DiversityNursing Blog

Sarah West, MSN, FNP

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Why You Should Look for a Good Nurse Residency Program as A New Graduate Nurse

Posted by Sarah West, MSN, FNP

Mon, Jun 20, 2022 @ 12:16 PM

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What is a Nurse Residency Program?

Nurse residency programs are individualized programs set up by hospitals to help new graduate Nurses transition into clinical practice. Nurse residency programs are generally available to new graduate Nurses or Nurses with less than 1 year of Nursing experience. They are designed to provide Nursing residents with the knowledge and skills to provide quality and comprehensive patient care. Most residency programs are 1 year and designed to provide new graduate Nurses with unique clinical opportunities. Nurse residents can expect to receive clinical instruction, simulation training, a clinical mentor, educational seminars and classes, and the chance to train in highly sought-after specialized areas such as the Emergency Room or the ICU.

How to Find a Good Nurse Residency Program

Finding a good Nurse residency program involves some time and research. They are found all over the country and offer many different benefits. Comparing residency programs that interest you can be done with an internet search. Many residency programs will explain what is provided within their program on their website so you can choose your best option. Things to consider when selecting a program include...

Research Facilities that Interest You

Take a look at programs in your area, or if you’re interested in relocating, look at programs in areas you’d like to live. Nurse residency programs are available all over the country, so the options for applying are endless.

Accreditation

Two organizations have begun to accredit Nurse residency programs. This means third-party organizations (AACN and ANCC) have assessed the program for its content, faculty, student satisfaction, and outcomes and certified that it meets its standards. Accredited programs are an excellent option for new graduate Nurses, but if the program you are interested in is not accredited, this does not mean that the program is a poor choice; it simply means it has not met the set requirements from these organizations and cannot claim accreditation.

Specialization

Take some time to consider a specialty that interests you. Reflect upon your Nursing school experiences, consider the areas of focus you enjoyed the most, and look for programs that allow new graduate Nurses to start within that specialty. Many Nurse residency programs offer training in areas such as the ER, specialized ICU’s, the OR, Labor and Delivery, and Pediatrics. Nurse residency programs can be a great way for inexperienced Nurses to start their Nursing careers in a specialty of choice that may otherwise not be available to them as new graduates.

Benefits of a Nurse Residency Program

There are many benefits to becoming a part of a Nurse residency program. As a new graduate Nurse, you have been given the essential foundation to function safely as a Registered Nurse, but there is much more to learn and many new skills to develop. Nurse residency programs provide new graduate Nurses with the tools they need to continue growing and developing into competent and compassionate healthcare professionals. Some of the many benefits offered by Nurse residency programs include...

Mentorship: Nurse residency programs help you develop your confidence as a new Nurse by supplying you with a Nurse mentor to help guide you through new experiences. Through mentorship with seasoned Nurses, you will gain confidence while you gain knowledge to make sound decisions confidently.

Seminars and Specialty Courses:  Nurse residency programs provide a learning curriculum centered around the specialty in which you are training. You will be provided with a schedule of classes, seminars, or online courses to complete throughout your residency to set you up for ultimate success as a new Nurse.

Certifications: Certifications are often required to work in specialty areas such as the ER, the ICU, and Pediatrics. Your Nurse residency program will help you achieve these certifications while completing your residency. Some certifications you may be required to achieve include ACLS, PALS, or TNCC.

Simulation Training: Simulation training or sim labs are a great way to help new graduate Nurses experience training opportunities that may otherwise be unavailable. Many Nurse residency programs have incorporated simulation training and testing into their curriculum to help provide new graduate Nurses with as many experiences as possible to be able to handle unexpected situations that may arise within the workplace.

Detailed Electronic Health Record Orientation: Learning how to document effectively and efficiently can be a learning curve for some new graduate Nurses. In many Nurse residency programs, a detailed electronic medical record orientation is incorporated into the curriculum to help new Nurses succeed when documenting patient care.

Curriculum and training opportunities can vary by program. Always look into what the Nurse residency program you are applying to offers to ensure you get the most out of the training opportunity.

