CONTACT: Celia Besore, MBA, CAE, Executive Director/CEO
National Association of Hispanic Nurses, (202) 387-2477
For immediate release:
New Scholarship Opportunity for NAHN Members
Extended NAHN Scholarships and Awards Deadlines
Washington, DC (May 21, 2013) — The National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) is delighted to announce the addition of a new scholarship opportunity to the NAHN scholarship program.
The University of Phoenix has partnered with NAHN to offer three (3) full-tuition scholarships. Each scholarship will allow a prospective student the opportunity to complete a LPN/LVN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), an RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program at University of Phoenix. Recipients may choose to attend a University of Phoenix on-ground campus or may attend University of Phoenix online.
- Applicants must be current members of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) and must have been a member for six (6) consecutive months or more by the award date for this scholarship.
- Have a valid, unrestricted, unencumbered LPN, LVN license, OR RN license from the United States in all states in which you hold an active license.
- Applicant must be wanting to enroll and pursue one of the following degree programs, LPN/LVN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing*, RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing or Master of Science in Nursing.
- Applicants, once enrolled, must not receive a total of 100% tuition reimbursement from any source(s) including but not limited to: corporate reimbursement, other scholarships and/or private grants with the exception of Veteran’s Administration GI benefits or Veteran’s Administration Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits and Title IV financial aid funding.
Application deadline: June 18, 2013
Award date: July 26, 2013
Explore the NAHN University of Phoenix Scholarship page to learn about the scholarship program and to apply for this great opportunity or visit http://www.phoenix.edu/nahnscholar.
Extension of NAHN Scholarship Date and Removal of W-2 Requirement
Due to this new scholarship opportunity, NAHN is extending the deadline of the regular NAHN Scholarships program to June 18, 2013 so all the deadlines match the University of Phoenix scholarship application deadline. All NAHN Scholarship applications must be received at the NAHN office by June 18, 2013.
Below is the link to the amended NAHN Scholarship Application Form (with new deadline and waived W-2 requirement):
We encourage all our members who qualify to both scholarship programs to apply to BOTH NAHN scholarship opportunities! Last year, NAHN distributed $40,000 in scholarships.
Extension of NAHN Special Awards Application Deadline
We are also extending the deadline to send the Special NAHN Awards application. All NAHN Scholarship applications must be received at the NAHN office by June 18, 2013. Nominate one of your Chapter champions or nominate yourself!
Below is the link to the 2013 NAHN Special Awards section.
About National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN)
NAHN National Association of Hispanic Nurses® is a non-profit professional association committed to the promotion of the professionalism and dedication of Hispanic nurses by providing equal access to educational, professional, and economic opportunities for Hispanic nurses. NAHN is also dedicated to the improvement of the quality of health and nursing care of Hispanic consumers.
1455 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20004
New learning institute builds on past success to diversify the dental profession
By Janet Edwards
At the age of 13, Esther Lopez, DDS, knew intimately her mother’s battle with cancer because she served as the primary translator between the patient, a native of Ecuador, and her doctors. Even at such a young age, Lopez vowed the excruciating experience would influence her life’s work. She didn’t know the term “public health” then, but that’s where she would later find fulfillment, through dentistry. In part, Lopez credits the now defunct, but still influential, Dental Pipeline program for helping her achieve that dream. A new project, the Dental Pipeline National Learning Institute, builds on the program that brought Lopez into dentistry.
Esther Lopez is a dentist in Oak Park, Ill. Through both private practice and volunteer public health efforts, she works with low-income and minority populations, groups that typically find dental services inaccessible, complex, and unwelcoming. In large part, Lopez credits a now-defunct minority recruitment program, the Dental Pipeline, for the opportunity to do such work, a longtime ambition that often seemed out of reach.
Lopez is one of a small number of minority dentists in the country—only 9 percent of practicing dentists are African American, Hispanic, or American Indian. While these underrepresented groups comprise nearly 30 percent of the general population, they account for just 13 percent of first-year dental students. Dental schools and their community partners seek to close that gap through a new program that adopts lessons learned from the Dental Pipeline.
Dental Pipeline National Learning Institute
The original Dental Pipeline launched with funding from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and The California Endowment. In all, 23 (out of 62) U.S. dental schools were involved in the decade-long program, which ended in 2011. Widely credited with transforming dental education, the Dental Pipeline resulted in better access to care for underserved populations, along with more student exposure to community-based services and higher enrollment among minority students.
A new program launched in fall 2012, the Dental Pipeline National Learning Institute (NLI), is intended to build on that success. Project partners are the American Dental Education Association and the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, in San Francisco, Calif. Support comes from an initial 18-month, $650,000 grant funded by RWJF.
Eleven schools were tapped as NLI participants. Each institution receives $12,000 to cover the cost of building a recruitment project or community-based education component. The program includes a three-day training course covering best practices, advocacy and leadership, and various mentoring opportunities.
