Tips for Surviving Nursing School

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Most nurses can recall the trials and tribulations of nursing school. The first day they attempt to weed out the weak ones by simply reviewing the syllabus. You are told to quit your job, forget any social life until you graduate, and prepare to study every waking moment of your life. They give every scenario that is a possible ground for expulsion from the program. You may go home feeling like a failure before even starting. Don’t!! Go home, cry if you need to, sleep it off, and wake up to the fact that you can do this. You will do this! How? Here are just a few tips….

Tips for Surviving Nursing School

Ingredients of a NICU Nurse

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A NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) nurse is a special breed of nurse. We care for the tiniest population on the planet. Our babies are the most fragile patients. One tiny baby can challenge us most intensively in one shift. So what does it take to be a NICU nurse? A careful ear, meticulous eye, and gentle hand are just a few key ingredients……

Ingredients of a NICU Nurse

Maintaining in a Nursing Shortage

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It is no secret that this country is facing a massive nursing shortage. In fact, it is a worldwide epidemic. Nurses are tasked with far more responsibility, sicker than ever patients, and an unsafe nurse to patient ratio. According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 1 million new nurses will be needed by 2022 in the U.S. alone. While we continue to strive to offer the best care, our minds and bodies are at the losing end. So how can we maintain while measures are being taken to improve our work environment?

Maintaining in a Nursing Shortage

Qualities of a Good Nurse Mentor

IMG_3514Merriam-Webster defines a mentor as a trusted counselor or guide.  Every nurse should have at least one nurse mentor regardless of the stage of his or her career.  We are constantly in need of second opinions or advice.  The day you think you have learned it all or know it all is the day you should retire 😉  In my latest for Mighty Nurse, I discuss some necessary qualities of a nurse mentor.  Thanks for reading!!!

Qualities of a Good Nurse Mentor

 

A Nurse’s Vow to Her Patients

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Hello from sunny Florida ❤  Every winter, I head home for the warmth and light, embrace of family, and to remember where I come from.  Since coming home, I have been a little lax in my posting.  As a result, I will now be inundating you all with back posts 🙂

For me, being a nurse is so much more than having the skill to place an IV, the ability to detect subtle changes in a patient’s status, and the ability to deal with the multiple personalities one is confronted with on a daily basis.  It is equally important to be a good listener, strive to continually learn, and take the time to educate and advocate for one’s patients.  Our patients are not only those we treat at the bedside, but those we  are surrounded by in every day life including friends, family, and community.  A nurse is never truly off-duty.

In the last year, I have transitioned more and more away from my role as a bedside nurse to the role of maternal/infant health and education.  Patient education has always been my passion and in the last year I have been honored and privileged to offer maternal and infant education courses to expectant parents living in Gothenburg, Sweden, through a fledgling maternal/infant and wellness company.  My vow to each and every student is the same I offer my patients.  I strive to leave my own struggles behind and greet them with undisturbed enthusiasm.  I will learn from them as they learn from me and guide them with care and consideration on the journey to their baby.

The following is my vow to those I serve in my role as nurse  whether through care at the bedside or through community outreach ❤

A Nurse’s Vow to Her Patients

A Nurse’s Wish for the Grieving During the Holidays

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While the holidays are often a time of food, celebration, and reunion, they can also be a time of deep grief and loneliness. The holidays can represent the void of a loved one who has passed. A nurse knows this better than most. We witness people in some of the most difficult moments of their lives. We will all experience loss at some point in our lives and grief is individual. The following is my wish for those grieving this time of year….

A Nurse’s Wish for the Grieving During the Holidays

Honoring the Hospice Nurse

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November is Hospice and Palliative Care month in the U.S.  It is a month to recognize those caring for dying patients and their families.  I have such admiration for hospice nurses.  I have heard many times it takes a special kind of nurse to work with babies, but I think the same can be said of a hospice nurse.

In this month’s nurse feature, I interviewed Patty, a native New Yorker.  She, like many New Yorkers (including my family), migrated to Florida many years ago.  I worked with Patty when I was a new grad.  I looked up to her and her skill-she was smart, organized, and confident-all the qualities I admired and wanted to emulate as a nurse.

Where are you from?

I am from Colonie, NY. It is a suburb of Albany, NY.

In what area of nursing do you work?

Presently I am a Hospice Nurse (for 6 years)

What inspired you to become a nurse?

My great Aunt was an RN back in the 50’s and my mother would take me to visit her at the hospital. She was a very professional RN, in Charge of a whole floor. Her appearance was impeccable.  She had a starched white cap on her neatly pinned up hair, a starched white uniform with 3/4 sleeves and the hem below her knees, white hose and polished white clinic shoes with a small heel.  She always stood very straight with her shoulders back and when she walked, she walked with a purpose in mind.  Back then there were “wards.”  These were multi-bed large rooms with curtains dividing the beds for privacy. I remember watching her walk into the room.  All the patients were so glad to see her. She would attend to each one with kindness and skill and when she was finished, the patients were so grateful and felt so much better. I knew at a very young age that was what I wanted to do, care for people and become an Registered Nurse like her.

What advice would you give to a new nurse?

Always remember that you are taking care of someone’s loved one and you must do your very best always. Also, realize that your patients and their family are scared, hurting and worried. Don’t take unpleasant actions or words from them personally.

What advice would you give to a tired (burned out) nurse?

Change to another area of nursing. Sometimes a fresh new transfer can do wonders. Nursing is a wonderful profession and you can bring knowledge and expertise to another area that needs you. Seriously, try this you may like your new area!

What do you do in your spare time?

I make belly bands, diapers, toys, chew toys and blankets for animal rescues. I belong to .  We are all over the world but very active in the USA.  Each adoptive pet gets a homemade blanket before they get adopted so when they adopt their human, the transition to their new home is smoother and less stressful.  I also make name cards for newborn cribs when I’m not too busy with WIL.

Thanks for sharing, Patty!!  You are a shining example of a nurse ❤  For those of you contemplating hospice nursing, check out my interview with Patty for Mighty nurse……

Coffee Talk with a Mighty Nurse: Hospice Nursing