DiversityNursing Blog

Erica Bettencourt

Content Manager and Social Media Specialist

Recent Posts

Nurses Should Have Influence on Hospital Designs

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Jun 13, 2019 @ 02:08 PM

hospitalbuildingNurses see firsthand how facilities are being used every day. They observe what furniture is being used or not used by visiting families and friends. They see how patients move about the hallways, patient rooms, stairs, elevators, cafeterias, bathrooms, etc. Nurses see the pros and cons of the infrastructure of the building(s) and should have a say in how they're built in order to provide the best care possible. 

"Input from Nurses and other healthcare professionals are mirroring the health professions' renewed focus on quality and safety in their designs. Nurses might not know how to read architectural drawings or use computer-assisted drafting tools, but they have a very important role to play in helping plan and design physical spaces that support the delivery of safe, effective patient care.", said Matt Freeman a spokesman for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation briefing, some design choices being used across the country as a result of input from Nurses include:

  • Ventilation and filtration systems to improve air quality and remove allergens, pathogens and more;
  • Ergonomically designed patient rooms, including patient lifts and handrails, as well as beds and Nursing stations designed to reduce patient falls and staff injuries;
  • Decentralized unit layouts so as to increase the time Nurses spend at the bedside;
  • Better lighting to ward off medical errors;
  • More natural sunlight, in part because studies show that it helps blunt the perception of pain, improves the quality of sleep and leads to shorter hospital stays, while allowing Nurses to better assess skin tone;
  • Noise reduction features, such as carpet, acoustical tiles, handheld pagers as a substitute for overhead systems, to improve sleep and reduce stress;
  • Better way-finding systems, including maps, landmarks, signage, information kiosks, directories and more, to help patients and visitors while allowing staff to focus on their clinical duties instead of giving directions; and
  • Access to nature, water features and works of art, all to reduce stress.

With a new work space, a new work flow should follow. The Nursing team at Stamford Health in Stamford, CT, helped design their new hospital. Ellen Komar, MPA, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer said “Old, inefficient habits are not allowed to invade our new workspace. Given such a different layout, the way we work will have to change. A few members of our Nursing team are retooling every workflow process."

It takes time and resources, but this kind of collaboration between Nurses and architects provides the opportunity to give patients the best possible care.

Are you a Nurse who has been involved in the design of your new facility? Do you have some great design ideas you’d like to share? Please comment below, we would love to hear them!

Topics: nurses, hospital designs, building hospitals

Emergency Nursing Demographics

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Jun 06, 2019 @ 11:12 AM

emergencynursingThere are many specialties available to Nurses and choosing the right one can be a difficult decision. If you can work under pressure in a fast-paced and often-stressful environment while staying calm and collected, Emergency Nursing might be for you. For some people, working in the ER can be intimidating but, for others rewarding.

According to former trauma and transport Nurse Pat Carroll, “The Nursing duties are the same wherever you work, except in the Emergency department, everything is compressed.” She shares that ER Nurses are often evaluating and treating patients almost simultaneously, and they work with a team of specialists, such as radiologists and orthopedic experts, to provide the highest-quality care.

A new study shows the demographics and other findings of the Emergency Nursing workforce.

  • There are an estimated 167,375 providers of direct patient care in the Emergency/Trauma/Transport Nursing workforce.
     
  • 43% of the workforce is under 40 years old.
     
  • 78% of the workforce are women.
     
  • Compared to the overall Nursing workforce, Transport Nurses are more likely to be male.

  • 78% of the RNs surveyed hold a BSN or higher.
     
  • 58% hold specialty board certification.

  • 65% are satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs and the work they do.

  • $77,500 is the median salary for Emergency/Trauma/Transport Nurses working full-time.

Working as an Emergency Nurse can be nerve-racking and emotionally draining. It also requires working long hours in a dangerous environment due to exposure to different types of pathogens and patients. However, if you’re looking for a fast-paced Nursing career where new challenges await you daily, and you can truly make a difference, Emergency Nursing may be the perfect specialty for you.

