Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Pediatric nurse practitioner Sandy Tripp has decided to do something about the childhood obesity crisis. She is reaching out to health care providers, public school administrators, and politicians to try and initiate change in Beulaville, North Carolina.
As part of her efforts, she has been giving presentations in local schools. Her slide show features pictures of acanthosis, clogged arteries, fatty liver disease, and Blount’s Disease. She tries to educate students and staff about nutrition and the importance of exercise.
She is also trying to persuade schools to offer their students fewer hot dogs and French fries and more broccoli and carrots. She is working to get a la cart offerings and vending machines removed from schools completely. She’s even trying to recruit Jamie Oliver, the international go-to guy for changing menus in schools!
Tripp already has one politician on board, North Carolina House Representative Stephen LaRoque, a Republican from Lenoir County. He says, “If we can tackle the nutrition standards in the schools, it will benefit the entire community … the things [Sandy] showed me in her presentation were pretty powerful in terms of what our kids were eating at schools.”
Tripp has been a Kinston Pediatrics nurse practitioner for 14 years, and a nurse for 24 years. She is now working toward her doctorate in nursing at Duke University. You can follow Sandy on Twitter. I’m sure she would welcome your input and advice. We are all in this together.
Robin Merrill is a freelance writer who writes for Wisconsin Dells Hotels.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
- Clinician 1
- FaceBook (the many pages dedicated to different advanced practice nursing groups)
- LinkedIn (NP groups)
- Advance for NPs & PAs
- The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (has a networking site that is difficult to find)
- The ENP Network
- Many NPs on Twitter
- NP Central Listserv
- NP blogs
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I’ve spent years pursuing different avenues in the health care industry. I spent my high school years studying to become a CAN, I was at one point a EMT, and I eventually turned to alternative practices like massage therapy, herbs and general fitness and nutrition. Not long ago, though, I heard a term that was relatively new to me – legal nurse consulting.
My aunt told me about her pursuit of a legal nurse consulting certification. Her goal was to pass the certification exam and open her own business, partnering with lawyers around the country to help them understand medical charts and the medical profession as a whole.
Sounds great, right?
I’m wondering if it really is.
I urge anyone who is considering legal nurse consulting to consider the pros and cons. While it is certainly an admiral and profitable career path, it may limit your future choices.
First of all, legal nurse consulting is not a get-rich-quick solution to your problems. If you feel overworked and underpaid, odds are you may feel the same way while working with lawyers – especially when it comes time to chase down your payments.
Another thing to consider is the fact that you are basically turning your back on the industry you work in. Nurses and doctors do make mistakes, but if you label yourself as someone willing to point out those mistakes (in practice or in paperwork), employers may be hesitant to hire you as a nurse in the future.
Legal nurse consulting isn’t an easy job. It’s for organized, professional individuals who have time and who are dedicated to helping those who have been injured by the medical profession find vindication. The job can be cold and lonely and – honestly – simply isn’t for everyone.
Take some time to think about your chosen career path and don’t jump to legal nurse consulting simply because of the claims that you will make $150 per hour for your work. The reality is that you’re going to work incredibly hard for your money – just as hard or harder as you would work on the hospital floor. Make sure you’re making the right choice for you.
Deborah Dera is a full-time writer specializing in personal finance, credit repair, online degrees, health, fitness, and nutrition. She is the founder of Write on the Edge and offers unique content solutions to business owners who want to strengthen their online brands.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
CareFirst Insurer Expands Role of Nurse Practitioners, IOM Recommends Same
Last week, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, an insurer in Baltimore, Maryland, announced that it would enable nurse practitioners to serve as primary-care providers in Maryland, Northern Virginia, and the D.C. area. In response to both the physician shortage, which is expected to take a turn for the worse in the coming years, and to the health care reform law, which will produce an huge spike in insured patients by 2014, CareFirst made the decision to grant more authority to nurse practitioners.
As quoted in a recent FierceHealthCare article, CareFirst Senior Vice President for Networks Management Bruce Edwards noted:
"With these developments ahead and an existing need to expand access to these services, allowing nurse practitioners to practice independently as primary-care providers is a logical move to serve our members better."
The CareFirst decision to recognize nurse practitioners as primary-care providers, meaning patients will no longer have to see physicians before receiving care, was made in tandem with Maryland Coalition of Nurse Practitioners (MCNP) and the Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland.
In related news, the Institute of Medicine released a report earlier this month, entitled "The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health", which recommended the expansion of nurses' roles as well. The report urged both federal and state governments to ease regulations that impede nurses to practice to the full extent of their educational capabilities.
Although many physicians were critical of the report, claiming that a physician's education and field experience cannot be equated to that of nurses', the IOM panel argued that its recommendations were not meant to be divisive.
Reporting on the IOM's recommendations, an American Medical News article quoted Dr. Donna Shalala, who headed the panel that collaborated on the report. Shalala asserted that "This is not about one profession substituting for another...This is about a collaborative effort among those who represent medicine in this country to make it better and to improve outcomes for every patient and every American family."
