DiversityNursing Blog

How RNs Can Practice Patient Advocate Nursing

Posted by Brian Engard

Fri, May 26, 2017 @ 12:47 PM

patient-advocate-nursing-CU-600x280.jpgRegistered nurses are the most frequent point of contact with patients in healthcare. They “provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They typically work as part of a team with doctors and other healthcare workers, and they provide the bulk of direct patient care.

As hands-on caregivers, nurses have the primary responsibility of ensuring quality, ethical care for their patients. To this end, patient advocacy is an integral part of practicing nursing; in fact, one provision of the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics says that “the nurse promotes, advocates for, and protects the rights, health, and safety of the patient.”

Nurses oversee the healthcare of many patients and can be privy to concerning practices. Hospitals are required to look after their own financial well-being, legal obligations and other factors that can sometimes cause patient care to deteriorate, and sometimes healthcare workers make mistakes. When this happens, someone who practices patient advocate nursing steps in and looks out for the patients’ well-being.

Patient Advocate Nursing in Practice

American Nurse Today (ANT) defines advocacy as “using one’s position to support, protect, or speak out for the rights and interests of another.” This practice is vital in healthcare, because errors and oversights can result in severe injury or illness, or even loss of life. According to a Johns Hopkins study, medical errors are the No. 3 cause of death in the United States, at roughly 250,000 deaths per year. A nurse patient advocate must not only catch these errors, but also argue for their correction in the future in order to promote safety and patient health.

Of all the healthcare professionals who have contact with patients, nurses are the most ideally suited for patient advocacy. Their constant contact with patients allows them many opportunities to catch errors, such as mislabeled I.V. bags or incorrect patient charts, and their familiarity with their patients can give them the ability to notice small changes in patient condition that another healthcare provider might miss.

Patient advocacy is not without its challenges, however. Being a nurse advocate for one’s patients often means correcting the mistakes of other healthcare workers and can lead to confrontations. In extreme cases, such as the below example from ANT, retaliation can even occur:

“One of the most egregious examples of retaliation for patient advocacy activities occurred recently in Winkler County, Texas, when two nurses, Vickilyn Galle and Anne Mitchell, were criminally indicted by the county attorney for reporting a physician to the Texas Medical Board because of patient-safety concerns. One week before trial, charges against Galle were dropped. A jury found Mitchell not guilty. Subsequently, the Texas Medical Board took action against the physician for witness intimidation as well as practice violations. Further, the Texas Attorney General’s office indicted the hospital administrator, Winkler County sheriff, county prosecutor, and physician for retaliation and other charges.”

The American Journal of Critical Care suggests that the best way to avoid such conflicts while practicing patient advocacy is to embrace a spirit of collaboration with other healthcare professionals, rather than taking the attitude that it is the nurse’s job to protect patients from the mistakes of others. When advocating for a patient, it’s natural to have an impulse to cast blame or render judgment of someone putting that patient at risk. While that may or may not be justified, often it’s more effective for the patient and the organization to approach patient advocacy by presenting solutions and trying to understand why problems exist in the first place, in order to better prevent them from occurring in the future.

Going from RN to BSN

Developing the right knowledge and communication skills to be an effective nurse patient advocate takes training. With an online RN to BSN degree from Campbellsville University, you can learn those skills in order to better advocate for your patients. Study in a flexible, dynamic environment with a schedule that works for your life.

Topics: registered nurse, patient advocate, Patient advocate nursing

How to Use Social Media to Further Your Nursing Career

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Jun 19, 2015 @ 12:35 PM

Posted by Brooke Olson

healthecareers.com 

How to Use Social Media 3 630x210 resized 600Nursing is one of the most prominent — and much needed — professions in the healthcare industry, with over three million registered nurses worldwide. This number is set to grow over the coming years, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting that employment of RNs will grow 19 percent in the decade leading up to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations.

This growth will be fueled by demand for healthcare providers for the aging population, the federal health insurance reform, and the increase in chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and dementia that require care. While more nurses will be required to provide care for patients across the country, there will also be more competition for the top nursing jobs.

If you’re keen to maximize your chances for the role of your dreams, read on for some top tips for using social media sites to further your career in 2015.

Network on LinkedIn

One of the best sites for networking is LinkedIn. Millions of professionals and businesses around the world use the social media platform, and as a result it’s the perfect place to network with key people in your industry and further your career in the healthcare industry.

To start yourself off on the right foot on LinkedIn, make sure your profile is completely filled out. A comprehensive profile that will get you noticed on LinkedIn will include a business-suitable photo and your skills and achievements you have acquired during the course of your education and career.

LinkedIn makes it easy for you to ask for recommendations to go on your profile from people you’ve worked with over the years, whether co-workers, bosses or clients. In addition, don’t forget to optimize your profile and job title with relevant keywords, as this can make a big difference in search results.

