Geographical Earnings: Comparing Nursing Salaries Across the USA

Over the last several decades, the nursing profession has risen in popularity among aspiring professionals. One key reason for this is the financial stability found in these roles along with opportunities for career advancement.

This being the case, many are curious about the differences in salaries that nurses can command in different geographical locations. Gaining a deeper understanding of how different locations compare in terms of nursing salaries can make it easier for one to pursue a role in the industry.

Here is a comparison of nursing salaries across the USA.

The States with the Highest Nursing Salaries

For aspiring nurses, it’s important to understand which states allow them to command the highest salaries. This knowledge allows these young professionals to command the best salaries for their work.

States that typically rank highest for nursing salaries include:

California

In addition to employing the highest percentage of nurses, California also reports the highest nursing salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses in California made a mean annual wage of $133,340 in May of 2022.

When it comes to nurse practitioner salaries, the case is no different and California also ranks at the top. Experts estimate that the annual mean wage of nurse practitioners in California was $151,830 in 2021.

The high salaries offered to nurses in California make it an amazing choice for nurses entering the field and veteran nurses alike.

Massachusetts

Though it’s not a state that typically comes to mind when thinking of high-paying medical practices, Massachusetts is one of the states with the highest nursing salaries. The BLS reports that the mean annual wage for registered nurses in Massachusetts was $104,150 in May of 2022.

In terms of nurse practitioner wages, Massachusetts also ranks above most other American states. The annual mean wage of nurse practitioners in Massachusetts in 2021 was $129,540.

For nurses just entering the field and for those looking to step into advanced positions to increase their salaries, Massachusetts is an amazing place to work as a nurse.

The States with the Lowest Nursing Salaries

Just like it’s vital for nurses to be aware of the top-paying states, it’s also important for them to be aware of which states rank the lowest in terms of nursing salaries.

Here are the states with the lowest nursing salaries.

South Dakota

For aspiring nurses from South Dakota, the nursing salaries in the state are bleak. The BLS reports that the annual mean wage of registered nurses in South Dakota was $64,500 in May of 2022. This is less than half of the annual mean wage of registered nurses in California in the same year.

For nurse practitioners, salaries in South Dakota also fall under the national average. According to the job board website Ziprecruiter, the average salary of nurse practitioners in 2023 is $117,341. Though this may seem like a lucrative salary at first glance, it’s important to remember that this is an advanced nursing role and less-advanced registered nurses in other states are commanding higher salaries than this.

West Virginia

West Virginia is one of the lowest-rated states in terms of nursing salaries. The BLS reported that the annual mean wage of registered nurses in West Virginia was $72,230 in May of 2022. This is more than $15,000 less than the national annual mean salary of registered nurses which is $89,010.

According to Ziprecruiter, nurse practitioner salaries in West Virginia are also disheartening. This organization estimates that the annual average pay for these professionals in West Virginia is $94,428.

Why It’s Important to Understand Nursing Salaries Across the Country

Though many nurses don’t even think about looking at nursing salaries in various areas, understanding the breakdown of nursing wages can make a huge impact on one’s career.

In fact, changing the state that one works in as a nurse can even, in some cases, double one’s salary. However, it is also important to remember other factors when deciding where to practice nursing.

States with the highest nursing salaries often have the highest living costs as well. This can make amazing wages less significant after expenses. Even so, understanding the range of salaries nurses can command empowers current and aspiring nurses to get the most for their skills and hard work.

Nursing Salaries Can Vary Widely

Though people are aware that locations can make a difference in job salaries, few are aware of how significant these salary discrepancies can be for nurses in different states. To be capable of making more informed decisions, it’s essential that nurses and those interested in entering the field have a thorough understanding of which states have the best and worst nursing salaries.


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.

Navigating the World of Community Mental Health Nursing

There is little doubt that those who choose to commit themselves to the nursing profession are doing so out of generosity, selflessness, and a level of care that leaves lives changed. All of that applies to nurses at every level, but those who chose to spend their time assisting as mental health nurses have a unique set of challenges that, while they overlap with other fields, tend to demand some unusual measures and means by which to serve such patients.

For those who may be thinking about, or indeed may already be doing so, choosing such a career path the following is a brief collection of observations and tips by which to better navigate the world of community mental health nursing.

Community Mental Health Care: A Definition

Community mental health care is made up of a collection of certain approaches to care. Some of those are as follows: the practice of associating to patients in a broader socio-economic context; the treatment of individuals as well as a collective population; service through a systematic approach that maintains open access services, both individually based and in team scenarios; taking into account a long-term approach that envisions more of a life-based care perspective.

