DiversityNursing Blog

Tips For Nurses Working Through The Holidays

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Nov 23, 2022 @ 02:47 PM

GettyImages-1423947212Many people look forward to the holidays, however it can be a stressful time for Nurses working through the holiday season and missing festivities. Here are several tips to help make working through the holidays a little brighter.

Holiday Feast

Take time during a shift to fuel up with some yummy foods. Have everyone bring in their favorite meal or side dish, holiday treat, or order some take out. 

Work Fun

Organize a secret Santa with your unit or you may also consider planning a holiday party outside of your work setting. It’s nice to take the time out to blow off steam and enjoy your co-workers’ company. 

Decorate

With permission from your manager, decorate your work station, the hallways or even yourself with some holiday swag. Hang up paper pumpkins and turkeys. String twinkle lights and set up a holiday tree. Just be sure to be sensitive and inclusive of everyone’s holidays, not just your own. 

Celebrate On A Different Day

If you can't celebrate a holiday on the actual date, pick another day that works for your family or friends. Being with the people you love is what's important, no matter the date. 

Spread Holiday Cheer

This season is all about giving and as you know, giving makes you feel good. Try giving small gifts like scented hand sanitizers, cards, or decorative trinkets to your coworkers. Brighten patient's day with a note, little ornament, or holiday craft. 

Stay Connected

Make the most of your breaks during your shift. If able, FaceTime or Zoom with friends and family, follow their posts on social media, or ask someone to share videos of the holiday gatherings with you. Utilize available technology to stay as connected as possible. 

Silver Lining

Focus on the bright side, there may be benefits to working a holiday shift, such as extra pay or the next holiday off. You may also, hopefully, get to enjoy a slower work pace or less traffic during your commute.

Remember You're Important

Healthcare will always be 24/7 and someone must be there to care for patients. You're saving and changing lives by showing up to work. During the holidays that care can mean the world to a patient especially if their family or friends aren't able to visit or stay long. What you do as a Nurse is so important, don't you forget it! 

Topics: Holidays, holiday shifts, nursing, nurses, working holidays, nursing career, holiday stress

The Growing Role of Nurse Case Managers

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Oct 12, 2022 @ 01:59 PM

GettyImages-1389496437A career as a Nurse Case Manager gives you the opportunity to make a huge impact on patient's lives and develop rewarding relationships.

The Case Manager's (CM) role is centered around working with patients and their families to make sure they are provided with appropriate health care providers, resources, and services so they receive the proper care they need. 

Primary responsibilities include:

  • Evaluating a patient's medical history

  • Acting as a liaison between patients, health care providers, and health insurers

  • Creating care plans and scheduling appointments

  • Educating patients and their families on relevant health-related matters

  • Keeping track of health outcomes and suggesting possible treatment changes


“Because Nurses are trained to work on interdisciplinary teams and understand how to deal with patients’ psychosocial needs, they are the perfect choice to manage their care,” says Tracy Towne, PhD, faculty member at Purdue University Global School of Nursing. “It’s a more holistic approach to care and services, and it is an incredibly valuable role when it comes to supporting those with chronic illnesses.”

You’ll also be able to choose which area you would like to specialize. According to Western Governors University, some of the most common Case Management Nursing specializations are:

  • Patient specialty—focuses on a specific patient population such as the elderly (geriatrics) or children (pediatrics).
  • Service specialty—focuses on a specific service area such as hospice, home healthcare, or rehabilitation.
  • Duration specialty—focuses on the length of patient care such as short-term injury rehabilitation or long-term illness management.
  • Disease specialty—focuses on patients suffering from a specific disease or chronic illness such as diabetes, cancer, substance abuse, or mental illness.

Choosing to become a CM is a great choice for Nurses, since it is less physically demanding, has great pay, and is in high demand. 

According to Zippia, CMs in the Nursing field are expected to rise nearly 16% over the next ten years. This increase is due to the growing elderly population as well as a rise in those with chronic illnesses. 

