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Insights Blog

When you hear your peers tell their own nursing stories, you gain insight into how you may want to handle your professional growth, patient care, self-care, patient advocacy, and more. You may also want to share your own stories by submitting a blog for possible publication.

July 28, 2017

By: Roric P. Hawkins MBA, BSN, RN

Many hospitals strive to achieve Magnet® designation to highlight the clinical accomplishments achieved within their organizations. One evidenced-based practice that can be used to demonstrate what Magnet considers Exemplary Professional Practice (EP) is a comprehensive safe patient handling (SPH) program.

In the 2014 Magnet Application Manual under EP18EO: Workplace safety for nurses is evaluated and improved, facilities are asked to provide two examples with supporting evidence of improved workplace safety for nurses resulting from the safety strategy of the organization. The structural components of a comprehensive SPH program are made up of many of those necessary strategies, which at my facility, we were able to include as examples of our Sources of Evidence.

Should a SPH program be implemented and followed as recommended, it’s likely to systematically generate the staff empowerment required to produce the kind of quality outcomes, which can help in making the case for Magnet designation.

Starting the process 

At the inception of the decision made to create an SPH program, employee injuries related to moving and handling patients are identified, validating the need to implement mechanical patient-lift devices into clinical practice. In choosing a patient-lift vendor, deciding the types and quantities of . . .

July 10, 2017


outfit nurse clothes attire work

Wives are partly to blame for the fact that men won't take ‘female' jobs, professor says.
These days, jobs are plentiful, but good jobs — the ones that offer benefits and protection from income volatility — are scarce.

The trouble is that a lot of the good ones are in traditionally female, or what are often referred to as “pink-collar,” professions. And it's not just that some men don't want to be nurses. According to some experts, their wives don't want them to be nurses either.

Nursing as a field remains about 90 percent female, and the American Nursing Association sees only “modest progress” when it comes to diversity. An analysis in the New York Times suggests that might be because old-fashioned gender roles can matter as much to women as to men.

Ofer Sharone, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, has studied middle-aged white-collar professionals who have lost their jobs. He found that some men who might have been willing to consider lower-paid jobs in typically feminine fields encountered resistance from their wives, who urged them to keep looking.

Sharone tells the Times that work, especially the . . .

July 9, 2017


fund funding research nursing

On June 22, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released a 142-page draft of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA). The measure was drafted in secret over the course of several weeks by 13 male, Republican Senators. BCRA is the Senate's answer to the House of Representatives' American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA), which passed by a vote of 217 to 213 on May 4. Subsequent polls have indicated that a minority of the public support the AHCA (30 percent support in a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll).

Sen. McConnell pushed for a vote on BCRA before the Senate took its July 4 recess. Insufficient support among colleagues led to a postponement.

The legislation is quite complex with some measures taking immediate effect, while others are deferred for years. Health care accounts for more than one-sixth of the U.S. economy and involves federal and state programs, individual and work-related insurance and a matrix of regulations that address the needs of women and children, elderly, disabled, poor and other vulnerable populations. Without extensive, public hearings that include input from economists, providers, insurers, individual states and patient advocacy groups, there is little prospect for public . . .

July 8, 2017


ana nurse world

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the health care bill pending in the Senate. Where can someone go to find the truth, with so many conflicting claims?

I go to the experts in health care who are dedicated to helping the sick and protecting the aged. Professional organizations that have spoken against it now include the American Nurses Association, American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, Association of American Medical Colleges, American Hospital Association, and Children’s Hospital Association, among other physician groups and all major hospital groups.

AMA says the bill “will expose low- and middle-income patients to higher costs and greater difficulty in affording care.”

The nurses say, “This bill will result in millions of Americans losing critical coverage for mental health and substance-use disorders.”

The CBO says 23 million people will lose coverage.

The New England Journal of Medicine says, “This research suggests that we would see more than 24,000 extra deaths per year in the U.S. if 20 million people lost their coverage.

AARP says, “This bill would weaken Medicare’s fiscal sustainability, dramatically increase health care costs for Americans aged 50-64 and put at . . .

