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How to Celebrate National Nurses Week 2015

clock April 7, 2015 05:25 by author Cara Gavin, Digital Editor

National Nurses Week runs from May 6 through May 12, ending on Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Every year, NursingCenter hosts a variety of celebrations, ranging from discounts on continuing education activities, journal articles, and nursing eBooks, to special giveaways, blog posts, and more. 

This year, the American Nurses Association has given National Nurses Week the theme, “Ethical Practice, Quality Care,” and we are gearing up to bring you the same great week of celebrations as a special thank you to all of our members. 

Be sure to check our National Nurses Week page each day that week for discounts, activities, and blog posts. 

We will be developing an exciting CE Collection around topics dealing with “Ethical Practice, Quality Care.” 

Don’t forget to register for any of our free nursing newsletters, as we will be gifting a variety of offers to our newsletter members.

As a bonus, there are two Lippincott conferences running during National Nurses Week this year, the National Conference for Nurse Practitioners and the Lippincott Clinical Nursing Conference.  Both nursing conferences are being held in Philadelphia. 

Stay tuned for more information on how to celebrate National Nurses Week with NursingCenter. 



Gender pay gap in nursing – are male nurses worth more?

clock March 25, 2015 16:53 by author Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP

The salary gap, in general, is upsetting. For some reason, I just didn’t expect it to exist in nursing. In a profession that is predominantly female (according to a 2011 census report, only 9.6% of nurses are male), it really never occurred to me that such a discrepancy in pay was realistic. The results of recent research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrate that pay inequality not only exists in nursing, but is quite significant.

Here are some highlights from the research letter, which looked at two large data sets (the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses [1988 to 2008] and the American Community Survey [2001 to 2013]) to assess salary trends by gender:

  • Male RN salaries were higher than female RN salaries every year, with an overall annual difference of $5,148. 
  • In ambulatory care, the salary gap was $7,678; in hospitals, it was $3,873. 
  • With the exception of orthopedics, male nurses out-earned female nurses in every specialty with the gap ranging from $3,792 in chronic care to $17,290 for nurse anesthetists. 

Like many others, I find these results discouraging. However, I am hopeful that nurses will be encouraged to speak up about our worth and engage in salary negotiations. I also am hopeful that employers will recognize these inequities and examine their pay structures. 

What’s missing in this research is the reason for this gap in pay. Care to share your thoughts on this? 



Complications of Peripheral I.V. Therapy: Part 2

clock February 9, 2015 03:46 by author Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP

If you are administering I.V. fluids or medications to a patient through a peripheral I.V. site, be alert for signs and symptoms of complications, institute preventive measures, and know how to intervene when complications do occur. Please review Complications of Peripheral I.V. Therapy: Part 1 for information on infiltration and extravasation.

Phlebitis

 

Phlebitis is inflammation of a vein. It is usually associated with acidic or alkaline solutions or solutions that have a high osmolarity. Phlebitis can also occur as a result of vein trauma during insertion, use of an inappropriate I.V. catheter size for the vein, or prolonged use of the same I.V. site.

 

 

Signs and symptoms

  • Redness or tenderness at the site of the tip of the catheter or along the path of the vein
  • Puffy area over the vein
  • Warmth around the insertion site

Prevention

  • Use proper venipuncture technique.
  • Use a trusted drug reference or consult with the pharmacist for instructions on drug dilution, when necessary.
  • Monitor administration rates and inspect the I.V. site frequently.
  • Change the infusion site according to your facility's policy.

Management

  • Stop the infusion at the first sign of redness or pain.
  • Apply warm, moist compresses to the area.
  • Document your patient's condition and interventions.
  • If indicated, insert a new catheter at a different site, preferably on the opposite arm, using a larger vein or a smaller device and restart the infusion.

Hypersensitivity

An immediate, severe hypersensitivity reaction can be life-threatening, so prompt recognition and treatment are imperative.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Sudden fever
  • Joint swelling
  • Rash and urticaria
  • Bronchospasm
  • Wheezing 

Prevention

  • Ask the patent about personal and family history of allergies.
  • For infants younger than 3 months, ask the mother about her allergy history because maternal antibodies may still be present.
  • Stay with the patient for five to 10 minutes to detect early signs and symptoms of hypersensitivity.
  • If the patient is receiving the drug for the first or second time, check him every five to 10 minutes or according to your facility's policy. 

