Since Nurses spend so much time on their feet, they need durable shoes that can provide ultimate comfort and support. From sneakers to slip ons, here is a list of the best shoes for Nurses this year!
5. The Cloud
6. Clove Shoe
Wed, Apr 21, 2021 @ 03:15 PM
Since Nurses spend so much time on their feet, they need durable shoes that can provide ultimate comfort and support. From sneakers to slip ons, here is a list of the best shoes for Nurses this year!
Fri, Dec 16, 2016 @ 01:50 PM
When Leah A. Carpenter, RN, MPA, went into nursing 30 years ago, she did not intend to follow a career path to administration. In fact, early in her career, she was pretty skeptical about the folks in the C-suite.
"I had no desire to be a suit whatsoever," says Carpenter, who is now Administrator and Chief Executive Officer at Memorial Hospital West in Pembroke Pines, FL.
"There was a very big disconnect between the C-suite—and even middle management—and the rank-and-file staff. I really didn't have a great deal of respect for or want anything to do with a leadership at that time."
Then a bit of what she calls "divine intervention" nudged her into the administrative realm. "I lost my hearing progressively over the last past 20 years, so I'm virtually deaf in one ear," she says.
"I had to make a decision whether I wanted to go into management or education, because that's pretty much the two paths that a nurse can take if she's not going to be at the bedside."
Despite that unconventional beginning, Carpenter has risen to the top as a CEO. Now she has some insights and advice for RNs who are considering a CEO role.
Q. What talents, skills, and insights can a nurse bring to the CEO role?
A. Besides the obvious, which is the clinical background and really understanding what it takes to give safe, quality care that is service-oriented, I think I understand the struggle and what the staff needs to be able to deliver that.
That allows me to garner a certain level of respect from the team because they know I've been where they are.
Q. Do you think nurses who become CEOs face unique challenges?
A. Yes, in some respect. It's been easier for me personally in terms of mastering the role because I have the advantage of understanding the intricacies of the clinical world. I think it has been difficult—I've accomplished it but it's taken a while—to garner the respect as a businesswoman as well as a clinician.
Not every nurse leader or CNO can transition from the clinical world into the administrative world.
Q. Do you think there's a major difference between CNO thinking and CEO thinking?
A. Absolutely. You have to still have the understanding and the insight of the CNO, but there's a completely different skill set that you have to master in order to be a CEO.
You have to learn that balance. You can't look at it from just the eyes of a nurse. You're everyone's voice and you represent everyone—the clinical side, the dietary side, the environmental side, the construction side, the legal side.
There's a whole scope of skills and negotiation abilities that you need to have to balance all of that.
Q. What advice do you have for nurses interested in becoming CEOs?
A. It shouldn't be about the title or about the money. It needs to be about the impact: What do you hope to achieve and deliver? What's the end product?
For me, the end product was having an impact on safety, quality, and service, but at a table where I could really make a difference by having the experience as well as learning the business end of it.
I would steer [prospective nurse CEOs] away from a graduate degree in nursing. I think it limits your scope. They have to look at a business or administration type master's degree.
Also, mentors are key. You have to find people who are really good at this, attach yourself to their hip, and learn everything you can from them.
Not everybody's not going to be a great leader, but you can still learn from bad leaders. You can learn what not to do, and you can develop yourself into the kind of leader you want to be, knowing the things that don't work.
Thu, Oct 06, 2016 @ 12:35 PM
After 13,000 miles and 75 locations in 32 states, Norma – the 91-year-old Nurse who chose to take a road trip instead of spending her last days undergoing chemotherapy – has passed away. This fun loving lady lived the last year of her life in an Airstream trailer with her therapy poodle Ringo, enjoying the sights of our lovely nation. Keep reading to learn more about Norma and see photos from her journey!
In 2015, 90-year-old Norma Bauerschmidt found herself in the hospital, listening to a doctor explain the treatment options for her recently diagnosed cancer.
Bauerschmidt, better known as Miss Norma, stopped him right there. Matter-of-fact like, she told her doctor, “I’m 90 years old, I’m hitting the road!”
Now, more than a year after issuing that powerful statement, Miss Norma’s journey has come to a peaceful end.
Norma Bauerschmidt died at the age 91 in home hospice care from complications of stage four uterine cancer.
She became a worldwide icon for living life on your own terms when she famously rejected medical treatment for her cancer, in favor of going on the road trip of a lifetime.
She is survived by her son Tim and daughter-in-law Ramie, who were both instrumental in giving her a truly extraordinary last year.
