DiversityNursing Blog

Brittany Maynard, Death With Dignity Advocate, Dies At 29

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Nov 03, 2014 @ 10:52 AM

By Alana Horowitz

maynard resized 600

Brittany Maynard, the Oregon woman who had become an outspoken advocate for patients' rights following her terminal cancer diagnosis, died on Saturday, the Oregonian reported. She was 29.

"Goodbye to all my dear friends and family that I love," she wrote in a Facebook post, according to People. "Today is the day I have chosen to pass away with dignity in the face of my terminal illness... the world is a beautiful place, travel has been my greatest teacher, my close friends and folks are the greatest givers... goodbye world. Spread good energy. Pay it forward!"

Earlier this year, Maynard learned that she was suffering from an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma and had only six months to live. After hearing what the disease would to her body in its final stages, she decided that she wanted to die on her own terms.

Maynard and her family, including her husband Dan Diaz and her mother Debbie Ziegler, moved to Oregon,whose Death With Dignity Act has allowed hundreds of terminally ill people to end their lives by taking a medication prescribed by doctors. She picked November 1st as the day she wanted to die because it was after her husband's late October birthday.

Since then, Maynard had become a champion for the law and for patients in her situation, working with the group Compassion and Choices.

"I am not suicidal," she wrote in a blog post for CNN.com. "I do not want to die. But I am dying. And I want to die on my own terms."

On Wednesday, Maynard released a new video that suggested that she might consider postponing her death.

"If November 2nd comes along and I've passed, I hope my family is still proud of me and the choices I've made. If November 2nd comes along and I'm still alive, I know that we'll still be moving forward as a family out of love for each other, and that decision will come later."

Maynard recently crossed the last item off her bucket list: a trip to the Grand Canyon. Before she became ill, Maynard was an active traveler and adventurer who lived in Southwest Asia for a year and once climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.

Source: www.huffingtonpost.com

Topics: nurses, medical, cancer, patients, hospital, advocate, terminally ill, brain cancer, Death With Dignity, Brittany Maynard, terminal cancer, Death With Dignity Act

Advocates Work to Recruit Latinos to Nursing

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Sep 22, 2014 @ 01:27 PM

1410553885380 resized 600

Growing up, Adriana Perez experienced the kinds of challenges that are at the core of the immigrant experience in America. She learned English as a second language, attended underperforming public schools in a small town, and struggled to pay for college because her parents—who were farmworkers—couldn’t afford to send her.

Through it all, Perez focused on the gifts she received during her upbringing: love and support from her family, guidance from her teachers and mentors, a strong work ethic derived from a culture that values hard work, and a personal drive to make a difference in her community.

When she reached adulthood, she made an unusual choice—at least for her demographic group: She became a nurse. Now an assistant professor of nursing at Arizona State University, Perez, PhD, ANP, is a member of the most underrepresented racial or ethnic group in nursing.

In 2013, Latinos comprised 3 percent of the nation’s nursing workforce, according to a survey by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing and the National Forum of State Workforce Centers, and 17 percent of the nation’s population, according to a U.S. Census Bureau fact sheet. And their numbers are growing: By 2060, Latinos are projected to comprise nearly one-third of the U.S. population. But their growth in nursing has been slow, Perez said.

Recruiting more Latino nurses is about more than parity in the nursing workforce; it’s about improving health and health care for Latinos, who have disproportionately high rates of HIV transmission, teen pregnancy, and chronic conditions like obesity and diabetes, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Latinos also are less likely to have health care coverage than other racial or ethnic groups.

More Latino nurses can help narrow disparities, experts say, because they are more likely to be able to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate care to Latino patients. “Having a culturally competent nurse really makes a difference in terms of compliance and patient outcomes,” said Elias Provencio-Vasquez, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAANP, dean of the nursing school at the University of Texas at El Paso and an alumnus of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Executive Nurse Fellows program (2009-2012). “Patients really respond when they have a provider who understands their culture.”

The Institute of Medicine (IOM)—the esteemed arm of the National Academy of Sciences that advises the nation’s leading decision-makers on matters relating to health and medicine—agrees. In 2004, it published a report calling for a more diverse health care workforce to improve quality and access to care and to narrow racial and ethnic health disparities. And in 2010, the IOM released a report that included calls for greater diversity within the nursing profession in particular.

