Friday, November 18, 2011

The Everything New Nurse Book -- Second Edition

The Everything New Nurse Book -- Second Edition comes out TODAY. It's available in book stores and on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It's also available in Kindle format from Amazon. I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Degrees and Certifications for Aspiring Nurses

A guest post from Elaine Hircsch

Nursing is a field usually without a shortage of jobs. Nurses comprise the nation's largest group of healthcare professionals, and while a lagging economy might cause some healthcare organizations to tighten up on hiring and shift nurses to different departments to fill in during these periods, there are generally still nursing positions available.

Nursing is also a field that pays relatively well. Even in areas where financial resources are limited, recent graduates will find jobs earning at least $40,000 per year. There are several avenues to earn a degree or certification in nursing, both for persons desiring to enter the field for the first time and for those already working who want to advance their careers or seek increases in pay.

The minimum qualification needed to work under the title of nurse is completion of a one-year program to become a licensed practical nurse. In some states, this position is known as a licensed vocational nurse. This training may be attained at a community college, technical school, or in a hospital nursing education program. Graduates must take and pass the licensing exam in their state to work as licensed practical nurses. Nurses at this level work under the supervision of registered nurses, and may supervise nursing assistants.

Registered nurses have completed more extensive programs of study comparable to a master's degree: two- or four-year programs, or a diploma program in nursing. Two-year programs are offered at community colleges, technical schools, and through hospital-based programs. Bachelor's degree programs in nursing are offered at four-year colleges.

The unique aspect about all of these programs is that those who complete them take the same state board examinations to become registered nurses. This means that all of the programs include the same types of courses related to nursing care. However, those with bachelor's degrees are better prepared for supervisory and administrative positions, and generally start out at higher salaries than those with lesser training.

LPNs can advance by returning to school to obtain a registered nurse degree. Some schools offer options that require less than two years of additional study to earn the two-year degree, and accelerated programs for registered nurses to earn bachelor's degrees, usually with just two years of study. Hospitals sometimes co-sponsor such programs by paying students' tuition and fees if the graduate agrees to work for the sponsoring hospital for a specified period of time.

Individuals with bachelor's degrees outside of nursing can also enter accelerated programs. In these programs the focus is on nursing courses and skills, and prerequisites such as microbiology and pharmacology.

Bachelor's-level nurses who want to earn advanced degrees have many options. There are master's and PhD programs in nursing education at many universities. Additionally, accredited online degree programs make it possible for professional nurses to work toward advanced degrees or specialized certificates while they're not on shift.

Due to the nature of their work, nurses may find it difficult to earn advanced certificates and degrees the traditional ways. However, there has never been a more exciting time for nurses to engage in advanced studies. Web-based education programs open up a whole new avenue for nurses to obtain advanced credentials without interfering with their work schedules, and in most cases certificates and degrees can be earned in a shorter time than in traditional site based programs.

Thanks Elaine. 

UPDATE: For Further Reading: The Definitive Nursing Guide 2014

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Some People Should NOT be Nurses!!!

I haven't been here in awhile and I'm sorry. My family has been dealing with the dying process of a dear sweet soul.

Before I begin, regarding HIPAA considerations, I have the necessary permissions to divulge information.

The better part of the last 3-4 months have been consumed with dealing with the ramifications of the very poor nursing care an older relative has received in a hospital here in southern California. Afterwards I wasn't really surprised to find that particular hospital's CMS satisfaction score to be 79%. In fact I have to say that may be too high a score.

Maybe I'm too much a part of the old guard, but I believe that nurses should always care for their patients in a manner they would want their own loved ones cared for. (This goes above and beyond what we might accept for ourselves.)

Nursing is HARD work both physically and emotionally!!! And you will NEVER be paid what you deserve. So I find it unacceptable that some nurses look for ways to cut corners.

My loved one was an 82+ year old man who was beating Hodgkin's lymphoma. He developed some atrial fibrillation and had a syncopal episode and fell. He spent several days in the hospital getting his heart rate controlled. And he spent that time IN BED on a general floor. He's been incontinent for 12 years following prostate surgery.  This hospital doesn't allow diapers because they cause bed sores. Guess what--- he got bed sores anyway!!!!! (Ever hear of turning patients every 2 hours???)

About a month later he developed an infection (UTI) with a high fever, increased dementia, and inability to get out of bed. He was hospitalized again, and the doctor was ready to discharge him after a few days, but found that he had not been walked and was still unable to get in and out of bed. He transferred him to the TCU/Rehab where he was to be walked 2-3 times daily and in and out of bed as much as possible.

Guess what???? They don't allow diapers there either and because he's incontinent they refused to walk him. One nurses aide would go find a diaper and get him up when he was assigned to her. Then she'd take the diaper off when she put him back in bed. WOW!!!! Someone actually had some common sense!!!! Unfortunately she was only one person and she risked being SCREAMED at by the very UNPROFESSIONAL unit manager. This same manager who ripped bandages off of my loved one to have another nurse take photographs. No compassion, no caring --- how did she become a nurse and WHY did she become a nurse??

My loved one then ended up going to a SNF for over 5 weeks to have some PT and try to get back to his previous level of functioning. He never did...

Imagine the cost to Medicare for all these days --- because we don't allow diapers in the hospital (WHY???!!!) and the LAZY nurses use this as an excuse to leave the patients in bed!!!! Poor nursing care causes bedsores---not diapers. And poor nursing care lets patients deteriorate to a point of no return!

The physician had written orders that he was to be walked daily and they were ignored. If there would be an investigation by the DHS or Medicare--- that's Immediate Jeopardy and they could face huge fines and even closure for this unacceptable level of care!

Some people just shouldn't be nurses!!!! If you don't have compassion and you arn't willing to work HARD... please do something else!