All of these and more need to be accomplished very often in a financially sustainable and sensitive way being that both the niche of this healthcare system and sometimes its clientele lacks the resources needed to provide for themselves. There is a high level of attitudes which are of a social justice nature that tends to lean into the specified care in contexts which very often demonstrate themselves as being played out for minority groups, the homeless, immigrant populations, and those of lesser economic means.

Comprehensively, this needs to be done in locations that make the service of those populations easily reachable from both a proximal and financial position.

Fundamental Causes of Community Mental Health

As with any industry there are categories which, when individualized, can better clarify the overarching idea and mission of particular organizations and ideas. The same can be said for community mental health services as provided by nurses.

Community mental health care that is done well makes a point of attending not only to people’s challenges or their disabilities but seeks to acknowledge and draw out what existing health and strength of mind or will that is already present.

By doing so nurses in this field have greater leverage by which to affect recovery and change. This is accomplished by tapping into the basic strengths and individual qualities that make up a person. By identifying these traits, it can be shown that what mental health issues do exist are only a part of the overall person. The amount of hope and courage that can result from this approach helps in the management and overcoming of specific challenges.

Community mental health, being that it relates to multiple individuals and their towns or provinces, means that there are not only plenty of career opportunities in psychiatric mental health care, but that such care purposefully gives its attention to those techniques and services which best attend communities in an individual and collective sense. It does so not just by approaching mental health from a psychiatric standpoint, although this is important, but through the interaction with topics that stem from environmental issues.

By studying and attending to the various factors which relate and impose themselves on the mental health of communities, there grows a deeper understanding of how to best care for and reverse the environmental effects that can contribute to individual mental health concerns. This is best accomplished through a network of services that counteract the ills created by the various aspects of that community.

Another important factor in community mental health is that it is most effective when its approaches serve the public through a combination of evidence-based medical approaches as well as psychiatric and ethically based techniques. The use of heavy data socio-economic data enables a border understanding for what contributes to the community mental health issues and thus creates clarity for how to comprehensively approach treatment. Nurses that are trained in this way have a much higher likelihood of caring for and empowering those that they are treating.


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.

Stress, Stamina, and Service: Exploring Healthcare’s Most Demanding Jobs

Healthcare workers are some of the most commendable and hard-working professionals in modern-day society. From dealing with high-pressure situations on a daily basis to picking up the slack caused by professional shortages in the industry, these professionals put their own health, safety, and well-being on the line to perform admirable tasks.

However, not all healthcare worker roles are created equal. Unfortunately, some specific healthcare professionals have to endure some of the most difficult experiences in their roles.

Gaining a clearer perspective on which healthcare positions are the most difficult and demanding can provide one with a deeper appreciation of these commendable professionals.

Here is an exploration of healthcare’s most demanding jobs.

Nursing Roles

While many are aware that nurses have a difficult job, far fewer realize just how strenuous and stressful these jobs can be.

In nursing, there are a variety of roles that these professionals can step into. These include roles such as advanced practice nursing roles and registered nursing roles. When it comes to these specific nursing roles, each one comes with its own unique challenges and obstacles that professionals must overcome on a consistent basis.

Here are some of the most demanding nursing roles in the current healthcare landscape.

Registered Nurses

Registered nurses can be seen as the backbone of the modern American healthcare system. From assessing patients to administering medication to educating those they treat; these healthcare professionals are kept busy from the moment they clock into work.

The wide variety of technical tasks and the high-pressure situations that nurses find themselves in on a consistent basis are some of the reasons that this is such a demanding role.

Sadly, in today’s evolving world, this isn’t the only reason that these professionals have such difficult jobs.

Today, there is currently a massive nursing shortage that is affecting scores of medical facilities across the nation. As a result of this shortage, nurses now have to pick up the slack and perform more tasks than they really should need to.

The combination of already difficult tasks with understaffed working environments makes the roles of these professionals exceedingly difficult. For this reason, many would-be nurses are foregoing obtaining their nursing licenses because of the increasingly demanding nature of registered nurse roles.

Travel Nurses

Travel nurses are one specific subset of nurses that can have a particularly grueling professional life. In essence, these are highly skilled nurses who travel to various locations across the country to help different medical institutions address their nursing shortages.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, travel nurses played a key role in ensuring that patients across the country received the care they needed. Unfortunately, despite the importance of these healthcare professionals to the healthcare ecosystem, they work in incredibly difficult professional environments.

Given the nature of their role, travel nurses are constantly working in understaffed facilities. Typically, these hospitals are incredibly busy and hectic, increasing travel nurses’ risk of developing symptoms of stress, anxiety, and burnout.

If this wasn’t enough, travel nurses must also constantly travel to different locations across the country. This can make it difficult to maintain a healthy relationship with one’s family and friends, often resulting in feelings of isolation.

