What Inspires Nurses to Return to School and Why You Should

return to school
What motivates nurses to return to school and why should you? An ADN-qualified, licensed nurse who is working in health care may not see the benefits of returning to school. After all, the nurse is licensed to work. The patient’s overall health is just as dependent on the medication being dispensed as it is on a nurse’s academic progression and level of knowledge.

“It’s great that you have achieved your ADN degree, passed NCLEX and became an RN. It is a dream that many have had but few have achieved. Now for the next step and that is to get your BSN. With your RN under your belt you’ll have opportunities to gain knowledge and grow in the field while you study online for your BSN. You’ll find working in the field while attending your BSN program will help you to not only do a better job but will also give life experiences that contribute to your understanding of your role as a nurse.” – Linda Flynn, MSN, RN (Manager, Associate Degree Programs)

The nursing field is continuously advancing and developing new systems and discovering new methods to treating patients. Nurses constantly are challenged to become lifelong learners to serve better patient care and improve health care throughout their community. Over the past decade, medical technology and knowledge has changed nursing practices, and as an evolving field, nursing practices will not stay stagnate. From the adoption of electric IVs as opposed to manual IVs and new patient monitoring systems, nurses require the latest knowledge and skills. Nurses without the proper training and knowledge base are left behind.

ADN Program Manager at Nightingale College, Linda Flynn, MSN, RN, reinforces and encourages her ADN Program learners to not just stop after getting an associate degree and licensed, but to push on to the next level of education: “The BSN degree will open doors for you and broaden your opportunities to explore more areas of nursing service. Health care is quickly moving from acute hospital care to acute care in community and home settings. Public health care and health promotion have been traditionally reserved for the BSN level Practitioner. It’s important as nurses that we stay in the forefront of progress and EBP. Getting your BSN is a valuable part of that process. Remember an ADN prepares you to become an RN and a BSN prepares you for the future.”

The future of nursing and a nurse’s career hinges on continuous educational improvement and a sense of accountability. Patients look to receive the best care possible during their (sometimes) most frightening time. Nurses who hold themselves accountable to always deliver quality patient care are driven to advance their level of education.

What are the benefits of returning to school to get a BSN degree?

RN-to-BSN Graduate proudThe popular perception is that balancing work and school is difficult, which hinder nurses from returning to school. (For tips on how to manage studying and work, check out our blog article How to Study and Hold Down a Full-Time Job.) Although the enrollment in RN-to-BSN programs have increased since the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that 80 percent of nurses hold a BSN degree, nurses struggle with the allotted time needed. “The largest hurdle for pursuit of the baccalaureate degree is its availability, timeliness, and convenience to attend while working as a professional nurse. Nightingale College offers professional nurses an opportunity to pursue his or her BSN on their schedule and at their convenience,” said Suzette Scheuermann, Nightingale College’s Director of Nursing Education Services. If the timing is correct and the program provides some sort of flexibility, a nurse may be more inclined to attend a program.

Why should you, as a nurse, return to school?

Accompanying a nurse’s desire to continue advancing their knowledge, employers see the benefits BSN-prepared nurses on staff have on the overall operations of the unit. Employers understand and align with the IOM’s recommendation and are beginning to request that current nurses return to school.

“The future of nursing lies in the age-old discussion of the ‘entry into practice’ being at the baccalaureate level. That time is upon us now, and it’s only a matter of time before a BSN is the requirement to practice as a registered nurse.” – Susan Jero, MSN, RN (Area Manager, DDCs)

Medicine is constantly evolving and adapting. Patients are requiring diverse treatments and intensive hospital stays. These two facts will not change. Nurses will be asked to continue their education to keep up with the ever-changing landscape. Don’t wait until you are forced to get your BSN, do it now! A BSN degree is expected to become the requirement for entry-level RN positions, will provide an array of opportunities to advance, help you pursue specific nursing specialties, and if anything, deliver the confidence to provide the best care for patients.

What to consider when deciding to return to school?

Getting licensed as a nurse is a big accomplishment, one that you should be very proud of achieving. The next step when considering returning to school is to look for an RN-to-BSN Program that allows flexibility and convenience. It does not make much sense to attend a school that requires you to travel long distances periodically throughout the week. Consider whether a full- or part-time program, accelerated, on-ground or online program fits your needs. It is a big commitment to return to school, but a commitment that, in the long run, will give you job and financial security. For a more in-depth look, check out our recent articles on The Real Difference between ADN and BSN Nurses to learn the various differences between the two degrees and Nurse Salary by State to view a comprehensive breakdown of salary per state.

