Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How an LPNs' Scope of Practice Differs from an RN's

NOTE: This article has stimulated a lot of conversation which is great. Please understand that the LPN Scope of Practice will vary from state to state according to the LPN Nurse Practice Act. In many states the LPN can perform many more tasks; sometimes additional education and certification is required. The information here gives the reader a basic understanding. Refer to your state's LPN and RN Nurse Practice Act for more information.

A Guest Post from J.G. Enriquez RN...

Have you ever wondered why there are different types of nurses? Notice the rising cost of health care and you will find an answer. As hospitalizations become more expensive, patients are opting to be cared for in outpatient facilities. Meanwhile, old medical technologies are giving way to new ones. Now, patients in outpatient facilities require minimal care compared to those who remain hospitalized because of their unstable conditions. The licensed practical nurse (LPN) is the kind of nurse that is capable of caring for these stable patients. Another more skilled professional, the registered nurse (RN), is more suited to care for unstable patients. They each play distinct roles in caring for you and your loved ones. Their scopes of practice differ in terms of legal purposes and patient safety.

Their educational preparations are also different. LPNs complete their nursing degree in less than 18 months. But it takes longer for RNs to earn their degrees. In fact, it can take an RN student as long as four years to finish. The LPN is above the level of nursing assistants but subordinate to the RNs. They are the ones who are typically seen rendering bedside care. You can view them as more like technical nurses. On the other hand, RNs have a wider scope of practice than LPNs. They can delegate tasks to LPNs and usually shoulder more responsibilities. You might want to consider the distinctions before you decide whether you want to be an LPN or an RN. But exactly how divergent are LPNs and RNs in their day to day tasks? Here's a rundown of the differences.

Roles and Responsibilities: LPN vs. RN

  • Assessment: LPNs record patient data according to set rules and can report any abnormal findings to RNs. Can LPNs perform a complete, exhaustive physical assessment? No -- only RNs can do that. Because of their training, RNs have developed a better sense of what is going on with the patient. They are trusted to use their "clinical eye" to assess the patient and a particular situation. Of course, LPNs can contribute in this process by reporting observed data and suggesting interventions.
  • Planning: Now, who is responsible for the plan of care? Only the RN can craft and prepare the nursing care plan. Don't forget, this is an important distinction between LPNs and RNs. Surely, LPNs can give their input and recommendations, but only the RN has the responsibility of planning out interventions to achieve good outcomes based on her nursing judgement. LPNs are not allowed to create care plans under any circumstances.
  • Implementation: Simply put, LPNs perform routine and non-invasive tasks. They assist patients to do activities of daily living such as bathing, grooming, eating, dressing and walking. Giving oral medication and taking vital signs are other responsibilities. Meanwhile, RNs can do all things LPNs do, but they can do much more than simply feeding patients routinely. For instance, when a patient has a tube for liquid feeding, you would not expect an LPN to feed the patient even though feeding is a routine activity. Instead, an RN will administer tube feedings because it is considered more invasive. The same thing applies for giving medications. While LPNs can give tablets, only RNs are supposed to give injectable drugs. Again, LPNs take care of stable patients, while RNs take care of unstable ones. When a stable patient becomes unstable, RNs step in and take over from LPNs.
  • Delegation: RNs can assign tasks to LPNs. Does this mean any task can be delegated by the RN? Are LPNs at the mercy of the whims of RNs? Of course not. Any task to be delegated must be included in the list of allowable tasks under facility rules and the nursing practice law. RNs can never delegate assessment and patient teaching. However, interventions can be delegated provided RNs directly supervise LPNs. On the other hand, LPNs are obliged to accept the delegated task unless it is against policy, scope of practice or there is reasonable chance for the patient to be harmed. Remember, both RNs and LPNs are accountable for their actions when assigning or being assigned with tasks.
  • Evaluation and Documentation: Yes, both LPNs and RNs evaluate and document nursing care. It is crucial for them to collaborate to revise and improve the care plan. LPNs often look at specific results, reports and records them. On the other hand, RNs are more concerned with the overall picture by looking at all the information and piecing them all together.
  • Patient Teaching: What about patient teaching? RNs have the sole responsibility to teach patients. They are entrusted to do so because their education and training is longer and deeper than LPNs. But LPNs are not completely out of the picture when it comes to patient teaching. They can teach under a definite set of guidelines. For example, they can teach a patient how to perform range of motion exercises, but should not teach patients how to change dressings. Only RNs are tasked to do that since they are invasive and more complex.

To summarize, LPNs perform routine, non-invasive bedside care and work under the supervision of RNs. The RNs can do all LPN tasks plus the invasive procedures but is more focused in the plan of care and overall management. RNs delegate some tasks to the LPN and works with the LPN and the physician. Truly, LPNs and RNs have distinct roles to play in patient care.

J.G. Enriquez has worked as a Registered Nurse for 4 years. He writes about careers in nursing for BrainTrack.

Thanks for a great guest post!

Online master's programs can help you advance your nursing career.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

To all who celebrate == Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

News for Nurses

This post is going to be a hodgepodge of information as the holidays rapidly approach and the year winds down. I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season!!! Hope 2011 brings new and exciting times. I have a few guest posts in the queue that I hope you will enjoy as we move forward.

Being a nurse is always hard at this time of the year. We would all rather be at home with our loved ones. But it's important to remember that our patients need us and depend on us. We make a difference in someone's life everyday! Here's an inspirational story from

In 2010, the historic Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law and has begun to be implemented. There are many ways in which nurses will be impacted by this law. For one, we will finally have the funding we have needed for education and workforce development and diversity needs. And as the new Congress takes their place in 2011, there will be new nurses joining in the fun in Washington DC. In fact, there will be seven nurses in the 112th Congress. Take a moment to read about them and resolve to keep in touch with them about what nurses need.

Here's some resources you might be interested in:

Top 40 Forums and Message Boards for Nurse Practitioners

50 Resources for Nurses Attending Online Nursing Schools (we are listed--thanks!)
20 Iconic Nurses Every Nursing Student Should Study
Nourish Interactive (started by a nurse)
A Nurse Case Manager's Success Story (You Tube Video)

Don't forget to join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Becoming a Nurse – What Does it Entail?

A guest post from Bobbie Walker...