By: Nancy Urrutia, EdD, MSN, RN, CNE

Nursing is a job where exposure to grief and loss may be a frequent occurrence. The nurse is challenged with the difficulty of how to cope while working in a chosen career that continues to create these healthcare encounters, which can be draining to the spirit. The terms coined to help describe these phenomena: burnout, compassion fatigue, and more, only scratch the surface.

Nursing articles describing how to address these issues are abundant, but little attention has been paid to nurses who experience grief in their personal lives while balancing the emotional demands of daily practice. What happens to nurses who experience a personal loss at home and then resume a career that continues to challenge their grief work? I had that experience first-hand and want to share my thoughts.

A fundamental loss

The immediate work environment is an opportunity for nurse colleagues to support one another as friendships emerge. However, those individuals who are not necessarily part of the everyday work team may experience marginalization when faced with encounters in the clinical setting. For example, I work in academics and teach students in clinical settings. My clinical specialty was neonatal intensive care, but I currently teach fundamentals of . . .

July 7, 2017


interview leadership cno chief nurse

The International Nurses Association is pleased to welcome Denise M. Linton, DNS, FNP-BC, to their prestigious organization with her upcoming publication in the Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare. Denise M. Linton is a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Educator currently working as an Associate Professor and Nurse Practitioner within the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions at University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Featuring over three decades of experience in nursing, she is a specialist in family practice, distance nursing education, and perianesthesia nursing.

Dr. Linton gained her Diploma in Nursing in 1986 from the University of the West Indies School of Nursing in Kingston, Jamaica, becoming a Registered Nurse. An advocate for continuing education, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree, Summa Cum Laude, in 1996 from Medgar Evers College in New York, followed by her Master of Science in Nursing Degree and Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate from Columbia University. Dr. Linton then obtained her Doctor of Nursing Science Degree from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center  in New Orleans.

Throughout her long and successful career Dr. Linton has worked in many areas of nursing, in increasingly senior positions. She is a distinguished member of . . .

July 6, 2017


commitment service graduate

WASHINGTON, DC – What was billed as a briefing by immigration and justice department officials to provide the Filipino community here accurate information on current US immigration policy inevitably turned into a forum on President Donald Trump’s attitude towards immigrants.

The Philippine Embassy’s recent “Talakayan sa Pasuguan” (Community Forum) featured representatives from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Justice-Executive Office for Immigration Review (DOJ-EOIR).

It came about following a conference call organized by the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) last March, in which the Philippine Embassy and other civil rights organizations participated.


Darell Artates, public diplomacy officer of the Philippine Embassy, the call saw the need to give the Filipino community accurate information on the current administration’s immigration policy and enforcement guidelines.

Artates notes that ICE and the DOJ-EOIR are two of the major implementing agencies and, therefore, the authoritative sources of this information.

“Our Consulates across the US have also been hosting similar dialogues with the Filipino community leaders and ICE community affairs officers in their jurisdictions to serve this purpose,” Artates adds.

As expected, presenters from ICE and DOJ-EOIR, using slides and prepared talking . . .


nurses week

The International Nurses Association is pleased to welcome Katherine Greene Davis, BSN, RN, to their prestigious organization with her upcoming publication in the Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare. Katherine Greene Davis is a Registered Nurse currently serving patients within Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Now in her fourth year in nursing, she is a specialist in adult emergency medicine, HIV, and infectious disease.

Katherine’s career in medicine began in 2013 when she graduated with her Associate Degree in Nursing from Baltimore City Community College in Maryland. An advocate for continuing education, two years later she gained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from Kaplan University. Katherine holds additional certifications in Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and is also certified in Transgender Patient Care.

To keep up to date with the latest advances and developments in nursing, Katherine maintains a professional membership with the American Nurses Association and the Maryland Nurses Association. She attributes her success to the supportive environment she has found at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and when she is not working, Katherine enjoys traveling, hiking, and bird watching.

Learn more about Katherine Greene Davis here: http://inanurse.org/network/index.php?do=/4137240/info . . .

