Nursing Orientation: What to know for your job search

orientation.pngGraduating from nursing school and passing your NCLEX boards is a great accomplishment and one to be very proud of, congratulations! Now you face the next step – applying and interviewing for a nursing job. This can be both exciting and stressful at the same time.

Choosing a job that has a good orientation program, however, can help lessen this stress for you. There are a few different types of orientation programs that a health care facility may offer. Understanding the different types can assist you when interviewing. Many of the terms used to describe orientation programs will vary depending on the health care facility. For instance, the health care facility may use the term preceptor program, mentor program, residency program, or nursing orientation. Most times the health care facility will include many of the same components necessary to orient you to your new role in the health care facility. It will be important for you, however, to find out what does the specific term mean to the institution you are applying to. Below, you will find the common meaning behind these terms in a typical acute care hospital setting.  

Nursing Orientation
Most hospital-based nursing orientation programs will include a general orientation in the classroom followed by an orientation on the unit you were hired to work on. The classroom will include education from each department in the hospital, as well as education on the use of the electronic medical record (EMR). The classroom orientation can vary from a few days to a few weeks depending on the health care facility. Once the majority of classroom orientation is complete, you will orient with an assigned preceptor or mentor on the unit you were hired to work on. A preceptor or mentor is a registered nurse, preferably with a BSN degree, who has been working at the institution for at least two years. The unit orientation can vary in length of time depending on the health care institution. You generally will be on orientation following your preceptor/mentor’s schedule for about three to six months. If you were hired to work in a critical care area, your orientation will most likely be longer and even up to one year depending on the facility.

Many facilities are finding it challenging to recruit experienced competent nurses to work in critical care and specialty areas, such as the Emergency Department (ED) and Operating Room (OR). To meet this challenge, many hospitals started residency programs for new nursing graduates. The residency program generally requires the newly hired nurse to attend the general nursing orientation, as well education classes on specific skills you will need to work in your area. For example, if you are hired to work in the ED or the OR, you will need education and skill competency on ECGs and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), as well as education on other skills needed for working in that specific area.  Once the classroom training is completed and skill competency is verified you will orient in that area for a year,  possibly longer depending on the facility and your learning needs.

Many new nurses ask what if I do not feel ready to come off orientation? This is a good question; most health care facilities will extend your orientation a month to a few months depending on your learning needs.

6-questions.pngInterview questions
No matter what term the facility uses to describe their nursing orientation program there are some general questions you may want to ask when interviewing for the job. The questions include:
  • What type of nursing orientation program do you offer?
  • What type of education classes will I be taking?
  • How long will I be in orientation?
  • What support is available to me during and after my orientation?
  • Will there be one or many preceptors/mentors assigned to me during my orientation?
  • Can you provide a sample of what the orientation schedule may look like? 
It is important to remember that the health care facility wants to make your orientation a successful one. A successful orientation program helps ensure your competency caring for patients and improves both nurse recruitment and retention at the facility. You are now ready to begin the interview process, and always keep in mind why you were called to the wonderful world of nursing. Blessings :)    
 
Maureen Kroning RN MSN EdD
Nyack College School of Nursing
 
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Posted: 4/3/2017 2:40:54 PM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 3 comments

Categories: Education & Career


For our nurse colleagues with the super I.V. skills

palpating-vein.pngYou know who I’m talking about, right? Don’t we all know a nurse who seems to hit a vein every. single. time? I think every unit has the go-to nurse when there is a “tough stick” in need of I.V. access. Actually, a few nurses come to mind when I think back to my days in the unit. Back then, we just ‘knew’ who the experts were. Maybe it was (or is) you!

Now, infusion nurses are getting the recognition they deserve. Every year on January 25th, we celebrate I.V. Nurse Day to recognize our colleagues who provide specialty care to those patients requiring the expertise of an infusion nurse. Infusion nurses have a special knowledge and skillset, and from acute care settings to home care, and among most specialties, having an infusion nurse as part of your team is important.

