A nursing degree can be obtained at these schools

10 Best Universities for a Nursing Degree

By Giana / May 9, 2016

You already know that a nursing career is the right move for you, but one key question remains: Where should you earn your degree? It’s National Nurses Week, and you can’t wait to don scrubs and join the action. First things first: Where should you get your degree? Here are 10 schools that boast some of the best nursing programs across the nation.

Malloy College

Malloy College is a private nonprofit institution in New York. It has excellent ratings and a long list of awards for both education and research. The college offers a wide range of majors, but its nursing program is its primary claim to fame. Malloy College proudly features a state-of-the-art learning laboratory and small classes. Students get incredible access in the lab and in the classroom. Once a hometown for a surprising number of sea captains, the town is now a peaceful place to study, work, raise children, and enjoy close access to NYC.

NYU

New York University is located in New York City (but we didn’t have to tell you that). While most recognize this school for its outstanding theater and dramatic arts training, its nursing program is also ranked as one of the best in the world. Among the many reasons for this is the staff. All clinical and research faculty members are highly credentialed and published. Furthermore, instruction and research work together to create a powerful learning environment.

Simmons College

Simmons College, a Boston Institution, also flies somewhat under the radar when it comes to international recognition. But its nursing program is exceptional. The school has partnerships with surrounding healthcare facilities. Students complete practicums and research at Boston’s world-renowned teaching hospitals. This women’s college is located in the very heart of Boston, which home of the first lighthouse and the first subway system in America.

University of Pennsylvania

This Ivy League is widely renowned for science and healthcare. Simply naming its nursing program can draw a white hot spotlight to your resume after graduation. How come? For starters, University of Pennsylvania faculty boasts many of the top researchers in the world. In addition, this school offers a state-of-the-art simulation center for students to practice hands-on. This university is located in Philadelphia, America’s first capital city and the home of the famously cracked liberty bell.

Drexel University

Drexel University is located in Philadelphia. The Drexel Dragons (as they’re called) have an excellent reputation for nursing and healthcare training. While this university doesn’t score well in cost-to-value, it offers a host of advantages in student-teacher ratio, ethnic diversity, and high earnings for graduates. Bonus: Philadelphia was the home of the nation’s first hospital, co-founded by Ben Franklin in 1751. What fun bragging rights!

Villanova

Villanova is often considered a Philadelphia institution, but it’s actually located on the “main line.” This is a beautiful stretch of rolling hills and historic farmland just beyond the crowded city limits. If you’re interested in anesthesia, this might be the perfect school for you! Villanova’s anesthesia program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.

Fairfield University

Fairfield University is a highly regarded institution located in Fairfield Connecticut, home of the Maritime Museum in Norwalk and the famous Ridgefield Playhouse. The school prides itself on utilizing the latest medical equipment. If you attend, you’ll love the small classroom settings and the frequent chances to practice skills.

Azusa Pacific University

Azusa Pacific University is a rising west coast star in the arena of healthcare and nursing education. It is located in the quiet city of Azusa, which is a former tiny ranching town that exploded with the arrival of the gold rush in the early 20th century. Azusa strongly encourages its students to become “compassionate healers” and “strategic thinkers.” Students learn in teaching hospitals and leading research-based centers.

Johns Hopkins

Named after his great grandmother, Margaret Johns, the 18th century Quaker philanthropist Johns Hopkins left his considerable fortune to this now-famous Maryland university and hospital. This school was actually rated #1 accredited graduate nursing program in the country by US News & World Report. Johns Hopkins maintains a global focus in its curriculum. Students can gain extensive training in AIDS/HIV studies, which is usually reserved for specific academic paths.

George Washington University

George Washington University is located in the Foggy Bottom Neighborhood of Washington DC, an area of the city best known for its storied history and attractions. Students have access to three skills and simulations laboratories. The university emphasizes diversity and inclusion in its practices. Bonus: It’s less expensive than most other top-ranking schools.   For more on how to choose a college or nursing degree program that’s right for you, explore the career development tips and tools on Livecareer.
African American man working on a laptop computer.

