Tips to Find Your First Job in Nursing

Once the final exams are passed, and a degree in nursing has been obtained, the next hurdle faced by nursing school graduates is finding a job within a hospital, clinic or other medical establishment. After the rigors of nursing school, graduates can be excited about job prospects, or intimidated by the daunting task of finding a position as a registered nurse, nurse practitioner or working with research, informatics or other specialized nursing professions. Having a plan in place to secure employment can be a prospective nurse’s best tool in the search for a job in nursing.

Nursing school can give its graduates a wide range of experience in the clinical education it provides, from labor and delivery to triage, and any areas in-between. These skills and experience are important to note on a resume, giving potential employers a good basis from which to understand the strengths of a nursing school graduate. A resume, in fact, can be considered a “first contact” for many nurses, and it is important to highlight all skills and education gained throughout nursing school, in a concise and factual manner.

After a resume has been developed, searching for a job in nursing can be a multi-faceted endeavor. Many new graduates use job placement agencies within a college, university or online nursing school to secure employment, while others may register with businesses that “head hunt” for nurses. Many websites offer a wide range of open jobs that can be targeted within a specific location or area of expertise in nursing. Networking with nurses and other medical professionals can be a great way to discover job openings and even get referrals and references for a job.

Once a hiring manager or human resources professional receives a resume, the next step is interviewing. Preparation for the interview is the key to showing off a graduate’s skills, education and confidence in nursing. Practicing interview questions and researching the hospital, clinic or facility can all be effective ways to present a polished and educated nursing professional to those who make the final decision on which applicant to hire.

Finding a job in nursing may be one of the more intimidating processes facing a nursing school graduate. However, the process can be made much easier with the right amount and type of planning. Through building a resume, researching jobs and facilities and preparing for an interview, a new nursing school graduate can find that the search for a job in nursing can be easier than ever imagined.

Case Management for Special Needs Children

With the changes in the way medical treatments and diagnoses are evolving, as well as the continual research that helps to improve a wealth of mental and physical disorders among all ages of the population, it can be confusing for parents to know where to begin helping a child with special needs.

Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, ADD/ADHD, food and environmental allergies, and physical disabilities can all require specialized treatment plans within both a medical environment, as well as within the school a child attends. Coordinating and managing both of these essential aspects of a special needs child’s treatment plans can take an entire team of medical and educational professionals, which is where a qualified and experienced case management professional comes in.

Nurse Case Managers are medically-trained professionals that have completed a degree in nursing from a campus-based or online nursing school with a concentration or certificate program in case management. These nurses help parents navigate areas within social services, insurance companies, therapists, physicians and schools. Nurse Case Managers can identify and help diagnose problems, facilitate services, equipment and treatments, and help with medical referrals or therapeutic authorizations. Case Managers also help monitor the progress of a special needs child, and can offer support, education and information to the child, parents and those involved in his or her treatment. reports the average salary for a RN Case Manager is around $65,000 per year, depending on location and experience. Those interested in pursuing a career as a Nurse Case Manager are encouraged to complete at least a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program, or a Master of Science in Nursing program, pass the NCLEX-RN and earn credits in case management through a nursing school concentration or certificate program.

Children today are faced with a wide range of health and wellness concerns that can require the special care of a nurse or other medical professional, but finding out which types of services and treatments are needed can be a long and frustrating process. For those parents of special needs children, a case management professional can make a world of difference in the overall outcome of a child diagnosed with a disorder, or even for those just indicating that further testing may be needed.

Why Choose Online Nursing Programs

Are you thinking of pursuing a career in nursing? Seems like a wise choice. As the American population ages and longer life spans have become possible due to the breakthroughs in medicine, doctors and nurses are in demand than ever before. This demand is not expected to decrease for a very long time.

Nursing is not only a secure career it also has one of the highest wages in the country. The average annual starting salary of a nurse is around $66,530 and there are more than 2.58 million nurses employed in the health industry at present according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If you are thinking of becoming a nurse and can’t decide which school to apply to, a good option is an online nursing school. They are not only much more affordable, but also provide a flexible schedule to suit you no matter what is your situation.