Management

  • Discontinue the infusion and notify the prescriber immediately.
  • Administer medications as ordered.
  • Monitor the patient's vital signs and provide emotional support.

Infection

Local or systemic infection is another potential complication of I.V. therapy. 

Signs and symptoms

  • Redness and discharge at the I.V. site
  • Elevated temperature

Prevention

  • Perform hand hygiene, don gloves, and use aseptic technique during I.V. insertion. 
  • Clean the site with approved skin antiseptic before inserting I.V. catheter.
  • Ensure careful hand hygiene before any contact with the infusion system or the patient. 
  • Clean injection ports before each use.
  • Follow your institution’s policy for dressing changes and changing of the solution and administration set. 

Management

  • Stop the infusion and notify the prescriber.
  • Remove the device, and culture the site and catheter as ordered. 
  • Administer medications as prescribed.
  • Monitor the patient's vital signs.

With careful attention and skill, you’ll be able to recognize, prevent, and manage these complications of peripheral I.V. therapy.

References
(2008). I.V. Essentials: Complications of Peripheral I.V. Therapy. Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, 6 (1). 
Smeltzer, S. (2010). Brunner and Suddarth's Textbook of Medical Surgical Nursing, 12e. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Spencer, S. & Gilliam, P. (2015). Teaching patients about their short peripheral I.V. catheters.  Nursing2015, 45 (2).



Complications of Peripheral I.V. Therapy: Part 1

clock February 4, 2015 05:24 by author Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP

If you are administering I.V. fluids or medications to a patient through a peripheral I.V. site, be alert for signs and symptoms of complications, institute preventive measures, and know how to intervene when complications do occur. 

Infiltration

 

Infiltration occurs when I.V. fluid or medications leak into the surrounding tissue. Infiltration can be caused by improper placement or dislodgment of the catheter. Patient movement can cause the catheter to slip out or through the blood vessel lumen. 

 

 

 

Signs and symptoms

  • Swelling, discomfort, burning, and/or tightness 
  • Cool skin and blanching
  • Decreased or stopped flow rate

Prevention

  • Select an appropriate I.V. site, avoiding areas of flexion. 
  • Use proper venipuncture technique.
  • Follow your facility policy for securing the I.V. catheter.
  • Observe the I.V. site frequently.
  • Advise the patient to report any swelling or tenderness at the I.V. site.

Management

  • Stop the infusion and remove the device.
  • Elevate the limb to increase patient comfort; a warm compress may be applied.
  • Check the patient's pulse and capillary refill time.
  • Perform venipuncture in a different location and restart the infusion, as ordered.
  • Check the site frequently.
  • Document your findings and interventions performed.

Extravasation

Extravasation is the leaking of vesicant drugs into surrounding tissue. Extravasation can cause severe local tissue damage, possibly leading to delayed healing, infection, tissue necrosis, disfigurement, loss of function, and even amputation.

Signs and symptoms

  • Blanching, burning, or discomfort at the I.V. site
  • Cool skin around the I.V. site
  • Swelling at or above the I.V. site
  • Blistering and/or skin sloughing

Prevention 

  • Avoid veins that are small and/or fragile, veins in areas of flexion, veins in extremities with preexisting edema, or veins in areas with known neurologic impairment.
  • Be aware of vesicant medications, such as certain antineoplastic drugs (doxorubicin, vinblastine, and vincristine), and hydroxyzine, promethazine, digoxin, and dopamine.
  • Follow your facility policy regarding vesicant administration via a peripheral I.V.; some institutions require that vesicants are administered via a central venous access device only. 
  • Give vesicants last when multiple drugs are ordered.
  • Strictly adhere to proper administration techniques.

Management

  • Stop the I.V. flow and remove the I.V. line, unless the catheter should remain in place to administer the antidote.
  • Estimate the amount of extravasated solution and notify the prescriber.
  • Administer the appropriate antidote according to your facility's protocol.
  • Elevate the extremity.
  • Perform frequent assessments of sensation, motor function, and circulation of the affected extremity. 
  • Record the extravasation site, your patient's symptoms, the estimated amount of extravasated solution, and the treatment.
  • Follow the manufacturer's recommendations to apply either cold or warm compresses to the affected area.

With careful attention and skill, you’ll be able to recognize, prevent, and manage these complications of peripheral I.V. therapy. In Complications of Peripheral I.V. Therapy: Part 2, we'll review the complications of hypersensitivity, phlebitis, and infection.

