Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Test-Driving a College’s Technology

Location, tuition costs, degree programs, financial aid… these are just a few of the factors you consider when evaluating a college or university. Here’s another suggestion: add technology to the list of criteria. At most of today’s leading colleges, students can manage their accounts online, interact via e-mail with faculty, submit assignments electronically, and gain access to a library’s entire collection online. There are chat rooms, online bookstores, and web-based wizards for resume building and career exploration. And this is just the beginning.

Technology is everywhere we live, work, socialize, and learn – it’s become part of our lives. We take new cars for a spin, try out new entertainment systems, and conduct trial periods on new software, so why not take a technology test-drive of your prospective college choices? Here are some factors to consider:

* Fluff or For Real—Is it just high-tech hype? A college or university may have a web site complete with bells, whistles, and the latest whirligigs, but it may stop there, so dig a little deeper. Successful colleges embrace the integration of technology with learning to ensure it permeates every activity, organization, and process on campus. Find out how widespread the technology is on campus. Are students, faculty and staff using the technology? Is technology accessible everywhere, including the classrooms, the library, study lounges, and resident halls?
* Future Commitment—Technology changes too rapidly for it not to be an integral part of any college’s vision or strategy for future success. Confirm that there is current—as well as future—ownership and commitment at the operational and leadership levels.
* Chevy or Cadillac—Determine if the technology at the college is up-to-date. Successful programs include access to e-mail, the Internet, the latest software programs, and other applications that enhance the learning process. Can you register for classes, pay bills, or buy books from a virtual bookstore? Can you access electronic copies of books, magazine articles, and class reserves? Can you participate in after-class discussions, check out your course syllabus, and view a presentation through the course web site?
* Support—The use of technology on a college campus is only as effective as those who support and maintain it. Check to see if your prospective colleges or universities incorporate a dedicated technical support staff and/or a computer-learning center that offers hardware/software upgrades and troubleshooting help.
* Mobility and Ubiquity—This is known as the icing on the cake. While some colleges offer desktop computers in labs or dorm rooms, other leading-edge institutions provide wireless laptops to incoming students, giving them access to the world around them from virtually any location.

The benefits of a tech-savvy college or university extend beyond the computer screen. Communication between students, faculty and staff is improved and new efficiencies in processes are quickly realized. Some students also feel that attending a highly wired campus enables the faculty and support staff to be even more accessible in many ways, including virtual office hours, online group discussions, and help with a project-in-progress via e-mail. Faculty members have discovered that technology enhances the learning process by offering new ways of learning and sharing information while improving timeliness, organization, and communication skills. From a staffing perspective, student data can be effectively compiled, stored and shared via Web-based, user-friendly tools.

Test-driving prospective colleges or universities for their use of technology should become part of your search process and selection criteria. It’s a wise move in today’s wired world, and it can be one of the key factors in determining the potential effectiveness and value of your higher education experience.

Higher Education in New York

From the majestic Adirondack mountains and breathtaking Niagara Falls to the bustle of the world financial capital of New York City, the state of New York offers visitors a spirit, energy, and beauty that’s hard to match. Similarly, the educational opportunities in “The Empire State” boast a rich and diverse array of possibilities.

Consider one of the 100+ private colleges and universities located in New York State. Each is unique. Some are large, some small. They enroll students from different ethnic and economic backgrounds, and from hundreds of foreign countries.

You can choose among more than 100 research universities, liberal arts colleges, technical institutes and specialized schools with nearly 150 campuses: 56 are in New York City; 39 are in the immediate suburbs of New York City; 35 are in “upstate” cities; and 18 are located throughout the state’s rural regions. These institutions are the focal points of their communities, providing learning and cultural opportunities.

The quality of your education matters. Quality is found in strong academic departments, small classes, caring professors, and outstanding career placement services. It’s found in how a college helps you to develop the skills to think critically, creatively, and analytically, and to express yourself effectively. You’ll want to look for low student-teacher ratios and personal attention, both in and out of the classroom. You’ll find quality at New York’s private colleges and universities.

World-class dedicated faculty, including many who are active researchers, will challenge and inspire. You’ll benefit from the experience and knowledge of alumni contacts. You’ll have opportunities to gain real-life experience and to build a personal network through internships, co-op experiences, research projects, study abroad, and exchange programs.

At any of New York’s private colleges or universities, you’ll work hard and learn more than you can imagine. Upon graduation, you’ll be confident and ready fo your career or graduate school.

Liberal Arts Education

A Department of Labor report projects that 80 percent of the children beginning kindergarten will eventually enter jobs that don’t even exist today! This startling projection has the ring of truth when we consider all the changes that have taken place in the workplace over the past 10-15 years: e-mail and voice mail becoming essential work tools; the pervasive use of the Internet to complete business transactions ranging from advertising and shopping to banking; instantaneous Web-based access to information on almost any subject; and more.

If work continues to change as radically as it has in the recent past, then how do we prepare today’s students to enter the workforce and become productive citizens? For one thing, we are witnessing radical changes in the entry-level skills required for jobs as they evolve toward higher-level skills, especially the skills of analytical thinking, problem solving, communication, computation, and working in teams.

To be successful in the workplace of the future, individuals will need more than technical training; the essential core of education, what we often refer to as liberal arts education, will remain the most practical preparation for lifelong employment because it promotes intellectual and personal growth and equips the individual to cope with change by being able to adapt to the workplace as it continues to transform.

But the term “liberal arts education” has at best a fuzzy meaning for many people. For some, it means all those required classes that stand in the way of technical training, which some people feel is the only way to prepare for a job. But, upon closer inspection, the liberal arts can be understood as the key to survival in any field that is subject to change over time. The standard definition of liberal arts education implies a program of study designed to foster capacities of analysis, critical reflection, problem solving, communication, computation and synthesis of knowledge from different disciplines. Its goal is to provide students with an intellectual, historical, and social context for recognizing the continuity between the past and future and for drawing on the human capacity of reason to understand human experience, to question the values dimension of human enterprise, and to articulate the results of this process of thinking.

These are job skills, and any employer would be hard pressed to turn away a person who possesses them. However, this definition doesn’t fully capture the rich texture of this brand of education. First of all, liberal arts education puts the individual into the presence of the greatest ideas, most transforming concepts, and most powerful works of the imagination that human beings have produced. This is not important because it’s useful for making cocktail party conversation; it is requisite as an intellectual framework with which to understand and evaluate human events and interactions.

Second, liberal arts education is empowering; it provides rehearsal for life in the imagination; it liberates us from the limitations of our own experience and opinions by proffering alternative views, scenarios, and explanations. It helps us to appreciate the fact that neither the easiest nor the most complex solution is necessarily the correct one. We learn to think, marshal evidence, and weigh the relative merits of different factors before committing to a plan of action.
Third, liberal arts education imparts a set of values that are necessary in order for human beings to live together in harmony. Society functions only as well as it produces good citizens, and the concept of good citizenship is embodied by individuals who understand and take their responsibilities seriously, who vote, who actively work for the betterment of society, especially by giving service to others. Civic responsibility is a cornerstone of liberal arts education.

Helping individuals to work together despite their differences, a liberal arts education embraces concepts of diversity and multiculturalism, which result in values and competencies needed so desperately in a pluralistic society like that of the U.S. It also prepares the individual to recognize the interdependency of all of our global partners and to appreciate the differences and similarities among world cultures. These are practical skills when viewed from the perspective of workplace diversity and the increasing emphasis on international business and trade.

Yes, technical skills might give one the “foot in the door” in terms of entry into the workforce, but a liberal arts education will provide the staying power, serve as a foundation for continuous growth and development, and lead to the professional success that we set our sights on. Viewed in this context, liberal arts education remains the most practical brand of education. Nothing else will equip us with the knowledge base, skills, habits of mind and values to function effectively and productively in the unknown world of the new century.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

5 Little-Known Giant Health Care Issues Facing the United States

While many people in the United States agree that some sort of health care reform is in order, those same individuals may be unaware of the specific problems within the system. Those who are engaged in current events may stay on top of all the following issues affecting patients and health care workers, but this is sadly not the case where the average citizen is concerned. With the 2008 presidential election on the horizon, it is more important than ever for casual observers to learn more about the following five little-known giant health care issues that individuals in the United States face.
1. Uninsured Millions Are Affecting Everyone

Many individuals complain about the shortcomings of our insurance policies, but do you know how many people are living without any kind of medical insurance? It is estimated that over 46 million Americans are currently uninsured. This is a testament to the many problems within the system. Most uninsured people go without insurance because of the initial cost, while others feel that outrageous premiums make insurance policies futile. In essence, many Americans have simply given up on health care insurance.

