Sunday, February 12, 2012

Degree in Nursing Or Health Education - Health Care's Need For New Professionals

Earning a degree in nursing or an education in Healthcare is an extremely wise decision in tough economic times. The creation of new jobs and job prospects are troubling in many areas during an economic recession. However, the health care industry is one industry that is currently enjoying substantial growth in available jobs as well as a need for new professionals across the United States.

If you are considering earning your degree in nursing or embarking on a career in this field, here are a few of the United State's fastest-growing fields.

Registered Nurses

Earning a degree in nursing will prepare you to enter the largest health care occupation in the United States, registered nurses currently hold more than 2.6 million jobs. Not only does earning a nursing degree prepare you to enter the largest health care occupation it also prepares you to enter one of the fastest growing profession in the nation. There are a number of factors contributing to the growth in this field including: a growing population of Baby Boomers and the increasing use of preventative health care as well as a high number of retiring experienced nurses.

The field of registered nurses is expected to generate more than 500,000 jobs over the next eight years, which is among the largest growth for any field or occupation.

Home Health Aides

There is a growing demand from the nation's aging population for home-based health services, which has triggered great demand for employment of home health aides. Individuals pursuing a degree in nursing or an education in health care will be preparing themselves to enter another occupation that is projected to grow by more than 300,000 jobs over the next seven years.

Home health aides are being hired in record numbers due to an increase in efforts to reduce costs by moving individuals out of hospitals as quickly as possible. Individuals, who earn a degree in nursing, are hired as home health aides and implement their education to provide a variety of health-related services to help elderly or disabled persons to remain in their homes.

Medical Assistants

The field of medical assistants is also one of the United States' fastest-growing occupations. Individuals earning a degree in nursing or other health care education are ideal candidates for a career as a medical assistant. Medical assistants are expected to perform a number of clinical and administrative duties as directed by a physician. These duties include but are not limited to maintaining records, scheduling appointments, administering medication and recording medical histories.

The field of medical assistants is expected to created more than 90,000 job openings annually. Students, who earn a degree in nursing or education in health care, will be preparing themselves to enter a field that is one of the fastest-growing in the United States. This field is expected to grow due to the need to replace workers who are retiring or leaving the field as well as the creation of a large number of new positions. Those who are have earned a degree in nursing or an education in health care should have the best opportunities to obtain a job.

Earning a degree in nursing or an education in health care not only prepares you to enter these fields but also any of the other rapidly growing fields of health care. Pursuing a degree in nursing or health care is an investment in your future and will prepare you to enter some of the fastest-growing industries in the nation.
About this Author

Dr. Mark Wooden is the Dean of Health Sciences at Grand Canyon University, College of Nursing and Health Science. For more information about our health sciences programs, visit our

How to Become a Home Health Care Nurse

Home Health Care Nursing Information and Overview

Home health care is allowing the patient and their family to maintain dignity and independence. According to the National Association for Home Care, there are more than 7 million individuals in the United States in need of home health care nurse services because of acute illness, long term health problems, permanent disability or terminal illness.

Home Health Care Basics

Nurses practice in a number of venues: Hospital settings, nursing homes, assisted living centers, and home health care. Home health care nursing is a growing phenomenon as more patients and their families desire to receive care in their homes. The history of home health care stems from Public Health Nursing where public health nurses made home visits to promote health education and provide treatment as part of community outreach programs. Today academic programs train nurses in home care and agencies place home health care nurses with ailing individuals and their families depending on the nurse's experience and qualifications. In many cases there is a shared relationship between the agency and the academic institution.

Many changes have taken place in the area of home health care. These include Medicare and Medicaid, and Long Term Care insurance reimbursement and documentation. It is important for the nurse and nursing agency to be aware of the many factors involved for these rules and regulations resulting from these organizations. Population and demographic changes are taking place as well. Baby boomers approaching retirement and will present new challenges for the home health care industry. Technology and medical care in hospitals has lead to shorter inpatient stay and more at-home rehabilitation. Increases in medical outpatient procedures are also taking place with follow-up home care. This has resulted in the decrease of mortality rate from these technologies and medical care has lead to increases in morbidity and chronic illness that makes the need for home health care nursing a greater priority.

Home Health Care Nurse Job Description

Through an array of skills and experience, home health care nurses specialize in a wide range of treatments; emotional support, education of patients who are recovering from illnesses and injury for young children and adults, to women who have experienced recent childbirth, to the elderly who need palliative care for chronic illness.

A practicing nurse must have the skills to provide care in a unique setting such as someone's home. The nurse is working with the patient and the family and must understand the communication skills for such dynamics. Rapport is evident in all nursing positions, but working in a patient's own living space needs a different level of skill and understanding. There is autonomous decision making as the nurse is no longer working as a team with other nurses in a structured environment, but is now as a member of the "family" team. The host family has cultural values that are important and are different for every patient and must be treated with extreme sensitivity. Other skills include critical thinking, coordination, assessment, communication, and documentation.

Home health care nurses also specialize in the care of children with disabilities that requires additional skills such as patience and understanding of the needs of the family. Children are living with disabilities today that would have resulted in mortality just twenty years ago. Genetic disorders, congenital physical impairments, and injury are just a few. Many families are familiar with managing the needs of the child, but still need expert care that only a home health care nurse can provide. It is important that a home health care nurse is aware of the expertise of the family about the child's condition for proper care of the child. There are many complexities involved, but most important, a positive attitude and positive reinforcement is of utmost importance for the development of the child.

Medication coordination between the home health care nurse, doctor, and pharmacist, ensures proper management of the exact science behind giving the patient the correct dose, time of administration, and combinations. Home health care nurses should be familiar with pharmacology and taught in training about different medications used by patients in the clinical setting.