Scroll through the gallery below to learn more about how Miss Norma took life by the reins, and inspired millions along the way!
In the summer of 2015, Norma Bauerschmidt made a decision that touched the lives of millions, when she lost her husband and found herself diagnosed with cancer in the span of just two weeks.
Bauerschmidt’s husband of 67 years, Leo, was admitted to hospice just as Bauerschmidt herself was undergoing a series of medical tests after her doctors noticed blood in her urine.
On July 7th, Leo Bauerschmidt passed away after lingering in hospice care for two weeks. Two days later, doctors confirmed the results of Norma’s tests; she had stage four uterine cancer.
It’s easy to speculate about what happened next; perhaps if Bauerschmidt hadn’t just lost her husband, or if she’d been ten or even five years younger, she would have chosen to go ahead with chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.
Instead, Norma Bauerschmidt made history when she told her doctor, “I’m 90 years old, I’m hitting the road.”
She refused treatment, and decided that with the amount of time she had left, she was going to spend it living her life to the fullest!
Her son Tim and his wife Ramie had retired to a nomadic lifestyle in their vintage Airstream trailer years before. They invited Bauerschmidt to join them, and set off all together on the adventure of a lifetime!
Bauerschmidt and her sweet therapy poodle Ringo got their very own trailer suite hitched to the back of the Airstream, and Ramie set up a Facebook page for fans inspired by Bauerschmidt’s decision to follow along.
With Tim and Ramie leading the way, the 90-year-old began a grand tour of the country, stopping to see every site she ever dreamed of.
She went from Niagara Falls to the Grand Canyon, visited the Jolly Green Giant in Minnesota, and collected sea sponges in Tarpon Springs, Florida.
Everywhere she went, Bauerschmidt — often called “Miss Norma” who was in a spoof on the film Driving Miss Daisy — made sure to share her infectious smile and enthusiasm for life with everyone she met.
She traveled as a young woman when she worked as a nurse during WWII. In the intervening years, however, she settled down in Michigan with her husband to raise their family.
Faced with the uncertainty of a stage four cancer diagnosis, she made sure to experience each of her adventures with joyful enthusiasm.
After all was said and done, she spent more than a year on the road, crisscrossing the country from east to west and back again.
To mark the anniversary of Miss Norma’s grand adventure, Tim and Ramie took to the Facebook page in late August 2016 and thanked everyone that helped them and show the world how precious that time was for everyone involved.
“We have driven the RV nearly 13,000 miles and slept in over 75 different locations in 32 states. Miss Norma has experienced more “firsts” than we can count.
Big things, like riding in a hot air balloon or on a horse, to little things like getting a pedicure or having her first taste of key lime pie, oyster, and fried green tomatoes.
She had her hair done by ten different stylists and crossed the time zones nine times (I think.)
Over these past 12 months, all of us learned so much about living, caring, loving and embracing the present moment.
No matter where we are, when asked where her favorite spot has been on this trip, Norma now says, “Right here!””
As Tim and Ramie helped Miss Norma celebrate her one-year anniversary of hitting the road, they were also acknowledging that their adventure might be drawing to an end.
Bauerschmidt’s health was deteriorating. They knew that now, after a year of adventures and firsts, she had seen, well, just about everything.
At 90, the WWII WAVES Navy veteran — who once had her service benefits checks hand-delivered by her congressman, Gerald R. Ford, after they were delayed — got to tour the U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford in style.
She saw whales in the Pacific North-West and ate as much cake as she could; by any description, that’s a great way to spend a last year.
In August of 2016, Bauerschmidt attended the San Juan Country Fair, and went into hospice on the same day.
She passed away on September 30th, not in a hospital, but in the trailer she called home for more than a year — her end-of-life care was molded to fit her unique lifestyle and extraordinary final year of seeing it all.
Tim, Ramie, and her poodle, Ringo, were by her side through it all, and when she left this world, her family commemorated her life with a beautiful quote from the Sufi mystic Rumi: “Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.”
Below, they added, “Today, we are letting go.”
All we can say is, thank you, Miss Norma, for showing the whole world what living really looks like.
If you’re touched by the incredible story of the woman who learned she was going to die, and decided to live, make sure to SHARE in memory of Norma Bauerschmidt.
Mon, Jul 13, 2015 @ 11:47 AM
We all know and love Nurses, but isn’t it wonderful when a research study validates something you already know? We think you’ll enjoy this article.
