Earning Your Long Term Care Certification

There are a number of different areas of nursing that you can be employed in once you have qualified as an LPN. One of these is long term nursing care. Although it is not necessarily essential, it is a good idea to earn you long term care certification as this may improve your chances of employment in this line of nursing and could increase your salary in your current job, although that will depend on your employer. There is a subtly different set of skills needed for success in long term care as compared to brief hospital nursing.

About NAPNES

The long term care certification that NAPNES offers can be described as comprehensive. This is because it covers all aspects of long term care and prepares you to care for nay demographic that needs long term care, from small babies to the elderly. Often when nurses think of long term care they assume that they will be working with elderly members of society, but there are many others who also need the help of a certified professional in order to function on a daily basis. Consequently the need for nurses to specialize in long-term care has arisen.

NAPNES suggests that you pay online and complete your application forms through the online portal in order to receive long term care certification, a qualification that will certainly boost your resume.

The Costs

As with any certification process, there are a number of costs involved in earning your long term care certification through NAPNES. The primary costs that you will be held responsible for are as follows:

  • An initial application cost paid to NAPNES at the time that you apply for certification of $100
  • An exam fee paid to Castle Worldwide in order to take the online certification exam of $60

The fee that you pay to Castle Worldwide is for your first attempt on the test. Should you fail the test, you will then need to pay an additional amount of $50 each time you attempt to take the test again.

In addition to initial certification it will be necessary for you to become re-certified at set intervals. Re-certification also comes at a price. At the moment it will cost you $150 in order to become re-certified as a nurse with special skills in long term healthcare. The reasons that this costs more is because NAPNES needs to verify the following:

  • The fact that you have engaged in the necessary continuing education
  • The fact that you have achieved the relevant amount of employment experience

Validity

The re-certification fee may seem steep, but you must remember that your certification is valid for a period of three years from the day that it is issued, so it is not a cost that you will be required to pay very often. NAPNES will attempt to remind you that your certification will soon expire, but if your contact details have changed and you have not informed them of this, you may never receive this notification. In any case NAPNES clearly states that it remains the responsibility of the LPN in question to ensure that he or she is re-certified when necessary, and that, although NAPNES will attempt to remind its nurses of this fact, they will not be held responsible should you neglect to seek re-certification. Usually your re-certification reminder will be sent via email, so this is the main contact detail that you need to keep up to date with NAPNES> in addition your certification card will have your expiration date written on it, which serves as your primary reminder to seek re-certification.Long Term Care

Length Of Process

The length of the application and certification process depends to a large degree on the applicant. NAPNES takes around 4 to 6 weeks in order to process your application. If you wait until the last minute to seek certification or re-certification, it will take longer as your application will not be a priority. If possible you should apply as far in advance as possible in order to ensure that the process is as speedy as it can be. There are two main ways in which you can ensure that the process does not take too much time. You can:

  • Make payments online
  • Fax or email your application

Online payments are guaranteed to go through immediately. If you pay in any other way (such as telephonically or by posting a check) time will be required for the information to reach NAPNES and for the payment to go through and be fully verified by the organization. The same principle applies to sending your applications. Faxed or emailed applications are considerably more likely to reach NAPNES at a faster rate than those that are posted.

NAPNES Membership

Many nurses erroneously assume that receiving long term care certification through NAPNES is the same as becoming a member of NAPNES. This is not the case. In order to become a member it is necessary for you to undergo an entirely separate process that can be accessed by visiting the organizations main site. Being a member is not a prerequisite for receiving long term care certification, but there are a number of benefits to being a member of NAPNES. For one thing you will automatically have access to resources and career opportunities that you may not otherwise have had access to. In addition you will be given the opportunity to network with other nurses in similar positions to you, which can do wonders for your career as the best way to hear about new job opportunities is through word of mouth. NAPNES also provides continuing education opportunities that will allow you to boost your resume, and actual members of NAPNES tend to have access to these opportunities for lower prices or at no cost at all. So if you are considering becoming a certified long term care nurse, it may also be worthwhile to consider full NAPNES membership.

Salary Increases

One of the primary reasons why nurses like to achieve additional certification in areas such as long term care is that they hope that it will mean an increase in their salaries. NAPNES is very clear that they cannot make promises on this point. Although many employers will increase the salaries of nurses who have gone the extra mile and received additional certification, each employer is different and it is their prerogative when deciding whether to give you a pay rise or not. Your employer may also consider a number of other criteria when deciding whether or not a salary increase is in order, such as:

  • Your actual performance on the job up until that point
  • Your perceived level of commitment to the facility where you work
  • The amount of experience that you already have working in long term care

If you plan to seek certification specifically in order to improve your salary opportunities, it is very important that you first check with your employer to ascertain whether or not such salary increases are in fact a genuine option for you. This will avoid disappointment and prevent you from wasting your time if that is the primary benefit that you hope to achieve.

The Test

All nursing certifications require that you take a test. The test that you will take to earn your long term care certification is online and can be taken from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a computer with an internet connection. The test will consist of 150 multiple choice questions and is time limited, meaning that if you do not complete all of your answers in the time provided, the test will end and your results will be graded regardless of whether or not you have actually answered all of the questions on the test. In order to pass the test you need to receive a mark of 80% or higher, so it is highly recommended that you complete any training courses that you can find to improve your chances of passing. In addition you should locate a quiet area where you will not be interrupted in order to take the test as this will also improve your chances of success significantly.

American Association For Long Term Nursing

Long Term Care Certification Program

The AALTCN offers a comprehensive program in the form of the LPN Guide for Excellence in Long Term Care and a related study guide. The main purpose of this program is to ensure that LPNs are properly prepared for their roles as long term care nurses. The outcomes of the course are many and varied:

  • Firstly the textbook outlines the main responsibilities that LPNs who are employed in long term care facilities will have.
  • As different people react in different ways when they or a loved family member is admitted to long term care, the book is also aimed at ensuring that LPNs are aware of how to work with these people and respond appropriately to their reactions.
  • One of the key tasks that a nurse with long term care certification needs to be aware of is the components of resident assessment.
  • It is not enough simply to create and administer a care plan; it also has to be an effective working tool – methods for achieving this are also included in the program.
  • In addition to the above the LPN enrolled in this course will become familiar with the serious clinical risks that patients in the long term care facility face as well as how to manage those risks.
  • Medical emergencies can arise in long term care facilities in a variety of different forms – as a nurse with long term care certification you will be trained in identifying these risks and managing them where possible.
  • As many people admitted to long-term care tend to be elderly, you will also be taught how age can impact the effects that drugs have on a patient.
  • Related to the previous point is safe medication use, as elderly residents are not always in a state to remember when and why they must take their medications.
  • Some of the key personality traits and skills you will need to display are covered in the program and include assertiveness, communication, time management, delegation, performance appraisal, and complaint management.
  • As an LPN working in a situation such as this you will also need to be able to manage any complaints that may arise.
  • There are a number of legal risks that are very specific to long term nursing care. As a nurse working in that environment you must be trained to know and identify these risks, as well as in how to reduce them when and where possible.
  • Long term care nursing can be highly stressful. Another key skill that you will learn is how to identify stressors and manage stress in this environment.

There are a number of potential advantages to earning your long term care certification. There is, of course, the possibility that you will be eligible for more advanced positions and a higher salary in your day-to-day life. However in addition to that it will prepare you adequately for a job in long term care nursing. There are a number of aspects of this kind of nursing that are not present, at least not to the same degree, in other nursing specialties. Consequently there is a set of different and unique skills that will allow you to be more effective in this line of work and to serve your patients to the best of your ability. If you plan to work in long term care, long term care certification is essential.

What You Need To Know About PeriOperative Nursing

What Is PeriOperative Nursing?

Often Perioperative nurses are referred to simply as operating room nurses as this is the setting in which they can most frequently be found. Their main function in a health care setting is to provide patient care:

  • Before surgery
  • During surgery
  • After surgery

They have little interaction with the patient other than on the day that they undergo the surgical procedure in question. In addition to this they work closely with the surgical team to enhance the care of the patient, and they serve as a liaison between that team and the patient’s family regarding important information about the patient’s condition.

Nature Of The Work/Duties

There are a number of roles and responsibilities that are characteristic of this specialty. On the day of the surgery, for example, it is the role of the PeriOperative nurse to interview and assess patients in order to ensure that all information regarding their condition is gathered and that they are, in fact, in a suitable condition for undergoing surgery. During surgery, it is also the responsibility of the PeriOperative nurse to monitor the well being of the patient and coordinate the activities in the operating room. Sterility in the operating room is essential in order to prevent the risk of infection. Consequently, it is the role of the PeriOperative nurse to ensure that a sterile environment is maintained throughout the surgical procedure. Last, but not least, PeriOperative nursing involves providing patients with recovery tips that they can use once they have returned to their homes.

Employment

PeriOperative nurses form an essential part of any surgical team. Consequently the main settings in which you will find employment as a nurse with this specialty are:

  • Hospitals
  • Freestanding surgery centers
  • Physician’s offices

Hospitals and freestanding surgery centers administer surgery on a daily basis, and it is therefore obvious that many PeriOperative nurses would be employed in these particular settings. In addition, however, it is interesting to note that several small surgical procedures can be performed in physician’s offices, and so there is a chance that you can seek employment in these settings as well. Physician’s offices tend to be less intense than operating rooms in terms of the work environment that you will need to endure.

