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

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

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

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

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

1. Create New Directions for Your Career 

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

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

Do any of these fit with your professional ambitions?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Stay More Competitive in the Job Market 

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

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

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

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

Take the next step and start exploring graduate programs in nutrition

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

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


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


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

How Healthcare Professionals Can Deconstruct Mental Health Stigmas

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

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

Educate Providers About Mental Illnesses

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

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

Encourage Patients to Open Up About Their Mental Health

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

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

Support Self-Compassion

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

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

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

Recognize How Mental Health Affects Providers

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

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

Combat the Stigmas Facing Mental Health

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

Image Source: Unsplash

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

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

How to Run a Family Pharmacy

Opening a pharmacy is a complex and challenging process, but it can be extremely rewarding. Not only will you be able to serve your community and help people in need, but you’ll also be able to build a business that can be passed down from generation to generation. Here are some of the key considerations for opening and running a family pharmacy.

Location is Key

When choosing a location for your pharmacy, you’ll want to consider the demographics of the surrounding area. Are there a lot of families? What is the median income? What is the healthcare infrastructure like? These are all important factors to consider, as they will impact your business in a variety of ways.

The Right Licenses and Permits

Before you can open your doors, you’ll need to make sure that you have all of the necessary licenses and permits in place. Depending on your state, this process can be fairly complex. You might want to consider working with an experienced attorney to ensure that everything is in order. Before you start investing, you need to make sure you understand all that is involved in this process.   

Good Suppliers
In order to run a successful pharmacy, you’ll need to find reliable suppliers for all of your pharmaceutical needs. This can be a challenge, as there are many variables to consider (cost, quality, delivery time, etc.). However, it’s essential that you take the time to find suppliers who can meet your needs and who you can build a long-term relationship with. You can find suppliers online, like RxRise, which can provide details on their inventory.

A Strong Marketing Plan

Marketing is one of the most important aspects of running a successful family pharmacy. You’ll need to find creative ways to reach your target audience and let them know about your business. Traditional marketing methods (such as print ads and direct mail) can be effective, but don’t forget about digital marketing tactics as well (such as social media marketing and email marketing). Consider offering discounts and sales to draw new customers to your pharmacy. 

Opening and running a family pharmacy can be a complex and challenging process, but it can also be extremely rewarding. By following the tips outlined in this blog post, you can set yourself up for success! Make sure to have a good location, proper permits, trustworthy suppliers, and a strong marketing plan. With these in place, you can’t go wrong! 

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @LizzieWeakley;

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.

8 Reasons for Pursuing a Radiation Therapist Career

By Jessica Donahue, R.T. (R) (T) (ARRT)

Radiation therapists play a critical role in cancer treatment by administering radiation to specific areas of a patient’s body. But more than that, they can enjoy an incredibly rewarding career in healthcare.

I’ve been in the radiation therapy community for more than 20 years and have had the privilege of teaching hundreds of students to become radiation therapists. I’m also chair of the Radiation Therapy Degree Program at Northwestern Health Sciences University. In the following, I’d like to share insights on why you should consider this profession.

1. Become a highly valued healthcare professional within a shorter amount of time

If you’re concerned about the amount of education (and money) it can take to become a healthcare professional, radiation therapy could be an excellent career choice. 

In fact, has radiation therapist on its list of the highest paying jobs not requiring a bachelor’s degree. (Also, U.S. News & World Report puts the profession on two of its Best Jobs lists.)

Depending on the education option you choose — and on your current education level — becoming a radiation therapist can take somewhere between one and four years. 

Here are four possible paths to becoming a radiation therapist:

  • If you’ve already graduated from an associate degree program in the related field of radiologic technology, you can complete a certificate program in radiation therapy in about a year.
  • If you already have a bachelor’s degree in any subject, you may be able to complete a certificate program in radiation therapy in about a year.
  • There are also bachelor degree programs specifically in radiation therapy, which will typically take at least four years to finish.

(See How to Become a Radiation Therapist for more information.)

2. Join a healthcare profession with a promising future

The need for radiation therapists won’t be disappearing anytime soon. For example, cancer risk generally goes up with age. And as the current Baby Boomer generation ages, there will likely be an increased demand for radiation therapists. 

Along with an aging population, this increased demand can also be attributed to improved cancer detection methods and evolving treatments that require a radiation therapist’s expertise.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a positive growth rate (6%) for the radiation therapist profession over the next decade.