If you’ve ever had a loved one in the hospital, you know how important nurses are. Studies show that the amount of time that nurses spend with patients is related to fewer errors. And according to a new study, investing in nursing is key to patient outcomes, including the risk of dying while in the hospital.
The study’s researchers, a team from the University of Pennsylvania, wanted to understand why certain hospitals have better outcomes than others. Specifically, the UPenn team was trying to explain why hospitals in the Kaiser Permanente health care system — an integrated health network in eight states that includes hospitals, insurance, and doctors’ offices all in one system — have such efficient and high-quality care.
Other organizations have tried to mimic Kaiser Permanente’s organizational structure in order to improve care, but with mixed results. The researchers thought there might be a different X factor that could explain Kaiser’s success: nurses.
In order to find out, the study looked at more than 550 hospitals in California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Florida, including 25 California-based Kaiser Permanente hospitals and 56 Magnet hospitals. Magnet hospitals are recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center for being good workplaces for nurses.
Nurses in each hospital answered surveys about their work environment, level of education, job satisfaction, and the number of patients visited during a typical shift. The researchers also pulled data on patient mortality.
“It turns out that, by and large, nursing differences accounted for much of the mortality difference that we saw in Kaiser Permanente hospitals,” says study author Matthew McHugh, PhD, RN, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.
The results were clear: The odds of dying were about 20 percent lower in Kaiser Permanente and Magnet hospitals, and differences in nursing accounted for “a sizeable portion of the advantage,” according to the study. The analysis adjusted for factors such as hospital size and the severity of patients’ conditions.
“It turns out that these differences we see in nursing, in terms of work environment, staffing levels, investment in nursing around a highly educated workforce, those things translate into better outcomes,” McHugh tells Yahoo Health.
There were a few specific factors that made Kaiser and Magnet hospitals stand out from the rest, McHugh explains:
1. Better work environments
Happier nurses mean healthier patients, research shows. “We find that places where nurses have a good experience working are places where nurses are better able to do their jobs. They’re more autonomous, they’re supported by management, and they’re integrated into hospital decision-making,” McHugh says.
Empowered nurses have better relationships with physicians, “so when they say ‘something isn’t right,’ they’ll be taken seriously,” McHugh adds. And patients can receive faster and more efficient care when nurses are authorized to make decisions such as when to remove a catheter, for example.
In fact, a study published last year in the Journal of Nursing Administration found that empowered nursing units are more effective and report better patient care compared to units with less authority.
Tangible changes matter, too. In response to the nurse shortage in the early 2000s, Kaiser Permanente made a deliberate, research-based effort to invest in nursing, says Marilyn Chow, PhD, RN, Vice President of National Patient Care Services and Innovation for Kaiser Permanente.
A study of Kaiser hospitals conducted in 2005 and 2006 found that nurses spent more than 35 percent of their time on documentation. Starting in 2005, the system switched to electronic medical records, which helped streamline paperwork. They also observed that nurses spent a lot of time hunting and gathering equipment and information — checking to see if a medication was ready, for instance. In response, Kaiser Permanente rearranged the work environment to make things more convenient. (Nurses now receive a notification when meds are ready for pickup.)
“We wanted to make sure that we were a place that nurses wanted to work,” Chow tells Yahoo Health. “If you have nurses who are happy and joyful at their work, they will definitely pass that on and be caring and compassionate.”
2. More nurses with Bachelor’s degrees
The role of the nurse is much more complex than it used to be, Chow explains. “The role is not only surveillance, but facilitating and coordinating the care, and not just for one patient, but for four to five patients … there are so many things to take care of,” she says. Patients also arrive sicker and leave the hospital earlier, Chow and McHugh say, which puts an extra demand on nurses to coordinate care and teach patients and family members what to do when they arrive home.
“Hospitals are very complex, and integrating all of that information requires a certain set of skills and requires you have a pool of knowledge within the overall nursing staff,” McHugh explains. He adds that the study observed a wide variation in nurse education from hospital to hospital, and that variation was associated with adverse events.
3. More nurses, period
Kaiser Permanente hospitals have a 4-to-1 patient-to-nurse ratio, on average, compared to 5-to-1 in non-Magnet hospitals, the UPenn study found.
