Mental Health Support Strategies for Healthcare Personnel

On the surface, nursing jobs meet so many of the criteria that lead to workplace satisfaction. They can elevate a person’s community standing. Most people recognize and appreciate the services of all healthcare workers, but perhaps none more than nurses.

They provide a person with meaningful work that they can be proud of. In a world where workplace satisfaction is almost non-existent, that is an enormous benefit that can’t be ignored. They even command salaries well above the national median.

So why are nurses leaving the healthcare profession in droves? At the time of writing this, around half of all nurses starting today will have quit within the next five years.

A key reason: Burnout. Nursing is a stressful job. What can be done to address the mental health needs of healthcare workers?

Understanding the Problem

Nurses report heightened rates of stress, depression, and anxiety. A wellness survey conducted by the American Nurses Foundation revealed that 40% of nurses say they experience feelings of depression. For context, rates of depression among the general population hover at around 14%.

That’s a MAJOR difference— one that could account for the high turnover rate in nursing almost on its own.

What about the job is so difficult for people to process from a mental health perspective? Nurses:

  • See life at its hardest. When your job is to take care of people during what may very well be the hardest thing they’ve ever gone through, you may naturally find that their pain influences the way you feel. The extent to which this is the case will depend on the job. School nurses, for example, do not experience nearly as much trauma as those working in the hospice setting. Still, it remains a fact that most people who come before a nurse are there because something went wrong in their life.
  • Nurses deal with death much more often than the general population. Imagine that you’ve been taking care of a patient for the last two weeks. You aren’t friends, of course. Though you see them in an incredibly intimate setting, your relationship is strictly professional. Still, you feel like you know them. You’ve met their kids. Witnessed their fears and their vulnerabilities. You’ve come to enjoy popping into their room, knowing they will have a kind word or even a joke. Think about what it would feel like to watch that person die. Nurses have that experience all the time. Afterward, they don’t sit down with a therapist or social worker. They may not have any time at all to process their feelings. They keep working and then go home to people who can’t possibly understand what it is like to deal with death every day.
  • The job is stressful. Nurses make decisions that could mean life or death for their patients. That’s an enormous burden— one that very naturally translates into heightened levels of stress and anxiety.

To make matters worse, the working conditions that most nurses experience don’t translate well into good mental health. They work twelve-hour shifts, sometimes at night or on weekends and holidays. They are always on their feet. Work-life balance can be tricky.

These factors accumulate into a work environment that doesn’t produce ideal mental health conditions. What can be done about it?

Modifying Working Conditions

One of the simplest fixes is to give nurses scheduling options that are more conducive to their mental health. Twelve-hour shifts are designed mostly for administrative purposes. It’s easier to plan for two-shift rotations than it would be for three or four.

Admittedly, some nurses like this arrangement. While your work days are crazy, it gives you more flexibility with the rest of your week. When you only work three out of every seven days, it’s easier to plan trips and enjoy more time with your family.

However, the cons may very well outweigh the pros. The human mind is only designed to sustain high levels of concentration for around four hours a day. That doesn’t mean you are a zombie the rest of the time. It does mean you have a limited window to produce your best work. Is it wise to have healthcare workers so far exceeding that window?

Hospitals that switch to shorter scheduling sequences may boost the quality of concerns while improving patient outcomes.

Providing Mental Health Resources

It can also help simply to connect nurses with more opportunities to address their mental health needs. For example, counselors who are available when the job gets hard. Supplementary services (health, fitness, mindfulness) designed to elevate overall quality of life.

Even communication channels among hospital staff make it easier for nurses to vent. Many nurses lack social outlets for their work-related stress. Providing that sense of community could boost retention and improve the way nurses feel about their work.

Mentorship Programs

Mentorship programs are particularly valuable for new hires but can be useful for any working nurse. They provide that valuable social outlet mentioned earlier, but they also connect new hires or struggling professionals with someone who can relate to their concerns and provide good advice.

Businesses that implement robust mentorship programs typically experience much higher employee retention than those that do not. Why? The employees feel more comfortable with their work.

Conclusion

There isn’t much that can be done about the core mental health challenges that are baked into nursing. Nurses have constant difficult experiences. It’s just part of the job description. However, hospitals can do more to help them by providing a robust support network.

