Thursday, June 28, 2018

Nurse Entrepreneurs Helping Nurses Find Direction in Their Career Paths

I recently sat down with a couple of nurse entrepreneurs to talk a bit about me and my nursing career, but also about nursing in general and hopefully provided some insights for those considering a career in nursing or looking for a new path for their nursing career. Health care is a challenging industry to say the least and nursing is never an easy occupation.

For young people today, I think nursing is going to have a few new challenges. Nursing is a service profession and you really need to be passionate and serious about helping people if you want a career in nursing. It's all about the patient and patients are never at their best when they don't feel well. That's something to really think about. Especially if you don't like dropping everything to go help someone else!

The first interview was done via Skype with Cara Sevier on The Not Just Nursing Show. I would suggest you close your eyes and listen. I don't play well to the camera! My eyes wander too much!!! But it was a fun time and worked out well for her first time Skype interview. She's in the eastern US and I'm on the west coast so we couldn't do it in studio as she does with many of her guests. Check out her previous guests and subscribe to her You Tube Channel.

The second interview was with Patricia Ramsey Laramee of the Nursing Assistant Podcast. We had some technical difficulties which just added to the learning process and the fun! You only have to listen, it's a podcast and she's had some really great guests so be sure to listen to all of the episodes., and Subscribe on Spotify or iTunes.  I hope we inspired some CNAs to consider continuing their education and becoming RNs in the future as we discussed my roles away from the bedside in home health and hospice.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Confidentiality and Social Media Don't Mix Well

I wrote an article several years ago on the subject of confidentiality in nursing. It has since disappeared from the site I wrote it for. It deserves updating now as it continues to be a big part of medical ethics. Technology continues to change our lives and social media and confidentiality do not mix well. Younger nurses who have grown up in the era of social media and sharing everything may have a hard time understanding confidentiality issues.

Confidentiality has morphed with the HIPAA laws. HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 which was first designed to allow employees to keep and carry their health insurance coverage from one employer to another. In the process, privacy laws had to be built into the act to protect employee’s rights and privacy from becoming available to their employer. For instance an employer might find a way to not hire a person if they discovered he or she had  cancer or some chronic disease.

For all health care providers, the HIPAA act demands full confidentiality and protection of every patient’s privacy. It’s not just nurses and doctors. It’s everyone working in health care who cannot share patient information. A need-to-know basis is implicit to the plan. There was an episode several years back in which Brittney Spears was hospitalized and several employees were fired for looking at her information on the hospital computer. They weren’t involved in her direct care and had no need-to-know, and so it was a violation of her privacy rights as well as hospital rules under the HIPAA law. Other cases have involved an unusual health even such as shark attacks,  or impalement injuries.

Whether or not you share any of the information or just look at it for your own curiosity, if you’re not involved in the direct care and need-to-know, then you’re in violation of HIPAA.

We have all probably worked in situations where we have had patients who are celebrities or well-known community members in the crosshairs of our hospitals, clinics or medical offices, or have provided care in their homes or other places of residence.

I could tell you about many I have encountered in my career, but you have no need-to-know, so I cannot. If I had their permission to share certain information that would be a whole different ball game. On the other hand, if I changed up some of the identifying details or managed to make sure you couldn’t figure out who I was talking about, I could tell you some information that might be relevant such as how to deal with entitled or highly unhappy patients or family members. That seems to be a common theme with some of the rich and famous. But otherwise, I have to take these secrets to my grave.

Along came social media and everyone is sharing every little detail about their lives. But the HIPAA laws haven’t changed, and nurses (and anyone working in health care) need to be perhaps more careful than ever not to expose private patient

Posting photos on Instagram and Facebook is a common mistake, often made very innocently to celebrate a milestone event with a patient. The last chemo treatment, a milestone birthday, someone walks again when they were told they wouldn’t. Who wouldn’t want to share the joy/! Technically if you post a picture of anyone, even your best friend, without their permission it can become a whole huge issue. This is an area of particular concern because we often don’t even think about it. We have access to cameras on our phones and we post the pictures all over the Internet to share with friends and family.