Nursing is a profession that’s being looked at with new eyes today – people are waking up the fact that nursing involves more than just patient care and long hours. There’s a demand for nurses in all areas of healthcare, from hospitals to schools to private homes. So if you’re considering becoming a nurse, now is a good time to join this industry because hiring is on the rise. However, before you take a final call on this decision, it’s best you know what the nursing profession entails:
  • Nursing is a demanding job, one that requires you to spend long hours on your feet, keep erratic and long work hours, and put your patients before yourself. It’s not for everyone in that it could take a huge toll on you mentally and physically if you’re not cut out for it and ready to take the rough with the smooth.
  • At the same time, it’s an immensely satisfying profession if you’re the kind who thrives on giving other people your time and effort and taking pride in their well-being.
  • The educational qualifications required are not as demanding as going to medical school; however, your job status is not on par with that of doctors, even if you’re qualified academically and through experience as an advanced practice nurse.
  • You have to start out at the bottom of the ladder and work your way to the top – any nursing job that’s higher up requires a few years of experience as an RN and additional education as qualifications.
  • Most nurses who are ambitious choose to become advanced practice nurses by earning an MSN or a doctorate and becoming certified in the field of their choice; so you can choose to become a Nurse Practitioner, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, a Nurse Midwife or a Clinical Nurse Specialist. Nurse practitioners can become specialists in one of many areas of medicine including gerontology, neonatal care, pediatrics, oncology, acute care, critical care, women’s health, psychiatry, adult health, emergency medicine, and occupational healthcare.
  • There are opportunities to move to non-clinical positions once you have a few years of experience under your belt and are willing to go back to school to pick up a few extra credentials – you could choose to go into administration, education (teaching), legal nursing, organization and planning (case nurse manager), and research. Some nurses with vast experience in the medical field even enter the pharma industry as consultants and administrators.
  • If you love to travel and thrive on new places and new people, you could become a travel nurse.
  • From RNs to advanced practice nurses, all nursing professions include continuous education and meeting the necessary conditions to stay certified throughout their career. Nursing is not a job where you can rest on your laurels or stagnate in the same spot.
  • If you’re going back to school while continuing to work at your profession, remember that balancing a degree and the demands of a nursing career could become overwhelming and cause stress if you don’t have a good support system of friends and family.
  • So if you’re considering becoming a nurse, plan ahead, and go ahead with what works for you instead of adopting herd mentality and following the crowd.
This guest post is contributed by Bobbie Walker, she writes on the topic of Online BSN Degrees. She welcomes your comments at her email id: bobbiew862[@]gmail[.]com.

Thanks Bobbie!!
For More on Becoming a Nurse see The Nursing Site

Friday, November 26, 2010

Road Map for a Successful RN Career

The Following is a Guest Post

Chris Urbano has been a registered nurse for over 30 years with broad experience as a school nurse, ICU nurse, nurse educator, legal nurse consultant, and now as director of nursing at a long-term residential facility.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and a Master of Arts (MA) in Community Psychology. Ms. Urbano consults with BrainTrack on its nursing schools section.

While my years of experience in nursing have exposed me to many successful and happy nurses, I have also encountered many colleagues who regretted studying this career and many others who felt “stuck”. So to avoid disappointment, I suggest you consider the following while building your career road map:

  1. Check your reasons for becoming an RN. Some call this profession a calling and I do believe there is some truth to this. You need to have a desire to help others and be able to deal emotionally with all you will encounter. There are amazing days of hope and positive outcomes which balance out the sad days. I read many patient satisfaction surveys and for the vast majority of positive experiences, it was always a nurse who made the difference.
  2. Get experience before you commit. I would recommend spending time in a health care setting to see how you adjust. You must feel comfortable with all the sights, smells and sounds you will encounter. Some people just can’t work in this environment and you might as well figure that out before all the hard educational work begins.
  3. Select your path to getting licensed. You can choose a two-year AAS (Associate in Applied Science) degree or a four-year BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) degree. In addition, there are many bridge programs for transitioning from RN to BSN or MSN (Master of Science in Nursing), many of which are available online. Your decision will depend on availability of programs, personal choice, time commitment, and finances.
  4. Choose your specialty carefully. All degree programs will expose you to Medical, Surgical, Psychiatric, Maternal/Child, and Pediatric Nursing as these are the basis for the licensing boards. As you experience these rotations, pick an area that fits your personality. This may take time, but it is worth it in the end. For example, I could not work in Pediatrics because I was too emotional to be of much help to my patients and/or their families.
  5. Keep learning to advance. Most hospitals offer tuition re-imbursement and you should leverage this benefit. You can take courses over time and as you complete each level, you will be qualified for advanced practice. This will open doors to advancement, such as management and education positions.

If you like direct care and shift work (weekends, evenings and nights) then you will probably be satisfied with an Associate’s degree and there is always a need for this level of care.

But if you want to expand your options, you need to obtain an advanced degree. Most managers in hospital settings have their BSN or MSN. To teach nursing, you need a minimum of a Master’s Degree but a PhD is required to teach at the Master’s level. Nurse researchers typically hold a Master’s or a Doctorate degree.

I started with an Associate’s Degree and over the years added to my education, providing many opportunities that have made for a rewarding career. I have never regretted my choice to pursue nursing and I wish you the best as you continue along your career path. I hope that you will feel as satisfied as I do, even after all these years.

Thanks Chris for an excellent article!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing everyone in the U.S. a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tips for Assessing Pain

How much do you know about pain assessment? Pain is the fifth vital sign and should be assessed at least once each shift in facilities, and at each visit fro home care and hospice patients.

It's not always easy to assess pain in patients with cognitive deficiencies. Portraits in Pain offers you several tips to help assess your patient's pain level and teach caregivers and loved ones how to do this too.

I often hear from people upset with hospice care, or those who don't understand hospice, that their loved one has or had no pain and yet they were given medication for pain. My response to them is to ask the nurse: WHY haven't you taught me about my loved one's pain assessment?!And what is it that tells you s/he is in pain? 

Pain affects quality of life and the ability to cope with other conditions. It needs to be taken seriously and understood by the nursing profession.  Please take the time to understand pain and pain assessment.


On the subject of pain, please note that brand name drugs Darvon and Darvocette (generic propoxypene) are being taken off the U.S. market. Advise your patients accordingly and update your drug info.