Many advanced practicing nurses are familiar with medication regiments. They have completed graduate level programs. Home health care agencies believe that a nurse should have at least one year of clinical experience before entering home health care. Advanced practicing nurses can expedite that training by helping new nurses understand the home health care market and teaching.

Employment and Salary

According to the United States Department of Labor, there were 2.4 million nurses in America, the largest healthcare occupation, yet many academic and hospital organizations believe there is a gross shortage in nursing staff. The shortage of nurses was 6% in 2000 and is expected to be 10% in 2010. The average salary for hospital nursing is $53,450 with 3 out of 5 nursing jobs are in the hospital. For home health care, the salary is $49,000. For nursing care facilities, they were the lowest at $48,200.

Training and continuing education

Most home health care nurses gain their education through accredited nursing schools throughout the country with an associate degree in nursing (ADN), a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN), or a master's degree in nursing (MSN). According to the United States Department of Labor, in 2004 there were 674 BSN nursing programs, 846 ADN programs. Also, in 2004, there were 417 master's degree programs, 93 doctoral programs, and 46 joint BSN-doctoral programs. The associate degree program takes 2 to 3 years to complete, while bachelors degrees take 4 years to complete. Nurses can also earn specialized professional certificates online in Geriatric Care or Life Care Planning.

In addition, for those nurses who choose to pursue advancement into administrative positions or research, consulting, and teaching, a bachelor's degree is often essential. A bachelor's degree is also important for becoming a clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners (U.S. Department of Labor, 2004).

All home health care nurses have supervised clinical experience during their training, but as stated earlier advanced practicing nurses hold master's degrees and unlike bachelor and associate degrees, they have a minimum of two years of post clinical experience. Course work includes anatomy, physiology, chemistry, microbiology, nutrition, psychology, and behavioral sciences and liberal arts. Many of these programs have training in nursing homes, public health departments, home health agencies, and ambulatory clinics. (U.S. Dep. of Labor, 2004).

Whether a nurse is training in a hospital, nursing facility, or home care, continuing education is necessary. Health care is changing rapidly and staying abreast with the latest developments enhances patient care and health procedures. Universities, continuing education programs, and internet sites, all offer continuing education. One such organization that provides continuing education is the American Nurses Association (ANA) or through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).


There are many rewards to becoming a home health care nurse. Some rewards include the relationship with a patient and their family, autonomy, independence, and engaging in critical thinking. The 21st Century brings with it many opportunities and challenges. We must meet these challenges head on - there is an aging baby boomer population, a growing morbidity factor due to increased medical technology and patient care, and the growing shortage in nursing care.

Becoming a home health care nurse today is exciting and an opportunity to make a difference one life at a time. With clinical experience and proper education, a home health care nurse will lead the future of medical care.
About this Author

By Michael V. Gruber, MPH is a contributing author to My Nursing Degree Online, providing articles and resources for nurses looking for continuing education online. With a Masters of Public Health and two years of medical school, Michael provides a unique perspective on the current nursing shortage crisis on the Nursing Career Blog as well as comprehensive articles about nurse education and advancement.

Find more information about becoming a Home Health Care Nurse [] including certification and job openings at My Nursing Degree Online.

Health Management Training Programs

The health field, like all businesses, needs professionals dedicated to correctly organizing and implementing administrative duties. Learning to keep a hospital or other medical clinic running efficiently can be gained through an education in health management. Students have several training options that they can choose from in order to enter a career.

Management positions can be gained by completing a program from the associate's to doctoral level of schooling. Each level of schooling trains students to enter a career as a manager but the level of education earned dictates the position students can enter. This means that someone with an associate's can become a manager inside a local clinic and someone with a master's can become a top-manager inside an organization. The main difference is that an associate's degree gives students the fundamental skills required to be a manager and a master's provides students with advanced knowledge of the industry.

Students that can't dedicate a large amount of time to schooling should consider earning an associate's degree. Programs focus on creating effective leaders that can handle the stresses of the health industry. Some general courses that students may take include:

    * Management Concerns in Health
    * Medical Terminology
    * Public Speaking
    * Management Strategies

All fundamental areas are covered leaving students with the skills to use management procedures and apply them to the finances and regulations within a health facility. Many students go on to complete a bachelor's degree program at a later time.

Gaining broad knowledge in business procedures and health issues can be learned inside a bachelor's degree program. A four-year program that encompasses both aspects of the field provides students with the procedural skills to work with medical care technologies, employees, and patients. Bachelor's degree courses typically include:

    * Accounting
    * Economics
    * Health Law
    * Health Organization and Administration

Leadership abilities and management skills that are crucial to professional work can be gained. Students will be able to oversee large groups, understand health reforms, and manage projects.

To gain the proper skills to be able to work in all areas of the industry students should continue education at the master's degree level. Education at this level teaches students to manage health operations and facilities according to established standards. Coursework may include:

    * Budgeting
    * Strategic Planning
    * Health Information Systems
    * Finance

Students are able to work as administrators and more in nursing homes, health agencies, and hospitals after completing a master's degree program. Coursework will prepare students to assess the needs of a facility and allow them to promptly solve problems and produce solutions for various areas. Further education can be pursued within doctoral study. Education at this level focuses on research oriented procedures to advance the health system.

All accredited training options prepare students to become valuable managers in the health field. To begin education students can determine what level of managing they would like to perform. Once this is established students can enter the appropriate degree level required for their career goal. Students should enroll in a fully accredited program to ensure that they will receive a quality education. Accreditation is provided by agencies like the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools ( ).

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at

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About this Author

Renata McGee is a staff writer for Visit to locate Health Management Schools and Colleges providing the education you're looking for., your Partners in Education and Tuition Assistance Programs.