Once you have your information up to date, it’s time to start working on adding connections. Apart from making requests to connect with people you already know, it’s also a good idea to join relevant LinkedIn groups and participate in discussions about any topics where you can contribute useful information or an unusual insight — this is a fantastic way to generate interest from potential new ones. In addition, regularly sharing interesting articles and information with all of your connections and update LinkedIn with your career successes and new skills is a great way to stay engaged with your current contacts.

Create a Personal Brand

Social media is a great avenue through which to promote your personal brand. Blogs, Twitter, and Instagram, for example, are all fantastic platforms to use to get your name out there and develop a brand for yourself. Although you might only associate the word “brand” with businesses, developing your own personal brand is a great way for many professionals, especially contractors, to promote themselves.

Build a consistent personal brand by ensuring that you always use the same font, image, language, and even logo, on any online profiles. Creating and maintaining a distinct voice will set you apart from others, helping you to stand out in a competitive industry.

Showcase Yourself as an Industry Expert

Blogs, LinkedIn and Twitter in particular are great platforms to demonstrate your ability to be an industry expert, and is used by many workers to foster relationships and build a profile in their industry.

Publish relevant and engaging content on your blog and distribute it on social media to showcase your experience, skills, and knowledge of healthcare to potential employers and contacts. In addition, share pictures, infographics, quotes, links to articles your connections might find helpful or informative. It’s important to stick to posting about your industry and/or specialty, and refrain from posting personal information in order to build a loyal following and give employers an idea of your passion and what you might offer their company.

By networking, building a personal brand, and showcasing yourself as an industry expert via social media, you will set yourself up to generate more interest when you apply for jobs, and can even bring employers directly to you.

Want a career in nursing? Search hundreds of nursing jobs across the U.S. today!

Topics: registered nurse, nursing, health, RN, social media, career, healthcare industry

Nurse Visits Help First-Time Moms, Cut Government Costs In Long Run

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, May 15, 2015 @ 11:57 AM

MICHELLE ANDREWS

www.npr.org 

symphonie dawson custom dace4345c69592cf6ab851d6025ae1cd4f1d02e9 s400 c85 resized 600While studying to become a paralegal and working as a temp, Symphonie Dawson kept feeling sick. She found out it was because she was pregnant.

Living with her mom and two siblings near Dallas, Dawson, then 23, worried about what to expect during pregnancy and what giving birth would be like. She also didn't know how she would juggle having a baby with being in school.

At a prenatal visit she learned about a group that offers help for first-time mothers-to-be called the Nurse-Family Partnership. A registered nurse named Ashley Bradley began to visit Dawson at home every week to talk with her about her hopes and fears about pregnancy and parenthood.

Bradley helped Dawson sign up for the Women, Infants and Children Program, which provides nutritional assistance to low-income pregnant women and children. They talked about what to expect every month during pregnancy and watched videos about giving birth. After her son Andrew was born in December 2013, Bradley helped Dawson figure out how to manage her time so she wouldn't fall behind at school.

Dawson graduated with a bachelor's degree in early May. She's looking forward to spending time with Andrew and finding a paralegal job. She and Andrew's father recently became engaged.

Ashley Bradley will keep visiting Dawson until Andrew turns 2.

"Ashley's always been such a great help," Dawson says. "Whenever I have a question like what he should be doing at this age, she has the answers."

Home-visiting programs that help low-income, first-time mothers have been around for decades. Lately, however, they're attracting new fans. They appeal to people of all political stripes because the good ones manage to help families improve their lives and reduce government spending at the same time.

In 2010, the Affordable Care Act created the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program and provided $1.5 billion in funding for evidence-based home visits. As a result, there are now 17 home visiting models approved by the Department of Health and Human Services, and Congress reauthorized the program in April with $800 million for the next two years.

The Nurse-Family Partnership that helped Dawson is one of the largest and best-studied programs. Decades of research into how families fare after participating in it have documented reductions in the use of social programs such as Medicaid and food stamps, reductions in child abuse and neglect, better pregnancy outcomes for mothers and better language development and academic performance by their children.

"Seeing follow-up studies 15 years out with enduring outcomes, that's what really gave policymakers comfort," says Karen Howard, vice president for early childhood policy at First Focus, an advocacy group.

But others say the requirements for evidence-based programs are too lenient, and that only a handful of the approved models have as strong a track record as that of the Nurse-Family Partnership.

"If the evidence requirement stays as it is, almost any program will be able to qualify," says Jon Baron, vice president for of evidence-based policy at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, which supports initiatives that encourage policymakers to make decisions based on data and other reliable evidence. "It threatens to derail the program."

