Doeren Mayhew IRS ramps up guidance on new small employer health insurance tax credit

The IRS is moving quickly to alert employers about a new tax credit for health insurance premiums. The recently enacted health care reform package (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010) created the small employer health insurance tax credit. The temporary credit is targeted to small employers that offer or will offer health insurance coverage to their employees. The credit, like so many federal tax incentives, has certain qualifications. Please contact our office and we can arrange to review in detail how the credit may cut the cost of your business’s health insurance premiums. The dollar benefits of the credit are substantial and they apply immediately to 2010 premium costs.

Outreach

The IRS is sending postcards to more than four million small businesses in coming weeks. The postcards briefly describe the new tax credit and are just one part of the IRS’s outreach campaign to educate employers about the credit. The IRS has also created a special page on its web site on the credit along with a fact sheet and frequently asked questions and answers.

Maximum credit

The new health care credit is effective immediately so employers need to plan now to take advantage of it. The credit, which is available over the next five years, also rises over time but the enhanced credit comes with some additional requirements.

For tax years beginning in 2010 through 2013, the maximum credit reaches 35 percent of qualified premium costs paid by for-profit employers. The maximum credit is 25 percent of qualified premium costs paid by tax-exempt employers.

The maximum credit climbs to 50 percent of qualified premium costs paid by for-profit employers (35 percent for tax-exempt employers) for tax years beginning in 2014 through 2015. However, Congress imposed some additional requirements. An employer may claim the credit only if it offers one or more qualified health plans through a state insurance exchange. The health care reform package requires states to create insurance exchanges by January 1, 2014.

Example. ABC Co. employs nine individuals with average annual wages of $23,000 for each employee in 2010. ABC pays $72,000 in health care premiums for its employees. This amount does not exceed the average premium for the small group market in the state in which ABC offers coverage and ABC otherwise meets the requirements for the credit. ABC’s credit for 2010 is $25,200 (35 percent x $72,000).

Tax-exempt employers have additional limitations. If the amount of their credit exceeds the amount of payroll taxes of the tax-exempt employer during the calendar year in which the tax year begins, the credit is limited to the amount of payroll taxes.

FTEs

The maximum credit is available to qualified employers with no more than 10 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees paying average annual wages of $25,000 or less. The credit completely phases out if an employer has 25 or more FTEs or pays $50,000 or more in average annual wages. Effectively, a small employer can have exactly 25 FTEs or pay average annual compensation of exactly $50,000 and not receive a credit under the phase-out rules. The monetary amounts are adjusted for inflation after 2013.

The health care reform package explains how to calculate the number of FTEs. The number of an employer’s FTEs is determined by dividing the total hours for which the employer pays wages to employees during the year (but not more than 2,080 hours for any employee) by 2,080. The result, if not a whole number, is rounded to the next lowest whole number. Lawmakers selected 2,080 hours because 2,080 hours comprise the number of hours in a 52-week assuming a 40-hour work week. Any hours beyond 2,080, such as overtime hours, are not taken into account when calculating FTEs.

Example. ABC Co has nine employees. ABC pays Aidan, Bonnie, Catherine, David, and Eddie wages for 2,080 hours each for 2010. ABC pays Francine, Gary and Harry wages for 1,040 hours each for 2010. ABC pays Kieran wages for 2,300 hours for 2010. The total hours not exceeding 2,080 per employee is the sum of: –10,400 hours for the five employees paid for 2,080 hours each (5 x 2,080) plus –3,120 hours for the three employees paid for 1,040 hours each (3 x 1,040) plus –2,080 hours for the one employee paid for 2,300 hours (lesser of 2,300 and 2,080), which add up to 15,600 hours.

To calculate the number of FTEs, 15,600 is divided by 2,080, which results in 7.5, rounded to the next lowest whole number.

Average annual wages

A formula is also used to calculate average annual wages. The amount of average annual wages is determined by first dividing the total wages paid by the employer to employees during the employer’s tax year by the number of the employer’s FTEs for the year. The result is then rounded down to the nearest $1,000 (if not otherwise a multiple of $1,000).

Example. ABC Co. pays $224,000 in wages and has 10 FTEs. ABC’s average annual wages are $224,000 divided by 10 which equals $22,400, and is rounded down to the nearest $1,000 for a final number of $22,000

Owners and family members

Some individuals are excluded from the calculation of FTEs and average annual wages. These include a sole proprietor, a partner in a partnership, a shareholder owning more than two percent of an S corporation, and any owner of more than five percent of other businesses. Certain family members of these individuals are also excluded from the calculation of FTEs and average annual wages. These include a child, a parent, a sibling, and others. This list is not exhaustive. Please contact our office for more details about who is excluded from these calculations.