If you are an ER Nurse we would love to hear about your experiences, please comment below!

New Call-to-action

Topics: ER nurse, nursing workforce, emergency nursing

Nurses Are Recycling Plastic Medical Supplies To Create Art

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Jun 03, 2019 @ 11:14 AM

mosaic2Two creative Nurses saw the opportunity to not waste plastic medical materials. They each used them to create beautiful works of art for their patient's to enjoy.

Registered Nurse, Beth Beaty, works at Roper Hospital in SC. According to Nurse.org, she first began experimenting with turning supplies into art when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and recuperating at home.

xmasdecoration

It took Beaty a year to create her other work of art depicting Rainbow Row in Charleston, South Carolina, using strings from patient belonging bags, a stethoscope, and plastic caps from medications like antibiotics, flu shots, anticoagulants, insulin and morphine.

According to an ABC news article, the painting is dedicated to Dr. Julia Haile, a beloved infectious disease physician who passed away. Dr. Haile seemed to love the idea of the piece and would often ask about it. Beaty said “She was always very encouraging and excited about it. I just thought it was a perfect tribute to her.”

rainbowrow

Beth also told the news outlet, “I think part of what makes this cool is for Nurses, we recognize all of these caps. For other people, it’s just a nice piece of art. Everyone has a different appreciation for it. And I like being able to tell patients that their medicine cap will be used in a painting – it lights up their face and makes such a difference.”

Tilda Shalof was an ICU Nurse at Toronto General Hospital for three decades. When she decided she was ready to retire, she wanted to leave something behind for the hospital.

Shalof had saved up bags of medicine caps, lids, IV tubes and other connectors. It took her a year, but with all of her materials, she created a mosaic measuring 9-feet-by 4-feet. The finished piece contains 10,000 pieces!

mosiac

She said, "I hope young doctors and young nurses see this and hopefully it makes them remember that all these little things we do are huge for the patient. Each thing that we did with each little piece of plastic meant so much to the patient. And that's really what this mural represents."

Tilda ultimately decided not to retire. Instead, she made the decision to leave the fast pace and long hours of the ICU and work at the Toronto Western Hospital in their radiology department. Occasionally she’ll go back to the other hospital to visit her art.

Do you have a creative use for recycled hospital materials? Please share it below. We would love to see what our artistic Nurses have made!

New Call-to-action

Topics: recycling, art in hospitals, medical supplies

Top Nursing Schools In 2020 for Master's and DNP Programs

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, May 22, 2019 @ 11:09 AM

nursingschools-1U.S News ranked Nursing schools with the best Nursing Master's programs and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs for 2020.

According to the U.S News site, "Seven ranking indicators are used in both the master's and DNP ranking models. The seven common factors are the four research activity indicators, faculty credentials, the percentage of faculty members with important achievements, and faculty participation in Nursing practice. The other seven indicators in each ranking use measures that are specific to each degree type." To learn more about the ranking system click here.

Best Nursing Schools: Master's

Johns Hopkins University

Duke University

University of Pennsylvania

Emory University

Columbia University

University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill

Yale University

Ohio State University

Rush University

University of Michigan--Ann Arbor

Vanderbilt University

New York University (Meyers)

