Friday, January 30, 2009

Top Reasons to Become Nurse Educator

Besides the obvious need for nurse educators in PA and the job security that comes with this profession, here are the Top 10 Reasons to Become a Nurse Educator according to the National League of Nurses:

10.You work in an intellectually stimulating environment.

9. You have autonomy and flexibility.

8.Your research creates knowledge and advances the field; your publications bring you prestige.

7. Your work has value to society.

6. You can teach anywhere in the world.

5. You can teach from the beach or the slopes, using technology.

4. You encourage and educate eager minds, and rejoice when your students surpass you.

3. You shape the future of healthcare.

2. You change lives.And the number 1 reason to become a nurse educator...

1. You teach what you love.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What is Holding You Back?

Are you happy with your present job, employer, and income? Are you living the lifestyle you desire? Do you feel the self-satisfaction and gratification you are looking for, maybe not at the end of each and everyday, but at the end of the week or even the month? How about self-esteem? If you answered yes, congratulations. For those that can not answer yes to these questions, where are you headed? Have you thought about what you want to do and where you want to go? What are your goals? Do you have a plan? Most important, what is your next step?! Undoubtedly, there are some obstacles.

Procrastination and Complacency

There are two very formidable opponents that face us on a human level: Procrastination and complacency. While there are similarities between the two words, they are two different conditions. The common theme of these two conditions is a lack of results.

Complacency is usually the result of accomplishment or achieving a certain level of success. Complacency is defined with “an unawareness of actual dangers.” Complacency creeps up on us unexpectedly, and most times we do not realize that we suffer from this condition until we are faced with the actual danger. The danger we could very easily face is allowing a lapse in our education, such as the mandatory continuing education required for re-licensure as talked about in a previous article dated October 31st on this site by Margaret Lyons, program coordinator at Villanova University.

Perpetual goal setting is one of the best practices we can employ to prevent complacency from setting in. Using a benchmark set by others can further insure that we will never have a goal in which we are satisfied. Tell yourself there is always someone doing it better, and find that someone.

We also need to create our own mechanism that will prevent complacency. It can be something simplistic such as an office bulleting board (hand-written to do list with due dates), or something more sophisticated employing technology (timed reminders on your computer). Keep your goals in front of you - carefully measured in achievable steps - so that you face them everyday. Choose the mechanism that will best work for you; just be sure to implement something. While at this juncture (nurses in Pennsylvania, California, Kansas and Delaware), have you addressed the mandatory continuing education for re-licensure?

Procrastination can be a byproduct of complacency however it has many sources. Unlike complacency, procrastination does not necessarily (and most times probably does not) result from success. It is a factor that prevents accomplishment.

Procrastination is a more conscious opponent usually a result of fear or poor prioritization. Concerning fear, it is never personal; identify and face your fear in order to alleviate anxiety. Our prioritization sometimes needs to be scrutinized. Life in nursing gives us a work load with more than our fair share. We begin to juggle instead of prioritize, and I am not referring to patient care here. When prioritizing, be sure your personal and professional advancement weighs in.

Time and Money

Now for the proverbial obstacles: Time and money. As you address procrastination and analyze your prioritization, commit the time needed for continuing education. Visualize where you will be and of the advanced opportunities afforded you once you have gained the desired (and necessary) degree. Do not let the economy be your excuse. Our profession is experiencing a shortage with a projected increase for the next 12 years. Nonetheless, by the time the economy improves, you could have positioned yourself for the place you want to be, rather than it being too late.

If you still have unfulfilled dreams and aspirations, take the first step to get started.

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Foundation is the first place to look. See if you qualify for the financial assistance they offer. Simply click on their link at right. And do not stop there. Schools of nursing often have assistance for those in need as well. As an example, visit Villanova’s College of Nursing, link at left, to see what they have to offer and peruse their site to learn more about their programs to see if their program may be right for you.

As this site continues to build its resources, please visit frequently for opportunities in education, advancement and employment.

As always, thank you for visiting and please share your comments.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Nursing: The Next 10 Years

By Craig Elliot

General Outlook for Nurses

The outlook for individuals considering entering the nursing field is excellent. Registered nurses, or RN's, make up the largest number of health care workers in the country. In addition, registered nurses will make up one of the fasted growing population of workers in all occupations over the next ten years.

