Thursday, December 28, 2017

16 Years Running Nurses Most Honest, Ethical Professionals

For the 16th year in a row, nurses were rated the most ethical and honest professionals by the Gallup Poll.  Nurses outpaced 21 other professionals to top this list. Gallup began this poll in 1999 and every year except for 2001 when firefighters were honored, nurses have topped the list. Members of Congress and lobbyists received the most negative rating of all 22 occupations included in the list.

It's always nice to be recognized by the general public for what we do.

Have a very safe and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Happy Holidays!

December always seems to be on steroids and speed! It just flies by. I hope you're having a happy holiday season with your loved ones. Don't forget to stop and breathe! Take a moment to reflect. Holidays are always crazy times and being a nurse makes it even crazier!

Make memories and enjoy the craziness. Take care of YOU. There's a terrible flu season hovering so be cautious. Most of all enjoy the season. And may 2018 bring wonderful new adventures!

Stay safe!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 Launches with New CE Courses for Nurses

I want to bring to your attention a new nursing continuing education website from ATI Nursing Education,

They offer courses you can explore for free and then pay for only if you're interested in the ceus for that course.

The website launched Dec. 11. Check it out. There's also many great articles on the blog from some of your favorite nurse writers.

Friday, December 8, 2017

6 Sleep Tips for Night Shift Nurses

By Aaron Alstrom

Night shifts are a polarizing thing for nurses. Some nurses love them, some nurses hate them, and others are simply paying their dues on the night shift until they can switch to the day shift. It’s a rite of passage for nurses; there’s a lot to learn at night in the hospital. Unfortunately, one of the most difficult parts of working the night shift is managing to get quality sleep during the day. Our brains are not programmed to sleep during the day and be awake at night. The circadian rhythm is our sleep/wake cycle; it controls the production of melatonin which makes us sleepy at night. The melatonin recedes during the day, allowing for awake time. Below you will find 6 tips to maximize your melatonin and get high-quality, restful sleep during the day.

1. Go easy on the caffeine.

A good sleep starts well before your head hits the pillow. As hard as it is, stop your caffeine intake hours before the end of your shift. A study found that consuming caffeine six hours prior to bedtime can give you one less hour of sleep. Switch to water about halfway through your shift; chances are, you’re not getting enough water anyway.

2. Limit your exposure to blue light.

Blue light refers to the light that comes from the sun that causes circulating melatonin levels to decrease, which is why you’re awake during the day and feel sleepy at night. Smartphones, TVs, and computer screens all emit blue light leading to decreased melatonin levels and difficulty sleeping. It’s impossible to avoid blue light completely with all the charting nurses do on computers. However, try to cut down exposure to other sources. When you leave work, be sure to wear quality sunglasses. Don’t spend any more time outside than absolutely necessary. Use the blue light filter on your smart phone so checking Facebook doesn’t keep you awake.

3. Invest in blackout curtains.

Limiting sunlight is crucial to sleeping well for more than avoiding blue light. Psychologically, it’s easier to feel sleepy when it’s dark than when the sun is streaming through the windows. Blackout curtains will also block the sound of your neighbors mowing their grass in the middle of the day and keep it a little cooler as well.

4. White noise is good noise.

There are a myriad of ways to get white noise in your bedroom. Fans, white noise machines, and special earbuds can go a long way towards blocking out the dog barking. Additionally, there are endless apps for your smartphone that can transport to the ocean, a mountain stream, or to the middle of a storm.

5. Keep your cool.

Studies have shown that better sleep is attained when the ambient temperature is lower. Exposure to heat increases awake time. Crank down the thermostat, put up blackout curtains, and fire up your fan to optimize your sleeping environment.

6. Take a little help from the store.

Another great option to help you get a good day’s sleep is medicine. A multitude of supplements including melatonin, valerian root, chamomile, and others are available over the counter to make you sleepy. If you’ve tried the drugstore route but are still struggling to get the sleep you need, speak with your primary care provider to get something stronger. It’s vital you get a good night’s sleep - your health and the lives of your patients depend on it.
Aaron Alstrom is the Director of Operations for HealthCare Pros a Nurse staffing and management company with 25 years of industry-specific knowledge, experience, and care. We pride ourselves on delivering exceptional service and producing positive results for our clients.


Thanks Aaron!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

URGENT ACTION NEEDED - Stop the Tax Bill from Taking Away Health Insurance!

Someone said recently the problem with politics is that we've all been taught to just not discuss it rather than learning how to agree to disagree (be adults) and perhaps even educate each other about why we have our differences.

There's no lack of political uproar these days no matter which side you're on. But when it comes to healthcare and the health and well being of all our fellow countrymen and women and CHILDREN, we need to stand together to protect our healthcare system!

The tax bill being pushed through Congress now is not a clean bill. That means there are MANY other issues tacked on to it to encourage one Senator or another to vote for it.

Another Attempt to Repeal Obamacare

One of those issues the Senate is trying to sneak through is a repeal without replace of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). Repeal has failed already. But they're trying again behind our backs to push this through hidden in the Tax Bill.