Do mentorship programs or group communication apps take the pain away when a patient dies? Of course not. Taken together, however, these considerations can produce a better overall work environment. The key is to give healthcare professionals the tools they need to feel better on and off the job.

Doing so will not only improve retention but also boost 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.

Innovative Healthcare Careers Sparked by Evidence-Based Practice

Healthcare is constantly evolving to keep up with the most scientifically supported approaches to achieving good patient outcomes. Evidence-based practice is a concept that fully embraces that essential healthcare truth. Every patient is an individual and every individual requires personalized considerations when making health-related decisions.

In this article, we take a look at what evidence-based practice is, how it works, and what careers use it.

What is Evidence-Based Practice?

One would hope the phrase is a bit of a redundancy—at least in this context. What is healthcare work, after all, if not evidence-based? While doctors and nurses have always leveraged their training and factual understanding of medicine to achieve the best possible healthcare outcomes, they haven’t and don’t always apply the “evidence-based” approach being described here.

Evidence-based healthcare is a very specific research-centric process in which care providers identify a clinical problem or question and take steps to investigate and address it. It’s time-consuming because it is very individualized. The “clinical problem,” is not necessarily transferable.

If two patients come in with congestive heart failure, the evidence-based research cycle may take place for both of them because there are other variables that will influence their outcome.

Because evidence-based practice is very research-demanding in an industry that often has little to nothing to spare it is not always applied consistently. However, it has been shown to produce good results, both for individual patients and in the way healthcare providers think about the services that they offer.

While there aren’t a lot of careers born specifically out of evidence-based practice, there are many that have been influenced by it.

It is now a concept that is taught both in nursing and medical school. It is particularly prominent in advanced curriculums. For example, if you wish to become a:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Neo-Natal Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Midwife
  • Gerontological Nurse

You will probably deal routinely with evidence-based practice. Unfortunately, because it is a very demanding practice, it isn’t a solution that hospitals can leverage in all situations. However, it remains a desirable framework through which healthcare providers can filter and inform their decisions.

Informatics Nursing

Informatics nurses work primarily with numbers. They record and process healthcare data as a way to better strategize for individual patients and to provide broader solutions that can influence a hospital’s overall operations.

They are an enormous resource when it comes to maximizing efficiency. Hospitals that are short-staffed or not funded adequately can make the most of what resources they do have by understanding their numbers.

While informatics nursing has existed for years, it is a career path that evolves constantly and is more prominent than ever now that AI and other data-processing tools have made it more accessible.

Informatics nursing was not born of evidence-based practice but it certainly operates in the same arena, providing hospitals with the tools required to leverage factually-supported decisions.

What is the Quickest Way to Become a Nurse?

If you are interested in joining the world of healthcare, you are probably wondering—what is the quickest way to become a nurse? Nursing is a very popular career pivot because you can get certified relatively quickly—particularly if you already have a college degree.

People heading to college for the first time will often need to deal with pre-requisite classes that significantly increase the time and money they spend on school. If you have your degree, you can skip those requirements and enter an “accelerated program.”

Just how accelerated that program is will depend largely on your capacity, and what opportunities are available near you. Often, people who are able to fully commit may complete their educational requirements in 12-18 months. From there, you just need to pass the NCLEX—nursing’s big, bad, standardized test—to get a job in the world of healthcare.

If you are interested in a more advanced nursing career— for example, one that requires a graduate degree— you may still be able to “bundle,” your education in a direct-to-hire package. These curriculums are designed to allow students to complete their undergraduate and graduate work in a self-contained period, sometimes shorter than getting just an undergraduate degree would have been.

It takes most people 6-7 years of college to get their undergraduate and graduate degrees. Through an accelerated program, people who already have their undergraduate degree may be able to do everything in around three years.

This opens a lot of doors, both in terms of salary expectations and in the job that you will ultimately be qualified for. Many times, nurses who want to specialize in very specific fields must get their master’s degree to do it.

There are so many paths to becoming a healthcare worker. Research what opportunities are available to you, and figure out the strategy that feels most accessible. The key is to strike a balance between efficiency and quality of life. Everyone is a little bit different in terms of how they do with school work, and accelerated programs are—well. Accelerated. Choose the pace that works for you.

As a future healthcare worker, avoiding burnout will be just as important a skill as anything they teach you in nursing school.