Paul Glassman, DDS, professor and director of Community Oral Health at University of the Pacific, is project director. The primary goal is to expose other dental schools to methodologies developed as part of the Dental Pipeline “so they wouldn’t be reinventing the wheel,” he says.
Evidence of the Dental Pipeline’s success is found in the numbers, Glassman says. “Schools involved in the Pipeline managed to dramatically increase—double, triple, even quadruple—the number of underrepresented minority students entering their schools. [Enrollments of] other dental schools not involved in the program stayed static,” he says.
The NLI is a one-year program. Participants are dental school faculty members who collaborate with a partner from a local organization, such as a minority-focused college or community health center. “We want some significant community partner involved because we’re really trying to emphasize the fact that in this very complex world that we live in, dental schools really can’t break through these barriers by themselves. The way to make progress in our current world is through partnerships and establishing networks,” Glassman says.
Like its predecessor, the NLI is also designed to develop future leaders in the push to provide more diverse dental care in community-based health settings, Glassman says. Barriers to health care for low-income and minority individuals, which result in less dental care and more dental disease, are well documented, he adds.
“Minority populations tend to have more dental disease than more affluent populations and majority populations. They tend to have more barriers to access to care, so they get care less regularly,” he says. Paying for dental care is a serious obstacle, along with language and cultural challenges. “They feel uncomfortable going into a dental office because they feel someone isn’t going to understand them,” he says.
“We’re expecting people who go through this program to become future leaders in this area, so within their own school and their community, and maybe even regionally, they’re going to be someone steeped in this whole idea of the dental profession doing a better job of improving the health of underserved populations and keep the momentum going,” he says.
The Minority Enrollment Challenge
While the Dental Pipeline made positive inroads toward recruiting minority dental students, the NLI is designed to keep the momentum going, says Kim D’Abreu, senior vice president for access, diversity, and inclusion for the ADEA.
The effort continues to face several high priority challenges. A large pool of minority students who could succeed in dental school remains untapped, D’Abreu says, including 12,500 students of color who graduate with majors in the biological sciences each year. “A 2003 focus group study published in the Journal of Dental Education found that early and frequent exposure to dentistry and dentists in practice is essential for minority students to consider the profession. Dental schools need additional tools and strategies to attract a talented group of underrepresented minority students,” she says.
The process by which dental schools evaluate student candidates is undergoing review, Glassman says.
“Traditionally, admission is based on grade point average, extracurricular activities, and other sorts of measures that aren’t necessarily the measures that students from minorities have excelled in … because they were working while they were in school and facing other social challenges in their lives,” he says. While it makes it harder for them to get through the admission process, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are less qualified or passionate about a career in dentistry, he says. Schools are now adopting a whole file review approach, one less focused on the numbers, Glassman says.
The whole file review, which takes into consideration a host of cognitive and non-cognitive variables, has already proven to be effective and is just one of other successful admissions strategies shared with NLI institutional participants, D’Abreu says.
Engaging Students in Community Health
Along with recruitment of minority students, another goal of the Dental Pipeline was to get students to spend more of their clinical time in community health settings, a mission that continues under the NLI program.
“(In the Dental Pipeline) we increased the number of days from three to four to up to 50 days for senior dental students as part of the education program,” Glassman says. “The hope is that in doing so, these students become more comfortable with community sites, they understand more about that kind of delivery mechanism, become more comfortable with diverse populations, and are better able to serve those populations in the future.”
Esther Lopez knows too well the importance of that exposure. Her father, a Cuban-born immigrant, abandoned the family of three children, including a brother and sister, following the death of her mother. But in the midst of her undergraduate work in biology at DePaul University—coursework Lopez had hoped would lead to medical school—her father returned, homeless and afflicted with health issues that eventually led to two strokes. He had no job and no insurance. Between studies, Lopez pleaded with pharmaceutical companies for free medicine, and again served as a translator with various health agencies and doctors.
“We were able to get some assistance,” Lopez says. “Things were going as well as they could have, considering the fact that we didn’t have health insurance. I really wanted to stay in school so I tried as best I could to find resources to help us along the way.”
By the time her father died in 2000, Lopez, exhausted, had given up on medical school, but she was more determined than ever to help resolve the challenges facing low-income and minority individuals seeking medical care. She completed her bachelor’s degree, and then enrolled in the master’s program in public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). With her coursework finished, Lopez continues to work on her thesis.
While attending UIC, she joined a research project involving people with periodontal disease and diabetes.
“We were trying to determine what needs existed for people that had diabetes, and if they even knew there was a corollary between that and periodontal disease, specifically in the Latino community. I got engaged, really excited, and decided dentistry intrigued me,” Lopez says.
With the help of the Dental Pipeline, she enrolled in UIC’s College of Dentistry. “Dental school is really,
really expensive. The fact that we have programs like the Dental Pipeline for people like me is just amazing,” she says. Lopez received some tuition reimbursement from the program and worked as a research assistant in exchange for remaining tuition waivers.
