Thursday, October 18, 2007

Benefits Of Online Education

An online education has many benefits including lower costs, no travel time, and easy access. All you need is a computer, meaning you can work whenever and wherever it’s convenient for you. This is especially true for the adult learner, who must often juggle studies with a full-time job.

How can you benefit from studying online?

• Learning is unscheduled. It means that you don't have to attend classes on regular basis. You can choose to work and study at any time of the day you like. Though, a great responsibility for education falls on your shoulders and you are to be very self-disciplined and have a desire to succeed in your studying.

• Online education allows you to absorb up-to-date and quality information, obtain valuable and relevant knowledge and master practical skills which are in demand by employers.

• You have a great opportunity to commute with people all over the world and establish new relations.

• You can establish meaningful interaction with your tutors and other students via the Internet without leaving your home. You can contribute to course discussion and comment on the thoughts of others. This quality and extended discussions make up a valuable element of your studying.

• You have an access to a wealth of resources extremely easily, quickly and relatively cheap. Just imagine that you'll be able to get any materials needed for your studying with a simple click of your mouse.

• Your course materials include everything you may need in your studying from websites of libraries, associations, museums, agencies to databases and extensive number of media types - photos, video and audio, that enhances quality and interest factor of your education.

• You get convenience and flexibility. You are free from any limitations of time and location so that you can get instruction at any time from anywhere.

• You can work independently, moving onward on your own pace and concentrate on the specific topics of your interest as you complete your assignments. You are encouraged to elaborate your own learning style and choose a form of course materials which suits you better.

• You can quickly earn a degree without attending a physical university and also you have an excellent opportunity to spread your course out for a longer period of time.

Thus, in short online education means students no longer have to quit their jobs to attend college, no longer have to take time off from work to attend a specific course and spend hours in rush hour traffic or drive 200 miles to the nearest University. It also means students learn at their own pace, gain more one-on-one access to their instructors and earn degrees in less time than it would take to juggle traditional courses.

In just a few years, the Internet has turned online education into a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry; the majority of colleges and universities now offer some form of distance learning as part of their curriculum. And with the benefits we've listed here it's easy to see why online education has become so popular.

Working adults can now continue their education, earn higher degrees, and earn more money by attending courses that primarily take place over the Internet.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Nursing Education – The Importance Of Critical Thinking

In the nursing profession, more now than ever, the ability to think critically is essential. The responsibilities of a Registered Nurse have increased over the years. In correlation with this increase in responsibility comes the additional increase in educational prerequisites and core requisites required to achieve a degree in Nursing. The ANA (American Nursing Association) Standards has set forth the framework necessary for critical thinking in the application of the “nursing process". The nursing process is the tool by which all nurses can equally become proficient at critical thinking. The nursing process contains the following criteria:

1. Assessment

2. Diagnosis

3. Planning

4. Implementation

5. Evaluation

It is in the application of each of these processes that the nurse may become proficient at critical thinking. It is important to look at the components that describe critical thinking in nursing, The table below lists components that define the critical thinking process. There is much more that goes into critical thinking than what is listed in the table. The table is a rough draft of the process.


Entails purposeful, informed, outcome focused thinking, that requires careful identification of specific problems and other physiological and psychological factors that affect the clients position on the health and wellness continuum.

The process is driven by the client, the client’s family and other health team members who are also collaborating in ensuring essential client care.

Specific educational knowledge base and level of experience in applying that knowledge in client care. (Nursing School to graduate nurse to experienced nurse) As the level of experience of the nurse increases so will the scientific knowledge base that the nurse applies.

Proficiency in the application of the institutions standards, policies and procedures.

Application of the humanistic standards of caring in conjunction with the nursing process, to holistically treat the clients response to an actual or perceived illness.

Constant evaluation and re-evaluation of the nursing process to determine the clients level of wellness

Nurses learn critical thinking via application with experience. Experience is the best teacher. But it is equally important to know that the process is being applied correctly. Many institutions will ensure that this pathway is followed by enlisting new nurses in a eight to ten week orientation program. During this time the new nurse will learn about the polices and procedures of that institution and what type of documentation is used for charting purposes. Also, the new nurse will have an experienced mentor who they will follow and who will evaluate their performance as well.

Documentation is an essential part of the critical thinking process for the nurse. Every institution places emphasis on documentation. It is said, “that if it is not documented, then it was not done". Since the nursing process is a scientific process. In scientific research, all things are documented. In this documentation, researches can look back to see if the results were due to interventions and whether or not the interventions were successful or have to be altered. The documentation process helps the nurse accomplish the same goals. Many times procedures are used that have unproven efficacy.