To have a career in nursing you need to degree from a reputable college. Now online nursing programs can prepare you to take on this challenge just like a degree from a conventional university. You are equally eligible to apply for nursing positions with an online nursing degree.

Let’s look at some of the advantages of online nursing programs:

• Flexibility: This is one of their major advantages. So if you don’t have time to go to a conventional nursing school because you have to work and raise your family then you can enroll in an online school and obtain a degree. Not only will you have an additional qualification it will also improve your employment opportunities.

• Study from Home: You won’t have to incur room and boarding expenses as you can receive education right in the convenience of your own home. All you need is a computer and an internet connection.

• Real World Challenges: Online nursing programs are not just limited to theoretical classes. They will prepare you for all the challenges that you will face in a nursing career.

• Do it Faster: Since you choose as many classes you want to take, you can complete your degree sooner as compared to a conventional nursing program that are restricted by such things as faculty and class strength issues.

• Validity: As long as the online university that you have applied to is accredited by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and/or United States Department of Education (USDE), your degree is valid anywhere in the U.S., just like a conventional nursing school degree.

Online nursing programs offer the following types of degree programs:

• Certificate: Online universities also offer certificates and diplomas in various areas of nursing ranging from Family Nurse Practitioner to Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner. They can be completed in as little as 7 months starting from 23 credit hours.

• Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing: This is a 4 year degree program of 90 to 95 credit hours.

• Associate of Science in Nursing: This is usually a 98 to 110 credit hour program that takes anywhere between 2 to 4 years.

• Master’s of Science in Nursing: This is a 2 year program that is full time. It can be anywhere between 63, 90 to 100 credit hours.

Interested in Becoming a Legal Nurse Consultant?

What is a Legal Nurse Consultant?
Legal Nurse Consultants are registered nurses who use their professional expertise to provide legal consultancy on medical cases. They also charge an hourly fee for these consultancy services. To become a Legal Nurse Consultant you need to obtain certification from a nursing school. This is an area of specialization that is offered by most nursing degree programs.

They are highly respected and their opinion is valued. It is an excellent career for someone who enjoys working with the law and judicial system.

Career Outlook for Legal Nurse Consultants
They may be called by lawyers to provide consultancy for resolving criminal and civil court cases. As a consultant you can also find work in hospitals, clinics, pharmaceutical companies, chemical companies, insurance companies, law firms or practice your own consultancy service; the opportunities are endless.

You will be involved in preparing detailed reports for the client and assist them in whatever legal advise they need that falls under your area of expertise as a nurse. The outlook for this career looks positive as jobs are expected to increase over the next decade.

Companies are now becoming more conscious about the need for producing more medically sound products to avoid any sort of lawsuits in the future. Legal Nurse Consultants can expects to find increasing employment opportunities as chemical and pharmaceutical companies grow and find an increasing need for legal advice regarding medication.

As a consultant you can earn anywhere between $125 to $200 per hour for providing your consultancy services. It is perfect for people who cannot work full time, as part time job opportunities are plenty. It is also easy to find a full time job as there are currently 1.2 million attorneys in the U.S. that present a multitude of job opportunities.

Educational Requirements
You have to become a Certified Legal Nurse Consultants to be able to practice and provide legal consultancy services. For this you will not need a Bachelors of Science in Nursing, but you will need a Registered Nursing License in order to practice as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.
You can get certified through an online nursing school if you don’t have the time and means to afford a conventional nursing school. Online certifications are also valid as long as they are done from an accredited online school.

Is it a Good Career Choice?
If you like what you do as a nurse then you will enjoy this profession a lot. It is a good opportunity to help people stuck in lawsuits get justice from the judicial system when you provide consultancy services to law firms. If you work with pharmaceutical companies you help them produce better medicine by educating them about the real life affects and needs regarding medication. Working with insurance companies you can help them catch people trying to commit insurance frauds. If you like the way that you help people as a nurse, just imagine what you can do as a consultant. You can save people’s lives and help catch criminals.

