Following Your Path

Following Your Path

When you became a nurse, you probably envisioned a certain career path. Are you still on that path and is it still where you want to be? Or have you been diverted and you want to resume the journey? These articles will inspire and instruct you in how to create the career you want.

  • Empowering nurses to transform health care globally: A United States-Haiti nursing partnership

    Since the Magnet® Vision was published in 2008, it has inspired actions by nurses at Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH), a Magnet-recognized academic community hospital located in southeastern Pennsylvania. In 2011, when LVH received its third Magnet designation, we dissected the vision statement to stimulate goals to help LVH continue to raise the bar for care delivery and position the institution for its fourth Magnet designation in 2015. One phrase in particular pointed to an opportunity: Read more…

  • Nurses with disabilities: Know their rights

    Registered nurses (RNs) with physical disabilities experience discrimination in the workplace. Researchers have found that nurses with disabilities often leave the nursing profession because they feel discriminated against or they fear they will jeopardize patient safety. However, there are no documented incidents of patient injury related specifically to a nurse’s disability. Read more…

  • The selflessness and dedication of military nurses

    Thirty years ago, Brigadier General Sarah Wells began the tradition of gathering nurses together to place flowers on the graves of nurses who served in the U.S. military and are buried at Arlington National Cemetery. This biannual tradition continues today. Wells served as Air Force Nurse Corps Chief from 1979 to 1982. Members of the Society of Air Force Nurses (SAFN) Read more…

  • Building moral resilience to neutralize moral distress

    Moral distress occurs when one recognizes one’s moral responsibility in a situation; evaluates the various courses of action; and identifies, in accordance with one’s beliefs, the morally correct decision—but is then prevented from following through. The literature is replete with the mounting evidence of the incidence and sources of moral distress. Read more…

  • The power of Lean Six Sigma

    Lean and Six Sigma are well-established quality improvement tools. Combining the two creates a synergistic effect, boosting effectiveness. In the hospital where I work, we used Lean Six Sigma to reduce hospital acquired pressure ulcers (HAPU) by 60%. In this article, I answer common questions related to these tools so you can apply them in your own organizations. Read more…

  • The will to live – and living well

    Groucho Marx said, “Marriage is the chief cause of divorce.” When we mentioned this to a friend of ours, he retorted, “Yes—and life is the chief cause of death!” In writing this reflection, we revisited the existential question: What is life? More specifically, what do we do with life at the end of life? How do we define the intangible or compare one life to another without knowing the passions that move each person to make certain decisions? Read more…

  • Leading through loss: Lessons for healthcare leaders

    One of the most painful experiences for any parent is the death of a child. The family is deeply affected by the loss, and the extended “family” of co-workers, neighbors, and community are also affected. However, not many organizational leaders, including those in health care, are prepared for the challenges that can face an organization when a staff member loses a child through an accident or illness. Read more…

  • Gaining confidence in public speaking

    EVA, a professional practice coordinator, and her team of clinical educators are thrilled to learn that their abstract on an iLead in Nursing initiative (Innovation in LEadership and ADministration in Nursing and Health Care Systems) has been accepted for a concurrent session presentation at the ANCC Pathway to Excellence Conference®. Eva will co-present for 1 hour along with one of her team members. Read more…

  • Viewpoint: Lessons learned from nurses in rural Uganda

    It’s still dark outside our tiny pup tent, and the air feels humid after the sudden torrential downpour the evening before. The melodies of unusual songbirds welcome the morning to this remote village medical clinic in rural Uganda, Read more…

  • How to succeed at floating

    If you’ve ever floated,  you know the experience can be challenging at times. Wherever you work, you may sometimes feel you don’t have enough hours in the day to complete all your tasks, especially when working in clinical situations less familiar to you. Read more…

  • Leading through failure

    I have served as a nurse corps officer in the United States Air Force for 27 years. One of my most useful leadership lessons came from understanding the value of failure. This sounds like a totally crazy idea, but knowing how to fail well and, more importantly, using that failure to fuel future successes is an invaluable asset. Read more…

  • Ten tips for transitioning from home care nurse to nurse manager

    home careSarah made the transition from inpatient hospital nurse to home care (HC) nurse 6 years ago. She enjoys her practice and likes helping the patients and families whose cases she manages. Her performance evaluations have been very good. When her HC organization posts a job opening for nurse manager, Sarah considers applying for it—but wonders to what extent her nursing skills and knowledge would transfer to the manager position. Read more…

