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Unitek College Welcomes Veterans Back to School

There were many reasons why Lannel De Los Reyes chose to pursue a nursing career. The most compelling reason was watching her dad suffer through rheumatoid arthritis and gout. She decided to dedicate her life to helping others.

“It just motivated me to become a nurse and take care of people, especially my loved ones,” Reyes said.

Reyes served six years active duty with the Air Force and decided to use her GI Bill to attend Unitek College’s Vocational Nursing program in Fremont, CA. Her ultimate goal is to graduate with a Bachelor in Nursing (BSN) and return to the military.

In the same nursing classroom sits another fellow Air Force veteran, Grecia Benitez. One of Benitez’s motivations to enlist into the Air Force directly out of high school was the educational benefits. After completing 5 years of service, Benitez was ready to start on her career path. During an open house tour at Unitek College, she found the start of her nursing career with the Vocational Nursing program.

Benitez’s plan after college is slightly different from Reyes’s.  While Benitez does not shy away from the idea of returning to the military, she is currently focused on completing the Vocational Nursing program and continuing on to become a Registered Nurse through Unitek College’s LVN to RN bridge program. After finishing school, Benitez plans to either pursue a nursing career in a hospital or rejoin the Air Force.

Benitez and Reyes share both a dedication to their country and a desire to achieve higher learning. The Post 9/11 GI Bill and Montgomery GI bill, amongst other Veterans Assistance (VA) benefits, reward veterans for their service and allow them to pursue higher education.  Although many institutions have yet to accept VA benefits, Unitek College made accepting VA benefits a top priority to make quality education available to America’s returning vets.

The majority of healthcare training programs offered by Unitek College are VA approved. “Unitek College is 100% committed to assisting our dedicated service men and women in making a successful transition into civilian life. Our main priority is to help them obtain the necessary education and training that can be parlayed into a lasting and rewarding career. Serving our veterans is a privilege we don’t take lightly.” Navraj Bawa, COO and Executive Vice President, Unitek College stated in a press release.

“If nursing is what you want to do…I would definitely recommend this school”, Benitez said.

Unitek College anticipates growth in enrollments from veterans who are looking to achieve their goals of higher education. This is particularly true with the recent deep budgetary cuts at public schools. Reyes, in advising other veterans said, “Definitely take advantage of your GI bill. That is part of why I joined the military.”

Are you a VA looking to get into the field of nursing?  Unitek College offers Training in Vocational NursingRegistered Nursing (LVN to RN), Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and Bachelors of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN).  Contact us today at 888-735-4355 to see how you can get started on a very rewarding career as a nurse.

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Registered Nursing – a Growing Field in 2013 and Beyond

The future looks bright for Registered Nurses.  While other economic job sectors have suffered tremendous losses in the past few years, the healthcare sector, and nursing particularly, has continued to grow and will continue to do so in 2013 and beyond.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that by 2020, there will be more than 711,900 new Registered Nursing jobs created.  Furthermore, between 2010 -2020 the number of Registered Nursing jobs will increase by 26 percent, making it the fastest growing occupation in the U.S.*

This continued growth in the Registered Nursing profession stems from a few different sources including: changes in health care reform, technological advances in all areas of healthcare services and the aging of the baby boomer population.

Health Care Reform: The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed by President Barack Obama in 2010 will have a profound impact on the growth of the nursing profession.*  This legislation requires all Americans to be insured, which will increase the number of patients who can access health care services.  The legislation also focuses on the need for more healthcare prevention services, which will require more trained nurses be available to provide patient education and preventative services.

Technological Changes: While much of the technological changes which have occurred so far in the health care industry primarily affected patient care, technology is beginning to change all aspects of health care services, including how patient medical information is collected and maintained.  The 2009 American Recovery and Rehabilitation Act provides $1.2 billion a year to aid in the implementation of electronic health records.*  Nurses are needed to help companies develop and implement the use of these systems as well as maintain and support the electronic health care records.

Aging Baby Boomers:  The aging of the baby boomer population has affected the nursing field in a couple of ways.  First, due to the large number of people reaching retirement age, the number of nurses needed is growing in order to help keep senior citizens healthy and active.  Second, there are a large number of nurses who are baby boomers and are now retiring as part of that generation.  The growth in the healthcare sector combined with large numbers of retiring nurses has helped increase the demand for trained nurses, especially those trained in Geriatrics, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Not only is Registered Nursing a growing field in terms of numbers but it’s also a growing field in terms of the variety of employment opportunities available.  Nurses can work for numerous  health-care related settings including assisted living facilities, hospitals, doctor’s offices, home and public health agencies, clinics, in addition they can also work in schools.*

Registered Nurses will continue to have a wide variety of career options and opportunities available to them. The future certainly looks bright for RN’s and now is a great time to advance your career.