The estimated average salary for a RN Case Manager is $107,568 per year in the United States, according to Glassdoor.

Becoming a Nurse CM requires a Registered Nurse (RN) license. It is more common to switch to case management later on in your RN career.

This role requires experience so it is suggested you advance your career with certification programs. Certifications aren't mandatory for employment, but they can increase your pay and make you more eligible for future job opportunities.

Interested in learning more about Case Management? Check out these resources:

Case Management Society of America

National Association of Case Management

American Case Management Association

The Higher Education Case Managers Association

Topics: nursing, nurses, nursing career, case mangement, Nurse case manager, case manager

Is Nursing an Art or a Science?

Posted by Sarah West, MSN, FNP

Fri, Aug 19, 2022 @ 10:44 AM

GettyImages-1208547781Nursing is a profession that requires compassion as well as expertise, making it both an art and a science. Empathy and compassion are critical characteristics of an excellent Nurse. These qualities help us to connect with patients on an individualized basis and improve patient outcomes.

Nurses must also be educated, motivated, and have a strong understanding of evidence-based practice. Nurses must find a unique balance between using their heads and hearts, as well as the balance between the art and science of Nursing to provide our patients with the highest quality care.

The Art of Nursing

Florence Nightingale was the first to coin the phrase, the Art of Nursing. She understood that Nursing is a profession in which physical tasks must be adapted into individualized patient care, making Nursing an educated art form. Empathy and compassion are at the forefront of what makes Nursing an art. Although compassion and empathy are similar concepts, they are vitally different and often confused with one another.

Empathy is the ability to feel the emotions of others. As Nurses, we care for patients when they are most vulnerable. When patients seek medical attention, they can often be fearful, sad, or even angry. To care for these patients respectfully and efficiently, Nurses must be able to empathize with patients to facilitate a strong Nurse-patient relationship to promote healing.

Compassion is the ability to feel the emotions of others while experiencing a desire to help. Nursing is a helping profession and to be an excellent Nurse, you must genuinely want to help others. The task-oriented approach to Nursing can sometimes challenge Nurses to maintain a human connection to our patient. Still, we must always strive to connect with and understand our patients to ensure they are cared for comprehensively. The emotions behind why we do the things we do is what makes Nursing an artform.

The Science of Nursing

The science of Nursing is the ‘why’ behind the tasks we carry out daily. The Nursing profession is built on evidence-based practice. Evidence-based practice collects, processes, and implements research findings into clinical practice and improves patient outcomes.

As Nurses, we strive to provide our patients with the best care possible, so we must ensure that our actions and tasks are well researched and have been shown to improve the health and safety of our patients. This is what the science of Nursing is all about, having a reason behind our actions and an understanding that our interventions improve the outcomes of patients.

Education is also at the foundation of the science of Nursing. To become a Nurse, we must complete coursework that prepares us to meet the diverse needs of our patients and become safe healthcare professionals. Nursing coursework includes detailed education on the intricacies of the human body, disease processes, health policy, and hands-on instruction to develop clinical skillsets.

The nursing curriculum has been well studied and tailored to ensure that new graduate Nurses can provide safe patient care. We know that Nursing programs are effective in producing safe healthcare workers because we have been able to research and understand what education and skills are needed to produce safe novice Nurses.

Once a Nurse has graduated from a Nursing program, they must complete continuing education courses to continue to improve their knowledge and skills. And as medicine is constantly ever-changing, Nurses can never stop learning and growing.

The Nursing Profession

Nursing is not just a career option. It is a true craft where individuals must be able to incorporate evidence-based practices into compassionate and individualized patient care. It is truly a scientific art that must be carried out precisely and efficiently for our patients to receive the highest quality and most up-to-date care.

Nursing is as much of a science as it is an art. The science of Nursing explains a Nurse’s daily work and why tasks are performed, while the art of Nursing is centered around the human connections needed to truly be an effective Nurse.

