Nurses Find Success As Small-Business Owners

Nurses Find Success As Small-Business Owners

It’s no secret that nursing itself is a solid career choice, especially as the demand for more nurses continues to boost the profession into one of the fastest growing career paths in the country. Salaries are strong, the openings are constant, and the work itself is often emotionally rewarding.

But a growing number of nurses are discovering something else about their chosen profession—their ability to succeed outside of traditional nursing as entrepreneurs and small business owners. The movement of nurses into small business has gotten so strong that interested nurses can now join the NNBA (National Nurses in Business Association) for conferences, training, networking, and swapping ideas.

“Naturally gifted with the qualities required for success-talent, resourcefulness, creativity, knowledge, education, experience, and skills-no nurse takes on a task halfway; they go over and above with 100% dedication and commitment,” writes Alene Nitsky (PhD, RN, OCN) after a recent visit to an NNCA conference. “Nurses go into business for many reasons, but most cite the desire to provide solutions to problems that are not being solved in traditional healthcare, wanting to provide better services and quality of life to the clients and patients they serve.

The appeal of setting your own working hours, goals, fees, and policies is also a major draw for nurses seeking to branch out on their own.

For the most part, small businesses created by nurses tend to focus on services that only a nurse can provide. For example, Expert Witness Nurses is a nurse-owned business that connects lawyers with nurses who are willing and able to provide expert testimony in court. Created by nurse Dawn Cook, the idea became reality after she pitched the concept to an NNBA “Shark Tank” at an NNBA conference and was awarded first place.

Other businesses created by nurses include:

  • Temporary healthcare staffing firms
  • Self-care skill building programs
  • Companion Care programs
  • Consulting
  • Medical bill review services
  • Medical equipment and supplies sales
  • And many, many more

The businesses created by nurses are hard to assign any one category, because each is unique. Nurses have a one-of-a-kind perspective on the healthcare industry, so it makes sense that they would be among the first to spot gaps and opportunities to improve healthcare. Often the idea is the simplest part, and it’s organizations such as NNBA that help fill in the rest—how to build the business, the legal and tax aspects, raising funding, and other skills.

Starting a business doesn’t require an MBA or the next Steve Jobs, it takes a good idea, common sense, hard work, and a willingness to learn—all qualities that nurses exemplify in spades every day they’re on the job. So as you complete your own nursing degree or eye your next career move as a registered nurse, just remember… opportunities for nurses don’t stop at the end of the hospital hall.

For information on beginning your career as a nurse or medical assistant, contact Provo College today.

 

What’s New in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

What’s New in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it’s hard to miss. The awareness color (pink) is everywhere, from ribbons to clothes to logos to athletes’ cleats in NFL games, and the country appears more united than ever in the battle against this disease.

And the awareness campaign is working. Every year, nearly $6 billion dollars is raised for breast cancer research. And yes, that’s “billion” with a “b”. Susan G. Komen, one of the leading fund raisers in the fight against breast cancer, brought in over $420 million dollars alone last year.

But the cancer statistics still look grim. There are well over 300,000 new cases of breast cancer every year and over 40,000 deaths from breast cancer each year. With so much money being raised every year to battle the disease, it’s easy to jump to conclusion that awareness and donations just aren’t making a difference.

Fortunately, that conclusion would be wrong.

While breast cancer continues to claim lives world-wide, huge steps are being taken every year in disease prevention, treatment, and quality of life improvements. 2018 is no exception, and here are ten of the big strides we’ve already taken this year alone:

