Nursing News

How Nurses Should Be Using Social Media

Thanks to a technologically advanced society and easy access to digital sources of communication, social media is becoming an increasingly effective, wide-ranging tool for nurses. However, with this resource comes great responsibility. As nurses navigate social networking sites, chat rooms, blogs and public forums, there is a dangerously thin line between professional and personal online etiquette. Health care employees must maintain patient confidentiality and privacy at all times, as well as serve as a positive representation of their place of employment. Inappropriate use of social media often leads to disciplinary action; and in the most serious cases, can negatively affect a nurse’s career and license.

Privacy Issues Regarding Nurses Using Social Media

“Nursing is a profession that is laden with risks related to disclosure of protected information,” says Jonathan Greene, social media expert and author of Facebook is a Pub Crawl: 15 Simple Strategies for Social Media Excellence. “For that reason, nurses have to be careful about anything that would violate HIPPA standards.”

According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), confidential information should be shared only with the patient’s informed consent, when legally required, or where failure to disclose the information could result in significant harm. Any breach of trust associated with a nurse-patient relationship has damaging repercussions, and often winds up hurting the overall trustworthiness of the nursing profession as a whole.

Breaches of patient confidentiality or privacy on social media platforms (whether intentional or inadvertent) can occur in many different ways, such as:

posting videos or photos of patients – even if they can’t be identified
posting photos or videos that reveal room numbers or patient records
descriptions of patients, their medical conditions, and/or treatments
referring to patients in a degrading or demeaning [...]

Is the Nursing Profession Right for You?

Nurses Speak Out on Qualities One Should Have To Enter The Nursing Profession

The individual who chooses to become a nurse enters a profession with substantial responsibility that sometimes involves dealing with people who are experiencing the most vulnerable and significant moments in their life. Nurses juggle physical pressures, emotional situations, and at times, mentally taxing experiences. In order to effectively care for and treat patients, nurses must rely on their inherent qualities, as well as the ones they acquire along the way, to become what many consider the ‘ideal’ nurse.

Qualities that every nurse should ideally possess include:

 COMPASSION

“All nurses need to be compassionate, observant, and flexible,” says Patricia Bollinger-Blanc, Director of Clinical Operations at the Natick, Massachusetts-based Natick Visiting Nurse Association.

Because of the importance of showing kindness, empathy, and concern in the nursing field, some health care facilities have implemented standards to ensure patients receive compassionate care.

“One of the primary reasons why I came to work at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) is that our approach is based on the Mother Standard of Care®,” says Dee Emon, Chief Nurse Executive and Quality Officer, “where every patient is treated as you’d want your own mother cared for.”

Emon says that this approach supports her view of the role nurses should play in healthcare, and that such a standard creates an environment where nurses have the ability to provide compassionate, personalized care for patients and their families.

DEDICATION to the PROFESSION

DaLinda Love, Corporate Director of Clinical Services at United Methodist Homes of NJ, says that a dedication to the profession is a top quality that nurses should possess.

“Not everyone can be a good nurse or a nurse,” says Love. “You have to have the inner yearning [...]

The Best Online Tools and Technology for Your Nursing Career

Today’s healthcare industry sees pocket drug reference books being replaced by smartphone applications that enhance the access time and portability of vital information. Online tools for nursing, especially mobile technology, is on the rise. The best online tools and technology are those that minimize medical errors, improve clinical workflow, educate, and enhance a nurse’s overall understanding of the field. However, with what seems like an endless stream of new technology, it’s easy to get lost when trying to determine the best investment.

New technology for nurses, such as apps for mobile devices, can be a great asset or an enormous waste, and for the nurse looking to spend his or her time (and money) wisely, it’s important to have an idea of what really works beforehand.

When choosing to incorporate online tools and technology into a nursing career; it’s not about how many of the “best” downloads and purchases a nurse makes – it’s about selecting the technology that actually simplifies nursing duties, enhances patient care, and effectively educates.

According to Heath Erickson, RN, a Clinical Solution Consultant at PatientSafe Solutions, studies have found that nurses spend less than 20% of their time on direct patient care, which is “largely attributable to technology which does not support their workflow well, administrative duties, documentation, task management, and care team coordination.”

“Rather than bog them down,” he says, “nurses need solutions that can actually help them to do what they do best: deliver high-quality care throughout the patient experience, safely and efficiently.”

Erickson, who has worked as a clinical specialist for technology companies for more than seven years, also says that today’s emerging mobile platforms now enable nurses to save time and energy by offering quick access to patient data, positive identification of [...]

Survival Tips for Nurses Working the Night Shift

Although the duties and responsibilities are no different for a nurse that works after the sun is down, the night shift (or shift work) does present unique challenges. The workplace atmosphere and schedule related to the night shift requires a nurse to make significant adjustments to his or her daily routine and personal life. With the majority of patients asleep during the late shift, nurses must also find ways to manage what is considered a less busy (or less stressful) workload in between the continuous monitoring of patients throughout the night.

