Interested in a Career in Medical Coding? What To Expect and How To Get Started

Estimates suggest that $1 out of every $6 spent in the country is done so on health care alone. The complexity of modern medicine combined with the intricacies of the insurance industry has created a huge amount of paperwork, and medical coding and billing is a profitable industry as a result. Knowing what to expect and how to get started can help you if you’re interested in this potential career path.

Entry Education

You’ll need a high school diploma at a minimum to get into this field. A GED is an alternative route you can choose. In either case, these are the minimum educational levels you need to work in the field and possibly even start training or classes. Aiming for an associate’s degree can help your career potential.

Virtual Training

You’ll need the training to get involved with medical coding, but you might be able to do that online. Virtual training is available through programs such as Coding Clarified and other opportunities. This gives you the advantage of learning from wherever you are without having to report to a physical facility or brick-and-mortar campus on a regular basis. You might also enjoy schedule flexibility to get into or even advance your career.

Be Patient

Doing the training and getting certified as a medical coder will take time. Much of that depends on the specific training program or path you choose. Some individuals complete their training and are certified within a year, but others take as many as three years. This is a great career for those suited for it, but it’s not something you’ll start generating income from overnight.

Be Persistent

Regardless of the demand for medical coders, your inbox might not be flooded with projects and jobs the minute you join the ranks of available coders. Education and certification get you into the door, but you still have to walk through it. Put together a great resume, and customize a cover letter for every opportunity you apply to. Take whatever you can get to start building up your professional background, and you’ll get better opportunities over time as you make a name for yourself.

The income is certainly there if you get accredited and certified. The average medical coder salary is approximately $50,000, although starting salaries might be closer to half that. On the other hand, specialists who advance in certain roles might make as much as six figures per year.

Rachelle Wilber
Bio: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber;


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

4 Tips When Becoming a Medical Assistant

In the world we live in today, medical careers are in extremely high demand. However, while you may think this means only doctors and nurses are needed, you are wrong. In fact, the job of medical assistant is one of the fastest-growing careers across the nation. Often taking no more than one year to complete a training program, medical assistant jobs are available in all types of healthcare offices and facilities. If this sounds like the career for you, here are four tips to remember as you work toward becoming a medical assistant.

Select a Reputable Training Program

First, always make sure you get your medical assistant training from a reputable source. In most cases, people attend a community college to complete a medical assistant program. While some colleges will offer a one-year diploma program, many colleges offer a two-year degree program, allowing you to go more in-depth with your training.

Take Advantage of Internships

When it comes to medical assistant careers, an internship is often the ticket you need to land that first job. In most community college and trade school programs, internships are required of students before they can graduate. If you have a particular area of medicine that intrigues you, such as working with senior citizens or perhaps with mothers who are about to give birth, try getting an internship in a setting that will let you pursue your passion.

Gain Certification

When many students are nearing completion of their medical assistant programs, they choose to become certified medical assistants, since this greatly increases their chances of landing a prime job. If you want to be among this group, take an exam to become either a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) or a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA). If you have either of these certifications when you start applying for jobs, chances are you will be able to select from multiple job offers.

Hone Your Skills

Finally, when becoming a medical assistant, always spend time honing your skills and learning as many new ones as possible. For example, make sure you are well-versed in the use of today’s most sophisticated software for electronic health records. Also make sure you are knowledgeable about medical terminology, and stay up-to-date on recent developments in your field of interest, be it gerontology, pediatrics, orthopedics, or other medical fields.

By always striving to be the best and doing all you can to gain additional certifications and levels of experience, you can have a long and fulfilling career as a medical assistant.

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Are You Ready for a Career in Healthcare Administration?

Working in the healthcare industry doesn’t always mean dealing with medicine or helping patients overcome their ailments and injuries. If you’re already in the industry, have a knack for organization, and think you’re ready to take on more responsibilities, a career in healthcare administration could be right for you.

While experience in healthcare is helpful, it’s not necessary to get started in an administrative career. Healthcare administrators are so important to the industry, which is why the job growth for this particular career is moving much faster than average. You might not be working in an operating room, but every day you’ll help patients with the non-clinical functions involved in operating a medical facility. That includes scheduling, billing, efficiency, and much more.

If you’ve been thinking about a career in healthcare administration but you’re still on the fence, let this article serve as your guide. We’ll cover some of the basics, so you can determine whether this career is a good fit for your needs and wants.