In it is this framework of critical thinking and documentation that such procedures can be either continued or eliminated, depending on the efficacy of the research. In other words, does the procedure actually improve, help or otherwise jeopardize the client’s health. An example of the critical thinking process and scientific reasoning is in the efficacy of taking a rectal temperature of new born infants. Currently, this procedure is still widely accepted. However the scientific approach is to ask the following, is the procedure safe, is it necessary, and can an axillary temp be used in place of the rectal temp? In answering these questions, the nurse can better evaluate whether the efficacy of taking a rectal temp on a infant should be continued.

This is just one example of how the critical thinking process is used within the nursing profession. The scientific approach using critical thinking helps the nurse develop evidence based practice. It is through “evidence based practice" that the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO) rates the performance of hospitals. Further research is still continuing in delineating the intricacies of the nursing process and the integration of critical thinking. All health care professionals are encouraged to pursue this type of research in their practice to ensure the quality of client care and enhance the validity of their profession.

Learn more about nursing education at The NET Study Guide.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Homeland Security Education and the Corporate World

The post 9/11 world we live in has seen a multitude of changes in regard to the way we perceive homeland security. What was once a buzzword has become a certified institution, and academia has taken notice. The number of accredited colleges and universities offering homeland security degree programs has grown steadily over the last five years.

Homeland security degree programs offer an exceptionally wide platform from which to build a career. From law enforcement and corrections to border security and any of the many government agencies responsible for our nation’s safety, the opportunities are almost endless. One area of employment often overlooked by homeland security degree program graduates lies in the complex and oft misunderstood world of corporate security.

When most people think of corporate security, images of IT professionals come to mind. Certainly the problems of the information age have made data security and the safe and secure transmission of information a high priority. Still, corporate security involves much more than just the realm of information technology.

Trade secrets, formulas, employee access, financial information and secured locations are all part of the average large corporations security concerns. Considering that very few large corporations fall into the category of average, the need for qualified security personnel is ever present.

Homeland security degree programs, because of their very nature, are well suited for producing qualified applicants. The training and skills covered in areas such as surveillance, criminal law and security protocols and procedures can readily be applied to the corporate world. In years past, corporations would rarely hire recent graduates to handle their security needs, instead opting to recruit ex-military or retired police force personnel. Unquestionably, there is no substitute for experience in the law enforcement field or the military. Still, the curriculum offered in homeland security degree programs can provide students with the technical knowledge to be successful in the field. Those who have police or military experience in addition to a homeland security degree are especially ideal because of their experience level.

As the corporate world begins to recognize the potential for finding qualified security personnel from the pool of recent college graduates, it’s likely that more and more headhunters will be from the private sector in the years to come.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Online IT Degrees Offer Advantages Over Campus-Based Programs

If you buy a computer today, almost anyone in the industry will tell you that your purchase is already yesterday€™s technology the moment you get it home.. Technology is expanding exponentially and what is new today quickly turns old tomorrow. The same can be said for campus based information technology degree programs. As with any knowledge that is constantly evolving, information presented in a traditional IT program can be outdated before the course begins. Textbooks sometimes take a year or longer to be written and published and software is revised, rewritten and replaced at a rate that defies logic.

IT education once relied upon teaching the fundamentals of hardware and software through the platforms on which they are conceived and built while allowing students to specialize in other areas that involved more current curriculum. Unfortunately, as information technology has progressed, even the platforms that were prevalent for so many years are now changing. Programming languages, applications and even the way in which programs interact with one another are in an almost constant state of flux, which makes the time frame associated with developing learning material infinitely small.

Seldom updated materials are acceptable for subjects such as history, geography, or literature, but entirely unacceptable for IT as the information is quickly antiquated. This problem works against educational efforts. Every college and university wants to offer its students the most current information, but that can be a tall order for IT departments, especially for those hampered by the traditional campus structure.

On the other hand, online IT programs have managed to find a way to stay as current as possible semester after semester. Many online universities work with active industry professionals and hire senior administrators in the IT field to serve as faculty. IT programs are able to avoid the problems associated with a tenured professor, which allows them to use the best minds available for each course. As a result, students are outfitted with the latest materials and information as they pursue their IT degree.

Online IT degree programs hold other advantages as well. Tuition is usually less than at a campus-based program and students can study at their own convenience from wherever internet access is available, in most instances. Most programs have students work in groups on occasion to help build teamwork skills related to problem solving. Homework is transmitted online and tests are taken online in a program that limits the time for answering questions to keep the student from seeking outside assistance or formulating answers from course materials during testing. In short, online IT degree programs are similar in form and function to traditional campus based programs, but with benefits that only distance learning can provide.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Advertising Industry a Reflection of the Times

Advertising is one of the few industries that not only acclimates to changes in public perception but institutes them as well. What we as a population purchase is often more a reflection of what’s sold to us than what we want or need. In fact, it’s the perception of need that drives the advertising industry.

