Sustainable Cities of Tomorrow: What Does the Future Hold?

by South University 18 April 2014

With the effects of climate change becoming more apparent each day, many believe it is crucial that we strive to reshape the way we live, transforming our urban centers into sustainable cities. By focusing on energy efficiency, green spaces, and reduced pollution, we can create a future where our cities are green not just on Earth Day, but every day.

Emerald CityTransportation

Traditional gas-powered modes of transportation produce a significant amount of pollution and obtaining the fuel to power these vehicles can destroy valuable plant and animal habitats. The green cities of the future will incorporate new, clean transportation technology to ensure people get where they need to go, without damaging the environment. Scientists and environmentalists hope that one day the following will be reality.

• Public transportation will be powered by super-efficient solar panels and use smart technology to better coordinate routes and schedules.

• Electric cars will be powered by clean electricity from smart grids that utilize wind and solar energy sources.

• New, radical forms of transportation, like the Hyperloop and super-speed trains will reduce the need for energy-intensive airplane flights for longer trips.

Housing

Most people already recycle and choose energy efficient appliances, but in order to reach the truly sustainable cities of our future, more drastic and innovative approaches will need to be adopted. These may include:

• Buildings will be equipped with smart monitoring technology to track performance and adapt to people’s needs, reducing wasted energy and money.

• Green roofs, or roofs with plants on top, will help regulate a building’s internal temperature, while absorbing rainwater, providing us with fresh oxygen, and in some cases, producing delicious fruits and vegetables.

• Energy independent homes and buildings, equipped with solar panels, small-scale wind turbines, and geothermal heating, will reduce pressure on power grids and allow people to choose clean sources of energy for their homes.

Energy

Burning carbon-based fuels, like oil, coal, and natural gas, for energy to power our lives is one of the biggest contributors of pollution and climate-altering greenhouse gases. Green cities of the future are likely to use renewable energy sources, like solar and wind, combined with smart grids and improved solar cells and wind turbines to provide clean energy. Here are a few more predictions about the future of energy.

• As solar panels become smaller, cheaper, and more efficient, they will be utilized throughout sustainable cities on buildings, streetlights, and vehicles.

Innovations in wind turbines could produce more efficient versions that are bladeless, float in the ocean, or even are high up in the atmosphere.

• Smart grids will allow consumers and power providers to communicate energy needs and uses in real time, which will increase energy efficiency, save money, and reduce blackouts.

4 Popular Specialties to Consider for Your Nursing Career

by South University 16 April 2014

Registered Nurses pursuing a master’s degree will find that there is no shortage of options for specializations, from education to family practice. Here are 4 popular specialties to consider as you plan your future in nursing.

Nurse1) Nurse Practitioner

Nurse Practitioners can practice primary care or focus on more specialized areas. For example, Family Nurse Practitioners provide services to individuals across the lifespan, from infant to adult, whereas Adult Health Nurse Practitioners focus on a smaller segment of the population. As a Nurse Practitioner, your daily work may involve performing routine check-ups, examining lab results, assessing existing conditions, promoting overall health, writing prescriptions and establishing treatment plans for patients.

If you’re interested in direct patient care, a career as a Nurse Practitioner is an excellent choice, with a 34% employment growth projected by the BLS for 2012 to 2022. The majority of Nurse Practitioners work with a physician, but others maintain an independent practice. The BLS lists the 2012 median annual salary for Nurse Practitioners as $89,960.

2) Nurse Educator

Nurse Educators can have rich and rewarding careers combining clinical expertise with a passion for teaching. As a Nurse Educator, you can play a pivotal role in mentoring and shaping the future generation of nurses, preparing them to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing healthcare industry. In addition to providing training at various education levels, you may develop, evaluate and revise curricula as well as conduct research.

In 2010, according to discovernursing.com, 56% of schools had vacancies for nursing faculty. This trend continues today, as the American Association of Colleges of Nursing estimates that, last year, 80,000 capable, prospective nursing students were turned away due to a shortage of educators. According to explorehealthcareers.org, the average annual salary of a Nurse Educator is $78,242.

3) Nurse Administrator

Nurse Administrators and Managers are critical in designing healthcare delivery systems, recruiting and supervising healthcare staff, making policy and financial decisions, promoting improvements in patient care, and incorporating new technology into the delivery of care. As a Nurse Administrator, you’ll also work to optimize interactions between patients, doctors and nurses as well as to facilitate communication between departments.

As the need for RNs increases—with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projecting a 19% growth rate from 2012 to 2022, so does the need for people to manage this growing workforce. Thus, the BLS estimates that the employment of medical and health services managers will grow 23% from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the 11% average across all occupations, with an annual median salary of $88,580. With an education focused on nurse administration, you may be prepared to work as a patient care unit coordinator, nurse case manager, senior manager or nurse unit manager.

4) Nurse Informaticist

Individuals working in Nurse Informatics combine their nursing knowledge and communications skills with a knack for technology and information structure. As a Nurse Informaticist, you’ll have opportunities to develop, implement, manage and evaluate operational data and information systems as well as collect and analyze patient data with the goal of improving clinical care. As a trusted expert, you may also be required to communicate your findings and train other staff members in the use of these systems.

Nurse Informaticists are typically members of the information systems or technology departments at hospitals, healthcare consulting firms or research organizations. Alternatively, you may be placed in the research or education arm of your institution. According to explorehealthcareers.org, the typical salary for Nurse Informatists ranges from $79,000-$83,675. The need for these individuals is expected to increase in direct proportion to innovations in healthcare technology.

Ready to take the next step? Request information about South University and our College of Nusing and Public Health today.

