Better Leader in Nursing

Five Ways To Be A Better Leader In Nursing

Better Leader in Nursing

Five Ways To Be A Better Leader In Nursing

The world needs good leaders, and the world of heath care is no different. When you first put on your scrubs and begin your first years of nursing, you’ll more than likely be surrounded by capable leaders—nurses, doctors, and administrators who either by title or seniority have risen to roles of responsibility and will be vital in helping you navigate those extra-complicated days.

There’s also a good chance that you will be asked to lead in some capacity at some point in your career—a big honor, but also a big responsibility—and there are a few key points you’ll want to keep in mind to keep you and your team on track.

  1. Stick To The Classics – Leadership responsibilities may vary from career to career, but leadership traits tend to stay the same. Forbes has a great list of ten leadership qualities that apply to any and all industries—including healthcare. For example, setting the bar high for yourself in terms of honesty and ethics, learning how to delegate, and projecting confidence and positivity even when the days get tough. Of course, to do those things, you’ll need an extra strong dose of…
  2. Good Communication – You can have all the positivity, experience, knowledge, and management theory in the world, but if you can’t share those things effectively with your team, they won’t do you much good. The better you are at communicating (to patients, to other management, and to co-workers), the better you’ll be at leading. And communicating is more than just sharing your thoughts, by the way. Being a good listener is the essential second half of the skill.

 

  1. Build More Leaders – No leader, no matter how good they are, can do everything on their own. You need a team you can rely on, and that means developing new leaders within it. American Nurse Today suggests that you “Identify your informal and formal leaders and invest in them. Take them to meetings with you; have them provide presentations to the staff and senior-level leaders. Find opportunities to highlight their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. Train them to be the next leaders.”

 

  1. Take Care Of Yourself – If you’re in a position of leadership, it’s probably because you’ve shown a passion for what you do, and now that you have more responsibility, you’ll be even more driven to succeed. This is wonderful, but don’t let that drive burn you out. “Remember to take care of yourself by eating well, sleeping enough, and exercising ,” advises Susan Hassmiller (PhD, RN, FAAN). “You need to be strong physically, emotionally, and spiritually to best take care of others and to model wellness for the people you serve.”

 

  1. Never Stop Learning – A good leader is always learning, and knows that he or she can learn from anyone—patient, co-worker, professor, or the nurse on the first shift of her career. “Technology and the profession continues to grow and expand,” writes Jacqueline Cole of the American Associations of Managed Care Nurses. “You are the resource for the lives you touch. To be the most effective and greatest resource for each patient is to keep your knowledge fresh.”

 

Not sure if you’re destined to manage or climb the hospital ladder? Keep these tips in mind anyway.

“Title aside, all nurses are called to leadership,” writes Eileen Williamson for Nurse.com. “The call to leadership moves all of us to a higher plane of responsibility and accountability, with or without a management title; it is inherent in all nursing positions from staff nurse to CEO. We all have similar goals and responsibilities for patient care.”

In a nutshell? If you care about your patients, care about your co-workers, and are willing to set an example by your own actions, then you’ve got what it takes to lead.

For more information on starting a career in health care, contact Unitek College today for information on our many available nursing and medical assistant programs.

When you first put on your scrubs and begin your first years of nursing, you’ll more than likely be surrounded by capable leaders—nurses, doctors, and administrators who either by title or seniority have risen to roles of responsibility and will be vital in helping you navigate those extra-complicated days.

There’s also a good chance that you will be asked to lead in some capacity at some point in your career—a big honor, but also a big responsibility—and there are a few key points you’ll want to keep in mind to keep you and your team on track.

  1. Stick To The Classics – Leadership responsibilities may vary from career to career, but leadership traits tend to stay the same. Forbes has a great list of ten leadership qualities that apply to any and all industries—including healthcare. For example, setting the bar high for yourself in terms of honesty and ethics, learning how to delegate, and projecting confidence and positivity even when the days get tough. Of course, to do those things, you’ll need an extra strong dose of…
  2. Good Communication – You can have all the positivity, experience, knowledge, and management theory in the world, but if you can’t share those things effectively with your team, they won’t do you much good. The better you are at communicating (to patients, to other management, and to co-workers), the better you’ll be at leading. And communicating is more than just sharing your thoughts, by the way. Being a good listener is the essential second half of the skill.