For these reasons, travel nurses have some of the most grueling and demanding careers in healthcare. However, it must be noted that because of the unique and difficult nature of the travel nurse career path, these professionals typically command higher salaries than their registered nurse counterparts.

Clinical Psychologists

Clinical psychologists have incredibly demanding jobs that can often take a toll on their personal lives and sense of well-being. However, they are incredibly helpful to countless people, and they play an important and invaluable role in the modern healthcare landscape.

Essentially, clinical psychologists help treat mental health ailments in the patients they serve. While they may enjoy aspects of their jobs, there are many ways in which the role can be incredibly draining and stressful.

When it comes to treating patients, balancing the needs of patients can be extremely difficult. This is especially true for those with more severe mental health ailments. On top of this, having to work with patients through harrowing experiences on a regular basis can also take a huge toll.

Given the draining nature of the clinical psychologist role, this job definitely should be recognized as one of the most demanding careers in healthcare.

Healthcare Professionals Should Be Commended

Nearly every healthcare professional role comes with its fair share of challenges. However, some specific roles are particularly grueling and require professionals to deal with a significant range of obstacles on a regular basis.

Fortunately, there are countless brave and committed professionals out there who step into these roles and strive to help patients. As a society, it is our duty to recognize the sacrifices of these individuals and shower them with the praise and commendation they deserve.


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.

Empowering Patients and Families: The Role of Nurse Practitioners in Palliative Care

The role of a nurse practitioner (NP) offers various types of opportunities and experiences. While many NPs work from doctor’s offices or hospital floors, others focus on more specialized areas. One of these is caring for terminally ill and end-of-life patients as they navigate their palliative journey.

As with so many careers in medicine, being a palliative care NP comes with a range of challenges, demands, and responsibilities. Nevertheless, it can also be a valuable experience in empowering patients and families as they face an emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically significant part of their lives.

Let’s take a closer look at the role of nurse practitioners in palliative care.

Care Planning and Symptom Management

One of the most impactful ways NPs can empower patients and their families is by helping them develop care plans. The last thing many people navigating palliative care want is to have arrangements that affect their lives just dictated to them. Rather, NPs, with their empathetic skill sets and in-depth medical knowledge, can act as expert guides. They provide patients and families with practical advice that both serves medical and emotional needs.

Care planning, by its nature, has to be a meticulous process. After all, terminal illness treatment can be quite complex. NPs can start by making a thorough assessment of the patient’s current health condition. This considers how severe the symptoms of specific illnesses are, but also elements that affect their quality of life, such as range of motion, mobility, and general comfort. NPs can also then discuss what the patient’s palliative journey goals and concerns are.

This is where an NP’s professional and compassionate abilities can be particularly effective. They’ll need to find ways for the medical and personal needs of the patients — and in some instances, the families involved — to meet. If there are problems, such as the side effects of some medications clashing with patients’ quality of life requirements, they discuss the options with the patient. Being transparent about the consequences, challenges, and benefits of different care paths is essential for patients to make informed decisions.

From here, NPs can create a formal document of care and symptom management that is shared with other relevant care staff and specialist medical providers. Importantly, NPs can revisit the plan periodically with patients as their symptoms and preferences develop during their care. This ensures that there’s always a medically robust yet patient-centric approach to delivering services.

Maintaining Mental Wellness

Palliative care is an emotionally and psychologically challenging experience. It’s also important to recognize that there is a growing national mental health crisis. A combination of factors contributes to difficulties here, from the escalating price of psychological health care to the sense of stigma surrounding mental wellness. This may further exacerbate the intense mental and physical impact of the palliative journey. As a result, NPs’ attention and skills are not just directed toward managing patients’ physical symptoms, but also tending to their mental wellness needs.

This can begin with something as simple as regularly checking in with patients about their emotions, thoughts, and concerns. The empathy and compassion NPs bring to their roles can be vital in establishing meaningful connections and trust bonds that encourage patients to share their feelings. In some cases, NPs might act as a bridge between patients and the most relevant resources, such as therapists specializing in terminal illness care. However, with additional training, NPs can also offer therapeutic activities such as guided meditation.

That said, it’s equally important to recognize that NPs’ own mental states can impact their patients. There’s no denying that providing palliative care can be emotionally and psychologically turbulent at times, particularly given the empathetic bonds they forge with patients. If NPs’ mental wellness begins to suffer, this is not only detrimental to their own quality of life but may also impact the quality of the care they provide. It is, therefore, a key part of an NP’s responsibility to take steps to safeguard their wellness. This could include adopting self-care routines and perhaps regularly speaking to therapists about their experiences and feelings.