Conclusion

Evidence-based care practices are just one of the many modern concepts influencing the direction of healthcare. Digital technology, for example, is shaping the field as much as anything else. Hospitals all over the country are looking for administrators and even doctors and nurses with a good grip on software solutions that can help improve patient outcomes and improve efficiency.

There are tons of ways to get into healthcare. Find the career that suits your interests, skills, and passions, and go from there.


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.

How Will Increased Remote Work in Healthcare Impact Both Employees and Patients?

Some jobs just can’t be done from home. Teachers do their best work in classrooms surrounded by students. Salespeople continue to value the personal face-to-face relationships that fuel their success. And try ordering a cappuccino from a barista who is working from home.

For a long time, it was assumed that healthcare workers fell into this same category of employment. They had to go into their workplace because that’s where all the patients are, right?

It turns out, there are a lot of tasks nurses and other healthcare professionals can do from home. In this article, we take a look at the rise of remote work in the world of healthcare.

Who Gets to Work From Home?

Hospitals have enormous administrative staffs. When you drive past a city hospital that is tall enough to poke at the moon, it’s natural to wonder just how many people are sick in this town. Is it safe to even be here?

Fear not! While much of this large hypothetical building is dedicated to patient care, an equally large portion of it may be serving an administrative function. Desk work that can just as readily be done from home.

Many are surprised to learn that nurses, doctors, and nurse practitioners are also getting the opportunity to work more from home. No, that doesn’t mean seeing patients in their dining rooms.

“Frontline healthcare workers,” as they are often called do not only see patients. That is an important part of their jobs, but they also do a lot on their computers, documenting details and performing other paperwork requirements.

A recent study found that nurses working twelve-hour shifts often only spend a quarter of that time in patient rooms. The rest of the time they are parked in front of the keyboard.

The implication of this figure is complicated. Just because nurses aren’t always in patient rooms does not necessarily mean they aren’t needed on their floors.

Healthcare workers know all too well that things on the job are peaceful— until they aren’t. When patients need help, they can’t wait.

Most hospitals don’t have the option to significantly reduce their staffing assignments to allow for more at-home work.

However, they do have the option to play around with “flex hours,” letting those who can complete some of their work at home under more flexible circumstances.

Below, we take a look at how this might impact healthcare.

Improved Productivity

The technology that allows people to work from home has existed for a long time. Working from home failed to catch on during the early stages of the Internet partially because many worried it would harm productivity.

After several years of almost standardized remote work, it’s safe to say that the productivity myth has been thoroughly debunked.

In many cases, people actually get more done at home than they did at the workplace. Offices—or hospitals as the case may be— are full of small but potent productivity killers. Desk conversations. Meetings that could have been emails. And we can’t forget the commute.

Most people spend thirty minutes each way just driving to their jobs.

Remote work can and often does cut the fat out of a person’s work routine. For healthcare workers, this means that they will have more time and energy to devote to the important aspects of their job— choices that directly influence patient outcomes.

Easier Recruitment

The potential to work from home is still a rare and enticing benefit in healthcare. Consider this development from the perspective of a rural hospital that has struggled to fully staff its floors. They simply can’t convince new nurses to move out into the country for a job when they could just as easily find work closer to home.

But if they could leverage a hybrid schedule in their recruitment efforts? This may be enough of an enticement to win over members of a generation who are more focused on work/life balance than any other employment consideration.

Improved Job Satisfaction

That’s the ultimate goal of hybrid work schedules. Today’s employers are constantly competing on quality of life grounds because that’s what modern employees want— and because it is often cheaper than leveraging higher salaries.

The remote work movement has been generally well-received in how it provides people with improved work/life balance.

Improving job satisfaction for doctors and nurses can go a long way toward reducing unsustainable turnover numbers.

Potential Problems

Remote work hasn’t been perfect. Common issues include technical difficulties—if a person’s WIFI cuts out, that simple issue can kill an entire day’s worth of productivity— loneliness, and balancing the schedules of people who live in all different parts of the world.

Most of these major remote work issues don’t pertain to the hybrid work environment that most healthcare facilities are implementing.

That doesn’t mean that remote work in healthcare will be painless. It’s new and “new,” often means challenging.

However, the circumstances for a successful rollout are certainly present.

How Will Patients Be Impacted?

All of the benefits described above should trickle down to patients. Burnout is a very real problem and one that can have a MAJOR impact on job performance. When doctors and nurses feel less stress, they will almost always engage more effectively at work.

