Thursday, 29 December 2016

The Best Nursing Fields for Higher Wages

The baby boomer generation is entering retirement years and the existing nursing force is retiring. With this, the demand of trained nurses is increasing rapidly, leading to a shortage in many countries.But, nursing was considered a career with few options and fewer wages previously, which put off many aspiring candidates. However, it has changed in the recent years with the rise of new nursing fields and good wages.

If you too are interested in nursing and want to earn good wages, then here are the best fields in this profession, based on wages.

Certified Nurse Anesthetist

These nursing professionals are trained to prepare and administer anesthesia. They work in collaboration with other healthcare professionals such as surgeons and dentists. It is their responsibility to care for patients, who are unable to communicate their needs, as well as ensure their safety.They can earn up to $160,000 a year, depending on their location and experience. However, one needs the ability to handle responsibility under pressure in emergencies.
If you want to opt for this field, you need to get a master’s degree from an accredited nurse anesthesia educational program.

ER Nurse Practitioner

As a nurse practitioner in ER, you will have to do triage duty, order initial tests,and provide input and more. Dealing with stressed and sometimes grieving families is a part of this practice. You should be prepared for the fast-paced work environment combined with the stress of patients hanging between life and death.You need a bachelor's degree in nursing and proper license to enter this profession. In this field, one can earn up to $100,000 annually.

General Nurse Practitioner

If you are confused about choosing a specialty or want to explore your potential, then you can work independently as a general nurse practitioner. It is not much different from RNs, but with your skills, you can earn good wages. You can work with family practice physicians and other healthcare professionals.In this nursing field, you can earn up to $95,000 yearly. An advanced degree (MSN) and certification as a nurse practitioner is what you need.

Clinical Nurse Specialist

These trained professionals work with a specialized unit or clinic.You will need Masters of Science in nursing degree with a specialization in clinical nursing. With a busy work profile and up to $95,000 a year wages, this nursing field is a favorite of many.

Certified Nurse Midwife

These specialists care for expectant mothers and infants (after delivery). As a certified nurse midwife, you can work in OB/GYN offices, clinics, and hospitals. For this field, you need the knowledge of pregnancies, obstetrics, labor, delivery and prenatal care.You can earn up to $93,000 per year as a CNM.
In the end, choose a specialized nursing program according to your interest, and you will grow in your career.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

NCLEX and Laboratory Values – What You Need to Know

Stressing over the NCLEX test and its preparation is common among nursing students, as there is much to learn and cover. From a variety of topics (including fundamentals, diseases, maternity topics, and more) and learning materials, students prepare for the test after completing their nursing study program. However, there is one thing in this process that most students detest – the laboratory values.

Success in NCLEX and laboratory values often go hand in hand. These values usually need to be memorized, which is why many students dread it. Lab values are included in NCLEX to test the student’s knowledge and analysis/application skills. It shows that you can  
  • Examine lab values
  • Distinguish nonstandard values
  • Identify abnormal results
  • Act according to the results
Regardless of how much students dislike it, it is a part of the exam and needs to be learned to achieve success in NCLEX. Here are some of the important laboratory values that you need to know.

ABG Lab Values
•    pH 7.35 – 7.45
•    pCO2 35 – 45
•    HCO3 22 – 26

Renal Lab Values
•    BUN 5 – 20
•    Creatinine 0.6 – 1.2

Cholesterol Lab Value
•    Cholesterol <200

CBC Lab Values
•    HCT F:36 – 46 M:42 – 52
•    HgB F:12 – 15 M:14 – 17
•    Platelets 200,000 – 450,000 <20,000 be very concerned!
•    WBC 5,000 – 10,000

Electrolyte Lab Values
•    Potassium 3.5 – 5
•    Sodium 135 – 145

Glucose Lab Values
•    Glucose 70 – 100
•    HgBA1C 4 – 6% >7 is diabetic

Bleeding Time Lab Values
•    PT 11 – 13
•    PTT not on therapy 25 – 35 on therapy –> 2x normal
•    INR on coumadin 2-3 w/o coumadin 0.8 – 1.2

How can you make learning lab values easier?  

Sort out the important ones – It may not be possible for you to learn every lab value there is, so filter out the rest and find the important ones. Sort them out according to your skills, interests, and specialty. Focus on the most important values that you need to know to pass the test. Once you have mastered them, move on to the others.

Focus on numbers – It is important that you focus on the number or normal ranges for a lab value, instead of its measurement unit. Once you have memorized the range, the measurement unit will be easier to fit in.

Get to know what it means –
Find out the real meaning and use behind lab values. Understand what an out of range value means and how it can affect the patient. Then, it will be easier for you to make a connection and commit it to memory.

Writing down lab values repeatedly or using flash cards are some other techniques that work for some students. If you find it difficult to learn and memorize the lab values, follow the above mentioned tips.

Good Luck!
If you are an internationally educated nurse and want to make a career in the nursing specialty of your choice, INSCOL offers various specialized nursing courses in Canada from top colleges. To learn more about the available graduate nursing programs, visit the website at