Continuing Professional Development in health and social care at Middlesex University, London.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Nurses: Tips for Eating Healthy on the Job

This guest post is contributed by Alvina Lopez, who writes on the topics of accredited online schools.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: alvina.lopez
Tips for eating healthy on the job
Nursing students typically learn about good nutrition and eating habits in college, but the second they graduate and start to work in a real healthcare facility, even the simplest nutrition practices fly out the window.
It's no surprise. The combination of an intense schedule and a hectic atmosphere of a hospital can make "eating right" a very difficult challenge. But there are ways to ensure that that while you're busy saving lives, you're helping to keep yours in tip-top shape as well. Below are some easy and effective ways to eating healthy during your shift.
Drink Lots of Water
Sometimes that tumbling in your belly occurs because you're thirsty, not hungry. Before you rush off to grab a couple of cookies, drink water. Consuming the standard 6 to 8 glasses a day will not only help ensure you have a stable diet, but will also hydrate you, which will in-turn make you more alert during the day.
Snack Regularly
Despite what you think, experts say eating more is good. So it's imperative that you don't skip any meals. Just be aware of portion-sizes (keep them small). A good way to stay full and prevent yourself from indulging in a heavy meal come dinner time is to snack regularly throughout the day. Healthy snack choices include fresh fruit, nuts such as almonds, carrots, dried fruit, yogurt or a granola bar. Fruits, like apples in particularly, are known not only to satisfy your hunger cravings but also restore energy. This is because fruits are more easily digestible than many other foods and can give you the instantaneous fuel you need to keep going. Need a pick-me-up but don't have an apple on hand? Try a fruit smoothie instead.
Despite the convenience, avoid vending machines and fast food
If you have no other choice but to grab a quick bite from the vending machine, make sure to choose low-fat and whole grain options and be cautious of serving portions (a bag of chips can actually be two servings, not one).Here are some of the more healthier options to select: turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread, baked chips (especially sweet potato or veggie), nonfat yogurt, unsweetened tea and water.
Make wise food choices in the cafeteria
This includes adding fresh vegetables, fruit or a salad to your meal. But remember that just because you opt for a salad doesn't automatically make it a better choice. Choose lower calorie dressings if the option is available. Creamy dressings like ranch, even if low calorie, are usually not the best options. Try to go for vinaigrettes. Pass on the croutons and take it easy on the cheese. Also, avoid salads with dressing already in them.

Thanks Alvina!
photo: Michala Kobakov/

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thanks for the Listing!

Many thanks to Shawn Fisher for mentioning The Nursing Site Blog on the post: 50 Resources for Students Attending Online Nurse Practitioner Schools. (We're #19- Nurses Health) Many terrific articles here. Great reading!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Keep in Touch With Your Legislators

Now that the election is over, time to contact your legislators with your ideas for the new Congress. Unfortunately we have become so dependent on instant gratification that we often lose sight of the fact that some things can take a long time to fix.

Lets just hope the new Congress can actually find some common ground and work on fixing things together.

Nurses have a strong voice and should always make their opinions heard. So please don't go silent. Make your voice heard loud and clear throughout this term. And if you don't like what's being done....don't hesitate to remind them, they too can be voted out of office!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Don't Forget to VOTE!

It's election day in the U.S. It's mid term for President Obama and many congressional seats are expected to shift parties. Please be sure to VOTE. Everyone's vote counts. And if you don't believe me, look up the 2000 presidential race. Remember that Freedom Isn't Free, and so very many have given their lives in wars since the Revolutionary War to see to it that we remain a free nation and we each have the RIGHT to VOTE. Women have only had that right to vote since 1920. With rights come responsibilities. Be an informed voter. Know your candidates and the issues. But VOTE!!!!!

Nurses have a huge influence in many political races across the country, and need to vote and have their voices heard.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Health Care is Going Home.... No Surprise to Home Health Nurses

There's an interesting commentary in the latest New England Journal of Medicine on how the future of health care will revolve around home care for a variety of reasons. Ask any home care nurse for an opinion, and you may be surprised to know that we've been spouting this gospel for YEARS now. Nice to know that the medical community is beginning to catch on! You can find the link on my blog. 

Read more about home health care nursing.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Help New Grads Find Jobs

Helping new grads find jobs is a very important issue. The nursing shortage may have been temporarily stalled because of the downturn of the economy, but as the economy gets healthy again, and health care reform is implemented the nursing shortage has the potential to grow very rapidly.

Helping new grads find work also encourages students to choose nursing and not run scared because new grads can't find jobs.

Post your tips and job information on The Nursing Site page on Facebook.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Nurses Health Study III Needs More Nurses to Participate

The Nurses Health Study III is looking for more nurses to join in the study which began in 1976. If you are female, born in the U.S.,  and between 22 and 45 years of age (born after January 1, 1965), please consider joining this long running study. The questionnaires are available online. The first one can take about 30 minutes to complete, but the information derived from this study has been a tremendous help. I have been a member since 1976 and it takes a few minutes to fill out the forms, but it's very worthwhile in understanding and promoting health for women. 
"The Nurses’ Health Studies are among the largest and longest running investigations of factors that influence women’s health. Started in 1976 and expanded in 1989, the information provided by the 238,000 dedicated nurse-participants has led to many new insights on health and disease. While the prevention of cancer is still a primary focus, the study has also produced landmark data on cardiovascular disease, diabetes and many other conditions. Most importantly, these studies have shown that diet, physical activity and other lifestyle factors can powerfully promote better health." 
You can also find out more information about the study on the nhs3.Org FACEBOOK page. Read about the previous study results.

graphic borrowed from the FACEBOOK page

Friday, October 1, 2010

New Change of Shift Posted

Kim has posted the latest version of CHANGE OF SHIFT. Check it out. There's always a lot of nursing news and information. Thanks Kim for a great job as always!!!!

About the Blog Roll

You'll note that the Blog Roll is no longer in the right hand sidebar. I have moved it to it's own page. See the TAB at the top of this page. It's next to HOME, under the logo. 

If you would like to be listed, please see the instructions at the top of the Blog Roll page.
If you would like to Advertise on The Nursing Site Blog or The Nursing Site, please email me for rates.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

When We Have 100 Members....

When we reach 100 members of TheNursingSiteGroup on Facebook, we will put all the names in a hat and have a drawing for some small prizes, such as DVDs and books. So invite your friends and colleagues to join as well.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Nursing Site Group on Facebook

Join our new group on Facebook. Post a discussion, share your ideas, support the nursing profession.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

National Drug Take-Back Day 9/25/10

On September 25, 2010, the U.S. Justice Dept Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is sponsoring a national Drug Take-Back Day in cooperation with local and state law enforcement agencies. The public can rid their medicine cabinets of no longer used prescription and over the counter medications free of charge, anonymously and no questions asked. This is a national effort to get medications out of reach of those who might be tempted to abuse them. 

Collection sites will be in service from 10 Am to 2 PM. Get more information about the program and your local collection site here

NOTE:if you get a timed out notice, look for the Start Over link and it will take you to the page you need. Also if you click the "back" which is next to the "submit" button, you'll get back to the information page. Sorry that's the way their site works.

photo: Kathy Quan RN

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Why Choose CNA as a Stepping Stone Career in the Medical Field?