This can have a very big impact on future patient outcomes.

Why Now?

Healthcare shortages are still very real. The United States labor market has seen wages cool off as the economy finally rebounds completely from Covid. Hospitals that were offering sometimes fairly large salary increases to attract new employees have largely stepped back from that strategy.

They need to leverage incentives to attract employees and the potential to work from home is a (relatively) easy way to do that.

It’s also an effective one. Burnout is such a major cause of turnover and remote work can help alleviate it.

Wage stagnation certainly should not be the consequence of this move, but if hospitals want to find more ways to entice doctors and nurses to stick around, this is a good way to do it.

The benefits will undoubtedly be passed down to the patients as well.

Less burnout means less stress. Less stress typically means better patient outcomes. Right now, remote work seems like an effective way to address so many of the issues plaguing Western healthcare.


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 Emergency Room Roles are in High Demand

Did you know? Healthcare is the fastest-growing field in the United States. This declaration comes to us straight from the horse’s mouth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics published findings in the summer of 2023 that indicated doctors and nurses would be in high demand for the next ten years.

This information isn’t radically surprising for anyone who has been paying attention to the news. During Covid-19 we couldn’t stop hearing about how hospitals didn’t have the staff to handle the enormous increase in patient loads.

Last year, an ER nurse made national news after calling emergency services to request backup help. There hadn’t been a bus crash that sent 90 people to the hospital all at once. They simply didn’t have enough staff to cover a normal Saturday evening.

What is contributing to these shortages, and how can the demand for doctors and nurses be seen as an opportunity?

What’s Going On?

While it’s tempting to lay the healthcare shortage at Covid’s feet— you couldn’t ask for a better villain when explaining a problem— the truth is a little more complicated than that. Healthcare shortages have been forecasted for more than a decade.

Analysts have been sounding the alarm as more and more nurses retire or leave the profession for different work, while not enough new nurses come up through the ranks to replace them.

Healthcare was already in a vulnerable state when the pandemic came along to shape things up. Today, we are still dealing with the ramifications of those combined factors.

To make matters worse, there still hasn’t been a solution to healthcare’s primary problem: high turnover.

Nursing jobs are very hard. Emotionally. Physically. Mentally. Most nurses work twelve-hour shifts, even though studies indicate that the average person only has enough mental gas in the tank to produce four hours of sustained concentration per day.

That, of course, does not mean that a person is useless after they hit their peak. It does mean their efforts will be a matter of diminishing returns.

Eight hours is quite a bit of diminishing returns.

Even after years of healthcare shortages, the industry has not come up with a comprehensive response to the problem.

What could help correct healthcare shortages?

Quality of Life Considerations

About half of all nurses leave the profession within three years of starting. That’s a disastrous ratio that very directly reflects on the experience most healthcare professionals encounter on the job. What about working as a nurse drives so many people away?

  • The shifts are long.
  • The hours cover holidays, evenings, and weekends.
  • The work is brutal.

Most nurses work cripplingly long hours. They see hard things on the job, and they often become isolated from their friends and family based on the hours they keep. It’s hard to connect with your loved ones when you are exhausted all the time and going to bed when they wake up.

Some hospitals are trying to correct this by providing mental health resources and revamping their scheduling practices to make the job more sustainable.
These steps are still very much a work in progress, but they are making things a little bit easier for nurses all over the country.

How This Benefits You

If you are considering getting a job as a nurse, now is a good time to do it. It’s true that the work is not easy. It’s also true that many of the issues described in the earlier paragraphs are far from resolved. Many hospitals have not made any significant headway on improving quality of life-considerations for their nursing staff.

Even those who have can’t do anything about the emotionally challenging aspects of the work. Nursing is a hard job and it is always going to take a special type of person to do it. If you can dedicate yourself to helping others, if you can accept the fact that you’ll constantly witness human tragedy at work only to be sent home to live an ordinary life (it’s hard to sit down to dinner with your family after watching someone die, but nurses do it every day) nursing might be the right job for you.

Here are a few reasons why now is a particularly good time.