June 11, 2017

By: Jennifer L. Farrell Burns, MJ, BSN, RN-BC

The December 2016 Gallop Poll announced that once again, nurses were rated the highest for honesty and ethics among professions for the 15th straight year! As we graciously accept this honor (again) and receive congratulatory “likes” on our Facebook posts, let’s discuss the Code of Ethics for Nurses (2015), presented by the American Nurses Association.

The Code of Ethics is the nursing professions’ document that expresses “the values, duties and professional ideals” central to the core of nurses’ behaviors (ANA, 2015, p. viii). The Code began as the “Florence Nightingale Pledge”, written by Lystera Gretter in 1893, and remained the informal standard until 1950 when the “Code for Professional Nurses” was adopted by the ANA Delegates. The Nightingale Pledge by Gretter reads;

“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 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 . . .

May 31, 2017

By: Roric P. Hawkins MBA, BSN, RN

There are two things that I have often thought to be consistent with modern day nursing program’s focus of emphasis: teaching students how to write state boards and preparing students how not to “kill” or injure someone when they first begin nursing practice. I’ve often reminded nurses of this because not only does it merit some truth, but also partly to solicit a laugh to certain truths that applies to most of our nursing experiences. Nevertheless, the reality for most professional nurses throughout our careers is that everything we’ve ever learned about nursing practice and taking care of patients was actually learned by showing up for work every day.

As I reflect on my earlier days as a nurse, not only was I nervous during those days, but recently it occurred to me that there was one other point of emphasis particularly stressful about learning how to take care of patients. It involved learning to time-manage. Being able to manage tasks so that all patients are cared for responsibly and timely require not only learning the task or the skill at hand, but also executing the steps within the process efficiently. As I gave this idea . . .

May 17, 2017


It’s a sunny spring day in Gothenburg, Sweden's second largest city. It is a city, country I have grown to love and call my second home. I moved here for love nearly seven years ago and while it has not been without tribulation, I have been given a rare glimpse inside the work of a fully functional social democracy and the amazing benefits it has to offer.

I have just left my biennial mammogram offered completely free to every female resident over the age of forty. I received a friendly reminder in the mail that it was time again. I laugh to myself because it coincides with my birthday reminding me that I am in fact getting older. I arrived on time, was taken back by a friendly nurse, and was done within 5 minutes. I tried to pay, but the receptionist smiled and said, “no, it’s free.”

I feel so fortunate. I no longer worry in the way I did back home. I can see my primary doctor the same day with any issues. I sit here with a heavy feeling though-a guilt that wakes me sometimes at night. Sometimes I lie awake and think . . .

April 27, 2017

By: Roric P. Hawkins, MBA, BSN, RN

Ok, so let’s be honest, you were injured on your nursing job because you didn’t follow proper procedural techniques right? I mean, you’ve been taught how to lift, move, handle, position, transfer, and turn-and-reposition patients right?

For example, maybe when your new admission arrived in a wheelchair, you discovered he couldn’t bear weight, yet insisted on going to bed. You knew you needed help, but you discovered that not only were you tired because you were at the beginning of your third 12-hour shift, but the unit was short-staffed with no available co-workers to assist—undoubtedly because they were trying to overcome their own complex patient care dilemmas.

When you concluded your only option was yourself, you remembered that not only are you an invincible nurse capable of being prudent in all aspects of patient care, but you were taught proper body mechanics. You recalled that you are skilled, with the track record to prove it, so with minimum help from your patient, you could make it happen. After all, when it’s all on the line, it’s what you do; you are a nurse!

But now you find yourself . . .

March 31, 2017

By: Amanda Walk, RN

As a nurse, opportunities for growth and change are constantly at your fingertips. It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone and work as an expert within your field of nursing, but often times there are great rewards when you step into the unknown. According to a Career Builder Survey conducted in 2014, although 93% percent of nursing professionals are satisfied with being a nurse, 54% of nurses move to a new area of nursing at any point in their career. Most are hoping for a better life balance, increased pay, and different challenges. Whatever the reason, nursing is the perfect career to explore and find your perfect fit.