Just as important as understanding the time commitment involved with attending a program, support systems need to be in place. The average time of completion for an RN-to-BSN Program is twelve months. So, for that period, you will be involved in studying and learning new material. Make sure to have the support of your family and friends as you take on the new endeavor, and don’t forget to seek support from your employer.

Nurses, Consider an RN-to-BSN Program.

Nightingale College’s RN-to-BSN Program is a full-distance nursing program with full- and part-time options. The Program is designed with working RNs in mind. The College recognizes the importance a BSN degree has on a nurse’s career stability and wants to ensure nurses have opportunity to get their BSN degree without the need to move away. It is time to be prepared for your future as a nurse. Check out the College’s RN-to-BSN Program.

“Today, we need nurses who can help implement strategies to deliver highly technical but compassionate nursing care which contributes to self-care, health promotion and maintenance. Nurses to help build trusting relationships with clients and patients while having to navigate a constantly changing healthcare landscape. The BSN nurse enters the profession having acquired knowledge, skills and attitudes, to improve the safety and quality of patient care. These skills are used with clients across the lifespan and with acute and chronic illness; and in settings within the system and in the home. Other important skills acquired in baccalaureate nursing education include the use of data and technology to improve the working environment and the satisfaction of our clients. Further, BSN nurses are prepared to lead others to balance between personal and professional well-being, while delivering safe, high quality nursing care.” – Suzette Scheuermann, PhD, RN (Director, Nursing Education Services)

What is your motivation? Are you ready to hit the ground running to secure your future as a nurse? Click the button below to learn more about Nightingale College’s RN-to-BSN Program.

Click here to learn more

Double Duty: Meet Nightingale College Faculty Member Haley Mathson

Nightingale College FacultyWe started out the year gaining several new Nightingale College faculty members who have made such an impact in three short months. Haley Mathson, who joined Nightingale College’s nursing department as an instructor in January, is a prime example. With her passion and interest in nursing since she was very young, Haley instantly knew nursing was her career of choice. She is Nightingale’s Clinical and Lab Instructor at our Evanston, Wyoming DDC area.

What is your favorite part about being a Nightingale College faculty member?
I love the environment and being surrounded by such educated and passionate people. I feel part of the family in such a short amount of time. I am also very grateful for the opportunity to develop confident, competent and compassionate nurses!

Why did you want to become a nurse?
Since I was young, every time I would enter a hospital, whether it was for a family member or myself, I was so intrigued. I always wanted to know what the nurses were doing and I gained so much respect for them. I finally took the plunge to become a nurse after I was 2 classes away from receiving my BSW. I never regret making that change.

Do you specialize in a specific field of nursing?
I work as an ER nurse currently and it is my passion. I wouldn’t say I am an “adrenaline junky” necessarily, but I love a fast-paced environment. It keeps me on my toes! I have worked Medical/Surgical and OB. I am a Certified Emergency Nurse and a Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse, which I obtained in the last year.

If you weren’t a nurse, what would your ideal career look like?
Honestly, I cannot imagine doing anything else. My first job is being a mom and is equally as rewarding!

Nursing is a tough profession. If you don’t mind, share one of your more challenging experiences as a nurse and the outcome.
It is a hard job (if anyone ever tells you it is not, they are lying). I have had struggles to overcome. Generally speaking, the first few years are tough as you are finding your niche and developing a foundation in nursing.

What is your one piece of advice for nursing learners? What is a piece of advice for recent nursing school graduates?
My advice would be to never give up and continue to seek out learning opportunities. The first few years are the hardest as you begin to develop a foundation in nursing and find your place. A good mentor/leader is key and it took me a few years to find that.

Many learners do not think a BSN degree will help their career. What is your opinion? Should learners plan on getting a BSN degree?
I absolutely believe you should continue your education. I continued after my ADN program and received my BSN 1 year later. It makes you more marketable, opens doors for much more opportunity and creates a well-rounded nurse. You can never stop educating yourself, especially in healthcare.

What are some tips for ADN Program learners about to graduate in the upcoming months? Tips on NCLEX? Finding a job?
Take the NCLEX STAT! You know the information. Be confident. As far as finding a job, you will not have a hard time. I have always been a firm believer in starting on a Med/Surg floor where you can develop a foundation.

Tell us about you.
I grew up in Lyman, Wyoming, population 2,000. If you drive along I-80 Eastbound approximately 120 miles from Ogden, UT…don’t blink your eyes, you may miss it. It was a great place to grow up. I am married, have a daughter who is 11 and 3 step-children, 18, 15 and 10. They are my world. My absolute favorite place to vacation is Maui, Hawaii.

