Health Care is Waiting for Nursing Professionals to Speak Their Minds

NursingTogether.Com
By: Lorie Brown
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When I was a nurse, I did not want to share my thoughts on ways to improve patient care and now I realize I was not alone. A few months back “The Wall Street Journal” published a study showing that 33% of nursing professionals in a New York hospital said that they withheld ideas from their nursing supervisors. Another 29% said that they “sometimes” withheld ideas from their supervisor while 44% said they routinely withheld ideas from the surgeons they worked with and another 18% saying they “sometimes” withheld ideas from their surgeons.

I know nursing professionals have the answers on how to improve the working environment, the flow of work and patient care. Naturally, they are in the best position to see what is going on in the hospital and know what to do about any problems. When these great ideas are not expressed, patients get the short end of the stick.

Children have a natural ability to speak their minds. They say exactly what they feel and do not monitor their thoughts. As adults, we find this to be a fascinating and adorable trait in children, yet we somehow feel that if we speak our minds, we may hurt someone’s feelings or we may experience rejection or even some kind of retaliation.

Why are nurses unable or unwilling to speak their minds?

Nurses may not speak their minds for many reasons including: fear of discipline, concern their input will be rejected, believe that no one will take their input seriously or value their input, or feel that their input will not make a difference. For me, it was all of the above! I had these great thoughts on improving patient care, but felt no one would take me seriously or do anything about it. What this means for the patients is the great ideas of nurses likely will never be implemented.

When we do not speak our thoughts, ideas or truths, it comes with a cost. It can create illness and can become painful by causing anxiety, depression and unhappiness. We as nurses need to be healthy to take care of our patients and ourselves. By expressing yourself, you can make yourself happy by speaking your truths and, when you are happy, others around you will be happy as well. By expressing yourself, you can create camaraderie and effect positive change. Everyone wins!

While I would love to tell you to go out and give your employer a piece of your mind, that may not be the most sage advice! Next week, I will share with you tools which can eliminate the fear or beliefs that stop nursing professionals from speaking their minds and how to speak your mind to get the best results and stand in your power.

By Lorie Brown, Creator & Founder at EmpoweredNurses.org | RN, MN, JD | Registered Nurse | Attorney | Author | Speaker | Transformational Leader | Lorie received her BSN from Indiana University, her MN from University of California at Los Angeles and her JD from Indiana University Indianapolis. Lorie has spent her career helping nurses. She has a private law practice in Indianapolis where she represents nurses before the Nursing Board. Lorie’s mission is to empower nurses to speak their mind, stand in their power and be a change agent to improve patient care.  Lorie would like to know if you are an empowered nurse. Take the quiz to find out at http://www.areyouanempowerednurse.com

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Nurses Week: Educating, Empowering, & Enhancing

This week we celebrate the nurses who educate, empower, & enhance the nursing profession. Each day this week we will showcase a nurse interview. With this blog, we hope to bring nursing closer together by uplifting each other through personal stories.

How long have you been a nurse? Is it your 1st or 2nd career?

EXECUTIVE PROFILE:

Accomplished Dean of Instructional Programs with 20 plus years of experience in higher education administration. I have demonstrated success in the following areas: A clear vision for  follow through leadership, directing and evaluating staff members; develop and implementation of health programs curriculum with student’s learning outcomes and competencies; working with a diverse students; develop and implement strategic plan, recommends allocation of resources and evaluates accomplishments; As an Administrative Nurse Manager I were responsible for providing leadership and clinical oversight, and ensuring delivery of evidence-based practice by professional nursing personnel and other staff in designated area of responsibility; I have the ability to communicate effectively with diverse administration, staff and the community; team management; interpersonal skills; the ability to think creatively, strategically and proactively; the promotion of diversity; the ability to manage complex budgets with budget driven focus; foster student centered learning; excellent writing and communication skills; ability to lead through a period of rapid change and growth.

What is your highest degree? Are you currently in school?

No

EDUCATION:

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, Argosy University

Atlanta, Georgia   

Education Specialist, Education Leadership, Argosy University

Atlanta, Georgia

Master of Science Administration, Area of Concentration-Health

Service Administration

Central Michigan University, Michigan,

Bachelor of Science in Nursing, University of South Mississippi

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Associate Degree in Nursing, Mississippi Valley State University,

Itta Bena, Mississippi

What is your current position/specialty?

Atlanta Technical Institute                          Atlanta, GA               09/93 – Present

Atlanta Technical College, a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, located in the city of Atlanta, is an accredited institution of higher education that provides affordable lifelong learning opportunities, associate degrees, diplomas, technical certificates of credit, customized business and industry training, continuing education and other learning services using state-of-the-art technology. The integration of academics and applied career preparation to enhance student learning is essential in meeting the workforce demands and economic development needs of the people, businesses, and communities of Fulton and Clayton Counties.