Without health insurance, people often neglect "well" visits to the doctor. Preventative medicine is essential for good health and longevity. Without regular checkups and childhood vaccinations, individuals and society as a whole may suffer. The individuals who avoid the doctor's office will experience more serious illnesses and conditions, while contagious diseases will spread throughout the public more readily when proper vaccinations and care are not administered.
2. Obesity Is Dangerously On the Rise

We hear it in the news all the time: "America is getting fatter." However, many of us dismiss how devastating this epidemic is to our health. Reports from 2005 indicated that 64.5% of American adults were overweight, possibly obese. Today, obesity rates are even higher and projected to grow exponentially. The health risks involved with obesity are numerous, though high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and heart disease are the most concerning. According to a 2005 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), obesity-related illnesses kill over 112,000 Americans each year. The CDC, however, links obesity with over 300,000 deaths per year. A large discrepancy, but both numbers are alarming.

Why are Americans getting so fat? Experts are attributing this to many factors. For one, workplaces are far less strenuous than they used to be. Our bodies, once built for hunting and gathering, are often sedentary through most of the day. Another large contributor to the nation's expanding waistline is the television. Both television programming and video games park people on their couches. The biggest factor in obesity, however, is overeating. Americans eat larger portions than necessary and are offered many delicious, albeit fatty, processed foods.
3. Pharmaceutical Companies Control More Than You Realize

Comparison shop between your local pharmacies all you like, your sticker shock can only be blamed on greedy pharmaceutical companies. Yes, we have them to thank for medicinal breakthroughs, and scientific research certainly isn't cheap; however, when the goal of a pharmaceutical company turns from profit to excess profit, everyone suffers.

The rising costs of prescription drugs have been devastating on Medicaid and Medicare programs, leading many doctors to stop accepting patients with such coverage. Also, high prices have gravely affected AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP), leaving many HIV/AIDS patients without life-saving medications. Doctors are continuously wined and dined by pharmaceutical representatives, which certainly can bias physicians to use certain prescriptions that may not be the cheapest or most effective options. Even some of the most respected medical journals, which are presumed to be unbiased, have been bankrolled by high-dollar drug advertisements.
4. Hospital Staff Shortages Are Killing People

Says Marge Sampson, a former hospital nurse, stated to the Chicago Tribune, "It's so scary to spend eight hours, flying by the seat of your pants and just praying. In my day, they taught you never to give a drug until you looked it up and verified the proper doses. But you can't do that. There's no time. You're just dumped into this. It's so nightmarish I can't even explain."

A nationwide shortage of hospital personnel has left many health care workers overworked and exhausted. The result? Mistakes occur, sometimes with deadly consequences. Many hospital workers are asked to cover areas where they have little experience, while others simply make mistakes due to stress and/or sleep deprivation. It is hard to say how many medical errors occur in American hospitals each year. Ironically, this lack of adequate documentation is also due to staff shortages. However, the Institute of Medicine estimates that 7000 people die each year in America from medication errors alone.
5. Veterans Are Being Neglected

A Harvard / Public Citizen report found that, as of 2003, 1.69 million veterans were without medical insurance or regular care from Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities. Those who earn too much to qualify for VHA services, yet not enough to afford private insurance, find themselves in a helpless situation. Others that do qualify for free VHA services may sit on long waiting lists while suffering from a chronic condition or disease or, upon acceptance, will receive inadequate care from an understaffed facility.

In 2005, it was acknowledged by U.S. government that the Department of Veterans Affairs was lacking $1 billion to operate with maximum efficiency. Since that time, organizations like the American Legion and the Paralyzed Veterans of America have been working overtime to make changes on Capitol Hill. However, the fact remains that many veterans, even those maimed in combat, have been all but abandoned by this health care system.

There are obviously no easy answers for the health care problems that face the United States today. However, the public needs to be aware of what is happening to the health care system, as all of these issues affect society as a whole. Even if you are content with your particular insurance policy or health care provider, you should still be concerned about hospital shortages. Even if you are of a healthy weight, obesity is undoubtedly a problem for someone you care about and is certainly on the rise for children. In short, the above "little-known" health care issues should be familiar to us all.

The Ultimate Guide to the NCLEX Exam

The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) are test plans used by state and territorial boards of nursing to assist in determining licensure decisions. In order to become a nurse, you must pass one of those two exams. While the pressure is on to pass the test, the following information might make the whole process much easier for you.

If you realize that one organization, National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), develops both licensure examinations, you might then understand that this is the source for all your research into the NCLEX. Beyond this, some simple requirements include registration, as you must apply for a nursing license from your state board of nursing. That board will determine whether or not you meet their criteria for NCLEX exam eligibility. Once you've passed eligibility, you must register to take the exam - or, in other words - apply for a license to practice nursing.

Once you register, you'll receive an NCLEX Examination Candidate Bulletin in the mail or by email. This bulletin allows you to register with the NCSBN's testing service (see instructions below). You'll also receive an ATT (Authorization to Take the Test), along with a list of testing centers and instructions for how to schedule a time to take the exam. From this point, the only thing you need to do is pass the exam! That's where we come in, to help you simplify this otherwise stressful event.
NCLEX Test Plan Structures

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) develops the two licensure examinations mentioned in the introduction. Therefore, it might behoove you to look to this agency for guidance in taking these exams. As explained in the link provided for NCSBN, their committees, subcommittees and staff prepare the items for the tests and contracts with Pearson VUE for test development and administration of the NCLEX examinations. This is a fairly new partnership and it will extend through 2014.

The link for Pearson VUE above will take you directly to the page where you can schedule your NCLEX exam. This page also contains an online tutorial for both NCLEX test plans. This tutorial is the same for both the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN, and you will need a Windows PC to operate this tutorial. When you click "Play Tutorial," a "File Download" box will appear. Click "Open" and the windows application will download to your PC. Once the installation completes, the guided tour and tutorial will open automatically and you may begin to practice for your exams.

According to the NCSBN, the NCLEX-RN test plan [PDF] categories all reflect client needs across the life span in a variety of settings. Under this broad topic, you'll find four major categories of Client Needs that organize the content within the test plan. Two of the four categories are further divided into a total of six subcategories. The Client Needs categories and subcategories that define the content of the NCLEX-RN Test Plan include ("Health promotion and maintenance" and "Psychosocial Integrity" categories do not have subcategories):

Safe Effective Care Environment

* Management of Care: 13% - 19%
* Safety and Infection Control: 8% - 14%

Health promotion and maintenance: 6% - 12%

Paychosocial Integrity: 6% - 12%

Physiological Integrity

* Basic Care and Comfort: 6% - 12%
* Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies: 13% - 19%
* Reduction of Risk Potential: 13% - 19%
* Physiological Adaptation: 11% - 17%

Now that you know the basic percentages that each topic consumes within the test plan, you can judge how to portion your time for test study. For instance, if you're weak in "Safety and Infection Control," you know that you risk blowing from 13% to 19% of that test if you don't study that subcategory. If you read further into the PDF file offered by the NCSBN, you'll discover that there are thirteen topics listed within that "Safety and Infection Control" subcategory:

1. Accident Prevention
2. Disaster Planning
3. Emergency Response Plan
4. Error Prevention
5. Handling Hazardous and Infectious Materials
6. Home Safety
7. Injury Prevention
8. Medical and Surgical Asepsis
9. Reporting of Incident/Event/Irregular Occurrence/Variance
10. Safe Use of Equipment
11. Security Plan
12. Standard/Transmission-Based/Other Precautions
13. Use of Restraints/Safety Devices

The NCSBN warns that the topics above are included in the "Safety and Infection Control" subcategory, but they may not be limited to those thirteen topics. Still, these topics can provide you with guidance in how to study for that subcategory. If you know these topics, then you can bring that 13% to 19% of the test plan score up to par and you won't fail that section.

After you preview what's expected from you for both tests from that PDF, you'll want to visit the NCSBN Learning Extension, where you can find various tips, courses, and reviews for the test plans. Not all the information on this site is free, but you are free to make the choice between paying for materials here or - with the test subjects under your belt - use free online materials to study for the exams. Another resource is the NCSBN PDF file, "Candidate Bulletin" for 2007, which outlines every question you might have about these exams.
About Registering (or Re-registering)

A 365-day time period during which a board of nursing may determine the candidate's eligibility begins when the board of nursing receives the candidate's registration from the test service. Once a candidate is made eligible, he or she must test within the validity dates printed on the Authorization to Test (ATT).