 

  1. Build More Leaders – No leader, no matter how good they are, can do everything on their own. You need a team you can rely on, and that means developing new leaders within it. American Nurse Today suggests that you “Identify your informal and formal leaders and invest in them. Take them to meetings with you; have them provide presentations to the staff and senior-level leaders. Find opportunities to highlight their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. Train them to be the next leaders.”

 

  1. Take Care Of Yourself – If you’re in a position of leadership, it’s probably because you’ve shown a passion for what you do, and now that you have more responsibility, you’ll be even more driven to succeed. This is wonderful, but don’t let that drive burn you out. “Remember to take care of yourself by eating well, sleeping enough, and exercising ,” advises Susan Hassmiller (PhD, RN, FAAN). “You need to be strong physically, emotionally, and spiritually to best take care of others and to model wellness for the people you serve.”

 

  1. Never Stop Learning – A good leader is always learning, and knows that he or she can learn from anyone—patient, co-worker, professor, or the nurse on the first shift of her career. “Technology and the profession continues to grow and expand,” writes Jacqueline Cole of the American Associations of Managed Care Nurses. “You are the resource for the lives you touch. To be the most effective and greatest resource for each patient is to keep your knowledge fresh.”

 

Not sure if you’re destined to manage or climb the hospital ladder? Keep these tips in mind anyway.

“Title aside, all nurses are called to leadership,” writes Eileen Williamson for Nurse.com. “The call to leadership moves all of us to a higher plane of responsibility and accountability, with or without a management title; it is inherent in all nursing positions from staff nurse to CEO. We all have similar goals and responsibilities for patient care.”

In a nutshell? If you care about your patients, care about your co-workers, and are willing to set an example by your own actions, then you’ve got what it takes to lead.

For more information on starting a career in health care, contact Unitek College today for information on our many available nursing and medical assistant programs.

Nursing jobs on a cruise ships

Could A Cruise Ship Be Your Next Nursing Job?

Nursing jobs on a cruise ships

Could A Cruise Ship Be Your Next Nursing Job?

Most people (with the exception of sailors and entertainers) don’t think “full-time job” when they hear the words “cruise ship”. Most of us think of a cruise as a getaway, our chance to leave work and worries behind for an all-inclusive, buffet-filled vacation at sea. But running a cruise ship takes a lot of manpower behind the scenes, especially when it comes to heath care.

More and more people are taking cruises every year, with the industry continually setting new records for numbers of passengers. In 2016, attendance jumped to a record 24.2 million people who cruised worldwide, and when the number of people grows, the potential for health issues grows as well.

Time Magazine compiled a list of some of the significant disease outbreaks aboard cruise ships in the past few years—including the norovirus outbreak on Royal Caribbean that infected over 600, and back to back outbreaks on Princess and Celebrity cruises that sickened over 1500 passengers combined. Passengers can also be injured or infected while exploring ports. And if that’s not enough, the rising and falling seas while onboard (combined with steps, wet surfaces, and alcohol) often lead to slips and falls… especially among elderly passengers.

All that to say… a cruise ship may sound like paradise, but they definitely rely heavily on their ship nurses, and if you’re looking for an opportunity to provide health care while traveling, then a cruise line may be one possible fit.

In most cases, ship nurses report directly to the ship doctor / physician, and work under the supervision of the lead nurse (also a solid career opportunity). In addition to assisting the ship doctor and lead nurse in a broad range of medical care, ship nurses are also usually the first line of defense when an injury or illness is reported—one reason why many cruise lines prefer to hire nurses with emergency room experience.

Interested? Nurse.org offers a few of the pros and cons of the position. In the “positive” column, the website lists the flexibility of short-term contracts, travel, chances to explore international ports, and generally more responsibility than one might find in a traditional nursing position. Under the “negatives” column,  they list the stress of multi-month deployments (especially for those with a family), a competitive job market, and a lower than average pay rate… although they also mention that due to the free room and board the job offers, the salaries tend to even out.

For many nurses, though, such as Nurse Joan Jones, the experience is one they return to again and again. “It can be like a working vacation,” she says. “It is far less stressful than a hospital environment.”