Certified Nurse Midwife Career Profile

Midwives are a time-honored specialization in the medical field, historically based and some of the oldest known medical professionals across the world. Caring for a woman before, during and immediately following the delivery of a baby, these nurses provide medical care and education, as well as moral support during one of the most exciting and stressful times in a woman’s life.

A Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) is an advance practice nurse who has obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, and has completed two years of post-graduate studies in an midwifery program through a campus-based or online nursing school. Some CNM certification programs will even accept a Bachelor Degree in other concentrations, guiding the student toward midwifery studies through an accelerated nursing program. This highly specialized nursing education track provides the basis for a nurse to attend births both within a hospital, at birthing centers or even at home, depending on the regulations of each individual state.  According to the American College of Nurse-Midwives, 96.1% of CNM/CM-attended births were in hospitals, 2% in birth centers and 1.8% were in homes. More than 90% of all midwife-attended births were attended by CNMs/CMs since 1989. Additionally, a CNM can work in an office setting, assisting women of all ages with concerns relating to birth control, family planning, infertility, menopause and puberty.

Many states allow a Certified Nurse Midwife to practice these skills, although the scope of care is limited to low-risk births and is typically monitored by an OB/GYN. 26 states offer licensure for midwives, yet nine states prohibit the practice all together. While it is possible to practice as a midwife without completing the requirements set forth by the American College of Nurse-Midwives, the CNM certification through ACNM is an important process for the Certified Nurse Midwife as it proves the needed nursing and midwifery education and skills have been acquired. The annual salary for a CNM is over $90,000, on average across the U.S.

As the ability for advance practice nurses to move into more autonomous positions within the medical field grows, specializations like midwifery will continue to be vital to the health and well-being of women in all stages of life. From the educational and certification requirements to the personal satisfaction that comes with the role of the midwife, this career choice brings a great amount of challenge and accomplishment to all Certified Nurse Midwives.

Become a Certified Nurse Midwife

To become a Certified Nurse Midwife you must have achieved a Master of Science in Nursing, RN designation and certification by the American Midwifery Certification Board. Start your path to this high paying career that is incredibly rewarding by exploring education options below. We recommend getting information from several so you can compare the programs, costs, time commitments and financial aid options.

Online Schools:

Kaplan University Online

Kaplan University Online


RN to MS in Nursing

Advance your career with an online degree from Kaplan University.

Get more information about this Nursing School

University of Phoenix Nursing

Walden University


M.S. in Nursing (MSN) - RN Track

M.S. in Nursing (MSN) - BSN Track

Earn a respected bachelor's degree, master's degree, or Ph.D. online at Walden University.

Get more information about this Nursing School

University of Phoenix Nursing

South University


Nursing Specialization in Adult Health Nurse Practitioner (MSN)

Nursing Specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN)

Designed with the needs of working adult students in mind, South University, Online Programs is built on the same curriculum offered at South University's campus locations. As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same degree, quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.

Get more information about this Nursing School

University of Phoenix Nursing

American Sentinel University Online


RN to MS Nursing

Earn a self-paced online degree in Nursing or Healthcare.

Get more information about this Nursing School

Online Nursing Schools Gain Popularity

Nursing is one of the safest professions even under the current economic conditions. No matter where the economy goes there will always be patients who need treatment and doctors who need nurses’ assistance to treat them. Currently an estimated 2.5 million nurses are employed in the U.S. the anticipated growth for this industry is around 24% in the next ten years. Nursing is also one of the highest paid professions.

Currently there are over seven hundred nursing programs in the U.S. offering a bachelor’s degree in nursing. However, a bachelor’s degree spans over 4 years. There are also a sufficient number of nurses who are practicing after obtaining a diploma or an associate degree in nursing. There are even more options with accelerated nursing programs to help you complete the degree in less than 2 years, but these are taken only by those who already have a degree.

