DiversityNursing Blog

Meet FNU’s New Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Posted by Frontier Nursing University

Wed, Feb 28, 2018 @ 02:02 PM

diversityandinclusion2-1.jpgMeet FNU's New Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Dr. Maria Valentin-Welch, DNP, MPH, CDP, CNM, FACNM.

Frontier Nursing University (FNU) is seeing yet another one of its diversity initiatives realized through Dr. Maria Valentin-Welch in her new role as Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. Maria’s new position, which she assumed on October 1, 2017, is designed to guide the institution on matters of equity, diversity and inclusion.

Dr. Valentin-Welch has over 30 years of teaching experience, including her role at Frontier as an assistant professor since 2013. Through extensive work with marginalized and underserved populations, Maria has garnered several awards and accolades. She completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) at FNU in 2015. Her DNP capstone project was a national online tutorial pilot program for ethnically diverse student nurse-midwives.

Frontier spoke with Maria about her passion for diversity and inclusion, how she will strategize those initiatives at FNU, and the challenges she expects to face in her inaugural post as CDIO.

What has been your career path so far and how has it led you to your current role as Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer?

“A medical encounter shaped my understanding of the need for diversity in the medical world. There was a man that was restrained; he was trying to pull his IV because he was trying to get to his true hospital. I advocated for this man, explained the situation…I was told, ‘Well, we don’t have a translator, so we didn’t understand him,’ which was unacceptable. We found a translator, and the man proceeded to have his IV removed and was transferred to the hospital where he belonged. This experience really taught me how to be a voice for the voiceless, and to be an advocate for those who need advocacy.”

How has your professional background influenced your passion for diversity and inclusion?

“While working with homeless pregnant women, I felt like I wanted to do more with my hands, and that was my inspiration, my calling, into nurse-midwifery. Also my love for education has influenced my passion for diversity and inclusion. I have always been a teacher in my heart. I have taught and precepted many students…teaching is in my blood.

Another changing encountered occurred during my first visit at Frontier. In 2012 I came to Frontier’s Diversity Impact Weekend for the Pride Program  as a keynote speaker, and there I not only fell in love with Frontier, but I also fell in love with the students who encouraged me to go back to school and go back to teaching. Now, I am an alumni of Frontier; I went to their doctorate program, and my capstone project was on tutoring and mentoring students of color. So, all of this was instrumental in bringing me to this point in my life.”

Learn more about Maria’s journey to Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer in this video.

Where did your passion for diversity and inclusion begin?

“My passion for diversity and inclusion began really by being raised in New York City. It was a wonderful, diverse area to be brought up in, and it taught me that we are more alike than we are different. Another encounter in my life that really brought passion of diversity in my life was being moved from New York to Boston, Massachusetts in the seventies during the busing times. A historical era with  a lot of racism and hatred in Massachusetts which has definitely improved since. However, that time period was really sad and showed me how ugly division can be.

A school incident took place that taught me that I am neither white, nor black, nor ‘other.’ I am Maria, and no one can label me. I am myself and that goes for every single person; we are all each personally unique and individual.”

Learn more about Maria’s passion for diversity and inclusion in this video.

How do you define diversity and inclusion at Frontier Nursing University?

“When our differences come together in a respectful and appreciative way for what each of us bring to the table, that’s when we reach diversity and inclusion. Diversity and inclusion in a nutshell is the power of unity, and FNU will be more powerful for including it in its strategic plan.

Diversity is like a beautiful tapestry made up of each and every one of us. We are all different in so many ways, beautiful ways. However, when our differences are united in a positive way, we create a powerful, enhanced atmosphere that otherwise would be lacking due to missing parts. So, diversity and inclusion is the glue of unity.”

Learn more about how Maria defines diversity and inclusion in this video.  

What are you most excited about with your new position?

“I am most excited about the programs I hope to establish for students. Initially, these programs that I’ll be implementing will be pilot programs for our nurse workforce diversity grant students. We’ll work out the kinks and basically expand them to all students.