PeriOperative Nursing Requirements

The following are the basic requirements that you have to meet in order to become involved in PeriOperative nursing:

  • The minimum degree that you need in order to get started is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Following the completion of your bachelor’s degree program, you will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) which will allow you to become licensed as an RN
  • Before you can become a PeriOperative nurse you must gain experience working in critical care and in the emergency room
  • In addition to this hands-on experience you also have to take continuing education courses in areas like “patient assessment, Intraoperative activities, discharge planning, emergency situations and sterilization” (discovernursing.com)
  • The last step of the process involves passing the Certified Nurse Operating Room (CNOR) certification exam through the Association of Perioperative Nurses (AORN) and becoming a Certified Perioperative Nurse

Personality Traits

Many of the personality traits that a PeriOperative nurse should possess overlap with general personality traits that we expect to see in all nurses:

  • PeriOperative nurses must possess patience
  • They also need to be detail orientated as mistakes before, during, or after surgery can be serious
  • Critical thinking skills are essential
  • Good problem solving skills are necessary for dealing with the medical situations that can unexpectedly arise in an operating room
  • Perioperative nurses must have excellent communication skills
  • In addition they must have good interpersonal skills as they will need to work with many different medical professionals as well as patients on a daily basis
  • Because surgery is performed by more than one person, a PeriOperative nurse must possess the ability to work effectively as part of a team
  • Last but not least, they must be quick on their feet and be able to make sound decisions in emergency situationsPeriOperative Nurse

Educational Requirements

Generally speaking, in order to become a PeriOperative nurse through a PeriOperative nursing program you must have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or a Master of Science in nursing degree prior to enrollment. Perioperative nursing courses are usually in the form of certificates or post-graduate fellowships, and are therefore considered to be advanced educational options.

Note: competition for places in schools offering PeriOperative qualifications is high. Consequently it is in your best interests to also gain as much experience as possible as an RN in an acute care setting, as well as to get recommendations from your teachers as this will improve your chances of being admitted to the program of your choice.

Licensure

In order to be a PeriOperative nurse you must possess an RN license. This involves completing an RN training program. As you need a bachelor’s degree to enter a PeriOperative training program, this would be the best program type to complete. Once you have successfully completed the program by meeting all of the course requirements, you must apply for licensure through your State Board of Nursing. On receiving confirmation of your eligibility to become licensed, set an exam date with Pearson VUE, the examining agency that administers national nursing licensing exams. Passing the exam will allow you to become licensed, and your State Board will let you know within a few months of the exam whether or not your application was successful. Depending on the rules of your particular state, your license may need to be renewed at set intervals.

How To Become A PeriOperative Nurse

Training, Advancement And Other Qualifications

As a PeriOperative nurse you will be able to work in the following capacities:

  • As a scrub nurse
  • As a circulating nurse
  • As an operating room charge nurse
  • As an outpatient surgery nurse

In addition to this, nurses with a PeriOperative background can work in advanced capacities, including as:

  • Operating room directors
  • RN First Assistants
  • Clinical educators
  • Nurse Anesthetists

Source An Accredited Education Program

When selecting a school through which to complete either your undergraduate nursing degree or your postgraduate PeriOperative nursing training, you have to ensure that the program enroll in is accredited. The two accrediting agencies that do this are the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Although the school itself should provide you with information regarding its accreditation status, it is always better to double check its credentials just to be safe. The accrediting agencies, as well as your State Board of Nursing, can provide you with information regarding a particular school’s accreditation status.

Earn Your Associate’s Degree

An associate’s degree, although not enough to get you into a PeriOperative training program, is nevertheless a useful stepping stone in your career as it allows you to become licensed as an RN. To earn your associate’s degree:

  • Create a list of all the schools in your area offering this degree options and narrow down the options based on your personal preferences
  • Apply to at least three of the schools that make the shortlist, remembering to adhere to the school-specific application requirements when you do so
  • Select the best school from among those which accept your application and go through the enrollment procedure
  • Complete all of the theoretical and clinical course requirements
  • Graduating from the program earns you your associate’s degree

Obtain Your Licensure

The only license you need for this specialty is an RN license, but you will need to become certified by passing the Certified Nurse Operating Room (CNOR) certification exam through the Association of Perioperative Nurses (AORN). There are a number of continuing education courses that can be used in order to prepare for this examination. In addition, there are a number of online revision options available. The Association of PeriOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), as one example, offers Periop 101 online course for first-time licensees, this process involves completing online coursework as well as meeting face-to-face with a lecturer who will provide you with guidance for studying for the necessary certification exam.

Online/Distance Education Programs

There are a number of online and distance education programs advertised for PeriOperative training, and these can be extremely useful for students who need to study after hours and on weekends. When considering these options, keep the following in mind:

  • As with any other nursing school or program, online and distance education schools must also be properly accredited
  • If the course that you wish to complete requires hands-on training, make sure that you or the school make provision for this as you will be unable to qualify otherwise

As you will be required to work independently and to motivate yourself, this is not a suitable method of education for any students who require guidance in order to successfully complete a program.

PeriOperative Nursing Job Outlook

The job outlook for this career is excellent. The RN profession in general is one where we expect to see significant growth through 2020, and RNs with special skills are in an even better position as they can benefit from general nursing employment opportunities as well as from specialized positions. With additional education there are also a number of advanced careers that a nurse with PeriOperative training may consider pursuing, including becoming operating room directors, managers, nurse anesthetists, certified RN First Assistants, clinical educators, or researchers.
There are a number of factors that contribute to the expected growth in this industry:

  • More and more ailments and injuries can be treated surgically, increasing the need for skilled operating room nurses
  • Expanding population figures increases the number of people who need surgical care

PeriOperative Nursing Earnings

There are a number of factors involved in the exact salary that you are eligible to earn as a PeriOperative nurse. For one thing, PeriOperative nursing salaries are usually listed as being the same as registered nursing salaries. The average national salary for registered nurses is about $65,950 a year at the moment. The 25th percentile earns up to $53,770 per year, while the 75th percentile earns $80,390 or higher, so there are significant differences in the specific amount that you will be eligible for. The size of the facility you work in will also affect your salary: $64,900 is a good estimate for PeriOperative staff nurses in small facilities (fewer than 10 operating rooms), and $69,600 seems to be a good guess for nurses in facilities with more than 10 operating rooms. There is also room for advancement in this career. An RN First Assistant, who acts as lead nurse during surgery, can earn $73,200 per year in a small facility or $77,700 in a larger facility, while nursing supervisors earn an average of between $79,900 and $84,900 depending on the size of the institution. Directors and assistant directors of nursing earn an average of $95,200 in small institutions and $127,800 in large ones. Perioperative nurses serving as educational faculty in schools or teaching hospitals average $77,400 in small facilities, and $79,100 in larger ones.

As surgical procedures become increasingly more advanced, there is a parallel increase in the number of nursing professionals needed who are skilled in PeriOperative care. The profession offers a number of career advancement opportunities for ambitious nurses, making it a very popular specialty to pursue. However, it is an intensive job as surgical procedures do not always go according to plan. It is also important to take the long hours into consideration when looking at this specialty as a possible way forward for you in your career. The type of school you select once you have decided that this is the line of work for you will also affect the rest of your career as some schools are looked on more favorably than others.

Being Involved In Holistic Nursing

What Is Holistic Nursing?

Traditionally, nurses look at a patient in terms of their outward symptoms. When we consider a patient from the point of view of holistic nursing, we are essentially considering the entire being of the patient. Often complementary medical treatments are recommended to patients in order to address their problem in its entirety and not simply from one aspect. What this essentially means is that the patient’s emotional and spiritual well being is considered in addition to their physical health. The holistic nurse and her patient are seen as partners, working together to achieve better health for the patient. Holistic nursing is usually practiced in long-term care facilities as well as in many hospices across the country. The core concept of holistic nursing is this:

  • Each patient is an individual whose personal needs are of the utmost importance.
  • This form of health care is not an alternative to modern medicine, but rather an addition to modern medicine, through which care can be improved.

Nature Of The Work/Duties

Holistic nursing involves combining all of the ‘traditional’ nursing methods taught at traditional schools with holistic methods. These methods and modes of treatment could include the following:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Shiatsu massage
  • Yoga
  • Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)
  • Meditation
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Colonics
  • Energy healing

The actual treatments used are based on the initial assessment performed by the holistic nurse. In addition to the above, there is also a strong focus on the food and fluids that a patient takes in. nutrition and body cleansing are a central focus, so a holistic nurse will often spend some time assessing a patient’s diet.

One of the main roles of holistic nurses is to provide patients with human caring and a respect for their personal dignity that is sometimes lacking elsewhere in the healthcare industry.

Employment

Because of the nature of the discipline, nurses who practice from a holistic viewpoint can work n a variety of different settings, including the following:

  • Medical Professions: because holistic nursing involves caring for patients at a physical level as much as at a spiritual or emotional level, holistic nurses can often work in the same medical settings as other nurses.
  • Working at Health Spas: health spas frequently operate from a holistic point of view, making it an ideal setting for nurses form this orientation to work in.
  • Lifestyle Coaches: these coaches aim to restore balance to the entire individual, an extremely suitable role for a holistic nurse.
  • Physical Therapy: physical therapy is incomplete unless the emotional recovery of the patient is addressed in addition to his or her physical recovery.

Holistic Nursing Requirements

There are three main requirements that you will need to meet if you plan to become a holistic nurse:

  • Firstly, you must hold a diploma, an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in nursing
  • In addition to that, you need to complete at least 48 hours of continuing education in holistic nursing
  • You must also have a minimum of one year of full-time active practice as a holistic nurse

This is, therefore, a nursing specialty that you can pursue as an LPN or as an RN, and the additional training to become a holistic nurse is not as intensive as the training you would be required to complete for a number of other fields.