Latinos Aren’t Flocking to Nursing

Yet despite their growing numbers, Latinos are not flocking en masse to the nursing profession.

That’s in large part because of inequity in education, said Dan Suarez, BSN, MA, president of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses. “Many Latinos come from poor educational systems, and few concentrate on the kinds of science and math courses that are needed to enter nursing school. Latinos have the highest high school drop-out rate in the nation, and many students are just focused on staying in school and making it to graduation.”

Meanwhile, there are relatively few Latino nurse leaders and educators who can serve as role models, coaches and mentors to the next generation of nurses, Perez said. “When young people aren’t able to see themselves in those roles, it’s hard to imagine that they could be in that role.”

Language and culture also play a role. Latino parents often discourage Latino youth—and especially boys—from pursuing nursing because it is regarded as a low-status, low-pay service job in Mexico and parts of Latino America, Suarez said. “Parents tell their children they can do better than nursing ... Nursing has an image problem, and we’re trying to change that.”

The culture’s emphasis on traditional gender roles also discourages Latina wives and mothers from working outside the home and, if they do, from pursuing leadership positions, said Mary Lou de Leon Siantz, PhD, RN, FAAN, a professor at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis and an RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program alumna (2004-2007). “The majority of Latina nurses go into associate degree programs and don’t see the need to go back for more education.”

Racism against Latinos, she added, is “full-blown,” especially amid the national debate over immigration. Academics and others retain unconscious biases against Latinos and members of other groups that are underrepresented in nursing.

RWJF is committed to increasing diversity in nursing through programs such as New Careers in Nursing, which works to increase the diversity of nursing professionals to help alleviate the nursing shortage, and the RWJF Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at the University of New Mexico, which prepares nurses, especially those from underserved populations in the Southwest, to become distinguished leaders in health policy. The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a joint initiative of RWJF and AARP, is working to diversify the nursing workforce, with help from Perez and others. The National Association of Hispanic Nurses, meanwhile, offers scholarships to Latino nursing students.

But more needs to be done, Siantz and others said. Educational bridge programs to help students transition into nursing school are needed, as are interventions to dispel negative stereotypes about nursing among Latinos and increased mentorship for aspiring nurses and nursing students.  “Latino nurses often talk about the influence of a family member, or a role model, or a mentor who told them to be a nurse,” said Perez, whose grandmother, a nurse in Mexico, encouraged her to pursue nursing in the United States. “We need to do more of that kind of outreach.”

Source: http://www.rwjf.org

Topics: Latino, Workforce, nursing, hispanic, healthcare, advocate, career

Do You Need To Care To Be A Great Nurse?

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Wed, Jul 24, 2013 @ 11:33 AM

good nurse, great nurse, be a nurseby Mark Downey

One of the questions that I frequently ask my students is, “Do you need to care to be a great nurse?” It’s always interesting to read the expressions on their faces and imagine what they must be thinking, because for the majority of my students it is the wanting to be a nurse and all that it entails that is a motivating factor in studying for their nursing degree.

From “Is he trying to trick me?” to “My teacher is an idiot!”, I can see the cogs and wheels ticking over in their brains. More often than not, I don’t give them an opportunity to answer. Instead, I tell them, “You don’t have to care about people to be a nurse. I consider myself an excellent nurse, but I’m not paid to care”.

Reactions to this vary. The two most common being dumbstruck, tongue tied and not knowing quite what to say or alternatively the hairs on the back of the neck bristle and I am challenged (often quite vigorously). Rarely, if ever, does anyone agree with me.

Let me explain with an example. If you’re a patient in an Accident and Emergency Room or perhaps lying unconscious in an Intensive care bed or on an operating table, is it really going to matter if the nurse gives two hoots about caring for you? Of course not! What is important is that the nurse is clinically competent and understands your health requirements so that every opportunity is afforded in generating a positive health outcome.