The art and science of the Nursing profession is ever evolving as we are continually developing new healthcare interventions and continuing to improve upon our human approach to healthcare.

Nursing is a delicate balance of skill, expertise, compassion, and empathy. Without each other, the Nursing profession would not be the respected profession it is today.

Topics: nursing, nurses, nursing career, nursing experience, nursing jobs, nursing profession, art of nursing

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

What the Pandemic Taught Us About the Changing Role of Nurses

Posted by Dr. Susan Stone CNM, DNSc, FAAN, FACNM President, Frontier Nursing University

Tue, Jan 11, 2022 @ 02:15 PM

frontierEven before the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, it was well-known that the U.S. was facing a health care provider shortage. This trend was verified in a June 2020 report by the Association of American Medical Colleges^, which estimated the U.S. faces a potential physician shortage of 37,800 to 124,000 by 2034.

Partly because of this growing need, nurses are increasingly serving as primary caregivers in hospitals and clinics across the country. There are more than 3.8 million registered nurses in the United States and nurses comprise the largest component of the nation’s healthcare workforce*.

Necessity is not the only reason more patients are turning to nurses for primary care. Nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners have a core focus on promoting optimal health, not only caring for the sick but also providing guidance to assist in long-term health. This model of care forms a partnership between nurse and patient with a focus on promoting ongoing health in addition to treating illness. The focus on health maintenance is a core characteristic of the practice of nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners. A study on the prevention of chronic disease by Ritsema TS, Bingenheimer JB, Scholting P, et al.+ concluded that “across all conditions, NPs provide health education to patients more frequently than physicians.” Midwifery care as defined by the American College of Nurse-Midwives includes health promotion, disease prevention, wellness education and counseling, and full-scope primary care services including maternity care. Midwifery care has been shown to decrease cesarean section rates, decrease interventions and decrease preterm birth^^.

Midwifery and nurse practitioner care do not replace physician care. Health care services are complex and one type of provider cannot provide all services needed. It takes a team of different types of providers to provide the full complement of services needed. One study demonstrated that patients receiving care from primary care physicians received only 55% of recommended chronic and preventive services. The gap is attributed to physicians being overworked. The study further estimated that 50-70% of preventative services and 25%-47% of chronic care services could be done by nurse practitioners or physician assistants. By working together, we can assure that patients receive all of the recommended and preventive and chronic care services**.

Nurses’ expertise and versatility were brought into focus during the height of the pandemic. As hospitals and clinics overflowed, the healthcare system was stretched to its limit. Nurses were called on to assume additional responsibilities and leadership roles, such as organizing drive-through testing and vaccination sites or directing clinics. Some traveled, leaving their families for weeks or months at a time to care for patients in locations both rural and urban where additional care was most needed.

While provider shortages have been amplified during the pandemic, this shortage was a known issue before the pandemic and will persist after. Most at risk due to the provider shortage are those in underserved populations and rural communities. The previously mentioned report by the Association of American Medical Colleges concluded that “If underserved populations were to experience the same health care use patterns as populations with fewer barriers to access, current demand could rise by an additional 74,100 to 145,500 physicians. This analysis underscores the systematic differences in annual use of health care services by insured and uninsured individuals, individuals in urban and rural locations, and individuals of differing races and ethnicities.”

Frontier Nursing University is proud to be a leader in the changes needed to address healthcare provider shortages. Frontier’s mission is “to provide accessible nurse-midwifery and nurse practitioner education to prepare competent, entrepreneurial, ethical, and compassionate leaders in primary care to serve all individuals with an emphasis on women and families in diverse, rural, and underserved populations.” Our students are graduate-level students seeking advanced nurse practitioner and nurse-midwifery degrees. For many, taking two years off work to pursue an advanced degree is not an option. They must be able to continue to work where they live while pursuing advanced degrees at the same time.