If this bill passes, 13 million people will IMMEDIATELY lose their health care coverage beginning 2018 (no delays in this attempt) and millions more will see their premiums take an exorbitant hike (above what they were quoted with annual open enrollment).

The American people fought to put an end to the Repeal process already! But if they don't know this is being pushed through with the Tax Bill, they are being lied to and deceived. There are several other issues being hidden in this bill as well. You can read it for yourself. See the link under Resources below.

The bill will also include deep cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

ANA Urges Calls to Senators

The American Nurses Association urges all nurses to contact their Senator to VOTE NO on the Tax Bill.  Please join me in writing to your Senators (each state has 2) to VOTE NO on this bill. We cannot have our healthcare system destroyed. The richest country in the world has to take care of it's people!

You can also call your Senator through the  U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 OR look them up here and leave a message: "I am _____ [state your name]. I am your constituent in [zip code] and I want you to VOTE NO on the tax bill (because it contains a point to Repeal Obamacare which was already defeated!) Thank you."  At the very least ask them to eliminate the Repeal of Obamacare from the bill!

If you call after hours, you'll get the voice mail. If you call during business hours ET, you'll speak to someone. The calls all get logged whether you speak to a human being or a machine. It's simple and takes less than 2 minutes of your time. Do it TODAY!!! Time is running short. Encourage your family and friends to call as well.

A pdf of Senator phone numbers
The Text of the Bill H.R. 1
photo: Pixabay

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Nurse Practitioner Will See You Now

In case you haven’t noticed, health care is changing.

By 2019 will lead to 25 million more primary care visits across the country. That’s nothing compared to the 75 million baby boomers aging into advanced care, and the 50 million among them who will need to be treated for multiple chronic conditions.

Altogether, as a nation, we face a seemingly incalculable sum of provider sweat equity hours needed to care for our people, and how we accomplish that depends on how we evolve our health care system. One major shift has been the role of nurse practitioners in the quest for more affordable, high quality, patient-centered care at a time when the nation is searching for an antidote to today’s health care challenges.

Nurse practitioners have been around for more than 50 years, and in that time, their role has evolved tremendously to meet the demands of our fluctuating health care system. Now nurse practitioners are embracing their biggest health care challenge yet. Here’s a look at what’s changing.
  1.  The numbers. Yes, there’s a provider shortage, but nurse practitioners are bringing reinforcements. Last year, primary care nurse practitioner graduates outnumbered primary care medical school graduates by more than three times, and projected job growth for nurse practitioners exceeds 30 percent (almost three times the average of other professions). In the next seven years, we will add almost 55,000 providers to an otherwise shrinking health care workforce, and the next generation is more educated, ethnically diverse and younger than ever before.
  2. Specialization. Nurse practitioners must have a master’s degree or a doctorate degree, pass a national certification exam and be licensed in their state. In addition to primary care, nurse practitioners are going further in their education to specialize in areas like oncology, gerontology, psychiatry and neonatology.
  3. Our purpose. Nurse practitioners are trained to have a holistic, preventative approach to personalized care, which comes in handy when system fragmentation overwhelms patients and providers. One of the biggest challenges to primary care, is the ability to coordinate the care patients receive from specialists, ER teams and follow-up on home health to ensure patients do not fall through the cracks and to avoid duplicative appointments and unnecessary readmissions. From diagnosing critical conditions and prescribing life-saving medicines to teaching patients how to flush a tube or properly dress a wound, nurse practitioners have training that spans the entire care spectrum. Because of this unique skillset, nurse practitioner leadership to help coordinate a seamless continuum of care for better patient outcomes creates improved patient outcomes and cost savings.
  4. Autonomy. Nurse practitioners are working at the top of their license in 22 states plus the District of Columbia, practicing independently without the need for costly physician oversight or prescription sign-off. Increased practice rights have created new opportunities in retail clinics, onsite corporate health clinics and in-home health care companies, and they have paved the way for nurse practitioners to open their own independent practices, which is especially important in urban and rural areas where provider shortages are affecting access to care. More states are expected to pass similar legislation in the next few years, filling voids in service and providing an affordable alternative for patients looking for more personalized care
  5. Demand. Demand for nurse practitioners increased 320 percent in just three years, and today we are the fifth most sought after medical specialty (for reference, six years ago we didn’t even make the list). U.S. News ranked nurse practitioner second on its list of the 100 best jobs – naming formidable salaries, job security and increased practice rights as enticements for students weighing health care professions. The notoriety is paying off – more people are choosing the nurse practitioner career track and capitalizing on the tremendous job opportunities to jump-start their medical career.

Nurse practitioners today play a very different role than they did in 1965, and we are still in the process of defining our full potential. Trends in job growth and demand reflect what patients, providers and now legislators have been realizing for some time – that nurse practitioners are vital to our health care delivery system and that they must play an integral role in the future of care. As more states pass legislation granting nurse practitioners full practice authority, and as more opportunities emerge to capitalize on our skilled and rapidly growing workforce, look for nurse practitioners to dramatically change our care delivery system for the better in the next 50 years.