What Can You Expect From a Career in Healthcare Administration?

Healthcare administrators work behind the scenes. Essentially, you’ll end up wearing many hats, and potentially not getting a lot of the “credit,” but that’s not the point for administrators who enjoy their work. Unlike many other jobs in the medical field, most healthcare administrators work about 40 hours a week, typically during the day. If you decide to work for a hospital or 24-hour clinic, however, that might require different shifts.

Your duties might change on a daily basis, which is why so many people enjoy the work — it never gets old or boring. Some of the typical tasks you’ll have to regularly take care of include:

      • Developing daily work schedules
      • Training new staff members
      • Managing billing
      • Managing facility finances
      • Improving efficiency

Healthcare administrators also need to regularly communicate with physicians and nurses. They often serve as a “go-between” for patients and professionals, so those treating the patients can have as much information as possible before they start a treatment plan.

What Are the Skills Needed?

There are a few requirements in place for becoming a healthcare administrator, as well as a few important skills that will make the job easier for you.

The educational requirements to become a healthcare administrator can vary slightly from state to state. In most cases, however, a Bachelor’s degree in Health Administration is needed. Many states also require at least a few years of experience with physician practice management. Some facilities might even require you to have a master’s degree. The required experience is a big reason why many people choose to go into administration after they’ve already been in the healthcare field for a while.

In addition to meeting the educational requirements, there are a few skills that are necessary to succeed as an administrator.

First, you should consider the position to be a management role. Not only will you have to take charge and train new employees, but you have the opportunity to inspire them and build positive relationships that can make a big difference in the environment and culture of your workplace. Leadership skills like resilience, self-awareness, and effective communication are some of the top skills that managers should cultivate.

Along the same lines, it’s essential to have strong organizational skills. Not only will you be “in charge” of training certain individuals, but you have to keep track of patient information, supplies, billing information, and much more. Using an organizational chart can help to give you a visual layout of different departments and how to connect with employees in each of those departments, but it’s useful to have other tools and systems in place to keep yourself organized within every task.

Managing Your Well-Being

Between all of the duties you’ll have to take care of and the long list of skills needed to succeed, there’s no denying that a healthcare administration career can be somewhat stressful. While it’s equally rewarding, it’s important to make sure you know how to prioritize your well-being in a high-stress job. That includes striking a healthy work-life balance and practicing self-care in and out of the office. Some of the best ways to manage stress include:

      • Exercising
      • Prioritizing sleep
      • Journaling
      • Practicing mindfulness and meditation
      • Whether you already work in the healthcare industry and want to try something different or you have a passion for helping people but don’t want to take on the role of becoming a doctor or nurse, a career in healthcare administration could be for you.

Keep these things in mind as you decide on the next steps in your career. You might be working behind the scenes, and some days will feel more stressful than others. However, you can take comfort in knowing you’re taking care of the needs of patients, physicians, and the rest of your staff each day. That’s often its own reward.

Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, activism-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter. 

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Why Physician Assistant Re-Branding Is Still on Hold

The physician assistant who works in your doctor’s group practice may be referring to herself as a physician associate by this time next year. Then again, she may never change her title. Despite the American Academy of Physician Assistants (now Associates) changing its name and pushing for an industry wide re-brand, they are recommending that PAs do not make the official switch just yet.

Re-branding physician assistants (PAs) as physician associates is ostensibly to change the perception that all PAs do is assist doctors. Proponents of the change say the current title does not accurately describe physician assistant jobs. They say the new title is more descriptive.

Authority Is at the State Level

Getting back to the American Academy of Physician Associates, they made the official change in 2021, but only after looking at the profession’s image during a three-year study period. Their research uncovered broad support for the name change. Apparently, some 71% of surveyed patients and 61% of physicians agreed that replacing ‘assistant’ with ‘associate’ better reflected the realities of physician assistant jobs.

So why is the Academy still recommending that PAs stick with the old title? Because ultimately the Association doesn’t get to make that choice. State regulating authorities are the ones who designate job titles and their respective scopes and practices. A PA arbitrarily choosing to change their title could end up facing legal issues.

It is believed that state regulating authorities will eventually get around to implementing the name change. But as with anything involving government, it will be slow going between now and then. Physician assistants are being encouraged to continue using the traditional title until their states officially recognized the new one.