Many registered nurses begin their career in the hospital setting. This allows the nurse to become familiar with various branches of medicine. While there is a demand for hospital nurses, this area of nursing will remain relatively level over the next ten years.

Many healthcare experts predict a surge in demand for registered nurses in the home health care setting. As Americans live longer, have more disposable income, and desire to remain home, nurses that can oversee care and treatment in the home setting will become increasingly valuable.

Another area of nursing that will see a surge in growth is with nurses who continue their education with Master's level work. With the rising cost of healthcare many families are using nurse practitioners and nurse midwives as a replacement for their primary care physician.

Hospitals, also, are realizing the cost saving benefit of highly trained nurses, and many employ nurse anesthetists, clinical nursing specialists, and nurse practitioners to keep their costs under control.

Not a Registered Nurse?

Job prospects for licensed practical nurses, or LPNs, while positive, are not as strong as those of registered nurses. Licensed practical nurses will continue to be in demand, particular in hospital and long term care facilities.

Many licensed practical nurses continue their schooling to become RNs while employed. The responsibilities of an RN are greater, but they also include more opportunities. RNs typically supervise LPN in a clinical setting, and the greater skill level allows the RN more job options.

RN or BSN?

The schooling necessary to become a registered nurse can be completed in anywhere from two to four years. The coursework is very intensive and involves many clinical hours. A program completed in less that four years, however, will leave you with an RN, not a BSN, or Bachelor of Science in Nursing. An RN is fully qualified to do all the duties required of a registered nurse, depending on the state. Obviously, the addition of a bachelor degree has many benefits.

An RN with a bachelor's degree in nursing is at an advantage when administrative positions open up in a hospital or clinical setting. In fact, due to the degree of federal and state oversight on healthcare facilities, many require a BSN for administrative, case management, and supervisory positions.

If you are considering working on your Master's degree, either as a nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioner, or to teach, you are required to have a bachelor's degree. While not all programs will mandate that your bachelor's must be in nursing, it is certainly helpful.

Considering a Career Switch?

Nursing is an excellent opportunity for individuals looking to move into a different career. With the high demand for nurses, many potential employees, particularly hospitals, will pay for most or all of your schooling. Even if you must foot the bills for your education initially, signing bonuses, combined with the near guarantee of a job upon graduation, takes much of the risk out of a career switch.

Another attractive fact concerning the nursing profession is the attractive tuition reimbursement plans offered by many employers. These offers, combined with the flexible shift scheduling available at many hospitals and care facilities make it possible to go from a LPN, to RN, to RN with BSN and on to acquiring a master's in your desired specialty without hefty student loans or a disruption of your income.

The Future of Nursing

Clearly all nursing professions will continue to grow over the next ten years. Nursing is an excellent career choice for those who wish to make a good income, have a flexible schedule, and continue their education. While the hours can be long, and the work physical, a quality nurse should never find themselves without their choice of jobs.

While long hours and the physical demands of the job may scare some people off, many others are attracted to the flexibility, the fast paced environment, and the ability to help others. For those concerned about the rigors of a nursing career, there are many positions available in private doctor's offices, public schools, and other lower stress environments. Nursing, whether in a clinical setting or administrative is a job in great demand.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Overview of Nursing School Programs

