Happy Veterans Day from Unitek College!

November 12, 2013 at 1:06 am

November 11th is a day to celebrate veterans – to honor their service and generosity to our country. Veterans should be honored every day, but today is especially important, as we formally recognize the sacrifices they have made. Nurses and other health care professionals play a large role in the U.S. Military, often without the recognition they deserve. Nurses in the Military serve at home and abroad, caring for all military personnel and their families.

Happy Veterans Day from Unitek College

Happy Veterans Day from Unitek College

Unitek College is proud to offer veterans the opportunity to take the skills they learned in enlisted service, and apply them towards a health care career, by using their Veterans Benefits towards Unitek College tuition. The majority of healthcare training programs offered by Unitek College are VA approved. The school provides Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) accredited training in fast-growing careers such as Medical AssistingPharmacy TechnicianVocational NursingRegistered Nursing, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing Completion Degree.

On this holiday, and every day, Unitek College would like to extend our sincere appreciation and support to all those who have or are serving our country.

The Special Role of a Hospice Nurse

January 11, 2012 at 10:55 pm

I had a dear friend of mine battle cancer for three years before the disease took her life. I had the honor of staying with her when her husband had errands to run and I took her to some of her doctor’s appointments and tried to get her mind off of the pain for a second or two. It was one of the hardest, most precious things I have ever done in my life. I only had a slight glimmer of what a hospice nurse does and I give them my upmost respect.

As a nurse with an RN to BSN degree there are tons of areas that you can specialize in. Last post I discussed the new role of the nurse health coach and today I saw an informative article on the life of a hospice nurse. Granted, it takes an amazingly compassionate and grounded person to pursue this career, but I can think of few roles that are more important and heartwarming.

In The Missourian reporter Melanie Loth followed hospice nurse Dorothy Rainwater to fully understand what the day in the life of a hospice nurse is truly like. “For Rainwater, illness and death have become commonplace. And she has learned to draw a necessary line in her life between professional and personal.

“You go into the whole thing with the knowledge that this is all going in one direction,” she says. “The day is going to come when the patient is going to go on.”

The life of a hospice nurse is a team effort to make the final days of a terminal patient as comfortable as you possibly can. “Home care aides, chaplains, social workers, volunteers and nurses work together to care for patients and keep each other informed of patient needs: Home care aides tend to basics such as bathing or changing bed pads. Chaplains help patients and family spiritually as death nears. Social workers deal with emotional and psychological issues about death; they also schedule visits with families after a patient’s death. Volunteers visit patients simply to talk and provide company. The nurses are in charge of monitoring the patient’s physical condition, recommending medicines, and at core, controlling pain.”When all of these factors work together, it makes the end of a patient’s life valued and comforts both the patient and the surrounding family members.
Being a hospice nurse is a difficult job that takes a special person. With your BSN degree, you can find a plethora of avenues to help hurting people.

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit

Health Coaches New Role for Nurses

January 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm

The longer I write this blog, the more amazed I am at the variety of options there are out there for nurses with an RN to BSN degree. I’ve come across a ton of specialties from oncology to pediatrics to gerontology to insurance advisors and now there is a new one that has caught my interest: health coaches. I believe that there literally is a niche in nursing for every personality type and lifestyle. What other occupation can boast of that?!?

On PennLive.com there was an interesting article distributed by the Associated Press that highlights the new position of health coach. There is a nonprofit organization called Femtique Associates Inc. which was started by Judith Beaulieu. This Web-based company, headquartered in Coatesville,PA offers health coaching and patient navigation services provided by registered nurses.

“While physician care is important in diagnosing medical issues, some people also need a different kind of help to address the lifestyle changes that go along with them. Some of the lifestyle changing issues that might spark women to contact Femtique include pregnancy, post-partum depression and breast feeding. Medical conditions that motivate lifestyle changes such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart attack might also be addressed, as well as weight loss and addictions.”

The focus is truly on lifestyle changes. “You’re not a patient. You’re a client to us. You’re a person looking for a lifestyle change,” Beaulieu said.

This option would be great for a nurse who wants to avoid the hustle and bustle of a busy hospital or chooses a more preventative approach to health care.

These nurses are specifically assigned to a particular patient; the patient first contacts the organization through their website, explains their concerns, and a nurse then contacts the individual online or with a phone call armed with a written out plan for their issue. “The health coach works with the client to identify their goals, and then helps them make the lifestyle changes they need to meet them.”