Way Beyond Assisting

Whether or not the word ‘associate’ is a more accurate description of what PAs do. Obviously, clinicians do a lot more than simply assist doctors. They are recognized members of healthcare teams with defined responsibilities and welcome contributions. In addition, PAs are not restricted to primary care. There are all sorts of specialties including emergency medicine, surgery, and even pediatrics.

PAs undergo an education and training regimen very similar to what an internist (physician) undergoes. The PA essentially learns the exact same things. The only real difference between a PA and physician is the number of clinical hours each one has put in. Physicians have a lot more clinical hours under their belts.

In most states, PAs are licensed to provide all sorts of primary care. They can see patients and diagnose illnesses. They can develop treatment plans, offer prognoses, order lab tests, and write prescriptions. The biggest restriction in most states is the requirement to be supervised by a physician. That’s why most PAs work in group practices or at hospitals.

 Recognizing a Distinct Profession

Physician assistant jobs will not fundamentally change should state regulators begin adopting the new job title. However, adopting the new title amounts to recognition of the PA job as a separate and distinct profession. It draws a line of distinction between physicians and associates, like the distinction between registered nurses and nurse practitioners.

The largest professional group to represent PAs has officially changed its name and recommended that the entire specialty be re-branded. For now, though, any such re-branding is on hold. Those who support it urge PAs to wait until their states legally change the name themselves. Will that ever happen? Probably. How long it takes is something no one can really predict. With any luck, the PA at your doctor’s office will be using the new title within a year or two.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

6 Tips for Launching a Medical Startup

The competition in the medical industry is fierce. Complex health care relationships, stringent legal regulations, and high-security standards can hamper new product launches. Here are six tips for kicking off a medical startup.

1. Elevate Your Skill Set

Don’t expect to become an overnight success in the healthcare industry. Your products or services must be of the highest quality and in high demand to succeed in the medical industry. Enrolling in a professional development program to learn marketable abilities may be worthwhile.

Assuming you want to start a medical coding company, you may benefit from an online professional development coursein the industry. It can prepare you to mark medical procedures and service claims with the correct codes. You’ll also be able to show off your knowledge on a final test.

2. Understand the Conservative Market

In terms of funding and growth, medical technology is one of the most promising fields. In 2020, health care costs in the United States reached $4.1 trillion, or $12,530 per person, an increase of about 10% from 2019. Research by the 2020 Commonwealth Fund estimates that health care consumes 16.9% of national income. Thus, it has the highest health care costs and the highest patient demand in the world.

3. Choose Your Business Structure

In the United States, it’s mandatory for any business, including those in the healthcare industry, to form a separate legal organization. You’ll have to select a business structure before registering your company.

A limited liability company (LLC) offers the most benefits for startups. It shields you from responsibility for the company’s debts and lawsuits, keeping your wealth safe. In addition, the LLC is subject to pass-through taxation. This means that its members, not the business, are responsible for reporting the business’s tax obligations on their tax returns. If you’re wondering how to start an LLC, research your state’s LLC requirements, then save money on attorney’s fees by completing the forms yourself or hiring a formation service to assist you.

4. Comply With HIPAA

Any medical startup with a health care website offering user profiles, archives with patient records, or online invoicing tools must adhere strictly to HIPAA regulations and secure patient health data. HIPPA protects the confidentiality of medical records. The standard guidelines specify parameters for the safe and private sharing of electronic medical records. Penalties for HIPAA violations can reach $1.5 million annually, with each event carrying a maximum fine of $50,000.

5. Build Trust for Your Medical Business

There’s a lack of trust between fledgling businesses and established companies in the healthcare industry. So, if you want to succeed in the healthcare industry, you’ll need to network with extensive hospital systems, health insurance providers, and medical device manufacturers. Having a solid business plan with a detailed road map demonstrates your business has ambitions to grow and won’t just perish after receiving seed funding.

6. Hire Employees

As you begin to build your business, one of your top priorities will be hiring the right employees to help you achieve your goals. When choosing candidates for open positions at your company, it’s important to select staff members who have the skills and qualifications needed to excel in their roles. Beyond that, you should also look for individuals who have a strong work ethic, an ability to collaborate well with others, and an interest in helping your medical startup succeed. When you’re ready to hire employees, advertise your healthcare jobs at!