Premium deduction

Employers generally may deduct the cost of health insurance premiums paid on behalf of employees. The health care reform package does not change this general rule. However, the amount of premiums that an employer may deduct is reduced by the amount of the small employer health care tax credit.

Qualifying arrangement

Only premiums paid by the employer under a qualifying arrangement are counted in calculating the credit. Under a qualifying arrangement, the employer pays premiums for each employee enrolled in health care coverage offered by the employer in an amount equal to a uniform percentage (not less than 50 percent) of the premium cost of the coverage. The IRS is developing transition relief for 2010.

Additionally, the amount of an employer’s premium payments is capped in relation to the average premium for the small group market. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will determine the average premium for the small group market in a state.

Congress is currently reviewing the costs of premiums. The health care reform package includes a requirement, effective in 2011, that insurance companies spend at least 80 percent of premium revenue on actual health care. Additionally, the health care reform package establishes a process for the annual review of premium increases prior to their use along with public disclosure of how premium rates are determined.

Claiming the credit

Qualified for-profit employers will claim the credit on their annual income tax return. The IRS is expected to advise how tax-exempt employers will claim the credit. Our office will keep you posted of developments.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a qualified small business can choose to start offering health insurance coverage to employees in 2010 and be eligible for the credit. If you are considering providing insurance coverage to your employees, please contact our office. If you have already been paying premiums, don’t leave maximizing the new credit to chance; we can help you navigate the many federal rules that come into play.

As always, please contact Doeren Mayhew if you have any questions about the new small employer health insurance tax credit.

If and only to the extent that this publication contains contributions from tax professionals who are subject to the rules of professional conduct set forth in Circular 230, as promulgated by the United States Department of the Treasury, the publisher, on behalf of those contributors, hereby states that any U.S. federal tax advice that is contained in such contributions was not intended or written to be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer by the Internal Revenue Service, and it cannot be used by any taxpayer for such purpose.

Healthcare Revenue Cycle Management For Optimizing Financial Gains

Nowadays, healthcare providers like every other industry need to consider long-term financial stability. In order to ensure this, they need to implement the right procedures and measures to get expected results. One of the best ways to achieve this for the industry is optimal use of healthcare, revenue cycle management. Implementation of proper management procedures makes it possible to gain positive short term and long term financial results.
Long-term financial results occur through better patient engagement and short-term benefits may involve something as simple as knowing about receivable claim accounts. So what is management of revenue cycle related to the healthcare industry? This involves the use of proper techniques, methodologies, tools, and strategies for gauging financial situations. For example, proper management strategies will help an provider review the financial situation of a patient, collect co payments, and submit accurate claims.

Successful payment collections from various payers including; insurance companies, government, and various agencies are possible through successful revenue cycle management. One cannot emphasize enough the benefits associated with such management techniques. For the healthcare provider, it signifies financial stability on a long-term basis. Different institutes use such measures for different reasons. For example, some may use it in preparation of accounting reports or recording of transactions.

This kind of recording and reporting may occur on a quarterly, monthly, or even annual basis. However, most prefer quarterly and monthly reporting for remaining abreast of their financial situation and planning further strategies in this regard. As the situation lies nowadays, healthcare establishments that do not use proper management techniques fail miserably to keep track of the financial sides of transactions and become bankrupt. A sound management strategy in place with successful electronic remittance advice prevents financial distress and this way an establishment can ensure long-term gains.

Revenue management is a critical subject that involves the wider arena related to patient engagements in financial transactions. This includes revenue control processes, analysis of income statement, and successful sales management. Besides this, it also deals with problems related to the health care establishment, which may be hindering its capabilities to generate revenues. Use of practices related to successful profit management may help clinics and hospitals to generate higher revenues and get better results from patient dealings.

Software is available these days that can make revenue management for healthcare industry seamless. These work in close association with electronic remittance devices used in these establishments for managing data, generating reports, and keeping track of financial transactions. With competition is increasing hospitals and clinics have to think of better and more successful ways to ensure financial stability and optimizing their profits. Proper management of revenue cycle surely helps in this regard.

