curious.” They run a number of blogs for those who are curious about all sorts of things, including a blog on health and medicine. Posts range from advice and trends to posts on medical history. Some items of recent interest include gene variants behind aggressive cancers, new insights into morphine production, the history of penicillin, the importance of sleep to health, and how gene therapy might help people with hearing issues.

While traditional medical publications can still be a good way to stay updated on health care issues and trends, sometimes you don’t need in depth analysis. If you’re looking for ways to simply refresh your mind regarding issues important in the the health care industry before diving deeper, then bookmarking and reading blogs about health care 2016 might be worth your while.

See also: Top 10 Online Healthcare Administration Degree Programs

What is a Healthcare Actuary?

A health care actuary is a professional who uses their math and statistical skills to perform various health care data analyses. They provide information to health care leaders who use it to reduce the risks associated with health care access, quality, delivery and financing. Health care actuaries are usually asked to perform research regarding proposed new financing or delivery options, such as new mental health services or risk-sharing arrangements.

Job Duties

Health care actuaries prepare rate files, review plan reserves and analyze medical trends for new risks and opportunities. They create monthly reports from aggregate health plan data that is collected from national databases. Health care actuaries collect, analyze and summarize health plan experiences and account information in order to prepare special financial reports. They also study existing and emerging legislation in order to propose better adherence guidelines.

Health care actuaries file financial reports and advise management on the actions needed to comply with state and federal legal requirements. They analyze financial and accounting databases in order to prepare financial forecasts and strategic plans. They help management with training and supervising staff who collect, process and manage files and data. They provide educational growth opportunities to develop staff’s understanding of health care data analytics.

Required Skills and Knowledge

Health care actuaries will need at least five years’ experience in the field of health care. Most employers prefer candidates who have experience in managed care, carrier environments, health informatics and medical-based accounting. Any kind of accounting experience is required, because health care actuaries must interpret patient, hospital and insurance company financial statements. Experience working in a heavily regulated environment while interacting with state and federal government agencies is preferred.

Health care actuaries need to have strong computer skills with working knowledge of data flow, analytics, warehouses and manipulation. Employers will expect candidates to have experience with state and federal health care markets. Health care actuaries need to maintain a working knowledge of Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurance products. They will need technical proficiency in health care actuarial standards of practice.

Actuarial Science Degree

Actuaries must have a bachelor’s degree in math, statistics or actuarial science. The latter is a discipline that uses mathematical models, economic concepts and statistical tools to solve problems in finance and insurance. These programs provide students with opportunities to acquire the quantitative skills and business acumen needed for a career in financial and insurance analysis. Some programs allow students to specialize in home, vehicle or health care insurance, according to the Society of Actuaries.

Students take classes in accounting, business law, professional communication and introductory macroeconomics and microeconomics. They also study the principles of business finance, industry ethical issues, information systems management and algebra with calculus. Students also are introduced to business statistics, enterprise applications, database administration and risk management principles.

Related Resource: Become a Cardiac Nurse

Health care actuaries also work for insurance companies performing the development, implementation and monitoring of insurance analysis and risk prediction projects. They will focus on trend analysis, benefit pricing, rate factor development and rating formula maintenance.

5 Best Paying Health Degrees Without a Master’s

Those who want to work in the medical field will be glad to know that some of the best paying health degrees only require a two-year or four-year degree.

Below introduces five health care positions that do not require a master’s degree.

Compliance Officer

As the government and health care consumers expect more from health care facilities, regulations are becoming stricter and inspections are increasing. In order for physician offices and outpatient clinics to be reimbursed through Medicare and Medicaid, there are new federal and state compliance requirements. HIPPA regulations and ACA legislation means that health care organizations face serious fines for safety, billing and quality violations. Compliance officers usually have a bachelor’s degree in health care management or administration, but even those who have a nursing background can transition into this career. Compliance officers work with administrators, hospital administrators and health care educators to perform their duties.

Health Care Marketing

Not only is the business world growing and becoming more competitive, the health care environment is also becoming more complex and saturated with new companies. Health care consumers can easily research information and purchase medical products off of the Internet. They can also review hospital, clinic and health care providers online. Today’s health care systems must successfully market and promote their services in order to remain profitable. Health care marketing managers promote everything from physician services to outpatient clinics to hospital specialties, such as oncology clinics or children’s services. Marketing managers must plan, coordinate and oversee various marketing projects and programs. This includes print, online, mobile and special events promotions.

Biomedical Equipment Technician

The BLS states that technicians who repair medical equipment only need a two-year degree, but can make an average of $22 an hour. The most basic items include wheelchairs, hospital beds and blood pressure monitoring equipment.
Those who have some experience will install user-friendly medical equipment, keep repair records and perform preventive maintenance services. This includes things like monitors, ventilators, defibrillators and other basic equipment. Those who install, calibrate and maintain sophisticated scanning equipment, such as CATs and X-rays, will most likely need a bachelor’s degree in biomedical technology with basic training in engineering. Some senior biomedical equipment techs will host training sessions to explain and demonstrate how to operate medical equipment.

Health Care Navigators

Health insurance regulations and application processes can be very complex and frustrating. Health care navigators help health care consumers make various health care choices. For example, those who work for Medicare or Medicaid play a vital role in helping clients submit online applications to enroll in marketplace coverage. They also perform community outreach and education activities to raise awareness, answer questions and help health care consumers find appropriate resources. Some health care navigators specifically work with large businesses while others work through local non-profit organizations and community health centers.

LPNs and LVNs

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) provide basic care to patients under the supervision of RNs and other licensed health care providers. Most LPNs and LVNs need to complete a one-year long, state nursing board approved educational program. These are commonly through community colleges and technical schools. They work in clinics, hospitals, care facilities, physician offices and long-term assisted living facilities. Their educational programs train them how to provide basic patient care, such as dressing, feeding and bathing patients, and monitoring of vital signs, in which they are required to report any changes to RNs.

Another one of the best paying health degrees is actually a surgical technologist certification.

Related Resource: Top 10 Best Colleges for a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Informatics

5 Great Apps for Pre-Med Students

As a pre-med student, you need a good understanding of human anatomy and other strong skills, and you can learn everything you need to know from some of the top apps for pre-med students. These apps are a great way to improve your skills before enrolling in college and to make sure that you retain all the knowledge you need before going back to school the following fall.


Max Wilbert includes the free app MedCalc on his list of the top apps for pre-med students. Keep in mind that while the app is free to download, you may need to purchase additional content through the app later. As a medical student, you will often find yourself doing simple and advanced calculations both in your classes and while doing your rotations. This handy app comes loaded with more than 300 of the calculations that you need to do and can help you get that data compiled quickly.

Skeletal Anatomy 3D

Once you gain more experience in the medical field, you can identify bones from a simple x-ray. If you have a hard time differentiating between the bones in the human body right now, this app can help. Skeletal Anatomy 3D comes with dozens of 3D images that show you the bones found in the human body. You can zoom in closer, look at specific parts of the body and learn more about more than 100 different bones. The app also comes with a quiz that lets you test your knowledge.

Medscape Mobile

Medscape is one of the top medical websites in the world, and that site now offers a mobile version that ranks among the top apps for pre-med students. When you open this app, you can easily read through all the same articles that you see online, and you can even click on the reference section for each article to find references suitable for use in your next academic paper. Medscape Mobile updates frequently to provide you with the same info you would find on the site, and you can even download a version of the site to use when you don’t have Internet access.

Rubin’s Pathology Flash Cards

As a medical student, you know the name Rubin’s because it’s the company behind a line of pathology flash cards that students like yourself use when preparing for an upcoming exam. While buying those cards is expensive, you can now use the company’s app to get free access to all its flash cards. As one of the top apps for pre-med students, it comes loaded with all the information that you need to know about pathology topics. You can even test yourself with those virtual cards and browse through categories like inflammation, cell injuries and environmental pathology.


Some of the best apps for pre-med students let you have some fun as you study. Prognosis is just one of those apps. This app provides you with a list of symptoms and then asks you to determine the condition associated with those symptoms. It uses fun cartoons and animated images to tell you whether your response was correct. The app also lets you decide how to treat the condition and then tells you what would happen to the patient based on your prognosis.

Medical students spend years preparing to work with their patients, but before going to medical school, most students enroll in a pre-med undergrad program. Some of the top apps for pre-med students work with both Apple and Android devices and let you test your skills, learn more about the human body and even prepare for upcoming exams.

See also: 5 TED Talks About Healthcare in America

How Do You Become a Cardiac Nurse?

If you are exploring areas of nursing specialization, you may be wondering how you become a cardiac nurse. The prevalence of cardiac problems in the United States makes this a very important specialization. Cardiac nurses can play a key role in diagnosing and helping to treat patients suffering from heart issues. They can also help patients learn more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and preventing cardiac problems.

Education Requirements

Like any other nursing specialty, to become a cardiac nurse you must first become a registered nurse (RN). While there is more than one acceptable path to becoming an RN, most potential nurses begin by either obtaining a two year associate’s degree in nursing or a four year bachelor’s degree in nursing. Whichever level of education you complete, you will need to go on and take the national licensing exam for nurses (called the NCLEX-RN). Once you have passed the exam, you are qualified to work as an RN.

If you have an interest in pursuing work as a cardiac nurse, it will be good to get as much experience with cardiac patients as you can, according to the Houston Chronicle. This might be in a doctor’s office or in a hospital or clinical setting. You will need to complete a minimum of 2,000 hours of cardiac related nursing and take continuing education courses for 30 hours related to cardiac nursing before you can sit for the certification exam that you must pass. Once you have the credential of a cardiac nurse, you will need to stay abreast of the field and its requirements because you will need to renew your credential every five years. The American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC) is a good place to start your research into initial or ongoing requirements.

Roles and Duties

Cardiac nurses play a number of important roles for cardiac patients. Sometimes they act as educators who help patients and their families understand the issues surrounding heart disease and its treatment. If a patient does not yet have heart disease, but is at risk for such disease, the educating role can be especially important since nurses and doctors can help patients learn to live a heart healthier lifestyle and prevent significant problems later. Nurses can also play a role in helping doctors to diagnose heart ailments. Their duties may include things such as giving stress tests, checking vital signs, giving medication, helping patients get ready for heart surgery, or monitoring them after surgery.

Related Resource: Hospice Nurse

While many cardiac nurses are RNs, you can also specialize in cardiac nursing as an advanced practice nurse (APRN). If you go on for a graduate degree and become a nurse practitioner, cardiac care is one of the many areas of specialization you can pursue. As either a cardiac nurse or cardiac nurse practitioner, you can be sure of playing a significant role in the life of patients at risk or suffering from heart disease. If that sounds like a fulfilling task, then it might be worth your while to further explore how to become a cardiac nurse.

5 Online Resources About the Affordable Care Act

Although it’s been the subject of much political discussion and public debate, the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, is in full swing, and it impacts millions of Americans. Those who want to understand what the law means for them shouldn’t necessarily rely on pundits or even newspapers, however. Here are five resources that could make it easier to get accurate information from the source.

1.’s page on the ACA provides a helpful explanation of what the law is. It also touches on who’s actually eligible for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, coverage under the existing regulations.

Even if you’re not applying for Medicaid or CHIP, this is a good place to start educating yourself. In addition to being able to download and read the actual text of the ACA legislation, you can review it section by section to find out about features like benefits, insurance exchanges and implementations in different states.

2. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

The HHS website offers a fairly detailed primer that answers common questions about how the ACA affects ordinary Americans. It shares numerous facts, features and goals of the law that make it a bit easier to get acquainted with its general purpose, and it also provides some useful links. For instance, you can prepare for Open Enrollment by signing up to receive email or phone reminders concerning your state’s healthcare exchange schedule.

One beneficial part of this site is its Coverage to Care section. There are numerous downloadable road maps that detail essential processes, such as finding eligible providers in your area, making appointments and engaging in effective preventative care. If you’re unsure where to begin, this is a good jumping-off point, and you can also read the law’s text to find out more about your tax responsibilities.

3. Indian Health Service

As the IHS website notes, the ACA includes a provision that perpetually reauthorizes the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. In addition to making this important law permanent, the ACA strengthens it by implementing additional programs and services provided within the framework of the IHS.

Those who qualify as American Indians or Alaska Natives can learn about their IHS options under the ACA as well as the benefits their dependents are eligible to receive. Tribal Membership holders may be interested in reading about the available exemption from shared responsibility requirement payments. The site also has links to open enrollment information and data about how IHS coverage interacts with other forms of healthcare.

4. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Although the ACA doesn’t change already-covered veterans’ obligations or benefits, this site clarifies some vital details. For instance, the VA provides benefits like the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs, or CHAMPVA, and other programs, but some family members may not be eligible. Here, you can learn who isn’t covered and find links to marketplace enrollment. In addition, not all veterans are enrolled in VA care, so they might need to pursue ACA benefits.

5. State ACA Exchanges

While the ACA is a federal law, not every state has adopted it the same way. For instance, some refuse to expand Medicaid under the provisions. Other states that have adopted the law chose to enter into federal partnership exchanges. It’s generally a good idea to look up your state’s regulations and specific exchanges to find out how you should enroll. The U.S. Department of Labor also provides helpful resources that might help you make sense of your employer’s coverage offerings.

The ACA is a broad law with numerous effects on different aspects of how Americans stay healthy. Learning about its details and your legal enrollment obligations is vital to leveraging the benefits.

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What is a Hospice Nurse?

A hospice nurse is a nursing professional who provides palliative care to terminally ill patients who are nearing the end of their life. The focus of a registered nurse who specializes in hospice care is to help patients with pain management while supporting patients and their family members during a very emotional time. If you are looking for a patient-facing position where you provide end-of-life care, here is what you need to know about the hospice specialty.

What Do Hospice Nurses Do on the Daily?

Hospice specialists are more than just caretakers, they are also case managers and advocates for their patients. If you work in hospice nursing, it is your responsibility to monitor your patient’s status, manage pain medications, and take care of the basic needs of a patient after they have stopped their life-prolonging medications.

Not only do nurses care for their patients, they provide emotional support for patients and their family members who have started the process of closure. They will explain the process, coordinate with chaplains and act as a communication bridge between families and healthcare professionals. In a home healthcare setting, hospice nurses also help with household duties to alleviate the burden from the patient’s family.

Where Do Hospice Nurses Work?

A registered nurse may provide the same type of care as a hospice nurse, but specialists in this field work to alleviate symptoms instead of performing care that will extend life. Because of this, specialists that are trained to deliver palliative care only work in a few different settings. Some of the places that you can work once you are trained and certified include hospice care clinics and patient’s homes, according to Discover Nursing.

How Much Do Hospice Nurses Make?

Hospice nurses are often called angels, because they provide comfort to patients who are approaching the final stages of their life. Since it takes a special person to take on this role, nurses who specialize in hospice care settings tend to make a higher salary than triage and visiting nurses. According to Payscale, the average hospice registered nurse salary is $60,527 per year.

What Factors Affect a Salary in Hospice Nursing?

There are a number of different factors that can affect your salary. One major factor is the region where you are working. If you work in an area with an older population, the salary is bound to much higher than a salary with a young population and a minimal need for specialists. Years of experience, your level of education, and the work setting that you choose also play a big role. If you have an advanced practice degree, your salary will be comparable to a nurse practitioner, according to Nurses for a Healthier Tomorrow.

Is There a Good Job Outlook in Hospice Care?

There are so many different specialties in nursing that it is important that you choose one that is in high demand. If you feel like you would be a good fit for this difficult specialty, it is good to know that employment for nurses in hospice care is projected to grow by 19 percent by 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means that more than 526,000 jobs will be created for nursing staff in this area of nursing in just six years.

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The first step to becoming a specialist is to become a Registered Nurse. Once you have your license and experience, you can go for an advanced degree so that you are qualified to sit for the National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses exam, according to the Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center. Once you are certified, you can start to look for positions so that you can provide care as a hospice nurse.

5 TED Talks About Healthcare in America

This country’s healthcare system is undergoing some changes. Technological advancements are transforming the way people are treated. However, some individuals believe this may be the beginning of the end for face-to-face human care. Also, some revelations are shaking up the way patients handle their treatments. Here are five TED Talks that discuss various aspects of healthcare in America.

1. A Doctor’s Touch

Abraham Verghese discusses the importance of a doctor’s touch in his TED Talk. As technology is taking over a vast majority of everyday tasks, it is also dominating America’s healthcare industry. Verghese explains this may be the end of medicine’s most powerful tools. If computers and similar devices encompass medicine, human touch will be lost. Today, patients are mainly viewed as data points. He calls for a return to a time when individuals received one-on-one time from a physician. He persuades his audience the power of informed human observation trumps computer testing in every way.

2. Medicine’s Future? There’s an App for That

Daniel Kraft is the curator for FutureMed, a program that explores new technologies and their potential in biomedicine. His TED Talk takes a look at the future of medicine. In today’s age, people live with smartphones filled with apps that do everything. These include tools that can be used in the healthcare industry. Thanks to technology, a patient can utilize an application that delivers diagnostic information to his or her fingertips.

3. Are We Over-Medicalized?

The TED Talk “Are We Over-Medicalized?” by Ivan Oransky examines the current state of the way patients want to be treated. It seems today’s society is fixated on preventing illnesses. People go to great lengths, including self-medicating, in order to stay well.

In his provocative speech, he uses baseball metaphors to explain how over-medicalized the healthcare industry has become. He describes the “three strikes” against women and puts preventative medicine into a new prospective.

4. His and Hers…Healthcare

In this TED Talk, Paula Johnson discusses the fundamental differences between men and women. Besides the obvious, women often need different medical treatments than men. In conventional medicine, nothing differentiates males and females. This can cause numerous conditions to go misdiagnosed. Johnson sites many examples where women’s health issues present themselves in unique manners. She urges females to become proactive and ask their doctors if their conditions can be treated differently. If male and female differences are not identified, it places many women’s lives at risk. She ends by telling women their health is “too important to be left to chance.”

5. A Bold New Way to Fund Drug Research

Roger Stein, a finance expert and research affiliate at MIT, outlines a bold new way to fund drug research. In this talk, he astonishes the crowd by revealing 20 years’ worth of potentially life-saving medicine is sitting idle in labs instead of being put to good use. The reason behind this travesty is lack of funding. Medical trials are extremely expensive and risky. Thanks to Stein’s financial background, he has outlined a way to mitigate these risks. He unveils a financial model that could move hundreds of helpful drugs toward the testing process.

In recent times, America’s healthcare has been placed in the forefront of many people’s thoughts. Although advancements in technology have made it possible to detect problems earlier and circumvent invasive procedures, many individuals argue it has taken personal care out of the medical industry. The above TED Talks discuss important ideas that must be addressed before going forward. They offer great insight into how to improve patient treatments and make America’s healthcare better than ever.

What is an ICU Nurse?

An ICU nurse is a nurse who works on an intensive care unit or in an intensive care facility. Also known as critical care nurses, they work with patients suffering from serious injuries and those struggling with illnesses and diseases that may lead to their death. While you can work in many hospitals and medical offices with a nursing degree, you need to gain more experience before applying for one of these positions. Nurses working in the ICU field generally need several years of experience and some certification too.

Where They Work

ICU and critical care nurses often work in hospitals that have floors and units dedicated to patients who need more serious or around the clock care. According to the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, more than 56% of all these nurses work in hospitals. They may work in the ICU department but they also have the chance to work in other departments of the hospital, including the pediatric ICU ward or the emergency room. Some hospitals actually hire critical care nurses as floaters. Floaters will spend their shifts working on different floors and in departments based on the needs of the hospital.

Job Duties

An ICU nurse will do more on a typical shift than just take a patient’s vital signs and check in on that patient. Those working in dedicated ICU units and wards will speak with patients, take their medical histories and create a potential treatment plan that they share with the doctor. Nurses are also responsible for taking care of any wounds or injuries that patients present with until the doctor arrives. They must also monitor patients throughout the day and night and contact a doctor as needed. Other duties of the job include recording vital signs, talking with patients’ families and administering medications.

Becoming One

The steps necessary for becoming an ICU nurse are similar to the steps required for any type of nursing job. You will need to attend college and earn some type of degree in nursing. After finishing your program, you need to take the NCLEX licensing exam and meet any other requirements in your state. Most states do a criminal background check at the same time that you take the exam. You will then need to take some higher level nursing classes and obtain certification from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. Many hospitals prefer hiring critical care nurses who completed an RN to BSN program or have a bachelor’s in nursing.

Average Salary

The amount of money you can make as a critical care nurse depends on where you live and the overall demand for these nurses. Larger cities often pay more because hospitals in those cities have a greater need and a higher cost of living. Nurses in this field can start out earning around $60,000 to $70,000 a year. Some nurses, especially those who have five to 10 years of experience or more, can earn well over $100,000 a year.

Related Resource: Become an Emergency Room Nurse

Critical care nursing is one of the more stressful nursing fields because these professionals work with patients suffering from serious medical conditions. They work on intensive care units, emergency rooms and other critical care departments. While working as an ICU nurse might be stressful, as you gain more experience, you can make more than $100,000 every year.