A steam train driver doesn’t have to care about his train to drive it, but he does need to understand how it works. As long as the gauges stay within the safe zones and coal is regularly fed to help generate steam to drive the engine, it doesn’t matter if he cares about the train or not. In fact, regardless of his care factor, the end result will never vary as long as he is good at his job. To be a good and great nurse is to know how to do your job right. I know everyone will agree.

Isn’t a nurse just like the train driver? Health outcomes will always be the same regardless of how much caring the nurse gives. It all boils down to the nurse trainings and the skills they have developed and how they are implemented. Nothing more, nothing less. A Cardiac Nurse needs to know about your heart, how it works, what the ECG squiggles mean and what the drugs that have been prescribed for you are going to do, but they don’t need to know your hearts desires or what’s in your heart. Isn’t that the job of the Chaplain?

Another important point is not to confuse advocating for the patient with caring. Advocacy is mandatory if the nurse’s training and experience lead them to believe that an alternative option may deliver a better health outcome for the patient. But really you don’t have to care to advocate as it’s just part of being a good nurse.

My argument is further proven when you consider the nursing process. Although it comes in many forms and guises, it is essentially:

  • Assess the situation.
     
  • Planning a course of action.
     
  • Implement that action plan.
     
  • Review the effectiveness of the plan and when necessary returning to step 1 and repeating. 

Nowhere, I repeat, nowhere, in any of the literature I have read, have I ever seen or mentioned that caring was required as part of the nursing process.

So do nurses care about their patients? Of course they do! Don’t be a goose! For the vast majority it’s an integral part of what makes them who they are. Nurses are looking after people, not machines. So, do I care for the people that I look after? I do and with a passion, but I don’t have to and, if couldn’t care for people, I couldn’t do my job.

Earlier on in this post I made the comment “I consider myself to be a great nurse, but I’m not paid to care.” This, I hold, as an absolute truth. When I am nursing, I am not paid to care.  You cannot pay me to care. I will not accept money to care! I choose to care because I want to care and you get that for free.

Source: NurseTogether

Topics: quality, nursing, training, patients, advocate, improve

Associations Merge to Form Unified Voice for Nurse Practitioners

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Wed, Dec 05, 2012 @ 05:00 PM

describe the image By Katie Bascuas / Nov 27, 2012

Two nurse practitioner trade associations are joining forces to better advocate for their members and to help their members better advocate for patients.

Beginning next year, nurse practitioners will have a single, collective body representing them in Washington, DC, as well as promoting education and research in the field.

As of January 1, 2013, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American College of Nurse Practitioners will merge to form the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, both organizations announced last week.

“We felt like it was the right time for there to be one national nurse practitioner organization representing all specialties at the national level,” said Angela Golden, president of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. “This new organization gives us the opportunity to have that one strong, unified voice to move good quality patient care forward.”

The new association will also make it easier for nurse practitioners interested in joining a professional organization but confused by which one to join.

“I think the members will continue to see the same strong organization that they’ve come to expect, but nurse practitioners will not have to decide anymore, ‘Do I have to pay membership to two organizations,’” Golden said. “There’s one organization with their best interest at heart, moving things forward.”

By aligning resources and working together, “we’re going to be able to have the best of both worlds,” said Jill Olmstead, former president of ACNP. One of the biggest benefits includes a stronger legislative platform.

“I’m hoping that this will actually give the average nurse practitioner the opportunity to become more involved within their profession and advocate for improved access to patient care,” Olmstead said. “Nurse practitioners are wonderful at advocating for their patients, and I think the organization is trying to help inspire [them] to advocate for their profession.”

With the growing shortage of primary care doctors and new healthcare care laws creating a large contingent of newly insured Americans, nurse practitioners are becoming increasingly pivotal players in the U.S. healthcare system.

“Whether it’s one organization or not, nurse practitioners are so focused on the patient care, and as healthcare reform comes in,” Golden said, “our focus has to stay where it always has been and that’s on our patients.”

Topics: association, AANP, ACNP, advocate, nurse practitioner

Click me

ABOUT US

DiversityNursing.com is a national “niche” website for Nurses from student nurses up to CNO’s. We are a Career Job Board, Community and Information Resource for all Nurses regardless of age, race, gender, religion, education, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or physical characteristics. 

Subscribe to Email Updates

Posts by Topic

see all