Nurse Residency Programs Set New Grads Up for Ultimate Success

Nurse residency programs are an excellent option for many new graduate Nurses. New graduate Nurses are provided the education and support needed to transition smoothly from novice to expert through these programs. As the Nursing profession becomes increasingly sophisticated, a good Nurse residency program will set you up for a lifelong career of success in Nursing.

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Topics: nursing career, Nurse Residency Program, graduate nurse

Is Healthcare Committed to Diversity in their Workforce?

Posted by Sarah West, MSN, FNP

Fri, May 27, 2022 @ 12:19 PM

GettyImages-1357830750Why Should Healthcare Be Committed to Diversity in their Workforce? 

Diversity within healthcare is essential in delivering competent and inclusive patient care. Individuals from all walks of life enter hospitals and clinics daily to seek medical care. To provide these individuals with the best medical care possible, we must be able to relate to them properly. The best way to ensure we can connect and communicate effectively with patients is to ensure that the healthcare staff is well diversified. 

What is Diversity in Healthcare? 

Diversity is reflected in healthcare by employing individuals from different backgrounds and walks of life. There are many ways healthcare staff can be diversified. A diversified workforce includes hiring persons of multiple races, ages, genders, ethnicities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, education levels, languages, and sexual orientations. Military service is also a unique quality that can often be overlooked to add to the diverse population of healthcare workers. 

Is Healthcare Committed to Diversity in their Workforce?

Although there is much evidence to support that diversity within the healthcare workforce is beneficial for employees and the community, there is still a gap in healthcare diversity. The majority of Physicians are white males. Nurses tend to be predominately female. 

Benefits of Diversity in Healthcare 

There are many benefits to having a diverse workforce for the healthcare staff and patients. Some of those benefits include:

  • Individualized Patient Care for Diverse Populations: When you have a patient seeking care and there is diversity within your healthcare staff, there is always someone on the healthcare team who can communicate and identify with them to ensure their needs are met. 
  • Increased Patient Trust: Patients seek medical care for a variety of reasons. Often, the reason for seeking care comes with a sense of anxiety. Studies have shown when patients can easily relate to their healthcare provider, there is better overall communication and better patient outcomes. It’s also been shown that when patients relate better to healthcare staff, they are more likely to continue with follow-up care and take part in preventative care measures.
  • Improved Problem Solving: A wide range of perspectives from individuals of different backgrounds allows for better problem solving and creative solutions to problems. When creative minds come together from various perspectives, new ideas and innovations can be produced. 
  • Better Employee Retention and Morale: Employing a diverse community of healthcare workers can improve employee morale and make the workplace more enjoyable. Working for a company that takes pride in people of diverse populations positively impacts the workplace and the community. 

Disadvantages of a Lack of Diversity

The disadvantages of a lack of diversity within healthcare can pose significant risks to healthcare delivery and result in poor patient outcomes. Some disadvantages include:

  • Impaired Communication: Impaired communication occurs when there is a language barrier. Healthcare staff may not fully understand what a patient is trying to convey, and patients may be confused about the plan of care, leading to patient dissatisfaction and potential medical errors. 
  • Limited Perspectives: When healthcare staff lacks diversity, implicit bias can affect how healthcare is delivered to those of different backgrounds. Implicit bias is when healthcare workers unintentionally judge patients based on their different beliefs, customs, or cultures. Although implicit bias is not intentional, it can cause significant harm. Having a diverse healthcare staff decreases implicit biases by allowing for different perspectives while implementing care.

How can we Promote Diversity in Healthcare? 

The only way to truly diversify healthcare professionals is to make medical education more attainable for people of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. People seeking healthcare education should have access to feasible and affordable education. 

Many students seeking medical education are not of the traditional college age. College students can range from working parents, people changing careers, or single parents seeking education on weekends or nights. Many people cannot dedicate days to a classroom setting. A great way to achieve a more diverse workforce is to improve upon and offer more online learning programs that are more accessible and affordable to various and diverse people. 

Conclusion 

The importance of diversity within the healthcare workforce is evident. When healthcare is more diversified, medicine itself becomes more culturally competent. All healthcare workplaces should strive to provide a diverse population of workers to improve overall patient outcomes and acquire better patient satisfaction.