  • It’s a seller’s market: Many hospitals are offering signing bonuses and other incentives to attract new nurses. While it’s not a job known for its perks, now is a good time to apply a little bit of leverage to the hiring process.
  • You won’t have any trouble finding work: There have been times when nurses have had a hard time finding jobs. It’s not that we have had a major nursing surplus in recent years. Rather, it’s always been a logistic problem. Regardless of the overall state of employment, every town only needs a set number of nurses. When they hit that number it could be years before the local hospital system needs to make a new hire. While that is still a problem in some parts of the country, the dynamic has shifted hard in the other direction. Now, most hospitals need help and a nurse seeking employment today should have no trouble getting their desired placement.
  • The culture is changing: Slowly but surely, the healthcare worker culture is shifting in a more sustainable direction. Some hospitals are implementing flex scheduling and other quality-of-life considerations that are helping nurses avoid burnout and stay on the job for longer.

If you are interested in becoming a nurse but don’t know what steps to take, there are plenty of resources available to help.

Choosing the Right Nursing School

Here is a quick cheat sheet that should help you find a good nursing school program for your needs.

  • Consider online classes: While nursing has a very obvious and inextricable hands-on component, you can complete much of your educational requirements from home. Remote learning provides a flexible learning environment— particularly for people who are already working or raising a family.
  • Consider accelerated curriculums: If you don’t want to wait four years to start working as a nurse, you can get your qualifications completed much quicker with an accelerated program. While they do require a lot of work, they allow you to meet your requirements within 18 months.
  • Understand your options: If you already have a degree you can skip your gen-ed requirements and get certified as a nurse much quicker. It’s another great way to accelerate your career.

Ready to get started? Begin looking into nursing programs today so that you can make a meaningful and much-needed contribution toward the future of healthcare.


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.

Shaping the Future: How to Embark on a Career as a Nursing Educator

Nurses play an important role in society, there is no question about that. They are the backbone of the medical industry, making up a significant number of the workforce responsible for the care and attention to patients. For those that have chosen such a career there are plenty of avenues by which to expand upon that knowledge and experience. One of those is becoming a Nursing Educator.

There has been much discussion over the last decade or so about the quickly expanding need for more nurse practitioners in clinical settings and healthcare professionals. There is already a notable shortage of nurses compared to the projections needed to adequately care for the quickly aging Baby Boomer generation.

While those numbers are near common knowledge among colleges and medical institutions, there seems to be less vocality around the need for nursing educators, which is ironic considering that you can’t have more nurses without an adequate number or people to train them. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) states that there is a current rate of 8.8% openings, vacancies for nursing educators and these numbers are expected to keep on climbing due to impending retirement rates. Disconcertingly, nearly one third of all currently employed nursing educators in bachelor programs are projected to retire by the year 2025.

So, if education and nursing are mutual interests, it may be a sound choice for the future. Here is how to begin a career path to becoming a nursing educator. But first, let’s consider what a nursing educator is and does.

What is a Nursing Educator?

Nurse Educators, also known as nurse instructors, are registered nurses (RN’s) who have gone on in the education and experience levels to support the training and education of those persons who would like to become nurses themselves. As with any teaching curriculum, nurse educators will be required to teach, guide, report, and sometimes create their own lesson plans in a variety of environments.

Nurse educators are, along with other educators in the program, responsible for the development and guidance of students. The preparation of those students equips them to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam— the test that all prospective nursing students need to take before they are certified to work in professional environments.

Nurse educators work in conjunction with other faculty members at primary and secondary institutions such as medical research hospitals, health-care facilities, and sometimes private research companies so as to stay up to date on what emerging nurses may need to know to be well equipped for their professional roles.

Additionally, nurse educators can double their time in clinical settings acting as supervisors for nursing students or RNs in training. Nurse educators are not only teachers but can stand as mentors for students as well.

How to Become Nursing Educator

Before pursuing this career course, it is important to consider the necessary steps needed to become a nursing educator. Nurse educators, depending on who is doing the hiring, will have different requirements. The minimum is a valid RN license and two years of experience as an RN. Many educators will work about three to five years before making the transition into a teaching position.

While most nursing educator positions will require a Master of Science in nursing in addition to a few years’ experience, there are some places that are willing to overlook a master’s degree in exchange for many years of experience, great references, and evidence of competency in supervision and training of others.

So, typically speaking, the correct order of completion to become a nurse educator is to complete an undergraduate degree such as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, passing the NCLEX, serving as a nurse for a few years, and then feeling out whether education in this field is still desirable. From there, interested parties should enroll in a nurse educator program such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

For those of different ambitions, going on to complete a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or a Doctorate of Education (Ed. D) should be considered. While not required for teaching at an undergraduate level, it is generally sought after for those who would teach at the graduate level as a tenured professor or school administrator.