Guest Post from Catherine Bynes at

You might want to consider training to receive your nursing assistant certification if you want to have a career in the medical field but are not yet able or ready to spend the time or money for a more advanced career.  It is not uncommon for individuals to start out as a CNA before furthering their career.

There are many benefits of using a job as a CNA as a stepping-stone in the medical field.  It only takes a few weeks and a few hundred dollars to become a certified nursing assistant.  You have the opportunity to start a career in healthcare without spending a great deal of time or money. 

You can work in a healthcare facility after your CNA Training course is completed. The job will help you learn what it is like to work various shifts and to sometimes be working long hours.  It will provide you with experience as to how to provide the best care for your patients even when you are tired or working shifts that you are not used to working. 

When you are working as a certified nursing assistant, you can learn what it is like to work under stress and in a fast-paced environment.  You will be able to evaluate whether or not this type of job environment is right for you. 

As you become a part of the healthcare team, you will get a real understanding as to whether or not a career in the medical field is right for you.  If you determine it is, you can pursue a further career in the medical field when you are ready.

A job as a CNA will provide you with a way to earn a good income while you pursue a career in the medical field.  You will be able to be employed while you attend school and start on your path to a more advanced career in the medical field.  This will provide you with the opportunity to continuing gaining experience in the healthcare industry.

Sometimes employers will provide some tuition assistance for certified nursing assistants who are interested in becoming nurses or entering into other healthcare training programs.  This is something worth looking into if you have a good working relationship with your employer. 

Many nursing schools are now requiring applicants to hold a nursing assistant certification.  If you want to become a nurse, you will already be one step ahead of the game. You might find that it is easier to be accepted into a new program of study in the healthcare industry because you are a certified nursing assistant. 

A job as a CNA is a good stepping-stone if you are considering becoming a nurse or some other type of healthcare provider somewhere down the line.  You can begin gaining valuable experience working in the healthcare industry. 

For more on becoming a CNA or a nurse see The Nursing Site 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Students Not Exploring Health Careers

The nursing shortage may seem stalled since the economy tanked, but as the economy recovers and health care reform becomes a reality, that shortage is going to come back with a bang and we're going to be very ill prepared to deal with it.

As new reports seem to indicate, high school students are not considering careers as nurses, doctor and other health care professionals. In many cases this is because they have not been exposed to the science and math courses which would peak their interests in these career options. A background in math and science courses in secondary or high school is not an absolute, but certainly will help students pick paths in college that will lead towards health professions.
Read more....

Friday, August 20, 2010

NursingSiteNetwork Will Close Today

I'm sorry to say that the Nursing Site Network at will close today. has decided to charge for hosting these networks and at this time I cannot see my way to charge readers to join to cover the costs, so have decided to let it go.

We have The Nursing Site Forum hosted on Google for those of you interested in communicating with fellow nurses and nursing students, and you can follow us on Facebook for more social networking options.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

NY Nurse Practitioner Helps Shape Lives

Miraclebody Jeans ran a contest in April 2010 to search for women who make a difference and help shape lives. Megan Sikorski of New York was one of the four women chosen.

Megan is a Nurse Practitioner in pediatric oncology and bone marrow transplant at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in NY.  She is also a volunteer doula who specializes in working with under served single pregnant teens. Congratulations Megan!! You do make a difference!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

FREE Web Seminar on Retirement for Nurses

A FREE web seminar on Planning for Retirement: A Guide for Nurses and Other Busy Women will be held next Thursday, July 29 at 2:0 PM EDT.

According to the sponsors, the US Department of Labor, EBSA, the Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) and the Center for American Nurses, "Planning for a secure retirement can be challenging for women. Women are twice as likely as men to live in or near poverty in old age, and many women who were never poor during their working years, will find themselves struggling to get by in retirement. The time to start planning for these years is now."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


The Nursing Site Blog will be restored in the next few days. Please be patient

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Patient's Bill of Rights

A new Patient's Bill of Rights has been made possible as the health care reform act begins to be enacted beginning in September. Read this list of consumer protections and help your patients understand their new rights.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Nursing Site Rebuilt has now been redesigned and rebuilt. If you are trying to link to a URL and getting a broken link, please refer to the Article Index to locate the files. Articles are now stored as .pdf fies and will require a .pdf reader to open such as Adobe Reader.

Some links from the articles to other articles may not yet work, but those files can be found in the Article Index as well. 

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy July 4th

Happy July 4th! Have a safe and happy holiday!!! Take a moment to give thanks and say a prayer for our military nurses. Here's a great post from Sara Ellis that puts it all in perspective. Thanks Sara!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Troubles with Hosting

If you've been trying to access The Nursing Site, and even this blog over the last few days, I appologize for any issues.

I am setting up new hosting for The Nursing Site so that eventually it can be more efficient and I can update the site more easily. However, this is taking forever to accomplish!!!

Somehow the hosting folks have now lost my nameservers info for the blog too and so we're experiencing some intermittent troubles. Hopefully it will all resolve SOON!!! I'm soooo frustrated with it, and I'm sure you are too.

Thanks for hanging in there with me.

HAPPY 4th of July!!!!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Meg Whitman Taking on California Nurses-- Political Suicide?

Meg Whitman has chosen to take on the California Nurses Association in her campaign to become the next governor of California. She didn't learn that this can be a very dangerous thing for CA politicians to do? Nurses are joining teachers and other unions to donate millions and campaign for Democratic candidate Jerry Brown. Read more.... 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

National Nurse Act Needs ANA Support- NOW

The ANA has elected a new president to serve for the next two years. Her name is Karen Daley. I know that there are many of us who hope that the new board will be more devoted to supporting nurses and the nursing profession and less affected by the power and role as others have been in the past.

To that end, I sincerely hope that the new ANA Board will look closely at the National Nurse proposal and add the ANA's support to this very important issue. Kim McAllister at Emergiblog has written an excellent open letter to the ANA asking for their support of the National Nurse campaign. Read and comment on her blog.  And you can email Karen Daley at ANA to ask her for ANA's support.

The National Nurse Act of 2010 now has 15 Congressional members signed on in support!!!  Please contact YOUR Congression representative and ask him/her to support this measure. (I wish I could say I have been successful in gaining the support of my representative, but he is only interested in measures that support his interests and those of special interest groups who financially back him.) Read more about how student nurses view this issue.

Edith Shain-- VJ Day Nurse Dies

Edith Shain was kissed by a U.S. sailor in Times Square on VJ Day August 14, 1945, and the picture has been an iconic image of patriotism and nurses ever since. The sailor was never identified.

Famed photographer Alfred Eisenstadt  snapped the picture for LIFE Magazine as part of the celebration of the end of World War II.

