Friday, February 27, 2009

An Updated

For those of you who may have an interest in home health nursing, I want to let you know that I have competed an update of my website


Monday, February 23, 2009

Nurses Don't Learn it All in School

From a new article at

Most new nurses say that the things they wished they had learned in school include such things as the overwhelming amount of paperwork involved in admitting or discharging a patient, time management skills, how to prioritize and organize their days.

The trouble is, most of this is simply just not possible given the structure of nursing programs. In some of the older diploma programs when nurses actually lived on the campus of hospitals and worked on the floors for whole shifts, they learned more about these things because they experienced them. Today, nursing students typically care for one or two patients and spend only a part of a shift on the floor once or twice a week for the majority, if not the entirety, of their clinical rotations.

And so for new nurses, a lot more learning is left to their first year on the job. Nursing is a lifelong learning process, but the first year is intense as new nurses learn about their roles and the function of their various work environments.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Obama Promotes Nurse to Lead

The American Nurses Association endorsed President Obama when he was running for President because of his insight into the health care crisis, the nursing shortage and the fact that the nursing profession needs some strong role models and leadership.

He also has a strong understanding that nurses are the backbone of health care in the U.S. and that in order to improve the health and well being of Americans, that nurses need to have an active role in overseeing the health care industry.

Today, President Obama took action to promote a nurse to a leadership position in the health care industry. He appointed Dr. Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, FAAN, to head the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Health and Human Services.

Dr. Wakefield is a strong supporter of nurses and has most recently been the associate dean of rural health at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of North Dakota. She has also served on a multitude of local, state and national health-related advisory boards, and has authored multiple articles and columns about health care issues. As a speaker, she has presented at national and international groups on the subject of public policies and strategies to influence policy making and political process in regards to health care issues.

Her experience is in rural health care and her expertise is in quality and patient safety, Medicare payment policy, public policy process and workforce issues. Congratulations Dr. Wakefield you will serve us all proudly!

Meanwhile, the Office of the National Nurse campaign moves forward. Read this terrific post from Kim at Emergiblog.

Nurses are encouraged to contact CNA/NNOC to discuss support for this effort and clarify misconceptions. Call Deborah Burger, RN at (510) 273-2200. Or email her at dburger at calnurses dot org.

The nursing shortage will not be solved without strong leadership in the profession. And in the face of economic disasters, it is more important than ever for nurses to hold strong to the values and to the gains we have made in quality patient care. As has been shown to be the case all too often in past economic downturns, facility administrators will try hard to undermine these efforts in order to force nurses to work overtime, lay off staff, and bully nurses into ignoring patient quality issues such as nurse to patient ratios in order to avoid being fired.

Strong nursing leadership has never been more important than at this moment!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Holidays for Nurses???

I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day whether you are with the love of your life or not, I hope it was a good day. Being a Saturday, meant many of you had to work...

Also hope you all emerged unscathed from Friday the 13th as well. We had a few major challenges in my family, but I think we're on the road to recovery from them. Not looking forward to another one soon, but March always seems to mirror February and so we have another to face soon enough.

And now it's President's Day here in the U.S. No mail, no banks are open, and many businesses are closed. Retail stores are having more blowout sales in hopes of selling something in this economy!

But for nurses, it's business as usual. I hope that all nursing students and those who want a career in nursing, realize that health care doesn't get a day off just because it's a "holiday." Nurses especially have to cover the shifts. Sick people don't get well just because it's a holiday...or the weekend.

That's part of being altruistic and giving selflessly of yourself in the desire to help others. I don't know how many new nurses come into the workplace with no idea that they will have to work the worst shifts, the most holidays and probably at least every other weekend. Or perhaps 3 out of 4 weekends a month. When they have "paid their dues" and have some seniority, they'll have a better selection of holidays, etc.

This also keeps a lot of nurses from ever seeking another job because they don't want to have to start over again at the low end of the totem pole. But sometimes you have to in order to get out of the rut that's driving you crazy and making you hate your job!!! If you're burned's time to move on whether that means moving to the bottom of the totem pole or not!! New faces, new challenges and a different attitude can make all the difference! Don't be afraid to try it, a few sacrifices can be well worth the move.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Can You Help A Student Nurse Today?

A student has placed an URGENT request for information from BSN nurses on The Nursing Site Forum. If you can help today, please join and respond.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Everything Guide to Caring for Aging Parents

My latest book, The Everything Guide to Caring for Aging Parents is now available. It can be purchased from and

It is based on my personal experiences with my own parents and in-laws as well as my 30 years in home health nursing. I hope it serves as valuable information to health care professionals as well as anyone coping with this situation.

If anyone would be interested in writing a review on their website or blog, please email me. I have a limited number of review copies available.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Risks Associated with Shoulder Pain Pumps

I recently wrote an article for about the risks associated with shoulder pain pumps.

Pain control is such an important issue for nurses, but these devices do have certain risks that nurses and all health care professionals as well as patients should be aware of. Take some time to read about this issue and familiarize yourself with these risks.

Photo: Stryker Pain Pump