5 Telecommuting Jobs in the Healthcare Industry

When you think of becoming a doctor or a nurse, you often think of a hospital or doctor’s clinic. While many healthcare jobs are on-site, there are telecommuting options available. In 2014, there was an increase of 26 percent in telecommuting jobs over the course of the year. An estimated half of Americans work in a job that could be done part-time or full-time via telecommuting. The healthcare industry includes some of these jobs. In addition to allowing you to work from home, telecommuting jobs save the company on overhead costs. For the best telecommuting jobs in healthcare, check out the following five positions.

1. Healthcare Information Specialist

Healthcare information specialists work with other coding specialists to handle medical coding. Unlike medical coding, this job title does not always require a college degree. It does require experience in the field, and having an additional degree can help in getting the job. Individuals in this field work with claims processing, data entry, data modeling and retrieval. Depending on their exact tasks, a healthcare information specialist may be able to do part or all of their job from home. On average, individuals in this field earn an annual pay of $35,900 or $17.26 per hour.

2. Medical Coder

Medical coding involves reviewing patient notes, coding them in the system and managing records. Often, medical coders have to receive an advanced degree or specialized certificates to get a job in this career field. In general, they choose a billing sheet from a stack, read the document and enters key information into the system. As long as the medical coder can access the files from home, they can do all of their work without leaving their house. The median pay for a medical coder is $50,000 annually.

3. Pharmaceutical Representative

While a pharmaceutical representative may rarely go into the office, they are often never at home either. The pharmaceutical representative’s job is to provide drug information and samples to doctors. They work with doctors within a set geographic area to sell certain types of drugs. Often, individuals who work in this field have advanced degrees in medicine, healthcare, business management or related fields. Throughout the day, a pharmaceutical representative will meet with clients, deliver products and monitor prescribing patterns. They are often paid on commission or through commission and base pay. Top pharmaceutical representatives can earn more than $80,000 per year.

4. Medical Transcriptionist

A medical transcriptionist works to convert voice recordings from doctors and other professionals into a written report. They may review, edit or transcribe medical documents. Since this career field requires knowledge of medical terms and abbreviations, it is important for prospective transcriptionists to spend time getting a degree in the industry. Once hired, a medical transcriptionist can work from home and earn a median pay of $34,750 per year.

5. Research Scientist

Research scientists may be involved in conducting an experiment, typing up results, managing data or finding solutions to healthcare problems. They may assist in the laboratory, conduct tests or perform other activities. This job title can vary greatly, so your ability to telecommute depends entirely on the employer and the position. On average, research scientists earn anywhere from $45,033 to $117,571 per year.

With the right education and employer, it is entirely possible to work from home. Telecommuting jobs often offer better flexibility than traditional job positions. To experience a rewarding and exciting career in healthcare, look into telecommuting positions in the industry.

How Do You Become an Emergency Room Nurse?

When someone wants to become an emergency room nurse, they often do so because they want to help patients and save lives. Emergency room nurses are integral members of important medical teams who assist patients experiencing traumatic injuries and sudden illnesses. These nurses may work in fast-paced and stressful environments, but they have one of the most rewarding careers available in the medical field.

Get a Formal Education

There are different academic options to become an emergency room nurse. Medical students need to either earn a two-year associate degree or four-year bachelor’s degree in nursing. There are also accelerated programs for working health care professionals to quickly learn the management skills and advanced nursing theories needed to succeed as emergency room nurses. These programs prepare graduates to excel in challenging health care environments as leaders and ethical decision makers. Students learn effective patient assessment, treatment and communication strategies. They also learn about research statistical methods, evidence-based practices and clinical practice innovations. There many other topics learned, such as bioethics, health care economics and population-centered health programs.

Get Certified

After completion of an accredited nursing program, students must prepare to take the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLE-RN). Most states require RNs to obtain certification in basic life support, advanced cardiac life support and trauma nursing core course, according to the American Heart Association. Depending on the employer and scope of duties, emergency room nurses may be required to obtain pediatric advanced life support techniques or certifications in phlebotomy and advanced cardiac monitoring. Many RNs seek voluntary certification in emergency room care by passing the Emergency Nurses Association’s Certified Emergency Nurse exam or the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing’s Certified Emergency Nurse exam. These exams focus on the nursing skills required to handle a variety of emergency room situations, such as wound, respiratory, neurological and substance abuse emergencies.

Get an Emergency Room Job

Emergency Room RNs provide direct patient care in line with standard nursing assessment to patients experiencing a variety of medical conditions and surgical operations. They treat ER patients with life-threatening conditions through collaborating with emergency medical providers and performing comprehensive treatments. They assess incoming patient’s condition based upon observations, interviews, diagnostic data and health care histories. They carefully document all aspects of emergency care and provide patients and family members with relevant updates and instructions regarding treatments and procedures. Emergency room nurses must have perfect attention to detail and decision making skills.

Get a Graduate Education

Many emergency room nurses choose to broaden their skills and competencies through enrolling in master degree programs for emergency room nurses. Most nursing schools require a bachelor’s degree and a few years of experience as an RN in an emergency setting. Graduate level emergency room nursing programs include courses on advanced physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacotherapeutics. There are also classes on the scientific and research foundations of advanced nursing practices. Students learn sophisticated health assessment, clinical reasoning and evidence integration techniques. These programs usually conclude with an on-site practicum and capstone project. There are full-time, on-campus classes as well as part-time and hybrid options, many of which are available online.

Related Resource: Doctor of Nursing Practice

In order to permanently become an emergency room nurse, RNs will have to maintain RN licensure and certifications, both of which require continuing education credits.

5 Jobs for Healthcare Informatics Graduates

5-jobs-for-healthcare-informatics-graduatesIf you’re interested in majoring in Healthcare Informatics, you’ll be happy to know that there is a large amount of demand for workers in this field. This is likely due to the fact that the health care industry is having to follow a number of new rules and regulations related to the collection and storage of patient data, so individuals with a background in healthcare and IT are needed.

According to Healthcare Informatics, these job openings take longer to fill than the national average. Therefore, if you graduate with a major in Healthcare Informatics, you’re liable to find a number of open positions that your degree qualifies you for, including:

Health Informatics Consultant

If someone is a Health Informatics Consultant, their work is done for healthcare facilities as a contractor, and people may do this as freelance work or through an agency. Individuals may be brought in to help a facility with a variety of tasks, including installing or updating networks and systems, troubleshooting computer systems and training employees on how to use them. Consultants are normally used when facilities are in need of keeping labor costs down, but projects may still be large, especially if a healthcare center has not yet transitioned to electronic medical records.

Clinical Analyst

Even if a system has been set up to collect and store patient information in a way that complies with government standards, it is likely that improvements can still be made. The job of a clinical analyst is to look at data and determine ways to optimize systems and how they are used. In some cases, a system will need to be redesigned or a new one created from scratch. Individuals in this position will have to find a middle ground between ensuring sensitive patient records are secure and reducing the amount of time it takes to enter information.

Chief Medical Information Officer

The position of Chief Medical Information Officer is a fairly new one that has become necessary due to increasingly stringent standards for how patient records are entered and stored. The requirement to transition to and maintain electronic medical records for patients is one of the driving forces behind the creation of this role. Individuals with this job are tasked with ensuring that data is accessible across a variety of networks, and designing and implementing software to make this possible is often necessary. Once systems are in place, this person is responsible for analyzing data on a regular basis to improve programs and processes.

Health Informatics Specialist

The job of a Health Informatics Specialist is to work with other individuals, usually coders and IT specialists, to come up with ways for a healthcare facility to manage data. Individuals in this role need to stay on top of compliance and regulatory standards, and they will need to ensure that systems developed to manage patient records comply with them. This role also frequently requires people to create training and reference documents, and it may also involve training staff on procedures and how to use systems that record patient data.

Electronic Medical Record Keeper

Electronic Medical Record Keepers normally work in medical facilities and input patient data, but there are also positions that involve entering information about medical research and studies. However, this role is not just data entry because it requires that individuals ensure the accuracy of patient records by consulting with physicians. They are also responsible for verifying that data is entered accurately and is secure. Additionally, people with this job work with insurance companies to distribute sensitive patient data.

Since nearly all medical facilities are required to follow government regulations for data handling, openings for people with Healthcare Informatics degrees are found throughout the country. Additionally, as people gain experience in this field, senior positions, like Health Informatics Director, will also become open to them.

See also: Top 10 Best Colleges for a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Informatics

What is a Doctor of Nursing Practice?

Doctor of Nursing PracticeA Doctor of Nursing Practice is a wonderful way for nursing students to further their education and career. While many disciplines have long had defined routes to achieve a high level of expertise and scholarly excellence, only recently has the nursing profession set such a program in clear terms. If you’d like to know more about this wonderful degree option, this article will elaborate upon the requirements to achieve it.

Extra Credits

Many fields differentiate between the coursework required to receive a master’s degree and the additional needs to achieve doctoral status. The Doctorate of Nursing is a bit different in this, among other things. Students pursuing their DNP will complete a graduate course load that carries the weight of a doctorate, due to the many extra credit hours and practical application requirements of the degree. The DNP differs from doctoral degrees in other fields. Its focus is practical and possessed of an immediacy that many theory- and research-based degrees lack.

While the coursework is rigorous, the rewards for completing it are large. Moreover, by completing such a degree, nurses open new avenues of professional exploration for themselves. They can diversify their education to become nurse practitioners, thus opening private practices. They might choose to work as members of a policy group, helping to shape the way healthcare is enacted, benefits are offered to nurses, and ancillary programs formed. At the same time, they might choose to become educators, which are in great demand for the next generation of practicing nurses.

New News Is Good News

While the degree track is relatively new, educators and policy builders around the country recognize the deep need for such programs. Only formally codified in 2006, the degree program is currently available in 48 states, as well as Washington D.C. It also represents one of the fastest growing and most beneficial degree tracks of the medical profession.

Across the United States, 264 universities are actively accepting students into DNP programs, and another 60 schools are developing programs of their own. In a single year, from 2013 to 2014, the number of nursing students enrolled in these programs jumped from nearly 15,000 to over 18,000, with successful graduates increasing in stride. These statistics are incredibly encouraging, considering the current doldrums of nursing school admittance records due to lack of qualified teachers, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Sound Logical Underpinnings

Nursing students are encouraged to pursue the DNP for several reasons. First, the aforementioned healthcare crisis, in which the demand for qualified nurses will far exceed the number of trained individuals. Second, the fact that medical science is providing extensive insights into the nature of disease and the options for treatment means that a higher level of critical education is essential for effective practice and care.

These consideration may be coupled with the facts that many other areas of medical practice already offer established practice-based doctoral degrees, and nursing is a crucial aspect of patient care quality. There are many concerns about the formation of effective treatment protocols, with which DNP graduates could be deeply involved.

Related Resource: Become a Traveling Nurse

There are many excellent reasons for nursing students to contemplate an advanced degree. While several of them are personally enriching, such as larger salaries, a more robust Curriculum Vitae, and expanded professional opportunities, there are others that are consonant with the nursing profession’s main goal. Patient care, and care of practicing nurses of all varieties, requires qualified and quality individuals at the helm. The doctor of nursing practice provides individuals with the tools they need to make a difference in the healthcare landscape of tomorrow.

How Do You Become a Traveling Nurse?

Travel NurseIf you want to work in nursing but you also want to experience new areas of the world, you may want to become a traveling nurse. Hospitals hire temporary travel nurses for a multitude of reasons. In some regions, there is a shortage of skilled nurses or sudden increases in seasonal population that creates a need for traveling personnel. Travel nurses are also a great solution when long-time staff members are going on leave.

Not only does travel nursing benefit healthcare institutions, but it also benefits the professionals who decide to enter this unique area of the workforce. When a travel nurse signs a contract, their travel expenses and housing costs are paid for. They also earn a competitive salary while receiving tax advantages and a full benefits package while on assignment. If you want to be exposed to different healthcare systems in different regions of the world, here are the steps you will need to take:

Complete Your Nursing Education

The first step to becoming a nurse is always the most confusing. Since you must be a Registered Nurse to work as a travel nurse, you must decide which of the three pathways that you want to take to complete your nursing education. You can either take a hospital-based program through a specialized nursing school, an Associate’s in Nursing leading to a bachelor’s, or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

The pathway that you choose will be dependent upon your level of education before pursuing a nursing program and the environment that you want to work in. Regardless, each program will focus on the curriculum that you need to learn to pass the NCLEX-RN examination for licensing, according to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

Earn Your RN License

Once you complete the necessary training and clinical requirements, the next step to travelling professionally as a nurse is to earn your RN license. You must apply and register with the board of nursing and pay the fee before you can select a test date for your exam. After doing this, you will receive an Authorization to Test that includes instructions and your test location. Be sure to study regularly as the exam date approaches. If you pass the six hour exam, you will submit your fingerprints and then your license will be issued.

Pursue Specialty Certifications

If you want to be more marketable in travel nursing, you should consider getting certified in specialty areas that are high in demand. Critical Care Register Nurses, Neonatal Nurses, Progressive Care Nurses, Cardiac Medicine Nurses and Cardiac Surgery Nurses are all specialties that are high in demand in today’s current world, according to Modern Medicine Network.

Sign Up with an Agency to Get Travel Assignments

If you sign up with a travel nurse agency, you can find assignments by simply picking up the phone. Before you can sign up, you need to submit your resume and letters or recommendation. You are also required to show you have a current TB test and you have had all of the required immunizations. When you compare assignments, you can choose which area you want to travel to and how long you want to be on assignment. You will then interview and receive your start date if you are selected.

Related Resource: Become a Mental Health Counselor

Not many professionals can say that they have traveled all over the country for free while they earned a salary. If you want to help people live more fulfilling lives while you enjoy a fulfilling career, take the steps to become a travel nurse and decide where you would like to go first.

5 Conferences for Health Administration in 2016

Healthcare is a dynamic industry that has seen rapid changes in the recent past, and your education as a healthcare administrator shouldn’t stop after you get your degree. To learn how to navigate new challenges in your field, consider attending conferences that offer opportunities to network with others and earn CME credits as you listen to speakers and participate in events.

AAHAM Annual National Institute

Every year, over 500 members of the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM) attend the National Institute. This conference focuses on the field of patient account management, which is an integral part of any medical practice. As a professional in this field, it’s your job to handle important patient account paperwork, maintain records and ensure that all data is properly managed and filed. Attendees of the National Institute get the chance to network with colleagues, connect with new people and learn how to do their jobs more effectively.

AAPA Conference

The American Academy of Physician’s Assistants (AAPA) isn’t strictly an organization of administrators, but part of their goal is to help PAs become better leaders. The Academy also seeks to increase respect for PAs, and their annual conference can help practitioners in the field gain that respect. As the “largest PA-focused CME event in the world” with over 6,000 PAs in attendance every year, the AAPA conference aims to help PAs make their practices better, build leaders for the future of the profession and provide networking opportunities for these often undervalued medical professionals.

Governance Institute Leadership Conferences

Several times a year in various cities around the US, the Governance Institute offers its leadership conferences for administrators serving on the boards of healthcare institutions. Attending these conferences offers the opportunity for you to interact with many other professionals, build new connections and learn how to improve the quality of the healthcare organization that you work for. Through a variety of educational sessions, these conferences provide information that will help you create better alliances, better systems and better financial management practices with the goal of improving patient care.

HCAA Executive Forum

The annual gathering of the Health Care Administrators Association (HCAA) is known as the “Executive Forum” and features a roster of speakers on subjects such as current healthcare concerns, changes in legislation and the role of technology in the medical field. If there’s something you want to learn about the current state of medicine or how modern advances may affect the future of health care, the Executive Forum is the conference for you. Multiple speaking sessions from a diverse panel of experts provide an immersive experience that prepares you to be a better leader.

Studer Conferences

Healthcare professionals in leadership positions are just one of the groups that can benefit from the multiple Studer Conferences held in several North American cities. In addition to an annual conference in Chicago, the group also puts on events in Orlando, Las Vegas, Toronto and Washington, D.C. These conferences are designed to help those in the medical field handle the increasing responsibilities demanded by the industry. By bringing professionals together with the common goal of improving patient care, the Studer Conferences aim to educate attendees and send them back to their practices with “new and practical skills.”

These conferences give you a better understanding of the state of the healthcare industry so that you can create strong management strategies for the future. You’ll come away with fresh ideas to improve leadership and a new group of friends and contacts to help you continue to make your institution the best it can be.

Related Resource: Top 10 Online Healthcare Administration Degree Programs

How Do You Become a Mental Health Counselor?

Mental Health CounselorIf you have an interest in helping others combat their mental illnesses and diseases, you may want to become a mental health counselor. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this occupation will grow at a faster rate than average and will add more than 31,000 new jobs through 2024. Many of those working in this field earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology before going to graduate school, but you’ll want to look at all the other requirements associated with working in this field.

Major in Social Sciences as an Undergraduate

It’s important that you have a deep understanding of mental illnesses, which you can get in a solid undergraduate program. Though most professional counselors majored in psychology, you may earn a degree in social work, sociology or another of the social sciences. To gain more experience, talk with your adviser about doing an internship. You might work in a counseling center, a homeless shelter or a hospital. Graduate schools look for well rounded applicants who have high grades and some additional experience. Even if you don’t do an internship, you might volunteer at local centers.

Attend Graduate School

You cannot become a mental health counselor unless you have a master’s degree first. The school you attend should have accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs. You can select a program that emphasizes marriage and family counseling or mental health counseling. The courses you take show you how to work with people from different backgrounds, how to get your clients to open up to you and how to identify issues that might relate to the emotional health problems, including drug addiction or abuse at home. Most programs will require that you do some fieldwork too.

Go Through Training

Even after finishing your master’s degree, you still aren’t ready to work as a counselor. You will need to go through some additional training towards the end of your studies or after completing your studies. Some colleges refer to this as an internship, but other universities call this a residency program. You usually spend a minimum of 1,500 to 2,000 hours working in a supervised setting. While you’ll work with real clients, you’ll work under the guidance of a licensed therapist. Most programs require that you spend an additional 1,500 hours or more working independently with your clients.

Get a License

To become a mental health counselor, you also need to meet all the requirements in your state for getting a license. You usually need to show that you completed an extensive residency program or internship and pass a background test. Most states require that you go to the police department, submit your fingerprints and wait for the results. Your record should be free of any felonies. You will also take a professional counseling examination and submit your test scores to your state, which will keep the results on file. Some states also ask that applicants agree to continue their education and pursue a PhD.

Related Resource: Master of Public Health

Mental health counselors provide assistance to patients diagnosed with depression, anxiety disorders and other mental or emotional conditions. Before you can become a mental health counselor, you must complete your undergraduate studies, earn an advanced degree, go through a residency program and obtain a license to practice in your state.

5 Healthcare Jobs in High Demand

5-healthcare-jobs-in-high-demandFinding the right position in the healthcare field can be the first step toward a challenging and well-paid career. According to the experts at Forbes, approximately five million new jobs will be created in the healthcare sector by 2022, making this an outstanding field for new graduates and students deciding on their course of study.

Here are five high-growth jobs to consider in the modern healthcare environment.

Physical Therapists

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for physical therapists was nearly $80,000 in 2012. Experts are forecasting 36 percent growth in this profession between 2012 and 2022, making it a solid choice for students considering a career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists provide rehabilitative services for patients recovering from injuries or living with chronic conditions. A Doctor of Physical Therapy degree is required for licensure as a physical therapist; prerequisites for this degree program generally include a bachelor’s degree and coursework in areas related to healthcare and medicine. After graduation and licensing, physical therapists can set up independent practices or can work in clinical and hospital settings.

Nutritionists and Dietitians

With projected growth of 21 percent in available jobs between 2012 and 2022, nutritionists are likely to be in high demand throughout the healthcare field. A bachelor’s degree is required for nearly all professional dietitian and nutritionist positions. Internships and supervised training may also be included as part of the curriculum requirements. Licensing is required in many states. Many nutritionists pursue advanced degrees and certifications after graduation to obtain high-level jobs in this field. The Registered Dietitian Nutritionist credential is administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration in association with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is a preferred credential among many employers.

Nurse Practitioners

With median salaries approaching six figures and a 31 percent growth in demand projected by 2022, nurse practitioners and other advanced practice registered nurses enjoy outstanding job security and solid compensation in the job market. Aspiring nurse practitioners must first meet the requirements to become a licensed registered nurse. A master’s degree is also required and typically includes practical experience in the clinical environment as well as coursework. Most students already hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing before pursuing a nurse practitioner master’s degree; however, some institutions offer bridge programs designed for those with an associate’s degree or certification at a lower level. Nurse practitioners are qualified to offer advanced health care services in clinics, hospitals and private practices and may be the primary healthcare provider in underserved communities and remote rural areas.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates a bright job outlook for audiologists in the next few years. A growth rate of 34 percent will provide added employment opportunities for these healthcare professionals. Audiologists must be licensed and must have a doctorate in audiology to practice their trade in the U.S. Physiology, genetics, anatomy, communication development and pharmacology are among the main areas of focus for students pursuing these advanced degrees. After graduation and licensure, audiologists may practice in hospitals, clinics and private practices or may serve school districts by performing routine hearing tests on their students. Certification is available through the American Board of Audiology or the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Orthotists and Prosthetists

New technologies have revolutionized the field of artificial limbs and prosthetics and have led to increased demand for qualified orthotists in the healthcare industry. This field is projected to grow much faster than average in upcoming years.