If the average person performed an analytical cost/benefit analysis on the purchase of a thinner phone, a faster computer or the latest pair of sneakers, savings accounts everywhere would be earning low interest yields on much more substantial nest egg. Unfortunately, analytical thinking has no part in our collective conscience when it comes to making purchases, at least for the average consumer. Instead, we are readily convinced of which new songs we like from a very limited pool of easily accessible offerings. We are told which styles of clothing are in and which are fashion suicide. We are bombarded with messages aimed at providing us with the knowledge of how we are supposed to think, feel, act and most of all, consume.

Colleges are teaching the same fundamentals of demographics, recognition, repetition and visual appeal that have been a hallmark of marketing for print, television and to a great degree radio since the 1950’s. The biggest change between that time period and the one in which we are currently living isn’t found in academia, but instead in the tenants that mark our modern world.

We buy what is sold to us because we need to belong, because we want the best, the fastest, the cheapest, the latest or the most unique. We buy out of the need to keep up with the Jones’ and then buy to set ourselves apart from them. We buy with purpose while claiming indifference. Successful advertising and marketing offers a reflection of how we feel today, and while it may prey upon our fears or speak to our vanity, it only reflects the importance we place on our inner feelings. Perhaps that’s why advertising is always evolving, to meet the needs and expectations of a society that is constantly in a state of change.

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Friday, September 7, 2007

Location Makes a World of Difference for Culinary Graduates

The White House is known to employ some of the finest chefs in the country, but culinary degree holders are better off working at luxury hotels or casinos in Las Vegas than anywhere in the Washington D.C. area, a recent survey by shows.

The average annual salary for a Washington D.C. chef is $71,666, which is a moderate income considering the high cost of living. Many who work in the restaurant industry but have no formal education in the culinary arts earn $12 to $15 per hour and work more than one job in order to sustain a more financially taxing lifestyle.

Meanwhile, chefs in tourist heavy cities across the country (and across the world) are finding favorable employment options that offer compensation well above the norm. Chefs in Las Vegas, Nevada are earning an average of $85,000 per year â€" well above the national average of $75,596 and even more lucrative considering the fact that Nevada has no state tax. Chefs who work in some of the more prestigious casinos earn as much as $140,000 annually. This has tempted several experienced chefs who have no ownership stake in the restaurants for which they work to leave their existing positions for employment opportunities in Sin City.

Better benefits and more career opportunities are also attracting top chefs to the Las Vegas restaurant industry. The starting hourly rate for a line chef in most of the restaurants surrounding Las Vegas Boulevard is commensurate with the national average. Because shifts are often longer as a result of the steady influx of patrons to 24 hour restaurants at all hours, however, many earn full time benefits. Few other line cooks across the country can make that claim. Additionally, because of the relative transience of Las Vegas, those who are looking for long term employment opportunities are likely to experience rapid promotion provided they are competent and able to meet the requirements of the position.

Of course, salaries and hourly rates vary greatly depending on the worker's position. The typical restaurant kitchen will have a number of hourly-paid line cooks with different levels of seniority based on experience and longevity at that particular location. The longest tenured line cooks can command relatively high salaries depending on the quality of restaurant in which they work. Larger restaurants often have chefs who oversee the line as well as an executive chef who oversees the entire kitchen area or back of house. .

The type of establishment also affects a kitchen worker’s potential earnings. Hotel restaurants at the more exclusive properties in Las Vegas are extremely rigid on quality, performance, and expertise. Those with the education and experience to meet their lofty standards enjoy higher salaries on average than their independent restaurant counterparts.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Automotive Mechanic Training More Popular Than Ever With High School Graduates

Americans have always been obsessed with cars. Drivers want to own the latest models with the latest features and are willing to pay top dollar for them year after year. NASCAR has become a very popular sport with the youth of our country and older generations as well. Collectors have a passion for restoring, buying and showing muscle and sports cars of the past, and auctions devoted to the hobby are regularly held all over the United States. Street racing has been glorified on film in recent years, though one needs only to look back over our cinematic past to discover that fast cars and the people who drive them have been a part of our culture for years. Before movies such as The Fast and the Furious”, there was “American Graffiti” and “Rebel Without a Cause”. It’s easy to see that our love affair with the automobile has maintained itself throughout the years and continues to grow with each new generation.

Though we appreciate cars for a variety of reasons, we depend on them for only one, and that is simply to get from point A to point B. Every auto on the road today will need repair or maintenance at some point in the future. As the technology behind the automobile has changed, so has the training required of today’s mechanics. No longer will a rudimentary knowledge of drivetrains and electrical systems qualify a person to work on any vehicle. Automotive mechanic training has become a science of its own, with entire courses devoted to individual models or the industry standard diagnostic equipment that mechanics of the past never had the luxury of using. More and more high school graduates with mechanical aptitude are choosing technician training to provide them with a future and employment opportunities that are almost certain to always be available for the mechanically inclined. This is especially true today as the demand for qualified automotive mechanics often exceeds the number of automotive technician program graduates.