Even if your patient is not a well-known celebrity, s/he has the right to privacy, and HIPPA will get you if you violate the confidentiality! If you do have permission to post that selfie you took with your 100-year-old patient on his birthday, you MUST say so. I would advise that your better choice is to NOT post it, but if you do, you MUST get his permission and then be sure to document that you have his permission to post. (I would also let your employer know you’re posting and be sure to know what their rules are before even considering it.) If he has dementia or is otherwise incapable of making his own decisions, you’d better have permission from his next of kin or DPOA! And you MUST post that as well. And then save the post in a manner so that it cannot be shared.

HIPAA was updated with the HITECH Act in 2009. Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act covers patient confidentiality and technology advances. When taking pictures for clinical use and medical records, for example wounds, make sure you have permission to photograph. Check for your employer’s policy and follow it to a “T.” Use a medical record number and date but be sure there is no other identifying information in/on the photo. Zoom in on the wound or other reason for the photo. And the DELETE the photos from your device as soon as you have posted in the appropriate place.

Confidentiality is not just about photos, it’s any information you glean from/about your patient. Something they told you in confidence or not is still a privacy matter. I can share that a patient I had several years back was the stunt double for a famous actor or actress in the 1920’s and 30’s. If I say anything more than that, you might be able to figure it out and then know he or she was a patient treated by XYZ and could learn he or she was treated for ABCD. That would be violating the patient’s HIPPA rights that extend for 50 years after death.

I can also share with you I’ve taken care of the fathers of rock stars and the grandmothers of actors, along with athletes and politicians and community leaders, but that’s the extent of what I can say. I can say some of them were very nice and grateful for all we did, and others were rude and obnoxious the same as any other patient or family members. But I can’t tell you who they were or any other situational information that could identify them.

It's a covert operation and it has to remain such. HIPAA also prevents you from sharing any information with a family member or friend of any patient without the patient’s permission. Only the DPOA can tell you who in the event the patient cannot. These laws were written to protect all of us.

Take care of you and don’t let curiosity put you in jeopardy. Don’t forget and post or otherwise share information or pictures you took with a favorite patient unless you have permission and state so. You put your career on the line and could cost your employer a lot as well. Mumm’s the word!



Monday, May 28, 2018

Have a Safe and Happy Memorial Day

Friday, May 18, 2018

2018 Nurses Week Give Away Winners

As promised, I have randomly selected winners of our generously donated Nurses Week Give Aways. This year we had far more entries than prizes and our social media hits were off the charts compared to previous years. This all means it was quite successful for all! Nurses Inspire, Innovate Influence.

Thanks to all who entered. I have notified the winners and they should be hearing from their generous donators very soon. I will also be notifying those who didn't get a fabulous prize and sending them a consolation prize. 

I want to take the opportunity to once again say a huge THANK YOU to all who donated fabulous prizes for our Nurses Week Give Aways:

Day 1:
Uniform Advantage for a $50 egift card

Day 2:
Nurse Born Products for the Nurse Invented Gift Set
Karen Ingalls for her book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir

Day 3:
SugarWish for a SugarWish Duet
Meketta for LED Solar Boxes

Maevn Uniforms for a set of Blossom Signature Collection scrubs

Day 5:
Elizabeth Scala for a set of her 3 books, Nursing From Within, Stop Nurse Burnout, and Your Next Shift

Christine Magnus Moore for her book, Both Sides of the Bedside: From Oncology Nurse to Patient, an RN’s Journey with Cancer

Day 7:
Brittney Wilson and Kati Kleber for their book, The Nurse's Guide to Blogging 

Consolation prizes of $5 Starbucks gift cards were sent to all who entered and did not win a big prize. Happy Nurses Week to all.  

If you didn't have a chance to enter, and aren't among the lucky winners, please be sure to support these great products and say thanks for supporting the nursing profession during Nurses Week and throughout the year. 

I hope you all had a great Nurses Week! Keep making a difference in someone's life everyday! Thanks for all that you do!


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!


~ Kathy

Saturday, May 12, 2018

2018 Nurses Week Day 7

Wow I hope you have had a fabulous Nurses Week! Never forget to honor yourself for ALL that you do for everyone. I hope you all had a chance to see this post. It says so much about who we are as nurses and why we do what we do....

Today, we prepare for Mother's Day tomorrow. Each of us has (had) a mother whether or not we are mothers or grandmothers or in the realm of great grandmothers. Take a moment to say Thanks Mom!

The Nurse's Guide to Blogging

Whether you blog or want to become a blogger, The Nurse's Guide to Blogging is a must have for your library. I've been blogging for years, but I learned a ton from this book!  