  • Accepting a patient care assignment reaffirms nurses’ contract with society

    AcceptingAt the moment a patient handoff is nearly completed, when the exchange of relevant information has occurred and when the opportunity for final clarification of the patient condition and situation has passed, an act that has not received much attention occurs. It is the act of the nurse accepting the patient care assignment. Here’s a… Read more…

  • Boosting your influence

    influenceJessie was excited to be appointed as chair of the professional practice council in her hospital. She envisioned being able to quickly engage staff in the work of the council. One of the council’s initial goals was to increase the number of staff who submitted professional portfolios to advance on the clinical ladder. Six months after assuming the role of chair, Jessie has become discouraged. Read more…

  • Combating change fatigue in today’s healthcare environment

    caring fatigueThose who work in the healthcare industry are well aware of its constantly changing landscape. Healthcare institutions are challenged to balance the provision of safe care with the allocation of essential resources. Changes in healthcare are aimed at increasing the efficiency and safety of care through best practices. Nurses, as the primary caregivers, are charged with implementing Read more…

  • The mindful nurse

    MindfulnessMindfulness is an increasingly common topic in both popular and professional literature. In clinical populations, evidence suggests mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) can reduce symptoms linked to various conditions, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and depression. Among healthcare professionals, mindfulness training can reduce psychological Read more…

  • Releasing our attachments to the past

    AttachmentsJake, a critical care nursing director, works for a large healthcare system that has invested heavily in testing the use of robots to support operational tasks and provide new ways for physicians to interact with patients. During his monthly staff meeting, Jake presents an overview of the robotic products and what they’re designed to do. He’s surprised at how some of the senior nurses react; they immediately criticize the initiative as just another attempt to reduce staffing costs and dehumanize health care. Read more…

  • Enhance your self-awareness to be an authentic leader

    self-awarenessIn 2013 alone, U.S. organizations spent more than $15 billion on leadership development activities. Although much of these expenses focus on external programming, including face-to-face workshops, webinars, and e-learning, fewer resources target the internal development of leaders. To maximize sustainable leadership development, emphasis must be given to both external programming and individual improvement. Read more…

  • Viewpoint: Adding respect to freedom of speech

    freedom of speech The right to freedom of speech is a common topic in the news, but the reporting often doesn’t include a full discussion of the issue. We need to consider what we are not including when we exercise our right to freedom of speech. We need to look at the fact that although freedom of speech is a constitutional right, exercising that right can be hurtful to others and has, unfortunately, even been cited as an excuse for acts of violence. Read more…

  • Any nurse can do it: Sustaining change when volunteering overseas

    Arriving back in Ethiopia for the third time after having left only four months earlier, I had many questions. Had the Ethiopian nurses managed to retain the knowledge and continue the hygiene project I had started? Had my work been sustainable? Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world. There are fewer than one physician and two hospital beds per 10,000 persons, the infant mortality rate is 67 per 1,000 live births, Read more…

  • Leading the journey: Engaging staff in process improvement through visual management

    The pressure is always on in busy clinical settings to improve efficiency, capacity, and patient flow. Strategic process improvement that engages the entire staff is essential to keeping up with demand while addressing quality and safety. Read more…

  • Fostering soft skills is a must for nurse leaders

    It’s uncommon for nurse leaders to have to coach employees on clinical skills, but quite common for nurse leaders to coach and even use disciplinary action for employees who have problems with communication, teamwork, decision making, and critical thinking skills, all of which are considered soft skills — essential components of emotional intelligence (EI). Read more…

  • Why quitting is hard

    Kate Sheldon is the director of acute care services in a medical center that’s part of a larger system. She recently completed her doctorate and is ready to move into a chief nursing officer (CNO) role. Widely respected by her colleagues, she has received encouragement to pursue this goal. Recently, two CNO Read more…

  • From our readers: How a ‘45-year-old STEMI’ showed me the human side of nursing

    I worked as an emergency medical technician-paramedic for almost 8 years in a rural area before I became a registered nurse. Just before I completed nursing school, a new hospital began offering emergency cardiac catheterization services 60 miles south of the response area where I worked. As a result, our ambulance service implemented a program to provide acute care Read more…

  • Florence Nightingale: Moments of interface between past and present

    During a recent clinical orientation with a group of about 170 nursing students, I projected a slide bearing a well-known photo of Florence Nightingale, and asked “Who knows this woman?” Only about eight hands rose—tentatively. The inability of current nursing students and recent graduates to recognize the founder of clinical nursing may stem from deficient teaching about the collective history of nursing. Read more…