Orthotists and prosthetists are responsible for designing braces and prosthetic devices and fitting patients for these items to ensure the highest degree of mobility and functionality. Students interested in this field must obtain a master’s degree in orthotics and prosthetics. Coursework focuses on human anatomy, physiology and laboratory materials to provide a solid framework for future activities. In most cases, students must also engage in hands-on clinical experiences that allow them to put the skills they have learned in class to work in real-life situations.

Choosing to train for one of these professions can increase the job opportunities available to students after graduation. Additionally, the high demand for professionals in these fields can potentially boost the compensation offered by employers and the job security of individuals pursuing these careers in today’s competitive job market. The right educational programs can provide the skills and knowledge needed for success in the modern healthcare industry.

What is a Master of Public Health Degree?

Master of Public Health A Master of Public Health degree, commonly referred to as simply MPH, will provide you with the knowledge to work in the health sector in ways that benefit the public at a practical level. It is a graduate degree that requires completion of a bachelor’s-level education prior to admission. In an MPH program, you will learn the necessary information to prepare for roles in providing community awareness surrounding a wide array of health issues. This degree is specifically for those wishing to work directly with the public. A Master of Science in Public Health, or MSPH, is more research focused for those wanting to pursue academia or scientific study, according to US News and World Report. Read on to learn more about the degree and the kinds of positions you can obtain through this course of study.

Components of the Degree

In order to become accredited by the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH), programs must offer certain core coursework. Classes in epidemiology, environmental health, policy issues, statistics and behavioral health must be included in the curriculum. These core topics will prepare you for to become a competent public health professional. Many MHP programs also allow students to choose a concentration area in order to gain an expertise in a particular aspect of the field. Some examples include public health education, toxicology, disaster management or maternal/child health.

A Master of Public Health degree is meant to be experiential so that students will be sufficiently prepared through practical knowledge, as well as theory. That means you’ll probably need to complete a practicum or internship experience in order to receive your degree. This will be a supervised work experience in a professional setting where you’ll gain hands-on understanding of working in public health. You may also need to take on a competency-based project such as a grant proposal or research paper in order to meet curriculum requirements. Some programs require a thesis.

How Long Will It Take?

There are various formats when it comes to an MPH degree. In general, you can expect to take between two and three years to complete your program, depending upon whether a thesis is required or the length of your internship. Some schools do have advanced one-year program options. These usually are meant for people who are enrolled in another degree program of compatible focus. You may have heard of such formats as joint-degree or dual-degree programs.

Careers in Public Health

With a Master’s in Public Health degree , you can work in a number of settings, both in private and public sectors. Some places you may find yourself employed include government agencies, non-profit organizations, schools, insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers or healthcare providers. There are numerous jobs in the field for which you’ll be prepared. Some examples are public educator, food safety inspector, policy analyst and epidemiologist. You could also be hired as a consultant for drug companies or government representatives. These are merely a handful of examples.

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If you are interested in health and enjoy improving people’s lives, the public health field may be for you. With a Master of Public Health degree, you can work with the public in a healthcare setting without entering the field as a medical practitioner, which can prove to be an incredibly satisfying path.

5 Great Resources for School Nurses

Health care is an ever-changing field, and there’s no exception when it comes to kids. School nurses are responsible not only for caring for the wellbeing of students but also for staying up to date with current health news. Of course, school nurses have a serious workload and don’t always have time to hunt for the information they need. Here are five great resources designed to support school nurses.

1. The National Association of School Nurses (NASN)

Belonging to this professional organization is a must for all school nurses. The NASN website provides a wealth of education and advocacy resources. Every health topic of importance to school nurses is covered in detail, and the group provides comprehensive information about the latest health research too. Members have the opportunity to seek out mentors and find support as they study to receive advanced degrees in nursing. NASN provides scholarship opportunities to deserving students who want to earn a BSN in addition to their RN. The group also hosts a job board where nurses can learn about employment opportunities.

2. A School Nurse’s Guide to Kids Health and Safety

This innovative visual guide provides essential information to school nurses in an easy-to-scan, visually compelling format. This free guide is also an awesome resource for professionals who are making the switch from another health care discipline to school nursing. It offers information about common childhood illnesses, kid’s exercise and nutrition needs, and basic childhood hygiene. Colorful pictures and diagrams guide nurses and can help them explain health concerns to parents and school administrators too. Printable hand washing instructions, exercise flyers and nutrition tracking sheets that can be distributed to teachers and students are included in this excellent resource.

3. The Nutrition Source

This information-rich website from the Harvard School of Public Health provides a wealth of resources to help school nurses better understand current nutrition topics. Resources include information on the basics of nutrition as well as analysis of the latest news and research in the world of nutrition. The printable “Healthy Eating Plate” flyer and other printables can be used to provide nutrition education to students, teachers and parents. It’s also a priceless resource for school nurses who are actively involved in overhauling school lunch programs. In-depth information about diabetes and other diseases that impact how kids eat is provided also.

4. The Joslin Diabetes Center’s Resources for School Nurses

The Joslin Diabetes Center actively maintains a webpage that provides current diabetes resources for school nurses. Childhood diabetes is a major public health concern, and school nurses are expected to have sophisticated knowledge about the disease. Nurses will find an array of helpful resources along with links to American Dietetic Association position statements relevant to school settings. Links to medical and pharmaceutical companies that make diabetes supplies are also provided so that nurses can find information about the various medications and devices that their students use. On a separate page dedicated to childhood diabetes, nurses will find helpful resources for the families of diabetic students.

5. The NASN Back-to-School Toolkit

Available only to NASN members, this comprehensive toolkit includes everything from planning guides for nurses to informational flyers for parents. It includes a variety of checklists that help both nurses and parents evaluate student health and plan for the coming year. Information included also helps nurses better manage and understand health concerns such as diabetes and HIV. All of the resources in the toolkit are evaluated yearly and updated as needed so that the most accurate information available is reflected. While this resource is generally publicized at the beginning of each school year, it includes information about health concerns that students will encounter throughout the year.

Being a school nurse is a demanding job. After all, you juggle the health needs of a whole school. That’s why it’s essential to find resources that make doing your job easier.

What is a Surgical Nurse?

Surgical NurseA surgical nurse is a health care professional who specializes in proving before, during and after surgical care to patients. However, most people aren’t aware that there are many types of surgical nurses.

Surgical Nurse Categories

Most people are familiar with general surgical nurses, who assist during standard operations, such as gallbladder removals. However, there are vascular surgical nurses, who participate in vein repairs, and colo-rectal surgical nurses, who may assist during colon surgery. Orthopaedic surgical nurses tend to work with older patients who need hip or knee replacement surgery. There are also surgical oncology nurses, who help reduce or remove tumors, and urological surgical nurses who assist with prostate surgeries. Finally, there are ambulatory surgical nurses who work in emergency departments. However, all surgical nurses work in similar environments, such as surgical wards, intensive care units and emergency care centers.

What Does a Surgical Nurse Do?

Surgical nurses help surgical technicians prepare and organize the operation room. They will provide pre-procedure instructions to the patient, administer any medications and assist other health care professionals with things like sterilization and starting IV lines. Once the procedure begins, they must monitor the patients’ vital signs, pass instruments to the surgeons and operate surgical equipment. If there are any issues, such as erratic vital signs, they must communicate this with the team. They must be also prepared to perform lifesaving procedures if necessary. They are also responsible for post-surgical care, such as transporting the patient to their room, monitoring their status and providing care. Post-surgical care also involves administering medications, taking vitals and educating the patient about post-operative care.

What Education is Required?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, all surgical nurses first start out at Registered Nurses (RNs). A nursing program for RNs will include all the necessary coursework in anatomy, biology, chemistry, physiology and nutrition. They also study psychology, communication and leadership classes. RNs obtain their RN license through passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). It is highly recommended that students gain experience working as an RN and with recovery or intensive care units. The ANCC Medical-Surgical Nursing board provides the industry standard competency based exam for RN’s working in medical-surgery departments. The highly sought after Registered Nurse-Board Certified (RN-BC) accreditation proves that the surgical nurse is knowledgeable and capable of independently working in operating rooms. Exam eligibility is as follows: hold an active RN license, have two years of RN experience, have 2,000 hours of clinical surgery experience and 30 hours of medical-surgical nursing continuing education credits.

The Registered Nurse-Board Certified (RN-BC) Exam

According to the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the RN-BC exam is comprised of four areas: Assessment and Diagnosis, Professional Role, Health Teaching and Promotion, Planning, Implementation and Outcomes Evaluation. First, the Assessment and Diagnosis part makes up approximately 15 percent of the exam and includes skills and knowledge related to gathering and analyzing patient data. The Professional Role makes up 30 percent of the exam and covers therapeutic relationships and communication. Health Teaching and Promotion makes up 22 percent and covers core concepts and skills. Finally, Planning, Implementation and Outcomes covers approximately 33 percent of the exam and covers knowledge of evidence-based guidelines and Nursing Outcomes Classification (NOC).

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Surgical nurses are RNs who have obtained RN-BC accreditation and specialized training. Surgical nurses are key members of critical care health care teams who perform life-saving procedures for patients.

5 Great Resources to Help Uninsured Patients

The medical industry is one of today’s most stable career fields. Those who work in the industry have access to a range of employment opportunities. With a healthcare degree, you can work as an administrator, a technician or a physician’s assistant. Once you begin working in the career field, you’ll likely have patients who lack health insurance. When you do, you can help them by recommending resources like:

• Medicaid
• The Children’s Health Insurance Program or CHIP
• The American Kidney Fund or AKF
• The Centers for Disease Control or CDC
• Federally Qualified Health Centers or FQHCs

1. Medicaid

If a patient does not make enough to pay for health insurance, then he or she may qualify for Medicaid. People of all ages are eligible for the program, and it is the largest healthcare funding source for the country’s low-income population. The nation’s states and the federal government fund the program jointly. United States citizens and legal permanent residents are eligible for Medicaid’s benefits. Low-income adults along with their children may qualify. In addition, those who suffer from certain disabilities may also be eligible for the program.

2. Children’s Health Insurance Program

If you wind up treating an uninsured child, be sure to tell his or her parents to apply for CHIP. The program is a safety net since it provides health coverage for kids whose parents are unable to qualify for Medicaid because they earn too much. In a few states, parents can also qualify for CHIP. Each state’s CHIP program works with Medicaid to ensure that low-income individuals are getting the help that they need. People can apply for CHIP any month of the year, and when someone applies, the program’s administrators will check the applicant’s income level automatically to see if they qualify for an individual insurance plan.

3. American Kidney Fund

The AKF is an organization that works to ensure that every person with kidney problems has access to medical care. The group also focuses on helping those who are at risk of developing kidney disease take steps to prevent it. Patients can turn to the AKF for charitable assistance. The organization helps people pay for their health insurance premiums. It also provides funding for treatment-related expenses. If your patient is a child, be sure to tell his or her parents about the organization’s summer enrichment activities. You can also refer noninsured patients to the organization for details regarding kidney failure and chronic kidney disease.

4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

For women, the CDC offers diagnostic services and screening. Refer your patients to the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, which is run by the CDC. Women with limited incomes are eligible for breast exams and cervical cancer screenings. If needed, diagnostic testing is available as is testing for human papillomavirus. The program has been in place for more than 20 years, and when you refer a woman to the CDC’s program, advise her to check the agency’s website as it will give her a listing of the screening providers in her area.

5. Federally Qualified Health Center

The federal government supports community-based health centers. These clinics are available for low-income individuals, and they offer preventative treatments as well as general healthcare services. Community-based health centers charge for service based on a sliding fee discount. If an individual or a family has an annual income that is at or lower than 100 percent of the nation’s federal poverty guidelines, then the clinic can only charge these patients a minimal fee. People with income levels that range from 100 percent to 200 percent of the federal poverty level will be charged based on a sliding discount scale. Healthcare facilities charge this according to the income level and size of the family.

The medical field is often a top paying one. Many healthcare careers allow you to obtain employment without requiring you to earn a graduate degree. However, you may need specialized training or additional certification. By working in the healthcare industry, you’ll have a career that helps people.


How Do You Become a School Nurse?

School NurseIf you are planning to start a career in school nursing, you may be interested in learning how to become a school nurse. School nursing is a specialized area of practice that is committed to keeping the school a healthy environment for students. They do this by intervening when there may be a potential problem and by referring health services to specific students who may need to see a physician for treatment. The role of the school nurse is an important once, and this is why you must be formally trained and then certified to practice within the specialty area. Read on, and learn just what it takes to work in school nursing.

Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing

The very first step to becoming a school nurse is to earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. While some schools in private and public settings will employ a licensed practical nurse (LPN), a majority of schools and certification agencies require candidates to possess their BSN before they will qualify for employment. You should look for approved programs that will qualify you to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Register Nurses so that you meet all of the prerequisites to test.

Become a Registered Nurse by Taking the NCLEX-RN

While becoming an RN is a voluntary step to become a school nurse, if you would like to compete for a position it is a necessary one. To become a Licensed Registered Nurse, you will need to pass the uniform NCLEX-RN exam that was developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Once you pass the exam, you will be licensed to practice in several different healthcare settings as a clinical professional.

Get Experience to Get Certified as a Specialist

To get certified as a specialist through the National Association of School Nurses, you must first get professional clinical experience. You must have no less than 1000 clinical hours of school nursing experience within the 3 year period before you can earn your certification with the National Certification Examination for School Nurses, according to the National Board for Certification of School Nurses. It is recommended that you have at least 4000 hours of experience total. This 4000 hours of experience can be a combination of clinical hours and other professional contribution to health in a school setting.

Keeping your Certification With Continuing Education

Once you are a certified school nurse, you need to complete the appropriate courses to maintain it. This is referred to as professional continuing education. You must complete at least 75 units every five year certification period. Once it is time to recertify, you must present proof that you have completed courses on developments in the field so that you can be reissued your credential.

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Where there is primary and secondary education there will be a need for school nursing professionals. Professionals in this area of public health are in demand. According to data released by Healthy People 2020, every school has a goal to employ 1 nurse for every 750 students within an institution, according to Kaplan University. Since only about 40% of schools will successfully meet this goal by the year 2020, there is only room for growth. Now that you know how to become a school nurse, it is time to start training so that you can fill in the demand and accomplish your professional goals.

What Degrees are Available For Jobs in Medical Billing and Coding?

Medical Billing and CodingIf you would like to play an integral part in the healthcare system as a medical billing specialist, it is important to learn about the degrees available for jobs in medical billing and coding. Years ago, you could enter the world of medical billing with little to no educational background and some on-board training. Now, with all of the experienced and educated professionals that are competing for jobs in the field, having a certificate or a degree is essentially a must. Read on and learn more about how you can get qualified to keep medical records and code invoices in a healthcare setting.

What Does a Medical Billing and Coding Specialist Do?

Before you can really commit yourself to spending days in school and nights in the books, you need to know that you will enjoy working in the medical billing environment doing what you are responsible for doing on a daily basis. Specialists can work in hospitals, clinics, physician offices, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers or outsourcing centers and will work in an office setting. Most will work during business hours on a full-time basis, but some who are in centers open 24 hours a day could work weekends or nights.

Your role as a billing and coding specialist will be to ensure that the institution or the facility that you work in receives payments from clients and reimbursements from insurers in a timely manner. Some of your duties will include:

  • Accurately coding invoices
  • Entering medical coding into patient’s medical history
  • Reviewing entries for diagnosis, tests and treatments to verify they are accurate
  • Submission of coded invoices to patients and insurance companies
  • Recording patient payment information and insurer in the electronic system
  • Updating records when payments are made

Educational Path to Take to Prep for a Career in Medical Billing

If you want to work in healthcare, but do not want to hold a clinical role, working in an administrative role will require less education and experience while still giving you the opportunity for growth and job stability. There may not be a formal education requirement to hold the title of medical biller or coder, most employers are looking for candidates who have no less than an associate’s.

Even bigger employers will prefer those who are certified in the field as Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialists. Before you can hold the CMRS certification, you will need to take a certificate program, according to the American Medical Billing Association. This program will take about 12 months to complete and will cover coursework in:

  • Medical Terminology
  • Insurance policies
  • Billing and Coding
  • Computer Database Management

If you earn your certificate and you then prove that you have ethical standards, you can succeed in this field. While a college degree in public health or health administration will familiarize yourself with the industry, there are other options that you should always know about.

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There is a rising demand for highly trained and talented medical coders as the demand for medical services rises, according to CNBC. There is also a shortage of skilled workers who have taken the time to earn a degree or a certificate that will make them more marketable. If this sounds like the field of work for you, it is time to compare educational programs. Once you know the degrees available for job in medical billing and coding, you can make the best selection.

What is a Telemetry Nurse?

Telemetry NurseIf you’re looking for a fast-paced RN nursing specialty for working with high-risk patients, then you may want to consider becoming a telemetry nurse. Telemetry nurses specialize in working with critical patients recently released from intensive care who require constant monitoring with special medical technology. Telemetry nurses focus on carefully reviewing equipment to quickly determine symptoms of complications and potentially save lives. Telemetry nurses mostly treat patients with diabetes, heart disease, gastrointestinal illnesses, cancer, neurological disorders, and other non-emergency conditions. As one of the seven most in-demand specialties, telemetry nursing is growing due to the large aging baby boomer population, according to Healthcare Traveler. The following is a brief job profile to show what becoming a telemetry nurse will entail.

What Telemetry Nurses Do

Telemetry nurses have the primary responsibility of giving round-the-clock attention and monitoring vital signs of patients in critical condition within a telemetry unit. Telemetry nurses utilize specialized equipment to track their patients’ heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and temperature. Constantly monitoring telemetry screens is required, but telemetry nurses also carry out traditional bedside nursing duties. Telemetry nurses often record medical histories, administer medicines, make observations, consult with doctors, perform diagnostics, and educate patients on at-home care. Some telemetry nurses will devote their career to treating cardiovascular patients and using electrocardiogram tests. Working with multiple patients is usual, so telemetry nurses must have good multi-tasking, interpersonal, and technical skills.

Where Telemetry Nurses Practice

Telemetry nurses practice progressive care in several different settings welcoming high-risk patients with chronic or acute medical concerns. The majority of telemetry nurses work in telemetry units within public and private hospitals. Others may work in intermediate care units, direct observation units, transitional care units, or step-down units. Some may work with post-operative patients in recovery rooms after major surgeries. Outside the hospital, telemetry nurses may find employment in outpatient care centers, clinics, sleep centers, and surgical facilities. To provide constant 24/7 monitoring, telemetry nurses often work long shifts, including nights, weekends, and holidays, with most time spent on their feet checking on patients.

How to Become a Telemetry Nurse

Before you can jump into telemetry nursing, you’ll obviously need to become an RN by following one of three acceptable routes. Depending on your state, you can receive licensing with a one-year hospital-based diploma, two-year associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), or a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Most aspiring telemetry nurses choose the latter for a more well-rounded education and in-depth clinical practicum. Employers typically prefer BSN candidates too. After passing the NCLEX-RN exam, you can begin in entry-level staff nursing and segue into progressive care positions. Once you have at least 1,750 hours of experience in a telemetry unit, you’ll qualify for becoming a Progressive Care Certified Nurse (PCCN) through the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. This involves passing a 125-question exam and paying an initial certification fee.

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Overall, telemetry nurses have a challenging, yet rewarding job in monitoring complex medical equipment to check the status of at-risk patients. Telemetry nurses instantly recognize an warning signs of danger and report changes to doctors overseeing the patient’s care. They also will educate patients on the best ways to avoid relapse or potential problems after recovering. If you make the decision to become a telemetry nurse, you’ll join a growing nursing specialty and use your technological expertise to keep patients safe from emergencies.

How Do You Become a Dental Hygienist?

dental hygienistIf you’re looking into the dental field for career opportunities, you may be wondering how you become a dental hygienist. It’s a good option to explore, especially considering the rapid job growth expected in the profession over the next several years. Although 183,000 dental hygienists are already registered in the U.S., the need for quality hygienists continues to grow, partly due to the fact that Americans are taking dental care more seriously. There seems to be a growing understanding that dental health is an important part of general health.

The Important Role of a Dental Hygienist

A dental hygienist is really a front-line worker in a dental office. While actual dentists primarily work on a patient’s mouth when a problem has been identified, dental hygienists do much of the work of preventative dental maintenance. It’s their job to help clean patients’ teeth, including scraping away tartar and plaque. Hygienists provide their patients with information and skills they need to properly to take care of their teeth. They also take x-rays of teeth, provide fluoride treatments and assist dentists in dental procedures such as the filling of cavities or other oral care work. Because hygienists spend so much time with the patient, they need to be skilled communicators in addition to being skilled in providing dental care. Some dental hygienists are especially skilled at working with specific populations, such as children or children with special needs.

Steps to Becoming a Dental Hygienist

All states require that dental hygienists are licensed. The requirements tend to vary, but in general, you can expect that you will need to graduate from an accredited dental hygiene school. Some hygienists enter the field with an associates degree, though bachelor’s degrees and even graduate level degrees are also available. Once you have graduated from an accredited school, you will need to take an exam which includes both practical and written components.

