Breaking the Glass Ceiling In The Healthcare Industry

The glass ceiling has been a barrier to women for centuries. Despite significant advancements, many industries still make it difficult for females to progress to upper managerial roles. While the number of female CEOs at Fortune 500 companies has reached an all-time high, this still only equates to 33 females in the top positions.

Although women are typically at a disadvantage in all sectors when it comes to reaching the top, pioneers have begun to smash through the invisible yet ever-present glass ceiling. In doing so, they have facilitated much-needed change in a variety of industries and made workplaces around the country safer, fairer and more competitive for women. 

While the glass ceiling is present in every industry, the healthcare sector is particularly anomalous. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community, over 75% of the U.S. healthcare workforce is comprised of women. Despite this, the majority of key managerial and executive positions within the healthcare sector are held by men. 

Building a Career in Healthcare

Gender equality in the workplace is closer to becoming a reality in America, but we aren’t there yet. As well as lobbying for much-needed policy changes, women can help to eradicate the glass ceiling by eschewing gender stereotypes at work and pursuing roles typically taken by men. For females who are eager to take on the top jobs, a new way of learning, training and qualifying in the healthcare industry is making their ambitions more achievable than ever before. 

Within the healthcare industry, the majority of Registered Nurses are women. While nursing has traditionally been seen as a female role, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it has been easier for females to progress into advanced nursing positions. To become a Registered Nurse, candidates must complete either an:

  • Associate’s Degree in Nursing, or a
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Once students have successfully graduated, they must also pass the NCLEX-RN to obtain appropriate licensure. From there, Registered Nurses can choose to specialize in a wide variety of areas, such as:

  • Critical care
  • Family health
  • Emergency care
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatric/Mental Health
  • Pediatrics
  • Surgery
  • Labor and delivery
  • Home care

In addition, Registered Nurses may choose to apply for more advanced job roles, including:

  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Healthcare Manager
  • Nurse Educator

To be permitted to apply for these roles, however, individuals must undertake further study and obtain advanced qualifications. Arguably the most advantageous course to enroll in at this stage is the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Having completed this post-graduate qualification, individuals are well-placed to pursue a wide variety of managerial roles. Indeed, the nature of this advanced qualification is designed to give practicing nurses additional authority and autonomy within clinical and medical environments. 

Specializing in Family Health

Having attained a Master of Science in Nursing and board certification, Nurse Practitioners may also want to cement their specializing within a particular field. Again, there are numerous different specialisms to choose from, including:

  • Elderly or geriatric health
  • Pediatrics
  • Family health
  • Orthopedics
  • Acute Care
  • Occupational health

For healthcare professionals who have completed an MSN or similar post-graduate qualification, the Carson-Newman post-master’s FNP certificate is often the most efficient way to progress into a career as a Family Nurse Practitioner. By studying online, candidates can compress their studies into a shorter timeframe than average, if they choose to, and progress to the next stage of their career more quickly. 

Conversely, the flexible approach associated with online study ensures that additional commitments can be maintained. This is particularly important for women working within the healthcare sector. In addition to maintaining full or part-time employment, women are often responsible for running the family home or providing the bulk of childcare.

Although it’s becoming more common for men to take on an equal share of these tasks, women are still most likely to take on the additional role of being a homemaker, even when they have full-time employment outside of the home. 

Historically, this has had an impact on the number of women that were able to pursue advanced degrees. With strict schedules and limited flexibility, traditional methods of study simply didn’t facilitate the demanding roles that many women were already undertaking. 

However, today’s educational institutions and employers are beginning to see the benefits of adopting a more flexible approach to career progression. As innovative new routes to post-graduate qualifications become available, women are often the demographic that benefits the most.

By pursuing these opportunities and obtaining the qualifications necessary to take on the top roles, women are gradually breaking down the barriers that have held them back for so long. While there are undeniably many changes that still need to be made, online learning is playing a significant role in making gender equality in the workplace a more attainable goal. 

Is Studying Online Right for You?

Although on-campus courses still have a lot to offer, online study options are becoming increasingly popular. For post-graduate students, the flexibility to retain your full-time role while undertaking further study makes online learning particularly attractive. Before committing to a particular course or method of learning, however, it’s important to determine which options are right for you.

If you live close to an accredited course provider, are able to fund the fees associated with on-campus study, and take a career break to attend lectures, seminars, and workshops, then traditional study methods may be well-suited to your needs. 

Alternatively, if you want a study schedule that’s more flexible, you may prefer to enroll in an accredited and reputable online program. In addition to providing increased flexibility, online post-graduate programs can offer a significant range of benefits, including:

  • Lower course fees
  • Multichannel collaboration
  • Increased module choices
  • Opportunity to showcase your commitment
  • Better work/life balance 
  • Wider scope of specialisms

Furthermore, recognized online programs tend to offer high rates of employment for successful graduates, as well as enviable career prospects. With many women now able to pursue careers in more senior roles thanks to this flexible approach to post-graduate qualifications, studying online may be a critical way to render occupation inequality a thing of the past. 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.