University of Maryland--Baltimore

University of Pittsburgh

University of Washington

Case Western Reserve University

University of Illinois--Chicago

University of Alabama--Birmingham

University of California--San Francisco

University of California--Los Angeles

For full list click here

Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice

Johns Hopkins University

Duke University

Rush University

University of Washington

Vanderbilt University

University of Maryland--Baltimore

University of Illinois--Chicago

Yale University

Columbia University

Emory University

University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill

University of Pittsburgh

Case Western Reserve University

Medical University of South Carolina

University of Michigan--Ann Arbor

University of Alabama--Birmingham

University of Iowa

University of Minnesota--Twin Cities

Ohio State University

Rutgers University--Newark

For full list click here

Best Online Master's in Nursing Programs

Johns Hopkins University

Ohio State University

St. Xavier University

Rush University

University of Colorado

Duke University

George Washington University

Medical University of South Carolina

University of South Carolina

The Catholic University of America

University of Cincinnati

University of Alabama

Ball State University

University of North Carolina--Greensboro

Stony Brook University--SUNY

University of Texas Medical Branch--Galveston

Michigan State University

University of Memphis

Oregon Health and Science University

University of Missouri--Kansas City

For full list click here

Topics: nursing schools, nursing school

Nurse Saving Animal Lives With Patient's Donated Pacemakers

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, May 17, 2019 @ 10:11 AM

pacemakersTerri Matula, Cardiovascular Nurse at the Navicent Health center, is saving many animal lives by recycling used pacemakers.

20 years ago when Matula and her husband were in college, their beloved cocker spaniel, Gator, suffered from an urgent third-degree heart blockage. They couldn't afford the $3,000 device at the time.

According to an Atlanta News article, Matula said, "Eventually Gator died from complications due to congestive heart failure." Years later Matula's husband had heart problems and needed a pacemaker. But as his condition changed he needed a new device. Typically pacemakers are thrown away.

Matula remembered what happened to Gator and asked the Cardiologist if she could keep his old device. Then she called the University of Georgia to find out if she could donate the device to the College of Veterinary Medicine.

"They don't actually develop pacemakers specifically for dogs and cats so we have to use human equipment," said veterinary Cardiologist Kate Meurs.

In February 2018, Matula formed the Pacemaker Donation Program between the University of Georgia and Navicent Health.

“When a patient’s pacemaker is exchanged, upgraded or replaced, the patient is offered the option of donating their used device to the Pacemaker Donation Program,” said Beth Mann, Vice President for cardiovascular services and Nursing strategy at Navicent. “Everyone – our staff and our patients – has been excited to save the lives of animals with reusable devices.”

Since the inception of the Pacemaker Donation Program in 2018, 41 pacemakers have been donated for patients at UGA. Once the pacemakers are explanted at The Medical Center, Navicent Health (MCNH), they are sterilized and shipped to UGA. Only the pacemakers of living donors are used for the program. Many of the pacemakers have at least 5.5 years of battery life remaining. The pacemakers with less battery life are useful as teaching tools in the classroom for UGA’s veterinary students.

What a creative and simple solution to a problem born out of heartbreak. We love this story and appreciate Matula’s great mind and determination to make things better for our 4-legged friends! To learn more about the program visit https://ugaresearch.uga.edu

Topics: pacemakers, Pacemaker Donation Program

Free Nursing CEUs

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, May 13, 2019 @ 11:03 AM

ceuA contact hour is 50 or 60 minutes of instruction in a board-approved Nursing continuing education class or activity. One Continuing Education Unit (CEU) equals ten contact hours. Many Nurses continuing education courses are measured by CEUs to fulfill the Nursing program continuing education requirements.

See Nursing Continuing Education Requirements by State here.

And enjoy this list of FREE CEU's!

Organ and Tissue Donation and Recovery

Bladder Management after Spinal Cord Injury: A Practical Approach

Continuous Glucose Monitoring: Implications for Primary Care in Management of Type 2 Diabetes

Hepatitis C Among Homeless Individuals

Miracle Moments: How Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses Save Lives

Using Emotional Intelligence to Create the Work Environment You Desire

Show Your Stuff and Watch Your Tone: Nurse Caring Behaviors

Autoimmune Complications from Cancer Chemotherapy: An Emerging Field

Emergency Medicine and Immuno-Oncology Intersect: Recognizing and Managing Cancer Immunotherapy–Related Adverse Effects in the Emergency Department

Families' sense of abandonment when patients were referred to a hospice

Applying Evidence from the PCORI PROSPER Studies in Stroke Prevention & Care

Empowering Oncology Teams to Improve Care Quality for Women with Advanced or Metastatic HR+/HER2- Breast Cancer

Hematologic Malignancies & Precision Medicine: Expert Q&A with Highlights from the 2nd Annual Federal Seminar Series

Hereditary Breast Cancer Susceptibility: Understanding Gene Associated Risks

Improving Patient Outcomes With Cancer Immunotherapies Throughout the Lung Cancer Continuum: State of the Science and Implications for Practice

Managing Toxicities of Novel Therapies and Coordinating Care for CLL/SLL and FL Patients

 Do you know of other Free CEU's? Feel free to share in our comments section below!