Finish the sentence: When I am not hanging around doing Nightingale stuff, you can . . . find me at my other job as a full-time ER nurse.

What are some of your hobbies?
I love music, coffee and spending time with my family and friends.

Are you a Coke or Pepsi fan?
Neither! Coffee!!

As a nurse, what is your favorite nursing memory? What keeps you motivated?
The ability to make a difference is probably number one. The patients keep you motivated. When a patient thanks you, whether it is for something simple or for saving their child’s life. There is truly nothing more rewarding and fulfilling. The ability to connect with other people and help them to find meaning in their life. It really never gets old.

We’d like to thank Haley for taking the time to participate in this interview.

DDC Partner Receives Distinguished Award

At Nightingale College, we enjoy celebrating the success of not only our learners and collaborators, but of our DDC Partners. DDC Partner Monte Vista Hills Health Care Center, located in Pocatello, Idaho, received the prestigious Ensign Flab award. The Ensign Flag award is given to a facility within the Ensign Group that excels within a variety of categories. The categories that a facility is scored in are clinical outcome, quality measures, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, regulatory inspections, compliance audits, financial performance, and cultural contribution to the organization.

Nightingale College is honored to be associated with a health care facility that goes beyond self to serve the community, patients, and employees.

To view the official media announcement, visit the link http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/03/prweb14118409.htm.

How to effectively study and hold down a full-time job

Study How do you find the time to study when holding down a full-time job? After a long day at work, studying is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. Many learners who are in this boat share how unfocused they are when studying. Some have even mentioned how unmotivated they are to really understand the concepts and rush through studying. It soon becomes a game of remembering concepts just so it can be regurgitated back on the test and then forgotten. Newsflash! That is not the way to study or learn, and will do you more harm than good. So much time and effort goes into your education, so don’t do yourself an injustice and slide on through nursing school.

Being prepared for nursing school as a full-time employee takes some additional effort. If you are looking for tips on working and attending school simultaneously, check out our part article Get a Nursing Degree while Working: Is it Possible? then refer back to this article to review the studying portion.

For those who are considering attending nursing school while working, take time to concentrate on what it really takes to be a nursing learner. Don’t get us wrong, it is possible to do both. We have seen it done. But let us help you prepare for juggling both so it no longer will be a one-person circus act, but you’ll have a whole crew supporting you.

Once you have solidified your plan of action and are mentally prepared, the next step is to learn how to successfully study when time is not on your side as you are focused on online class, and bouncing from simulation lab to clinicals. Studying often gets put on the back burner and is overlooked. Nursing school requires a significant amount of studying to stay on top of class material. Here are our top tips we recommend:

Create a routine study schedule. Even if your work schedule changes, it is important to stick to a routine that you designed. A study schedule that works well for one person may not benefit another. Studying a little every day is recommended as it helps cement concepts in your mind. Take an hour or two in the morning, over lunch, or before bed to review recent class material and to reread sections in the assigned textbook. Every day you are giving yourself a refresher.

Join a study group. First off, study groups are not for everyone. If you find no value in study groups, then do waste time joining one (and see the next point). Focus on studying techniques that work. For those that benefit from study groups, find a few members in your cohort and schedule a time to meet. Again, it is about creating a set study schedule. Be each other’s support and use the time to ask questions, clarify concepts for another group member, or to be around likeminded individuals. Sometimes knowing that you are not alone is the motivation needed.

Discover your studying niche. Time is wasted on useless studying techniques that are of no benefit. We focus a good portion on steering learners towards more useful studying techniques that fit their learning style. Explore the various studying techniques such as using colors to differentiate concepts, recording yourself “teaching” the subject, and using mind maps.  As one of the more important recommendations, if time is an issue, stop and consider if your current study methods are on point.

Be open with your employer. Some may shy away from letting their employer know, but being open with your employer about your goal of finishing nursing school or completing the RN to BSN Program will give you peace of mind. Invested employers will cheer you along and may even end up as a helpful resource. Another benefit to sharing your goal with your boss is that as job positions become available, you may be lucky enough to secure the position upon graduation with the recommendation from your boss, which may not have been possible if you did not share your future aspirations.

Be accountable. Holding yourself accountable for your progress is the key to success. Only you are responsible for passing the class, acing the skills pass off, and even showing up on time. Be accountable for sticking to your set study schedule, and do not place fault with others. Finding the time to study while working requires dedication that only you are responsible for. Always be accountable for your success, and in nursing school, that requires continuous studying.