You can learn more about these requirements, and about the more than 300 accredited schools for dental hygienists, by contacting the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA). The ADHA is a great resource ad provides special membership rates for students enrolled in an accredited dental hygiene program. Their website provides a career center with information about licensure, practice resources for the national exam, information about schools, scholarships and grants and a career board where you can look for open positions once you’ve completed your training and licensure. They also offer continuing education opportunities to their members and also to non-members. Like many other professional healthcare jobs, dental hygienists need to stay updated on current standards and practices. Sometimes you can take such continuing education courses online, or you can often find opportunities at nearby universities that have dental hygiene programs.

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The skills and training you will receive at an accredited dental hygiene program will help you to enter a rewarding career. Dental hygienists have the opportunity to be on the front line in helping patients obtain and maintain good oral care. The strong job growth in the field in the foreseeable future is another reason you might want to explore how to become a dental hygienist.

What Jobs are Available in Medical Billing?

Medical BillingIf you want to work in the healthcare industry and you would like to play an administrative role, it is time to learn about the jobs available in medical billing and coding. In the current digital age, everything from a patient’s contact information to their medical records are stored in a computer system. In order to maintain these records and ensure that patient payments and insurance claims checks are received, there is a need for professionals who work directly with electronic patient accounts. These professionals who handle paperwork that relates to a patient’s records work in medical billing. Read on, and you can learn more about what you will do in the field and what types of jobs are available.

What Are Some of the Titles You Can Hold in Medical Billing?

If you are pursuing a career in the medical billing sector, there is more than just one title that you can attain. There is a need for medical billing professionals in doctor offices, hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, healthcare facilities, and insurance companies. The title that you hold will depend upon the setting that you work in and your level of education and experience. In smaller settings, you can take on the roles that multiple professionals would play in a larger setting. Some of the most popular jobs that are available in the sector for entry-level and experienced healthcare professionals include:

  • Medical billing specialist
  • Medical coding specialist
  • Patient Account representative
  • Insurance Reimbursements specialist
  • Billing Coordinator

Who is Qualified to Work in Medical Billing?

One of the great things about the industry is that you do not need to complete years of classroom and clinical training just to benefit from growth in the healthcare industry. There is tremendous growth projected in the field and this can be beneficial for students who are taking a medical billing program or for people who want to enjoy stability in the workforce.

You must have problem-solving skills, the ability to translate medical language to coding, and familiarity with coding systems to get your feet wet in the industry. If you would like to learn everything you need to know to be seen as a qualified candidate, you can enroll in a nationally-recognized medical billing certificate program. These programs can be completed in the classroom or online and will generally last between four and six months depending on the provider.

Be sure that you research the academy offering the training and stick with reputable options like the American Health Information Management Association or the American Academy of Professional Coders. By doing this, you will earn an online certification that will help your resume and you will cover all of the topics you need to earn your Medical Billing certification.

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As a medical billing or coding specialist, your role will be to translate data from medical records while you stay in constant communication with health insurers. While you do not play a clinical role, the administrative role that you do play behind-the-scenes is very important for medical offices. If you want to begin training to enter the field, it is time to review all of the certificate programs that exist and that will learn to certification. Once you take the proper courses and get experience, you can test for certification and have no problem being offered many of the jobs available in medical billing.

What is a Medical Transcriptionist?

Medical TranscriptionistIf you are interested in finding an entrance into the healthcare industry, you may have heard about the job of medical transcriptionist. A transcriptionist is involved in the important task of medical record-keeping. It’s an important enough job that over 95,000 people are currently working at this job in the United States. Although technology is sometimes changing the job’s focus, the task of transcribing medical records continues to be in demand.

What a Medical Transcriptionist Does

If you have been trained as a medical transcriptionist, your task will generally be to transcribe spoken notes by doctors. These might include notes that doctors have put on voice recorders describing interactions with patients in a clinic, doctor’s office or hospital setting. The notes are given to the transcriptionist, who listens to the audio and types the notes up so that they can be kept as part of the record of care. With changes in technology, some doctors now use special voice recognition software that can actually translate their spoken words to written words. This process is not without error, however, so even where such technology is used, transcriptionists provide valuable services in reviewing and editing documents into a more accurate and readable format.

Skills and Training Required

Medical transcriptionists (MTs) are also sometimes called Medical Language Specialists (MLS). As you might guess, this is because it’s important for a transcriptionist to be well-versed in specific medical terminology. If you study to become an MT, you will take classes to learn that terminology and you will likely also study human anatomy. Beyond that, you will need good skills in typing and editing. MTs must be able to focus well and learn to use the various kinds of playback equipment involved in transcribing notes. They also need to learn about different types of medical records and the formats for such records. Since you will be working with information about patients, your coursework will also likely include classes in medical ethics and healthcare law.

Most medical transcriptionist training takes between nine months and two years. There are several routes you can follow to become an MT, including obtaining an associates degree, a certificate or a diploma, according to Medical Transcriptionist. Certificates and diplomas take less time to complete, generally a year or less, but will likely not provide you with the depth of training you would get with an associates degree. A diploma is often the route chosen by someone who seeks this kind of training right out of high school. Any of these types of programs could potentially be a good way to gain entry into the profession. Even if you begin with one of the shorter training programs, you could still go on for an associates degree after gaining some skills. Whatever educational path you pursue, make sure that you choose an accredited school.

Related Resource: Become a Psychiatrist

With healthcare delivery going through rapid changes, the importance of accurate and well-formatted medical records ensures a good job outlook in this field. There is also some flexibility in how transcriptionists work, as some work in an office or hospital setting and others work from home or as independent contractors. If you’re looking for a relatively quick entrance into the healthcare industry, you might want to look further into becoming a medical transcriptionist.

Top 10 Online Medical Billing and Coding Schools

By BHD Staff

The Best Health Care Degrees - Top Online Medical Billing and Coding Schools 2015If you’re looking for a career path that will allow you to work in the healthcare industry without requiring a copious amount of schooling, you might consider earning an online medical billing and coding degree. People who work in this profession are responsible for processing the thousands of codes required to keep track of a patient’s information and communicate with insurance companies. Unlike other healthcare jobs, medical billers and coders typically don’t see many patients face-to-face. Rather, they put their organizational skills and attention to detail to work in offices, completing tasks in collaboration with other administrators.

To become a medical biller or coder, you most likely only need to go to school for a year or two. Depending on your professional goals and the school in which you enroll, you might complete a certificate program or associate’s degree, and potentially supplement your education with “Continuing Education Units.” Listed below are the top 10 online colleges that offer medical billing and coding degrees, ranked according to a number of important factors:

Net Price: This term refers to a more unique number than just flat tuition rates. We found this information on College Navigator, a comprehensive database that the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) runs. According to NCES, Net Price takes into account tuition rates, additional fees, average financial aid packages, and even potential cost of living while in school. Please keep in mind that these values are an approximation, used only for ranking purposes. If you are thinking of applying to one of the schools below, we encourage you to do the research to determine exactly how much you should expect to pay. We weighted this category 15%.
Number of Students in the Program: For this category, we determined the number of students at the college pursuing a degree in medical billing and coding compared to the size of the entire student body (also based on data from NCES). If a school had a higher than average number of students involved in medical billing and coding, we took it as an indication that the university puts a strong emphasis on this program, students find it more attractive than other programs/schools, or both. We weighted this category 25%.
Unique Classes:We also gave each college a score based on the overall uniqueness of their programs, based mostly on the breadth of courses offered as well as the number of classes that are not typically offered at other universities. We weighted this category 30%.
Certifications: Lastly, we also considered the number of related programs and opportunities a college offers its MB&C students. Schools received lower scores if they didn’t offer anything beyond a certificate, while schools earned high scores for offering certificates, one or more associate’s degrees, and also provide pathways to more advanced programs in related healthcare professions. We weighted this category 30%.

At the end of the day, we tallied up all the points and gave each college a total number of points out of 100. You can see the 10 schools that made the final cut below, along with their final scores — all of which are significantly above average.

Online Medical Billing and Coding Schools Ranking 2015

ICDC College Online Degree Medical Billing and Coding

10. ICDC College

Online Healthcare Management Associate Degree

ICDC College offers an online associate degree in Healthcare Management that is both convenient and adaptable. Students are trained in medical coding and billing along with electronic records management, workplace management, and other healthcare-related responsibilities. ICDC has a wide variety of online associate’s degrees and certificates in subjects from Business Management to Medical Office Specialist; students can combine degrees to tailor their education to their individual career goals. The online medical billing and coding college also generously provides students with a new laptop and textbooks included in the price of their tuition.
Net Price: $23,733/yr
Total Score: 63.4

Cosumnes River College Online Degree Medical Billing and Coding

9. Cosumnes River College

Online Health Information Technology Associate in Science Degree

Students at Consumnes River College receive an affordable education and an excellent foundation for a career in medical coding. The cheap online medical billing and coding school offers a Health Information Coding Specialist certification that takes two years to complete. The curriculum covers the basics of both information technology and the healthcare industry, with courses from Basic ICD Coding to Human Disease. The environmentally conscious college provides a significant number of other certificates in Business, Technology, Health, STEM, and language fields for students who want to take their education that extra step.
Net Price: $9,366/yr
Total Score: 64.1

Stratford University Online Degree Medical Billing and Coding

8. Stratford University

Online Associate in Applied Science in Medical Insurance Billing and Coding

The online medical billing degree at Stratford University is a great choice for students who want to focus on the business aspect of healthcare. The program is designed to train students for the business and financial departments of hospitals and medical facilities. After completing the associate degree, graduates are eligible for certification by the American Health Information Management Association and the American Academy of Procedural Coders. The Stratford degree prepares graduates for work as medical assistants, medical secretaries, billing clerks, and medical records technicians; for example, past graduates have found employment in home care agencies and senior living facilities.
Net Price: $24,640/yr
Total Score: 65.3

Virginia College Online Degree Medical Billing and Coding

7. Virginia College

Online Associate of Science in Healthcare Reimbursement

Virginia College provides an online associate degree in Healthcare Reimbursement with a unique and varied curriculum. The online medical coding degree is ideal for anyone who hasn’t decided their exact focus yet, or wants a solid foundation in the field. The program is designed to prepare students to work anywhere from private practices to healthcare consulting to insurance companies. Courses range from Keyboarding and Human Anatomy to Pathophysiology and Medical Law and Ethics. On average, the degree takes less than two years to complete, and Virginia College reports graduates’ job placement rate as 69%.
Net Price: $11,302/yr
Total Score: 66.4

Grantham University Online Degree Medical Billing and Coding

6. Grantham University

Online Medical Coding and Billing Associate of Applied Science Degree

Students at Grantham University can take advantage of a cheap, high quality medical coding degree that emphasizes the importance a well-rounded education. The program includes classes in Public Speaking, American Government, English Competition, College Algebra, Student Success, and Strategies for Decision Making in addition to the medical coding and billing coursework. These classes help graduates broaden their knowledge and keep their skills sharp, which can make all the difference during a job search. Grantham also notes how helpful it is to learn medical coding and billing together, rather than separately, as part of the complete training process.
Net Price: $11,773/yr
Total Score: 66.6

Vista College Online Degree Medical Billing and Coding

5. Vista College

Online Medical Insurance Billing and Coding Associate Degree

The online Medical Insurance Billing and Coding degrees at Vista College prioritize effective learning in order to make sure that students get the most out of their education. Vista offers a Medical Insurance Billing and Coding diploma, which takes ten months to complete, and a Medical Insurance Billing and Coding associate degree, which takes eighteen months. The medical billing school requires students to complete a foundational segment before moving on to more advanced courses so that students can fully process the material. Students are also allowed to repeat online lessons and assignments as often as they need to in order to improve retention and therefore excel after graduation.
Net Price: $16.330/yr
Total Score: 66.7

Berkeley College Online Degree Medical Billing and Coding

4. Berkeley College

Online Associate of Applied Science in Health Services Administration – Medical Insurance, Billing, and Coding

Berkeley College’s online medical billing and coding school ranking demonstrates the school’s commitment to a broad curriculum that prepares students for a range of careers. The coursework, which covers subjects in Healthcare, Business, and Liberal Arts, is designed to teach students about the underlying dynamics and framework of the healthcare industry. Students get first hand experience through internship credits and a research course, and learn about the newest technologies in use in the field. The associate degree also can easily transition into a bachelor’s degree, or be combined with a number of related associate degrees.
Net Price: $25,545/yr
Total Score: 66.8

Rasmussen College Online Degree Medical Billing and Coding

3. Rasmussen College

Online Medical Billing and Coding Certificate or Diploma

The medical billing degree at Rasmussen College also stands out for its sheer variety of classes and degrees available to students in the healthcare field. Students can choose from a Medical Billing and Coding certificate, which takes twelve months to complete, or a Medical Billing and Coding diploma, which takes fifteen months. The coursework prepares graduates for the American Health Information Management Association certification exam, which is a national standard of accomplishment. Rasmussen also offers a certain level of financial stability to its students; tuition costs are locked in place so that students always know exactly how much they will pay.
Net Price: $20,043/yr
Total Score: 72.3

Laurus College Online Degree Medical Billing and Coding

2. Laurus College

Online Medical Billing and Coding Occupational Associate Degree

Nearly one-fifth of all students at Laurus College are enrolled in the Medical Billing and Coding occupational associate degree. This demonstrates the school’s special focus on the medical billing degree; in such a large program, students who enroll at Laurus can be sure that they are getting the best of the school’s resources. The program emphasizes the important role of medical coders in the growing healthcare industry as insurance regulations become stricter and insurance options expand. Potential careers for Laurus graduates include health information clerk, medical records technician, medical office manager, and billing and coding specialist.
Net Price: $10,051/yr
Total Score: 74.2

Bryant and Stratton College Online Degree Medical Billing and Coding

1. Bryant & Stratton College

Online Associate of Applied Science in Medical Reimbursement & Coding

The affordable associate degree in Medical Reimbursement and Coding at Bryant & Stratton College matches students’ abilities to the career track that is best for them. The degree is designed for detail-oriented individuals with previous data processing experience. Students can choose between a physician track and a hospital track, depending on their career goals and the area in which they would most like to work. However, Bryant & Stratton makes it simple for students to become cross-credentialed in both areas as well. Furthermore, the online medical coding degree prepares students for certification by the American Academy of Professional Coders or the American Health Information Management Association.
Net Price: $11,616/yr
Total Score: 80.3

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What is Socio-behavioral Studies in Healthcare?

Socio-behavioral healthcareNumerous socio-behavioral studies in healthcare have concluded that there is a social gradient in health in the United States, the highest social class is healthier and have less risk of dying than individuals in lower social classes. In 1968, Ronald M. Andersen, a professor at UCLA, created a socio-behavioral model to test his theory about the disparity of health service access in the U.S. Specifically, Andersen’s research identified the relationship of social inequality and access to health care services. According to the Education Resources Information Center, social-behavioral theory consists of the implementation of socio-behavioral knowledge (SBK) involving the change, stabilization, or control of human behavior. Read on to discover the four characteristics of socio-behavioral studies in healthcare.

Maintain or Modify Behavior

Currently, many socio-behavioral studies are being performed focusing on our nation’s obesity epidemic. Socio-behavior studies, may be information gathering, in support of a specific hypothesis, such as, a relationship between eating behavior and the social environment. The focus of other socio-behavioral studies in healthcare may be to improve the health of obese individuals by bolstering health programs in neighborhoods and communities.

Empirical Corroboration

Socio-behavioral theory is based on the principle that knowledge used to maintain or change behavior, needs to be supported by empirical corroboration, facts observed, measured, or otherwise verified.  Techniques used to gain corroboration, include:

Case Study – Case studies involve single individuals, or small groups of individuals with distinct conditions or circumstances. Information is garnered usually by direct observation, and participants’ self-reports.

Survey – A great deal of information can be gathered, from a large number of people, by surveys, questionnaires, and interviews. Researches are able to make a hypothesis after analyzing the data for similarities, variances, and trends.

Observation – Observational research consists of observing behavior in a laboratory, or in a natural environment. This type of research is limited by the fact that volunteer participants may behave differently than individuals who refuse to participate.

Correlational Research – Correlational research tries to if a link can be established between two variables, such as behaviors, actions, or attitudes. Observational research, interviews, questionnaires, and surveys may all be used to determine a correlation. A positive correlations does not ascertain that one factor causes another, just that two variables are related.

Experimental – Experimental research tries to answer questions of how and why. This type of research involves manipulating an independent variable, and observing the response of a dependent variable.


The practice of socio-behavioral studies in healthcare requires the implementation of SBK to stabilize, maintain or modify behavior. To be operational, the following five areas must be included for implementation.

1. Specifics of problematic behavior, such as, eating behavior leading to obesity.
2. Specifics of environmentally contributing conditions, as in, fast food availability in schools.
3. Specifics on the desired behavior, such as, consuming healthier food.
4. Details of socio-behavioral techniques used, for example, replacing fast food area with a salad bar.
5. Justification detailing the advantage of socio-behavior implementation versus no implementation.

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There is a vast range of healthcare topics that have been the subject of socio-behavioral studies, including domestic violence, autism, prenatal care, and alcohol abuse. The advantages of socio-behavioral studies in healthcare are the foundation of empirical corroboration and tangible techniques.

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Can You Get a Degree in Nursing Online?

Online Nursing DegreeThe convenience of distance learning has inspired many aspiring nurses to get a degree in nursing online, but this is only possible for those nurses pursuing advanced education beyond their first two years of study. Nursing is a profession that requires hands-on experience in both real and simulated situations that test a nurse’s resolve as well as her knowledge about patient care and treatment of common issues. For this reason, existing and aspiring nurses have more limited options when it comes to distance education in their field. With that said, there are still some promising degrees available if nurses are willing to blend offline and online instruction.

RN-to-BSN Programs Open the Door to Distance Education

After two years of study at a community college or specialized nursing school, those students who wish to enter the profession will be prepared to take the NCLEX examination and become a Registered Nurse. At the same time, they’ll graduate with a two-year degree in nursing and be properly credentialed for entry-level work in this field. For many nurses, however, the possession of only a two-year degree can put up barriers to career advancement over the long-term. Many nurses therefore seek a bachelor’s degree in their field as a way to maximize career prospects.

Online RN-to-BSN programs are extremely popular, since they allow nurses to further their education with little to no offline residencies required. These programs are open only to nurses who have completed a two-year degree, passed the NCLEX exam, and secured an entry-level job in their field. Others will have to opt for offline BSN programs instead. The online format allows nurses to share experiences through collaborative projects and discussion boards, further their understanding of human behavior and anatomy, and learn more about the nursing profession in a patient-centered context. With 60 additional credits on top of their two-year degree, nurses will be able to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, according to the US News and World Report.

Master of Science in Nursing Programs

Just like the four-year nursing degree, a Master of Science in Nursing can also open doors for career advancement. This degree allows nurses to move into managerial and advising roles within a larger healthcare organization, and it’s typically pursued by nurses who have at least five years of professional job experience after earning the BSN degree. The program is often taught entirely online, though some programs do require residencies on-campus or at a local hospital.

The MSN degree is highly competitive. Nurses generally need to take the MAT exam prior to submitting their application, though many schools allow applicants to submit GRE scores as well. Prepare to submit professional references and a resume, as well as an application essay, as part of the admissions process. Though highly competitive, nurses will find the accelerated MSN program to be accelerated, rigorous, and beneficial over the long-term.

Related Resource: Nurse Anesthesiologist

Limited Options for Online Education are Growing Every Year

The hands-on nature of nursing makes it hard to learn the entire profession online, and this has resulted in a smaller pool of available online programs for those in the nursing field. Even so, the programs that do exist are growing in enrollment with each successive year. New programs are being launched by established nursing school practically each semester, giving nurses an innovative way to get either a partial four-year or graduate degree in nursing online.

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How Do You Become a Psychiatrist?

PsychiatristIf you want to become a psychiatrist, you will need a plan to ensure that you complete all of the steps you must take to get licensed. Getting the education and qualifications that you need to eventually earn your licensed and practice can be a lengthy and time-consuming process. By mapping out the route that you will take you can avoid taking missteps that will only delay the process and cost you more money that necessary. Read this guide, and learn about the best steps to take from the time you enter an undergraduate degree program.

Attending a Undergraduate School

You may need to complete medical school to become a psychiatrist, but before you can apply to medical school you will need to earn a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. It is important to take your career as an undergrad very seriously. Your grades, participation and overall performance as an undergrad will be considered by the medical school admissions council. As you are sifting through all of the programs and all of the schools, you should choose an accredited program majoring in psychiatry or psychology.

You can pursue other majors, but be sure you have to basic prerequisite courses you need completed to enter med school. Science courses are extremely important, and failing to have them completed can delay the process. These science classes include: physics, chemistry, natural science and biology.

Enroll in a Medical School to Earn Your Medical Degree

Admissions to a medical school is a must if you want to become a psychiatrist. You will need to earn your medical degree, and the reputation of the med school that you attend may be important when you are applying for positions in a practice that is already established. To apply to medical school you will need a bachelor’s degree and to have all of the prerequisites completed.

You will also need to have good grades and show potential. Sitting for the MCAT, a medical school admissions test, must be done before you submit your application, according to Health Careers. Once you are accepted to a program, you will study to earn the same degree a physician or surgeon would earn with a focus on psychiatry. It can take 11 to 15 years from the time that you enter an undergrad program to become a Medical Doctor.