By Lisa Parker

If you are interested in obtaining a degree in nursing, you could not have picked a better time. Nurses are in great demand today, and with people living longer, that demand is likely to increase in the coming years. Nursing school programs can be characterized by the type of degree they offer, and although there are actually 5 degree types that one can obtain as a nurse, the more popular degrees are the Associate's and the bachelor's. However, if you are interested in newer professions such as forensic nursing, there are also certificate programs. Maybe you are considering legal consultation or teaching and you may even decide to get your master's degree. The other defining characteristic is whether you are in an online or distance learning program, or taking courses at a traditional college or university.The Associate's degree programs focus predominately on teaching students what is needed to prepare them to enter the workforce with the skills of a professional nurse. Their education typically has four major components, which consist of evaluation of care, health teaching, wellness and prevention, and the administration of treatments and medications. The evaluation component includes observation, nursing diagnosis, assessment, and intervention. The main focus of the Associate's degree is for their student to achieve employment either while in school or directly after graduation. Although it is not a requirement, most nursing programs for a bachelor's degree operate from the assumption that most of their students are registered nurses and/or they have already obtained their Associate's degree in nursing. The focus of these programs is to prepare students for a higher position, such as a supervisory role, or to enter into a master's degree program. These programs usually revolve around the cultural, political, economic and social issues that can affect patients and the health care industry in general. There is also a focus on understanding the allocation and management of resources, which includes but is not limited to, people, money, and time. The most common variations of the Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing or a student's route to this degree include going from an RN to a bachelor's degree. Other variations include the accelerated bachelor's program, LPN to a bachelor's, the traditional 4-year bachelor's, the online RN – bachelor's degree, and the second-degree bachelor's program. The master's degree program revolves around the type of career you want, as you can get a master's degree that focuses on a more specific nursing path such as, Nursing, Nurse Education, Midwifery, Administration, and Health Care Systems Management. If your focus revolves around Nursing, Nursing Education, Midwifery, or any other similar specialty, your training should focus more on the actual health and expanding upon the knowledge received in your previous educational programs. If you have decided on receiving a masters degree with a focus on Leadership in Healthcare Systems, Nursing Administration, Health Care Systems Management, or any other similar specialty, your program should focus on management, leadership, finance, managed care strategies, workforce management, and other courses designed to prepare students for obtaining leadership positions in their chosen health care organization.

It is important to note that in the field of nursing many programs often offer certificates as well as degree programs. The certificate programs are more specialized than degree programs and there are certificates that can be obtained before you receive a bachelor's degree or after you gain your master's degree. Some of the certificate programs that are pre-master's degree include case management and geriatric care management. A few certificates for those with a master's degree include legal nurse consulting and life care planning. Most online schools and traditional colleges and universities also offer more specialized programs like the Nurse Practitioner program and Clinical Nursing Specialist programs. As other nursing careers and specialties gain popularity, you should begin seeing more degree and/or certificate programs available in the field of Nursing. Unlike online programs, colleges and universities can boast a combination of classroom training, lab work, and on the job experience as a part of their programs. Although this has been the greatest advantage of traditional schooling, some online programs are starting to catch up, especially the distance learning programs. One of the greatest selling points of distance learning offered by traditional colleges and/or universities is the ability to graduate or "walk" with their traditional program peers. Yet, the main draw of complete online programs is the ability to gain a degree on your own time that works with your schedule while allowing you to work a full time job. Take your time and financial situation into account before settling in on a program. Regardless of the certificate or degree program that you choose, be sure that you pick a program that is good for you. There are many options available in the field of nursing and this information can help you find the correct path to the degree that you are seeking.

Lisa Parker is a freelance writer who writes about topics pertaining to nurses and the nursing profession including nursing school and nursing accessories.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Comprehensive Nursing Care Plans

Care planning is an essential part of healthcare, but is often misunderstood or regarded as a waste of time. Without a specific document delineating the plan of care, important issues are likely to be neglected. Care planning provides a “road map” of sorts, to guide all who are involved with a patient/resident's care.

The care plan has long been associated with nursing, and many people believe that it is the sole domain of nurses. To be effective and comprehensive, the care planning process must involve all disciplines that are involved in the care of the patient/resident.

Nursing care plans are an essential part of nursing practice that provide a written means of planning patient care and discharging plan based upon nursing diagnosis. Nursing care plans functions as a means of communicating patient care needs between members of the nursing team to ensure those needs are met. Written nursing care plans also serve as a means to document changes in patient’s condition, adjustments or additions to nursing diagnosis, as well as patient responses to nursing or medical treatment. Nursing care plans enable nurses to provide a holistic approach to patient needs both while hospitalized and after discharge.

Nursing care plans must always be individualized for each patient’s needs. It would be better if nurse staffing ratios would allow nurses adequate time to sit at a desk and utilize their expertise to create a complete admission to discharge and home care plan after careful review of patient history, medical records, physical assessment, and applicable nursing diagnosis. We live in an imperfect world however and nurses do not have adequate time to research each patient’s history and needs and write a comprehensive plan of care from scratch for each patient during their hectic shift. Understaffed nurses try to keep up, but when time is short mistakes happen more easily and some aspects of the nursing care plan may be omitted. Stock care plans, care plan software, and nursing care plan books are useful as reference tools to help ensure potential problems associated with their particular patient are not overlooked during the nursing care planning process.