If a candidate's board of nursing is unable to make that candidate eligible within the 365-day time period, the candidate must wait until his or her current registration expires before re-registering. If a candidate re-registers before a current registration expires, the second registration will be processed and denied and the fee collected for the application will be non-refundable. Additionally, candidates who are not made eligible by their board of nursing within 365 days will forfeit registration, including the fee. Candidates then must re-register and re-pay the examination fee.

As a candidate, you can register online at Pearson VUE (, by mail (see instructions at, or by phone (instructions also at The fee for taking the NCLEX examination currently is $200. Candidates may also have to pay other fees for licensure required by the board of nursing in the application jurisdiction. There will be no refund of registration fees (mail, telephone, or via the Internet) for any reason. This policy also applies to the current international scheduling fee of $150.

If you apply by Internet or if you supply an email address, you will receive information from Pearson VUE by email. If, however, you don't provide an email address for communications, all correspondence from Pearson VUE will arrive only through U.S. mail.
NCLEX Test Time

The current NCLEX examination is a four-option, multiple-choice examination that includes "alternate items" [PDF]. Alternate items will allow candidates to demonstrate their entry-level nursing competence in ways that are different from the standard multiple-choice items. Follow the link to learn more about these items so you'll be prepared for those questions.

The NCLEX multiple-choice exam uses an interactive system called Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) to gauge your level of competence. After you've answered the minimum number of questions (75 out of 265 questions for RN candidates, 85 out of 205 questions for LPN candidates), the computer will attempt to access your level of competence. The questions that follow may vary from that point for each candidate. To read more about how the CAT system works, take some time to review NCSBN's PowerPoint explanation about CAT.

At the point of minimum answers to questions, you can basically determine if you will pass or fail. If you are clearly above the passing standard at the minimum questions, you'll pass. If you are clearly below the standard, you'll probably fail. If you fall too close to the standard to allow a definitive result, you'll continue to answer questions until a final assessment can be determined. Read more about how the answers to the questions are determined at NCSBN's FAQ.

You have five hours to complete the exam, and this time includes the introductory computer tutorial and two ten-minute breaks. The NCLEX examination is scored once by the computer on which you take the test, and a second time by the National Council's testing service. It will take about a month for your state board of nursing to send the results of your exam to you.

If you fail the test, it's not the end of the world. In fact, you're somewhat at an advantage if you need to retake the exam, as your state board of nursing will mail a diagnostic profile to you that outlines both the areas of knowledge where you performed well and areas where you performed poorly. You can retake the test as many times as you need to pass. The National Council's policy dictates that you wait at least 91 days before retaking the test, but individual state boards may impose other requirements. Check with your state board to learn about your local restrictions.
Testing Tools

You can find many online tools that are designed for both the NCLEX-RN and the NCLEX -PN. Some companies offer their materials for a fee. Some of these companies, listed in alphabetical order, include:

* InternetExam Online Practice Exams
* Kaplan Nursing
* Measure Up
* NCLEX Excel
* NCLEX-Practice
* Peterson's
* Test Prep Research
* Thomsen Delmar Learning

You can also purchase review books and sample tests in book form, such as the books at InformIT, eBookMall, and Amazon (do search for NCLEX). And, you can also take NCLEX prep courses in a traditional classroom setting through the following companies:

* Kaplan
* NCLEX Excel
* Nursing Education Consultants
* Rineheart and Associates

You may not be able to afford all the help offered above, but you can find resources online for free including a Google book search for NCLEX (beware of outdated documents for many topics). Other sites you might peruse include the following:

* 4Tests
* Caring4You
* Delmar's Online NCLEX Review
* Exam Cram
* NCLEX & HESI Online Course
* NCLEX Course Review
* Nursing Study
* Study Guide Zone

Test Preparation

Now that you know most of the basics about the NCLEX, we want to pass on some tips about how you can prepare for this test. If you took the SAT or ACT in high school, you may soon realize that the NCLEX isn't much different in its style (or in its pressure or stress!). The major difference is that the NCLEX is necessary for you to pursue a nursing career. With that said, you can take the pressure off a bit by reminding yourself that you can retake this test if you fail.

To increase your odds for success, you need to plan ahead. Here are some tips that may help you pass the test with ease:

1. Learn How to Learn: Before you begin to cram for these exams, read the tips listed at OEDb's article about memory and learning. There are 75 tips listed here, but they're all sorted into categories that you can tackle easily. For instance, you'll need to set aside a place at home where you can study quietly, and you'll need to know whether you truly need flashcards to learn or not. You might not be a visual learner!
2. Practice Testing: Tests often make people very nervous, and this is a huge source of stress. To help eliminate some of this stress, try to simulate a testing atmosphere at home. Use the resources listed below to develop tests, and spend a good hour taking the test in a quiet atmosphere without a break. You'll develop endurance, and you'll also learn your weaknesses as well as your strengths with these 'tests.' Practice with online testing, as this exercise will reduce stress over taking the test online during the actual exam.
3. Get Plenty of Rest: Sleep is one cure to stress, and sleep will also help you to improve your memory. If at all possible, try to get a good night's rest not just the night before the exam, but for the entire week prior to the exam.
4. Take a Deep Breathe and Read Each Test Question Slowly: One way to understand a question on the test is to rephrase it. This way you can pick out all the verbs, nouns, and any other grammatical directives that will turn a 'trick' question into a reasonable query.
5. Be Confident: Fear is a big stress factor. But, if you've learned your material and you know it (not just memorized it), then why worry? Your confidence in what you know will help you to ride through this stressful exam. If you pass, then that score will validate your confidence. If you fail, then you have all the tools at your fingertips to try the test again. Just because you fail the exam does not mean that you are a weak, bad, or otherwise worthless individual.

If you heed the tips listed above and the all the material listed at NCSBN, you may end up enjoying the whole testing process. Good luck!

Nursing School Rankings: What Are the Best Nursing Programs?

A high demand for nurses in the United States has led to the creation of many nursing school programs. As professionals and students would attest, however, not all programs and schools are created equally. Indeed, you should thoroughly research a school before you begin to pursue a nursing degree.

If you are looking for the "best" nursing programs in the country, you will find that certain organizations have ranked schools based on important factors. However, no two lists are exactly alike, as said organizations use slightly different criteria for each list. Below, we will examine the two most widely recognized nursing school rankings from U.S. News & World Report and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as other resources. Each will shed more light on what makes a school noteworthy and how you should decide on which nursing program to pursue.
U.S. News & World Report

Each year, U.S. News & World Report releases a special set of college and university rankings. Entitled "America's Best Colleges", it collects many Top 100 lists. From "Best National Universities" to "Best Black Colleges", each list is created using a different set of criteria. Nursing students can look to this collection of rankings for nursing school-specific lists.

U.S. News & World Report offers several annual rankings for nursing programs, including a general list for "Best Nursing Graduate Schools". Other lists are more specific, ranking the best colleges for various nursing specialties. These specializations include nursing service administration, family nursing, adult nursing, pediatric nursing, geriatric nursing, surgical nursing and psychiatric nursing.

U.S. News & World Report compiles college and university rankings through a unique process. The publication uses peer reviews to determine which schools have the best reputation. Also considered is how students scored on standardized tests, as well as how many students were accepted to a given college. Other factors include available faculty resources, tuition fees, alumni donation rates and graduation rates.

The latest edition of U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" should be available at all major bookstores and your local library. You can also purchase an online edition through the publication's official Web site, which will grant you instant access to the many rankings from your home computer.
National Institutes of Health

The National Institutes of Health, or NIH, regularly contributes funds to hospitals, schools, businesses and other organizations in order to promote important medical research. Money is extended to schools and universities that have proven to be effective and reputable institutions. Each year, the NIH releases nursing school rankings, reflecting which schools received the most funding from the NIH.

The NIH extends millions of dollars to nursing programs each year. It is an unbiased, peer-review process that leads to approval for funding, which is why the annual school rankings are held in such high regard. To be given medical research funds by the NIH indicates that a college or university is making great strides within the medical community. Naturally, such schools should be worth consideration by potential students.

The organization's official Web site offers specific data in regards to annual award trends. There, you will be able to view rankings that are organized by state, hospital, medical school and more.