With all of the options available to students in an online RN to BSN program, I can see why nurses continue to be in high demand. The role of nurses is ever evolving and the specialties that are available and are being created are vast. The possibilities seem limitless!

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit


BSN Nurses are Taking Over the World

December 30, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Well, maybe BSN nurses aren’t taking over the world, but they are sure going back to school in droves and making a difference in countless patient lives. The word is out that there is a nursing shortage and many are heeding the call to help those with ailing health. Now more than ever is the best time to enter an RN to BSN bridge program.

Elizabeth G. Olson, contributor for CNN.com, reports about the amazing comeback the nursing profession is having and that higher education is the key to getting the prime job positions. “In the last decade, the number of young people (most of them women) between 23 and 26 years old to enter the field jumped by 62%, says David Auerbach, a health economist at RAND Health in Boston… Currently, those who earn a nursing baccalaureate — meaning four years of college — have more than a 60% hiring rate at graduation, which is almost 2.5 times the rate of general college graduate hiring, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

The bottom line is that with the Affordable Health Care Act in process to include those who haven’t previously been insured and with Baby Boomers entering their senior years, there is a huge number of nurses that are going to be needed in the very near future. More importantly for the nursing student, hospitals are hiring. Olson writes, “Last year, 55,000 qualified applicants were turned away from entry-level baccalaureate programs, up from 16,000 in 2003, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. That occurred despite a hike in the number of educational slots in the past decade, to 65,000 last year, compared to 45,000 in 2000.”

Furthermore “in a January 2011 report on the future of nurses, the Institute of Medicine urges that nursing education needs to be reformed to reach the goal of 80% of four-year degreed nurses. More also should attain masters and doctorate degrees, to improve patient care and ‘to succeed in this complex and evolving health care system,’ the study recommends.”

It is obvious that now is the time to pursue an online BSN degree. Patient needs are increasing, patient numbers are increasing and more hospitals are hiring nurses with a higher education. BSN nurses, now is your time to thrive!

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit

Retail Clinics Growing in Popularity

November 28, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Tomorrow I have two doctors appointments and I must confess, I am not looking forward to the waiting process. I know I’ll check in and spend at least a half hour in the waiting room and then another half hour in the exam room. (Thank God for my Kindle or else I’d be forced to read expired magazines detailing the break-ups of stars I really don’t care about.) Fortunately, many patients feel the same way I do because retail clinics are gaining in popularity. As a nurse with an online BSN degree, this might be a workplace for you.

There are many trends in the medical field and retail clinics just may be the newest one on the cusp. Less costly than an emergency room visit and less waiting time than a routine hospital doctor’s visit, many patients are turning to this alternative. In a press release sent out by the Rand Corporation, it was explained that, “Use of retail medical clinics located in pharmacies and other retail settings increased 10-fold between 2007 and 2009, according to a new RAND Corporation study… The determining factors in choosing a retail medical clinic over a physician’s office were found to be age, health status, income and proximity to the clinic. No link between availability of a primary care physician and retail clinic use was found.”

Many people were willing to visit these clinics for minor ailments such as an ear infection or the flu. The study also found that, “The strongest predictor of retail clinic use was proximity. Other key predictors are gender (females were more likely to visit clinics than males), age (retail clinic patients tended to be between the ages of 18 and 44; those over 65 were excluded from the study), higher income (those from zip codes with median incomes of more than $59,000 were more likely to use retail clinics than lower income groups), and good health (those with a chronic health complaint were less likely to use retail clinics).”

This makes me think of the convenience that many retail pharmacies are adopting in offering flu shots. No appointment. No waiting. Put getting a flu shot on your shopping list right under picking up milk and eggs.

These are exciting times to be in the medical field. The opportunities for those in an RN to BSN program continue to grow. With the right training, resume and interview skills, you can find a job that suits your personality and schedule.

To read the complete press release mentioned in this post, please visit

The Benefits of Being a Per Diem Nurse

November 14, 2011 at 4:51 pm

No one really graduates from a BSN degree program and says “I want to be a per diem nurse.” Usually nursing grads have a certain hospital or specialty in mind that they want to pursue. However, the per diem field of nursing has grown into a viable option for many nurses.

On NurseZone.com, contributor Melissa Wirkus explains the benefits of being a per diem nurse. “Meaning ‘per day’ or ‘for each day’ in Latin, per diem nursing has evolved into much more than an RN taking a daily hospital shift here and there. Today, nurses can make it their full-time career and work in a variety of unique specialties and clinical settings.