Topics: diversity in healthcare, diverse workforce, workplace diversity, healthcare diversity

How to Grow in the Nursing Profession

Posted by Sarah West, MSN, FNP

Fri, May 06, 2022 @ 12:30 PM

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One of the greatest benefits of the Nursing profession is that there are always new and emerging ways to improve our skills and reach new occupational heights. Medicine is ever-changing and with that, Nurses are also ever-changing. We must learn to adapt to new procedures, medications, technology, and equipment. These changes often unlock the potential we have to grow within the Nursing profession and there are many opportunities to grow right at our fingertips. Wherever you are in your Nursing journey there is always room to grow professionally.

Continuing Education Opportunities

Most states require Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for Nurses to renew their RN licenses. Although many Nurses may feel that completing CEUs can be a tedious and unnecessary task, they are a great opportunity to advance knowledge and skills. There are many different ways to fulfill CEU requirements including conferences, online classes, on-the-job training, independent study programs, and post-secondary degree programs. Completing CEUs with the intention to advance your skillset can be a great step in advancing your career.

 Seek a New Certification

Getting a Nursing certification is an excellent way to advance your career. There are hundreds of Nursing certification options available to all Nurses regardless of their current Nursing position. Holding certain certifications will make you more marketable to employers and allow for more opportunities. There is no limit to the number of certifications you can hold as a Nurse and each certification can help you gain a competitive advantage in your Nursing field. Some of these certifications include basic life support (BLS), advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS), trauma Nursing core course (TNCC), and Wound Care Certification (WCN-C).

Organize or Join a Unit-Based Council

Unit-based councils are a professional practice model that facilitates shared decision-making between staff Nurses and Nursing management. These councils can impact policies, procedures, and processes in everyday patient care. Organizing or joining a unit-based council will promote evidence-based practices, improve patient-centered care, increase job satisfaction, improve Nurse retention, and foster professional growth and development. Participating in a unit-based council also looks great on a resume.

Join a Professional Organization

There are many benefits to joining a professional organization that can support your advancing career. Whatever your Nursing specialty, there is most likely a professional organization you can join to support your growing skills and knowledge. These organizations help Nurses achieve personal growth and development by supplying educational opportunities such as CEUs, education conferences, occupational networking, and academic scholarships. Taking an active part in these types of organizations can offer Nurses professional development opportunities including mentoring and leadership development. To choose an organization that will be the right fit for you look for a group that focuses on your chosen specialty or area of interest. 

Consider Specialization

Nurses have the opportunity to become specialized in their chosen Nursing field. Nursing certifications are a formal process in which clinical knowledge and skills are tested to demonstrate competence in a chosen specialty. Nurses can become specialized in various fields including but not limited to emergency Nursing, medical-surgical Nursing, rehabilitation Nursing, and critical care. Achieving board certification in your chosen specialty demonstrates that you are an expert in your chosen field and can lead to increases in pay, management positions, and more.

Take the Next Step in Your College Career

Educational advancement in the Nursing profession is endless and there is always room to climb the professional ladder. The Nursing profession offers a wide variety of job opportunities and with every new degree achieved, new doors can be opened. Going back to school is a big decision to make and there are many aspects to consider. There are many different paths that can be taken to advance your degree. Classes can be taken online or in-person as well as part-time or full-time. These options allow Nurses the flexibility they need to continue working while achieving their degrees.

Registered Nurses who have achieved a bachelor’s degree can decide to enroll in a graduate Nursing program and receive a master’s degree in Nursing. There are several different areas of focus Nurses can choose including a Nurse Practitioner (NP), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL), and Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM). The benefits of obtaining a graduate degree in Nursing include a pay increase as well as teaching and leadership opportunities.

In closing

Knowledge, skill, and passion are what can really drive a Nurse forward in the Nursing profession. What is most important is that you find what you are passionate about and go for it with integrity. By doing this, you will find yourself opening the door to new opportunities that will lead to your own personal journey of growth and development in Nursing.

Topics: nursing, nurses, nursing career, nursing profession

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