For those of you who are seeking an online undergraduate nursing degree, you should consult the college rankings at Online Education Database (OEDb). OEDb, an exhaustive guide to the nation's top accredited online schools, features colleges with online nursing programs on their well-executed rankings list.

The combination of factors used to compile OEDb's college rankings is unique and unbiased. The qualifying criteria includes acceptance rate, financial aid, graduation rate, peer Web citations, retention rate, scholarly citations, student-faculty ratio and years accredited. U.S. News & World Report combines similar metrics, though their process is more simplified.
The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review (TPR), not unlike U.S. News & World Report, publishes an annual guide to America's top colleges. Entitled "Best 366 Colleges", this guide offers rankings in many different categories, from "Best Classroom Experience" to "Best College Newspaper". These lists are compiled less scientifically than U.S. News & World Report's rankings, as TPR's annual guide is based on student feedback.

If you are in search of a more personable guide to America's best nursing schools, you should consult this annual collection of rankings. TPR has found that nursing is one of the top 10 most popular college majors amongst today's students and, accordingly, includes many colleges and universities with nursing programs in their annual guide. The latest edition of TPR's "Best 366 Colleges" can be purchased online or found locally at a major bookstore or library.

The rankings offered by are compiled from surveys taken by undergraduate and graduate students who have attended the schools in question. The site aims to provide "answers to the questions college students wish they had known to ask". By simply specifying a college major, state, degree level or social interest, users will have instant access to personalized college rankings.

Prospective nursing students, by selecting "nursing" as their major of choice, will be provided with a ranking list of the site's top-reviewed nursing schools. Though the methodology behind the site isn't as scientific as OEDb or U.S. News & World Report rankings, it will afford you the chance to really know how students feel about their alma mater. Detailed reviews are available on the site and a simple grading system allows students to vote on a school's overall performance, specific departments and campus social life.
Community College Week

Community College Week (CCW) is bi-weekly news source that focuses on two-year community, technical and junior colleges. Each year, CCW publishes a special report on the "Top 100 Associate Degree Producers". Also included with this report are specific rankings for popular college majors. The "Top 50 Associate Degrees: Nursing" [PDF] should be of interest to prospective nursing students who wish to earn a two-year degree.

The rankings offered by CCW are compiled using only one set of metrics — the total number of degrees awarded by each college. Though degree conferral is important when considering a school, you may wish to use these lists in conjunction with another resource, as you will want to know additional details about a college before enrolling. However, these rankings are important in that they uniquely focus on associate degrees and they break down numbers according to gender, which may be of great importance so some students.

Determining which nursing school to attend involves more than just referring to cold statistics. However, the rankings above should assist your search for the best nursing program. Naturally, the "best" program will differ from one student to the next, as each person will have different needs. No two colleges offer the same programs, amenities and atmospheres.

Before you use any college rankings to determine which school you attend, you should always research how the rankings were compiled. For example, a school's financial aid program may be of more important to you than student-faculty ratio. In that case, you may wish to rely on a list that favors financial aid data. Comparing several lists side-by-side may give you the best perspective on nursing programs, which is why we have offered a variety of resources above.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Strategies For Employment Cover Letters That Sizzle!

There is a saying in sales that you do not sell the steak, you sell the sizzle. This is every bit as true in writing an employment cover letter. Here are some tips that will help you write a cover letter that sells the sizzle.

Your Personal Sales Letter

Above all else, your employment cover letter is your personal sales letter. This is your chance to show the hiring manager that you are the one for the job. This is not the place to be timid. This is where you stand out form the crowd. Your cover letter needs to scream “Look at me!”

Thanks to the internet, it is possible for a hiring manager to receive hundreds of applications for a job posting. With that amount of volume, most applications will only get a quick glance. If there is nothing to grab the attention of the person hiring, your application will end up in the circular file without getting a second look. Your cover letter must grab the manager’s attention, and make them look deeper into your qualifications.

Target Your Cover Letter

One of the biggest things you can do to make your employment cover letter sizzle is to target it to a specific job at a specific company. This starts at the very beginning. If you want to show that you’ve done your research address the cover letter to the person who is reviewing it. “Dear Ms. Jones” has much more power than “Dear Hiring Manager”. While most classified ads don’t include this information, sometimes it just takes one phone call to find what you need.

When you write the body of your employment cover letter, keep a copy of the classified ad in front of you, and write the letter as an answer to that ad. If the ad mentions specific skills and qualifications, you can write about how you have the experience to meet those qualifications.

Do a little research on the company. Look at their web site and try to find out about their philosophy and values. As you write about your qualifications, be sure to word it in a way that reflects those values. For instance, if the company values strong customer service, you can give examples of your strength in providing strong customer service. The point is, make sure you target your employment cover letter to a specific company.

Let Your Passion Show

Another tip to make your employment cover letter sizzle is to make it sound alive. Many cover letters come across to the reader as being a lifeless list of qualifications. That’s not what the cover letter is for. This isn’t meant to be a reflection of your resume. A good employment cover letter is a chance to show that you are a live person, and that you truly want to use your skills to fulfill a need within the company.

Use wording in your cover letter that shows what you are passionate about. If there is something about the job you are applying for that you really love to so, say so. “I am a qualified teacher” doesn’t carry the same energy as “I am passionate about helping young people learn”.

When you are done writing your cover letter read it out loud to yourself. If it sounds boring to you, it probably is. Go back through and look for words and phrases that can be replaced by more energetic words.

Say It Like You Want It

Do you want this job? If you do, your employment cover letter must say so. One failing of many cover letters is that the writer never gets around to asking for the job. They express interest in the position, but that’s not quite the same as specifically asking for it. Also, don’t forget to give your contact information, and not just in the header. Tell the person hiring “I can be reached for an inter view at…”, and then give them you phone number. Make this as easy on them as possible.

As far as tone, confidence is the key. Run a grammar check on your cover letter to check for passive voice. “I have experience” is not passive. “My experiences have been” is passive. Make sure your statements are positive and confident.

Your employment cover letter can sizzle. All it takes is some time and effort to make it a unique reflection of yourself. Show the hiring manager that you are a live, passionate person, and that you can help fulfill a need. Show them that you sizzle.

Careful Career Management Is A Great Way To Succeed In Your Career

In today’s world of increasing world-wide competition, technological change, and market forces, good career management is mandatory. You must take charge of your career as if you are the quarterback of the game setting up the play for the final touchdown. In order to be on top in your field, you can’t afford to relax after you find employment and take it for granted that you will always have it or that it will never change. Most employees would not want that anyways. It would be boring and eventually lose its charm.

So, how do you work in a shaky work area while staying positive and in control? You don’t want to get so paranoid that every little rumor from the corporate mill has you wondering if you are next in line for a layoff. You want to be prepared in case of a layoff, but you also want to be positive that you are a needed asset to your company. Don’t assume you will not be replaced, but don’t assume the company is going under either.

In the workplace, employees have become commodities. Think of yourself as a product that you are promoting to your company, day in and day out. If the product you are selling is a benefit to your company, it will continue to buy your brand. If, however, your product isn’t maintained, is easily replaced for less money, or becomes difficult, then the company will not buy the product.

One of the most necessary factors of a company is to generate profit. If the commodity they hold, you, is not valuable to them when it comes to profit, then they may decide in tough times to lay you off and look for some other way to meet your function. That’s the reality of business.

The previous view was what initiated much of the stampede towards outsourcing in previous years. Many positions were not only easily replaced for less in other countries, but the business owners making the change saw no benefit to keeping an American employed versus hiring someone in a foreign. One of the main areas that this trend left an impression on was the outsourcing of technical support and customer service call centers.

Now, we are beginning to see the problem with the view of a human being as just a piece in a giant machine. The outcome is that workers leave those positions and look for jobs elsewhere in another sector of industry. Meanwhile, people from foreign countries may not understand the cultural environment of the buyers they are doing business with in the United States. The result is that customers get frustrated with their purchasing experience and sometimes choose to do business elsewhere.

Now, we have a trend on the rise called insourcing, where Americans are being hired by companies in India to answer calls in call centers so that the buyers are met with someone who comes from the same cultural enviroment and can speak their language. This is how many workers have made themselves valuable to their company as human beings again. This is why you should never take for granted the power of how your cultural upbringing and soft skills can lead your further in career management.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Health Education Career: A World Of Opportunity

People who are thinking about a health education career should know that PE or �Phys. Ed.� is now categorized as Kinesiology. Kinesiology is the study of movement and the effects of movement in the area of health and wellness. Knowledge is power and a person studying for a degree in Kinesiology will gain wisdom in all areas of the body and how movement relates to each. They also receive training in topics like cardiopulmonary resuscitation, health and nutrition, as well as disease prevention.