Joyce M. Knestrick, PhD, APRN, CFNP, FAANP, is President of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

Many thanks Joyce for this great insight into the NP today!!!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Book Review: Physician, How Science Transformed the Art of Medicine

In his book, Physician, How Science Transformed the Art of Medicine, Dr. Rajeev Kurapati, MD, MBA, a hospitalist at St. Elizabeth Healthcare in Northern Kentucky (a member of the Mayo Clinic Center) examines the history and evolution of medicine from mystics trying to heal the ills caused by angry gods to today’s evidence based holistic care. The book is forthcoming from River Grove Press.

Sandwiched between historical aspects of medicine, Dr. Kurapati shares stories of some of his own patients and how his philosophy of care has evolved over the span of his career. As he has spent years treating patients and dealing with family members who wanted only to keep their loved one hanging on until a miracle could be found, Dr. Kurapati has found the art of medicine to be beneficial and evidence-based. He resolves that even with the continuing scientific findings and inventions, treating the whole patient is at the center of quality patient care.

As a priest once told him, healing without cure can be the best possible outcome. And listening to his patients can be the most important tool he can provide. In a lesson learned on board an airplane at 30,000 feet with only a broken stethoscope and sphygmomanometer, Dr. Kurapati had to rely on listening to his patient’s wife’s accounting and history of symptoms to determine that perhaps his patient was experiencing low blood sugar. To treat those symptoms was his best option. Fortunately, the patient recovered.

“Sometimes patients may be seeking something more than tests, procedures, medications, or referrals to another specialist. Perhaps, in conjunction with these things, they want the opportunity to be heard by a professional. But as physicians who have invested in years of highly specialized training, we’re brainwashed into thinking that something tangible—to order a test, perform a surgery, or prescribe a drug—is what we always ought to be doing. For certain patients, simply listening can be a treatment—or at least a key part of it. To go beyond the provision of “standard” medical care to become a patient’s trusted advocate provides an immeasurable service.”

I found this book to be fascinating and heartwarming all at the same time. Nursing has always been about combining the science of medicine with the art of caring. This is what has always made nursing such an essential part of patient care and the successful outcomes. If Dr. Kurapati can influence physicians to see the benefit of providing a more holistic approach to providing medical care, we can all benefit greatly from the results. This should be required reading for all first-year medical students.

It should also be a must-read for nurses and nursing students to learn how we can all work together to improved the art of medicine and improve our patient outcomes. A video pitch by Dr. Kurapati is available on You Tube. 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

What is the OASIS in Home Health Care?

As many of you know, I have been in home health and hospice for over 35 years. I worked many years in the field seeing patients and writing plans of care. I've worked in middle management and mentored hundreds of nurses, therapists and social workers especially in documentation skills. Today I work in hospice as the QAPI nurse where I review documentation and the quality of care being provided by our fabulous staff.

Home health and hospice are growing fields for nurses and other healthcare professionals. Patients leave the acute setting much sicker than they ever have and skilled professionals are in demand to handle the growth.

But home health and hospice have LOTS of paperwork whether it be EHR or actually on paper. None the less it has always been a burden to the industry and not likely to change.

In home health there is also a major document known as the OASIS that paints a picture of the patient at various points during the episode(s) of care. In addition to all of the other necessary documentation, the OASIS is absolutely one of the most import documents.

I run a home health site called and readers have been begging me for awhile to tell them how they can learn about the OASIS as they can't get a job in home health care unless they can show that they know something about it.

There are plenty of books about OASIS available, but you still need to have some understanding of what it is and why it's important.

So this week I have recorded 4 episodes to my new podcast channel specifically about the OASIS for those who have no idea about what it is. Don't judge me on the quality of the recordings please, I'm just beginning to dabble into this technology. I will improve. I just thought it important to get the content out there ASAP. You can find the links on 

Later this year, I will complete my eBook on OASIS for the beginner giving more examples and specific information. It will be available to purchase on and I'll most likely post here about it as well.

If you're considering a transition to home health care you might want to check out my book, Exploring the Home Health Care Experience; Transition Your Career Path

Friday, September 15, 2017

Who Will Be Held Responsible for Nursing Home Deaths in Hurricane Irma?

I just have to rant. It sickens me to hear about nursing home residents suffering and dying in recent hurricanes. There's the haunting photo of people sitting in wheelchairs in water over their laps in the Houston area. But a later photo showed them all OK after being evacuated. At least no one died from that debacle.

Janice Connelly of Hollywood placed a memorial of balloons, 
candles and signs for the eight people who died at the center.  
Credit Scott McIntyre for The New York Times
However, the 8 (so far) deaths in the Hollywood Fl rehab center are inexcusable. I hope the administrator and their owners are held responsible for these deaths.

Cooling measures are basic nursing care. And apparently the staff was doing their best to hydrate and cool patients. Obviously they needed more assistance and direction.

