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Nursing Professionals Address California Whooping Cough Epidemic

The American Nursing Association (ANA) and other professional groups are joining the campaign to raise awareness among nursing professionals, like Sacramento Vocational Nursing, on the California whooping cough epidemic.

In June, the California Department of Health declared an epidemic of this highly contagious yet preventable respiratory disease. More than 900 cases of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, have been reported in California in less than three months. An additional 600 suspected cases are also under investigation. Sadly, five infants also died recently in the state as a result of pertussis infections.

In a special release issued on June 25, the ANA urged nurses, particularly those working closely with infants and newborn babies, to be vaccinated against whooping cough with the tetanus-diptheria-pertussis vaccine, or “Tdap,” vaccine.

“This is a tragic reminder that vaccine-preventable diseases still exist, and the need to maintain vaccine coverage is vital to protecting the public, especially those most vulnerable,” stated the ANA in its online statement on the outbreak of this bacteria-borne disease.

The ANA also encourages California’s nursing professionals, such as San Francisco Vocational Nursing, to educate pregnant women and parents on whooping cough. In particular, the organization recommends that health professionals promote the need for babies, children and adolescents to be vaccinated against the disease.

Pertussis is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. The name ‘whooping cough’ is based on the whooping sound generated by sufferers as they attempt to breathe in air during strenuous coughing fits. Babies are especially susceptible to this airborne disease, which can be spread through mucous discharge from the nose and mouth.

Following a 7-10 day incubation period, pertussis sufferers usually experience nasal discharge along with mild coughing and sneezing. Symptoms typically become worse during the next 1-2 weeks, and eventually lead to uncontrollable and aggressive coughing attacks. From this point, sufferers may experience unpleasant coughing fits for an additional 2-8 weeks. In serious cases, particularly those involving infected infants, whooping cough can contribute to severe complications like pneumonia.

Despite the existence of vaccines, contagious diseases like whooping cough remain on rise in California and other parts of the country. As serious illnesses continue to impact more people, the need for qualified licensed vocational nurses who can care for and educate patients will also grow.

If you’ve thought of training for Vocational Nursing jobs in Santa Clara or other parts of the state, now may be the best time to act. Unitek College’s quality LVN education program can help you develop skills you need to help California respond to outbreaks of whooping cough and other preventable diseases.

For additional information on preventing pertussis, please visit:
http://www.nursingworld.org/

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Nursing Industry Desperate to Find New Hires

Please, please accept a high-paying job with us. In fact, just swing by for an interview and we’ll give you a chance to win cash and prizes.

Sounds too good to be true, especially in an economy riddled with job cuts in nearly every industry. But applicants for nursing jobs are still so scarce that recruiters have been forced to get increasingly inventive.

One Michigan company literally rolled out a red carpet at a recent hiring event. Residential Home Health, which provides in-home nursing for seniors on Medicare, lavished registered nurses and other health care workers with free champagne and a trivia contest hosted by game-show veteran Chuck Woolery. Prizes included a one-year lease for a 2009 SUV, hotel stays and dinners.

“We’re committed to finding ways to creatively engage with passive job seekers,” said David Curtis, president of the Madison Heights-based company.

Recruiters like Curtis may have little choice. The long-standing U.S. nurse shortage has led to chronic understaffing that can threaten patient care and nurses’ job satisfaction, and the problem is expected to worsen.

The shortage has been operating since World War II on an eight- to 10-year cycle, industry experts say. Each time the number of nurses reaches a critical low, the government adds funding and hospitals upgrade working conditions. But as the deficit eases, those retention efforts fade and eventually the old conditions return, often driving nurses into other professions.

“We recently had a hiring event where, for experienced nurses to interview — just to interview — we gave them $50 gas cards,” said Tom Zinda, the director of recruitment at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare in the Milwaukee-area city of Glendale. “We really try to get as creative as we can. It’s a tough position to fill.”