Get Your Residency Training

Before you can practice on your own, you will need at least four years of post-doctoral training in a respected residency program. This is where you will get the hands-on experience that you need to work in a clinical setting without being supervised. After you complete your period as a resident, you can become licensed in your state.

Get Licensed

Each state has a board exam that professionals must pass to become licensed to practice. The requirements to sit for the exam can vary from state to state. Make sure you check these requirements before you apply to sit for the exam to prevent delays.

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It can be a long process, but once you are licensed you will be happy to say you accomplished your lifetime goal to practice as a psychiatrist. Be sure that you study hard all throughout high school and college, and you can better your chances of getting accepted to medical school where you will do your training to become a psychiatrist.

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What is a Nurse Anesthesiologist?

Nurse AnesthetistAlthough there are many advanced nursing specialties today, the role of the nurse anesthesiologist is one of the oldest. First established in the late 19th century, this is an important and respected clinical nursing role. Nurse anesthesiologists work with patients before, during and after surgeries or other procedures that require anesthesia.

Role and Duties

Anyone who has ever experienced surgery as a patient knows how important it is to feel assured of competent care from everyone in the room. This includes all physicians, technicians and of course nurses, including the nurse anesthesiologist. As an anesthesiologist, you would have the important role of staying with a patient throughout an entire procedure. It’s essential that a patient’s bodily functions be monitored so that the anesthesia can be administered in the safest and most effective way.

According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse anesthesiologists work with patients in all types of surgeries as well as with women in labor. They have an important role to play in surgery. They assess a patient’s needs, help educate the patient, prepare and administer the actual anesthesia and maintain it during the procedure so that the patient stays comfortable. A nurse anesthesiologist also helps the patient postoperatively in the recovery period.

Training and Education

Since it’s such an important role, the training and certification process for becoming a nurse anesthesiologist is rigorous. You must first have a bachelors degree in nursing or another related field. Once you pass your licensing degree and become a registered nurse (RN) you must also work for at least a year in acute care in order to be able to enter an accredited nurse anesthesiologist program. This will be a graduate degree that takes between two and three years to complete. During your graduate program, you will take coursework as well as participating in clinicals to gain practical skills. Once you have received your masters degree, you can take the national exam to qualify as a certified nurse registered nurse anesthesiologist (CRNA).

Job Outlook and Places Where CRNAs Work

There is a high demand for well-trained, competent CRNAs. Many hospitals have come to recognize the value and cost effectiveness of hiring nurse anesthesiologists, with the result that it is one of the best paying jobs in nursing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median annual salary for CRNAs at over $148,000.

Of course where you work will determine your actual salary, and there are a variety of places you may end up working in this field. Many nurse anesthesiologists work in rural hospitals, often as the only anesthesiologists. Even in city hospitals that have other anesthesiologists on staff, however, there is still a demand for CRNAs. Nurse anesthesiologists may work in physicians’ or dentists’ offices as well as hospitals.

Related Resource: Nurse Educator

Regardless of where you end up working as a CRNA, you can be assured that your role is an important one. You will have the privilege of helping patients from start to finish during a critical time of their care. Working as a nurse anesthesiologist can be rewarding on many levels.

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How Do You Become a Nurse Educator?

Nurse EducatorYou can pass on your nursing skills to others when you decide to become a nurse educator. With the current shortage of nursing teachers, the important role of the nurse educator is becoming much discussed in the healthcare field. While many people understand the need for more nurse educators, those who are interested in this field sometimes have questions about how to transition from traditional nursing practice to a teaching role.

Required Education at Bachelor and Master’s Levels

To become a nurse educator, you will obviously need to be a registered nurse (RN). Although you can become an RN with a two-year degree, if you think you might want to teach one day, it’s imperative that you go on for a four-year degree and complete your BSN. More nurses are being encouraged to complete the BSN, as the goal is to increase BSN educated nurses to 80% by 2020. Nurse educators need to have advanced degrees, and you can’t go on for your MSN without first getting a BSN. It makes sense that any area in which you decide to teach is an area in which you have skills, so when you get your MSN, you might want to specialize in a job area in which you find particular satisfaction.

There are master’s degrees that are specifically focused on nursing education, but the jury is still out on whether those degrees offer the best preparation for someone who wants to go on and teach at a university level, according to the American Nurses Association. Sometimes nurses get their MSN and then go on to get a certificate in nursing education. It would be a good idea to talk with your academic mentors and professional colleagues about the best path forward.

Certification Process

Nurse educators can become certified by taking a certified nurse educator exam accredited by the National League for Nursing. You can go to their website to ascertain if you meet the eligibility requirements to take the test. They provide all the information you need about testing dates and fees and how to prepare for the exam. The exam can be taken at various times in your career, post master’s or post doctorate. Though certification is optional, receiving your certification shows your professionalism and dedication and helps strengthen the overall development and competency of the nursing education field.

Optional Education at the Doctoral Level

Nurse educators can work in a variety of settings, including continuing education programs. Not every nurse educator will want or need to go on for doctoral level education, but it’s something that will be supported and likely encouraged if you plan to teach full-time in an academic institution that grants bachelor’s and higher level degrees. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), about 86% of current job openings in those kinds of institutions require or prefer someone who has gotten a doctorate.

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With the current nursing shortage in the U.S., there is an increasing need for nurse educators. For now, prospective nursing students are sometimes turned away from training because of a lack of qualified nurse educators. This is an excellent time to become a nurse educator, a role in which you can have the satisfaction of training future nurses to become skilled and compassionate practitioners.

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What Does a Nutritionist Do?

Nutritionist Looking at what a nutritionist does is one of the most important steps you can take before enrolling in a college degree program. While a nutritionist and a dietician share some similarities, nutritionists usually need a college degree and some experience. A dietician can accept a position right out of high school and work in more advanced fields with a certificate. Nutritionists focus specifically on how different foods impact people in different ways, but you’ll find yourself doing a number of things when working in this field.

Develop Weight Loss Programs

One of the jobs that a nutritionist might do relates to weight loss programs. The experience and education that you earn can teach you the importance of eating different foods and which foods are the best for people of different body types. Developing a weight loss program lets you share your knowledge with others. While you might create a weight loss program used by thousands of people, you’ll more likely work with individual clients and help them create a program that will help them improve their overall health.

Assist Those with Medical Conditions

When looking at what a nutritionist does, you might find that some work in hospitals and medical clinics to support those recently diagnosed with certain diseases. These nutritionists help people with diabetes, high cholesterol and other diseases learn how the foods they eat can affect their overall health. They also work with patients diagnosed years ago to ensure they follow the diet plans and recommendations issued by a doctor. You’ll have the chance to help your clients decide what they can and cannot eat and show them how to keep track of their foods to see how different meals affect their bodies.

Work with Athletes

According to the Association for Nutrition, sports and exercise nutrition is one of the growing fields for nutritionist. Sports and exercise nutrition is a specific category that deals with athletes at the professional and amateur level. The human body uses the food eaten to create energy to get through the day. Athletes can burn hundreds of calories during a single practice session, and athletes generally need to use diets that are different from ordinary people. A sports nutritionist looks at the activities that an athlete performs and determines the best type of diet for that person, and many nutritionists keep working with athletes during the off season.

Research Food

When looking at information on what a nutritionist does, you’ll also find that they work in food science. People constantly look for new ways to lose weight, and nutritionists always research the impact that those new diets have on the human body. Some of those nutritionists working in food science work for private companies to determine the total number of calories, fat and other ingredients found in new foods before those foods hit the market. In addition to working for private food manufacturers, food science experts may also work for research institutes, at colleges and for the government.

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Not all nutritionists work in the same fields. Some work with private clients in their own offices, while others work for hospitals and medical clinics or for research institutes. Though looking at what a nutritionist does is important for your future, you also want to look at what each type of nutritionist does and where those nutritionists work.

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How Do You Become a Nurse Practitioner?

Nurse PractitionerHow do you become a nurse practitioner? Straddling the professional worlds of nurses and doctors, nurse practitioners dedicate at least six years to academically rigorous study at an accredited college or university. After earning their master’s degree, they must also pass a state licensing exam.

What is a Nurse Practitioner?

Established in the 1960s to help alleviate a national physician shortage, nurse practitioners have been caring for patients for nearly half a century, according to the Mayo Clinic. Trained to deliver the basic health care that the majority of patients require, nurse practitioners are among the most educated nursing professionals. They are capable of taking health histories, performing physical exams, understanding lab results and diagnosing many common health problems. They can also counsel patients about healthy lifestyle choices and refer them to other doctors or specialists. The ability of nurse practitioners to prescribe medication and practice independently varies from state to state. In some states, nurse practitioners are allowed to treat patients without direct oversight. Other states require nurse practitioners to work under a doctor who must approve their recommendations and actions.

Is a Nurse Practitioner Also a Nurse?

Because of the educational requirements for nurse practitioners, they are also nurses. In fact, nurse practitioners are also known as advance practice regular nurses. Earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from an accredited college or university is the first step to becoming a nurse practitioner. After earning their bachelor’s degree, they are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses and apply for licensure as registered nurses. Many aspiring nurse practitioners work as nurses while continuing their education at the graduate level.

What Qualifications are Required to Become a Nurse Practitioner?

Although the exact requirements vary from state to state, nurse practitioners are generally required to hold a master’s degree in nursing. While some programs can be completed in a year, most take two to four years to complete, because of their combination of academic coursework and hands-on clinical work. During their studies, aspiring nurse practitioners choose an area of specialization. Primary care, pediatrics, cardiology, dermatology, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, oncology, gastroenterology, and gerontology are popular options. Once students have obtained their master’s degrees, they must pass the licensing exam before they can begin practicing. They may also choose to seek certification from the board that oversees their specialty or from professional groups like the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

What is it Like to Work as a Nurse Practitioner?

According to U.S. News and World Report, which ranked nurse practitioner as fourth on its list of “Best Jobs of 2014,” the median annual salary for nurse practitioners is almost $90,000. The majority find positions in doctor’s offices, clinics and hospitals. As is often the case in the medical field, working as a nurse practitioner can be a demanding, high-stress job. Nurse practitioners also need to be prepared for some confusion over their status. Many report occasional unpleasant encounters with medical doctors who make it clear that they do not consider nurse practitioners to be their professional peers. However, with regular opportunities to help a patient in need feel better, working as a nurse practitioner is also rewarding.

Related Resource: Become a Nurse Anesthetist

Skyrocketing demands for health care are creating jobs throughout the industry. Like most medical professionals, nurse practitioners are in demand. A person willing to put in the hard work necessary to become a nurse practitioner will discover a multitude of opportunities to practice this challenging profession.

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What Does A Healthcare Administrator Do?

Healthcare AdministratorIf you are interested in the different careers available in the medical field for administration, you might wonder what a healthcare administrator does. Healthcare Administrators are the lifeline for hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices. Though the majority of administrators work in hospitals, there is also a need for these workers in ambulatory systems, nursing homes and even the government. The jobs usually require that applicants have a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration or a similar field, and most employers look for those with have some experience in the form of an internship or a previous job in the healthcare field. To determine if healthcare administration is the right choice for you, find out what those workers do on a daily basis.

Follow the Laws

When searching for an answer to the question of what does a healthcare administrator do, you might find yourself surprised that the job entails following and staying updated on healthcare laws. Facilities today must follow laws at the state, local and federal government levels. Those laws include how they charge patients for the care they provide, how they bill government agencies for insured patients and who they can share information with about various patients. With the new health insurance laws coming into place, it’s more important than ever for administrators to remain updated about healthcare laws.

Schedule and Manage Employees

A healthcare administrator handles many of the same duties that someone with an MBA might handle, including hiring, managing and scheduling employees. Most hospitals today have a high turnover rate. Workers find that spending time around sick and dying patients takes its toll on them, and they find themselves leaving for other jobs. Healthcare administrators must handle all the tasks associated with hiring new workers, but they must also meet the needs of existing employees. They need to understand the importance of proper scheduling, following up with employees who expressed unhappiness in the past and ensure that everyone works well together.

Work with the Budget

The median annual salary for healthcare managers and administrators, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $88,580. While working in the field, you have the chance to earn bonuses and increase your wage when you keep the hospital or office running within its current budget. Hospitals need to pay wages, buy supplies and new equipment and pay other operating costs without going over its initial budget. You’ll spend a good portion of your time looking at how you can save money and keep the setting running within its budget.

Maintain Detailed Records

Some people who ask the question of what does a healthcare administrator do imagine that those men and women spend most of their day running back and forth between meetings and talking with workers. Most administrators actually spend more time looking over records and maintaining those records. They know where every cent in the budget goes, how much different works make every hour or every year and whether the hospital or office went over budget or under budget in recent years.

Related Resource: Become a Nurse Anesthetist

Healthcare administrators perform a number of tasks every day. They might spend a few hours looking over records and attending meetings before going over the budget. Anyone who wants an answer to the question of what does a healthcare administrator do should know that these workers keep hospitals and other settings operational.

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How Do I Become a Dentist?

DentistWant to know how to become a dentist? A dentist is a medical professional with a doctorate level education who specializes in treating the teeth and gums of their patients. Some of their tasks include maintenance and preventative care for oral health, treating specific problems such as tooth decay and filling cavities, and performing root canals. There are additional specialized types of various dentists who focus on certain kinds of care such as pediatric dentistry (treating children) or periodontists (gum care).

In general, a dentist hires a staff which includes dental assistants and hygienists who assist in providing basic dental care such as fluoride treatments, x-rays, and teeth cleanings.

Following the steps to become a dentist includes the fundamental educational requirement of at least eight years beyond high school graduation. Upon dental school graduation, the future dentist obtains a license and can then start a general practice or else choose to further their education with an additional two to six years of more education in order to specialize in one certain area of dentistry.


Anyone interested in establishing a career in dentistry must first successfully complete a Bachelor of Science degree, usually a four-year program. Typically, the student follows either a pre-medical or pre-dental track and will major in a science like biology or chemistry. After that, the student acquires a DMD (Doctorate of Dental Medicine) or DDS (Doctorate of Dental Surgery) degree from a professional accredited dental school, both of which are four-year programs. Even though the titles are somewhat different, the degree is essentially the same. Most dentists work in general practice for awhile before choosing to specialize in one of the nine key areas of dentistry as recognized by the American Dental Association.


Dental school admission will require previous coursework in biology, physics, chemistry, and organic chemistry. The initial year in a dentistry program primarily focuses on specific sciences essential to the field including biomaterials, oral biochemistry and anatomy, fundamentals and histology of restorative dentistry. In the second year, the student is introduced to the different specialties, while both the third and fourth years primarily focus on intensive clinical study.

Various Types

Six training programs will require another 2 – 3 years for certification. For instance, a dental public health specialist works to prevent diseases in the local community and encourages good dental health, while endodontists treat dental diseases inside the teeth as well as perform root canals in order to save the infected teeth. Oral radiologists, on the other hand, diagnose and manage certain conditions and diseases by interpreting radiology images. A pediatric dentist addresses the unique dental problems of babies, children, and also teenagers. Prosthodontists use crowns to cover repaired teeth and use bridges, implants, and dentures to replace missing teeth, while periodontists specialize in treating gum disease and the harmful effects to the adjoining bone structure.

More Training and Specialties

For three other specialties, additional training is required including four to six years of further education beyond just the basic dental school requirements. Oral and maxillofacial dental surgeons operate on the mouth, neck, and head in addition to placing implants and removing wisdom teeth. They also provide consultation services for general dentists along with other doctors regarding certain oral conditions and diseases that affect facial structure as well as perform diagnostic tests and biopsies. Dentofacial orthopedists and orthodontists employ braces and other helpful devices to bring both the teeth and jaws back into proper alignment.

Related Resource: Health Informatics


Other basic requirements in order to become a dentist include exceptional communication and people skills, a strong affinity for science, and outstanding manual dexterity skills. People who desire a career as a dentist must handle several years of intense coursework as well as possess strong diagnostic abilities, a clear sense of color and shape, and good spatial judgment. They also require an acute ability to perform highly-detailed complex work on a permanent basis.

These are the primary requirements for anyone considering a career in the dental field and the overall facts on how to become a dentist.

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How Do I Become a Nurse Anesthetist?

Nurse AnesthetistA career as a nurse anesthetist, also called a CRNA, is not only a very stable job in the health care field, but it is also one of the most in-demand and highest paying medical professions.

CRNA Requirements

CRNAs are highly trained, uniquely skilled practitioners with a high-degree of responsibility and expectation. Nurse anesthetists are responsible for every stage of the surgical anesthesia process. To begin the journey to CRNA status, a person will need a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. After receiving a nursing degree, one must obtain licensure as a registered nurse. This procedure has slight variations by state and/or region, but the NCLEX exam is a virtual given at this stage.

New nurses will need a minimum of one year of critical care experience. The field to becoming a nurse anesthetist is competitive. Working in a more advanced critical care unit will yield better results on the road to becoming a nurse anesthetist. While one year is required for experience, most applicants come into these programs with several years of experience and many advanced certifications. Individual nurse anesthetist programs have their own requirements with regard to prior experience and certifications. Some will accept PACU or ER experience, while some many not. Nearly all require certification in advanced lifesaving procedures.

Education and Experience

According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, a minimum of seven years of education when getting a CRNA. Most student nurse anesthetist completes 2,500 clinical hours. They also will administer about 850 anesthetics as a student. After receiving your nurse anesthetist degree, CRNA’s are required to be certified every two years throughout their career. This includes meeting practice requirements and having a minimum of 40 continuing education credits.

Related Resource: Types of Nursing Degrees


Becoming a nurse anesthetist is a very rewarding career. If you are a person who pays close attention to detail, can handle high levels of responsibility and takes pride in knowing that the patient is benefiting from your care, than this might be the right career path for you. To learn more about what it takes to become a nurse anesthetist, review the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

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What Types of Nursing Degrees Can I Get?

Nursing degreesIf you have decided to pursue a career in the field of nursing, you are probably wondering what types of nursing degrees you can get? By reviewing the information found below, you can obtain an answer to this question and several others that pertain to the field of nursing.

Types of Nursing Degrees

There are a plethora of nursing degrees you can attain in order to make yourself a knowledgeable, marketable job candidate. Some of your options include:

1. Associate of Science in Nursing

An Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) is a degree that takes roughly two to three years for completion. In America, this degree is typically offered at local community colleges or similar types of nursing schools. In some cases, four year colleges offer an ASN. Students who earn the ASN are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam and apply for licensure as a registered nurse.

2. Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is a degree which involves studying the principles and science of nursing. This degree generally takes four years to complete and is granted by a university or similar school with accreditation. Although an individual is eligible to become a registered nurse after attaining an ASN, the BSN is advantageous in that it prepares the student to move beyond bedside care and into the world of nursing research, science, informatics, and leadership. Yet another advantage of the BSN is that it provides students with education in general subjects such as social sciences, humanities, and math. Finally, the BSN provides students with opportunities for career advancement in the form of administrative, consulting, teaching, and research positions. These options are not available for individuals who only hold an ASN.

3. Masters of Science in Nursing

A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is a postgraduate degree that is considered to be an entry-level degree for nurse managers and educators. The degree can also prepare students to seek careers as health policy experts, nurse administrators, or clinical nurse leaders. The MSN also functions as the prerequisite for doctorate-level nursing degrees, and was once required in order to operate as a nurse practitioner or advanced practice registered nurse.

4. Doctor of Nursing Practice

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a degree that places emphasis on the clinical dimension of disease processes. Coursework for this degree typically includes diagnosis and treatment of disease as well as advanced practice. The DNP is designed to prepare registered nurses to become independent primary care providers. Additionally, the DNP is designed to function as a parity degree with other types of health care doctorates such as medicine, dentistry, and psychology. Individuals who obtain the degree can work as a nurse practitioner (NP), certified nurse midwife (CNM), clinical nurse specialists (CNS), and certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners can expect to earn about $96,460 annually. While about 52% of nurse anesthetist programs offer the DNP, the other 48% use the title “Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice” (DNAP) for the terminal degrees they offer.

Related Resource: Health Informatics


If you are thinking about pursuing a career in nursing, you should know that doing so can be personally and professionally advantageous. By reviewing the information above, you can examine the types of nursing degrees available and determine which would best help you accomplish your vocational goals.

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What is Health Informatics?

health informatics

You may be asking what health informatics is if you have never heard the term before. Simply put, health informatics combines information technology (IT) and healthcare in order to provide a better standard of patient care. As more federal funding is granted to hospitals and clinics that adopt Electronic Health Records (EHR), the need for health informatics will grow. A person who works in this field is usually referred to as a health information technician.

What Do Health Information Technicians Do?

Health information technicians manage patient care records for medical facilities and make sure that they are processed and stored safely. They are often trained in medical coding, which helps to organize medical records. Technicians also use specialized software to compile patient care data onto a common server. In addition to their IT work, they must also be familiar with medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, basic statistic and medical ethics. These are subjects that are covered in their specialized training.