While in dental school, she joined a group of fellow students in establishing the first student-run dental clinic in the United States.
Located on the north side of Chicago, the clinic still operates in Goldie’s Place, which serves as a place for homeless adults to get back on their feet. In 1997, a single dentist began providing services. In 2008, Lopez and others created the student component.
“Goldie’s Place helps dental students become part of the change, which is what I really wanted to do,” says Lopez, who served for a time as clinic director after graduating
from dental school.
As a student, she often spoke with colleagues about the challenges of health care in low-income communities. “A lot of times someone who comes from privilege has blinders to different barriers that exist. I think it’s more impactful when you’re hearing from a colleague about things that make it hard for you to succeed,” she says.
No matter a person’s race, ethnicity, or income level, dental needs will always be the same: a cavity is always a cavity, an extraction is an extraction, Lopez says. “But the way they perceive disease is always different,” she says, a concept that young dental students initially struggle with at Goldie’s Place. “It’s hard for them to understand, but it’s true. When you come from an underprivileged background, it’s not that you’re neglecting yourself; it’s just that it’s more important to feed your child. Or pay your rent.”
Communicating correct information in a way that is easy for clients to understand is imperative, Lopez says. “It’s important to service them understanding their cultural needs.”
Today, many of her classmates continue to work with grassroots organizations. One student has written a manual on how to establish a student-run dental clinic based on the Goldie’s Place model. “They’re addressing dental health issues not one person at a time, but communities at a time,” Lopez says. Other community-based health organizations in Chicago are beginning to incorporate the model for student clinicians, she says.
“I’m proud of the fact that … I was able to do something like participate in the Goldie’s Place dental clinic. There are so many great things going on there. Every time I hear of some success on their part it makes me happy. If it weren’t for the Dental Pipeline I wouldn’t have been able to do that. It’s meant a lot, not just for me, but for community members that really needed it.”
Lopez continues to volunteer at Goldie’s Place, and as part of a Chicago Community Oral Health Forum project to assess the dental health needs of adults and children. The Dental Pipeline gave Lopez the opportunity to both share her hard-won knowledge in the realm of public health and to establish a meaningful career addressing the issues, she says.
“I’m really excited that programs like this exist because they give students like me a chance to fulfill their dreams,” Lopez says. “It really does make me feel a sense of responsibility, because there was an organization that backed me, to really give back to the community in a significant way.”
Source: Insight Into Diversity
Is something similar to the Dental Pipeline National Learning Institute happening in your area to increase the number of minorities that go in to the Nursing profession as well as offer Nursing access to undeserved populations? Comment below!
By: By Debra Wood
As America becomes increasingly diverse, the health care field is seeing more men and minorities in nursing, albeit at a slower pace than the country as a whole.
“We are making huge progress,” said Michael L. Evans, PhD, RN, dean of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing in Lubbock, who set as one of his maingoals to increase diversity in nursing students and faculty at the institution.
Christine T. Kovner, PhD, RN, FAAN, a professor at New York University College of Nursing and a lead investigator on the RN Work Project, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded longitudinal study of newly licensed nurses, agreed that the profession is making progress, particularly with increasing the number of men in nursing. But she added that changes occur gradually, because even when schools graduate high numbers of male or minority nurses, the overall percentage for the entire profession rises slowly due to its size, about 3 million.
“We’re going in the right direction, but have we made even remotely measurable strides? Absolutely not,” added Patrick Robinson, PhD, RN, ACRN, dean of undergraduate curriculum and instruction at Chamberlain College of Nursing, headquartered in Downers Grove, Ill. “Any gain is a positive, but we are nowhere near where we need to be. There has to be a concerted effort to recruit and retain highly qualified men and minorities in the nursing profession at all levels.”
Robinson indicated that the lack of diversity in nursing drives a wider wedge in health disparities as minority populations and language barriers grow.
“We, as a profession, need to keep up with what is happening in the population,” agreed Patrick R. Coonan, EdD, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, dean of the Adelphi University School of Nursing in Garden City, N.Y. “We have to actively work at it.”
More men in nursing
The U.S. Census Bureau released the findings from its Men in Nursing Occupations study in February 2012, which showed the number of male registered nurses has tripled since 1970, increasing from 2.7 percent to 9.6 percent.
Making the profession more attractive to men increases the pool of potential candidates, Kovner said. In addition, she added, “There is some evidence male and female brains work differently. In terms of what research we do, how we teach students, and how we deliver care in health care settings, it’s critical we have that view.”