How to Write an Excellent Project Manager Resume

By Giana / December 19, 2016

You need a project manager resume that sets you apart from the crowd. Here are a few tips that can help you land the job you’re looking for. As a project manager in search of a full-time or contract based job, you’ll need a resume that sells your skills, education, and experience, just like an applicant for almost any profession or industry. But your resume will also need some details that are specific to your project-management goals. For example, you’ll have to demonstrate your ability to clarify and rein in a sprawling mission, a.k.a. “project-creep”. You’ll need to showcase your leadership skills, even at the entry level. And you’ll need to explain how your specific skill sets can support your employer’s specific enterprise. Here are a few moves that can help you accomplish these goals.

First, focus on your summary.

You may be searching for work in a wide range of fields that require expert project managers. So in the summary section of your resume, clarify exactly how your experience lines up with the needs of your target audience. To assess those needs, do some research or make your best guess based on the information available to you. By the time they’ve read your summary, your reviewers should know-- for sure—that this open position falls into your area of interest and expertise.

Move experience above education.

Your education section will be very important, but for most project management positions, reviewers like to assess your experience first. Again, they want to know that the projects you’ve worked on in the past reflect similar challenges to the ones you’ll face on this job. Focus on the client problems you’ve solved, the budgeting restraints you’ve dealt with, and the ways in which you—and your past projects—have exceeded expectations. After briefly listing and describing your past positions and your proudest home runs, you can share your education, training, and certifications.

Highlight skills that grab attention.

After your education and experience sections, you’ll create a resume subheading focused on your special skills. Keep in mind that a long list of marginal and forgettable skills (like proficiency with the Microsoft office suite) will easily slip out of your reader’s memory after they close your file. But a shorter list of rare, highly valuable, and very specific skills will stay at the forefront of your reader’s thoughts. Cull and curate your “skills” list carefully. Don’t include every single one of your software skills—only the most relevant. And don’t list bland, broad categories like “communication” and “leadership”. Instead, be specific. Cross out “communication” and replace it with “public speaking”, “grant writing”, or “PR management”.

Show results.

Your experience section will highlight what you’ve done. Your education section will highlight what you’ve learned and what you know. Your skills section will demonstrate what you can do. But for all three sections, emphasize the end results. Did you earn cum laude status? Did you successfully advance your employer’s interests by expanding market share or raising revenue? Describe the specific problems you’ve solved, honors you’ve earned, or changes that have come about due to your own personal actions. Use numbers to make your point. For more on how to tighten each essential section of your project management resume, turn to the resume creation tools available on LiveCareer.
Business people working together in office

Communication Counts: 83% of Recruiters Consider it Key to Sizing Up Cultural Fit

By Giana / December 14, 2016

To impress your interviewer and land your dream job, you’ll need to communicate clearly and well…but what exactly does this mean? It’s no surprise that most employers and hiring managers cite “good communication skills” as a positive trait when evaluating candidates for open positions. But “good” or “strong” communication can mean different things to different people. In fact, a recent Jobvite survey that polled 1600 recruiters and HR professionals found that 83% consider communication style the most important element when evaluating candidates for cultural fit. This means that if your method of speech and message-shaping matches that of your employer, you’re in. If not, you’re more likely to slip through the cracks. So as you search for work, make sure that you’re communicating well, in the universal sense. While you’re at it, make an effort to understand the unique culture and style of your interviewer and your target employer. Here are a few moves that can help.

Be clear.

Clarity means delivering your message using impeccable grammar, proper spelling, complete sentences, and a logical link between each written or spoken thought and the next. This may sound like a no brainer, but far too many candidates assume that text speak, abbreviations, and broken phrases are acceptable when speaking to a recruiter by text, email, or voicemail. They aren’t. Edit your messages, even the simplest and shortest.

Be mindful of nuance.

Grammar matters, and so does tone. There’s a difference between: “Thanks for your message! We’ll talk soon!” and: “Thank you for your message. We will talk on Monday.” Both are grammatically correct, but they convey a different voice and tone. Word choice and punctuation contribute to your conversation and help readers gain a complete picture of who you are as a person. Stay in control of that picture.

Listen first.