I’m also excited about bringing diversity to the forefront of Frontier. Our Community of Inquiry model will be stronger for it.”

What strategies do you feel will have the most positive impact on the FNU community?

“The strategies that I feel will have the most positive impact on Frontier are building these excellent student services, as well as diversity and inclusion training strategies and tactics to enhance our courses by threading diversity and inclusion issues along the way. We want to thread the subject matter even further throughout the curriculum. We will be stronger individually and as a whole because of the introductions of these plans.”

Learn more about  Maria’s planned strategies as CDIO in this video.

What are the biggest challenges that you will face in your new role?

“Uniting folks while our nation is receiving messages of division and promoting actions of division and lack of compassion – to me, that will be my biggest challenge. However, I feel midwifery and nursing have always held an important role in not only listening to people, but also advocating for what is right. Frontier is better and stronger than the division being promoted across the nation.”

Learn more about the challenges Maria anticipates in her new role in this  video.

What is a fun fact about you?

“My intersectionality is a fun fact. What is intersectionality? Intersectionality is a diversity term that basically explains that an individual has many hats that they bring to the table, not just what you see in front of you. So I’m not just a latina, female professor of a certain age. I’m also a mother, a wife, grandmother, and – here’s the fun fact – I’m even a great-grandmother of three great-grandchildren!”

Learn more about Maria in this video.

Topics: Frontier Nursing University, Diversity and Inclusion, chief diversity officer

Mentorship Shapes The Future of Nursing

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Feb 21, 2018 @ 02:02 PM

ROADTRIP.pngMentors are there for experience-based guidance and honest advice. In some areas up to 60% of new Nurses leave their first position and some leave the Nursing profession entirely within two years. A stressful work environment combined with a lack of support from fellow Nurses can make it difficult to transition from Nursing school to the professional ranks of Nursing. Nurses should use mentors as a resource. Not only when they have a problem but in any stage, whether they are aspiring to take on a new role, grow in their current role, or become a stronger leader.

Mentoring a fellow Nurse takes leadership skills and experience, of course, but also much more. According to Dale Beatty, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, Standford Health Care’s Chief Nursing Officer and Vice-President of Patient Care Services, there are basic core values that mentors need to have: honesty, integrity, trust, and confidentiality. A mentee should be able to trust their mentor enough to be vulnerable with them, and the mentor should foster that environment of safety and trust. 

Mentors have much to gain personally and professionally by helping new Nurses adjust to their role.  While Nurse mentors are helping people understand and practice the standards of Nursing, they are also reviewing the processes and procedures and are in a position to facilitate changes or make improvements if needed.  Also, inexperienced Nurses will have been exposed to the newest technologies and trending issues and can give a different perspective to the experienced Nurse who might not be as exposed to these current developments.

Have you ever thought you could be a better leader or manager than the person who was in charge? You should seriously consider being a mentor. When mentoring others, you are actively working on your coaching, communication, and leadership skills.  Working with different individuals from various backgrounds helps you to develop the relatable skills necessary to handle many personality types.  Being a mentor first is a great way to find out if management is something you want your future to evolve into.

Magnet Program Director Anita Girard, DNP, RN, NEA-BC said, "For student Nurses and recent graduate Nurses, a mentor is a resource that could help guide them to their future careers and shape them along the way, but figuring out where to find one is the first step. A great place to start is to visit websites for state Nursing associations and student Nursing associations. Additionally, getting involved in professional organizations can help, since these are usually full of Nurse leaders that could be potential mentors.

Becoming a mentor is a big decision to make.  While the personal and professional benefits far outweigh the challenges, mentoring has to be something you are emotionally and professionally ready to handle. 

Have you ever been a mentor or mentee?  We would love to hear your stories! Please share your experiences in the comment section below.