Topics: continuing education, CEU

Nurse Innovators: the Future of Healthcare

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, May 01, 2019 @ 03:38 PM

innovationThe Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) defines innovation as “a new way of doing things to improve healthcare delivery”. Innovation can happen in your processes, systems, business models, as well as other “new” products or services.

“Nurses are the backbone of the American healthcare system,” says Sarah Colamarino, Vice President, Corporate Equity, Johnson & Johnson. “We know they are compassionate caregivers, but they’re so much more—they’re also driving innovation and pushing healthcare forward."

The reason Nurses are natural innovators is because “Nurses sit at the juncture between the patient and the system. They understand the pain points,’’ says Boston Children's Hospital Nursing Director, Jayne Rogers. “We want to encourage them to identify those issues and bring them forward for solutions.’’

Here are a few terrific Nurses Innovators whose ideas made life better for many.

Jonelle Krier, an OB Nurse in Duluth, MN, noticed parents struggle with air-drying their infant’s umbilical cord. She came up with an idea for an infant body suit with an opening that provides umbilical exposure. The one-piece garments are now used in some hospital nurseries. Krier won a Huggies® Mom Inspired™ grant, which has helped her expand the line to offer additional colors and designs.

Some ideas are simple changes, but make a huge impact in patient care.

Nurses Teri Barton-Salina and her sister Gail Barton-Hay had the idea to color-code IV lines so you'd be able to identify lines in seconds. In hospitals those seconds are valuable.

Neomi Bennett, RN, wanted to help Nurses and patients dealing with deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which occurs when blood clots form in the deep veins, often the legs. Many Doctors require patients to wear compression stockings, which can be difficult to put on because they are very tight. Bennett invented the Neo-Slip, a simple foot covering that allows compression stockings to be slipped on with ease.

OR Nurse, Jill Byrne of the Cleveland Clinic, created a vest to keep surgical staff cool under hot operating room lights. The lightweight vest contains pockets to hold ice packs and is designed to fit under surgical gowns to fight heat stress.

Innovation doesn't mean you have to create something completely new.

A Lippincott article says, "You can use an existing tool or device for a new purpose. An example of this is how older drugs are approved for new indications. Similarly, Nurses may find a secondary benefit of an existing device that we can use to support Nursing care like using a patient’s mobile phone to record patient teaching. There also may be great ideas that Nurses can repurpose from another industry to solve a problem in healthcare. An example of this is how Nursing professional development practitioners borrowed from the entertainment and gaming industry to foster learning in a more engaging format. Having received poor feedback about boring lectures in a Nurse residency program, the organizers of the program implemented escape rooms to reinforce learning and to test problem-solving skills among Nurse residents."

It is imperative to create a culture of innovation where Nurses feel confident in sharing their ideas and receive resources to help further their concepts into actual solutions.

An ANA article said, " In Nursing education, we should be teaching our Nurse leaders how to be change agents and innovators. We should be developing ways to train new Nurses and ensure that they are “innovation competent” when they graduate. As Nurses, we need to be calculated risk takers while keeping patient safety paramount. That way, we raise Nurses who don’t accept the status quo and are always questioning and seeing what’s next."

Healthcare is continually evolving. To become better, we need Nurse innovators to create new ideas, solutions and improvements to existing processes, systems and materials. Please share new innovations that made a difference to you and your patients.

New Call-to-action

Topics: nurse innovator, innovation in nursing

What It Takes To Be A Great Nurse Leader

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, Apr 23, 2019 @ 11:41 AM

nurseleaderPatient numbers are growing and so is the pressure for health care organizations to operate efficiently. Educated and experienced Nurse leaders are needed to manage teams, patient care, and promote organizational goals. In order to accomplish these goals, a successful Nurse leader must possess certain qualities that include...