Happy I.V. Nurse Day!
Posted: 1/24/2017 9:12:54 PM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 0 comments

Categories: Education & Career


My Nursing Care Plan: One Year Later

My-Nursing-Care-Plan.PNGIt’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since we began developing My Nursing Care Plan! It has been such a fun project for me, as well as a learning experience. Thinking about and organizing the content was challenging, even though, as a nurse myself, I know what my requirements are, what I need to do to stay up-to-date in nursing, and what I should be doing to balance work and life! The difficulty was putting it down in words and figuring out how to try and juggle it all. Creating the companion video and infographics was something new for me too – but I do love learning new things, especially when it comes to technology – so it was quite a treat to be involved in those projects. Lastly, having a conversation with Michelle Berreth RN, CRNI®, CPP, a nurse educator for the Infusion Nurses Society (INS), was quite eye-opening and inspiring, but more on that later…

So, what’s happened since my Mid-Year Update? Not too much…here’s a quick recap and a look ahead to 2017:
  • 2017-to-do-list.PNGSince I renewed my licenses in 2016, I’m not due for renewal until 2018. I’m proud to say that I’ve already logged in 12 contact hours toward my 30-hour requirement for license renewal for my RN license. I do need, however, to step up my contact hours related to women’s health to meet my 45-hour requirement for my NP license! My goal is to complete 35 contact hours related to women’s health by 12/31/17.
  • I’ve decided that before returning to school, I’d like to get back to the bedside. What I really need to think about is “what does that mean?” Do I want to work as a staff nurse or nurse practitioner? In critical care or women’s health? My heart is leaning toward acute care, but I’m also considering inpatient hospice.
  • Regardless of what clinical path I decide to take, I’d like to get certified. Something new I discovered last year were ‘-K’ or ‘knowledge’ certifications, specifically for nurses or NPs who don’t provide direct care, but do influence patient care. I will definitely be looking a little closer at this opportunity.
  • Work-life balance continues to be a struggle, just as I’m sure it is for many of you. My cough is now under control, and the focus now turns to eating and sleeping right, and exercising more. I’m due for my annual gynecologic exam and mammogram, so I’ll be scheduling those ASAP.  
Now, back to my conversation with Michelle from INS. During our discussion, we came up with some insights to consider when using My Nursing Care Plan that I think are important to share.
  • Consider asking others – colleagues, family, friends – to contribute to your own care plan.
  • Waiting for the right time to get things done isn’t realistic. When is the right time? If you wait for it, it may never come.
  • Assess if multitasking really is in your best interest. Remember that it doesn’t work for everyone and it’s okay to do one thing at a time.
  • Be present. Whether at work or in your personal life, focus on the task at hand – whether it’s a true task or a personal or professional interaction.
  • Evaluate your care plan monthly, preferably about one week before month’s end. See what’s left to do and take a glance at plans for the next month. You can even set a reminder to do this on your phone or email.
What’s your update from the past year? Any goals for 2017 you’d care to share?

More Reading & Resources

 


 
Posted: 1/18/2017 7:16:37 AM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 0 comments

Categories: InspirationEducation & Career


The Nursing Workforce is Changing: Macro Trends in Nursing [Infographic]

“The workforce is changing…We know that just by going into work every day.” For our fourth macro trend in nursing, our Chief Nurse, Anne Dabrow Woods DNP RN CRNP ANP-BC AGACNP-BC FAAN, surveys the ways in which the nursing workforce is evolving and adapting. From more men entering the profession, to more nurses with a wider range of specialties, to nurses staying in practice longer, the nursing population is not what is used to be. 

Review our handy infographic below to discover the six ways the nursing workforce is changing.
 
  the nursing workforce is changing infographic

Don’t forget to bookmark our blog and to keep an eye out for the final two trends in nursing. To see Woods’ full Macro Trends in Nursing 2016 presentation, go to the Lippincott NursingCenter YouTube channel.