Addressing the Need to Help Those With Schizophrenia

Much has been done recently to advance the standards of care for people living with schizophrenia. An initiative is taking place at 10 community behavioral health organizations nationwide and is designed to improve the daily functioning of people with schizophrenia and raise expectations for what is achievable.

Too many of the 2.4 million Americans with schizophrenia are left behind when it comes to their care, their inclusion in our communities and their recovery. It’s time to expect more. Luckily, the standard of care is being taken to a whole new level – one that focuses more effectively on improving how people function in their daily lives.

While most community behavioral health organizations recognize the benefits of the pilot program’s holistic and interactive approach, when it comes to helping people with schizophrenia, low expectations and limited resources have resulted in our treating the disease and not the person.

To address that shortcoming, the “Advancing Standards of Care for People with Schizophrenia” pilot program sites will work to help a person with schizophrenia feel more independent and accomplish the things he or she needs or wants to do on any given day, such as going to the library, visiting a local Y or sharing a meal with a friend. According to mental health experts, this improvement in day-to-day functioning is a critical first step towards more complete self-directed disease management.

To help each of the pilot sites shift towards a more complete evaluation of functioning, technical assistance will be provided that will draw on the expertise of an advisory panel of national thought leaders in behavioral healthcare. This approach will rely on a consistent use of the Daily Living Activities (DLA-20) tool – an interactive assessment that the mental health professional and patient will complete together to track how each individual is functioning.

Pilot sites in the program include:
AltaPointe Health Systems, Inc., Mobile, AL
AtlantiCare Behavioral Health, Egg Harbor Township, NJ
Cobb & Douglas Community Services Board, Smyrna, GA
Family Guidance Center for Behavioral Healthcare, Saint Joseph, MO
Gallahue Mental Health Services, Indianapolis, IN
Hill Country Community MHMR Center, Kerrville, TX
Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois, Springfield, IL
Recovery Resources, Cleveland, OH
Seminole Behavioral Healthcare, Fern Park, FL
Spokane Mental Health, Spokane, WA It is vitally important that we utilize every opportunity to strengthen and enhance the care that we can bring to people with schizophrenia, and though this is the first step in the right direction, I am confident of what the future holds when it comes to improving the lives of those with schizophrenia.

What can You Do With a Healthcare Information Technology Degree in Chicago

Throughout history, healthcare records were recorded on paper if they were kept at all. With the twenty-first century patient bouncing from general practitioner to multiple specialists and back, these paper records have become inefficient and cumbersome. Thus, the digitizing of healthcare is a growing trend.

This increased use of electronic health records means that the health information technology job market is promising. Students looking to pursue a Chicago health information technology program have many options. Students can attain this degree via traditional or online schools.

Program Overview and Course Information

A Chicago healthcare information technology program focuses on training the student how to efficiently organize and code healthcare records as well as process data. While pursuing this associate’s degree, the student will learn other skills pertinent to working in a medical field, such as proper sanitation protocol and how to consult with doctors. The student will take courses such as medical technology, data analysis, anatomy and physiology, database security, and clinical classification.

There are several organizations that offer credentialing to the health information technician. These organizations include The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), The Board of Medical Specialty Coding (BMSC), and the Professional Association of Health Care Coding Specialists (PAHCS). Obtaining credentials increases the health technician’s marketability.

Job Opportunities in Various Settings

Upon obtaining a degree from a Chicago health information technology program, the student will be eligible for job opportunities in a variety of settings including hospitals, doctors’ offices, nursing homes, home health agencies, and insurance companies.

Expert Job Skills Required

Job responsibilities may vary depending upon the setting in which the healthcare information technician works. However, most Chicago healthcare information technology jobs will require the technician to use computer software, maintain the security of electronic health records, and help the employer to implement expanded healthcare information networks.

Due to the growing implementation of healthcare technology, the job outlook for a health information technician is very good. Employment in this field is projected to grow much faster than average.

With the excellent job outlook of the health information technology field, now is the ideal time to pursue a degree in a Chicago health information technology program.

Learn the best ways to a healthy living by getting in touch with the best Chicago health information technology program in Chicago. The author is a renowned writer of topics that concern with Chicago healthcare information technology.

Gain Complete Information On All The Affordable Health Care Insurance Policies

There various sources from where we can get detailed information on the different affordable health care insurance policies. Read on to know more.