(It might be a good idea to make sure you aren’t prone to sea sickness before you apply, though, or you may spend as much time in the sick bay as the people you’re treating!)

If you’d like more information on exploring a career in nursing, contact Unitek College today for more information on our multiple nursing and medical assistant programs.

Nurses Face Off Against Hurricane Harvey

Nurses Face Off Against Hurricane Harvey

Nurses Face Off Against Hurricane HarveyIt’s been days since Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, and he’s still causing trouble. The storm has claimed two lives so far and continues to dump inches of water into east Texas—sending the residents of flood-prone cities like Houston scrambling for higher ground.

But evacuation isn’t a simple task, and not everyone is able to do so without a significant amount of help… residents of this nursing home, for example, were stranded in waist deep water until help could arrive. As Harvey approached, many hospitals began closing their doors—sending their patients north to Dallas.

“We want to make sure that people are located in a facility where they can receive care without the impact of a hurricane,” explained Corpus Christi Fire Chief Robert Rocha.

The federal government made emergency health care a top priority as well, with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price declaring a public health emergency—a decision that relaxes many Medicare and Medicaid requirements to make it easier for health centers to treat the wave of new patients.

But even with the federal help, treating the sudden influx of patients requires more than just paperwork assistance. It requires boots on the grounds and scrubs in the halls. In other words, fighting Hurricane Harvey requires an army of nurses, and nurses from all over are answering the cry for help.

A team of thirteen from the Texarkana region boarded a plane and headed for the coast, landing ahead of Harvey and immediately going to work easing the burden on Texas hospitals.

“We’ll help take care of those patients and provide the care. We’ll provide the hospital a little relief as they’re taking in these added patients,” explained Micah Johnson, CHRISTUS St. Michael-Atlanta Director of Nursing.

Other nurses, like NICU nurse Michelle Smith, helped fly critically ill and premature babies to Dallas, as doctors felt the risk was too great for the young patients should their hospitals lose power. Smith, who did similar work following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, took the role very seriously.

“I saw one young mom saying goodbye to a baby she loves very much,” Smith said. “We don’t take lightly the responsibility of caring for their children.”

Other nurses stayed behind to assist patients who couldn’t be moved, including four mothers who gave birth in Corpus Christi during the storm… one of the babies was even named “Harvey”.

And as the storm fades, more nurses continue to volunteer to help, using services such as the RN Response Network to find a need. (If you’re interested in helping out, you can fill out their volunteer form here.)

Thanks to all of the brave men and women in scrubs who stepped up to the challenge, proving once again that when the skies get darkest, that’s their opportunity to shine the brightest.

If you’d like to explore your potential future as a nurse or medical assistant, Unitek College can help make that dream a reality. Contact us here for more information.

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Forward with Affordable Care Act

With President Obama re-elected, this means the health care reform that Mitt Romney had planned to stop on day one, had he won, will continue to move forward. The Affordable Care Act increases access to health care ultimately leading a demand for nurses as the country is provided with the right to health care.* The American Nursing Association (ANA) agrees with the president when he says, “health care is a right, not a privilege,” said ANA President Karen A. Daley.* The Act will increase the demand for nurses due to the increase of patients and coverage options.

As of August 2012, one of the most important benefits to the Act was enforced; insurance companies have made preventative screenings, vaccines and scans free under their plans. This will be a positive change for many hospital and clinics as health care providers are given the chance to prevent illnesses. Nurses will have more time to provide health care education and preventative services.

The Act will also introduce over 34 million uninsured Americans by 2014, as it requires anyone that does not have health care to gain coverage either through private companies, Medicaid, Medicare or exchange. In addition, effective 2014, insurance companies may not discriminate or deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions.*

Amy Fusselman, a RN at Allegheny GeneralHospitalin Pennsylvaniasaid “I have seen the grief and pain suffered by patients and their families who delayed care because they could not afford the co-pays that come with visits for preventive screenings. In my experience, outcomes are much better when patients have access to proper preventive care and appropriate medical treatment.”*

Another effect of the increase in access to proper health care is the shift to having clinics ran by nurse practitioners.  A nurse practitioner is a nurse that has achieved a graduate level of education. A nurse practitioner can act as a patient’s primary care provider as they have gone through diagnosis and treatment training.