References
(2008). I.V. Essentials: Complications of Peripheral I.V. Therapy. Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, 6 (1).
Smeltzer, S. (2010). Brunner and Suddarth's Textbook of Medical Surgical Nursing, 12e. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Spencer, S. & Gilliam, P. (2015). Teaching patients about their short peripheral I.V. catheters.  Nursing2015, 45 (2).
Vacca, V. (2013). TIME CRITICAL: Vesicant extravasation. Nursing2013, 43(9). 



Celebrate Nursing 2015: Part 1

clock January 27, 2015 06:19 by author Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP

Here are the nursing recognition days, weeks, and months for the first half of 2015. Please leave a comment if you know of others so I can add them to our list! Thank you!

National IV Nurse Day January 25, 2015

National Nurse Anesthetists Week January 25-31, 2015

PeriAnesthesia Nurse Awareness Week February 2-8, 2015

Critical Care Transport Nurses Day February 18, 2015

Certified Nurses Day March 19, 2015

GI Nurses and Associates Week March 23-27, 2015

Wound, Ostomy and Continence (WOC) Nurse Week April 12-18, 2015

Transplant Nurses Day April 15, 2015

National Critical Care Awareness and Recognition Month May 2015

Oncology Nursing Month May 2015

National Nurses Week May 6-12, 2015 (National Nurses Day is May 6)

National School Nurse Day May 6, 2015

National Student Nurses Day May 8, 2015

International Nurses Day May 12, 2015

National Nursing Home Week May 10-17, 2015

Neuroscience Nurses Week May 17-23, 2015

Vascular Nursing Week June 7-13, 2015

38th Annual National Nursing Assistants Week June 11-18, 2015

Take some time to celebrate your hard work and be sure to recognize the work of your colleagues too! 



Ace your job interview!

clock January 21, 2015 01:15 by author Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP

You’ve landed an interview for your dream job – congratulations! As you embark on this journey, keep the following recommendations in mind. 

Be prepared

Become familiar with the organization and the position you are seeking. Use the facility’s website and other online resources, and talk to any employees you know. Think about how your skills and strengths will meet the needs of the employer and unit. 

Think about your strengths and weaknesses. Write down your skills and experiences, as well as examples of your commitment to team collaboration and quality nursing. 

Practice. If possible, ask someone to perform a mock interview with you. Be ready to answer questions, such as: 

  • Can you tell me a little about yourself?
  • How did you learn about us? Why do you want to work for us? 
  • Can you tell me about your current/last job? Why are you leaving? What did you like most about that job? What would you change about that job?
  • Did you ever have a disagreement with a manager?
  • Can you tell me about your education and training?
  • Can you give an example of a major problem you faced and how you solved it?
  • What's your greatest strength? What’s your greatest weakness?
  • Why did you choose to be a nurse?
  • How do you handle your on-the-job stress?
  • What do patients expect from nurses?
  • What's the difference between mediocre and excellent when it comes to nursing care?
  • How have you solved challenging nursing problems? Or, describe a challenging situation and how you managed it.
  • How have you demonstrated your ability to perform as a team member and team player?
  • What are your long-term goals in nursing?

As you prepare your answers for these questions, remember to focus on the positive, even when faced with a negative question. Be honest and keep your answers work- or project-related, rather than personal. For example, if asked about disagreements with leadership or a coworker, keep it positive by saying, "Sure, we disagreed at times, but we worked well together,” or make sure your example is a work-related one, such as a disagreement over a project due date, rather than a personal one.

Jot down your questions. Chances are, your interviewer will ask you if you have any questions and you probably will! Here are some things you may want to find out:

  • What are the nurse/patient ratios for each shift?
  • Can you please describe the orientation program?
  • What's the career ladder program and policy?
  • Are continuing-education (CE) programs available through the facility? 
  • What's the reimbursement policy for external CE programs, certification, or nursing classes?
  • Will I be tested?

Today's the day!

Think carefully about the first impression you’ll be making. Get enough rest so you’ll be energized and fresh. Dress professionally – conservative is best – and avoid distracting jewelry, make-up or perfume/cologne. Don't smoke, smell of smoke, or chew gum.

Plan to arrive about 15 minutes before your interview. Bring multiple copies of your resume in case more than one person is participating in the interview. Your resume should be printed on crisp white paper for a professional presentation. Also, bring names and contact information for references and employment and education institutions. Turn off or silence your cell phone. 

Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake while looking him or her in the eye, and continue to make eye contact with the interviewer during the interview. Throughout the interview, sit up straight, show interest, smile and speak clearly. Be yourself!

Listen carefully to questions asked and respond in an open, friendly manner. If a question is unclear, ask for clarification. Your answers should be complete, but concise.

As the interview process comes to a close, expect to learn the date when a decision is likely to be made and how you'll be notified. You can ask for this information if the interviewer doesn't mention it. In general, salary shouldn’t be discussed until a former offer has been made. Thank the interviewer and be sure to have his or her name and contact information. 

Follow-up

Within 24 hours, send a thank-you letter or e-mail. Be sure to express your continued interest in the position. Use this opportunity to reinforce how and why you're qualified for the position. 

Good luck!

 

References
Hathaway, L. (2005). Savvy answers to tough interview questions. Nursing2005, 35 (1). 
Rosati, L. (2014). Strike gold when interviewing for your first nursing job. Nursing2014, 44 (5).
Smith, L. (2010). PROFESSIONAL GROWTH: Are you ready for your job interview? Nursing2010, 40 (4). 



NursingCenter’s New Year’s Resolutions

clock January 8, 2015 06:36 by author Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP

As we get into 2015, here are some resolutions you can expect from Lippincott NursingCenter!

1. All of our enewsletters are getting a new look! We know that many of you check your email from your phone or tablet; we want to make sure that your are getting the best information in the best format for your device! Here is a peek at our newly launched NursingCenter enews

        

 

2. NursingCenter will also be getting a new look! Stay tuned for an update to our website. Make sure you are a registered member and that your profile is up-to-date. You will get content specific to your practice right on your NursingCenter home page!

3. Want to complete your CE activities while you are on-the-go? We have a new CE app in development, so you’ll be able to complete your CE activities right on your mobile device and then sync up with your computer to download and print your certificate! 

4. Look for more CE collections and Focus On collections so you can easily find topical information and specially-priced offers! 

5. We are also committed to keeping you updated on your license renewal requirements. Check back often for updates for your state CE requirements!

6. We’ve got a line-up of Nurses on the Move to keep you abreast of the great things nurses are achieving in our profession! Remember, you can nominate a colleague, friend, or even yourself by emailing ClinicalEditor@NursingCenter.com.

We are looking forward to a great 2015 and hope that you’ll continue to use Lippincott NursingCenter for all of your professional and clinical needs!



Read these award-winners!

clock July 3, 2014 01:33 by author Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP

Last month, 21 Apex Awards were presented to journals published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. These awards are based on “excellence in graphic design, editorial content and the ability to achieve overall communications excellence.” The award-winning articles from our nursing journals are listed below. We are very proud to share them with you!

Shining a Light on Hoarding Disorder
Nursing2013

Responding To an Active Shooter and Other Threats of Violence 
Nursing2013

25th Annual Legislative Update: Evidence-Based Practice Reforms Improve Access to APRN Care 
The Nurse Practitioner: The American Journal of Primary Health Care 

The Hard Truth about Human Trafficking 
Nursing Management

IT Extra: Technology Management Strategies for Nurse Leaders  
Nursing Management

Smart Management: Recruitment And Retention: How To Get Them And How To Keep Them
OR Nurse 2013

Smart Management: High reliability Organizations: An Idea Worth Pursuing 
OR Nurse 2013

Smart Management: Build Your Staff's Leadership Skills 
OR Nurse 2013

Managing Patients with Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
OR Nurse 2013

Editorial: A Grassroots Movement Sounds the Call 
American Journal of Nursing



Cover Image from January 2014 issue of American Journal of Nursing


January 2013 issue of Nursing2013 Critical Care



Nurses On the Move: Helene Bowen-Brady

clock June 24, 2014 04:33 by author Cara Gavin, Digital Editor

As summer heats up, so do the incredible nurses who focus on the hottest professional topics.

This month’s
Nurse On the Move is Helene Bowen-Brady, M.Ed, BSN, RN-BC, the program manager for professional development at Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital. Not only does she focus on guiding the Department of Nursing on a Magnet Journey, but she also sits on the Steering Committee for the CLCDN (Clinical Leadership Collaborative for Diversity in Nursing), and recently served as the site coordinator for an international nursing research project.