FNU was founded in 1939 in rural Hyden, Kentucky, and our impact, though significant, was limited in scope due to our remote location. In 1989 we introduced a distance learning model that allowed students nationwide to attend FNU from their home communities, requiring only a few trips to campus. Today, 70% of FNU’s more than 2,500 students live in health professional shortage areas (HPSA) as defined by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), demonstrating the potential impact of FNU graduates within these underserved communities.  

Many of our 8,000 alumni have been serving on the front lines of the pandemic. Some have worked as travel nurses in pandemic hot zones, while others delivered the first vaccine doses by boat to remote villages in Alaska. Some developed procedures to help patients avoid crowded lobbies. Others accomplished the remarkable feat of opening their own clinics during the height of the pandemic. Meanwhile, FNU’s distance learning model allowed the majority of our students to continue their progress without interruption.  

The pandemic has brought to light much of what we already knew. It has further demonstrated the need for change in our healthcare system and proved that nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners must play increased roles in the health and well-being of our communities. The pandemic reminded us that primary care services provided by advanced practice nurses and nurse-midwives are safe and effective. It is now more clear than ever that nurse-midwives, nurse practitioners, and physicians must work together to attain optimum health outcomes for our country.

^ IHS Markit Ltd. The Complexities of Physician Supply and Demand: Projections From 2019 to 2034. Washington, DC: AAMC; 2021.

*Smiley, R.A., Lauer, P., Bienemy, C., Berg, J.G., Shireman, E., Reneau, K.A., & Alexander, M. (October 2018). The 2017 National Nursing Workforce Survey. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 9(3), supplement (S1-S54).

+Ritsema TS, Bingenheimer JB, Scholting P, et al. Differences in the delivery of health education to patients with chronic disease by provider type, 2005–2009. Prev Chronic Dis 2014; 11: 130175. - PMC - PubMed

^^ Loewenberg Weisband Y, Klebanoff M, Gallo MF, Shoben A, Norris AH. Birth Outcomes of Women Using a Midwife versus Women Using a Physician for Prenatal Care. J Midwifery Women’s Health. 2018 Jul;63(4):399-409. doi: 10.1111/jmwh.12750. Epub 2018 Jun 26. PMID: 29944777.

**Altschuler J, Margolius D, Bodenheimer T, Grumbach K. Estimating a reasonable patient panel

size for primary care physicians with team-based task delegation. Ann Fam Med.

2012;10(5):396-400. doi:10.1370/afm.1400

++IHS Markit Ltd. The Complexities of Physician Supply and Demand: Projections From 2019 to 2034. Washington, DC: AAMC; 2021

Topics: Frontier Nursing University, nursing, nurses, FNU, pandemic, role of nurses, nurse role

The Best Things About Nursing

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Jul 22, 2019 @ 11:05 AM

GettyImages-862156076-1Nursing is an emotionally fulfilling career providing many ups and downs. Hopefully more ups than downs! It isn't an easy path, but if you are called to Nursing, it’s worth it. Some of the best things about being a Nurse are experiences that you won't find in many other jobs. Here are a few reasons why Nurses love being Nurses.

 

Relationships

Many times you form strong relationships with your patients. You spend all day taking care of their every need. During the course of your shift, you're usually working with the same patients so you form a special bond with them. Being able to get to know someone and help them when they're at their most vulnerable and sick is a really wonderful, gratifying feeling.

 

Never Boring

In this fast paced environment there's rarely a boring day at work. You’re juggling many important balls and pulled in many directions so there's no time to get bored. There's always something that needs to be done or someone to assist.

 

Job Security

Job security is another great thing about Nursing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 3 million Registered Nurses work in the US right now. BSL predicts the country will also add half a million new RN jobs by 2026 due to the aging baby boomer population and an "increased emphasis on preventative care". 

