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.


10 Most In-Demand Nurse Practitioner Specialties

Nurse practitioners are a driving force in healthcare that provide meaningful care to scores of individuals. These professionals practice nursing at a high level and their duties often overlap with that of physicians. If you’re curious about pursuing a career as a nurse practitioner, it can help to be aware of the many specialties within the profession.

Here the 10 most in-demand nurse practitioner specialties.

1 – Family Care Nurse Practitioner

 Family care nurse practitioners focus on providing care to individuals throughout their lives. This means that these professionals treat children, teens, adults, and older adults in their practice, oftentimes developing prolonged relationships with patients.

The broad nature of family care allows nurse practitioners in this specialty to practice a wide variety of services and requires an advanced knowledge of healthcare practices. Their duties can range from performing physical exams on patients to treating chronic illnesses over the span of years.

2 – Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

 Pediatric nurse practitioners specialize in providing care to children throughout their childhood. This means that these professionals can potentially treat the same patient over the course of several years through to young adulthood.

Typically, pediatric care nurse practitioners will treat many different illnesses that are specific to children. These include ailments such as Kawasaki disease and certain infections common to children.

3 – Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner

 Adult gerontology nurse practitioners specialize in providing care to older adults. These professionals specialize in treating age-related ailments that their older patients are afflicted by.

In addition to treating certain illnesses, adult gerontology nurse practitioners will also provide patients with strategies and tips to maintain and promote good health as they age. This highlights the two-fold nature of the role, focusing on not only treating certain illnesses but also preventing the decline of health in various ways.

4 – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

 Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNP) specialize in treating and assessing patients’ mental health states. They have the authority to both assess mental health ailments and prescribe medications as they see fit.

In addition, PMHNPs may also refer their patients to other professionals, such as psychotherapists, depending on their mental health needs. However, it must be noted that different states have different rules regarding the level of authority and autonomy that nurse practitioners may have, and PMHNP practices differ depending on the location in which they work.

5 – Oncology Nurse Practitioner

 Oncology nurse practitioners specialize in assessing and treating patients with cancer or those at high-risk of developing cancer. These professionals work closely with other medical professionals, such as physicians and registered nurses, and play a significant role in the treatment of cancer patients.

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, making professionals with the skills to diagnose and treat this illness in high demand. As such, oncology nurse practitioners and the specialized skills they bring with them are in high-demand in today’s world.

6 – Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

 Acute care nurse practitioners specialize in treating patients who are in critical condition and need immediate care. Examples of ailments acute care nurse practitioners typically treat include heart attacks and trauma as the result of an accident.

In addition to providing immediate treatment, these nurse practitioners also work with patients to provide long term strategies for recovery and the promotion of good health. Given the unique skillset of these professionals, acute care nurse practitioners often work in institutions such as trauma units, urgent care units, and emergency rooms.

7 – Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner

 Aesthetic nurse practitioners specialize in providing patients or clients with a number of treatments clinical procedures that revolve around cosmetic changes to someone’s appearance. Some typical treatments performed by these professionals include botox injections and laser treatments.

The majority of aesthetic nurse practitioners work in private clinics, treatment centers, or spas. As opposed to many other nurse practitioners and medical specialties, aesthetic nurse practitioners typically work within normal business hours, potentially allowing for a more significant amount of work/life balance.

8 – Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

 Women’s health nurse practitioners specialize in providing women with care at various stages of their lives. Like midwives, these professionals may provide pregnancy-related pre-natal and post-natal care.

Other areas that women’s health nurse practitioners may work in include gynecological and menopausal care, both diagnosing patients and providing them with strategies to manage their ailments. These professionals are trained to be sensitive to the needs of the women that they treat and have an advanced social perspective.

9 – Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

 Neonatal nurse practitioners specialize in providing care to infants who are suffering from a range of ailments, diseases, and infections. Some common ailments these professionals treat include heart abnormalities and infections in infants.