Shain was a registered nurse at the time of the photograph. She passed away last week on June 20, 2010, in Los Angeles.  She was 91.  Read more about her life at her official family website.

photo: from Wikepedia

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Quotes to Entertain and Inspire recently published a list of 100 Entertaining and Inspiring Quotes for Nurses to "help inspire you or make you laugh and make your day a little brighter." Enjoy!

Happy Father's Day!

Wishing all the dads a very Happy Father's Day! It takes a special person to become a nurse and many more men are joining the ranks of some of the finest nurses! Thanks and have a special day!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

HawthoRNe Available on DVD

On June 15, 2010, Sony Pictures will release the first season of HawthoRNe starring Jada Pinkett Smith on DVD.

The TNT popular drama features Christina Hawthorne RN (Pinkett Smith) a recently-widowed nursing director in her struggles with her teenage daughter, bureaucratic hospital administrators, egotistical doctors and burned out nurses.

The series also stars:
    * Jada Pinkett-Smith
    * Joanna Cassidy
    * Michael Vartan
    * Christina Moore
    * David Julian Hirsh
    * Suleka Mathew
    * Hannah Hodson

To celebrate the release, Sony Pictures has offered special bundled DVD deals (including the HawthoRNe DVD) to hospitals and nursing websites for their lending library as a promotion.  In the interest of full disclosure, my intention is to donate some of the DVDs to hospice lending library where I work, and to give away some to my readers as well. Stay tuned for details next week.

The HawthoRNe series DVD will also feature special clips such as:
    * All In A Day’s Work - A Conversation With Jada Pinkett Smith
    * Inside Richmond Trinity
    * Get To Know The Cast Of HawthoRNe
    * HawthoRNe Medical School
    * Male Nurses
    * Shooting A Scene - Visual Effects
    * HawthoRNe's Heroes

View a clip from the pilot episode.  

 HawthoRNe will be available in your local DVD retail outlets as of Tuesday, June 15.

photo: courtesy Sony Pictures and MAMMOTH

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Let's Hear About Success Stories

It's graduation season and let's take a moment to congratulate all the new nurses!!!! Good luck with your boards and your new careers.

But for far too many new nurses, the age old story of graduating college and having difficulty finding a job is becoming a common thread. And yet we're still saying there's a shortage of nurses!!! But where are the jobs??

Unfortunately the downturn in the economy found many of us putting off retirement and even returning to work for financial stability. And as many of us know, especially many old timers like myself... hospital administrators cut nursing jobs first and expect the remaining staff to pick up the slack.

Many states have staffing ratio laws, but hospitals are pushing the envelope and getting away with it. Nurses at UC hospitals throughout CA were banned from a one-day strike protesting this problem this week, but they're making noise about the issue.

We also to continue to hear that there are huge needs for nurses in places like Hawaii. And there will be all across the US as the economy recovers and nurses do finally retire.

Have you been able to find a job as a new nurse? Please share your success story with us in the COMMENTS section. Perhaps you did something unique. Or your location really does need nurses now. Clue us in.
Thanks for your help!!!

See The Nursing Site for more information and links.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

10 iPhone Apps Every Nurse Must Have

A Guest Post from Melissa Tamura

The ever changing and fast paced Health Care industry is a confusing place to work. New treatments, new medications and new procedures make keeping track of it all a tall order. Many apps available for the popular iPhone from Apple offer reference materials and diagnostic tools for making vital decisions on the fly. Here are ten essential apps for your iPhone that will make life a bit easier for nurses at any hospital.

Epocrates Essentials
One of the most popular programs available to nurses, Epocrates Essentials is the Swiss Army Knife of medical apps. Offering a comprehensive drug guide for a wide range of medications, it includes a visual guide to pills, gives lab test references, helps diagnose symptoms, and features thorough databases for infectious diseases of all kinds.

Skyscape RxDrugs
You can never have enough reference material when it comes to drugs and medications. RxDrugs features usage guidelines for thousands of prescriptions, both generic and brand name. You'll receive updates on changes to drug information for a year and three months of phone support.

Drug Infusion
Nurses can use this handy, lightweight drug infusion guide to store records of standardized drug concentrations. The weight and drug dosage of any patient can be entered and the infusion rate for that patient can be quickly determined. It crunches the numbers for you when you're pressed for time.

Nursing Central
The subscription-based Nursing Central features a number of helpful tools including a full medical dictionary, drug guides, access to medical journals and Davisís Comprehensive Handbook of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests. While not free, it's well worth the investment.

This one is a comprehensive, full-featured medical reference application that delivers over data including images and video on almost every conceivable condition and disease. And the price is right, because it's one of the few apps of it's type that's completely free. In addition to drug and disease information, you get the latest breaking news concerning research and new discoveries in the medical field.

Everyone knows children can be some of the trickiest patients you'll come across. Pedi STAT gives you accurate and appropriate information for children of any weight or age for quick and easy reference on everything from allergic reactions to normal vital signs.

Psych Drugs
Yet another useful, free app. Psych Drugs gives you a quick and easy reference for all the psychiatric drugs you'll run across in your daily routine. From anti-anxiety drugs to mood stabilizers and anti-psychotics, Psych Drugs gives you all the information you need, accessed through an intuitive interface.

This free medical calculator offers access to a myriad of medical classifications, scores and formulas. It allows you to calculate everything from Ideal Body Weight to infused dosages in a snap. It's the perfect iPhone addition for nurses and physicians alike.

A.D.A.M. Symptom Navigator
Easily one of the best free apps available to iPod Touch and iPhone users, the Symptom Navigator from A.D.A.M does exactly what it says. Giving clear and easy to use tools to quickly and accurately diagnose conditions and afflictions, it's a must for anyone who deals directly with patients.

Informed RN Pocket Guide
Here's one last reference guide for you long-suffering nurses. The Informed RN Pocket Guide offers thorough and comprehensive information for nurses in all areas of medicine imaginable. It also features tools for quick and easy calculations and the ability to write and save personal notes for future reference.

Those are just some of the many helpful and versatile applications available for the iPhone that nurses and others in medicine may find useful. With over 185,000 third-party applications currently available from the Apple App Store and iTunes, there are many more out there that can make any nurse or Medical Professional more versatile and productive in a challenging environment. For now, the ten applications listed above should tide you over while you sift through the available options for more handy programs to simplify your job.

Melissa Tamura writes about online degrees for the Zen College Life blog.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Another Way to Honor the Nursing Profession During Nurses Week

Do something for YOU and your fellow nurses to celebrate Nurses Week..... Call or email your Senators and Representatives and ask them to co-sponsor legislation in the House or Senate that improves Home Health Care and allows for Advance Practice nurses such as NPs. Clinical Nusre Specialists and Nurse Midwifes to sign orders for home health care for their patients. This is LONG OVERDUE. Read more....

