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administrative assistant

What does an Administrative Assistant do?

While specific responsibilities vary according to the needs of the employer, an Administrative Assistant is a person who provides various kinds of support to individuals or groups, particularly in a business setting. Most often, the term Administrative Assistant is a formal title, although it can also simply be a designation for the role that person plays in the organization.

Administrative Assistants can be found in many industries, including government agencies, corporations, legal and medical offices, hospitals, schools and universities.  They are often critical to ensuring that everything runs smoothly within an organization.

Some of the duties an Administrative Assistant might perform include:

  • Coordination and communication between departments
  • Scheduling of meetings, interviews and events
  • Handling sensitive information and communications
  • Data entry and note taking
  • Resolving day-to-day operational issues in an administrative role
  • Assisting with various aspects of management, logistics, and inventory

Training & Education

While a formal education is not always necessary, a degree is sometimes required and will help an applicant in negotiating for a higher salary. For most entry-level Administrative Assistant positions, a high school diploma or GED along with some office skills are all that is necessary. Exceptionally strong communication and time management skills are required for most administrative assistants. Vocational programs exist that will help in training for administrative support positions, as they teach the specific skills required for such a role.

Employers hiring Executive Assistants are more likely to seek out candidates with a college degree, especially one closely related to the business or industry the executive works in.

Salary

While applicants with a formal education are usually at an advantage, experience and location will play a role in salary, as will the type of administrative assistants position. For example, office support positions usually pay significantly less than executive assistant roles.

What does a Clinical Nurse Specialist do?

Nursing is one of the most vital fields in existence. While doctors may make diagnoses, prescribe medications and devise treatment regimens, it is nurses that make it all happen. They are the ones most responsible for the actual tracking of a patient’s condition and the hands on care that patients receive.

Within the nursing field, as with any technical field, there are many levels of expertise. Those that attain the highest levels of education and skill are known as a Clinical Nurse Specialist. The ANA (American Nurses Association) defines a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) as “A nurse who is an expert in a defined area of knowledge and who practices in a selected area of expertise.” In simpler terms, this means that a Clinical Nurse Specialist is someone who has already qualified as a Registered Nurse (RN) and then has gone on to specialize, just as some doctors do, in the care of and issues surrounding a particular type of patient or disorder.

clinical nurse specialist

Some of these specialties include:

  • Community Health
  • Gerontology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry
  • Women’s Health
  • Acute Care
  • Adult and Family Care
  • Neonatal and Pediatric Care

Within these specialties a Clinical Nurse Specialist may perform all of the duties that you would expect of a nurse, but in addition to their traditional role may also act as a:

  • Treatment Coordinator
  • Researcher
  • Educator
  • Consultant
  • Clinical Expert

In fact, many times, in cases that involve a high degree of interdisciplinary treatment, it is actually a Clinical Nurse Specialist that has overall responsibility for the patients’ treatment rather than any of the attending physicians.

As can be imagined, a field that carries the great responsibility that a Clinical Nurse Specialist enjoys is not simple to enter. You must first work your way up the ladder of nursing beginning as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Then receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). This will qualify you to take the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses). Pass this exam and you will become an RN. Once you have qualified as an RN you will need to continue your education, completing a master’s program, preferably a Master of Science in Nursing and then continue your education in your desired specialty.

Though a difficult field to enter, the overall benefits make becoming a Clinical Nurse Specialist well worthwhile. Clinical Nurse Specialists enjoy a very high salary rate compared to most fields and, with a rate of demand that is increasing every year, it is one of the most secure job fields available.

What does a Computer Consultant do?

Those working as a computer consultant work with IT departments in government, schools, businesses and organizations to help them choose and implement the right computer network system. Consultants also help ensure that it continues to run smoothly. Computer consultants work to provide software and hardware solutions, along with helping the client choose and utilize the right tools for their specific needs.

computer consultant

People who have a natural affinity for computers, organization and problem solving skills do well in this field. Those that enjoy being a team leader also do well. An advanced degree is often required to be a computer consultant, so enjoying education is a plus. Computer consultants often spend a lot of time in continuing education, as the field experiences rapid growth and evolution.

There isn’t a specific degree for becoming a computer consultant, however there are certification programs. Those seeking a career in this field often obtain a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology and/or Business Management as a first step. Degrees in Information Design, Network Security, Data Based Technology, and Software Programming are also good choices when pursuing a career as a computer consultant. While not required, a professional consulting certification gives candidates an edge. A Certified Management Consultant certificate is awarded for specific product or technology training. Most computer consultants obtain advanced degrees, specialized certification and continuing education.

Most consultants don’t jump in as a consultant, but are recruited after years of related work experience. There are some companies that offer entry level positions with on the job training, but if you only have at least a bachelor’s degree. Many computer consultants use their experience and education to open their own firm, allowing flexibility in choosing assignments. Working as an independent contractor has a lot of advantages, and allows you to selectively choose the work you love. Computer consultants are needed in practically every industry.