Hello Nurse Backpack audience members! We’re glad you’re reading. There’s some good stuff down below this intro. In case you haven’t been shaken with the truth just yet, our team is here to explain some nuances that non-clinical peers seldom notice. Like what you’re reading? Subscribe for our next release.
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Medical providers have a lot going on. They’re busy during work hours keeping you stable, being sure to keep their hands clean, sending off lab tests, educating themselves and oh yeah — making sure they’re not getting their facility audited. Wait, what?
Healthcare providers are one of the most organizationally burdened in America.
Anecdotal experience aside, anyone not in the medical field doesn’t really have a lot to manage when it comes to paperwork. A resume, references, historical addresses, the things you’re asked about to verify identity.. the list is fairly short.
Let’s step back and add to that now.
Imagine that list.. imagine it’s 100% imperative to be up to date at any given moment, imagine if it wasn’t up to date and how you’d lose the ability to practice in the field or at that facility network, imagine being the only person on your side when the workplace gets audited, now bring it all together and you’ve glimpsed the document management chaos in healthcare.
Fear tactics are over. Nurse Backpack has a mission and is pushing hard in 2020 for the changes. We’re here to be on your side, to be your shields and to be your swords. Nurses, healthcare providers, hear us out and equip yourselves.
This is a message to educate the community that you have a lot more to manage than they see during their check-up.
Nurses are in the business of helping people, saving lives and being the silver lining during difficult times. (Don’t downplay it. You’ve likely comforted a few people in hard moments during your tenure.) They’re placed in a position that is inherently trusted: they are a facilitator between a patient and a physician.
How does a nurse get to that spot? Hard work. How does a nurse STAY in that spot? Well…
They manage a plethora of professional credentials.
There are many reasons that it is important to manage professional credentials in the healthcare industry. Not only can healthcare providers have many different credentials, but each has different renewal requirements and updates as well. This is a lot of information for one person to manage, let alone a busy clinic or hospital that has many healthcare providers on staff. Because nurses are in the business of saving lives and helping people, they need to keep their credentials organized so that they are prepared to go out and do what they do best.
Plus, there are the nursing specific credentials and licenses to maintain.
Nurses can have several healthcare credentials that enable them to help people in various ways. It can be difficult enough to know how to list the credentials after a name, much less keep them all in one place where they are available to send out to hospitals or other organizations that need to see them.
When listing credentials, there are typically three categories:
Education: This is the nursing degree (ASN, BSN, MSN). This goes first in the credential listing. This is a fun one that is sometimes called “alphabet soup.” Subscribe to our updates for our thoughts on that next month!
Licensure: The second element is the licenses that the nurse holds (RN, LPN). A nurse cannot practice without a license, so this is important.
Specialty: These are advanced nursing specializations, such as CNS (Clinical Nurse Specialist), NP (Nurse Practitioner), and APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse). There are many different specialty certifications, and they will follow the licensure in the credential listing.
While most nurses know what their credentials are, it can be confusing, especially for new nurses, to know how to list these credentials. When a nurse has many different credentials, he or she will need to renew some of them at various times. This is where the organization of the credentials can be critical. If a nurse lets one expire, this can prevent the nurse from taking a job or practicing in a particular area until the credential is renewed. For this reason, it is important to stay on top of what the credentials are, when they are up for renewal, and who needs to have copies.
Now that you have all the paperwork, who else needs it?
Now we are starting to change things up. Yes, we all have licenses and credentials, but does an employer always need that at any given moment or risk a devastating blow to their operations? Not usually, or at least I’ve never been seriously asked for my driver’s license during an interview for marketing.
Prepare for the Joint Commission, before you even need to care!
Healthcare providers need to be prepared for the next Joint Commission Audit. The Joint Commission can surprise a facility for an accreditation survey at any time. Many healthcare facilities are accredited by fulfilling this process. A facility can either gain or lose credibility based on the outcome of this audit.
This is another compelling reason for individual nurses and healthcare facilities to keep credentials organized and accessible. For facilities, it can be a huge blow to their reputation to fail this audit, and for nurses, it can result in the loss of a job. Every nurse must have the appropriate credentials that are valid for the areas where they work, and having these credentials accessible and organized will save time and let nurses focus on helping people and saving lives.
Just to reiterate.. UPDATE YOUR RESUME.
It is always a good idea in healthcare professional management to have an updated resume ready to go in case an opening comes up for a dream job. The last thing anyone needs is to have the job of a lifetime come up, and then be stuck writing a resume from scratch. It is possible to even miss the deadline for the job application. Even nurses who are happy in their current position should always be prepared because anything is possible. This whole process is a lot simpler when a nurse has all of his or her healthcare credentials stored in one safe location.
Free, paid, event oriented.. keep up with your medical CEUs.
Oftentimes, nurses continue their education while they are working. Sometimes they want an additional degree, such as moving from an ASN to a BSN or a BSN to an MSN. Other times they may want additional licenses. Sometimes nurses find that they really enjoy working in a particular specialty such as memory care or oncology. Some certifications help nurses specialize in this way.
Whether a nurse is continuing his or her education to learn more or to qualify for a better or more specialized job, because they are in healthcare, professional management of credentials is very beneficial. It will simplify any process of applying to a program and it will keep all credentials accessible to anyone who needs them.
Okay this is a lot to manage, I admit. How do nurses organize it all?
There are so many important reasons that it is important to keep credentials organized, and there are different ways to achieve it. First, the nurse needs to know how to list credentials, and then they should be organized. The credentials should present an organized picture so that employers, hospitals, and other organizations can easily look and determine what credentials a nurse has.
The next question is where to store the credentials. Each nurse should have a safe place to keep them, whether that is a filing cabinet or a safe. Another option is to use a service and store them digitally, This can put everything in one location that is easy to access. (No way!)
In addition to credentials, nurses may want to keep an updated version of their resumes ready because the perfect job could come up at any time. No matter how content or happy a nurse is in his or her current job, life changes and people grow, and a position that didn’t seem interesting at the beginning of a nurse’s career could be correct in the current time. Whether or not a nurse plans to change jobs, he or she should always have a resume that is current and lists all specializations.
Finally, one of the most important reasons for the organization of healthcare credentials is that it is crucial to renew different certifications before they expire. Nurses are busy; they work long hours and deal with emergencies often. They are much needed, and they have little time for themselves. This can lead to missing a renewal, which can prevent them from completing a job until the certification is renewed. Keeping credentials organized will go a long way toward preventing this from happening.
You want to be responsible but still have that valuable little free-time. Nurse Backpack helps you with this.
Store and set reminders for credentials. Share it easily.
Store, edit, update and share your resume.
Coming soon.. keep track of your CEU plan and enroll in courses.
Coming soon.. accept new jobs and accommodate your travel contract needs.