  1. Talzenna – In October, the FDA approved the drug Talzenna for use in treating certain forms of breast cancer. The drug, which consists of a single pill taken once a day, limits cancer’s ability to change cellular DNA, and shows more promising results than regular chemotherapy.
  2. MRI vs Mammogram – A 2018 study found that two MRI’s a year are better than a regular annual mammogram for detecting early stages of breast cancer in high risk patients.
  3. Second Opinions Save Lives – Another 2018 study found that getting a second opinion after a breast cancer diagnosis, rather than jumping straight to treatment, can be very valuable, and that 40% of those who asked for a second opinion had a change in diagnosis.
  4. Calculated Risks – Doctors in 2018 developed a new online calculator (the CTS5) that helps predict the likelihood of cancer returning five years or more after diagnosis and treatment.
  5. The Blues Help The Blues – A 2018 study found that music as part of treatment improves the quality of life for patients in palliative care. They not only feel better emotionally, but physically as well.
  6. The Skin Cancer Link – Scientists found a connection this year between frequent skin cancers and other cancers, including breast cancer. Just on basal cell carcinoma on a woman’s skin increases their risk of other cancers by 1.6 times. Six or more basal cell carcinomas makes that number jump to over 3 times more likely.
  7. The Importance of Exercise – A study this year found that only about 3% of people are aware that lack of exercise can increase the risk of cancer.
  8. Less Herceptin – The drug Herceptin is typically given to women post-surgery to help reduce the risk of recurrence. Up until now, this was usually prescribed for a year, but thanks to a 2018 breakthrough, scientists now find that the prescription can be stopped after six months with no change in results… which is great news for those suffering from side effects.
  9. Genes Identified – Researchers in 2018 identified 110 genes associated with breast cancer.
  10. Hit It Early, Hit It Hard – Scientists this year found that intensifying chemotherapy at the beginning of treatment can reduce the risk of recurrence in women with a high risk of the disease returning.

There’s a lot happening in the battle against breast cancer, and as awareness continues to grow and donations continue to pour in, there’s great hope that one day, the disease can be stopped. In the meantime, it’s very important to follow the proven, established guidelines for prevention and detection, and as nurses, it’s very important to pass along that encouragement to every patient possible.

Interested in beginning your own career in nursing or as a medical assistant? Contact Provo College today for more information.

Nurses Rally After Devastating Hurricane Michael

Nurses Rally After Devastating Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael, which slammed into the Florida panhandle as a Category 4 storm on October 10, was unusual in many ways. The storm surprised everyone by how quickly it intensified—going from a relatively innocuous tropical storm to a raging hurricane in no time at all. It struck later in the season than most powerful hurricanes, struck a portion of the country that rarely receives a direct hit, and the sheer power of the storm was record-breaking.

“Students in tropical-meteorology classes are going to be talking about this storm for 20 years,” says Colin Zarzycki, a tropical-cyclone scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

But something not unusual about the catastrophic event? The response seen by nurses.

The damage of the storm was unprecedented, closing more than five hospitals, 15 assisted living communities, and five nursing homes to completely shut down. Others were left running on generators, while the nurses of one Panama City hospital scrambled to keep the emergency room open despite damage to the building.

Before the wrath of the storm had even reached the coast, nurses from two assisted living facilities were already making tough choices in favor of their elderly patients. Despite their own concerns and the threats to their own homes, one group of Panama City nurses decided to stay with their patients during the evacuations, many unsure whether they would see their homes intact again.

“I don’t know how (my) house is, if it’s still standing, so we’re just braving it, trying to get through,” nurse Linda Cooper said. “It’s very hard, it is, it’s difficult, but I’ve worked in this field for a long time and I think you’re mindset that way, you take care of people and you think when you have time about what happens in your own life.”

Many of their patients suffer from severe dementia and required regular assurance in the new unfamiliar surroundings. And the nurses, despite their own worries, delivered—playing music for the patients, keeping spirits high, and focusing on their mission.

“There are several staff that still have not been able to locate their families, and we know we have staff here that do not have a home to go to, so it’s been very challenging,” Seagrass Village executive director Victoria Folks said. “They have been remarkable and they’ve put their residents first no matter what, and they are our heroes for that.”

Across the country, other nurses are stepping up to assist their brothers and sisters in scrubs as they deal with the destruction.

In Knoxville, Tennessee, for example, Nurse Leslie Silcox is organizing volunteers to send to Florida while collecting and packaging donations for those impacted by the storm—all while continuing to collect aid for those in the Carolinas hit by Hurricane Florence.

Also headed to Florida are the nurse volunteers of the RN Response Network, who are traveling to the panhandle to assist with medical aid.

“Hurricane Michael is the strongest storm to hit the Florida panhandle in 100 years, and our RN Response Network volunteer nurses are committed to helping those in its path—including providing relief for our local nurse colleagues, whose homes and families will also be impacted,” said Bonnie Castillo, RN. “As nurses, it’s our duty to help patients in need, and RNRN volunteers always rise to the calling. We want the people of Florida to know that our hearts are with them, and the nurses are on their way.”

And nurses such as Jeannie Cashin of New Hampshire are responding to the call for help. Despite her distance from the catastrophe, Nurse Cashin saw the call for help from the Red Cross and knew she had to be involved. (You can see an interview with Nurse Cashin here).