Add this first infographic to your website by copying and pasting the following embed code:
 
<a href="http://www.nursingcenter.com/ncblog/january-2017/the-nursing-workforce-is-changing-macro-trends-in"><img src="http://www.nursingcenter.com/getattachment/NCBlog/January-2017/the-nursing-workforce-is-changing-macro-trends-in/the-nursing-workforce-is-changing-infographic.png.aspx?width=300&height=750></a>
  <p>Macro Trends in Nursing 2016:<a href="http://www.nursingcenter.com/ncblog/january-2017/the-nursing-workforce-is-changing-macro-trends-in"> The Nursing Workforce is Changing </a> By Lippincott NursingCenter</p>
 
Posted: 1/13/2017 9:36:37 AM by Cara Deming | with 0 comments

Categories: Education & Career


Let’s celebrate! The Textbook of Basic Nursing reaches its 50th anniversary.

 
textbook-blog-wordcloud-(2).pngWith its 11th edition, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Textbook of Basic Nursing, a step-by-step 
comprehensive text that walks LPN/LVN nursing students through basic skills, procedures, concepts, and clinical applications. Based on the NCLEX-PN framework, this engaging text introduced critical thinking to nursing students for the past 50 years thanks to its two authors, Caroline Rosdahl RN, BSN, MA and Mary Kowalski RN, BA, BSN, MSN . Both Rosdahl and Kowalski have been major contributors to the nursing industry since the beginning of their careers. They’ve witnessed first-hand how nursing education has grown and evolved, and they’ve been able to translate these changes into meaningful educational tools for their readers.
 
During Rosdahl’s time in graduate school, she was approached by someone looking to set up a nursing school and began to write behavioral objectives for them. Rosdahl encountered some push-back from her colleagues, who considered nursing to be “too emotional and too psychological” to have objectives, but she wrote them anyway. After people saw her objectives, she got requests for her syllabi, which led Lippincott to approach her in 1967 to join the textbook’s 2nd edition, which now includes behavioral objectives in every chapter. “I felt I had something unique to offer that hadn’t been done in nursing before,” says Rosdahl. Kowalski joined the textbook as a consultant for its 6th edition, and then became co-author on its 8th edition, which published in 2002. She graduated from nursing school in 1975 and started as a nurse’s aide. When she returned to nursing school, she really enjoyed writing and reading, which translated to her work on the textbook. “I got to learn all of the updated materials, and I’ve enjoyed making sure the students have the information they need. I was an instructor for 25 years, and I really enjoy working with the nursing students,” Kowalski says.

“It’s amazing how many things have changed,” since she started writing for the textbook states Rosdahl. “From government regulations to procedures to equipment,” it’s been a challenge to ensure the textbook stays current she says, but “it is rewarding to see it in print and to see people use it in practice. To think I’ve been around so long is quite amazing.” Over the past 50 years, both Rosdahl and Kowalski have seen the role of the nurse and the technology they use evolve and become more complicated to manage. Rosdahl explains a new challenge today that nurses face is that “patients are sicker and there’s so much more equipment, there’s so many medications and treatments, that it’s not like nursing used to be.” If a patient is in a hospital today, “they have to be really critical, otherwise, they get sent home, and the nurse is expected to be able to do all of this, while also being expect to specialize. If you want to work in an ICU, you need extra training. Back in the day, I could float and work everywhere in a hospital, now a nurse can hardly go from one department to another. It’s so much more complicated.” Kowalski remembers when she started “we didn’t have I.V. pumps that could count the drips for you automatically and have an alarm go off. You had to actually count your drips from the intravenous line so you’d know you had it at the right speed. Otherwise, you’d overflow your patient or give them too much fluid or too little.” When she started in 1975, emergency rooms were just starting to use CPR and triage. “If you go to an ER now, these [nurses] are actually trained to work in an emergency room as a specialty. Now, there’s a whole training shift for acute care nursing.” 