Recruiters across the country have tried similar techniques, offering chair massages, lavish catering and contests for flat-screen TVs, GPS devices and shopping sprees worth as much as $1,000.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts about 233,000 additional jobs will open for registered nurses each year through 2016, on top of about 2.5 million existing positions. But only about 200,000 candidates passed the Registered Nurse licensing exam last year, and thousands of nurses leave the profession each year.

Several factors are in play: a lack of qualified instructors to staff training programs, lack of funding for training programs, difficult working conditions and the need for expertise in many key nursing positions.

Cheryl Peterson, the director of nursing practice and policy for the American Nurses Association in Silver Spring, Md., said employers must raise salaries and improve working conditions.

“The wages haven’t kept up with the level of responsibility and accountability nurses have,” said Peterson, whose organization represents nurses’ interests. Chronic understaffing means nurses are overworked, she said, and as burned-out nurses leave the situation spirals for the colleagues they leave behind.

Some hospital departments where experience is vital, such as the emergency room or intensive-care unit, simply cannot hire newly minted nurses. So managers in those areas have even fewer staffing choices.

Nurses qualified to teach aspiring nurses are scarce chiefly because they can make at least 20 percent more working at a hospital, experts said.

“It can be hard to turn down that extra money,” said Robert Rosseter, the associate executive director of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing in Washington, D.C.

Many recruiters have looked for employees overseas, and about one-fourth of the nurses who earned their licenses in 2007 were educated internationally, most in the Philippines and India.

Some health organizations go out of their way to recruit as many nurses as possible even when they’re overstaffed.

Residential Home Health, the home-nursing company in Michigan, is always looking to hire, Curtis said. Even with 375 clinical professionals on staff, his recruiters are eager to sign up as many as 50 more nurses and therapists, hence the Chuck Woolery event.

Zinda, the Milwaukee-area recruiter, said creative recruiting helps to introduce nurses to his hospital. Besides offering interviewees $50 gas cards, he has provided $100 gift cards to the local mall, and created a Facebook page to target younger nurses.

Attracting good candidates is about offering good working conditions, he said, but creative recruiting goes a long way in generating a buzz.

“Bottom line, you need to get people excited about what you’re offering,” he said. “If you don’t, they can easily go elsewhere.”

Article Written by: Dinesh Ramde

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Nursing Jobs Grow Despite Recession

With the U.S. economy faltering and talk of recession and layoffs filling the airwaves and newspapers, people continue to need medical care, and nurses remain in high demand. While we may be in a recession, disease and illness knows no recession.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s March 2008 Employment Situation Summary reports employment in the financial and credit markets has fallen by 116,000 since October 2006, construction has dropped 331,000 jobs since September 2006, and real estate has lost 34,000 jobs since June 2006. Health care, on the other hand, continues to grow, adding 360,000 jobs during the past 12 months.

The employment outlook continues to look bright for nurses. The Labor Department estimates employment of registered nurses will grow 23 percent from 2006 to 2016 and the country will need 500,000 new RNs by 2016.

“I’ve been a nurse since 1969 and have experienced different economic up and down turns,” said Linda Norman, DSN, RN, FAAN, senior associate dean for academics at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in Nashville, Tennessee. “There has always been a sustained need for nurses and a shortage of nurses.”

Pat Witzel, RN, MS, MBA, associate vice president and chief nursing officer at Strong Memorial Hospital at the University of Rochester (New York) Medical Center, added, “Nursing is not generally affected by the economy. People becoming ill or needing health care services is not dependent on what happens economically.”

As with members of the community, nurses are aging and with the average nurse nearing 50 years, many will soon retire.

“The workforce will be consistently losing nurses during the next five, 10, 15 years, and those nurses will need to be replaced,” said Hila Richardson, DrPH, MPH, BSN, professor and director of the undergraduate, continuing education and community health programs at New York University (NYU) College of Nursing.

Although enrollments have increased, schools are not producing enough nurses.

“The number of nurses who graduated has gone up during the last 40 years, but, the interesting piece is the demand for nurses also has increased,” Norman said. “Nursing programs have had difficulty keeping up with the demand.”

“The students are looking at nursing as offering more stability in the job market,” Richardson said. “They also are looking for work that is meaningful. Sometimes working in a bank is not gratifying.”