They also didn't ask for help when they needed to. Who was not there to ensure the disaster plan was being appropriately effected??? This is the responsibility of the administration and they FAILED their emergency planning and their residents miserably! This facility has been cited in the past for issues with generators and were well aware that they had issues with meeting codes for emergency planning. They corrected the issues, but FAILED to improve on the situation.

There were at least 3-5 days of accurate warnings about the severity of Hurricane Irma and potential disastrous effects including the challenges of power outages and downed trees. Hurricanes are not unusual happenings in Florida. They have a known "hurricane season" and there are evacuation signs up all over the state, so this isn't something new or unusual. Social media and television coverage for days were showing multitudes of preparation ideas for even basic things like how to bottle water and freeze bags of water for ice and drinking water.

Common sense tells you in a power outage scenario common to hurricanes, that generators need to be efficient enough to keep temperatures from becoming high enough to affect human life. Or you need to have a Plan B to sustain. And an emergency plan in place to say ask for help! In this case, a hospital was across the parking lot. Transfer your patients if you can't maintain cooling measures! The storm had passed by then.

Nurses and personnel working in long term care facilities are always the lowest paid and most overworked. No doubt. This is not on them. This is on the shoulders of the people in charge and the owners who did NOT ensure the comfort and safety of the residents. And in light of multiple failed routine checks by the governing agencies, this is pure criminal Abuse and Neglect at the highest level! These people who died were most likely bedridden and helpless. They relied on the staff to care for them and to protect them.

I am always one to say we have to look at both sides in a situation because there are always 2 sides. But this just wreaks. I cannot defend the owners and administrators in this one!

So let us all learn from this situation. Emergency and Disaster Preparedness planning is a pain to develop and to write policies!!!  But it's essential. And then we have to educate staff repeatedly and review when we know a potential disaster is coming. We can never assume that we can leave decision making to the low man on the totem pole. The buck stops at the top and that's who needs to be held responsible. These are the people who must be highly trained, present and active during disasters and emergencies.

But we MUST also ensure the tools are working, up to code and available. And that the disaster/emergency plan is being worked as it was designed to do. Drills are not just annoying time wasters! They help us to move into a crisis mode quickly and make correct decisions. They help us to learn where the strengths and weaknesses are and to improve our planning.

Owning and running long term care facilities is not just about making money and sitting back and letting the workerbees work their asses off with very little resources to try to make 99,000 residents in FL alone safe and comfortable. This is a HUGE responsibility to care for our rehabilitating and aging loved ones with the utmost respect, honor and care. This is a deplorable situation and one that should spark changes!!!

Get $15 off orders $120+ with code SILCAM at Offer valid 9/16 - 9/19. Shop now!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

How Does an Electrocardiogram Work?

By Dsealy - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

I hope this post is useful especially to student nurses and to those who need to educate patients about ECG/EKGs.😊

Doctors use a test known as an electrocardiogram, also referred to as an ECG or EKG, to measure the heart’s electrical activity and detect any anomalies in one of the most important organs of the body. An ECG makes a recording of the timing and strength of electrical impulses as they flow through the heart. Coming out in a moving strip of paper from the ECG device, the recording is then
read and interpreted by the doctor to see if the heart is working normally.
While it may seem simple to understand, how the test actually works is truly a mind-boggler, especially if one does not know how the heart works in the first place.

The electrical system of the heart
The heart is composed of specialized tissues that are capable of creating electrical signals that cause the cardiac muscles to contract. In every contraction, the heart works by pumping blood out to the lungs in order to absorb oxygen and to deliver it to the cells all over the body.

Particularly, the sinus node, also referred to as sinoatrial node, is the tissue that’s responsible for generating electrical activity throughout the heart. Located in the atrium or the upper right chamber of the heart, the sinus node sends out an electrical impulse in every fraction of a second, traveling through the atrial muscles, which causes them to contract. The impulse then travels through the atrioventricular node in order for it to reach the ventricles of the heart.
As the electrical impulse flows through the organ, the heart normally contracts, or beats, about 60 to 100 times in a minute at rest in most adults.

Understanding the ECG reading

Every activity of the heart can be seen through the electrocardiogram reading, which appears like a line graph with valleys and peaks. These peaks and fluctuations actually represent the “waves” of signals flowing through the heart. The P wave represents the electrical signal sent through the heart’s upper chambers. Meanwhile, the QRS wave indicates the electrical activity in the lower chambers. Lastly, T wave records the heart’s activity as it returns to rest.

By MoodyGroove at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Reflected on the ECG print, the size and shape of the waves and the interval between each wave reflect the rate and regularity of the heart activity, which is valuable information for your doctor as it will help diagnose your condition. Aside from shedding light to the heart’s rhythm, the ECG can also determine possible heart muscle damage as well as detect abnormal levels of blood electrolytes, including calcium and potassium.

How it is performed
An electrocardiogram is a painless procedure that often takes only a few minutes. It may be done at the doctor’s office or as a laboratory procedure at the hospital. Since ECG equipment is portable, the test can be carried out almost anywhere. For patients admitted to the hospital, your heart patterns may be constantly monitored by an ECG system.