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happy Nurses Day!!!

Happy Nurses Day and Happy Nurses Week! 

I know, no one gave you a huge raise. And no one gave you an additional week of vacation. And you are still the MOST overworked and underpaid professional in your group of friends and family!!!!

Guess what? You're a nurse! YOU make a difference in someone's life EVERY DAY How many of your friends and family can say that?! How many of them can do what you do?!!

Celebrate YOU today and all week!!!!Do something nice for yourself and say THANK YOU for all that YOU do for your patients!

And then ask your family and friends to help SUPPORT NURSES like yourself by calling their Representatives and asking them to sign on as co-sponsors of THE NATIONAL NURSE ACT of 2010. (HR 4601).

If you're unsure, or think you don't like the idea.... I ask you to please READ the ACTUAL bill before you make up your mind. Don't get caught up in the politics by nurses who call themselves the "Queen Bitch."

It is about providing health care to the public. (Which is NOT the function of the ANA.) And supporting nurses and elevating the nursing profession so we can get the respect we deserve. No it won't mean raises and more vacations and perks, but it may just mean that when we most need it, we'll get the funding for educating new nurses so we have some help out there!!!!

THANK YOU for being a nurse!!!!!

Nurses Week Gift Ideas

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Nurses Week T Shirt Contest

Patrick Fuerstenau at Medical Solutions alerted me to a contest they are having for Nurses Week. Design a T Shirt at and be entered in their contest. Please VOTE for my design here. (Thanks).  The contest continues through Nurses Week which ends May 12.

Stereotyping Nurses Can Be Dangerous to Your Health

In another great post, Sara Ellis at has hit the topic on the head once again! Negative stereotypes of nurses really do hurt patients.

Nurses don't get the respect and therefore we don't get the money to help us educate nurse educators and new nurses to take on the roles that nurses really do in real life. In the long run, the nursing shortage is going to impact more and more lives. And the quality of care will affect too many.

If only we could convince viewers to watch the drama and NOT believe everything they see about nurses on TV and in the movies. The writers of these shows are not nurses and even if they have a nurse as a consult, real life doesn't always make for the best entertainment. They have an agenda to meet as well. How many male roles and how many female roles to develop? Which ones are the strongest to attract the best actors? In the end, the program has little to do with any of the careers portrayed.

For example, Castle is one of my favorite shows. But how many police departments would let an author do all of the things Richard Castle does on that show?

So if you really want to watch Nurse Jackie, it's not bad story line and the acting is good....but it degrades nurses to death!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

National Nurse Resolution Presented at NSNA

Portland Community College student delegates presented a Resolution to the NSNA Convention in Orlando Florida last evening (4/9/10).  Resolution A was in support of a National Nurse. PCC Nurse Presenters were:
  • Craig Grover SN, PCC SNA Chapter Membership Coordinator, Resolution Co-author
  • Jennifer Reed SN, PCC SNA Chapter Treasurer, Resolution Co-author
  • Elizabeth McPhee SN, PCC SNA Chapter Treasurer, Resolution Co-author
This convention provides an excellent opportunity for student nurses to participate in and observe democracy in action as they learn more about furthering the causes and promoting legislation to support the nursing profession and healthcare. Congrats to these and all of the NSNA attendees!!!

  Photos courtesy of Elizabeth McPhee SN.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Advance Your Nursing Degree Now

Here's a guest post from Julie Blanche at Nursing Student Tutor.

5 Reasons Now is a Great Time to Advance Your Nursing Degree

Are you a nurse who has been mulling over the idea of going back to school for an advanced degree or certification in the nursing field? Now is an excellent time to take the plunge that will bring your career to new levels in the coming years. But what makes now such a great time?

Beat the Rush

The "Baby Boomer" generation is now aging fast. This means that there is a greater need than ever before for specialized fields in the career or nursing just as the need for regular nurses is growing. Getting in now for an advanced degree will give you a head start when needs rise and shortages in these specialized position reaches critical stages.

This means you have the opportunity to get in now and get your education, and some experience, before the need, and as a result compensation, for these nursing positions really sees a huge increase. You'll be out of school with your advanced degree in hand gaining valuable practical experience while others are just beginning to enroll in these programs. It's a win-win situation for you.

Earn the Respect of your Peers

The sooner you do this, the sooner you are available for advancement. This will not only earn you the respect of your peers but also those who make hiring decisions. Administrators love to see nurses who are real go-getters. They want to see nurses that are committed to success on a personal and professional level. This is just one more way to earn respect and admiration by the people who can help you seriously advance your career.

Gain Valuable Personal Fulfillment

If you're thinking about it now, then now is a good time to do it. You'll feel better about yourself and be in a position that is much better suited to help the people you care for once you earn your advanced degree and certifications in the nursing field.

No career move is a good move if it doesn't work to make you feel good about yourself, your future, and the world of possibilities ahead of you. There are very few advanced degrees in nursing that do not provide nurses the opportunity to really help other people. If this is your goal then advanced studies, education, and training can help you achieve that goal.

Income Opportunity

In a world where almost every industry is being negatively impacted by the economy there is one field that is growing in demand and income. That is the medical field. Why is that? The laws of supply and demand make this growth possible. People are living longer. Baby boomers are aging. The population of the world is growing and so is the need for qualified professionals to care for all these people.

The more specialized and "in demand" the skill is, the greater the compensation or income for those who are qualified will be. All nurses, for the time being, enjoy some degree of financial security and job stability. The higher the degree and certification the greater the possibilities for income and demand become.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Need a National Nurse Now More Than Ever!!

We need a National Nurse NOW to provide the leadership and guidance to help us provide the best quality health care possible in this decade and beyond. Here's another tidbit of the games ANA is playing.... read and comment (there) please.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What Things Do You Think Nurses Know?

For those considering a career in nursing, here is a dynamic list of 25 Things You May Not Know About What Nurses Know.

Everyday nurses get asked what it is that they do and since nursing is such an all encompassing career, some of these may well define exactly what they do everyday.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Yes, Nurse Practitioners Can (and Should) Make More Money than Some Doctors

Nurses have battled the image of being doctor's helpers for so long and sometimes it seems as if we have broken through that barrier, and other times it feels as if we are being stuffed right back into that box.

Whether or not Congress ever gets the health care reform passed, there are many changes that must take place in order for the quality and affordability of health care to improve and meet the challenges of this new decade and beyond.