We may not be able to avoid every storm or tragedy, but the one thing we have been shown again and again is that no matter what comes our way, we have an army in scrubs always standing by to help put things back together.

If you’d like more information on becoming a nurse or medical assistant, contact Provo College today for class schedules, tuition information, and to find a campus near you.

Helping Nurses In The Wake Of Hurricane Florence

Helping Nurses In The Wake Of Hurricane Florence

From the moment Hurricane Florence set its sights on the Carolina coastline, everyone knew the impact would be big. And despite weakening in strength just before landfall, the high winds and even higher waters carved a path of destruction through the state, the scope of which Carolinians are still trying to grasp.

As of Friday, September 21st, the death toll sits at a tragic 41, and “unheard of amounts of water” continue to wreak havoc in cities and neighborhoods.

It’s exactly the type of situation where nurses would be needed most… but unfortunately, the North and South Carolina nurses are among the storm’s victims.

Which is why the North Carolina Foundation For Nursing is putting out the call for help nationwide—to collect donations “to provide support to nurses who have suffered loss or damages from Hurricane Florence. The NCFN – Nurse Recovery Fund seeks tax-deductible donations whose sole purpose is to help nurses get back on their feet sooner; NCNA and NCFN believe that helping nurses return to their normal lives will benefit the entire state.”

The emergency campaign is both generous and perceptive—without nurses on the ground and in the hospitals, recovery efforts in the Carolinas would be seriously handicapped. And the speed at which the campaign was launched is no accident. After Hurricane Harvey ripped through Texas in 2017—also leaving many hospitals understaffed—the Texas Nurses Association created a similar campaign to help get their staff back on their feet and into their scrubs. And before Hurricane Florence had even made landfall, the TNA was already sharing what they’d learned with their nursing comrades in the Carolinas.

“It is immensely harder to focus on patient care if you are reeling from your own losses, so we see this as a chance to support our fellow nurses and try to help them get back to normal,” said NCNA President Elaine Scherer, MAEd, BSN, RN. “Caring for each other is a vital part of being a nurse. We saw an opportunity to step up and have a positive impact on a terrible situation. Doing nothing was simply not an option.”

One thing is for sure, the eastern Carolinas aren’t out of the woods yet. Waters continue to rise, and the hurricane is already proving to be one of the costliest natural disasters in recent history. If there were ever a time to have a full staff of nurses ready to help, it’s now.

If you’d like to donate (or if you’d like to share this article to help raise support), donations can be made at this link. And if you know of any nurses who were impacted by the east coast storm, they can apply for assistance here.

There’s also an opportunity for nurses (even nurses here in the Bay Area) to volunteer to help those impacted by the storms. Nursing.org recently posted an article with the many ways in which you or your nursing colleagues can get involved. That article is available here.

A big thanks to everyone doing what they can to help the nurses impacted by the storm.

If you’d like more information on becoming a nurse or medical assistant and would like to visit our campus, contact Provo College today. 

Life Balance

Work Life Balance Tips for Nurses

Like with any career, establishing a good work–life balance as a nurse can be challenging. This may be even more difficult as a nurse if you find yourself working odd hours and long shifts in a demanding position.

As a nurse, you’re often on your feet, facing difficult situations, needing to be at the top of your game for any unexpected challenges. It can be quite easy to let personal care and your personal life slip when you’re wanting to excel at your nursing career. However, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for any career, especially a career in which you nurture others to good health.

Here are some tips on how to improve your work-life balance as a nurse:

Make Health A Priority
Nursing positions are demanding, requiring you to spend the majority of your shift on your feet, bouncing from patient to patient. If you’re not in tip top shape to handle the physical demands of the job, this can be even more challenging. Help yourself improve your endurance for long-standing shifts by exercising regularly, even if this means for only 15 minutes a day.

Similarly, because of long shifts and busy days, your diet and nutrition may waiver as you opt into quicker, easier, and less healthy options. Avoid this by preparing meals ahead of time and keeping a healthy, non-perishable snack on you at all times.

Manage Your Time Better
Because of the steady flow of oncoming demands, many nurses find it difficult to manage their time in an effective way. This seems to be an enviable quality that comes with the package of being a nurse, but a way you can help alleviate the stress that comes with juggling your time is to set expectations for everyone who it affects.