Take the First Step

Starting a medical business from scratch is no small feat. Take crucial steps like choosing the best business structure, researching the market, complying with HIPAA, and hiring capable employees.

By : Stephanie Haywood of

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Why Healthcare Professionals Need to Take Health Advocacy More Seriously

The United States healthcare system is extremely complex. Even people who work in the field might not fully understand all the systems involved with delivering and paying for healthcare. This is a major problem since the average patient might not know how to ensure that they’re getting the care they need or how to make sure their medical bills are paid.

All healthcare providers are busy, but if you’re working in the field of medicine, it’s important to understand what kinds of obstacles patients face and how to address them with health advocacy. Many people simply don’t have the health literacy to navigate the system, which leads to poorer outcomes, lack of access, and other consequences.

People getting substandard care because they don’t know how to submit bills properly or due to a language barrier, for instance, is unacceptable. Healthcare professionals need to fully understand the role of health advocates and take them seriously.

What is Health Advocacy?

Health advocacy is all about helping patients get the healthcare services they need. A health advocate helps people get through any aspect of the healthcare delivery process they have trouble with. Advocates must understand the individual patient’s needs and work to remove obstacles that could affect their health outcomes.

An advocate might perform many tasks on behalf of the patient, which might include:

      •         Taking notes during an appointment
      •         Asking questions on the patient’s behalf.
      •         Calling the patient’s insurance company
      •         Helping patients understand their health conditions and treatment options
      •         Completing difficult administrative tasks
      •         Reminding patients to take their medications and follow their doctors’  instructions.

Who Can Be a Health Advocate?

Essentially, anyone a patient trusts can be their health advocate. Personal advocates are often family members or close friends. A caregiver can also act as a health advocate. As long as a person is trustworthy, has basic health literacy skills, and is able to easily understand written and verbal communications, they should be able to take on the role of a health advocate.

There are also professional health advocates who might be hired by a healthcare organization or individual. Professional advocates do not need special training or licensing, but they usually have a background in the field of healthcare. Because there is no regulation on the healthcare advocacy field, it’s important for patients to choose a professional advocate with appropriate experience and references.

The Benefits of Health Advocacy

The benefits of health advocacy for patients are clear: with an advocate, patients can communicate more effectively with their providers, ensure that they are getting the care they need, and take care of administrative tasks that might be difficult or impossible for them to complete on their own.

There are benefits for healthcare providers, as well as patients. Working with an advocate as a liaison can help reduce misunderstandings. It can also help ensure that patients follow their provider’s directions in managing their health.

Advocates save time on both the patient’s side and the provider’s side. Doctors will need to spend less time explaining health information, allowing them to stay on schedule. Patients will have to wait less for their appointments, making the experience of going to the doctor less frustrating and more efficient.

Patients Who Might Need a Health Advocate

Older people often need the help of a health advocate. They might struggle to use the technology needed to make appointments, view test results, and submit paperwork. They might also struggle with mobility and other obstacles to getting proper care. As people get older, their health needs become increasingly complex and difficult to manage, so a health advocate can be a major asset.

People with complex health needs and those with conditions that affect cognition, communication, mobility, and other functions might also need a health advocate. People who do not speak the same language as their healthcare providers or have trouble navigating the healthcare system due to poor health literacy can benefit greatly from a health advocate.

Public Health Advocacy

Although individual advocates are extremely important for patient outcomes, public health advocacy is another critical activity for improving community health. Public health advocates primarily focus on healthcare access for underserved communities. Not only does this help create healthier communities, but it also helps increase trust in the healthcare system.

How Healthcare Professionals Can Help Boost Advocacy

Health advocacy is a win-win for healthcare professionals and their patients. But how can you, your colleagues, and organizational leaders help increase the role of advocacy within the industry? Here are some examples:

      • Advocate for your patients as much as you can, which might mean confronting family members or calling a social worker
      • Push for hiring professional advocates in your workplace
      • Support social workers
      • Be willing to work with patients’ personal advocates

Taking advocacy seriously isn’t difficult. All you have to do is recognize the challenges patients face and do what you can to help break down those barriers! And if more healthcare professionals start taking advocacy seriously, then we can look forward to a future with improved care and better patient outcomes

With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Is it Worth Pivoting Your Career to Travel Nursing?