In addition to providing care to infants, neonatal nurse practitioners will also help educate parents on how to best care for their infants depending on their various needs. Typically, neonatal nurse practitioners work in specific neonatal-oriented care units or emergency rooms.

10 – Infectious Disease

 Infectious disease nurse practitioners specialize in treating and helping patients manage infectious diseases. In some cases, their work may revolve around helping prevent certain infectious diseases that certain patients may be more vulnerable to.

Some common illnesses that infectious disease nurse practitioners specialize in treating include Lyme disease and HIV. While many work in healthcare environments and provide healthcare to patients, some of these professionals work to inform healthcare policy by providing their expert opinion.

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 to Know Before Switching to a Telehealth Career

Telehealth has seen consistent growth in popularity over the last few years. But, the biggest “boom” came during the COVID-19 pandemic. At first, it was out of necessity as medical professionals worked to keep patients safe and protected. However, even as we enter a post-pandemic world, telehealth trends continue to go up.

Telehealth benefits both patients and physicians. It offers flexibility, greater inclusivity, and can encourage more people to practice preventative healthcare when they know they can chat with their doctor from the comfort of home.

If you’re considering a career in telehealth, now is a great time to get on board. However, it’s important to know what to expect, and how you can prepare yourself before you decide if it’s the right career move for you.

Consider What You Want

A career in telehealth can be rewarding. Depending on your position, you might interact directly with patients, offering medical advice and preventative care options that can improve their well-being or help them manage the symptoms of an illness. If you have a passion for helping people and want to do something truly meaningful, it’s a fantastic way to find fulfillment.

However, there are some potential drawbacks to consider. It’s not always the same having to help someone virtually, rather than face-to-face. You’ll also have to deal with people from all walks of life, and not every patient will be pleasant. Some will have conditions that are difficult to handle. Others might be frustrated by the very technology they’re using to talk to you. So, while a career in telehealth can be convenient, really consider what you want before you take the plunge. Think about things like:

      • Your comfort level in working with people virtually
      • How much time you can devote to this career
      • How well you handle stressful situations

Once you’ve decided that you think this career choice would be a good fit for you, it’s time to determine what you need to actually make it happen. If you’re currently in the healthcare field, it might be easy to transfer your education

Do You Meet the Qualifications?

Maybe you’re totally new to the telehealth field but you have the desire to help people. You don’t need to be a doctor or specialist to work in telehealth. However, depending on your position, you might need to meet certain qualifications. That includes certifications and licenses, in some cases.

For example, if you’re a nurse, you’ll have to receive appropriate licensing through the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). Because telehealth services are in such high demand, you shouldn’t have a problem getting your licensure quickly so you can start helping people as soon as possible.

If you’re a doctor, or specialist, or work for a clinic that provides telehealth services, make sure your certifications are up-to-date, and familiarize yourself with the latest in telemedicine software. There are multiple platforms and options available, so educating yourself on how to utilize technology safely and effectively is essential for any type of telehealth career.

Some practices and clinics might eventually switch to mostly telehealth services, so you might be able to get your foot in the door as an administrator and help people make virtual appointments or assist with billing. Having experience as an administrator can make that transition easier for you. You’ll also need to brush up on skills like:

      • Patience
      • Empathy
      • Time management
      • Organization
      • Flexibility

If you truly want to determine what’s needed to start your career with the right qualifications, check the requirements in your state. They vary by location, and you could be closer to getting started than you might think!

The Ins and Outs of a Virtual Career

One of the most important things to consider if you want to switch to a telehealth career is whether virtual/remote work is a good fit for you. There are advantages and disadvantages to think about. While virtual work can offer more flexibility, it can also take a toll on your mental health if you’re not getting the social interaction you need.

Humans are social creatures. We need face-to-face interaction. If your work solely relies on a virtual environment, you might struggle with isolation and loneliness. You might even feel uninspired, unmotivated, and burnt out.