Nurse practitioners have grown to be one of the most well respected branches of the nursing profession and yet the public has yet to come to the same conclusion. Too many don't understand the vital role NPs play in health care today. Additionally legislation has held back the progress of autonomy for many of our colleagues and why should that be ?????

Recently, Sara Ellis at RNDegrees.Net posted a couple of excellent blogs dealing with issues facing nurse practitioners today. One is a response to a report on CNN about family practice doctors complaining that NP's make more money than they do. Here's a snippet of her comments...

"As I recently pointed out in Family Practice Docs Upset That Some Nurses Earn More, only 2% of fourth-year medical students plan to work in primary care after graduation (according to a survey published in JAMA in September 2008), so isn’t it high time the AMA stopped it’s lobbying efforts to hold Nurse Practitioners down and put the interests of patient’s first?."

Please check out these important blog entries! Sara encourages nurses to weigh in and comment, so please do so. This is an important issue for all nurses as we move forward and educate the public about nursing, health care and wellness.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Earth Song (Why Don't We Stand)

A nice song from Pete Dowan in honor of upcoming Earth Day. Enjoy......

Thursday, March 4, 2010

What Happens When Someone Files a BRN Complaint?

Nursing is regarded as one of the most ethical professions. But nurses are human and can make mistakes, although we all strive very hard to avoid them. And over the course of my 30 years in the profession, I have to say I've known a few individuals who needed to (and often were) stripped of their license or sanctioned in some manner by the BRN.

So what happens when a patient or family member, a physician, or co-worker files a complaint with the board of nursing? Angela Hermosillo, RN, JD, a nurse-attorney has written a nice article for Working Nurse about the process.

photo: Jason Morrison

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Another Great List of Blogs for Nurses

We've been listed in another great top list of blogs. This one is from and their list is the Top 25 Blogs for LPNs. Check it out, it's a good list too. Thanks for the listing!

Friday, February 12, 2010

National Nurse Legislation Introduced

The Office of the National Nurse had some very good news recently. HR 4601 was introduced in the House of Representatives by Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) to amend the Public Service Health Act and establish an Office of the National Nurse. Read more and please comment.....

You can also make a pledge to support this campaign or send a letter or call your Representatives to support the bill. Sample letter and a phone script an be found on the National Nurse Website.

photo: Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Why You Should Become a CNA Before Applying to Nursing School

You might want to consider taking the time to receive your training to work as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) before applying for nursing school. It might surprise you to know that many nursing schools now want, or even require you to be a CNA to apply for the nursing program.

If you want to become a CNA, you will need to locate an accredited CNA training program in your local area. These programs are often offered through community colleges, healthcare facilities and even some branches of the Red Cross. Training programs will usually last from 3 to 6 weeks, although some programs can last longer.

After completion of a CNA training program, you will be required to take the certification exam. This test will include two sections: written and practical. The written exam will ask you to answer multiple choice questions about the information you learned during your training course. The practical section of your test will be your opportunity to demonstrate some of the CNA procedures you learned during the course.

As a CNA, you will learn many skills that will make you a valuable part of the nursing team. You will check and record vital signs for patients. In most settings, you will help to groom and bathe patients. It will often be your job to show patients ranges of motion exercises. You will also help patients with their activities of daily living. These are just a few of the tasks that you will complete as a nursing assistant.

Nursing assistants can find work at hospitals, continuing care communities, rehabilitation centers and home health agencies. Your exact duties will vary depending on the setting in which you work. When you work as a home health aide, you will often also do some light housekeeping for your clients as well as providing some companionship.

Working as a CNA, before applying to nursing school is a good idea. The CNA salary and pay scale isn’t too bad as well. You will have the opportunity to work in the healthcare setting. It will give you the opportunity to develop a good beside manner. When you are working as a certified nursing assistant, you will learn how to work with other members of the healthcare team. You will be able to observe some of the duties and tasks that are completed by nurses.

If you work as a certified nursing assistant, you will have the opportunity to determine if working in the healthcare field is right for you. After working as a nursing assistant for awhile, you might realize that you want to further your career as a healthcare provider. This is when you should start to consider furthering your education to become an LPN or RN.

Nursing schools can be quite competitive and some are even difficult to receive admissions. You will have an edge over other students who do not have their CNA training. If you have worked for awhile as a CNA, this will provide you with valuable experience that can not only help you to be admitted to nursing school, but can also leave you better prepared for your training.

This article is a guest post written by Sandra Stevens. If you‘re interested in getting more information about Certified Nursing assistant training you might want to visit her blog over at Additionally this report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics may also be useful:

Friday, February 5, 2010

101 Blog Posts for New Nurses

Jennifer Johnson at Nurse Practitioners Schools, has another great blog to share. She obviously spent a lot of time researching this and there are some terrific blogs included in the list! Check it out...

101 Blog Posts Every New Nurse Should Read. Thanks again for the inclusion Jennifer!

(The link has been fixed.)

Medical Professionals of Tomorrow Scholarship Contest

The first Medical Professionals of Tomorrow Scholarship is being held for the fall 2010 semester. Applicants must submit a 500-word essay along with their online application that explains who or what inspired them to seek out a career in healthcare. The winner of the scholarship will receive a check for $1,000 to help with tuition and other expenses.

For more information, including the full requirements and online application, please visit this page: Medical Professionals of Tomorrow Scholarship.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Diploma Nursing Programs are a Dying Breed

Diploma nursing programs are a dying breed and in 2011, another one will close. Unfortunately, there aren't more ADN and BSN programs jumping up to take the places and there continues to be tremendous shortage of nurse educators.

50 Best Blogs for New Nurses

These are some terrific blogs for nurses at all stages of their careers. Check out the list there's some great choices in there along with The Nursing Site Blog.
Thanks Jennifer for the link!

Friday, January 29, 2010

An Open Letter to Mrs. Michelle Obama

Dear Mrs. Obama,

As nurses, we were thrilled when the President announced during his State of the Union speech that you will be spearheading a comprehensive program to reduce childhood obesity. As you well know this is one of the fastest rising epidemics in our country.

If we are indeed to make a difference and truly reform health care, then one of the most important steps we can take is to be proactive and prevent illness and complications. A large portion of skyrocketing health care costs can be attributed to paying for complications of preventable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Obesity plays a huge role in these diseases and complications.

In the process of educating children about preventing and reducing obesity, families will also become involved, which will have an added benefit of reducing another epidemic; adult obesity. This too will help to reduce the high costs of health care.

