Monday, December 24, 2012


Wishing each of you and your families and friends the very best of 
safe and happy holidays. Enjoy!!!


photo © Kathy Quan

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Nurses Float in the Rose Parade

The Rose Parade from Pasadena, CA is a New Year's Day tradition known throughout the world.  On Jan. 1, 2013, Sally Bixby RN CNOR will become only the second woman in the history of the parade, and the first nurse to preside as President of the Tournament of Roses and Rose Bowl Game.
Flowers 4 the Float
In honor of this event and to honor the profession of nursing, the Nurses Float 2013 will be in the parade. The float is entitled, A Healing Place. A recent graduate from the Pasadena City College School of Nursing and a student at PCC will ride on the float along with other nurses from Southern California.

The Nurses' FloatNurses from all over the world have signed up to come and help decorate the float which is being built by Phoenix Decorating. Many of the flowers on the floats have to be put on in the last 24 hours before the parade.

Read more about this historic event at where you can make donations, purchase roses in honor of fellow nurses, view photos, get souvenir pins, etc.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The American Nurse

The American Nurse Photographs and Interviews is quite possibly one of the most beautiful photographic essays I've ever seen. I was delighted to find it today as I took time to actually read through some of my emails. It made the cover story for AJN in September 2012, so I guess I'm a little late to the table, but so very happy to have arrived now.

The book actually captures the essence of the nurses chosen to be included in it. They jump off the pages though their portraits and their stories which are quite unique and yet very similar.

Nurses are passionate individuals and this book absolutely oozes passion and enthusiasm! The author, Carolyn Jones, is a well known medium format portrait photographer and award-winning film maker. In 2004, her life was influenced by the nurse who cared for her during chemotherapy for breast cancer. The book and the video trailer about the book demonstrate the bond Ms. Jones found with her chemo nurse and with the 75 nurses across the US whom she photographed and interviewed in this project. 

As the holidays quickly approach, this would be one of my gift recommendations for any nurse, student nurse or anyone thinking about becoming a nurse.

 From The American Nurse Photographs and Interviews by Carolyn Jones. Welcome Books.
     Text & Photographs 2012 © Carolyn Jones.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Issues for Men in Nursing

If you are a man considering a career in nursing, or are already a male nurse, here's a great article from the UCSF School of Nursing. It contains valuable information and multiple resources for male nurses.
For centuries, nursing was man's work. And now we struggle to get men to become nurses. In the 21st century it seems hard to believe, but the issue of gender is still a huge barrier and stigma. Nursing is a profession and not a gender.

The AAMN (American Assembly for Men in Nursing) has set a goal to have 20% on the student nurse population be men by 2020 (20x20 campaign) and yet that goal may be more difficult to achieve than one might think.

This is an issue we all need to work together to fix. We need nurses, good nurses, and it doesn't matter if they are male or female. Nursing is an art, and it isn't for everyone. The same can be said for all careers in health care such as medical assisting. Those with the right inclination need to have an opportunity to make a difference.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

How will the Results of the Presidential Election Affect Workers in the Allied Health Fields?

Barack Obama's victory in the U.S. presidential election makes it very difficult for the Republicans to eliminate or make significant adjustments to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The Affordable Care Act is scheduled to be fully implemented in 2014. So how will it affect allied health care jobs? There are a variety of thoughts on the issue. According to a recent report from the Auburn Citizen in New York, U.S. Representative Anne Marie Buerkle believes a recent decision of a local hospital to lay off 25 workers can be directly attributed to the reduced Medicare reimbursements caused by the Affordable Care Act.

Other experts believe Medicare payment reductions caused by Obamacare won't have a huge affect on allied healthcare workers because those laid off will have job opportunities at other healthcare facilities. This is due to the demand for healthcare from the more than 32 million new people entering the healthcare system due to the Affordable Care Act.

Georgetown Report

According to the Georgetown Report produced by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, healthcare providers throughout the United States will need 5.6 million more trained employees between 2010 and 2020 to take care of the increased workload as the population gets older. The report forecasts this strong demand even if Obamacare gets defeated or reduced. According to the report, 80 percent of the expected 5.6 million new healthcare jobs will require post-secondary education.