“And in communities where there is no medical care at all, clinics run by nurse practitioners hold the potential to make a real, positive difference in the quality of people’s lives. And that is what ‘care’ is all about,” said a blogger of AllVoices.com.*

Upcoming reforms from this Act:*

–          January 2013: New funding provided to states to expand Medicaid programs that offer preventative care to patients at low or no cost.

–          Fall of 2013: open enrollment begins

–          January 2014: All Americans will be insured either from private companies, Medicaid, Medicare or exchange.

  • Insurance companies cannot deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
  • Individuals whose employers do not offer insurance can receive coverage from the exchange.
  • Tax credit will be issued to middle class families to help pay for private insurance plans.

–          January 2015: Physician’s pay will be determined by the quality of care they provide.

Would you like to start a career in the expanding world of nursing? UnitekCollegeoffers a variety of nursing training programs. Vocational Nursing, Registered Nurse (RN), Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), and Bachelors of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN).   Contact Unitek College to speak to an admissions representatives to see how you can be a part of history in healthcare.

Sources:

*The Affordable Care Act calls for all Americans to be insured, and requests nurses to provide patient education and preventative services.  (Source: www.healthcare.gov, 11/2012).

* The American Nurses Association (ANA) publically thanked and congratulated the President on being elected for another 4 years.  (Source: www.nursingworld.org, 11/2012).

*The Affordable Care Act states by 2014 Insurance companies may not deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions. (Source: www.healthcare.gov, 11/2012).

*Registered Nurse Amy Fusselman recently shared her support of the Act after experiencing what her patients have gone through.   (Source: www.seiu.org, 11/2012).

*A blogger states nurse practitioners have potential to make a positive difference in the quality of people’s lives.  (Source: www.allvoices.com, 11/2012).

* According to the timeline for things to be rolled out.  (Source: www.healthcare.gov, 11/2012).

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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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Vocational Nursing Programs: An Exciting Career Choice

LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse) programs prepare a practical nursing student to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Vocational Nurses (NCLEX-PN). The Board of Nurse Examiners in each state certifies lvn schools that meet the national standards. In order to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse, you must graduate from one of these programs.

To be accepted into an approved program you must:

  • Be a high school graduate or have an equivalent diploma
  • Be 18 years old
  • Be current with vaccinations including Hepatitis
  • Have a TB test
  • Have no drug convictions
  • Have no felony record
  • Be of sound mind

If you believe you might have a background problem, check with the nursing board before you spend the time and money for the educational program. Acceptance into and graduation from an LVN program is no guarantee that the State Nursing Board will allow you to become a nurse. 

LVN Program Studies

An LVN school will prepare you for responsibilities related to patient care in hospitals, long term care facilities, home health, assisted living centers, physician’s offices, and community health centers.

  • Your studies will include subject content such as Anatomy and physiology, Disease processes, Ethics as related to Health Care, Physical assessment of adults, elderly, and children, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Pharmacology, Task and Time Management, personal care and patient ADL to name just a few.

You will be required to have classroom instruction and clinical labs for hands on practice. Once you are proficient when practicing your skills in a setting with mannequins and other students, you will move on to a clinical area with real patients as a student nurse. You will be supervised by a licensed staff nurse and your clinical nursing instructor during these clinicals so you’re your skills are honed to handle real patients.

After Graduation

Once you complete the LVN program course of study, you must apply to take the State Board examination. A background check will be performed by the Board of Nurse Examiners, and the following factors will be determined:

  • You must have good morals and a professional conduct.
  • You must be free of drug abuse, alcoholism and mental incompetence.
  • Be truthful. Falsification of facts on your application for a nursing license can get you banned for life from your career choice.

After passing your examination, or “sitting for the boards” as it is sometimes called, you will receive your nursing license. Until you have the license in your hand, you cannot work as a licensed vocational nurse. You may work as a nurse tech, or graduate nurse in some locations.

Entering an LVN school is a great start to a career in healthcare. The field is exciting and ever expanding. Layoffs and cutbacks on nurses have not, and probably never will happen. The job outlook grows every year with increasing wages and excellent benefits with most companies. Many nurses continue their education and climb the corporate healthcare ladder. If you love helping people, are compassionate and yet strong under pressure, then an LVN program may provide the career you’ve been looking for.