There are times when we might need to incur heavy medical expenses if either we or any of our family members fall seriously ill or meet with an accident. In such a case, if we have an affordable health care insurance policy, then we can manage all the medical expenses and provide complete treatment to the concerned person. Then the question arises that whom do we contact to gather information about the most affordable health care insurance policies?

There are various people we can get in touch with to ask about the insurance policies. First and foremost are our relatives and friends. We can ask our relatives, especially the elder ones and also our friends about the policies that they have taken. Our elderly relatives can surely give advice from their experience about the insurance policies that have helped them over the years.

Next, we can ask insurance consultants. They are professional people who work in the field of insurance and know about different insurance policies provided by different companies. We can explain our requirements to them and discuss about the members in our family and their present and past medical history. In addition, we can ask the consultants to suggest the best policy that would suit and fulfill our requirements.

The third and very viable option is to look for information on the internet. On the internet, if we do proper and intensive research, we can procure information on all the insurance policies provided by different companies and decide on the one that not only fits our budget but provides sufficient insurance coverage to us and our family members against all critical illnesses and accidents. Online comparison of different policies is possible and can help us to take an informed decision. We can read the complete terms and conditions online, fill in the required forms on the internet itself, print the documents that need to be signed and sent to the company by post or fax. The company will then accordingly provide the insurance policy at our doorstep.

We must understand that an affordable health care insurance policy is one that provides us insurance in times of crisis. We can take care of the routine medical expenses and use insurance for serious ailments and accidents. This way, the insurance premium that we will have to pay will be in our budget as well as provide us coverage in times of serious crisis.

Healthcare Softwares For Every Hospitals

Lot of companies are providing the application software in healthcare management and information system, both of which are integral and critical parts of a smart healthcare system project. The idea is to bring the functions of all departments onto a unified platform from a reporting, data collation and data analysis perspective. If healthcare system is integrated and managed through a proper information and management system, then anybody can get access of it starting from primary healthcare unit to specialty centre, both from patient care and administrative perspective. In the process , it becomes much easier for the government to provide much better healthcare services. The need was already there, but only a few states have actually come up for adopting best of IT systems for healthcare.In general terms what basically these software are based on open source software with proprietary database at the backend. The software provides most flexible options in terms of reduced total cost of ownership, maintainability , vendor independency and in addition, it runs on a variety of operating systems. From an architecture perspective , it is extremely scalable and can be easily modified.
Areas like drug and material distribution, inventorying, purchasing and facility management have largely benefited through use of IT. The application also helps to standardize and define different protocols in the system as and when required. All these synchronies towards a significant enhanced quality healthcare service. Equity issues are taken care of by the public sector for those who cannot afford. Private sector is more or less differentiator. Sixty to seventy percent of work is left on the public sector. We need to increase the spending from current 4% to at least double by that. While healthcare IT spending in most emerging Asian economies has increased appreciably, yet certain developed and emerging nations are still lagging behind. Considering the global aspect, judging by the percentage of healthcare IT spending as part of overall national IT spending, Australia tops the chart , followed by China, Malaysia, New zealand, Philippines and Vietnam. The trends and spending patterns of Australia have been found to be most typical in the region, resulting in sustained growth of the market, at a pace that is even higher than many of the currently emerging economies. Public Sector institutions continue to slog or rather decay on account of lack of monitoring mechanisms, lack of management controls system and lack of accountability. In India, public health sector sees highest absentees. Still their incentives are very high. We need to have very strong management controls and IT enabled mechanism to monitor the output. Just Deploying thousands of doctors in the rural areas such as Gujarat is not enough

Some Myths about Federal Health Care Reform or Obamacare.

When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, aka ACA) became federal law in March of 2010, there were many assumptions about what the law would and would not do. As everyone knows, it has become known simply as “Obamacare,” because President Obama was the one who wanted health care reform. Here are some misconceptions about health care reform.

One of the first statements made was that the new law was tantamount to “a government takeover of healthcare.” For this to be true, the government would need to inform every citizen that they were being enrolled in a federal healthcare program, sort of like Medicare, which is a federal health care program for any qualifying citizen or permanent resident over the age of 65. In fact, there is no federal alternative to private health insurance today. Since most if not all health insurance companies that were doing business in 2010 are still insuring millions of policyholders today, it is safe to say that there has not been a government takeover of healthcare. It is also true however, that many people would like to see that happen. They would love to see Medicare expanded to include everyone; but that is very unlikely for many years to come, if ever.