Having more nurses ensures that there are enough eyes in rooms monitoring patients. It also means that nurses have sufficient time to follow up with patients and communicate effectively. “Nurses are at the bedside and are working with all the other providers. They’re the essential person for monitoring patient condition, and if something bad does happen, intervening and mobilizing the intervention response,” McHugh says.We all know and love Nurses, but isn’t it wonderful when a research study validates something you already know? We think you’ll enjoy this article
Thu, Jun 25, 2015 @ 09:02 AM
By Pat Magrath – DiversityNursing.com
If you’re considering a career in nursing and are bilingual, this can be a tremendous advantage for you, your patients and their families. With increased diversity in the U.S., patients with limited English-language skills often arrive at the emergency room and there is no one available who speaks their language. This makes it very difficult for everyone involved to try to understand why the patient is there. Sometimes a family member who speaks limited English accompanies the patient and attempts to describe the family member’s symptoms. This is not an ideal situation and can lead to misunderstanding, frustration and an incorrect diagnosis. To drive this scenario home, imagine you’re on vacation in another country and become ill. You need medical attention, and when you arrive at the hospital no one understands you. This is a scary situation!
While most healthcare institutions offer translation services, sometimes the service is provided over the phone. This method is efficient in communicating information such as what the patient’s symptoms are, describing the appropriate course of treatment, or explaining the specific care of a condition at home. However, we all know there’s nothing like the ability to communicate with someone on a more personal, face-to-face basis. The patient may have more questions after the phone conversation is over. They or their family might ask questions such as, how often should I take this medication? Should I take it with or without food? Who do I call if I have questions when I get home?
As a nurse who is bilingual, you can be a tremendous help and source of comfort in answering these questions. Let’s take the example of a Hispanic nurse who not only speaks and understands both English and Spanish, but who also understands Hispanic culture, values and family traditions because of growing up in that community. My friend Esteban, who happens to be a bilingual Hispanic nurse, also knows the prevalence of certain diseases in the Hispanic community. These include diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular issues. He’s seen these diseases in his family and community. He mentioned that diet and genetics contribute to these problems as the Hispanic diet often contains a lot of pork and fatty foods, which can lead to these conditions.
This is important information he already has because he is a member of the Hispanic community. He also speaks the language and can translate information to the medical team. His ability to communicate between the patient and medical team as well as his knowledge of Hispanic culture is extremely valuable in the care he can give his Hispanic patients. The ability of a patient to communicate directly and effectively with their healthcare provider increases feelings of trust and understanding, which can lead to a higher level of care and well-being. Again, I’ll take you back to becoming ill while traveling in another country and you don’t have the tools to effectively communicate your symptoms. Finding someone on the medical team who speaks English would be a tremendous relief!
The bottom line is clear: open communication, in terms of both verbal and listening skills, is essential to assessing a patient’s problem and determining the appropriate care and treatment. If you’re considering the field of nursing and are bilingual, you know so much already about your community’s language, customs, food and family values. You also have an awareness of healthcare issues prevalent in your community. As a bilingual nurse, you can be incredibly effective in delivering a high standard of care while putting your patient at ease.
As the Hispanic population and the need for nurses continues to grow, consider becoming a nurse. Courses are available online so you can fit classes in that accommodate your schedule and needs. The biggest benefit of online courses is that they offer flexibility. You’ll also save on time and commuting expenses. You can work, take classes online and reach your goal of becoming a nurse on your timeline!
I’m compensated by University of Phoenix for this blog. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
For more information about on-time completion rates, the median debt incurred by students who completed this program and other important information, please visit phoenix.edu.
Mon, Jun 22, 2015 @ 10:44 AM
We found a story about a Nurse who has been in the profession for decades and she’s still working a couple days a week. She is an inspiration and we hope you’ll enjoy it.
SeeSee Rigney, an operating room nurse at Tacoma General Hospital in Tacoma, WA, celebrates her 90th birthday with her coworkers, and six decades of nursing. She is an inspiration to all! God bless you my friend. We love you and can only hope to have half of the energy you have at your age.
Wed, Jun 17, 2015 @ 12:31 PM
By Erica Bettencourt
This story is very touching about a patient’s perspective of Nurses at a very young age. Her experience with the Nurses who cared for her over the years, made Nursing an obvious choice for her.
Laurie Lukianov, 26, is a woman from Massachusetts who received two liver transplants as a child and is now working to become a transplant nurse. She told Boston Children's Hospital's blog “There is no question in my mind. Since I was 3 years old, I wanted to be a nurse.”
Laurie was born with biliary atresia and she needed liver transplants to save her life. At 3 years old she made headlines when she became one of the first patients in the country to receive a liver transplant from a living donor -- her father, Alex Lukianov.
When she was 13, Laurie Lukianov needed a second liver transplant. It came from an organ donor, and she had to fight for her life.