Streamlining Care Processes

Being able to provide patients with the most thorough and compassionate attention is an important part of being an NP in palliative care. Unfortunately, this can be quite difficult when there are various other tasks to attend to. As a result, one of the ways NPs are most effective is in establishing the most efficient approaches to the tasks that surround the palliative journey.

This may involve regular assessments of medical and administrative practices. Continuously evaluating and improving processes has a variety of benefits. It helps to highlight where there may be unnecessarily repetitive or menial actions that result in inefficiencies. It can also reveal where new technology and automated software tools might offer opportunities to streamline workflows. Not to mention that this type of frequent evaluation is a great way to ensure that NPs are both continuing to meet patients’ needs while maintaining regulatory compliance.

It’s not just NPs themselves that are key to streamlining care processes. Care collaborators, patients, and families can provide useful insights here. Each of these parties has different perspectives on the services provided and what may be influencing bottlenecks or disruptions. NPs lead the charge of carefully gathering and assessing data from these individuals and reviewing what they can adjust accordingly. In essence, this is another way in which NPs facilitate care collaborations that positively impact patients’ quality of life during the palliative journey.

Conclusion

The role of NPs in palliative care involves various medical and administrative duties. However, each of these components, alongside intense empathy and compassion, is geared toward ensuring the most patient-centric approach to care. Throughout each step of making care plans, streamlining processes, and supporting mental wellness, there’s a common thread of striving to offer guidance, comfort, and expertise for this difficult part of life. It’s not an easy career path, but with careful consideration and a strong sense of emotional intelligence, it can certainly be a rewarding one.


Image by Freepik


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.

Exploring the Importance of Communication Skills in the Healthcare Industry

The world relies so much on the healthcare industry. It employs thousands of new workers every year. It’s where people go to get care and improve their holistic health. And we rely on healthcare professionals of various disciplines to develop new medicines, treatments, healthcare standards, policies, and so forth to drive health and wellness forward.

With so much riding on the healthcare industry, a lot can go wrong if any challenges aren’t adequately addressed. One of the most significant challenges is communication.

Let’s dive into why communication skills are so critical in the industry and how you can develop yours to work better with fellow healthcare professionals and deliver higher-quality care to patients.

Why Effective Communication is Critical in the Healthcare Industry

Effective communication is up there on the list of most important elements contributing to the healthcare industry’s success. However, without it, many of the healthcare industry’s problems persist, such as organizational silos and difficult patient relationships.

To avoid this, healthcare workers need to work together in several key ways to improve the patient experience.

Collaborate with colleagues in different departments

Organizational silos, as mentioned earlier, are an issue in the healthcare industry. It can typically occur when individual groups in an organization tend to stick to themselves. You typically see it with employees who work in the same department, role, or location.

Silos are dangerous because employees aren’t as forthcoming with information and documents with other departments, leading to a lack of communication across departments.

Excellent communication is the only way to facilitate interprofessional collaboration. You can’t collaborate effectively with other people in the absence of communication. You need to be able to reach out to anyone, disclose what you need, and devise a plan to get it done with that person or people efficiently. Patient and organizational outcomes depend on it.

Improve relationships and communication with patients

It’s no secret that many patients struggle with their relationships with their healthcare providers. For example, many haven’t developed a genuine enough relationship with their provider to be open and honest about sensitive information, impacting their ability to get the care they need.

Many patients struggle with the complex medical terminology doctors use and have difficulty understanding what to do. Or, there’s a lack of empathy shown by providers in emotionally-charged situations, which ultimately convinces a patient not to come back.

Fortunately, most of the challenges with patient relationships and conversations can be solved with effective communication.

Something as simple as sitting down with a patient for conversations rather than standing over them can make the patient feel more comfortable with you. Speaking in plain language and ensuring everything is confidential can help build trust and open up the lines of communication for better relationships as well.

Better working conditions at healthcare organizations

One of the reasons poor communication exists in the healthcare industry is because of unmanageable workloads. A 2021 Mercer study suggested that we’ll be just over 3 million healthcare workers short in critical healthcare occupations like nursing assistants come 2026.

This means more demanding work schedules for those who are employed in the industry., and, in turn, a rise in burnt-out healthcare employees who have no choice but to rush through appointments with patients to meet the demand.

This leads to poor communication because they can’t spend the time they need to with patients to ensure they fully understand what’s going on with their health and how to address it.

With effective communication skills, you can speak up about the work schedule you need to ensure quality patient interactions. You can advocate for better work schedules and encourage others to do the same.

In addition, when you effectively communicate with your managers and colleagues, you can determine how to best support each other’s needs.

Practical Tips for Developing Your Communication Skills

Effective communication is obviously a must-have in any healthcare organization. As important as it is for the entire industry to adopt good communication practices, you only have control over what you do.