The ultimate purpose of nursing care plans is to guide all who are involved in the care of this person to provide the appropriate treatment in order to ensure the optimal outcome during his/ her stay in our healthcare setting. A caregiver unfamiliar with the patient/resident should be able to find all the information needed to care for this person in the care plan.

It is important to design nursing care plans that provide adequate safety to the patient, make things less distressing to the family, and utilizes resources appropriately.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Become a Nurse Educator In PA

Nurse educators combine clinical expertise with a passion for teaching. With the growing demand for nurses, nursing schools nationwide are struggling to find qualified faculty. Nurse educators have a unique opportunity to shape the next generation of nurses. Most report that the most rewarding aspect of their work is their interaction with students. They also enjoy flexible schedules and constant intellectual stimulation, including opportunities to work with the latest cutting-edge research.

Nurse Educator Career Overview

Nurse educators may teach at the undergraduate level preparing licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs) for entry into practice positions. They may also teach master's and doctoral level programs, helping educate advanced practice nurses, nurse educators, nurse administrators, nurse researchers and future nursing leaders.

Because their skills are in high demand, nurse educators enjoy tremendous job security. They often maintain dual roles as educators and direct patient care providers. They are role models for less experienced nurses, and they work to ensure a quality undergraduate or graduate education experience for nurses in training. They also design, implement, evaluate and revise academic and continuing education programs for nurses.

Nurse educator job titles may include Instructional or Administrative Nurse Faculty, Clinical Nurse Educator, Staff Development Officer and Continuing Education Specialist, among others.

Nurse Educator Education

To teach in LPN, associate degree or bachelor's degree programs, the following requirements are preferred:

- Registered nurse licensure and experience.
- A Master's degree in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctoral degree in Nursing (PhD), depending on whether you're interested in teaching in a graduate program. These degrees must include a major emphasis on nursing education or another nursing specialty.
- Advanced training and experience in a clinical specialty. You can then supplement this experience with coursework in education, such as a post-Master's certificate in education. To learn about upgrading your nursing degree, see our article about nursing continuing education
- Your nursing certification. The National League of Nursing offers Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) certification as a mark of excellence in the specialty role of the academic nurse educator

Nurse Educator Salary

Salaries for nurse educators vary widely depending on their role, specialty, qualifications, experience and location. At the higher end, reports that the median expected salary for the Director of a Nursing School is $101,825. The middle 50 percent of nurses in this type of position earn between $84,743 and $114,705.

Also according to, a Nursing Education Coordinator earns a median salary of $71,297. In general, nurse educators earn significantly more than RNs because of their advanced skills. Their earnings are comparable to those of an advanced practice nurse, but with more flexible hours and a more predictable workload.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Professional Standards and Expectations for Nurses

Every major profession carries with it a group of expectations and standards by which those that work within each industry must adhere to in order to maintain quality practice. These standards are, in many ways, how institutions and businesses gain the trust of their clients, or in the case of nursing the trust of their patients, which enables the institution to become legitimate.

There is no business sector which needs standards and expectations more than any profession within the medical and health services field. This is a field by which employees are working with people on a daily basis, and the quality of their lives and health care. As such, maintaining a set of practices and standards are imperative. Because nursing is the profession through which more patients will have one on one contact with than many other professions in health services, standards are even more important. While each country and each specialization of nursing carries with it its own unique sets of standards and expectations, nurses have a common ground where they meet, and why their standards are understood across every field, and every country.

Standards within a professional practice are known as statements of an authoritative nature through which the profession to which they relate to provide a unique description of the responsibilities of all practitioners within that profession. Further, the standards and expectations are in place to ensure that all practitioners are also accountable for the work and duties they perform. When it comes to nursing, this is done in order to create boundaries and to provide a level of care that is equitable for all patients. Further, the priorities and values of nurses must be common to each nurse within the profession, and the standards and expectations outlines this as such.

While standards will vary in specifics across nursing specializations, and across countries, there is a general mindset as to what is expected of nurses in terms of expectations and standards. They are intended to provide daily guidance to nurses as they practice. Accountability, ethics, competence, knowledge, and the practical application of knowledge are key elements that are common to all nursing standards and expectations.

