What impact will an economic recovery have on the number of nurses joining – or leaving – the profession? What other developing trends present either threats or opportunities to those in the nursing profession? To get a sense of how some of these issues may play out in the near future, HES spoke with healthcare entrepreneur Lloyd Fassett, founder and CEO of Azteria, a recruiting and career management system for the U.S. healthcare industry, about both the long-term and more immediate challenge and opportunities that will shape healthcare careers in the coming decades.
HES: For students and practitioners trying to figure out how to best position themselves for the emerging career opportunities, what trends do you feel will have the greatest impact, and what steps should our readers take to place themselves “in the path of opportunity?”
LF: Well, of course, one important step is to sign up with Azteria and get your professional information posted where potential employers can find it. But also, in many cases I think personal contact is as important, if not more so, than connecting over the Internet. Go into your targeted employers, make sure the healthcare recruiters know your name, shake their hand, look them in the eye. Do so even if they're not posting a job just because you need to express your interest for when something does come up, and then follow up with them. Always follow up with anyone you’ve had an opportunity to speak to in person. It’s also smart when you're in a meeting with a potential employer to ask when will be a good time to follow-up or what the next action should be.
HES: Let’s talk about healthcare certification as a healthcare industry trend. How important is it for healthcare professionals to have up to date certifications either while they have a job or while job searching? From your perspective is this a change from what you've seen in the past five years or ten years as the healthcare industry has kind of exploded?
LF: It's good to have more certifications than you're required to have because getting ACLS certification isn't that expensive in light of how much you make per year, even if you don't have to have it. You're in an environment where it's plausible that you will need ACLS-level skills even if it's not required. It differentiates you from your other work mates, in a good way. And even if you don't know where getting that ACLS is going to lead you, new doors will open by challenging yourself and working towards a goal. It's a good goal to have.
And, after getting your ACLS, you very well may say, "If I did that, maybe I can do the next thing. Maybe I can … " It will keep your mind and energies going in a positive direction. It's always good to get more certifications. I think that strategy of getting more certifications than you actually need is very smart. I’ve heard that even hospital pharmacists are getting ACLS certifications even though they're frequently not required to. They're on the floor, they're creating the carts, it's a good thing for them to have.
HES: Will my employer provide training for ACLS?
LF: It is true that some employers are willing to train you to get your advanced certifications, like an ACLS, within a few months of getting the job. But having those certifications when you’re applying for a job would definitely give you an edge with hiring managers when compared to other candidates who lack those certifications.
The other thing is that if you have certifications up to date, you're eligible for contract work. So, if something should happen to your job and you're laid off, you have these advanced degrees, registered nurse in particular, you can pick up a temporary job until you find your dream, permanent job.
Health Education Solutions offers ACLS certification and ACLS recertification online.