DiversityNursing Blog

Travel Nurse Tip | A Night Nurse's Survival Guide

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Sep 12, 2014 @ 12:01 PM

Fastaff

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Making the transition to working nights may feel a bit intimidating, but many night nurses, myself included, have grown to love the position! It tends to be quieter and less chaotic because the patients are generally asleep, and there's a special camaraderie that develops between a team of night nurses. Put these tips into practice to survive, and even thrive, in your night shifts.

Stack several night shifts in a row: Rather than spacing out your night shifts during the week and having to switch between being up during the day and up during the night, try to put all your night shifts for the week in a row. That way, you can really get yourself onto a schedule of being awake during the nights you work and sleeping during the days in between.

Nap before work: As you transition from being awake during the day to being awake as you work at night, take a nap in the afternoon to help you go into your first night shift as rested as possible. Alternately, if your schedule allows, stay up later than usual the night before your first night shift and sleep in as late as you can the next morning.

Fuel up with healthy foods: While sugars may seem like they provide energy, they also come with a crash. Before heading into work, eat a filling meal with a healthy balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. Then bring healthy snacks for the night that include protein and fiber to keep you going strong. Some options include yogurt, mixed nuts, hard boiled eggs, cheese cubes, or carrots with hummus dip

Plan caffeine carefully: It can be tempting to drink a cup of coffee anytime you feel sleepy, but you may develop an unhealthy dependence or be unable to fall asleep when you get home after your shift. Therefore, try to limit yourself to just one or two cups of coffee per shift, and drink your last one at least six hours before you plan to go to sleep.

Create a restful sleeping environment at home: The key to surviving night shifts in the long term is getting lots of restful sleep after each shift. Set up room darkening curtains and a white noise machine to help you block out signs of the day. When you get home, don't force yourself to go to bed right away. Instead, develop a routine that includes some time to bathe, read, and relax as your body winds down after work. Try to avoid bright screens, which block your body from releasing melatonin, the hormone that makes you feel sleepy.

With some attention to detail, you will probably find yourself really enjoying working at night. Many of the night nurses I know started out stuck on the shifts, but grew to prefer them. Plus, the pay differential doesn't hurt at all!

Source: http://www.fastaff.com

Topics: tips, travel, night nurse, nursing, health, healthcare, nurse, nurses, medical, patients, hospital, night shift

Top 4 tips that benefit RNs and help advance their careers

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Mon, Mar 03, 2014 @ 02:09 PM

By Donna Cardillo 

It is imperative that every nurse – new and experienced – realize the healthcare landscape has completely changed. There will be plenty of opportunities for RNs and APNs who stay current with trends in education, technology, care and personal and professional development. Nurses must be willing to step outside their comfort zone and learn new ways — and places — of working and thinking about their profession. Cynthia Nowicki Hnatiuk, RN, EdD, CAE, FAAN, executive director of the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nurses and the Academy of Medical Surgical Nurses. stresses that, to stay competitive, nurses also will have to be able to articulate the value that they bring to outcomes, beyond tasks, in any setting. So what does every nurse need to do? Here are four key areas:

1| Skill building

Clinical skills alone won’t see us through in this new paradigm. Self-marketing, computer skills, oral and written communication, conflict management, negotiation, leadership and networking skills must be learned and practiced. Hnatiuk said nurses also need to be more business savvy, with an understanding of finances, staffing, acuity and productivity.

2| Education

Higher education is no longer optional. It is a foundation for practice in any setting and fundamental to professional and personal growth and development. Hnatiuk advises that formal and continuing education, along with clinical certification, will help nurses take their practice and careers to the
next level.

For those considering advanced practice, particularly becoming nurse practitioners, the NNCC’s Hansen-Turton advises: “Don’t think too long; jump in. Opportunities will be increasing for NPs over the next 5-10 years. NPs are and will continue to be a hot commodity.” Certified nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists and certified registered nurse anesthetists also will see expanded opportunities.

3| Professional association involvement

Our professional associations are where we connect with one another, form communities, share best practices (local and national), stay current with trends and issues, and find support. Hnatiuk added that through association involvement, you learn more than you could by yourself and progressively learn leadership skills

4| Mentoring

Hnatiuk encourages nurses to take advantage of opportunities to be mentored and to mentor others. “We have so much to share. Mentoring will allow us to achieve all we’re capable of doing.”

For personalized career advice

If you have specific career-related questions, send them to Dear Donna at www.Nurse.com/AsktheExperts/DearDonna for a personalized response.

Source: Nurse.com

Topics: advice, tips, Dear Donna, RN, nurses, career

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