“’Traditionally people think a per diem nurse picks up shifts as needed or the work comes in on a day-to-day basis, but there is a broad spectrum in terms of the work we have available for per diem nurses,’ said Jeff Fox, senior area director of Nursefinders, an AMN Healthcare company specializing in nurse and health care staffing solutions, including per diem.”

Wirkus explains that, “Work for per diem nurses could come as a same-day shift for that day or evening, a block of shifts several weeks out or even a local contract for 13 weeks. The settings for per diem work have also expanded drastically in recent years.

“’It really varies on the type of work that a per diem nurse can do–it’s not limited to an acute care facility,’ Fox explained. ‘It could be a doctor’s office or clinic, correctional facility, float clinic or long-term care facility; there are a wide range of assignment types available.’”

Fox further expands that 50 – 80 percent of per diem work is in the field of traditional acute care, but critical care, ER, long-term acute care facilities, pediatrics, and telemetry are currently high-demand areas for per diem nurses.

There are several benefits to per diem nursing, too. It can help supplement your income if you need to work on a few of your off days. It can let you choose whether to work 20 or 40 hours per week. You can also test out a hospital or clinic to see if that is the area and location that you do want to work at full time.

When you have your online BSN degree, there are many options and opportunities out there!

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit

Spotlight on Forensic Nurses Week

November 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm

This week is Forensic Nurses Week so I thought I’d take a minute to highlight this intense and incredible nursing specialty. Each nursing specialty requires a distinct personality and the different positions available can accommodate a variety of schedules. Those in an online RN to BSN nursing program have many options to choose from when deciding on a career path to pursue.

It obviously takes a very special person to works as a forensic nurse. Quite frankly, I know that this would be beyond my emotional capabilities. Death, abuse and injuries are difficult to handle as a nurse caring for patients, but facing the uglier side of humanity on a daily basis is something that I could not face. I think that is one reason why nursing is so amazing: there seems to be a job for every type of person.

Last Friday the Sacramento Bee published an article from the International Association of Forensic Nurses which describes what these nurses do and why this occupation is so important. “Forensic Nurses are present to provide care in hospitals, clinics, jails and community settings around the world. Forensic Nurses are nurses with advanced education and training, giving them the skills to deal with the immediate health care consequences of violence.”

“The World Health Organization reports more than 1.6 million people worldwide lose their lives to violence each year and many, many more are injured and suffer from a range of physical, sexual, reproductive and mental health problems. ‘WHO reminds us that violence places a huge burden on national economies, costing countries billions each year in health care, law enforcement and lost productivity,’ said Eileen Allen, president of IAFN. ‘The 3000 members of IAFN work alongside fellow nurses and other professionals in more than 25 countries worldwide to address all aspects of violence including prevention, intervention and reduction of further harm.’”

I applaud those who are forensic nurses and who are making the difference in countless lives. I can’t imagine being a patient in one of these situations, but I do know that how the nurses respond will aid in the emotional and physical healing process. Compassion, strength and the ability to separate your professional life from your personal life are probably three of the most vital skills you need to possess.

As a student in an RN to BSN college, the opportunities that you have when you graduate are vast. There is sure to be a great career out there to suit your personality and skill level.

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit

Healthcare Jobs Continue to Rise

October 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Is there anything better than reading a recent news story that says that nursing jobs are still on the rise? As student in an RN to BSN bridge program, probably not.

On PRWeb.com, there is an article which reports on the incredible increase in healthcare jobs being offered. “Leading travel nurse agency, American Traveler, announced in October a year-over-year increase of 56 percent in nurse job employment, a number that includes both staff RN positions and travel nurse jobs. The uptick, said Clinical Resource Manager, Deborah Bacurin, RN, is due to larger healthcare employers rebounding from recession and hiring travel nurses again, along with a sprouting up of ambulatory outpatient centers across all 50 states,” explains the article.

The article also states that “Though nurse pay flattened during the recession, recruitment VP, Mary Kay Hull said she’s starting to see wages bounce back to pre-recession levels and better. Her firm is experiencing a significant demand for nurse job specialties such as Operating Room and Labor and Delivery, and continues to fulfill requests for nurses and therapists well-versed in computerized patient care systems and modern therapies.”

The BLS also supports these numbers and reports that by the end of the year there will be approximately 344,000 health care jobs available which is the highest level in four years and higher than any other industry. The increase is jobs is often attributed to new technology positions, a higher need for preventative care and the aging population.