As a professional working in the healthcare industry, there is no shortage of routes you can take as a medical worker. This is especially true for those in the nursing profession. For nurses, there is a multitude of advanced nursing careers you can pursue such as becoming a nurse educator or a privately practicing nurse practitioner. One nursing career that has begun to gain popularity is that of travel nursing.

Travel nurses enjoy a slew of benefits that make the role enticing and increasingly sought after. If you’ve found yourself wondering whether or not pursuing a career as a travel nurse is a good idea, you’re not alone.

Understanding the pros and cons of becoming a travel nurse can help you decide whether pursuing the role is right for you. Here are some key aspects of nursing that can help you determine if it’s worth pivoting your career to travel nursing.

What Is Travel Nursing and How Does it Work?

Before committing to changing the course of your career to become a travel nurse, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of what travel nursing is and how travel nursing works. In many ways, travel nurses’ function in the same way that their registered nurse counterparts do. They are both trained to do the same types of tasks in the same types of facilities.

What differentiates travel nurses from registered nurses is the fact that travel nurses do not live in the same area in which they work. Instead, travel nurses will travel to various locations to work in a facility for a certain period of time.

Travel nurses always work on a contractual basis with the facilities they travel to. Typically, these contracts will be for at least three months. During the duration a travel nurse works at a facility, they will not only be paid a salary but will also have their accommodation provided and be given a weekly stipend. In many cases, travel nurses will also be given a signing bonus for agreeing to a contract at a new facility.

While the traveling and compensation differ significantly between travel nurses and registered nurses, in terms of day-to-day duties, they function in the same capacity.

The Pros of Becoming a Travel Nurse

If you’re contemplating shifting gears and pursuing a career as a travel nurse, it can be useful to understand the benefits that come with the role. Having a clear understanding of the positive aspects of becoming a travel nurse can help make it easier to decide if pivoting into the new career is right for you. Here are some of the pros of becoming a travel nurse.

Higher Salaries

One of the biggest perks of being a travel nurse is the lucrative salaries that travel nurses can receive. On average, travel nurses make close to $20,000 more than their registered nurse counterparts. While this is an estimate for the average travel nurse, it must be kept in mind that the wages of travel nurses can vary widely.

In fact, some facilities are willing to pay travel nurses $10,000 a week during times when they are short-staffed. In addition, given that travel nurses have higher salaries, the overtime pay that they receive is far more substantial than their registered nurse counterparts.

More Autonomy

Travel nurses, unlike their registered nurse counterparts, have the freedom to choose which contracts they accept. This allows them to only have to work in locations and facilities where they feel comfortable working. Having this increased autonomy is a big draw that attracts many nurses to the profession of travel nursing.

Seeing New Places

For those who love to travel, becoming a travel nurse can be an amazing way to see new places. On top of having the opportunity to travel without it interfering with one’s work schedule, travel nurses typically have their travel and lodging expenses covered. As such, travel nurses have the opportunity to explore new places without having to foot the bill.

The Cons of Becoming a Travel Nurse

While there are many attractive aspects of being a travel nurse, it’s important to be aware of the negative aspects of the role as well. Before committing to pursuing the role, it’s important to be fully aware of the negative aspects that travel nurses must face. Here are the cons of becoming a travel nurse.

Having to Frequently Leave Home

While traveling can be exciting and enjoyable for some, for those with families, it can be quite difficult. Travel nurses are required to frequently leave home for months at a time in order to earn a living.

For those with families and other responsibilities that require them to stay in one place, being a travel nurse and constantly leaving home can cause an enormous amount of strain. This being the case, it’s important to be honest with yourself about whether the schedule of a travel nurse would be conducive to the time of life you envision yourself having in the future.

Not Being Able to Make Deep Bonds with Coworkers

While it is more than possible for travel workers to be on good terms with their coworkers, it is far harder for them to forge deeper bonds. While this isn’t a huge deal for some, for others this lack of deep workplace friendship can be incredibly taxing. As such, it’s important to understand that as a travel nurse, you wouldn’t be able to craft deep relationships with your coworkers.

Feeling Lonely

For travel nurses, spending time alone and away from friends and loved ones is a normal part of life. While some can handle being alone well, others can experience anxiety and feelings of depression as a result of it. If you find that being alone isn’t your strong suit, you may not be the type of person who would thrive as a travel nurse.