3. Enjoy a great work schedule 

The typical work schedule for radiation therapists is an attractive feature of the profession. You usually work in healthcare facilities that operate during daytime hours, Monday through Friday. That also means you usually have weekends, evenings, and holidays off. 

This aspect of the profession makes it an especially good career choice for parents trying to accommodate the needs of their family.

Note that radiation therapists are often needed for full- and part-time positions as well as for traveling therapist positions.

4. Choose a professional path with lots of flexibility

Career flexibility is another appealing feature of this profession. Once you finish a radiation therapy program and take the steps to become registered as a radiation therapist, you’ve completed what the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) calls a “primary eligibility pathway.”

If you’d like, you can then expand your knowledge and credentials through the ARRT’s “postprimary pathways,” which allow you to gain additional certifications in medical imaging procedures like the following:

  • Bone densitometry
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Vascular sonography

And with more qualifications, you can become a more competitive job candidate, have more control over your career direction, and potentially earn more income. 

It’s also worth noting that a background in radiation therapy can also be a valuable foundation for pursuing options such as:

  • Medical device sales and training 
  • Healthcare management roles (which may require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree)
  • Other healthcare professions such as a physician assistant (which would require a professional degree)
  • Directly related professions such as a medical dosimetrist (which would require a professional degree)

6. Make a deeper connection with your patients

Depending on the treatment plan and the nature of the cancer, a patient typically receives radiation treatment five days a week for several weeks in a row. Because of this, radiation therapists are able to become much closer with patients compared to other healthcare professions, and even compared to other members of the cancer treatment team. 

The familiarity you can develop with patients involves more than just delivering treatment. You’re in a position to listen, show compassion, and offer emotional support. You’re often getting to know family members as well.

For many radiation therapists, the daily patient interaction is the single biggest reason why they love their work.

Then there’s the general rhythm of each day. You stay busy and focused with a steady stream of daily patients.

7. Be part of a multidisciplinary cancer treatment team

If you engage with individuals easily and enjoy the atmosphere of being part of a team, then you should definitely explore the field of radiation therapy. 

As a radiation therapist, you work with other team members, prepare patients for their treatments, practice safe protocols by working in pairs, and interact with additional department staff such as nurses, dosimetrists, nutritionists, and radiation oncologists.

Then, of course, there are the patients you have the privilege of helping every day.

8. Work with advanced technology in an environment that fits with your preferences

As a radiation therapist, you’ll be on the front lines of cancer treatment as you work daily with cutting-edge medical technology. And as that technology advances, it also creates opportunities for you to continually learn something new. 

In fact, you’ll have opportunities for life-long learning with continuing education courses through meetings, hands-on training, and directed readings provided through the American Society of Radiologic Technologists

Make the next move and start exploring programs

In a relatively short amount of time, you could be delivering potentially life-saving treatment and enjoying an extremely rewarding career. Could joining the profession of radiation therapy be right for you?  

If you’re intrigued by the information you’ve just read, I recommend that you take the next important step and start exploring radiation therapy programs today! 

Jessica Donahue, B.S. R.T. (R) (T) (ARRT) is an experienced radiation therapist and is also Program Chair for the Radiation Therapy Degree Program at Northwestern Health Sciences University. 

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

When Bureaucracy Prevents Nurses from Working – It’s Not Pretty

America’s nursing shortage is so profound that one would think recent graduates could start in their new registered nurse jobs the day after graduation. But that is not how it works. Thanks to bureaucracy, graduates in some states need to wait weeks – or even months – before they can start working.

Bureaucratic delays are both unnecessary and illogical. But they are commonplace in any industry that requires workers to be licensed. From nursing to cosmetology and selling real estate, bureaucracy fouls everything up. The strange thing when it comes to nursing is that bureaucrats have not learned their lesson. How much worse does the nursing shortage have to get before something changes?

Waiting Months for a Permit

The Erie Times-News recently told the story of a nursing school graduate who was already working for a local hospital at the time she finished her education. She was employed as a patient care technician. Ready to begin working as a registered nurse, she only needed a temporary state permit to get her through until she passed the nursing boards and got a permanent license.

Getting a permit should be simple enough, right? Not in Pennsylvania. This particular young lady waited for months and still didn’t get it. And she is not alone. Both Pennsylvania’s Department of State and nursing board are overwhelmed with permit and license applications. They have processed some 4,800 applications since April 2022. The Department of State operates on a staff of just twenty.

