There are so many conversations circling over healthcare reform and recent staff changes at hospitals. It’s important, particularly in our business, to keep a healthy dialogue with our nursing students, alumni and those considering a nursing career.
As one who is out in the community talking to career changers, we still believe wholeheartedly that choosing to become a nurse provides a strong opportunity for a secure, rewarding career.
Healthcare Reform Affects All Hospitals
Many of our students are changing careers. Take teachers, for example, who have educated us on the changes to their profession and the impact to their job satisfaction and security. And it’s not just teachers. It is corporate America. It is marketing professionals and manufacturing workers. It is the college graduate who, three years post-graduation, still doesn’t feel they are in a rewarding career.
It takes a lot of reading to grasp all the components of healthcare reform. Under healthcare reform, hospitals with higher-than-national-average readmission rates will be financially penalized. Makes sense. Get it right the first time. In Indianapolis, we have the tremendous fortune of having two hospital systems with Magnet® designation.
Consumers rely on Magnet® designation as the ultimate credential for high-quality nursing. Fewer than 400 hospitals across the nation have achieved this designation. In Indianapolis, we have two: St.Vincent Health and IU Health. With that, I’d say Indiana is miles ahead of the game.
BSN-Prepared Nurses Are in High Demand
So why is quality important to a student or new nurse? Quality patient care begins with a quality nursing education. There is a reason Magnet-designated hospitals have the ongoing goal of 80% of nurses with baccalaureate degrees. This means holding a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) versus an ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing). In fact, IU Health recently added it to their job postings, stating ADN applicants must obtain a BSN within 5 years.
Therefore, we believe it is more critical than ever for those considering nursing programs to apply great diligence in selecting which type of degree they obtain. Students in our 16-month accelerated BSN program have the added advantage of receiving their clinical education with Magnet-designated St.Vincent Indianapolis.
No doubt, the healthcare industry faces challenges. From my experience over the past 15 years in this business, it is cyclical. This is the third major reorganization in Indiana hospitals over the past 11 years.
What hasn’t changed is how our nation still faces a critical shortage of nurses. Baby boomers continue to get closer to retirement. For many, the only thing stopping them is waiting for their spouse to become more financially secure in their job.
Job Opportunities Still Exist for Nursing School Graduates
As access to health care increases via the Affordable Healthcare Act, which goes into effect in 2014, more and more patients will now have healthcare insurance and thus, more care.
What we see changing is how and where we receive care. We think we’ll see more and more services like that of St.Vincent Seton Hospital, known as an intensive care hospital, where patients require long-term critical care – the average patient stay is 25 days – and where it becomes prohibitive to manage that care in a full-service acute care hospital. This should mean more opportunities for new RN positions.
This care is quite different than rehab hospitals or skilled nursing facilities. However, those facilities already are booming with jobs as baby boomers get older and face greater health issues.
We continue to be encouraged as we keep in touch with our cohort that graduated just a few weeks ago. Many have already received RN offers from St.Vincent, IU Health and Community, contingent on passing the NCLEX.
For those just beginning their search process, or waiting until after boards, we suggest three things:
- Get your resume perfect. Resume workshops are held often for our nursing students. Watch for upcoming dates via email.
- Set up job alerts. Indeed.com to be one of the better sites to scrape all the job boards daily and send you emails as jobs are posted. Another is www.healthcarejobsite.com. Even if you aren’t ready to begin searching, it will give you tremendous confidence to see that the need for nurses hasn’t stopped. Certainly you’ll want to set up alerts with hospital career sites. Pickings may be slim over the next few weeks as hospitals and healthcare providers work through staff changes. Make sure you only apply to those positions for which you’re qualified. If it says “3 years acute care RN experience” and you don’t have it, don’t apply.
- Use your network. The Marian University for St.Vincent Health accelerated nursing program affords you the great fortunes of regularly putting you in front of those that can help you network to a job. Whether that be clinical faculty, hospital RNs, site staff or other students and alumni, it is important to always make a positive impression. Earn the help, and then ask for help. Get email addresses. Send a thank you. Forward your resume.
For more information on getting started in Marian University’s nursing school, contact our admissions team.