Demand is expected to increase in a variety of healthcare fields such as nursing, medical assisting, health-practitioner technology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, diagnostic technology, and medical records administration, among others. There is already a huge shortage of lab techs in the United States, and the additional 32 million people with insurance in 2014 will also increase the demand for pharmacy technicians.

Some experts believe that the Affordable Care Act will create thousands of nursing and therapist jobs; hospitals and healthcare employers will use a mix of permanent and temporary RNs and therapists. Some experts believe that nurses will be more involved in preventive medicine practices in the future. Pete Ferguson, senior vice president for health and life sciences at Yoh Services, a staffing company, stated, "With the increase in demand for NPs, there will be further demand to backfill for RNs."

Because the Affordable Care Act places an emphasis on primary care, more lab tests and other prevention screenings will be needed, which increases the demand for diagnostic technicians along with other related healthcare occupations.

Some experts believe that the overall demand for workers in the allied healthcare fields may not be as large as others are predicting, mainly due to the fact that Medicare already covers just about everyone 65 years of age and older. A lot of the people receiving healthcare coverage for the first time because of the implementation of Obamacare are younger people who typically don't require as many healthcare services as senior citizens. Charles Roehrig, director of the Altarum Center for Studying Health Spending, stated, "Uninsured Americans already receive about 50 percent of the care they will receive when insured." Roehrig believes that there will be about a three percent increase in provided healthcare. Also, due to younger people requiring more ambulatory care, outpatient services will have the greatest increase in demand.

The impact of the Affordable Care Act is still a little murky due to uncertainties and the complexity of the law, however the demand for allied healthcare workers should grow even without it.

Brian Jenkins writes about physical therapy assisting careers, as well as other career fields in allied health, for the Riley Guide.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Working Holidays is Routine for Nurses

Photo by
In the past couple of weeks there has been such a fuss about retailers opening on Thanksgiving Day. I have to admit, the number of people appalled that anyone would ask someone to WORK on the holiday made me chuckle. I feel for them, but then, as all nurses know --- health care doesn't take holidays ever!! All nurses work more than their fair share of holidays all year round.

In fact, during holiday seasons things can get even more hectic and stressful  than usual. There can be a rush to discharge patients --right now, and then there are the "regulars" who seem to find their way back into the hospital. If you work home health care, you can find yourselves slammed with a flurry of new starts of care. Clinics, ERs, and medical offices are often very busy as well.

A strong sense of entitlement seems to be prominent as families frustrated at having their holidays interrupted can bring out the worst in them and in the patients too. 

Dealing with needy and emotionally challenged patients and families can be one of the worst nightmares for nurses who are just doing their part to work a share the holidays.

In an interview I gave to a few years ago, we discussed some options for dealing with the needy families and patients. I hope some of these ideas can help you survive the holiday season.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Best States for Nursing Job Opportunities

Nursing is already an in-demand career field, and the need for nurses is projected to increase further in the coming years. The U.S. Department of Health predicts 400,000 new nurses will be needed by 2015 just to cover the void left by retirees. That number jumps to more than 700,000 nurses needed by 2020.

This projected growth makes nursing one of the career paths with the most expansive job opportunities. The 2010-2020 Employment Projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts registered nursing will have a higher number of new jobs than any other industry with a 26% growth expected.

The BLS is a great place to start when looking for long-term career outlook. As of May 2011, the states with the highest number of registered nurses were California (250,230), Texas (184,890), New York (176,180), Florida (164,800) and Pennsylvania (130,740).

When it comes to pay, the BLS reported that as of May 2011, the highest annual mean wages per hour for registered nurses were California ($43.68), Massachusetts ($41.74), Hawaii ($40.36), Alaska ($39.46) and Nevada ($37.42).

Nursing opportunities are growing, so do the research to help determine the best place to launch or nourish a nursing career.

This post was provided by Erin Palmer. Erin writes about topics related to healthcare and nursing careers for U.S News University Directory, a leading resource for locating accredited colleges offering nursing degrees and RN to BSN online programs. For more information visit

(Please note the links may be a little slow to load, but the information is worth the wait! ~KQ) 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Wreaks Havoc

Nurses and doctors are always among the heroes of any disaster, and Hurricane Sandy is certainly no exception. With 2 major hospitals in NYC being evacuated, can you even imagine the intensity of the situation?!