You cannot fault state workers themselves. The system is not designed for efficiency. Rather, it is designed to be slow and tedious. The fact that aspiring nurses even need to make application is proof of that.

Licensing Is Largely Meaningless

What is so frustrating about this sort of thing is that licensing is largely meaningless. While hospitals and clinics are desperate to fill growing numbers of open registered nurse jobs, permit and license applications languish on government desks. Yet a license is little more than a piece of paper a nurse needs to pay to get. It doesn’t do anything.

A licensed nurse has undergone years of education and training. They have put in clinical hours. By the time they have earned their degree and finished their clinical rotations, they are ready to begin caring for patients. Obtaining a state license doesn’t make them a better nurse. It does not improve the quality of care they provide.

The Bureaucracy Persists

One of the hospitals the Erie Times-News spoke to told them they had plans to start four dozen new nurses in mid-July. When the time came, they could only start twenty. The remaining eighteen were waiting on licenses or scores from the nursing board. The hospital is looking at some of them not being available for another month.

The bureaucracy persists even in the face of desperate need. Meanwhile, the bureaucrats and politicians continue to promote licensing and accreditation as a way to guarantee only properly trained people can enter the nursing profession. But isn’t that what a college education is for?

Incidentally, bureaucratic licensing and accreditation are becoming increasingly more prevalent in the American workplace. It is getting to be that some states will not allow people to do anything without being licensed. And why? Is it about money? Is it about control?

There are few answers to the question of why. There is also a very little hope that the bureaucracy will go away. The one thing we can say for sure is that registered nurse jobs are available in spades. If you are looking for a career with an insatiable demand for workers, try nursing.

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 Are Informatics Nurses & How Will They Shape the Future of Healthcare?

The healthcare system has access to more data than ever before. Thanks to wearable health technology and digital patient records, it is very easy to receive granular insights both into induvial patients’ health and wellness and the well-being of entire communities. 

Hospitals have the tech, but many lack the ability to process and interpret the information they are getting. Informatics nurses can change this. 

In this article, we look at how informatics nurses will shape the future of health care. 

What Are Informatics Nurses?

Informatics is the study of computational systems that are designed to store, manage and process data. It is a broad discipline used in industries across the business sector. In healthcare, informatics are used to observe trends and recognize patterns, both as they relate to individuals, and communities at large. 

In the world of healthcare, data has recently become more important than ever. The desire for data implementation is there, but the skill set to take advantage of it may not be in many places. Informatics nurses have been educated to handle data, AI, and other technologies that are key modern medicine. They are there to bridge the skill gap, allowing hospitals and healthcare systems to reap the full benefits of data processing and implementation.

Bridging disciplines

Historically, nurses have met their patient’s needs with a combination of compassion and medical understanding. These qualities still have their role in the healthcare system, but they don’t necessarily naturally include more modern healthcare skill sets such as technological fluency and data comprehension. 

Informatic nurses bridge the skill gap between healthcare practices of the past and future. Currently, many healthcare systems across the country are handicapped by staff that were educated well before modern data analysis principles even existed. They don’t have the background knowledge, nor the availability to learn new skills that would be required to take full advantage of healthcare data processing. 

By hiring informatics nurses, healthcare systems can provide their patients with the best of all worlds, giving them high-quality care that is backed up by sophisticated data sets. 

Better Patient Outcomes

Data improves patient outcomes by allowing physicians to take a granular look at the individual’s information, and then cross-reference it with information from people in their demographic. 

Instead of looking simply at a patient’s height, weight, and age, informatics nurses will be able to examine health trends based on more specific considerations, like heart rate, blood pressure, and more. 

Better intel breeds better outcomes. Data interpretation can help care providers select the course of treatment most likely to produce success for the individual being cared for. 

Treating Hard-to-Reach Patients

Data can also improve care for people who might otherwise find it difficult to access the healthcare system. Rural communities are often a good example of this. Several towns may share one hospital, putting some people many miles away from high-quality care. 

While these people may not be able to get to the doctor’s office routinely, they can still produce important health data through wearables. Infomatic nurses can then access this information remotely, monitoring patients’ health even from a great distance. 