Critical-Thinking and Decision-Making Skills

A Mississippi College article said, "Whether developing technology, advocating for patients, or running hospitals, Nurses need decision-making skills. For example, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) says Nurse leaders must identify problems and areas of waste, devise and implement plans for improvement, and make necessary adjustments to achieve goals. These responsibilities require an ability to analyze problems, look at the bigger picture, and devise solutions."

Relationship Management

According to Lippincott Solutions, Nurse leaders must be able to manage relationships with a wide variety of individuals because collaboration and team work are required to deliver high-quality patient care. Effective communication skills are keys to managing any relationship, but they’re especially important to Nurse leaders who must engage in a variety of relationships. These skills are also important for resolving conflicts and moving toward common goals.

Mentoring and Creating Future Leaders

In an ANA article, the quote “If your unit or department can run without you, you have done your job.” is very true. A successful leader will mentor and invest in experienced Nurses as a succession strategy to help guarantee the team's mission and values remain intact well into the future.

If you believe you posses these qualities and are interested in becoming a Nurse leader, there are different roles you can aspire to become. Some leadership roles include Head Nurse, Patient Care Director, Middle Level Management, Chief Nursing Officer, and CEO.

There are steps you can take in achieving a new leadership position.

Hospitals often need Nurses to serve on volunteer committees or advisory boards. Becoming a volunteer is an additional way to demonstrate leadership initiative. By offering your time, you’re proving to upper management that you truly care about helping your healthcare facility be the best it can be.

Earning your Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) could be the key to opening up a world of leadership opportunities in your Nursing career, according to Nurse Journal. Not only will your MSN courses help you sharpen your leadership skills and acquire qualifications for more advanced positions, MSN degrees often offer areas of specialization you can pursue.

Are you a Nurse leader and have helpful tips you'd like to share? Is there a Nurse leader you look up to and want to share what characteristics inspire you? Please comment below – we would love to hear from you!

New Call-to-action

Topics: nurse leaders, nurse leadership

Top TED Talks For Nurses

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Apr 19, 2019 @ 12:04 PM

20170627174141-GettyImages-673049426-ted-conferenceTED talks are a community of short talks, usually under 18 minutes long with the goal to use the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world. Here is a list of top Nursing TED talks that motivate, inspire, and engage!

Nurse Innovation: Saving the Future of Healthcare

Rebecca Love talks about how Nurses represent nearly half of the healthcare workforce and are the end user of nearly every medical product on the market, but they are rarely if ever engaged in the decision-making process by which new health care products are designed, constructed and brought to market. This is a huge missed opportunity that is resulting in costly inefficiencies and leading to the highest levels of Nurse burnout ever recorded.

In The Opioid Crisis, Here's What it Takes to Save a Life

Fire Chief and Nurse, Jan Rader has spent her career saving lives. But when the opioid epidemic hit her town, she realized they needed to take a brand-new approach to life-saving. In this powerful, hopeful talk, Rader shows what it's like on the front lines of this crisis and how her community is taking an unusual new approach to treating substance-abuse disorder that starts with listening.

A Tribute To Nurses

Carolyn Jones spent five years interviewing, photographing and filming nurses across America, traveling to places dealing with some of the nation's biggest public health issues. She shares personal stories of unwavering dedication in this celebration of the everyday heroes who work at the front lines of health care.

Spreading Smiles in Hospitals, The Power of a Facility Dog

(To have this video translated to English, click the CC button in the bottom right corner of the video.) Yuko Morita shares how she became one of Japan's first facility dog trainers. Using videos of Bailey providing emotional support to the patients at a Yokohama children's clinic, she makes the case for bringing dogs (and their healthcare professional handlers) into hospitals everywhere.

The "Dementia Village" That's Redefining Elder Care

How would you prefer to spend the last years of your life: in a sterile, hospital-like institution or in a village with a supermarket, pub, theater and park within easy walking distance? The answer seems obvious now, but when Yvonne van Amerongen helped develop the groundbreaking Hogeweyk dementia care center in Amsterdam 25 years ago, it was seen as a risky break from tradition. Journey with van Amerongen to Hogeweyk and get a glimpse at what a reimagined nursing home based on freedom, meaning and social life could look like.

