In the first video conversation (found in its entirety below), Lora Epperly, Director of Business Development and Care Innovations, and Carlan Meyers, Director of Human Resources both from Commonwealth Care of Roanoke (CCR) spoke with our own Cathy Greenberg, who is the Director of the Madison School of Healthcare.
At a time when the healthcare industry is primed for job seekers – according to a recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, healthcare employment has increased by 328,000 jobs over the past year – these employers offer advice that can help get your foot in the door or boost your healthcare career.
Below are key topics and highlights from the Q&A. Responses have been edited for length and clarity.
Question: What trends are you seeing in the future of healthcare?
Carlan Meyers: We see an aging, not only general population, which is growing the need for more healthcare, but we're also seeing an aging workforce. People are staying in the workforce longer, which is creating an interesting dynamic with all the younger employees coming in. I see a lot of teaching opportunities, between both students or early professionals and experienced healthcare workers, as well as learning opportunities from one another.
Lora Epperly: From the nursing perspective, the trend now is for less care to be given in acute care, hospitals or skilled nursing centers and other institutions. The push is for more community-based services and being able to care for folks in the community, whether it's in their home or whether it's in an assisted living or a group home. We spend a lot of time trying to determine the patient's goals for an episode of care, things that are important to them, where they want to receive that care, how they want to receive the care. We're also seeing many opportunities for nurses to go into their own practice, so if you want the autonomy, there are also greater opportunities for true interdisciplinary team approaches to nursing.
Question: Why is it better today than ever before to pursue a career in healthcare?
Lora: Well, I laugh and say, I have job security and nursing staff members will have the opportunity for employment now and well into the future. No matter what specialization you decide to go into, you're going to affect the life and the health of the patients, clients, residents – however you describe the people that you are caring for. If you're a teacher, if you're a researcher, if you're a hands-on type person that loves providing hands-on care, if you want to work in a hospital, if you would love to work in the community, there are just so many opportunities to be able to impact people's lives.
Question: What steps can nurses take right now to advance their careers?
Lora: I think one of the initial steps nurses must take is to learn to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves. If a nurse doesn't have their BSN, I definitely would encourage the RN to BSN program route. There is a knowledge set that comes with the bachelor's program that is going to give nurses other proficiencies beyond the basic clinical skills that they may have from their Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). Or, let's say I'm an old diploma nurse with a great background. Through my bachelor's program or master's program, those advanced skills put me in a position where I can take advantage of some of the opportunities I really wanted to pursue.
Question: What steps can job seekers take to set themselves up for success?
Carlan: What I see in a lot of educational arenas is a lack of doing mock interviews, so holding those is an important step. Job seekers should also do research on the employers in their area that they're interested in working with. A career is more than just a pay check. It's more than just benefits. Is a potential employer financially strong? Attending networking opportunities in the area and participating in workshops are also steps job seekers can take to set themselves up for success.
Check out the Ashworth College YouTube page for more video conversations and career insights.
Interested in starting or improving your healthcare career? Visit the Madison School of Healthcare programs page.