  • From our readers: Harp song — A journey to remember and embrace the heart of nursing

    From our readers: Harp song — A journey to remember and embrace the heart of nursing“The aim of all spiritual paths, no matter their origin or the rigors of their practice, is to help us live more fully in the lives we are given. In this way, whatever comes from a moment’s grace that joins us to our lives and to each other – this is spiritual.” — Parker J. Palmer We never know when the lens through which we see our roles as nurses will widen to reveal a new spark of possibility for caring and an opportunity to deepen our spiritual awareness through this most remarkable profession. Even when we decide to leave the clinical setting or retire, we still remain “nurses” because in large measure, this is the essence of who we are called to be in this world. Read more…

  • Scope and standards-of-practice documents: Guiding you to leadership success

    Starting a new job in a new specialty can be a daunting experience. I recently transitioned to a new role as a nurse administrator. On my first day, I had two key questions about this role. The first—“What does this job entail?”—was answered in the position description and my organization’s service-line manuals. Read more…

  • From our readers: What it means to be a nurse

    I have heard people say that they became a nurse for various reasons; to help others, because they will always have a job, because it is a respected profession, because there are many career choices, and so on. I don’t believe that I decided to become a nurse; I believe that nursing chose me. I… Read more…

  • From our readers: My first code—A retrospective report of a premature promotion and a crisis situation

    The elevator’s walls were covered in bronze and silver raised metal squares that gave the appearance of a magic eye puzzle and smelled of the stainless steel cleaner that was probably wiped on that morning. I remember thinking that if you spun around in here too fast the vertigo would be unimaginable. Fumes from the cleaner were so thick that I had the feeling that someone had placed a nickel under my tongue. Read more…

  • Introverts can be nurse leaders, too

    Natalie Sanchez recently was promoted to a nurse manager position. So far, she thinks, things are going well. She is starting to feel comfortable with her new role and establishing relationships with her staff. So she’s surprised when her director asks to meet with her and tells her she’s not being social enough. She advises her to plan to go to the cafeteria each day and have lunch with the rest of the management team. Read more…

  • From our readers: Resolving the forces of bias and duty in caring for incarcerated patients

    In the nurses’ station of the 39-bed med-surg unit I double-checked my patient’s 2:00 PM medications against the pharmacy sheet and then started down the hall to his room. Roger (not his real name) was from the local prison. A man of about 36, he was recovering without complications from a cholecystectomy. Read more…

  • Informal leaders and cultural change

    Informal leaders are crucial to the success of a change involving the nursing team, yet they are often overlooked. A literature search of nursing publications over the past 5 years found only a small sampling of journal articles that used the key words "informal leaders." Leadership was often discussed in terms of positions and roles such as the “nurse manager” or the "nursing administrator." Read more…

  • Thoughtful feedback loop: A nurse’s approach to personal and organizational improvement

    As a nurse, your partnership with another in the Thoughtful Feedback Loop gives you the power to exponentially increase the rate at which you professionally and personally improve. Self-reflection is not enough. Your annual evaluation is not enough. Through the Thoughtful Feedback Loop, you will experience the joy of meaningful and dramatic continuous personal improvement on a regular basis. Read more…

  • Why disruption can be a good thing

    Seventy-two seconds into liftoff, a defective mechanical part set off a string of events that caused the Challenger space shuttle to tear apart as millions watched it vanish in the air. An investigation of this 1986 catastrophe found that before liftoff, engineers had voiced concerns about a potential mechanical defect and its possible impact—but upper management at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Read more…

  • Imposter syndrome: When you feel like you’re faking it

    Colleen Jackson recently was promoted to a clinical manager position on her unit. At first, she was thrilled with the opportunity to advance her leadership skills, but now she's having second thoughts. She doesn't feel confident in her new role and worries how her team views her. She confesses to her manager, Read more…

  • From our readers: On being an oncology nurse, or humble pie by the slice

    oncologist_oncology_cancer_nurseI came to oncology nursing in 1984 through what I perceived as bad luck; my goal was to get out of the field ASAP. A new RN, I was completing orientation on a medical-surgical floor when the hospital decided to renovate it into a respiratory unit and our staff would be spread throughout the 400-bed hospital. Each staff member was offered a transfer to a unit of their choice, but my lack of seniority meant I failed Read more…