If you are not currently getting your online BSN degree, now is the time to do so. Many employers are looking for nurses with a higher degree and specialized skills. With the job market continuing to grow, what do you have to lose?

To read the complete articles mentioned in this post, please visit

201 Specialties for Nurses

October 19, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Education truly is the key to your future, and with your RN to BSN degree that key can open countless doors. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I’d be hard pressed to find another career path that leads to such a vast variety of options to fit your skill level and personality type.

On NurseZone.com, contributor Megan M. Krischke reports on a new book written by Emerson E. Ea, DNP, APRN and Joyce Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, entitled 201 Careers in Nursing. The book explains “basic job description, educational requirements and core competencies and skills needed for more than 200 different nursing roles.”

“When we were compiling the list of nursing careers we stopped at 201, with the most common and most popular careers,” explained Ea. “But there are many opportunities above and beyond the 201. Our health care system is changing and creating more opportunities for nurses to assume responsibilities and increased leadership in health care.”

Fitzpatrick added ““There are a lot more opportunities for nurses to specialize and a lot of professional development around those specialties. There is a focus on reducing medical errors and making sure patients are safe while they are in hospitals–this will require both more nurses, and more specialized nurses.”

There are certain nursing areas that are experiencing greater growth. There continues to be a shortage of nursing educators and with the demand for nurses increasing, there is a huge gap in the field. Another area is “informatics” where nurses combine clinical and managerial skills. The legal field also is experiencing a need for nurses who can be consultants and forensic specialists. Fitzpatrick also mentioned “among the highest paid nurses, are nurse anesthetists. The majority of anesthesia in the United States is delivered by nurse anesthetists. Sometimes these nurses have their own practice and sometimes they work in collaborative practices with anesthesiologists.”

Furthermore, there are a lot of roles for nurses outside of the traditional hospital setting. Krischke explains “For nurses who are looking for a career outside of direct patient care, there is potential for positions such as a public policy advisor, researcher, lobbyist or recruiter. While some roles outside of the nurse mainstream may require additional education, nurses can also gain experience through volunteering or taking an entry-level job on a new career path.”

Once you have your RN to BSN bridge program completed, there are a variety of options for you to pursue. Are you ready?!?

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit

BSN “Nurse Navigators” Aid in Patient Care

October 10, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Health care is a complicated maze of indiscernible words, a hierarchy of caregivers and a rainbow of pills. To a patient, entering a hospital can feel much like Alice entering Wonderland; here comes the intense doctor much like a mad hatter, next enters the nurse with the lunch tray that says “Eat Me, Drink Me” and in the next bed is a patient who has just taken a pill that makes him smile like the Cheshire Cat. Fortunately, there are some nurses with an online BSN degree who are taking on the role of “Nurse Navigators.”

Adena Health System, an independent, not-for-profit and locally controlled healthcare organization serving the needs of 13 counties in south-central Ohio, has posted a press release explaining how they are attempting to help patients who struggle with chronic conditions.

“Historically, treatments for chronic conditions have been complicated, making it difficult for patients to comply. Management of chronic disease also takes a toll on health systems, which are under ever greater government scrutiny to reduce costs and improve outcomes… Fortunately, Adena Health System is helping to address the special needs of patients with chronic conditions. A pilot study that concluded earlier this year has led to dramatic improvements in the care of patients with Congestive Heart Failure.”

“Key to the pilot study’s success, said Carrie Hartsaugh, [RN, BSN, who had a significant role in the creation and implementation of the model], was vastly improved access to Primary Care Physicians; the introduction of Nurse Navigators, like herself; the exchange of information between PCPs and Nurse Navigators; and the involvement of a multidisciplinary team that included social workers and registered dieticians, as well as home care and information technology staff.

“Patients who may have found themselves lost in the system before are on the radar screens of physicians, nurse navigators and other healthcare professionals like never before,” she said.

“Today, for example, before hospitalized patients with congestive heart failure are released from the medical center, an appointment already has been scheduled with their primary care physician. And within 48 hours of discharge, patients receive a call from their patient navigator to check on their status,” reported the Press Release.

Why aren’t more facilities doing this? I know the starting costs must be outrageous, but haven’t we learned that preventative care is cost effective? Imagine everyone working together on the same team to provide patient care. This just might be the next course in one of your RN to BSN bridge program courses.

To read the complete story mentioned in this post, please visit