 

Schedule Flexibility

You can choose a schedule that works for your lifestyle. In the hospital environment, shifts include day, night and weekends. You can also choose what days. There are part-time nursing positions and weekend only programs. Throughout your career, you'll be able to adjust your schedule based on the kind of life your living.

 

Friendship

The relationships you build with fellow Nurses can last a lifetime. Nursing is usually a very team-oriented profession therefore, you have plenty of people to help you through difficult situations. Over time, your colleagues can become some of your very closest friends. Friendships can form with some patients too.

 

Career Flexibility

You can change your career path without changing your career. Businesses that employ Nurses include hospitals, private medical practices, schools (School Nurse and Nurse Educators), insurance companies, etc. With additional education and training, you can change your specialty. For example, you could go from being a Clinical Nurse Specialist to a Pediatric Nurse.

 

Career Satisfaction

Many Nurses tell us they love helping and making a difference in someone's life every single day. They say this is the Nursing profession’s biggest reward.

 

Do you have a reason why you love being a Nurse that we didn’t include? Please share it with us!

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Topics: nursing, nursing career

Study Confirms What We Knew All Along: Nurses Are Key to Hospital Success

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Jul 13, 2015 @ 11:47 AM

Amy Rushlow

www.yahoo.com 

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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. 

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

Topics: study, nursing, nurse, nurses, hospital

5 Things Labor Nurses Want You To Know

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Jul 09, 2015 @ 10:47 AM

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Shelly Lopez Gray

Recently, a nurse made headlines for dropping a newborn, fracturing the baby's skull. The parents, understandably upset, claim the nurse should have known better than to hold the baby if she was sleepy. As a labor and delivery nurse, here is what I wish I could say to every mother out there, what I'm sure many of us would want to say to the families we care for:

Accidentally hurting your baby is one of our biggest fears. No nurse goes to work thinking they want to hurt someone. None of us leave our house thinking, "I really want to make someone suffer." There are a million and one ways a nurse can accidentally do something wrong. And every day, all day, we are very conscious of this fact and we work hard to provide the best care we possibly can... even if we're short-staffed, even if our assignments are difficult, even if every room on our unit is full. Even though we literally have 20 things to do at any given moment with a handful of different, complicated patients, we strive to provide compassionate care in a timely manner while struggling to chart every single action we take. We know we're going to make mistakes... our only hope is that the mistakes we make do not cause harm.

That nurse made a lot of right decisions. I'm just keeping it real -- but seriously, that nurse could have made a lot of other really bad decisions. She could have dropped the baby and not told anyone. Even though she was probably frightened and distraught that her action caused a baby harm, she chose to do the right thing and immediately get the baby evaluated.

A nurse's mistake can have many consequences. No one is asking why the nurse had the baby in the first place. I would bet any amount of money that she was trying to allow an exhausted mother to get a few minutes of uninterrupted sleep. And although I do not agree with this practice, I'm sure her intentions were pure. What people who are not nurses do not understand is that our mistakes can have many consequences. If we make a mistake, we can be peer-reviewed, which means our actions are brought before a committee to determine our nursing fate. We could lose our nursing license, leaving us unable to work or financially support ourselves or our family. If it's deemed we were neglectful, criminal charges could be filed against us, and we could face hefty fines or even jail time. And our actions at work and at home are all up for examination and scrutiny.

That nurse is suffering right now. I don't say this to diminish any anguish the family must feel that their baby was hurt while in the care of a healthcare provider. But wherever that nurse is right now, I promise you that she has been suffering. As I said before, no nurse goes to work wanting to hurt someone. She has had to endure being judged by her peers, questioning whether or not her facility would support her, and knowing that she caused a family distress. This is an incident that she will never forget, an incident that will probably taint her 30-year memory of nursing.