Personality Traits

To be a holistic nurse you will need to have an open mind and be accepting. This is because holistic nursing is an attitude, not just a job. The idea that you need to accept most of all in order to be a holistic nurse is that treating the mind, body, and spirit as a whole will heal single ailments.
A holistic nurse also needs to be in touch with her own body’s needs in order to serve her patients at an effective level of care. This means that you need to, essentially, ‘practice what you preach’, and engage in the same relaxation techniques that you spend your time teaching your patients.
Basic nursing traits, such as empathy, good communication skills, and attention to detail, are also necessary in holistic nursing.Holistic Nurse

Educational Requirements

If you choose to complete your nursing training through a holistic nursing school rather than a more traditional option, you will cover coursework on the following topics:

  • Science
  • Health policy
  • Nursing practice
  • Theory and practice of holistic medicine
  • Theory and practice of professional standards
  • Specific healing modalities such as energy work
  • Compassion
  • Self-care
  • Massage therapy
  • Healing or therapeutic touch (bodywork)
  • Intuition
  • Spirituality

Although you will definitely need to complete the basic courses that are included in all undergraduate nursing programs, additional courses, such as massage therapy and bodywork, will depend on the particular school through which you choose to earn your holistic nursing qualification.

Licensure

To be a holistic nurse you can hold either an LPN license or an RN license. In both cases the process begins by researching the schools in your area that offer either an LPN or RN qualification. Once you have completed the necessary course and met all of the course requirements, you will be eligible to apply to your State Board of Nursing for Licensure. Once the Board has confirmed that you are eligible, you will have to take an exam:

  • The NCLEX-PN is for candidates who would like to be licensed practical nurses (LPNs)
  • The NCLEX-RN is for candidates who would like to be registered nurses (RNs)

The exams are administered by Pearson VUE. Confirmation from your Board allows you to set an exam date with this examining body and passing the exam means that you are licensed. Depending on the rules in your particular state, your license will need renewal at set intervals.

How To Become A Holistic Nurse

Training, Advancement And Other Qualifications

Training for holistic nursing can occur in two ways:

  • You could complete a nursing program from scratch at a holistic school, or
  • You could complete a degree program at a non-holistic school and then complete a 48 hour training program in order to become certified as a holistic nurse and augment your knowledge

The short programs will cost anything between $2000 and $3000 to complete, while longer degree programs will vary in price depending on the specific school that you choose to enroll in.

Source An Accredited Education Program

It is extremely important that the program through which you qualify as an LPN or an RN is accredited. If it is not accredited you will be wasting your time and your money on that particular program. Your State Board of Nursing is an excellent resource to turn to if you would either like to:

  • Receive a list of the accredited schools in your state that you can choose form among, or
  • Ask about a specific school

Although schools are required to provide you with their accreditation status, it is always better to check their claims.

In order to become a holistic nurse you must consider only those programs that are approved by the American Holistic Nurses Association. If the program is not approved you will most likely be unable to become certified as a holistic nurse.

Earn Your Associate’s Degree

Although you can become a holistic nurse with either an LPN or an RN qualification, one of the more popular degrees you could earn is an associate’s degree. This degree will allow you to practice from a holistic nursing viewpoint as an RN. The following steps are involved in earning your associate’s degree:

  • Firstly you need to look into what schools in your area offer an associate’s degree in nursing
  • Then you should create a list of requirements that your ideal school should meet
  • Select at least three different schools from the list that you have in front of you, and apply to them all, remembering to keep the individual application procedures for each school in mind
  • When the schools get back to, select the best option from among those that accept you
  • The associate’s degree program will, typically, consist of both theory and clinical training – by meeting all of the course requirements for your particular program, you will graduate
  • Graduating from an associate’s degree program automatically earns you an associate’s degree in nursing

Obtain Your Licensure

In order to be a nurse you must hold either an LPN or RN license. Although additional certification is not required in order to be a holistic nurse, it is strongly recommended that you pursue certification in this discipline if you plan to practice from a holistic point of view. There are three levels of holistic nurse certification that you can earn:

  • Holistic Nurse – Board Certified (HN-BC)
  • Holistic Baccalaureate Nurse – Board Certified (HNB-BC)
  • Advanced Holistic Nurse – Board Certified (AHN-BC)

Each is approved by the American Holistic Nurses Association and proves your expertise at each level.

Online/Distance Education Programs

Holistic nursing is a nursing qualification that can easily be completed online. An online program has a number of advantages, not least of which is the fact that you will not be required to give up your current job in order to study. In addition, these programs are often substantially cheaper than ‘traditional’ options, and you will be able to work at your own pace and not be tied down by a classroom schedule. Provided that the program is approved, you can complete your additional holistic nursing training entirely online. It is also interesting to note that many of the continuing education options that are available from a holistic nursing perspective can also be done through distance education or through an online school.

Holistic Nursing Job Outlook

Because holistic nursing is an extremely broad concept there are in actual fact a number of job opportunities available for nurses who have pursued additional education in this discipline. As a holistic nurse you can:

  • Practice in hospitals
  • Practice in universities
  • Practice in medical offices
  • Practice in alternative health centers
  • Become a wellness coach
  • Specialize in healing modalities (e.g. bodywork)

In addition, because you are required to be either an LPN or an RN before you can engage in additional training that will allow you to enter the field of holistic nursing, you will also have the opportunity to work in settings where a specialization in nursing is not, in fact, required. Nursing as a career in general is expected to increase between now and the year 2020 by a substantial amount, meaning that future job security for all nurses is good.

Holistic Nursing Earnings

The basic salary trends for this line of work are as follows:

  • A Registered Nurse (RN) with holistic nursing training can earn about $23.50 an hour
  • A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) with holistic nursing training can earn about $15.28 an hour
  • A Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) with holistic nursing training can earn about $36.00 an hour
  • A Mental Health Counselor with holistic nursing training can earn about $43.50 an hour

Just by having a bachelor’s degree in nursing you become eligible to earn $16.00 – $32.50 an hour as a holistic nurse. The more advanced your level of practice, the more you are eligible to earn in this sector of nursing.

Holistic nursing is an up and coming discipline that is slowly but surely gaining acceptance but that has yet to develop firm roots in the medical community. However, there are indications that this perspective has a number of advantages in expediting patient recovery when used in conjunction with traditional medical techniques. Certification in holistic nursing can also serve to increase your salary options slightly, but the main advantage is your increased ability to care for your patient in a comprehensive way, accounting for each and every aspect of their health and their well being.

All About Being A Nurse Anesthetist

What Is A Nurse Anesthetist?

A nurse anesthetist essentially has the same capabilities as an anesthesiologist in that they are skilled at administering anesthesia and also at monitoring the well being of patients under anesthesia. The educational path to becoming a nurse anesthetist is an extensive one that results in high prestige and increased professional respect. Nurse anesthetists become nationally certified and therefore have the ability to practice in any state they choose. As one of the best paid careers in the nursing industry, it is also an extremely popular option for ambitious nurses to pursue.

Nature Of The Work/Duties

The main duties performed by a nurse anesthetist are as follows:

  • Nurse anesthetists are responsible for performing a physical assessment of the patient both before they undergo surgery as well as during the surgical procedure.
  • Naturally, one of their key responsibilities involves the administration of anesthesia when necessary before and during the surgical procedure.
  • After surgery, a patient’s recovery from the anesthesia must be monitored closely as different individuals tend to react in different ways.
  • The nurse anesthetist is also primarily responsible for dealing with a patient’s post-operative needs in the hours immediately following surgery.

Employment

Nurse anesthetists are employed in any setting where surgery is performed on a fairly routine basis. One of the more common places to find employment in this specialty is in a hospital operating room. However, it must be noted that there are other employment options available to you. For example, you could work in an ambulatory surgical unit, or in a pain clinic. In some cases you could work in a physician’s office as some minor routine procedures can be performed without the necessity of an operating room. For those adventurous souls out there, the U.S. military also employs nurse anesthetists.

Nurse Anesthetist Requirements

In order to enter a nurse anesthetist program you must meet the following basic requirements:

  • To begin with you must hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing or in another appropriate subject (the acceptability of your major will be determined by the specific school at which you apply).
  • You also need to hold an RN license.
  • Last but not least, you must have at least a year of acute nursing experience (once again the definition of ‘acute nursing experience’ will be determined by the specific school at which you apply).

Meeting these requirements will gain you access to a nurse anesthetist program which is, effectively, a master’s degree program.

Personality Traits

There are a number of personality traits that will stand you in good stead as a nurse in general, as well as ones that will be particularly useful to you in your career as a nurse anesthetist:

  • One prerequisite is that you are someone who takes pride in working long hours. No matter what nursing career you embark on, you will be required to do intensive shift work.
  • Like other nurses, nurse anesthetists must be able to get on well with other people. Even though you will not be involved with the patient for long periods of time, a good bedside manner and compassion will still be required for the time you do spend with your patients.
  • You will also need to be someone who is comfortable around machines and needles as these will form a major part of your day to day activities as a nurse anesthetist. Skills in this regard will be taught during your training, but it will help if you have a natural ability to cope with both.
  • As nurse anesthetists frequently work alone, you need to be someone who can function independently and who does not rely too heavily on interaction with your colleagues.