Pursuing Life as a Travel Nurse

Travel nurses are important medical professionals who help facilities function smoothly when they are short-staffed. While these professionals enjoy higher pay and more perks than their registered nurse counterparts, traveling is not for everyone and can take a toll on one’s personal life.

By having a deeper understanding of the role of a traveling nurse, you’re in a better position to weigh your options and decide whether or not becoming a travel nurse is right for you.

.With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

What It Takes to Be a Crisis Nurse

Nothing is quite right beneath the granite sky. Here, the remnants of a family home splashed onto the curb with utter indifference. There, a business, shuttered before the storm but now only barely standing anyway. Sirens flash. The wind licks up moodily, an eerie remnant perhaps, of the storm that passed through and just as quickly moved on to another place. The world looks as though it’s been put in a blender and spit out again.

This is the office of a crisis nurse, whose job has them going into the situations everyone else is fleeing from. Like Batman. Their job is to provide medical attention to communities impacted by disasters.

In this article, we look at what it takes to become a crisis nurse, and what the job entails.


The first step to becoming a crisis nurse is to receive the proper nursing education. Most RN certification programs take four years to complete and are part of a standard undergraduate curriculum. You can also apply for accelerated programs, which take place over the course of 12-18 months.

Naturally, these programs are very fast-paced. Because of how demanding they are, it can be very difficult to take them on while working a job or raising a family.

Once the educational requirements are satisfied and the testing and background verification procedures are complete you are eligible to begin acquiring professional nursing experience.

 Gaining Experience

The usual background requirement for becoming a crisis nurse is two years. While you can satisfy this requirement with any type of nursing experience, it’s a good idea to look for positions that will prepare you for providing emergency care.

This accomplishes several things. As a crisis nurse, you may find yourself working almost exclusively in emergencies. By logging lots of time in these scenarios, you can get a good idea if this career path is really right for you, while also developing valuable skills that can be applied directly to the new job.

Emergency experience will also help your resume stand out. The number of these positions available may be overshadowed by the number of applicants, so it’s good to accumulate a resume that stands out.

 Be Adaptable

It’s not so much that there aren’t many crisis nursing jobs in circulation. More that the number of local positions can vary tremendously. It’s a good idea to go into the job hunting process with an open mind, and a willingness to relocate for the position.

 A Traveling Job

Unless you happen to live someplace that naturally comes into contact with enough disasters to keep a healthcare professional busy three hundred or so days out of the year (Gothom City, perhaps) you’ll need to travel for this job.

The idea, of course, is to go into whatever community is being impacted by a disaster that is larger than the local healthcare system can handle on its own. For example, during hurricane seasons, crisis nurses may be hired in the aftermath of the storm to provide additional assistance to the community. When their time there is done, they move on to the next town.

Crisis nurses were also vital in responding to high-need areas during the height of the pandemic.

 A Dangerous Job?

Crisis nurses are typically working in the relatively controlled environment of a hospital. The position is not intended to be dangerous. However, there is always an element of risk to the nursing profession. Any emergency room nurse will be all too happy to share with you stories of overly aggressive patients, or belligerent visitors.

Crisis nurses are not supposed to come into contact with danger, but the capacity for risk is certainly there. During the height of Covid-19, for example, nurses specifically responding to the pandemic experienced a much higher risk of infection than those who were working on non-covid floors.

 An Emotionally Difficult Task

It is worth noting that working as a crisis nurse can be an emotionally challenging job. Most nurses at least run the risk of encountering difficult situations at work, but for crisis nurses, emotional challenges are baked right into the job description.

Crisis nurses should go into the job with the understanding that they will often be interacting with communities in their most desperate moments.


Crisis nurses need to know how to take care of themselves just as well as they take care of their patients. Stress, anxiety, and even depression are common burdens experienced by people working in the medical profession. The job is difficult. The things you experience are often emotionally challenging.

People who don’t prioritize their mental and emotional health experience a significant risk of burnout. Practice self-care and be willing to speak up and advocate for yourself at home and at work.

 The Perks

There are benefits to being a crisis nurse that sweetens the pot for those considering this line of work. For one thing, the job tends to stay fresh. Rather than returning to the same floor of the same hospital day after day, you will be traveling to new places, always responding to the unique circumstances of the disaster that brought you there.

For many crisis nurses, this alone is an exciting way to break up the monotony of working life.
There is also the pay. According to ZipRecruiter, crisis nurses can expect to make up to $100,000, significantly higher than the average nursing salary.