If you’d like to present yourself as an adaptable person with a flexible personality who can get along with almost everyone, that’s great. It’s an excellent way to open a dialogue with an unknown person or company. But once the dialogue is open, stay tuned in to the culture of the company and the personality of the person on the other end of the line. Don’t keep cracking jokes if your audience isn’t responsive to your sense of humor. And if your audience seems relaxed and forthcoming, smile and take it easy. Demonstrate your ability to receive social cues and respond appropriately.

Remember details.

Write down the details and facts your interviewer or recruiter shares with you. No matter what information comes your way, the more you retain, the better. Make note of names, numbers, the company’s history, the needs of the open position, and the details of your own background that you have and have not already shared.

Keep records.

As you search for work, you may create long email or text chains with various employers and contacts. Keep these records straight and accessible. They can and will come in handy as your conversation develops.

Learn to brag appropriately.

Almost every job search comes with a universal conundrum: The need to brag about your abilities and while being self-aware and socially well-adjusted. Finding balance between the two is an art. But you can pull off this tricky maneuver if you place yourself in your listener’s shoes and think carefully about your messages before you send them. It may also help to review some successful cover letters and/or watch videos of successful interviews (you can find both on LiveCareer!) For more information on how to ace your interviews and establish meaningful connections with recruiters and employers, explore LiveCareer’s job search and resume creation tools.
man with a beard looking over documents

How to Survive the Holidays as a Freelancer

By Giana / December 5, 2016

The holiday season and the end of the year can be a challenging chapter for freelancers and independent contractors. If you fall into this category, here are a few strategies that can help you survive.

The holidays can be a harrowing time for anyone. We’re all familiar with the social stresses, high- pressure event planning, lonely moments, and workplace drama (it’s review season after all), that accompany the last few months of the year. But freelancers are in a unique position, and as it happens, gig economy employees and independent contractors often find themselves in the crosshairs of all of these problems at the same time. Freelancers may need to miss social gatherings to attend to work during non-business hours, and are often trying to line up enough work—or any work—for the year ahead. While their clients leave for holiday vacations, freelancers rush to finish jobs on corresponding deadlines (without regard for their own vacation time). If you’re a proud representative of the gig economy, here are a few tips that can help you face the holidays without missing a beat.

Expect a slight slowdown.

Most freelancers who work for large companies as contractors and subcontractors can expect a work slowdown between December and February. Almost all projects that require freelance input (from design, to project management, to accounting) go through a lull as corporate clients and their own customers turn their attention away from work-related matters. When this slowdown happens, be ready. Have a financial plan in mind so you can spread out your yearly income to cover a few quiet months, and have an action plan in mind so you aren’t left spinning your wheels.

Keep your contacts close.

The holiday season offers plenty of opportunities to build and strengthen your network. While you’re searching for new jobs, stay in circulation socially. Attend events, reach out to old friends, and send friendly seasonal messages to current and former clients. Connect with old friends, meet new ones, and don’t hide at home in the glow of your screen.

Make changes to your business model.

If you intend to change your rates, change your methods, or adjust your business model (offering new services or phasing out old ones), take care of this now. Most of your clients will be working on budgets and needs assessments for the following year, so this may be a perfect time to draw their attention to changes that may affect them.

Manage your time wisely.

While the holidays can mean a slowdown for freelancers, they can also present the opposite: a rush of work with tight, holiday-related deadlines. These deadlines can be hard to meet while also navigating social obligations and holiday travel. Be ready to handle some tricky planning, and if it helps, let your clients know as much about your circumstances as you can. For example, tell them when you’ll be going out of town, even if you intend to take your work with you.

Maintain a regular routine.

Waking up and starting work early can be hard during the cold, dark winter months, and while steady office employees have alarm clocks and watchful bosses to keep them on track, freelancers need to handle their schedules on their own. Exercise your self-discipline… and get some exercise. Don’t slide into a state of hibernation like a bear. Stay busy, and you’ll thank yourself for your happy clients, strong relationships, healthy body, and full work schedule when spring rolls around. For more on how to stay focused and on track throughout the winter no matter what your work schedule looks like, explore the tools and resources on LiveCareer.