Educational Requirements

The first step in your educational path to becoming a nurse anesthetist lies in earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing. You can do this by entering a bachelor’s degree program immediately, or you can upgrade your RN qualification to a bachelor’s degree qualification through an RN to BSN program. There are also accelerated BSN programs for individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated major. Once you have met these basic educational prerequisites (as well as gaining the relevant number of years of experience) you will be eligible to apply at nurse anesthetist schools. An important aspect to keep in mind at this point is your choice of school. It is as important to select a school that is in line with your personal goals and ambitions as it is to select a school that has an excellent reputation. The nurse anesthetist program that you enroll in is effectively a master’s degree program as it is essential that you have a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Following the completion of your master’s degree program, you will have to pass a certification exam to call yourself a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA).Anesthetist

Licensure

An RN license is required if you wish to be a nurse anesthetist. This license is earned by:

  • Completing an accredited RN training program
  • Applying to your State Board of Nursing for licensure
  • Awaiting confirmation that you are eligible to be licensed
  • Setting an exam date with Pearson VUE (the examining body) for a fee of $200
  • Taking the computer based examination and passing with a score of 80%

Passing the test will allow you to become licensed with your State Board, although you may have to pay an additional licensing fee depending on which state you are based in.

How To Become A Nurse Anesthetist

Training, Advancement And Other Qualifications

To become a nurse anesthetist you must return to school and complete a nurse anesthetist training program, which could take anything from 24 to 36 months depending on the school that you attend. This program will result in a master’s degree in nursing. Although the specific degree programs that are available to you may differ slightly in terms of course content, they should all cover anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics, pharmacology, Principles of Anesthesia, and Management and Advanced Practice Nursing.

In order to maintain your license you will need to complete continuing education courses. When selecting these courses, a focus on those related to anesthesia will be helpful for you in that they will keep your skills up to date and make your resume substantially more attractive to potential future employers.

Source An Accredited Education Program

One of the most important things to remember is that the school that you choose must be accredited. If it is not accredited your qualification will not count for anything and you will have wasted your time and your money on the degree program. The following two agencies are the accrediting bodies for nursing programs:

  • National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC)
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

Your State Board of Nursing can provide you with information regarding whether or not a school is accredited.

Earn Your Associate’s Degree

As you need to have a bachelor’s degree (BSN) in order to enter a nurse anesthetist program (which is essentially a master’s degree), an associate’s degree is simply not good enough. However, an associate’s degree will allow you to become an RN, following which you can do an RN to BSN bridge course. In a way, your associate’s degree can be used as a stepping stone to achieving your career goals. When selecting a school through which to do your associate’s degree, make sure that it is accredited and that it meets your personal requirements. Applying for more than one school will increase your chances of being accepted.

Obtain Your Licensure

In addition to your RN license you also need to gain national certification in order to be a nurse anesthetist. This can be achieved by taking the national certification exam. It is important to note that, in order for certification to be maintained, a nurse anesthetist must obtain a minimum of 40 hours of continuing education every two years. Continuing education courses are offered online as well as through a number of nursing schools and health care facilities. This should be seen as an opportunity to expand your knowledge, and not as an inconvenience.

Online/Distance Education Programs

Although there are a number of online options available in terms of your nursing education, it is important to note that any nursing course consists of two components:

  • A theoretical component
  • A clinical component

Because the clinical component consists of hands-on training, it is impossible to complete it through distance or online education. However, provided that you make arrangements to complete your practical training in some way at a genuine health care institution, there is no reason why you should not complete your theory training partially or entirely online. As there are several online schools out there that are not accredited, you must make this decision carefully.

Nurse Anesthetist Job Outlook

The job outlook for nurse anesthetists is extremely good as this is one of the most advanced nursing specialties. The primary reason for this is that nurse anesthetists are trained to give advanced and high quality care at a lower cost than anesthesiologists. This makes their services extremely valuable in health care facilities where costs need to be cut and kept at a reasonable level, and, as the training requirements for this specialty become more and more stringent, it seems that in the future you may have better luck finding work as a nurse anesthetist than as an anesthesiologist. Related to this point is the fact that there are simply more nurse anesthetists available than anesthesiologists. In general the nursing profession is growing at an explosive rate, and we can expect a 26 percent increase in employment through 2020, which is much faster than any other industry.

Nurse Anesthetist Earnings

The average salary that you could earn as a nurse anesthetist is anything from $78,058 to $170,397 a year. When considering the possibility of an annual bonus of up to $15,202 a year, and profit sharing of around $1,441 – $19,054 a year, your overall earning potential is in the region of $78,336 – $185,686. A number of factors affect the salary that you are eligible to earn as a nurse anesthetist. One of these factors is the exact industry in which you choose to work:

  • In Healthcare you can earn about $79,315 – $178,058 a year
  • In a Hospital you can earn about $78,307 – $180,170 a year
  • In the Medical Services you can earn about $77,578 – $179,485 a year
  • In General Surgery you can earn about $78,704 – $178,759 a year
  • In an Acute Care Hospital you can earn about $86,233 – $184,621 a year

Men and women earn slightly different rates in this nursing specialty. Women, who make up 56% of the industry, earn about $103,921 – $150,878 annually, while men, who make up 44% of the industry, earn more at $120,171 – $160,403 annually. Some cities pay more than others. The top paying cities are Denver in Colorado, Portland in Oregon, San Francisco in California, Phoenix in Arizona, Boston in Massachusetts, Houston in Texas, St. Louis in Missouri, Minneapolis in Minnesota, New York in New York, Cincinnati in Ohio, Little Rock in Arkansas, Baltimore in Maryland, Oklahoma City in Oklahoma, Miami in Florida, Chicago in Illinois, Seattle in Washington, Louisville in Kentucky, Jacksonville in Florida, Cleveland in Ohio, and Atlanta in Georgia.

The salary is an extremely attractive reason to become a nurse anesthetist, but there are other considerations to keep in mind. For example, the path to becoming a nurse anesthetist is a long one, and once you are qualified you will be more or less on your own. Consequently, it is not a line of work that suits every nurse. When choosing a specialty, it is not enough to consider the salary and working hours. You also need to assess the likelihood that you will be happy, and, therefore, effective in that particular line of work.

All You Need To Know About A Critical Care Nurse

What Is A Critical Care Nurse?

A critical care nurse is a nurse who specifically works with patients who are experiencing a severe illness or injury and who therefore need close attention and care in order to recover adequately. These are the patients with the most serious and life-threatening conditions, making this type of nursing a fairly stressful career to pursue within the health care profession. Nurses interested in this career should review their personality traits carefully.

Nature Of The Work/Duties

There are a large number of different duties that a critical nurse is expected to perform:

  • Identify patients’ needs and develop relevant care plans
  • Provide care after death
  • Perform approved procedures
  • Decide when emergency interventions are needed
  • Do blood transfusions and monitor for reactions
  • Advocate for patients’ and families’ needs
  • Keep track of patients’ fluid intake
  • Monitor patients for major changes in their condition
  • Assess pain levels and sedate when necessary
  • Assess patients’ psychosocial status
  • Collect specimens for laboratory tests
  • Document patients’ medical histories, treatment plans, interventions, outcomes, plan revisions and assessment findings
  • Assist physicians with procedures
  • Assess family adaptation levels and coping skills to determine whether intervention is needed
  • Plan, provide, or evaluate educational programs
  • Supervise and monitor unit nursing staff

Employment

As a critical care nurse you will, effectively, be able to seek employment anywhere where there are patients who require critical care. The places where you can find employment as a critical care nurse include coronary and intensive care, telemetry units or facilities, progressive care units in hospitals, or flight units. Although these are the most common places to find critical care nurses, they are not the only places. Critical care nurses are often employed to work shifts, so you must be prepared to work at times that may not necessarily be convenient for you. However shift work such as this is true of any nursing specialty or sub-profession within the industry.

Critical Care Nurse Requirements

These are the requirements needed for becoming a critical care nurse:

  • To begin you must get your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Then you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) which will allow you to begin working as a registered nurse (RN)
  • You must work as an RN for a minimum of two years in critical care
  • You must take continuing education classes (the amount of hours are set by your hospital)
  • After you have done that you must apply to take the certification exam specific to your specialty area
  • Get your critical care nursing certification from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN)
  • You must take a certain amount continuing education classes certification (rules depend on where you work)
  • After you have done this you will be a Certified Critical Care Nurse (CCRN)

Personality Traits

Critical Care NursingThere are a number of personality requirements that you should have for a job of this kind. Many of these requirements are necessary for all forms of nursing while others included here are specific to critical care nursing. The most important skill is active listening as this facilitates your ability to show compassion. The other skills you will need are the ability to teach and instruct others, such as patients, the ability to engage in persuasion, systems analysis skills, time management skills, the ability to manage personnel resources in emergency situations, communication skills, such as speaking, reading and writing clearly and concisely in English or the language of choice at your facility, dedication to service orientation, social perceptiveness, critical thinking, good judgment, problem-solving, and decision making skills, coordination skills, negotiation skills, and quality control analysis skills.

Educational Requirements

The educational requirements for this line of work start with earning a high school diploma which will gain you access to a nursing program. You then have to earn both a bachelor’s degree and then a master’s degree in nursing before moving forward with the career. There are some things that you can keep in mind in terms of the educational requirements for being a critical nurse. You can choose to focus on subspecialties like:

  • Neonatal intensive care
  • Pediatric intensive care
  • Adult intensive care

Continuing education is an important part of your job, since you’ll need to stay up to date on the latest advancements in technology and care. These continuing education units will also allow you to feel more confident in the line of work that you have chosen to pursue.

Licensure

To become a critical care nurse you need to hold an RN license. This is to allow you to work as an RN and gain the necessary experience for becoming a critical care nurse. To earn your RN license you will need to complete an accredited RN training program. Once you have spent the time necessary to do this, you will be able to apply for licensure form your state board of nursing. Once they have confirmed that you are indeed eligible for licensure you can apply to write the exam with Pearson VUE the administering body. Passing the exam will allow you to become licensed in your state. Depending on the rules in your state you will be required to renew your license once every few years and engage in continuing education.