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Topics: Mentor Programs, mentoring, Nursing mentor

Inspiring A Future of More Latino Nurses

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Feb 09, 2018 @ 09:45 AM

WorkingNurse_Recruiting_More_Hispanic_Nurses.jpgDiversity in the Nursing field is necessary to progress health equity and improve patient outcomes. As a result of efforts in recent years, the Nursing workforce today is more diverse than it was a decade ago, but there is still work to be done. The goal is to have a health workforce that mirrors the nation’s diverse population.

“Latinos make up 17.3 percent of the U.S. population,” said Norma Cuellar, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor of Nursing at The University of Alabama, director of the BAMA-Latino Project, and president-elect of NAHN. “Unfortunately, as the number of Latinos continue to rise, the number of Latino RNs does not. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, there are about 2.9 million RNs in the country, and just three percent are identified as Latinos. This results in a failure to provide culturally congruent care, language barriers, and health disparities in the Latino population.”

As the principal investigator over the NIH-SEPA grant, Angie Millan, RN, DNP, FAAN, NAHN project director and the Nursing director of Children’s Medical Services for the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health, aims to inform new generations of Latinos to consider Nursing as a worthy and rewarding career, and provide the guidance, support and resources needed to achieve Nursing career aspirations.

“The Hispanic community is very young, with an average age of around 26, and our numbers continue to increase,” Angie said. “However, the number of Hispanic Nurses is not keeping up with the growth.  We need help in communicating with parents, students, teachers, and counselors that Nursing is a great career, and that to be prepared, students need to know the math and science requirements.”

Teri Murray, Ph.D., dean of the School of Nursing at Saint Louis University said, “Racially diverse students, from populations currently underrepresented in Nursing, will be paired with peer mentors, faculty mentors and seasoned Nurse mentors who are out working in the field. “Mentoring has been shown to be effective for students from underrepresented backgrounds in serving as role models, assisting students to navigate college life and the profession, and in general showing the student the ropes,” Murray told the American.

2018 marks the fourth year of the NAHN Hispanics in Nursing campaign to increase the number of Hispanic Nurses, which is made possible through a grant received from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Science Education Partnership (SEPA). In addition to providing information about which classes to take in high school to prepare for Nursing prerequisites and highlighting the profiles of Latino Nurse role models, the campaign also provides access to Mentors Connection, a database of Latino Nurses who can provide career guidance, advice, and cultural perspective to prospective Nurses.

“It is imperative that we encourage these Latino students not only to obtain their degree in nursing, but to pursue advanced degrees. There is a dire need to increase the number of Latino nurses who are academically prepared to be leaders in a variety of healthcare roles,” said Dr. Cuellar. “In this ever-changing healthcare landscape, it’s more important than ever for Latino nurses to have a seat at the table. We have to be leaders in nursing, and we have to be the voice for the Latino population.”

Topics: diversity in nursing, diversity in healthcare, latino nurses

First Generation College Students Face Barriers

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Feb 05, 2018 @ 12:05 PM

imfirst_rgb_300.jpgFirst generation college students (FGCS) face many obstacles which affects enrollment and graduation rates. Some barriers include lack of college readiness, familial support, financial stability, racial under representation, low academic self-esteem, and difficulty adjusting to college.

A National Center for Education Statistics study found that among students whose parents had completed high school, 54 percent enrolled in college immediately after graduation, while only 36 percent of students whose parents had less than a high school diploma immediately entered college. 

Students with at least one parent who attended college are nearly twice as likely to graduate as first-generation students, according to a long-term study by the National Center for Education Statistics released in 2015.

Racial under representation is a difficult barrier. 20% of first generation college students do not consider English as their first language. Household income is another. The median annual household income for students whose parents earned a degree is just shy of six figures at $99,635. For first generation students, this number plummets to $37,565.

In recent years, colleges have become aware that students with sparse financial resources and thin networks of adult support can struggle to adjust to campus life, with many failing to earn a degree.

First-generation students may feel uncomfortable in the collegiate atmosphere. They may come from a different cultural background or have different levels of college preparation than their peers. Reasons for limited communication and interactions among peers and faculty include the absence of similar interests, experiences, and resources. These differences contribute to low levels of academic self-esteem and difficulty adjusting to the college setting.