Kovner’s data from the 2010-2011 study of newly licensed RNs found about 11 percent of the sample is male, a higher percentage of new graduates are male than 10 years ago.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) 2012 State of the Schools report, based on responses from 87.5 percent of schools with nursing baccalaureate and graduate programs, found that 11.4 percent of students in BSN programs are men, as are 9.9 percent of students in master’s nursing programs, 6.8 percent of students in research-focused doctoral programs and 9.4 percent in practice-focused doctoral programs.
Evans said that second-degree accelerated programs are bringing in more men.
Dina A. Faucher, PhD, MSN, RN, OCN, western regional nursing and health professions director for Corinthian Colleges in Las Vegas, also reported an increase in males in the schools’ accelerated programs. At one of the campuses, males represent nearly half of the students.
“Everyone’s going in it for job security,” Faucher said.
Coonan reported that 12.5 percent of students in Adelphi’s program are male. He attributes much of that increase to less gender stigma about the men in the profession, changes to the male role and to the economy.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported that because of the high demand for skilled nursing care, the profession enjoys low unemployment rates, 1.8 percent for RNs and 0.8 percent of nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists. It also found men’s representation highest among nurse anesthetists at 41 percent. Male nurse anesthetists earned more than twice as much as the male average for all nursing occupations: $162,900 annually vs. $60,700.
Nick Angelis, CRNA, MSN, author of How to Succeed in Anesthesia School (And RN, PA, or Med School), said male nurses, like himself, are initially attracted by the growing role of advanced practice nurses, but he added that those advanced roles are lacking minority role models.
Robinson agreed the lack of men and minority nurses in advanced and leadership roles is a problem.
“People need to see people like themselves in those positions, so they know what they can be,” Robinson said.
Representation of minorities in nursing
Evans indicated that patients find it reassuring to receive care from someone who comes from the same ethnic or racial background. Yet recruiting more ethnically and racially diverse students requires a concerted effort to reach out to them, at schools or community organizations, and educate them about the opportunities available in nursing.
“Diversity is critical to the profession from many perspectives,” said Kathleen Potempa, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the University of Michigan School of Nursing in Ann Arbor. That includes to “better match the changing face of U.S. demographics; to provide diversity of thought, life experience and culture in health policy and decision making; and to provide opportunity to all Americans to participate in the health professions, an enduring job sector in the U.S.”
The 2010 U.S. Census found 72 percent of Americans self-identified as white, 16.3 percent Hispanic or Latino, 12.6 percent black or African American, and 4.8 percent Asian.
The 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Current Population Survey (CPS) reported of the 2.875 million nurses in the United Sates, 6.1 percent were Hispanic, 11.5 percent black and 7.3 percent Asian. That compares to more than 2.4 million nurses in the 2003 CPS, of which 3.9 percent were Hispanic, 9.9 percent black and 7 percent Asian.
Kovner’s data from 2010-2011 showed 79 percent of newly licensed nurses were white, less than historical percentages. But racial categories, she cautions, are difficult to define with many people stating they fall into more than one demographic group. However, her data shows that nonwhites are going back to nursing school at higher than historical rates.
The AACN study found an increase in minority BSN students, with 72 percent identifying as white, 7 percent Hispanic, 10.3 percent black and 8.8 percent Asian.
Calling health care cultural, Coonan emphasized that nurses from similar backgrounds as patients can more completely understand the culture and could lead to better outcomes.
Coonan has significantly increased minority students at Adelphi during the past nine years, boosting it from 10 percent to 57 percent from under-represented groups by reaching out into communities with higher minority populations without lowering the school’s standards. About a third of its graduate students come from minority groups.
“Then my challenge was to hire faculty from under-represented groups, and that was a lot harder,” Coonan said. But now 40 percent of Adelphi’s faculty fit that description.
The AACN survey found only 5.1 percent of full-time faculty members are male and 11.8 percent are from racial or ethnic minority groups.
“The pool of individuals who represent ethnic and racial minorities and are prepared to teach is low,” said Evans, who called the minority faculty shortage a tremendous problem. Texas Tech actively recruits minorities into its master’s education program in an effort to grow its own more-diverse faculty.
© 2013. AMN Healthcare, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
By: Juliet Wilkinson
The ink isn’t dry on your nursing license and already you’ve had your first epiphany as an RN--“People are looking to me for answers now.” Simulation labs, nursing theories and hours of didactics won’t prepare you for the first time one of your patients yanks off their IV and gown and wanders into the hall at 2 a.m. naked.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses held 2.7 million jobs in the United States as of 2010. Whether you’re still waiting for your license in the mail or working as a novice in the field, getting a position is only half of the battle. To enjoy fulfillment in your career and avoid the ever-increasing ranks of “burnout” nurses, try the advice of those who have gone before you, including these simple tips:
Embrace your mentor
Regardless of the degree awarded, nursing school provides a basic structure for practice. You learn hands-on technique and theory, but it cannot replace actual, bedside experience. Tina Smith, RN, CHPN, a nurse of 27 years who has mentored many hospice RNs, encourages new graduates to build on that framework by identifying a mentor early on.