For More Information...

ExploreHealthCareers.org: Nurse Educator | Nurse Practitioner | Nurse Informatics
http://www.healthcareadministration.com/becoming-a-nurse-administrator/
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm

How to Foster Collaborative Relationships with Your Colleagues

by South University 15 April 2014

A positive work environment is the basis of any successful enterprise. Colleagues who collaborate effectively are better able to address the needs of the business and overcome their daily challenges at work. Not all co-workers immediately form close relationships; sometimes finding the right mesh among the staff takes work.

Teamwork

To foster positive and professional relationships among colleagues, follow these steps for maximizing the potential of the group through a well-functioning collective effort.

Learn about Your Colleagues' Work

Getting a sense of your coworkers’ responsibilities, working style, professional strengths and areas in which they wish to grow can be a good starting point for a relationship and can help you be more appreciative of their work. Shadowing your colleagues (of course, with your supervisor’s approval) is one way to get a better sense of their schedules and required tasks. This familiarization will foster appreciation and give each employee a view of the context of their respective responsibilities and shared goals. This is also an excellent opportunity to learn ways in which you can help others and who you should turn to when you need assistance in different areas.

Earn the Respect of Your Peers

Become someone who your colleagues can rely on if or when they need support. If you commit to a deadline or project, be sure not only to act on your promise, but also to follow through in a timely manner. Conversely, if you know something is not possible for you to do, admit it and explain why, asking for help if you need it. Another aspect of building trust is sharing information. Maintaining regular and open communication with one another will help to pave the way for a trusting, honest relationship.

Attend Social Gatherings

Socializing after business hours is an effective way to create a friendlier and more effective workplace relationship. Getting to know the person, rather than just the employee, will open new avenues of communication and give you a better understanding of what you have in common.

If social gatherings or happy hours are not regular occurrences on your team, talk to your supervisor about scheduling a team-building activity. For example, you can suggest a charity event that your company and your teammates can sponsor or help support. By participating in a community event or social gathering, employees will become more comfortable with each other overall, with the added benefit of discovering new ways of relating to each other while on the clock.

Resources

Building Good Work Relationships
Fostering Positive Professional Relationships in the Workplace
Seven Characteristics of Successful Work Relationships 
Building Positive Relationships at Work

You Asked, We Heard: Introducing the NEW Online Library!

by Staff 11 April 2014

By Guest Blogger Kate Sawyer
Assistant Vice Chancellor, University Libraries, South University

Just in time for the American Library Association's Library Week (April 13-19, 2014) The South University Online Library has been updated and redesigned -- thanks to your suggestions and feedback. The new look is sleeker, more user-friendly and more organized. However, the main element is the new Library Search function.

Library Search

Library Search works like Google; it searches the entire South University Online databases along with the eBook and print book collections at our campus locations across the country. Using keywords, subject terms, author name or title, you can quickly find results from a variety of resources. If you receive a large amount of results, you can narrow them down using the Library Search limiters (online only resources, journal articles, etc.). For more information on using the Library Search feature, watch our YouTube video.

Research GuidesLibrary Search is only one aspect of our new and improved South University Online Library website. You can find a quick link to the library’s Research Guides in a predominant spot on the website. These guides make it easy to find resources, tutorials, videos, and other helpful information about your topic.

Tabs are located at the top of the South University Online Library website and allow you to access a quick connection with the library resources and services.

Library Navigation

With these changes and new functionality, the South University Online Library is excited to provide an easier, sleeker, and more efficient website for its students to use. Current students can access the library via the My Academics menu in the Campus Common. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the South University Online Library Staff. 

Exploring Criminal Justice Topics: Restorative Justice

by South University 4 April 2014

For most people in the United States, justice usually can be simplified to mean that an individual is given a fair punishment for a wrong that they have committed. Typically, this justice is delivered through the criminal justice and legal system, with emotions and personal feelings considered outside the purview of providing justice. However, many believe that this approach to criminal justice is lacking. One alternative theory that attempts to address these concerns is known as restorative justice.

Criminal JusticeWhat is Restorative Justice?

Restorative justice is a philosophy that makes the case that justice should be more than simply punishing a wrongdoing. Instead of focusing on making the criminal pay for their crime, restorative justice seeks to address the harm caused to the victim by requiring retribution that actually benefits the victim.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is that traditional justice focuses on determining which laws have been broken and the established appropriate punishment, while restorative justice focuses on who has been hurt by an action, and what actions can be taken to counteract the harm that has been caused.

Restorative Justice in the US

Mediation is one of the most common examples of restorative justice in the United States. In some civil or criminal cases, the victim and the criminal can meet with a trained mediator. During these sessions, the victim can express the ways in which they have been hurt, and the criminal can explain the mindset that led them to commit their crime. While an explanation is not an excuse, understanding someone’s actions and motivation can aid in the healing process.

Often times, mediation is used as an alternative to a formal court proceeding, which can save both parties time and money. However, most importantly for restorative justice, this mediation can reduce the emotional hardship experienced by the victim and even, in some cases, the perpetrator.

Incorporating Multiple Approaches to Justice

Restorative justice is seen by many as a more holistic approach to the justice system. Instead of simply focusing on punishing wrongdoers, restorative justice works to address the mental and emotional needs of victims and criminals. If exercised correctly, restorative justice can reduce recidivism and make society a better place in the long run. Despite the potential benefits, restorative justice is just one philosophy on criminal justice that may not always be applicable, and it is important to note that, in many legal proceedings in the United States, it is not the primary objective.

Build your skills and find your calling in the field of criminal justice. Explore our programs today!