How To Become A Critical Care Nurse

Training, Advancement And Other Qualifications

The following is a fairly comprehensive list of the training you need for the job:

  • English Language: most hospitals and health care facilities work in English, so being able to communicate effectively in this language is extremely important
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Biology and Mathematics: if possible, focus on these topics while you are still in school to prepare for your career as a critical care nurse.
  • Education and Training
  • Psychology, Therapy and Counseling: Because critical care patients often experience significant traumas and may even die, you will need to be able to provide appropriate support for the patient and/or their family.
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Chemistry
  • Computers and Electronics: these days nursing involves using complex machinery, so knowledge in this area will be taught during your training.

Source An Accredited Education Program

It is extremely important that you complete your RN training as well as any critical care nursing training that you plan to do through an accredited program. Both your bachelor’s and master’s degrees must be completed through an accredited school or else you will be unable to take the necessary examinations. The school itself should provide you with information regarding its accreditation status, but it is always better to double check this information by enquiring about the school through your state board of nursing. Your state board of nursing also provides a list of accredited schools in order to make your initial search for a school easier. Nurses currently employed in facilities near you will also be able to point you in the direction of the accredited schools that they attended to get where they are today.

Earn Your Associate’s Degree

Although an associate’s degree is a good way to get your foot in the door of the nursing industry, you will ultimately need to earn a master’s degree to be a critical care nurse. Your associate’s degree is nothing more than a stepping stone to your full qualification. To earn an associate’s degree:

  • Explore the schools in your area offering nursing programs
  • Create a short list of the best options and apply for those you are interested in remembering to adhere to the specific application requirements of each
  • Select the best school and complete the education requirements that the school asks of you
  • Once you have graduated from the program you will have an associate’s degree and you will be able to begin the process of becoming an RN and getting some experience.

Obtain Your Licensure

The only license that you strictly speaking need for this line of work is your RN license. You have the options of becoming certified as a critical care nurse, but this is not compulsory at all. However if you do choose to become certified you will expand your employment opportunities significantly and open the door to expand your career in the future. In order to do this a critical care nurse must care for critically ill patients for a minimum of two years to be eligible for the CCRN certification exam offered by AACN. You can choose the area of critical care that you would like to specialize in. the exam that you will write to earn certification will be easy enough if you have experience and you have revised the subject matter likely to appear on the test.

Online/Distance Education Programs

It is possible to do your critical care nursing training online. One example of a school offering this is:

  • Duquesne University
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Masters

However it is important to remember that nursing qualifications always include a practical aspect during training, which, of course, cannot be completed online. This means that you may need to make provisions to complete your clinical training yourself at a nearby health care facility. It is also important to ensure that the school you attend is in fact accredited as this will ensure that you will not waste your time and your money. Online study can be extremely convenient provided that you have the will power and self-motivation capabilities necessary to complete the theory portion of a nursing program in this manner and that you pick the right school.

Job Outlook

Because there is such a shortage of critical care nurses and critical care nursing units across the country, too many people are being treated in inadequate conditions, which is why it has been suggested that hospitals of the future will be large critical care units, and other types of care will be provided in alternative locations or at home. This is good for critical care nurses who are looking at the long term job outlook for the career. In the short term it is worth noting that the nursing industry is expanding at a faster rate than any other industry, meaning that more and more jobs are available every year. In addition there will always be a need for critical care nurses with their specific skill set in this world.

Earnings

Depending on what your status is in a hospital you may earn slightly different rates with critical care nursing certification:

  • As a Registered Nurse (RN) you will earn around $22.47 – $44.13 an hour
  • As a Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) you will earn around $21.74 – $42.64 an hour
  • As a Charge Nurse (RN) you will earn around $24.93 – $51.38 an hour
  • As a Registered Nurse (RN) working in the Emergency Room you will earn around $23.19 – $50.52 an hour
  • As a Clinical Nurse Manager you will earn around $24.43 – $49.18 an hour

The school you attend could affect your salary:

  • University of Phoenix (UOP) = $34.22 – $46.00 an hour
  • University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) = $31.49 – $39.61 an hour
  • University of Washington (UW) = $28.50 – $40.00 an hour

Last but not least certain cities pay more than others:

  • In Houston, Texas you will earn around $25.58 – $41.02 an hour
  • In Orlando, Florida you will earn around $22.82 – $42.50 an hour
  • In Atlanta, Georgia you will earn around $22.67 – $40.72 an hour
  • In Denver, Colorado you will earn around $25.66 – $37.77 an hour
  • In Chicago, Illinois you will earn around $30.26 – $47.96 an hour

As a critical care nurse there are a number of opportunities available to you both in terms of salary and career, but also in terms of the rewarding nature of the job.

Earning Your Pharmacology Certification

There are a number of very specific specializations that nurses choose to pursue once they have their LPN license. One of these additional qualifications that could result in a number of benefits for you is earning pharmacology certification. With pharmacology certification you will be in line for a number of excellent opportunities in terms of employment. A hardworking and dedicated student will not take long in earning this qualification and expanding their career horizons.

Why Should I Get Pharmacology Certification?

There are a number of excellent reasons why you should pursue pharmacology certification, some of which have been touched on already:

  • You will be able to earn more money as a nurse: every additional qualification that you strive towards as a nurse will mean that you stand a higher chance of being employed in more highly paid positions.
  • You will be more marketable: potential employers look for nurses who show a desire to pursue their education and do more than just the bare minimum in pursuit of career excellence. In addition it will mean that you can get a job with employers specifically looking for nurses that have this certification.

It is also often very easy to earn your pharmacology certificating, especially as a number of employers are more than willing to sponsor the certification in exchange for which you, as the nurse in the picture will agree to work for your employer for a set period of time.

One of the best organizations through which to get your pharmacology certification is NAPNES as this shows that your qualification is of good quality and increases your chances of employment.

Common Job Roles And Duties

There are a number of tasks that a nurse with pharmacology certification is expected to fulfill. These include attending to individuals who are sick, injured, or disabled, noting vital signs, assisting the patient with personal grooming and ambulatory problems, administering injections and enemas, dressing wounds, giving massages and alcohol rubs, monitoring patients for adverse reactions to medications or treatments and reporting on them if there are any, monitoring catheters, and recording food and fluid intake and output. Consequently it can be seen that nurses in this position tend to perform many of the same tasks as other nurses, with the addition of specific, pharmacological roles included. The job role is an extremely important one as it ensures that patients are receiving the appropriate level of care that they need in order to recover as efficiently as possible. Attention to detail is a very important aspect of the job as it is one of the primary roles of the pharmacology nurse to ensure that the patient is not reacting badly to any medication and to put a stop to that medication if an adverse reaction is observed. If you earn certification in this area of nursing you will be allowed to use the title or signature LPN, NCP.About Pharmacology Certification

About NAPNES

One of the best organizations through which to receive pharmacology certification is NAPNES. This stands for the National Association for Practical Nurse Education and Services. In the NAPNES training program you will cover:

  • Pharmacological and medical administration principles
  • How Pharmacological and medical administration principles apply in the LPN profession
  • Drug classifications
  • Procedures for medical administration
  • Medication assessment
  • Dosage calculations

This training also counts towards your continuing education credits, counting as 45 hours in total. Belonging to NAPNES is not a prerequisite for earning pharmacology certification through this body (although there are many benefits to belonging to NAPNES, making it a viable option for most nurses to consider). NAPNES members will, however, be given a substantial discount on the study materials that are needed in order to pass the certification examination. In order to become a member with NAPNES there are a number of separate steps that you will need to follow and the entire process is distinct form the process of applying for pharmacology certification through the association. As with all associations and certification examinations there are a number of eligibility requirements that you have to meet.

Certification

Certification through NAPNES is one of the best choices you could make as it is a well known and nationally recognized certification body for this line of work. In fact many employers require that you have the NAPNES certification over other options as it represents a guarantee that you will be skilled in your role as a pharmacology nurse. It effectively allows you to:

  • Build skills
  • Measure your knowledge
  • Demonstrate your employability

The application form for certification can be found here. To apply you will need to begin by downloading the application package, make the necessary online payments for whichever certification or recertification option you are interested in pursuing, complete the application form, provide a copy of your license to be an LPN (Pharmacology, Long- Term Care, and I.V. Therapy Certifications require an LPN or LVN license in good standing), email or fax the necessary documentation to NAPNES, await your authorization letter, and then set a date to sit the exam. Once you have sat the examination and passed it you will need to print out the affidavit, have it notarized after you have filled it in, and send it to NAPNES. You will receive your certification in a few days following this.

Eligibility

There are a number of eligibility requirements that you will need to meet in order to earn pharmacology certification. To begin with you must have a current and unencumbered LPN/LVN license in the United States or in a U.S. territory. Alternatively you could simply meet the educational requirements for taking the NCLEX-LP examination (meaning that you do not have your LPN license yet, but that you are eligible to receive one soon). A signature from the program director will be required on your application for certification. In addition to this you will also need to, obviously, receive a passing grade on the NAPNES Pharmacology Certification Examination, a test that NAPNES provides study materials for. All certifications will require 24 contact hours of continuing education during the certification period to be eligible for re-certification. Once you receive certification you will be eligible to work as a pharmacology nurse for 3 years, at which point you will need to pursue recertification. 24 hours of continuing education over a period of three years is very little, and you may want to consider doing more than what is required in order to further boost your credentials and your confidence in your job.

Coursework

The coursework that you will be required to complete will consist of a number of topics, not least of which is dosage calculations of medications and intravenous fluid rates. In addition to this you will also be required to become well versed in the topics of medication assessment and procedures for administration, drug classifications and their effect on various body systems, and specific drugs in each classification that are emphasized according to expected effects, side effects, allergic and adverse effects. Because you will be closely involved in the administration of medication, you will also be provided with comprehensive information on the safety precautions, guidelines, and documentation. Last but not least you will study the human nervous system and the effects certain drugs have on the body and the routes of drug administration and variables that influence drug action. Based on this it becomes clear that there are two components of the course you will complete that are of paramount importance:

  • Medical math
  • Safety precautions

Safety precautions can be learned, but medical math will be easier if you already have a natural affinity for numbers as well as for making accurate calculations.

Costs

There are a number of costs that are involved in obtaining pharmacology certification, as you will most probably not be surprised to hear. The main costs that are involved in the process are:

  • $100 fee that is payable to NAPNES in order to register as a pharmacology nurse and which must be included with your application for certification
  • $60 must be paid to Castle Worldwide when you log on to their system in order to write the examination
  • An additional $50 must be paid to Castle Worldwide for every additional attempt that you make at the test should you fail to pass the first time round
  • NAPNES members pay $50 in order to obtain re-certification every three years
  • Non-NAPNES members pay $100 in order to gain re-certification every three years (meaning that it is cheaper to re-certify if you are a member)
  • $10 will be needed if you need to change your name along with a certificate of marriage or divorce
  • Additional costs may be incurred if you buy additional study materials, if you do not take your test within 60 days of applying for certification, or if you apply late for the renewal of your license

The Exam

Content Of Exam

The work that you will be assessed on in the examination will consist of many topics that you will have covered in basic LPN training. In addition you could complete a training program specifically aimed at preparing you for pharmacology certification and NAPNES provides optional study materials for you to use as preparation. You can take the exam if:

  • You have passed a training course, or
  • If you have prior training or work experience

You will receive login details from NAPNES which will expire within 60 days after your application. This means that you will need to login within 60 days to take the exam, so make sure that you are properly prepared when you apply for it.

You will need to answer 150 multiple choice questions to pass the exam. The exam is offered online and the questions appear one at a time on the screen. You cannot print these questions, and any attempt to do will result in immediate failure. You should also note that when the 2 hour time limit is reached, your test will be submitted for grading regardless of whether or not you have finished. The exam can be completed form anywhere.

Passing The Exam

It is your responsibility to ensure that you take the exam in a quiet location where you are unlikely to be disturbed by anyone or anything. This is something that you may have to think about or plan in advance. The exam can be taken from anywhere with an internet connection. If you can get your hands on official pharmacology certification exam study review guides you will find that you will be better prepared for taking the test. These guides not only prepare you for the content of the test but also tend to give you a fairly good idea of what the layout of the test will be and help you decide how long you can afford to spend on each multiple choice question. This will mean that the test will not present you with any surprises and you will be able to pace yourself well throughout the examination. Although different people study differently, it is interesting to note that many students find it easier to pass the certification examination after studying in a group than on their own. In addition attending a program or using the materials provided by NAPNES also tend to increase pass rates in students taking the exam.

Although this is not a qualification that suits everyone, pharmacology certification can make a substantial difference to your career and may result in a number of excellent career advancements and opportunities. Becoming a nurse with pharmacology certification will allow you to broaden your employment options as well as earn more respect in the workplace and within the nursing profession in general. Any further education that you pursue as a nurse will result in you being more marketable to potential employers, thereby making it a worthwhile goal to pursue. It also serves to cement your position in the healthcare industry, one of the most stable industries around.

All You Need To Know About A Home Healthcare Nurse

What Is A Home Healthcare Nurse?

A home healthcare nurse is a nurse who, instead of working in a hospital, works in patients homes. The main patient demographics that a home healthcare nurse works with are:

  • The elderly who need assistance in getting around and completing basic day-to-day tasks
  • Young children with mobility issues or who are very sick

A home healthcare nurse performs most of the same duties as one who works in a hospital setting, just in a patient’s home.

Nature Of The Work/Duties

The job rule of this type of nurse requires providing basic care to patients who cannot leave their homes. The following are the main tasks that a home healthcare nurse will perform on a regular basis:

  • Work with patients on a long term basis: This gives you the opportunity to build up a relationship with each of your patients and allows you to become fully informed regarding the patient’s needs and physical condition.
  • Help patients regain physical independence: In some cases this is not possible, such in situations where you are nursing an elderly individual. However home healthcare can be rehabilitative and therefore extremely rewarding.
  • Manage patients’ medication: The elderly and children cannot always be relied on to take the correct medications in the correct quantities at the correct times, and, consequently, a home healthcare nurse needs to oversee medication administration.

Employment

As a home healthcare nurse your employment opportunities may be slightly limited. This is because with a qualification such as this you can only really work in one of two settings: patient’s homes and nursing homes. Nursing homes are facilities in which patients who cannot care for themselves for medical reasons are taken to live. In this case the home healthcare nurses in question provide the same care as they would in the patient’s actual home, as it is, after all, the place where the patient lives. However as you will also have general training as an RN, and because you will be doing many of the same tasks as a nurse in a hospital or similar healthcare setting, you should be able to seek employment in a number of different settings other than in home healthcare nursing.

Home Healthcare Nurse Requirements

The following are the requirements for becoming a home healthcare nurse:Home Health Care

  • You must get a Nursing Diploma, an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN): most programs like these require you to hold a high school diploma before you will be allowed to enter them.
  • You must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to become an RN.
  • You can then start working as a Home Health Care Registered Nurse – no additional training is needed to be a nurse in this line of work.
  • You must pass your Home Health Care Nurse certification exam through the American Nurses Credentialing Center and then you can become a Certified Home Health Care Nurse.

Personality Traits

This is a line of work that requires you to have a large degree of patience, primarily because the patients you will be working may be elderly or children who do not do things at a speed that you would like them to. This is possibly the most important personality trait for being a home healthcare nurse. Your communication skills also need to be excellent, as in all other areas of nursing, because you will be required to interact with patients, their families, and other health care professionals on a daily basis. An ability to get your message across clearly will therefore be invaluable. Last but not least you need to be able to work well under stress. Nursing jobs in general carry with them a high degree of stress and an ability to handle this stress without affecting your performance and the level of care you provide is therefore essential.

Educational Requirements

The most basic educational requirement is to have a high school diploma or equivalent. To be a home healthcare nurse you need to meet the following educational requirements:

  • You must have a degree in nursing – this is one of the few specializations in nursing that only requires an associate or bachelor’s degree and nothing else.
  • After receiving this degree you will have to complete an exam known as the NCLEX-RN exam to become licensed as a registered nurse.
  • The areas that you will be tested on in this exam include client needs, health promotion, psychosocial integrity and physiological integrity.
  • Specialized training in geriatrics, treatment of disabled patients and cutting edge technologies for home health care can also be useful in this field although it is not a requirement.

Licensure

In order to become a home healthcare nurse you need to achieve licensure as an RN. Some LPNs are also able to work in home healthcare, although they are usually supervised. An LPN license may help, but an RN license is a better option. To get an RN license you must:

  • Complete an RN training program through an accredited school
  • On completion of the program you can apply to your state board of nursing for licensure as an RN
  • When your state board of nursing confirms that you are eligible to be licensed, set a date with Pearson VUE to take the NCLEX-RN examination for a fee of $200
  • Passing the exam will allow you to become licensed

How To Become A Home Healthcare Nurse

Training, Advancement And Other Qualifications

Because there is no additional training required other than receiving your RN qualification, you do not, technically speaking, need to become involved in any advanced training programs for this particular nursing specialty. You can however focus your continuing education credits on topics that will helpful to you in this field. Continuing education credits are necessary courses that must be completed by all nurses in order to maintain their nursing licensure. Sometimes your state will specify the content of the courses that you must take, but often you are free to choose. Consequently a focus in gerontology nursing may, for example, be a good continuing education credit to take. If you take continuing education courses that are in line with the line of nursing you have chosen, you will also increase your chances for finding employment.

Source An Accredited Education Program

It is essential that the program you complete your nursing training through is accredited. You can find accredited programs in your area by:

  • Visit the website of your state board of nursing. Here there should be a list of programs in your state that are accredited. You can also make specific enquiries into the accreditation status of any schools that you already have an interest in.
  • Speak with nurses who are already working as RNs or in home healthcare as they will be able to tell you about the accredited programs that they attended to get where they are today.
  • You should also be able to enquire directly at the school you are interested in about its accreditation status, but this should always be double checked by enquiring at the state board of nursing.

Earn Your Associate’s Degree

5this is one of the few nursing specialties in which earning an associate’s degree is enough to get you qualified. An associate’s degree allows you to become an RN and therefore allows you to work in home healthcare and become certified. Of course if you have a higher degree you may earn more and be hired for more jobs, but an associate’s degree is the basic qualification that you need. To earn an associate’s degree:

  • Create a shortlist of schools in your area based on their reputation and your personal desires
  • Apply to at least three different schools to keep your options open
  • Complete all of the course requirements as specified by your chosen program
  • Graduating from the program will earn you an associate’s degree in nursing and pave your way to being a home healthcare nurse

Obtain Your Licensure

The only license that you need in order to be a home healthcare nurse is your RN license. However you do have the options of becoming certified. You can become certified by passing the Home Health Care Nurse certification exam through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Becoming certified in home healthcare nursing is not a requirement, but it will make a difference to your employment opportunities. Employers are far more likely to hire a home healthcare nurse who is certified over one who isn’t, although you should still be able to get work if you are not certified. Being certified also makes it clear that you are an expert in the field and brings with it a higher degree of respect for you and for your chosen line of work in the health care profession.