Heidi Sadowsky is one of them, now studying in an accelerated program.

“It was a calling that I didn’t answer until two years ago,” Sadowsky said. “I love it every time I go to the clinical setting. Having five minutes with a patient and touching their lives is incredibly rewarding. I haven’t looked back once. It reaffirms I did the right thing.”
Although the change had more to do with her desire for something more satisfying rather than the economy, she acknowledges her “timing is good.”

Nurses provide hands-on care in homes, hospices and ambulatory centers. They work for insurance, disease management and pharmaceutical companies.

Nursing positions exist in schools, in forensics and in research, said Baumlein, adding, “The opportunities for any individual are almost endless.”

Nevidjon foresees multiple opportunities for nurses willing to change with the dynamic health care marketplace and to learn new skills.

“Nursing not only is a recession-proof profession but it is one that has multiple opportunities,” Norman added. “The value of nursing is being appreciated throughout the health care industry.”

Article Written by: Debra Wood, RN, contributor
Click To Read Full Article

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Nurse Training and Education

There is a growing demand for workers in the health care industry. The demand is only expected to increase as baby boomers age, increasing their need for health care while at the same time retiring from these positions in record numbers. The outlook for those interested in a career in nursing is very good. Although the education required to become a nurse is intensive, the pay scale is lucrative and many hospitals provide tuition reimbursement.

The education requirements for nursing include both theoretical and practical experience. The theoretical work includes classroom education, and covers subjects such as chemistry, nutrition and anatomy. The practical work provides the student nurse with hands-on supervised training in the clinical setting. Once you have completed the nursing training from an approved nursing school you are required to take, and pass, the NCLEX-RN, a licensing exam. Upon passing the exam you are awarded your RN license.

There are a variety of roads to becoming a registered nurse. Many community colleges offer an associate program. Using this program, you can have a nursing license in two to three years. It is also an economical choice, as most community colleges are substantially less expensive than a traditional four year state or private school. If you choose the four year degree, you will graduate with a B.S.N. or Bachelor of Science in Nursing. You will still be a RN, and must still pass the licensing exam before earning the right to wear your scrubs. The benefit of obtaining a bachelor’s degree is that the four year degree is required for many supervisory positions within the nursing field, and you must have a B.S.N to receive your master’s degree. Many colleges now offer a fast track program to allow those with their RN to complete their B.S.N. in a short amount of time, attending classes part time or over the internet.

Master’s degree programs in nursing allow a nurse to receive a higher level of compensation as well as the capability to work with more autonomy. A master’s program also allows the nurse to specialize in the type of nursing that he or she prefers. There are master’s programs available in clinical specialties, such as a nurse anesthetist or a nurse practitioner. Many schools also allow a nurse to enter the teaching field with a master’s degree. A master’s program in nursing, regardless of the specialization, typically requires two years of coursework. A nurse may also choose to earn his or her doctorate degree in nursing, which would open up many administration level jobs as well as the ability to teach in any college.

Nursing programs are approved by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. To ensure that you are properly prepared for the licensing exam that you must pass before becoming an RN, choose a school that is fully accredited. This means, among other things, that their curriculum has been examined and determined to cover the material that is included in the NCLEX-RN exam.

Given the fact that there is a shortage of nurses, and the demand is growing, it may seem that getting accepted to nursing school should be easier; this is unfortunately not the case. In fact, one of the reasons that there is a shortage of nurses is because there is also a shortage of nurse educators. Because nursing requires such detailed and extensive education, it is important to have a low student to teacher ratio. With a shortage of nurse educators, schools are limited in the number of nursing students that they can accept. The shortage of nursing educators is partially due to the fact that nurses can earn much better wages working in the clinical setting than in the college setting.

With the shortage of nursing educators, acceptance to nursing schools has become very competitive. There are several things that you can do to increase your odds of being accepted to nursing school. The first, of course, is to have the highest GPA and standardized test scores as possible. If you are seriously considering nursing school, it may be too late to improve your GPA, but if your standardized tests are not where you want them, consider investing in a test prep course and retake the exam.