textbook of basic nursing 11th edition coverWith all of the new training initiatives that have occurred, along with new technology being utilized to educate nurses, Kowalski urges that “machines go wrong and students don’t remember to check the machines. You have to calibrate your machines.” For instance, to put the wrong size tubing in the machine could result in the death of a patient. “We depend on the machines and not on the actual human being, but [patients] don’t push the call button because they want their machine adjusted. They push the call button because they want a person.” Rosdahl explains that when she started, nurses learned by clinical experience. They would be in the hospital, taking care of patients and learning on the job, “which was admittedly a little haphazard,” but they were getting experience with patients. “Now, so much of the education is in the laboratory with simulation. There are actually programs without any clinical experience, and that to me, is really scary because the kids get out without any idea on how to relate to a patient.” Today, students enter the workforce and experience a “culture shock,” where they are not used to working weekends, long shift hours, and interacting with patients.
 
A good change that has occurred, however, is that “there are lots of resources on the internet, which is great and helpful to the students. But sometimes, they are not accurate and you have to really be careful” of your sources, explains Rosdahl. We need to “remind the kids that the internet is not the bible,” she stresses. Kowalski agrees and is concerned about “how much time students are using to look things up” online. “When we were doing the book and editors told us ‘let’s take this part out and put it online,’ there are still a lot of students that actually need it in the book, I think. But, everything is going online, so [the editors and publishers] need to define where students will get their information, whether it’s an online chapter or in the actual book.” Regardless of where they do decide to find their information, however, the source of the information is still the most important thing. Students can value authoritative, credible resources, like the Textbook of Basic Nursing. 

For their 50th anniversary edition, Rosdahl and Kowalski have put special attention and time into the textbook. Kowalski really enjoys chapter 13 on “Older Adults and Aging,” which goes over the concept of the aging process and the concept of the paradigm shift in aging. “I had to research the definition of aging, and I discovered there is no real definition,” she says. “Aging used to be 65, but now 85 is really considered ‘older.’” With nurses now working past 65 and a new generation of nurses coming in, chapter 13 goes over the special considerations of an aging nursing workforce. Rosdahl’s favorite section of the textbook is on psychiatry, which is her specialty. She also is happy that two to three editions ago, the textbook began to include colored illustrations, “which really make a difference,” along with the teaching ancillaries. And to top it all off, Rosdahl is excited that there is now an Indonesian translation of the textbook. 

For new nurses starting out, the authors have some advice. Rosdahl advises that “all education is aimed at teaching how to learn. You can’t teach [students] all of the material, so nurses need to know that they don’t know everything, and they have to use references, other nurses, and find out what they don’t know about an individual patient. They need to know what they don’t know.” Kowalski stresses that the first year of their career is the most critical. “They need to know they will be scared to death. They don’t know what to do and they will say they didn’t learn anything in nursing school…but in the next three months things will become calmer for them in the real world. Then by the sixth month after they graduated, they will think ‘oh, I can do this,” but then will become cocky. They start taking shortcuts, which is when the most errors occur – it’s between the sixth month post-graduation to the ninth month.” The last three months of that first year, she says, are where you really understand what they’re doing as a nurse. 

As Rosdahl and Kowalski turn their attention to the next 50 years to come, they see a bright future for nursing. “We are going to have more men in nursing,” predicts Rosdahl, and “with that, comes a difference in salaries, which will increase.” She also believes that nursing will continue to grow more complicated over time, and “we’re going to need more nurses, we are going to need more specialized nurses, and we are going to need more nurses in the community. People are sent home early and they will need to be cared for.” Kowalski predicts there will be more machines and computers in nursing than there are today. The information will be more automated, she explains, and that it is “both good and bad. The information is numbers, which doesn’t tell you if your patient is crashing.” Nurses will continue to need to learn how to interpret these numbers and the machines to benefit their patients. 