Of course there�s more to a health education career than just PE and the healthcare industry is one of the largest areas of employment in the world today. Physical therapy, psychology, and medical technician are all examples of jobs available.

Other professions in the healthcare industry are Medical Scientist, Pharmacist, and Chiropractors. In fact, any occupation dealing with mental, physical or emotional aspects of humanity is considered a health education career. Even fields like, medical transcriptions, medical office assistant, and certified nursing assistant fall under this title.

Training is essential when it comes to a health education career. From technical colleges and universities, to online facilities and specialized medical training, there are numerous ways to obtain the knowledge you need and/or the degree necessary for a career.

Health Administration, Geriatric Health, Public Health, Advanced Occupational Studies, Advanced Physician Studies, Health Education and Doctor of Physical Therapy are examples of the types of degrees necessary to obtain a health education career.

There are other forms of careers surrounding health education. A Master of Health Education degree is usually required when someone chooses to do more than work in a health education career. This level of training takes someone from practicing in their chosen field to teaching it. These people are leaders in the health care industry.

Community health as well as environmental health is also very popular today. In order for people to be healthy, the world we live in must be healthy. In the US, government controlled programs like Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are two examples of how the health and well being of our workers as well as the environments we work in are being monitored.

So whether you choose the human or environmental element, benefits of a health education career are far reaching to those who pursue it. Not only do you teach others the importance of maintaining good health, this is information you can use for all the years of your life and pass down for future generations.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Travel Nursing Career - A Dream Come True?

Deciding what job to pursue after college entails more brain cells that most activities. Unlike deciding on what car to buy or what clothes to wear, one must give the decision its due because it will effect your happiness and quality of life for the next three to four decades.

Most people believe that a career in travel nursing is stuff that dreams are made of. For those currently following this career path… most of those who have experienced this lifestyle agree that it is a great way to make a living but there are a few who argue and refute this. But all agree that it's entirely up to you whether your career in travel nursing becomes to a dream come true.

How do you start on a career in travel nursing?

Let's divide the answer into two parts: travel and nursing. We'll tackle the latter first. To be able to pursue a career in travel nursing, you must of course be equipped with a creditable nursing degree. Now some may possess one-year-diplomas and call themselves professionals but unfortunately for them, not all hospital or healthcare employers accept that as enough credentials. If you only have a vocational degree tucked under your belt, then perhaps you'd rather pursue a career in care giving rather than travel nursing. Caregivers, after all, still get to travel across the globe. It all comes down to the skills.

The second half of a Travel Nursing career is the traveling. So you're the proud holder of a nursing degree and you're duly licensed to practice nursing. The next step to tackle then is learning how to go about your travels. Most people prefer to seek recruitment agencies for help in this matter. These agencies are ably experienced in assisting people interested in making a fortune in travel nursing. But you must beware! There are several recruitment agencies that may just be a scam to whisk your money away. And remember, using their services means paying some fees and if in some instances the fees are high so be careful and be wary. Ask questions and don't go with any agency that you don't feel is being 100% honest with you and if there fees are out of line then find another agency or you can always go it alone.

A few things to consider when traveling are the need of a passport. First, check with the embassy in your country of choice and see if they require a visa. Second, make sure that all your nursing documents, proof that you have graduated from a reputable school and have passed the necessary examinations, are all duly authenticated. A career in travel nursing may mean jumping from one country after another so it would definitely reduce your stress level if all your papers, even your resume, are supported with valid reference documents.

How do you adjust or embark on a life of travel nursing?

Experienced travel nurses provide us with plenty of advice and tips to make sure that first time nurses in this particular career will have an easier transition into the field.

Double-Check Everything
At least three to five days prior to your departure make sure that you haven't forgotten anything. Make a checklist of all essentials and cross them off the list as you pack them. From documents to the clothes you've packed, make sure that everything in your list is accounted for. A career in travel nursing is a demanding job and leaves little room for error so it's best to start on the right foot.

Research Your Destination(s)
A travel nursing career requires that you to go to different countries meet different people and adjust to different cultures. Researching destinations beforehand will help avoid miscommunication, reduce the possible culture shock and basically just make your experience a whole lot more enjoyable and less stressful.

Ask For An Early Move-in
An early move is suggested by experienced travel nurses because it enables you to relax and breathe a little before embarking on your new travel nursing job. Familiarize yourself with the place and the people. And best of all, enjoy the new sights because one of the major perks of having a career in travel nursing is of course... the travel.

While the compensation and perks are quite exceptional because the Travel Nursing Career is such a high demand, highly sought after position it's a bit more difficult to secure than most other nursing positions. As a result, most employers are very picky so make sure that you have what it takes. And if you don't, then improve your skills (education and / or experience) or find another sector of the nursing profession to make your career.

A great place to begin researching your Travel Nursing career is at A website dedicated to being a complete resource on Nursing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Defining �Higher Education Career�

Also known as secondary education, a �higher education career� defines the teaching of children and adults.

Beginning in 6th or 7th grade, a higher education career revolves around children in their early teens on up through vocational or technical school, junior college, college and university.

Folks working in a higher education career, often spend as much time advancing their own studies as teaching others.

Degrees Available For Those Seeking A Higher Education Career:

* Masters in Education � Middle Level (grades 5-8)
* MEd � Masters of Education in Secondary Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction
* Masters of Education in Leadership (necessary if your dream is to become a principal or school administrator)
* Masters of Arts in Education, Administration and Supervision � Necessary for those aspiring to become principals and/or superintendents of schools and/or school districts
* Doctorate or PhD � Highest level of education attainable, a PhD is sometimes required for those teaching on the college level.

Special Skills Needed To Work In A Higher Education Career:

Depending on which grade level you are teaching, those in a higher education career need skills that are age appropriate to their students. For example, someone teaching children ages 13 � 18 will need special communication skills, counseling ability, a knack for making subjects challenging as well as fun and interesting as well as educational. Here is a basic list of personal and professional talents needed to succeed in a higher education career.

* Patience � You are teaching youngsters whose personalities are emerging from childhood to fledgling adults.
* Passion � If you�re not passionate about your subject(s) as well as the students you teach, then you�re less likely to make an impact on your students.
* Compassion (counseling abilities) � Adolescent years are the most difficult for teens as well as their parents. This is a time when an otherwise docile child might become unruly and rebellious. As a teacher, you may be called upon to help them sort out their emotions and work through �what for them are- traumatic situations.
* Imagination � The world in which we live is a constant challenge to someone in a higher education career. How can you make subjects like World History, Civics and Literature exciting for someone who spends much of their time in front of a television or playing video games? Having a good imagination helps!
* Strong sense of values � You are helping to shape future generations.

Although we�re talking mostly about working with teenagers here, those who teach adults should strive to maintain some if not all of these special skills. Though adults don�t usually face the same challenges as teenagers, it�s still nice to know that a college professor can laugh and smile and make learning fun.

Education Career Information About Physical Therapist

Information is knowledge and knowledge is power. Therefore, if it is your desire to become a physical therapist, it is imperative that you get as much information about the education necessary to pursue this career. Education career information about physical therapist opportunities can be found in numerous ways.

A quick Internet search using the words �education career information about physical therapist� revealed over 2 million links! Other means of researching this occupation would be contacting your local Physical Therapy office and asking questions as well as talking with a guidance counselor in high school and/or the nearest college.

Youngsters desiring to work in this field should make Science the biggest part of their high school and college education. Career information about physical therapist skills can also be obtained by volunteering in a physical therapy setting. However, before concerning yourself with the education career information about physical therapist, let us first define the profession.

One of the fastest growing professions within the healthcare industry, physical therapists (PT�s) help patients with injuries as well as limited and permanent disabilities restore function and improve mobility. They also train people in the art of pain management through physical movement. Physical Therapists also help teach and promote overall health and well being through physical fitness.

Researching �education career information about physical therapist� uncovered the fact that a person who desires to become a physical therapist must have a Masters and/or Doctoral degree from an accredited college or university. Although a highly paid profession, individuals wishing to be a physical therapist should be caring and compassionate. They also must possess exceptional people skills in order to teach patients as well as their family members about treatments.

Normal working hours for Physical Therapists are during the day, and in most instances, physical therapists work in a hospital or clinical environment. Physical therapists are also called upon to work with teachers, parents and other healthcare professionals to ensure proper classroom and home environments for children with physical disabilities.