"I had 13 emergency surgeries from the two-week span from the initial transplant," Laurie Lukianov said.
But she won the fight and continued on to good health with the help of her family, a great surgeon and nurses.
Now the mother to a 6-year-old boy, already works in a local emergency room and is finishing her first year of nursing school.
Laurie Lukianov is also an advocate for organ donation. She tries to let potential donors know that the medical staff will do everything to save a life. Sometimes modern medicine falls short but, the gift of life is never lost on the recipient.
Fri, May 29, 2015 @ 09:54 AM
SEVERAL emergency-room nurses were crying in frustration after their shift ended at a large metropolitan hospital when Molly, who was new to the hospital, walked in. The nurses were scared because their department was so understaffed that they believed their patients — and their nursing licenses — were in danger, and because they knew that when tensions ran high and nurses were spread thin, patients could snap and turn violent.
The nurses were regularly assigned seven to nine patients at a time, when the safe maximum is generally considered four (and just two for patients bound for the intensive-care unit). Molly — whom I followed for a year for a book about nursing, on the condition that I use a pseudonym for her — was assigned 20 patients with non-life-threatening conditions.
“The nurse-patient ratio is insane, the hallways are full of patients, most patients aren’t seen by the attending until they’re ready to leave, and the policies are really unsafe,” Molly told the group.
That’s just how the hospital does things, one nurse said, resigned.
Unfortunately, that’s how many hospitals operate. Inadequate staffing is a nationwide problem, and with the exception of California, not a single state sets a minimum standard for hospital-wide nurse-to-patient ratios.
Dozens of studies have found that the more patients assigned to a nurse, the higher the patients’ risk of death, infections, complications, falls, failure-to-rescue rates and readmission to the hospital — and the longer their hospital stay. According to one study, for every 100 surgical patients who die in hospitals where nurses are assigned four patients, 131 would die if they were assigned eight.
In pediatrics, adding even one extra surgical patient to a nurse’s ratio increases a child’s likelihood of readmission to the hospital by nearly 50 percent. The Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research found that if every hospital improved its nurses’ working conditions to the levels of the top quarter of hospitals, more than 40,000 lives would be saved nationwide every year.
Nurses are well aware of the problem. In a survey of nurses in Massachusetts released this month, 25 percent said that understaffing was directly responsible for patient deaths, 50 percent blamed understaffing for harm or injury to patients and 85 percent said that patient care is suffering because of the high numbers of patients assigned to each nurse. (The Massachusetts Nurses Association, a labor union, sponsored the study; it was conducted by an independent research firm and the majority of respondents were not members of the association.)
And yet too often, nurses are punished for speaking out. According to the New York State Nurses Association, this month Jack D. Weiler Hospital of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York threatened nurses with arrest, and even escorted seven nurses out of the building, because, during a breakfast to celebrate National Nurses Week, the nurses discussed staffing shortages. (A spokesman for the hospital disputed this characterization of the events.)
It’s not unusual for hospitals to intimidate nurses who speak up about understaffing, said Deborah Burger, co-president of National Nurses United, a union. “It happens all the time, and nurses are harassed into taking what they know are not safe assignments,” she said. “The pressure has gotten even greater to keep your mouth shut. Nurses have gotten blackballed for speaking up.”
The landscape hasn’t always been so alarming. But as the push for hospital profits has increased, important matters like personnel count, most notably nurses, have suffered. “The biggest change in the last five to 10 years is the unrelenting emphasis on boosting their profit margins at the expense of patient safety,” said David Schildmeier, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Nurses Association. “Absolutely every decision is made on the basis of cost savings.”
Experts said that many hospital administrators assume the studies don’t apply to them and fault individuals, not the system, for negative outcomes. “They mistakenly believe their staffing is adequate,” said Judy Smetzer, the vice president of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, a consumer group. “It’s a vicious cycle. When they’re understaffed, nurses are required to cut corners to get the work done the best they can. Then when there’s a bad outcome, hospitals fire the nurse for cutting corners.”
Nursing advocates continue to push for change. In April, National Nurses United filed a grievance against the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa, which it said is 100 registered nurses short of the minimum staffing levels mandated by the Department of Veterans Affairs (the hospital said it intends to hire more nurses, but disputes the union’s reading of the mandate).
Nurses are the key to improving American health care; research has proved repeatedly that nurse staffing is directly tied to patient outcomes. Nurses are unsung and underestimated heroes who are needlessly overstretched and overdue for the kind of recognition befitting champions. For their sake and ours, we must insist that hospitals treat them right.