Kudos to all who have been a part of this and helped transition patients as quickly as possible!!!

I have family and close friends in the very heart of the devastation from the Jersey Shore to NYC and am so grateful that they are safe!!! My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to all who have endured this massive storm and face the long and expensive rebuilding.

Be safe!! Beware of scams.

photo from :

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Advantages of Choosing Private Health in the UK

We are fortunate here in the UK to have access to a fantastic national health system (NHS). That said, there are often times when taking the private healthcare option is best.

What Are the Differences Between Private Health and the NHS?
The NHS is a public run service that is open to the majority of the UK’s population which ultimately means it comes under a lot of pressure. Not only does the NHS have to service vast volumes of people, it also has to operate under stringent financial guidelines which can often mean the facilities within NHS hospitals are not as up to date as those of a private hospital.

Why Should I Opt for Private Health?
By opting to seek treatment privately you get to benefit from perks such as shorter waiting times at clinics and shorter waiting lists for specific treatments. Certain private practitioners also offer appointments outside the normal remit such as late or at weekends which can lend its advantages to families or professional people who are short of time.

How Do I Find My Nearest Private Clinic?
There is a wide range of options available with regards to private health, whether you are looking for a specific treatment centre or just a general private hospital. Whether you live in a rural area or are trying to find private doctors in London, online is often the best place to start to find a private clinic.

The number of people “going private” is continually increasing and there is a wealth of information on the internet that can help point you in the right direction should you ever come to the point in life where you need to look into seeking private healthcare.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Doctor Shortage and Nurses’ Role in Filling the Gaps

By Kathryn Norcutt

Doctor shortage could be intensified by the Affordable Care Act
Despite how one may feel about the Affordable Care Act, it is going to change the face of American medicine forever. For better or for worse, once it is up and running in 2014 an estimated 30 million newly insured people will have access to the health care system outside of the emergency room. This is great news for anyone who works in or has been forced to visit one of the thousands of overcrowded emergency rooms across the US, however, the looming doctor shortage will loom even larger once those patients have access to specialists in other parts of the hospital. 

Getting by the Fed cap
It’s easy to blame the government for just about every problem, but since health care and the government are so deeply intertwined, it’s difficult to sneeze without having to get approval from one federal organization or another first. That having been said, the reality is that the government holds the health care purse strings. Those strings have been especially constricted when it comes to creating new doctors, let alone doling out payments for Medicare and Medicaid, but that’s another story.

For the last 15 years, the government, who pays for a large part of all of the residency programs through Medicare spending, has capped the total number of new residents it pays for at 85,000 students. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, we are lacking around 16,000 primary care doctors across the US, and that number is projected to be closer to 63,000 by 2015, unless we can find a way to either remove the cap or fund more doctors as soon as humanly possible. Even if the cap was lifted today and raised to 200,000 residency programs, we wouldn’t see its effects for another five years or more. By then, we will have over 30 million new patients, with nowhere close the number of doctors able to see them.

Where do we fill the gap?
Unless we can either import enough doctors magically from around the world, or export our patients by 2014, someone is going to have to provide medical care to our nation’s sick. Who will fill this gap varies from hospital to hospital, but it is in large part being filled by nurses of all types. Training a nurse is about 25 times less expensive and time consuming than the $145,000 it takes to get the average doctor through residency. For the cost of one fully trained general physician, we could have 25 or more fully trained nurses and in much less time too.

As Angela K. Golden, President of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners puts it, “Four Decades of research show that nurse practitioners provide high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered primary health care with excellent outcomes. In a growing number of states, a nurse practitioner can own and operate an autonomous, independent practice, not requiring any physician involvement.” In short, nurses are more than qualified to provide care for general practice cases both in and out of the hospital. Honestly, for the average patient, they’re not going to care whether or not they are being treated by a nurse or a doctor, as long as they are getting treated at all.