“Find the nurse who is willing to teach and learn from them,” said Smith, a home care nurse for Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson, Md., who previously served as the associate clinical director for Gilchrist’s home division.
Respect the power of your license
All nursing programs provide an introduction to the professional roles and responsibilities affiliated with licensure, but they can’t force you stay current and read state laws after graduation.
The legislation surrounding nursing practice is there for a reason--to protect you while providing safe, evidence-based nursing care. Failure to comply with state licensure laws, such as providing care outside your role of a nurse, can lead to loss of licensure, law suits and even prison time.
Welcome opportunities, even if they don’t pertain to your chosen career field. One of my many mentors, Sandi Dannunzio, RN, works in the cardiac catheterization laboratory at St. Joseph’s Mercy of Macomb in Michigan. She reflects upon her decades of nursing experience and work as a mentor, and thinks about how she would now advise new grads. “It never hurts to be too educated. Take advantage of every educational opportunity, even if it seems irrelevant now,” Dannunzio said.
Once upon a time, RN diploma schools were the golden standard for nursing education. These hospital-based training programs now only turn out 20 percent of registered nurses, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) “Findings from the 2008 National Sample Survey.” The majority of nurses enter the field with an associate of science degree (45 percent), followed closely by bachelor’s-prepared nurses (34 percent), per the DHHS.
But more and more employers are looking for nurses with their BSNs, so take the opportunity to get yours, when possible. “You never know when you’re going to want a change or miss a great opportunity because you didn’t reach for that degree.” said Dannunzio.
Furthermore, if you desire more initials behind your name in the form of professional credentialing, you might need a bachelor’s degree. Over this last decade, many of the prestigious specialty certifications, such as the Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) or the National Certified School Nurse (NCSN), require a bachelor’s degree for exam eligibility.
Apply evidence-based skills
“As a student, you’re trying to learn new techniques in simulation labs and please the instructor--or make the grade. As a new nurse, you may be trying to please the charge nurse or manager. You have to find your own happy medium and not get paralyzed by mistakes,” Smith stated. “Understand that the best action to take is always rooted in evidence-based practice. As you gain experience, you’ll appreciate the driving forces behind nursing practice regulation and learn how to rely on your own intuition.”
Join professional organizations, such as the American Nurses Association or your own specialty organization, to network with peers, keep abreast of emerging nursing issues and even make a difference in the nursing field through legislation. Likewise, if you have the opportunity to affiliate yourself with academic nursing affiliations, such as the Honor Society for Nurses, take advantage.
Don’t miss out on life
“You’re never going to look back on life and wish you’d worked more. Don’t place your career over your family--you never get back time with your children after they’re grown or your family once they are gone,” Dannunzio warns. With the myriad opportunities available in nursing, you can seek a position that complements your familial goals as well as your professional ones.
© 2013. AMN Healthcare, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
By: Natalie DiBlasio
From Tampa to Pittsburgh, Chicago to Memphis, comic superheroes are being spotted all over the country -- and they are fighting grime.
On windows, that is.
In their off-hours, Spider-Man, Captain America, and Batman, to name a few, are washing windows at children's hospitals. Their mission? To bring happiness to the youngest of patients.
"We donned the Spider-Man costumes and we rappelled down the side of the buildings," said Harold Connolly, president of Highrise Window Cleaning of Clearwater, Fla. "We knocked on the glass, waved hello – there were a lot of big smiles."
Connolly organized two superhero window-washing sessions at hospitals in Florida so far this year, and he isn't alone. Images of wide-eyed children in awe of their favorite superheroes washing windows have gone viral online, prompting hospitals and window washing companies nationwide to hop on board.
"Some of these poor kids, they don't get a lot of opportunities for anything fun there," Connolly says. "It cheered them up at least for the moment anyway."
Last week in Chicago, Captain America, Batman, and Spider-Man's mission for the day was surprising children into forgetting that they are in hospital beds at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.
Nolan Erickson, 6, has been spending a lot of time in the hospital with his 14-month-old brother Matthew.
Matthew was born with brain cancer and has undergone six surgeries and five rounds of chemotherapy; the family hasn't left his side.
"We have been in the hospital for 11 months out of the 14 that Matthew has been alive," mother Sue Erickson says. "Nolan has spent his last two birthdays here. Smiles come few and far between."
But on one day – for Nolan, Matthew and their 2-year-old sister Sophia, there was a break from all the sadness.
The three superheroes, window washers from Corporate Cleaning Services, were fighting grime as they rappelled down from the 23rd floor. The heroes circled all around the building, waving, giving a thumbs up and creating soap designs as they went.
"The superheroes' lines were hanging right in front of our window," Erickson says. "The kids just sat there waiting for 45 minutes to see which one it was. It was Spider-Man. When you see your kids excited and smiling – as a parent it was more than I could ever ask for."