This means patients’ can receive lifestyle recommendations without ever going to the doctor. They may even be able to catch health conditions early, despite their limited access to conventional medicine. 

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. Sarah has been a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry 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.

Modern Medical Jobs: Trading Gig Work for Steady Employment?

Medical jobs come in all shapes and sizes. There are private practice doctors and therapists and those employed by hospital groups, clinics, etc. Nurses can choose to work for an employer or freelance as a temporary/per diem provider. At times, the options may seem limitless. But what are the differences between gig work and steady employment?

MarketWatch contributor Kelly James wrote a fascinating piece in late July 2022 about his transition from freelance writing to corporate work. While his experience isn’t identical to healthcare workers who trade self-employment for medical jobs, there are some similarities worth examining.

To set this up, the equivalent of gig work in the medical field is contract work. Medical professionals fill temporary needs on contracts, either arranged on their own or through a temporary/per diem provider. They are self-employed in every sense of the word.

Self-Employment Freedom

In Kelly’s case, he first gave up a lucrative career as a lawyer to become a freelance writer. It was something he had dreamed about for a long time. Going the freelance route afforded him the freedom to be his own boss. He was able to make his own schedule, do something he loved to do, and earn a very good living. It seemed perfect.

Likewise, there is no shortage of doctors, nurses and therapists who have traded in traditional medical employment for the temporary/per diem lifestyle. As prn providers, they are able to take contracts that suit them. They can work when they want to and take time off when necessary. They can even combine work and travel.

The Downsides

In Kelly’s cases, there were downsides. He went back to the corporate world almost out of necessity. He decided that life circumstances required him to have a traditional job with a steady paycheck and medical insurance and was willing to give up being his own boss to get those two things.

Temporary/per diem providers are in a slightly different position. Demand for their services is so high that they rarely need to actively drum up new business. As for health insurance, it is still expensive. But a practitioner who chooses to work through a temporary/per diem agency might get health insurance included as part of the package.

Traditional Employment Stability

Kelly’s return to the corporate world was easy, at first. He enjoyed the routine and He enjoyed getting to know his coworkers and being able to collaborate with them. He certainly enjoyed the stability that comes with working for someone else.

Doctors, nurses, and therapists are no different. More than one locum has returned to traditional employment for the same reasons that drove Kelly back to the corporate world. Self-employment has its perks, but traditional medical jobs offer the kind of stability that doesn’t come with freelancing.

Controlled by Someone Else

On the downside, traditional employment brings with it the burden of being controlled by someone else. Kelly left his first corporate job due to a micromanager who controlled his day so tightly that he felt he couldn’t breathe. Healthcare executives and managers can be equally controlling.

Kelly also had to give up the freedom of making his own schedule and the satisfaction that comes from building a business of his own. Likewise, transitioning from temporary work to a traditional medical job pretty much eliminates work freedom.

Both gig work and traditional employment have their positives and negatives. For most people, traditional employment is the preferred option. But there are some who taste the freedom of self-employment and never look back. That is the way it is in every industry. Medical jobs are no exception.

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.

Introducing HS Students to Healthcare Careers

Saying that there is an abundance of open healthcare jobs right now is like saying the sky as blue. It is obvious. Healthcare is in a difficult position right now. The need for healthcare services only continues to rise, yet the number of people working in the field isn’t rising fast enough to keep up. So what do healthcare facilities do? Some are turning to a strategy of introducing high school students to healthcare careers.

It is important to talk about the number of healthcare jobs left vacant by people who are retiring or switching careers. It’s definitely a problem. But it is a problem in every industry. There is a certain amount of churn whether you’re talking healthcare or manufacturing. The other side of the equation is bringing in new people to replace those who are leaving.

Believe it or not, healthcare has struggled in that regard for decades. There simply haven’t been enough young people choosing healthcare as a career to continue producing a steady stream of workers ready to take healthcare jobs. Introducing high school students to the variety that is healthcare is one way to address that.

A Summer Program in Louisiana

A program designed to reach young people potentially interested in healthcare is being undertaken by the Central Louisiana Area Health Education Center (CLAHEC). Their program has recruited a dozen students to spend the summer working alongside healthcare professions at the Rapides Regional Medical Center.

Students will undoubtedly be exposed to plenty of doctors and nurses during the summer program. But that is not all they will get to experience. Students are expected to get exposure to virtually every clinical department at the hospital. They will spend time in radiology, rehab services, the NICU, and so forth.

