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Rae Ellen Douglas of Kaye/Bassman Featured in Advanced Healthcare Network for Nurses “Heeding the Call”
Dallas, Texas, 8/262013: By Jonathan Bassett
In response to a nationwide need for nurses in executive leadership, teaching and advanced practice roles, today’s nursing professionals are seeking graduate programs in greater numbers to become qualified to fill them.
“They’re coming in droves,” said Ora Strickland, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami. “There’s a big demand for DNPs and nurses with master’s degrees with specialty training to work in hospital departments such as cancer care and nephrology. I think we’re really seeing just the beginning.”
In addition to its BSN program, FIU offers graduate programs in psychiatric nursing, adult health, anesthesiology, family health and nursing administration, to go with its full complement of nurse practitioner and doctoral programs culminating in the PhD or DNP degree.
“Where nursing used to end at the baccalaureate level, today’s nurses are using the degree more as a launching point to other areas of practice,” said Strickland. “It’s a trend that’s really gaining momentum and isn’t likely to slow anytime soon.”
Key Areas of Growth
Family care nurse practitioners are particularly in demand at the moment, leading many of today’s nursing graduate students to select that career track, Strickland said. “We’re finding that it’s a key area of the future,” she said of the family health nursing track. “Providing primary care provides nurses with a high amount of flexibility in terms of job settings and patient populations, and a degree of professional autonomy that’s very appealing.”
With the array of degree programs available to associate’s- and bachelor’s-level nurses, along with the wide range of senior-level positions open to those holding master’s and doctorate degrees, defining today’s “typical” nursing graduate student is challenging, according to industry experts.
“It’s really ‘all of the above,'” said Mary Kerr, PhD, RN, dean of the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and the May L. Wykle Professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. “We get the new grad who goes right back to school for their master’s pre-licensure, the clinical nurse who wants to specialize in psychiatric nursing or gerontology, or someone who’s been in the field many years who is interested in a leadership position.”
Case Western offers 10 specialties in its master’s program. Students complete a core group of general courses before electing a specialty track. In addition, the university’s doctorate programs (DNP and PhD degrees) prepare graduates to work as administrators, researchers, consultants and faculty members. And according to employers and those who represent them, the job market is hungry for them.
“Hospitals looking to hire senior-level positions through me are generally looking for a master’s degree at minimum,” said Rae Ellen Douglas, nurse practice leader at Kaye/Bassman International Corp., an executive search firm based in Dallas. Douglas works primarily with hospitals and health systems across the country to fill executive leadership positions with professionals who have nursing backgrounds.
“My clients need me to find directors and administrators who are proven and capable,” said Douglas, adding that more of them are dictating an advanced degree as part of the candidate’s profile. As one illustration, health reform is causing hospitals and health organizations to turn to master’s- and doctoral-prepared executives to oversee the often complicated interdepartmental initiatives and standards necessary, Douglas said.
“In my fifteen years of executive recruitment and consulting, I have witnessed the advanced educations standards and accomplishments change greatly. It isn’t too uncommon anymore for nurses to seek advanced nursing practice degrees as well as advanced business degrees,” said Douglas.
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Founded in 1981, Kaye/Bassman has grown to become the largest single-site executive search and recruitment firm in the United States with the simple mission of impacting companies and enhancing careers by providing the finest in professional, executive, technical and scientific search. Kaye/Bassman provides strategic recruiting and executive search solutions in over 20 industry practice areas including construction recruiting, healthcare recruiting, banking executive search, energy recruitment and many more. Next Level Recruiting Training, a recruiting training organization, Next Level Exchange, a recruiting training best practices information exchange, and Next Level Marketing Communications are also Kaye/Bassman companies.
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