They may work for large hospitals or regular private clinics. Some technicians specialize in coding for certain medical conditions such as cancer. While they do not work directly with patients, health information technicians often work closely with doctors, surgeons and other physicians. For example, the technicians may need to clarify a certain patient diagnosis, or they may want to check that their patient records are accurate before they are entered into a database. Finally, healthcare information technicians also work with the billing departments of insurance companies in order to provide a quick and easy reimbursement process for patients and doctors alike. This will become even more important in the near future.

Related Resource: Master’s Health Informtic Degrees

Why is Health Informatics So Important?

As the Baby Boomer generation begins to retire, the demand for health services will increase, as will the number of health insurance claims made by senior citizens. The amount and the size of patient care records will also rise, which means that it is now more important than ever that health information is digitized and securely stored by certified professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for  health information technicians is expected to increase by 22 percent from 2012 to 2022.

Making sure that data is properly organized and stored for future use is not only benefit to a patient or their insurance company. Anonymous data gleaned from these records can help public health officials make predictions about long-term trends for various diseases. Instead of amassing hundreds of thousands of paper records, physicians and researchers will be able to access electronic records

On the individual level, healthcare informatics can give doctors a streamlined history of a patient’s care and health issues.

Health Informatics: a View to the Future

Information technology is no longer restricted just to the world of computers, programming and tech support. The healthcare industry has greatly benefited from the development of electronic records. Health informatics is a quickly growing field with much opportunity for job growth and development.

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What Are The Best Healthcare Careers To Get Into In 2014?

Anybody that works in the world of medicine and healthcare will be the first ones to tell you how rewarding and fulfilling it is. While the status of employment in the US continues to cause a bit of unease, the healthcare industry is as booming as ever. According to Careers for Healthcare, these are five different healthcare careers that are on fire right now, and would be worth the time and effort to get into.


As you would expect, nursing is one of the most popular and highly sought out positions in the medical field. Not only is it a rewarding career to pursue, but the demand is higher than ever before. An aspiring nursing student has many options on his/her hands; they have the choice of working in any specialty ranging anywhere from oncology to elder care. Many types of healthcare institutions are in need of nurses, and the median salary earned among nurses turns out to bbe a whopping $65,690/year.


Dentistry will always be a hot field to go into as long as people keep caring about their smiles and oral hygiene. The median salary among dentists across the country turns out to be $142,740/year, and that means it is well worth putting in the time to work towards this particular area in medicine. People that aspire to work in dentistry can expect to take classes in anatomy, physics, chemistry, and periodontology. While an average of 8 years is what it typically takes after high school to become a licensed dentist, the payout and rewards highly outweigh it.


Another hot and lucrative field in medicine that many people are jumping towards is pharmacology. While you probably wouldn’t classify a pharmacist alongside nurses, doctors, or physicians, they make just as big of an impact in the healthcare field as everyone else. They also make quite the paycheck to show for it; the median salary currently sits at $113,000/year. By 2020, pharmocology is a field that is expected to grow in size by 25.4%. Extra perks that are included with going into pharmocology include lower average stress levels than other healthcare jobs and loads of opportunities for advancement.

Physical Therapy

As you would more than likely assume, there is still plenty of work available for physical therapists, and it only continues to grow. Physical therapists work with all types of people and help them to do everything from regaining their muscle strength from injuries to working with paralytics. Job growth in physical therapy is expected to grow by 39%, and the median salary currently shows $78,270.

General Medical Practice

Lastly, general medical practice is a lucrative field for anyone to get into that wants to go into medicine by way of becoming a physician or doctor. Those who work in general medical practice can expect to assist the public in all types of ways including by treating patients, administering preventative medication, and providing universal care. Medical practice churns out a median salary of $183,170 and the field is expected to grow by 24%. As you would assume, becoming a physician is a very real specialization to consider for those interested in medicine.

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About The Best Health Care Degrees

The Best Health Care Degrees is your best source for the information you want about health care degrees and programs. Thanks to the combination of the United States’ aging population and changes in health care laws, the demand for health care is growing. Whether you have your heart set on a career as a health care provider or would prefer to join the ranks of the professionals who work behind the scenes to keep the health care system working smoothly, opportunities in the health care industry are skyrocketing!

The Best Health Care Degrees provides the information you need to get started on a health care career. Explore your options in our health care career section to discover which career best suits you. Learn what skills and training are required, what salary you can expect to make, and tips for how to get an edge in landing the best jobs. Discover the top health care degree programs with our rankings of traditional and online programs that prepare you for jobs in in-demand areas like nursing, health informatics, health care administration and more. Stay up-to-date on the latest in health care with our features, infographics and blogroll.

Some health care career facts to ponder:

  • In 2012, nearly three million people worked as registered nurses, earning a median annual salary of more than $65,000.
  • Job opportunities for registered nurses are expected to grow by nearly 20 percent between 2012 and 2022. The path to becoming a registered nurse can begin with an associate degree.
  • Some 186,000 people worked as health information technicians like medical billers and coders in 2012. Their annual salary was $35,000.
  • Job opportunities for health information technicians are expected to increase by 22 percent from 2012 to 2022. A postsecondary training program can jumpstart a career as a health information technician.
  • Health care administrators held more than 315,000 jobs and earned a median salary of nearly $89,000 in 2012.
  • A predicted 23 percent growth in job opportunities is expected to create more than 73,000 new jobs for health care administrators between 2012 and 2022. Landing one of these jobs typically requires a bachelor’s degree.

Get started on your health care career today. Visit our homepage at


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Is An Associate’s Degree in Healthcare Worth It?

The healthcare track is appealing to many students, but you don’t need to go to school for a long time to find a good career in healthcare. Here are some reasons why getting an associate’s degree in healthcare is worth it.

Why Get an Associate’s Degree in Healthcare?

The field of healthcare is a good choice because it is always growing. Along with advances in medical care, more medical professionals are needed to keep the system going. You don’t need to have an advanced degree to participate in this growth; an associate’s degree opens the doors to many career paths.

Getting an associate’s degree is a small financial and time investment compared to the rewards that it provides. The chance to enter the dynamic field of healthcare and have the doors to several very stable and lucrative positions open for you, is worth two years and more. Jobs open to holders of associate’s degrees are diverse, so there is something appealing for almost everyone.

Jobs in Healthcare for Associate’s Degree Holders

There are many paths available to holders of associate’s degrees in healthcare. Dental hygienists are able to carry out basic procedures related to tooth and gum health. They can operate on their own or in conjunction with a dentist. Occupational therapy assistants are the individuals who help occupational therapists treat their patients. They are responisble for keeping the office functional, and they deal with some of the aspects of patient care such as andministering equipment and instructions to patients.

Vocational nurses are responsible for aspects of daily patient care, such as assessing and recording patient problems, taking vitals, and providing hospice care to patients. Nurses often report some of the most rewarding careers in the healthcare system, and their jobs can be attained with only an associate’s degree. Others might prefer to work more independently as a massage therapist. These practitioners are able to run and advertise their own businesses, which many report to be rewarding. Here are some more examples of jobs that you can get with an associate’s degree in healthcare.

Each of these careers requires only a bit of extra training after your associate’s degree. Many of these positions will aceept fresh graduates with an associate’s degree, and the specialized training takes place on the job. Others, such as the massage therapist, will require an addtional certification. For each of these positions, your associate’s degree in healthcare will boost your application and make you an ideal candidate.

Taking the Next Steps towards a Degree in Healthcare

For those interested in pursuing a degree in healthcare, a bit of research is the next step. Find out which programs are feasible for you, and learn more about the requirements and course of study. You may find that it’s not for you after all, but your interest may also be piqued even more.

In conclusion, an associate’s degree is well worth the time and money invested. Healthcare can certainly be a rewarding career path, and there are so many options for holders of associate’s degrees that an advanced degree is no longer necessary. To take advantage of all of the benefits available to healthcare professionals, it’s a good idea to consider an associate’s degree.

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Movember: The Moustache and Beard-Growing Month


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November, in some circles, has come to be known as Movember, after the month long event that takes place now around the world, to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancer — diseases that significantly affect men around the world.

The idea behind Movember is that participants sign up donors, then shave on Nov 1st. Typically you leave a mustache — “Mo” in Australian slang — but some men prefer to go clean-shaven and grow a beard.) After that, you don’t shave again until Dec 1st. As a result, November has also come to be known by some people as “beard-growing month.”

Movember, the organization, was declared by Global Journal as one of the top 100 non-government organizations (NGOs) in the world — out of around 5M NGOs worldwide. The event has become a huge success since the first event’s 30 participants — known as “Mo Bros” and “Mo Sistas.” A similar organization, Noshember (No Shave November), offers an alternative full-month of November event to grow a beard while raising awareness for prostate cancer and MS.

Facial Hair and Shaving — The Numbers

  • 15,000 years ago, someone depicted shaving in a cave painting, but there’s evidence that flint blades were used for shaving as far back as 30,000 years ago.
  • 3,000 years ago, copper razors were being used in India and Egypt.
  • 1865 is the year disposable razors became popular.
  • 1901 is the year the first safety razor was patented.
  • 1910 is the year the first electric shave appeared — a wind-up model.
  • 1916 is the year British soldiers were allowed to shave their mustaches (since a regulation took effect around 1860).
  • November is actually Lung Cancer awareness month.
  • 7.4M people die worldwide from cancer each year.
  • 5 types of cancer cause the most fatalities in men and women, collectively: lung, stomach, colorectal, liver and breast.
  • 31% of male cancer patients worldwide who die each year have lung cancer.
  • 10% of male cancer fatalities worldwide eachy year is due to prostate cancer — the 2nd-most common form of cancer in men.
  • 14-16 years old is the average age at first shave in the USA
  • 33% of men have facial hair in the USA.
  • 33% of American men have facial hair, according to one source, which conflicts with the next figure — possibly due to survey methods. Since 55% of males worldwide supposedly have facial hair, it seems Americans tend towards the clean-shaven look.
  • 75-90% of American men shave their face regularly (once a day) — meaning either a partial or full shave. Some men are seasonal shavers.
  • 1.3 billion men worldwide shave with a traditional blade and razor.
  • Women apparently find full-bearded men have 2/3 the attraction factor compared to clean-shaven men. However, women find full-bearded men to be “older, more-respected, powerful, of a higher status”. Or if you ask someone else, they’ll say beards are hot.
  • 92% of 10,000 participants in online survey said that beards are “hot”. The survey conducted by IFC (Independent Film Channel) for their reality TV show Whisker Wars, so the chances that most participants already like facial hair are very high, in comparison to the wider American populace.
  • 98% of the Forbes 100 list of world’s richest men who are clean-shaven (2012). (Maybe they own shares in men’s hygiene product companies?)
  • 5-7 is the approximate number of shaves the average American shaving male gets out of a disposable razor. Some cold-water-shaving enthusiasts say that warm water warps blades, causing them to dull faster.
  • 20,000 is the number of shaves in an average man’s lifetime. That’s just under 55 years of shaving once a day for 365 days per year.
  • 3.5 minutes is the average length of a shave.
  • 70,000 minutes = ~1167 hours = ~48 full days spent shaving in an average male lifetime, based on a 3.5 minute shave. Some sources claim 60 hours/year of shaving for the average man, which works out to roughly 10 minutes per shave, one shave per day. This latter figure roughly works out to 3,287 hours (137 days) of shaving per average male lifetime based on the 20,000 shaves/lifetime figure mentioned earlier.
  • 4,000 is the approximate number of razors bought in an average lifetime, based on 20,000 shaves / lifetime and about 5 shaves / razor.
  • The 5th most-shoplifted item in the USA is razors.
  • 2.7% of store inventory losses come from pilfered shaving products.
  • There are 3 types of razors: straight, safety and electric, plus variations of the latter two.
  • 2B disposable razors are tossed out each year in the USA.
  • 94M American men 15 years of age or older are shavers (varying frequencies).
  • $10.8M in angel and venture capital funding was given to online service Dollar Shave Club in 2012.
  • 12M is the approximate number of views that’s YouTube video has received, at the time of this writing.
  • 15-20,000 is the average number of facial hairs on a man.
  • It takes on average about 150 strokes per shave for a clean shave — according to sources quoting Gillette.
  • 2 is the number of centuries in age of Truefitt & Hill barbershop in London, England (established 1805).
  • 20,000 heads are shaven daily at the Sri Venkateswara Temple in India – the world’s biggest barbershop.
  • 500 tons (imperial) of human hair is shaved off yearly at the Sri Venkateswara Temple.
  • 14 feet is the length of the world’s longest mustache, belonging to Ram Singh Chauhan, who has appeared in a number of movies, including the James Bond film Octopussy.
  • 32 is the number of years that Chauhan hasn’t trimmed his ‘stache.
  • 0.5 inches is the approximate rate that, on average, male facial hair grows per month. That’s about 5.5 inches per year.
  • 28 years of not shaving is about the time needed to grow 14 feet of mustache.
  • 27.5 feet is the length a beard would be, on average, if a man never shaved.
  • 7.78 feet (2.37 meters) is the length of the longest beard of a living man, sported by Sarwan Singh (as measured in March 2010 for the 2012 Guinness Book).
  • 18.5 feet is the length of Hans Langseth’s beard was when he died in 1927. Part of the beard was donated to the Smithsonian in 1967.
  • 11 inches is the approximate length (actual: 10.98) of the longest female beard on record, measured on Vivian Wheeler in 2000.


Movember — The Numbers

Some general facts about Movember and testicular and prostate cancer:

  • World wide event which takes place during the month of November, to raise awareness for testicular and prostate cancer.
  • ‘Mo’ is Australian slang for moustache.
  • 2003 — The year this worldwide event, started in Melbourne, Australia.
  • 1 in 6 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their life.
  • 660 American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each day.
  • 90% is the cure rate of prostate cancer, if detected early and treated in time.
  • 15 minutes is the average interval before another American male dies of prostate cancer.


How many participants in Movember?

3.05M men and women participated over all years 2003-2012 campaigns. Here’s a yearly breakdown:

  • 2003 – 30 participants
  • 2004 – 450
  • 2005 – 9,315
  • 2006 – 56,219
  • 2007 – 134,171
  • 2008 – 173,435
  • 2009 – 255,722
  • 2010 – 447,808
  • 2011 – 854,288
  • 2012 – 1.1M participants


How many countries participate?

There are now 21 participating countries, who joined as follows:

  • 2003 — Movember starts in Australia.
  • 2006 — New Zealand joins.
  • 2007 — US, UK, Canada and Spain join.
  • 2008 — Ireland joins.
  • 2010 — South Africa, Finland, The Netherlands and the Czech Republic join.
  • 2011 — Belgium, Denmark, and Norway join.
  • 2012 — Austria, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland join.


How much money raised?

The yearly amounts below are in AUS$ (Australian dollars), except where stated:

  • 2003 – $0
  • 2004 – 54K
  • 2005 – 1.2M
  • 2006 – 9.3M
  • 2007 – 21.5M = USD$20.2M
  • 2008 – 29.7M = USD$22M
  • 2009 – 44.3M = USD$42.3M
  • 2010 – 72M = USD$80.7M
  • 2011 – 124M = USD$126.3M
  • 2012 – 141.5M = USD$147.0M. Of this total, $21M was raised in the USA alone.


Baseball Beards

The Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball (MLB) are not only winners of the 2013 World Series, but possibly the hairiest team in the league, in terms of facial hair — based on a recent study of 912 MLB players.

  • 58% of MLB players have facial hair.
  • 72% of Milwaukee Brewers players have some facial hair.
  • 33% of Boston Red Sox players sport full beards.
  • 0% of MLB players have just a mustache, compared to 40% in the 1987 season (701 players’ photos viewed).
  • 0 Cincinnati Reds players had any facial hair — at least until the team was sold in 1999, due to an enforced policy requiring players to be completely clean shaven.


20 Obscure or Unusual Facial Hair Facts

Beard popularity historically appears to come in cycles lasting anywhere from a decade to a century; however, shaving has been law in some places in the past. Here are some unusual facts about facial hair.

  1. The word ‘barber’ comes from the Latin word barba, which means beard.
  2. High-placed ancient Egyptian men weaved gold thread into their gold-dyed beards. Kings, queens and royal cows wore metallic “beards” for special occasions, including eclipses. Egyptians also shaved their eyebrows when mourning their cats that had run out of their nine lives.
  3. Aztecs shaved with volcanic glass.
  4. Russians paid a beard tax due to a 1705 law during Peter the Great’s rule. The ruler apparently wanted to “modernize” Russian society. Those paid the tax (cost varied by societal status) were given a token that in had a Cyrillic inscription saying “the beard is a superfluous burden.”
  5. Brigham Young University has a “clean-shaven” dress code for men, but the Brigham Young himself has displayed a beard.
  6. Frida Kahlo’s self-portrait includes her facial hair.
  7. ZZ Top’s beardless member is named Frank Beard, who sports a mustache.>
  8. Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s first bearded president, was elected in summer 2012.
  9. Abraham Lincoln reputedly grew beard on the written advice of an 11-year old girl who thought his face was thin. Not sure if this was before or after he took up vampire hunting [], but he was the first bearded U.S. president. When Lincoln won the presidency in 1860, politician Valentine Tapley stopped shaving based on a promise made. Tapley’s beard upon his death in 1910 was 12.5 feet long.
  10. Ulysses S. Grant was the first U.S. president with a full-beard.
  11. Alexander the Great required his soliders (345 BC) to shave before some battles, to prevent enemies from fighting dirty by pulling on beards.
  12. Benjamin Harrison was the last U.S. president with a beard.
  13. Pogonophobia is the fear of beards.
  14. Professional airline pilots must be clean-shaven, according to a Wikipedia entry on beards. Some other professions have the same requirement, with exceptions sometimes made for men whose religion requires that facial hair not be shaven.
  15. Amateur athletes in some sports (e.g., boxing, wrestling) are expected to be clean-shaven.
  16. Photoshopping facial hair onto female celebrities has become “a thing”. If you’re daring, check out Freaking News’ Bearded Women gallery [–3691.asp].
  17. Actor Alec Baldwin appears in a Capital One credit card commercial competing with two “Vikings” in a beard-growing contest. After each combatant grimaces for a few seconds, each sprouts a full beard. Of course that’s make believe, but there are beard growing contests, including the World Beard Championships, which took place in Germany in 2013. Competitors sport some of the most fascinating artistically groomed facial hair. The Beard Team USA won 9 trophies in the competition.
  18. There is a TV reality show on IFC network called Whisker Wars, about competitive beard growing.
  19. Some crazy people prefer to shave with cold water — a practice that Benjamin Franklin wrote and said was less effort. Others go a step further and shave with ice water.
  20. Several religions or branches thereof have specific “no shaving” and sometimes no hair-cutting rules for men, including the Amish, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Latter-day Saints, Sikhism, and the Rastafaria.



Information for this article was collected from the following pages and web sites:

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What Is a Bachelors in Healthcare Administration Degree?

Becoming a healthcare administrator can open many new career opportunities in the medical industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the healthcare administration sector is expected to increase by 22 percent between 2010 and 2020. Aspiring professionals will need to undergo the proper educational training and clinical experience needed to obtain a position at a medical facility, hospital, private practice, or nursing home.

What Is a Bachelor’s of Science in Healthcare Administration?

A bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration teaches students how to deal with medical facilities’ business operations. This degree prepares individuals to effectively manage the facility’s finances, daily operations, and human resources. Students learn the fundamentals of business while honing their specialized skill to coordinate technology, resources, and people efficiently. During the course of the program, students will become knowledgeable in computer technology, critical thinking, and policy making.

Individuals who wish to find a position at an upstanding company need to attend a college or university that is accredited at a national or regional level. Accredited schools have undergone extensive evaluation and certification through an organization like the Association of University Programs in Health Administration. These programs are designed to teach students the proper techniques at the highest of standards.

What Are the Educational Prerequisites?

Whether aspiring healthcare administrators plan on attending a private or public college, they need to fulfill certain educational prerequisites to qualify for acceptance. Most colleges require students to earn a high school diploma or similar certificate before entrance into the program, and some even mandate students to have prior college credits, minimum grade point average, and work experience in the medical field. Students may need to complete certain prerequisite courses, depending on the school.

What Are Some Required Courses?

Most accredited bachelor degree programs require students to learn about public health regulations, marketing, accounting, personnel management, communication, and managerial skills. Students will also learn about the structure and operation of healthcare systems, covering topics like:

  • Healthcare law
  • Public relations
  • Healthcare economics
  • Medical ethics
  • Accounting
  • U.S. healthcare system
  • Medical records management
  • Operations management

What Are the Career and Salary Expectations?

The BLS reports that healthcare administrators can expect to earn a median annual wage of $84,270. Graduates of a bachelor’s degree program can seek employment in an entry-level position at healthcare organizations, including hospitals, community health organizations, home health businesses, and nursing homes. Professionals can choose between a variety of career options like:

  • Assistant manager
  • Nursing home administration
  • Health information manager
  • Assistant department head

What Are the Continuing Education and Licensing Requirements?

Those who wish to work in a nursing home setting need to be properly licensed through the state. According to the National Association Administrator Boards (NAB), each state differs in its licensing requirements for nursing home administrators and residential care administrators, but professionals will need to pass the proper examination in order to obtain their license. Healthcare administrators who wish to advance in this field need to further their education by earning their master’s degree.

Whether you are switching careers or choosing a new career, healthcare administration offers many job opportunities in the medical field. When entering the medical industry, individuals need to fulfill the educational requirements in order to become successful healthcare administrators.