During the test, the patient may initially be required to shave the chest, arms, and legs to provide a smooth surface to attach the electrodes in the ECG cables. Once the area is cleaned, the patient is then asked to lie on a bed, where several ECG cables and leads are attached to the skin on the chest and on each arm and leg. These cables are connected to the machine that records the patient’s heart activity into print.

The three main types of ECG
An electrocardiogram is required by the doctor depending on three different purposes. The resting ECG is when the doctor wants to know how your heart works while you are at rest. The second type, exercise ECG, is requested if the doctor wants to determine the heart’s reaction to activity. This test may be done while the patient is walking or running on a treadmill. There is also what we call the 24-hour ECG, which monitors the patient’s heartbeat the entire day.

The ECG is an essential test that can detect any damage to the heart so you and your healthcare team can prevent it from getting worse. With the convenience of the test results and your doctor’s intervention, the least you can do is to make changes in your lifestyle and to be more proactive in dealing with your own health.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Arrest of Utah ER Nurse is Deplorable Act!

There is a firestorm on social media about this atrocious act against a Utah ER nurse for advocating for an unconscious patient's rights. We all have a lot to learn from this issue and to take actions to prevent the same situation from happening in our own backyard! THANK YOU Alex Hubbels! 

Please share.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Role of Substance Abuse Nursing in the Opioid Addiction Crisis

As you know, I don't often include infographics, but opioid addiction and substance abuse is such an urgent issue and this document captures how it affects the nursing profession...

"Drug abuse is a crisis for people in the United States. According to the CDC, in 2015-- alone-- more than 15,000 people died from opioid overdose. reports that 80% of those addicted to opioids first took an opioid as a prescription. Nurses play a vital role in diminishing this crisis. To learn more about how important nurses are in helping people with substance abuse, check out this educational graphic from Duquesne University."

Friday, July 28, 2017

Nursing Community Comes Together for One of Our Own

The nursing community is huge, but it's also a very small world. I've been off tending to some family business, so I'm a little slow to get this posted, but it's an important matter and I want to be sure to spread the word. We need to come together to help our own.

One of our own, Keith Carlson BSN, RN, NC-BC, who you may recognize from RN FM Radio, Digital Doorway, and Nurse Keith Coaching, was severely injured in a gym accident recently. He details his ordeal brilliantly in his recent post, "When the Nurse Becomes the Patient." This is a must read for ALL nurses. We MUST prevent this type of horrible care! There is simply NO EXCUSE!!

At some point in our lives, we or a loved one have already, or will become the patient and we need to be prepared to advocate from the start of care through discharge and beyond. Keith certainly had to do this for himself, and thankfully he was alert enough to do so because it was essential to his well-being and recovery!

I hope you will all also be inclined to follow the Meal Train established to help Keith in his recovery process. Imagine if you will, yourself in his position. Meals and assistance from your local community would be invaluable and essential even if you are not inclined to ask for any help. For those of us who aren't local to Keith and Santa Fe, the Meal Train allows for us to donate so that meals, assistance and other needs can be met.  You can read more about this at Beth Boynton's Confident Voices post. 

photo borrowed from Nurse Keith's Digital Doorway  

Thursday, July 6, 2017

New Grad Programs Grow But Not For Everyone

I've been hearing a lot lately about new grad nursing programs. I'm pleased to know there are more of them cropping up. It will hopefully help us to keep new nurses in the profession. We continue to lose far too many in the first 3 years because nursing isn't what they expected it to be. Combined with increasing workloads, nurse bullying and physician bullying as a continuing issue, we are losing too many nurses period.

New nurse grad programs are an essential part of the future of nursing and curtailing the nursing shortage,
but they're not necessarily there for the top graduates. These programs are also highly sought after and have far more applicants than the programs can take on at any given time. The competition is stiff and top nurse grads are primed to compete.

Top Grads May Not Be Accepted

However, if you graduated at the top of your class and/or have some nursing experience already, it becomes nearly impossible to get into a new nurse grad program. This can be emotionally devastating and frustrating. In reality these nurses should feel honored to be turned down even though they value the opportunity to learn even more.

Many new grad programs are designed to boost the confidence and skills level of new nurse grads who perhaps didn't have the best opportunities, or didn't avail themselves of them. If you're shy and stand to the back of the crowd in nursing school you're not going to get the clinical opportunities unless your instructors are vigilant in making sure each student demonstrates proficiency. That isn't always possible given the populations of patients at any given time.

Even if you had all the best opportunities, but you struggled in certain areas and/or were in the middle to lower end of your class, a new grad program can offer extended education and supervision opportunities to make you a great nurse.

New Grad Programs Help Reduce Bullying

This creates another scenario for not accepting the top of the class grads; boredom and the possibility of encouraging nurse bullying of the grad who takes a little longer to catch on. These programs help these new nurses need a little extra time and preceptoring them with nurses dedicated to help them helps to reduce the nurse bullying by not throwing them into the water and expecting them to sink or swim in a pool of experienced nurses who don't have time or desire to help them.