To become a nurse you need to take on a degree or a diploma from colleges or online nursing schools, without which becoming a nurse is impossible. It is difficult to find a job with just a High School diploma. Of course, that is where majority of the problem lies. College education is expensive and under current economic scenario being able to afford it has become more and more difficult.

Community colleges are mostly very affordable and even provide excellent programs and facilities. You can even get a federal student loan to study if you apply for it. Unfortunately, with so many people facing unemployment, many of them have rushed back to college to add more skills to their resume. A major part of this population goes to community colleges, as they are much affordable. That simply means that community colleges are too full and you will find it difficult to get into even one class in a semester.

Do private colleges seem out of question? Sure they offer student loans, but have you checked the interest rates that they charge for them? Check out online nursing schools instead. Sure they aren’t as old as the conventional nursing schools, but they are making an exceptional progress in the education industry.

There are many accredited online nursing schools offering diplomas, associate degrees, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and even doctoral degrees in nursing. Not only can you earn a nursing degree from an affordable college you can also fit it around your schedule even if you are working or occupied raising a family.

Online nursing schools have the most flexible program schedules that you can find. All you need is a laptop, an internet connection, a High School degree, good SAT scores and a desire to serve people to get into any of the online colleges. Just make sure that the online school that you are applying for is accredited by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Nursing is a noble profession and is highly regarded in society. So if you have a desire to serve mankind then nursing is just the right profession for you

Nurse Job Interview Questions

Once a nursing school student has finally graduated, it is time to hit the pavement and find a job. Many of these graduates spend a great deal of time perfecting a resume, researching the best places to work and applying for jobs online or in person. Nursing can be a highly competitive field, especially within larger, metropolitan areas or specialized fields of nursing, and even the best GPA or resume can only help a nursing job applicant so far. After the legwork of finding a job has run its course, it’s time to start preparing for the nursing job interview.

A nursing job interview is much like an interview for any other type of job, but may require more technically-based questions and answers, than the others. For instance, when applying for a job in a hospital as an RN, questions about the experience of nursing school, clinical education and any adjunct experience could help a hiring manager or human resources professional better understand the applicant’s motivations and strengths. These types of questions can range from where a graduate has excelled within nursing school to the details of treatment plans, with each question designed to determine if the applicant is the right nurse for the job.
Some typical questions asked during a nursing job interview are:
  • Why did you choose your nursing specialty, or, to which nursing specialty are you drawn?
  • What nursing experience do you currently have, and how did you earn it?
  • What has attracted you to this hospital/facility?
  • How are you at managing patients and working with others as a team?
  • What are your plans for your future nursing career?
Preparing for the interview can be half the battle when it comes to entering into a nursing career. While it is normal to feel nervous, especially when interviewing for the first time, the better prepared a nursing job candidate is, the easier it can be to shine above the other candidates. Be sure to research the facility before entering into the interview, since it’s important to understand the needs of the particular hospital or clinic. Have your interview answers ready, research other possibilities online or ask a trusted instructor or currently employed nurse for insight into the interview process.

 Interviewing for a job in nursing can be an exciting time for any new nursing school graduate. While the skills and knowledge gained through a campus-based or online nursing program are necessary to fill the requirements of the job, the preparation for the interview itself can be the extra touch needed to secure a dream job in nursing.

Nursing Shortage, No Jobs for New Graduates?

With all of the headlines about the nursing shortage and how nursing is a recession-proof career, many new graduates are still having difficulties obtaining a position as a nurse upon graduation. With the projections and studies cited in articles and blogs across the country that seem to indicate there are plenty of nursing jobs available, with many more openings to come. The reality of the nursing shortage, however, has an impact on what is the most obvious solution – filling open nursing positions with newly graduated nurses, yet many new graduates of a campus-based or online nursing program are facing  large student loan payments and even beginning careers outside of nursing in order to make ends meet.