To learn more from these authors, visit the Textbook of Basic Nursing

 
Posted: 1/6/2017 9:20:02 AM by Cara Deming | with 3 comments

Categories: Education & Career


National Conference for Nurse Practitioners (NCNP) 2016

national-conference-for-nurse-practitioners.PNGThe fall edition of the National Conference for Nurse Practitioners took place earlier this month in Chicago. It was yet another remarkable conference in a great city. Here’s a look at some highlights from the conference and what I learned.

Words from the Experts

My schedule was full with sessions related to dermatology, pain management, critical care, and more! Here are some of the pearls and tips I learned from the sessions I attended:

“Engage patients. Say ‘What matters to you?’ rather than ‘What is the matter with you?’”
Healing Health Care: The Nurse Practitioner Solution
Tom Bartol, NP, CDE
 
“The two most powerful tips to prevent premature aging are never smoke and limit UV exposure.”
Identifying and Treating Common and Benign Skin Conditions
Victor Czerkasij, MA, MS, FNP-BC
 
“Respiratory failure is all about three things. It’s all about the pump. It’s all about the circulation. It’s all about gas exchange.”
Acute Care: Recognizing and Managing Respiratory Failure
Anne Dabrow Woods, DNP, MSN, RN, CRNP, ANP-BC
 
“Things will speak through the skin that have nothing at all to do with the skin.”
Pediatric & Adolescent Skin Issues
Victor Czerkasij, MA, MS, FNP-BC
 
“When initiating opioid therapy, have an exit strategy from the very beginning.”
Opioid Prescribing: Safe Practice, Changing Lives
Barbara St. Marie, PhD
 
“Suboptimal nutrition is a main contributor to postoperative complications.”
Optimizing Outcomes with Pre-Op Evaluation
Monica N. Tombasco, MS, MSNA, FNP-BC, CRNA
 
“There is a strong placebo effect in treatment of IBS. Why? Because symptoms come and go.”
New Concepts in IBS
Christopher Chang, MD, PhD
 
“When evaluating pain treatment, go beyond the number...ask about functionality. ‘What can you do now that you couldn't do before?’”
Chronic Pain Management
Yvonne D’Arcy, MS, CRNP, CNS
 
“The outcome of heart failure is about as severe as most malignancies.”
Comprehensive Management of Heart Failure
Louis Kuritzky, MD
 
“Zika Virus – why now? It's a novel virus introduced to a population with virtually no immunity."
Emerging Infectious Disease Threats: Dengue Fever, Chikungunya, Enterovirus D65, Avian Flu, and Zika Virus
Margaret A. Fitzgerald, DNP, FNP-BC, NP-C, FAANP, CSP, FAAN, DCC

New (to me) Resources

I enjoy when presenters include websites and tools that I can add to my own list of go-to resources. Here are some that I’ve added to my favorites: style type="text/css">ul{margin-left:16px;}
  • Recreating Healthcare — an open and interactive site where visitors can share ideas about health care, and read and comment on the ideas of others.
  • TheNNT — quick summaries of evidence-based medicine provided by a group of physicians.
  • The Collaborative for REMS Education (CO*RE) — tools and resources for safe opioid prescribing.
  • Trauma.org — image databank and other resources for professionals in trauma and critical care.

Posters

NCNP-app.PNGPoster presentations often pull me in because it’s great to see the work that others are doing. It’s so important to share and learn from one another and presenting one’s work at a national conference, such as NCNP, is impressive! While all of the posters were well done and informative, what struck me were two common themes that emerged; there were multiple posters related to pediatric care and still more about shared medical appointments. You can take a look at a selection of the posters (as well as other pictures from the conference) here in our Facebook photo album.

Technology and sharing

As an attendee myself, I found the conference app helpful to keep track of my sessions and fill out evaluations as part of the process for obtaining my continuing education credit. Other features allowed me to learn about exhibitors and even vote on the poster presentations.