It’s essential to lead by example and develop your communication skills first. That will hopefully inspire your colleagues, managers, and other staff around you to do the same. You can do that in the following steps:

  • Determine how your communication style can improve. Start with understanding where you fall short with communication and examining each interaction you have with patients and coworkers.
  • Make every patient and coworker interaction an opportunity to improve your communication skills. Set a communication-oriented goal for the day and do it in every conversation. For example, if your goal is to grow your listening skills, you could ask two follow-up questions in every patient or colleague interaction to work on active listening.
  • Learn all of the communication tools implemented by your organization. Unified communications on a single platform in the workplace make real-time communication across departments doable, thus enabling more accurate and efficient patient care. Set aside time each day to get to know the features and functions of your unified communications platform. Make a list of any other communication tools your organization uses and get familiar with those as well.

When going through each step, take your time. The more care you take in evaluating your communication style, the more you’ll understand how you can improve and how you can make the patient experience all the better.

Conclusion

The longer poor communication exists in the healthcare industry, the more time it will take to achieve high-quality patient care for everyone and seamless communication across departments and facilities.

Do your part in achieving effective communication within your organization by growing your personal communication skills with the tips above.


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.

Pros and Cons of Being an FNP in a Rural Community

Choosing to work in healthcare is a smart career choice. The demand for these services continues to grow as the population ages. Plus, the work can be extremely fulfilling!

Nurse practitioners in particular are becoming a bigger part of the healthcare field, filling in care gaps and helping to improve preventative care. As a nurse practitioner, you can offer a lot of versatility to group practices, hospitals, or communities as an independent practitioner (depending on your state’s laws).

Once you’ve become a family nurse practitioner, you have to consider your options. Would it be better to get a job in an urban environment, where you’ll be one of many NPs working to keep the community healthy? Or would you thrive in a rural community, providing local care to a smaller population?

Here are some of the pros and cons of choosing to work as an FNP in a rural community.

The Demand for Healthcare Providers is Strong in Rural Areas

Many rural communities do not have good local healthcare options. This means that residents have to travel long distances to get the care they need. Ultimately, the lack of local services can lead to poorer health outcomes since people are likely to put off getting the care they need or do not have the resources to travel for their care. When community health services become available, everyone benefits.

It can be hard to attract qualified healthcare providers to rural communities. Why? Because most people prefer to live closer to urban centers and all the amenities they offer. This means that there are more opportunities and demand in rural areas, despite the smaller population numbers.

NPs Have More Autonomy and Scope of Practice

As long as you’re practicing in a state that allows FNPs to have lots of autonomy, you’ll be able to utilize that autonomy more fully in a rural healthcare job. With fewer healthcare providers available, everyone needs to provide a wide range of services with little supervision. FNPs who enjoy a large scope of practice and working independently are likely to thrive in a rural practice.

It’s Easy to Make a Difference and Build Relationships

In a rural community, you’ll really get to know your patients. You’ll have the opportunity to build relationships with them and get to know them. It’s also easier to see the difference you make in people’s lives. As a healthcare provider, you’ll get the chance to help reduce the health disparities that affect rural residents.

Being part of a rural community and providing care can be an incredible experience. Instead of working with thousands of patients and getting to know very few of them, you’ll be working directly within your community and providing care to your neighbors.

Resources and Collaborations Will Be Limited in Rural Practice

One of the downsides of rural practice is the lack of resources. A small hospital or practice won’t have the budget for the latest technology or the patient volume to support certain types of equipment. This can be a challenge and creates barriers to providing top-notch care.

Supplies and technology aside, you won’t have access to the same collaborative environment as a rural FNP as you would in an urban or suburban area. It will be more challenging to work through tricky diagnoses or collaborate on complex treatment plans without a network of specialists nearby.

In some cases, rural FNPs have to refer their patients to specialists that practice in far-off cities. This can be difficult emotionally, especially if you know that someone does not have the means to travel so far and see an expensive specialist.

Rural Living Can Be Isolating

Many people who take a job in rural healthcare settings struggle with the transition. It can be very isolating to live in sparsely populated areas. FNPs who decide to work in a rural community need to be proactive with self-care and making friends to fight off the potential for loneliness and isolation.

The Challenge of Maintaining Professional Boundaries

Rural communities are small and often have to rely on one another in many different ways. While that can be a huge positive for community-minded people, there are some downsides when it comes to privacy.

In a small town or rural community, everyone is likely to know your business. It can be difficult to maintain your privacy and professional boundaries when it’s normal in your community to gossip about your neighbors.