Bernadotte is trying to ensure that first-generation, low-income, and minority students avoid the pitfalls she faced getting through college. She founded Beyond 12, a nonprofit that uses technology to work with high schools and colleges, helping coach students, track their progress and ensure that they earn their degrees. 

Beyond 12, tracks about 50,000 students, alerting them via an app to deadlines for course registration or financial aid applications, connecting them with campus resources, and ensuring that their grades and classes are appropriate. It has also coached, in-person or online, about 2,000 students on 180 campuses, many of them on the West Coast. A handful of charter schools in Boston and Dartmouth College have also tested out the platform.

Using apps like Beyond 12 is one way to help overcome obstacles, here are a few other tips that may make a difference in your college experience.

Take Advantage of Campus Offices: For FCGS, adjusting to college can be difficult. Students can be unsure of financial responsibilities, academic expectations, and social involvement/activities, which can not only be discouraging, but it can also be intimidating. So use the resources provided to make sure you're up to date on everything you may need to know.

Don’t Be Ashamed to Live On A Budget: It's not uncommon that college students are broke. It is not a secret that college can be expensive, so don’t feel bad when you see your friends going out to movies or bars on the weekends while you are staying home.  You need to  remember what you are in college for. You're there to get an education and to hopefully set yourself up for a great and successful future.

Get Involved: Being a FGCS, you may feel like you don't fit in with other students on campus due to financial differences, social differences, and/or differences in ethnicity or religion. Your thoughts and feelings about not fitting in are not unique to you, but are shared by so many people on campus. You will find more people that share things in common with you than you would believe. So check out organizations and clubs on campus that tap into your interests and you will not only make new friends, but you will also be able to fully take in the college experience.

Were you a first generation college student? What was your experience like? We would love to hear from you! Comment below!

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Topics: first generation college students

30th National Black Nurses Day Anniversary Celebration!

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Jan 29, 2018 @ 01:45 PM

iStock-179228782-1878x874.jpgNational Black Nurses Day is a long-held is a celebration that recognizes the service of outstanding African American Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Registered Nurses (RNs) for the work that they provide to the community.
This year is the 30th NBND Anniversary celebration! It will highlight the achievements of professional nurses in the area of community health, public health, correctional health, transplantation and healthcare advocacy.
It is scheduled to be held on Friday, February 23rd 2018 
at Apostolic Faith Church -3823 S. Indiana, Chicago, IL at 6pm.
Friends and family of nurses recognized, Nursing colleagues, nursing instructors, student nurses and the community at large are all invited to attend this event.
There are various levels of sponsorship participation for interested healthcare representatives, organizations, providers or anyone with a healthcare business or service that seeks to maximize greater visibility in this community of African American professional and student nurses.
Please contact the National Black Nurses Day Committee via phone at: 773-792-7222  or by email at nbndc8665@gmail.com.
The NBND committee is comprised of four predominantly African American nursing organizations within the City of Chicago:
Chicago Chapter National Black Nurses’ AssociationAlpha Eta Chapter of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc., Beta Mu Chapter of Lambda Pi Alpha Sorority and the Provident Hospital Nurse’s Alumni Association.
Since 1988, National Black Nurses Day has been recognized by the United States Congress on the first Friday in the month of February. This was made possible with the instrumental assistance of the Honorable Charles Rangel of New York, ensuring the acknowledgement of contributions Black Nurses and their contributions to healthcare and society.
black nurses day flyer.jpg

7 Times Nurses Went Above And Beyond For Their Patients

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Jan 26, 2018 @ 03:28 PM

page1_img3.jpgNurses are talented and caring, they often go above and beyond the call of duty to care for their patients. You don’t have to look very far to find great Nurses who make a habit of getting involved and giving more of themselves than they are asked. Below are a few heart warming examples of when Nurses truly went above and beyond for their patients.