Online/Distance Education Programs

There are online options when it comes to earning an RN degree, but you need to be very careful when considering this learning method. You will have to complete your clinical training in an actual healthcare setting, so there is no way that a nursing degree can be completed entirely online. You can, however, complete your theoretical training online while completing a practical internship elsewhere. This is easier for many students to fit into their schedule than a full time training program. The school you attend must be accredited. It is often better to only consider online programs that also offer on-campus training because these schools tend to have a better reputation as well as better credentials than schools that only offer RN training degree programs online.

Job Outlook

There are a number of reasons why we can expect an excellent job outlook for home healthcare nurses in the very near future:

  • The Boomer generation is so there will be an increase in elderly people who may need home health care as they age
  • Many people have expressed that they prefer to be cared for at home and home health care is therefore becoming more common
  • The advancement of technologies that allow nurses to perform complex procedures outside of a hospital setting also play a role

Nursing in general is expected to grow by about 22% but the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 33% growth rate for home health care nurses, making it one of the fastest growing careers in the United States.

Earnings

As a home healthcare nurse you can expect an hourly rate of about $17.99 – $43.44 an hour. When you factor in the potential for overtime at $9.21 – $73.45 an hour as well as the possibility for an annual bonus of anything between $0.00 and $3,020, the total amount you could earn is $34,485 – $86,261 a year. A number of factors affect how much you can earn. The industry you work in is one of these factors:

  • In Home Health Care you can earn about $18.51 – $43.68 an hour
  • In Healthcare can earn about $16.20 – $40.20 an hour
  • In a Nursing Home can earn about $18.52 – $38.27 an hour
  • In Community Nursing can earn about $13.50 – $44.17 an hour
  • In Nurse Staffing can earn about $14.33 – $42.25 an hour

Your degree will also affect how much you earn:

  • With a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) you can expect to earn about $23.84 – $51.06 an hour
  • With an Associate’s Degree you can expect to earn about $21.02 – $30.91 an hour

Becoming a home healthcare nurse offers a very compelling salary. In addition you will not necessarily be tied down by the same schedule as you would in a hospital and you would probably be working in slightly more comfortable conditions. Home healthcare nurses are able to work with the same patients for long periods of time, which allows them to build up a real and meaningful relationship with them.

Looking At Becoming An Ambulatory Care Nurse

What Is Ambulatory Care Nursing?

Ambulatory care nursing refers to nursing activities that occur outside the healthcare setting. Ambulatory care nurses are any nurses that move from home to home or other settings outside a hospital to provide care. These are their primary tasks:

  • Pain management for patients with chronic injuries or illness
  • General health education for patients with chronic injuries or illness

An ambulatory care nurse needs to be prepared to move from place to place frequently.

Nature Of The Work/Duties

According to learn4good.com the following are the main tasks of an ambulatory care nurse:

  • Provide healthcare to patients with varying illnesses or injuries.
  • Promote healthcare and health maintenance to patients.
  • Educate patients on how to manage their injury or illness at home.
  • Provide healthcare either face to face with patients or over the phone or internet.
  • Assist patients preventing and managing illnesses.

The main purpose, then, is to assist patients in settings outside of the hospital and to ensure that they are well equipped to deal with the condition or injury that they are suffering from at that point in time. Ultimately the idea is to allow patients to function as optimally as possible in an environment where healthcare professionals will not be on hand.

Employment

Because this line of work is so broad, there are a number of different places in which an ambulatory nurse can be employed, including:Ambulatory Care Nursing

  • Ambulances
  • Day Surgery Units
  • Ambulatory Care Surgeries
  • Physicians Offices
  • Community Centers
  • Schools
  • Workplaces
  • Home Care
  • Clinics
  • Health Insurance Companies (where you may provide health care advice via telephone or the internet)
  • The Government (where you may provide health care advice via telephone or the internet)

In addition, if you ever become tired of working in such a mobile area of nursing and decide to settle down in a fixed location or industry, you will have all of the experience and training needed to become a general nurse or to perhaps even pursue an alternative specialty in the field.

Ambulatory Care Nursing Requirements

The following requirements must be met in order to become an ambulatory care nurse:

  • You must be a qualified Registered Nurse (RN)
  • You must have a minimum of two years of experience working as an RN

Note: Although there is no additional training required to become an Ambulatory Care Nurse, certification is available. In addition, in most states certification is preferred.

Certification can be gained by:

  • Documenting 2,000 hours (1 year full-time) experience in Ambulatory Care Nursing within the last three years
  • Completing 30 hours of Ambulatory Care Nursing Continuing Education within the last three years

Gaining certification will noticeably improve your chances of employment in this line of nursing. Even though it is not required by all employers they are still more likely to consider you if you have certification.

Personality Traits

There is always a personality component involved when discussing requirements for a position. In the case of ambulatory care nursing there are two main personality requirements:

  • Great interpersonal skills are an essential personality trait for this line of work. This is because you will be spending long periods of time interacting with patients and their families. When doing this you must be pleasant and compassionate as well as professional and direct at the same time.
  • You should be able to think clearly under pressure because you will often need to make important decisions and establish care plans quickly and accurately.

In addition the general personality traits considered to be necessary in all nurses, such as empathy, conscientiousness and compassion, should also be present in your disposition and character.

Educational Requirements

In order to be an ambulatory care nurse you must:

  • Have a diploma in nursing, OR
  • Have an associate’s degree in nursing, OR
  • Have a bachelor’s degree in nursing

The higher your level of education the more luck you will have entering the nursing profession in this particular area of specialty. As mentioned previously there are no additional educational requirements that are necessary for becoming an ambulatory care nurse, but certification is recommended. After working for two years as a Registered Nurse with 2,000 hours of clinical practice in ambulatory care and 30 hours of continued education you can take the certification exam that will allow you to ‘officially’ be an ambulatory care nurse health care specialist.

American Nurses Credentialing Center
600 Maryland Ave., SW, #100
Washington, DC 20024-2571
800-284-CERT

Licensure

As mentioned previously no additional educational or licensure is a requirement for being an ambulatory care nurse, but you will need to hold an RN license. To get an RN license you must first complete the educational requirements for being an ambulatory care nurse. Completing those requirements will allow you to apply for licensure with your state board of nurse. Once you application is approved you can set a date to write the exam with Pearson VUE, the body that monitors and controls the licensing of RNs. Study hard and pass the examination. When your state board of nursing receives confirmation that you passed, you will be licensed and able to practice as an RN. Go on to gain the necessary experience in ambulatory care and perhaps pursue certification in this nursing specialty to improve your career options.

How To Become An Ambulatory Care Nurse

Training, Advancement And Other Qualifications

In addition to the basic nursing training that you will need to become an ambulatory care nurse, it is also suggested that you pursue training in the following:

  • Phlebotomy
  • IV therapy
  • ECG
  • Triage and telephone advice
  • Teaching

This can be achieved by very carefully selecting the continuing education courses that you would like to complete in order to retain your RN licensure. With proof that you have completed additional training in one or more of the above areas, you will stand a higher chance of receiving employment in the domain of ambulatory care nursing, and it is highly recommended that, in any area of nursing specialty, that you constantly attempt to improve your skills and knowledge by making the most of the many additional educational opportunities available.

Source An Accredited Education Program

The degree that you complete in order to become a registered nurse or RN must be done through an accredited school. By failing to ascertain the accreditation status of the school that you plan to attend you could be jeopardizing your planned career. At the very least you will be required to pay for and complete an additional program in order to receive a qualification that will earn you the right to become an ambulatory care nurse. Your state board of nursing will be able to provide you with a list of schools that a reaccredited as well as answer any queries that you may have about specific nursing programs that you have heard of an are interested in attending. Current nurses are also good sources of information regarding the accredited schools in your area.

Earn Your Associate’s Degree

An associate’s degree in nursing is a great qualification to start off with as it is sufficient for becoming an ambulatory care nurse. To earn this degree:

  • Make a short list of all of the schools in your area that offer associate degrees in nursing and that meet your requirements.
  • Once you have made this list it is wise to apply to at least three of the schools to speed up the acceptance process.
  • Choose a school to attend and complete all of the theoretical and clinical work required to the best of your ability by working hard and remaining dedicated.
  • Graduation from the program means that you will have an associate’s degree in nursing and you can continue on your way to becoming a nurse with a specialization in ambulatory care.

Obtain Your Licensure

The only formal license that is needed in order to be an ambulatory care nurse is an RN license. This can be obtained through the steps mentioned previously. In addition you have the option of attaining certification as an ambulatory care nurse, although this is not a requirement in many states. Certification can be gained by documenting 2,000 hours (1 year full-time) experience in Ambulatory Care Nursing within the last three years. Additionally certified ambulatory care nurses must also have completed 30 hours of Ambulatory Care Nursing Continuing Education within the last three years. It must also be noted that this certification status is a requirement in certain states and cannot be avoided. What this means for you is that you need to be aware of what the protocol is for your particular state.

Online/Distance Education Programs

Online or distance education programs may seem very attractive to you because of the convenient nature of being able to study from homes. However it must be noted that such programs only allow you to complete part of your qualification. This is because a nursing qualification consists of two aspects:

  • Theoretical work
  • Clinical work

Clearly, then, the clinical work cannot be completed in an online environment as it requires that you engage in hands-on training in an actual health care setting. However you will be able to complete the theoretical portion of your studies through an online school, which will go quite a long way to helping you relieve the burden of studying to be a neonatal nurse. Like with brick and mortar schools, online schools must be accredited with the relevant bodies.