Brittney Wilson and Kati Kleber put their heads together and produced a wonderful book to guide every step of the process.. Today I'm honored to be able to offer a copy for our final Nurses Week Give Away. 

So head over to read the Rules to Enter once again and send off your email. You just might win one of our fabulous prizes! Happy Nurses Week!!!!

Thanks Brittney and Kati!

I will announce the winners May 20. 

Friday, May 11, 2018

2018 Nurses Week Day 6

It's Friday of Nurses Week --  TGIF!!!  I have a couple of things to share with you before we get to the Give Away for today. First here's a nice compilation of Discounts and Freebies for Nurses anytime.  We can always appreciate saving a little money or time!, for whom I also write,  has posted several things for Nurses Week. First they have a FREE CE course for Nurses Week on Evidence Based Practice. And another one involves a little humor. We can ALL use more laughter in our lives and many of these I'm sure you can relate to: 25 GIFs That Only Nurses Will Understand. Enjoy! Don't forget you can get 25% off the CE at're also giving away MDF MD One stethoscopes for Nurses Week. Enter to win.

Both Sides of the Bedside

Our Give Away today is a fabulous book from Christine Magnus,  Both Sides of the Bedside: From Oncology Nurse to Patient, an RN’s Journey with Cancer.

Christine Magnus Moore, RN, BSN, PHN, BMTCN has worked in the nursing field for over twenty-five years with more than sixteen years in oncology. She is a non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivor of fifteen-and-a-half years, and is the author of a book titled Both Sides of the Bedside: From Oncology Nurse to Patient, an RN’s Journey with Cancer. Christine has authored articles about survivorship which were published in the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, CONQUER The Patient Voice magazine, and the ihadcancer website.

Christine has a Master’s Certification in caring for teenagers and young adults with cancer. She created, and is the co-leader of, a young adult cancer survivor group through The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society called the LLS SoCal Cancer Connection. Christine’s passion is to help those on the cancer journey and to help people understand it as a deeper level. She currently works as a Hematology Stem Cell Transplant Nurse Coordinator at City of Hope. Christine writes her own blog and can be contacted through her website

Remember to enter our daily Give Aways contest -- see the Rules. Good luck and enjoy your Nurses Week!

Thanks Christine!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

2018 Nurses Week - Day 5

It's Thursday of Nurses Week. Just another day in the life of a nurse. Remember to replenish often and take care of YOU. You cannot pour from an empty pot! You have to know that what you do makes a difference. Your patient may not even know it yet, but he'll figure it out. Probably long after he's moved on without you. Take every opportunity to thank yourself!

3 Books from Elizabeth Scala MSN/MBA RN (1 winner)

Elizabeth Scala has honored us with a donation of 3 of her books. For one lucky (US based) winner, this is a fantastic prize!!! I own all 3 and I love them!!! Elizabeth was trained at Johns Hopkins University. She is a Reiki master and coach. Elizabeth blogs, writes and produces some fabulous podcasts. In her spare time, she pulls together a fabulous program for Nurses Week each year the Art of Nursing.

Nursing from Within: A Fresh Alternative to Putting Out Fires and Self-Care Workarounds offers the innovative solutions today’s nurses need. Although it outlines the problems nurses face, this book is not about trying to change the working environment. Rather, it’s about altering inner perspectives. With boundless energy and passion, it addresses an element that’s largely missing from nursing self-care programs focusing on diet and health: the spiritual self.
Stop Nurse Burnout: Individuals typically enter their careers with a desire to provide compassionate, heart-based care. Challenged by regulations, financial pressures and technological advancements, today’s healthcare professional struggles to balance the art with the science of practice. Elizabeth inspires nursing teams to reconnect with the passionate and fulfilling joy that once called them to their roles.

Your Next Shift: How to Kick Your Nursing Career into High Gear:  Nursing offers many opportunities, but there’s no denying it’s tough—and sometime thankless—work. A nurse’s mindset often means the difference between an average and awesome career, but few nursing books focus on this vital aspect of the profession.

Entrepreneur and clinical nurse Elizabeth Scala, MSN/MBA, RN, provides the means to take your nursing career to the next level. Beginning with the many issues affecting nursing, Scala describes the negative “monkey” mindsets that interfere with a nurses’ ability to enjoy their profession. She then introduces a set of seven spiritual laws to help improve a nurse’s career outlook.