  • How to create “sticky” messages to influence others

    Nursing has been ranked as the most trustworthy of all professions for the past decade, except for firefighters after 9/11. Being perceived as trustworthy may make us feel good, but it doesn’t galvanize consumers to act on our behalf or offer us any genuine power in decision- or policy-making arenas, at least not to the extent that could be realized if we changed the way we shaped our key messages. Read more…

  • You can help stop the cycle of teen bullying

    Bullying refers to repeated negative activity or aggression intended to harm or bother someone that the aggressor perceives as less powerful. In many cases, bullying victims are harassed because of certain characteristics others perceive as “different”—for instance, physical or learning disabilities, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Read more…

  • Building a sense of community on nursing units

    Jeff Rawson, a new nurse graduate, works on a behavioral health unit. His manager believes his transition is going well—until Jeff asks to transfer to another unit. When she talks with him about it, he says he doesn’t feel a sense of belonging on the unit and has had difficulty establishing close relationships with coworkers. Read more…

  • Thinking it through: The path to reflective leadership

    Reflective leadership is a way of approaching the work of being a leader by leading one’s life with presence and personal mastery. Learning to be present, to be aware and attentive to our experience with people throughout the day is the focus of reflective leadership. It approaches the study and practice of leadership from the perspective of human experience. Based upon the science of phenomenology, reflective leadership Read more…

  • From our readers: Nurses leading from the middle

    middleman nurse middle organization power leaderNurse leaders are needed at all levels of the organization, especially in "the middle," which is commonly used to describe mid-level management positions. Middle managers are essential to the organization because they link senior management and staff. Another important role that those in the middle perform is to interpret organizational strategy or the big picture in a manner that makes sense to the front-line staff. Read more…

  • From our readers…Value all your skills

    value skills nurse career job transitionAnyone who’s been a nurse for more than 10 years will agree with me: you can make big leaps from specialty to specialty and sometimes leave a skill behind that will rarely have a practical application in your current job. Pediatrics to adult surgery, ostomy nurse to IV team, I could name a few more. It’s probably because I am one of those nurses. With my curious nature, Read more…

  • Too young to be a nurse leader?

    Marla Johnson began her career on an oncology unit after graduating from a BSN program 4 years ago. She achieved certification and regularly takes charge on the night shift. She recently started a master’s program in nursing administration. Marla is age 27 on a unit where the average age is 49. She’s a bright, shining star with an outgoing personality. Read more…

  • From our readers…Hunger advocacy for nurses

    Since the mid-1990s, the number of hungry people worldwide has been steadily increasing. Currently about 925 million people worldwide are hungry—about 1 in 7 of the global population. Most sobering about this fact is that, for the first time in history, humankind has the knowledge and technical ability to feed all of its citizens. Read more…

  • A troubled life, a difficult death

    Editor’s note: National Homelessness Awareness Week is November 10-18. Like many of our homeless patients, "Sarah" was a bundle of contradictions. She came from money, got a good education, and worked as a college administrator before her addiction took over and her life spiralled out of control. She could be foul-mouthed and nasty one minute, eloquent and kind the next. She was well-dressed, with beautiful thick blonde hair, but her face had the pale, sunken look of an addict. Read more…

  • Taking the first steps to serving on a board

    Nurses have a singular perspective on patient care and community health. With our training and experience, we can inform and improve healthcare decisions in ways that complement those of other professionals but are uniquely our own. Read more…

  • From our readers: The art of self-disclosure

    The art of self-disclosureOne aspect of the "art" of nursing is appropriate self-disclosure. Nurses and other healthcare providers often have an opportunity to share information about their own health to help a patient or family, or even a peer. For example, a nurse who takes niacin to lower cholesterol and raise high density lipoproteins (HDLs) may have found that taking the niacin Read more…

  • Viewpoint: Caring Science meets Heart Science: A guide to authentic caring practice

    Editor’s note: Viewpoint highlights the thoughts, opinions, and expertise of well-known nurse leaders. We welcome your comments about these thought-provoking articles. During these past decades, nursing has increasingly advanced as a distinct caring discipline and theory-guided practice profession. Read more…

  • Nine principles of successful nursing leadership

    There is an extraordinary quality of spirit that prompts one to aspire to lead. These nine principles will help you tap into that spirit and improve your effectiveness as a leader.