Unitek College’s LVN to RN Transition program offers LVN’s the opportunity to build upon their training to advance their career and become eligible for the Registered Nurse Licensure Examination.


* The U.S. Department of Labor’s  Bureau of Labor Statistics reports by 2020 there will be more than 711,900 Registered Nursing jobs created and between 2010-2020 jobs will increase by 26 percent.   (Source: www.bls.gov, 10/2012).

*The Affordable Care Act requires all Americans to be insured, and calls for more trained nurses to provide patient education and preventative services.  (Source: www.healthcare.gov, 10/2012).

* The 2009 American Recovery and Rehabilitation Act provides $1.2 billion a year to help hospitals implement and use electronic health records. (Source: www.whitehouse.gov, 10/2012).

*According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics Registered Nurses can work in a variety of settings. (Source: www.bls.gov, 10/2012).

About the Author:

Phyllis Edson is a freelance writer focusing on noteworthy areas of the nursing industry for Unitek College.

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Geriatric Patients Need Advocates for Care

Where does the time go? There’s a popular quote that states that the days pass slowly but the years pass quickly. The older I get, the more truth this statement holds. Over the past three years I’ve lost two grandparents and through watching their aging process and the medical care they needed, I can’t help but wonder what the future holds for my parents. Although they are only in their mid-60’s, I know that in 10 to 15 years my sister and I are really going to have to plan for their care and well being. As a nurse in an LVN to RN school, geriatrics is a specialty that will continue to require more nurses to attend to the increasing senior population.

Now I know I wrote about gerontology in my last post, but sometimes I get stuck on a theme based on what I am currently going through in my personal life or what articles seem to keep popping up. Right now both issues are having me focusing on this topic. Fortunately my parents have made wise financial decisions for most of their lives, but like the majority of people in our nation their house has decreased in value by about 1/3 and so has their stocks. More importantly, I worry about their daily care and the quality of treatment they will get in the not so distant future.

Nurse.com published an article that got me thinking about the quality care that many seniors are getting in the medical world. Now I know that many nursing homes and medical staff are awesome and go the extra mile for their patients, but I also read a lot of articles that state negligence on the part of treating the elderly. Whether this be for a need of advocates on behalf of the patient or if the patient is too ill to speak up for himself, I’m not sure. I just know that there seems to be lack of caring or accountability on behalf of geriatric patients.

The major problem that the NurseZone.com article poses is that, “In a study that appeared this year in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, they found that discharge summaries regularly lacked necessary information on diet, activity level, therapy and pending laboratory tests of nursing home patients after departure from the hospital… Amy Kind, MD, assistant professor of medicine in the division of geriatrics and lead author of the study, identified a number of problems with the summaries. They were often completed many days after the patient had already been discharged to the nursing home, some more than 30 days afterward… In addition, as the time grew longer, the quality of the information within the summaries became poorer or more incomplete. This problem forces nursing home caregivers to spend valuable time contacting the hospital to determine how to proceed with patient treatment.”

As a student getting RN training, geriatrics can be a fulfilling and rewarding specialty to pursue. Consider all of your options to see which best fits your personality and lifestyle.

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit

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More Younger Nurses are Joining the Field

The message has finally gotten out and more high school graduates are pursuing nursing as their career of choice. Many young people are going to LVN to RN colleges because of the job market in nursing, their desire to help others and the interesting challenges that nursing brings.

HealthCanal.com posted an interesting study that was published by RAND Corporation health economist David Auerbach, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University School of Nursing’s Peter Buerhaus, Ph.D., R.N., and Dartmouth College professor of economicsDoug Staiger, Ph.D. They found that there is a 62% increase in nurses from the ages of 23 to 26 between the years of 2002 to 2009. Not since the 1970’s has there been such a boom of nurses entering the workforce.

“We may have reached a tipping point in the nursing shortage in the sense that we now, for the first time in more than a decade of research, are projecting growth in the total size of the registered nurse workforce, ” said Buerhaus. “These early signs are positive, but we need to continually grow the supply of nurses to effectively match the expected growth in demand over the coming years.”

A report was published about ten years ago which stated that by 2020 the United States could face a nursing shortage of about 400,000 nurses. Fewer young people were entering the field and the average age of an RN was 42 years old. As these nurses retire and Baby Boomers enter their senior years, a shortage seemed unavoidable.