The nursing shortage is, in fact, still ramping up. As the Boomer generation retires, this creates a need for more nurses to provide care to that aging population, as well as fill the positions of Boomer nurses reaching the age of retirement. Faced with these facts, as well as an economy in recovery, hospitals, clinics and medical facilities in densely populated areas, especially, are struggling with financial demands, as well. This economic standstill has forced most of these medical facilities to scale down the hiring of new nurses, especially in light of the amount of time and money needed to train newly graduated nurses. For those new graduates, it can be frustrating to realize that the time spent working toward a degree in nursing is not the easy ticket to a stable career, and that getting a “foot in the door” in the medical community can be the biggest challenge, yet.

How can a new graduate compete within these challenging circumstances? Most experts agree that a new nursing school graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing can still find a job in nursing, but may have to get creative, first. Since most hospitals and clinics are looking for nurses with experience, taking a short-term position in a medically-related field could be a benefit when it comes to networking and building a resume. Searching for a nursing position in rural or underserved areas can also help, as can the motivation and patience to keep applying for nursing positions.

Finding a job in the current economy is difficult in many different industries, but can be particularly concerning within the medical field that is projected to have one of the highest job growth potentials overall. By maintaining a positive attitude and diligently researching all potential sources of employment, a newly graduated nurse has the best chance at obtaining a nursing position, even within these difficult economic times.

Nursing and the Homeless

Within the medical field, there are a multitude of different populations that require preventative health care and the direct treatment of illnesses and injuries. These populations can be found in cities, rural areas, suburbs and across the world, with different ages, economic levels and health concerns that can be addressed easily in a hospital or other medical environment. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to a hospital or clinic, due to a lack of financial or transportation resources, and these issues are especially hard on the homeless population throughout the country.

Homeless men and women are often faced with difficult choices when it comes to stretching paychecks to cover housing, food, and other daily costs. These issues can be directly impacted by mental illness, domestic violence or addictions that create situations in which this vastly underserved population is at high risk for diseases like hepatitis, HIV/AIDS and subjected to violence regularly. Many free clinics have been established in urban areas with a high homeless population rate in order to help reduce the numbers of illnesses that can be transmitted among this underserved population.

Nurses within these clinics have experience in public or community health, rural health, general nursing, case management and mental health specialties, among others, and typically have attained a degree in nursing through a college, university or online nursing program. This education is important, especially when treating homeless populations, as it addresses the physical health issues and mental state of people who are surviving in a hostile environment.

Because of the nature of the problems facing homeless people across the country, the medical needs of this population are often considered secondary, yet many times, the health of the homeless directly impacts the ability to obtain a job. Moreover, these health concerns can limit the ability to keep a job, creating a cycle of financial distress that exacerbates the health issues being faced. Through the efforts of medical professionals, nurses and social service workers, the health issues of the homeless can be directly addressed and treated, while providing education about the dangers of living in an environment that increases those risks.

Advance Practice Nursing Acronyms Explained

Forcasted to be some of the top-paying fields within nursing, advance practice nurses can be found with a wide range of specialties and designations. From midwifes and anesthesiologists, to nurse practitioners who care for neonatal, geriatric and patients with other specific age, location or medical concerns, advance practice nurses are strong allies in the health and wellness of patients throughout our communities.

Advance Practice Nurses are nurses that have attained a graduate-level education, such as a Master of Science in Nursing degree either through a campus-based or online nursing program, including accelerated nursing programs, and have passed the NCLEX-RN examination. Alternatively, before new guidelines were put into place by AACN, advance practice nurses could hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree with enough post-graduate certifications and experience to fill the requirements for APN’s. These nurses can work within administration and management positions, autonomously within private practices in some states, or provide a wide spectrum of care to patients facing specific medical concerns, illness or injuries.

Within advance practice nursing, there are four main designations that are standard across the country. Each of these can be further developed, depending on the areas of specialty for the nurse.

Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) – provides care to women of all ages with specific regard to reproductive health. Puberty, pregnancy, post-partum and menopause-related care are all responsibilities of the CNM, in addition to the immediate care of a newborn after delivery.

Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP) – provides care to a variety of people based on the specialization chosen, including adults, geriatric patients, mental health, women, and pediatrics. These nurses are governed by the same regulations of a registered nurse, per the individual state board of licensing.

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) – performs within a more administrative and managerial role, helping to increase better patient outcomes throughout a variety of medical systems, while assisting with the procedures of diagnosis and treatment of patients.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) – as the most specialized designation of the APN role, these nurses administer and monitor medications to patients to help control and alleviate pain during procedures or within pain management guidelines.

While a wide range of concentrations are available within the role of the advance practice nurse, the main specializations define the overall role of these medical professionals. Through graduate-level education, post-graduate certifications and experience, advance practice nurses are able to provide specific medical care to patients facing distinctive health concerns.

NCLEX-PN and NCLEX-RN Examinations

On the path to a nursing career, a nursing school student must complete years of academic and clinical requirements in order to fulfill the basic standards of nursing required by hospitals, clinics and medical facilities across the country. These foundational requirements are standardized throughout colleges, universities and online nursing schools, teaching nursing school students the best practices when it comes to preventative medicine, and the direct care of patients.

In order to work as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Registered Nurse (RN) within the United States, a nursing school student or graduate must pass a National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) or National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) exam, depending on the level of education attained. In order to practice as a LPN, for instance, a student must complete an Associate of Science in Nursing degree program, and pass the NCLEX-PN examination. For registered nurses, it is recommended that at least an ASN degree is attained, if not a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, plus pass the NCLEX-RN examination.

Before taking a NCLEX examination, it is important to contact and register with a state board of nursing and understand the specific requirements established by the state in which the nursing school graduate is applying for licensure. Once these steps are completed, an Authorization to Test (ATT) letter is issued by the state board that allows the student or graduate into the scheduled examination.  Upon completing the NCLEX examination, unofficial results can be received within days (for a nominal fee) and the official test scores and status are mailed to the student within 30 days. If the nursing school student or graduate did not pass the exam, it can be taken again within 45 – 90 days, depending on the guidelines of the board of nursing.

Taking and passing the NCLEX examinations is the culmination of a nursing school student’s efforts in the classroom and throughout a nursing school program. Whether the goal is to become a LPN or RN, a career in nursing depends on the ability to pass these essential examinations, proving to hospitals, medical facilities and health care providers that the nurse is ready to continue the long-standing tradition of providing the best nursing care possible.

Nurses and Life Care Planning

When faced with chronic health problems, illness, catastrophic injuries or death, the assurance that comes with a living will or other medical directive can make such troubling times easier on the patient, as well as family or loved ones. As nurses are charged with providing hands-on care to patients, the ability to guide the decisions within one of these important documents becomes less about the business of medical care, and more about easing the minds of those directly involved in the medical care of the patient in question.
Life Care Planning provides a way for a patient to secure his or her financial directives, as well as any wishes regarding medical interventions, treatments or other concerns that may arise if the patient is unable to communicate. These documents include wills, living wills, medical and personal powers of attorney documents and medical directives, each of which eliminate the frustration and emotional decision-making process that family members may experience while a loved one faces these medical challenges. Aspects of these documents may also include guidelines for funeral or memorial services, from detailed planning to the concerns over burial or cremation, as well as how to pay for such services.
Because of the delicate nature of Life Care Planning, a nurse must be sensitive and sympathetic to the needs of the patient, as well as family and friends. Additionally, knowledge of the legal process in terms of filing the documents is necessary, as is a familiarity of local social service agencies, and the services provided. This information can be gained through a Life Care Planning program through a campus-based or online nursing school.

Patients facing illness, injury or end-of-life concerns often turn to a nurse with Life Care Planning skills in order to ease the burden on family and friends. These documents not only help families understand the wishes of the patient, but are easily accessible directives for nurses and physicians that may have to act on behalf of the patient in case of emergency situations. A nurse with experience navigating the challenges of Life Care Planning can be instrumental in easing the troubled minds of patients and loved ones during times filled with stress, grief and uncertainty.