ONE (US based) winner will receive all 3 books.  Follow these Rules to Enter.

Thanks Elizabeth!!!


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

2018 Nurses Week - Day 4

Nurses Week is also a time to reflect on the nursing profession and how we can work together to improve working conditions as well as quality patient care.  Staffing ratios are one of the biggest issues we all face in any field, but especially true in hospital care.

Advocate for Nurses

Nurses Take DC is a collaborative effort to educate the public and to persuade legislators to vote on safe staffing ratios. Alene Nitzky Phd, RN, OCN, shares her experiences at the 2018 event on her blog. Learn more about the grass roots organization collaboration and their efforts to get S1063 and HR 2392 the Nurse Staffing Standards for Hospital Patient Safety and Quality Care Act of 2017 passed.

Additionally the National Nurse for Public Health Act S1106 and HR 1651 needs your support and help to educate the public and your legislators.  Recent hurricanes, earthquakes, fires and other natural disasters serve to remind us of the need for unified nurse leadership to ensure the best quality care for victims and their families.  This year's flu season was a harsh one and the flu vaccine was not all that effective. Nurse leadership in the area of public health information and preventative care is essential to containing costs, meeting patient needs and preventing complications from acute and chronic illness.

Investigate these grass roots efforts working diligently to promote quality health and safety issues for all. Get involved and advocate for the passage of this important legislation. Stand up for nurses!

Maevn Scrubs

Now for the Give Away information you're waiting for....
Maevn Uniforms is generously donating one set of their Blossom Signature Collection scrubs (winner's choice of color, style and size) for a US based winner. 

Maevn Uniforms, a leading U.S. supplier of fashionable medical uniforms, recently announced its new women’s Blossom Signature Collection. The new medical scrub separates line is designed to bring functionality and style together by featuring multiple pockets and loops (for medical tools) while maintaining a flattering and modern fit. All styles within the new collection are comprised of signature cotton-blended fabric to provide a breathable stretch for maximum comfort. 

Maevn Uniforms offers men and women in the medical field high-quality, fashionable apparel at competitive prices. The brand's collections are currently available nationwide at over 500 specialty stores that carry medical scrubs and accessories. For more information please visit:

Follow the Rules to Enter and good luck! Thanks Maevn Uniforms!!


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

2018 Nurses Week Give Aways - Day 3

Wow it's Day 3 of our Nurses Week Give Aways. Don't forget to register for the ANA webinar. Today is the last day to do so. What have you been doing to honor yourself this week? Take time for you. Even if it's just a moment. Recognize YOU for all that you do for everyone!

Today's Give Aways offer a little something sweet and a light for your safety when outdoors.


I was the lucky recipient of a delightful box of delicious candies from Sugarwish awhile back so I can highly recommend them! And I need to remind my family where they can get my Nurses Week gift!

Sugarwish takes the guesswork out of gifting allowing your favorite Nurse to choose the candy gift they receive (so you don’t have to know whether she’s craving Holland Mints, Caramel Creams, Swedish Fish or Roasted Almonds!).

Sugarwish starts as an e-card that seamlessly brings the recipient to the Sugarwish virtual candy store, where they get to customize their gift. The gift is then packed in a beautiful gift box, and delivered lickety split. Sweet happiness. Delivered.

Sugarwish is generously donating a Sugarwish Duet to one lucky US based winner. Enjoy! Thanks Sugarwish!

Remember to see the Rules and enter to win any of our great Give Aways 
to make your Nurses Week complete!

MeKetta LED Solar Box

Safety is a big issue for nurses especially those who work shifts that begin or end (maybe both) in the dark. Inclement weather can cause visibility issues as well. The MeKetta LED Solar Box can make a difference for you. It's very versatile and can be handheld or attached to anything from purses and backpacks to bicycles, strollers, dog leashes, etc. It's 2 3/4” X 1 3/4” X 7/8” and has 10 LED lights. Charging options include using a standard micro USB cord (not included) for about an hour; or by sitting it in the sunlight for several hours. It continues to charge as long as it's exposed to direct sunlight. There are 3 modes: solid light, slow blinking and fast blinking.

MeKetta Health and Safety Products has generously donated 2 LED Solar Boxes so we can choose 2 US based winners of this great Nurses Week Give Away. 
Thanks MeKetta!