There are several reasons for the increase in young people becoming interested in joining the ranks of nursing. HealthCanal.com attributes “aggressive national recruitment efforts, such as the $50 million ‘Campaign for Nursing’s Future’ launched by Johnson & Johnson in 2002” as one such reason. Another is that “federal funding for nurse workforce development tripled from $80 million in 2001 to $240 million in 2010.” Finally, there are a variety of nursing specialties that people are interested in with the changing dynamics of our aging population such as geriatrics and emergency care.

The news is out that a nursing career is a great option for those looking to help people, who love to face challenges on a daily basis and who want stability and a good income. From traditional schools to the convenience of online courses, getting your nursing degree can be the start of a promising future.

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit

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Treating Patients with Chronic Conditions

Chronic conditions are a major issue that many patients are facing and the numbers seem to be on the rise. These ongoing ailments can be painful, frustrating and frightening. As a student in an LVN to RN school, what can you do to help ease the stress of these patients?

About 15 years ago I had a major car accident. I was sitting in the back middle seat of an old SUV that did not come equipped with a seatbelt. I was young and in college and stupidly thought “We’re only going a couple of miles away. What could happen?” Well, what happened was the driver turned to talk to those of us in the backseat and didn’t see the cars in front of us stop. We crashed into three cars at 35 miles per hour. I flew into the dashboard and scalped myself… yep, peeled it back like a too ripe peach (not to mention the impact to my spine, plus a minor concussion, and everything else that comes with head injuries…)

So what’s the point of my story? I completely understand where these chronic pain patients are coming from. As grateful as I am to be alive, each day I struggle to put my discomfort aside to take care of my family. According to NurseZone.com contributor Megan M. Krischke, I’m not alone. Nearly half of all adults in the United States suffer from chronic conditions.

Dawn M. James, MSN, RN, CNS, CDE, deputy director of public health for Kit Carson County Health and Human Services (KCCHHS) in Burlington, Colorado advises “The most important thing for any nurse to understand is that prevention strategies are much more powerful than trying to treat an existing disease. The more savvy and knowledgeable a nurse is about disease risk factors and prevention, the more he or she has to offer their community.”

There are also different nurse led programs to help patients and their caregivers deal with their health difficulties. James leads one such program that is “a peer- or nurse-led, six-week course that uses a research-based model to teach people how to self-manage their chronic conditions so that they do not get worse and can even improve their health.” James states “The program teaches people to do good self-management through diet, exercise, medication administration and knowing how to talk to health care providers.”

Chronic conditions are certainly a challenge that no one wants to face. However, caring and competent nurses and doctors are worth their weight in gold. Students in an RN college have my appreciation; as a patient, you make a huge difference!

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit

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10 Ways to Look Like You Have it All Together Part I

Have you ever seen the nurse who walks into work with her hair all in place, her scrubs unfaded and without wrinkles and a genuine smile plastered on her face? Don’t you just hate her? Well, now you can be her with these helpful tips.

As an LVN to RN nursing student, you have a lot going on in your life. Cynthia Dusseault on ScrubsMag.com has a few suggestions to help make life run smoother and you can be the envy of all your co-workers.
1) Plan ahead – Get your lunch, scrubs, gas for your car, etc. ready the night before. (I know, isn’t this what your mom told you to do before school? Well, she was right!)

2) Make a to-do list – Put your thoughts on paper so they won’t get jumbled or lost in your head. Also, is there anything more glorious than crossing off items on a list?

3) Run errands on the way home – Get stuff done on your way home so you don’t have to go back out. Dusseault recommends doing some on the way to work, but that stresses me out. What if there is a traffic jam, an old lady paying with a purse full of pennies or a new cashier? I can’t handle the unknowns!

4) As soon as you get to work, stock your pockets with things you use the most. – I thought my husband came up with this one! As a nurse, he always looks for scrub pants with the most pockets (and I tend to sew those pocket seams about every month with the loot that he keeps in there.) From handfuls of gloves to a ring full of keys, it helps to have the goods on you instead of running back and forth.

5) Take notes during report and keep them in your pocket. – Who doesn’t need a cheat sheet every now and then? And let’s face it: we’re all getting older and our memories aren’t what they used to be!

Tune in Thursday for part two of this fascinating topic! When you’re in an LVN to RN program, you have a lot of things pulling on you, but organization and planning ahead can make it look like you have everything under control.

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit