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How to Pick the Best Nursing Program For You

Fabiah Blog is supported by Fabiah.com, where you can purchase affordable, comprehensive malpractice insurance for nurses and healthcare professionals. If you are not already insured, you are uncertain about purchasing a personal policy, or would simply like to learn more about personal medical malpractice insurance, then please read this article. Now, here are some tips for how to pick the best nursing program for you! 

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There are many things to consider when choosing a nursing program, and this can be pretty stressful. However, when you break it down finding a nursing school might be simpler than you had originally believed. There is definitely the right nursing program out there that fits your lifestyle and budget. You just need to know what you are looking for! Here is some advice on how to pick the best nursing program for you. 

1. Choose Your Program Type 

There are many different types of nursing programs to choose from. You could go for your LPN, which typically only takes about a year to complete. This program is the quickest to finnish, but also usually has a lower salary than the other nursing positions with more schooling. If you are looking for something more you could also go for an ADN, which takes around 2 to 3 years to complete. A BSN is the most recommended for RNs, however; because there tends to be more hiring opportunities. You can find out more about why you should go for your BSN in our article here. There are also options for various masters degrees and doctorate degrees to become a specialized nurse or nurse practitioner if you want to go above and beyond in your studies. 

2. Asses Cost 

Most people have a budget to think about when considering nursing schools. Although there are things like financial aid, scholarships, and grants to help you afford a program, this is still an important factor to think about when making your decision. Of course you will need to take tuition costs into account, but things like housing costs and the costs of school materials definitely should not be forgotten about. It is always good to remain realistic. You might even thank yourself later on in life for thinking about this. 

3. Choose an Online or In-Person Program 

You do have the option to choose between an online or in-person nursing program. Which one you choose completely depends on your present life situation. Online programs are great if you need a bit more flexibility and would like to be at home more often than an in-person program would allow. Meanwhile, in-person classes may be better for those who need a more hands on approach to learning. If you fall somewhere in between, you are in luck! Many nursing school programs give you the option to take a mixture of online and in person classes. There are also night classes available for those who are still working or have other obligations during the day. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of taking nursing classes online, you can check out this article

4. Make a Pro/Con List 

Once you have decided on your budget and whether you are going to attend an online or in-person program, you may have narrowed down your choices a bit. However, this does not necessarily mean that choosing your nursing school is any easier at this point. Making a pro/con list is a valuable tool to help you with getting through this final step though. Writing things down that you like and dislike about each program can help you to see which school is most practical for you to enroll into. If you need some help with creating your nursing program pro/con list, you can get some advice in an article here

5. Ask Others For Advice 

In addition to creating a pro/con list for your nursing school choices, asking others for advice can also be very valuable when making your decision. This is our final item in our list of tips for how to pick the best nursing program for you. In reality, you could ask anyone for their opinion.  Seasoned nurses, nursing school students, and recent nursing school graduates may be among the most helpful though. They can really give you an idea for what to look for in a nursing program. In addition, graduates or current nursing students can let you know what a particular nursing school or program is really like. 

10 Questions to Ask During a Nursing Job Interview

Nursing Interviews can be intimidating no matter if it’s your first interview out of nursing school or if you are looking to branch out after working in the same unit for a while. However, many people forget that an interview not only sells you as a potential future employee but also the workplace as well. Here are 10 good questions to ask to make you appear qualified and prepared while also giving you an idea of whether the open job is a good fit for you. In addition to this, doing research on the institution itself will make you seem even more knowledgeable and put together. 

1. What is Your Average Nurse to Patient Ratio?

Asking about patient ratios is very important. It gives you insight into the patient safety of the institution and what their staffing looks like. Hospitals and clinics with normal patient ratios will likely make mandating and mandatory overtime less common. Many states have laws on the highest legal amount of patients per every nurse, and these ratios change depending on the unit type. For example, in the operating room the ratio is 1:1, but in many other units the average ratio is 1:5. This is a particularly good question to ask if you have experienced problems with this in the past. 

2. How often is Floating Required, and Where Would I Float to? 

Depending on the hospital, you may need to float to other units when staffing in those areas are low. It is good to ask this question in a nursing interview in order to get an accurate idea for what the working environment is like, and it helps you to prepare for it if you get the job. Depending on if this is important to you, it can let you realize whether or not you want to work at that unit early on. 

3. What Self Care Strategies do You Encourage Your Staff to Practice? 

Although nursing is an extremely rewarding profession, it can also be very stressful and demanding. Self care can really make the difference, however; and having a self care routine can greatly reduce your chances for burnout. Asking an interviewer about what self care strategies they promote for their nurses can provide insight on how well they protect and treat their staff on a daily basis. 

4. How do the Staff Collaborate Here? 

This is a great way to get some insight into workplace culture. Collaborative nursing has numerous benefits including improved patient outcomes, boosted morale, and overall reduced healthcare costs. It is only natural to want to work in a healthcare setting like this, and you might be able to see if this important trait is present even during the interview. 

5. How do You Provide Feedback? 

Knowing how management and other staff provide feedback and constructive criticism is crucial. This nursing interview question paints a picture of how the medical staff is treated, how mistakes are corrected, and the quality of patient care in a particular healthcare center. Providing good constructive criticism and recognizing outstanding work are key elements to a productive and content medical staff. 

6. Do You Like Working Here? 

This is a good question to ask during a nursing interview. No one wants to work in a place where the current employees are unhappy. It may be a good idea to ask the other staff members how they like their work environment as well if you get the chance. This will give you better insight into whether you want the job or not. 

7. What is This Units Turnover Rate? 

This also gives you a pretty good idea about the quality of patient care and work environment. Asking about staff turnover lets you know how many nurses are either let go or quit, and a high turnover rate is a huge red flag. Nurse burnout is a very serious and real phenomenon and the workplace environment can be a large factor. 

8. What is Your Management Style? 

Everyone reacts differently to different management tactics. Although this isn’t necessarily a deal breaker if a unit doesn’t follow your ideal management style, it can help you to see if a position is a good fit for you. It could also greatly affect staff morale and stress levels. 

9. Are There Opportunities for Continued Education? 

Medicine is a field that is always changing. No matter if you are an LPN, NP, or anything in between continued education in the medical field is extremely important. Depending on the unit and position, a medical center may offer things like nurse workshops and conferences to keep your skills sharp. It might also be a good idea to ask about bridge programs such as RN to NP programs depending on your situation and aspirations. 

10. What are Some Tips That You Have for Succeeding in This Position?

Asking an interviewer how you can do the best at your job shows your dedication as a nurse. It also lets you know what the general expectations are in the position that you are applying for. Showing your initiative and your commitment to patient care make you seem more qualified, and interviewers are more likely to remember you.

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Fabiah Blog is supported by Fabiah.com, where you can purchase affordable, comprehensive malpractice insurance for nurses and healthcare professionals. If you are not already insured, you are uncertain about purchasing a personal policy, or would simply like to learn more about personal medical malpractice insurance, then please read this article.

How Recognition Can Improve Healthcare Workplace Culture

The medical field can be stressful for multiple reasons. You work long hours, it is a high stress environment, and you are likely responsible for other people’s lives. Although personal changes may be needed in addition to workplace changes in order to be happy at work, recognition can improve the healthcare workplace culture by raising productivity and preventing burnout. Here are some ways to practice recognition effectively and some of its proven benefits. 

3 Tips for Using Recognition Effectively 

Workplace recognition is a great and extremely important element of a healthy and productive work environment. However, if not done properly a good thing can easily turn into a problem. Here are some tips for using workplace recognition effectively. 

1. Be Consistent 

In order for recognition to be effective, you need to be consistent with it. If you only acknowledge some good work performance it will likely cause frustration among staff. Therefore, it is best to just let a medical worker know when they are doing something right whenever you see it every day. You should apply this rule to constructive criticism as well. Following this rule will also help to ensure that all staff are being treated equally. 

2. Implement a Reward System 

Employee of the month is not a new idea, but in healthcare settings this might not always be present. Incorporating a reward system for nurses and other staff might be a good way to apply recognition and boost morale. It might also be the motivating push that a healthcare worker needs to succeed in the work environment. The same consistency and equality rules should be applied here in order for this method to be effective. However, this should not be the only form of recognition put in place. Here is an interesting study that found rewards to be a less motivating factor for nurses than many have believed previously. This does not mean that this recognition tactic should be removed all together, but that hospitals should combine this with other forms of recognition as well. 

3. Treat Everyone the Same

Equality is extremely important, but this is especially true when it comes to workplace recognition. Everyone should be treated the same no matter their gender, ethnicity, race, or sexual orientation. The same is true for those with personal relationships outside of work. No one should be favored or punished for a personal relationship. Applying this rule is easy when also following the tip of consistency. 

5 Benefits of Recognition for Healthcare Workplace Culture

We know about how to apply recognition and constructive criticism productively, but what are some of the benefits to the healthcare workplace culture? The following are some reasons why every healthcare setting should recognize when their nurses, and also other staff, do a good job. 

1. Increased Productivity 

Having your hard work recognized tends to motivate people to do more. This is especially true for particularly stressful career fields like nursing. It is always nice to be reminded when you are doing something right, and when it comes to nursing you may need this motivating push to keep up the good work. Similarly, constructive criticisms can help to make improvements or correct mistakes. This tends to keep both productivity and motivation high while reducing mistakes. 

2. Reduces the Chances for Burnout 

Having a work environment that encourages recognition tends to make people feel more accomplished and good at what they do for a living. Therefore, hospitals and clinics that practice this usually see less cases of nurse burnout. This is good for both the nurses themselves and the medical center as a whole, because reduced staff turnover means less incidents due to lack of training. 

3. Improved Communication 

Applying frequent recognition and constructive criticism opens up productive communication among medical staff. This contributes to both improved patient outcomes and a better work environment. Communication is key in every healthcare setting, so opening up communication in this way will greatly improve the way that a hospital runs. 

