Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Women's Health & Midwifery Offer RNs Career Growth

As we all know, nursing is the largest health care occupation in the U.S. and the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that this trend will continue well into the next decade. The shortage of nurses will also continue to grow as Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) begin to retire.

As health care costs have shifted, nurses and especially NPs have begun to play a much larger role in patient care. The field of Women’s Health has expanded tremendously in the past few decades and will continue to grow far into the future. Nurse Midwives (CNM) and Women’s Health nurse practitioners (WHNP) will be in much greater demand.

With the added ability to write prescriptions and to manage patient care independently in most states, the popularity of this nursing field has grown. Recognition and reimbursement by insurance companies has changed the face of nursing and as Medicare and Medicaid begin to follow suit, nurses will gain even greater respect and recognition.

Advanced education opportunities can be difficult for nurses. Online education is one option to consider. While online education is not an option for non-nurses, advanced education is. One such program is available from the The University of Cincinnati. This program offers an online Masters of Science in Nursing with options in Nurse Midwifery and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner.

Courses can be completed on your own time even in your PJs. A qualified local preceptor of your choosing assists you with your clinical practicum. The programs are accredited b the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM). Graduates of the WHNP are eligible to sit for the NCC (National Certification Corp.) exam for WHNPs.

According to the BLS, CNMs and NPs can earn $50,000 to $90,000 annually with an average salary of $70,000.

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