Nurses are the perfect messengers to help your campaign educate the children and adults about this very serious health problem. The American Nurses Association has chosen as the 2010 Nurses Week theme, Nurses: Caring Today for a Healthier Tomorrow. Engaging nurses as a partner in this program is a natural in promoting health awareness and reducing disparities. Health care illiteracy is a tremendous problem in this country and nurses know how to work with this and promote wellness.

An annual Gallup Poll has shown repeatedly that the American public feels nurse are the most trusted and ethical profession. In fact, in the last decade, nurses were only toppled from this position once by the very deserving firefighters in 2001 following 9/11.

Another poll recently conducted by Gallup in conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows that next to doctors, nurses are the most trusted profession in conveying health care information. In fact, this poll also showed that the American people want to hear even more from nurses about health care issues and reform.

As you reach out to government agencies to enlist their help in this effort, nurses should be high on your list. We hope you will look to one of the most important grassroots efforts trying to bring nurses into a more prominent national public health care role, the National Nursing Network Organization (NNNO).

Among so many important challenges facing nurses and health care today, an Office of the National Nurse would:
  • Elevate the Chief Nurse Officer (CNO) of the US Public Health Service to full time status within the Office of the Surgeon General to become the National Nurse to enhance prevention efforts in all communities.
  • Complement the work of the US Surgeon General.
  • Promote involvement in the Medical Reserve Corps to improve the health and safety of the community.
  • Incorporate proven evidence-based public health education when delivering prevention.

As President Obama said during his campaign, “change doesn’t come from the top, it comes from ordinary Americans with vision and ideas.” The Office of a National Nurse began as an idea and a vision of Teri Mills MS, CNE, RN in an op-ed in the New York Times in May of 2005.

In 2006, Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), herself a BSN RN, introduced HR4903 to the 109th Congress to establish the Office of a National Nurse. Today the NNNO, continues this grassroots effort to establish an Office of the National Nurse to promote health care literacy, wellness and slow growing epidemics of preventable diseases and conditions such as childhood obesity.

Members of the NNNO will travel once again to Washington DC March 24-26, 2010 to discuss this issue with members of Congress. It would be wonderful if they could also meet with you to discuss partnering with you on fighting childhood obesity. To contact the President, of the NNNO, please email Teri Mills at

Thank you for undertaking the challenge of reducing childhood obesity and elevating this issue to national attention.


Kathy Quan RN BSN PHN

You may copy and paste the above letter into your own email to The White House or letter to Mrs. Obama and add your name below mine.


Mail to:

Mrs. Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington DC 20500

or FAX
White House FAX number: 202.456.2461

Nurses: Americans Want to Hear Your Opinions and Honor You

Nursing is a profession that provides many opportunities for a variety of skills and passions. Nurses: Caring Today for a Healthier Tomorrow (the 2010 Nurses Week Theme) sums up some of that as nurses strive to provide quality care and patient education to people from all walks of life in many different settings and situations.

Nurses Week in the U.S. takes place each year from May 6-12. Like the profession, Nurses Week doesn't follow the typical M-F work week. This year it begins on a Thursday and ends the following Wed. May 6 is National Nurses Day. May 12 is the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. You can read more about the history of Nurses Day and Nurses Week at the American Nurses Association site.

Start now to plan for events in your facility to honor your nurses. Get involved. Not all nurses are good event planners. Make something happen. It's not going to be huge raises and longer vacations for the nurses, but it can be some positive, and uplifting experiences, at least for part of a day.

Get your patients involved. They would love to have a way to say thank you for the care you give them. With a focus on health care reform, the American public recently responded to a poll by Gallup and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that they want to hear MORE from nurses about health care issues and reform. Americans trust nurses to give them the education and information they seek about their health care issues and they want more. So let them also have a chance to say thanks.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Everyone Helps in a Crisis

Remember to be careful and don't get scammed into donating money in bogus plots to help Haiti. Check out the sources and give to legitimate charities. UPS is NOT shipping for free and American Airlines is not taking nurses and doctors to Haiti for free. Reliable sources such as NPR Radio have lists of legit ways to help out.

For nurses who are not able to volunteer their services, remember that monetary donations as well as helping to cover for those who can go is just as necessary and helpful. There will be many jobs that need to be covered so that active nurses can leave their jobs for a few days or weeks to assist in Haiti.

This is just one more time to reflect on what an Office of the National Nurse could provide such as leadership and organization in summoning hose who can go and help. The California Nurses Association has been effective and instrumental, but those who don't live on the west coast don't often think about this organization as a source of information. One central office could provide resources and information as well as the ongoing training for a corps of nurse volunteers to be ready at a moment's notice.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How to Help in the Aftermath of the Earthquake in Haiti?

The earthquake in Haiti has been devastating. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their friends and families. As nurses our first instinct is always, how can we help? Here's a list of suggestions from NPR.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Call for Interviews

I received a request from a fellow nurse and freelance writer, Linda Hepler BSN, RN. (Google her she's written some excellent articles!) She's working on an article now about spring uniform fashion and needs some input from nurses who wear uniforms such as what do you look for in fit, fashion and features, etc.

I don't wear a uniform, but if I did, I know it would be about comfort and having a lot of useful pockets and probably long sleeves because I'm usually cold.

I know many of you wear the scrubs your facility provides or requires, but what would you change about them, or what do you like about them?

Please help Linda out and give her some opinions. Email her at: ltj1@centurytel (dot) net. This isn't an active link to keep down the spam. You'll have to copy and paste and replace the (dot) with a period.

Or leave comments here so she can find them. Thanks!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Time Management for Nurses

Nurses have to be organized! If you aren't, you're going to struggle and be stressed more than usual by the job no matter what field you work in, such as a hospital, clinic, home health or at a desk type job.

Most nurses are over achievers which can usually mean one of two things; they are extremely organized or entirely scattered. Most new nurses have difficulty with organization and time management skills in transitioning from students to the real world.

Time management skills are a must for nurses. I have written extensively on the subject. In my book, The Everything New Nurse Book, I devoted a whole chapter to the subject and it's a theme that runs throughout the book. For SupportForNurses, I helped write and edit the 3rd edition of Tips and Strategies for Effective Time Management for Nurses which is available for download as an E-booklet. And I recently wrote this article about time management skills for nurses. I hope you'll find these helpful if this is an area you struggle with.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Passing the NCLEX

The winter holidays are over and it's back to work and school. Hope you had a good time!

Congratulations to those of you who recently graduated from nursing school or will be doing so soon. The next step will be to pass your NCLEX exam. Here's a couple of links to some advice to help you calm your nerves and get you passed this step easily:

Tips on Answering Nursing Board Exam Questions
NCLEX Page (on The Nursing Site)

Remember, you passed and completed your education. Now you just have to show what you learned.... you'll do fine!!!