While mental health stigmas in the healthcare field are starting to crumble, be sure you’re comfortable prioritizing your own mental well-being, and even talking to a professional if you’re worried that you might struggle with this type of career. Practice self-care each day by exercising, eating healthy meals, and getting as much in-person interaction with people as possible.

Telehealth is the future. While it can’t completely replace all types of medical care, it will certainly change the face of medicine and how people approach preventative care for years to come. If you’re interested in making a career change to enjoy the benefits of telemedicine, use the information here to consider whether it’s the right move, and whether you’ll find happiness and fulfillment. If so, don’t hesitate to start moving forward with your new career right away. The need for workers is extremely high, and you could end up landing the job of your dreams quickly.

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.

How Can We Improve Healthcare in Underserved Communities?

Today’s healthcare landscape is vast and complex. Within it exists nearly infinite sub-environments and social contexts, all of which present unique strengths, weaknesses, and difficulties. However, one sweeping reality that affects countless people within the system is a common tendency towards inequitable care provision for certain communities and demographics over others.

The disproportionalities in healthcare provision experienced by specific subpopulations and underserved communities is a story that repeats itself over and over across the country (and around the world). This is a matter of deep concern for equity advocates in healthcare, and there are a number of voices within the healthcare landscape working towards changing this reality.

Current Disparities in Healthcare Access

One helpful lens for understanding healthcare disparities at scale is a set of statistics that reveal the average difference in care delivery and outcomes by demographic. These include social differentiators like income level, race, legal status, gender identity, disability, and religion.

Across a range of metrics, certain communities, like those that earn middle-class incomes or are white/Caucasian, receive (on average) better levels of care and enjoy easier access to healthcare providers than individuals within the same communities and geographic locations that fall into other demographic categories.

There are a number of ways these disparities play out in various settings or instances. A few trends in particular represent a large percentage of healthcare inequity cases across the country. These include the following:

Difficulties in Securing Health Insurance for Noncitizens

Because the American healthcare system is so tightly tied to the insurance industry, it is vastly difficult to obtain any kind of healthcare without some form of health insurance. Unfortunately, insurance is very difficult to secure for a number of demographics, including those with complicated legal statuses or those that don’t work or have permanent addresses.

Racist Policies, Sentiments, and Biases Within the Healthcare System

This is a hugely complex topic and involves deeply systemic and cultural influences. The result, however, is a serially prejudiced system that, on average, is more likely to provide subpar care and treatment to people of color than it is to white people.

Healthcare Professionals, Especially in Places of Leadership, Remain Disproportionately white, Cisgendered, and Male

Though this has long been an area of focus and attempted awareness within the professional healthcare community, it still remains disproportionately monotone. Numbers of ethnic minorities (and other minority groups) working in healthcare fields remain stubbornly low.

This perpetuates difficulties that many patients experience when receiving care from someone who does not look like them and does not fully understand their culture, experience, community, or context.

Current Initiatives that are Working to Equalize Access to Good Healthcare

Above are just some of the ways that the healthcare system is still operating to disproportionately help certain members of society more than others. But though the system is still fraught with these widespread inequalities and problems, strides are being taken towards balancing the healthcare system at large and changing some of these realities so that more people have adequate access to the healthcare they need.

Changing Legislation to Correct Implicitly Biased or Prejudiced Policies

Systemic manifestations of discrimination and racism are often baked into legislative policy. The process of assessing current legislation and reshaping it to be more equal and equitable is a long, painstaking process. However, it can be a source of deep and significant institutional change.

Design Initiatives to Encourage More Members of Minority Groups to Study Medicine

These might look like demographic-specific scholarships, programs, or job fairs; or curriculums implemented in high-minority primary and secondary education spaces. Encouraging minority groups to consider healthcare a viable career option can have ripple effects on not only current but future generations and create precedent for more individuals to choose to enter the healthcare workforce as well.

Prioritizing Public Health Campaigns that Equip and Empower Minority Demographics to Partake in Healthy Living

Statistics reveal strong disparities in health IQ and healthy living habits between, for example, white/caucasian populations and ethnic minority populations. The work of providing diverse cultural contexts and backgrounds with health information made pertinent and relevant to them is slowly gaining traction and needs to be increased.

Ways to Contribute Personally Towards Stronger Equity in Healthcare

If you are a healthcare professional and want to make a difference in bringing about better, more equitable healthcare provision for all communities, here are a few ways you can get involved in this process.

Educate Yourself on the Nuances of Providing Healthcare to Those of Different Cultures, Identities, and Ethnicities

Whether you yourself belong to a minority identity or not, everyone has room to learn and grow when it comes to becoming more culturally knowledgeable and equipped. Terms like “transcultural nursing” and “cultural sensitivity” help shape this concept into actionable knowledge areas.

Seeking out conferences, talks, reading materials, and training on these topics can help you better understand, identify with, empathize with, and respect people with different cultural or ethnic backgrounds than your own.

Advocate for Equitable Policies, Awareness, and Conduct Within Your Own Healthcare Facility

Whether you work for an independent local hospital, a large nationwide healthcare provider, or a small outpatient clinic, your healthcare environment may or may not have an adequate understanding of equitable practices and policies.

Speaking up for underserved communities and supporting implementation of better equity practices can help change the nature of your healthcare facility as well as educate your colleagues and fellow professionals about the importance of healthcare equity.

Find Opportunities to Volunteer Your Healthcare Expertise to Support Underserved Communities in Your Area

Especially in locations where disparities are large and certain demographics or populations have poor access to healthcare, find opportunities to volunteer with nonprofit organizations or other initiatives to meet the healthcare needs of communities that have the most difficulty accessing treatment. This can be a significant and often life-altering way of lessening healthcare inequality.

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 Kind of Relationship Does a Nurse Practitioner Have with Patients?

It’s hard for outsiders to understand exactly what nurse practitioners do. You can come across them almost anywhere. Doctors’ offices, hospitals, and in each setting, they have different responsibilities. So what kind of relationship does a nurse practitioner have with patients?

In this article, we set out to answer that question, and explain how the job works. Read on to learn more about the responsibilities of a nurse practitioner.

 It’s Complicated

The responsibilities of a nurse practitioner will depend mostly on where they find themselves in the country. Every state has its own laws about what a nurse practitioner can do. Some allow them to prescribe medications or make diagnoses. Others will allow them to do this only after they’ve consulted with a doctor first.

It’s a good idea to do plenty of research on your local laws before you begin your journey toward becoming a nurse practitioner. The more liberal the laws, the more options you will have for the professional trajectory of your career.

In areas where the laws are liberal enough, a nurse practitioner ostensibly performs the same duties as a primary practitioner. This means that they will see patients for basic wellness appointments, and when the patient is ill. They will fill out prescriptions as needed, and even offer diagnoses.

This level of freedom allows some nurse practitioners to start up their own practices. However, there are many other roles that nurse practitioners can perform.

 Working in a Doctor’s Office

Nurse practitioners can very easily fit into any doctor’s office setting. Even in states where laws don’t allow them full autonomy, they will be able to see patients and consult with their MD peers to provide further care.

Doctors’ offices really appreciate having a nurse practitioner on staff as it can free up a considerable amount of time. Where once the doctor took on every sick visit and wellness check, now the nurse practitioner is there to ease off much of the burden.

Consequently, everyone is able to spend a little more time with each patient, and the level of care increases.

Working on a hospital floor

Nurse practitioners can also work on a hospital floor, performing a combination of duties similar to those of both nurses and doctors. Where they end up depends on how they specialize. For example, the previous example describes a Family Nurse Practitioner.

There are also nurse practitioners that specialize in prenatal care, pediatric care, acute care, and so on. The responsibilities of each position vary pretty radically depending on the specifics of the specialty. This gives nurse practitioners an enormous amount of flexibility in how they shape their careers.

 How to Become a Nurse Practitioner

It’s a long road to becoming a nurse practitioner. To start, you need to get a bachelor’s degree in nursing. This usually takes four years, though there are accelerated programs that can cut that time in half. Accelerated programs carry their own challenges, but may be a particularly good option for disciplined people who want to start working as a nurse practitioners as quickly as possible.

Through the accelerated program, you can complete your undergraduate and graduate studies in approximately the same amount of time most people spend just getting their undergraduate degree.

Once you’ve got your undergraduate degree, you will need to choose a graduate program specifically focused on NPing. This is when you will choose your specialty. These programs usually take between two and three years to complete but you can speed up the process a little bit by taking heavy courseloads.

Once you’ve completed all of the educational requirements, you will need to fulfill the testing and registration guidelines set out by your state. This will usually involve fees. In fact, heavy expenses are typically incurred at every step of the journey. Financing and scholarship opportunities can take some of the sting out, but in most cases, it will be a considerable cost no matter what.

That’s alright though because if you’ve followed these steps, you’re there. You’ve arrived at the lucrative and emotionally rewarding career path of a nurse practitioner.

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.

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.

The Intricacies of Kickstarting Your Independent Nursing Practice

Establishing your own business — particularly in the field of medicine is at once an exciting and fear-inducing proposition. You want to serve the community with your knowledge and expertise. But you’re also nervous.

Without a hospital, all the cost, all the risk, and all of the uncertainty fall solely on your shoulders. In this article, we take a look at all of the intricacies of kickstarting your independent nursing practice.

Policy Restrictions

While nurse practitioners receive much of the same training that family medicine doctors do, they are held back legislatively in many parts of the country. Though not the case everywhere, some states prohibit nurse practitioners from issuing prescriptions and diagnoses without the supervision of a licensed doctor. 

Naturally, this can make it very difficult to run an independent practice. Before you get too far into your entrepreneurial journey, survey the local laws. If they favor you, great. If not, you may consider finding a state that is more nurse practitioner friendly. 

Legal Accountability

Before you kickstart a medical practice, it’s important to keep in mind that doing so will open you up to a degree of legal accountability. The United States has staggeringly high levels of civil action relating to medical treatment. 

If a patient decides that your behavior resulted in a negative healthcare outcome, you could be held financially responsible. You may subvert this risk with specialized business insurance. However, even in the best of circumstances lawsuits are a stressful and unpleasant experience. 

When something goes poorly in the hospital setting it is usually the hospital that will assume the financial and reputational repercussions. When you’re out on your own, there is no such support.

Of course, this shouldn’t be a dealbreaker for the ambitious nurse practitioner. It is, however, something to be aware of. 

Securing Infrastructure

To launch a successful practice you will need a building out of which to operate. Your office building will require patient rooms, a reception area, a waiting room, and enough space for basic medical equipment. Locating all of these infrastructural requirements can be a bit of a challenge. The easiest option may be to take over the practice of a retiring doctor or nurse practitioner. 

Not only will this give you all the infrastructure you require, but it may also set you up with a reliable roster of patients. Short of this, you will just need to bide your time and be willing to take on a building that could require extensive renovation. 

Consider the Cost

The cost of starting a medical practice is estimated to fall between $70 — 100,000. This figure accounts for the cost of procuring a building, the necessary supplies, and any licensing fees you might incur. Your startup costs will also need to cover at least a small staff — someone to answer the phones, schedule appointments, take care of billing, etc. 

Much of this cost can be covered by a small business loan. However, you will probably need at least some startup cash to get the ball rolling. 

The psychology of Entrepreneurship

Since we just discussed all of the hardships that come with starting your own business, it should be no surprise that there is a strong association between entrepreneurship and anxiety. Some of this anxiety is reasonable and even productive. A significant amount of time, effort, and money are on the line. By appreciating the gravity of the situation, you increase your chances of making decisions that will lead to success down the road. 