Job Outlook

Recent technology allows doctors to perform more surgical procedures in ambulatory clinics, which has created an increased need for Ambulatory Care Nurses. Ambulatory care nurses now need to have a higher level of expertise and an ability to work well in these environments and with this technology. In short, as the job becomes more specific and skilled, the better the job prospects will be for nurses trained as ambulatory nurses, as the work cannot be done by just anyone. The 22% increase that we expect to see across the nursing profession from 2011 to 2018 is expected to be even higher for ambulatory care nurses because of the following two important factors:

  • A rising elderly population
  • An increased emphasis on preemptive health care

Both of these factors mean that there will be more work for ambulatory care nurses.

Earnings

The national average salary of an ambulatory care nurse is $50,000. This figure may be slightly lower or slightly higher depending on:

  • Where the job is located
  • How much previous experience a potential candidate may have

These are the two main factors that play a role in the salary that you may earn. In addition you will find that some states simply tend to pay more or less than others, which means that you may find yourself earning far less or far more than a friend in another state. In some cases your gender may play role, but the main factor is location, and this includes the employer you work for and the specific industry that you work in. Overall the salary is fairly good, making this one of the better job options for a nurse to consider.

This is certainly a line of work that will increase in terms of job opportunities in the very near future. Nurses who are well suited for ambulatory care nursing are those who do not like to be tied down in the same setting and who prefer to go out there and meet many people. However the drawback is that you will deal with patients briefly and be unable to get to know them well. Some nurses see this supposed drawback as an advantage, so it really does depend on your personality and what you want to get out of your nursing experience.

Looking At Forensic Nursing As A Career Path

As an LPN you may not have realized that there are a number of nursing-related options available for you out there if you are looking for a way to spice up your career a little bit. One of the things that you could become as a nurse is a forensic nurse. This is just one of the many nursing specialties that are open to you to consider, and it is certainly considered to be one of the more interesting options.

What Is Forensic Nursing?

Forensic nursing involves providing emergency care to victims and perpetrators of crime. As a result it can be one of the more dangerous career paths that you could choose to pursue as an LPN. Because you will almost always be dealing with someone who has been affected by crime in some way, the program that you will complete will combine aspects of law into the medical training that you receive. This is essential in understanding what the correct procedures are and ensuring that the proper methods are used so as not to contaminate evidence and so on. You will have to collect samples for the police and you will be required from time to time to testify in a court as an expert witness.

Nature Of The Work/Duties

The nature of the work you will do depends on the area of forensic nursing that you choose to work in:

  • Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner: In this role you will work with victims of crime and sexual assault in a hospital setting, providing them with immediate physical and emotional care and collecting samples needed for the investigation.
  • Correctional Nurse: You will be required to deal with the short and long term health care needs of inmates in a prison facility
  • Forensic Psychiatric Nurse: In this role you will work with patients that have mental health problems, providing them with treatment and care
  • Death Investigator: Here you will work with dead rather than living patients in order to determine the cause of death
  • Forensic Gerontology Specialist: Here you will identify, treat and testify about abuse or neglect cases involving the elderly

Employment

There are a number of different employment opportunities for a forensic nurse in a number of different settings depending on what qualification you aim for. Depending on your title you could work in anything form hospitals to old age nursing homes to coroners’ offices: Forensic Nurse

  • Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner: In this role you will work in hospital emergency rooms
  • Correctional Nurse: In this role you will work in jails, prisons, and correctional facilities
  • Forensic Psychiatric Nurse: In this role you will work in hospitals, mental health agencies, and correctional facilities
  • Death Investigator: In this role you will work in coroners’ offices or hospitals
  • Forensic Gerontology Specialist: In this role you will work in hospitals or nursing homes

Forensic Nursing Requirements

In order to become a forensic nurse you need to be prepared to devote 3 to 6 years of your life to the task. This is something that you cannot hope to avoid as it is a time consuming process. You have to first become an RN before you can be a forensic nurse. So it is interesting to note that you, as an LPN, can do an LPN to RN bridging course and continue working at the same time. This will make it easier for you to become a forensic nurse sooner. Once you have an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in nursing you will have to do a forensic nursing course which will take anything from 4 to 12 months to complete depending on your original degree.

Personality Traits

There are a number of personality traits that will benefit you in a career as a forensic nurse:

  • You need to pay close attention to detail. In many cases a criminal investigation may depend on the evidence you provide or the testimony that you give in court, so you cannot afford to make mistakes or overlook anything.
  • You need to be able to show your compassion for the person that you are dealing with while at the same time maintaining the level of objectivity that is required in order to ensure that the investigation proceeds smoothly.
  • You will need to place value in the justice system and b a naturally empathetic listener as your patient may want to speak to you about his or her ordeal.

Educational Requirements

There are a number of prerequisite educational requirements that you will have to meet before you can enter a program to become a forensic nurse.

  • You have to be an RN, or a registered nurse, in order to specialize in forensic nursing. As you are already an LPN you can simply do an LPN to RN bridge program to achieve this educational prerequisite.
  • You will have to have passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses in order to become licensed as a registered nurse.
  • Before you are able to enter an RN program you will need to have as a minimum a high school diploma. If you are already working as an LPN you will need to provide proof of your qualification and training.

Licensure

To be licensed as a forensic nurse you first have to be licensed as an RN. This requires that you write the RN exam and apply for licensure form your state board of nursing. Additional training and licensure is then required. The requirements differ from state to state and situation to situation so it is important that you look carefully into what is required of you before deciding to become one of the following:

  • Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner
  • Correctional Nurse
  • Forensic Psychiatric Nurse
  • Death Investigator
  • Forensic Gerontology Specialist

There are different characteristics involved in each of these specialties and it is important that you meet the specific licensure opportunities for the area of forensic nursing that you are most interested in.

How To Become A Forensic Nurse

Training, Advancement And Other Qualifications

There are several different qualifications you can earn in this field:

  • Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner: associates (2 years) or bachelors (4 years) and graduate certificate (40 – 80 hours plus short-term clinical experience)
  • Correctional Nurse: associates (2 years) or bachelors (4 years)
  • Forensic Psychiatric Nurse: bachelors (4 years)
  • Death Investigator: varies by state from associates (2 years) to bachelors (4 years) plus graduate certificate (4 – 12 months); emergency room experience highly recommended
  • Forensic Gerontology Specialist: associates (2 years) or bachelors (4 years) and graduate certificate (4 – 12 months)

The qualification that you choose to pursue depends on your specific interests in this field. Ensure that you have the time and resources to devote to your choice.

Source An Accredited Education Program

When looking for a program through which to do your forensic nursing training it is essential that you find one that is in fact accredited by the appropriate bodes. If it is not accredited you will be wasting your time and money as your qualification at the end of the day will not be taken very seriously by your prospective employers. This is a very important thing to remember when looking for a school to study through and you cannot afford to skip this bit of research. The program that you choose to do your training through will affect you and your career for the rest of your life, so choose as wisely as possible.

Earn your Associate’s Degree

Before you can become a forensic nurse you need to earn an associate’s degree in nursing. This will make you a registered nurse, or an RN. This is an essential step in the process as it is impossible to go on to becoming a forensic nurse without at least an associate’s degree in nursing (although you have the option to earn a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in nursing as well). As an LPN you cannot skip the step of becoming licensed as an RN. In some cases you also have to get a little bit of experience in this regard. There are numerous schools that offer RN training that you could attend on your path to becoming a forensic nurse.

Obtain your Licensure

If you specifically want to be a Sexual Assault nursing examiner you will need to earn you Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) credential. There are a number of things to keep in mind here:

  • You will have to complete 40 hours of theoretical training
  • You will have to complete 40- to 60-hours of supervised clinical experience
  • You can specialize in adult or pediatric examination
  • You can take a 64-hour course that trains you to examine both juveniles and adults
  • You will be required to pass a written exam

This is an example of licensure that you will have to achieve. You will need to get a different type of license for each of the forensic nursing roles that are available to you as an option.

Online/Distance Education Programs

There are some programs that offer online or distance learning in order to help you become a forensic nurse. It is important to remember, however, that these programs are not necessarily of the best quality, even if they are more convenient for you. Like all aspects of nursing this qualification requires a large amount of practical, hands-on training, something that you simply cannot get online. If you attend a brisk and mortar based program you will have more opportunities to be exposed to this kind of training in a controlled setting that you can be sure is directly related to the work that you will one day do. As this is a specialization you really should be giving it the highest priority and attention possible.

Job Outlook

There is not a lot of information regarding the job outlook for forensic nurses. This is because, in comparison to other nursing professions, this one is very new and reliable statistics about it are yet to be determined. However, as you are required to be an RN in order to become a forensic nurse it is interesting to note that the job outlook for RNs is extremely good. This is one of the most stable careers to get involved in as there is a high demand. In addition, the industry is always growing which means that there is always work for you to do.

Forensic Nurse Earnings

There are a number of factors that affect how much you will be paid as a forensic nurse. For example the field you choose in forensic nursing plays a big role:

  • Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner: $82,000
  • Correctional Nurse: $64,000
  • Forensic Psychiatric Nurse: $69,000
  • Death Investigator: $53,000
  • Forensic Gerontology Specialist: $37,000

The actual salary that you earn in any of these roles, however, will vary significantly from state to state and even from city to city within the same state. Adequate research into your state will be required. Your level of education as well as the amount of experience that you have in this field will also play a big role when it comes to the salary you can earn.

As you can see there are a number of considerations to keep in mind when looking into the field of forensic nursing. Before you make a decision about whether or not this is the right field for you, you need to make sure that you are willing to devote the time required to getting the qualification and that you have the right personality and drive to do the job well. It is an admirable career that brings with it many advancement opportunities, so it is well worth considering if you have yet to choose a nursing specialization. As nursing specialties go you must remember that this is one of the more dangerous options, so make your decision carefully.