Nurse Fills Empty Fridge With Food For Patient

Home Nurse Amanda Mary Perez was asked to clean her patient's fridge. But when she opened the door, she was shocked to see the fridge was empty. She was absolutely horrified that he had gone so long without food and this broke her heart. Amanda knew she had to do something.

The Nurse went to social media and wrote a message where she said the client is responsible for buying his food and he only buys food when he has the money. Amanda finished her shift and went straight to the store where she took all her income tax money and bought food for him.  This experience showed her the difference between wants and needs. She said "I opened my eyes and realized I need to stop being so mad about what I don't have and start appreciating what I do have."

Nurse Donates 1,000 oz of Breast Milk

Ashley Chesnut, a mom of two had just been diagnosed with lymphoma and learned that she had to stop breastfeeding.  “Breastfeeding to me is a privilege, because for one reason or another, not all women can do it,” Chesnut, 30, tells PEOPLE. “I loved this special time with each of my kids, and I felt like it was being stolen away from me and there was nothing I could do to stop it.”

Jaclyn Kenney, a Nurse at Nebraska Medical Center noticed the baby was the same age as her daughter. Kenney was overproducing milk and had been thinking about donating the extra ounces to a milk bank, but hearing about Chesnut during her shift at the hospital changed her mind. She made the donation of a lifetime and donated 1,000 oz. of her breast milk.

Previous Music Student Sings Song For His Teacher In Hospice

Maria was a lifelong singing and piano teacher with students from all over the place. Music was something so dear to her heart and when she was in hospice she had one final wish before she passed. She wanted to hear the song "How Great Thou Art". It turns out one of her students worked at the hospice care home in Austinburg, Texas.

The student’s name was Joshua and he had known Maria since he was only 9 years old. Maria had started teaching him music then, and his passion for singing and piano only got deeper as time went on. It was his honor to deliver a performance that Maria wanted to here.

Nurse Creates The No One Dies Alone program

Sandra Clarke, RN, was working as a staff Nurse at Sacred Heart Medical Center. While making rounds at the beginning of her shift, she entered the room of an elderly man with a DNR order on his chart. He asked, "Will you stay with me?" Sandra promised him she would return as soon as she checked on her other patients. After taking longer than she had anticipated, she returned to his room, ready to apologize for the delay. As she approached his bedside, she saw his pale, outstretched hand. He had died alone.

She knew his final moments were not supposed to be this way. It is unlikely that any human being would ever choose to die alone. Sometimes, however, circumstances are such that a person has no family or close friends.

Fourteen years later, while working in ICU, Sandra still was harboring thoughts from the 1986 incident. She had volunteered to participate in a pilot program at her hospital to develop an ethics resource team for staff members. The Director of Pastoral Care, Bob Scheri, overheard Sandra discussing her concept of having volunteers stay with patients. At his request, she outlined a proposal. PeaceHealth, the corporate organization of Sacred Heart Medical Center, endorsed her idea. No One Dies Alone (NODA) became a reality in 2001, and the rest is a heartwarming history.

Nurse Adopts Baby She Cared For In Hospital 

Nurse Amber Boyd was caring for 18 month old, Nicole at a New Mexico hospital where she was being treated for a rare condition called omphalocele, in which the organs develop outside of the body. It was too much for Nicole’s biological parents to take so they left her in state custody.

“The first day I met her actually, I don’t know, I just remember walking into her room, just instantly feeling an attachment,” Amber said. When it was time for Nicole to leave the hospital, Amber took her duties as a Nurse to another level and adopted the little girl.

Nurses and Care Team Members Help Ill Woman Get Married

The IU Health Nurses and Care Team members created a special wedding ceremony in the hospital for one of their patients. Hillary Deckard was awaiting a lung transplant due to cystic fibrosis, which she was diagnosed with at age 3. IU Health music and art therapists worked on the wedding march and decorations, while social workers and staff secured flowers, cake and a wedding dress. Click Here For Photos 

Nurses Help Sneak Dying Patient's Dog In To Say Goodbye

David King, was at a Missouri hospital, losing his battle with cancer and he was worried he’d never see his dog, Lil Fee, again. 17 year-old Ellie Miguel tweeted, “My grandpa is losing his battle with cancer so the nurses helped my grandma sneak their dog into the hospital to say goodbye.” Ellie also said “The Nurses always heard my grandma talking about Lil Fee. So they encouraged her and helped her get the dog in. They had my aunt carry the dog in a really big purse."