Hundreds of kids, staff and families were mesmerized by the superheroes swinging around the building for hours.
"I have been here a lot of years but I have never seen anything like it — nothing can brighten a day like a superhero," says Kathleen Keenan, hospital spokesperson. "These three men truly became real-life superheroes when they were on that building and their ropes became their webs. It was magical."
Keenan added: "It was like each kid had their own superhero for a moment, it was like there was no glass between them."
The superhuman trend is spreading all over the country:
- Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., has had two visits, one in October from the American National Skyline's superheroes and one in December from elves, says spokesperson Sara Burnett.
- The youngsters at Ministry St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Marshfield, Wis., got a big surprise in December when Spider-Man, Batman, and Captain America left the place smiling and squeaky clean, says Geoffrey Huys, hospital spokesperson.
- In St. Petersburg, Fla., at least 40 or 50 inpatient children at All Children's Hospital caught a glimpse of Spiderman last month, says hospital spokesperson Roy Adams.
"We try all the time here to make it as fun as possible," Adams says. "We are trying to make kids forget that they are in the hospital and are going through these tough medical issues. We have celebrities come in, but this was a different kind of VIP visit because, well, they were coming down the side of the building."
Last July, Michelle Matuizek, office manager of Allegheny Window Cleaning, Inc., saw pictures of window washers in London dressed as Spiderman.
"I looked around and – at that point - no one had done it in the states," Matuizek says. "I thought why don't we do a character theme for our Children's hospital around Halloween."
So on October 22, the patients at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC had visit from Spider-Man, Batman, Captain American and Superman.
"The kids went wild. They were all over the windows, smiling and screaming – it was just magical," Matuizek says. "The nurses, the kids, the families it was a wonderful experience for everyone. We are going to do it again next October."
Both Allegheny Window Cleaning, Inc and Highrise Window Cleaning have plans to do more superhuman fly-bys in the future, and Connolly hopes the trend catches on.
"The kids—that the important thing," Connolly says. "We are hoping it spreads throughout the country and beyond. Other hospitals see this and then ask your window company if they will do it – I bet you they will. Who doesn't like making children happy?"
Source: USA Today
We’ve all heard it preached — in our corporations and beyond — how we should do the right things in the right way and for the right reasons. Even so, it’s often easier, faster and seems more profitable to take actions that fall in a somewhat gray area — what we’ll call a slippery slope.
Here’s what that could look like in an organizational setting: approving products before quality checks, production rate trumping safe practices, questionable sales made for goods not available, creative accounting to justify mergers, suppressing reporting errors, and the many other small ways we individually fail to keep promises or look away when our gut tells us something is amiss.
If one were to break it down by gender, there is no evidence that women are more likely to behave more ethically than men. But gender research does report more verbal sensitivity to the rights and dignity of others among women when compared to men. For instance, women overwhelmingly report that they would not work for a company that will do anything to win. Still, refusal to select such a workplace doesn’t mean that women in the workplace will behave more ethically than men. What people say they will do has very little predictive validity compared to what they actually do.
Nevertheless, gender is an untapped resource in setting the conditions to behave ethically. Consider the oft-cited stereotype that women are known for their inclination as caregivers and men for their conditioning to reach the end goal. Both are important. Caring is of little value if the corporation fails, and end goals are meaningless if people and the public good are harmed. But if each were to bring their strengths to the table when addressing ethical concerns and help keep each other accountable to do the right thing, we might not read about ethical lapses in the news as often.
So, who is in charge of the organizational ethical compass? The ultimate responsibility rests on the shoulders of those who lead, and diversity executives can help leaders to create an ethical workplace culture by starting with the following steps:
• Encourage leaders to surround themselves with men and women who are committed to supporting ethical actions.
• Make sure there’s a set of values that leaders and employees can look to when facing ethical dilemmas. Craft a sophisticated plan of action to ensure ethics is part of everything from sales meetings to production report to community involvement. Translate values into the varied observable actions that represent those values.
• Provide a forum in which errors and near-misses are reported without negative consequences, but are part of the healthy ethical framework the company is striving to create.
• Examine the consequences for saying and doing the wrong thing — subtle and unintended, overt and intended. Leaders must examine themselves and seek evaluative support from others about what they do that’s trending toward or away from what others deem ethical.
• Arrange practices, processes and incentives of the workplace to shape and maintain ethical decisions from the boardroom to the shop floor.
• Leaders should be open to critique of business strategies and tactics — in some instances it’s acknowledging that the worker in the boiler room may know better than leaders about what is really going on that is ethical or not.
• Encourage use of a scorecard of ethical elements to evaluate how well leaders and employees are doing, jot down what “slippery slopes” they faced and how they might better respond to it going forward.
• Share learning in an active way. Review short-term effects against uncertain but possible longer-term effects. Calibrate and change course where needed.