New grad programs are also designed to build the workforce in that particular hospital. This is why they are often called residency programs.  They are looking for nurses who will be dedicated to staying on for at least 3-5 years and possibly working in certain areas of high turnover. Nurses at the top of the class are quite often energized and looking towards higher education in the near future. These nurses frequently want to be nurse educators, nurse practitioners, and clinical nurse specialists. This may not be a need for the hospital offering a new nurse grad program. And investing their time and money on nurses who will quickly move along is just not economically feasible.

This is NOT to say you shouldn't apply. Look for every possible opportunity to continue your education while working and soak up every ounce of knowledge to make you the best nurse ever! But if you get turned down, keep looking for other opportunities.  Even new nurses who really need a little extra help should do well in the right place. Be honest and willing to learn. DO some homework so you're ready to learn a new skill. You Tube, for instance, has a multitude of instructional videos. Sites such as offer many forms of media for learning about conditions and treatment modalities and they have a You Tube site as well. Be willing to help a co-worker with tasks in exchange for preceptoring.

Nursing is a lifelong journey of learning, but it's not a one-size fits all situation. Nurses of all levels need to continue to be sponges and absorb all the information they can. Health care is constantly changing and nurses are expected to be the backbone. More and more responsibilities become part of the nurses everyday world. We all have to be prepared and willing to learn and to teach. Explore your opportunities and never feel stuck in something that isn't right for you.

Image from Bing images 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Budweiser | A Dream Delivered | Folds of Honor


Friday, May 19, 2017

Thanks for the Nurses Week Give-Aways!

Well Nurses Week was great. I hope you got a chance to listen to the ANA webcast, partake in some of the free items businesses offered, and took a moment to thank your co-workers and colleagues!! We had fewer Give-Away entrants this year than in the past, but prizes are being prepared and the recipients should have them soon. I have notified each winner. (Some asked no to be identified, so I'm keeping them all confidential. )

I want to take the time to again THANK those who generously donated prizes for our Nurses Week Give-Aways. We had some great books offered from talented writers, most of whom are nurses as well.

Thanks again to Beth Boynton for her newest book, Medical Improv, A New Way to Improve Communication; Elizabeth Scala for her book, Stop Nurse Burnout; and Lois Gerber who is offering a choice of Kindle version of any of her books; and to Carmel Sheridan's Kindle version of The Mindful Nurse.

I'm also sending out a copy of my books, The Everything New Nurse Book, 2nd Edition and Exploring the Home Health Experience: a Guide to Transitioning Your Career Path. And sharing the Zebra Pens I received. In addition, each of the winners will receive a free copy of my Ebook, Time Management Skills for Nurses.

All of these writers present fabulous ideas in their books, their blogs and websites that truly embody the theme for Nurses Year Nursing the Balance of Mind, Body, and Spirit.

I hope each of you had a good experience during Nurses Week. Unfortunately, some employers did nothing. And, not to make excuses, but I have worked for people who are TERRIBLE at planning any kind of celebration, and instead of asking for help, they just ignored the event unless others stood up and volunteered to do it. I've also experienced some pretty BAD celebrations when the wrong people said they'd do it. But seriously.... So my advice is for you to speak up next year about January or February and volunteer to lead a committee for Nurses Week.

In a perfect world, we'd all have a huge bonus, or an extra paid day off or another week of vacation. In the real world, the economics of your job won't support that. So it's about being recognized for what you do every day! Someone taking the time to say Thank You, and recognize the job you do everyday!!! THANK YOU!!!!

Sadly, I heard from some readers and social media friends that some of the vendors who kindly offered free items or food to nurses turned out to be bad experience. Their employees demanded to see not only nursing licenses (as they should) but work badges or other proof as well. Not every nurse will have a work badge and some were harassed. This is unfortunate.Better communication and training needed here!!!

Another issue that has been raised in some of my social circles is employers who didn't single out nurses to honor them alone, but rather honored everyone in the company. This left some nurses shouting It's Nurses Week, not Hospital week! When there are so many weeks or days designated for health care workers such as CNAs, Social Workers, Therapists, Hospitals, Home Health Agencies, Hospices, etc., it seems like no one should feel so left out that we can't just take the week to honor NURSES!!! I know the gesture wasn't meant to offend, but we can go too far to try to be nice to everyone!! Again a little more communication and consideration would be helpful.

Let's make it better next year. Again THANK YOU for ALL you do!!!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Nurses Week 2017 - May 12

Today marks the end of Nurses Week 2017. May 12 is the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale who some feel is the founder of the nursing profession. If we search into the history of nursing, the profession started long before Florence, but she brought strong clinical skills and universal precautions to nursing and helped save many many lives during the Crimean War.

So as part of Nurses Week celebrations, many stop for a moment to recite the Florence Nightingale Pledge which is also known as the Nurses Oath.

I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.

