Well, another week of health care in the news. Lots of discussions, arguments, heated debates and the occasional cordial conversation on what changes need to be made. From Obamacare to staffing ratios to violence against health care workers…. lots of news these days affecting healthcare. But what I notice is missing – where are the nurses in these conversations?? I see lots of people and analysts discussing how health care needs this change or that one, but where are the front line workers. Oh, yeah….they are actually doing the work. But if there was every a time, it is now – nurses need to be the change.
And it starts with me. And you.
I always love the new year – it’s like a fresh start. A blank page.
But I also love reflecting back on all the amazing things that transpire in just one year. So many of them we forget, so it’s nice to be reminded.
As some of you may or may not know, there are a gaggle of amazing writers, bloggers, and thought provokers in the world of nursing. They are speaking out for those who won’t or can’t and generally just trying to bring our community together in one voice.
And they have ALOT to say…
So as many of you may or may not know, the Rally for National Nurse to Patient Ratios happened last week on Thursday, May 12 in Washington, DC.
I will be sharing more about my experience and what is to come for next year, but for now here is a little recap of the events!
Nurses Take DC Rally
And start planning now for next year – it will be bigger and better!
Having been a nurse for over 18 years, I have endured a few Nurses Week. At first I was lured into the charm of my first “Nurses Week” bag. I had finally arrived – my first official nurses bag. I had arrived and for a full week, the folks at the hospital seemed to actually appreciate what we did for our patients. After a few mugs, key chains, beach towels and more bags, the charm quickly grew off.
Have you ever wondered what happened after all the hoopla from the Miss Colorado and The View controversy? Remember, all the nurses bonded together and we finally found our voice. It was a great time to be a nurse! A really great moment of pride. But then what? Well…. something did happen. Nurses found their voice. Nurses realized that apart we will accomplish nothing, but together, we are a million person force to be reckoned with. A few, humble nurses took that message to heart and were inspired to have a rally in Washington DC regarding the one issues we almost all agree on – staffing. On May 12, on the steps of the Capitol, Nurses Take DC!
Wowzer! What a week to be a nurse! Like what the heck just happened – the sleeping giant has arisen!! I always knew we had it in us as a profession. I just knew if we could find some common ground, we would be a force few could overcome! Little did I know it would come from such a benign place and the momentum would give nursing a new view!
So in case you have been working or live under a rock – here’s what’s been happening this week in the world of nursing…. Nursing’s New View!
Hi all! Hope your summer has gone well! It has been a fun and busy one for me, especially since I had a clinical group for a super fast summer session. Clinicals can be tough enough on a good day, but for my fundamentals nursing students, summer session is like learning via a fire hose!
As we head back into the fall session and the stress level starts to amp up again, I thought I would share some self-care tips for nursing students. Although you may have heard a few of them in the past, really take them in and consider, “how is your self-care routine?” Students are notorious for not taking care of themselves and I think this is amplified in nursing students. People entering the nursing profession tend to seek to put others first and demonstrate a high level of care to others, often at the expense of themselves.
So, here’s my tips for taking care of yourself while in nursing school and after graduation too!
Your Next Shift – A Book Review
Once again I had the honor of reviewing another fantastic and super helpful book by nurse entrepreneur and wellness extraordinaire, Elizabeth Scala. A few months ago she offered us alternative self care workarounds in her book Nursing from Within: A Fresh Alternative to Putting Out Fires and Self-Care Workarounds. (You can read my review here.) It was a practical guide for nurses who were looking for a fresh alternative and perspective in how to manage in the daily grind of healthcare. With her next book, Elizabeth continues that journey in her aptly named book Your Next Shift: How to Kick Your Nursing Career into High Gear.
According to the “Nursing: Supply and Demand through 2020” analysis conducted by professors from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, the U.S economy will create over one and a half million nursing jobs by 2020. On the other side of the spectrum, hospitals and other health-care facilities will be undergoing a shortage of nearly 200,000 professional and registered nurse positions.
Nursing is a tough and demanding job, with long rotational shifts, calls to work at any time and of course, the human element of have to care for other people. The physical and emotional demands of the nursing industry are enough to deter people from wanting to enter this profession. However, there is a plus side to this. For all your pain, sacrifice and dedication, the average annual salary of a practicing nurse is about $43,000. For a registered nurse with a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree, it is roughly $69,000 annually, which is a higher wage than that of many other fields which require longer studies.
Sadly, I can’t say I remember my first code or even the first death I witnessed. Unfortunately, there have been so many over the years. Not to minimize any life that has crossed my path, but after 16 years, it does all start to blend together. There are a few who stand out – but, I will save their stories for another day. However, each experience – each life – has been a small part of my molding – shaping who I am, teaching me a lesson. And those lessons I try to pass on.
We rarely talked about death in my nursing program – the model for our nursing school was based on restoring people to their highest level of functioning – death doesn’t always fit into that equation. So, when I came out of school, I was clueless. In my personal life, I had not had anyone close to me pass away, so I really didn’t even have that frame of reference to draw from. However, working in critical care areas – I had to learn quickly!