Crisis nursing is a difficult profession, not for the faint of heart. The right candidate will be ready and willing to regularly encounter desperate medical situations while working in recently devastated communities.

They will need to be able to travel often and adapt to changing circumstances at the drop of a hat. Perhaps most important of all, they need to know how to take care of themselves.

The work is difficult. The situations are long, hard, and often emotionally devastating. For the right candidate, however, crisis nursing is a great way to make a living while applying their trade in a way that literally saves lives

.With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Join the Nutrition Revolution: 4 Reasons for Getting an Advanced Degree in Nutrition

By Christina Meyer-Jax, MS, RDN, LDN, CLT, RYT

As we understand more and more about the critical relationship between food choices and individual health, the field of nutrition continues to expand. If you’re a healthcare professional, this also makes it an exciting time to strengthen your credentials with an advanced degree in nutrition. 

Registered dietitians, registered nurses, chiropractors, medical doctors, and other healthcare practitioners can all benefit from an advanced degree in nutrition.  

I’ve been a professional in the field of nutrition for 25 years. I’m also the chair for the Master of Health Science in Functional and Integrative Nutrition program at Northwestern Health Sciences University. In the following, I’ll describe four reasons for attaining an advanced degree in nutrition. 

1. Create New Directions for Your Career 

Are you content in your current professional role? Are you looking for a possible change? 

Depending on your education, credentials, and profession, as well as the state in which you practice, gaining an advanced degree in nutrition could open up avenues like the following. 

Do any of these fit with your professional ambitions?

Healthcare. Possibilities include being a health coach or having a nutrition-based clinical practice within a concierge or boutique clinic, medical center, hospital, chiropractic office, long-term care facility, or other clinical care setting.

Wellness. Examples include health coaching in fitness centers or wellness retreats. There’s also the possibility of being a nutrition expert in the natural products or dietary supplements industries.

Public health, policy, and organizational leadership. Your nutrition credentials can create opportunities in research and development, community health and wellness education programs, and corporate employee wellness programs.

Food-related industry. There are numerous potential roles for people with nutrition expertise in the food and beverage industry, the restaurant industry, culinary institutes, and corporate food service establishments.

Higher education. With that advanced degree in nutrition, you could also pursue teaching positions in higher education as well as the expanding opportunities for doctoral-level studies in nutrition-related areas. 

2. Strengthen Your Current Practice to Be a More Effective Practitioner

For some healthcare practitioners, an advanced degree in nutrition can empower them to add nutrition-based care to their scope of practice. 

More people today are consciously seeking alternatives to prescription drugs and invasive medical procedures. 

Healthcare professionals with nutrition expertise can help people identify possible ways to address health problems — or prevent them — through diet. 

Plus, you could also gain a new segment of clients or patients with your added expertise.

3. Deepen Your Expertise with the Latest Evidence-Based Approaches to Nutrition

Are you already a practicing dietitian with an undergraduate in nutrition? With an advanced degree, you can add valuable knowledge to what you learned in college. More specifically, you can gain insights that improve your ability to implement personalized nutritional interventions and recommendations.  

This is especially true if the advanced degree you attain emphasizes functional nutrition. Functional nutrition represents a progressive, highly individualized approach to improving people’s health and wellness through diet. 

Practitioners of functional nutrition see food as medicine. They bring an evidence-based perspective to how specific dietary choices can alleviate current health issues, prevent others, and enhance overall health.

4. Stay More Competitive in the Job Market 

According to the Commission on Dietetic Registration, “Effective January 1, 2024, the minimum degree requirement for eligibility to take the registration examination for dietitians will change from a bachelor’s degree to a graduate degree.”

If you’re currently a registered dietician, yes, you’ll be exempted from the new requirement. 

However, earning an advanced degree in nutrition can help strengthen your qualifications and make you a more attractive job candidate. This is an important factor as nutrition-related positions grow more competitive and employers state that a master’s degree is “preferred” or in some cases “required.” 

There’s also the fact that earning an advanced degree in nutrition can increase your earning potential and enable you to be more effective as a nutrition-based healthcare practitioner (see No. 3).

Take the next step and start exploring graduate programs in nutrition

If you’d like to make a positive change in your current role as a healthcare professional, you now can see how an advanced degree in nutrition could help.  