King passed away not long after, but not before saying goodbye to his best friend and loyal companion. Although most hospitals have a strict no-pets policy, this isn’t the first time family and staff have bent the rules. Sometimes, a visit from a beloved furry friend is more powerful than any medicine.

Do you have a story of a Nurse who went out of their way for a patient? We would love to hear about it, comment below!

A Career In Nursing Is The Future For Many Men

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Jan 12, 2018 @ 10:27 AM

00up-nurses-sisante4-master1050-v2.jpgThe Washington Center for Equitable Growth reported the percent of males in Nursing has steadily grown since 1960 from 2% to 13% in the United States. We have seen women entering male-dominated fields for a long time, but it’s less common to see an increase in men joining a predominantly female occupation. The NY Times interviewed many male Nurses, here is what they had to say.

For some men, the idea that caregiving jobs are women’s work is old-fashioned. “This narrative that men can’t provide care in the way that women can is part of that broad cultural narrative that misunderstands what Nursing’s about,” said Adam White, the V.A. hospital student nurse, who is earning his Nursing degree at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. “We need to talk with young people about caring as a gender-neutral idea, but also as something that’s rooted in skills, in expertise.”

John-Flor Sisante, recent Nursing graduate, said “When my wife told her grandfather that I graduated from Nursing school, he just laughed. But I think there are more men who are less afraid to take on what have traditionally been considered feminine roles.” 

Economic factors play a role as well. There has been a decline in some jobs because of automation. “A lot of those manufacturing jobs and things of that nature just aren’t there anymore,” said David Baca, an emergency department Nurse in Oregon. “We get paid a really livable wage, and I think that is now starting to attract more male Nurses.” Even though men are a minority, they are paid more than women.

Many people change careers to Nursing later on in life. Male Nurses are more likely than females to have worked as emergency medical technicians, military Nurses or lab technicians. Nearly half of Nurse anesthetists, one of the highest-paying Nursing jobs, are men.

Jorge Gitler, Oncology Nurse manager says, “Forget about the stigma. The pay is great, the opportunities are endless and you end up going home every day knowing that you did something very positive for someone else.”

When Nurses closely reflect the patient population, hospitals and patients benefit. Some patients prefer a Nurse of the same sex, particularly for procedures like inserting a catheter, Nurses said, and some men feel more comfortable talking openly with another man.

“I work on this floor with people who just had urology surgery or amputations, and they have told me that when I come in the room and shut the door behind me, they feel more understood and can drop the tough guy attitude,” Mr. White said.

Nurses also focus on the rewarding part of the career. Jonathan Auld, Clinical Nurse leader and Nursing Ph.D. student, said “It’s not just a job. You have this sense of purpose, this sense of service, that you’re in this to really help improve people’s lives.” 

It is a welcome change to the field. Patients and hospitals will benefit from the changing Nurse population. If you have anything you would like to add please comment below!

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Topics: male nurse, male nurses

Health Providers Impacting Youth Sports Related Injuries

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Jan 03, 2018 @ 11:18 AM

la-sci-sn-youth-soccer-injuries-20160912-snap.jpgChildren being involved with sports and other physical activities is a normal and healthy part of their life. Unfortunately injuries can happen. Thankfully healthcare professionals are working to find ways to better treat and prevent injuries. Here are a few examples...

Almost half a million children visit emergency rooms annually in the U.S from traumatic brain injuries due to sports. CT scans have risk of radiation, can be costly, and don't detect concussions.

According to Dr. Shireen Atabaki, emergency medical specialist at Children's National Health System, "It's been estimated that people who get a single CT scan in the first 22 years of life have a 300 percent increase risk of cancer in their lifetime."