Bowen-Brady previously served as a nurse educator, lactation consultant, and school nurse, all while raising her four children. She received her BSN from Boston College. She also earned a master’s degree and is currently exploring doctoral programs.

I interviewed Bowen-Brady to discover what drew her to such different roles in nursing and what she sees for the profession in the future.

Q: Why did you choose nursing as a profession?

A: Honestly, I wasn’t sure when I was 16 what I wanted to do. In the early 70’s, the career advice I received was to become either a teacher or a nurse. In the end, the motivation was simply that nurses who went to diploma schools got to live away at school, and if I became a teacher, I would have to commute to college. At 16, it was a very easy decision – I wanted to live away.  In retrospect, it was the best decision for me. As a nurse, I have had an incredible career.

Q: You worked with Canton public schools as a school nurse. How was that working environment and why did you choose to pursue a different venue for nursing?

A: I started working as a substitute nurse because the hours worked for my family. Little did I know what a great career move that would turn out to be and what wonderful clinical and leadership experiences school nursing would provide. In all of the nursing roles that I have had, I think that school nursing was probably the most challenging. School nurses work independently in most settings to manage a variety of complex acute and chronic healthcare needs for students of all ages.

Q: You were previously a lactation consultant. What drew you to that role?

A: Personal need – when my first son was born there was limited, if any, support for breastfeeding mothers in my community. When I worked as a VNA nurse, I was fortunate to work with an innovative nurse director who supported me to expand the services we provided for families with newborns.

Q: What encouraged you to continue your education as a nurse?

A: I believe that lifelong learning is essential for every nurse. The knowledge I gain from reading journal articles, attending classes, listening to webinars, or taking an online class absolutely helps me to be a better practitioner.

Q: You’ve spent a good amount of your career working in staff development and education. How has professional development changed over the years, if at all?

A: The biggest change is the technology. When I first became an educator in 1980, I had to handwrite every lecture, which was then typed by the department secretary since she was the only person with a typewriter. Finding relevant journal articles meant a trip to a hospital library or a local college. Today, I have countless electronic folders stored on my computer. Search engines make it easy to find reliable and current information about any topic. There are so many new and innovative technological strategies and tools that educators can use to engage adult learners in order to positively enhance learning activities to make them more meaningful for staff.

Q: What do you envision for the future of nursing?

A: When I entered nursing school in the early 70’s, healthcare was primarily provided in the acute care hospital. Over the past 40 years, healthcare has changed dramatically. Nurses have an opportunity to play key roles in the future of healthcare and most of these expanded roles will be outside of the inpatient setting. I truly believe that the changes ahead will prove to be in the best interest of our patients and families.

Q: For a nurse starting out, what would be your number one piece of advice?

A: It would be to encourage nurses to get involved. Step outside the comfort zone of the unit or area you work in – join a committee at work or the professional organization that represents your practice area’s local chapter. There are so many incredibly talented and innovative nurses within the profession that each one of us can learn from. 



Celebrate Nursing 2014: Part 2

clock May 30, 2014 07:44 by author Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP

I hope that 2014 has been a good year so far! It’s hard to believe we are heading into June soon and it's time to look ahead to nursing recognition days, weeks, and months for the second half of the year. (You can see what we’ve already celebrated this year in Celebrate Nursing 2014 Part 1).  

Vascular Nursing Week
June 8-14 

National Time Out Day
June 11  

37th Annual National Nursing Assistants Week
June 12-19  

Healthcare Risk Management Week
June 16-20  

National Nurses in Staff Development Week
July 15-19

National Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses Day
September 8  

Nephrology Nurses Week
September 14-20 

National Neonatal Nurses Day
September 15  

Gerontological Nursing Week
September 29-October 3  

National Midwifery Week
October 5-11 

Emergency Nurses Week
October 5-11 (Emergency Nurses Day is October 8) 

National Pediatric Nursing Week
October 6-12 

National Case Management Week
October 12-18  

National Hospice/Palliative Care Month
November 

Urology Nurses and Associates Week
November 1-7  

Medical-Surgical Nurses Week
November 2-8 

Emerging Nurse Leaders Week
November 2-8 

Perioperative Nurses Week
November 9-15 

National Nurse Practitioner Week
November 9-15 

Forensic Nurses Week
November 10-14 

Remember to celebrate yourselves and your colleagues! 



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