The road ahead
Nurses everywhere have been stepping into more and more diverse roles as doctors seem to be rarer and rarer. It’s not uncommon to be admitted to a hospital and receive excellent care without ever meeting a doctor. The doctor shortage may have changed the playing field for medical care forever, but it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a silver lining for nurses. We could be seeing the dawn of the Golden Age of nursing which will hopefully provide coverage for the staggeringly wide gap between the upcoming number of patients and care providers. The medical field, just like all fields, must yield to the laws of supply and demand. As Daniel P. Moen, President and CEO of Sisters of Providence Health System explains, “there’s got to be a leveling out or equalization of supply and demand at some point.”
KathrynNorcutt has been an active member of the health care community for over 20 years.  During her time as a nurse, she has helped people from all walks of life and ages.  Now, Kathryn leads a much less hectic life and devotes most of her free time to writing for RN Network, a site specializing in travelnurse jobs.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Never Forget

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Nursing Shortage Rearing Its Head Again

The nursing shortage was never resolved. It was sort of put on hold when the economy tanked. Nurses of the Baby Boom generation were poised to retire, but the majority of them were forced to continue working for financial survival. Others had to return to work in order to make it through some of the toughest economic times ever.

The impact has been that new grad nurses have had an impossible time finding work; something that has been unheard of for several decades.

Now that the economy is in a recovery mode, Baby Boomers are retiring and the shortage of nurses is becoming a nightmare. The severity of the situation is predicted to be catastrophic as hospitals and health care facilities struggle to find nurses to fill these voids. And the shortage of nurse educators is going to affect the number of new nurse who can be trained to take over.

Read more....

Saturday, July 28, 2012

NAQC : Guiding Principles for Patient Engagement

The Nursing Alliance for Quality Care (NAQC) recently released Guiding Principles for Patient Engagement. This list of nine core principles is designed to assist nurses and other health care providers in delivering high-quality, patient-centered care through full engagement in all aspects of their care.

Many of these principles are things that we as nurses do every day, but NAQC reminds us that these things are all central to improving and maintaining high quality patient centered care. The principles include:
·         There must be a dynamic partnership among patients, their families and the providers of their health care, which at the same time respects the boundaries of privacy, competent decision-making and ethical behavior.
·         This relationship is grounded in confidentiality, where the patient defines the scope of the confidentiality. Patients are the best and ultimate source of information about their health status and retain the right to make their own decisions about care.
·         In this relationship, there are mutual responsibilities and accountabilities among the patient, the family and the provider that make it effective.
·         Providers must recognize that the extent to which patients and family members are able to engage or choose to engage may vary greatly based on individual circumstances. Advocacy for patients who are unable to participate fully is a fundamental nursing role.
·         All encounters and transactions with the patient and family occur while respecting the boundaries that protect recipients of care as well as providers of that care.
·         Patient advocacy is the demonstration of how all of the components of the relationship fit together.
·         This relationship is grounded in an appreciation of patient’s rights and expands on the rights to include mutuality.
·         Mutuality includes sharing of information, creation of consensus and shared decision-making.
·         Health care literacy is essential for patient, family and provider to understand the components of patient engagement. Providers must maintain awareness of the health care literacy level of the patient and family and respond accordingly. Acknowledgment and appreciation of diverse backgrounds is an essential part of the engagement process.
In November, NAQC will hold a conference "to spark discussion of how to move from principles to practical models of care delivery." A call or posters and more information is available at the website. 

Sponsored by Healthy Hearing: Find a Hearing Professional

Friday, July 27, 2012

Take the Nurse Satisfaction Survey

I recently received an invitation to blog about this survey from Michelle Gray-Bernhardt at 

Nurse Satisfaction – A Quick Snapshot
"Satisfied employees help a hospital run to its optimum performance. In the new healthcare environment, nurses are frequently asked to do more with less – to take on more patient care and other tasks with fewer resources.
How does this impact nurse satisfaction? We asked nurses. If they are not satisfied, what are the biggest points of contention? 100 nurses from both community and larger hospitals provided insight in our recent “Nurse Satisfaction Survey”. The good news is that nurses are generally happy in their positions. There is, however, room for improvement." 

The survey remains open and nurses are invited to participate. Registration is required, but a quick and painless process.  Let your voices be heard.