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.

Geographical Earnings: Comparing Nursing Salaries Across the USA

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

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

Here is a comparison of nursing salaries across the USA.

The States with the Highest Nursing Salaries

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

States that typically rank highest for nursing salaries include:

California

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

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

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

Massachusetts

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

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

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

The States with the Lowest Nursing Salaries

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

Here are the states with the lowest nursing salaries.

South Dakota

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

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

West Virginia

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nursing Salaries Can Vary Widely

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Nursing Roles

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

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

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

Registered Nurses

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

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

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

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

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

Travel Nurses

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

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

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

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

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

Clinical Psychologists

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

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

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

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

Healthcare Professionals Should Be Commended

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

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


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


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

Comparing Urban and Rural Nursing: Key Differences and Similarities

City nurses and rural nurses have the same job, but the healthcare cities in their respective communities typically have many significant differences. Urban hospitals are overflowing with patients. They experience higher instances of violent crime. During times of viral illness, their infection rates are considerably higher.

Rural hospitals aren’t a walk in the park either. They are understaffed, underresourced, and at the center of many serious health problems as well. Rural America has extremely high rates of opiate addiction, even in minors.

It’s never a walk in the park working at a hospital. If you are a nurse considering which path is right for you, read on as we compare and contrast urban and rural nursing.

A Common Ground

First of all, it is important to understand that rural and urban nurses share the same basic background. Regardless of their location, both began their journey by entering into some sort of program that certified them as an RN.

There isn’t a unique credential for working in the country versus the city. It sounds almost obvious to say but it is a meaningful distinction to bear in mind.

Many people on both sides of the cornfield border assume a degree of separation between city and rural people that doesn’t exist in real life. There are, of course, important cultural differences between the two settings.

However, at the end of the day, we’re talking about people. From a health perspective, as well as a social one, people are pretty much the same wherever you go.

Nice speech Ms. America. Doesn’t that sort of undermind the concept of your article?

Ahem. Yes. Well, while the human element of healthcare does remain consistent between settings, there are experiential differences that are worth exploring. Below, we compare and contrast rural/urban healthcare.

Patient Demographics

One of the most obvious differences between rural and city nursing is the patient demographics. Urban nurses will come across people from all parts of the world. The bigger the city, the more diversity there will most likely be.

In rural settings, there certainly can be some diversity, but the overall demographic tends to be more monolithic.

Why does this matter? Interacting with people from different backgrounds can require more social awareness and sensitivity than is usually required when working with people you share a background with.

As a city nurse, you will need to be willing to understand other people’s cultures and treat them with respect accordingly.

The Urban Advantage

Talk to any nurse working in an urban setting, and “advantage,” probably won’t be the first word they reach for when describing their place of work. Still, compared to rural hospitals, city systems do have significantly better access to resources.

Some of these resources are staffing-related. It’s hard for rural hospitals to find people for the simple reason that they have a much smaller candidate pool to choose from.

It goes deeper than that, though. City hospitals have more access to specialists and advanced treatment technologies. In fact, when rural people are diagnosed with a particularly challenging or sensitive illness, they will often be referred to urban hospitals.

Scope

Piggybacking off that last idea, urban healthcare workers have more of an opportunity to specialize than their rural counterparts. Because they typically have access to more people, it becomes possible to designate specialty groups.

A nurse working on the cardiac floor in an urban hospital may not need to abruptly change lanes into respiratory.

Rural hospitals are the opposite. They have fewer people to work with, so everyone needs to be versatile in their skills.

From a purely third-party perspective, it is difficult to say which arrangement is better. On the one hand, skill diversity is definitely a good thing. On the other hand, it can also be nice to be on the receiving end of highly specialized care.

Community Bonds

One thing rural hospitals typically do better than their urban counterparts? Community building. It’s hard to establish bonds when you are offering care to tens, or even hundreds of thousands of people. In rural hospitals, the patient pool is considerably smaller.

What’s more, there are also fewer hospitals to go around. One rural county might be served by a single hospital. That means everyone in the community is going to the same place when they require healthcare.

Common Cause

We talked a lot about what rural hospitals have versus what urban ones have. The truth is that neither setting has enough. Hospitals all over the country, all over the world, in fact, are struggling to meet basic needs.