Embracing the Rewards and Challenges of FNP Work in Rural America

If you want to make a difference as a healthcare provider and work more independently, then becoming an FNP in a rural community could be a great fit. Embracing the rewards and challenges of healthcare in these settings can be a great way to grow as a healthcare provider while embracing a simpler life.

However, it’s important to consider your preferences and personality in making the decision. Weigh the pros and cons and be honest with yourself about whether life in the country or the wilderness is right for you before you decide.


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.

The Future of Healthcare: Why Nurse Practitioners are Poised to Play a Major Role

Healthcare in the United States has been in a rough spot for— well…quite some time. Covid certainly didn’t invent the struggles of Western healthcare but it did intensify them. Hospitals all across the country are suffering from dangerous personnel shortages that have made it challenging to deliver even basic levels of care to certain communities.

It’s a bad situation. But while the number of nurses shrinks, nurse practitioners have been growing enormously in prominence.

In this article, we talk about what nurse practitioners do, and how they are poised to shape the future of healthcare.

Nurse Practitioners Declutter the Healthcare System

One of the healthcare system’s greatest problems in the United States—

That’s a long list, friend.

Fair enough, one of the many problems is that hospitals have more patients than they do people who are qualified to see them. Nurse practitioners can help to relieve some of that burden by providing much of the same care that doctors have traditionally offered.

There are limitations to the extent that this is allowable. Many of these regulations are regional. For example, some states require nurse practitioners to get a doctor to sign off on all of their determinations, which can nullify the time-saving benefits.

However, in states with more permissive laws, this can be an enormous boon. Keep in mind that it takes a lot less time for someone to become a nurse practitioner than it does for someone to become an MD. This means that it is much easier for hospitals to staff up on nurse practitioners.

NPs can work on a wide range of different floors, from neonatal to maternal, allowing hospitals to declutter, and patients to get better quicker care. Fewer patient bottlenecks is better for everyone.

NPs in Private Practice

One of the big appeals of becoming a nurse practitioner is that it can allow you to effectively open up your own practice. Like so many things concerning the life of an NP, this will depend on where you live. However, in many states, nurse practitioners can make diagnoses and prescribe medication just like a general practitioner.

Sometimes, an NP’s ability to do this will be contingent on how long they have been practicing. Other times, it’s simply a matter of getting licensed and setting up a practice.

This is great for patients because it gives them more opportunities to receive care. Many people, particularly those living in areas with limited access to healthcare professionals, are finding that they have to wait more than a year to get a wellness visit.

This is a frustrating, sometimes even dangerous dynamic that more nurse practitioners could help solve.

If you are interested in becoming a nurse practitioner in the hopes of setting up your own practice, do some research about your local laws before you get too far in the process.

It is a Good Option for Burnt-out Nurses

You can’t seem to turn on the news without hearing more about the ongoing healthcare crisis that is taking place in the United States. Since Covid-19 hit it seems that hospitals everywhere have been dangerously understaffed.

This was brought to renewed attention a few months ago when a nurse working in Washington made national headlines for dialing 911 after her hospital reached a breaking point and had too few employees to treat their current patient load.

While that episode was dramatic, it was far from unique. Hospitals everywhere have been overwhelmed by the recent nursing shortage. While it is tempting to lay this crisis at Covid’s feet, the truth is that it has been a long time coming.

For years, experts have been warning about this. The problem? Many people have been leaving nursing, and not enough are coming up to replace them.

The culprit is burnout. Nursing is hard, so people look for different jobs. The healthcare industry, and all the people that it serves suffer as a result.

To become a nurse practitioner is to pivot into a similar, but perhaps more comfortable gig. NPs make more money, work friendlier hours, and get to work with patients on an entirely different scale.

In an industry that is in desperate need of personnel retention, more NPs would be an enormous boon with truly transformative potential.

Where are We At Now?

It sounds like more nurse practitioners would be a great thing for this country. And that’s all well and good, but it doesn’t really matter if we don’t have them, does it? Where are we at now?

That’s a good question. While it wouldn’t be right to say that the United States healthcare system’s need for nurse practitioners is being met, it is fair to say that the profession’s growth rate is in promising shape.

Between 2012-2022 the number of nurse practitioners nationwide grew by a whopping 30%—more than three times the national average for professional growth.

That’s an impressive figure by any metric, and all the more notable when compared to the numbers for regular nurses. RNs are expected to grow by only 6% in the next ten years.

It’s hard to contextualize exactly what this means for the American healthcare system. On the one hand, more nurse practitioners are great. This is definitely a “the more the merrier,” type of situation.

That said, we do still need bedside nurses, and that job market is still in questionable condition. It seems that no matter what happens, the US healthcare system will look different ten years from now than it does today.

A healthy stock of nurse practitioners won’t be able to solve all of our problems, but they certainly will help the transition into a brighter future.