People aspiring to become a Licensed Physical Therapist can often gain invaluable experience and knowledge by working as a physical therapist assistant. A Physical Therapist Assistant is responsible for overseeing much of the actual therapy that is prescribed by the physical therapist. Some duties of a PT Assistant are massages, electrical stimulation and traction.

For more education career information about physical therapist and/or physical therapist assistant positions, contact the American Physical Therapy Association. Other resources for education career information about physical therapist are Special Ed Careers (dot) org, Health Care Monster (dot) com, and Career Planning (dot) com.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Refreshing your CV to help your search for new construction jobs

It is a good idea to refresh you whole CV when next searching for a construction job rather than just adding in your last employment. Most people fall into this trap and it risk their CV’s becoming outdated.

The job you are applying for will require particular skills and abilities so you can tailor the CV accordingly. You will gain more construction experience and relevant skills that you can use to highlight how suitable you are.

Firstly, work out exactly what types of skills, experience and abilities will be required in the construction jobs you are applying to and then look at your own. If you are changing to apply to construction manager jobs from for example, electrical construction jobs, you will need to extract specific skills and the experience you have gained that are relevant to the new role and highlight your strengths in these.

Move onto an education and training and pick out the construction related areas that will be relevant to the role and include these in your CV.

Then think about any additional activities and hobbies that you may have that will help sell yourself in. For example, if you are applying for a builders job and have been working on building a house with a friend, explain what you have done highlighting what you have learnt and how you have developed.

It is extremely important that you tailor your CV to the construction jobs you are applying to and ensure you make the changes necessary to make you stand out. If the reader can see your skills match exactly what they are looking for, you will not have any problems finding new construction work.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Nurse Staffing Agency Business – Optimaxing Success

The idea of competitiveness nowadays, is synonymously and completely approximate with the notion of proper staffing, creative business thoughts, and the managerial aspect coordinated with the skills and impressive scheme to attain the goal, not just being successful, but also to be in top amidst the numerous victorious companies. Recruiting staff is necessarily the implementation for highly rated sense of motivation and flexibility capable of determining the logic of business structure in this modern society.

Proper nurse staffing is evincing through finding the right person with the appropriate skills and talents beneficial for the company. It is by means of due process whether he/she is already working for the company or maybe employed with the opposing business. These days that the initiative of knowledge economies where talents and disciplines becomes the new significance and asset in order for the business to reach the competitive advantage.

Creative business thoughts of finding reasonable phases, strategies, and methods for financial stability in constructing the standard rules for sourcing of monetary funds for the business are the ideal philosophy. Implementing strict protocols suitably for the business is assuring one of the best ways including to execute parameters guiding the aspect of finances. The principle of using the money wisely is through investing on the human resources and to the system.

A nurse staffing company may offer a variety of services, including temporary help, temporary-to-permanent placement, long-term and contract help, managed services like outsourcing, training, human resources consulting, and assuming the payroll and financial permanence for the business. In this way, the management will be amenable on dispensing irrevocable verdict balancing the financial area, the work force, and to the business technique, foreseeing futuristic position for the business though discharging short-term decisions are necessarily to affect long-term judgment. Categorizing the staff will involve as much as it needs especially in instigating the necessity for the business: dividing the employees and coming up with the team.

There are two types of management styles, an open opposed to a closed style. Although either style can work, an open style tends to work best in smaller staffing companies. An open style creates a team environment where management takes the input of the staff into consideration. Employees, particularly younger ones, enjoy an open environment. A closed style, on the other hand, tends to work for larger companies where communications are more difficult. To know how the company is doing, well-run companies benchmark themselves against their competition including growth rates, margins, profitability, duration of assignment, and fill ratios, et cetera.

One has to balance, with regard to financial parameters, investment in people and systems against short-term profits to make the right long term decisions. Operating parameters should measure productivity, or how hard one is working, and efficiency, or how smart one is working. And essence of proper staffing with the design of unparalleled business management must be the choice.

Call Center Jobs in the Philippines: How to Land One

“The last few years have seen a steady increase in the number of available call center jobs in the Philippines—an unsurprising fact considering that the country is now one of the top outsourcing destinations in the world. With its attractive pay (most companies offer at least 15,000 pesos or $300 a month) and generous benefits, answering telephones and talking to irate callers located halfway around the world have become not only one of the most plentiful but also most attractive and sought-after jobs in the Philippines.

So what does it take to launch a successful Philippine call center career? What skills do you need to land a lucrative job in one of the country’s many contact centers? What exactly do you need to do to be able to proudly wear the prerequisite headset?

First and foremost, you have to have a good grasp of the English language. It would help if you have an American accent, but this is not really a requirement as most call centers actually have their new-hires undergo training where they are taught about the American culture, expressions and accent. What they are more concerned about is your pronunciation and if you can speak clearly.

So when you are being interviewed for a call center job, make sure to pronounce your words clearly, avoid “ums” and other similar expressions and try to formulate your answer in your mind (quickly though) before you go blurting out an answer.

Second, you must display a great deal of patience. As mentioned earlier, you will be handling a lot of angry, unreasonable and simply outrageous clients. Being in the customer service industry, you must always show restraint and a great deal of patience with your callers.

If you want to be a call center agent, you also have to have great communication skills, and by this I don’t just mean talking with an American twang. You have to be able to clearly construct and express what you want to say so that the caller you are speaking to may be able to fully understand your meaning. In the call center industry, miscommunication is a mortal sin.

A basic working knowledge of how to use computers is also required of those who wish to work in contact centers. A computer is one of the tools you will be using most in your job, so call centers require applicants to at least know how to run one.

You have to be smart too, or at least, a quick and rational thinker. While some may think that call center agents are nothing more than glamorized telephone operators, there is actually more to the job than mindlessly answering phone calls. Not only do you have to pacify angry and sometimes, unreasonable, callers, you have to be able to digest and analyze what they are saying and give reasonable answers to their questions. What do you do for example, if a client asks you why his new computer is not working? How do you convince a caller on the brink of canceling an account to change her mind and give your products or services another try? Think being a call center agent is all about having a pleasant voice and accent? Think again.

Most of all, you have to exhibit a willingness to work hard. One of the reasons why call centers pay their employees more is they demand more from their employees. You have to work while the rest of the country slumbers; you have to report to the office during holidays; you have to give up your “night life” because, well, you’ll be working at night.

Ready to try your luck with a call center job?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Career Education

A competitive world motivates people to seek a higher education that can mold their future. Career education is a systematic program designed for students. It is a basic and increasingly relevant component of student and adult learning. It includes activities and experiences designed to increase knowledge of self, occupations, training paths, job searching skills and decision-making strategies.

Many schools and colleges provide courses as well as counseling on career education that helps in nurturing the ""whole person"". Career education programs are designed to enable students discover their potential. These programs focus primarily on three interconnected areas, learner, interpersonal and career development. Within these three areas, students acquire an understanding of their critical and analytical skills.

A comprehensive career education program enlightens students on the relevance of their school experience. It is designed to give students a jump-start in their career through exploration of a variety of career opportunities. It is also intended to ensure that each student receives a quality education to prepare for higher education and their first job in a competitive market.

The strategies of career education programs include career contextual learning, which emphasizes the application of academics in areas beyond the classroom.

The programs help students develop learning skills and strategies that they could use in the workplace. It makes them manage and become responsible for their own learning.

Online career education has grown in popularity. More and more people choose online classes over traditional education in the classroom. Universities and colleges are responding to this growing need by offering a wide variety of online programs, classes, and degrees.

Career education programs have proved to be very beneficial for students. They encompass educational plans that define their aptitudes, abilities and values. Students relate their abilities to specific careers and prepare a research project on an occupation, which matches their goals and abilities.

Career Education provides detailed information on Career Education, Career Education Online, Life Centered Career Education, Career Education Programs and more. Career Education is affiliated with Adult Continuing Education.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Health Care Resources Article

Advanced Nursing Degrees Give Missouri Patients More Options

Nurse-owned clinics in rural Missouri are replacing the country doctor, reports the AP/St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Patients in search of treatment for minor health concerns like sore throats, ear aches, and sprained ankles are finding relief in clinics owned by nurses with advanced nursing degrees. Nurses with advanced degrees, typically referred to as Nurse Practitioners, are able to directly treat patients in rural locations while maintaining contact with a supervising physician who reviews patient charts and care plans.
Advanced Nursing Degrees Across the U.S.

More than 12 nurse-owned clinics have sprung up in Missouri over the past few years. It's also a trend that's happening nationwide, with health care clinics opening in strip malls and super stores like Wal-Mart.

Many nurses are attracted to advanced nursing degrees as an opportunity to treat patients more independently. Advanced education can give Registered Nurses a more in-depth understanding of medical science and the chance at even more rewarding, challenging careers.
Find Advanced Nursing Degrees that are Right for You!

Are you looking for advanced nursing degrees in Missouri? The University of Phoenix offers campus-based and online nursing degrees that are accredited by CCNE. Fill out this information request form to learn more and take the first step towards enrolling.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Finding a Good Job in a Lousy Job Market: The 50/50/50 Method

You'll likely land a good job if you do these three things.

At 50 fast-growing organizations, contact a person with the power to hire you. How do you find growing organizations? See which organizations have large ads in the Sunday paper. Contact them even if they don't list a job you might be qualified for. Or visit It lists companies that have received an infusion of cash and so are more likely to be hiring.
Once you get an organization's name, visit its website or call directory assistance to get its main phone number. Then ask the organization's switchboard operator for the correct spelling of the person responsible for hiring people like you, for example, the sales manager if you're looking for a sales position. Then ask for that person's phone number and e-mail address. On the phone or in a letter, explain, in a human way, why you're looking for work, why you picked that organization, and what you bring to the table. More often than you might think, a job gets created for you or you gain the inside track on an upcoming opening.

Contact 50 people who like you and might know someone who could potentially hire you for a suitable job. When people say, "I don't know of anyone," ask if they'd keep their ears open for you. If so, you've just recruited a scout. Tell them that, if you're still looking, you'll check back in a month. That tends to keep them more vigilant.
Answer 50 on-target want ads. The internet makes it easy to find them. Websites such as,,, and list literally millions of openings, and lists local jobs. Just enter your desired location and keywords, and matching job openings pop up instantly.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Nine Ways to Tell You're Ready for a Promotion

So you noticed the new job board posting on your way back from lunch. They finally decided to fill the assistant manager spot in your department! Trouble is, you've only been in your current position for about eight months. There's also been some talk of hiring from outside. Should you go for it anyway? Here are some ways to tell if it's time to power up the corporate ladder.

1. You're currently one notch lower than assistant manager. If your job title includes the word Senior, then you've likely earned some recognition at your place of employment. Is assistant manager the next step up? Why not give it a shot? The worst thing that can happen is that you don't get the job... and hey, there's always next time. When you go for the gold, people will realize you're quite a gem. Start getting noticed for your ambition and drive!

2. A large portion of the department responsibilities falls into your lap. Don't underestimate your own worth. If you're currently doing the work of two or more people and doing it well, then you should be compensated for it. Is it possible you were overlooked? Don't feel slighted. Negativity holds us back from getting where we want to be. Instead, take a strategic leap forward. Sometimes people get so wrapped up in their own issues, they fail to see what's before their eyes. You know the job like the back of your hand, and that's far more than a stranger off the street knows. Speak up and make your capabilities known!

3. Your manager consistently looks to you for solutions. If you're playing problem-solver at the office, that's a pretty good sign that people value your input. What better indicator of your ability is there than a boss who seeks you out for answers? Does your supervisor come in from meetings and immediately drag you away for a private pow-wow? You've already got a foot in the door! Now get the rest of yourself behind that desk in the corner office for a view of the skyline!

4. Your manager confides in you regularly. Are you the Big Cahuna's main confidante? Good office chemistry is hard to come by. If your boss trusts you with everything from top-secret office rumors to "what to do with that belligerant marketing coordinator," to the fight he had with his wife last night, this speaks volumes about his opinion of you. Sounds like you've very naturally clicked into Position 2 in the chain of command. Time to lock in to more money and an official manager status on paper.

5. You're well-known and respected among your colleagues. Do people smile and greet you by name when you walk into a group setting? Do managers of other departments frequently solicit your opinion? When the boss is away, do your peers appoint you to act in his absence? Being the office social butterfly is one thing. To know that your fellow employees admire and respect you for the job you do is another. One of the biggest indicators you're ready for a promotion is if your boss's boss has faith in your ability. Having a support system in place works in your favor and can be the 'in' you need to get ahead.

6. You're often asked to represent your team of coworkers in meetings. As much as we dread them, meetings are a vital part of daily corporate life. Meetings are where opinions are voiced, issues are hashed out, schedules are coordinated and progress is made in leaps and bounds. A great leader can speak on behalf of a group. A great leader can effectively communicate in all directions- from upper management to lower, from lower to upper, and also laterally. If people place their faith in your ability to get a message across, that means they're willing to let you represent them. There is no better indicator of management potential than being summoned as a spokesperson. Take it as a great compliment, and then take the next step toward your success!

7. You feel personally responsible for the welfare of your department. Do you find yourself thinking and speaking for the group? Are your peers in your best interest? Often, you can sense when you're ready for a position of increased responsibility. The true commandier operates from the point of view of 'we' instead of 'me.' Do you feel genuine pride when a member of your team goes above and beyond the call of duty? Do you act as the automatic diplomat and defender? When a coworker encounters a setback, are you truly moved to help them overcome their problem? Do you empathize with their disappointments? Rejoice in their victories? It's time to heed the call!

8. Your peers look to you as an advisor and comrade. Corporate life is full of folks at cross-purposes. Clashing wills, clashing personalities, misunderstandings, injustices of all kinds. If you have a gift for navigating through the rough waters, smoothing ruffled feathers and healing bruised egos, maybe it's time to seriously think about moving up. Trust is earned, not bought. If you have been offered the gift of others' trust in a setting where people mow over each other to get ahead, that is truly a great thing. Use it for the good of the group!

9. You truly love your job. You know in your heart how you feel about your job. Do you dread getting up every morning? Or do you look forward to facing the challenges of a new day... tackling that project... making your own small contribution to the bigger picture? If your work is your passion and you truly love what you do, it will be very apparent to those around you. Enthusiasm is contagious. If you can light a fire under someone's behind, there is no one more suited for a position of authority. This is your time to shine... so be a star! Get the recognition you've worked so hard to achieve, and step up toward making an even more powerful difference for the future of your company.

Job Search For Older Applicants

Jobs and over aged applicants

Though some employers would prefer a younger workforce, the older applicants still have a wide variety of career choices to choose from.

Employers are starting to see the potential of older and much-experienced applicants as can be seen by the statistics below:

q In Australia, Bureau of Statistics showed that between the period of August of 1989 to that of August of 2003, the workforce aged 15-24 lost more than 380,000 jobs to older workers.

Aside from the fact that most of Australia's younger generation became full-time students, employers favored the older applicants.

q In Netherlands on the other hand (by December of 2000), over 500,000 thousand of their employees are 55 years old and above. This figure had been increasing steadily since 1995.

To have a head start from the younger applicants, one has to take into consideration the following:

1. In writing one's resume, put more weight in highlighting the accomplishments without necessarily bragging about it.

One could have these lists of accomplishments and previous posts held work for one's advantage over younger applicants who may not even have any experience on the same field.

An individual's employment history receives as much scrutiny as the applicant itself. While employers tend to look for gaps or lapses of time when the applicant has been unemployed, they also tend to focus on the length of service one had rendered for their previous employers.

Frequent change of work (usually within very short

time frames) can be alarming for prospective employers.

2. Read and enroll in programs that will refresh your knowledge on certain fields especially if engaged in professional sectors. This will keep you individual abreast of the latest trend in such fields.

3. Search the Internet for vacancies. A lot of agencies place ads on the net that advertises help for senior citizens in looking for jobs. Various search engines made easier and specific (can choose the following categories: career, location and field of interest) are also available.

Jobs that do not usually look into the age of the applicant are the following:

1. Professional work that are into specialization. For applicants in the medical field (i.e. Doctors) experience is the basic determinant of being hired.

2. Lectures or speaking engagements. Speakers that are invited to discuss certain topics do not really have an age requirement. Rather, qualification focuses more on first hand knowledge and experience.

3. Writers. Writing novels, plays or children's books are one of those professions whose only requirement is good writing skills. Also, one can do the job at the comfort of their own homes, a plus factor for those in their advanced years.

