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The Hazards of being an ER Nurse

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A Resource for Nurse Practitioners

If you are looking to become a CNA nurse and plan to work in an Emergency Room (ER) there’s a very good chance that you will be exposed to a number of potential stimulants which can be considered extreme hazards. Not only are nurses exposed to a variety of environmental hazards in the workplace through infectious diseases but some difficult situations as well. It is important to understand all the duties, risks and potential exposure of becoming a CNA. Here are some of the biggest hazards that you can experience working as an ER nurse so that you can prepare for the job site:

  1. Constant night shifts: working a night shift is almost always going to happen as an ER nurse. ER wings need to be open 24 hours a day and as a result you could be asked to work a 12 hour night shift regularly. With varying shifts it can be tough to have a quality sleep schedule.
  2. Physical strain: You will experience ongoing physical strain from your lengthy shifts as well as extended amounts of time on your feet. Many nurses that work in the ER start to experience back, neck and foot issues due to their need of constant movement and moving of patients.
  3. Risk for violence on the job: violence on the job through physical or verbal abuse will likely happen in an emergency room. You will see patients in various stages of trauma and this can often increase the risk level that you face going into work everyday.
  4. Exposure to chemicals and viruses: nurses are required to handle a number of different chemicals to sterilize equipment as well as in medical waste. There’s always a chance that nurses could contract a communicable disease as well from patients coming in. Proper care and risk assessment for any type of chemical handling or virus exposure is important.

Consider some of these top hazards if you are planning on working in the ER which is one of the riskiest and most fast paced areas for nurses to work.

Thanks to OHSU & Think CNA Online for the information referenced in this article.


Top Five Nursing Colleges

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A Resource for Nurse Practitioners

In this post, we’ll explore the top five nursing colleges in America today, and our reasons for selecting them.

1. The University of Philadelphia

The University of Philadelphia is a private school that is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The University has a world renown nursing program for students who are looking to explore the research and development side of the medical field. UPenn is an outstanding research university, with a budget exceeding $814 million, 4,000 faculty and 5,000 support staff. If you are interested in clinical research, trials, or other scientific pursuits in the clinical practice, this is the school for you. The in-state on-campus cost for the University of Philadelphia tuition is approximately $50,000 dollars per year.

2. John Hopkins University

John Hopkins University is perhaps the most well known medical institution for higher learning. John Hopkins University is another private college, which also runs near $50,000/yr for in-state on-campus tuition. The University, located in Baltimore Maryland, is a clinical nurse leader, with acclaimed programs in nurse anesthesia, midwifery, and nursing administration.

3. University of California – San Francisco

The University of California – San Francisco is a public college. UCSF is strong in both research and primary care. It’s school of nursing ranks in the following areas of specialty: AIDS; drug/alcohol abuse; women’s health; internal medicine; family medicine; and pediatrics. The tuition for in-state students cost about $25,000 and for out-of-state students; $35,000. In-state, on-campus rates are approximately $45,000 annually. If you are interested in any of the aforementioned specialties, we recommend pursuing UCSF for your nursing degree.

4. University of Washington

The University of Washington, located in Seattle, excels in nursing standards. The UW nursing programs include the following: Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Master of Nursing; Master of Science; Doctor of Nursing Practice; Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science. As this is a state school, it’s in-state/on-campus tuition rates are only $18,000/yr.

5. University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh has some of the best clinical opportunities in the country, as it’s nursing candidates are placed directly into clinical programs. The college cost for in-state students costs approximately $37,000 and for out-of-state students, is around $42,000.


Top Florida Nursing Schools

As we are writing from the great state of Florida, we must not leave out the outstanding nursing programs that the “Sunshine State” has to offer. Here is our selection for the top 5 nursing schools in Florida:

Undergrad Nursing Programs in Florida:

University of Tampa – Tampa, FL
UT’s ACEN accredited nursing programs include: Four-Year Bachelor of Science (BSN), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
In-State Tuition: $25,772
Board Exam Pass Rate: 97.5%
Acceptance Rate: 59%
Students: 6,912

University of North Florida – Jacksonville, FL
UNF is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), Florida Board of Nursing, and the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (CoA-NA).
In-State Tuition: $6,353
Board Exam Pass Rate: 96.2%
Acceptance Rate: 52%
Students: 16,201

University of Central Florida – Orlando, FL
In-State Tuition: $6,317
Board Exam Pass Rate: 95.5%
Acceptance Rate: 46%
Students: 59,767