But why are so many graduates choosing to enroll in auto technical programs instead of traditional college programs? For starters, the auto mechanics of today earn respectable salaries as opposed to the mechanics of the past. Furthermore, the education necessary to become an auto technician doesn’t involve coursework unrelated to the trade. In short, auto technician training is a method by which young men and women can quickly learn a skill set that will allow them to earn a good living in a very short amount of time. Not many other educational opportunities can offer the same.

For more on Automotive Technical Careers, visit our site at . For automotive news and information, visit our blog at . For online and campus based educational resources, visit

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Health Care Training Diversifies to Accommodate Changes in Policy

It wasn’t all that long ago that health care training opportunities fell into one of three basic categories: nursing, administrative or medical school. Over the last several decades, training opportunities were developed around new technologies, such as radiology, magnetic resonance and computed tomography. Newly accepted forms of treatment influenced health care academics as well. From chiropracty to physical and behavioral therapy, the need for a specialized workforce was forged out of advances to modern medical care.

Today, it is policy which has greatly influenced the face of health care education at the administrative level. The insurance industry has had a profound effect on the number of specialized employees at most large health care facilities, from hospitals to senior care centers. The emergence of HMO and PPO health benefits has created the need for a standardized system of documentation universal to all insurance providers. The development of medical billing and coding degree and certification programs is a direct result. Where at one time administrators were responsible for the paperwork and data entry of patient records, the sheer volume of documentation required today makes that an impossibility. Not only are medical coding specialists a luxury for administrative health care facility staffs, but indeed a necessity. Just as all hospitals have employees devoted to their IT infrastructure, data availability and data security, each also requires specialists who understand the often complex nature of insurance reimbursement.

Even at the highest levels of administration, changes can be seen. The business aspects of health care have become exceedingly industry specific and require intimate knowledge of the field. As a result, there are many business administration degree programs with concentrations in health care administration or management offered by universities across the nation. Graduates have the benefit of being acclimated to the particular facets of the health care industry that set it apart from all others in relation to business and commerce.

As health care industry positions become more specialized, be it through technology, new methods of treatment or policy, one thing is certain. Academia is quick to find and fill the needs of employers in every industry.

For more information on healthcare degree programs, visit our site at . For information on online education, visit our blog at . For information on online and campus based degree programs, visit

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The Changing Face of K12 Student Learning

With each decade the face of education has changed to reflect the current trends in education. The policy initiatives of each president, governor, community leader and parent have been aimed at transforming children's learning environments into the ideal situation. While these initiatives may never succeed to meet every child's needs the combined result of their work has created an environment where education can now be tailored to meet the needs of every child through online schools.

Much like the advent of the search engine and booking our own airline travel, the Internet has introduced the nation to online education. To many, the commercial products available from higher education degree granting giants like the University of Phoenix define online learning. However, to a growing population of Americans, online schools have come to define the middle ground between home schooling and personalized public education.

While charter schools continue to spring up across the country, there are a select few that have been created in the charter school mold simply because the education establishment can not keep pace with today's innovations. In Ohio for example, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) was created in 2000 not to revolutionize charter schools, but to bring to Ohio's children and families leading education content in a format designed to enable every child to succeed. ECOT provides every child with an education option that delivers to each student exactly what they need while providing the comprehensive state standards based education that is the hallmark of successful public and private schools.

Other online schools and content companies such as the Florida Virtual Academy and K12 Education are part of a growing trend that brings together the real-life education community and the technology community. In many instances this partnership is a thorn in the side of traditional education and educators who see only standard classrooms as the answer to the ills of the American k-12 system

Online schools have revolutionized the workplace for skilled teachers and administrators. The result of this union is the ability to create a tailored classroom for gifted, struggling and needs-based students that, until the advent of online learning, were often segregated to specialty teaching groups to meet their potential.

The education landscape has changed and for many brick and mortar school districts this is a hard fact to face. The local school boards and education departments in America have begun to realize that business as usual isn't he solution to a rapidly advancing world and have begun to embrace the assets of online education.

Unlike the as-we-know-it classroom the online environment can be adjusted to meet the needs of every child and instill the state standards required of students since the advent of the No Child Left Behind Act without stagnating the classroom experience. From thousands of courses to graduation test practice sessions and immediate intervention opportunities, online schools offers to the students and families of 2006 what the computer breakthroughs of the past several decades offered to the business community. Simply put, online schools have the ability to provide every individual with the right information in the right format at the right time for optimal success.

Online schools were once considered the wave of the future. That future is now and the online revolution continues to shape the world of real life education without the boundaries of classroom walls.