Nurses are required to be held accountable for every action that they take on a daily basis. This requires constant documentation of every element of their daily job, and following a chain of command within their select position. They are also required to maintain ethical standards within their practice, and to follow all ethical guidelines as set forth by their governing body of nursing. Furthermore, nurses are expected to have a set amount of knowledge before they enter the field of practitioner work, and with that knowledge set come an expectation of competence and practical application. Nurses are expected to be competent in their knowledge base such that they know and understand what they are supposed to in the medical field, and also, are supposed to know how to apply that knowledge in a practical manner.

For example, nurses will be taught in school how to implement an IV procedure. Knowing how to do this is not enough, nurses should be able to apply this knowledge practically through the actual conduct of IV procedures, and should be capable and competent of doing so.

Quality Assurance is another issue that is common across all standards and expectations for nurses. Through this, quality assurance standards ensure that nurses are practicing with quality efforts which in itself promote their competence and practical applications. This will require continuous education on the part of the individual nurse, as quality assurance standards across many medical centers, cities, and countries are in a constant state of evolution. It is the responsibility of the nurse practitioner to understand their quality assurance expectations at all times.

Confidentiality is another element of most standards and expectations for nurses. This is a requirement that nurses do not have an option to practice or not. Legislation and privacy concerns are in effect all across the globe, and nurses have the expectation that they will maintain confidential and private information for their patients within the patient doctor realm. Patients use medical services under the understanding that their information and medical records are not being seen by the wrong person, or found in the wrong hands, and because nurses have the most contact between patient and doctor, these are standards of paramount significance to the nursing profession.

While these are only a tip of the iceberg when it comes to nursing standards and expectations, these standards are among the most common across specializations and countries.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pennsylvania Ranked in Top 5 States for Nursing Job Availability

Talk about your double-edged sword, Pennsylvania is ranked in the top 5 states for job opportunities for nurses.

In the time of a bad recession that's good news for those looking for work or thinking of a career change. Nursing has proved to be a fairly good recession proof job and offers not only job security, but a career that is a very well paying profession.

The downside is that this statistic also reflects Pennsylvania's desperate need for nurses and nurse educators. This need has gone unfulfilled for a few years and only looks to get worse as the baby boomers are set to retire or slow down.

There is an estimated need for 128,100 RNs, 43,350 LPNs and 37,500 CNAs by the end of 2016. That is a total of 208,950 nursing-related jobs that will need filling in the next eight years.

If you are interested in a career in nursing or you are a current nurse looking to become a nurse educator, visit and find out how the Pennsylvania Higher Education Foundation can help you afford your education.

Monday, January 19, 2009

PHEF & The Pennsylvania Nursing Assistance Fund

The Pennsylvania Nursing Assistance Fund of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Foundation was established to provide assistance to students and schools for nursing education in Pennsylvania. The fund will provide grant and scholarship monies to nursing students through the use of donations from individuals and organizations directed to Pennsylvania schools of nursing.

Until recently, the equilibrium of new nurses entering the profession versus tenured nurses retiring remained stable. However, the cycle of quality health care will quickly decline because although demands on the nursing profession are increasing, new entries in the profession are not keeping pace with planned retirements.

Through the Pennsylvania Nursing Assistance Fund, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Foundation hopes to reverse this trend by giving students access to nursing education by offering grants or scholarships that otherwise would not be available.

The Pennsylvania Nursing Assistance Fund will directly impact the number of educational opportunities students and schools will have to help the Commonwealth continue its cycle of quality health care.

There are numerous flexible giving opportunities for donors to participate in this fund with specific schools, student populations and programs in mind, based on individual interests and relationships. Scholarship and grant naming opportunities as well as generous matching funds from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Foundation are available to foundation, corporate and individual donors.

For information on guidelines, or to find out if your institution is a recipient of the Pennsylvania Nursing Assistance Fund, contact your school’s nursing department. Contact the Foundation office for more information on giving opportunities.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Facts About Nursing Shortage

A report entitled “Projected Supply, Demand, and Shortages of Registered Nurses: 2000-2020” alleged:

Based on what is known about trends in the supply of Registered Nurses and their anticipated demand, nursing shortage is expected to grow relatively slowly until 2010, by which time it will have reached 12 percent. At that point demand will begin to exceed supply at an accelerated rate and by 2015 the shortage, a relatively modest 6 percent in the year 2000, will have almost quadrupled to 20 percent.