University of Florida – Gainesville, FL
The UF College of Nursing is part of a world-class health science center, one of only 3 in Florida, and the flagship university in the state.
In-State Tuition: $6,263
Board Exam Pass Rate: 92.5%
Acceptance Rate: 44%
Students: 49,913

Florida Gulf Coast University – Fort Myers, FL
FGCU has outstanding B.S.N. and M.S.N. in Nursing programs, both accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
In-State Tuition: $6,068
Board Exam Pass Rate: 92.2%
Acceptance Rate: 68%
Students: 13,471

For Florida certification based nursing programs, such as a Certified Nursing Assistant, there are many local resources to find CNA Classes Tampa FL. CNA programs can be taken through private training centers, some technical or community colleges, or even the Red Cross. The important thing is to ensure your initial requirements are met, and then adhere to the Florida Board of Nursing standards for CNA licensure. According to the Florida Board of Nursing, the requirements to become a CNA in Florida by Examination are as follows:

Applicants to become a Certified Nurse Assistant by Examination must meet the following requirements to proceed with the application process.

The requirements are as follows and can be found in Section 464.203, F.S.:
– Has a high school diploma, or its equivalent; or
– Is at least 18 years of age.
– Has completed the curriculum developed under the Enterprise Florida Jobs and Education Partnership Grant and achieved a minimum score, established by rule of the board, on the nursing assistant competency examination, which consists of a written portion and skills-demonstration portion, approved by the board and administered at a site and by personnel approved by the department.

For more information, visit the Florida Board of Nursing Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) by Examination – Licensing, Renewals & Information, or use a resource for locating CNA classes in Jacksonville FL or the region nearest you.


Graduate Nursing Programs in Florida:

University of South Florida – Tampa, FL
$348 per credit (in-state) / $772 per credit (out-of-state)

University of Florida – Gainesville, FL
$528 per credit (in-state) / $1,253 per credit (out-of-state)

Florida International University – Miami, FL
$13,783 per year (in-state) / $24,873 per year (out-of-state)

University of Miami – Coral Gables, FL
$40,700 per year

Florida Atlantic University (Lynn) – Boca Raton, FL
$304 per credit (in-state) / $928 per credit (out-of-state)


10 Steps to Becoming a Nurse

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A Resource for Nurse Practitioners

Many people are interested in pursuing a nursing career, but the process of becoming certified as a nurse can feel complicated and daunting. The road to becoming a nurse can be long and stressful, but the journey is worth it to end with such a rewarding career. Before delving into the steps to become a nurse, consider these quotes of inspiration from Nurse Hudacek and Nurse Cardillo.

“Bound by paperwork, short on hands, sleep, and energy… nurses are rarely short on caring.” – Sharon Hudacek, “A Daybook for Nurses”

“Nursing is not for everyone.  It takes a very strong, intelligent, and compassionate person to take on the ills of the world with passion and purpose and work to maintain the health and well-being of the planet.  No wonder we’re exhausted at the end of the day! ” – Donna Wilk Cardillo


Determine Nursing Position

Before you can begin becoming a nurse is figuring out what type of nurse you want to be there is CNA, LPN, RN with an associates, and RN with a BSN. Many people that have families do a RN AS degree and then do their ASN to BSN afterwards because of the online programs available to do that while they are working as a nurse and LPN is a one year program that many community colleges around the country offer.

The Process of Becoming a CNA

For this example, we will analyze becoming a CNA, or Certified Nursing Assistant.

  1. Search for local CNA classes, request program information, and select a training course that fits your needs and your state requirements.
  2. Go to an informational session at the school for your specific nursing program and find to what requirements there are to get accepted.
  3. Complete your application for a background check and schedule an appointment at an approved testing center for your entrance exam.
  4. If your school requires any classes or prerequisites before admission, make sure to complete your course before you begin the program.
  5. Determine a work schedule that will fit with your schooling and try to get as much experience as you can do pad your nursing resume.
  6. Begin your CNA classes, and study the course material as much as you can.
  7. Strive to keep your grades above an 80% as in many CNA programs only allow a few scores below 80 before you have to retake classes.
  8. Complete the CNA program and it’s coursework.
  9. Schedule your state nursing exam, so you can be added to the CNA registry.
  10. Begin applying to hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and anywhere else who is hiring recent CNA program graduates.

While the process of enrolling in CNA classes and earning state certification is much quicker and simpler than that of an RN, for example, the basic steps and principles apply throughout the profession.

If you would like more information on becoming a nurse, or have concerns as to the process in your state, please contact us and we will do our best to guide you along your way.