Topics: women, government, registered nurse, advice, newborn, nursing, health, baby, family, pregnant, RN, nurse, nurses, health care, medical, home visits, new moms, first-time moms, Infants and Children Program

HOW TO BECOME A REGISTERED NURSE

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Sep 08, 2014 @ 10:12 AM

By Marijke Durning

registered nurse do

THE BASICS

Higher education is a key requirement for nurses as the U.S. healthcare environment grows ever-more reliant on technology and specialized skills. There are three common academic pathways toward becoming a registered nurse (RN): the nursing diploma, associate degree (ADN) and bachelor’s degree (BSN).

Following completion of one of these programs, graduates must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and satisfy state licensing requirements to begin work as an RN. Bridge programs, such as LPN-to-RN and ADN-to-BSN, allow nurses to move ahead in their nursing careers.

Each choice of training program is distinct and offers levels of education to qualify graduates for increasingly responsible roles in nursing practice. This guide is designed to break down the step-by-step process for becoming an RN, including the various routes possible on this career roadmap. Included is an overview of potential specializations and certifications for those interested in moving beyond basic nursing duties. Below are estimates for RN salaries and job growth as well as tools to help prospective nurses search for online and traditional educational programs.

WHAT DOES A REGISTERED NURSE DO?

More than 2.7 million registered nurses are employed in the United States, and nearly 30 percent work in hospitals, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Other RNs work in clinics, physicians’ offices, home health care settings, critical and long-term care facilities, governmental organizations, the military, schools and rehabilitation agencies.

Duties include administering direct care to patients, assisting physicians in medical procedures, providing guidance to family members and leading public health educational efforts. Depending on assignment and education, an RN may also operate medical monitoring or treatment equipment and administer medications. With specialized training or certifications, RNs may focus on a medical specialty, such as geriatric, pediatric, neonatal, surgical or emergency care. Registered nurses work in shifts that run around the clock, on rotating or permanent schedules, and overtime and emergency hours can be unpredictable. Registered nurses are required to complete ongoing education to maintain licensing, and they may choose to return to college to complete a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree with the goal of moving into advanced nursing practice roles or health care administration.

THE STEPS: BECOMING A REGISTERED NURSE

Step 1: COMPLETE AN APPROVED NURSING PROGRAM

Anyone who wants to be an RN must finish a nurse training program. Options include programs that award nursing diplomas, associate and bachelor’s degrees. An associate degree in nursing (ADN) typically takes from two to three years to complete. Accelerated nursing degree programs could potentially shorten the time required. A bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) takes about four years of full-time study to complete, or two years for those in an ADN-to-BSN program. While the structure and content of these training programs differs, they should feature the opportunity to gain supervised clinical experience.

Students may initially only have the time and money to complete a two-year program, but they might later decide to convert their ADN to a BSN degree. Or, students may leap directly into a four-year BSN program if they plan on moving into roles in administration, advanced nursing, nursing consulting, teaching or research. Nursing students complete courses such as the following:

  • Anatomy
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer literacy
  • Health care law and ethics
  • Mathematics
  • Microbiology
  • Nutrition
  • Patient care
  • Psychology

A bachelor’s degree program may also include courses on specific health populations, leadership, health education and an overview of potential specializations. A four-year bachelor’s degree program could require liberal arts courses and training in critical thinking and communication to complete the curriculum. Bachelor’s programs can broaden nursing experience beyond the hospital setting. According to the BLS, some employers require newly appointed RNs to hold a bachelor’s degree.

Step 2: PASS THE NCLEX-RN

Accredited undergraduate nursing degree or diploma programs alike are designed to prepare students to sit for the NCLEX examination. Upon graduation, aspiring RNs should register with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing to sign up for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. Candidates receive an Authorization to Test notification before the exam. At the exam, rigorous verification of candidates' identity may include biometric scanning.

This computerized exam has an average of 119 test items to be completed within a six-hour time limit. Examinees who do not pass must wait from 45 days to three months to re-take the exam. According to the California Board of Registered Nursing, students who take the exam right after graduation have a higher chance of passing.

Step 3: OBTAIN A STATE LICENSE

Every state and the District of Columbia require that employed registered nurses hold current licenses. However, requirements vary by state, so students should contact their state board of nursing or nurse licensing to determine exact procedures. In some states, RNs need to complete the NCLEX-RN, meet state educational requirements and pass a criminal background check. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing maintains a listing of licensing requirements on its website.

Step 4: PURSUE ADDITIONAL TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION (OPTIONAL)

For professionals who decide to become advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), a BSN degree provides an academic stepping-stone to master’s degree programs. There are also bridge programs for students who only hold a two-year nursing degree and RN licensure but wish to enroll in graduate programs.