How To Make Stress Your Friend

Nursing is a stressful profession. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal talks about how new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. She urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.

Do You Ask Doctors Nursing Questions?

Carissa Enright discusses how often patients don’t understand the differences between the role of a Nurse and that of a Doctor. This veteran Nurse will empower patients to ask their healthcare providers the right questions through examples in her own story.

We hope you enjoy these TED talks! Do you have any favorites you want to share with us? Comment below, we would love to hear from you.

New Call-to-action

Topics: TED talk, Nurse videos

Some Tips for A Successful Diversity And Inclusion Program

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, Apr 09, 2019 @ 11:57 AM

diversityandinclusion Organizations put a lot of effort into their Diversity and Inclusion programs and yet few of these efforts yield results. What are some of the reasons why D&I programs fail?

Your Diversity and Inclusion programs should be a consistent part of your organization’s culture. It should not be implemented as a response to an issue because it might appear disingenuous. These programs should be used throughout all departments to show an overall belief and commitment that D&I is important to everyone. 

Do not make the programs mandatory because when individuals feel like they don’t have a choice, this can lead to resistance and opposition to D&I programs.

Your leadership must fully support D&I for it to work well. Leadership must be committed to making D&I part of your mission, values and beliefs. It is important they understand D&I is beneficial in acquiring and retaining talent, offering culturally competent patient care, building employee engagement, and improving business performance. Your programs should always be evolving. If it's outdated, it will be ineffective. 

Employees might believe that actual changes won't be made. So it is important to lead by example and utilize what these programs teach. There should be visible and committed role models on the leadership team.

Get your employees who are closely affected by Diversity and Inclusion involved with the design and assessment of the programs to ensure they will work and take hold. Remember, you want ideas and collaboration from employees who represent different cultures, religions, ages, educational backgrounds, etc. The programs must be custom tailored to each company, using its specific culture and goals to determine the best course of action.

According to DeEtta Jones, a diversity and inclusion strategy consultant "when developing an inclusion plan, organizations should keep two goals in mind.  Any inclusion plan should be attainable and measurable.  A lofty plan with goals that can never be achieved ruins employee morale and reinforces the idea that management is not willing to make meaningful changes.  Without measurable goals, leaders and organizations cannot be held accountable for implementing the plan.  Without accountability, any plan will be ineffective.  Good inclusion plans are measurable and achievable. "

Your organization should be an inclusive environment where all employees feel comfortable and open enough to discuss and make real changes. In order to achieve this environment, we all must be aware of biases.

Kristen Pressner said in a Forbes article, "We all have biases, and it’s important to acknowledge them so behavioral tendencies can be headed off at the pass. Make a safe place for everyone to look in their full-length mirror and recognize their own biases so they can work on eliminating them. This can be as holistic as hosting training and workshops, and as personal as articulating and owning them one on one. Articulate how shifting the behavior will lead to better results. Recognizing one’s own biases is a great level set; everyone has them and can support each other in breaking them."

In a different Forbes article, Cat Graham recommends "acknowledging and recognizing great ideas, wherever they come from. Celebrate and communicate with your employees how diversity and inclusion have impacted creativity, engagement and results. Make room for different religious celebrations, and encourage staff to share their cultural heritage with others. Actively create groups that support and connect employees through their shared backgrounds."

The Diversity and Inclusion process can be difficult to perfect, but it is important to make it a major part of your organization's mission. If you have any helpful tips or experiences you’d like to share, please do so here.

New Call-to-action

Topics: Diversity and Inclusion, diversity and inclusion programs

Recent Jobs

Article or Blog Submissions

If you are interested in submitting content for our Blog, please ensure it fits the criteria below:
  • Relevant information for Nurses
  • Does NOT promote a product
  • Informative about Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Competence

Agreement to publish on our DiversityNursing.com Blog is at our sole discretion.

Thank you

Subscribe to Email our eNewsletter

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all