While shifts vary according to a healthcare facility or hospital, the typical night shift is between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Some nurses may start a shift as early as 8:00 p.m.  At the end of a night shift, nurses return home where they usually rest and rejuvenate in the early hours of the day. Unfortunately, sleeping throughout the day is sometimes difficult to achieve. Once awake, a night nurse often tends to their personal life, and then remains up until it’s time for their next shift.

“One factor to take into consideration when working the night shift is it might take some time for your body to adjust to a night shift schedule,” Joy Becker, a nurse from the D.C.-based overnight infant care agency Let Mommy Sleep said.

Learning how to adapt to a different sleep schedule is one of the hardest obstacles that a night shift nurse must overcome – especially since their sleeping pattern is one that is in reverse to the majority of the population, including their family and friends.

Below you will find 10 survival tips for nurses that work the night shift:

1. Get an Adequate Amount of Sleep

“Working [...]

Is an Online Nursing Degree Program Right For You?

In today’s world of higher education, almost all nursing programs include some online courses. Traditional brick-and-mortar institutions include distance-learning components in the curriculum and the trend is growing. Many schools offer degrees completely online. There are very good reasons for this. From a lack of educators able to cope with the growing number of students, to an effort to embrace modern technology at the academic level and use it to advance healthcare outcomes. Prospective nurses from the most rural places have access to nursing programs and there is global collaboration that contributes to an incredible wealth of knowledge.

“Online programs draw students from across the nation and around the world,” Mary A. Bemker, an Academic Coordinator and Professor of Nursing at Sullivan University, said. “Nurses attending these classes benefit from insights presented by faculty and peers, who can expand discussions and understanding past what is found in a specific healthcare organization or geographic locale. Since the world is “shrinking” on many fronts, it is a definite advantage for nurses to exchange information and ideas with professionals from around the globe.”

The choice that nurses now face is whether to acquire their degree through an online program or to attend class on-site. The final decision is a strategic career choice and it is advisable to familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of an online nursing degree beforehand. There are solutions to all the disadvantages, but you must be ambitious enough to overcome them.

Dr. Susan Aldridge, the Senior Vice President of Drexel University Online, recently conducted research into how employers now view online degrees.

“Academic experts, employers and recruiting professionals agree that to maximize the value of one’s credentials through online learning, the chosen program must meet three [...]

Push Expands for Nurses to Earn Bachelor’s Degrees — At Least

By 2020, the RN could be a relic of the past.
On the heels of a 2010 recommendation by the Institute of Medicine  that 80 percent of nurses in the U.S. have bachelor of science (BSN) or master’s degrees by 2020, an increasing number of hospitals are telling their nurses that they must go back to school, or lose their jobs.

What’s more, states are now moving to enact “BSN in 10” laws requiring nurses to earn BSNs within 10 years of licensure. New York and New Jersey’s legislatures considered such a law during the 2013 legislative session, but neither passed it; cities in Rhode Island as well as Long Island are considering following suit, the New York Times reports .

New research is driving this trend, including studies by Dr. Linda Aiken at the University of Pennsylvania showing that, for every 10 percent increase in nurses with BSN or higher degrees on a hospital’s staff, patient mortality decreases by 4 percent.

“We’re safer in hospitals with bachelor-educated nurses,” says D. Anthony Forrester, Professor and Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Administration at the
Rutgers School of Nursing.

Surgical patients in “magnet” hospitals, or those recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center  for quality patient care, nursing excellence, and innovations in professional nursing practice, have shown a 14 percent lower chance of dying in the hospital within 30 days, and 12 percent lower odds of dying because they could not be resuscitated than those in non-magnet hospitals, Forrester says. Magnet hospitals strive for BSN or higher degrees among 80 percent of their nurses.

Marie Barry, senior policy analyst for the American Nurses Association, started her nursing career in 1989 as a registered nurse with an associate’s degree. Soon she began [...]

LPN Jobs Increasing But Not in Hospitals

LPN Jobs Increasing, but Not in Hospitals

By Sherry Jones

Are U.S. hospitals pushing out licensed practical nurses?

According to a recent Wall Street Journal post, the top 20 acute-care hospitals appear to be hiring fewer LPNs — and dividing their duties among medical/nursing assistants and registered nurses.

Formerly handling administrative and clerical tasks primarily in doctors’ offices and ambulatory care centers, medical assistants now may be displacing LPNs from the more-lucrative hospital jobs nurses have long sought.

According to the employment analysis company Burning Glass, hospitals are increasingly giving medical assistants lower-level tasks such as blood pressure measurement, and farming out the higher-level tasks to RNs.

In hospitals, LPNs care for patients under the direction of doctors and RNs, taking vital signs, giving shots, applying and changing dressings, treating bedsores, giving massages and rubs, monitoring, collecting samples, performing routine lab tests, ad more.