UPDATE: Carmel Sheridan has just told me she will be hosting a FREE 7Day Mindfulness Challenge next month. Stay tuned to her website The Mindful Nurse for details. Sounds exciting!!!

Today's Nurses Week #Give-Away(s)

1) I recently received a package of Zebra pens. Knowing how nurses have a love for pens, I'd like to share them.  So if you enter and win you'll receive this entire collection.

2) My contribution to this week about mindfulness and healthy nurses is an autographed copy of my latest book, Exploring the Home Health Experience; a Guide to Transitioning Your Career Path.

When I found myself totally disillusioned with the nursing profession and hating nursing after only 3 years, I took a leap of faith and discovered home health care and eventually hospice. I loved it and my love for nursing was restored.

There are so many different roles in nursing, you should never find yourself quitting to profession. Search for another role and find your niche. 

I'm developing a course to accompany the book and it should be available on Teachable this summer.
One last time, Comment here OR on the Facebook page, and then email me your contact information.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Nurses Week 2017 -- May 11

I hope you have been enjoying Nurses Week. Have you had some of the free food and discounts we listed on Nurses Day? Please be sure to avail yourself of these. It helps to spread the awareness of nurses in your community and just might encourage someone to join our profession.

The other thing is to remember always that as nurses we make a difference in someone's life everyday! We may never know how or when with some of our patients or families, but there will be those who touch our hearts and leave a lasting impression.

It's easy to grumble that Nurses week means nothing and your employer gave you yet another water bottle with the company logo. Or maybe nothing at all and no acknowledgement of the event. But what we have to remember is that if they gave us those fantasy items such as another week of vacation, a huge raise or bonus check, etc., we'd find ourselves lacking definitively in another important area. Stop and take a moment to honor yourself, your colleagues and all nurses!

Safe Patient Staff Ratios
Patient staff ratios was the point Nurses Take DC on May 4 & 5  were trying desperately despite horrible weather conditions and daily events happening in the govt to make known the cause of Safe Patient-Nurse Ratios.

We know that medication errors, mortality rates and quality of care are directly related to these ratios. Some states have stricter ratios than others and it's in everyone's best interest to make it a national law with protecting patient's lives at the helm of the legislation.

We also know that poor staffing ratios play a huge part in nurse burnout and contribute to poor health habits for all nurses. As we celebrate mindfulness for nurses and promoting healthy nurses, we must stand with our colleagues in supporting Safe Patient-Staff ratios. View the event on YouTube.

Today's #GiveAway

Today we have a great #GiveAway from nurse author  Lois Gerber RN, BSN, MPH who "believes in the spirit of community health nursing - its focus on wellness, relationships, families, and communities. Her BSN, MPH in Nursing, and Specialist in Aging certificate opened many professional doors. She’s worked in home health agencies, public health departments, and an Area Agency on Aging. She’s taught nursing students on the university level and has counseled families dealing with elder care issues. For forty some years, Lois has helped people of all ages, various religions and ethnicities, and different socioeconomic levels. These stories reflect her experiences."
In addition to several great books about nursing, Lois has written 2 novels. She is generously donating a Kindle Version of Your Choice from her books.  Thanks so much Lois!!!
Once again, please Comment here or on our Facebook page AND email me your contact information to be entered into the random drawing for one of our Nurses Week #GiveAways.

Happy Nurses Week!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

NURSES WEEK 2017 - May 10

Today as the Wednesday of Nurses Week, is School Nurses Day. School Nurses play a huge role in managing the health care of our children. They conduct eye and hearing tests, instruct teachers and other lay people how to handle situations when faced with students with conditions such as seizures, mental health challenges and diabetes.  They oversee and instruct techs in administering medications during the school day and assessing for urgent needs.

Unfortunately, more and more school districts are moving to use lay people as health clerks and having the minimum number of school nurses to meet the bare necessities of the school district. This has proven to has be a dangerous situation. Playground injuries for one are all too often treated inappropriately due to a lack of education and skill in assessment. Notification of parents is delayed or non-existent and diagnostics, and treatment delayed to a dangerous level. It is important for parents, and all health care professionals to advocate for more school nurses. Celebrate National School Nurses Day by campaigning for MORE school nurses in your local district.

Today's #GiveAway continues the theme of mindfulness and balancing mind, body and spirit. Elizabeth Scala MSN/MBA, RN is a very busy woman as an author, keynote speaker, reiki master, podcaster, and blogger. Her focus is on helping nurses rediscover their love for the nursing profession, deal with and avoid burnout, and how to use self help techniques such as reiki to replenish and repair when work takes too much from us. "Before you quit nursing,"find your way back to the passion and love for nursing!
Elizabeth also spearheads The Art of Nursing, A Nurses Week Event seminar along with 12 nursing expert presenters this year. 

Many Thanks to Elizabeth who has kindly donated a copy of her book, Stop Nurse Burnout, for our #giveaway today.
Once again, please comment here or on our Facebook page and then email me your contact information so I can notify you of your prize ASAP.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

NURSES WEEK 2017 -- May 9

Beth Boynton RN, MS has written a new book Medical Improv A New Way to Improve Communication! The book teaches the user to train others in an emerging skill using Improv to help educate patients as well as health care professionals. Beth is also the author of Successful Nurse Communication: Safe Care, Healthy Workplaces, & Rewarding Careers (F. A. Davis 2015).