Social media was strong at the conference with attendees, conference staff, and exhibitors using the hashtag, #NCNPconf. Attendees shared what they learned and even posted photos of themselves in our selfie booth! Exhibitors also tweeted and shared information about their products and contest winners.
 

Stay tuned for details for NCNP 2017 (#NCNPconf) next spring in Nashville, Tennessee!
Hope to see you there!

NCNP-2017.JPG
 
Posted: 10/19/2016 9:00:44 AM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 2 comments

Categories: Continuing EducationEducation & Career


Nursing School Connections and Reconnections: Lisa’s Story

Do you have relationships with people who’ve come in and out of your life at just the right times? People who you connect with so deeply, that no matter how much time has passed, you pick up your friendship without missing a beat? That’s how I’d describe my relationship with Myrna.

In the spring of 1990, my parents and I attended an open house at the nursing school I would be attending that fall. The program consisted of separating the parents from the soon-to-be students for different sessions. When we met up again, my parents introduced me to a couple who they had become fast friends with – and who just happened to be from our same home town! It was Myrna’s mom and dad! And so it was our parents who initially introduced Myrna and I. We spent some time talking that day, amazed that we had never met before back at home. We went to different high schools, but literally lived within five miles of each other!

Lisa-Myrna-graduation.JPGSo we started school and became fast friends. Our nursing class was small enough that everyone got to know each other pretty well. Most of our classes were together and no other students at the university we attended had a schedule like ours as nursing students! After graduation, I remained in the Philadelphia area and Myrna had a commitment in New York City, so we were separated for several years. There was no social media at the time and we were both pretty busy starting our careers, so our contact was pretty limited.

Fast forward to 1995/1996 and Myrna moved to Philadelphia, taking a job in the same hospital I was working. She was in the Surgical ICU, I was in the Medical ICU, so our paths did cross occasionally at work, but it was that time together that really sticks with me. We were single, living in the city, meeting for dinners and hanging out together. We both returned to school and while her focus was on management and mine, women’s health, we still managed to take some of our requisite classes together --- research and statistics. You definitely need a good friend during those graduate level courses – I was so grateful for Myrna!

After we finished our degrees, over the next several years, we both settled down, got married, and started our families. I left the bedside and started working as a clinical editor. Myrna moved to Texas, and later to Colorado and explored some other non-clinical opportunities as well --- in pharmaceutical research, and, later, medical simulation.

Myrna came to Philadelphia a few years later on a work trip and we got to spend a little time together and she explained her work in simulation – I was so impressed. Shortly thereafter, she reached out to me: “Would I like to write some cases for her?” “Of course!”

Fast forward again, now to 2012, I was attending a conference in Colorado. “Hi Myrna – want to try to meet up?” “Yes, I’ll meet you at the airport!” It had been such a long time since we’d seen each other! So we visited briefly then and a few years later, our team at NursingCenter was looking for another clinical editor to join our team. I knew just who to call. 
 
Posted: 9/14/2016 7:40:51 AM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 3 comments

Categories: Education & Career


Nursing School Connections and Reconnections: Myrna’s Story

Lisa-Myrna-at-Penn-(1).JPGI recall attending a reception with my parents in the spring prior to starting my Freshman year at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), School of Nursing in Philadelphia. My mother was talking to another parent and I casually joined the conversation. We found out that she and her daughter, Lisa Morris (Bonsall) were from our same small town on Long Island. We attended different schools and therefore, had never met. Call it coincidence or fate – we became instant friends. We both enrolled in the pre-freshman program in August to prepare for the academic rigors of an Ivy League institution. At the conclusion of the program, we felt we were ready. Contrary to this belief, once the school year ramped up, I for one, found it to be extremely challenging. The course load was very heavy our freshman year and the amount of information we needed to memorize and synthesize was overwhelming at times. We managed to survive our first year, despite numerous distractions: parties, co-ed dorms, football games and sorority initiation.