4. Creates a Good Workplace Environment 

As mentioned before, having an environment that recognizes good work and achievement also improves overall morale in the workplace. Nursing can be a very stressful and demanding field, so a good work environment is an important factor when it comes to preventing nurse burnout. Everyone should genuinely like where they work, and those in the medical field are no different from anyone else. 

5. Improves Patient Outcome 

The previous benefits of recognition such as improved communication, reduced burnout, and improved productivity and motivation also improve patient outcomes. Less mistakes tend to be made in a productive work environment that applies constructive criticism and recognition, and in the medical field mistakes can be deadly. The patient is always the first concern for any healthcare professional, so this benefit alone is often motivation enough for medical work environments to incorporate recognition.

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Fabiah Blog is supported by Fabiah.com, where you can purchase affordable, comprehensive malpractice insurance for nurses and healthcare professionals. If you are not already insured, you are uncertain about purchasing a personal policy, or would simply like to learn more about personal medical malpractice insurance, then please read this article.

Why You Should Go for Your BSN

Some people think that going for a BSN over the ADN isn’t worth it due to the amount of time it takes to obtain and the cost of the program. Some may even hesitate just because of the prospect of going back to school. After all, it feels good to graduate! However, getting your BSN has numerous benefits in that it promotes both career and personal growth. Many employers even offer to finance and support this career development from an ADN if you agree to continue working for them. Here are four main reasons why you should take the initiative and work toward your BSN. 

Better Hiring Opportunities

You are more likely to get the job that you want if you have a BSN. Many employers will hire a nurse with a BSN before a nurse with an ADN, and some will require that you have a BSN to even apply. With a bachelor’s degree in nursing you simply have more hiring and career growth opportunities in a wider array of fields. For example, you are more likely to get a job in a hospital or private practice the more education you have. It is not uncommon for hospitals and clinics to have a quota of BSN nurses. Research shows that hospitals with more BSN nurses have better patient outcomes. This is why magnet hospitals have higher ratios of BSNs. So, having your BSN also helps when you apply for jobs at establishments with these requirements. 

As mentioned before, your employer may encourage you to get your BSN by offering to compensate you for it if you agree to continue to work for them. Although going for your BSN is a good idea even if your workplace does not offer this type of program, you should definitely go for it if they do. Furthering your education is always a great way to make life improvements, and having an employer offer to help with this is a great opportunity that you shouldn’t pass up. 

You Are More Prepared

Getting a BSN will diversify what you are prepared for in the nursing field. Some useful classes such as nursing ethics, nursing leadership, psychological nursing, pediatrics, and nursing research may not be offered in an ADN program. This will allow you to feel more comfortable in a larger variety of nursing positions, and it will make specializing your practice much easier. It also prepares you for a possible management position. 

The fact that having a BSN tends to make nurses more prepared for the job has been the driving force behind hospitals and clinics encouraging their employees to take this extra mile. Although the pros and cons about a nursing bachelors degree can be debated, having a BSN definitely looks better than an ADN on a nurse’s resume. 

It’s the First Step for Advanced Practice

Getting your BSN is often the first step when it comes to advancing your career. For example, maybe you’ve thought about becoming a nurse practitioner or opening your own practice. Well, in most education programs you need to obtain a bachelor’s degree before going for your masters or doctorate degree, and nursing is no different. Having a BSN may make furthering your nursing career seem less intimidating as well, which might be the motivating push that you need to further your education. Going for your BSN is a crucial stepping stone to further evolving and developing your career, even if you decide to stop your education after achieving your bachelor’s. 

The more education in nursing that you have, the more prestigious nursing jobs will be available to you. You will also be more likely to be eligible for management nursing positions or jobs with greater leadership roles. Those with BSNs usually make more money on average than nurses with ADNs as well, and they tend to be given more opportunities to grow and experience new things. 

Leadership Roles

You often need to have more than an associate’s degree to hold any kind of leadership position. Unfortunately, you most often need more than even a BSN to be in a management job. It may be possible depending on your location though, and, as stated before, getting your BSN is a great motivator and starting point for expanding your career. 

If you desire to hold management and leadership roles at work, then you will be more likely to accomplish this goal with more education. Luckily, there are many bridge education programs from ADN or LPN to BSN or even MSN available. Many healthcare facilities will promote these, and even make offers to convince nurses to join them.

Conclusion 

A BSN has many benefits over an ADN. These mainly include increased hireability, more diverse career opportunities, and more chances to fill leadership or management roles. It also has the added benefit of being a starting point for higher education by being a major motivator for evolving your career even further. Therefore going for your BSN is definitely worth your while, especially if your employer is offering to assist with the costs of education and are understanding about you taking the time to take classes. 

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Fabiah Blog is supported by Fabiah.com, where you can purchase affordable, comprehensive malpractice insurance for nurses and healthcare professionals. If you are not already insured, you are uncertain about purchasing a personal policy, or would simply like to learn more about personal medical malpractice insurance, then please read this article.