Be sure to communicate to your supervisor what schedule you are available, and times and days that are “off limits”. Similarly, explain to your partner or family what days you will be working or on-call to avoid any disappointment. Don’t forget to schedule some time for your much needed TLC, and be sure to make it a priority.

Improve Your Self-Care Routine
How do you like to prepare for your day? How do you like to unwind from a long day? Whatever helps you get in the proper mindset for a challenging shift should be made a priority, just like having a wind-down routine after a long day.

Try getting up 15-minutes earlier to practice meditation or stretching before your long shift, or perhaps warm up your body with a light jog around the block. Before bed, try to take some time to reflect on the day by journaling or making a mental note of what you are thankful for. If you need to make a nightly bubble bath part of your wind-down routine, make that a priority.

Take A Break From Technology
We’re all guilty of mindlessly scrolling through our phone’s feed when we get a couple minutes of downtime. Sometimes, this guilty pleasure can be a nice way to relax, but most of the time it is sucking our attention and causing us to focus on others rather than ourselves and our needs.

Instead to taking to social media when you have a quick break, try reading a chapter of that best-seller you’ve been meaning to finish or listen to a podcast that makes you feel inspired to take on the rest of the day. Focusing on ourselves isn’t selfish, it is necessary to ensure we’re our best versions for ourselves and our patients.

Being a nurse is no doubt a rewarding and fulfilling career, but it can quickly take a toll on you if you’re not carefully managing your time and prioritizing self-care. Use these tips to help better balance your work and personal life, as well as your physical and emotional health. If you’re still a nursing student, these tips can also be applied for maintaining a good school-life balance as well.

If you’re not yet enrolled in a nursing program and would like get started, contact Provo College today. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff will be able to help you identify the program that is right for you in order to help you start your career quickly.

Male Nurse

Why Men Should Consider a Career in Medical Assisting

Medical assisting is quickly becoming one of the most sought after healthcare careers among men. Traditionally thought of as a a “pink collar” job, careers in medical assisting are both rewarding and extremely fulfilling to both genders.

If you—or someone you know—are male and interested in learning more about why you should consider a career in medical assisting, keep reading.

Join a Growing Field
You may have heard by now that healthcare jobs are on the rise. This is due to the fast-growing elderly population who rely on healthcare workers. In fact, the healthcare industry as a whole is rapidly growing. Medical assisting (MA) jobs are projected to increase by 29 percent through 2026, which is more than four times higher than the national average of 7 percent. This means trained medical assistants—woman and men—will be high in demand in the coming years.

Finish with School Quickly
Another great reason to consider a pursuing medical assisting is that it is a fast and affordable way into the healthcare industry. In fact, career in medical assisting is arguably one of the quickest ways to start a career in the ever-growing healthcare industry. Unlike a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing which can take as little as 36 months to complete, Medical Assistant programs can prepare you for the National Certification Exam for Medical Assistants in as little as 10 months! That means male and female students are done with school and entering the career field more quickly when they chose to pursue an MA.

Have a Flexible Job
Since clinics and hospitals are either open 24/7, flexible schedules are an option for medical assistants. Early mornings, late nights, and three or four long shifts a week—with the remaining days off from work—are common work schedules you’ll find when you’re a medical assistant. Whether you’re a man or a woman, flexible schedules are something pretty much everyone finds appealing.

As a medical assistant you are also able to work virtually anywhere. The skills of medical assistants are high in demand throughout the country, so no matter where you are looking to find work, you are bound to find work as a medical assistant wherever you end up.

Enjoy a Rewarding Career
Working in the healthcare industry—whether you’re a medical assistant, a nurse, or a specialist—is a rewarding and fulfilling career. Not only do you get the opportunity to help aid patients back to their best health, but you’re also able to create meaningful connections with people who rely on you for recovery. Also, being a male, you may even bring a sort of comfort to your male patients who may prefer a same-gendered physician to work with them.

If you ever do decide to return to school to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or other healthcare degree, you’ll be able to complete your degree while working a flexible schedule and building upon your experience.

While nursing or medical assisting as been traditionally seen as female-focused positions, both men and women make valuable healthcare providers. If you’re ready to start your career in a growing and rewarding field, Provo College is here to help. Our Medical Assistant programs at Eagle Gate College help get you the jumpstart in your healthcare career in as little as 10 months. If you’re interested in getting started on your career as a medical assistant, contact us today to see how to get started.