American hospitals are in a serious crisis, from large numbers of uninsured patients to spiraling costs, from outlandishly expensive prescription drugs to a severe and dangerous shortage of nurses. Emergency rooms are shutting down, surgeries are delayed and, most disturbing of all, patients are sometimes not getting the critical care they desperately need.

There are many factors behind the nursing shortage. Unlike a generation or two ago, young women with an aptitude for sciences now have a multitude of career opportunities to choose from. Many of the other career choices today involve less stressful and less strenuous work than bedside nursing. Generally speaking, a position with a managed-care company or a pharmaceutical sales job is less physically demanding than nursing.

The need for nurses is often depicted as cyclical in nature. Throughout history, the USA has experienced a series of nursing surpluses and shortages. However, the current nursing shortage has been characterized as being unlike those experienced in the past. Trends of an ageing RN/ Registered Nurse workforce and limited supply to fill the impending vacancies are some of the unique aspects that bring a new dimension to an old problem. Today's nursing shortage will not be resolved by simply returning to the solutions of yesteryear, and strategies to reduce its impact will have to be more creative and focus on the long-term.

The widely publicized nursing shortage in the United States is largely a result of three factors: the aging population of nurses; the aging population in the U.S.; and a shift in healthcare delivery away from doctors, towards skilled nurses. Also are four major contributors to the nursing shortage in the USA: the ageing RN workforce; declining enrolment; changing work climate; and the poor image of nursing.

Solutions to the shortage followed similar themes to the contributing factors and encompassed four main areas: exploring recruitment efforts; exploring retainment efforts; improving the image of nursing; and supporting legislation that helps to rectify the shortage.

As new career options grow for women over the past few decades, and fewer women choose to go into nursing, another shortage begins to emerge. All of these factors point to the fact that the nursing shortage won't be reversed overnight.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Avoid Malpractice Lawsuit By Upholding Appropriate Nursing Documentation

In nursing practice, there should be no room for errors. Everything must be well accounted for and documented in order to provide the necessary treatment and care for patients. If nursing documentation isn’t done the right way, the nurse can be in real trouble. All the nurses are well aware of the standard for nursing practice, which require every one of them to document appropriate and accurate reports of significant observations including conclusions obtained from those observations.

A truthful and precise nursing documentation can help nurses defend themselves in the case of malpractice lawsuit, not to mention keeping them of court or possible imprisonment. There will never be any lawsuit due to malpractice if only proper nursing documentation is being followed. Besides, it is not something that nurses learn only during the first day of their job. They were trained to do it while they were still studying. They will never become nurses in the first place had they not learned how to chart everything affecting patient’s care, will they?

In nursing documentation, there are certain things that nurses can do and cannot do in order for them to avoid mistakes. Again, there’s no room for mistakes when it comes to nursing practice. Let us first take a look at the things nurses can do. Before doing any nursing documentation, make sure you have the right chart. It may sound very basic, but it is important, in case there’s an error, the investigation starts here. Also, make your writing readable, because you won’t be the only one to read the documentation.

Make sure that your documentation reflects the nursing process and your professional skills. The times when you give medications, the administration route, and the patients’ responses should be correctly charted. Any precautions or preventive measure used must be recorded, as well as phone calls to a physician with exact time message and response. If there’s an important point you remember after the completion of nursing documentation, record the information with a note that it’s a late entry.

Now, let’s go to the things nurses cannot do. In a nursing documentation, bear in mind that you cannot change or modify any patient’s record as it is a criminal offense, but of course nurses knew this already. You cannot document what other people said or observed, unless the information is serious and important. You cannot and should not document care ahead of time as something may happen and you may not be able to five the care you have documented beforehand. Besides, charting care that wasn’t done is fraud, so think about it!

Be specific on your descriptions, you cannot just describe something vaguely, like large amount or bed soaked. In order to uphold accurate nursing documentation, you cannot use abbreviations, or shorthand that are not widely accepted or better yet, don’t use them at all. That way, you can provide nursing documentation that is legible for anyone to read.