Part of this problem is staffing-related. Just last spring an ER nurse in Washington had to call 911 and ask for backup support. The hospital wasn’t trying to process the victims of a large accident. They just didn’t have enough people to deal with a typical shift.

That’s a big problem, but not an uncommon one. It’s also an issue that has been going on for a long time. More nurses are leaving than coming in.

The new arrivals are entering a challenging time in the history of healthcare. Costs are rising. Technology is changing the experience in ways that no one can quite predict. And community distrust of healthcare has reached a high point as many people all over the country struggle to embrace vaccines and other forms of preventative care.

In other words, nursing isn’t easy, regardless of where you find yourself in the world.


Image by Yaroslav Danylchenko on Freepik


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.

Understanding the Current Demand for a Variety of Healthcare Workers

Over the last several years, demand for healthcare workers across the United States has continued to grow at an alarming rate. From nurses to x-ray technicians, countless medical facilities are currently understaffed and in need of more skilled medical workers.

These shortages are causing a massive strain on many medical organizations in both rural and urban areas across the country. Taking a deeper look at the implications of these shortages and how they’re affecting different facilities can give one a more accurate understanding of the healthcare field in our modern world.

Here is an understanding of the current demand for a variety of healthcare workers.

The Current State of American Healthcare Facilities

 American healthcare facilities are currently in dire need of a variety of skilled healthcare workers. As a result, these organizations are now facing a myriad of challenges that are harming their operations and negatively impacting the standard of care that they can offer the patients they serve.

One of the most keenly felt effects of this high demand for healthcare workers is high rates of burnout among healthcare workers —- particularly among nurses. While this makes a nursing career or other healthcare career path a more secure role to pursue, it is having a massively negative impact on medical facilities and the patients they serve.

Specifically, when healthcare workers are in the midst of experiencing burnout, they are less efficient and focused in their work. This means that healthcare workers such as nurses will be less capable of providing patients with the high-quality care that they need to reach optimal health outcomes.

While this may not seem like a substantial problem at first glance, understanding the wide-reaching implications of this phenomenon will show that this is a significant problem that the American healthcare field needs to overcome.

Without addressing the problem of healthcare worker shortages, healthcare facilities across the country will be less effective in their duties and patients will likely suffer worse health outcomes as a result.

Healthcare Roles That Are Currently in High Demand

 As a result of the healthcare worker shortage, there are a wide variety of healthcare roles that are currently in high demand across the country. Those interested in entering the healthcare field can benefit from an understanding of which roles are the most in-demand in today’s evolving healthcare landscape.

These in-demand healthcare roles include:

 

  • Nursing: Nurses play a vital role in the current healthcare landscape. Without these professionals, medical facilities such as hospitals wouldn’t be able to operate effectively. As a result, aspiring professionals looking for secure career opportunities to pursue can find what they’re looking for in a nursing career. In addition, there are currently a variety of flexible and accelerated nursing programs that can help one achieve their healthcare career goals.

 

  • Pharmacy technician: Though there was already a brewing shortage of pharmacy technicians, the COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation even more dire. This has to do with the fact that much of the country depended on the specialized skillset of pharmacy technicians to administer vaccinations during the pandemic. This need for more of these professionals has not yet been met and pharmacy technicians are one of the most in-demand healthcare professionals in today’s world.

 

  • Healthcare administrator: Healthcare administrators play a key role in helping medical facilities function smoothly and effectively. Without the help of these professionals, medical facilities run the risk of running into a slew of administration-related problems that can result in patients receiving poor care and treatment. This being the case, becoming a healthcare administrator can provide one with a path to stepping into a high-demand job role in the current healthcare sector.

 

  • Respiratory therapist: During the COVID-19 pandemic, respiratory therapists proved to be incredibly valuable and useful healthcare professionals. Unfortunately, there is a growing shortage of these professionals in the majority of American medical facilities today. Consequently, those intent on pursuing an in-demand healthcare career role can find exactly what they’re looking for as a respiratory therapist.

 

Ultimately, the number of in-demand healthcare professional roles is growing with each passing day. While this is currently a huge problem for the healthcare sector, those looking for fulfilling and secure career paths now have an unprecedented opportunity to enter the healthcare field and find what they’re seeking.