Dean of Health and Public Safety Technologies Division (07/04 – Present)

Dean of Health and Public Safety Technologies Division: Skilled Trades Division (07/04 – 07/07

Director of Health Occupation Division: Human Services Division (09/99 – 2004)

Department Chairperson, Practical Nursing Program (09/97 – 1999)

Vocational Instructor, Practical Nursing Program (09/93 – 1997)

What areas of nursing have you worked in?

Higher Education, Psychiatric, Medical Surgical, Dialysis

What have been your fondest memories during your nursing career?

Teaching in higher education & building and developing of health career   programs.

What are your professional nursing goals?

To start a Healthcare Career Training Center to educate and develop

Healthcare career paths for persons to enter the health care profession.

How do you feel about the “BSN in 10” law?

I believe that you must have standards in all profession. This requirement will set a standard. We have to think will it be effective for the care of all citizens urban and rural. I do not believe it will solve our ever-changing needs to improve healthcare across the country.

Where do you see nursing headed in the next 5 years?

Aging baby boomer means demands on the healthcare system will only increase in the coming years thus, we will continue to be facing a shortage of nurses to serve the needs of the healthcare industry. Aging baby boomers mean demands on the healthcare system will only increase in the coming years.

Aging baby boomers mean demands on the healthcare system will only increase in the coming year.

What do you think are challenges facing the nursing profession? Current and future?

We have a shortage of nurse educators to teach and train the next generation of nurses.

How do you feel about the new graduate nurses and their transition from nursing school to the field?

Graduates of two-year nursing programs are struggling to adjust from the theoretical to the practical. We as educator must ensure that the entrance level nurse is ready to enter the workforce and be ready for the daily practical application for which we have prepare them for in the classroom and clinical experience.

At the same time, graduates of two-year nursing programs are struggling to adjust from the theoretical to the practical.

If you weren’t a nurse, what would be your profession?

WOW, this is a hard question to answer. I want to say a professional dancerJ

What is your personal and/or professional mission statement?

I am an educator from the heart. I am passionate about supporting the growth and education of others in whatever context that might be. I am a strong advocate for empowerment of others to be the best they can be, I also believe that no one should determine another person’s destiny. We are here to support and encourage others to be the best they can be. I am part of a larger community as such, I will strive, always, to encourage and support the dreams and aspirations of others, learn about others, and contribute to the betterment of my community. 

CORE ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

  • Have a proven track record of program development by growing the division from four Allied Health programs to twenty-five Allied Health programs;
  • Manage Health Program’s (Occupational Therapy, Surgical Technology, Dental Hygiene, Radiological Technology, Medical Assisting, EMT/Paramedic, Health Information Technology, Practical Nursing, and Physical Therapy) self study, accreditation process and program’s annual reports.
  • Coordinates and implements plans and procedures to meet criteria for college wide accreditation.
  • Taken Initiative to serve on the State of Georgia Board of Nursing and collaborated with the Department of Human Resources in developing the Qualified Medication Profession for the State of Georgia;
  • Demonstrated the ability to interface with architects and planners in developing a $14 million state of the art Allied Health Facility and Health Lab for the Hapeville Charter Career Academy High School; 
  • Perform detail reports and served as liaison in coordinating instructional curriculum delivery for a 2 million dollar community based healthcare job training project by the Department of Labor for Allied Health Programs;
  • Rebuilt and rejuvenated leadership staff into unified, top performing, highly motivated team with successful outcomes for student’s performance on required board examination;
  • Expand Allied Health programs into the local community market, delivering exceptionally with student retention rates 35%, graduation rates 89% and placement rates 98%.
  • Provides communication to accredited institutions and other accrediting bodies of accreditation actions regarding programs accreditation and programs annual reports.

Constance Russell, Ed.D, MSA, BSN, RN

Dean of Instruction

 Website: www.healthcarecareerstraining.com

  Services:

  • CPR Certification
  • PPD Testing to the public
  • LPN  NCLEX Review                        
  • RN    NCLEX Review
  • PTCB Exam Review Course ( National Pharmacy Technician Exam)
  • Allied Health Programs Curriculum Design
  • Health Wellness Education Workshops

For the above services, please call: 678-561-HCTC (4282)

Thank you for all your support……

Nurses Week: Educating, Empowering, & Enhancing

Nursing First Member

This week we celebrate the nurses who educate, empower, & enhance the nursing profession. Each day this week we will showcase a nurse interview. With this blog, we hope to bring nursing closer together by uplifting each other through personal stories.

How long have you been a nurse? Is it your 1st or 2nd career?

 I have been a nurse for 7 years.  It is my first career, but second degree.  I was in school for psychology first… and graduated with that.  But then went immediately back through an accelerated nursing program. 