Dr. Atabaki has been working on creating a diagnostic tool for concussions that would reduce the need for CT scans. The technology she developed is now used in the electronic health record at Children's Hospital. The hospital saved more than $800,000 in one year by reducing CT scans by 556.

Gregg T. Nicandri, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon and assistant professor in the University of Rochester Medical Center division of Sports Medicine said, "The biggest trend I see currently is an epidemic of ACL injuries. An ACL tear is something that usually requires surgery to repair and typically requires a year-long recovery."

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, about 70 percent of sports-related ACL injuries happen through movements like pivoting, cutting, sidestepping and awkward landings, while about 30 percent result from collisions with other players.

ACL injury prevention programs have shown great results. Dr. Nicandri, who was involved in a URMC ACL injury-prevention program in Rochester said, “We found that we were able to decrease the rate of ACL injury by about 70 percent in the group of athletes that did the program.”

Dr. Mark Link from UT Southwestern says commotio cordis is the second-leading cause of sudden death in youth sports, with one medical study declaring it "the single, most common cause of traumatic death in youth baseball." He also went on to say, "It is a tragic, unfortunate event that happens to normal, healthy kids when they're struck in the chest. But there has to be multiple things that occur at the same time."

A teenager's rib cage is more flexible than an adult's, which means a sudden blow to the chest can cause the ribs to bend inward and touch the heart. "That allows the energy of the ball to be transmitted to the heart," Link explains. If the blow hits at "the upstroke of the T wave," in the last part of a heartbeat -- a window of time that's 15 times faster than the blink of an eye -- the heart will go into ventricular fibrillation.

"The heart is being electrocuted," Dr. Link says. "It's the sudden-death rhythm. The pumping chambers just quiver. When they quiver, they can't effectively pump blood. There's no blood flow to the brain."

After Dr. Link told Karen Acompra what had really killed her son, she wanted to find a way to prevent deaths like this from happening. She believes that learning CPR and having an automated external defibrillator (AED) at all sporting events can make a difference between life and death. She says there are still 30 states that don't mandate AEDs on school grounds but is working to make it a national law.

As a Nurse what are your opinions on children playing contact sports? Do you agree it should be mandatory for AEDs to be on school grounds? Please comment below with any thoughts!

Topics: youth sports related injuries

7 Unique Nursing Jobs

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Dec 22, 2017 @ 02:32 PM


There are many Nursing specialties to choose from. There may be jobs that suit your needs and interests perfectly, but you had no idea they existed as an option. Here are some positions you might not have considered as a career path for yourself.

Camp Nurse

Camp nurses serve typically children or teens, in a camp environment. This can include summer camps or other camps that last from days to weeks to even months at a time, but are usually temporary.

According to RegisteredNursing.org, Nurses with a background in emergency care, pediatrics, and/or trauma will do well in a camp nursing environment. Beyond this, camp nurses usually work alone or fairly independently, so being able to make decisions and deal with any sort of medical emergency is a routine part of the job. Some camps may not even have reliable phone or internet service, so camp nurses need to have enough professional experience to expedite care in this type of environment. Camp nurses also need to have managerial skills, as they generally oversee the whole health office, and must be able to effectively document and record all visits and treatments administered.


A NASCAR medical liaison coordinator (MLC) is a Registered Nurse who no longer practices “hands-on” nursing. Five full-time nurses are based at corporate headquarters in Daytona Beach, FL.

Responsibilities consist of managing the day to day operation of the department and focusing on the medical needs of the Racing Series. A minimum of two MLCs travel to a new racetrack on a weekly basis.

Disney Nurse

Disney is the place where dreams come true. Could your dream job be there as well? With competitive wages and excellent benefits, jobs in theme parks like Walt Disney World provide Nurses with a positive place to work. These jobs require a skill set they would use to help the park's cast memebers.

Yacht Nurse

As a Nurse/Stewardess you will be expected to maintain the on-board medical ward and Nursing station. This would include stock take, ordering supplies and recording inventories. Depending on the yacht owners health you may be required for certain medical duties.