Beth blogs at Confident Voices in Healthcare, where you'll find fabulous information and resources for nurses and a Code for 20% off when you purchase her Medical Improv book through 5/14/17.

She has generously donated a copy for us to #GiveAway today. (THANKS BETH!!) Remember to comment here OR on the Facebook page. Then Email me your Contact Info to be officially entered in the random drawing. Winners will be announced May 20.

Check out this great new book for yourself....
"Welcome to the emerging field of Medical Improv! Medical Improv is an exciting new teaching tool! Its experiential activities hold great promise for persistent challenges we face in healthcare by promoting the 'soft' skills involved in emotional intelligence, communication, collaboration, and leadership.
This train-the-trainer resource is designed to help educators teach the "soft" skills that healthcare professionals need to positively impact patient safety, patient experience, workforce health, and the efficient use of resources. Because these skills are not intellectual, they require a non-traditional approach that fosters new behaviors. Medical Improv is a fun and effective strategy."

Happy Nurses Week. Don't forget to COMMENT and email me your contact info. I won't spend days trying to track you down!!!

Monday, May 8, 2017


Today, May 8, is National Student Nurses Day and we have a special guest post to help provide some useful financial tips for nursing students from an aspiring freelancer writer Lauren Davidson.
Today's Give-Away is an autographed copy of my Amazon Best Selling book, The Everything New Nurse Book, Second Edition. And I'll throw in a copy of the latest update to the book, The New Nurse Handbook.
Remember to comment here or on the Facebook page. THEN you MUST email me your contact info to be entered in to the drawing. 
And now for our guest post....

Managing Finances and Lifestyle While Attending Nursing School

Being a nurse is a rewarding career, allowing you to take care of others in many different environments. Nurses are in demand across the country, giving nurses incredible job security. But while nursing is an attractive job option, getting through nursing school can be a challenge — both in terms of stress and finances.

Nursing school keeps you incredibly busy, between clinical rotations, lectures, labs, simulations, and standing on your feet all day. On top of the actual time spent in class and at school, nursing school students spend quite a bit of time in study groups, doing homework, reviewing lessons, and preparing outside of class for the next day’s work.

In addition to the stress of nursing school, paying for your education can be costly. Many are required to take out loans, but there is a pretty common solution to this such as finding scholarships. While that is a go-to for handling tuition, nursing students are expected to pay for text books, scrubs, study guides, basic equipment such as a lab kit and stethoscope, and more. Combined with the hectic class schedule, managing finances can be incredibly difficult for any nursing student.

But there are ways that nursing students can save money while getting their degree. Read on to learn how you can save money while in nursing school — and come out ready to take on the world!

Buy Smart, Borrow When Possible

When it comes to nursing school supplies, one of the biggest expenses that you will likely face each semester will be your textbooks. Your books will easily cost four or five hundred dollars each semester — or more, if the professor decides to order a new edition of the book. One way around this dilemma is to get smart when it comes to buying your books.

Start by getting to your campus bookstore as soon as possible after the class book list is released. Look for used copies of the books that you need. If they aren’t available, check for them online on sites such as Amazon. You may even be able to rent your books from Amazon or other sites. Otherwise, check with older nursing students or even nurses at your local hospital. They may still have copies of their old nursing books that will work for your needs. Just be sure that these books are accurate and up-to-date so that you aren’t using old information in your classes.

For NCLEX review books, consider pitching in with your study group to buy one copy of the book to share. Since you’ll be meeting together to work and prep for these exams, it makes sense to share one copy of these pricey books. If you buy your own NCLEX review books, limit yourself to just one or two books rather than buying multiple review books.

When it comes to nursing supplies, you’ll be required to buy a new lab kit each semester. But for items such as a lab coat or stethoscope, you may be able to borrow this gear from an older student or a nurse if you are particularly cash-strapped. That way, you’ll be able to hold off on getting them when you are in school — and then use the gear provided by your employer once you are employed after graduation. Alternatively, check online for nursing supplies — blood pressure cuffs, stethoscopes, and other needed items will likely be far less expensive than those offered in the campus bookstore.

For scrubs, even though your nursing school may offer a discount for a local scrub shop, be sure to shop around to make sure that you are really getting the best deal. Online retailers like My Nursing Uniforms and All Heart may have lower prices than those offered by the local store.

Take Advantage of Student Discounts

Whether you’re a nursing student or any other type of student, many stores, restaurants, and other businesses offer discounts to anyone with a student ID. These discounts may help you say a few dollars on a movie ticket, $10 on a new shirt, or 15% on a meal at a restaurant. It’ll all add up in the long-run — and help you balance your budget more effectively!

Guest post by Lauren Davidson, a soon-to-be graduate from the University of Pennsylvania and aspiring freelance writer