It is unbelievable to see the hard work learners put in who are insistent on succeeding in nursing school and maintaining a job. However, it is not easy. Learning to study correctly will help you use time wisely.

Need further help in the realm of studying? Visit with our Learner Advising and Life Resources (LALR) Department.

17 Nursing Quotes We Love and Wanted to Share with Nursing Learners

Sometimes all you need is an inspirational quote to remind you that the hard work is worth it, to brighten your day, and to motivate you while in nursing school. Here are 17 nursing quotes that we love and wanted to share with our nursing learners.

  • “I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse.” Florence Nightingale
  • “How very little can be done under the spirit of fear.” Florence Nightingale

Nursing quote

  • “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela
  • “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X
  • “An invest in knowledge pays the best interest.” Benjamin Franklin

Nursing quote

  • “Happiness…consists of giving, and in serving others.” Henry Drummond
  • “Constant attention by a good nurse may be just as important as a major operation by a surgeon.” Dag Hammarskjold
  • “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” Salvador Dali
  • “Ambition is the path to success, persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.” William Eardley IV
  • “The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” Amelia Earhart
  • “You’re off to great places, today is your day, your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.” Dr. Seuss
  • “Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” Anthony J. D’Angelo
  • “Nurses dispense comfort, compassion, and caring without even a prescription.” Val Saintsbury
  • “The character of a nurse is just as important as the knowledge he/she possesses.” Carolyn Jarvis

Nursing quote

  • “Nurses are the heart of healthcare.” Donna Wilk Cardillo
  • “I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.” Art Williams

Nursing quote

  • “Although your educational journey may be difficult at times, you will reap the reward of utmost satisfaction when holding your nursing diploma for the first time and nothing will ever compare to the fulfillment that improving and saving the lives of others will bring!” Mikhail Shneyder, Nightingale College President and CEO

Nurse Bullying: Does it really happen

This article is an update to the College’s past article titled Bullying, published November 5, 2015.

When most people think of bullying, they think back to the days of grade school when a jerk would shake down a smaller child for their lunch money or give them a knuckle sandwich. However, bullying does not stop after elementary school. A good majority of adults report situations where they were a victim to a bully. It is important to recognize the many forms of bullying and know how to handle the situation.

What is Bullying

So, what is bullying? Bullying, as defined by the Workplace Bullying Institute, is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons by one or more perpetrators. It is abusive conduct that is

  • Threatening, humiliating, or intimidating
  • Work interference — sabotage — which prevents work from getting done
  • Verbal abuse

Types of Bullying

As the most obvious form of bullying, physical bullying is just one type of bullying. A good way to prevent bullying is to be aware of the types of bullying and how to handle it.

  • Physical Bullying: Occurs when someone uses physical actions to gain power and control over their targets.
  • Verbal Bullying: The use of words, statements, and name-calling to gain power and control over a target.
  • Emotional Bullying or Relational Aggression: A type of social manipulation where individuals try to hurt their peers or sabotage their social standing.
  • Cyber Bullying: Use of the Internet, a cell phone or other technology to harass, threaten, embarrass or target another person.
  • Sexual Bullying: Repeated, harmful and humiliating actions that target a person sexually.
  • Prejudicial Bullying: Preconceived opinions toward people of different races, religions or sexual orientation.

Bullying in the Workplace

Unfortunately, in the nursing profession, as in any profession, there are bullies. Nurse bullying is so prevalent in today’s society that in 1986 nursing professor Judith Meissner coined the phrase “nurses eat their young” as a way to encourage nurses to stop bullying new and inexperienced coworkers. However, it’ not always senior staff that do the bullying. Often it is experienced and inexperienced nurses who are both the bullies and victims. (Hutchinson et al, 2006).

In a survey of 521 clinical nurses conducted in 2011 on incidents involving workplace bullying, 102 (19.6%) had been subject to physical violence, 268 (51.4%) had experienced verbal abuse, 155 (29.8%) had been victims of bullying/mobbing and 67 (12.9%) reported having experienced sexual harassment. The survey also showed a high correlation between working grave shifts and the increased likelihood of sexual harassment (Pai, Lee, 2011).

For nurses who may be a victim of bullying, consider the following steps to take action.