Those with master's degrees may qualify for positions such as certified nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners (NPs) and nurse midwives. It's important to research evolving professional requirements. For example, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing proposes that NPs should earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. A DNP or a PhD degree may appeal to nursing professionals who seek positions as scientific researchers or university professors in the nursing sciences. RNs may also seek certifications in a medical specialty such as oncology. Certifications are offered by non-governmental organizations attesting to nurses' qualifications in fields such as critical care, acute care, nursing management or other advanced areas.

To learn more about RN statistics, jobs, salary and other information CLICK HERE. 

Source: www.learnhowtobecome.org

 

Topics: statistics, registered nurse, how to, information, education, RN, health care

HOW TO BECOME A NURSE

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Sep 08, 2014 @ 10:04 AM

By Marijke Durning

expert img

AN INTRODUCTION TO NURSING CAREERS

The path to becoming a nurse depends on which type of nursing career you’d like to pursue. You could choose to be a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a registered nurse (RN).

An LPN program is typically one year long. Programs to become an RN are either three-year hospital-based nursing school programs (diploma), or two- or four-year college programs. Graduates from two-year programs earn an associate degree in nursing (ADN), while those who attended four-year college programs graduate with a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN). Successful completion of such a program allows you to write the licensing exam, called the NCLEX. Once you have passed the NCLEX, you can apply for a license to practice as a nurse in your state.

LPNs who want to become RNs may be able to follow an LPN-to-RN bridge program. This type of program is adapted for students who already have a nursing background. Registered nurses with the ADN who want to get their BSN may be interested in following an ADN-to-BSN bridge program.

Furthering your nursing education means acquiring more advanced skills and performing more critical tasks. For example, you must be a registered nurse and have at least a master’s in nursing to enter more advanced careers in the field, including nurse practitioner, nurse midwife or nurse anesthetist.

Before applying to colleges or signing up for classes, ask yourself a handful of critical questions: Do I need a bachelor’s degree to work as a nurse? What happens if I fail the NCLEX? Where will I feel comfortable starting as a nurse? Do I want to work myself up to a higher level of nursing gradually or do I want to go straight there?

The following guide helps answer these questions and illustrates the various pathways that aspiring nurses may take to pursue the career they truly want.

WHAT DOES A NURSE DO?

Although nursing responsibilities vary by specialization or unit, nurses have more in common than they have differences. Nurses provide, coordinate and monitor patient care, educate patients and family members about health conditions, provide medications and treatments, give emotional support and advice to patients and their family members, provide care and support to dying patients and their families, and more. They also work with healthy people by providing preventative health care and wellness information.

Although nurses work mostly in hospitals, they can also work in or for schools, private clinics, nursing homes, placement agencies, businesses, prisons, military bases and many other places. Nurses can provide hands-on care, supervise other nurses, teach nursing, work in administration or do research – the sky is the limit.

Work hours for nurses vary quite a bit. While some nurses do work regular shifts, others must work outside traditional work hours, including weekends and holidays. Some nurses work longer shifts, 10 to 12 hours per day, for example, but this allows them to work fewer days and have more days off.

COMMON SKILLS FOR NURSES

Good nurses are compassionate, patient, organized, detail oriented and have good critical thinking skills. An interest in science and math is important due to the content of nursing programs and the technology involved. Nurses must be able to function in high stress situations and be willing to constantly learn as the profession continues to grow and develop.

TYPES OF NURSING CAREERS

If you choose to become an LPN, you will likely provide direct patient care under the supervision of an RN or physician.

Registered nurses have more autonomy than LPNs, and the degree of care they provide depends on their level of education. An RN with an associate degree generally provides hands-on care directly to patients and can supervise LPNs. There may also be some administrative work. An RN with a BSN can take on more leadership roles and more advanced nursing care in specialized units, for example.

Nurses can continue to get a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) and become nurse practitioners, nurse midwives or nurse anesthetists. These are called advanced practice nurses (ARPNs). They have a larger scope of practice and are more independent.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

An entry-level nursing career, LPNs provide basic care to patients, such as checking vitals and applying bandages. This critical medical function requires vocational or two-year training plus passing a licensure examination.

Neonatal Nurse

This specialization focuses on care for newborn infants born prematurely or that face health issues such as infections or defects. Neonatal nursing requires special skill working with small children and parents.

Nurse Practitioner

A more advanced nursing profession, nurse practitioners engage in more decision-making when it comes to exams, treatments and next steps. They go beyond the reach of registered nurses (RNs) and may work with physicians more closely.

Registered Nurse

Registered nurses are the most numerous in the profession and often serve as a fulcrum of patient care. They work with physicians and communicate with patients and their families. They engage in more sophisticated care than LPNs.

Source: www.learnhowtobecome.org

Topics: neonatal nurse, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, how to, nursing, health care, nurse practitioner, career

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