Already, some of the students have remarked about being surprised by all the variety. Like so many other people, their impressions of healthcare revolve almost exclusively around doctors and nurses. It never occurs to them that there are literally hundreds of different healthcare jobs that have nothing to do with wearing a stethoscope and checking vital signs.

Too Much of a Clinical Focus

After hearing what students have to say about their summer program, perhaps it’s time for a bit of reflection. Maybe our culture has helped to create the shortage of healthcare workers by focusing too much on clinical positions. We have made doctors and nurses the face of healthcare despite the fact that, as a percentage, they make up only a fraction of the total number of healthcare jobs that make the industry work.

There are some young people who will set their minds on being doctors and nurses and nothing will sway them. They will be more than willing to put in the time to earn their degrees and get their state licenses. When all is said and done, they will populate the halls of hospitals, healthcare clinics, and private practices.

On the other hand, there are those young people who have no interest in becoming doctors and nurses. That does not mean that they aren’t a good fit for healthcare jobs. Some of them would be a perfect fit for therapy. Others are ideal candidates for lab jobs. Still others would make excellent patient advocates or healthcare IT workers.

It is clear that we need to find some better ways to get all the open healthcare jobs filled. There are no easy solutions to the problem. But one possible starting point is exposing more high school students to the variety that’s in healthcare. Knowing there is more to healthcare than being a doctor or nurse could change some minds.

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.

Remote Nursing Jobs Gain Traction – Here’s What You Need to Know

It seems like the entire world went virtual at the height of the COVID pandemic. Even in the healthcare sector, the pandemic forced us to seek non-emergency medical care through virtual means. As a result, remote nursing has gained traction. Even now, healthcare job boards list thousands of remote registered nurse jobs.

It may seem like nursing and remote work are incompatible. Nursing is usually a profession requiring direct access to patients. It is a career that involves bedside care and constant monitoring. So how can it be performed remotely?

In fairness, the vast majority of registered nurse jobs still adhere to the traditional model. There are just some types of care that cannot be provided virtually. But the growing movement for telehealth is opening opportunities for nurses looking to gather the traditional clinical setting.

Telehealth Primary Care

One of the most lucrative fields for virtual nursing is primary care in a telehealth setting. You may have some experience with this yourself if you visited remotely with your doctor during the pandemic. Telehealth appointments are similar to in-person visits from a structural standpoint, even though they are conducted by way of video chat.

A registered nurse still greets the patient and collects preliminary information. They may consult with the patient and answer general questions. The nurse provides a vital service prior to the actual visit with the doctor.

Other Remote Opportunities

While telehealth and primary care are getting a lot of attention right now, they are not the only means by which registered nurse jobs can be performed remotely. There are a number of other remote opportunities nurses can look at. Here are just a few examples:

Healthcare Case Manager

Nurses who work as case managers are essentially go-betweens. They are intermediaries between patients and the facilities that provide their care. A case manager’s responsibilities include coordinating resources, evaluating options, monitoring patient progress, and keeping patients and their families in the loop. Helping patients manage costs can be part of the equation as well.

Fortunately, this type of work doesn’t always have to be done in person. Perhaps it should be most of the time, but there is a growing demand for remote access to caseworkers. Patients and their families would rather collaborate remotely than try to arrange personal visits.

Nurse Educator

Demand for nurse educators is growing right alongside the demand for nurses themselves. Practitioners looking to leave traditional registered nurse jobs in favor of remote work might consider becoming educators. A nurse educator combines clinical knowledge with practical experience to help train the next generation.

The beauty of this particular job is that it relies on an educational model that was in use long before the pandemic: remote learning. The only difference now is that technology plays a bigger part.

Nurse Recruiter

Recruiters are challenged to find the best nurses for open positions. But nursing is a complex job that requires the right combination of knowledge, skill, and practical experience. Recruiters who have never donned a nurse’s scrubs to step into a clinical setting don’t know what it takes to excel in a given job. Nurses do.

Nurse recruiting can be done remotely. In fact, it often is. Registered nurses leaving clinical work in favor of recruiting could work from home, utilizing technology to make contacts, conduct interviews, etc.

Remote nursing jobs are gaining traction. Nurses looking to get out of traditional clinical work are discovering that remote jobs are a better fit for them. It is really not surprising when you consider the state of the modern workforce.

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.