    #1: Commit to excellence

    As a leader you must be committed to your passion and purpose, and have the type of commitment that turns into perseverance. Many nursing leaders are committed patient advocates, clinicians, or employee advocates but the true test of commitment comes when it’s difficult to get out of bed and go to work with a smile, yet you do because you know you are there to serve a purpose. To get through these challenging times and make a difference, establish three priorities every 90 days and commit to seeing them through. Obtain your staff’s insights on the priorities so the team will stay focused and have a stake into the strategic plan. Read more…

  • Eye of the beholder: Grand rounds at the museum

    "What do you see in his eyes?" asks Dr. Rothenberg. After a brief pause, someone replies, "He looks sad." Another states, "He’s kind of emaciated." After directing us to look just below the left eyelid, Dr. Rothenberg asks, "Do you see a sign of a scar?" Several of us nod. She tells us this scar is a remnant of trachoma, also called Egyptian ophthalmia. This clinical scrutiny is taking place not at the bedside of a teaching hospital Read more…

  • What you can learn from failure

    Editor’s note: At American Nurse Today, we believe every nurse can be a leader. Rose Sherman, founder of the Emerging RN Leader blog (www.emergingrnleader.com), contributes articles on a regular basis to help nurses achieve their leadership potential. Rachel is an experienced critical care nurse who prides herself on her Read more…

  • From our readers…What bedside nurses can teach nursing leaders

    nurse teach teaching learnFive years ago, while working in leadership I had a pivotal conversation with my superior regarding the need to "stop thinking like a bedside nurse". My instincts told me this was wrong as I had always believed that leaders were supposed to know what was happening at the bedside in order to improve the process for the bedside nurse, thus providing the best possible care to patients and families. Read more…

  • From our readers…How to volunteer as a nurse abroad

    volunteer nurse abroadAzure Window, Gozo, Maltese Islands. When I took the ferry to Gozo, Malta’s sister island, the Azure Window was a nice place to visit. When I was in nursing school a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer talked to us about his experiences in the Pacific Islands. I was on fire to join and did so years later. Before I signed up, however, I alternated between working in critical care units and traveling. I eventually realized that when employed as a nurse I poured over travel brochures and when traveling, the hospitals of other countries intrigued me. Read more…

  • How working nights can work in your favor

    Shortly after I completed my master’s degree in nursing, I spoke with my nurse mentor about my career decisions. At the time, I was working as a night-shift emergency department educator. "Get off the night shift," she urged, "and into the real world." Read more…

  • From our readers…How my bad experiences with call lights formed my nursing practice

    call light waiting patient hospital nurseI have been a critical care nurse since 2008. In our unit, patients have call lights, and of course, patients and families want them answered immediately. My practice is partly guided by two bad experiences I had as a patient, before I ever started nursing school. A long wait… By the time I was 20 years old, I had already undergone multiple procedures, treatments, surgeries, and medication regimens for complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). On this day, I had been admitted for the surgical placement of a peripheral nerve stimulator in my left leg. Read more…

  • From our readers. . . Is disaster relief nursing for you?

    disaster relief psychological practical prepareRecently I had the opportunity to provide nursing services after an earthquake disaster in the Caribbean. In this article, I share my insights gained from that trip, service opportunities, and considerations for whether or not disaster relief nursing is an appropriate choice for you. I also provide practical information for those who anticipate relief service. Read more…

  • Simple steps to improve your retirement readiness

    PERHAPS, like many nurses, you’ve become quite business savvy over the past few years. Increasing numbers of nurses are responsible for creating unit budgets, forecasting expenses, and calculating cost effectiveness. Yet when asked about their personal finances and retirement planning, Read more…

  • From our readers…How my students kept me teaching

    nurse teaching clinical class studentsI went to high school in a small New England town at a time when career opportunities for women were just beginning to branch out into a variety of non-traditional fields rather than the traditional teaching and nursing. Women were also looking toward careers instead of "jobs." At that time, I viewed teaching as a job, which provided students with the same subject(s) day after day, year after year. Read more…

  • From our readers…Strengthening nursing networks

    alumni networking connecting connectionsHave you ever wondered what happened to the student who studied with you for that beginning med-surg test or the instructor who helped you understand pediatrics? They may be wondering where you are too. Networking with student and faculty colleagues is a powerful way to connect for both social and professional benefits. Read more…

  • From our readers…Searching for life with man’s best friend

    dog rescue mans bestfriend friend teamAt the end of another crazy day in our Level 1 Trauma Center the call went out. Our volunteer Search and Rescue (SAR) team had been deployed by a local law enforcement agency. It was an “Amber Alert": a 13-year-old girl, last seen with an unknown man, had been missing for more than 24 hours in the bitter cold of a January winter. Read more…

