Schools Training

3 Trends That May Impact Your Choice of Nursing Degree or Other Programs

15 NOV 2012
Career Path : Nursing

We’ve all seen the headlines: “Job growth stalls,” “Job market shrinks,” and so on. But are there any careers whose prospects are brightening? There are several trends that suggest that a career in health care may present many opportunities, even during an economic downturn. Good news indeed for anyone contemplating nursing or a pharmacy technician program.


1. New rights for pharmacists in Ontario.

In October 2012, the Ontario government announced that it would be expanding the role played by pharmacists in the healthcare system to include the following three new privileges and responsibilities: administering flu shots, renewing certain prescriptions within limits, and prescribing aids to quit smoking. But what impact, if any, does this decision have on health care workers in the pharmacist support network, i.e., pharmacy technician program graduates who help pharmacists to store, sort, and package medications behind the counter.


One answer is that new duties for pharmacists will lead them to rely even more on the pharmacy technician program graduates. As pharmacists take on increasingly medical responsibilities, their technicians may need to assume more responsibility for other day-to-day operations.


More responsibilities for Ontario’s pharmacists may translate into a brighter future for pharmacy technician programs’ grads.


2. Canada’s ageing population

With the first of the baby boom generation reaching retirement age, Canada’s population is getting older, and an older population makes more demands on our health care system, creating opportunities for all kinds of health care professionals, including nursing program graduates.


This greying of our population may also translate into more job opportunities for pharmacy technician program graduates. Older people tend to be prescribed more medications. And, as new residential facilities go up to accommodate our burgeoning senior population, they often include an in-house pharmacy.


3. New rights for nurses in Ontario

Ontario also allows nurse practitioners to occupy the role traditionally provided by the family doctor. This means that a nursing degree may qualify someone to serve as a primary care professional. Instead of making 15-minute appointments six months in advance with an already overworked doctor, patients can make half-hour to one-hour appointments on shorter notice with a nurse practitioner who has the time and institutional support to take a holistic approach to health, i.e., familiarizing themselves with their patients’ histories, risk factors, lifestyles, etc.


Intrigued, but unsure what working life might look like for a nursing or pharmacy technician program graduate? Here is a quick recap:


-          A pharmacy technician program prepares students to act as an assistant to a licensed pharmacist, performing such tasks as answering the phone, preparing insurance claims, operating the cash register, managing inventory and preparing liquid medicines.

-          A nursing degree prepares students to work in a variety of health care roles, ranging from the hospital and clinical setting to a research laboratory.


Good luck choosing the right career for you!



Visit Mohawk College for more information on a nursing degree.