Sophomore year brought with it the beginning of our clinical rotations and an end to our late night parties. While our non-nursing classmates slept until mid-morning, we were up and out the door by 6 am to get to our clinical site for a full day of patient care. I remember learning the basics of safe nursing practice, medication administration, and disease management. I’ll never forget the nursing process and writing care plans for all of our patients, each encompassing an assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation. The practical, hands-on education continued through our junior and senior year with opportunities to take advantage of the many liberal arts classes that Penn had to offer. Lisa and I made it through, and we both graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN). It was 1994 and our turn to make a difference.

Lisa decided to stay in Philadelphia and accepted a position in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP). I headed to the Big Apple to begin my career at the New York University Medical Center as a nurse in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU). With four years of training at Penn, I confidently thought once again, that I was ready. However, I quickly realized that I had so much more to learn. Each disease and surgical procedure involved many complexities. Every patient’s recovery varied based on multiple factors and comorbidities. I honed my assessment skills and learned to think critically. It was stressful, and I loved patient care, but after a few years in the ICU at NYU, I realized I wanted to do more. I was ready to go back to school and Penn was the obvious choice.

Lisa had come to the same conclusion and had started graduate school at Penn around the same time to pursue an Advanced Nurse Practitioner degree in Women’s Health. I was intrigued by the business of health care and decided to focus my graduate studies on Hospital and Healthcare Management. We both worked full-time, and many night shifts, in our respective ICUs during graduate school. We found ourselves back in the Biomedical Library, spending countless hours studying for exams, writing papers and preparing for presentations. Upon completion of our Master’s degrees, our occupations took off in different directions. Lisa embarked on a career in publishing and writing for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. I accepted a position in vaccine clinical research at Merck & Co., Inc.

My husband’s job uprooted us from Philadelphia to San Antonio, and we finally settled down in Denver, Colorado. After several years in pharmaceutical research and lots of travel, I took a risk, left industry and began working for a small start-up education company that provided medical simulation training to health care professionals. We developed interactive clinical scenarios around patient disease management. Given her clinical expertise in the MICU, I reached out to Lisa to author several sepsis case studies for us. These cases served as the basis for the critical care curriculum used to train thousands of practitioners across the country. It was wonderful to work with Lisa again and to reconnect after so many years.

Balancing family with a career became more difficult after the birth of my second son, and I decided to take some time off from work to raise my two boys. It was a wonderful four-year hiatus that I will always cherish.  Toward the tail end of that break, Lisa had come to Denver to attend a nursing conference. We met for lunch, and I shared with her my desire to return to work. She remembered our conversation and called me a year later with a job offer, as her responsibilities and workload had grown tremendously. I was grateful to have the opportunity to jump back into the workforce, utilizing both my writing and clinical skills. Today, we collaborate on many nursing topics to provide educational resources to millions of nurses around the world.

It is hard to believe that it has been over 20 years since Lisa and I graduated with our bachelor degrees from Penn. I truly believe that it was fate for us to meet and reconnect after college. While we are not at the bedside full-time today, we are still contributing to the nursing profession in very meaningful and impactful ways. Nursing certainly opens up a world of opportunities, but it is up to each individual to take full advantage of them. Personally, there is no doubt that college provided me with an incredible education, but it is the friendships that I made that truly changed my life. For those of you going back to school this fall, enjoy every moment and cherish the people you meet as they may prove to be as important, if not more, that the lessons you receive in the classroom.

Myrna B. Schnur, RN, MSN 
 
Posted: 9/12/2016 7:40:42 AM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 0 comments

Categories: Education & Career


Mid-Year Update on My Nursing Care Plan

I hope that some of you have been using My Nursing Care Plan to help you achieve your professional goals and make self-care a high priority. Here’s an update on how I’ve been doing.