Saturday, July 21, 2012

Senseless Colorado Massacre
Our hearts and thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends in Aurora, CO. This senseless massacre leaves us all shocked and saddened. May the healing come soon.

Hopefully we can eventually glean some insight in to how to prevent such unnecessary tragedy in the future. No one should ever have to fear for their life going to the movies. And neither should we have to have metal detectors everywhere.

One thing is for certain, we need more and better mental health care for one thing to help ease the pain of these disturbed individuals who wreak pain and suffering upon the innocent.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July

Please celebrate America's birthday safely and use great caution around any fireworks.


Monday, June 25, 2012

National Nurse Act of 2011 Continues to Garner Supporters

The National Nurse Act of 2011 (HR 3679) continues to gain support across the country; the latest coming from the NY Assembly. See the National Nursing Network Organization Web Log for details.

This act is cost neutral and non-partisan. As preventable diseases continue to rise and drive the cost of health care ever higher (at a time when we can least afford it) the need for public health education is more important than ever.

Almost half of Americans are health care illiterate essentially meaning they don't know what they don't know and therefore can't find out answers to help them lead healthier lifestyles and prevent chronic diseases and/or the complications that come with them.

The National Nurse Act supporters will once again travel to Washington DC in August to educate lawmakers on the importance of this measure. If you would like to make a DONATION to assist with travel for these devoted nurses and friends, please click here.

Stay informed by subscribing to the newsletter. And LIKE the National Nurse Act of Facebook. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

How to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant

A post from Allison at CNA Training 101...

The heath care industry is one of the fastest growing industries today. With just a little bit of knowledge and certification, you can be a part of it and earn a lot of money. Being a certified nursing assistant can be a great career option and you can earn a good income while helping others in the path of recovery. But the question is how to become a certified nursing assistant? Many young people are trying to find the best answer for this question and here I will let you know the most effective of them.

Scope And Opportunities Of Nursing Assistant

Nursing Assistants are part of the team of professionals who manage the patients before and after a surgery and during illness. The patient can be permanently or temporarily disabled. The responsibility of the certified nursing assistant (CNA) is to make the bed for the patient, give them baths, and assist with feeding and other daily tasks. Other duties include keeping a track of the improvement in their health condition and note down any changes in behavior. The CNA also needs to report to the doctor.

How to become a certified nursing assistant?

There are certain step including education, state of mind and finding opportunities that will lead to becoming a successful CNA.

  • First you need to complete your high school diploma before applying for any certification. This is the minimum educational requirement in most of the schools.
  • You then need to enroll yourself in a CNA program that is organized by a heath care institute. Most of the courses last from 2 weeks to 8 weeks. But there are some courses that take 6 months to get completed. These longer courses are usually provided by community colleges.
  • Choose the institute properly. There are many health care institutes that may offer the course free of cost but you would have an obligation to work with them after the course is over.
  • Complete your CNA program and sit for the state level exam for nursing assistants. You not only need to complete the certification course successfully but you also need to pass the state exam so that you can be employed as a CNA in every medical setting. The state level exam is comprised of practical and theoretical parts. You have to pass both the written and clinical parts.
You may find some centers that just need you to pass the certification course, but the salary in those cases may be considerably less.

Be Passionate About Your Job

In addition to completing your education, it is more important to have feelings of compassion towards the patients, and a desire to help them through their current illness or injury. If you don't like doing something, you will never be successful in it. Job opportunities are widely available once you complete your course and state exam.

~~ Alison writes about how to become a nursing assistant and all things related to the job on her blog,

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Everything New Nurse Book Honored

Many thanks to for selecting my first book, The Everything New Nurse Book as one of the Top 50 Must Read Nursing Books for 2012. (See number 9 in Non- Fiction).

Also note that there is a SECOND Edition for this book as well.  Both are available on

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Honoring all of the nurses in the armed forces (men and women alike) who have and continue to make a difference for all of us through wartime and peacetime THANK YOU!!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Win $25 Ecard for Scrubs

We have the 5 winners of the Nurses Week contest. See the post on Facebook.

