Kaplan University Master of Science in Nursing: Nurse Educator

From RNs to Nurse Practitioners and everywhere in between, the country is facing a nursing shortage that is impacting the quality and availability of health care provided to patients. Much of this shortage is attributed to the Baby Boomer generation aging and retiring from nursing positions in hospitals, clinics and medical facilities, but there is a secondary level to the shortage that begins on the academic level. With the increasing number of nurses retiring, including Nurse Educators, there are less options available to those interested in becoming a nurse as faculty positions remain open across the country.

Nursing programs are turning away applicants at a rapid rate, citing a lack of qualified instructors to teach basic nursing through advanced practice curriculum. One way that many colleges and universities are battling the lack of Nurse Educators is by introducing more online curriculum in order to reach more students and accelerate the rate in which nurses are able to enter the workforce. Kaplan University Online offers a Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Nurse Educator studies to nurses that wish to continue studies in advanced practice nursing. This program provides core curriculum needed to obtain the Master of Science in Nursing degree and electives that empower the student to develop nursing courses that integrate nursing philosophy, examine ethical and legal issues in technology-based teaching and prepare for the role of educator within a nursing school or educational environment.

The Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Nurse Educator studies from Kaplan University Online helps students explore ways to develop effective educational experiences, helping to replenish the nursing profession with qualified and educated nurses. Nurse Educators report earnings from $43,951 - $87,014 annually, and the demand for Nurse Educators is expected to increase over the next decade.

Kaplan University’s online Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Nurse Educator studies is one way for nurses to continue to fulfill educational and career goals while leaving a legacy within the field of nursing for years to come. These advanced practice specialists are among the most sought after nurses in the critical nursing shortage faced by the U.S. today.

What is Holistic Nursing?

Nursing is the act of caring for another person’s health and well-being. It is a special calling that requires years of study, the desire to help others and the ability to provide necessary interventions that benefit the lives of those within any medical establishment, hospital, nursing home, neighborhood or community. Nurses are especially critical in the hands-on care that many patients require, and can even provide the necessary time and effort it takes to listen to a patient’s needs and advocate on their behalf. It is these skills and abilities that also take a toll on the health and wellness of the nurse, at times causing burnout and career dissatisfaction, and many nurses find that using alternative healing methods in their own lives can help reduce stress and increase job and career satisfaction.

The concept of holistic nursing may be tied to the years in which nurses were given more than charts and care plans, but were also allowed to draw upon various non-medical ideas, practices and activities in order to help patients heal. Holistic nursing is the combination of modern, medical treatment and alternative therapies, helping to heal patients through scientific and intuitive measures. A holistic nurse is a certified nurse who has received the same nursing education through a college, university or online nursing school, but also has experience with complimentary/alternative modalities (CAM) that include natural products, mind-body medicine, manipulative and body-based practices and other non-Western practices.

Some of the alternative treatments that fall under CAM include acupuncture, dietary supplements, meditation and yoga. Physical manipulation of the spine, craniosacral therapy, and massage can increase immunity and neurological function, among other conditions. Energy healing inherent in reiki or qi gong are both non-invasive techniques that can be used by a holistic nurse to help with physical, mental and emotional health issues without medicine or physical contact. Other health systems including homeopathy, naturopathy, Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine may also be integrated into patient care by a qualified holistic nurse. While these therapies have been scientifically researched as to the benefit to the patient, they are still considered alternative treatments and should only be used under the direction of a medical professional.

Holistic nurses believe in integrative therapies and complementary medicine to enhance current medical treatments and give patients more control over any health concerns and outcomes. Combining scientific research, Western medicine and natural therapies can increase the ability of patients to heal from illness, provide lasting stress-management tools and provide patients with a whole-body and mind approach to physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Life as a Trauma Nurse

The careers and specializations of nurses can range from caring for elderly or neonatal patients, to working in clinics and hospitals and everywhere in between. One of the most challenging roles for a nurse to fulfill is working within a trauma department or emergency room of a hospital, where nursing skills are put to the test in order to stabilize patients and provide the best medical care possible to save lives when time, knowledge and a composed manner are all critical factors in a patient’s outcome.

Trauma nurses are called to provide life-saving medical treatments to patients that have been injured in vehicle accidents, in the home or at work, or who may be experiencing a variety of mental, emotional or physical complications that impact a normal ability to function and require rapid medical intervention. These patients may be unable to communicate, or can arrive to an emergency department unconscious, leading the nursing and medical staff with little information about what treatment to provide. A skilled RN can provide care for these patients based from the experience and education provided through a nursing program or online nursing school.

A nurse in a trauma department or emergency room is responsible for accessing a patient's vital signs, including pulse, blood pressure and temperature. Trauma nurses must also be able to start IV lines in veins, provide care for wounds and stabilize patients while helping doctors and other staff produce a treatment plan that prioritizes injury and health concerns. Being able to treat a patient in an emergency situation requires calm, focus and knowledge, as well as the ability to communicate effectively with the trauma team, family members or loved ones, and any other medical departments or facilities involved in the injured patient’s care.

