Should you consider an Accelerated Nursing Program?

If you would like to get through your registered nursing program very quickly you should strongly consider the idea of an accelerated nursing program. Most nursing programs take a minimum of three years to complete, unless you are looking to become a CNA which can occur in a matter of weeks or months, vs years of an RN training program. Accelerated nursing programs expedite the training process, making it possible to potentially get through your nursing degree in just 2 years. There are even some accelerated programs which are incredibly intensive offering one year of study for the full certification. While these programs can be extremely challenging for many, there are a good number of nurses that have found the experience to be extremely helpful for getting through their university or college experience much faster. Here are some of the top benefits of going through an accelerated nursing program:

Getting into the field faster:
a 12 to 18 month accelerated program could help you enter into the field one to two years earlier than you would in a regular program.
It helpful to those that have bachelors degrees: many accelerated programs only admit individuals that have previous bachelors degree in a science related field. With your previous knowledge in a science related field it’s possible to get through the program much faster by learning only the nursing knowledge that you need for the field.

It’s a real challenge: if you find the pace of regular schooling to be too slow or not competitive enough, these accelerated programs will definitely give you the challenge that you are craving. Accelerated programs often require fitting in exams are testing every one to two weeks and a regular 3.0 GPA for entry as well as at least a 60 to 70% pass rate for the rest of the program.

It must be full-time: accelerated programs often include intensive hours of class study as well. This can mean going to school anywhere between 35 to 40 hours a week with at least this amount of time required for studying as well.

If you are considering enrolling in an accelerated nursing program you should strongly consider these top factors associated with the training process.

What is Psychiatric Nursing?

Psychiatric and mental health nursing is an important part of the industry that requires special training. Psychiatric nurses are responsible for assessing and assisting with mental illness concerns. These types of nurses often receive specialty training in psychological therapies in order to help with conditions like depression, dementia, bipolar disorder and more.

These types of nurses are commonly employed full-time at medical facilities to provide support to those who are suffering from a variety of mental health conditions. Psychiatric nurses often have at least a bachelors degree in nursing as well as a specialization in mental health. The degree required to be a psychiatric nurse differs depending on the country or state but these nurses are always regularly in demand to provide support and mental health facilities, in hospitals as well as in long-term care.

Psychiatric nurses are responsible for a variety of different types of care including the administration of various forms of therapy, physical care of patients in day to day situations as well as the administration and regulation of psychiatric medication. Nurses could be responsible for regular care in patients day to day, hourly monitoring and more. Nurses need to be responsible and able to monitor patients for side effects, administer therapy when required as well as monitor the physical health and well-being of the patient. These types of regular responsibilities and, on top of a variety of other needs for nursing professionals as well. As a result of the regular responsibilities that these professionals have, psychiatric nurses often receive much higher pay and benefits for their specialization and day to day requirements.

Psychiatric nurses can work in a variety of health capacities and there are generally regular openings available for these nurses in many parts of the world. It is important to stay up-to-date with the various requirements for this specialty however, especially if you are planning on making this a career choice.

Communication Tips for Certified Nurses

Dealing with Autism patients can be an enjoyable experience or it can be one full of frustration. While you may desire to deal with ideal patients, the reality of this profession is very few patients are “ideal.” Throughout your training program, you were taught various communication techniques to accomplish goals with the least possibility of confrontation and confusion. The following tips cover effective communication elements medical professionals can apply to their daily life.

Recognize Early Warning Signs

Throughout your communication with a patient, especially one with a mental illness or extreme physical trauma, be on the lookout for emotional triggers. Carefully navigate through questions and conversation while remaining acutely aware of their current emotional state. If the patient begins to show aggravation, frustration, anger or other emotional alterations, attempt to navigate the conversation in the opposite emotional direction. The most effective way to do this is by remaining calm and maintaining clear, concise communication. Avoid using phrases or bodily movements that seem to agitate the patient.

Use Non-Verbal Communication Cues

Working as a certified nursing assistant requires effective verbal and non-verbal communication techniques. Did you know that how you carry your body and move around a room can determine how an individual reacts to your spoken words? Move gently and respectfully around the patient and attempt to establish a mutual respect. You are not there to judge or show sympathy. You’re there to assist in healing their body and mind. Approach each patient with body language that showcases this respect. Often times you’ll find this eliminates potential anger issues.

Speak Slowly and Wait

When dealing with complex medical procedures or patients who aren’t in their right mindset, you must learn how to speak simply and slowly without coming across as condescending. Clearly speak all your words and overly-explain every step to a treatment or daily duty. Never rush what you say as this could make a patient uneasy. Always wait several seconds longer than normal to give patients enough time to absorb what you’re saying. Never rush conversations and never pressure patients into making a decision.

Communicate Like a Real Person

Often times, certified nursing assistants become so excited about their position and responsibilities they forget when they’re speaking to a patient, they’re speaking to an actual person. While you may be seeing a person at their lowest point, strive to communicate with them as you would want to be talked to. Don’t speak down to them or around them. Ask patients how their day is going, even if you know the outcome of this answer. By showcasing conversational respect, you support a healthy mindset and attitude. After all, the mind plays a powerful role in rehabilitation, so don’t forget to tend to this part of the patient.

Patient Negligence – Certified Nursing Guide

According to medical journals and hospital regulations, patient negligence is defined as any action in which a procedure or treatment fails to meet the minimum standards established by the medical community. While not necessary to be identified as negligence, such actions typically result in patient injury or death. As a certified nursing assistant, you must become acutely aware of your actions and responsibilities to avoid this career-ruining situation.