Source: Diversity Executive
Are women more ethical than men? What do you think? Let us know with your comments below.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) this week applauded the introduction of federal legislation that empowers registered nurses (RNs) to drive staffing decisions in hospitals and, consequently, protect patients and improve the quality of care. The Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act of 2013 (H.R. 1821), crafted with input from ANA, has sponsors from both political parties who co-chair the House Nursing Caucus—Reps. David Joyce (R-OH) and Lois Capps (D-CA), a nurse.
"Nurse staffing has a direct impact on patient safety," said ANA president Karen Daley, PhD, RN, FAAN. "We know that when there are appropriate nurse staffing levels, patient outcomes improve. Determining the appropriate number and mix of nursing staff is critical to the delivery of quality patient care. Federal legislation is necessary to increase protections for patients and ensure fair working conditions for nurses."
Research has shown that higher staffing levels by experienced RNs are linked to lower rates of patient falls, infections, medication errors, and even death, ANA reported. And when unanticipated events happen in a hospital resulting in patient death, injury, or permanent loss of function, inadequate nurse staffing often is cited as a contributing factor.
The bill would require hospitals to establish committees that would create unit-by-unit nurse staffing plans based on multiple factors, such as the number of patients on the unit, severity of the patients’ conditions, experience and skill level of the RNs, availability of support staff, and technological resources.
The safe staffing bill also would require hospitals that participate in Medicare to publicly report nurse staffing plans for each unit. It would place limits on the practice of "floating" nurses by ensuring that RNs are not forced to work on units if they lack the education and experience in that specialty. It also would hold hospitals accountable for safe nurse staffing by requiring the development of procedures for receiving and investigating complaints; allowing imposition of civil monetary penalties for knowing violations; and providing whistle-blower protections for those who file a complaint about staffing.
ANA backed a similar staffing bill in the last Congress. This version includes requirements that a hospital’s staffing committee be comprised of at least 55 percent direct care nurses or their representatives, and that the staffing plans must establish adjustable minimum nurse-to-patient ratios.
Additionally, ANA has advocated for safe staffing conditions for the nation’s RNs through the development and updating of ANA’s Principles for Nurse Staffing, and implementation of a national nursing quality database program that correlates staffing to patient outcomes.
To date, seven states have passed nurse safe staffing legislation that closely resembles ANA’s recommended approach to ensure safe staffing, utilizing a hospital-wide staffing committee in which direct care nurses have a voice in creating the appropriate staffing levels. Those states are Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.
Susan Sonnichsen is looking forward to seeing Helen Cross, a patient with dementia who loves hymns. But Cross is having a rough day. Softly, Sonnichsen tells her, “I know something that will make you feel better. How about a song?’’
She starts in with “Joy in My Heart,’’ followed by “Old Rugged Cross’’ and then a favorite, “Amazing Grace.’’ Sonnichsen’s voice fills the space between nurse and patient. Slowly, Cross allows Sonnichsen to take her hand. “OK, we’re getting somewhere,’’ Sonnichsen says, smiling at Cross.
Sonnichsen has been singing ever since she was a kid belting out songs during family road trips. But in her 30 years in nursing, she never knew it could fit into her work. A dementia class for staff at Hospice of the Valley changed all that and today, music is as much a part of her care as is taking a patient’s vital signs.
“They love to sing along,’’ Sonnichsen says. “Even if they’re off key, it’s wonderful to engage them.’’ She prefers old gospel hymns and tunes from popular musicals, but happily takes requests and learns new songs. When a patient is close to death, she sings a lullaby and offers a gentle touch. When a family asks, she gladly sings at patients’ memorials. Some of her colleagues call her the singing nurse.
“Anyone who has enjoyed the experience of hearing Susan sing can attest that her ability to emote through music is a true gift,’’ says Hospice of the Valley social worker Donna Wetzel.
Sonnichsen says integrating her two callings, music and medicine, is a blessing.
“It’s amazing when patients join in with you. It just fills your heart,’’ she says. “It just touches you, makes you feel like that’s why you’re here.’’
Source: AZ Central
By: Marsha Van Hecke
People pursue careers in nursing for many reasons: they want to help people, they’re natural caregivers or they want to do some good in the world. The 31 nurses of Hospice of the Carolina Foothills add another reason: It’s truly a ministry.
“Hospice is a calling,” Christina Hughes, RN said, “I knew several years ago that this is what I wanted to do, but watching my father pass that prompted me to make the change.”
Previously, Hughes worked in a skilled nursing facility.
Hospice nurses perform all the tasks you’d expect of nurses in a hospital, clinic or nursing home setting. They draw blood, administer and monitor medications, assess patients’ conditions, review charts, consult with doctors, complete paperwork, and attend staff meetings, among many other typical responsibilities. There’s an added dimension to working as a nurse at hospice.
“Hospice work is more of a team effort, patient and family oriented, putting the patients first always,” says Marla Searcy, RN and Homecare clinical manager in North Carolina.
“And,” adds Monica Pierce, LPN, “we do a lot of education with the families, teaching them how to take care of their loved ones.”
Linda Travers, RN agrees. “HCF allows nurses time to listen to patient feelings and concerns. Teaching family caregivers about disease process, symptom management. Providing comfort and support.”
“Working for Hospice, you are able to spend more time with patients and families,” adds Joanie McDade, RN.
“Having the opportunity to build a relationship with some of the patients here is a gift no other job allows you to have,” says Barry Lowman, RN. “But then when they pass you have a piece of you go with them.”
Developing those close bonds with patients and families is not only an important part of the job, but it’s also one of the most enjoyable. And certain patients find a permanent place in the nurses’ hearts.
“I had one patient who served in Japan for 14 months as a medic. When he saw me, he asked if I was Asian. I told him that my mother was Okinawan and my father American. He began speaking Japanese to me. All throughout his journey of dementia, he continued to speak Japanese to me. There were times he couldn’t remember his wife’s name, but he remembered those few Japanese words,” says Hughes.
Homecare RN, Jennifer Greene tells how a simple gesture of gratitude left a lasting impression on her.
“I was taking care of a patient at the Hospice House and when I would give her any personal care, she would say, ‘Thank you, Mama.’ She would say that to me whenever I took care of her, until she passed.”
Hospice House RN Ashley Crissone fondly remembers the woman with whom she played piano duets.
When Crissy Simpson, RN and Homecare clinical manager in South Carolina, first started at hospice, she found herself facing a potentially difficult situation.
“I was sent to see a patient that lived in a rural community. I was told that he was a very challenging patient, not because of his terminal illness, but because he may not be accepting of my race,” she says, “I went to visit him. He wasn’t rude, but asked a lot of questions to see if I was qualified to take care of him.”
After a few visits, the patient became comfortable with her, and Simpson would give him a big hug right before she left. If she got stuck in traffic and arrived a few minutes late, he would tell her he had been worried about her.
“Every visit he would be sitting in his recliner, facing the door, waiting for me to come, with his beautiful blue eyes,” she says.
As the patient began to decline in health, he asked his wife to buy Simpson a gift, a coffee mug that read, “Thank God for Daughters.”
“From that day, he called me his black daughter and he was my white daddy,” Simpson says, “Some people may be offended by that, but I know I meant a lot to him, and so did he to me.”
On the night he passed away, Simpson sang to him the old gospel song, “I’m Going to Take a Trip,” which she also sang at his funeral.
Just as Simpson goes above and beyond her job duties by singing to patients, other nurses contribute their talents and time outside of work. Jennifer Greene makes jewelry, donating necklaces and bracelets to patients, and Christina Hughes attends special events held at the facilities where she serves.
“One facility had ‘Cowboy Day,’ and the HCF social worker and I dressed up, and attended on our day off. The social worker even brought two of her horses for the patients to see,” says Hughes.
Every nurse has had a special person who inspired him or her to pursue the role of caregiver in life. For some it was another nurse who nurtured and mentored them, or a hospice nurse who ministered to one of their relatives. For others, a special family member encouraged them to follow their hearts. In RN Crystal Mitchell’s case, it was both. Her favorite aunt is a nurse and from a very young age, she would visit her at work in the hospital. Now, it seems, Mitchell is paying it forward.
“I’ve known since I was four I’ve wanted to be a nurse from watching her with her patients,” Mitchell says of her aunt. “I have had a similar role to a family friend who is like a little sister, and she is now a pediatric oncology nurse. I never knew I was the reason she wanted to be a nurse until later. How jaw-dropping it was to find out how much my work had influenced her by God’s grace.”
While working for hospice brings nurses many jovial moments, they also deal with the sobering reality of death every day. For that reason, many people hold them in high regard and wonder how they handle such a job.
RN case manager, Kim Griffey shares how people react when she tells them where she works.
“They always say that it takes a certain person to do your job, that they couldn’t do it. I always reply, ‘It’s very rewarding.’”
When asked what is the most important characteristic or skill needed to be a hospice nurse, one word comes up repeatedly.
Lowman and Travers and Pam Essman, RN, come right to the point.
“Compassion,” they say.
“The most important characteristic you need to be successful in hospice is compassion. It’s not always the physical symptoms that you’re relieving, but also the patient’s and family’s psychological pain,” says Simpson.
When hospice nurses go to work every day, they’re not simply going to a job. They’re going to touch someone’s life. They hold patients’ hands, celebrate patients’ birthdays, play games, share stories, help patients create their life stories to leave for their families, offer comfort, a smile, a laugh, and, in some cases, a song.
“I have had so many patients say they look forward to the hospice nurse’s visit. What greater reward in life can we have than to put a little sunshine in someone’s day, maybe their last day,” Searcy says.
Source: Tyron Daily Bulletin