If you would have dropped your baby while in the hospital, the nurse would also be blamed. I don't believe healthy mothers and healthy babies should be separated while in the hospital. I don't believe a nurse should take a baby from a mother, even at her request, so that the mother can get uninterrupted sleep. This may not be a popular opinion, but as nurses, we need to see how these mothers interact with their babies even when they're exhausted and sleep-deprived. But this leads to another issue... even if this mother would have dropped her own baby, the nurse and hospital would still be blamed. It would have been all about rounding and if it was documented that the nurse educated the patient not to sleep with the baby in the bed or if the room was free of clutter. As nurses, we have to be everything to everyone.

We are all human. As I drive to work tomorrow, I will think of the patients I will meet and care for. And as I walk through the doors of my hospital, I will think the same thing I have thought every single day since I graduated from nursing school: Just don't hurt anyone. I know I will make mistakes. I'm human. But I hope I never make a mistake that hurts or kills someone. And that is a fear that lives inside of every nurse everywhere. My thoughts are with this family, and my thoughts are also with this nurse. To every nurse out there -- May the mistakes we make tomorrow bring no harm to the patients we try to give so much to.

Until my next delivery ♥

www.huffingtonpost.com

Topics: nursing, nurses, patients, hospital, labor nurses

Perceived Economic Barriers to Gaining a Nursing Degree

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Jul 09, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

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By Pat Magrath – DiversityNursing.com

The first step toward a college education often starts with the parents and grandparents when a child is born. Many families focus on education as a way to break an economic cycle that has held them back for generations. Seeing their children educated is one the most precious gifts a parent or grandparent can give and receive. This drive for education often brings together the extended family around this common purpose and goal. The desire for education burns bright, but the dreams often fall short when the discussions inevitably move from the quest for an education to the reality of financing that education.

Even when immediate and extended family members come together to support a student financially, it is often only a small part of the overall financial equation. The process of helping a student and their family understand how to financially prepare for college can be overwhelming and daunting. What is important to understand is that there are many resources available for funding a college education, but it takes time and commitment to research the many options.

The Hispanic population is the fastest growing minority group in the United States. However, according to a 2010 study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses), out of 3.2 million registered nurses in the U.S., only 3.6% are Hispanic. What this means is that Hispanics as a percentage of the overall population are underrepresented in the nursing profession. To address this issue and to help Hispanics/Latinos pursue college degrees and become registered nurses, many local, regional and national associations, civic organizations and private foundations have created scholarship and grant opportunities to aid students with the cost of attending college.

Even with the many opportunities to apply for financial aid and scholarships, the college funding process can be intimidating, but it is important for students and their families to realize that the education system now offers more choice and opportunity than ever before. With access to a computer and the Internet, a student can enroll, take classes and graduate while still living within their home support structure. With some additional effort, a student or parent can also research and apply for the many annual grants and scholarships that are specifically set aside for students with a Hispanic/Latino background.

For example, our website, DiversityNursing.com, offers an annual $5,000 Education Award that can be used to start or continue your nursing education. There is one winner who receives the $5,000 and is drawn every year in May during Nurses Week. To date, we have given away $35,000 in educational funding and our next award will be drawn during Nurses Week 2016. For information, terms and conditions, and to register for our award, please visit http://www.diversitynursing.com. There is no essay requirement!

If you’re considering a nursing career or are continuing your nursing education, According to Scholarships.com®, “Colleges are always looking to diversify their campuses and to make their schools more accessible to students of all ethnicities, economic backgrounds and religious beliefs. For this reason, many scholarships are restricted to minority students, Hispanics being one of them.”

We encourage all students to take advantage of the many opportunities to help fund your college aspirations. There are financial resources available to help make your college dreams a reality! And if you have time constraints due to a busy life, consider taking your classes online.

I’m compensated by University of Phoenix for this blog. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Topics: education, nursing, economic, nursing degree

Advantages Of Being Bilingual in Nursing

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Jun 25, 2015 @ 09:02 AM

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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.

Topics: language, diversity, nursing, nurse, health care, patients, Bilingual

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