Many nurses can attest from personal experience or observing their coworkers, that switching departments multiple times is commonplace, sometimes because of changes in the local job market.

I always thought my forever job would be a charge nurse on a post-surgical unit. It didn’t take long to master the environment and the general expectations for each patient’s recovery journey. I enjoyed feeling confident, but I frequently thought about what other opportunities might ignite that fire within me; that same fire I felt after I first graduated nursing . . .

March 25, 2017

By: Nargis Abdelmessih, MSN, RN

Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is becoming a common microorganism in the healthcare systems and poses a catastrophic threat to the United States. It costs the healthcare system up to billions of dollars, leading to serious complications and higher mortality rates per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Caring for C. diff patients is becoming burdensome, time consuming, and overwhelming for nursing staff. It doesn’t just negatively impact patients, but also family members and organizations.

I have worked as a nurse for 16 years in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and as a hand hygiene observer in conjunction with the infection prevention department at the Ohio Hospital Association. During that time, I have seen healthcare workers walking out of rooms with C. diff patients without washing their hands. Once an infection prevention physician tried to argue the necessity of clinicians washing their hands, even when they didn’t touch anything in the room. More than once I asked different healthcare workers, why do we have to wash our hands when caring for C. diff patients and they couldn’t answer.

Earlier in my nursing career, I admit to the lack of knowledge on C. diff infection. At one of . . .

March 17, 2017

By: Roric P. Hawkins, MBA, BSN, RN

Have you ever been faced with a patient mobility challenge at the point-of-care when your patient had to be moved but moving the patient alone was not within your physical capabilities? In that instance, did you recall from your past experiences the various lifting options you maybe once applied in similar situations but was conflicted because of all the new information related to back injuries from manually lifting patients? The one time you actually considered using the patient-lift device located in the storage room on your unit, could you be confident that it was capable of addressing the mobility needs of your patient? What decision did you eventually make and would you make that same decision if a similar situation were to reoccur?

Choosing the appropriate patient-lift device, as well as having the appropriate equipment available, is necessary when seeking to safely address patient mobility challenges at the point-of-care. Having a preplanned solution before being faced with a patient mobility challenge would not only be ideal, but also beneficial to protecting both the patient and the caregiver’s safety. It would be helpful to include your patient’s mobility limitations as part of your . . .

March 10, 2017

By: Pamela Germinaro, BSN, RN

In 2004 President George W. Bush set forth a goal of all persons having electronic health records (EHR) within 10 years. This goal seemed unachievable at the time, and in fact proved to be so, although 90% of hospitals and 80% of private offices did have some form of EHR by 2014.

In 2014 President Barack Obama furthered the cause by including in the American Recovery and Investment Act that public and private healthcare providers must demonstrate meaningful use of EHR in order to receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement.

Now in 2017 President Donald Trump, according to FierceHealthcare, brings new challenges of safety and security regarding individual participation in providing personal details to health care providers. President Trump, by promising to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the privacy protections it affords, as well as promises of deportation for immigrants and Muslims, is causing concern amongst healthcare providers that individuals may withhold important medical information for fear of repercussions. Developing concise and extensive EHR can help facilitate the appropriate care of individuals as well as allowing for data collection and research to improve care across the health care continuum. Patients’ rights to privacy regarding the release of demographic and . . .

February 28, 2017

By: David Foley, PhD, MSN, RN, MPA

On a hot summer evening during my recent post-doctoral dream cruise, I was preparing to relax and enjoy a show in the beautiful, fabulously-appointed lounge when, above the excitement and din, I heard the unmistakable, discordant sound of a human body hitting the marble floor. In fact, the dull thud of a head making contact with an immovable object was one any nurse would recognize. It was immediately followed by the sickening sound the cry of a young child that quickly grew from a whimper into a crescendoed, pitiful scream.