Do any of the reasons above resonate with you?  If so, then I suggest you take the next step and start exploring graduate programs in nutrition. 


Christina Meyer-Jax, MS, RDN, LDN, CLT, RYT, is a passionate believer that good food matters for everyone. She is the Program Chair for the Master of Health Science in Functional and Integrative Nutrition at Northwestern Health Sciences University.


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

How Healthcare Professionals Can Deconstruct Mental Health Stigmas

Mental health concerns have become more normalized and accepted over the years, but stigmas surrounding mental illnesses remain a barrier to accessing quality care. Despite the process our society has made, many patients and providers are still uncomfortable discussing mental health struggles, which affects the outcomes of their treatment. Without a complete understanding of your patient’s overall wellness, it’s difficult to provide the best assistance and referrals possible.

Eliminating many of the challenges in healthcare starts with deconstructing mental health stigmas. In this article, we’ll discuss four ways that healthcare providers can express empathy and encourage more discussion surrounding mental health to provide better care.

Educate Providers About Mental Illnesses

Mental health concerns aren’t always caused by factors your patient can control. For example, your environment — which people of most income levels can’t easily control — can greatly influence your mental well-being. People who live in food deserts, which are communities with limited access to nutritious and affordable foods, are more likely to experience chronic illnesses that lead to a high risk for depression. Not knowing when or where you are going to get your next meal can also increase the likelihood of chronic anxiety.

As a healthcare professional, it’s important for you to understand common factors that can affect a patient’s mental health — including living environments and chemical imbalances in the brain — and encourage your peers to learn more, too. While your practice may focus on physical health, you can consider taking supplementary education courses that boost your understanding of mental illnesses, how it affects the body, and how they can occur or worsen.

Encourage Patients to Open Up About Their Mental Health

Because of the stigmas associated with mental health, patients often don’t bring up their mental health struggles to healthcare professionals from the start. For example, deteriorating teeth may appear to be the result of laziness, when the root cause of their poor maintenance may be depression. Great healthcare providers identify potential signs of mental illness and encourage patients to open up about their struggles.

Getting patients to discuss their mental health requires plenty of trust. Put your empathy on display — perhaps by explaining how you understand the difficulties of self-care when facing struggles in life — and show that your office is a place where your patients won’t be judged. You can even offer examples of how you’ve helped patients work through their physical illnesses by understanding their mental health in the past (keeping their identities anonymous, of course).

Support Self-Compassion

When patients are going through something difficult, self-compassion can go a long way in improving mental and physical health. Studies have shown that higher levels of self-compassion correspond to less depression, anxiety, and shame in those with chronic illnesses. Plus, it can lead to measurable improvements in their blood sugar levels and other indicators of physical health.

As your patients start to open up to you about their mental health, it’s important to practice active listening and offer assistance when needed. Provide examples of how they can practice self-compassion — for instance, by letting oneself rest instead of work when experiencing pain. You can also offer tips for building a lifestyle that supports physical and mental health, like developing an exercise routine and increasing Vitamin B and C intake. Make sure you show encouragement, rather than judgment, if your patient initially fails to improve their lifestyle.

Of course, healthcare providers aren’t always qualified to deal with serious cases of mental illness. Don’t be afraid to offer referrals to mental health specialists for patients who can greatly benefit from the support of psychotherapy and other professional treatments.

Recognize How Mental Health Affects Providers

Patients aren’t the only people who face mental health struggles in their lives. More physicians die by suicide than people in any other profession. When healthcare teams begin to show symptoms of depression, burnout, and other mental health concerns, it can lead to greater nursing shortages and a lack of empathy in care. Naturally, deconstructing mental health stigmas for patients starts with caring for the healthcare professionals on your team.

While healthcare professionals may feel the need to emotionally remove themselves from their careers — in which many regularly hear difficult stories or even witness death — it’s important to create a culture of care on your team. Be there for your peers and employees, and encourage them to express their needs to keep their mental health in tip-top shape.

Combat the Stigmas Facing Mental Health

Mental illness isn’t something to be ashamed of. The more healthcare providers build their understanding of mental health and the factors involved in it, the better they can encourage their patients to discuss the big picture of their well-being. Put your empathy on display and encourage self-compassion and positive lifestyle changes in patients to provide more well-rounded and high-quality care — and don’t forget to check in on your colleagues along the way.

Image Source: Unsplash

      Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, activism-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter. 

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.