Recently Uniform Advantage kindly offered me two $25 e-card (gift cards) for purchasing scrubs from their vast line of uniforms. So in honor of Memorial Day weekend, I'm going to run another contest this week on Facebook.

1) You must LIKE The Nursing Site on Facebook (if you haven't already done so)
2) AND Post something about how scrubs work for you.

The drawing will be held on June 2, 2012. The 2 winners will be notified by private message on Facebook and posted on TheNursingSite page on Facebook. 

Good luck!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Rep.Eddie Bernice Johnson Honors Fellow Nurses

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) was a nurse before she became a Congresswoman. Today she addressed Congress to honor nurses during Nurses Week, and encouraged the support of The National Nurse Act of 2011 a cost neutral, bipartisan act which she introduced in Congress last year. Her words say it eloquently.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Nurses Week Give Away

In honor of Nurses Week (May 6-12) --US dates-- I will be giving away 5 autographed copies of my book, The Everything New Nurse Book, Second Edition. To be eligible to win you have to LIKE all 3 of my pages on Facebook:
You may also want to join TheNursingSite Group, but this is not mandatory. Members will be included in the  drawing as well.

If you also post on one of the pages what your employer is doing for Nurses Week, you'll get your name in the basket twice.


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Friday, April 27, 2012

Nurses Who Blog

I get asked a lot about how I got started blogging and was recently interviewed by Lisette Hilton for an article in It's a great article with tips and information from several nurses who blog. It's a good place to start for those of you who'd  like to learn to blog about nursing or whatever your passion may be.

I got my start working for as the (last) guide to Nursing. It was a terrific learning experience.  When disbanded the Nursing site, I started up this blog to carry on. Many of my articles appear on

Writing guest posts for other sites is a great way to get started. I have opened this blog up to many great new and accomplished writers in the past. I will continue to do so, but due to my own time constraints right now, I'm not using guests posts for the next few months.

If you'd like my Writer's Guidelines, email me and I'll send them to you. I don't post everything I get. You DO need to be able to write and stay on subject. And it needs to be something related to nursing.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Making Nurses WANT to Stay -- Food for Thought

As the economy begins to recover, more nurses will retire or return to retirement and the nursing shortage will be in full bloom once again.

Hospitals need to seriously prepare for this eventuality and start looking hard at ways to keep nurses around. Other employers should sit up and take note as well. An excellent article appeared a few months ago on Michelle Gray-Bernhardt takes a long honest look at 5 Ways to Make Nurses Want to Stay at Your Hospital.

The article looks at issues such as nurse staffing, floating, mandatory overtime, bullying of nurses, non-nursing tasks and interruptions and bad managers. Perhaps the biggest keyword here is WANT.... what do you think?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Losing Patient Centered Care to Economics??

I certainly hope we can ALL come together as nurses and work to ensure that this does NOT become a trend. The Amanda Trujillo case shows we are headed in that direction. Read this excellent blog post from Nurse Ratched.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Tips to Keep Your Nursing Career On-Track

At least once a year it is good to take stock of your life and your career and take steps to get yourself back on track, or even to change directions if that is what is needed.

Some of the top things you can do for yourself as a nurse to make your career more rewarding and to avoid caregiver fatigue or burnout include the following:

1) Stress management is a must. Learn techniques that work well for you and use them routinely. Exercise, diet and sleep habits should be considered as well.

2) Managing your time efficiently and effectively is vital. Get organized and stay on top of things. Don't procrastinate!

hospital patient
Replenish yourself so that you can continue to help others
3) Replenish yourself. Make time for you and do it often! Nursing is a demanding/giving profession. If you have given all you have to give, you have nothing left for yourself, and you can't continue to give. You'll burnout.

4) Nursing is a lifelong learning process. Use your continuing education opportunities to first, stay up to date with your selected field and to learn and hone new skills. Secondly, make sure to learn something about other fields of nursing whenever you can. Know your options and keep them open.Don't get pigeon-holed and stuck.

5) Nurses are overachievers. Strive for excellence and set the bar high. Don't settle for mediocrity. Encourage others to do the same. But be realistic and set goals you can attain without setting yourself up to fail because you set the bar way too high.