“Medicare benefits will be reduced.” Actually the opposite has happened. Medicare now covers annual physical exams and colonoscopies in addition to the quite comprehensive benefits they have long provided. It is true that premium costs to Medicare beneficiaries will go up in future years, but medical costs and premiums have been rising steadily for decades, and seniors do use more medical services than people under 65.

There will be government “death panels” that will make end-of-life decisions for people on Medicare. This idea was borne out of a well-intended provision in the health care bill that would have helped pay for the end-of-life planning discussion cost that the elderly already have with their physicians and caregivers. So a good thing became a bad thing. Now there can be no provisions in Medicare for this benefit which, ironically, hurts seniors and can actually adds to the cost of health care.

Illegal immigrants will now be covered. The ACA specifically prohibits undocumented immigrants from receiving coverage.

What is not known is the true long-term cost of this legislation. There are many people on both sides of the argument, time will tell what the real cost will be, and there are many components of this program still to be implemented. The truth about health care is that it is expensive no matter where you are. Canada, England, France, Switzerland, Italy, China.

All of these countries have some form of government provided health care and while it is less expensive per-capita than in the United States, it is expensive nonetheless. The common element of all health care programs is that every citizen or legal permanent resident is covered. The cost of care per person is far lower when everyone is covered.
What needs to be understood about health care is that every person at some point will seek it out when they need it. Whether or not they have health insurance is not a factor when there is a need for treatment. If a person cannot afford car insurance they have the option of not driving, and few people drive without car insurance. Not so with health insurance, and the situation is made worse by the fact that uninsured people often ignore minor medical issues because of the cost. Unfortunately those minor medical issues have a way of becoming serious, and that is when the uninsured seek care. And where do they go to get treatment then? The emergency room, which happens to be the most expensive entry point into the entire health care system in the U.S. They go there because federal law prohibits hospitals from turning away anyone during a medical emergency.

This is a huge factor in the cost of health insurance, and a major reason why health insurance premiums have risen far in excess of the CPI over the past 30 years. Until that part of the health insurance equation is resolved the cost of insurance will continue to be out of reach for millions of Americans.

In summary, the cost of delivering health care in the U.S. is not going to go away as an issue. The debate over the number of uninsured and whether or not they should be covered, public vs. private insurance, and who pays for all of this will go on until our politicians realize that there is no one best solution. All sides will have to agree that there will always be some elements of a common health care system that not everyone will like. There are many elements of the Affordable Care Act which work, and those elements need to be preserved. Many insurers who initially opposed the Act have since re-tooled their benefit and pricing models to reflect the major objectives of the program. The irony here is that abolishing the ACA would actually increase the cost of coverage as insurers once again had to redesign their policies and coverage. What is needed most of all is a system that works reasonably well and covers everyone or nearly everyone. In the long run, the cost of excluding millions of uninsured will cost more than covering them.

The Different Career Paths And Healthcare Graduate Degree For Medical Professionals

The field of healthcare has been one of the top choices of students around the globe. As a matter of fact, most of the students wanted to pursue a career on the health industry. The industry is providing a lot of jobs and career options for the professionals and they guarantee stable growth together with attractive benefits and compensation. It is probably the reason why a lot of people wanted to enter the industry.

Like any other fields on the industry, there are also a lot of opportunities for these professionals to take their careers on a whole new level and get more benefits and compensation. They can also aim for higher managerial positions. However, it will only be possible if they will take up a healthcare graduate degree. If you want to propel your career and excel on the field of health and medicine, here are some of the graduate degrees that you can consider.

Masters In Healthcare Administration

If you want to be an administrator of a particular hospital or healthcare company, this is probably the best program that you can pursue. The professionals that are involved in handling and direct care of patient who want to move to managerial roles can consider taking an MHA program. Since the program is specifically made for administration and managerial roles, you will learn about business education and build up clinical experiences to polish them for complex management roles.

Masters In Informatics

If you are interested in the application of technology to health services, health informatics can be a great option for you. The role of these professionals is to maintain and secure all the patient records on the hospital. They make use of their knowledge in technology to fulfill their duties and they are expected to always be updated on technological advances. This program involves training in computing skills and information systems.

Masters In Nursing Education

If you are a registered nurse who has a passion to educate and train future nurses in different settings, then this Masters program is the best one for you. This program will help RNs learn about curriculum development, teaching methods, polish mentoring skills, evaluation techniques and more. They will be more like teachers. However, this program is very strict and the nurses need to have a solid clinical background before they become educators.

Masters In Nursing Administration

This is also applicable for nurses who are looking for graduate degree programs. This is actually made to help train nurses for management level positions. They need to be ready to step back from patient care since they will be supervising nurses, delegating duties, developing and maintaining training programs and maintaining staffs.

These are only some of the programs offered to health professionals. You can look for graduate degree grants if you plan to pursue a higher level of efficiency on the field of health and medicine.

The Advantages Healthcare Vendor Management

Vendor management is basically an internet enabled, web based application that enables businesses to manage their work and get placement services as well as contract or contingent labor. This could prove to be extremely beneficial for the healthcare sector as well. Hospitals are forever looking for ways to save up on costs and improving their services. The healthcare vendor management system enables them to do so.

The healthcare vendor management system is basically a kind of software which has been developed to monitor the various vendors who supply the hospital with all kinds of services. The efficiency of this program is such that more and more hospitals are seeking its assistance. It makes the administrative job much simpler and saves a lot of time too.

The healthcare vendor management is used mainly to communicate to the vendor community about the policies and the procedures of the hospitals. The system will also assist them to keep a check on the activities of the vendors so that they all abide by the policies. In case you are still finding the concept difficult to grasp, let us take an example. Consider a hospital, which is actually a customer, dealing with thousands of vendors who supply them all sorts of products and services. Therefore these vendors need to be aware of the common set of rules which they need to stick to. This is where the advantage of the healthcare vendor management comes into play. They keep a check on whether they are meeting the vendor compliance rules so that the business operations can be done in a smooth manner.

One of the best advantages of vendor management systems is that the staff does not have to carry out any separate data entry operations. Internet-based kiosks can be set up which will keep a track of the check in and checkout of each vendor. Neighboring hospital facilities can work together to make sure that all the vendors are obeying the policies for procurement.

The healthcare vendor management software does not need any licensing, set up or maintenance fees. It starts to run in a matter of minutes and maintains documents and their expiration dates. The hospital has no part to play here.

If you are in need of a healthcare vendor management system, visit . These guys have the solution to your vendor management requirements. Their software helps in the credentialing and monitoring of vendors in the field of healthcare.

I am an author having knowledge about heath care industry. For more information healthcare vendor management you can visit .

Mental Health Nursing Jobs – Providing Support to the Community

Mental health nursing is a highly specialised field of nursing that deals with the care of individuals living with mental illness, or who are experiencing severe mental, psychological or emotional distress. There are a number of mental illnesses and disorders that individuals from within the community may experience at any point in their life. Mental health nurses ensure that these clients are cared for in the most nurturing way possible to assist in their ultimate recovery.

To become a fully qualified mental health nurse, individuals must undergo specialist postgraduate training to learn the intricacies involved in the practise of mental health nursing. Much of the focus revolves around their particular clients state of mind. Mental health nurses are constantly working to monitor their clients mental illness by carefully observing the degree of severity in which the patient is experiencing. This information can then be relayed to the supervising physician, and attending doctors to ensure that the correct medication is administered in the particular dosage required. The overall goal for mental health nurses is to provide their client with peace of mind while working towards building that clients balanced state of emotional and cognitive health.

There exist many mental health nursing jobs for qualified candidates in a number of work place settings. Mental health nurses are required and highly demanded in hospital wards, speciality mental health hospices, prisons, mental health government organisations and in community programmes to assist and care for those living with mental illness or disease. Overall there is a high demand for qualified mental health nurses to fill vacant job openings. The career prospects for mental health nurses can only be described positively, featuring a strong job security.

Where there once existed certain social stigmas around the subject of mental health, the dawn of the twenty first century has brought with it advances in the health sector allowing individuals a greater understanding of mental illness and issues. The increase in knowledge surrounding mental health has resulted in a dispelling of many myths and unfounded beliefs that once existed. Mental health is a topic that is continuing to move away from the social stigma it once held, with more individuals feeling more comfortable to discuss openly their personal experiences with mental illness or disease. Individuals also feel more at ease to seek treatment, support and diagnosis.

The increased acceptance and interest in ones mental frame of mind has resulted in a public who has greater awareness of individual mental health needs. The increased awareness brings with it an increase in the need for mental health nurses to fulfil job openings. Qualified mental health nurses that complete the advanced training programmes are considered to be a rich resource for this ever evolving and exciting field of the healthcare sector.