As you may have noticed, nursing documentation is a serious procedure that should be done the right way without any errors at all. The reminder is worth repeating, considering what you may end up with in case something goes wrong in you documentation. So, be very careful!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Domino Effect of Nursing Educator Shortage

In researching the data concerning the shortage of nurses and nurse educators in the United States, I came across a very interesting article written by Mary Ruff-King.

Mary Ruff-King is a 15-year veteran medical transcriptionist who loves to write articles about medical transcription, nursing, forensics, the health field in general, and other topics of interest. Here article entitled "Is The Nurse Educator Shortage In America Endangering Only Our Healthcare System?" will give you a global perspective about the nursing crisis.

This article is a very well written and I urge all of you to click on the link below and read it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Nursing Spectrum – The RN Magazine

Nursing Spectrum is a nurse-led communications company that publishes a bi-weekly magazine and produces a website that celebrates the nursing profession.

Nursing Spectrum is a division of Gannett Co., Inc., which is a leading international news and information company that publishes 91 daily newspapers in the USA including USA TODAY, the nation's largest-selling daily newspaper.

Nursing Spectrum promotes the recognition and support of the nursing community by providing timely, relevant, and compelling information through its award winning magazines, annual career guides, websites (, Nursing Spectrum Continuing Education services, and Nursing Spectrum Career Fitness® Expos reaching over 1-million Registered Nurses and other healthcare professionals worldwide. Also the Nursing Spectrum's Division of Continuing Education is accredited at the highest level by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Nursing Spectrum's jobs database is the most complete source of current RN employment listings in existence. Nurses are also attracted to Nursing Spectrum because their products celebrate nurses and nursing as an exciting, fulfilling career choice. Nursing Spectrum's “voice” is upbeat and pro-nurse, and the tone is one of validation, encouragement, and support.

The mission at Nursing Spectrum is to create and deliver compelling nursing content, products, and services to RN readers and users. Nursing Spectrum has offices in California, Texas, Chicago, New York, Washington DC, Fort Lauderdale, Philadelphia, and Boston.

Nursing Spectrum and NurseWeek, two industry leaders in the nursing recruitment, information, and education industry, announced on Feb. 2, 2004 an agreement in which Nursing Spectrum has acquired NurseWeek from Jobson Publishing, LLC. Jobson Publishing is a well-known and well-respected leader in specialty healthcare publishing, communications, and medical education.

NurseWeek and Nursing Spectrum have a combined total of more than 30 years of experience educating, informing, and supporting registered nurses and serving the needs of nurse recruiters. The fact that NurseWeek and Nursing Spectrum share these common goals makes this acquisition a perfect fit. Both NurseWeek and Nursing Spectrum are known for their love of nurses and their employers who sponsor free magazine with their advertising.

Nursing Spectrum sponsors many nursing association and individual projects; scholarships; recognition activities; and reaches locally, nationally, and internationally. Nursing Spectrum is a national sponsor of Johnson & Johnson's Campaign for Nursing's Future. Nursing Spectrum is also an official media sponsor of Nurses for a Healthier Tomorrow, a consortium of 43 major nursing associations addressing the nursing shortage with an innovative communications campaign to draw young people into nursing. Through the Gannett Foundation, Nursing Spectrum regularly donates funds to nursing-related associations and causes. In addition to these philanthropic activities, the Nursing Spectrum believe their greatest contribution is in recognizing, supporting, and celebrating nursing as an honorable, rewarding career filled with passion, joy, and soul.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Nursing Scholarship Programs Funding

Scholarships are financial aids provided on the basis of academic merit awarded to an institution or an individual for the purposes of furthering their education. They are offered by governments, colleges and private, and other outside sources. They are generally awarded based on the financial need, academic achievement, athletic achievement, community involvement, nationality or ethnicity of the individual. Like grants, they do not have to be repaid.

Nursing Scholarships and grants are provided to compensate for the critical shortage of nurses around the globe.

Many Nursing Scholarship Programs provide tuition fees, required fees, other costs including required books, clinical supplies, laboratory expenses, research facilities, etc., and other scholarship benefits. Preference is given to qualified applicants with the greatest financial need who are enrolled full-time in an undergraduate nursing program. Nursing scholarships or loans are not only granted to the needy and with the highest grades.