6) Be a mentor. Help those around you to strive for, and achieve, excellence as well. This is key to providing excellent quality care with the best possible outcomes.

7) Be a sponge. Learn from others. Pick up on their tricks and tips, and then share them with others.

8) Always be a part of the solution and not part of the problem. Don't just complain. Get involved in strategic planning for your workplace, and help to make it a better place.

9) Be a good TEAM player. Be a leader when you need to be, and a supporter always. There is no “I” in TEAM. Be a good role model to others who “just don’t get it” and help them to become team players too.

10) Learn your limitations and how and when to say "No." Respect yourself and always set a good example for others. It’s just not possible to say “yes” every time and not become resentful or get burned out!

11) Remind yourself often WHY you became a nurse. Think about the lives you have touched and the difference you have made.

12) Encourage others to become nurses and to strive for excellence.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

An Online Master’s Degree for Working Nurses

For many nurses who work long hours and start out at the low end of the totem pole, it’s a dream to work for some of the magnet status hospitals alongside top doctors and physicians. Nursing students often don’t realize that there are easier ways than slugging it out for years in a hospital. You can gain more experience and training with a master’s degree. While nurses are expected to be registered as a minimum requirement, those who excel beyond these simple requirements will advance farther than others and gain better positions at the top medical facilities.

But how do RNs have the time to go back to school to get such an advanced degree? Colleges have options to make things incredibly more flexible for nurses with busy schedules. Online master’s programs for nurses allow them to work independently and also in collaboration with physicians, providing primary care services. There are actually four types of nurses who require a master’s degree, including clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, midwives and nurse practitioners. Of course, if you don’t already have a bachelor’s degree, then you also have to upgrade your RN degree first.

Going From RN to BSN

There are so many programs available to upgrade your RN associate’s degree to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. There may be an accelerated program through a local school or even an online college. You can work and still take courses to get the degree, and most programs are only 12 to 15 months long. BSN degrees will help you get into better positions and work at top hospitals, but you still won’t be able to work in administration or primary care as readily as you would with a master’s degree. The BSN degree is the first step to advancing your nursing career.

Taking Graduate Courses Online

It’s not going to be as hard to work and study online, but there are still commitments that you have to make. You need 8 to 10 hours a week of free time to study and submit assignments. While you do get more personalized attention, you also have to put in the work and continue to gain clinical experience while studying at the graduate level. Many of these programs will focus more on a specialty that will help you once you move into a field, so it’s best if you already know what kind of primary care you want to pursue.

  • Clinical nurse specialists provide direct patient care and consultations in a variety of specialties, such as geriatrics, psychiatric and mental health. 
  • Nurse anesthetists deliver anesthesia and related care before and after surgical, diagnostic, obstetrical and therapeutic procedures. Pain management and emergency services are also a part of the position. 
  • Mid-wives have multiple responsibilities that relate specifically to primary care for women, including gynecological exams, family planning advice, prenatal care, labor assistance and delivery, and neonatal care. 
  • Nurse practitioners are both specialty and primary care providers, working as healthcare specialists for individuals and families in primary or specialty areas.


What are the Job Prospects?

With an MSN, the growth is exponential. Because students with MSN degrees have more experience and training, they qualify for the top positions, both as nurses and administrators. There are also faster employment projections for those who are qualified, and may include perks such as signing bonuses, better work schedules and more hands-on training. In addition, you will earn higher salaries with your advanced degree.


What Else Can I Do with a Master’s?

Nursing actually isn’t the only thing that you can do with an MSN. Even if you enjoy the thrill of working in a hospital, nothing compares to teaching others and becoming a mentor. MSN graduates often go on to become counselors and teachers, helping new and experienced nurses receive more training. There is a shortage of nursing teachers as well. Earning a master’s online can significantly increase your chances of becoming a nurse educator and providing others with the tools to make a difference.

An online master’s degree in nursing can certainly tip the odds in your favor. Whether you are sick of working at the entry level or simply want to become a primary care nurse, more training and qualifications can lead to a brighter career. Online schools have created these programs with the nurse in mind and offer several ways to complete a degree in less time than you think. You can find a program that suits your specialty and get started today.