What is your highest degree? Are you currently in school?

My highest degree is a masters’ in nursing and in business.  I am in school, but for nutrition health coaching.  It is an online one year course through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  I seem to always be involved in some sort of schooling!

What is your current position/specialty?

As a nurse, I work part-time at the hospital as a clinical nurse researcher.  My previous specialties include psychiatry and community health.  I also own my own business as a holistic health nurse and integrative wellness coach.

What areas of nursing have you worked in?

Oops!  I guess I can say see above.  But I have worked in inpatient psychiatry for five years.  I then worked in community nursing- at a wellness center running a physician referred exercise program.  Now I am back at the hospital in the research setting.

What have been your fondest memories during your nursing career?

My fondest memories have been my education, my chance to travel and present posters at various association conferences and seeing the patients “get it”.  When someone figures something out- when that light bulb goes on… it is wonderful!

What are your professional nursing goals?

My goal is to be working full-time and solely in my company in the future.  I hope to create virtual conferences, speak at large events, and teach as many nurses as I can about the important of self-care.  Even more than just teach about it or speak on it, my goal is to live a life that is a living example of what healthy, happy, and whole looks and feels like as a nurse.

Where do you see nursing headed in the next 5 years?

I see nursing as gaining more and more power.  With so many changes in health care, we are the profession that continues to be necessary, valued, and important.  Nurses are healers.  We are compassionate, kind, and gentle.  If we are able to take care of ourselves, first and foremost, we will be able to impact health care- at a global level.  The public respects, admires, and trusts nurses.  So we really have a voice and we are going to gain more and more momentum to use it.  We will embrace and foster healing at a mind, body, emotion, and spirit level.

What do you think are challenges facing the nursing profession? Current and future?

The main challenge is making time for us.  We are so busy taking care of everybody else we fall short on our own self-care.  We want to help, give, and care for other people all of the time.  When we do this we let our own well-being go.  We are challenged with trying to find and make the time for ourselves.  We are challenged with being aware of the significance of putting ourselves first.  We are challenged with trying to balance it all. 

How do you feel about the new graduate nurses and their transition from nursing school to the field?

I feel new graduate nurses are so bright-eyed, so excited about what is to come.  They are stepping into a new profession and are proud to be here.  It is such a wonderful time!  We need to support, encourage, and foster their growth.  We need to be role-models to the new graduates that they must take time for themselves.  We can start with self-care at this early stage of nursing… that way when the “honeymoon” wears off… they are able to cope with and handle the stressors that they will probably face in this beautiful profession.  It is not always easy, but it is so worth it.  If we groom them to realize that self-care is the most important aspect of being a good nurse, we will be doing the entire profession a valuable service. 

If you weren’t a nurse, what would be your profession?

I think it would be working outside with the earth.  I loved some of my childhood jobs: lawn mower at a county park, farm hand at my local apple and flower stand, etc.  I love gardening now and have so many plants and flowers of my own.  I look at the men and women working on the landscaping of our hospital as I walk in every day to work, with a bit of envy… at times, I would love to be doing that!

What is your personal and/or professional mission statement?

Personal: Take care of you. Invest in your own health. Love yourself.

Professional (taken from my website, so if you want to leave this out because it says Living Sublime Wellness… that is fine): Living Sublime Wellness provides nurses with support in reaching, maintaining, and optimizing self-care and healthy balance. As your coach, my mission is to partner with you to improve your holistic health, well-being, and happiness. I believe that when we make time to receive holistic self-care modalities we enjoy greater fulfillment, live our healthiest and ideal life, and create lasting peace of mind.

Elizabeth Scala, MSN/MBA, RN, Health and Wellness Coach, Reiki Master

www.livingsublimewellness.com

www.facebook.com/LivingSublimeWellness

coachscala@livingsublimewellness.com

The Image of Nursing

Nursing is “The Most Trusted Profession” according to the Gallup survey of public perceptions for 2011. Yet we continue to have so many negative images in the media that plague our profession. Most trusted profession? Tell us what you really think? Would you trust the “naughty nurse” to start your I.V.? Or would you trust the nurse who commits adultery and steals drugs from patients to give you health and wellness advice? I am sure you would answer no to these questions yet this is the image of nurses in the media today. I am honored that the public has voted our profession as the most trusted. It says to me that what we do every day, one on one, with our patients does not go unnoticed. So, why doesn’t the media portray the same image our patients have of us? What is the solution to the negative Hollywood image that makes us appear as doctor’s pets and doctors as life saving professionals? Truth is, the best doctors could actually be nurses 🙂

Nurses….we need your support! Join our movement to ensure that the “Most Trusted Profession” is respected in the media! Visit www.truthaboutnursing.org and sign up TODAY!

Continue reading “The Image of Nursing”

Nursing First Exclusive!

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