That’s a broad and diverse list of skills. And yet the number of LPNs working in hospitals fell 47 percent between 1984 and 2005, according to the AFSCME labor union. That’s 153,000 fewer hospital jobs for nurses.

Does It All Come Down to Money?

The union points to two changes in hospital management contributing to the decline: cuts in nursing staff accompanying insurance plan changes in the 1990s, and a shift from team nursing to primary care nursing.

But money may be another reason for the decline in hospital jobs for LPNs.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for LPNs was $39,000 in 2008, but only $28,000 for medical assistants.

That’s not to say that LPNs will become a thing of the past. The

Department of Labor predicted a 22 percent increase in LPN jobs between 2010 and 2020. More and more of those jobs, however, may [...]

Men In Nursing Entering a Predominantly Female Career Field

In recent years the nursing profession has been perceived as the smart profession to pursue, as it’s known to provide financial security and long-term employment, something that’s not necessarily guaranteed in other more precarious fields where outsourcing poses a real threat to job security. With a flexible schedule and the ability to choose from a variety of different shifts, along with an array of benefits and the promise of a generous pension, it might seem obvious that the benefits gained from a career in nursing wouldn’t deter anyone from pursuing this field regardless of their gender. However, despite the growing trend of an increasing demand for nurses, it’s still a profession that is largely dominated by women. Though men are in no way barred from entering this line of work, there are various obstacles they face when pursuing this predominantly female field.

There’s no doubt that there are far more female nurses than there are male. When entering a hospital or doctor’s office a common sight would be that of a female nurse donned in a pale blue nurse’s smock, strolling through the long, well-lit halls, attending to a variety of ill patients. What about men? How often do we see the same number of men wearing the same uniform, performing the same tasks? According to Minority Nursing writer Tri Pham in her piece titled “Men in Nursing”, a recent statistic that was taken in 2008 highlights the undeniable difference in the number of men that work as nurses as opposed to women. Within that year there were a total of 3,063,163 nurses that were both licensed and registered, but only 6.6 percent of the over 3 million registered nurses were male, and only [...]

Caring for the Abandoned Aids Sufferers of Rural South Africa

“Her eyes would sometimes light up when she saw me, that’s when she had the strength to be aware… they told me when she passed.”

Theresa Tierney Bugler shares her experiences as a student nurse volunteering in South Africa with children and mothers suffering from Aids. Nicholas Jackman reports.

A new world opens up for a 19 year-old Irish girl. Having landed in Johannesburg, the aid vehicle treks the bumpy road for hours on end, further and further north. The cityscape opening up to a scorched earth, sights of a poverty stricken wilderness never before known to her. In her Personal CD player, a U2 album spins, ‘Where the Streets have no name,’ Bono blares. “I looked out into the desert,” said Theresa, “The song played in my ears. I looked out at the burnt ground, the lack of vegetation, and I was looking at just that. That is the thought that stuck with me. This was where the streets did have no name, my first impression of Africa.”

Theresa Tierney was far away from home, and the man she loved. His ongoing stint in the Irish navy saw them at two different sides of the planet, he in Russia, her working now as a volunteer nurse continents away. They married eight years later, Theresa Tierney Bugler is now working the job of her dreams, working with young people harboring mental health issues back in Ireland, but her time on the dark continent, she credits as one of the main factors of this success, the small line in her CV always drawing the attention of the interviewer, begging questions, and giving her an edge.

“Since I was a small child I always wanted to go and work [...]

Caring for the Abandoned Aids Sufferers of Rural South Africa

“Her eyes would sometimes light up when she saw me, that’s when she had the strength to be aware… they told me when she passed.”

Theresa Tierney Bugler shares her experiences as a student nurse volunteering in South Africa with children and mothers suffering from Aids. Nicholas Jackman reports.

A new world opens up for a 19 year-old Irish girl. Having landed in Johannesburg, the aid vehicle treks the bumpy road for hours on end, further and further north. The cityscape opening up to a scorched earth, sights of a poverty stricken wilderness never before known to her. In her Personal CD player, a U2 album spins, ‘Where the Streets have no name,’ Bono blares. “I looked out into the desert,” said Theresa, “The song played in my ears. I looked out at the burnt ground, the lack of vegetation, and I was looking at just that. That is the thought that stuck with me. This was where the streets did have no name, my first impression of Africa.”

Theresa Tierney was far away from home, and the man she loved. His ongoing stint in the Irish navy saw them at two different sides of the planet, he in Russia, her working now as a volunteer nurse continents away. They married eight years later, Theresa Tierney Bugler is now working the job of her dreams, working with young people harboring mental health issues back in Ireland, but her time on the dark continent, she credits as one of the main factors of this success, the small line in her CV always drawing the attention of the interviewer, begging questions, and giving her an edge.

“Since I was a small child I always wanted to go and work [...]