Nursing scholarships are given in exchange to: practicing full time as primary care nurse practitioner in a community, teaching in a nursing school, employment as a nurse administrator in health care agencies, working for the Department of Health, service for a period of 2 years at health care facilities, and/or assist in the area of mental health research.

The major sources of nursing scholarships for students are the state and federal governments. Some are sponsored by individual donors or private organizations. Since they often have more nursing scholarships funds available, more and more federal dollars are used to promote underserved areas for nursing students who can commit to service after graduation in a medically underserved institution or region.

Professional nursing organizations, such as the American Nursing Association (ANA) and other active political voices, and many colleges and universities with nursing program, have built up generous scholarship and grant funds for both undergraduate and graduate nurses because of the lack of funding across public and private sources. These grants are administered to nursing scholarship programs to help shore up flagging nursing programs, provide needed funds for new facilities, and provide money to hire more well-trained nursing faculty.

Nursing scholarship forms can be accessed online or you can obtain copies from schools’ financial aid offices. Requirements must be completed at favorable dates or deadlines. They are in first come first served basis. You can explore the web to be able to find what kinds of nursing scholarship programs are offered. You can also find them in private sector loans, grants and other assistance that your local service organization provides.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Qualifications to be a Nurse Educator

Nurse educators need to have excellent communication skills, be creative, have a solid clinical background, be flexible and possess excellent critical thinking skills. They also need to have a substantive knowledge base in their area(s) of instruction and have the skills to convey that knowledge in a variety of ways to those who are less expert.

Nurse educators need to display a commitment to lifelong learning, exercise leadership and be concerned with the scholarly development of the discipline. They should have a strong knowledge base in theories of teaching, learning and evaluation; be able to design curricula and programs that reflect sound educational principles; be able to assess learner needs; be innovative; and enjoy teaching.

Those who practice in academic settings also need to be future-oriented so they can anticipate the role of the nurse in the future and adapt curriculum and teaching methods in response to innovations in nursing science and ongoing changes in the practice environment. They need advisement and counseling skills, research and other scholarly skills, and an ability to collaborate with other disciplines to plan and deliver a sound educational program.

Nurse educators who practice in clinical settings need to anticipate changes and expectations so they can design programs to prepare nurses to meet those challenges. They need to be able to plan educational programs for staff with various levels of ability, develop and manage budgets, and argue for resources and support in an environment where education is not the primary mission.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Profiling: The Pennsylania Higher Education Foundation

Today's profile on an organization is for the Pennsylvania Higher Education Foundation, an organization dedicated to strengthening the nursing community in PA.

One visit to their website ( and you can see the time and care which was spent detailing everything from student aid to nursing basics. The PHEF donates millions of dollars each year to nursing schools in Pennsylvania to assist their academic program in nursing for increasing enrollment, improve student retention, and improve licensure pass rates. Schools can also use these funds given to them by the PHEF to improve an already existing program that they have in place.

For information on the Foundations, contact:
Pennsylvania Higher Education Foundation
Higher Education Foundation
Suite 101
1200 North Seventh Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102-1444
Phone 717.720.3961

For media inquiries, contact Keith New at 717.720.2509.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

U.S. News Adds Registered Nurse as Strong Careers in 2009

U.S. News lists Registered Nurses as one of the top careers in 2009 for a strong outlook and high in job satisfaction.


Overview. There's great unmet demand for nurses, and you'll have lots of options. If you want to work directly with patients, you can specialize in everything from neonatology to hospice care. You can work in a hospital, a doctor's office, or a patient's home. Outside of patient care, options range from nurse informatics (helping nurses get access to computerized information) to legal nurse consulting (helping lawyers assess a claim's validity.)

On the downside, many registered nurses must work nights and weekends, and burnout is a factor, especially in medical/surgical wards, and in critical-care specialties such as surgery, oncology, and emergency medicine. There are potential hazards, too: exposure to people with communicable diseases and back injuries from moving patients.

Something to think about: Studies report large numbers of errors by healthcare providers that endanger or kill patients. This is a career for people who are both caring and extremely attentive to detail—even when stressed.

The article also sites the salary data as well as training information with additional links to other sources of information.

For complete article, visit the link below: