Monday, September 22, 2008

More About a National Nurse

Have you read the latest article about the National Nurse campaign in Advance for Nurses, September 15, 2008 issue? If you don't receive this magazine, you can read the article online.

Learn more about this grassroots movement. And visit the National Nurse website and blog.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Best Places to Work in Health Care reports that Modern Healthcare has released its list of 100 Best Places to Work in Health Care in the U.S. Is your facility on the list? What do these places have that yours doesn't?

According to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, there are some hospitals that are experiencing no shortage of nurses. One such facility is Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack NJ where they actually aren't using registries or travel nurses to fill their staffing needs. They also don't recruit foreign born nurses. And they have a waiting list of nurses who want to work there.

On the other hand, New Jersey lists a nursing shortage of 13%. So what's up with this? Some recent research has found that money is not all that nurses are looking for. In fact hospitals that have offered great sign on bonuses for years have found that they can recruit nurses with this incentive, but they can't seem to keep them once their commitment is up. They'll move on to another hospital willing to pay a bigger bonus or better incentives.

So how do hospitals retain nurses? Well, for one thing by doing what we've been trying to tell them for years....Listen to the nurses!!! Not all facilites are created alike, and the needs will vary. Working conditions have long outweighed salary needs in most surveys although nurses will probably never make what they're worth.

Flexible schedules is a BIG item. Working twelve hour shifts simply cannot be maintained year after year by most nurses. Rotating days to nights is another issue. The average age of nurses is increasing and older nurses simply cannot handle the physical stress of twelve hour shifts. Even eight hour shifts may be too much.

Thinking outside the box is essential. Just because hospitals require 24/7 coverage does not mean that two or three shifts works well and provides quality health care.

Help with repaying student loans and tuition reimbursement is another important issue.

High housing costs are prohibitive in some areas. A couple of innovative hospitals invested in apartment buildings near their facility and offer lower rents to nurses and other health care professionals who work in their hospitals. Assistance with downpayments and mortgages is also an enticing incentive.

Concierge services such as car washes, drop off and pick up of dry cleaning, purchasing movie and theater tickets, and other errand services can help to reduce the stresses of everyday life for staff.

Another big issue is documentation. Many facilities are finally implementing ways to reduce the amount of time nurses spend on paperwork.

Facilities where nurses are able to participate in decisions and feel valued also tend to retain nurses.

If you are interested in working in health care, consider a healthcare management degree.

Resources:, September 13, 2008, What Nurses Want by V. Dion Haynes, September 16, 2008, Hospitals Offering Better Working Conditions Instead of Financial Incentives to Address Nursing,
No Nursing Shortages Here

Friday, September 12, 2008

ANA Endorses Obama

The American Nurses Association has has announced its endorsement of Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) for President in the 2008 election. The ANA has endorsed presidential candidates since 1984. The process includes inviting candidates to submit a questionnaire on nursing and health care issues and having a personal interview. ANA also considers the results of its online survey of members.

Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) addressed the ANA House of Delegates in June, 2008 and spoke about the need for real change to the U.S. health care system.

ANA President Rebecca M. Patton MSN, RN, CNOR, is urging nurses, who represent the largest faction of health care workers in the U.S., to work together to support Barack Obama for President. She has been quoted as saying, "working together, we can use our power in the voting booth to make health care a priority, and make Barack Obama the next President of the United States."

Obama has a history of advocacy for nurses by leading efforts in the Illinois state senate to improve the quality of health care and protect nurses.

Obama also co-sponsored legislation in the U.S. Senate known as the the Safe Nursing and Patient Care Act which includes limiting mandatory overtime for nurses except in true emergencies. If elected President, Obama has promised to sign this legislation into law. Read Barack Obama's proposed health care plan. This plan supports the nursing profession.

No matter what your political affiliation, please be sure to REGISTER and VOTE in the upcoming election!


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Never Forget 9-11-01

Reminding all Americans to hang your flags tomorrow in honor of the thousands who were murdered on 9-11-01. God rest their souls!

We shall NEVER FORGET!!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Widespread Problems with Compression Stockings

Recently CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) announced the latest additions to the Never Events/Do Not Pay List. This is a growing list of complications which Medicare will no longer reimburse hospitals for.

One of the items added to the list is blood clots which develop as a complication to hip and knee replacements. has an important article highlighting a study published in the September 2008 issue of American Journal of Nursing.

This study shows widespread (worldwide) problems with compression stockings. From improperly applying the stockings to inaccurate measurements and fitting, these stockings are not being used appropriately and therefore not helping to prevent the formation of blood clots.

This information can be helpful in improving the quality of patient care and preventing loss of reimbursement for blood clots which result from hip and knee replacements.
photo: Jobst antiembolic stockings

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Do You Want to Become a Nurse?

School has started again and this year's high school juniors and seniors are preparing for their future. If you are thinking about becoming a nurse, you should read Before You Decide to Become a Nurse.

There are a lot of deadlines coming up rapidly such as college applications and NET or TEAS testing arrangements. It's also time to explore financial aid options and start the FAFSA process. Some scholarship deadlines are rapidly approaching. Be sure you have these dates on your calendar and keep them in your sight.

Nursing schools are impacted and many have long waiting lists. Each year schools turn away thousands of qualified students. Make sure you do everything in your power to be accepted! You should also carefully consider the list of schools that don't have a waiting list. Don't put all of your eggs in one basket, apply to several to improve your chances of being accepted.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

More Storms Coming Stay Prepared

So glad Gustav wasn't as bad as it could have been. I know it has been frustrating for those who had to leave their homes when it turned out not to be so bad, but there was significant damage to utilities and the threat was real. Better to be safe than sorry. We have to learn from history and sometimes, yes, we do over react. But no one ever wants to see another event like Katrina!

It's easy for me to say that, but I live in earthquake country where we don't have warnings. We have what we all call "earthquake weather" where we think it's too hot and too still for too long, but it isn't always reliable. In fact, it usually isn't. Scientists are working on a warning system, but it's still a Sci-Fi dream away.

The best any of us can do is to be prepared for the unknown with an emergency kit. And if we get an advanced warning take heed and don't play roulette with Mother Nature.

There are already three or four more storms stacked up in the Atlantic. This isn't going to be a fun time. Take care and let's all hope for the best. The most important thing is not to get complacent and to let your guard down. Stay safe!!