Patient Negligence
While almost every healthcare-related career carries some risk of negligence, few offer the number of opportunities of medical malpractice in medical positions. The reason for this is due to the very nature of a medical professional. These professionals intimately work with patients throughout their day. While every aspect of your position is regulated and standardized, straying even just slightly from these regulations may result in patient negligence.

Negligence comes in a two primary categories: (1) Disregard for patient care instructions; (2) Avoidance of standard procedures. Examples:

Category One:
A patient must be transferred to a new room or facility. In the patient care instructions it clearly indicates the patient must be moved by two or more staff members. In a rush, you figure you can safely move the patient by yourself. Even through the patient care instructions forbid this activity, what’s the worse that can happen? While you begin moving the patient, your feet slip and the patient falls out of the bed causing further injury. Even though the injury was a result of a non-purposeful incident, your disregard for patient care instructions will land you in hot water. If you find yourself in this case, you will likely be fired, have your certification stripped and possibly be at the hitting end of a lawsuit.

Category Two:
It’s at the end of your 12-hour shift. While you’ve spent the bulk of your shift caring for a variety of patients, your least favorite patient needs a bath. Tired and not in the mood for his attitude, you pour his bathwater without testing it first. As you begin bathing the patient, the untested water is far too hot, which burns the patient. Again, while an accident your inability to follow regulations that clearly state medical professionals must test water temperature before bathing a patient can result in a negligence charge.

While the aforementioned are two simple examples of patient negligence a medical worker may face, they are universal in their power. Avoid any type of negligence charge by following all rules and regulations. If you do, you’ll never have to worry about accidents that in-turn ruin your hard-earned career. In your medical or CNA certification training you will receive more information on the topic of patient negligence.

What are the Legal Standards for Nursing Medical Professionals?

As with many other healthcare-related fields, certified nursing assistants are limited in what they can perform by state and federal regulations. While your training program will go into great detail regarding state-specific job regulations and limitations, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with general legalities of working as certified nursing assistant. If you’re curious about current laws and regulations within your state, contact your board of nursing for a copy of statewide CNA certification classes and laws.

General Guidelines

Although the specific regulations adopted by your state may differ from other states, there are certain ways to prevent performing illegal procedures or duties. Follow these guides to prevent breaking the law and potentially losing your CNA certification:

1.) Only perform tasks you’ve been taught during training. There may be times where an RN or physician may ask you to perform a task that’s outside of your current skill set. Instead of trying to impress and performing the task anyway, clearly communicate your inexperience or lack of knowledge. You may be surprised that many advanced-level nurses and physicians are more than happy to teach you duty specifics.

2.) Stay Within Your Legal Limits – There are moments where CNAs may be asked to perform a task that’s outside of their legal regulations. Did you know if you perform a treatment or duty that’s outside of your certification, you can face serious consequences such as loss of certification or even a lawsuit for medical malpractice? Avoid these situations by fully understanding what you can and cannot do. If a supervisor asks you to perform an illegal activity, decline the task and create a detailed report if necessary.

3.) Avoid Reckless Behavior – We’re all human. It’s impossible for us to be on-point all day, every day. While this is a truth, avoid harming a patient, and being charged with negligence, by following several simple rules. Never place a patient in a bathtub or give food without first testing the temperature. Always follow care plan instructions to the letter. For example, if a care plan says a patient must be moved by two or more staff members and you attempt to move the patient alone, you may be sued for negligence; especially if you accidentally drop the patient or any other harm comes to the patient during the activity. There are many ways in which you can be charged with negligence. The best way to avoid such a situation is to follow rules and regulations as best as possible.

Certified Nursing Medical & Legal Terms

The required knowledge base for certified nursing assistants is vast and consists of a myriad of topics. While the bulk of information learned throughout training deals with the human body, infectious disease control, interpersonal communication skills and procedure protocol, legal terminology is often times overlooked. While you may not feel that understanding legal terminology is essential to perform your job function, if you’re ever involved in a legal matter these terms will soon take on a life of their own.

Affordable Care Act – Also known as Obamacare, has transformed not only the insurance industry, but also the healthcare world as a whole. Although CNAs may not interact with situations where a vast knowledge of this law is necessary, you should understand its core principles and how it altered traditional health care operations.

Health Care-Associated Infection – Commonly referred to as HAI, this term may not be “legal” in nature, but its use in legal proceedings is common. Basically, HAI are infections that a patient acquires during their stay at a medical facility. Most commonly, these infections include pneumonia, surgical site infections and infections within the bloodstream. CNAs are often at the forefront of accusations due to their intimate patient contact. Prevent this term from becoming all-too familiar by using appropriate sanitation techniques.

Scope of Practice – In a general sense, this legal term refers to what duties and responsibilities a CNA, along with any other licensed health care professional, are able to perform. The “scope” is defined within state and federal laws. Working outside of your certified duties may be grounds for employment termination, certification withdrawal or a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Neglect – Often times referred to as “patient neglect,” this legal term refers to any action performed by a CNA, either intentional or not, that caused injury or death to a patient. In all 50-states, neglect in any fashion is illegal and may result in harsh consequences. Research different forms of neglect to understand what practices and communications you should stray away from.

Patient Abuse – This umbrella term is used to describe any type of abuse a patient undergoes at the hands of a CNA. There are five primary categories of abuse: Sexual, emotional, physical, verbal and involuntary seclusion. Carefully review the attributes for each form of abuse. Not only is this important to ensure your behavior or actions could not be considered abuse of any type, but to also make yourself aware of different abuse scenarios. This knowledge is paramount to keep yourself in line and to understand abuse classifications so you know when a patient is being treated unfairly by a colleague.

For more information specifically pertaining to certified nursing assistants, you can visit