Nurse Training

Nurse training is offered in a variety of formats for new entrants to the field. As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic, the need for nurses will expand by 22 percent through 2018, with an additional 600,000 nurses needed to replace the thousands that are retiring or leaving the profession. In short, there has never been a better time to become a nurse. Due to the nursing shortage there are now a variety of nurse training options available to those who are seeking to begin a a first or second career within the nursing field.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Training/ Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) Training

In the states of California and Texas, a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) is what they call the nurses who perform the roles of a Licensed Practical Nurse. Therefore, Licensed Vocational Nurse training and LPN training is very similar. I will therefore discuss the required training for types of nursing together.

Most LPN/LVN nurse training programs take one year to complete and are offered by hospitals, private vocational schools, as well as community colleges. You will most often need a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma (GED) to gain admission to these programs. Once you complete licensed practical nurse training you will need to pass the National Certification Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) administered by the National Council of Stage Boards of Nursing (NCBN)  national certification to obtain licensure to practice in all States and the District of Columbia.

Licensed practical nurses provide hands-on patient care for both acute and chronic conditions under the supervision of registered nurses (RN) and physicians. Starting your nursing career as an LPN is a great stepping stone to becoming a registered nurse (RN). You may also be able to have at least part of your education paid for by your employer provided you agree to remain with the facility for a certain time period following graduation.


Registered Nurse Training

There are four nurse training options for those seeking to become registered nurses:


Diploma Programs in Nursing: Diploma programs are offered in hospital settings and place on emphasis on practical nurse skills and knowledge rather than nursing theory. However, some diploma program are offered in conjunction with community colleges so that students will be able to take coursework in the history and theory of nursing practice. Most programs required a high school diploma or GED for admission and take from two to three years for completion. You will also need to pass a national certification examination to obtain you registered nurse (RN) license.

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN): Associate degree nurse training programs are offered in community and junior colleges. It will take two years to complete this degree if you meet all course prerequisites (typically anatomy and physiology, microbiology, chemistry, statistics, and behavioral science). Should you need to take prerequisite course, it can take from three to four years to complete the associate’s in nursing degree.

Upon completion of the ADN, also known as Associate in Science (AS) or Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree you will be eligible for RN licensure once you pass the national certification examination.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN): A BSN is the degree of choice among most healthcare employers.  It takes about the same amount of time to complete a BSN program as it would an ADN program if you need to take course prerequisites. In general, it will take four years to complete the BSN program with the first two years devoted to liberal arts coursework and the remaining two years focused on nursing studies.

Accelerated nurse training programs (aka “bridge programs” or “direct entry programs”): These programs have been designed in response to the serious nursing shortage as they provide a fast-track into a nursing career for those with bachelor degree in non-nursing fields. Accelerated programs are offered within traditional classroom settings as well as via distance learning programs and there are now over 200 accelerated programs available in both formats.

In accelerated nursing programs credit will be given for the liberal arts portion of your first bachelor’s degree. The structure of the program is such that you will also not have semester breaks but attend school year-round with a heavier course load per semester than students in traditional nurse training programs. It will generally take about two to two-and-a-half years to obtain the BSN degree in an accelerated program. However, if your first bachelor’s degree is in a science field (e.g. biology or chemistry) you will also be eligible to have this coursework waived as well so that you may be able to complete the accelerated program at an even faster pace, perhaps within a 12 to 18 month period.

Traditionally-paced nurse training programs. These programs are also targeted toward those holding a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field but coursework is presented in a traditional format with semester breaks and lighter course loads than in accelerated programs. It will typically take about three years to complete traditionally-based programs since you will still be provided with credit for prior liberal arts coursework. If you have a bachelor’s degree in a science field, you will be able to complete the program in about two or two-and-a-half years.

Masters Degree Accelerated Nursing Programs (MSN): An accelerated master’s degree in nursing program provides the opportunity for bachelor’s degree holders in non-nursing fields to obtain nurse training to become registered nurses. The structure of an accelerated master’s degree is very similar to that of accelerated bachelor degree programs in that these programs also offer coursework on a intensive schedule with no semester breaks. 

Students will be eligible for admission to master’s level study once they have satisfactorily completed nursing foundation classes and course prerequisites (as listed under accelerated bachelor’s programs above). Accelerated nursing programs can be completed in two years to two-and-a-half years if you satisfy course prerequisites upon entry. It is possible to be accepted into accelerated master’s programs even if you haven’t taken prerequisite classes but you must satisfactorily complete these courses before being able to begin nursing study. Even should you need to take foundation and prerequisite coursework, you may still be able to complete the accelerated program in less than three years. Students may also work as registered nurses (RN) while completing their master’s degree (although this will lengthen the time needed to complete the degree).

Upon satisfactorily completing the nursing foundation courses in all nurse training programs, students may apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination for practical nurses (NCLEX-PN) or registered nurses (NCLEX-RN). The test is administered by the National Council for State Boards of Nursing and is recognized in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Financial Aid for Nurse Training Programs

Financial aid opportunities are plentiful for nursing students including grants and scholarships (which do not have to be paid back) and government loans (with low interest rates) and private lender funding. For those working within the healthcare field, you may also be eligible to have a good portion of your education paid for by your employer provided you are willing to remain with the facility for a certain period of time upon graduation (usually one year for each year of aid received). The process starts with the filing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which will determine your eligibility for various financial aid programs. These forms will be available from the financial aid office of the school you wish to attend.

Nursing Administration Continuing Education

Continuing Education for Nurse Administrators
Learning in the nursing field does not stop at graduation. Things change fast in health care administration and nursing at large and registered nurses must get acquainted with the changes as they occur.

On the other hand, nurse executives formerly nurse administrators may wish to acquire more knowledge in nursing issues that are not necessarily provided in the formal school curriculum, and continuing education comes in handy.

But above all, each state’s Board of Nursing requires that every certified nurse administrators renew their licenses and certificate after a given period of time. Under this provision comes the first importance of continuing education needs for nurses. Continuing education is therefore a condition that every nurse who wish to retain their license current and valid must meet.

Continuing Education for License Renewal vs. Recertification

It is quite common to confuse the two purposes of continuing education.  In most cases, nursing administration continuing education courses may be taken along with other nursing CEs to fulfill the requirement of a state board of nursing registered nurses license renewal.

On the other hand, the exclusive nursing administrative CEs are required by those who wish to become nationally certified nurse executives. That larger and wider scope is the recertification requirements and is what is discussed in great detail in this section

Nurse Executives Continuing Education General Pointers

A registered nurse may apply for certification to become a nurse executive by earning a Master of science nurse executive degree.  BSN graduate Registered Nurses may also become certified administrators if they can show proof of 5 years work experience in mid-level administration posts equivalent to 24 hours full time service.

There are quite a number of variations between states in the licenses renewal cycle; a period in which a RN must cover a given amount of continuing education needs. In addition, the renewal periods for which a nurse executive certificate remains valid may also vary from state to state. Even more, some states board of nursing may not require a nurse executive to complete continuing education for purposes of license renewal. This is especially so if they hold a master of science in nursing administration degree and a national .Instead, they are required to retain their National Certificates by retaking the national certification exams from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

CE Requirements for Nurse Administrators License Renewal

Generally, most states boards of nursing require 30 hours of continuing education in a renewal cycle of 2 with a few states having a 3-year cycle. The American Nurses Credentialing Center has numerous accredited providers of continuing education for nurse executives among other nursing disciplines. If you are planning to take your CE requirements, you must ensure the provider is accredited by the ANCC. CEs can be taken in form of annual conferences, workshops, face-to face courses, online CEs, seminars and webinars.

Students must keep note of the following criteria used by most boards of nursing and ANCC to determine the number of CE requirements covered in a given renewal cycle:

  • 1 contact Hr=60 min
  • 1 CME (Continuing Medical Education) =60 min or 1 contact hr
  • 1 CEU (Continuing Education Unit)= 10 contact hrs
  • 1 contact Hr=0.1 CEU
  • 1 academic semester Hr= 15 contact hours
  • 1 academic quarter Hr =12.5 contact Hrs

While sending your CE hours to the state board of nursing you must fill-out a form indicating the following items:

– Exact title of the CE taken

– The number of contact hours earned

– Name of the provider

– Date it was offered

If the CEs were taken from an online accredited provider, the CE certificates obtained must be printed and stored incase verification of the data is needed by ANCC during a random Audit. CEs taken from unaccredited providers may be rejected altogether.

Nurses Executive CEs for ANCC Recertification

ANCC is the national certifying body for nurse executives. To renewal a certificate, a registered nurse needs 30 hours taken in the last 5 years; which is the renewal cycle of the national certification.

ANCC Accredited Providers of Nurse Executive Continuing Education

To be on the safe side, it is paramount to ensure your provider of continuing education is accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. There are numerous unaccredited online sites that purport to offer CE for nurses. These can be taken for purposes of individual learning but they may not be accepted for license renewal or recertification by ANCC. Among the accredited providers are universities, colleges, and independent providers. A few examples of independent providers include:

  • American Nurses Association ( for which ANCC is a subsidiary)
  • American Organization of Nurse Executives
  • Gannet Education
  • INTEGRIS  Health
  • NursingCEforLess
  • RN.Com
  • CEU4U, Inc

Examples of CE’s Applicable for Nurse Administrators

Continuing education hours must be relevant to the field of nursing for which they are being taken. Examples of this offered by ANCC’s ANA include:

  • Introduction to precepting
  • Nursing quality measurement: Key concepts
  • Developing delegation skills
  • Power and Empowerment in nursing
  • Precepting and communication
  • From Bedside to Boardroom
  • Reading and critiquing a research article

Education and Training for Nurses

It is a common trend for people to use interchangeably the terms education and training while the two have clear distinctive meanings.

Education can basically be referred to as the theoretical knowledge learnt in books, journals and other resources materials. On the other hand, training is the aspect of education where you receive practice instructions and skills as taught or learnt from an education program. For nurses, when these two are combined, nursing as a profession is born; a career that heavily relies on training inherent from the education sessions.

Entry-Level Education and Training for Nurses

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there are three entry-level pathways to becoming a registered nurse. These pathways enable students to take initial NCLEX-RN exam for initial licensure.

Diploma in Nursing

Nursing diploma programs are offered by hospital-based schools of nursing. They were popular in the 1970s and have experienced diminished enrolment in the recent past. Diploma in nursing education is more inclined to the technical training rather than on education theories and philosophies. Student nurses pursuing this level of nursing become more acquainted with practical skills due to intensive on-the-job training. Diploma nursing program are also commonly referred to as nurses training programs.

Students receive one-one training lessons with the patients in almost every part of the period of study.  However, they lack the wider concepts of other disciplines interrelated with nursing like chemistry, biology, math, among others. To keep pace with the differing preferences and career advancement prospects of students, diploma nursing schools have started teaming-up with community colleges in offering their nursing training. In this case, students receive exclusive direct patient training from the hospital and nursing education courses from the community college.

Upon completion of coursework from both schools, students earn a diploma and an associate degree in nursing. As such, they become academically eligible to write the NCLEX-RN exam to become registered nurses.

i)        Associate of Science Nursing Education

Associate of science in nursing (ASN) education programs are 2-year programs designed to facilitate quick entry into professional nursing. Unlike the nurse diploma programs, ASN programs carry a relatively equal measure of both technical training and theoretical education. Students in associate nursing programs take courses from a diverse pool of discipline besides nursing. Courses may include psychology, anatomy, English, Math, speech, writing among non-nursing fields. As a whole, this courses are referred to as liberal arts or general education courses and do not require any kind technical practicum.

In addition to the above, there are nursing courses which carry the training aspect of the nursing field. Most of these courses have a theory portion coupled with a clinical training portion. Students first learn the theoretical aspect in class before applying the same knowledge with simulation patients in labs and later moving on to real patient training. Just like the latter group, students become eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam to become registered nurses.

However, as compared to diploma graduates, associate degree nursing (ADN) graduates have higher chances of advancing their education. They are better placed to complete 4-year nursing practice hence increasing their nursing practice scope.

ii)      Bachelor of Science in Nursing

This kind of nursing education is offered in four year colleges and universities and usually takes 4 years to complete. Unlike the earlier two options, this entry-level pathway prepares nurses with a larger scope of practice. The number of diverse non-nursing education courses increase coupled with an increased number of theoretical nursing courses.

The study path is distinctive in that most schools reserve the 1st two years for the non-nursing supporting courses with the last two years being reserved for nursing courses and direct patient care training.  Graduates of the BSN education programs have the best chances of earning graduates degrees compared to any other entry-level registered nurses.

Entry-Level Training For Nurses

Apart from the diploma programs, nurse training for the other two aforementioned programs is usually done in external health care facilities. This is with exception of technical training done with simulation males, females, babies in a simulation lab which most nursing schools have. Coursework in ADN and BSN curriculums is usually coupled with clinical training sessions.

Nursing schools form partnerships with local hospitals to allow entry level students apply what they learn in class. Such training sessions are scheduled in different departments of a health care facility including wards, operation/surgery rooms, laboratories, and pharmacy and rehabilitation areas. Training may go beyond the hospital environment to cover aspects of community nursing, public health and long term care homes.

The usual plan for nurse education and training for nurses is for students to complete the didactic portion of the courses before proceeding to any clinical practical training. As such, students only indulge in doing activities and implementing concepts they are already familiar with from a theory class. Students may be divided into clinical cohort groups to facilities a reasonable training ration between the instructor and students.

Graduate Nurse Training

This are programs that trains entry-level nurses but at the graduate level. There are two options under the graduate entry level nurse training listed below:

  • Bachelor of Science (entry-level) graduate training for nurses pursing a bachelor nursing degree but have another non-nursing baccalaureate.
  • Masters entry-level nurse training for direct entry students with other non-nursing baccalaureates

Graduate Nurse Training

Graduate Nurse Training Programs
Graduate entry programs can refer to education at graduate level for those new to nursing; no prior nursing experience.

It can also refer to nurse training for students who already have prior nursing degrees, and are pursuing advanced practice nursing. The former can be referred to as entry level nurse training since students will need to take the NLCEX-RN to become registered nurses.

Graduate Entry Nursing Pathways

Nurse training for students with no prior nursing experience offers to entry options as will be explained below:

  • Second Degree Nurse Training Programs

2nd degree programs are designed for graduates of non-nursing baccalaureates degree programs wishing to change careers to professional nursing. They are designed in such a way to enable quick entry into the profession through accelerated study. As such, it common to find many schools referring to this graduate nurse training programs as accelerated Bachelor of Science in nursing. The aim is acquiring all essential nursing concepts within the shortest time possible

Study Plan for Bachelor of Nursing (Graduate Entry)

Since the students already have their first bachelors degree, most liberal arts, general education and relevant courses required for the freshman and junior year curriculums are exempted. The reason behind this is that most 1st and 2nd years courses in baccalaureate program are similar therefore, no economic sense in repeating them.

In this view, most accelerated program matriculate students into the junior year of the nursing major. At this level, students take only upper division nursing courses that include classroom and clinical components. Due the accelerated nature of study, students are not advised to continue or take-up new employment opportunities.

Theory lessons are usually coupled with intensive clinical practicum sessions running hand in hand. For these students, there is hardly no time to concentrate on other things and calls for utmost dedication. Most classes consist of adult students hence, another common name adult nursing programs is also occasionally used.

Generally, second degree programs take utmost 2 years to complete but can run for as few as 12 months. Upon completion of the upper division nursing courses, students become eligible to write the NCLEX-RN exam to become registered nurses. They also earn a second baccalaureate nursing degree.

  • Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing

This also an entry level nursing pathway but differs from the former in that, students become enrolled as masters students. Under this program, graduates of non-nursing baccalaureate wishing to enter nursing at the graduate level are the targeted candidates.

Unlike the second degree nursing option, these do not necessarily have to take an accelerated mode. However, they have the advantage of by-passing most of the upper division nursing course requirements of the Bachelor of Science in nursing. Masters graduate entry level into nursing offers students the opportunity of choosing a specialty area or progressing as generalist.

Nurse Training Study Plan for Direct Entry MSN

Masters entry level nursing programs can take two forms. In the first study plan, students can take bridging courses that to enable them get matriculated into the Master of Science program. After this they may take a few more graduate courses before being eligible to sit for the NLCEX-RN exam to become registered nurses.

On the second plan, the curriculum may be designed to include a large percent of upper division nursing courses. These are given to the students to enable them become quickly eligible for the NCLEX-RN exam without taking any graduate courses. Courses in this second plan are usually applicable for curriculum requirements of both the MSN and BSN.

In rare cases, you may find a school awarding both a MSN and BSN degree upon completion of the program. The usual phenomenon is to graduate with the MSN alone.

Advanced Practice Nurse Training

This graduate nurse training is designed for already licensed registered nurses with associate degree or BSN in nursing degree. They do not carry as intensive practical training as the direct entry option since students already have prior nursing experience. For this option, students can pick from any of the four advanced practice registered nurse focus areas:

  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Certified Nurse Midwife
  • Clinical Nurse Anesthesia
  • Nurse Practitioner

Among other training dockets for this option is nurse educator, manager, executive, informatics, forensic among other specialties.

Please note that once students in the direct entry plan get matriculated into the MSN program, they are also free to choose from any of the above mentioned advanced practice specialties.

Nursing Continuing Education Requirements

What is Nursing Continuing Education (CE)?
As a nurse in a changing world, you must keep pace with changing trends and developments in the nursing and overall health care field. This is where continuing education comes in. CEs are required by all state boards of nursing to enable registered nurses to renew their licenses.

They are planned educational programs designed to equip nurses with current developments in nursing to ensure maintained and improved clinical performance. They are usually programs where participants engage in learning experiences beyond the entry-level. They can also be taken to enable nurses to diversify their nursing practice and develop knowledge and skills in a different nursing field.  When nurses participate in continuing education programs, they earn contact hours.

Contact Hours

It is a common thing to confuse a continuing education unit (CEU) and contact hours while both imply different things. You get contact hours after taking CEUs. A continuing education unit is on the other hand is not equivalent to one contact hour. Normally, 1 CEU can be between 1 to 10 contact hours depending on the time taken to complete it. Every state has a set number of contact hours required to meet licensure renewal for the different levels of nursing.

Factors Affecting Nursing Continuing Education Requirements

Meeting nursing CE requirements depend on a number of things:

Nursing Level

Depending on the level of nursing you are in, there will be different CE requirements. This means that renewing entry-level registered nurses’ licenses would require different CE from those of Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses LPN/LVN or even Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) licensure.

Continuing Education Units by state

As mentioned earlier, each state board of nursing has its own CE requirements for nurses at different levels. Some states may require many contact hours as compared to others. The state in which the nurse is licensed dictates the number of contact hours required for renewing the license. RNs and LPN/LVN seeking licenses in other states may benefit from compact state licenses. This gives a student a multi-state license without having to take CEUs from both states.

Level of Working Experience

Boards of nursing also have a set number of contact hours depending on the mode of working nurses have. Nurses who have been employed on a full-time basis during the license validity cycle require fewer contact hours than those that practice on a part-time basis.

Reason For Taking The CEUs

The reason for which a nurse is taking CE also dictates the number of contact hours needed for re-licensure.  Inactive/dormant nurses are usually required to take more contact hours than active nurses seeking reinstatement of their licenses.

Nursing Continuing Education Requirements by State

Below is a tabulated and simplified overview of the important nursing CE requirements on a state-to-state basis. You will notice that a number of states do not require nursing contact hours. Rather, nurses in those states require national certification to keep their nursing licenses valid and active.  The table also shows the number of years nurse licenses remain active until the next applicable renewal cycle. Since the information of CE requirements is bound to change at the sole discretion of a particular board of nursing, students may find it important to verify the information given in the table below.

State Renewal Cycle

Continuing Education  (CE)Requirements (contact hours )

Registered Nurses Advanced Practice Nurses
Alabama 2 24 hours of CE  Similar to RN +6 in pharmacology for Certified midwives & Nurse Practitioners
Alaska 2 Any two from:

30 hours of CE

30 hours of Professional Activities or

320 hours of employment

National Certification
Arizona 4 None National Certification
Arkansas Any one of below:

15 hours of CE

Recertification by a national certifying body or

Completion of Nurse Refresher Course

National Certification with preceptor authority
California 2 30 hours of CE NONE
Colorado 2 NONE National Certification
Connecticut 1 NONE National Certification
Delaware 2 30 hours of CE and 400 hours of clinical practice If National Certification is available:

1500 clinical hrs over the last 5 years

600 clinical hrs in the last 2 years or

Graduated within the last 2 years

If National Certification is Unavailable:

1000 clinical hrs in the last 2 years

NB: APNs with prescriptive authority must take 10 hrs of CE in addition to any one of the above requirements.
District of Columbia 2 24 hrs of CE 24 hrs of CE: 15 in pharmacology & 9 in specialty area
Florida 2 24 hrs of CE National Certification
Hawaii 2 NONE National Certification
Georgia 2 NONE National Certification
Idaho 2 NONE National Certification
Illinois 2 20 hrs of CE 50 hrs of CE
Indiana 2 24 hrs of CE, 6 each in Legal, Assessment, Documentation, and Pharmacology 30 hrs of CE, 8 in pharmacology
Iowa 3 36 hrs for license older than 3months

24 hrs for license less than 3months

Maintain National Certification from the credentialing body of the APRN
Kansas 2 30 hrs of CE 30 hrs of CE
Kentucky 1 14 hrs of CE and other requirements:

2 hrs of CE in HIV/AIDS every 10 yrs

14 hrs of CE or National Certification
Louisiana 1 10 hrs of CE for part-time nurses

5 hrs of CE for full-time nurses

10 hrs of CE for part-time nurses

5 hrs of CE for full-time nurses

Maine 2 None 75 hrs of CE
Maryland 2 None National Certification
Massachusetts 2 15 hrs of CE National Certification
Michigan 2 25 hrs of CE National Certification
Minnesota 2 24 hrs of CE National Certification
Mississippi 2 None National Certification
Montana 2 None National Certification
Montana 2 None 40 CEUs and an additional 10 CEUs for APRN  with prescriptive authority
Nevada 2 30 hrs of CE 30 hrs of CE and an additional 15 in APRN specialty
New Hampshire 2 30 hrs of CE 30 hrs of CE similar to RN and additional 30 hrs in APRN specialty
New Jersey 30 hrs of CE. Contact hours exceeding 30 can be carried over to the next cycle National Certification
New Mexico 2 30 hrs of CE 50 hrs of CE, 30 similar with RN and 20 for the APRN specialty
New York 2 3 hrs in infection control every 4yrs National Certification
North Carolina 2 30 hrs of CE National Certification
North Dakota 2 12 hrs of CE National Certification plus 15 hrs of CE for APRN with prescriptive authority
Ohio 2 24 hrs of CE RN CE plus National Certification
Oklahoma 2 None National certification

APRNs with prescriptive authority:

15 hrs of CE every 3 years

Oregon 2 7 hrs of CE in pain management Nurse Practitioners:100 hrs of CE

Clinical nurse Specialists with prescriptive authority: 100 Hrs of CE

Clinical Nurses Specialists without Prescriptive authority:40 hrs of CE

Other APRNs: 15 Hrs of CE

Pennsylvania 2 30 hrs of CE 30 hrs of CE
Rhode Island 2 10 hrs of CE National Certification
South Carolina 2 30 hrs of CE National Certification
South Dakota 2 None National Certification
Tennessee 2 None National Certification plus 3 hours in pharmacology
Texas 2 20 hrs of CE 20 hrs of CE

An additional 5 hours for those with limited prescriptive authority

Utah 2 At least 400 hrs of clinical practice, no CE

200-400 clinical hours: 15hrs of CE

0-200 clinical hours: 30 Hrs of CE

National Certification
Vermont 2 None National Certification
Virginia 2 None National Certification

Additional 8 hrs of CE for APRNs with prescriptive authority

Washington 2 45 hrs of CE plus 531 hours of clinical practice 30 hrs of CE

Additional 15 hrs of CE for APRNs with prescriptive authority

West Virginia 1 12 hrs of CE National Certification
Wisconsin 2 NONE National Certification

Additional 8 hrs of pharmacology CE for APRNs with prescriptive authority

Wyoming 2 None of 1600 hrs of clinical are met in the last 5 years

If no clinical hours, 20 Hrs of CE

National Certification  plus 30 hrs of CE or

60 hrs of CE plus 400 hours of clinical practice

Trauma Nurse Training

What a Trauma Nurse Does
Trauma nurse training leads to a specialty position, which falls under the heading of “Emergency Nurses.” A trauma nurse deals specifically with patients who are the victims of physical damage to the extent that trauma, either physical or emotional/mental, has set in. These nurses must be able to provide special care while diagnosing and treating injuries in emergency care situations, including head, muscle, organ, tissue, body or skeletal injuries.

In addition to such elementary triage on patients, they must also be able to cast and splint fractures and bone breaks, administer for shock symptoms, suture and provide bandaging for major and minor wounds, prepare the patients for surgeries, and even administer anesthesia in some cases.

The main purpose of a trauma nurse is to obviate the effects of trauma, a major contributor to shock, damage and death in the early stages of profound injury. This obviously requires a person who not only has the required medical training and experience, but can keep a cool head and an even temperament during the most trying emergency situations.

How to Train as a Trauma Nurse

All medical facilities expect Trauma nurses to be Registered Nurses first, and to hold a valid Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) license. You must therefore prepare for this specialty by completing RN training. In high school and preparatory college courses, you should emphasize mathematics and the sciences (biology, chemistry, anatomy);  onceyour education reaches college level, you should attend either a university with an accredited nursing program, or a nursing training facility with similar accreditation (once you have completed preliminary curriculum at college level).

As soon as you have passed the Registered Nursing examination for your state, you can attend any of a number of hands-on training courses in Trauma specializing.

Please note:  in order to certify as an RN, you must have completed at least 1,000 hours of hands-on clinical experience. Trauma nurse certification, depending on your state, will require at least 2,000 hours of clinical experience in an emergency room or trauma setting, and four thousand will be the preferred number experientially for you to be competitive in this job market.

Specific Areas of Trauma Nurse Training

Some specific hands-on experience and training you must achieve before being allowed to certify as a trauma nurse include the following areas:

–        The biomechanics of injury

–        Assessments and diagnosis

–        Airway and ventilation clearing

–        Shock treatments

–        Specific trauma treatments (for brain, face, neck, thorax, abdomen, spinal cord and skeleton)

–        Burn trauma treatments

–        Patients with special needs: aged, pregnant, child and infant

–        Care and transition of trauma patients

Many of these in-house trauma nurse training programs are offered by specific medical facilities where you train and/or are hired as an RN. The most frequent certification is from the TNCC (Trauma Nursing Core Course) programs. You must complete the examinations successfully as well, and TNCC verification is issued then from the American Board of Nursing Specialties.

You can subsequently train in your selected facility to obtain certification (again, an examination is required) as a TNS (Trauma Nurse Specialist), TNP (Trauma Nurse Practitioner) or even a TNCC instructor. This is also a step towards obtaining further certification as an ER nurse.

Job Outlook and Salary for the Trauma Nurse

The trauma nurse, as well as all other emergency medical technicians, has a job outlook that is “good” according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, growing “about as fast as the average” for all such occupations, an average of 9 percent between 2013 and 2018, and a median starting salary of approximately $60,000.

One reason the BLS feels that this figure may inflate beyond 9 percent is due to the increased crowding in emergency rooms throughout the country. More crowded ERs means more medical professionals, including trauma nurses, will be needed to spend additional time with patients before a doctor is able to see them, and also increases the demand for trauma with all their TNCC training in place, as much of it will become practical very quickly in an ER situation.

The trauma nurse job is not for everyone, obviously, but if you can work life-saving techniques in high-pressure situations you may be an excellent match to this challenging and life-giving profession, so trauma nurse training is something you should definitely consider.

Training courses for Nursery Nurses

Job Description of a Nursery Nurse
The Nursery Nurse should ideally be a Registered Nurse (RN), or an individual with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree; virtually all hiring posts for Nursery Nurses require this  (Nursery Nurse, incidentally, is the current term used in Great Britain; in the United States, the position is known as Newborn Nursery Nurse).  The NN is naturally accountable for the health of the child for whom she cares, but her role in the child’s development is also substantial.

A Nursery Nurse or Newborn Nursery Nurse is not only a medical professional, but also an assistant and advocate for a child in its early years (sometimes, if the family is able to afford one,  the position is a live-in job).  She assists the child not only in health problems and illnesses, and the development of healthy habits, but also in social skills (such as sharing and cooperation), physical development (fine and gross motor skills), intellectual cognition, creative abilities, emotional awareness and self-confidence.

She functions as nurse, teacher, advocate and “childhood expert.”  A foundation in early childhood education is highly desirable in this profession.

Training courses for Nursery Nurses

Post high school (and you hopefully did well in mathematics and such sciences as biology and chemistry, as these are mainstays of the nursing profession), you should at college level seek out a BSN degree or Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. Enroll in a nursing program that allows you to complete at least a Bachelor’s degree or an Associates Degree in nursing as well as the necessary classes for an RN classification.  The Master’s degree program, is even more desirable as virtually all competitive (and well-paying) job openings for Nursery and Newborn Nursery start at this level.

As you move into the BSN or MSN program, one of the qualifications for consideration in any nursing job is your clinical experience of 1,000 to 4,000 hours (the latter is ideal to make you competitive in the nursing job market).  This is where Nursery/Newborn Nursing is probably most beneficial for those who want to remain in child care, as it provides many hours of clinical experience with young children, but one does not always need a Bachelor’s degree in order to work under supervision in this field.

Working As a Nursery Nurse for Clinical Experience

An inexperienced individual can still work as a Nursery Assistant while enrolled in a nursing school, although Nursery Assistants seeking internships will be competitive only with an accredited nursing program in their future, either near completion or at least mid-way.  Frequently, assistants are not hired per se; they themselves arrange an internship or other suitable placement within a nursery, home or child care facility.

Ideally, both a Nursery assistant and Nursery Nurse should possess an Associate degree in Child Care, Learning and Development.

Nursery Nurses and Newborn Nursery Nurses are required, in addition to their nursing school completion, to be registered with the state in which they work, and achieve their NRP within the first few months of employment.

The NRP, incidentally, is a training course separate from the BSN and MSN, but one that is vital for the Nursery Nurse who may find herself in a situation where she must revive a choking or non-responsive infant or child.  NRP stands for Neonatal Resuscitation Program, and every nurse or doctor who works with the newborn must achieve competence in this technique.

Once you have completed your BSN and achieved the status of RN, specialization programs are open to you for further training in Newborn Nursery work, and you can further your education and experience as you complete an MSN program.

Job Outlook and Salary

Newborn Nursing (Nursery Nursing) is seeing a resurgence in recent years, according to the Bureau of Labor/Statistics.  They share a “favorable” job outlook with most other positions requiring an RN certification, and a growth potential up to 27% from 2008 to 2018 (based, no doubt, on the ever-increasing population of younger parents requiring child and nursery care).   Average median salary would fall at $67,720 approximately.

The training courses for Nursery Nurse should be your first step to a lively and rewarding career of caring for the young. 

Technology in Nursing Education

How is Technology Changing the Face of Nursing?
Imagine it’s 1999 (that’s when the movies predicted that we’d all have flying cars), and you’re visiting your doctor.  Your nurse sticks the thermometer in your mouth for up to three minutes, wraps the cuff around your arm (you have to take your shirt off to get it on properly) to take blood pressure.  She inflates the device by hand-pumping that little red bulb at the end of the tube, and she has you say “Ah” with the stick in your mouth.  She marks the readings in your chart (the doctor will see them later today), and she’s off.

Now it’s today.  Your thermometer is a metered reader that has a temperature in five seconds, your blood-pressure cuff slips over your shirt and is self-inflating, your “AH” stick is now a light, and the nurse is recording the information on the doctor’s website (and he can see it immediately).

That is merely the technology a patient sees in a single visit; imagine how much technological impact is found in current nurse education.

What Does This Mean to the Nursing Student? 

It means that swift technological changes in healthcare management require nurses to be not only competent, but cutting edge in using the latest technical tools to practice their patient care.  It also mandates any nursing programs out there to bring to its fledging nurses a complete set of training programs to aid in the assimilation and understanding of the new frontiers in medicine.

Nurses and educators alike must be aware of the technical implementations that are changing and developing every week, and affecting (and generally greatly improving) the quality and consistency of health care delivery.

What Are Some Ways Technology Will Affect My Nursing Education? 

To give an example: where previously a fledging nurse trainee might clutter up the operating theater by standing behind the doctor or watching from the upper seats, now she can see, via computer, a clinical simulation of the entire procedure, rendered in 3 dimensional CGI, a training session that not only introduces her to operating theater practices but plays out several scenarios of what might go wrong if incorrect decisions are made (try simulating that with a real patient!).

The same kind of simulative learning can be used in training for patient diagnosis, brainstorming for problem-solving, presenting ethical dilemmas and solutions, demonstrating triage and basic first care in emergency situations, and even (assuming the holographic equipment is available) a hands-on simulation where she interacts with the scene.

What Would Be Expected of a Nurse with a Technological Education? 

Say an administrative nurse, for example, has been trained in the technological paradigm (as distinguished from the assistive, medical or administrative model).  She should be able to identify strategies and technologies that improve the clinical practice of her facility.  She might also be expected to know techniques that would create more “learning realism” in computer-simulated experiences.  She might even be expected to create models of communication that allowed medical information to travel to colleagues with the same speed, and the same total technological involvement, of a process such as Twitter or FaceBook.

How would a regular nurse use technology in her education?  She would need to be thoroughly comfortable with computers, not only to record information and report to doctors and other colleagues, but to create and work out simulations, covering everything from a cancer growth or a baby’s ultrasound to a simple appendectomy or a complex spinal cord procedure.  Her studies might include virtual anatomy (the body and its organs studied under every possible stressor) or virtual sciences (25 separate chemical reactions documented without a single real chemical doing any harm to anyone).  The possibilities, as those old movies about futuristic societies once told us, are literally endless.

Should I Ensure that I Receive Technology in Nursing Education? 

You should insist on it!  Be absolutely sure that the nursing program you enroll in has the best possible simulations and the latest technological advances.  If they have them available, they’ll be proud to show them off.   If they won’t show them off, well, what does that tell you?

So make sure you receive training in Technology in Nursing Education; it’s the key to the future of nursing. 

School Nurse Training

School nurse training allows the school nurse to pursue a career far more vital than just handing out aspirin and band-aids. She is a specialized individual within the venue of professional nursing, one who ensures the health, success, strength and stability of the young students at her site, as well as promoting a pervasive school environment of safety, care and healthful practices.

School Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice

A school nurse’s first duties are to attend to injuries, incidents and illnesses of the students in the school. She must not only be an outstanding nurse in impromptu treatment and triage situations, swiftly diagnosing and treating student health problems (both actual and potential), she must also be prepared to work with other staff members to increase advocacy for student well being.

In the latter area, she must be able to refer serious health problems to the proper medical facility (and ensure the student’s transportation thereto), and she must act as an educator for faculty and community, insuring their understanding of the need for healthy and sustainable choices in their lives. She should be able to establish an excellent rapport with her charges, and with her peers in the school faculty and the nursing field. She is, in short, the first “line of defense” on a student’s way to the doctor’s office. She is also the only health professional some children see in the course of their day, as many have parents who lack health insurance or a regular medical provider.

How to Train as a School Nurse 

School nurse training begins early in your educational journey. If any form of nursing is your dream, the earlier you begin training, the better. You will need college level (or even high school level) classes in mathematics and the various sciences (with particular emphasis on biology and chemistry). Obviously attendance at a well-accredited nursing school is next, with particular emphasis on as much hands-on and on-site experience as possible; you should look for registered nursing training programs that offer extensive practical internships.

Your goal is to achieve a course completion as an RN (Registered Nurse). The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree training program will include:

–        Standard curriculum for college level students (again, emphasis on the sciences and math). Expect completion in one to two years.

–        Advanced nursing courses in health assessment, child/infant care and types of nursing, as well as medical ethics and advanced chemistry and biology. This may take another year.

–        Clinical experience in hospital and medical facilities, another year at the very least.

How to Certify as an RN

School systems generally require that their nurses should be RNs. This procedure involves the following requirements:

–        You must pass the NCLEX-RN, an examination for “categories of client needs.”

–        You must have at least 1,000 hours clinical practice experience.

–        You must pass your state’s RN examination.

–        You should be on track to obtain a Nurse practitioner certificate and Master’s degree in Nursing.

How to Certify as a School Nurse

In addition to the RN exam, you must pass a certification examination as a school nurse. This exam carries the following requirements:

–        Certification by NBCSN and completion of 1,000 hours school nursing practice experience (this is in addition to the 1,000 hours completed as an RN; many states recommend at least 4,000 hours or three academic internship years).

–        Pass the Certification examination for school nurses.

Clinical Practice Requirements for Nurses

There are two kinds of clinical practice available for the school nurse to fulfill requirements in hours. They include direct clinical practice (nursing in the school setting, particularly with special needs children) and indirect clinical practice (the clinical supervision of school nurses, and consultation in school nursing that enhances the practice—these are usually within the purview of an RN).

School Nurse Demand and Salary

There is high demand for school nurses now, particularly in special needs settings and special education schools. This demand is likely to increase in direct proportion to the increasing number of students with special needs, disabilities or chronic/acute health problems, as well as the number of students who receive health care exclusively at their schools because their parents lack health insurance.

The median salary for school nurses begins at $35,197 to $55,622, depending on the state in which you are employed and the school for which you work. All you need to begin this rewarding career is to enroll in a school nurse training in a program near you.

SANE Nurse Training

What is SANE Nurse?
SANE means Sexual Assault Nursing Examiner. SANE nurse training prepares you for examining, assessing and especially caring for victims of sexual assault. You are dealing with living individuals, and you must be able to gain their trust and establish both a professional and caring rapport quickly. You do this because your examination will be evidentiary, forensic and invasive, as you gather evidence of sexual assault both for treatment purposes and criminal prosecutions. This examination and set of diagnostics can be traumatic for the victim, as many of them “relive” the experience in the examination.

The Sexual Assault Nursing Examiner must be on call 24 hours, and may frequently work for a program that coordinates with a rape crisis center. The examiner’s proximity to the care facility is vital; she must be there no later than an hour after the victim’s arrival. The double duties of this post are essential but difficult: you must, in a professional way, obtain forensic evidence, while similarly offering crisis intervention strategies and counseling, including testing for STI, drug testing (if a “date rape” or similar drug is suspected) and possible emergency contraception (if, for example, the patient wishes a “24 pill” to obviate possible pregnancy).

How to Train to be a SANE Nurse

To begin, you are training to be an RN, as no one approaches this field without at least RN certification from the American Board of Nursing. To achieve the certification of RN, you should begin early (in high school or college at the latest) with basic classes in mathematics and the sciences (biology, chemistry, anatomy and forensic medicinal procedures, if available).

At college level, you should register with an accredited Nursing training programor through a major university that offers, at the very least, a Bachelor of Science (BSN) degree level certification. Please note that an associate’s degree will not be sufficient to allow you to be competitive in the Forensic nursing field; similarly, a Master’s level in Forensic nursing is hugely advantageous.

After at least two years of advanced courses in medical ethics, care and advanced sciences, you should be prepared to spend at least two years invested in hands-on clinical experience in hospital and rape crisis settings.

Most RNs have a basic requirement of at least 1,000 hours to complete certification; specializations in nursing (including SANE and other Forensic examiner positions) require at least another 1,000 hours (the ideal level is 4,000 to be job-competitive in the field, obviously involving a huge amount of time in your training and education).

Specific Training for SANE certification

There are numerous programs in crisis centers, medical facilities and even online to offer SANE nurse training for beginners, but your 4,000 or so hours of hands-on clinical work should specialize in the following disciplines. These are recommended by American Forensic Nurses for training in certification as a Forensic Examiner or SANE nurse:

–        Identify/collect forensics evidence within the health care setting, maintain its viability for legal use.

–        Establish communication with victim advocates, law enforcement and the judicial members of the forensic team

–        Learn treatment techniques for triage and emergency interventions for victims of assault

–        Know basic policies/procedures for conducting evidentiary exams with child and adult victims

–        Know psychologically sound counseling and care methods for victims

What the SANE Nurse Can Expect as Job Outlook and Salary

The Bureau of Labor/Statistics tends to gather all emergency room and trauma examiners in the same category of Emergency Technicians; this includes the SANE nurse and Forensic Examiner. Their job future looks significantly favorable, as many emergency rooms are suffering from overcrowding; these facilities, as well as rape crisis centers, are constantly hiring specialized staff to deal with specific traumas, including those of sexual abuse. This need may push the job growth rate far beyond the projected 9 percent for 2008-2018.

At start, the SANE nurse can expect between $11.13 to 18.28 per hour; however, the experienced SANE nurse (especially with the advanced degree training) can command an hourly wage of between $26 and $100 at her highest level of expertise. The average yearly salary is around $70,000.

The job is a challenging juggle of technique, skill, tact and caring, but SANE nurse trainingwill be immensely rewarding for the right individual.

Nurse Leadership Training

The positions of Nurse Leader (NL) and Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) are relatively new, and were developed to move experienced Registered Nurses into leadership positions.  It was recognized early on that, once they are bedside or at the operating table, the opportunity for realizing leadership potential for most Registered Nurses was gone, as the role of nurse is necessarily a subservient one.  These positions fill that gap; a NL is an RN who is a leader in management and finances.

Nurse Leadership Training in Universities

Most universities with accredited nursing programs now offer advanced coursework in Clinical Nurse Leadership training, designed to train the Registered Nurse (RN) to serve both as clinical resource for her facility and health care team facilitator, as well overseer for caregivers.   The advanced coursework includes the following paradigms:

-Health policies, their application and financing

-Clinical outcomes and how to manage and coordinate them

-Cost effective management of the medical facility’s environment

-Leadership in facilitating and coordinating a nursing team.

-The health care delivery system and how to augment/improve it at your site

-Evidence-based nursing and how to integrate its practices into the medical routine

The training courses involve situational ethics and management of outcomes, introducing the new NL to the most common situational problems she will face in her career as a leader and problem solver.   The university training for a NL is approximately 2 to 3 years, and culminates with the examination for, and achievement of, the Nurse Leader certification (CNL certificate) as recognized by the CNC (Commission on Nurse Certification).

What are some Online Nurse Leadership Training Programs?

Many Nurse Leadership Training Programs are found online, such as:

  • Leadership and Stewardship in the Health Professions, a program whose emphasis is upon the management paradigms and working as a leader with a large staff, available from Online School NLTP.  There is also Economics of Healthcare Management and Policy, a separate training that emphasizes economics.
  • NurseLEAD invites participants practice specific leadership skills learned online in the workplace.  Available from LeadingAge/AAHSA.
  • The Minority Nurse Leadership Institute, an online training specifically to nurses in minorities, available from the Rutgers nursing school website; in addition to management and financial training, it also equips nurses of color to override the possible barriers they may encounter to employment as a leader or in the workplace once they are hired.

After Training, What Are The Typical Nurse Leadership Expectations?

As one might expect, the NL position is highly competitive, and as with many such positions, it variable, and full-time (12 hour), shifts.  But expectations for the trained NL go beyond this, specifically in financial and in management paradigms.

The NL in a medical facility is expected to serve as a care delivery leader, designing and coordinating care programs for individual patients, with assessment and evaluation of her own program included in the workday.  The NL also predicts the needs for patient care and plans for its modification based on acuity/care trends, the educational needs of her staff and, naturally, the patient outcomes.

Most hospitals, in addition to leadership of a staff, are looking for cost effective candidates who can manage budgeting and evidentiary changes in the medical routine (that is, changes that evidence demonstrates as necessary).  As well, most employers are seeking individuals who show efficient resource utilization.

Nurse Leadership Job Outlook and Salary

The job outlook for Nurse Leader and Clinical Nurse Leader is referenced through the Bureau of Labor/Statistic as identical to that of a Registered Nurse (a 9% to 26% projected growth from 2013 to 2018).  All the salary earnings noted are lower than those of other leadership positions in nursing, such as NP (nurse practitioner) or CNS (Clinical Nurse Specialist); however, this is probably due to the fact that the new position does not allow for figures based on seniority (the data is from new CNLs with little advancement).  The listed average national salary for a Nurse Leader is $82,000.

If you are an experience RN, Nurse Leader Training might just be the step up you need to a better and more fulfilling leadership position, one that recognizes your potential and plays to your strengths. 

Nurse Aide Training in Cincinnati

What does a State Tested Nurse Assistant (also known as Nurse Aide, Home Health Aide, Certified Nurse Assistant) Do?
The certified nurse aide is a skilled observer who attends to the physical needs of the hospitalized patient.

The aide assists the nurse with patient care in the following ways:

–        Make the bed as needed, at least daily, and assist the patient with bath needs

–        Assist the patient with mobility and toileting needs

–        Assist the patient with eating

–        Transporting the patient throughout the hospital

–        Monitoring pulse, blood pressure and temperatures, and respiration of the patient, sometimes on an hourly basis

–        According to the facility, dispensing medications and assisting with bandages and wound care

–        Measure input and output of the patient, including all liquids and solids

Education Requirements for the State Tested Nursing Assistant

Ohio doesn’t have nurse aides; they have State Tested Nursing Assistants.  To qualify for the certification, you have to complete a 75-hour nurse aide training course over a four-week period of time.  Each class meets daily from 8 a.m. to noon and includes classroom instruction and on-the-job training with supervision.

After completion of the classes, the State Testing is offered by D & S Diversified Technologies.  Their fees change each year but the current costs are $24 for the written portion, $34 for the oral portion, and $76 for the skills test.  This test must be completed and passed within 24 months of completing the coursework.  A current CPR certificate is also required to be employed.

In some states, like Tennessee, you may challenge the STNA testing without the coursework if you have already worked as a nursing assistant for more than 24 months or have completed one year of nursing school.

If you have worked as a medic in the armed forces, you can provide your DD-214 and challenge the education requirements.  The state will usually let you take the test without the coursework.

Salary for a Nurse Aide In Cincinnati

Starting salary in Ohio for an STNA is $11.45 per hour, which is approximately $32,000 per year.  Overtime and holiday pay will be extra and many opportunities will be given to work double shifts.  Home health aides make $2.25 per hour more and there is usually a shift differential offered for working overnights.

Where Can I Work as a Nurse Aide In Cincinnati?

There is a shortage of nurses in the United States so the field for STNA or nurse aides is also wide open.  Hospitals in Cincinnati that are hiring nurse aides include Mercy Health, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Good Samaritan Medical Center, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Tri-Health, and University Hospital.  Nursing homes that employ STNAs include Beechwood Homes, Twin Towers, Hyde Park Health Center, Oak Pavilion Nursing Home, Anderson Nursing Home, and Little Sisters of the Poor facilities. Any duty that can be accomplished by the STNA is one less nurse that must be employed for the more onerous tasks.

What Does the Training Cost for a Nurse Aide in Cincinnati?

Costs for the schools vary from region to region, but most average $800 to $1,000 for the course.  The State Testing will be an additional fee.  Some of the schools offer a low payment program that you pay $100 down and $100-200 each week until the course is completed.  Cincinnati Home Care charges $500, books and uniforms may cost extra.  Cincinnati State offers all-inclusive training for $918.  The Health Care Management Group offers free training, but there is a waiting list and costs for books, uniforms, and certification.

Can I Move Up In the Hospital?

Although a hospital has many jobs, the STNA is a specialized position that does not transfer to other positions.   After you have been employed at the hospital for their specified period of time you can transfer into other parallel positions, if you have the skills requested.  The knowledge you have received as an STNA will be helpful when training in other areas, like stocking surgical supplies or assisting in surgery by holding vital organs.

If you wish to have more technical nursing duties that pay a larger wage, you will need to become a licensed practical nurse or a licensed vocational nurse.  This requires additional classroom instruction and certification.

Some hospitals will pay the fees for the practical nurse schooling if you have a good work record and employment status.  Likewise, if you wish to move from a licensed practical nurse into a registered nurse position it will require a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, another set of classes, and state examinations.  Your employer will likely reimburse you for these costs if you have already been employed as an STNA.

Benefits of Continuing Nursing Education

Just as you had continual education to obtain a position as a Registered Nurse, so you must continue your education as a nurse.  The nursing continuing education requirements vary from state to state. On average, most states require twenty to thirty hours of continuing education for a nurse in a Registered Nurse (RN) position, currently employed or working at least part-time in the nursing field.  This renewal is usually required every one to two years, depending upon the state in which you are employed.

The variance is great between states. For example, Louisiana bases CE (continuing education) requirements upon employment. If you are employed full time, you must complete five hours of education (called “contact hours”) per year; if you are part time, it extends to 10 hours, and if you work only 160 hours or less per year (effectively unemployed for most of the time, at least as a nurse), you must have 15 contact hours.

Contrast that with states such as Illinois, which requires 20 hours every two years regardless of employment, or Maryland, which demands “approved refresher courses” each year, or Oklahoma, which has no CE requirement whatsoever.

With so much variety, you may be tempted, if you are “shopping for a state,” so to speak, to pick one such as Oklahoma, thinking to yourself that you can lean back and bask in the shade of an RN certification that is, for all intents and purposes, permanent.

We really don’t advise that, nor do we adhere to the idea that you should only fulfill minimum requirements of per annum hours of contact and training.

And we’d like to tell you why.

Extended Nursing Continuing Education, and Why It’s a Good Idea

You have encountered minimalists all your life: the people who do the required work and absolutely no more, the ones who take the extended lunches, ask you to fill out the form and call back tomorrow, and generally make up the mediocrity squad at their place of work. Well, nursing continuing education requirements don’t allow for minimalists.

We’d like to think, if you’re reading this article with an eye to being a better RN, you’re better than a minimalist.  So we have some reasons why you should continue your education as a nurse far beyond the requirements:

-It makes you more saleable.  There is nothing more attractive to a boss in a teeming job market than the individual who can show a lot of experience; it means you can easily and quickly fit into the routine, and you won’t cost the hospital a lot of money in training.

-It makes you more knowledgeable. Added expertise and learning benefits you, gives you an edge in care and responsibility and sets you apart from the ordinary RN.

-It literally gives you better patient empathy. Patients are fine with a good bedside manner, but they respond to a professional who knows what is going on.

Convinced? Good. Now, where do you get this continuing education?

Nursing Continuing Education and Where You Find It

Most professional settings, including hospitals, crisis centers and any other medical facilities will offer what some businesses call the “go-getter” wall.  You may have seen it; it’s the wall, bulletin board or announcement space that tells you about all those upcoming workshops, seminars, webinars and continuing professional meetings that will offer you exactly the kind of continuing education, new knowledge and cognitive dissonance you want to advance in your profession.

You’re bound to find something to make you more saleable, knowledgeable and empathetic.

Job Outlook for the Educated Nurse

If you doubt the efficacy of continuing education, here’s a nugget from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics: the average salary of an RN is $60,000, whereas the average salary of a Nurse Leader (someone who put in more time than you) is $85,000 and higher.  Could you use an extra $25,000 a year?

Nursing Continuing Education Requirements should not be painful; they’re a step to a better future as a better nurse.  

Nursing Postgraduate Courses

Nursing postgraduate courses are the courses available to nurses that already have a bachelor’s of science in nursing. These courses are designed to help registered nurses advanced their careers, and provide them the opportunities to become Nurse practitioners, Nurse anesthetists, Nurse midwives, Forensic nurses, Psychiatric nurses and Nurse educators.

These are only a handful of the career possibilities for nurses with advanced degrees. Some schools have postgraduate programs that allow nurses to specialize in different ways, while others just offer master’s or doctorate degrees in nursing, and certificate programs in specialized areas.

The Nursing Shortage’s Impact on Nursing Postgraduate Courses

There’s a nursing shortage going on, and it has impacted literally every area of the industry. Experts predict that the world will be short roughly one million nurses by 2020, and 580,000 of those will be needed in the U.S. alone. Schools and state organizations have been working overtime to help crank out registered nurses and licensed practical nurses to meet hospital demand, but many nursing postgraduate courses have suffered as a result. A lot of nurses are choosing to go work for hospitals that can offer big sign-on bonuses, instead of staying in school to teach. As a result, a lot of postgraduate nursing courses are seriously shorthanded. Many of them have even had to be suspended as a result, until schools can find enough teachers to fill them.

Though nursing postgraduate courses aren’t always easy to find, they’re worth looking for. Nurses with postgraduate degrees earn more money, and have far more employment opportunities than nurses without them. If nurses choose to enter a postgraduate program, they can help fight the nursing shortage by practicing nursing after graduation, or working for a school as a nurse educator, to help turn out more qualified nurses.

How Nursing Postgraduate Courses Can Expand Your Scope of Practice

Every level of nursing has a scope of practice determined by a state’s Board of Nursing. The more education a nurse has, the more he or she is allowed to do. Advanced practice registered nurses can do more than registered nurses, and registered nurses can do more than licensed practical nurses. Postgraduate nursing courses give nurses the educational backgrounds they need to advance their careers, and have a larger scope of practice.

Nurse practitioners can actually function as a person’s primary care provider in many states, just like a regular physician. Nurse midwives are able to provide reproductive care to women from puberty to menopause. Both of these nurses can do everything that a doctor can, with the exception of surgery. Without a postgraduate degree, such a wide scope of practice isn’t possible.

Finding Worthwhile Nursing Postgraduate Programs

Not all postgraduate programs are worth enrolling in. Most nurses are already familiar with their state’s Board of Nursing, which will make finding a good postgraduate program easier. The sad fact is that some schools choose to misrepresent themselves as having Board of Nursing approval, even though they don’t. Since it’s hard to find teachers qualified to teach a Board-approved course, this means that a student can end up unwittingly enrolling in classes that won’t actually allow her or him to become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).

To avoid falling into that trap, always cross-reference any nursing postgraduate courses with your state’s Board of Nursing’s list of approved programs. Most Boards of Nursing have the attitude that it is up to a student to research their nursing courses before enrollment, so they will not be responsible for students that end up graduating from a useless program.

Nursing postgraduate programs give nurses the opportunity to do more with their careers than be RNs or LPNs. Postgraduate programs cover a variety of fascinating topics, from psychiatry, to forensics, to oncology, and allow nurses to decide exactly what area of medicine they want to devote themselves to. After becoming APRNs, nurses can command higher salaries, be eligible for more advanced positions, and have larger scopes of practice. Though it may not always be easy to find a good postgraduate nursing course, the end result is worth the search.

Nursing Certifications List

There’s more to nursing than becoming a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, or advanced practice registered nurse. Various nursing certifications allow nurses to indicate that they have graduated from a nursing degree program, and went on to specialize in one or more areas of medicine. The complete degree, credential, and nursing certifications list is over two hundred entries long, and includes all of the postnominal designations that a nurse can get, like BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) and MSN (Master of Science in Nursing).

When it comes to the certifications list alone, nurses can obtain:

  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support Certification
  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner- Board Certified
  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification
  • AIDS Certified Registered Nurse
  • Advanced Disaster Life Support
  • Advanced Legal Nurse Consultant
  • Adult Nurse Practitioner- Board Certified
  • Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse
  • Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner
  • Advanced Oncology Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Advanced Public Health Nurse- Board Certified
  • Basic Life Support Certification
  • Basic Disaster Life Support Certification
  • Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner
  • Course in Advanced Trauma Nursing- Provider
  • Course in Advanced Trauma Nursing- Instructor
  • Certified Ambulatory Perianesthesia Nurse
  • Certified Addictions Registered Nurse
  • Certified Bariatric Nurse
  • Certified Continence Care Nurse
  • Certified Case Manager
  • Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Certified Critical Care Nurse
  • Certified Clinical Transplant Coordinator
  • Certified Clinical Transplant Nurse
  • Certified Critical Care Transportation Nurse
  • Certified Developmental Disabilities Nurse
  • Certified Diabetes Educator
  • Certified Disability Management Specialist
  • Certified Dialysis Nurse
  • Certified Director of Nursing Administration/Long Term Care
  • Certified in Electronic Fetal Monitoring
  • Certified Emergency Nurse
  • Certified Enterostomal Therapy Nurse
  • Certified Foot Care Nurse
  • Certified Forensic Nurse
  • Certified Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Flight Registered Nurse
  • Certified Health Education Specialist
  • Certified Gastroenterology Nurse
  • Certified Gasteroeterology Registered Nurse
  • Certified Hemodialysis Nurse
  • Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse
  • Certified Hyperbaric Registered Nurse
  • Certified in Infection Control
  • Certified Lactation Counselor
  • Certified Legal Nurse Consultant
  • Certified Medical Assistant
  • Certified Midwife
  • Cardiac Medicine Certification
  • Certified Managed Care Nurse
  • Certified MDS Coordinator
  • Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse
  • Certified in Nursing Administration
  • Certified Nurse Educator
  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Certified Nurse Life Care Planner
  • Certified Nurse Midwife
  • Certified Nurse Manager and Leader
  • Certified in Nephrology Nursing
  • Certified Nurse, Operating Room
  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Certified Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified in Neonatal Pediatric Transport
  • Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Certified Nutrition Support Nurse
  • Certified Ostomy Care Nurse
  • Certified Occupational Health Nurse
  • Certified Occupational Health Nurse/Case Manager
  • Certified Occupational Health Nurse- Specialist
  • Certified Occupational Health Nurse- Specialist/Case Manager
  • Certified Otorhinolaryngology Nurse
  • Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse
  • Certified Peritoneal Dialysis Nurse
  • Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse
  • Certified in Professional Healthcare Quality
  • Certified Pediatric Nurse
  • Certified Pediatric Nurse Associate
  • Certified Practical Nurse, Long-Term Care
  • Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse
  • Certified Plastic Surgical Nurse
  • Certified Radiologic Nurse
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
  • Certified Registered Nurse First Assistant
  • Certified Registered Nurse Intravenous
  • Certified Registered Nurse, Long-Term Care
  • Certified Registered Nurse in Opthalmology
  • Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse
  • Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse- Advanced
  • Cardiac Surgery Certification
  • Certified Specialist in Poison Information
  • Certified in Thanatology
  • Certified Transcultural Nurse
  • Certified Transport Registered Nurse
  • Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist
  • Certified Urologic Associate
  • Certified Urologic Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Certified Urologic Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Urologic Registered Nurse
  • Certified Vascular Nurse
  • Certified Wound Care Nurse
  • Certified Wound, Ostomy, Continence Nurse
  • Certified Wound Specialist
  • Clinical Specialist
  • Emergency Nursing Pediatric Course
  • Enterostomal Therapist
  • Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
  • General Pediatric Nurse
  • Holistic Nurse, Certified
  • International Board for Quality in Healthcare Certification
  • International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant
  • Intensive Care Certification
  • Intensive Neonatal Care Certification
  • Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator
  • Legal Nurse Consultant, Certified
  • Licensed School Nurse
  • Long Term Care LPN
  • Licensed Vocational Nurse
  • Menopause Educator
  • Mental Health Nurse
  • Mobile Intensive Care Nurse
  • National Certified School Nurse
  • Nurse Executive- Board Certified
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Practitioner, Certified
  • Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric
  • Oncology Certified Nurse
  • Orthopedic Nurse Certified
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support
  • Progressive Care Certified Nurse
  • Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Public Health Nurse
  • Pre-Hospital Registered Nurse
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Registered Nurse, ANCC Board Certified
  • Registered Nurse, AACN Certified
  • Registered Nurse Certified in Low Risk Neonatal Nursing
  • Registered Nurse Certified in Maternal Newborn Nursing
  • Registered Nurse Certified in Neonatal Intensive Care
  • Registered Nurse Certified in Inpatient Obstetrics
  • Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner- Adult
  • Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner- Pediatric
  • State Enrolled Nurse
  • Trauma Nursing Core Course Instructor
  • Trauma Nursing Core Course Provider
  • Telephone Nursing Practitioner
  • Trauma Nurse Specialist
  • Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Wound Care Certified

These are all certifications or credentials, but not all of them are intended to be appended to a nurse’s name. Some are awarded at the state level (like Registered Nurse, which comes after passing the NCLEX-RN), while others are awarded by independent  certification bureaus.

More About Certifications

Certification is not always required for practice. For example, some states may require a nurse to be a registered nurse to work with oncology patients, but may not require him or her to be an Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse. Your state’s Board of Nursing can direct you to which certifications are mandatory for practicing in your state, and which are not.

Even when they aren’t necessary, getting one or more of the certifications on the nursing certifications list can make a nurse more marketable to potential employers, and able to command a higher salary. Certifications show ambition and dedication on the nurse’s part, and can open up a world of new job opportunities.

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Nurse Technician Training

Nurse Technician Job Description
A Nurse Technician is supervised by a registered nurse (an RN); the position itself was created for most nursing students working to achieve their RN license while completing clinical experience hours.  It is probably the very best job one can achieve in terms of moving up the ranks to RN, and getting invaluable experience in post-operative and surgical work.

The Nurse Technician is responsible first for patient care, assisting them in bathing and eating, checking vital signs and keeping them under observation, while reporting results to their RN supervisor.   The NT also prepares surgical and patient rooms, moves patients to examining rooms or to surgical operating theaters, and is responsible for the sterility of the equipment used.

They may also, if permitted by state law, administer medications or assist doctors in examinations.

Nurse Technician Training

Since this position was developed specifically to help nursing students, a candidate should, after completing college level courses in the sciences (mathematics, anatomy, chemistry, biology, etc.), enroll in a nursing program, either BSN for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or MSN for the preferred (and more competitive) Master’s level.

Once enrolled as a student nurse, most applicants are allowed to begin training as a Nurse Technician after a year in nursing school.  One step along the way in the training is to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA), a certificated program one can complete in addition to nursing.  You thus re-create yourself, in a sense, into a person who is employable by hospitals and nursing homes.

As your bachelor degree work progresses, you will work under the following paradigms, all designed to augment training as a Nurse Technician:

-Standard curriculum at college level (again, emphasis on the sciences), to be completed in two years.

-Advanced courses in health assessment and care of special populations (geriatric, disadvantaged, infant and child care) as well as medical ethics.

-Clinical experience in crisis centers, hospitals, medical facilities or nursing homes.

The last requirement is the most difficult, in that RN training at the minimum requires 1,000 hours of clinical experience, and the competitive ideal should be at least 4,000.  It is here that training and the professions merge, as the Nurse Technician accrues those hours in her newly created position.

If you don’t want to be an RN, there are separate schools specifically for Nurse Technicians; these programs are usually adjunctive to, and can be registered in, any nursing training school or any accredited university with a nursing program.  Frequently, Nurse Technician training is used for a prospective health worker to “get a feel” for nursing and assistance in a hospital or medical setting.

The Nurse Technician’s Exam

There’s always a test or certificate to earn in nursing, no matter what status or step you are on, and the NT is no exception.  This certification is administered through the NHA (National Health career Association) and is a nationally acknowledged achievement.  What really looks good, and proclaims your interest and commitment to the NT’s career, is the fact that the certification exam is voluntary.

Once certified, you can continue up the ladder to RN, or remain where you are as an NT; both positions are recognized in the medical profession, and both are steps to other specialties, if the candidate desires to move on.

Nurse Technician Job Outlook and Salary

Because Nurse Technician is recognized as a step that many take on the way to RN, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics rates it in the same “favorable” category as RN, in that growth is expected anywhere from 9% to 27% and beyond.  This expansion will probably be due to the overcrowding of medical facilities throughout the country, and the need to hire new staff.

The salary of a Nurse Technician, due to its assistive nature and the lack of degree work required, is considerably less than the $60,000 average for an RN.  The national average for an NT is $28,410, with wide variance from state to state.

Nurse Technician training should be a first step to a much higher and well-paying career as an RN, but it is a great “dip in the pool” for someone just wanting to get the idea, and the routine, behind nursing. 

Neonatal Nursing Continuing Education

As you probably know, states have continuing education requirements for all nurses, neonatal nursing continuing education is just one of these requirements. Most of these are 20 to 30 hours of CE every year or, at most, two years; some of the required CE is based upon current employment, some is worked out on an hourly basis, and one state (Oklahoma) has no CE requirements at all.

But neonatal nursing is different, and the continuing education it demands is a separate paradigm from “state requirements.”

When you became an RN, prior to your specialization in neonatal nursing, it may have seemed to you like your educational requirements were endless.

Well, they were, and they still are.

Nursing, particularly in insuring the care and well-being of the very young, is one field that demands continual education, far beyond the minimal requirements of CE (continuing education).  We consider neonatal nursing, a field that has new developments and innovations occurring on a weekly basis, as needing not just continuing (ongoing) education but continual (never-ending) education.

Why Neonatal Nursing Continuing Education Is Vital

A pop quiz:  Have you ever studied the effects of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, and do you know proper procedures for an infant with this condition?  If you are a neonatal nurse, the answer to that question had better be “yes,” especially since it is incumbent on you as an infant’s caregiver to recognize symptoms for early detection and thoroughly understand proper care procedures.

Yet Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome is a relatively new development, first reported on the medical scene in 2005.  A neonatal nurse or midwife of ten years ago would not have known about it; however, drug addicted mothers, and their unfortunate children, have been around a lot longer than seven years.

That is why neonatal nursing continuing education is so vital; new developments, procedures and infant conditions are being reported on a monthly basis in some cases, and no nurse who cares for infants and the newborn can afford not to have a thoroughly understanding of these new revelations in neonatal care.

The Effects of Neonatal Nursing Continuing Education on Your Nursing Career

As a nurse who is already far past the RN stage and specializing in a single field, you are no minimalist, and you probably have never done measures by half.  If you subscribe to the idea that continuing knowledge and cognitive dissonance (that pain you get when you think new ideas) are a part of the job, you are on the right path, we believe.

If you still need convincing, there are reasons beyond the need for knowledge:

-You achieve a sense of balance as a neonatal nurse: you know exactly what to do in a given situation and what role you play in a crisis or medical problem with an infant or newborn.

-You achieve a sense of empathy towards your patients and their families, the kind of authority, patience and understanding that new parents respond to, far beyond a good “bedside manner.”

-You achieve a sense of advancement, as a professional and as a valuable commodity to your unit and supervisors.

All of this translates to benefits for you, your patients, your medical team and your facility.  Now, find out where to get this continuing education.

Neonatal Nursing Continuing Education Programs & Courses

Your medical facility should offer seminars, workshops or webinars on a regular basis, educational opportunities to expand your knowledge and value as a neonatal nurse, and which you must take advantage of in order to be the best in your specialty.

Job Outlook for the Well-Educated Neonatal Nurse

Continuing education is not without its financial rewards: an experienced neonatal nurse, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, commands an annual salary that averages $25,000 above that of an RN ($50,761 for an RN in a Neonatal ICU vs. $79, 638 for a Neonatal NP).

Professionalism pays, and neonatal nursing continuing education is utterly necessary to make you a top flight newborn/infant medical professional. 

Nursing Administration Continuing Education Options

In those early days of nursing, when you had an RN certificate and no more, you had continuing educational requirements.  The nursing administration continuing education requirements are even more extensive. You might remember them as an RN, based on the state in which you worked: 20 to 30 contact hours a year were required of you, and that time was spent honing your skills, attending group sessions and generally feeling that painful cognitive dissonance that showed you were learning something new about the nursing profession.

As a leader, your responsibility has doubled.  It is now doubly true that you must stay on top of the game, in terms of innovations not only in health care and education but also in management and team coordination.  That is why your continuing education is vital for you, your hospital team and your facility.

There are several reasons for this.

Why Nursing Administration Continuing Education is Necessary

Specializing nurses, such as Trauma or Neonatal, go through yearly training sessions to bone up on skills, discover innovations and refine techniques to care for their patients.

Your focus is double that:

-As a leader, you’ve had extensive practical, clinical and educational experience; that learning does not simply rest inside you, but needs cognitive resonance to continue.  In other words, to be effective, we MUST learn new things continually.

-You not only have health and patient issues to deal with every day, but also a staff of nurses who require business and administration skills, in scheduling, ideas, resolutions and problem adjudication.

-As a management leader, you have a third concern besides administration and nursing: morale and the emotional side of medicine.  You must understand the behavioral, mental and spiritual underpinnings of those in your charge, as surely as you need to understand the emotive natures of patients in order to be an effective nurse.

Now, what are some of the educational paradigms you need to continue effectively?

Kinds of Nursing Administration Continuing Education

Nursing administration continuing education needs are seldom answered by simple seminars; it is necessary to align yourself to a management philosophy that is itself aligned to the medical facility you serve.  In other words, your continuing education allows you to actualize the philosophies of management and nursing, and realize them with your team.

This means that your continuing education will follow several lines:

-Organizational structure and how to improve it

-Management principles and cooperative participation

-Methods of open and effective communication

-Allowing empowerment and decision making at every level

-Knowing the research and publication paradigm, and its necessity to successful nursing

-Team building and collaboration in multiple disciplines.

As they probably said to you when you first saw the nursing program syllabus, “That ought to keep you busy.”

Some Nursing Administration Continuing Education Options

Here are two suggested content areas for a nursing administrator to explore in seeking continuing education.

-The Master’s Degree for Nursing Executives:  chances are you already have an MSN program behind you, which gave you a Master’s in Nursing.  Now it’s time to travel to the next educational level in expertise and new thought.

-The Doctoral Degree for Nursing Executives:  Not all doctors wear lab coats; a doctoral degree not only administrates but also teaches other fledging administrators, and a Doctorate in this field allows you to innovate for yourself in researching and developing new and vital paradigms and methodologies in the nursing field.

Job Outlook and Salary for the Nursing Administrator

The job outlook for Nurse Executive and Nursing Administrator is noted on the website for the Bureau of Labor/Statistics as being close to the same as a Registered Nurse (a 9% to 26% projected growth from 2008 to 2018).

In salary, however, there are enormous gains (most of the reported salaries are lower than final expectations, since most Nursing Administrators are new to the job).  The listed average national salary for a Nurse Leader and Administrator is ranged at $82-89,000 but this is certain to increase as seniority and training are factored in.

Someone once said, “Leadership is for life.”  Hopefully you now realize that Nursing Administration Continuing Education is a lifelong task as well.  

Learning Disability Nurse Training

What Does a Learning Disability Nurse do?
A Learning Disability Nurse (LDN) helps individuals with learning disabilities to live normal, active and full lives.  She will work with a team, a multidisciplinary support group whose function is to facilitate help and engage people with learning disabilities.  The job itself, and venues for training, are mostly centered in Great Britain, as the professional title arose in response to the disabled community in the British Isles and the need of immediate and continual care for that special population.

It is primarily work that is centered in residential or community settings, rather than hospitals; with younger children, the LDN may find herself placed in a school setting.

The LDN might be called upon to help a disabled individual with daily living tasks such as feeding, bathing and toilet, as well as cleaning, laundry and shopping.  An LDN might also advocate for her disabled patients, recommend improvements for their living quarters and otherwise help them achieve greater self-advocacy.

The LDN will also take on education and training for the disabled patients, in particular training in life skills and venues to employment.   She might organize activities, plan outings or assist with family interactions.  She will also report regularly to her team members in the field, as well as assist (or perform) assessments, reviews and admissions to medical facilities or treatment centers.

There is usually a shift schedule of varying lengths, since the LDN is required to be on call 24 hours.

Learning Disability Nurse Training

Most accredited nursing programs that are based out of universities in Great Britain carry some forms of Learning Disability Nurse Training, a three year “programme” that includes a year of training in the common paradigms of both disability treatment and nursing.  These include:

  • Nursing and maternity care
  • Communication and observational skills as related to patient care
  • The sciences (anatomy, biology, chemistry, physiology, social work, sociology, psychology)
  • Core care and tending skills for the disabled

In the next two years, the candidate receives specialized training in the “learning disability branch” in which they are interested, which would include physical, medical, psychiatric or speech/language disabilities.

In addition, the candidate would fulfill the standard nursing requirement (familiar to RNs and virtually all medical professionals) of 1,000 to 4,000 hours clinical hands-on experience with the patients and living situations in which her specialty places her.

Depending on said specialty, the LDN may find herself working with:

  • patients with mental challenges,
  • patients with spinal injury (to the point of paraplegic or quadriplegic disablement)
  •  less than profound brain injuries
  • deaf and hard of hearing patients
  • blind or low-sight patients
  • Attention-deficit Hyperactivity disordered individuals.

The program is near the rigor of the United States’ programs for RNs, and individuals who wish to continue maintaining licensure as a Learning Disability Nurse are well advised to get into (if they have not already done so) a MSN (Master’s degree) program, or its equivalent in the Great Britain, and attain the status as possessor of Master’s of Science in Nursing, since the study and training for particular specializations is far easier, and more competitively matched, with a both RN certification and a Master’s degree.

In addition to all of the above, the candidate for LDN must offer proof of English and math skills, as well as “good health and good character,” somewhat similar to the security checks run in the States for bonding and insuring nurses.   It would include a Criminal Records Bureau clearance.

Once the LDN training is completed, the candidate sits for the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) Certification; this certificate is good for five years and may be renewed with proof of 450 hours of sustained training and experience.

Job Outlook and Salary

Since the Bureau of Labor/Statistics carries no relevant information for positions in Great Britain, one can nevertheless be assured of competitive and healthy job markets in this field.  The area of LDN, according to the statisticians is burgeoning with new clients, and the need/demand is continuous and ongoing.   Job opportunities are “excellent,” as there is a predicted shortfall of nearly 14,000 nurses this year alone.

Starting salary is between £21,176 and £27,534 per annum.

Learning Disability nurse training is obviously the doorway to a bright nursing future.

Hemodialysis Nurse Training

Hemodialysis Nurse Training – How Can I Specialize in this Field?
End Stage Renal Disease and Kidney Failure are the critical medical conditions that require specialized hemodialysis nurse training. Hemodialysis is the procedure of removing the blood from the patient’s body and circulating through an exterior filtering machine, and then returning the cleaned blood back into the body. Nurses and technicians hook up the machines and monitor the patient’s vital signs and fluid pressures while the filtering is in process.

This procedure is performed for the patient three times a week, minimally, and is usually done in an outpatient facility. Home dialysis is availableand the initial dialysis is usually performed in a hospital setting at the onset of kidney failure.

A hemodialysis nurse is one that supervises the practical nurse and technician at the hemodialysis facility. The hemodialysis nurse is also the primary educator of the patient in terms of personal care, medications, and warning signs and symptoms of the disease progression. The hemodialysis nurse charts the patient’s progress and informs the doctor of the patient’s current condition and needs.

Duties, Tasks and Working Environment of the Hemodialysis Nurse

The hemodialysis nurse has a variety of nursing settings from which to choose their employment. They can be employed in a hospital facility in a dialysis or diabetes unit, at a dialysis facility that specializes only in hemodialysis, or in a home health care environment that monitors the progress of the patient in their home or skilled patient facility, like a nursing home. The nurse will assess the patient, weigh the patient (done before and after each procedure to monitor fluid intake), take the history and record the current status of the patient for physician review, dispense medications and evaluate their effectiveness for the patient, consult with the patient and the physician regarding transplant options, attach the patient to the hemodialysis unit, care for the patient during the fluid transfer, and teach the patient how to use the unit at home, if it is appropriate. The nurse has to be able to read and write instructions clearly and to articulate to both the patient and the physician the current assessment of the patient’s condition. The nurse must constantly evaluate the patient’s progress as dialysis is a critical concern and a life sustaining activity.

Education Requirements for the Hemodialysis Nurse

Hemodialysis nurse training is a specialized field for the nurse and requires additional training beyond the initial nursing degree.

For the licensed or practical nurse, hemodialysis training is available through local vocational schools or through hemodialysis education facilities. The need for special nurses is so strong that the hemodialysis companies have sponsored schools for the certification needed. To be accepted as a student, the licensed nurse needs a current certification and a current CPR certification.

For the registered nurse or the licensed practical nurse, the course offering to specialize in hemodialysis is sixteen weeks long and includes classroom instruction and on-the-job practical training.

Salary and Job Opportunities for Hemodialysis Nurses

Artificial kidney machines were not invented for consumer use until the 1960s, so this is a growing and emerging field. Each year more people are diagnosed with diabetes, the primary aggressor in End Stage Renal Disease. As more people age with this disease, unfortunately more people will require kidney dialysis. The need for technicians and hemodialysis nurse training is growing more every day. Nurses with a Master of Science are often managers and supervisors of the clinical facilities.

Beginning licensed or practical hemodialysis nurses can expect to make $25 per hour/ per patient and a registered nurse about $50 per hour/per patient:that would be about $500 for every three hourswith the average patient load of an RN. A nurse sometimes works an 8-hour shift and sometimes a 12-hour shift; this depends upon the facility. If the registered nurse is working a 40 hour week on three 12-hour shifts, the annual salary expectation would be $160,000 to start. There will be additional benefits and compensation with this high paying position.

How to Get a Hemodialysis Nurse Job

Begin with getting the Bachelor of Science in Nursing from a college or university. After completing the state board examination, begin working for a hospital facility with a dialysis unit. Work for this facility in this capacity for a minimum of one year for the experience of working with critical patients. Apply to a hemodialysis nurse training facility for the certification specialty. Complete the coursework and the certification test and you are on your way to a very rewarding field.

What Does a Nurse Do?

What Does a Nurse Do?
Before you find out what education and training for nurses is required, let me tell you what are the job responsibilities of a nurse. The answer is that they are numerous that one could almost say, what doesn’t a nurse do?  The nursing field has so many sub-sectors that you can literally create the job you want to do.

–        If you like sociological trends and watching population interaction, then public health nursing would be your field.

–        If you are interested in treating the patient from cradle to grave, maybe the field of nursing that would suit you best is the Nurse Practitioner.

–        If you like hospitals and organization and a regimented work schedule, hospital nursing could be your field.

–        If the precious wee ones are what tug at your heartstrings, you could specialize in neo-natal intensive care nursing.

–        If you like the medical field but don’t like hospital settings, the industrial nursing positions may be more your forte.

Education and Training Requirements for Nurses

Each field of nursing has separate requirements, but all nursing fields begin with the nursing degree.

A Home Health Aide is a nursing assistant; the education and training requirements are a 4 week course and 75 classroom hours, plus a certification in CPR.

A licensed or practical nurse (LPN), sometimes called a vocational nurse, attends a 12 month course of study with classroom lectures and on-the-job training, plus a certification in CPR.

A registered nurse (RN) can attend a diploma school or a college or university.  The diploma school will issue a diploma of nursing and is still considered a registered nurse.  The school will last 3 years and will include classroom instruction and on-the-job training at the affiliated hospital.

The associate’s degree in nursing is offered by colleges and trade schools.  This degree is an associate’s degree in applied nursing, an associate degree of nursing, or an associate’s degree in nursing, and qualifies to be hired as a registered nurse.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is a four year degree at a university or college.  It will have course requirements equal to 125 or more undergraduate hours, depending on the school.  In addition to the college hours, there will be 2 years of on-the-job training at area hospitals, with areas of rotation for the nursing student.

The Master of Science in Nursing offers many specialties for this degree.  It takes two to three years to complete but also empowers the nurse to write prescriptions in their specialized area.

The doctoral level degrees in Nursing are the Doctor of Nursing Practice or the Doctor of Philosophy.  The DNP is focused on the treatment of patients at the advanced level; the PhD requires academic research and publication.

Overall, the nursing degree can take as little as two years to begin practicing or as many as eight to twelve years to have the terminal degree.  The Nursing PhD requires a four year bachelor degree, four years of experience in a clinical setting, then four years graduate work.

All of the above listed nursing degrees require the completion of the degree and the passing of the state board examinations.  All nurses are required to complete Continuing Education Units every four years.

Nurse Salaries

A beginning salary for a nurse aide is $25,000 per year, with unlimited overtime available.

The licensed practical nurse or the vocational nurse will begin at $34,000 and increase.  The national median salary currently is $41,374.  This job also offers unlimited overtime.

The registered nurse with a B.S. in Nursing will begin earning $48,000 straight out of school.  With one year of experience, the salary increases to $57,000.  After each five years of service the salary increases $5,000 to $10,000.

The Master of Science in Nursing graduate begins their career with $68,000-$80,000.  This is for the nurse practitioner or the specialty nursing.

Administrative nursing positions with a Master of Science in Nursing start salaries at $150,000 to $200,000 for Nursing Heads, Nursing Directors $105,000 to $133,000 and long-term Nursing Managers or Supervisors $65,000 to $75,000.

Teachers of Nursing with a Master of Science in Nursing earn $70,000 to $100,000 depending on the university or hospital affiliation.

All nursing jobs come with extended benefits and insurances.  Most all programs offer a 401(k) plan with company participation of 2% or more.

Community Nurse Training

Community Nurse Job Description & Scope of Practice
Although the Community Nurse is not always required to be a Registered Nurse (RN), her level of care needs to be no less. Community Nurse training allows her to make home care visits for individuals who are shut-ins or in a group home, and she has an assigned caseload of patients, often within a designated facility or city area, who she visits on a weekly (or more frequent) basis. She should have an excellent rapport and friendly connections with everyone she encounters, both patients and case management coordinators.

She is required to carefully document her caseload and patient interactions, and submit documentation about her charges and the care she administered to them. Often her work schedule may ask her to take weekend hours or time on designated holidays to complete her nursing care in-home.

In short, she is the primary care giver for a selected group of patients, all case managed by a larger facility. She is the “first-line” health professional, and may be required to refer and transport patients to medical facilities, should the need arise. In addition, her community may be faith-based, such as a church congregation, and she may be required (or “preferred”) to be a member of the same faith or religious persuasion (as most such congregations are exempt from non-exclusivity laws by their religious and legal status).

Community Nurse Training

Although it is not as rigorous as the training for an RN (registered nurse), many RNs do indeed undertake Community Nurse training, and an RN is always the first chosen in a competitive job situation. Therefore, you should approach the job of Community Nurse with the idea that you will first achieve an RN certification. You will need, at the very least, a Licensed Vocational and/or Practical Nurse diploma in order to competitively apply for such a position.

The basic training, RN or not, for any individual interested in a nursing career should begin early, with biology, chemistry and science classes in high school or college at the very latest.

You should then begin at college level, either at an accredited university with a nursing program or at an accredited school of Nursing. These programs will offer either a two-year Associates degree or four-year Bachelors degree; you should aim for the Bachelors degree, as it is usually preferred, and will be much more competitive.

The course of training will include some of these courses:

–        Nursing courses in health assessment, medical and professional ethics and advanced sciences (such as mathematics, chemistry, biology, anatomy).

–        Clinical experience in hospital/medical facilities (about a year’s time at the very least).

–        Completion of 1,000 hours of clinical hands-on experience(many RN and other competitive nursing positions ask for up to 4,000 hours).

This is the preliminary work needed to achieve RN status; if you want to make yourself competitive enough in the Community Nurse’s job market, you should go on to complete RN training and pass the RN Examination for your state. Once you have your RN certification, you can specialize in any nursing field you wish.

To be competitive, you should have experience (in your hours of clinical hands-on work) in physical, occupational and speech therapy, nutrition services, collaboration with social workers and the elementary diagnostics that determine the level of services a patient requires.

Community Nurse Certification

Once you have completed the RN certification, you can proceed to specializing for a Community Nurse position, and obtain certification from a local CHHA (Certified Home Healthcare Agency), found in any state. This is usually not a laborious process; there may be a special exam involved (such states as California and New York require it), but most applicants of RN status are accepted and able to certify as Community Nurses with no trouble.

Community Nurse Outlook and Salary

Outlook for the Community Nurse’s job prospects, as for most RNs, is excellent, with expected growth of 22 percent from 2008 to 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. That same group sets the median salary of community health professionals and nursing care facility professionals at $57,060 per annum.

The job of Community Nurse can be a challenging one; however, for the right individual who has the ability to establish communication and rapport with patients, it is a rewarding and fulfilling employment experience. Community Nurse training is just another step along the path to this ideal career.

Army Nurse Training

The creed of an Army Nurse is to nurture, protect and tend to those patients that depend upon her, to advocate for family members, and to care for individual soldiers, recognizing each as unique and indispensable to the war effort.

This particular creed, established from the first Army nurse under Florence Nightingale, still holds true.  The Army nurse must be skilled enough to specialize in numerous classifications, including intensive care, emergency, labor/delivery, psychiatric care, community health and post-operative care, all of them potential career specializations.

In addition to hospital work, including triage, anesthesia and post-operative care, they must also work as advocates and liaisons for families of soldiers.  They must be available and on call at all times.  They are seldom home-bound, but are found in every continent and every situation where there is combat.

How to Train as an Army Nurse

You must be an unlimited RN (Registered Nurse) to be an Army nurse, and possess a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (a Master’s level is encouraged); therefore most candidates begin early.  It is absolutely necessary to take and excel in classes in the sciences, whether in high school or as late as the first years of college (the sciences include mathematics, biology, chemistry and anatomy).

The potential Army nurse has an advantage over most nursing students, in that Army ROTC offers training classes at college level as early as high school, and their recruiters are usually easy to find on any high school or college campus.  ROTC also offers scholarships and summer training programs, as well as accredited nursing programs that will include all the necessary elements for student success.

Of particular interest to students are the Summer Training programs that include hands-on clinical experience, which is absolutely necessary to RN certification (a minimum of 1,000 hours is required and 4,000 is ideal).  These programs gives an inside track to students wishing to complete their hours in clinical work, and, unlike the outside world, the Army has placement services to put candidates in careers as soon as they achieve their RN licensure.

The Army also offers two to four-year scholarships of up to $20,000, plus books and other stipends, and the opportunity to train in a number of specialties in Summer Training.

What an Army Nurse Can Do

As soon as you have passed the Registered Nursing examination and received certification and your Bachelor’s degree, the Army then “enlists” you for a term of service (three years full-time in the Army, four years for scholarship winners).

The Army nurse can also train during her term of service for a number of specializations.  These include:

-medical and surgical assistance and hospital work

-clinical care and intensive care unit work

-obstetrics and gynecological specialization

-anesthesia and anesthesiology

-psychiatric treatment and post-traumatic stress disorder treatments

-critical care on the field, including emergency trauma

-case management and upper level management opportunities.

All these, as potential specializations in the Army Nurse’s career, have separate training programs, and any of them is available to an Army Nurse with any level of experience beyond one year.

The Benefits of Army Nurse Training

The Army nurse is prepared to be competitive in nursing in the outside world, should she choose not to re-enlist.  She is a thoroughly experienced RN, and requires little additional training to specialize in any of the careers listed above.

If she chooses to remain in the Army, her employment is continuous and guaranteed, and she has an unmatched job security; she can attain the status of head nurse in 3 to 12 years.

Outlook and Salary for the Army Nurse

The Army nurse will always have employment, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, and the job will continue to grow as the Armed Forces expand.   The average salary of an Army Nurse is designated as pay grade 0-1.  This is $2745.60 a month, plus a housing allowing on the post of $840.90 (with family), and a meal allowance of $223.04.  Additional salary is accrued from deployment to combat areas and overseas work.

The ads say “Be All That You Can Be,” and Army Nurse Training, and an Army Nurse’s career, certainly gives that opportunity. 

NCLEX Preparation Course

The National Council Licensure Examination is the examination that all nurses have to take in order to practice. Just like high school students attend SAT preparation courses in order to do well, many nurses use an NCLEX preparation course to hedge their bets when it comes to passing this all-important exam. An NCLEX preparation course helps nurses improve the odds that they will do well on the test itself.

It achieves this by:

–        Reinforcing the information they are likely to encounter on the NCLEX.

–        Using practice questions developed from older exams.

–        Providing a review of the points covered in their original nursing degree or diploma program.

Registered nurses take the NCLEX-RN, while practical nurses take the NCLEX-PN. Therefore, there are different test prep courses available for these two groups, since their exams are somewhat different. Both of them help the same way, by giving nursing students the chance to review material and take practice tests before sitting for the NCLEX proper.

Why is the NCLEX so Important?

The NCLEX is the test that determines whether a nurse is a nurse or not. Without a passing grade on an NCLEX, graduates of nursing programs are just graduates, not nurses. In all states, licensed practical nurses and registered nurses must have passed an NCLEX in order to practice legally. If they are caught practicing without having passed the test and received a nursing license, they may face fines and jail time, and can even be prevented from practicing medicine in the future.

The Rundown on NCLEX Prep Courses

An NCLEX preparation course isn’t a requirement to take the NCLEX, so it isn’t strictly necessary. Many nursing programs also have excellent pass rates (some are as high as 100%), so students of these programs aren’t likely to need a preparation course before their exams. For students who allow some time to elapse between graduating and taking their exam, and students that don’t feel confident in their ability to do well on the NCLEX without help, a preparation course can give them the assistance they need to get themselves licensed.

State Boards of Nursing regulate who is and is not eligible to take the NCLEX in their state. In some states, registered nurses must have a bachelor’s degree before sitting for it. In others, a nursing diploma or associate’s degree is sufficient. No state allows nursing students to take the NCLEX after just an NCLEX preparation course. They must always have graduated from some kind of Board-approved nursing program first. These preparation courses only serve as a way for students to review material before taking the exam, they do not allow people who haven’t graduated from a nursing program to take it without completing the required core coursework.

NCLEX Preparation Course Providers

There are plenty of good NCLEX prep courses available, many of which are offered by online schools like Kaplan, or test review sites like Hurst Review Services. Unlike actual nursing degree programs, it isn’t necessary for an NCLEX prep course to be Board-approved. So, students can choose whichever one they are the most comfortable with, and that they think will be the most help to them. To find a good preparation course, look at the percentage of their students that have passed the NCLEX. If a course doesn’t offer these statistics, try to find one that does or at least one with a money-back guarantee.

Don’t compare an NCLEX course based on price. Since they aren’t required to be Board-approved, some unscrupulous NCLEX courses have cropped up that look like deals, but aren’t actually any good at helping students pass. Avoid review sites that try to pass themselves off as official NCLEX sites- only the NCSBN homepage should be treated as a reputable source of examination information.

Taking the NCLEX is the event that all nursing programs lead up to. Without it, a nursing graduate can’t practice. With it, a nursing graduate finally becomes a full-fledged nurse and can interact with patients in a clinical setting. An NCLEX preparation course can help you become more confident in your ability to pass the licensure exam, no matter whether you’re an aspiring registered nurse, or licensed practical nurse.

School Nurse Continuing Education

Just like other nurses, school nurses need to go through continuing education programs in order to be able to maintain their certification. School nurse continuing education is a bit different than that requires for registered nurses.

However, unlike registered nursing continuing education, school nurses can:

–        Take online courses through the National Association of School Nurses’ website.

–        Take advanced-level courses in healthcare related subjects through a local college.

–        Go through another National Board for Certification of School Nurses or American Nurses Credentialing Center-approved continuing education program.

This is a bit easier than registered nurse continuing education, since registered nurses must find state-approved continuing education programs. The National Board for Certification of School Nurses is a national organization, so continuing education requirements and modules are consistent throughout the country.

Though the NBCSN offers school nurses certification, this is optional, and isn’t the same as the state licensure procedures required for nurses to practice. What’s more, hiring procedures for school nurses can vary from area to area. Some states and districts will hire only registered nurses as school nurses, while others will hire a registered nurse to oversee groups of “nurse’s aides” that tend to students.

Why is Continuing Education for School Nurses Necessary?

Medicine can change very rapidly, as new medications and methods are discovered. Years ago, it was acceptable for school nurses to give children medications like aspirin or diphenhydramine. Today, that’s pretty much unheard of. Continuing education ensures that school nurses stay on top of new developments in nursing, and keep up the skills that they need in order to care for their patients. Some school nurses have been working for decades, and school nurse continuing education allows them to continue to do their jobs well. Without it, there may be no way for them to keep on top of changing standards in the healthcare industry.

Boards of Nursing and The National Board for Certification of School Nurses

Every state has a Board of Nursing, but school nursing organizations are national. So, while licensure and continuing education standards for nurses can vary from state to state, this isn’t really the case with school nurses. For example, all school nurses are certified for five years at a time through the NBCSN, and are given a notice of expiry a year before their licenses expire. During this time, they have to meet the NBCSN’s criteria for renewal, and pay a certification renewal fee.

One of the criteria for school nurse certification renewal through the NBCSN is a current RN license. It is the responsibility of all school nurses to maintain their registered nursing licenses according to regulations established by their state’s Board of Nursing. Because every state’s regulations are different, school nurses must contact their particular Board of Nursing for an outline of the criteria they need to meet to keep their registered nursing licenses in good standing.

Can School Nurses Get Out of Continuing Education?

In the past, school nurses used to be able to evade school nurse continuing education by having their certifications set to “retired” or “inactive,” while they continued to work full- or part-time as school nurses. This created a lot of practicing school nurses that the NBCSN had no way to keep track of. As a result, the NBCSN elected to get rid of these statuses, so now school nurses can only be active, or not certified. This helps avoid the problems schools were having with “retired” nurses that continued to work, without attempting to maintain the level of school nurse continuing education needed to keep their certification in good standing. So, today, there is no way for school nurses to avoid needing continuing education if they want to maintain their NBCSN certification.

School nurses are a deceptively important part of the healthcare system, even though they don’t work in hospitals or doctors’ offices. Studies show that a lack of school nurses contributes to sicker students, and higher rates of absenteeism. School nurse continuing education helps keep school nurses informed about the things they need to do to keep kids safe, healthy, and in school.

Oncology Nursing Continuing Education

Few medical fields can change as rapidly as oncology. The treatment of cancer is a hotly debated and researched subject, so oncology nursing continuing education has to keep oncology nurses up to date on new treatment practices and discoveries in the field. Fortunately, oncology nurses can meet their continuing education requirements in a few different ways.

These include:

–        Through classes taken at their local college or university.

–        Through free or low-cost learning modules on the internet.

–        Through home study courses offered by in-state or out-of-state institutions.

–        Through continuing education programs offered by oncology organizations.

Why is Continuing Education for Oncology Nurses Necessary?

Every day, new cancer breakthroughs make headlines. Cancer pervades modern society, and many of the risk factors for it are unavoidable- sun exposure can cause melanoma, and being a woman is all you need to be at risk for breast cancer. As a result, cancer is heavily researched, and regularly results in new developments.

To help keep oncology nurses at the top of their game, organizations like the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation have developed ways to certify practicing oncology nurses, and create continuing educational requirements. These requirements are designed to keep oncology nurses well informed, and to keep their oncology skills sharp. Medicine changes quickly, so nurses that still rely on information from decades ago aren’t going to be able to provide the best care for their patients.

Registered Nursing versus Oncology Nursing Continuing Education

Registered nurses are required to go through continuing education programs in order to keep their licenses in good standing with their state’s Board of Nursing. Without meeting these continuing education requirements, registered nurses will lose their licenses, and no longer be able to legally practice until they have them reinstated.

All states have their own Boards of Nursing, and their own regulations regarding things like continuing education requirements and certification with the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation. In some states, membership with the ONCC is mandatory. In others, it is not. Certification with the ONCC helps nurses show that they are proficient in oncology, so it may be worth pursuing, even in states where it isn’t required. In order to maintain certification with the ONCC, nurses will have to follow their renewal guidelines. This includes any additional continuing education requirements that the ONCC has above and beyond the Board of Nursing’s requirements.

When it comes to the ONCC’s requirements, not just any continuing education program will do. Continuing education courses for oncology nurses must meet the approval of the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation, or be approved or provided by one of the organizations on their list of “Acceptable Approval Bodies” if it is going to count towards certification renewal for oncology nurses.

Will Continuing Education Advance My Nursing Degree?

Oncology nursing continuing education programs are not designed to help nurses advance their degrees, they are designed to keep their skill sets up to date with changes in the healthcare industry. In some situations, some nurses currently working and attending school may be able to kill two birds with one stone with regards to their continuing educational requirements, but this won’t be the case for the majority of oncology nurses.

If you are an oncology nurse and would like to advance your degree, then a master’s degree program, post master’s certificate program, or doctoral degree program are the only things that will actually allow you to do so. Continuing education just allows you to maintain your license and certification in good standing.

Is There a Way for Oncology Nurses to Avoid Needing Continuing Education?

The only way to avoid having to fulfill continuing education requirements for the ONCC is to not pursue certification through them. This may not be an option in some states, so oncology nurses will have to contact their Boards of Nursing to find out exactly what certifications are optional for them.

When it comes to continuing education for the Board of Nursing, nurses can get out of needing continuing education if they are newly licensed graduates, or are attempting to have their licensing status changed to “inactive.”

Oncology is a rapidly growing field that’s changing from day to day. Cancer nurses need oncology nurse continuing education to help keep them informed and abreast of all of the ways that new research is changing the face of cancer treatment.

What training does a nurse need?

It might sound like a simple question, but it only ends up giving rise to more.

In order to find out what kind of training a nurse needs, you also need to ask:

–        Is this nurse an actual nurse, or a nursing assistant?

–        What kind of degree is the nurse pursuing?

–        What kind of medical facility does the nurse intend to work in after graduation?

–        Does this nurse intend to specialize in a specific area of medicine?

In modern medical facilities, a “nurse” can be anyone from a licensed practical nurse, to a certified nurse anesthetist. All of the different positions that nurses can occupy require different training, even if that training is sometimes given on-the-job.

The Board of Nursing

Preliminary and continuing educational requirements, licensing, and examination requirements for nurses are established by each state’s Board of  Nursing. Though many states have attempted to standardize their requirements through agreements like the Nurse Licensure Compact, this isn’t universal. Therefore, your state’s Board of Nursing can provide you with detailed answers to “What training does a nurse need?”

If you’re planning to become a nursing student, the Board can also give you scholarship or grant information, and lists of approved nursing programs in your area. The Board of Nursing should be every person’s first stop before they make the decision to enroll in nursing school.

Nurse Training Programs

In general, nursing assistants require an eight week course, licensed practical nurses require two year degrees, while registered nurses require a bachelor’s degree (BSN), and advanced practice registered nurses (like nurse anesthetists and nurse practitioners) require a master’s (MSN) or doctoral degree (PhD or DNP). These are just the basic educational requirements, and nurses who wish to specialize in areas like neonatal care or gerontology may be required to perform additional coursework.

Some schools provide online or classroom-based courses on things like hospice nursing, neonatal nursing, and critical care. In other situations, students are expected to put in a specified number of hours in a clinical setting in order to obtain on-the-job experience. The training you receive will depend heavily on your state’s regulations, the needs of your local hospitals, and what schools in your area are willing to offer.

Nurse Training and Scopes of Practice

All nurse training is designed to reflect their eventual “scopes of practice.” This is the outline of all of the duties that a nurse is allowed to do. In general, if a nurse is not trained to do something during the course of their nursing education, it most likely falls outside of his or her scope of practice. All nurses have different scopes of practice – a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) cannot perform the same duties as a Registered Nurse (RN), and a RN cannot perform the same duties as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN). The Board of Nursing doesn’t just define scopes of practice, it also takes on a disciplinary role when nurses act outside of theirs. Nurses that do so can receive severe legal penalties, including fines and license revocation.

Nurse Licensure and Examinations

A nursing degree alone isn’t enough for a nurse to begin practicing. Practical nurses, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and all other nursing staff must take and pass licensing exams before they can be allowed to work with patients. Licensure also determines who’s actually a nurse, and who isn’t- nursing assistants may perform some of the same duties as nurses, but they do not have nursing licenses, and thus aren’t actually nurses.

So, what training does a nurse need? The final answer is “It depends.” If you are intrigued by the idea of pursuing a career in nursing, the best thing you can do is research all of the different ways that nurses provide care, and choose the one that appeals to you. Do you want to care for high-risk babies in a NICU? Would you prefer the exciting, hectic atmosphere of a medevac helicopter? The state you live in and your eventual career path will determine what kind of continuing education and licensing requirements you will need to fulfill.

Surgical Nurse Training

Surgical nurses operate in a very high-stress atmosphere, and surgical nurse training is designed to prepare them to deal with all of the things that can happen before, during, and after surgery. Surgical nurses are specialized nurses, so there aren’t generally programs that cater to producing surgical nurses alone. Instead, surgical nurse training builds on general nursing education, to product registered nurses that are capable of handling the emergencies that can arise during an operation.

Becoming a surgical nurse usually follows this progression:

– Nursing students receive a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and take the National Council of Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses.

– After registered nurses gain over 2,400 hours of clinical experience in a surgical setting, they are eligible to take a Certified Nurses in the Operating Room exam.

– After becoming a certified operating room nurse, surgical nurses may complete a registered nurse first assistant program, and take an RNFA exam.

Not all surgical nurses become registered nurse first assistants, but all RNFAs must be surgical nurses. The RNFA program provides another opportunity for continuing education and advancement for qualified operating room nurses.

Surgical Nurse Training Programs

There are a couple of different avenues that nursing students can follow to become surgical nurses, from starting out as a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA), to starting out as a registered nurse (RN). All of the different starting points require the nursing student to pass their NCLEX-RN, put in the requisite number of hours in an operating room, and take the CNOR exam. The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses is an excellent resource for students looking for industry news, licensing and educational requirements, and job outlooks for operating room nurses. As always, a state’s Board of Nursing dictates what a surgical nurse’s scope of practice and continuing educational needs are, so they should be a nurse’s first stop when it comes to getting accurate information on surgical nurse training.

Surgical Nurse Scope of Practice

The term “surgical nursing” actually paints a variety of jobs with a pretty broad brush. Not all surgical nurses work in operating rooms- some work in laboratories, some work maintaining patient records, and some work in recovery rooms. In general, a surgical nurse’s scope of practice covers patient care before, during, and after surgery. Surgical nurses must monitor patients, see how well they respond to treatment, discuss potential changes in their plans of care with physicians, and do what needs to be done to ensure that they are able to recover well after surgery.

Why You Should Become a Surgical Nurse

Not everyone can handle the environment of working in an operating room. Not only is it fast paced and hectic at times, it can also expose nurses to a lot of things they wouldn’t have to see during their normal rounds as a hospital staff RN. If you have the drive and fortitude necessary to remain level headed in that kind of atmosphere, then becoming a surgical nurse may be right for you.

The nursing shortage is affecting every area of healthcare, but operating room nursing is one of the hardest hit. The average vacancy rate for surgical nursing positions is over 14%. This is bad enough as it is, but a study a few years ago discovered that surgical patients have a substantially better outlook if they are treated in hospitals with a high proportion of nurses with advanced degrees. This means that not only are more nurses needed in general, but more surgical nurses with advanced nursing degrees are needed in order to maintain acceptable patient survival rates. If you want to help save lives, and allow hospitals to keep caring for their patients, then becoming a surgical nurse may be the perfect career for you.

Surgical nursing isn’t easy, but the rewards are well worth the effort. The average annual salary for a surgical nurse is around $70,000, but most surgical nurses get involved in this career path for its own sake. By becoming an RN and undergoing surgical nurse training, you’ll be able to improve patient survival, and help hospitals provide care to greater numbers of people.

Postgraduate Nurse Training

Becoming a registered nurse (RN) usually requires a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) or an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN or ASN), but postgraduate nurse training can help take you even farther. There are plenty of career opportunities available for RNs and Licensed Practical Nurses, but a master’s (MSN) or doctoral degree (PhD or DNP) can allow you to practice in some very exciting areas of medicine.

With a postgraduate degree, you can become:

–        A nurse practitioner, so you can function as a primary care provider for your patients.

–        A nurse midwife, so you can provide care for women with low-risk pregnancies, and their newborn babies.

–        A certified registered nurse anesthetist, so you can safely provide anesthesia to patients during surgery.

–        A clinical nurse specialist, so you can improve patient care across an entire facility.

–        A nurse educator, so you can help schools graduate more nursing students.

These aren’t the only avenues open to nurses with advanced nursing degrees. For example, nurse practitioners can further specialize into areas like pediatrics, oncology, reproductive health, or critical care, nurse midwives can provide reproductive care to women from puberty to menopause, and nurse educators can also work as employee educators for healthcare facilities.

Postgraduate Nurse Training Programs and Licensing

Postgraduate degrees include master’s and doctoral degrees. Many states have different regulations regarding continuing education requirements for registered nurses, so it’s a good idea to see what your state’s Board of Nursing has to say on the subject. Some states may offer accelerated degree programs for nursing graduates that wish to become nurse educators, while others may offer specialized degrees for nurse practitioners that want to focus on one particular area of medicine. In general, postgraduate nursing students are registered nurses that have either obtained some clinical experience before enrolling in their advanced degree program, or who chose to further their education immediately after graduating with their bachelor’s or associate’s degree.

No matter which degree they obtain, all postgraduate nurses will still need to fulfill the examination and licensing requirements for their state before they can legally practice. This is true even if they move from one state to another after being licensed- unless they move between two states that abide by the Nurse Licesure Compact, they will have to reapply in their new state.

Postgraduate Programs and the Nursing Shortage

By the year 2020, it’s predicted that the world will be short in excess of 800,000 nurses. This is a mixed blessing for postgraduate nursing programs. The good news is that people with master’s or doctoral degrees in nursing are instrumental in helping hospitals and colleges reduce the nursing shortage, since they can go on to become nursing educators, continuing education providers, or nurses. The bad news is that large numbers of applicants to postgraduate nursing courses end up turned away, because there are simply not enough qualified educators available to teach all of them. So, if you choose to pursue postgraduate nurse training after becoming an RN, you may have a challenging time getting into a master’s or doctoral nursing program. On the other hand, if you do manage to make it into a postgraduate program, you will be able to take your pick from job offers once you graduate.

Why Postgraduate Nurse Training is Right for You

If you’re currently an RN and would like to specialize in one area of medicine, further your education, and improve your ability to help your patients, then postgraduate nursing programs may be ideal for you.

If you’re interested in nursing, but would like to follow a career path that takes you out of the usual hospitals and doctor’s offices, then a postgraduate nursing educator program may be the perfect choice for you.

Postgraduate nurse training can allow nurses to do more with their careers than a regular associate’s or bachelor’s degree can.  It can give them an education that’s on par with a doctor’s, or turn them into a university’s best weapon against the nursing shortage. Though it may not be easy for you to get into a postgraduate nurse training program, the end result of your master’s or doctorate in nursing will be well worth it.

Nurse Training Courses

There are almost as many types of nurse training courses as there are schools to teach them. Every state has its own Board of Nursing that handles subjects like educational requirements, licensing and certification, and regulation. Training programs for healthcare professionals can vary from state to state, and even vary depending on the type of nursing that’s being taught. If you know you want to enter the nursing profession, there are a lot of potential nursing career paths for you to consider.

These include:

–  Licensed practical nurses. These care for sick people, usually under the guidance of a registered nurse or physician.

– Registered nurses. These are a step above licensed practical nurses, and work to provide palliative and preventative care for patients and their families.

– Forensic nurses. These registered nurses care for victims of violent crime, including providing emergency health care and collecting evidence.

– Nurse midwives. These Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (or APRNs) care for women with low-risk pregnancies.

– Nursing educators. These nurses teach nursing students.

– Nurse practitioners. These APRNs can act as a patient’s primary care provider, in lieu of a doctor.

– Nurse anesthetists. These APRNs specialize in giving anesthesia during surgery.

–  Clinical nurse specialists. These APRNs work with other nurses, to improve their nursing practices.

Region-Specific Nurse Training Courses

Many nursing training programs also depend on what areas of a state need nurses the most. By the year 2020, experts predict that there will be a wordwide shortage of around 800,000 nurses. A lot of states are experiencing serious nursing shortages already. As a result, states with large rural or remote areas have developed nurse training courses that teach students the particulars of providing healthcare in a very rural area. This can be a godsend for these states, since these programs can turn out nurses that are fully prepared to work in the areas where they are needed the most.

Choosing a Nursing Program-Two Years, or Four?

In many states, nursing shortages aren’t caused by a lack of interest in nursing, they’re caused by school systems that are too antiquated and inefficient to turn out the number of nursing graduates that a state needs. As a result, you may find that the nursing program that you want to enroll in has a waiting list. In that case, your options are to wait, apply to an out-of-state school, or try a different in-state school. If you are interested in becoming a practical nurse, community colleges in your area may have approved two year degree programs that can help you.

Unfortunately, though a two year nursing program is the shortest one available, it often takes longer for these nurses to become licensed than it does for those with four year nursing degrees. If you’d like to become a registered or forensic nurse, you’re better off in a four year degree program. If you plan to become a nurse educator or some form of advanced practice nurse, you will need a post-graduate nursing degree. In many cases, degree programs are just starting points for nurses. Some career paths, like forensic nursing, require additional training in things like evidence handling and SANE (sexual assault nurse examiner) coursework.

Incentives for Nursing Students

Some students are drawn to particular nurse training courses because of the incentives that they are offered. Many areas with nursing shortages will offer students scholarships, low interest loans, or loan forgiveness if they are willing to work in a needy area after graduation. Schools that need teachers often offer the same incentives to students willing to stay on as nursing educators. If you don’t have a particular nursing career path that calls to you, this is a great way to have a job waiting for you and be debt-free right after graduation.

For new nursing students, four years in approved nurse training courses can open the way for them to become whatever type of nurses they wish. Choosing the right nursing program can give you a lucrative career, take care of your student loans, and place you in an industry where you’ll always have a job available.

Nurse Educator Training

Nurse educator training gives nursing students a third option when it comes to choosing a career. Instead of picking a big, hectic hospital, or a small, private practice, nurse educators work in colleges to teach the next generation of nurses. Though it might not be what many students view themselves doing when they enroll in nursing school, the fact is that nursing educators are a valuable weapon against the worldwide nursing shortage.

This is true for a variety of reasons:

– In the past 12 months alone, schools turned away nearly 70,000 nursing students due to shortages in faculty and classroom space.

– In a recent survey from last year, 603 nursing schools reported 1,088 faculty vacancies.

– Many nursing educators are reaching retirement age, which means that there will be more vacancies unless schools are able to find qualified nurse educators to fill them.

– Two thirds of schools surveyed pointed to a lack of nurse educators as their primary reason for turning nursing students away.

– 69% of CEOs of teaching hospitals feel that faculty shortages are compromising the entire industry.

– Nurse educators are usually required to have master’s degrees, but the shortage of faculty able to teach at that level means that students are becoming nurses instead.

Without enough teachers, schools can’t graduate enough students. Without enough graduates, hospitals can’t fill the vacancies left behind by their retirement-aged nurses. Without enough nurses, hospitals must stretch their remaining staff thinner. The end result of a lack of nurse educators is seriously understaffed hospitals, compromises in patient care, and poor patient care outcomes.

Nurse Educator Training Requirements

Nurse educator training requirements vary pretty widely from state to state. In some areas, nurses with associate’s degrees are able to teach courses for licensed practical nurses, and provide continuing education to existing registered nurses. For the majority of schools, nurse educators will be required to have a master’s degree.

Nurse educators with clinical experience are particularly sought-after. This is especially true for states with a large population of urban residents living below the poverty line, or that have residents scattered over very remote areas. Schools in these states often seek to fight the nursing shortage by offering classes that teach nursing students the specifics of practicing in underserved urban or rural facilities, and teachers with practical experience are critical to their efforts.

Though they’re often more desirable, not all nurse educators need clinical experience in order to teach. In order to help produce more qualified faculty members, some schools have instituted degree programs that are specifically for nurse educators. The degree of education that a nurse educator is required to have is outlined by their state’s Nurse Practice Act, which also defines their scope of practice.

Nurse Educator Scope of Practice

Nurse educators teach both nursing students and graduated nurses. They must design and implement curricula that are in line with the educational standards put forth by their state’s Board of Nursing, and can teach in either a classroom or clinical setting. They may work in universities, technical schools, teaching hospitals, or as employee educators in healthcare facilities. All of these institutions may have specific job requirements above and beyond the basic nurse educator training described in the Nurse Practice Act, depending on their needs.

Why You Should Become a Nurse Educator

Nurse educators can become teachers without having to set foot in a hospital. If the field of nursing fascinates you, but you aren’t up to the challenges posed by working in a clinical setting, then becoming a nurse educator may be right for you.

The salary for a nurse educator goes from $46,000 to $93,000. This makes it a very lucrative option for a lot of nursing students. If you live in a state where practicing nurses are paid less than the national average, then becoming a nurse educator may be more worthwhile for you.

Lastly, the world is suffering from a serious shortage of nurses, and it’s only going to get worse if something isn’t done about it. With the majority of nursing schools already being forced to turn students away, it’s evident that this trend can’t be allowed to continue if hospitals are going to stay in business. If you want to help save millions of lives through your students, then enrolling in nurse educator training may be right for you.

Neonatal Nurse Education and Training

Neonatal nurse education and training prepares nurses to work with the youngest of the young. Most of their patients are under a month old, and many of them have special needs.

The areas of a nursery are divided up based on the type of care that newborns require:

– Babies in Level I are generally healthy newborns. These are babies that are just waiting to be discharged.

– Babies in Level II are somewhat premature, or may be mildly ill at birth. These are babies that may require monitoring, or some special treatment before they can be discharged.

–  Babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit are severely premature, seriously ill, or suffer from serious birth defects. These babies require medical intervention if they are to survive. The majority of their medical care providers are neonatal nurses, which make up around 90% of the NICU’s total staff.

Not all neonatal nurses will work in all three areas. Level I nurseries are being phased out in many hospitals, leaving only Level II and the NICU.

Neonatal Nurse, or Nurse Midwife?

It’s extremely easy to confuse neonatal nurses with nurse midwives. Both of them help educate parents and care for babies shortly after delivery, but neonatal nurse education and training isn’t the same as that required for nurse midwives. This means that their scope of practice is not the same, and their licensing requirements also vary accordingly.

Neonatal Nurse Education and Scope of Practice

Neonatal nurses are required to be registered nurses, which means that they must have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, and have passed the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (or NCLEX-RN). To work in a NICU, neonatal nurses must be certified Neonatal Resuscitation Providers. After obtaining some experience caring for high-risk babies, neonatal nurses may wish to continue their education and specialize as Neonatal Nursing Practitioners. This requires a master’s degree, though neonatal nurses with advanced degrees can also obtain a post-graduate Neonatal Nursing Practitioner Certificate.

Neonatal nurses are responsible for caring for babies shortly after birth. In the Level II and NICU settings, they may be newborns’ primary caregivers until they are discharged. They also help educate new parents on how to care for their newborns, and how to interact with them if they must remain in the NICU.

Nurse Midwife Education and Scope of Practice

The neonatal nurse’s counterpart is the certified nurse midwife. A certified nurse midwife is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, which means that he or she is a registered nurse that has a master’s degree or post-graduate certificate in nurse midwifery.

Nurse midwives are responsible for caring for women with low-risk pregnancies, and their healthy babies. They may attend births in hospitals, birthing centers, or in patients’ homes. They may also order diagnostic procedures, prescribe medication, and provide reproductive care to women during their childbearing years. In many states, they can perform all of the duties of an obstetrician or gynecologist, with the exception of surgical procedures.

Why You Should Become a Neonatal Nurse

Overall, the outlook for high-risk pregnancies and ill or premature babies is improving, but there’s still a long way to go. In last year alone, over 18,000 babies died within their first month of life. Though prematurity and congenital malformations account for a large number of deaths, many children die of infections or other preventable conditions. In the future, good neonatal nursing and adequate parental education may be able to avoid those preventable infant deaths.

Neonatal nursing is rapidly becoming more diverse, as well. Years ago, it was virtually impossible to find a male neonatal nurse or nurse midwife. Now, male neonatal nurses make up about 3% (and counting) of the neonatal nursing population.

Neonatal nursing and nurse midwifery both pay well, too. The average neonatal nurse practitioner or nurse midwife in the U.S. makes over $90,000 annually. This doesn’t count incentives like sign-on bonuses or student loan forgiveness programs.

Neonatal nursing may be tough, but it’s worth it to see healthy, happy babies go home with their parents. If you want to help make a difference in the lives of parents and their newborns, then enrolling in neonatal nurse education and training may be the right path for you.

Trauma Nursing Continuing Education

Trauma continuing education (CE) keeps nurse specialists of the trauma fields abreast with current knowledge pertinent to their field of practice. CE is offered by accredited nursing organizations and practicing nurses must ensure the school offering the CE is approved to do so.

Continuing education for nurses is also important as part of the registered nurse license renewal. Some states demands that a nurse provides proof of having taken continuing medical education (CME) before renewing their licenses.  Students can take their CE in trauma at annual conferences, nursing organizations, nursing universities and colleges or in vocational training centers.

What do Trauma Nurses Do?

Trauma nurses play the vital role of taking care of traumatized patients. They take care of post-trauma cases, critical care and support and other medical cases related to emergency response. They are involved in accidents, injuries, cardiac arrest, acute infection and respiratory complication cases. In this case, trauma nurses are advised to receive CE in this and other extended fields of health care.

Different CE Programs for Trauma Nurses

Different nursing education programs are available for the trauma nurse to choose from. For others, CEs are state specific and are a requirement to allow a trauma nurse to continue nursing practice. They equip the trauma nurses with the recent findings and new advancements in the trauma nursing field. Below are some of the most common continuing education units (CEUs) for trauma nurses:

Complications During Trauma

This a very wide bracket of continuing nursing education for the trauma nurse. Many health complications are bound to occur during traumatic conditions that would lead to the life of the patient being at stake. Such CEUs include acid- base imbalances; a common symptom in trauma patients. Nurses are trained on homeostasis and the buffering system of the body and methods of restoring the disrupted acid-base balances that result to acidosis or alkalosis.

Nurses also receive training on Acute Respiratory Distress syndrome (ARDS) care and management. In this course, RNs will be trained on how to perform oxygen delivery, mechanical patient ventilation and use of vasopressors to re-establish fluid flow.  These techniques are collectively known as fluid resuscitation and are aimed at monitoring signs, carrying diagnosis and monitoring pathological changes.

Hypothermia in Trauma

Ideal temperature is the key in supporting many cellular functions and as such, nurses are trained on assessing the differences between induced and spontaneous hypothermia in traumatized patients. This course train trauma nurses when to engage in thermoregulation to preserve cellular functions for the patient.

Cardiac Trauma and Tamponade

Acute cardiac arrest and heart attacks are a common phenomenon in trauma patients hence; this course covers the Pathophysiology, and clinical manifestation of this complications. Nurses are trained on devising the fastest care plan for both penetrating and blunt cardiac tamponade and traumas cases.

Neurotrauma and Brain Injury Trauma

This focuses on the care and treatment options for brain injury patients. The brain serves as the centre of coordination of the central nervous system hence, injury to the brain can compromise the neurosysytem leading to cerebral complications and intracranial pressure. Nurses are therefore trained on techniques to provide brain tissue oxygenation and maintenance of cerebral pressure.

Emergency Medical Trauma Procedures

Prioritizing treatment during trauma is the key to saving life during traumatic injury. As such, nurses receive continuing education courses on assessing the level of injury. Nurses must also be trained on the correct use of life support machines during emergency trauma events. Such including prepping the patients, setting up emergency surgery among others.

Other equally important continuing Education units for trauma nurses are

  • Chest trauma management, diagnosis and care
  • Mechanisms of injury and injury assessments
  • Trauma during pregnancy, labor and childbirth, fetal injury and physiology during trauma
  • Geriatric and end of life trauma intervention methods

Online Continuing Education for a Trauma Nurse

The online continuing education options are rapidly gaining popularity among trauma nurses. This means that nurses can be able to take courses using an online mode of study and testing. The online trauma nurse CE programs are tailored to meet the needs of the ever busy RN, who have little or no time to attend distance physical conferences or training workshops. Online trauma nursing CE programs must be approved by the relevant state authorities and the society of trauma nurses can help you with that.

rn refresher course

Who Do RN Refresher Courses Target?
Registered Nurse (RN) refresher courses are not only meant for inactive registered nurses who have not been practicing, but also for active Registered Nurses who want to acquire continuing education. For nurses who work in states that demand contact hours for license renewal, RN refresher courses are a great option.

RN refresher courses also targets RNs who wish to expand their nursing scope in the search of better paying jobs. Such can be the case when a RN is seeking employment from a state different from where they received their initial nurse training.

Objectives of a Typical RN Refresher Course

Refresher courses, just like the name suggests, are meant to re-introduce an already learnt skill to a registered nurse. This means that it is a kind of ignition for nurses who are re-entering the nursing profession having stopped to practice for a while. The refresher course aims at bringing back into light the skills that were trained during a Bachelors or Associate degree in nursing.

RN refresher courses are also used to train the re-emerging nurses with new nursing concepts and practices that might have come up during their nursing inactivity. Such includes the use of hospital equipment, new medications, new technologies that will help a nurse re-enter the field with confidence.

Course Information for RN Refreshers

i)        Didactic Portion

Usually, RN fresher courses start with standard theoretical classes on all nursing concepts. This part of refreshing, also known as didactic portion ensure nurse students engage in group discussions, instructed lectures and submission of individual assignments. These lessons have great emphasis on novel therapeutic approaches in the health care system and developments in general medical knowledge. For RNs who are taking the refresher course to fulfill the contact hours for license renewal, the refresher course will cover any new state laws governing the nursing profession.

Lecture Topics For the Didactic Portion

Refreshing RNs take lecture sessions from the following nursing topics:


  • Novel Medications and Terminology

This is meant to keep the nurse abreast with any new medications that have come to the market and how they are used in treatment. The course also informs the RN of new approaches to disease management and any drugs whose use have been banned.

  • Diagnostic methods

The refreshing of how to use medical laboratory equipment and how to carry out diagnosis is a must for the inactive RN. Training on how to use new medical equipment, and digitized medical technologies is done.

  • Patient care and management

This includes nursing units ranging from the advanced care of patients to new medical ethics in medical care. RNs may be informed of new medical approaches and new strategies and decision making processes in health care.

  • Documentation and charting of patient records

RN refresher courses must re-instill to the inactive RN the trending methods of medical documentation, billing and medical coding collection of patient records.

ii)      Clinical practicum portion

This part of the RN fresher involves re-assessing the hands-on-skills of the nurse. RNs must have a supervising instructor who leads them into the clinical sessions. This forms the great disparity between RN refresher courses from other forms of nursing continuing education units; which usually do not require direct patient contact.

Just like in normal nursing school, students are expected to show their abilities of working in a real hospital or clinical setting. It is important to note that RNs are only allowed to undertake the clinical practicum lessons only after successfully passing the didactic course. In short, theses two parts of refresher course do not go hand-in hand like normal nurse training.

Duration for RN Refreshers Courses

For RNs who have been completely inactive in nursing, the refresher course takes a relatively long time as compared to those who take the RN refresher course to get contact hours. In the former case, it takes between 3 to 6 months for a nurse to have the ability to re-enter nursing. For those who only require contact hours, 3days to a week is ideal for a particular refresher topic.

The usual requirement to complete the course is to have a minimum of 120 classroom/ didactic hours and an additional 100 hours for the clinical portion. This brings it a total of about 220 hours with variants on both sides depending on the nursing school and the state.

Mental Health Nurse Training

For mentally challenged patients and their families alike, much support is needed from the community and the medical practitioners. Mental health nursing is a demanding career that enables nurse to take care to this special group of patients. It is even challenging given that most mentally ill patients cannot make sound judgments on their own, hence the need of assistance in all aspects of their lives. Nurses must therefore be trained on handling the different aspects of their patients from giving medication to controlling their psychological disorders.

On the other hand, mental health nurses have a huge role of counseling the families affected by having such a patient. It is normal for families to get overly tormented and distressed over the issue and mental health nurses come in handy for psychological support. This makes it mandatory for mental health nurse to receive ample training in guiding and counseling.

Prerequisites to Become a Psychiatric Nurse

Mental health nurse/ psychiatric nurses are advanced practice RNs and hence they must have earned a masters degree. In simple terms, to be admitted for a mental health nursing specialty, one must have had at least a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. On the other hand satisfactory GRE scores may be mandatory for admission in most nursing schools.

Nursing graduate schools also tend to ask for an active, encumbered registered nurse license. However this does not lock out other non-nursing students from taking mental health nursing as a master’s choice. For such students, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution is required for admission into nursing school. This kind of entry into nursing is referred to as direct MSN programs.

Mental Health Nurse Training- The Curriculum

As mentioned earlier Psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioners are subject to master’s level education and training. Such are the fields expected to be covered in the masters of Science in nursing-mental health nursing class:

  • Core Nursing Courses for MSN Students

These courses apply to all MSN students of all nursing specialties. They include:

Introduction to advanced practice nursing

Population based nursing

Research methods in nursing

Nursing theories

Ethics in the health care profession

Psychiatric/Mental Health Specialty Courses

In addition to taking the common MSN courses, Masters of psychiatric nursing students must take specialty courses that deeply cover all areas of mental health. These courses take the most part of the study program and include the following areas:

  • General Psychiatry

Credits covered here include mastery of psychiatric disorders across all life-spans and population subsets. Students are trained on how to asses and diagnose the different mental disorders like dementia, bipolar syndrome, psychotic disorder, depression and schizophrenia. General psychiatry courses also inform nurses of preference rates in child, adult or old age mental disorders.

  • Therapeutic Relationship Aspects of Mental Health Nursing

Mental health patients can prove difficult to understand and even control. For this reasons, PMHNP are trained on how to create lasting rapports with their patients. Creating such patient- nurse therapeutic alliances helps in better controlling of the patients who can sometimes be unruly. Student nurses are equipped with nine basic aspects of mental health nursing like being genuine, empathic and understanding, providing support, individualizing care, being available among others.

  • Psychiatric Pharmacology and Medications

PMHNs as Nurse practitioners have the mandate to carry out diagnosis and prescribe medication to their patients. In this case, nurses are trained on pharmacology of mental health nursing. This includes the different classes of drugs like anti-depressants, antipsychotic drugs, anesthesia, anxiolytics and electroconvulsive therapy among others.

  • Psychological Therapies

Many of mental health patients and their families are likely succumb to depression and distress issues. This makes it necessary for psychiatric nurses to get trained in counseling and psychology. Therapies directed towards calming the fast-pacing brain of patients are necessary. This bracket of courses also includes spiritual interventions, cognitive behavioral therapy, situation therapy and psychotherapies.

  • Nursing Ethics and Rights for The Mentally Ill Persons

This is an important aspect of mental health nurse training. Psychiatric patients have well outlined rights governing their rights over forceful hospital confinement and being forced to undertake serious processes without judgmental capacity. The mental nurse must be aware of such rights where bleaching them can be lead to harsh action upon them.

Among other credits nurses take while in mental nursing training include mastering of behavioral patterns, caring for the substance abuse patients and caring for patients with self-destructive disorders. As usual no nursing training is complete without comprehensive and supervised clinical practicum sessions. PMHNPs are no exception and they get involved in clinical rounds in home- based care centers, community care centers, psychiatric hospitals or adult centers.

Successful completion of mental health nurse training gives the nurse eligibility for sitting an exam that leads to entry into the Royal College of Psychiatrists. This membership exam is offered by the American nurses credentialing center (ANCC).

Licensed Practical Nurse Training

Licensed practical nurse training prepares nursing students for careers as licensed practical nurses, or LPNs. These medical professionals work under registered nurses and doctors to help diagnose and care for sick or injured patients, but their actual working environments can vary enormously.

Most licensed practical nurses are able to work in any area of healthcare, but other LPNs are specifically geared toward working in:

–        Hospice care facilities.

–        Mental health clinics.

–        Nursing homes.

–        Private specialist’s offices.

Though an LPN does not have the same scope of practice as a registered nurse, there are still a lot of duties that they are legally allowed to perform. This is especially true of LPNs that choose to specialize in a specific area of nursing. This makes them an invaluable addition to any medical team, whether they’re in a large hospital or a private setting.

Licensed Practical Nurse Training

Actual practical nurse courses are designed to give these nurses a good command of anatomy, physiology, pathology, medical ethics, and other subjects that relate directly to providing patient care. Practical nursing educational programs take about one year to complete, and are usually offered by community colleges, or vocational schools. In order to be eligible to be licensed in their state, practical nursing students must complete a Board of Nursing-approved licensed practical nurse training program.

Approved programs are generally offered by accredited schools, but not all accredited schools have approved programs, and vice versa. Therefore, prospective nursing students looking for a good LPN program should contact their state’s Board of Nursing, so they may obtain a list of approved LPN education programs before they enroll in one. In many states, prospective LPN students may be eligible for special financial aid programs for nurses. The Board of Nursing will also be able to point would-be nursing students in the right direction when it comes to finding tuition help, too.

Becoming an LPN gives nurses a lot of opportunity for advancement. Nurses that choose to remain LPNs can specialize in a specific area of medicine, like gerontology, or become supervisors for other LPNs in their medical facility. Nurses that want to may go back to school to become registered nurses, then advanced practice registered nurses or nurse educators. Some colleges have opted to streamline their nursing programs by providing registered nursing “bridge” programs, which make it easier for practicing LPNs to be accepted to and graduate from registered nursing training courses.

Licensed Practical Nurse Scope of Practice

Licensed practical nurses are responsible for recording patient’s vital signs, dressing wounds, preparing and giving injections, preparing and giving enemas, monitoring IVs and catheters, and helping to keep patients clean and comfortable. They also collect blood and urine samples for testing, and perform basic, routine diagnostic tests. LPNs also help complete patient records, by taking medical histories and discussing symptoms with patients.

Licensed Practical Nurses vs. Licensed Vocational Nurses

Licensed vocational nurses are often mentioned in the same context as licensed practical nurses. In reality, they are completely synonymous- the Boards of Nursing for some states simply prefer the terminology Licensed Vocational Nurse  (LVN) over Licensed Practical Nurse CLPN).  They are more less different job titles for the same job. Despite the difference in nomenclature, there is very little difference between the two in practice. Any discrepancies in training, examination, licensing requirements, or their scopes of practice are purely due to differences between individual Boards of Nursing, and not because LPNs and LVNs are totally different positions.

The states of Texas (TX) and California (CA) are the ones that issue LVN licenses instead of LPN licenses. So an LVN will only be recognized in Texas and California. Because of the difference in examination and nursing Board requirements in the two LVN states to the others, being able to practice from an LVN state to an LPN state may sometimes not be as straightforward as compared to transferring your certification within Texas and California.

Why You Should Become a Licensed Practical Nurse

If you are fascinated by medicine and enjoy the hands-on patient care approach that nursing takes, then becoming a licensed practical nurse may be a good career option for you. LPNs are heavily involved with providing patient bedside care, so you’ll have the opportunity to see the difference that you make firsthand.

Licensed practical nurse training is challenging, but the end result is a rewarding career that can take you just about anywhere you want to go. Regardless of the type of medical facility you’d prefer to work at, or the area of medicine that you’d prefer to specialize in, a good foundation as a licensed practical nurse can give you the basis for a long and happy career caring for patients.

Learning Disability Nurse Scope of Practice

Not all nurses work with people who are sick and injured- learning disability nurse training focuses on teaching nurses the proper approach to caring for children and adults with learning disabilities like ADHD.

Though it was discovered fairly recently, which leads a lot of laypeople to suspect that ADHD isn’t a legitimate diagnosis, modern medical research has found out some interesting things about treating the disorder:

–        Learning disabilities run in families, so researchers feel there may be a genetic component to them.

–        For most patients with ADHD, medication alone does not provide a long term solution. Behavioral therapy must be implemented to help patients get the most out of their pharmacological regimen.

–        Without behavioral intervention, a lot of patients with learning disabilities will go on to suffer from low self-esteem, behavioral disorders, and other problems as a result of their condition.

–        Many patients with learning disabilities notice marked improvement in their symptoms when things like dietary changes and new exercise regimens are added to their care plans.

Learning disability nurse training prepares nurses to support learning disabled patients and their families, and work as part of a multidisciplinary team in order help patients successfully manage their conditions. Good learning disability nursing provides better patient outcomes, and a lower instance of comorbid issues like depression and conduct disorders.

Learning Disability Nurse Training Requirements

Learning disability nursing is primarily a United Kingdom (U.K) phenomenon, but that doesn’t mean that nurses aren’t vital parts of learning disability management in the U.S., too. In the U.K., learning disability nurses are required to have a degree or diploma in the Learning Disability Branch of High Education in Nursing. Some learning disability nurses may be able to obtain a National Vocational Qualification Level III in Health through on the job training. Counseling courses are frequently a vital component to learning disability nurse training.


In the U.S., this form of nursing is most closely paralleled by Mental Retardation/Developmental Delays nursing, and psychiatric nursing. Though learning disabilities are neither mental retardation nor developmental delays (in fact, many people with learning disabilities have average to high IQs), some nurses with developmental delays nursing certification go on to work in behavioral treatment facilities. To obtain a Certification in Developmental Delays Nursing, nurses must have a bachelor’s degree, have passed a registered nurse licensure exam, have worked for 4,000 in a developmental delays facility within five years of applying, and then must pass a written certification exam. Licensed practical nurses and registered nurses may work in psychiatric care facilities after passing their licensing examinations, but advanced practice registered nurses must have a master’s degree in psychiatric-mental health nursing to act as a patient’s primary care provider.

Learning Disability Nurse Scope of Practice

Learning disability and developmental delays nurses have scopes of practice which are defined by the governing body in the state or country in which they practice. U.K. learning disability nurses generally work in schools, adult care facilities, counseling centers, and in homes. They assist people in developing life skills, social skills, and cultivating useful coping mechanisms for the long-term management of their learning disabilities. Adequate behavioral intervention often allows patients with learning disabilities to reduce their dependence on medication.

Developmental delays nurses and psychiatric nurses generally work with people with more severe impairments than learning disabilities. Whereas learning disabled patients need assistance with social skills, developmentally delayed patients may need help feeding themselves and learning to speak, and psychiatric patients may need help managing things like auditory hallucinations. In general, RNs and LPNs provide support to doctors and psychiatrists, while APRNs are able to act as primary caregivers for these patients. Many U.S. universities and hospitals have learning disability treatment and research centers that rely on qualified RNs, LPNs, and APRNs to help them serve learning disabled patients and their families. This includes places like New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine, home to the Center of Excellence for ADHD and Related Disorders.

Learning disabilities are a fascinating area of study for doctors and researchers, but they can be heartbreaking for patients and their loved ones. By receiving learning disability nurse training, you can put yourself in a position to help children, adolescents, and adults manage their disability, and lead full, productive lives.

ICU Nurse Training

A hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) is reserved for the patients that need the most intervention, and ICU nurse training programs teach nurses how to provide that level of care. Many intensive care units are combined with coronary care units, so some ICU nurse training programs are designed to teach nurses how to perform in an ICU/CCU. The demand for qualified ICU nurses is higher now than it’s ever been, and is probably only going to become stronger as time goes on.

A worldwide nursing shortage has left many intensive care units and CCU’s understaffed, leading to problems like the following:

– The current average age of practicing nurses has risen to 44.5, and is expected to continued to climb.

– Within the next ten years, nearly 40% of nurses are anticipated to be 50+ years old.

– Small community hospitals, urban hospitals, and rural hospitals have all reported significant difficulty in recruiting new nurses, including ICU staff.

– When hospitals have more RNs on staff, patients are less likely to require re-admittance within thirty days of being discharged.

– A recent study of hospitals with higher nurse-to-patient ratios found that patients in these hospitals had a significantly lower risk of developing nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections and other complications, including sepsis from IV lines, pneumonia from ventilators, and urinary tract infections from catheters.

Considering the critical condition that ICU occupants are in, these statistics are pretty frightening. A shortage of qualified ICU nurses puts a hospital’s most vulnerable patients at an increased risk of serious complications, and even death.

ICU Nurse Training Programs and Licensing

Licensed practical nurses or licensed vocational nurses can work in an Intensive Care Unit, but the majority of ICU, CCU, and ICU/CCU nurses are registered nurses. This means that they have received a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and have passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. Many critical care nurses choose to obtain certification through the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, but this is generally not required.

ICU nurses must be comfortable maintaining and interpreting the data from a variety of medical monitoring devices, including SAT monitors, EKGs, and more. ICU nurse training programs are designed to teach nurses specific health assessment skills, pharmacological interventions, and diagnostic procedures that are used in a critical care setting.

ICU Nurse Scope of Practice

ICU nurses are also referred to as critical care nurses, which is a pretty accurate descriptor for what they do. All states have their own Boards of Nursing, which determine the scope of practice that nurses must follow. Since nurses in ICUs are generally registered nurses, they must adhere to the scope of practice for a registered nurse. This includes collecting data on patients, creating patient care plans based on this data and physician’s recommendations, implementing care plans, evaluating patients’ responses to care, and acting as a patient liaison. Unlike a registered nurse that performs these duties for regular patients, an ICU nurse must perform them for a hospital’s sickest, most injured, and most at-risk patient populations.

Why You Should Become an ICU Nurse

Staff nurses in intensive care units usually earn between $60,000-$73,000 annually. There are also a lot of positions open for staff nurses, particularly for those with advanced degrees. If you’d like a job in a well paying, virtually recession-proof industry, then an ICU nurse may be the job you’re looking for.

The nursing shortage is worsening by the year, and a hospital’s ICU patients are one of the groups that has the most to lose from it. If you want to help save lives that would otherwise be lost to hospital-acquired infections and careless mistakes, then a career as an ICU nurse may be extremely rewarding for you.

ICU nursing isn’t easy, especially when it comes to caring for patients in neonatal or pediatric intensive care units. As physically and emotionally demanding as it may be, these patients need qualified nurses if they’re going to survive. With ICU nurse training, you can become the difference between a healthy patient that get discharged, and a statistic for negative patient care outcomes.

Free CNA Training

Becoming a certified nursing assistant doesn’t take very long, and, with free certified nurse assistant training, it doesn’t have to cost anything, either. Medical facilities the world over are hurting for qualified medical personnel, including certified nursing assistants. Because of the worldwide shortage of nurses, there are a variety of ways that you can get your CNA training, without having to worry about expensive loans.

Some of these include:

–        Grants offered by the government for unemployed American workers.

–        Scholarships offered by individual schools.

–        Loan repayment or tuition reimbursement programs offered by hospitals and medical clinics.

–        Federal financial aid, like the Pell Grant.

–        Scholarships offered by nursing associations.

–        Programs sponsored by your state’s Board of Education.

–        Low cost CNA training offered by the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and other charitable organizations.

–        Free courses offered by large, understaffed medical facilities, like hospitals and nursing homes.

Unfortunately, the majority of financial help out there is for students planning to become registered nurses or advanced practice registered nurses. The best way to find out what kind of help is available for you is to contact your state’s Board of Nursing. This organization is the governing body when it comes to nursing educational requirements, scopes of practice, and more. They will be able to point you to financial aid measures for nursing assistant students, and affordable community colleges with nursing assistant programs.

Nurse Assistant Training

Most CNA programs are approximately eight weeks in length, and cover the basics of nursing, like medical ethics, anatomy, and medical terminology. Most Boards of Nursing require nursing assistants to pass a certification exam upon graduating from the program, and then register as a certified nurse assistant before they are allowed to practice. In many states, nursing students that are currently in the process of becoming registered or licensed practical nurses are able to test and register as certified nursing assistants while they obtain their nursing degrees.

Fortunately, most nurse assistant programs are not very expensive. They’re usually less than a thousand dollars, so students looking for free certified nurse assistant training won’t have to worry about raising the thousands of dollars that regular nursing tuition usually costs.

Nurse Assistant Scope of Practice

All healthcare professionals have a scope of practice that they must adhere to. People who do things outside of their scope of practice (nurses who perform surgery, for example) can be subject to serious disciplinary action.

In general, nurse’s aides can perform basic tasks like helping patients to the restroom, bathing them, helping them dress, and assisting them with other small, daily tasks. They may also have to provide some physical therapy exercises, massage, and other gentle physical activity to prevent bedsores and joint stiffness. All nurse’s assistants report to actual nurses, and must inform them of any changes that occur in their patients. Nurse’s assistants are not nurses, and can not perform the same patient care tasks that they can.

Why You Should Become a Certified Nurse Assistant

There’s a worldwide nursing shortage, and it’s severely impacted many areas of the U.S. Many hospitals are understaffed, and every free pair of hands helps. Though nursing assistants can’t do the same things nurses do, they can help by performing minor tasks for them. This frees nurses up to focus on more important aspects of their scope of practice, without sacrificing patient care.

If you think you would like to work in a hospital setting, becoming a certified nurse assistant is a low cost, low investment way to gauge how well your interest lasts. Completing a nursing program is expensive and difficult, but being a certified nursing assistant is a great way to see how well the job “fits” you first.

Lastly, in this economic situation, workers are virtually unemployable if they don’t have some kind of training or job skills. Free certified nurse assistant training can allow you to get the skills you need in order to be able to find a job wherever you go, from hospitals, to mental health facilities, to reproductive care centers, to private doctor’s offices.

Flight Nurse Training

Flight nurse training is an extremely tough course load that’s designed to prepare nursing students for the rigors of working on a medical evacuation (medevac) helicopter or rescue plane. Working as a nurse in an emergency room situation is tough enough, but flight nurses have it even harder- they are confined to a working area in a plane or helicopter, and are generally dealing with patients that are in pretty dire straits. Many people walk into the emergency room without actually needing emergency care. Nobody gets loaded onto a medevac helicopter unless they really, really need to.

There are a lot of reasons why flight nurses need specific training, and why the number of available positions is a lot smaller than the number of would-be flight nurses:

– Being a flight nurse is one of the most mentally and physically demanding jobs in nursing.

– The patients on medical flights are universally critically ill or seriously injured, and should not be handled by inexperienced nurses.

– Flight nurses absolutely must have some practical trauma experience in order to be of value to a medical evacuation team.

–  On an medevac flight, every second counts. Nurses must be able to do everything as efficiently as possible, so absolutely no time is wasted.

Flight Nurse Training Courses

In order to become a flight nurse, candidates should already be registered nurses with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing. Additional training as an emergency medical technician doesn’t hurt, either. Generally speaking, medical flights are like stripped-down, mobile trauma centers. The ideal candidate to work on one is a nurse with a master’s degree, experience in a trauma center, and some kind of certification in life support techniques.

Though state Boards of Nursing have varying attitudes toward flight nursing with regards to their educational requirements and scopes of practice, in general there are no nursing degree programs that are designed to turn out flight nurses. Instead, the path to becoming a flight nurse generally follows a natural progression from registered nurse, to emergency room nurse in a trauma center, to continuing educational programs designed to give critical care nurses more skills when it comes to dealing with their sickest and most injured patients. Nurses can then take the certified flight registered nurse exam, and apply for one of the relatively few medevac nursing jobs available. Actual nursing examination and education requirements vary from state to state, so candidates for medevac positions should contact their local Boards of Nursing to find out what their state’s individual requirements are.

Flight Nursing Scope of Practice

A flight nurse has the same scope of practice as a critical care nurse, though some states expand their scopes of practice in order to allow flight nurses to perform all of the tasks they need to to ensure good patient outcomes. Nurses must be able to monitor patients’ IV drips (sometimes many at once), interpret readouts from instruments like EKGs, keep an eye on patients’ reactions to treatment, and assist flight doctors in performing any necessary lifesaving measures.

Flight Nursing Jobs are Limited

Despite an overall nursing shortage, there’s actually a limit to the number of flight nursing jobs available. Though flight nurses can work for either large, public hospitals or private companies, there simply aren’t enough medevac jobs available for all of the nurses that want them. This is due to the fact that flight nurses are only needed for a small percentage of patients, flight nurses don’t suffer from the same occupational burnout that a lot of hospital staff nurses do, and few flight nurses are choosing to leave their positions before retirement. This is bad news for nursing students hoping to become medevac nurses, but good news for those that make it- flight nurses generally receive excellent pay, and report a high degree of job satisfaction.

Why You Should Become a Flight Nurse

Flight nurse training can prepare you for one of the most difficult, rewarding, and prestigious careers in nursing. Being a fight nurse isn’t like being any other type of nurse, and most medevac workers wouldn’t give up their jobs for the world. If you want to be continually challenged and offered the chance to help the patients that need the most critical care, then flight nurse training may be right up your alley.

Emergency Room Nurse Training – Facts vs Fiction

Being a nurse in an ER setting is a high stress job, and emergency room nurse training reflects that. The stress that a lot of emergency room nurses experience can even end up compounded by the misconceptions that many patients and their families have about nurses, their scope of practice, and what kind of training they’ve received.

This includes myths like:

–        “Nurses aren’t as good as doctors, because they aren’t as educated.”

–        “Nurses are just doctors’ assistants, and can only do what doctors tell them to.”

–        “Hospitals have plenty of nurses.”

–        “ER nursing is for women.”

These are just a handful of things people tend to wrongfully associate with nursing, which can end up making the emergency nurse-patient relationship more difficult than it needs to be, and even discourage new students from wanting to become emergency nurses.

“Nurses aren’t as good as doctors.”

Emergency room nurse training takes a minimum of two to four years, depending on the state a nurse is practicing in. This only counts actual in-school instruction- after graduation, ER nurses are required to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, and then the Certified Emergency Nurse Exam. Some nurses choose to go beyond becoming RNs, and actually go back to school to get their master’s degrees or doctorates’ to become Advanced Practice Registered Nurses. All of these measures are designed to turn out nurses that are qualified to do all of the duties defined in their scope of practice, which is not the same as a doctor’s scope of practice.

“Nurses are just doctor’s assistants.”

ER nurses are trained to exercise their own judgment while performing their duties. Nurses are fully capable of questioning a doctor’s choices, and developing a patient’s care plan based on a doctor’s decision. An ER nurse’s ultimate function is to monitor patients, alert doctors when any changes occur, and make sure that any implemented care plans are in their patients’ best interest. Though they may assist doctors, that is not the sum total of their scope of practice.

“Hospitals have plenty of nurses.”

Most hospitals are hurting for qualified emergency staff. Many older nurses are leaving the profession because their facilities are shorthanded, leaving them to pick up mandatory overtime and cut back on patient care. Hospitals may have a lot of staff, but not all of the people that care for a patient are nurses- many may only be certified nursing assistants, which are not legally allowed to perform many of the duties that an emergency room nurse is responsible for.

“ER nursing is for women.”

It’s getting better, but many patients still think the “female nurse, male doctor” stereotype is in play, especially in hospital emergency rooms. In reality, the number of male nurses is steadily growing, as more and more young men choose to enroll in emergency room nurse training programs. Though they still make up just under 6% of the total nursing population in the U.S., that’s changing- by the year 2020, male nurses are expected to make up a full 25% of nurses.

Why You Should Become an Emergency Room Nurse

The world is facing a serious nursing shortage, and it looks like it’s only going to get worse if more new nurses don’t begin entering the workforce. By undergoing emergency room nurse training and becoming a certified ER nurse, you’ll be able to alleviate the current nursing shortage, and find yourself in an industry that will always have a job available for you. Nursing in an emergency setting can be stressful and hectic, but it’s rewarding and well-paying, too.

Each state has its own requirements for emergency nurses. If you are interested in enrolling in emergency room nurse training courses, you first stop should be your state’s Board of Nursing. The Board of Nursing can provide you with educational requirements, certification information, lists of approved nursing programs in your state, and even financial aid information. Many states are hurting for qualified emergency staff, so you may be able to find a loan forgiveness program that would allow you to attend school cheaply.

Dental Nurse Training Courses

“Nursing” doesn’t just apply to registered nurses and nurse practitioners- dental nurse training courses are designed to turn out medical staff that are equipped to work in a dentist’s or oral surgeon’s office. These settings provide a completely different set of challenges than a regular doctor’s office or ER visit. As a result, the educational requirements and licensing procedures are a bit different than they are for a typical nurse.

For example, in a clinical setting, a dental nurse must be able to:

–        Prepare and mix materials like amalgam and composite fillings.

–        Maintain an aseptic atmosphere during oral surgery.

–        Support the dentist or oral surgeon during patient visits.

–        Monitor patients during their dental procedures.

–        Take and process dental x-rays.

–        Advise patients about subjects like aftercare following a dental procedure.

Dental nurse training courses are primarily confined to the U.K., which has governing bodies that oversee the training and certification requirements for these nurses. In the U.S., the duties typically handled by a dental nurse are relegated to a “dental assistant,” which does not have the same training and certification requirements as their U.K. counterpart.

Dental Nurse Scope of Practice

In many instances, the difference between a dental nurse and a dental assistant is a semantic one. The exact scope of practice for a dental nurse or dental assistant is set by a state or country’s dental governing body. So, the things that U.S. dental assistants are allowed to do will vary from state to state, and U.K. dental nurses aren’t always able to perform the same duties as U.S. dental assistants.

In no case are dental nurses or assistants ever allowed to perform the duties of an actual dentist, even with a licensed dentist’s consent and oversight. Doing so can result in severe disciplinary action, including being barred from working as a dental nurse or assistant from that point forward. Avoiding this isn’t as easy as it sounds- in some places, things like tooth whitening and temporary crown making must be performed by a dentist. In others, they can legally be done by dental nurses or assistants. In every case, it’s important for dental staff to fully understand all of the regulations pertaining to what duties they are and are not allowed to perform.

Dental Nurse Training Courses and Certification Requirements

If you want to work as a dental nurse in the U.K., then dental nurse training courses are a requirement. Since 2008, all dental nurses must have a certificate from the National Examining Board of Dental Nurses, Certificate of Proficiency in dental nursing, course completion certificate for a one year dental nurse training program, and a National Vocational Qualification/Scottish Vocational Qualification Level three in oral healthcare. There are also additional certificates offered by the National Examining Board of Dental Nurses in subjects like “twilight” anesthesia and dental radiography, for dental nurses who assist oral surgeons and endodontists. In some countries in the U.K.,  such as Ireland, enrollment in the country’s Dental Council may be beneficial, but not mandatory.

If you want to work as a dental assistant in the U.S., you may or may not require a degree. This depends entirely on your state’s regulations. Dental nursing certifications from the U.K. are usually not sufficient to allow someone to work as a Certified Dental Assistant stateside. To become a Certified Dental Assistant, you must graduate from a two year dental assistant training program (or have two years of on-the-job experience), and pass a certification exam given by the Dental Assisting National Board.

Though both dental nurses and dental assistants provide the same kinds of support to dentists, they are treated differently in their countries of origin. If you’re a U.K. student working to become a dental nurse, then enrollment in dental nurse training courses is necessary. In the U.S., you may find that you’re able to receive in-house dental assistant training, and go on to become a Certified Dental Assistant based on your experience. In either case, your learning experiences will guarantee you a challenging, lucrative career anywhere in your homeland.

Aesthetic Nurse Training

Aesthetic nurse training focuses on cosmetic dermatology and cosmetic surgery. These nurses assist plastic surgeons and dermatologists in performing minor procedures.

These include:

–        Injections of botlinum toxin and dermal fillers, like Botox, Restylane, or collagen.

–        Chemical skin peels.

–        Microdermabrasion.

–        Laser skin treatments, like hair removal and facial resurfacing.

–        Face lifts.

–        Fat grafting.

–        Sclerotherapy.

In addition, they also assist with other duties, like:

–        Assessing patients for signs of aging.

–        Providing post-operative care and instructions.

–        Filling out patient charts and records.

–        Maintaining OSHA and HIPAA compliance.

Aesthetic nurses are expected to perform all of the duties of regular nurses when it comes to patient interaction and care, in addition to having extensive knowledge of laser safety, concentrated acids, and plastic surgery patient aftercare.

Some aesthetic nurses will end up in operating rooms, assisting with fat grafts and implants. Others may end up in a small office, assisting with laser procedures. The sheer number of different dermatological and cosmetic procedures out there means that cosmetic nurses need to be well-rounded.

Aesthetic Nurse Training – What it Takes

Aesthetic nurses are, above all, nurses. They are held to a scope of practice just like other nurses are, and are governed by their state’s Board of Nursing. As a result, training requirements for aesthetic nurses can vary from state to state. In most states, aesthetic nurses are required to be registered nurses or advanced practice registered nurses before they are allowed to handle laser procedures, injections, or chemical peels. In other states, some of the duties of an aesthetic nurse can be handled by an aesthetician, a skin care specialist with absolutely no nursing training. In still other states, only a physician may perform procedures like dermal filler injections or deep sclerotherapy.

In general, after becoming an RN or APRN, nurses who choose to become aesthetic professionals can enroll in special aesthetic nurse training programs. These are designed to teach nurses the specifics of laser physics and safety, chemical peels, and injectables like collagen. Some aesthetic nurses are able to obtain hands-on instruction from doctors in the field, but many states are in the process of revising their educational and certification requirements for aesthetic nurses, including insisting on formal education programs. Because state regulations can vary so much, it’s best that you contact your state’s Board of Nursing in order to get an accurate overview of educational, examination, and certification requirements for asethetic nurses in your area.

Aesthetic Nurse Salaries

Aesthetic nurses can make anywhere from $12 to over $40 an hour, depending on their level of education, the kind of services and products they are certified to use, and the practice they work for. Nurses who provide support to plastic surgeons in busy, urban areas generally command the highest salaries, while those working for dermatologists or spas in quiet, small towns generally end up on the lower end of the spectrum. Similarly, nurses in states that allow aestheticians to handle some of their scope of practice generally earn less than nurses in states that require aesthetic nurses to be RNs or APRNs.

Why You Should Become an Aesthetic Nurse

The field of aesthetic nursing provides a lot of unique opportunities for nurses. There aren’t really any other medical fields where nurses will be able to handle things like powerful lasers and potent skin peels, or where they can help people feel beautiful. If you enjoy nursing, but would like to enter a field that poses a different kind of challenge than being a hospital staff nurse does, then asethetic nurse training may be able to help you.

Some advanced practice nurses end up becoming entrepreneurs, opening up their own spas and offices. If you want to remain a nurse, and turn your medical education into a business opportunity, then aesthetic nursing might be the perfect field for you.

Aesthetic nurse training is about more than helping rich people look younger- it’s also about helping people with scars and other disfigurements recapture their lost self-esteem. As a nurse, you can help people feel better. As an aesthetic nurse, you’ll be able to help people look as good as they feel.

Online Nursing Continuing Education

Whether your goal is to get contact hours for the renewal of your registered Nurse (RN) license, or you just want to keep abreast with new developments in the nursing field, continuing education is the way. A CEU is a continuing education unit and these units can be used to meet the requirements of nurses who need to refresh their nursing skills after long periods of inactivity.

With the medical field gaining a lot of momentum in terms of ethics, practice, technology, it would be challenging if nurses were not updated on each and every new development. Continuing education ensures the board of nursing that the current nurses are able to deal with diverse cases of health needs

What to Look for in Online Nursing CE Courses

While enrolling for contact hours is an assurance of your ability to renew your license, you must ensure the provision of your contact hours is approved to offer nursing continuing education. It would be very sad to have rest assured that you have met your state’s requirement for contact hours, only to realize the CEUs you took are not recognized.

To be on the safe side with online CEUs, RN and other nursing personnel like Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) nurses must ensure that the institution or agency is accredited to do so. The American Nurses Credentialing Centre is the accrediting body for all CEU providers.

Options for Nurses Taking Online Nursing CEUs

The best option depends on what the nurse intends to do with the CEU. As mentioned earlier, if the CE courses are for license renewal contact hours, nurses must find accredited agents. If on the other hand the CEUs are meant to broaden your general nursing skills, it is not very necessary to look for expensive CEs. However, the certificate option is always recommended but not mandatory for such RNs.

In terms of payment, nurses should do a lot of research on the best fees from accredited agencies. Some agencies offer options for nurses to subscribe annually. During the active subscription period, the nurse may take an unlimited number of continuing education tests.

Other agencies offer a set of CEUs for a given price while others still, charge the nurses per Unit test taken. As a usual observation, it is economical to subscribe for the annual fee. However, this also depends on the number of CEUs to take for that particular period. If taking the necessary CEUs costs less than the subscription, it makes economic sense to pay per unit.

Advantages of Online CE Course over On-site Courses

  • As usual, taking courses online is the best option for the busy nurse who, as matter of fact, cannot spare time to attend annual conferences or workshops. Online continuing education allows the nurse to take the courses at their convenience and pace.
  • For most online CEs providers, certificates are available as soon as the nurse finishes the test and attains the pass mark. This means that CE certificates can be printed instantly after passing an online test. This is of great advantage if CE was a requirement towards getting a new job.
  • Economically, online nursing CEs are cheaper when compared to physical attendance courses. You do not have to leave home or the workplace with a bundle of amenities to use at the conference center. It will also save you from incurring extra travel or boarding expenses.
  • It is also possible to get free continuing education courses as a bonus for your subscription or other purchases of CEs. Most online agencies offer once-in-a-while free courses, hence an added advantage to the nurse.

Beware of Fraudulent Online Continuing Education Agencies

As a nurse, it is your sole responsibility to ensure you get the value of your money. It is advisable that nurses ensure the payment methods for online CEUs are transparent, secure, and safe. By this means, you should never use your credit card information for non-trustworthy sites. It is your responsibility to verify that the billing is only done once with no hidden or future billing.

If the case you do not get satisfied with the courses, the online agency must be in a position to refund back your fee as long as they have provided for that on their terms and conditions page.

Nurse Practitioner Pharmacology Continuing Education

Nurse practitioners have higher responsibilities in the health care ranks. This includes senior mandates like those of carrying out diagnosis and giving prescriptions to patients. To be competent in their areas of practice, they must keep abreast with changing trends and developments in the areas of pharmaceutical drug treatments and other medications.

Usually with time, some drugs are banned out of the market while other times, novel drugs with better efficacy are introduced in the market. It is the responsibility of nurse’s practitioners to learn all the new pharmacological trends prevailing in the market. This updates are now easily available through pursuing nurse’s practitioner pharmacology continuing education courses.

Aspects of Pharmacology

Pharmacology is the study of what happens to drugs when they get into the body. It includes the study of absorption of drugs, their metabolism and ultimate excretion from the body. Pharmacology also includes the study of how ingested drugs are distributed in the body and how they function in elimination of diseases. It also tries to expound on how drugs are delivered to the target organs or systems in the body.

Samples of Pharmacology Continuing Education Courses for Nurse Practitioners

There are numerous pharmacology CEs available for various disease classes or sub groups of patients. Nurse Practitioners should therefore look for CEs that suit their current practice and what specialty of nursing they handle. Below are the most essential pharmacology continuing education units from the various pharmacological approaches:

Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics CEUs

i)        Drug Administration , Absorption and distribution

This pharmacology CE unit covers the areas of how drugs are administered and the various routes they should be administrated through. These include drug admin routes like IV, ID, IM or oral admin. It also includes training on specific drug absorption and their ultimate bioavailability in the blood system. In bioavailability, NPs are informed of how much of the drugs reaches the blood system and how long it stays there. The course also includes studies on drug elimination/excretion routes and toxicity of remnant residues.


ii)      Drug Metabolism CE

In drug metabolism, nurse practitioners are informed of what happens to the drug after it is absorbed in the body. It covers deep study of drugs kinetics and what aspects of the body are affected after drugs ingestion. Kinetics involves effects of drugs to functionality and production of enzymes, hormones, body fluids and other biological pathways.

 Respiratory System Drugs

This category of pharmacology CE targets nurse practitioners who deal with respiratory disorders patients like chronic asthma, rhinitis, bronchitis, coughs, TB among others. The course aims at teaching the NP on how their patients should manage their chronic respiratory conditions.  Knowledge is given on what conditions the patient should avoid to keep away acute attacks. Intervention measures like use of inhalers and lung unblockers are also taught.

Insulin and Diabetes Mellitus Pharmacology CEUs

They cover major aspects of diabetes treatment measures using insulin. NPs who deal with geriatric patients and other susceptible groups are the more suitable for this CE course. New developments on both type I and ii diabetes are taught.

Proteins Synthesis Inhibitors/ Antibiotics

Antibiotics are the most widely used of all drugs classes. NPs from all nursing specialties must therefore learn the use of all antibiotics and any new changes.  Antibiotics function by blocking protein synthesis of many microbial organisms like viruses, bacteria and fungi.

Apparently, there is an increased observation of antibiotic resistance among patients. This leads to many antibiotics being banned from use after resistance is noticed. NPs must be kept abreast with all new antibiotics recommend for various drugs and those whose use have been banned.

Hormone Replacement Therapies

Hormones are the sole regulators of body functions and systems. Hormone study is therefore vital in helping NPs decide the type of therapy most suitable for patients. Specific areas covered include hormone replacement or down regulation therapies,

Toxicology Studies

Toxicology is taught to NPs so that they can assess the effect of drugs after use by patients. The study aims at informing the nurse practitioner on what interventions should be done in case of drug overdose, poisoning, under dose or timely accumulation of drugs in the body system.

Other vital pharmacology continuing education units recommend for nurse practitioners include:

  • Top Nurse Specialty prescriptions
  • Prescribing controlled substances
  • Drug-Receptors Interactions
  • Adrenergic agonist drugs
  • Antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial drugs mechanisms
  • Antidiuretic and diuretics
  • Cholinergic drugs mechanisms
  • Anxiolytics and Hypnotics Drugs
  • Anti-arrhythmic drugs
  • Gastrointestinal and antiemetic drugs
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs –NSAIDS,SAIDS and anti-rheumatics
  • Antidepressants

Certified Nurse Assistant Training Programs

What do Certified Nurse Assistant Training Programs Encompass?
A certified nurse assistant, also referred to as a CNA is a health professional who has received training on providing daily care to patients. They are health care assistants who work under the supervision of senior medical personnel like doctors, specialist nurses and RNs to help patients with routine living chores while in hospital. For clarity, some states use terms like Nurse Aide, Personal Care Technician, Orderly to refer to the Assistant Nurse.

Since certified nurse assistants spend relatively more time with patients than any other medical staff, they are relied upon by doctors and RNs to report on patients’ proceedings and response to treatment. They provide key information on patients’ trends by submitting vital signs regarding the patients to senior medical staff.

What is the Eligibility for Admission into Certified Nurse Assistant Training programs?

Becoming a CNA is quite simple because the requirements are not exaggerated. You will need a high school diploma and you will have an easy time if you were good in sciences. Some training schools may also ask for a GED instead of a high school diploma.

It is also quite common for some states to ask for a clean criminal and drug abuse record. If there are state-specific requirements to enroll for assistant nurse training programs, they can be provided by your states Nurse Aide Registry.

The Curriculum of CNA Trainees

The curriculum of CNAs is not quite a hassle and it is easy to learn the concepts. Generally, student nurses are trained on how to feed, groom and maintain the hygiene of their patients. Since CNAs have more contact with the patients, they must be trained to create good rapports with their patients.  Just like any other medical profession, you must learn a bit of anatomy and physiology.

Other code of ethics of the healthcare are also taught which include patient privacy, medical law, displaying patient dignity and being respectful.

In addition to the theory part, there are practical lessons where the student has to meet the real patients. This is meant to access your ability to carry out your nurse- aide roles under the supervision of a RN.

Training duration for CNA Programs

Although this may as well differ among states, the average time required to complete a nurse assistant training program is six months with some programs running for as short  as two weeks or as long as nine months.

Like other minor nursing careers, CNAs can get their training in community colleges, vocational schools and hospital settings. Some hospitals are also willing to offer free training to aspiring assistant nurses and even paying for their certification. Other non-governmental organizations like the American Red cross may also train Assistant nurses who wish to work as volunteers.

State Certification for Nurse Aides

It is good to distinguish at this point that assistant nurses is the term used to refer to nurse aides who have graduated or are practicing without certification. But they gain a new title upon certification to be known as Certified Nurses Assistants.

The state certification exam is a two-part test; a written multiple choice test and a practical skills test. The practical part assess your mastery on three to five nurse assisting skills like infection control, hygiene, nutrition, dignity towards patient, privacy, monitoring of vital signs among others.

Requesting for Certified Nurse Assistant Reciprocity

Ordinarily, CNAs cannot work in other states outside of which they have been certified. However if a CNA wishes to shift and work in another state, they must to request reciprocity; which means that you will be requesting the new state to accept you a certified Nurse assistant.

In this case, you will have to apply for enrollment by reciprocity from your states Nurse Aide Registry. A little explanation concerning your reasons for moving may be required and if it is validated, you will be allowed to work in the new state. This process can be done directly in the new state or by the assistance of your current state depending on urgency.

Cardiac Nurse Specialist Education and Training

A cardiovascular nurse is a Registered nurse who tends to patients with heart related ailments.  They specifically take care and aid patients suffering from angina, heart diseases, atherosclerosis and congestive heart failure.

They are also involved in patient education on preventable heart complications and heart attacks. Theses nurses are also trained to rehabilitate post- surgery heart patients and how they can change their lifestyle habits for better management of their conditions.

Although it may sound impressive, Cardiac Nurse Specialist education and training takes commitment and dedication. Only those with those ingredients can usually successfully qualify.

Minimum Requirements for Cardiovascular Nurse Education

Prior to taking a specialty, cardiac nurses are usually Registered nurses who have taken advancement in their education. To practice as a cardiac nurse specialist, you must have earned a Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in cardiovascular nursing concepts.

RNs that already have a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing usually have a direct entry to a MSN. Those RNs who only have an Associate of Science in nursing degree must consider upgrading their education levels to a BSN before enrolling for a specialist nurse training in cardiology.

Cardiac Nurse Specialist Courses

A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a specialty in cardiology has a curriculum that covers topics inherent from cardiac nursing concepts. Like every nurse specialist, you will earn credentials to become an advanced practice RN. The key courses covered as part of the cardiovascular nurse specialist curriculum are:

  • Cardiovascular diseases

Nurse trainees are made aware of the different types of cardiac ailments and their preferences to different subsets of patients e.g. the elderly, children and the middle aged.

  • Cardiac abnormalities

Future cardiac nurses are taught how to monitor and give projections on the health of cardiac patients. They are trained to learn at what situation cardiac patients are more likely to develop complications.

  • Differential diagnosis in cardiac care

Here, nurses are trained on how to accurately diagnose suspected cases of heart ailments. Correct diagnosis is the key to saving lives in cardiac nursing.

  • Health risk assessment in cardiac care

Students must learn to predict what conditions puts cardiac patients at higher risks of developing new cases heart attacks. Students are equipped with skills of advising patients to avoid health risks that would make their conditions acute.

  • Family education on lifestyle changes

Many cardiac complications like atherosclerosis, congestive heart failure are inherent from lifestyle eating habits and poor nutrition. Students are therefore trained on public health education that would help patients and their families reduce chances of developing heart complications. Good nutrition devoid of bad saturated fatty acids and excessive cholesterol helps mitigate atherosclerosis; a big contributor to congestive heart failure

  • Postoperative cardiac patient care

Post-operative rehabilitation is important in the healing process of cardiac patients. Students must learn methods of calming cardiac patients to prevent further shock and heart attack. They are taught patient psychology and how to counsel patients

  • Monitoring of vascular readings

Many heart patients are kept under critical care; where respiration is supported by medical equipment. As such, cardiac nurses must learn to monitor vital signs like heartbeat and reading heart supportive machines. Any deviation from the norm should be reported to the doctors in charge

  • Critical care and resuscitation techniques

Cardiac patients are prone to acute heart failure and heart attacks. This is a very critical situation and the student nurse must be in the position to give the breath of life when possible. Resuscitation techniques and heart shock-up are therefore key elements of cardiac nurse training

  • Clinical practicum

This is part and parcel of every nursing degree program and cardiac nurses are no exception. Most states require a minimum of 600 hours of direct patient-student interaction. However, this requirement differs among any given states.

Duration of Study for Cardiovascular Nurse Specialists

Just like any other specialist nurses, cardiac nurse specialists take a minimum of two years of graduate studies but duration may also differ depending on the training program chosen. Full time programs take less time as compared to part time study programs

The Certification of Cardiac nurses

Cardiac nurse graduates must sit and pass the cardiac nursing specialist exam. This exam is facilitated by the American Nurses Credentialing Center upon which, successful nurses are obtain a license to practice. This license however, must be renewed every five years or according to your states guidelines.


What Training Is Needed To Become A Registered Nurse?

Registered nurses have the critical responsibility of carrying out complex hospital tasks like administering medication, formulating and implementing care plans, patient education, counseling among other duties. They facilitate the treatment process by acting as the most important co-workers of doctors and physicians.

Registered Nurse Training Explained

Contrary to many beliefs, registered nurse training is not a just a mere program of learning how to take care of patients. It has more attached to as outlined by the kind of training nurses receive before being licensed to practice as nurses. The education path required is quite challenging and is almost equivalent to what doctors undergo in med school.

The Three Paths to Become a RN

There are three typical paths which student can choose to follow to become RNs. Upon completion of any of the below programs, prospective RNs must pass the NCLEX-RN exam.

i)        Diploma in Nursing

This is the lowest level of education a RN can start off with. A diploma program in nursing is usually administered in a hospital setting contrary to classroom education. It is unique in that the nurse trainee is confined to the hospital and learns what RNs do from practical. This type of entry-level to become a RN is not common and there are very few diploma programs in nursing

ii)      Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN)

This is a very popular path preferred by many Registered Nurses. This nursing program is offered by junior colleges and takes about 2 to 3 years to complete the curriculum. The course details involve theoretical class lessons and an in-depth supervised clinical practicum. The study scope for RNs who take this path is wider as compared to those who opt for the Diploma programs. The biggest advantage to Registered Nurses who take this program is that there are better advancing opportunities by enrolling for RN to BSN programs.

iii)    Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing gives a RN much specialized training on other broader fields of nursing like leadership, interpersonal skills and policy making. Students who choose this path must be ready to undertake four years of study inclusive of the clinical attachment. A BSN is more relevant when a student wishes to assume more organizational positions like tutoring, nurse consultant, and medical researcher among others.

Major Training Courses for Registered Nurses

Regardless of which training path taken is taken to become a RN, there are common curriculum courses that all RN trainees must be trained on.  They are the basic nursing concepts with the exception of those on organizational and administrative roles. All of these courses cover the major issues which a nurse must handle in their line of duty.

Even though all aspects of nursing are taught at ASN and BSN level, they do not go into extremely deep details. Such depth is covered when RNs wish to be trained and specialize in one specific line of study to become Advanced Practice RNs. In summary, such courses include:

  • Anatomy and Physiology

These are the most important foundation courses of nursing. RN trainees are trained using cadavers, the anatomy of the human body. These basic courses take the better part of the first year of nursing school. Physiology is also taught in the first and second years and students are trained on all basic life processes, diseases processes/pathology.

  • Pharmacology and Medical terminology

RNs must be trained on the use of common medications and treatments in the hospital setting. Because RNs have the mandate to administer treatment to patients, the study of pharmacology is a must for all RNs. It involves a lot of chemistry and organic chemistry and a mastery of medical terminologies used by doctors.

  • General Health Promotion Courses

Upon certification and licensure, RNs work not only in the hospital but also in communities, homecare settings and as occupational nurses. As such, they must be trained on how to handle special issues e.g. children, the elderly, occupational patients, nutrition education and the disabled. They must be well acquainted with skills to teach the public on disease mitigation measures.

  • Special Patients’ Care Courses

These include slight training in a wide range of special attention cases. A RN must at least be able to handle different patient cases even in the absence of an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) or a Specialist Nurse. It is therefore important for any RN to have an insight on pediatrics, psychiatry, surgery, gerontology, geriatrics and midwifery. As mentioned earlier, these are not taught in depth but are advancement opportunities for Registered Nurses who would want to take a MSN and become advanced practice registered nurses.

  • Laboratory methods

Finally, RNs like all medical personnel must be trained on common laboratory techniques. They must be trained on safe sample collection and testing for most common ailments.

Advanced Training for RNs

RNs have good chances to advance and get trained on specific lines of duty. There are numerous RN to MSN programs that allow a trained RN to get to the levels of a NS or APRN.

Specialist Nurse Training

Who is Specialist Nurse?
As a registered nurse, you may wish to only specialize in the care and treatment of only one subset of patients in the healthcare field. By so doing, you receive special training on nursing concepts pertaining to that group of patients. Upon graduation, you will receive a new title under the Advanced Practice Registered Nurses bracket (APRN) and be referred to as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS).

Clinical Nurse Specialist Training Courses

A clinical nurse specialist is a health care professional who have practiced as a RN but has advanced their level of expertise in one field by taking a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). CNS training equips a RN with vast and in depth skills on one particular topic of their choice, enabling them to undertake roles in that particular field of choice.

The training ladder of a CNS starts with enrollment for a MSN degree in either an online program or a traditional classroom setting. The courses taught at this point are meant to hone your skills to perfection. The training revolves around research methods, teaching skills and specialized subjects. Generally, a typical specialist nurse training program will have courses from the likes of:

Theory and Practice in Your Area of Specialization

In depth training is offered for the particular area of specialty. CNS trainees are trained on common demographics and trends relevant to their areas of specialization. Specialist nurses are taught to formulate and test nursing theories using practical approaches.

Pharmacology in Advanced Practice

Courses in this bracket equip the CNS with advanced knowledge on pharmacological principles pertaining to their area of specialty. This is usually advancement on prior pharmacological lessons. The difference between the pharmacological courses at this level and that of RNs is that, they target only the subset of patient population to be handled.

Instructional Theory and Teaching Methods

These courses are meant for Clinical nurse specialists who wish to become tutors in their niche. Here, CNSs are trained on how to develop an already formulated curriculum and how to implement it. Other aspects of efficient curriculum delivery and instructional methods are also taught. In addition, student nurses who wish to take this route must undertake a supervised teaching practice session to access their ability to deliver to a classroom setting.

Nursing Ethics

Here, nurse specialist trainees receive concepts of conflict resolution in the health care arena. They are taught how to choose the most ethical and appropriate decision making models depending on the health dilemma at hand. Specialist nurses are also trained to be their first patients’ advocates when the situation deems necessary.

Advanced Concepts of Integrated Healthcare

This equips aspiring clinical specialist nurses with concepts spanning the whole medical practice. These integrated medical courses are meant to emphasize collaboration between all disciplines of health care. They include general courses on vulnerable groups, community and public health, occupational health and hospital based patient care.

Research Methods in Nursing

Research is part and parcel of clinical nurse specialist and as such, they must be trained on data collection techniques, quantitative and qualitative data analysis methods, design and formulation of research hypothesis among other clinical research methods.

Clinical practical lessons

This is the ultimate test of gauging whether what is trained is put into correct implementation. Practical clinical sessions allow specialist nursing students to have the real-world-patient contact.

Different Areas of Specialty Choices for CNSs

  • Pediatric nurses
  • Occupational health nurses
  • Gerontology/ Geriatrics nurses
  • Psychiatry/ Mental health nursing
  • Perioperative/ OR nurses
  • Anesthetic nurses
  • Holistic nurses
  • Cardiac nurses

Certification of Clinical Nurse Specialists

Upon successful completion of the respective specialist nurse training programs, students are expected to pass a credentialing exam in order to get certification. The certification exam differs from state to state but the concept is the same. It is worth noting that regardless of which state you are in, all CNS must renew their certification and credentials every five years to be allowed to continue practicing.

Psychiatric Nurse Training

Trained psychiatric nurses do not deal with sick people per se, but a class of patients who require special attention due to their distorted judgmental capacity and lack of sound mind. This is a branch of nursing where you will be taught to take care for one who cannot make sound individual judgments for most things in their lives.

Trying to restore sanity to sane persons is not a walk in the park and therefore, psychiatric nurses need to be well versed with patience, sympathy, tolerance and support for their patients. This forms part of the core values before embarking on psychiatric training.

Psychiatric Nurse Training

For you to be eligible for psychiatric nurse training, you must have come from the level of a registered nurse.  Most psychiatric nurses are RNs who have taken mental health nursing as an advanced education option.  They are in the health professional cluster known as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses and have superior knowledge on mental health issues.

The Training Path of Mental Health Nurses

To become a Psychiatric Nurse (PN), it is a prerequisite to be a RN. It is also possible to start your psychiatry nursing training from the level of an Associate of Science in nursing degree holder. Starting off with a BSN is also recommended but not required.

You must take the usual training path of being a registered nurse at nursing school and the advancement to a PN comes later as a specialty. After completion of nursing school and graduating with your BSN or ASN, you will be required to take additional skills on mental health-related courses. The nursing training courses for those interested in mental health nursing involve intensive study of:

  • General psychiatry
  • Psychological therapies
  • How to build therapeutic alliances
  • Psychiatric pharmacology
  • Child and old age psychiatry and
  • Mastering of Behavioral patterns

In addition to the coursework, aspiring psychiatric nurse trainees will need to undergo a period of supervised mental clinical study. Upon successful completion of this section, the trainee psychiatric is expected to take and pass an exam that will give them membership to the Royal College of Psychiatrists.  After this comes the certification as a psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Future Outlook and Career Advancement of Psychiatric Nursing

If you wish to advance and have an area of specialty in the field of psychiatric nursing, you may enroll for an additional 2-year Master of Nursing to become a specialized psychiatrist nurse. A specialized psychiatric nurse will be particularly trained in either of the following:

i)        Adolescents’ psychiatry

ii)      Adult and old age psychiatry or

iii)    Child psychiatry

This gives the nurse a Certificate of Completion in Specialist Training, one of the highest levels a psychiatric nurse can attain.

Roles of a Psychiatric Nurse

Naturally, it is quite challenging to deal with mentally ill persons and as such, psychiatric nurses need to be specially trained to handle this group of patients. Many mentally challenged patients are extremely violent and unruly and it is the work of the psychiatric nurse to ensure they are calm and orderly. As a psychiatric nurse, your training will reflect your ability to:

  • Administer psychiatric treatments and medications to psychiatric patients
  • Administer psychological therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapies
  • Perform Electroconvulsive therapy
  • Help patients cope with spiritual and psychosocial distress
  • Manage community centers for the mentally ill
  • Conduct counseling sessions; especially to depression patients
  • In rare and concerted cases, a psychiatric practitioner, in conjunction with a senior doctor or other psychiatric nurses have the role of administering forceful detention to mental patients. But is this observed only in the case where other forms of management therapies have failed.  According to the Mental Health Act, this is only allowed if the patient is not in a capacity to make the decision of voluntary detention.

Work Setting of Mental Health Nurses

Most psychiatric nurse graduates work in mental health agencies: home based and long-term care facilities, community centers for the mentally challenged and major psychiatric hospitals. Those nurses who work as community psychiatrists are referred to as Community Psychiatric Nurses (CPNs), while those who work in hospital settings are referred to as Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Salary Range for Nurses in Psychiatry

As given under the bureau of labor and statistics, a fully qualified and certified psychiatrist nurse practitioner should expect a salary of anywhere between $70000 and $85000. As with any career, these figures are subject to change depending on the highest level of education attained, location and other relevant certifications.

Phlebotomy Training for Nurses

Phlebotomist nurses are specially trained nurses who perform the delicate task of drawing blood samples from patients for testing purposes.  They ensure blood samples from patients reach the testing laboratory in good and un-tampered conditions. They are also nurses who are involved in blood donation and transfusion roles.

In addition to drawing blood, some phlebotomist nurses are trained on how to collect fecal and urine samples from patients. But this depends on the curriculum needs of the training program you enroll with.

Requirements to Enroll for Phlebotomist Training Programs

The phlebotomist training program is one of the easiest entry modes to the health care field. The prerequisites are not over the roof and the time required to finish the training is not long. Although is a relatively new career line in the medical profession, the simple requirements for admission are attracting huge numbers of high school graduates.

Most phlebotomist training schools only require a minimum of a high school diploma or GED.  However, requirements differ from state to state and you can check with your States’ Board of Nursing to get precise information.

RNs nurses who wish to become phlebotomists can also enroll in training programs at their disposal.

Where to Enroll for Phlebotomy Training for Nurses

Unlike other nursing programs that must be taken at nursing schools, phlebotomy training does not have to take place in a typical nursing institution. Phlebotomy training programs are normally found in vocational schools and community colleges.

Other popular places to get phlebotomy training are through health-related organizations like the red cross, hospital-based training, and private physician offices. As a precautionary measure, any student enrolling for this training must ensure that the school or facility they are enrolled in is accredited to do so by the relevant state authority.

Already registered nurses may not have a hard time grasping the program concepts of phlebotomy. For them, it is appropriate to take online classes and arrange practical assessments in the hospitals they work in.

Training Duration for Phlebotomists

Usually, students who have just graduated with high school diplomas take an average of one year to complete training in phlebotomy. The number of lecture and practical hours differs from one school to the other, but the most common is 1040 hours of classroom work and practicum.

Some phlebotomist training programs even take a record three months, whereby, students take 40 hours for theory and 90 hours practical sessions including skin and vein punctures. In addition, nurses who wish to be trained in new skills and technologies of phlebotomy may attend short courses that usually take 3 to 7 days to complete.

Some major hospitals may also arrange in-door training for a number of their registered nurses. Those nurses are then trained on-site about concepts of blood drawing, sampling, records keeping, and preserving patients’ samples. Normally, a certificate of completion may be issued in such situations.

Typical Courses in Phlebotomy Training

Courses in phlebotomy involve the correct ways of handling patients and samples withdrawn from them. Typical courses will include:

  • Clinical laboratory techniques
  • Management of blood banks
  • Safe laboratory practices
  • Disposal of laboratory equipment
  • Ethics in health care
  • Patient-clinician rapport and patient psychology
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Basic math for health sciences

Certification of Phlebotomy Nurses

To get certified as a phlebotomy nurse, you will need to have been trained on the above-listed courses and passed successfully. The certification process will then involve a written and practical exam to test your hands-on skills.

The common certification test look at medical law and ethics, vein puncture and skin punctures, general knowledge on human anatomy and physiology, disinfection, biohazards labeling and disposal, patient preparation for phlebotomy among others.

There are several national organizations that can give you certification. Each of them has a different set of guidelines for certification. Examples include

American Phlebotomy Association

National Phlebotomy Association

American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)

Board registry of the ASCP

National Credentialing Agency for Lab Personnel

Perioperative Nurse Training

What is Perioperative Nurse Training?

Perioperative nurses are medical personnel who play the crucial role of caring for patients about to undergo surgery, those who are under surgery, and even care about surgery. They work closely with surgeons in the operating rooms (OR) to ensure the patient has good chances of survival and does not succumb to surgical complications. As such, perioperative nurse training involves training in critical/ intensive care, basic life support, and trauma management

Prerequisites to Enroll for Perioperative Nurse Training

Like many other nursing professions, aspiring perioperative nurses need to be registered nurses (RNs) who have active licenses to practice nursing. This means that you must have undergone Nursing School to attain your Associate of Science in Nursing degree or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

In order to specialize as a perioperative nurse, you will need to undergo further training on issues pertaining to the surgery room and operation theatres. This area of training requires an individual who has a great capacity for teamwork, fast-acting, and a quick thinker. This is because the life of patients under surgery is usually at stake according to how fast and effective things happen in the OR.

Curriculum for Perioperative Nurse Training

Perioperative nurses have most of their work is practical. For this reason, they need to be given adequate training on how to be accurate, fast, and reliable. They work in tight-breathtaking work environments where accuracy is the key. Since they are already RNs, perioperative nurse trainees only need to get well acquainted with OR procedural courses like:

  • Trauma Management in the OR

This is critical in the OR and OR nurses are trained to handle patients who undergo trauma during and after surgery. This includes emotional and physical support of post-surgery patients, nursing, and dressing of surgical wounds. They are also trained to help pre-surgery patients to come to terms with the reality of surgery. Many patients get traumatizing moments if they think of surgery and they must be promised and assured it is the only way to restore their health.

  • Basic Life Support Training

Chances of excessive bleeding, loss of consciousness, acute infection, coma, and other complications are high during surgery. Perioperative nurses are trained to act fast in these circumstances to enable the survival of the patients. Basic life support skills such as resuscitation, cardiac life support, blood transfusion, and acute disinfection are taught during perioperative training.

  • Comprehensive OR Equipment Training

This is a technical aspect of perioperative nurse training programs. Since operation room nurses will be working with many life support equipment, they need to be quite conversant on how these machines are used.

Training also involves the ability to troubleshoot and rectify problems that might occur to OR equipment during surgery. The major equipment is microscopes, IV pumps, oxygen and nitrogen tanks, surgical laser lights, electrosurgical equipment, suction systems, LCD monitor displays and cameras, sequential surgical machines, and many more.

The Work Scope of Perioperative Nurses

There are a number of fields where a perioperative nurse can specialize in which include:

i)        Circulator perioperative Nurse

This is a nurse who is trained to manage the surgery environment. The nurse has the role of ensuring the patient is well strapped in the operation table. They also have the responsibility of transferring the surgery patient from the surgery room to the ward or intensive care unit.

The circulating nurse also makes sure all surgical equipment is sterile for use in the OR. They are taught to ensure all medical equipment meant for surgery comply with the set standards of sterility and safety.

ii)      Scrub OR Nurse

These nurses work very closely with the Surgeons and doctors to aid in the surgical process. Scrub nurses act as the “spare hands” of the surgeon because they exchange and pass on surgical instruments to the surgeon. They are the messenger nurses in the OR.

iii)    Pre-operative Nurse

This field is meant to prepare patients for surgery. Pre-op nurses are trained to monitor and stabilize the emotional and psychological worries of the patient before surgery. They are specially trained in counseling and psychological therapies. They can also perform the tasks of the circulating nurse like preparation and sterilization of the OR.

Legal nurse Consultant Training Courses

Legal nurses are in the first place, registered nurses who have earned their associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing. In addition to nursing, they receive a continuing education program in legal matters.

Who are Legal Nurse Consultants (LNC)?

A legal nurse consultant is a RN who provides consulting services to attorneys, lawyers in a court of law in cases that have a medical component. They may also work as expert witnesses in a court of law during trial; where medical knowledge and interpretation is involved.

They are employed by attorneys who want to have a deeper understanding of the medical concepts that would be termed as malpractice to patients or infringement of patient’s rights.

In other instances, legal nurse consultants are employed by insurance companies that offer health insurance, life insurance or as legal representatives of hospitals.

Courses for Legal Nurse Consultant Training Programs

Legal nurses must take a further 1 or 2 semesters to be allowed to practice as legal nurse consultants. The courses are intertwined with the principles and practice of legal nursing and legal proceedings involving the medical field. Such would include:

  • Introduction to Law and LNC

This course introduces students to basic medical law and ethics. It also introduces the student nurse to the work scope of a legal nurse consultant. Students must learn the code of medical ethics, the rights and entitlement of patients while undergoing treatment.

  • Criminal law and complex litigation

Future legal nurses are trained on the litigation process and how they should present truthful information when they are called upon in a law suit. Legal nurses may be representing either the plaintiffs or defendants sides but are usually observed on the plaintiffs’ suit. Legal nurses must be trained to provide unbiased information regardless of which side of the lawsuit they are in.

  • The role of LNC in litigation

Aspiring LNC are trained on what information is deemed necessary in the litigation process. They made aware of what is expected from them if they are called upon to be in the litigation process

  • Medical malpractice concepts

In this course, legal nurse consultants are trained on how to report in justifiable means, incidences of medical malpractice. This may be in a case where they act as witnesses in trial for a medical case. They are used by attorneys to decide whether there were incidences of medical malpractice during treatment that resulted to suffering of the patient(s)

  • Interpretation of medical records and informed consent

This is a very important aspect of cases with medical references. Legal Nurse Consultants are taught how to interpret medical records to attorneys or lawyers, the meaning of written medical notes. They are trained to give; without bias, the implication of such medical notes and care plans to patients. They are also expected to interpret complex medical terminology to the court of laws when they are called upon.

  • Legal terminology

In this course, Legal nurse consultants are trained on the correct use of legal terminology. Such terminology if wrongly used could lead to the lawsuit for which they are presenting getting into jeopardy.

Overall Objectives of Legal Nurse Consultant Training

i)        The legal nurse consultant training courses aim at equipping a RN with professional skills which can be used in a medical legal consulting role

ii)      These courses also aim at giving the RN a wider scope of practice. In this case, they have higher chances of getting better pay by either choosing legal nurse consulting as a full time or freelance career.

iii)    The legal nurse training programs also widen the knowledge of nurse based on medical malpractice, legal terminology and other medical-legal related issues.

Is Certification for Legal Nurse Consultants Required?

Although not required, it is recommended that successfully trained Legal nurse consultants be certified. This will help them increase their chances of getting better paying jobs as consultants. Certification is awarded by the American Legal Nurse Consultant Certification and proves your credibility to perform legal consulting.

IV Nurse Training

IV nurse training equips health care professionals with skills of administering intravenous fluids, medications and infusions to patients. The training aims at preparing nurses with the right techniques for hydration, catheter monitoring, and blood transfusions among others.

To have a smooth operation, IV therapy nurses work closely with their counterparts; phlebotomist nurses. Both of these receive relatively the same kind of training, only that phlebotomist nurses specialize in blood drawing while the former can handle both.

Training to Become an Infusion Nurse

The major prerequisite of becoming an IV nurse is that, you must have prior nursing experience, preferably being a RN. You therefore must have completed your Associate of Science in Nursing, a BSN or a diploma in nursing and already have an active RN licensure.

Formal Education for IV Nurses

Usually, IV nurses are trained in community colleges, the health departments of their respective hospitals or in vocational training centers. Most nursing schools incorporate this training in the curriculum of emergency medical technician programs. As usual, you must check with your states’ board of nursing to be on the safe side about accreditation and up-to standard course coverage.

Some states have outlined the requirements of certification as a competent IV nurse graduate; hence, you must ensure your training facility delivers all those requirements. Student nurses must attend classroom lectures in addition to clinical rotations in an approved hospital setting.

Courses Included in IV therapy Nurse Training Programs

Irrespective of the location, there are courses that IV nurse trainees must cover to be allowed to practice. There is comprehensive coverage of infusion and fluid flow patterns in the body. The major courses required for this program include:

  • IV wound dressing
  • Infection control
  • Fundamental Pharmacology
  • Venipuncture techniques
  • Skin Puncture
  • Infusion flow rate Calculation
  • Homeostatic fluid balance
  • Vital signs monitoring
  • IV complications and their management

All the courses will incorporate an aspect of theory lessons and supervised practical sessions.

Program Duration

IV therapy is usually taken as a supplementary training for already licensed RNs. As such, the course only last for about 45 hours or less depending on the curriculum details of the training school or facility.

For nurses who are already qualified infusion nurses, short conferences that could last two days helps train them on novel techniques of infusion therapy. This helps to keep them abreast with changes and innovations. Such advancement training programs are offered by the Infusion Nurses Society via hosting of conferences and training workshops.


Upon successful completion of training by an accredited school or health facility, IV nurses must obtain certification from the Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation. An active Registered Nurse licensure must be produced for the corporation to allow you to sit for the certification exam.

Renewal of certification for Infusion therapy nurse is done every three years. Renewing of certification is guaranteed in either of the following two ways:

i)        The IV nurse must show proof of being involved in continuing education workshops and seminars offered by Infusion Nurses Society. In this case you must produce continuing education credits that are usually offered at the end of such workshops.

ii)      The IV nurse can request for a retest exam from INCC for which they must pass.

Work Scope of Infusion Nurses

Infusion Nurses work closely with an array of medical professionals to ensure safe delivery of fluid medications and treatments. Since they are already RNs, they are only answerable to senior doctors or Nurse Specialists.

They also work hand- in hand with Phlebotomy nurses; who are also, to some extent trained on intravenous concepts. In addition to drugs, they also administer nutritional requirements in form of solutions to patients who are not able to take normal solid foods.

IV nurses can also be found in operating rooms where, they can administer required anesthetic medications that need to be directed to the peripheral or central nervous system. They must also be ready to give an emergency blood transfusion to patients who undergo excessive bleeding during surgery.

Global Health Nurse Training Services

Global Health Nurse Training Services (GHNTS) is now called Global Health College. It is a relatively new nurse training school that offers various nursing programs. It is located in Virginia (VA) and also serves the students of neighboring states of Maryland (MD) and Washington DC. It is accredited to offer nurse training programs by the nursing board of Virginia.

It started operations and the teaching program in the beginning of 2005 with only licensed practice nurses being the first to be admitted. After two years, the school was accredited to admit and train students in Associate of Science degree in nursing by the same Virginia Board of Nursing. The school is also certified and recognized by Virginia’s State Council of Higher Education.

Academic programs at GHNTS

Since the school is not very old, it currently has four accredited nursing programs. These four major nurse training programs at Global Health College (Global Health Nursing Services) are:

i)        Licensed Practice Nurse (LPN) Program

This was the pioneer nursing program at Global Health Nurse Training Services. It trains student nurses to become Licensed Practice Nurses as per the guidelines set by the VA Practice Act. The LPN curriculum at GHNTS is very comprehensive and detailed courses in planning, implementation, assessment of nursing concepts are taught. It also instills discipline in the student nurses by ensuring they adhere to the nursing code of ethics.

After successful completion of this program, students are certified by NCLEX by passing a certification exam. By the end of the past year, GHNTS had recorded a 92% pass rate for its students who took the NCLEX-LPN exam.

ii)      Associate of Nursing Degree

Global Health Nursing Services offers an Associate degree in Nursing. Students admitted to this program must take a total of twenty eight general education units in the first year.

In the second year, students take nursing major units that total up-to forty six giving the whole ASN degree a total of 74 units for both years. The program takes two years to complete with students taking supervised clinical classes in maternity, psychiatry and medical surgery.

iii)    Nurse Aide (NA) Programs/ Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA)Training

This program at GHNTS runs for ten weeks and interested students are scheduled to have two sessions each week. The program is quite flexible and students can arrange to attend the nurse aide training programs at the most convenient days of the week.

As prerequisites, students are expected to prove to the admissions office completion of a high school diploma. Students must also have their criminal background checked and provide a health assessment record showing their state of health to be eligible for admission.

iv)    Medical Assistant

This is the last of the four nursing programs at Global Health Nursing Services.  Students who wish to enroll to this program must choose from five modules so as to receive certification. These include phlebotomy technician, Clinical Medical assistant, EKG technician, pharmacy technician or a billing and medical coding specialist.

For eligibility and admission into this medical assistant program, students must pass an entrance exam and show proof of a high school diploma, CPR and a clean criminal record.

The Student Body at GHNTS

Global Health Nurse Training Services is a training institution with students from all walks of life. The population of students is made up of African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans and other foreign students. The school claims to be a discrimination free zone regardless of sex, race or origin.

Financial Aid for Global Health Nurse Training Services

Students studying at Global Health Nurse Training Services are eligible for federal financial aid by applying using the school code. The federal financial loans are available for all GHNTS programs. In addition, there is a school based financial award but this is only applicable to the LPN students only. The award of this financial aid is gauged based on financial need portrayed by the applicant student.

It is also worth noting that the Registered Nursing (RN) program offers a zero interest rates to students who plan to pay their tuition fees in installments.

Psychiatric Nursing Continuing Education

Psychiatric nursing can be a very rewarding nursing field and also a very stressful one at the same time. In addition to dealing with many different types of illnesses that primarily affect how a person behaves, these nurses have to stay abreast of the ever-changing world of mental illnesses and the various treatment options. This is one reason for psychiatric nursing continuing education requirements.

If you are a psychiatric nurse, these requirements not only help you stay certified, they help keep you on the cutting edge of your field.

Finding Psychiatric Nurse Certification Classes

The best way to find courses that meet the requirements for psychiatric nursing CEUs is to stay in contact with the American Psychiatric Nursing Association (APNA). The APNA is a wealth of information for nurses that work in the psychiatric field and has detailed information on seminars, courses and online classes that can be used to fulfill the requirements for annual recertification.

You can also check with your local community colleges and universities to find out if they have nursing programs and offer continuing education courses. This is a good way to get classes in that can further your degree in the future while at the same time fulfilling your CEU requirements. You can easily earn several course credits going this route.

You should also join psychiatric nursing organizations and other nursing organizations. These groups often host seminars and luncheons that are educational and help you accumulate CEUs toward your annual requirement. In addition, these groups are an excellent resource for all things related to your nursing career.

Because addiction is considered a mental illness you may also be able to find seminars and lectures at rehabilitation facilities. These facilities staff psychiatric nurses and work to keep them educated in the disease of addiction. These courses not only help you attain your CEUs but may also provide you a glimpse of another side of psychiatric nurses.

Type of Classes

As a nurse you have a busy schedule and when you aren’t on call or at work you probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about work. However, since you do have to be recertified to continue to practice, you have to find the most convenient ways to get your continuing education units in without tiring yourself out in the process. Thankfully, there are many different ways to do so, including:

Online Courses: There are many different online courses that count towards your CEUs. These courses allow you to watch and test at your own pace, in your own time. Some are paid courses and some are actually free. You may have to do more of these type courses to get your hours in than you would if you attended a class, but if your time is an issue, these online courses could be the best answer.

Seminars: There are many nursing seminars that are available, either through the nursing associations previously mentioned or even through your employer. Hospitals and other medical facilities will often host nursing seminars to introduce new techniques or medications to the staff. These seminars typically meet the criteria for being counted toward CEUs. You should make sure of this and if the seminars do meet the criteria, be sure you get the documentation you need to turn in for your license renewal.

College Classes: If you are planning on furthering your degree you can often count many of your college courses toward your continuing education credits. You should check with the licensing board in your state to determine which ones will be accepted and how many credit units are awarded for each class.

Studies in Continuing Education for Psychiatric Nursing

Psychiatric nurses may be employed in a variety of healthcare settings, from family therapy to in-patient mental health facilities to drug and alcohol rehabilitation make the topics covered varied and can greatly expand your nursing knowledge outside of your area of practice. You can find courses on such topics as:

  • Delirium
  • Alzheimer’s and Dementia
  • Drug Abuse
  • Adolescent Dating
  • Peer Pressure
  • Suicide
  • Compulsive Disorders

As you can see, you can broaden your nursing horizons while at the same time earning your CEUs. This could lead you to change your area of practice and move in a whole new direction.

Psychiatric nursing continuing education courses are required in order to remain a practicing nurse. However, they also allow you to delve deeper into areas of your practice that you might not have known about and learn more about how to help your patients.

Nurse Practitioner Continuing Education

All nurses know the importance of keeping their certification current and their license up –to-date. Nurse practitioner continuing education courses are designed to help the nurse practitioner maintain the continuing education units (CEU’s) necessary to renew their license when the time comes each year to do so.

Every nurse is required to take continuing education courses during their career and so it is important to know how to find these courses and what courses can be used for continuing education credits.

Types of Nurse Practitioner Continuing Education Courses

There are many different ways for nurse practitioners to earn continuing education credits, which makes it easier to get the credits needed to remain certified. The main methods of earning CEUs include:

  • Online Nurse Classes: These are courses that are available on the Internet that provide CEUs to help nurses meet their requirements for recertification. You can find many different topics, from new medical trends and techniques to advanced nursing.
  • Traditional Campus Based Classes: If you prefer to attend a traditional classroom, you can check with your local colleges and find out what classes they offer for continuing education credits. You should make sure the classes will fulfill the nurse practitioner continuing education requirements before you invest your time and money in the class,
  • Lunch and Learn or Employer-Offered Courses: There are many education offerings that can be found through your employer. These are what some people call lunch and learns or seminars that the employer brings in for advancing their employees knowledge. The added benefit is that many of these types of courses qualify as CEUs and go toward fulfilling your objective.

These are the three main types of continuing education classes that you can use to get your educational requirements met before time for your recertification. The next thing you need to know is how to find courses that meet those requirements.

Finding Continuing Education Courses for the Nurse Practitioner

Before you can decide which classes you want to take you have to know what is offered and where you can find the classes. In order to find classes that meet the required criteria for being used as a continuing education class you should utilize the following resources:

  • AANP CE Center: The American Association of Nurse Practitioners Continuing Education Portal provides you with information regarding many continuing education opportunities that are available online with online testing and certification once the testing is complete.
  • CE Calendar: This is a comprehensive calendar of educational opportunities for continuing education credits. These courses are listed by location and date and shows courses that are approved by the AANP.
  • Independent Continuing Education Opportunities: This listing is also approved by the AANP and includes a variety of learning options including online, self-study through publications, CDs, DVDs and more.
  • NPACE: The Nurse Practitioner Associates for Continuing Education provides nurse practitioners with information on live conferences and seminars that provide education opportunities for nurse practitioners and other nursing professionals who require CEUs.

This is by no means a comprehensive listing of the resources available to nurse practitioners to help them get their continuing education requirements completed annually.

Types of Courses you can take for Continuing Education

There are many different subjects you can choose when you are searching for classes to fulfill your education requirements. You can choose those that will help you advance your career as you continue further in your education goals or choose the ones that interest you the most and are related to your current field of nursing. Some of the classes you may encounter include:

  • New Treatment Options for Various Diseases: You can find many different continuing education classes that are focused on treatment options for specific diseases, such as new ways to treat diabetes or HIV.
  • High blood pressure, Asthma or other Specific Conditions: If you work in a specialty field or area of the hospital you may find it beneficial to choose CE courses that pertain to ailments you deal with on a daily basis, such as arthritis, depression and much more.
  • Field Specialties: If you work in a specialized area of the hospital or a specialized doctor’s office, you may find it beneficial to choose CE courses in that area, such as geriatrics or pediatrics.

You don’t have to choose courses that you aren’t interested in just to meet your required CE units. You can and should choose classes and seminars that interest you and will benefit your career.

Nurse practitioner continuing education is a requirement of being a nurse that you need to stay aware of and make sure you are prepared for before time for you to renew your license. You can utilize many different resources and class types to get your CEUs and stay abreast of the latest news in your field of nursing.

Free Nursing Continuing Education Courses

As a nurse you know that you are required to renew your license periodically and that in order to do so you must have a certain number of continuing education courses known as CEUs or continuing education units. As you know from your education to become a nurse, courses can become costly.

The good news is that there are free nursing continuing educations courses that can help you meet your requirements and save money at the same time.


The first place to look for free courses to earn CEUs is online. You can find many websites that offer webinars and videos with related information that qualifies as continuing education credits. The only downside to some of these is the number of CEUs earned per course is often small. On the other hand, since they are free and accessible via the Internet you can do them in your own time and accumulate your credits over time.

Medline University: This is an online resource for clinical resources, training programs and medical products. There are many courses and webinars available at no charge once you register. You can sort through available courses based on theme and whether or not it offers CE credits.

American Nurses Association: This organization offers many free continuing education courses for nurses who are members. The organization also offers many low cost courses for continuing education.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Nurses can create an account and the search the CDC’s database of courses. After registering for the course and taking it, an evaluation of the course along with an examination are presented and when complete a CEU certificate can be printed.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: Nurses can earn 7 CEU’s with an online course in asthma management and education.  The course is approved by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center‘s Commission on Accreditation.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: This division of the USHHS agency provides may continuing education courses that can be taken online. These courses are presented as PowerPoint presentations or slides and are accredited courses for earning CEUs. Topics available include breathing conditions, cancer ADHD and developmental delays, diabetes, muscle bone and joint conditions and many more. Many of the courses are provided to the agency by well-known medical schools such as Baylor University.

The Epilepsy Foundation: This online training course provides 1.5 CE hours and was developed in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The course was designed to educate people about the important of quick response time to seizures and is an accredited course for healthcare workers and law enforcement personnel.

Nurse Oncology Education Program: This program provides nurses with education on cancer and offers many free courses. Topics you can choose from include Cancer Survivorship, Cancer in Ages 15-3, Nurses Guide to Genetics and Cancer, Ovarian Cancer and many more. These CEUs are recognized in nearly every state; however, before you invest your time make sure your state will accept them.

ESP – Emerging Solutions in Pain: This site is dedicated to pain management for medical professionals and as such offers free online course for nurses that can help fulfill their CEU requirements. Classes are generally centered on pain and treatment options, topics include advances in pain and addiction, managing opioid use, addiction and many more topics centering on pain.

The National Healthcare Institute: This institute provides free courses such as a HIPPA course that covers the HIPPA privacy laws. The courses are accredited and approved by most all states. Courses offered vary from time to time and some have expiration dates so you need to check frequently to see what is being offered.

Nursing Schools: You should also check with any of the hundreds of nursing schools to find out if they offer free courses for CE credits, for example, Jacksonville University School of Nursing offers these occasionally. You should sign up to receive alerts when classes are available.

These are some of the many free nursing continuing education courses that are available on the Internet. As you can see, some are sponsored by specific agencies of medical conditions, such as the asthma and allergy courses or the epilepsy course and many are offered by government agencies. This is an excellent starting point when searching for CEUs without having to spend a fortune. 

Training to be a Nurse

Training to be a nurse has taken many paths throughout the history of the nursing career. You can ask many retired nurses how they received their answers to be as diverse as their careers. Essentially, all nursing programs offer the required theory of nursing and practical practice of nursing that result in a nurse who is qualified to work in a hospital or doctor’s office or even continue with their education and specialize in various medical areas.

Educate First, Train Second

The steps involved in training to be a nurse break down into two primary phases, theory and practice, regardless of the type of degree that is being sought. The three main degrees in nursing include:

  • Bachelors of Science in Nursing or BSN – 4 year programs
  • Associate Degree in Nursing or ADN – 2 to 3 year programs
  • Diploma (usually provided and administered by hospitals) – 3 year programs

There are higher nursing degrees; however, the path to becoming a practicing nurse follows one of these three primary degrees first.  The choice of which path to follow in order to become a nurse is a personal one that should be based on the ultimate medical career goal, such as becoming a teaching nurse, specialized nurse or simply practicing as an RN.

Classroom Instruction

The first thing nursing students encounter in their education is the classroom instruction. This can be a letdown for those students who thought they would jump right into learning to take blood pressure and give injections. There are similar classroom courses that are required, regardless of which training option is chosen. Some of these include:

  • Anatomy: Nurses have to understand the parts of the human body;
  • Physiology: Teaches would-be nurses how the parts of the body function;
  • Microbiology: Helps nurses understand various pathogens and how microorganisms affect health;
  • Chemistry: This course assists nurses with understanding how medication interact with the body and other chemical aspects of health;
  • Nutrition: Teaches nurses how food interacts with the body and overall health;
  • Psychology: Prepares nurses for dealing with various aspects of how the mind and emotions affect health and how to deal with patients.
  • Various other behavioral sciences
  • Nursing classes

Students that are seeking a longer degree in nursing, such as the ADN or the BSN will also have to take elective classes in the liberal arts.

Clinical Experience

Once nursing students have most of their required classroom work behind them, they move to the clinical aspect and learn to put their studies into practice on real patients. Clinical experience varies and includes training in many different healthcare areas. Students typically learn to take care of patients in these areas:

  • Maternity
  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatric
  • Geriatric
  • Emergency Rooms

There are other healthcare areas that may be included such as home health care and how to take care of patients who are homebound.

This part of the curriculm is what many nursing students look forward to and what will help develop their bedside manner. The clinical part of nursing school can be the most trying as students learn not only the so-called fun stuff but also the down and dirty but necessary stuff too, such as emptying bedpans and changing dressings on wounds.  This is when many nursing students find out if they are able to handle the bodily fluid and unpleasant side of nursing.


Once you have completed the coursework and clinical side of the program you will be prepared to take the examination that will allow you to practice as a registered nurse. This exam, the NCLEX-RN, is required in order to perform the duties of a registered nurse, without this license, the nursing graduate cannot work as a nurse. Specialty nursing degrees, such as midwifery, require additional certification.

Above and Beyond

You can have the health care coursework, the clinical coursework and even be licensed to practice but not be a successful nurse that is in demand by hospitals and doctors if you don’t have the natural qualities that make nurses special. The qualities that every nurse should possess include:

  • Caring
  • Sympathy
  • Emotional fortitude
  • Ability to cope with emergencies
  • Detail Oriented

If you have these traits you are one step ahead of many people who want to be a nurse and yet lack the emotional strength and sympathy needed to be successful.

Training to be a nurse can be completed in any one of several ways and yet the result is basically the same. A caring person with the skills necessary to take care of people who are sick and helping them become well again.

Registered Nurse Training Requirements

If you are interested in becoming a registered nurse but you get confused by the different programs and what each one requires in order for you to follow your dreams you should keep reading and learn how the different types of registered nurse training programs vary and how the requirements vary. You may find that you can achieve your goal without going the long way to do so.

Academic Requirements

Regardless of the type of nursing degree you choose, there will be academic requirements that are necessary in order to become a nurse. Before starting on any nursing career path, the potential nurse must have a high school diploma or the equivalent. If an associate or bachelor degree path is being utilized there may be entrance exams and other preliminary steps before admission is granted to the program.

There are essentially three paths to achieving the required level of education to be considered eligible to take the registered nurse exam and these are:

  • Nursing Diploma – simplest to obtain, limits the areas of work and how far the nurse can move up in the field.
  • Associate Degree – Slightly more advanced than a diploma, provides more advancement opportunities than the diploma but not nearly as many as the Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Bachelor Degree – Typically a four-year course. This degree opens many doors for advancement, including going for the Master’s Degree in nursing.

Of these three degrees, the Bachelor’s degree takes the longest but at the same time provides many more options than the diploma or associate degree. It is possible to get an associate’s degree in order to start working as a nurse and then continue on to a Bachelor’s Degree.

Classes Involved in Nurse Training

All paths leading to a nursing degree have similarities in the courses that are required. This is in part due to the registered nurses exam being the same exam regardless of where the student received their degree. Some of the typical courses include:

  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Math
  • Communication Skills
  • Nursing Classes

Students in the associate or bachelor’s program will ultimately take many more classes and have more in-depth knowledge. In addition, students who pursue their Bachelor’s of Science in nursing will have elective courses in the humanities and other areas.

Clinical Training Requirements

Clinical training is required regardless of the type of degree that is being obtained. There may be more clinical work involved in a Bachelor Degree than there is in a diploma but all three types of nurse training programs would have clinical work to ensure that the skills needed to perform certain tasks are in place.

 The NCLEX-RN for Nursing Registration

In order to become recognized as a registered nurse, once the education and training are completed the potential nurse must pass the NCLEX-RN exam. This exam is comprehensive and covers all areas of nursing that the student should have learned during their nurse training and education. Some nurses practice without this; however, the majority of nurses have their registration and are better compensated. Ever y state has different requirements when it comes to registration and the exam. It is up to you the student to find out what they are and comply with them.

 Other Requirements for Nursing

In addition to the educational and clinical training requirements that are necessary to become a nurse, there are some other items that must be considered before choosing to go forward with nursing school.  Some of these include:

  • Health: Nurses must not have any communicable diseases. This is to ensure the safety and health of the patients they come in contact with on a daily basis.
  • Immunizations: Many states require nurses to have specific immunizations, particularly the Hepatitis series. This is for their own health protection and to protect patients they work with from becoming infected.
  • Criminal Background: Most states do not allow nurses to have a felony background.  There are many reasons for this: dealing with prescription medications and having access to them is one reason and people with violent crimes might be considered a risk when dealing with other people.

These are some of the things that could be required by states in order to become a registered nurse. It is best to check with your state before enrolling in college. Typically, when you start the admissions program for nursing school you will be required to complete a questionnaire that will cover these and any other requirements before you are granted admission.

Registered nurse training requirements include may vary from state to state but usually include education, clinical training and some personal life factors. You should choose the path of your nursing career based on what your ultimate career goal is and then make sure you can meet all the requirements.


Pediatric Nurse Education and Training

If you would like to specialize in a specific nursing field and you have a passion for children and helping them, pediatric nursing may be what you need. Pediatric nurse education and training will prepare you to work directly with children of all ages, from babies to adolescents. You will be qualified to work in hospitals, pediatrician offices and as home health care givers.

The path to this satisfying and lucrative field starts after your nursing degree and further training will provide much more in-depth information on the health and well-being of children.

What Pediatric Nurses Do

After completion of a nursing degree and with some pediatric training you will be qualified to provide medical assistance to babies, children and adolescents. You will be able work with doctors during the diagnosing of illnesses, perform school physical, and help parents with maintaining their child’s health and much more. Some of the routine medical procedures and tasks that you will learn to provide children include:

  • Administering immunizations;
  • Ordering medications once the doctor signs off on them;
  • Ordering lab tests and reading results

Nurses who provide care for babies and children will find that they perform many different duties throughout the course of a workday.

 Different Areas of Pediatric Nurses

Before taking the leap into pediatric courses it is a good idea to know or at least have an idea of the area you would like to work. Nurses who work with children can have areas that they specialize in such as:

  • Neonatal Units
  • Newborns
  • Pediatric ICU
  • Pediatric Emergency Rooms
  • Pediatrician’s Office

If you know ahead of time what type of children you would like to work with, your training and education can often be streamlined. For example, if you know you would like to work with the neonatal unit, you can take specialized classes in premature and sick babies. If you are more inclined and want to work with terminally ill children, you might want to take classes on how to help families with grief. These types of additional classes can make your degree even more specialized and help you land the position you want.

Pediatric Nursing Mentality

It takes a special person to be able to deal with the stress involved in pediatric nursing. You will be working with sick babies, children and young adults who aren’t as mentally and emotionally developed as adult patients. They are more difficult to work with and when you add scare, frustrated parents into the mix, you have on your hands a mentally tiring dilemma.

As the pediatric nurse, you will be the one expected to handle this without losing your cool. This is why it is important to evaluate your own stress levels and what you are able to cope with before starting on the path towards a pediatric nursing degree. Some people are perfect for the job and others are not.

The Education and Training

It goes without saying that before you can start tailoring your education towards pediatrics you will need to have completed your registered nurse training. However, it will need to be a Bachelor of Science degree. This can take 2-3 years, depending on the school you attend. Once you have decided you want to pursue being a child nurse, you will need to take the required classes and pass the exams that allow you to be a certified pediatric nurse. This typically takes an additional year, during which you will also have clinical classes in pediatrics that allow you to become more familiar with the field.

In addition to the formal education required to become a certified pediatric nurse, there is a lot of hands on training that is done in the hospital or facility before, during and after the formal education. Nursing, like any other career, is a lifelong learning process.

Cost of Pediatric Nurse Education

The cost of adding a pediatric nursing certificate should be around the $3K mark, if you already have your BS in nursing, if not, you should add an extra $2-$3K each year for your degree. If you already work in a medical facility, you should ask if they offer tuition reimbursement for pursuing a higher degree. Ultimately, the significant pay increase makes the tuition worth the cost.

Pediatric nurse education and training does entail more school and clinical work after obtaining and RN degree; however, if you want to work with children, the fulfillment and the benefits of becoming a certified pediatric nurse are well worth the time and cost.