I instinctively jumped from my seat and ran in cartoon-esque fashion to the back of the lounge—my legs seemed to be moving faster than my body. As if in slow motion, however, I noted the bewildered stares of my traveling companions in the seats around me. Before the first “where are you going?” reached my ears, I was already at the back of the lounge and at the side of a very young boy who was now holding his head and staggering to get to his feet. “Please don’t move. I am a registered nurse” I told him and the small group of people standing . . .

February 17, 2017

By: Marcy Hanson, MN, RN

Our foster care system is in dire straits. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, in the United States alone, over 400,000 children are currently in care and over 100,000 of those children are waiting for permanent adoptive homes. While the numbers are staggering, so are the long term and lasting psychiatric and mental health concerns that often follow these children through the system. One of the most common consequences of early trauma and a journey through the foster care system is often misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety.

Typically we think of PTSD as associated with veterans or those who have lived through war, but we often forget the complex, interpersonal trauma that is often experienced by children within the foster care system. Trauma such as separation and loss, as well as various forms of abuse or witnessing violence, can lead to PTSD. Unfortunately, children who have survived trauma often are left without the appropriate coping mechanism to battle their inner distress. As such, these hurting children often display behaviors that are linked to diagnosis of ADHD, conduct disorder and oppositional defiance disorder as opposed to PTSD or even anxiety.

As a . . .

December 6, 2016

By: Jill E. Toledo, MSN, RN, CPON

When a cancer diagnosis is made, we as providers do everything possible to start treatment immediately. Often times we can overlook the value of reproductive health counseling, as we are focusing on providing swift interventions. Under certain circumstances it’s possible to delay starting treatment so the patient can explore fertility options. Under other circumstances treatment initiation can’t be delayed. In those instances we must provide information about fertility after cancer treatment and allow patients to explore fertility options when treatment completes.

As providers we must be mindful that the discussions should begin as close to diagnosis as possible. It’s believed that these discussions should also occur regardless of whether the treatment will affect fertility. Klosky notes that inclusion of fertility topic as part of patients’ treatment plan can alleviate concerns about infertility, encourage safe sex practices during treatment and promote future discussions. In addition, it’s important to realize that when patients lose their fertility it can lead to psychological distress which includes grief, depression, anxiety, anger, frustration and regret.

Some topics of discussion include contraception during treatment, sexuality for both males and females, ethical/legal concerns and even adoption and surrogacy. It’s important to recognize . . .

November 3, 2016

By: Aileen Cassada, MSN, RN, NREMTP

Recently I had the opportunity to assist on a medical mission trip to Honduras. Here I share my experience to help others who might be interested in serving on missions.

About Honduras

Honduras is the second poorest nation next to Haiti in the Western Hemisphere. According to the 2013 statistics over 64% of the population is below the poverty level and 54% of households are in extreme poverty averaging a daily income of less than $1.25. Another horrifying statistic is that 23 out of 1000 children 5 years and younger will die due to sickness and malnutrition.

Obstacles in gaining access to healthcare for the people of Honduras include the great distance people have to travel with too rough of terrain, lack of funds to purchase such items, and limited medical resources throughout the country. The closest hospital in San Pedro Sula is 76.39 kilometers from the nearest city Pena Blanca, which can be more than an hour travel with a vehicle through rough terrain down the mountainside. Over-the-counter medications are almost unattainable for many of people.

Arriving at base

The team from the United States consisted of a physician, nurse practitioner, two RNs, two EMTs . . .

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Today’s News in Nursing

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the contributors, authors and/or advertisers on this website and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or recommendations of the ANA the Editorial Advisory Board members, or the publisher, editors, and staff of American Nurse Today.

American Nurse Today attempts to select contributors who are knowledgeable in their fields.  However, it does not warrant the expertise of any contributor, nor is it responsible for any statements made by any contributor.  Nurses should not use any procedures, medications, or other courses of diagnosis or treatment discussed or suggested by contributors without evaluating the patient’s conditions and possible contraindications or dangers in use, reviewing any applicable manufacturer’s prescribing or usage information and comparing these with recommendations of other authorities.