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.

The Stones of Yemen, Part II; The Story

Imagine for a moment you are a physician associate and have just completed your first decade in practice. While finding neurosurgery rewarding, there is still something amiss in your life, a haunting emptiness. You recognize the source of that disquiet, the lingering grief of losing your father twenty years previously, your hero and best friend—a medic dying in the south tower on 9/11. This was Bryan Roger’s emotional posture at the beginning of the Stones of Yemen. But he finds peace at the helm of a sailboat and decides to take one year off to sail around the world alone, an attempt to rekindle his passion for medicine and life.

Halfway through circumnavigating the planet, Bryan anchors for the night off the shore of Yemen. He becomes mesmerized watching the brutal civil war playing out on the mainland along the eastern horizon. By the small hours of the next morning, he hears the imagined voices of Yemen’s children of war, beckoning him to help them. He answers that call—entering the country on a whim—quickly settling into a fulfilling role in a clinic at a refugee camp in the mountain oasis, Haydan. After an incredible year, his passions rekindled, and assimilating deeply into the rich culture of the Yemen’s mountain people, tragedy strikes. In the wake of that disaster, Bryan learns of a plot for the next “9/11”, a terrorist attack against his hometown, New York, that would eclipse the first. It is a plot that only he can thwart; an around-the-world chase begins.

While Bryan Rogers is an imperfect man, his compassion, judgement, and well-honed medical skills will make all advanced medical clinicians proud. These skills are displayed in a graphic way throughout the story. The book has been characterized as a “upmarket suspense,” in other words, a thinking woman or man’s thriller. While intense at times, it does raise serious questions about war, terrorism, and finding hope in a bleak world.

The author Mike Jones draws richly from his own experience living and working as a physician associate in the Middle East and near Asia, including working among refugees and in war zones. The Stones of Yemen is beautifully written, an engaging story that will keep the reader spellbound from the beginning to the end. The book is available as a free Kindle Unlimited download and by order through all bookstores. An audio version is exclusively available at BookBaby Bookshop online.


J. Michael Jones started writing in the early 1980s, publishing over thirty articles in national medical journals, and The Stones of Yemen is his eighth book, five of them fiction. He had a thirty-eight-year career as a physician associate and worked in refugee camps in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Cyprus, Oman, UAE, Egypt, and Nepal. In addition, he hosted twenty Yemeni students over two years in the U.S. Besides his medical studies, he has a degree in Arabic from the American University in Cairo, which was invaluable during the research for this book. Michael resides with his wife Denise in Washington’s San Juan Islands, where he writes full time. They are the parents of five grown children and one hairy Saint Bernard.


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.

The Stones of Yemen, PART I; The Story Behind the Story

January 11th, 2019 was seeming to be a typical Pacific northwest winter morning. A cool rain was gently falling on the lofty Douglas firs and burly cedars, dripping down to the forest floor below, where physician associate Mike Jones was hiking with his Saint Bernard, Greta—boots and paws leaving their mark in the black humus between the sea of bracken ferns. Mike had taken a day off from managing his busy headache treatment clinic, to train for a month-long trek across Greenland in the coming summer. Before that day was over, Mike would find himself in an ICU, his attending physician at his bedside warning, “Mr. Jones, you need to call your children home. We are doing everything we can to save your life but what we are doing isn’t working. Your potassium is still almost nine.”

By the time of discharge from the hospital two weeks later, through the insight offered by copious blood tests and kidney and bone marrow biopsies, he had a diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma with associated renal failure. He started hemodialysis for 16 hours per week and an aggressive induction chemotherapy program to prepare for a stem cell transplant, his 38-year career as a PA abruptly ending, never to see the interior of his office, his colleagues, or his patients again.

The stem cell transplant required Mike to go on a protective quarantine, typically lasting six months but was extended for two more years due to the COVID pandemic. It was the perfect melancholic storm. Losing his career, friends, health, and future, and living alone as a hermit on a mountain lake. His wife, a hospital administrator, working long hard hours due to the same pandemic.

For over thirty years, Mike had a hobby of writing, having authored over thirty articles for medical journals and eight books. He decided, for his own mental health’s sake, that he needed to write again, this time an epic novel, a much higher level of writing than anything he had attempted before. As a gift to his profession—which had served him so well—he knew a physician associate would be the protagonist in the story, who would showcase to the world what advanced practice clinicians can do. To engage readers, the story had to be enthralling and well written. Mike employed some of the best editors in the business to look over his shoulder as he wrote, guiding his words to be their best.

