It’s no surprise the demand for qualified nurses continues to rise. The country’s baby boomer population is aging, while at the same time, a large portion of the nurse workforce is expected to retire this decade.
The Need for Highly Educated Nurses
But there is also another rising demand among the nursing field — the need for nurses with a bachelor of science degree, commonly known as a BSN. As healthcare in the U.S. continues to become more complex and diverse, nurses with BSNs are needed to take on leadership and managerial roles in the field. Nurses need to be capable of assuming more leadership and management roles to prevent disease, promote health, and provide primary care to individuals, communities and other populations.
The RN-to-BSN online program at NMC is the first step for qualified nurses who want to advance their education and be on the forefront of healthcare improvement.
Do I REALLY need an advanced nursing degree?
In short, the answer is yes. According to a recent article from the New York Times, surveys show that most hospitals prefer to hire nurses with bachelor’s degrees. Many hospitals have either made it their policy only to hire nurses with at least a BSN, or to hire nurses with the agreement that they will earn a BSN within a certain amount of time.
Several states are even looking at bills that would require hospitals to have a certain percentage of BSN-educated nurses on staff. As part of this shift, many hospitals are also phasing out licensed practical nurses (LPNs) all together.
According to the Association of Colleges of Nursing, all Magnet hospitals, which are recognized for nursing excellence, have moved to require all nurse managers and nurse leaders to hold a baccalaureate or graduate degree in nursing by 2013. Applying for Magnet designation must also show what plans are in place to achieve the recommendation of having an 80% baccalaureate prepared RN workforce by 2020.
So, then what's next?
That’s important to know whether you are at the beginning of your nursing career path or already somewhere along the way. If you are exploring a career in nursing, it’s important that you enter the field with the educational preparation and degree that will allow you to be successful in the long run. If you are currently an LPN or a registered nurse (RN) without a BSN, don’t panic. There are plenty of educational options to suit you as you grow in your career.
Nebraska Methodist College offers several BSN programs on campus and online. For RNs looking to improve their skills and qualifications, NMC offers these online programs: RN to BSN; RN to MSN (master of science in nursing), educator; and RN to MSN, executive.
For more information on our programs,
or comment below with any questions about our programs.
Juan Carlos Chavez is a former Nebraska Methodist College Upward Bound student. He graduated from Omaha Burke High School in 2012 and earned a prestigious Gates Millenium Scholarship, a full ride to a college of his choosing. He took a few moments to reflect on his experiences as an Upward Bound student and his road to college.
Upward Bound: My Sanctum for Motivation
|Juan Carlos Chavez, now a freshman at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA.
While I was a part of the Creighton Talent Search Program I’d heard about the Upward Bound Program, and little did I know they had the program at my high school. My brother grabbed a couple applications from a friend who said the program was amazing.
The best part about joining the program was the people I met: the counselors, mentors, and other students like myself. When senior year came around, Upward Bound became my sanctum to concentrate on my academics, scholarships, and most importantly for some motivation to complete it all.
Upward bound helped me complete my FAFSA, which is crucial to the Gates Millennium Scholarship and also helped me send endless documents to the foundation! In addition, they also provided me with a huge list of scholarships that I could work on as well. One of the big factors that helped me was the push of one of the students at the program. He was constantly working hard on his academics, working on scholarships, and also was a part of sports and it motivated me to work as hard or even harder. We became close friends and pushed ourselves to do better. So even the environment of Upward Bound with the people help motivate me to work hard on these scholarships, especially the Gates Millennium Scholarship.
Getting the Scholarship
It started off scary, stressful, and so it was so crucial that it worried me. My motivation was that my brother received a scholarship, and he assured me that if he can do it, that I can. I started researching scholarships the summer after my junior year. I had a goal that I wanted to complete 25 scholarship applications by the end of my senior year. Another goal I set was applying to at least 10 schools by the end of my first semester. (I didn’t reach it but trying to helped.)
Chavez submitted this video as part of his application for the Upward Bound/Teen Center scholarship.