Another key component of the IOM's report is expanding nursing education so that nurses will be able to meet the demand of newly insured patients with a knowledgeable skill set. It went on to propose that nursing education be better integrated with physician training such that nurses will be better prepared for more collaborative roles as care providers. The report furthermore underscored the need for encouraging nurses to pursue doctoral degrees.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
5 Ways to Make Your Life as a Nurse Easier
It’s a profession that most people find daunting and challenging, which is why they choose to give it a miss. Not everyone is cut out to be a nurse because it involves long hours, grueling work, and a fair amount of emotional stress. But on the plus side, it’s a calling that warms your heart and makes you a better person. You see so much suffering and pain that you’re grateful for the healthy life that you and your family have, and you develop your kinder side because of your interaction with your patients. Even so, it’s a stressful job, and if you don’t make the effort to make your life easier, you’re likely to burn out. So here they are, a few tips on how you can make your life as a nurse easier and more relaxing:
· Leave the office behind when you go home: As a nurse, you see so much going on in hospitals and in the lives of patients. You’re busy running around tending to them and taking orders from and following the instructions given to you by doctors and administrators. In short, your life in the hospital as a nurse is far removed from normalcy. But when you turn in your uniform for street clothes at the end of the day, you must divest your job and climb into your own skin. Only then can you relax and refresh yourself for the new day to come.
· Learn to draw the line at the right spot when it comes to your patients: Most nurses struggle to maintain the right distance from their patients, especially those who stay for long periods of time in healthcare centers and hospitals. They become emotionally involved in their lives and take on their mental pain and suffering too. This makes each day an emotional rollercoaster for them, and by the time they’re through for the day, they’re drained both physically and mentally. In order to relax, you must learn to draw the line between empathy and deep involvement with your patients.
· Do your job wholeheartedly: Unless you love nursing with all your heart, you’re likely to end up resenting parts or the whole of your job and doing it only because you need the money. This makes it harder for you come into work every day and summon up the enthusiasm you need to do a good job. So if you don’t love and enjoy nursing, it’s time to look for a new profession.
· Be aware of what you’re getting into when you become ambitious: If you decide to pursue a graduate degree and advance your career, you must be aware that with the promotion and raise, you’re also going to be getting additional responsibility. This may mean more demanding work, longer hours, and much more stress. So unless you’re prepared for all this, it’s best not to look for professional advancement.
· Spend time with your family and friends: And finally, it’s imperative that you spend enough time with loved ones. Family and friends make you feel loved and rejuvenate your tired and sometimes disillusioned soul and make it easier for you to go back to the hospital and deal with the sick and the infirm on a day-to-day basis.
This guest post is contributed by Maryanne Osberg, who writes on the topic of RN to MSN Online Programs . She can be reached at mary.anne579(AT)gmail(DOT)com.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
I recently wrote about my pursuit of the DNP and my rationale for it. As promised, here is the first brief installment of posts chronicling my final year of school (I actually have 10 months left now but who's counting!)
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
How Hospitals Can Better Retain Their Nurses
· More than 581,000 new nursing positions are expected to be created by 2018. This growth is much faster than any other industry, and there just aren’t enough nurses to fill the positions.
· Over the next 20 years, the average age of the RN will increase and the size of the workforce will plateau as large numbers of RNs retire. Because demand for RNs is expected to increase during this time, a large and prolonged shortage of nurses is expected to hit the
· There are more than 100,000 vacant RN positions.
· 55% of surveyed nurses plan to retire during this decade.
You get the point.
With so many nurses leaving, hospitals are put in a position where they have to do everything they can to increase nurse retention. Simply put, they can’t afford for any more nurses to quit.
But how can they achieve this? What can hospitals do to keep nurses happy and interested in their careers? Here are some of the most effective nurse retention strategies.
· Offer longer orientation periods for new nurses—Starting a new career as a nurse can be overwhelming. Nursing is a hectic job, and lives are on the line. With about 20 percent of new nurses quitting within a year, that’s a strong indication that new nurses just aren’t prepared for the job. By having a longer orientation period for new nurses, hospitals can help them adjust at a comfortable pace to the job, increasing the chances that they’ll stick around.
· Have rapid response support teams for new nurses—New nurses often find themselves in tough situations where they don’t know what to do. These situations can be very stressful, and if handled improperly, it could break the nurse. By having rapid response teams available for nurses who find themselves in a pinch, you can help guide them through these tough situations.
· Reduce nurse to patient ratios—One of the most common complaints nurses have is that they’re responsible for too many patients. Keeping up with too many patients can place extra stress on the nurse, and it could even cause the quality of patient care to decline. Whenever possible, hospitals should strive to reduce the nurse to patient ratio so everyone will benefit.
· Conduct exit surveys for nurses who quit—An exit interview with nurses who quit should be a standard procedure. This is a great opportunity for hospitals to gain insight into the factors that lead to a nurse moving on from their job. By identifying the things that are causing nurses to quit, the hospital can hopefully take steps to correct these issues and improve nurse retention.
· Get feedback from nurses on a regular basis—Don’t just wait until a nurse quits to talk to them; hospitals should also get feedback from current nurses on a regular basis. They should set aside time to talk to the nurses to hear what they have to say about the job. This can be helpful for identifying problems early on and correcting them before a nurse decides it’s time to quit.
· Offer opportunities for nurses to further their careers—If nurses feel like they have a chance to grow in their career, they’ll be likelier to stick around and keep moving forward. The best hospitals offer professional development programs for nurses to help them improve their careers and stay interested in their jobs.
· Be flexible—Nursing jobs carry a lot of stress with them. They can be very harsh on the personal lives of nurses. That’s why hospitals should strive to be more flexible and accommodating to nurses. By offering flexible scheduling and assistance with various personal issues, hospitals can keep their nurses happy.
Guest post submitted by John Smith. John manages the Nursing Scrubs store located at NursingUniforms.net.
Submit a guest post to anpview at gmail dot com.