Fri, May 29, 2015 @ 09:35 AM
The Nursing profession is in dire need of an IT upgrade. The way the nursing profession currently handles information is costing time, money, patient health and more importantly, lives. Creating an integrated health IT system will address these costs, as well as reducing errors among hospital staff and mistakes with prescriptions both when they are written and when patients obtain them.
To learn more checkout the following infographic, created by the Adventist University of Health Sciences Online RN to BSN program, that illustrates the need, benefit and impact of Health IT in nursing.
Wed, May 27, 2015 @ 02:03 PM
With her children grown and husband nearing retirement, Amy Reynolds was ready to leave behind snowy Flagstaff, Ariz., to travel but she wasn't ready to give up her nursing career.
She didn't have to.
For the past three years, Reynolds, 55, has been a travel nurse – working for about three months at a time at hospitals in California, Washington, Texas and Idaho, among other states. Her husband accompanies her on the assignments. "It's been wonderful," she said in May after starting a stint in Sacramento. "It's given us a chance to try out other parts of the country."
Reynolds is one of thousands of registered nurses who travel the country helping hospitals and other health care facilities in need of experienced, temporary staff.
With an invigorated national economy and millions of people gaining health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, demand for nurses such as Reynolds is at a 20-year high, industry analysts say. That's meant Reynolds has her pick of hospitals and cities when it's time for her next assignment. And it's driven up stock prices of the largest publicly traded travel-nurse companies, including San Diego-based AMN Healthcare Services and Cross Country Healthcare of Boca Raton, Fla.
"We've seen a broad uptick in health care employment, which the staffing agencies are riding," said Randle Reece, an analyst with investment firm Avondale Partners. He estimates the demand for nurses and other health care personnel is at its highest level since the mid-1990s.
Demand for travel nursing is expected to increase by 10% this year "due to declining unemployment, which raises demand by increasing commercial admissions to hospitals," according to Staffing Industry Analysts, a research firm. That trend is expected to accelerate, the report said, because of higher hospital admissions propelled by the health law.
Improved profits — particularly in states that expanded Medicaid — have also made hospitals more amenable to hire travel nurses to help them keep up with rising admissions, analysts say.
At AMN Healthcare, the nation's largest travel-nurse company, demand for nurses is up significantly in the past year: CEO Susan Salka said orders from many hospitals have doubled or tripled in recent years. Much of the demand is for nurses with experience in intensive care, emergency departments and other specialty areas. "We can't fill all the jobs that are out there," she said.
Northside Hospital in Atlanta is among hospitals that have recently increased demand for travel nurses, said David Votta, manager of human resources. "It's a love-hate relationship," he said. From a financial viewpoint, the travel nurses can cost significantly more per hour than regular nurses. But the travel nurses provide a vital role to help the hospital fills gaps in staffing so they can serve more patients.
Northside is using 40 travel nurses at its three hospitals, an increase of about 52% since last year. The system employs about 4,000 nurses overall.
Historically, the most common reason why hospitals turn to traveling nurses is seasonal demand, according to a 2011 study by accounting firm KPMG. Nearly half of hospitals surveyed said seasonal influxes in places such as Arizona or Florida, where large numbers of retirees flock every winter, led them to hire traveling nurses.
Though there have been rare reports of travel nurses involved in patient safety problems, a 2012 study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania published in the Journal of Health Services Research found no link between travel nurses and patient mortality rates. The study examined more than 1.3 million patients and 40,000 nurses in more than 600 hospitals. "Our study showed these nurses could be lifesavers. Hiring temporary nurses can alleviate shortages that could produce higher patient mortality," said Linda Aiken, director of the university's Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Staffing Association Foundation.
The staffing companies screen and interview nurses to make sure they are qualified, and some hospitals, such as Northside, also make their own checks. Nurses usually spend a couple days getting orientated to a hospital and its operations before beginning work. They have to be licensed in each state they practice in, although about 20 states have reciprocity laws that expedite the process.
Cherisse Dillard, a labor and delivery room nurse, has been a traveler for nearly a decade. In the past few years, she's worked at hospitals in Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Pensacola and the San Francisco area.
While delivering a baby is relatively standard practice, she said she makes it a practice at each new hospital to talk to doctors and other staff to learn what their preferences are with drugs and other procedures. Dillard, 46, often can negotiate to be off on weekends and be paid a high hourly rate. "When the economy crashed in 2008, hospitals became tight with their budget and it was tough to find jobs, but now it's back to full swing and there are abundant jobs for travel nurses," she said.