Some of the anxiety isn’t so reasonable. Imposter syndrome is a condition common to entrepreneurship, but particularly prevalent in people working within the field of medicine. 

People experiencing imposter syndrome are essentially plagued with the feeling that they aren’t qualified to do their job. Everyone around them belongs where they are, while the sufferer themselves has arrived there by accident. 

No amount of training or education is enough to completely lift someone out of imposter syndrome. The condition is usually relieved by mindfulness activities. Review:

  • You are a vetted and certified professional. One cannot become a nurse practitioner without rigorous training and education. You have completed these qualifications. 
  • Business will come your way. You are a talented professional. People want to receive healthcare from talented professionals. 
  • The fear you experience is normal. Every new physician feels uncertain and underqualified. 

It’s also important to avoid making unjust comparisons. If you take an established nurse practitioner as your baseline for success, you will inevitably fall short. Try to make personal comparisons instead. You know more today than you did yesterday.

When in doubt, talk to people who are in a similar position. By speaking with other nurse practitioners, you will surely learn that they have had the same experiences of anxiety as 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.

The Great Resignation Isn’t Sparing Healthcare

We have been hearing about the Great Resignation for about a year now. Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, the Great Resignation is a phenomenon that has seen millions of people leave their jobs since the start of the COVID pandemic. Some are leaving to find employment elsewhere within the same industry. Others are retiring early. Still others are looking for a complete change, looking for work in an entirely different field or starting a new business.

Unfortunately for healthcare, the Great Resignation isn’t sparing it. Just look at nurse practitioner jobs. They are as plentiful now as they have ever been. The same goes for nursing jobs, physician jobs, therapist jobs, and on and on. It is not clear where all the disaffected workers are going, but it is clear that healthcare facilities are now having to work harder than they ever have in the past to fill open positions.

Looking for Something New

It is not surprising that job boards would have a lot more open doctor, nurse, and nurse practitioner jobs since the start of the pandemic. Healthcare delivery was obviously at the forefront of the pandemic. It still is. A lot of healthcare professionals just had their fill in the troubled year that was 2020. Many have decided it is time for a change.

Out in Idaho, the Idaho Press recently published an article about a group of healthcare professionals who had gotten together to discuss life after healthcare. Some of them were in the position of transitioning to new careers while others had already made the switch. The group represented everyone from nurse practitioners to therapists.

It is interesting that these professionals wanted to share their stories, not to encourage other healthcare workers to abandoned ship, but to let them know that other things were out there should they decide to try something new. That’s really what all of this is about. Whether it is healthcare or some other industry, the Great Resignation is about switching gears.

Those Who Stay Behind

Virtually every industry is reeling from the fallout of the Great Resignation. Those who stay behind have their own choices to make. Do they stay, or do they go? In healthcare, employers are doing everything they can to make sure their people stay. They have every reason to do so.

It goes without saying that healthcare workers are in the driver’s seat right now. They have a lot of leverage to ask for changes. Healthcare facilities have little choice but to comply with every reasonable request. Otherwise, they stand to continue losing workers to the Great Resignation.

From nurse practitioner jobs to allied health jobs, things in healthcare are changing rapidly. That is one of the things the group in Idaho mentioned. Many of the healthcare professionals who have decided to move on say that the modern work environment is nothing like what they knew when they first got started. Again, this is understandable. Nothing remains unchanged forever.

The Opportunities Are There

Even as the Great Resignation continues, opportunities for employment abound. If you are looking for nurse practitioner jobs, you will find plenty here on our jobs board. The same goes for therapist jobs, physician jobs, etc. Take the time to look around and maybe post your resume. There are employers out there very much interested in speaking with you.

In the meantime, the healthcare sector will have to continue changing in order to adapt to the modern workforce. The old ways of doing things are not going to work any longer. The faster healthcare adapts, the faster it will right the employment ship and start moving forward again.

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.