My priorities for my senior year were: Scholarships, college apps, schoolwork, family, clubs, friends, food, and lastly, sleep! I must admit, it took a lot of determination, constant self-motivation, and sacrifice. If you would ask my parents they would tell you how they would come home to me sleeping on the floor next to the computer with scholarship essays up on the computer, and it was tough.
There are a lot of mixed emotions that come with the whole process, like throwing your hands up and shouting “I GIVE UP!” but I had to keeping reminding myself what I was working for and no doubt in my mind I know now that it was all worth it.
Welcome to the GMS Family
The day I received the package in the mail, my mom called and told me she wanted to wait for me to get home to open it. My mother, father, brother, and his girlfriend stood around while I opened the letter. I opened the folder, and read the first words on the paper, “Congratulation’s…. Welcome to the GMS Family.”
It’s hard to find words to describe the moment, but after I read those words, a chill feeling ran down my spine, I dropped everything, jumped up, and hugged my mom while tears of joy ran down her cheek. My father, brother, and his girlfriend joined in a group hug. Personally, I felt everything I worked for finally paid off.
The scholarship still means a lot since my parents didn’t have the chance to go to college because of financial obstacles. My brother and I are not only the first generation in our family to go to college, but the first to go with a full ride. This was the life our grandparents set out for us, while risking their lives to come to the promise land. Earning the Gates Millennium Scholarship is not only a relief when fighting financial barriers, but a relief in opening opportunity for my family’s future generation.
Making the Most of College
I am now studying computer science at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Its been different moving away from my family and friends and living in a city unknown, but its been new, amazing, and a lot of fun at the same time. I stay extremely busy as I am apart of Residential Housing Association working as the Marketing Chair. I have applied to work as an event technician, graphic designer, and I’m also part of the Tennis club, Breakdancing club, and currently checking out fraternities to be join in the spring.
My future goals now are to network with others, study hard, and eventually I want to start my own business! I hope to start looking into grad school so I have my choices open when comes around time deciding. But as of now I’m just working hard to receive good grades for my first semester, join some service projects, and enjoy my first year as a college student.
The NMC Upward Bound program is funded through a $1.25 million grant from the United States Department of Education. Through tutoring and mentoring, Upward Bound attempts to increase rates at which its participants complete high school, as well as instill the skills and motivation necessary to enroll in, and graduate from, a post-secondary education program.
In today’s economic climate, the cost of education is one of the biggest concerns many students have when choosing a college.
Tuition, books, living expenses — it all adds up, and the final totals can look daunting at first glance. But don’t be discouraged, you can still afford to go to college, and it is worth the investment.
Things to know when financing your education:
Fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible
Apply for scholarships from your college but also look at external options (foundations, etc.)
Federal Financial Aid is not automatically renewed. Be sure to reapply every year.
Shop around for private loans – don’t settle for the first one you see. Rates are very competitive.
Use your college’s Financial Aid Office as a resource – they are on your side.
Take advantage of the American Opportunity Tax Credit – you can receive a tax credit for your money paid toward tuition, fees and books.
Scholarships & Grants
Many scholarship and grant opportunities are out there from the college itself as well as outside sources to help you pay for college. At Nebraska Methodist College, last year alone we awarded $2.5 million in scholarships and grants from institutional, state and federal sources to our student body of approximately 800 students. Visit the Scholarship and Grant pages on our website to learn more about what scholarships and grants you are eligible to apply for.
Student loans are also an important option to consider. Last year, NMC students received more than $4.2 million in financial aid from federal, state and private loans.
Due to America’s growing student loan debt, student loans have gained some negative attention in the media in recent months. But managed responsibly, student loans can be a great resource for investing in your future. When taking out a student loan, it’s important to consider the potential pay and demand for jobs in your chosen career field.
But like we mentioned in our last blog, jobs in healthcare pay well and the demand for them continues to grow. In fact, 98 percent of NMC graduates find a job within six months of graduation in the nursing or allied health field. That’s a reassuring statistic when deciding how to invest in your future.
Always Ask Questions
If you have questions about your options for paying for your education as well as scholarship and grant opportunities, contact our Financial Aid staff. They can help to give you advice and insight to make smart decisions that can take some of the stress out of paying for college.