Another way that you can make yourself more attractive to a nursing program is to take some classes at your local community college. Showing that you have the ability to complete college level work can go a long way in persuading the admissions board that you are a good candidate for their nursing program. Finally, consider spending time as a volunteer in the health care field. Many people want to enter nursing because of the ready supply of jobs and lucrative pay. When they realize the hard work that is required, they drop out of the nursing program. By volunteering in the field, the acceptance committee will feel more confident that you will remain in the program.

About the Author
Stephanie Larkin is a freelance writer who writes about topics pertaining to nurses and the nursing profession such as Nursing Scrubs

Source: GoArticles.com

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Is There A Healthcare Crisis or A Shortage of Nurses?

We have all heard horror stories of how we are all headed towards an economic disaster with the falling stock market, the mortgage crisis, and the never ending saga about the empty coffers of our state government. Is Health care next? Should one expect wages to drop? And demand to suddenly drop?

Irrespective of who wins the elections, and how dramatically the national economy may fall, health care services is one area which can’t keep up with the escalating demand. North of 60% of the population is demanding premium health care services and expect the service providers to drop the nurse to patient ratio to be a lot lower than current metrics. This is even more apparent in states such as Florida and California with resident population demographics leaning towards the aged.

Due to the shortage of qualified local nurses, an increasing number of recruiting firms are targeting Canadian and other international markets to lure experienced nurses to better paying employment opportunities with U.S. employers. The only way we can meet the burgeoning demand, is to increase seats in our Pharmacy, Vocational Nursing and LVN and RN programs and send more nursing graduates into the work force. More supply won’t alone solve the problem, but it’s one of the ways to alleviate the impact of the health care crisis. Complement the increased supply with a partnership- between the federal government and the industry-which join hands and make the proposition of entering the nursing profession a sweeter deal – and a national crisis, can indeed be averted.

Is the current economic disaster affecting you in any way?

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Nursing Jobs, Become an Instructor

Have you ever felt like you wanted to help people? That you wanted to make a real difference to your community and do something extremely worthwhile? If these are the sorts of questions you answer yes to, then have you ever considered a nursing job?

Nursing is one of those professions which have its roots buried deep in history. Indeed there have always been people who looked after and cared for the sick or injured. In some cultures this would be a ‘medicine man’, in other cultures there were figures such as herbalists and the like. However, nursing only really became recognized as a formal profession relatively recently when Florence Nightingale founded what we now consider as the modern concept of nursing.

Of course, some people may instinctively tell themselves that they could never work in a nursing job because they are too squeamish, or because they wouldn’t be able to cope with the stresses of trying to cope with patients with life threatening diseases or injuries. Of course that may be the case, but this is only one side of nursing. There are many, many other aspects to the job which many people do not realize exist, for instance health or industrial nursing, public health nursing and private duty nursing.

In fact, the nursing domain extends even further than that – one such possible career path is in the nursing instructor field. Of course, before anyone can become a fully qualified nurse they must first go through the necessary training, education and study of both the theoretical and practical aspects of nursing. This in turn means that of course, there needs to be someone there to act as an instructor and tutor to the student nurses.

By working as a nursing instructor not only will you be able to directly help to train and educate a new generation of nurses, but you will also be indirectly helping your community by ensuring that the hospitals in your area have the most highly skilled nursing staff.

Most of your duties will revolve around the student nurses, for example, you will spend most of your working time demonstrating and teaching patient care in the classroom, as well as supervising the student nurses when delivering patient care in clinical units of the hospital. A nursing instructor is also responsible for conducting and supervising laboratory work and issuing assignments.

This is a very rewarding career path, and is essentially what used to be referred to as a ‘job for life’. Let’s just think about that, there will always be a need for individuals who are trained as caregivers, and therefore there will always be a need to the nursing instructors who offer help and guidance through that training. So as you can see, a career as a nursing instructor really is one of the most satisfying and worthwhile nursing jobs in the health care industry today.

Nursing Jobs – Click Here
Nursing Instructor Jobs – Click Here