  • Report it. Any incident in which an employee feels harassed, is made to feel uncomfortable in their workplace setting, and/or bullied should be reported immediately to their supervisor. There should be a culture of zero-tolerance for bullying at every organization and all leaders should take this initiative very seriously.
  • Keep composed and maintain the upper hand. Don’t lower yourself or stoop to the bully’s level. If you feel comfortable and safe, calmly confront the bully by acknowledging and pointing out the negative behavior and asking them to stop.
  • Be a role model and do not bully others. The negative cycle of bullying will only continue if its victims eventually become the bullies.

Don’t be afraid to seek out help if you feel as if you are being bullied. The same is true while in nursing school. Here at Nightingale College, we have a zero-tolerance policy for bullying. Our Learner Services Department and faculty can help determine if you are being bullied, so reach out if you feel the need.

5 Tips to Beat Procrastination

Procrastination is a common struggle for learners. Sometimes there is just so much to do that we leave things for the last minute. Here are 5 tips to beat procrastination and help you schedule your day in a way that is productive with no stress.

Plan your day the night before. Having a plan will help you stay on schedule. Knowing what the next day involves can mentally prepare you for the day; not to mention, planning your day the night before gives you some time to prepare for whatever the day entails.

Make your own deadlines. If you have something due, make a deadline to get it done earlier than the assigned due date. Also, break up assignments and tasks into smaller tasks with due dates so you can work on bits and pieces at a time and not leave everything for the last minute.

Do a little morning exercise. Exercising releases endorphins and has been shown to help people be more productive throughout the day.

Make sure you organize your breaks. Try the 10/2/5 hack: 10 minutes of work, 2-minute break, 5 times an hour. Plan what you want to do on your breaks (watch a YouTube video, eat a snack, stretch, read a few pages of a book, check your phone, etc.). It is your time to recharge.

Set up an ideal working environment. Try not to work on the couch or in front of the TV. Set up an office space, go to the library, or go to a place with limited distractions. And although it may be hard, make sure all mobile devices are turned to silent and away from your work space.

If you need more help with procrastination or study skills in general, contact the LALR department. Happy studying!

Nightingale College Renews Partnership with the NRHA

Nightingale College announces its partnership with the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) for a second year.

The College joined the NRHA in 2016 as a Pipeline Partner to help improve health care in rural communities. Unlike their urban counterparts, rural Americans face challenges that limit their access to health care and health-related educational programs. To fulfill its mission of “creating pathways to educational and professional success” and “elevating health care,” the College renewed it partnership with the organization for 2017. The College, as an NRHA Pipeline Partner, offers its full-distance Associate of Science and Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree Programs to rural areas, providing a continuous pathway for health care facilities to recruit, retain, and support homegrown registered nurses. Nightingale College looks forward to continuing to assist rural health care facilities fight the nursing shortage and lack of educational opportunities. With the collaborative efforts of the College and its partners, rural communities can provide advanced education to licensed registered nurses, and educate and graduate locally trained nurses who are ready to serve their community.

Nightingale College is excited to serve rural America, its health care providers and residents in the upcoming year.

View the College’s efforts on the rural landscape through the Dedicated Distance Cohort (DDC) site by clicking here.

St. George Learners and Instructors Give Back

st-george-giving-back-end-of-dayIt was November 1, 2016. Dressed in matching blue shirts and donning the team name of The Lifesavers, Nightingale College learners and instructors in St. George put into practice the Beyond Self value by dedicating three hours to package food for the homeless shelter and disadvantaged for the Day of Caring sponsored by United Way Dixie and Switchpoint Community Resource Center. As a goal of 100,000 meals, the efforts of not only Nightingale College’s learners and staff but the community exceeded the goal to reach 100,656 meals. With over 500 enthusiastic volunteers, the group put together packaged meals that feed up to six people. Read the full article covered by St. George News. Click here.

Going beyond self is a characteristic that Nightingale College challenges all learners and collaborators to strive for each and every day. Not only do The Lifesavers exemplify the value of beyond self through their selfless act, but model collaboration, excellence, and integrity. Mikhail Shneyder, President and CEO of Nightingale College, boasts a friendly reminder, “It’s the power of the community when we help others without expecting anything in return and the world becomes a little bit better through this labor of love.”

Charge Your Study Skills with Your Learning Style

Understanding your individual learning style makes a significant difference when studying and retaining information. Many learners often gravitate toward one learning style but come to prefer another as they develop their knowledge and skills. There are four types of learning styles: visual, auditory, reading and writing, and kinesthetic. Which type of learner are you? Visit with Learner Advising and Life Resources Department to obtain further resources and suggestions on using your learning style to your benefit.

Download the infographic by clicking here.