About the author:

Jay is the web owner of Jobs | Job Search, a website that provides information and resources on searching for jobs nationwide. You can visit his website at: Online Jobs

Employment Job Searching Using the Internet

Finding employment opportunities has never been easier than now- with the consistent and constant growth of the Internet. Using the Internet, job seekers can simply find vacancies of their choice in the location of their choice. With a simple click of the mouse, a huge list of job opportunities is literally at their fingertips.

Once upon a time, the only way job seekers can find jobs is by browsing the classifieds section of the paper. This method of job seeking is not only tiring (what with the small prints) but it is limited within the area where the job seeker is residing. Job seekers who wish to find employment outside of their state or county will have to get their hands on classifieds of the state itself. Although this is not an entirely tough thing to do, but at the end of the day, you would have to sort through a huge stack of newspapers just to find the job that you want!

One of the most amazing things about finding employment on the Internet is that job seekers can sign up a membership account. Membership accounts are usually free, but with the free job seeker account, the options are limited. With a paid job seeker accounts, you'll have more freedom and can place more information and details into your portfolio. However, millions upon millions of people have successfully found their dream jobs by using the free membership accounts offered by these employment agencies.

With an account with the employment website, the job seeker can place their personal information, contact details, education history and history of employment directly into the website's database. Some employment websites even allow job seekers to place their

recent photos into the database, which is useful to the employer, for verification purposes. With the entire resume placed in the database of the employment website, the job seeker searches through the database of vacancies in the website. A simple search can be done through the employment website's search engine. You can fine tune the search by category, location, country, area of expertise, job type, and more. Interested job applicants with their resumes in the database will only have to log into their employment account, click apply, and the resume will be automatically sent to the potential employer.

Compare this with the way things were done about a decade or more ago; in order to apply for a job, you have to type a whole cover letter individually, print out your resume and send it by post. Although this task is not very hard to do, but it limits the choices of the job seeker down; and the process is slow, if the application actually reaches the employer or not. The postal industry did not have such a smashing record at that time.

As you can see, finding employment on the Internet is not only free, it's extremely convenient. On top of that, you can search, browse and apply any time you want, irregardless of whether it's office hours or not! 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - the employment website is available to every single one of their job seeker members.

About the Author

Dakota Caudilla, journalist, and website builder Dakota Caudilla lives in Texas. He is the owner and co-editor of on which you will find a longer, more detailed version of this article.

Becoming a Star Performer in your Career

So what's the difference between a star performer who can name his/her salary and get whatever job he wants, and someone who can't? Very successful people tend to put a lot of effort into improving themselves. Coach Dean Smith of the University of North Carolina talks about how when he first noticed Michael Jordan, he didn't see NBA material. Jordan didn't even make his high school's varsity basketball team. However, the UNC basketball clinic accepted Michael for a summer training program because he was quick on his feet and showed potential. Coach Smith talks about how his staff was amazed at the amount of effort Michael put into practicing and learning the skills that ultimately made him a great basketball player.

Michael Jordan didn't stop learning how to be a great player in that high school clinic though. He kept on practicing and learning until he got into the NBA. Then he kept at it more and more until it just became a way of life. He even was able to apply the same skill of continual learning to become a good baseball and golf player. People like to talk about how Michael fell short of expectations in these other sports but the reality is his being able to transition to those other sports was nothing short of amazing, even though he wasn't able to play at the level of athletes who had been playing those other sports as long as he'd been playing basketball.

If you want to make more money and to be able to command the types of positions you really want, you need to adopt a Michael Jordan attitude. When continued learning and growth becomes a habit and it's integrated into your lifestyle, you'll find yourself moving into a whole new echelon of career success. Continued growth is the key to being able to compete in today's era of globalization and high unemployment.

Hopefully by now you're excited

about the idea of integrating continual learning into your career. How can you do this? Well for one thing, successful people tend to maximize a concept that Human Resource professionals call "job stretch." Job stretch is the difference between what your skills are now and the skills that are required to perform a certain set of functions. Successful people seek to make their job stretch as wide as possible while still being able to do their job really well. This means volunteering for that project at work that you might have to spend some extra time researching to be able to do well. And it means applying for jobs that require slightly more expertise than you currently have, rather than slightly less. Having job stretch can make your work more engaging and exciting.

Another way to integrate continual learning is through formal education. This includes taking classes, earning degrees and certifications, reading, and generally absorbing knowledge in all ways possible. It used to be that taking classes meant committing to lengthy courses at a local university, which also required spending more time away from your family and loved ones. With the invention of the Internet, it's now possible to take classes online from accredited universities and technical schools. We have done some research and found a number of high quality online education offerings. To find out more, visit this web page:

About the Author

Scott Brown is the author of the Job Search Handbook ( As editor of the weekly newsletter on job searching, Scott has written many articles on the subject. He wrote the Job Search Handbook to provide job seekers with a complete yet easy to use guide to finding a job effectively.

How To Find A Job Writing Grant Applications

Do you have what it takes to land a job doing grant writing? Many people are looking for ways to develop a freelance business, but unless you know what it takes to do so, you might as well stop trying. There are several fields in which you can learn and have many jobs waiting for you. But, in others, you will need to properly be prepared for them before they pass you by. Here, we will talk a little about how to find jobs in grant writing.

First, we would like to touch on what you need to do to get those freelance grant writing jobs. You will need to provide your future employment offers with samples of your work. If this is your first assignment, you may need to create a few samples to provide. In any case, you may also need quite a bit of training in the areas in which you will write. For example, if you plan to write on technical subjects you will need to know about these as well as learning how to write.

Once you have the required knowledge, you can begin your search for jobs. There are many

businesses that use these specific skills to help generate the money they need to fund the business, research, or study they plan to do. In your specialized area, like that of technical fields, you will need to find businesses that do these things. You can find a wide range of options available online to you in your field. In any case, you will need to present yourself as a worthy candidate by providing good skills and good work ethics. Job vacancies are out there, in great numbers in certain fields. Employment with them will be based on your skills and attitude.

Opportunities in your field are waiting for you to open their door.

About the Author

Visit for more Articles, Resources, News and Advice about Freelance Writing Jobs.

Career education options for working adults.

Ask yourself this question: “Do I like what I do for a living?” If you answered “no”, what are you doing about it? Maybe you have a “good” job, but it’s not very rewarding to you personally. Maybe you have job with good pay, but bad hours or worse – a job with good hours, but bad pay. Perhaps you’ve just done your job for too many years, or are excited to work in some of the new careers that just weren’t available when you finished school.

Whatever the reason is for you wanting to switch careers, there are some practical considerations to take into account.

How long will it take?
How will I find the time to do it?
How much will it cost?

This article will answer these questions and point you towards a more fulfilling career.

How long will it take to train for a new career?

The answer to this depends on what you want to train for. But, the majority of well paying careers that are currently seeking workers, take two years or less to train for. For example, becoming a machinist takes about 10 months. Training to become an X-ray technician can be done in a year. There are other training options that can get you a new job in only six months!

Your experience can also count. For example, if you work with computers on your job now, you won’t have to take word processing and spreadsheet classes if you want to be a medical coder. If you tinker with computers in your spare time while you’re working a retail management position, you’ll be ahead of the class when you train to become a help desk technician. Also, if you like working on projects around your house more than your job in an office, you’ll be more likely to obtain employment as an HVAC tech or electrician.

How will I find the time to go to school?

If you decide you want to train for a new career, there are many educational options. Traditional universities and colleges are one option, but tend not to offer a

lot of flexibility in their class times. Community colleges are a better option since they have flexible classes, but due to limited resources, some of the most in demand training programs like nursing and dental hygiene have several year waiting lists in many markets across the U.S.

The educational option many working adults choose is a career college. Career colleges offer flexible scheduling and have the proper resources to greatly reduce waiting lists, if they have any at all. The biggest drawback is they cost more to attend. Consider a career college to be like a private community college. However, the flexible scheduling and the shorter time to graduation compensate for the higher initial cost of a career college.

How much will career training cost?

This is probably the most difficult question. If you’re like most working adults, you don’t have an eight month emergency reserve fund stashed away but, you do have credit card bills, a car payment, possibly children and that nagging monthly rent/mortgage payment. Chances are you’re not in a position to quit your existing job. Due to flexible class schedules you’ll still be able to work and keep that income. Student loans or grants are a possibility to pay for tuition. Also, check if your company has a tuition reimbursement plan. Even though you’re thinking about leaving your job, your company may have a need for the career you’re interested in training in.

The bottom line is if you don’t feel satisfied with your current job, you don’t have to stay with it for the rest of your working years. There are a number of great careers available that pay well and require less than two years of training time.