The Healthcare Sector is in Dire Need of Skilled Workers

 American healthcare facilities are currently struggling in the midst of significant shortages of professional healthcare workers. As of right now, there doesn’t seem to be a clear end in sight for facilities battling these challenges. Many are hopeful that the next decade will see an influx of skilled medical workers that can help address these shortages and benefit the American healthcare system.


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.

How Can We Improve Healthcare Education?

The educational aspect of the healthcare industry doesn’t get as much attention as it should. The reason for this is pretty simple. The majority of people never interact with it. And yet schools are where doctors and nurses are taught everything they know. It’s how they form the opinions and attitudes that they carry with them into their professional lives.

In other words, it’s important. In this article, we take a look at how we can improve healthcare education to make the field more effective and inclusive while also improving patient outcomes.

A Quick Note

Improve is a profoundly subjective word. A case could be made that changing the font on medical textbooks improves healthcare education. “My goodness! So much bigger. You don’t have to squint at all.”

Obviously not the metric most people are looking at. But you get the point. What does it mean to improve healthcare education? Better patient outcomes? A better student learning culture?

In the nineties, med school residents routinely worked one-hundred-hour weeks. Those hours have now been capped at 80 a week — still twice the national average for what most people think a work week should be, but progress. An improvement.

To systematically review and evaluate healthcare in a way that would comprehensively establish what improvements can and should be made would take more than the thousand or so words that this article will contain.

Instead, we take a broad-stroke look at changes that could make healthcare education more accessible and effective.

Tech-Driven Education

Medical technology has changed significantly over the last several decades. Surgery can now be performed largely by robots. Much more than a mere novelty — another way for a hospital to spend seven figures on a machine — these robots produce significantly smaller cuts than human hands can manage.

This results in quicker recovery times, and better overall patient outcomes.

Software innovations have been equally impactful. Data in particular drives many healthcare-related decisions, determining both how hospitals serve their communities at the macro level, and how nurses and doctors take care of individual patients.

During the height of the pandemic, it was sophisticated data that helped healthcare systems anticipate surges and prepare themselves for what was to come.

Data is also used more routinely throughout the course of the year. When a general practitioner advises their patients to get the flu shot early because it’s going to be a rough season, that’s data they are acting on.

Then there is the digitalization of healthcare records. An innovative development that allows patients to access their information easily, and have it on hand at the drop of a hat.

All important innovations. All things that weren’t taught in a medical education curriculum twenty years ago.

Naturally, this has changed somewhat in recent years. People do leave medical or nursing school with some understanding of all the technologies described above. As time goes on, however, it will be increasingly more important to emphasize the importance of these skills.

Improved Candidate Outreach

Healthcare providers in the United States are primarily white. This is problematic for several reasons. For minorities, it means they are being excluded from a career path that is both highly lucrative and rewarding. For—

Hold on. Excluded? Is there a sign medical schools have been posting that reads, “No minorities allowed,”?

Well, no. But inclusion is about more than leaving the door open and saying, “enter if you’d like.” It’s important to keep in mind that opportunities for inclusion in medicine, and in fact, most professional careers is a relatively recent development. For most of American history were laws and social taboos that excluded everyone who wasn’t a white man from pursuing lucrative careers.

These laws and attitudes have changed, but it doesn’t mean that inclusion springs up overnight. Bright young minorities who could be excellent future doctors might not feel inclined to pursue a medical education if they don’t see themselves reflected in the candidate pool.

That’s a shame for everyone. Study after study indicates that diversity benefits everyone. Organizations get unique perspectives. The community at large sees itself represented in the people serving them.

Universities can improve diversity attendance by changing their outreach materials and efforts to be more inclusive and comprehensive.

Improve School Culture

The higher education system in general is coming to recognize the need for mental health awareness and nurturing. Those one hundred-hour work weeks described earlier in the article aren’t conducive to good physical or mental outcomes.

Does it make sense to train a person on how to take care of human health while simultaneously forcing them to wreck their own?

Medical schools can’t afford to relax their standards. The stakes are too high, and anyway, the educational challenges are there as a deliberate barrier to ensure that only the best and most qualified wind up assuming jobs in the medical field.

That said, medical and nursing schools can provide students with resources to help talk about and take care of their mental health. Changing school culture is an important way to cater to the neurologically diverse, while also helping the wider population thrive in their education.


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.