Choosing to pursue a career can be a daunting task.
Right off the bat, it’s a decision that spurs several questions: Will I be able to find a job in my chosen career? Will my job pay well? Will I like my job?
With these questions in mind, consider a career in healthcare.
Skilled healthcare professionals are in demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in five new jobs created this year will be in the healthcare industry.
For instance, with the aging baby boomer population, the need for nurses is expected to increase by more than 25 percent in the next decade. Added to that, a large portion of today’s nursing workforce plans to retire in the next 10 years. More than half of nurses surveyed in 2006 said they plan to retire between 2011 and 2020. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing offers more facts and figures about the demand for jobs in healthcare.
What kind of money will I make?
Jobs in healthcare pay well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates the U.S. median salary in 2010 for Registered Nurses was $64,690 per year, with an average projected job growth until 2020 of 26 percent.
Other median annual incomes in healthcare:
Physical Therapist Assistant salary: $49,690
Diagnostic Medical Songorapher salary: $64,380
Radiological Technoligst salary: $54,340
Surgical Technologist salary: $39,920
Respiratory Therapist salary: $54,280
Phlebotomist salary: $30,790
Medical Assistant salary: $28,860
Health Promotion Manager: $45,830
A job in healthcare is also rewarding beyond the paycheck. You provide crucial care that will have a lasting impact on the lives others. You might even have a chance to save someone’s life. Above all, healthcare professionals help people. What’s more rewarding than that?
Where should I get my degree?
Well, here are some facts about us: At Nebraska Methodist College, 98 percent of our graduates find a job within six months of graduation. On top of that, we have a 93 percent freshman retention rate and award $2.5 million in scholarships and grants to students each year from institutional, state and federal sources.
We are a leading nursing and allied health college located in Omaha, Nebraska, offering on campus and online degrees in healthcare.
If you are a prospective student, download a free Career Strategies in Healthcare E-Guide to learn more about the advanatges of a career in the healthcare industry.
Nebraska Methodist College student, Jed Hansen was selected as a winner for the New Careers In Nursing (NCIN) I Believe this About Nursing essay contest for the month of June, 2012.
As a Robert Wood Foundation scholar, Jed submitted an essay that shared his personal story about why he wants to become a nurse, what he has learned, who has inspired him or what he wants to contribute to the profession.
Hansen, 31 years old, previously worked in the financial industry in New York. He graduated with a business degree from University of Nebraska-Lincoln and immediately began his career in finance but soon felt driven to healthcare. He will graduate from Nebraska Methodist College in the spring with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
An Excerpt from Jed's Essay
"Unlike many nurses and fellow students, when deciding on a career in healthcare I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I took a systematic look at several different career paths and educational routes, making sure I was going to enter into a career that made sense for where I was in my life and where I wanted to go. I was looking for a career that offered personal flexibility and autonomy, a career that allowed me to help others, and a career that offered various professional routes. After diligent research, I found that nursing was the certain path that would offer me all of these career traits."
His winning essay can be viewed on the NCIN website.
View Jed's Comments
Everything is Changing
If there is one thing we’ve learned in our 121-year history as a college, it would be that change is a constant.
In much the same way that we no longer type on typewriters, listen to our music on cassette tapes or in many cases get the latest news from a printed page, the field of health care today is much different than it was in past decades.
From treatments, to medicine, to technology, the health care industry continues to advance, and those advances are reflected in the education we provide to today’s generation of health care professionals.
With that in mind, welcome to the Nebraska Methodist College Blog! This blog is meant to be a resource for you on the latest news and trends in healthcare and healthcare education. Whether you are a current or prospective student, a graduate or healthcare professional, we hope to provide you with useful knowledge and insight that can help you wherever you happen to be on your healthcare career path. We’ll also give you an inside look at NMC and our approach to healthcare education.
Let's Hear From You
We also want to hear your feedback. Tell us what you think about the latest health care news and trends; ask us questions on subjects you’d like to learn more about; and feel free to suggest blog topics for future posts.
At NMC, we want to prepare you for what’s next in your career, and we hope this blog can be a useful resource in that process.