Meeting My Professional Requirements

Me-with-nursing-licenses.JPG

Well, even as a clinical editor and being very involved with sharing nursing continuing education activities and attending Lippincott Nursing Conferences, I’ve stayed true to my tendency to procrastinate! With an April 30th license renewal deadline, I completed my CE requirements just in time on April 25th. Fortunately, I did get my renewal done in time and avoided fees, however, I don’t recommend cutting it so close!

I have better intentions to keep up with my CE requirements over the next renewal cycle, though, and have already used My Planner to plan upcoming CE activities. Also, I’ll be attending both National Conference for Nurse Practitioners and Nursing Management Congress this fall. I feel like I’m off to a good start!

Being a Lifelong Learner in Nursing

At this point in my career, conference attendance and keeping up with my reading of the latest research in nursing and health care is my main avenue for lifelong learning. In the past, my specialty certifications included CCRN (Acute/Critical Care Nursing) and WHNP-BC (Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner). I know that when I return to clinical practice, I will become certified in whatever specialty my career takes me next.
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With regard to membership in a professional nursing organization, I’ve taken my own advice and rejoined the American Nurses Association, as well as the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association. There has never been a more important time to show your dedication to our profession and I encourage you all to get involved. If you are involved with publishing in nursing, I encourage you to join the International Academy of Nursing Editors (INANE). I’ve been a member for years and it’s a great network of nurse authors, editors, and publishers – plus, it’s free to join!

Also, returning to school is definitely in the cards for me in the future. While I know the time will never be perfect, I’m just waiting for it to be a little better! I’ll keep you posted!

Maintaining Work-Life Balance

This part of the care plan has been a little trickier for me, and I wonder if you feel the same? As nurses, we are so used to taking care of others, that self-care is often less of a priority. I am happy to report that since the beginning of 2016, I’ve had a physical, including my mammogram and some other screening tests. I’ve also been working with my primary care provider and a specialist to diagnose and manage a chronic cough and shortness of breath (likely post-viral or adult-onset asthma).

I’m also getting out there and walking and doing my best to eat healthy, which is not always easy with a teenage son who has high-caloric needs to keep up with his sports. My next goal is to add some weight training to help maintain and improve bone density, which we know is critical for women as we get older.
And as for “me time” and managing stress, scheduling time for things I enjoy (reading and gardening, especially) and keeping them on the calendar definitely has helped. I admit that sometimes those times get pushed aside for other responsibilities, but as long as I keep trying and do my best, it’s better than my previous attempts.

How about you? What have you been up to? What’s been the most challenging part of the care plan for you? And, if you have any advice for me, I’d appreciate your support! 
 
Posted: 6/24/2016 10:15:04 PM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 3 comments

Categories: Continuing EducationInspirationEducation & Career


Advance your Nursing Career with Wolters Kluwer

wk-logo.bmpAre you looking to advance your nursing career by either writing for a nursing journal or reviewing the work of other nurses? Medical publishing is a vast and growing industry, and we need experienced nurses who are looking to advance their own career and the nursing profession as a whole by creating content and evaluating the content of others. 

Right now, Wolters Kluwer is seeking freelance clinical editors for Lippincott Procedures and Lippincott Advisor. Lippincott Procedures hosts over 1,600 evidence-based procedures used by nurses and other health care personnel caring for patients in acute, long-term, and ambulatory care settings worldwide. Lippincott Advisor houses a variety of entries in categories, such diseases, signs and symptoms, diagnostic tests, healthcare acquired conditions, sentinel events, and more. We need clinical editors to ensure that assigned product entries are current, accurate, and evidence based. Learn more about this opportunity and the application process. 

Wolters Kluwer also publishes over 50 Lippincott nursing journals seeking credible nurses to submit journal articles to be published. These journals, including American Journal of Nursing, Computers Informatics Nursing, and  Nursing2016 Critical Care, are interested in hearing from you and learning more about your ideas for upcoming journal issues. Read more about How to Write for Our Nursing Journals

 
Posted: 4/11/2016 2:24:53 PM by Cara Deming | with 3 comments

Categories: Education & Career


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