Although long working hours are required, the benefits are amazing with salaries often  higher than other Nursing positions. Yachting is not for the faint hearted though and must have a sense of adventure and an urge to travel.

Flight Nurse

Flight Nurses are Registered Nurses who provide nursing care on board medical helicopters, airplanes or jets. In the United States, flight Nurses respond to 2 primary types of cases or requests for assistance: response to accident scenes (commonly referred to as scene calls) and requests for inter-hospital patient transfers.

Transgender Youth Nurse

More children and adolescents are identifying as transgender or gender fluid, and they are being seen in a variety of healthcare settings where Nurses are present. Transgender and gender fluid youth are a vulnerable population and are at risk of poor health outcomes, including suicide. Nurses hold a unique position of trust and are therefore perfectly situated to support these youth at every health-related interaction.

Nurses interact with transgender and gender fluid youth in a diverse array of clinical settings, including primary care, the emergency department, and other hospital units, as well as in schools, community settings, and most other areas of care.

Health Policy Nurse

According to the University of California San Francisco, Nurses with policy expertise are employed by health services research firms, work in legislative and regulatory offices at the county, state and federal levels, or hold elective or appointed office. Others work in the legislative or policy offices of health maintenance organizations, advocacy organizations, health care companies or health care provider associations, or consult for these and other organizations. One can also find Nurses with careers in policy and program planning at international government health organizations and non-governmental organizations.

If you know of other unique Nursing positions please comment below!

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Topics: nursing jobs, unique nursing jobs

See How Hospitals Are Celebrating the Holidays

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, Dec 12, 2017 @ 10:04 AM


For many people, the holiday season is their favorite time of year, with excitement building for months. Spending time with family and friends, decorating, sharing laughs and getting in the holiday spirit means so much to so many. For these same reasons, this time of year can be the most difficult time to be in the hospital.

Fortunately, there are many ways to bring joy into hospitals during the holiday season.

Shriners Hospital Celebrates Holidays with Atrium Performance Series

AtriumSeries-01UkuleleHeaven.jpgThe holiday season brings the gift of music to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California, where singers and musicians volunteer their time and talent as part of the Atrium Performance Series. Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, choirs, school bands, and local business groups perform in the hospital lobby to make spirits bright.

Gingerbread village event at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital

gingerbread_2017_1_w.jpgGingerbread houses were assembled and decorated by patients and guests in the lobby of Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital who layered them with white frosting roofs and assorted, colorful candies. Other houses were sent to patients on the units who could not come down for the event. Whenever a house was completed, Santa or one of his helpers placed it on a large display structure designed to evoke the shape of a Christmas tree. Patients got to take a Teddy bear and the book of their choice.

Akron Children's Hospital Holiday Tree Festival 2017

akron childrens trees.jpgAccording to cleveland.com, there are 85,000 strings of lights at the festival at the John S. Knight Center. There are 140 trees, wreaths galore and holiday gifts all donated by an individual, group or business. Click Here to See Photos of all the trees!

Santa takes a helicopter to UVM Medical Center Children’s Hospital

santahelicopter.jpgSanta made a trip to visit kids at the University of Vermont Medical Center Children’s Hospital. According to the Burlington Free Press, No reindeer were used for this pre-holiday visit. Santa Claus hovered in a helicopter at the hospital entrance, waving to the children gathered on a balcony inside.


There are plenty of ways to bring holiday cheer to your facilities halls. Here are a few ideas:

  • Have a family member bring in a LED menorah or a small tree to make it feel more like home.
  • Light up a hospital room with a simple strand of lights.
  • Play some classic Holiday music.
  • Watch a Christmas movie.
  • Share thank you notes and holiday cards.
  • Bring Holiday desserts and treats.
  • Open some presents with loved ones and staff members.


 If you have other ideas or tips to celebrating the holidays in a hospital, please comment below! Happy Holidays!

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Topics: Holidays, holiday shifts, working holidays

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