  • From our readers…Caring for the world by recycling supplies

    recycle supplies hospital medical toolsI became aware of the acute lack of essential medical supplies when I participated in medical missions work in the Philippines and Honduras. Basic supplies like gloves were often not available. If they were available, they were washed, hung up to dry, and used again and again. Other equipment—tubing, dressings, bowls, basins, drapes, sutures, instruments—almost… Read more…

  • From our readers…At the Bedside

    crib iron bedside nurse careAs my parents were approaching the age of downsizing their earthly possessions, I became the recipient of the generational family crib. It was the wrought iron crib that my father and his 12 siblings were tended to in their first months as infants during the early 1900s. It was the crib that my four siblings and I called home when we were babes. By current standards Read more…

  • From our readers…I remain in nursing because of you

    nurse inspireI remain in nursing because of you. We have yet to meet but, if you are my patient someday, this is what I will do for you. Because of you, I will use my best communication skills. If you birthed a child with an unexpected outcome, I will be there. If you want to talk, I will listen. If you want to cry, I will cry with you. If you are afraid, I will sit with you. If words fail me, I will give you the comfort of my silence. Read more…

  • My First Day in the ED

    emergency department nurseNote: This article was written before Kenneth graduated from nursing school. My first experience in an emergency department (ED) setting happened last week at Frankfort Regional Medical Center in Kentucky. As a new nursing student, one of my intended paths for my career will be as a trauma nurse, and this was a good introductory experience. A typical day in a small town ED is not all motor vehicle accidents, Read more…

  • Reiki: Ancent healing art for today’s new healthcare vision

    Perhaps you’ve heard of a complementary therapy called Reiki, or maybe you’ve experienced it yourself. Reiki is one of the fastest-growing energy healing practices, used by millions of people to improve their health and quality of life. Although not formally recognized as a treatment or regulated as a practice, it’s becoming increasingly available in healthcare settings. Patients and their families may ask you what Reiki is. Read more…

  • From our readers…The Dance

    dance nurse progress grad confidenceLinda Harrington, RNC, works in Labor and Delivery at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, Mission Hills, CA. Below she comments on her experience with writing this poem: When the CNO asked me if I could "come up with something" to submit to the Magnet Art Gallery my first thought was, "Are you kidding me? No way, I am buried in projects, not a chance." Then my ears heard me respond, "Absolutely, happy to do it." Read more…

  • Caregiving for a family member can be difficult

    caregiver holding hands care familyNursing is my passion. I began to work as a professional caregiver 35 years ago. If I had to make a career choice today, I would still choose to become a nurse. Yet nursing school could not have prepared me for the challenge of caring for a family member. Being a professional caregiver differs from being a “lay” caregiver for a family member. As a nurse, you know not to become too involved with your patient—not to cross that invisible line. Read more…

  • The little things we do

    nurse story remembering teachIn December 2001, the graduating class of New York University’s College of Nursing asked me to give a speech during their pinning ceremony. As part of nursing education, the pinning ceremony goes back to the time Queen Victoria presented a pin to Florence Nightin­gale for her pioneering work during the Crimean war. Read more…

  • A word about patients’ psychic experiences: Listen

    In her dream, a young pediatric nurse answered the phone at the nurses’ station and was told to go to the lobby where a gravely ill patient was being admitted. She went down to find a little boy in blue, pink, and white pajamas. When she looked at the boy, she realized she had cared for him, and she knew he would die from cancer the next day. The boy came gratefully into her arms. At the hospital, she told her supervisor about her dream. Read more…

  • Far from home, bringing smiles to children’s faces

    operation_smile children kids volunteerDuring my three decades as a nurse, volunteering on a medical mission has always been on my “to do” list. In 2005, having finished my nursing education and with an empty nest at home, I finally had the time and wherewithal to commit to such a mission. After exploring various options, I decided to apply to become an Operation Smile volunteer. Read more…

  • Reflections on the heart of nursing

    nurse reflectionIn 1995, I toured the Florence Nightingale Museum in London. On the walls were letters that chronicled a lifetime of dedication, spent caring for others—letters that were preserved for those who followed. In recent years, I’ve thought that we may have lost such communication from generation to generation because e-mail has largely replaced letter writing, and the heartfelt reflections of nurses Read more…

  • The wisdom of renewal

    wisdom renewal sign fearWe all know people who have become discontent with their careers. And we know people who remain energized, excited, and fully engaged in their profession. So what makes the difference? How can we all cultivate the self-care and consciousness to stay energized, centered, and engaged in nursing? Read more…

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