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What Does a Gerontology Nurse Do?

If you are interested in pursuing a degree in nursing, or you are already working in the field and interested in pursuing a specialty certification, it is important to learn about various specialty options before you commit to any one choice. There is a growing need for nurses in a variety of different environments, but one area where the demand and the supply gap continue to widen is gerontology. If you are wondering just what a gerontological nurse practitioner does and how you can pursue this specialty certification, ready this straightforward guide to gerontological nursing, and learn what you need to know.

What Separates a Gerontological Nurse Practitioner from the Standard Registered Nurse

Nursing is a multifaceted field where you can be responsible for a wide variety of duties on a daily basis. As a registered nurse, you are trained to work with all kinds of patients when they are seeing a physician or are being admitted in a hospital. While Registered Nurses do a number of the same duties that a Gerontological Nurse Practitioner would do, the latter is an advanced practice professional in the field who has obtained their specialty certification to work with a unique demographic that consists of elderly patients. A gerontology nurse has more experience, more training, and more responsibility than an RN would have.

The Path to Becoming a CGNP

To become a specialty nurse in gerontology, you will need to earn your BS, pass the national RN exam, work as an RN, obtain your MSN degree with a minor in geriatrics, and then earn your board certification through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. After you have earned this certification through the credentialing body, you will have to renew your credentials every 5 years to maintain your certification.

What Will You Do Once You Earn Your Specialty?

Before you commit to enrolling in a Master’s degree program, you must be sure that working with geriatric patients is really what you are interested in doing. As a CGNP, you will diagnose illnesses, prescribe medications, conduct check-ups, order lab work, manage pain with various techniques, and handle preventative care. Because you are a practitioner, you will work more independently under a physician. Many gerontology nurses see patients more than physicians do because they are authorized to do so much with the patient without supervision.

You can work in physicians offices, hospice, hospitals, and long-term care centers once you are certified. Some CGNP even start their own practice where they can offer the elderly convenient and quick healthcare. If you want to be a nurse who faces patients but you want more independence, this could be the direction you want to take your career.

Jon outlook in the healthcare sector as a whole is positive, but the outlook for gerontology nursing professionals is very positive. With the field projected to grow by 26 percent within the next 7 years, there is plenty of time for you to earn your degree and then fill an open high-paying position. If you enjoy working with the elderly and you enjoy your independence, start getting the master’s degree you need to earn your board certification and get certified as a CGNP. Not only will you enjoy a stable career, you can also increase your earning potential.

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Top 5 Highest Paying Careers in Healthcare for Non-Medical Professionals

Careers in healthcare are usually associated with medical providers, such as physicians and nurses, who deal with direct patient care. However, many healthcare careers do not involve administering shots and taking temperatures in the job description. Whether an individual is uninterested in obtaining a medical degree or simply gets queasy at the sight of blood, there are still rewarding and lucrative careers in this rapidly growing field. The following are the top five highest paying careers in healthcare that are ideal for non-medical professionals.

Healthcare Administrator

Healthcare administrators maintain leadership and management positions within hospitals, hospital networks, and other health care systems. Some healthcare administrators manage an entire facility, while others specialize in a specific department, such as finances, human resources, or marketing. Although many universities nationwide offer a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration, most health administrators need to receive a master’s or doctoral degree for employment in the United States. The average salary for healthcare administrator with a master’s degree is around $125,000, while those with PhDs rival MD doctors with an annual salary of $178,250.

Healthcare Actuary

Healthcare actuaries are employed by insurance companies and self-insured medical groups, where they are responsible for determining proper prices for insurance plans. Actuaries also evaluate and minimize financial risk factors for the organization of employment. Landing a position as a healthcare actuary requires a bachelor’s degree, as well as years of hard work and experience. Most states require that actuaries pass several examinations before becoming fully qualified. However, the mean salary of $106,680 is quite worth it for those who are interested in bringing their strong background in math and statistics to the healthcare field.

Health Educator

Health educators are responsible for encouraging individuals and communities about healthy lifestyles, as well as behaviors that will prevent illnesses. Health educators are able to assist the public with improving their overall health and well-being. Those who have a desire to teach within the booming healthcare industry should consider becoming a health educator. When health educators are employed in schools, community centers, and hospitals, they can make upwards of $73,000 annually.

Medical Equipment Technician

Medical equipment technicians work behind the scenes to provide a vital role in the maintenance of all hospitals and private practices. The technicians test, repair, and fix a wide range of medical equipment that is needed to provide safe healthcare treatments to patients. Medical equipment technicians can learn the trade through on-the-job training, or by pursuing an associate’s degree from a vocational program. With training and education, medical equipment technicians can earn as much as $66,000 every year.

Medical Social Worker

Medical social workers are responsible for working with patients and their families to make sure that they are prepared for coping with their illnesses. Generally, the social workers work with patients suffering from chronic and terminal diseases, including cancer. The profession usually requires a minimum of a master’s degree in social work to work in a healthcare setting. Although the job is physically and mentally demanding, those with a passion for psychology and providing support find this as one of the most rewarding professions. Those that serve as medical social workers earn an annual average salary around $65,000.

According to a research study conducted by Georgetown University, healthcare professions and healthcare support services will be the fastest growing occupations through 2020. Rapid growth combined with a changing healthcare climate is expected to result in a dramatic increase in job opportunities for healthcare professionals. Those who are interested in breaking into the field and earning a solid income should consider these top five highest paying non-clinical professions.

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How to Become a Prosthetist

become-a-prosthestistA prosthetist measures, designs, fits, and services a prosthesis. Theses professionals have numerous opportunities to be creative and interact with individuals whose lives have been dramatically affected by congenital deformities or amputation. If you are interested in pursuing a career in this sector, you should learn as much about the process towards becoming a prosthetist as possible.

Post-Secondary Education

In general, there are four steps you will need to take in order to become a prosthetist. The first step is to gain a post-secondary education. Beginning in the year 2012, all accredited prosthetist programs were required to be at the master’s level. Entry-level master’s programs include courses in topics like anatomy, physiology, neuroanatomy, neuroscience, prosthetic management of upper and lower limbs, histology and research. Transition programs are available for students who have already attained a certificate or bachelor’s degree in the field.


The second step involved in becoming a prosthetist includes certification through the American Board For Certification (ABC). An individual who becomes ABC certified will then be a prosthetist specifically trained to manage comprehensive prosthetic patient care. The ABC states that training courses will cover patient assessments, the formulation of treatment plans, implementation of treatment plans, follow-ups, and practice management. The ABC Certified Prosthetist credentialing program is accredited through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). In order to attain the certification, the aspiring prosthetist must have a bachelor’s degree in prosthetics from an accredited program approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The other option is to have a bachelor’s degree or more in any major coupled with a prosthetics certificate from a CAAHEP accredited program.

Work Experience

Almost every post-secondary training program to become a prosthetist will include the attainment of work experience. The work term offers the prosthetist an opportunity to learn how to measure and fit prosthetic devices while also interacting with patients. All of the work is accomplished under the supervision of a medical doctor and certified prosthetist.

Obtaining A Position

A prosthetist can attain employment in medical rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, prosthetic companies, and private practices. As our medical technology continues to improve, our need for the services provided by prosthetists will increase. This is the case because doctors are capable of saving patients with injuries and illnesses that were formerly fatal, meaning that they will require prosthetic devices to ensure that they can function independently.

Although there are a plethora of steps involved in becoming a prosthetist, the process can be very rewarding. By attaining both education and experience, individuals who want to become prosthetists will attain the abstract knowledge and practical understanding to perform their jobs with excellence and expedience.

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What Is Traveling Nursing?

If you are pursuing a degree in the field of nursing, it is important to review all of your employment options before you are a graduate and a licensed professional. While you can apply for the traditional nursing position in a doctor office, a long-term care facility or a hospital, becoming a traveling nurse is another option to consider. If you are not familiar with the traveling nurse position, read on to learn what the professional entails and various qualifications employers may require.

What Does a Traveling Nurse Do?

Traveling nurses are nurses who are contracted with a travel company and take travel assignments at hospitals, outpatient centers, clinics, nursing homes and other facilities located throughout the nation or the globe. While the most common positions marketed through travel companies are for Registered Nurses with an RN license, there may also be positions for Licensed Practical Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses.

The travel assignment is typically temporary, and assignments can last anywhere from 4 weeks in length to a year in length depending on the needs of the healthcare facility. Nurses who are offered an assignment will be required to sign a contract. As a traveling nurse, you will sign a new contract each time you take an assignment. This means that your pay, your hours and your benefits may vary every time you sign a contract.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Traveling Nurse?

Qualification requirements for traveling nurses may depend on the travel company and your specialty. When you are applying for a traveling job placement, most of the facilities looking for an RN, an LVN or an LPN will require that you have at least 18 months of on-the-job experience. Obviously, you will also need a licensed that is recognized in the state that you will be working. When you work with a reputable travel company, the company will help you obtain the licensing you need before the assignment begins. These companies will also inform you about the special rules and regulations of the state that you will be traveling to so that it is a hassle-free process.

What are the Perks of Becoming a Traveling Nurse?

One of the obvious benefits of choosing to be a traveling nurse is the fact that you can experience new parts of the world and still get reimbursed for your travel. There are also tax benefits that will help pay for your move. Aside from the traveling perk, there are compensation benefits to choosing this unique type of position. The pay rates for traveling nurses, because they are willing to work away from their home with little notice, are typically higher than for permanent staff members. Some companies will also offer sign-on bonuses, completion bonuses and referral bonuses as an incentive to stay with the agency. The best agencies in traveling nursing will offer health and dental benefits.

If you are looking for unique opportunities and you would like to add experience to your resume, becoming a traveling nurse may be the answer. By working with the right travel nursing agency, you can take on plenty of assignments and meet people you never would have otherwise. Once you are ready to settle, you will have all of the experience you need to find a permanent position in the field.

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Should I get a health science degree or a nursing degree?

A career in health care is extremely rewarding in being able to help patients and their loved ones, as well as earning a comfortable salary in doing so. There are many paths to take to begin a career in health care, although two of the main ways is obtaining a degree in health science or a nursing degree. Depending on your goal career in health care, you may want to learn the differences in the two degrees and what jobs they can help you obtain.

Health Science Degree

A health science degree can be an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree or master’s degree. With no prior health care experience, a health science degree will give you a foundation in both clinical and non-clinical skills by taking courses such as psychology, ethics, biology, nutrition, anatomy and physiology, statistics, medical terminology and microbiology. Students who enroll in health science degree programs can go on to obtain further education and training to become health care professionals like chiropractors, pharmacists, ultrasound technologists, occupational therapists, physician assistants, pharmaceutical salesmen, care managers and patient advocates.

If you hold an associate’s degree in health care already, such as a respiratory therapist or physical therapy assistant degree, earning a bachelor’s degree in health sciences will expand your skills and give you the credentials needed to apply to many graduate schools in different fields of health care, like physical therapy or physician assistant programs.

Nursing Degree

Like health science degrees, there are several levels of nursing degrees, ranging from certificate programs for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) to doctorate programs for doctors of nursing practice (DNP). The amount of training you receive as a nurse dictates your duties, the types of settings in which you can seek employment and the amount of leadership you can exercise. For example, LPNs are limited to working mainly in hospitals, nursing homes and outpatient clinics, where they perform basic patient care duties like changing bed linens, drawing blood, minor wound care and helping patients with daily life activities. A nurse who holds a master’s degree in nursing can diagnose medical conditions, order medical tests, perform in surgery and prescribe medications. Nurses with higher degrees are more specialized and typically cannot change their specialty without requiring further education, whereas nurses with certificates, associate degrees and bachelor degrees can change their specialty (such as changing from medical/surgical to the emergency department) with little issue.

Although the two degrees will both land you a fulfilling career in health care, they are two completely different paths. One path, a health sciences degree, opens the doors to working in both clinical and non-clinical settings in a variety of positions, from eventually attending medical school to reviewing patients’ insurance claims. A nursing degree opens many doors in the field of nursing, from directly helping patients with their needs to supervising other nurses or teaching nursing students in the classroom. Regardless of the path you choose, you are bound to find a position that fits your personality as a health care provider.


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Top 10 Best Master’s in Health Informatics Degrees

Completing the requirements for a Master’s degree in Health Informatics will prepare a student for supervisory or management positions at hospitals or large clinics. Pursuing an online degree gives students the flexibility to work toward their educational goals while holding down a job. The schools on this list of Best Masters in Health Informatics Degrees all a high-quality curriculum with the option of completing assignments from any location.

Ranking the Top Master’s Degree Programs in Health Informatics

#1 Boston University

Executive Summary

Boston University is one of the most prestigious schools in the U.S. This private school was founded in 1839 as the Newbury Biblical Institute. It is now home to 33,000 students. BU is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.


Graduate students at BU pay $760.00 per credit hour.

Unique Features

The MS in Computer Systems – Health Informatics degree program includes courses in project management, information systems design, database management and security. Courses are seven weeks in length and the University offers three enrollment periods per year.

#2 Anna Maria College

Executive Summary

Anna Maria College is a private Catholic school. Its online programs are available to U.S. residents only. The College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.


The cost to attend AMC is $625.00 per credit hour.

Unique Features

Classes in the MBA – Health Informatics program are eight weeks in length. Students have the flexibility to learn at a time that is convenient for them, since there are no set class times.

#3 Southern New Hampshire University

Executive Summary

Southern New Hampshire University has been offering online programs since 1996. The school is a private, not-for-profit institution that is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.


Tuition at SNHU is $627.00 per credit hour.

Unique Features

The MS in Information Technology – Healthcare Informatics program can be completed entirely online. Students take courses in operating systems, database design, IT strategy and policy, advanced information systems, management of information technology and telecommunications.

#4 Walden University

Executive Summary

Walden University is a private, for-profit school. It is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.


Tuition at Walden is $710.00 per credit hour.

Unique Features

The MS in Health Informatics curriculum includes courses focusing on the U.S. health system, project management, research methods, and quality assessment and improvement.

#5 Brandeis University

Executive Summary

Brandeis University is a private school that operates on a not-for-profit basis. It is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.


Students pay $984.00 per credit hour.

Unique Features

The University offers classes on a trimester schedule (Fall, Spring and Summer). Courses in the MS in Health and Medical Informatics program are 10 weeks in length and students are in direct contact with their instructors on a daily basis through the class bulletin board, e-mail and chat rooms.

#6 Saint Joseph’s University

Executive Summary

Saint Joseph’s University is a private school that has been offering degree programs for over 160 years. It is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.


Students at SJU pay $752.00 per credit hour for tuition.

Unique Features

The MS in Health Administration – Informatics program includes coursework in health information management systems, clinical care and programming, and information resources management. A new term begins every month.

#7 University of Illinois at Chicago

Executive Summary

The University of Illinois at Chicago is a well-respected public school. It is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.


Online learners pay $740.00 per credit hour.

Unique Features

The MS in Health Informatics degree can be completed in as few as 24 months. The University offers three starts per year. Applicants are not required to provide GRE exam results to be considered.

#8 Drexel University

Executive Summary

Drexel University has been ranked as one of “America’s Best Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report for almost 10 years. This private, not-for-profit school is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.


Tuition at Drexel is $1,045.00 per credit hour.

Unique Features

The MS in Health Informatics program is open to students who do not have a background in the healthcare industry. The curriculum gives them the skills they need to work in hospitals, industrial settings and government agencies.

#9 Bellevue University

Executive Summary

Bellevue University is a private school that was established in 1994. It operates on a not-for-profit basis and is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.


The cost to attend Bellevue is $485.00 per credit hour.

Unique Features

The MS in Management of Information Systems degree with a concentration in Healthcare is for non-healthcare professionals. It provides general knowledge and terminology for people who want to work in the industry.

#10 Northeastern University

Executive Summary

Northeastern University is a private school that was founded in 1898. It is a top-ranked school for the number of applications it receives annually and is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.


The cost per semester hour is $1,045.00.

Unique Features

The MS in Health Informatics degree program includes courses in the business of healthcare informatics, creation and application of medical knowledge, database design, data management and key standards in health informatics.

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Top 10 Best Colleges for a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Informatics

If you are considering a career in the health field but want to focus on the technical and administrative side of this industry, consider completing a Bachelor’s degree in Health Informatics. This field focuses on storage and retrieval of information. The schools on this list of Best Bachelors Degrees in Health Informatics offer the opportunity to pursue your educational goals in a distance learning model.

Ranking the Top Bachelor’s Programs in Health Informatics

#1 University of Cincinnati

Executive Summary

The University of Cincinnati has been recognized as one of the best schools in the nation by the Carnegie Commission. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.


Ohio residents pay $450.00 per credit hour. Out-of-state students are charged $465.00 per credit hour.

Unique Features

The UIC’s Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management is a degree completion program for Registered Health Information Technicians. Courses include ones focusing on healthcare statistics and research methods, quality management, issues in legal aspects & healthcare delivery, and health information communication technology.

#3 Walden University

Executive Summary

Walden University is a private school that was founded in 1970. It is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.


Students at Walden pay $290.00 per credit hour.

Unique Features

Walden’s Bachelor of Science in Public Health – Health Informatics program is open to students who are at least 21 years of age and who have completed at least some college. The program includes courses in patient records practice and policy, healthcare information systems applications, information technology infrastructure, and Internet computing.

#4 Western Governors University

Executive Summary

Western Governors University is an online university that operates on a non-profit basis. The school is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). It is also regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.


Tuition costs $2,890.00 per six-month term.

Unique Features

The WGU program is for students who can spend a minimum of 15 hours per week toward their educational goals. The program is flexible and includes a capstone project.

#5 University of Mississippi

Executive Summary

The University of Mississippi is a public university that was founded in 1844. The school has been offering medical education since 1903. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Tuition at Ole Miss is $418.00 per credit hour.

Unique Features

The University of Mississippi’s Health Informatics and Information Management program is for credentialed Registered Health Information Technicians. Graduates from this program are eligible to write the American Health Information Management Association’s registration exam.

#7 Herzing University

Executive Summary

Herzing University focuses on offering career-focused programs to students. The school was founded in 1965. It is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.


The cost of tuition at this school is $340.00 per credit hour.

Unique Features

The Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management program includes courses in healthcare information systems, health information management, current issues in healthcare and management affiliation.

#8 Colorado Technical University

Executive Summary

Colorado Technical University is a private, not-for-profit institution. It is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.


CTU charges $325.00 per credit hour.

Unique Features

The University operates on a quarter schedule, with classes starting in the fall, winter, spring and summer semesters. The Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management – Health Informatics

#9 Grantham University

Executive Summary

Grantham University was founded in 1951. It has the distinction of the being one of the oldest degree-granting distance education schools in the United States. The University is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council.


Undergraduates at Grantham pay $265.00 per credit hour.

Unique Features

The Bachelor of Science – Health Systems Management program gives students the skills they need to be able to use information technology in a healthcare setting. The program includes courses in database security, information systems project management, computer networks, and healthcare delivery systems.

#10 Montana Tech

Executive Summary

Montana Tech was founded in 1900. It is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.


In-state students pay $204.96 per credit hour. Out-of state students are charged $480.80 per credit hour.

Unique Features

Montana Tech’s program is for IT professionals who want to work in the healthcare field or health information professionals who want to develop their expertise in health informatics. The latter group of students should already have completed their associate’s degree to be considered for this program. This program includes an internship and a practicum.

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The Top 10 Cities With the Most Health Care Jobs

The health care industry offers a number of dynamic employment opportunities to qualified professionals of all educational levels. With a workforce of over 14.3 million jobs as of 2008, and recent reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicting an additional 3.2 million job openings for qualified workers through 2018, the health care system offers stable, secure employment to those just entering the industry and those seeking to propel their careers. Growth within the health care industry is due largely to reform and changes necessary accommodate an aging population, advancing technology, and medical breakthroughs. Specific geographic areas within the United States offer individuals in the field increased employability, based upon factors like education, experience, and specialization.

Ranking the Top 10 Cities With the Most Health Care Jobs

Here is a list of the Top 10 Cities With The Most Health Care Jobs based the top medical facilities within the nation, job availability, unemployment rates, population growth, and industrial growth.

1. Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas is home to the world famous Texas Medical Center, the world’s largest group of research and healthcare institutions. As a non-profit organization, the Texas Medical Center is comprised of 49 member health care organizations focused upon improving patient and preventative care, education, research, and local, national, and global public health and wellness. The Texas Medical Center employs one of the very largest health care workforces, numbering over 73,600 individuals. As a leader in the industry, Houston is home to the world’s best medical schools, cancer care clinics, psychiatric treatment centers, air emergency services, and long term acute care providers in the U.S.

2. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is one of the largest cities defined as a hub for biomedical and pharmaceutical firms. Local economies have seen rapid growth in health, research, and education sectors and relatively low unemployment rates in recent years in comparison to other cities of the same demographics. As home to the Academy and College of Philadelphia founded by Benjamin Franklin as the first medical school during 1749, Philadelphia has a longstanding legacy as a leader in medical and pharmaceutical industries. The city’s extensive medical system also features the University of Pennsylvania’s largest teaching hospital with affiliations based in the Temple University School of Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Philadelphia also supports numerous pharmaceutical organizations like GlaxoSmith Kline, Wyeth, Merck, Johnson and Johnson as well as numerous professional medical association headquarters.

3. Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland has some of the lowest unemployment rates due to its proximity to Washington, DC. Individuals with an educational background in health care fields are expected to find a number of employment opportunities within public and governmental organizations. During 2003, the Governor’s Healthcare Workforce Summit secured $2.5 million dollars in federal funding to establish the Center for Industry Initiatives designed to expand employment within the State’s health care with successful results for current and prospective health care workers. The combined efforts of the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Defense, allied state agencies, health care industry employers, educational representatives, and state licensing boards have assisted in decreasing workforce shortages and raise best practice standards in the field.

4. Boston, Massachusetts

Health care workers find world class medical facilities and research universities offering numerous job prospects in Boston, Massachusetts. The Cambridge-Qunicy area has one of the most thriving health care industries within the U.S. due in part to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) federally funded programs. Backed by $2 billion dollars in NIH monies, the Boston area offers educated workers, researchers, and health care facilities low unemployment rates, strong economic growth, and secure employment.

5. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin is one of the leading employers to workers with health care backgrounds due to the number of expanding health care systems within its economy. Milwaukee has a number of public, private, and non-profit health care businesses affiliated with local and federal organizations. The Milwaukee Regional Medical Complex, Aurora Health Care, and Thedacare are just a few of many facilities which give health practitioners, social workers, and other professionals the ability to gain employment within thriving, dynamic organizations based upon providing the industry’s best patient care.

6. Denver, Colorado

Since 1990, Denver, Colorado has offered health care workers sustainable and secure employment through its Health Care and Social Assistance program. The industry has added thousands of jobs every year since implementing the program with an increase in job availability, decrease in unemployment rates, lower labor turnover rates and layoffs, and numerous thriving organizations in the field of health care. The Colorado Labor Market reports the city is home to a number of the nation’s top health care employers, like: the Medical Center of Aurora, Quest Diagnostics, Bonfils Blood Center, Children’s Hospital Colorado, and the Columbine Physicians Group.

7. Fargo, North Dakota

Fargo, North Dakota has been historically based in agricultural sectors of the economy due to its abundant dominance in the field though recent trends lean toward manufacturing, technology, higher education, and health care opportunities. Some of the nation’s largest non-governmental based agencies have headquarters located in Fargo including: Blue Cross/Blue Shield/ Inovis Health, and Sanford Health. With over 23% of the work force employed in educational, research, or health care based jobs, Forbes magazine has listed Fargo as the 7th best small city in the U.S. to establish or advance a career or business.

8. New York, New York

As one of the most expensive cities within the U.S., New York, New York receives over $1.2 billion dollars in NIH funding to focus on expanding medical care and research since 2009. Despite faltering finance and banking industries, New York is home to rapid and far reaching growth in public and private health care sectors, medical research, and medical technologies. With one of the largest populations of residents aged 65 or older, New York is one of the best places for health care workers to gain employment within medical research, medical technology, non-profit institutions, and universities as the City develops means of expansion and advancement.

9. Cleveland, Ohio

The Cleveland Clinic, located within Cleveland, Ohio, is one of America’s best hospitals per the U.S. News and World report. As one of the city’s largest private employers, the Cleveland Clinic offers dynamic employment opportunities within its University Hospitals of Cleveland and MetroHealth medical centers. The city is home to world renowned centers for cancer treatment, fuel cell research, biotechnology, and innovation. Cleveland has supported consistent job growth for providers of health care, the pharmaceutical industry and research, as well as health care support and service industries since 2005 per the Center For Economic Development.

10. Norfolk, Virginia

Norfolk, Virginia is one of the most prominent locations within the United States offering internationally renown research, education, and specialized roles within the health care industry. The Eastern Virginia Medical School, Portsmouth Naval Hospital, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center, V.A. Hospital, and the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters provide health care professionals sustainable employment, training, research, and continuing education opportunities based upon grants provided by the National Institutes of Health and other federal programs. Additionally, Norfolk is the headquarters for international non-profit organizations like Operation Smile and Physicians for Peace to assist patients within developing countries. As one of the top ten states with the lowest unemployment rates and strong economy based in diversity, culture, and commerce, Norfolk is a great location to build a career in health care.

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Top 10 Best Healthcare Careers for the Future

best healthcare careers for the future

“Doctor” or “Nurse” will always be a good quick answer to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” But these days, both professions rely on a large web of supporting roles that require shorter, more interesting, or more lucrative educational investments. Healthcare is growing at a faster rate than most areas of our economy, and its job market has kept pace.

Featured Healthcare Degrees
1. Penn Foster Career School – Physical Therapy Aide
2. Kaplan University – BS – Healthcare Administration
3. Grand Canyon University – MS – Health Care Administration

Advances in biomedical technology require people trained to put them into practice. A more efficient healthcare system requires people with solid backgrounds in administration and technology. An aging US population has renewed interest in many different kinds of therapy. These ten careers are at the core of tomorrow’s healthcare.

1. Physician’s Assistant

What They Do:

As demands on doctors increase, the Physician’s Assistant is becoming a better way for patients to receive timely care. The PA is trained to offer diagnostic advice, provide some preventative healthcare, and even take a look a clinical testing results. As we continue to see a shortage of trained MDs in the US, the PA is quickly becoming part of frontline medical care.

Where To Start:

Obtaining the education and license that will qualify you as a PA typically takes about two years. Many people start as registered nurses or paramedics before shifting into PA and outpatient care, but entry requirements vary for most programs. The PA track is perfect for someone with basic medical training looking for a step up the ladder.

2. Pharmacist

What They Do:

A Pharmacist is mainly trained to prepare and distribute drugs prescribed by doctors. It sounds fairly simple, but Pharmacy remains an attractive career track because our options for various drugs and treatments are constantly changing. Pharmacists do not just staff desks your grocery store; they are also part of routine hospital care, scientific research, and play key roles in treatment for diseases like cancer.

Featured Pharmacy Degrees
1. Penn Foster Career School – Pharmacy Technician
2. Ultimate Medical Academy – Pharmacy Technician Diploma

Where To Start:

You will need to get a Pharmacy degree. This fairly standard degree program will prepare you for necessary state licensing.

3. Physical Therapist

What They Do:

Physical Therapists help people recover physical mobility, find relief from pain, and prevent long-term injury from accidents or disabilities. This very hands-on world of medical care requires people specialized in working with different age groups and conditions. Given the wide-open nature of the profession, many PTs also function as social workers, teachers, or in related roles.

Featured Physical Therapy Programs
1. Penn Foster Career School – Physical Therapy Aide
2. Penn Foster Career School – Occupational Therapy Aide

Where To Start:

Physical Therapy careers begin after taking a graduate degree in PT. Many students continue on to take a Doctor in Physical Therapy (DPT), but this is not a requirement for most PT jobs.

4. Healthcare Information Technology Manager

What They Do:

Someone has to take care of all the records, billing, and data collection that goes into proper healthcare. The technology that has recently made this more effective requires people with backgrounds in computer science and IT administration. Biomedical scientists are also becoming more reliant on people with the skills to help them interpret data and create models of diseases and healthcare populations.

Featured Bachelor’s Degrees in Healthcare Technology
1. Walden University – BS – Computer Information Systems – Healthcare Informatics
2. Kaplan University – BSIT – Information Systems Track – Health Informatics

Featured Master’s Degrees in Healthcare Technology
1. Grand Canyon University – MBA – Health Systems Management
2. Capella University – MS – Health Information Management

Where To Start:

Healthcare IT degrees now exist at the undergraduate and graduate level. Many people find access to this quickly growing industry by adding a Healthcare Administration degree to IT experience.

5. Occupational Therapist

What They Do:

Occupational Therapists work with people that need help learning or recovering routine skills. Whether as a result of disability or injury, people often need help learning to cope with stress, perform tasks, or find their place in the job market. In helping people live satisfying lives, OTs often find their jobs blended with social work, mental health, and education.

Featured Occupational Therapy Programs
1. Penn Foster Career School – Occupational Therapy Aide
2. Penn Foster Career School – Physical Therapy Aide

Where To Start:

An OT career begins with a Master’s degree. Many of these degree programs are becoming more flexible than the standard full time option, but they will help students pass the tests that lead to state licensing.

6. Radiologic Technician

What They Do:

Radiologic Technicians operate the complex machines that use radiation to scan and image the human body. These technicians are an important part of diagnosing diseases ranging from respiratory issues to cancer.

Where to Start:

Radiological Technicians are trained in specialized Associate’s and Certificate programs. Many technicians decide to pick up this skill after having some previous training in medical care.

7. Medical Technologist or Laboratory Technician

What They Do:

Medical Techs and Lab Techs perform all the testing requested by doctors when diagnosing and treating patients. Whether it involves information or tissue, it takes skilled technicians to operate the equipment and technology that makes this possible.

Where To Start:

People become Med Techs through a variety of degree programs, from biology to computer science. But there are now dedicated Medical Technology degree programs that train students in highly specialized laboratory skills.

8. Paramedic

What They Do:

Paramedics are first on the scene in emergencies and disasters. They are trained specifically in caring for patients between the site of a crisis and a hospital. A current national shortage of paramedics should make this a high entry on future career lists.

Where To Start:

The Paramedic/EMT track is very attractive to many because it requires only a basic training that leads to state certification. With this basic job experience under your belt, many additional healthcare careers will open up.

9. Clinical Research Administrator

What They Do:

Clinical research looks for new ways to treat different diseases and conditions. It is an important, but very complicated process. Scientists look to Clinical Research Administrators to take care of the nuts and bolts of complying with research regulations and managing research participants.

Where To Start:

This is a very specialized field, but there are now both undergraduate and graduate programs that will train students in clinical research from top to bottom. These skills are becoming very valuable to researchers.

10. Healthcare Administrator

What They Do:

In addition to Healthcare IT administrators, current hospital practice requires people trained in a variety of skills to manage patient care. In addition to marketing, accounting, and human resources, hospitals and institutions also need people that understand issues specific to managing patient care and the needs of medical professionals.

Featured Bachelor’s Degrees in Health Care Administration
1. Ashford University – BA – Health Care Administration
2. Kaplan University – BS – Healthcare Administration

Featured Master’s Degrees in Health Care Administration
1. American InterContinental University – MBA – Healthcare Management
2. Grand Canyon University – MS – Health Care Administration

Where To Start:

Healthcare administration has become so vital that undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees are now fairly common in the field.

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Top 10 Highest Paying Careers For Nurses

The health care system offers a number of employment opportunities for qualified nurses of all educational and training levels. Nurses make up the largest workforce within the U.S. economy. Nursing careers offer advancement opportunities through continued learning and specialization programs. Many nurses begin their careers as Licensed Practical Nurses or Registered Nurses and seek additional education to advance their knowledge, careers, and salaries. We’ve ranked the Top 10 Highest Paying Careers For Nurses to assist in selecting an educational path best suited to match their capabilities, interests, and aspirations.

Ranking the Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs for Nurses

1. Nurse Anesthetist

Nurse Anesthetists are highly skilled advanced practice registered nurses who work closely with medical and nursing staff assisting during medical procedures which require anesthesia. Nurse anesthetists must complete specialized graduate level Master’s degrees accredited by Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs in order to qualify for employment. Graduates must also be board certified by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists to advance to careers earning average annual salaries of $144,000 to $165,000.

2. Chief Nursing Officers

Chief Nursing Officers are important executives within the health care industry offering administrative leadership, strategic planning, and senior nurse management expertise within a number of health care organizations. Chief nursing officers develop means of improving patient care and staff relations, recruit and retain nurses, manage daily operations of nursing departments, maintain regulations and compliance with laws or accreditations, and develop nursing polices. Chief nursing officers must complete graduate programs in nursing and often gain certification through the American Organization of Nurse Executives as determined by organization of employment and state regulations. Salaries for chief nursing officers generally range from $90,000 to $134,000 annually.

3. Nurse Midwife

Nurse Midwives offer women’s health services to women throughout their lives with gynecological care, contraception, childbirth and delivery, newborn and family care, and education. Nurse midwives must complete master’s degree studies accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). Additionally, nurse midwives must complete clinical experiences to gain hands on practice before going on to state and employer required certification programs offered by the American Midwifery Certification Board. Nurse midwives generally earn $83,070 to $98,225 annually.

4. Nurse Managers/Administrators

Nurse Managers and Nursing Administrators offer specialized human resource and management support within medical facilities. Nurse managers perform as administrators who recruit, hire, and train staff and handle the business aspects of health care organizations with strategic planning, leadership, and devise means of improving patient care. Training to become a nurse manager requires completion of a graduate level nursing degree combined with work experience. Nurse managers and administrators earn salaries of $79,000 to $99,000 annually.

5. Nurse Researcher

Nurse Researchers collect, analyze, and publish data for health policy organizations and private companies based upon pharmaceutical, medical, and nursing innovations, methods, and products. Nurse researchers must complete a master’s or doctoral degree in Nursing as well as gain certification through the Society of Research Associates to establish careers with salaries of $70,000 to $95,000 annually.

6. Legal Nurse Consultants

Legal Nurse Consultants are registered nurses with specialized training who offer their expertise for legal cases based in medical claims, medical malpractice, personal injury, workers’ compensation, and health care issues. Legal nurse consultants work closely with attorneys as a professional in litigation teams preparing reports regarding illness and injury, establishing evidence, and help find or act as expert witness.based upon the health care system, medical terminology, and medical records. Legal nurse consultants must generally complete a bachelor degree in nursing combined with a minimum of three years work experience or a master’s degree. All legal nurse consultants must also complete certification programs offered through the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants to advance as professionals in the field. Earnings for most legal nurse consultants range from $62,000 to $80,000 annually.

7. Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners are upper level advanced nursing professionals who provide health care via diagnoses, treatments, and the administration of medications to patients. Nurse practitioners are required to complete intensive Master’s degree programs, including specializations within family, pediatric, or geriatric nursing, and licensing programs to advance as professionals. Earnings for nurse practitioners range from $54,000 to $82,000 annually.

8. Clinical Nurse Specialist

Clinical Nurse Specialists are advanced nursing professionals who have completed graduate level nursing degrees and offer their clinical expertise to populations, settings, diseases, specific health problems like: pediatrics, geriatrics, women’s health, critical care, emergency room, diabetes, oncology, psychiatric, rehabilitation, pain management, or wound care. Clinical nurse specialists provide patient care by diagnosing and treating disease, illness, and injuries, act as consultants for nursing staff, and devise ways of improving the overall delivery of health care. Clinical nurse specialists complete master’s or doctoral degrees approved by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists to gain employment. Clinical nurse specialists generally earn salaries of $50,000 to $100,000 depending upon geographic location, area of specialty, and other factors.

9. Nurse Educators

Nurse Educators work within classroom and clinical practice environments training future nurses. Nurse educators prepare lesson plans, offer instruction, advance research, and cultivate learning by offering the most current knowledge within the field of nursing and the health care industry. Nurse educators are required to obtain a graduate degree in nursing, work experience, and certification through the National League of Nursing to qualify for employment. Salaries for nurse educators is $47,000 to $93,000 annually.

10. Nurse Case Managers

Nurse Case Managers are registered nurses with specialized knowledge and training responsible for monitoring the treatment and coordinating the care of patients who have major illness or injuries. Nurse case managers work within hospitals, medical facilities, long term facilities, and worker’s compensation organizations scheduling primary care, surgeries, radiation treatments, chemotherapy and other medical care. Nurse case managers often specialize training within specific demographics or health conditions and illnesses during bachelor degree studies. Nurse case managers also must gain and maintain certification offered by the Case Management Society of America. Earnings for nurse case managers are generally $47,000 to $85,000 yearly.

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How to Become a Medical Coder

Medical coders are in high demand, and consequently many individuals are wondering how to become a medical coder. Medical coders are highly trained record keepers of health information who classify patient records using software and other forms of health management systems. Medical coders are responsible for organizing and managing patient data, insurance programs, physician diagnoses, procedures, treatments, invoicing, and other health information. Medical coders must maximize security, efficiency, accuracy, and accessibility of patient records, insurance information, and billing systems by utilizing a number of different coding systems based upon health care facilities and patient bases. Medical coders act as liaisons between insurance companies, patients, and health care facilities to ensure compliance, proper compensation and reimbursement and that regulations are followed. Individuals interested in gaining the qualifications necessary to become medical coders generally must complete an associate degree, gain certification, and complete work experiences offered through internships or on the job training.

High school students interested in preparing for a career as a medical coder may begin long before earning their diploma. Students may participate in courses like: English, biology, computer science, communications, health, mathematics, and chemistry. High school graduates generally advance to certification or associate degree programs to fulfill the educational requirements necessary to establish a medical coding career. Certification programs require a one year time investment and consist of courses offering basic knowledge of the health care system, information technology, medical terminology, and coding software. Courses include: medical billing, physician based medical coding, medical terminology for billers and coders, medical billing software, physician based chart auditing, and hospital based case studies. Individuals who complete certificate programs may advance to entry level positions within a number of health care facilities or continue studies within associate degree programs.

Associate degree programs in medical coding offer students an expanded understanding of the field as well as means to refine their skills. Courses at an associate degree program include: medical terminology, health information technology, anatomy and physiology, health data requirements and standards, data analysis, clinical classification and coding systems, health care reimbursement methods, medical ethics and laws, database security and management, abstract coding, medical insurance and finance, and quality improvement methods. Graduates who complete associate degree programs often advance to entry level employment or continue studies within bachelor degree programs.

Bachelor degree programs in health information management disciplines with a concentration in medical coding allows individuals to expand and specialize their skills. Courses include: anatomy and physiology, radiology coding, pathology coding, healthcare laws and ethics, medical terminology, pharmacology, ICD coding, CPT non surgical coding, insurance compliance, and insurance abuse and fraud. Graduates with bachelor degrees generally advance to employment or continue studies within a related discipline, like health information management, health informatics, or health care administration as masters and doctoral degrees in medical coding do not exist. Graduates who complete bachelor degree programs generally advance to employment or continue studies within related educational disciplines like health care administration, health informatics, or information management.

Graduates with degrees in medical coding often gain certification offered through the American Health Information Management Association or the American Academy of Professional Coders. Many employers require candidates to complete certification examinations as a demonstration of their knowledge, skills, and competency in the field and seek Certified Professional Coders. Medical coders are required to continue education through seminars, workshops, and other training programs offered through employer or licensing organizations. With this information on how to become a medical coder, you’re well on your way to a satisfying career in this field.

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Top 10 Best Online Nursing Degree Programs

Registered nurses (RNs) make up the majority of workers in the healthcare field. Although over half of nurses work in hospitals, they can also work in doctors’ offices, nursing homes and for companies providing home health care services. Projected job growth to the year 2018 is excellent, and the schools on this list of our top 10 best online undergraduate nursing programs can give students the knowledge they need to qualify for challenging and rewarding positions in the field.

Featured Undergraduate Nursing Degree Programs

#1 Kent State University

Executive Summary

Kent State was named as the Best College in the Midwest by the Princeton Review. This school has a reputation for academic excellence in its on-campus and online programs.


The tuition for the online Nursing program is $425 per credit hour.

Unique Features

As a top undergraduate nursing program, Kent State’s RN-to-BSN (Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing) degree program is designed to prepare nurses for leadership roles. Students benefit from a support network which includes an admissions counselor, student services manager, technical services personnel. Faculty members who teach courses were also responsible for developing the curriculum.

#2 Brenau University

Executive Summary

Brenau University was listed on U.S. News & World Report’s Honor Roll for top online programs for 2012. This school has also been recognized by the Princeton Review as one of the Best Southwestern Colleges.


The tuition rate for Brenau’s online Nursing program is $526 per credit.

Unique Features

The RN-to-BSN program from Brenau can be completed in three semesters. Students must also complete a six-hour practicum to graduate.

#3 Saint Peter’s University

Executive Summary

Saint Peter’s University is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.


The cost of attending this school is $29,800 per academic year.

Unique Features

Students enrolled in the RN-to-BSN program at St. Peter’s are exposed to a curriculum which is focused on caring for the whole person. They have the flexibility to do their coursework on their own schedule; assignments must be submitted by the due date chosen by the instructor.

#4 Western Governors University

Executive Summary

Western Governors is a nationally and regionally-accredited school. It is a non-profit institution which is a good fit for learners who are independent and highly disciplined.

Get more info about Western Governors University – Bachelor of Science in Nursing.


Students attending WGU online pay a flat rate of $3,250 per six-month term.

Unique Features

WGU offers a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing (Prelicensure) to students in Florida, Indiana, Texas, Southern California and Utah. This program is limited to local students, since there is a required clinical component which must be completed to graduate. The RN-to-BSN program is open to learners from any location, and can be completed in 18 months.

#6 Colorado Technical University

Executive Summary

Colorado Technical University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. This school is known for its supportive learning community and the personalized attention instructors and staff give to students. Colorado Technical University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. To contact the Higher Learning Commission please visit

Get more info about Colorado Technical University – Bachelor of Science in Nursing.


Tuition for CTU online undergraduate programs is $260/credit hour per credit hour. (Source:

Unique Features

CTU College of Nursing offers an RN-to-BSN-degree completion program, which can help to prepare students for graduate as well as advance practi