The activity within an emergency room or trauma department is active, but not necessarily a non-stop, life-saving environment. Trauma nurses are not only called upon to provide superior medical care in life-threatening situations, but also help with less critical medical care including psychiatric or drug-related problems. These nurses may experience a variety of different situations on any given shift, and must be able to respond to traumatic injuries or flu outbreaks with the same focus and attention to detail in order to provide the best medical care possible.

Becoming an emergency room or trauma nurse requires an RN license, as well as a certification in different emergency situations. Beyond the hospital, a trauma nurse can work on an ambulance or "life flight" helicopter or urgent care facility. Many of these nurses work in underserved areas in other countries, providing care to populations that experience violent acts daily. For the nurse that enjoys a challenging and ever-changing work environment, specializing in trauma or emergency care provides not only the excitement of saving lives, but also the ability to make a difference in the lives of those facing traumatic injuries.

Becoming a Certified Diabetes Educator or Diabetes Nurse Practitioner

Over 8 percent of the population in the U.S. is diagnosed with diabetes, making it a national health concern that requires specialized care in order to diagnose, treat and manage the disease. For those who are diagnosed with diabetes, the health of the mind and body is compromised and various organs can be negatively affected, including the kidneys, eyes and brain as well as the overall health and wellness of the person. Since diabetes is such a pervasive disorder, nurses and other medical professionals that specialize in the treatment and management of the disease are needed to educate and help patients and families maintain health and wellness standards that enable diabetic patients live longer, healthier lives.

Certified Diabetes Educators or Diabetes Nurse Practitioners are medical professionals that have studied the effects of the disease, as well as the ways to manage issues like blood sugar, nutrition and any complications that may arise due to diabetes. Diabetes is an underlying cause of heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney and nervous system disease, and it not only affects the patient, but the loved ones who are powerless against such a destructive disorder. Pre-diabetic, diabetic and even pregnant women with gestational diabetes rely on Certified Diabetes Educators or Diabetes Nurse Practitioners to provide information and way in which to manage the disease, and the care and knowledge provided can help save lives.

Becoming certified as a Diabetes Educator or Diabetes Nurse Practitioner requires an RN license, as well as a minimum of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, both of which can be easily obtained through an online nursing school while still maintaining work-related obligations. Specialized education within the guidelines of the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE) plus 1000 documented hours of practical experience is also needed in order to meet the eligibility requirements of the NCBDE, as well as two years of experience working as an RN.

With the growing concern over the number of patients diagnosed with diabetes, and the complications that arise from the disease, the need for qualified and experienced Certified Diabetes Educators or Diabetes Nurse Practitioners is growing. Certified Diabetes Educators or Diabetes Nurse Practitioners are in demand in hospitals, clinics, assisted living facilities and nursing homes, as well as in obstetrics and many other medical areas. These specialized medical professionals are needed in order to help educate, treat and manage people diagnosed with diabetes, in order to assure the quality of care needed to help these patients lead long, happy lives.

Relaxation Tips for Nurses

The nursing profession requires education, wisdom and the selfless care of others, sometimes at the expense of the nurse giving the care. Many times, nurses work long hours, juggle many patients and have to navigate through the various channels of a hospital, clinic or medical establishment, being sure to provide care for others while following strict hospital or medical guidelines. As dedicated as a nurse may be to the job at hand, many nurses do not take the time for relaxation or self-care, concerning themselves more with the patients than with their own health. For the nurse that does not take time to relax and unwind, the effect on the mental and physical well-being can be astounding, leading to career dissatisfaction, burnout and lower self-esteem.

Nurses should always remember that while they are tasked with helping others, they are only human, too. No nurse should ever go a full shift without taking a break, even if it means the nurse goes to a different area of the hospital or clinic for a change of scenery. Eating the right foods, whether during a shift, lunch or after a shift has ended is also important for the ability to relax. Nurses, especially, should understand the benefits to a healthy diet and its impact on mental and physical issues, even if they do not always follow the guidelines themselves.

Having the right support is a big help when it comes to nurses that are constantly on the go, helping patients and experiencing the physical and emotional toll a shift can take. With the amount of time a nurse spends walking and standing, clothing and shoes should be comfortable and provide support for physical concerns like back, knee and feet issues. Emotionally speaking, a good friend or colleague can provide a great way for a nurse, or nursing student, to unload and process the emotional toll of the day.

After a shift is over and a nurse is finally home, the ability to really relax and process begins. Even if the nurse has a family to care for, the atmosphere can be much more conducive to relaxation than the sterile hallways of a hospital or clinic. Getting physical, even if its dancing while making dinner or reading a book while treadmilling a few miles can work some of the stress out of the body. Yoga can create a more relaxed state of mind, gently, but activities like Zumba can quickly, and aggressively, relieve stressed muscles and be an emotional outlet, as well. Being sure to get enough sleep may be a difficult goal for many nurses, especially those in school, but with the various online nursing schools available, nurses are better able to accommodate the demands of a nursing program while still maintaining the daily responsibilities of a current nursing job.

The stress and anxiety level of a nurse can be directly correlated to the performance on a job, as well as overall career satisfaction. By ensuring the right steps are taken in terms of self-care, a nurse can be rested, mentally and physically ready to help others and still have time to enjoy life outside of a hospital or other medical establishment.