The resulting book, The Stones of Yemen, is a thinking man / woman’s thriller and it is about bereavement. But it is also about sailing, romantic love, political hate, retribution, forgiveness, and hope told on the backdrop of Yemen’s brutal civil war. When they released it in February, it quickly became the best-selling PA book and all the reviews have been glowing. The print copies are available through all bookstores, the eBook format is available for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers or to purchase on Amazon. An audiobook format is available exclusively at BookBaby Shop .

*Stay tuned Part 2 coming soon!


J. Michael Jones started writing in the early 1980s, publishing over thirty articles in national medical journals, and The Stones of Yemen is his eighth book, five of them fiction. He had a thirty-eight-year career as a physician associate and worked in refugee camps in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Cyprus, Oman, UAE, Egypt, and Nepal. In addition, he hosted twenty Yemeni students over two years in the U.S. Besides his medical studies, he has a degree in Arabic from the American University in Cairo, which was invaluable during the research for this book. Michael resides with his wife Denise in Washington’s San Juan Islands, where he writes full time. They are the parents of five grown children and one hairy Saint Bernard.


 

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.

The Complicated Role of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

Formal nursing has played an important role in healthcare for over 150 years. Doctors diagnose and treat patients, but nurses handle patient care, including administering medication and checking vital signs.

Gradually, the role of nurses has expanded, with many registered nurses specializing in different patient populations or the type of care they offer. Some are even continuing their education to become specialized nurse practitioners, such as pediatric nurse practitioners.

Pediatric nurse practitioners are becoming more common and helping to ease the physician shortage we’re facing in the United States. But what does a pediatric nurse practitioner do, exactly, and why is their role in the healthcare system a little bit complicated? Here’s what you need to know.

What is a Nurse Practitioner?

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are recognized as a type of advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). They have advanced training in medicine and can provide a wide range of healthcare services for patients. Some nurse practitioners even have their own practices and provide many of the same services as doctors.

Rather than providing “bedside care,” which is usually carried out by registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs), NPs and other APRNs generally create treatment plans and oversee patient care. They typically have much more autonomy than an RN would and can help patients with everything from preventative care to treatment for acute injuries and illnesses that come on suddenly.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

While many nurse practitioners specialize in general care and are known as family nurse practitioners (FNPs), pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs) specialize in caring for children, also including infants, toddlers, and teens. Working with pediatric patients can be challenging for a number of different reasons, but nurse practitioners get into this field because they love children and want to help them stay healthy.

What is the Role of a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner?

A PNP has an in-depth understanding of child development and the specialized medical needs of children. They can help families with a variety of needs, including childhood wellness checkups, giving immunizations, answering health questions, and treating common childhood illnesses and disorders. PNPs also need to be able to spot signs of abuse and be prepared to report their suspicions if necessary.

In some situations, a nurse practitioner will be able to provide most or all of the services a child needs from their pediatrician. In other cases, a PNP will be part of a larger care team, helping a pediatrician deliver care to children. PNPs have to be extremely patient in order to work with children and their families, who are often scared or confused when they visit the doctor.

Limitations on Nurse Practitioners Can Complicate Care Plans

Depending on an individual state’s laws, nurse practitioners do not always have full practice authority. In some states, they are allowed to diagnose patients and prescribe medications. In others, they need a physician’s oversight or are otherwise limited in the care they can provide.

This means that depending on where you live, becoming a nurse practitioner might not give you the autonomy you’re looking for. If your state has strict limitations on what you can do as a nurse practitioner, it’s important to realize that your job and responsibilities will be different from an NP in a full-practice state.

A Focus on Coordinating Care

PNPs need to be prepared to coordinate care with other healthcare providers, particularly in states that do not allow full practice for APRNs. A PNP needs a wide variety of skills to properly work with pediatric patients and other providers to deliver excellent care. Some of these skills include:

      • Diagnosing patients who cannot express themselves verbally
      • Calming fearful children and parents
      • Collaborating verbally with other providers to create care plans
      • Taking thorough notes to share with other providers
      • Educating families on child development and health

Pediatric nurse practitioners must be compassionate, thorough, organized, and tactful. They need to be prepared to look at a child’s health from every angle and take a variety of factors into account when diagnosing and prescribing treatment or medications.

Becoming a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

The road to becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner begins with becoming a registered nurse. Then, a master’s degree in nursing is required before you can take the board examination to become a PNP. The full-time programs can be expensive, but there are scholarships available.

If you have an associate’s degree, the process of becoming a PNP takes 3-4 years if you attend your program full-time. Those with a bachelor’s degree can usually complete the education requirements in 2 years.

Becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner is no easy feat. However, the demand for skilled healthcare professionals is growing and there’s never been a better time to be an APRN. If you love kids and want more autonomy as a nurse, being a PNP could be the perfect role 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.