Is This Really Worth It?

There comes a time in every person’s life when they question if they’re on the right path. Perhaps you’ve been studying for 4 hours a day, multiple days a week, and still don’t pass that exam. Maybe you don’t feel the same excitement you felt during the first week of your job. It might even be that you have loved one’s telling you you can’t do it. All of these factors may cause you to ask yourself why you’re making the sacrifices it takes to become a nurse.

This week, Distance Learning Systems decided to reach out to RN’s and see why they chose the nursing field and why they stick with it. These men and women have offered us insight into their lives and careers.

Everyone has a story, and one day, so will you.

1. “I chose to be a nurse because I’ve always felt called to help others. Even though nursing school was hard, the day I saved my first patient was when I knew it was all worth it.” – Sam, 42
2. “It takes a special kind of person to be a nurse. I have been a nurse for over 30 years. I have had my share of disappointments, but it is from my own experience I am able to draw the perfect pleasure of nursing. I was a psychiatric nurse and worked with youngsters who had issues with drugs and abandonment. I became very enlightened and gained abilities to intervene in many cases.In one case, as the young lady was leaving she said to me, “I’ll never forget you, what you said to me, as long as I live.” I guess that one instance made my life important to someone.” Maureen, 61
3. “ I wanted to become a nurse so that I could impact people’s lives during some of the most difficult and traumatic times that they may ever experience. I always knew that I had a heart for helping others and nursing was the perfect career to make a difference. They say that nursing is a combination of art and science and I truly believe that. I wanted to care for patients’ minds, bodies, and spirits which is the holistic approach that nursing is centered around. I have stuck with nursing because I honestly cannot see myself doing anything else after the experiences that I have had. Saving a life or being present when someone takes their last breath are moments that I believe are a privilege for me to take part in. The skills, compassion, diversity, and connections are all reasons that keep me coming back shift after shift. I have seen healthcare teams work together to completely change the prognosis for a patient which is extremely rewarding. Nursing is a career where I have been able to use my talents and knowledge to make a positive impact on others.” – Judy, 25
4. “ I am a supervisor in a nursing home where I oversee 50+ residents. I comfort my residents while they are alive, and I comfort their families when they pass. They give my life purpose. At times it seems as though money is the most important thing., I am proud to know I matter and make a difference in someone’s life.” – Jason, 56
5. “When I was about 6 years old, I was sent to the children’s hospital in our state for some health complications. I ended up needing surgery and check ups every 3 weeks. Since I was there so much, my family and I formed a sort of bond with some of the nurses. They even threw me a little surprise when I had an appointment on my birthday. I never forgot how well they treated me and how comforting they were. I guess that was the motivation I had to be a nurse and why I stuck with it. I wanted to touch lives like they had touched mine.” – Jamie, 29
6. “When my husband passed away, the nurses were there with him every step of the way. They made his last moments comfortable. They earned my trust. To see everything they do and how hard they worked, that’s what inspired me. I became an RN at the age of 50.” – Sharon, 58
7. “I knew I wanted to be a nurse as long as I can remember. I’m not exactly sure why, I just felt drawn to the profession. It’s not a job for me, it’s a calling.” – Rebecca, 22
8. “Nurses run in my family. My great grandmother, grandmother and mother were all nurses. Seeing how fulfilled they were with their jobs and hearing their stories made it an easy decision for me. Was the road to becoming a nurse easy? Heck no! But was it worth it? Absolutely.” – Joanna, 44
9. “I didn’t know I wanted to be a nurse until my sophomore year of college when I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I was so young and so scared. My doctors and nurses touched my heart and saved my life. I believe it’s my life’s duty to repay the favor and serve others.” – Sydney, 31
10. “God called me to be a nurse. I woke up one morning and knew that’s exactly what I was created to do. I enrolled in school that very day and have never looked back. I’ve been a nurse for over 20 years now.” – Charlotte, 49

In times as uncertain as these, remember why you’re doing it and who you’re doing it for.

Nurses and Public Policies

The National League for Nursing (NLN) is dreaming of more complete nurses under their wing. That is why they are also offering programs that deal with issues outside of the nursing field. Issues such as public policies. This is a subject that is unheard of during the earlier days of nursing. It is a topic that finds its discussions only with civil servants and politicians, not with nurses. But NLN is striving to put the subject of public policy to their nurses.

Making a Difference
Inserting public policy as one of the subjects for nursing courses is raising the level of care to their patients. This is all in place since taking care of your patients is one way of initiating change, which is the desired effect why public policies are instituted.

Coming Together
The spirit of camaraderie is also at work with public policies. This is somehow closely related to the work nurses are doing. Sometimes nurses work not just the concern of a single patient, but the concern of an entire community also.

The Power to Change
Taking care of your patient has its own power. Public policies can change not just laws, but lives as well. That is what NLN wanted their nurses to have. If they can connect their calling as a medical practitioner into something nobler like extending their care to their immediate community, then change is possible.

A Democratic Right
NLN acknowledges that it is a democratic right of every individual to have an accessible health care. And their nurses should be at the forefront of this right. Every person should be entitled to a medical attention regardless of his or her station in life.

Nursing Standards of Care

A standard of care states what a person must do or perform in a health care activity. One particular example of standard of care may illustrate what you should do if you found a patient just fallen to the floor. The certified nursing assistant must call for help, adhere to the patient and look at the person to see if they are hurt or needs further treatment. If you can’t do these things, you are not following the standard of care. If you don’t do what is expected to a nursing assistant, you may be held accountable for any harm or damage done to the patient or citizen.

nursing careDifferent states have their own standards of care that must be followed by nursing assistants. Nursing assistants must report abnormal signs or symptoms they observe during their shift. In case a nursing assistant doesn’t report shortness of breath to the nurse, this nursing assistant isn’t providing care based on the standard of care in their state.

An institution or association may have their own standards of care. For instance, our national law states that patient and resident health information have to be kept discreet, that means no other person should access it unless authorized. In case a nursing assistant tells other people about the health condition of another individual, they’re not following a standard of care. All workplaces have a policy and procedure book that has standards of care. There are certain rules and regulations that must be strictly followed.

States provides the scope of practice for nurses, doctors, nursing assistants and others. They list exactly what a person can and cannot do in their job. If nursing assistant assists an individual with their medicines in a nursing home, they’re doing things outside of their scope of practice. They’re only allowed to do this in an assisted living home. Also, if a nursing assistant provides a person their medicine anywhere, they are not following their scope of practice.

The Nursing Baccalaureate Program

Nursing is one of the most in demand profession in the country today, and is expected to rise more in the coming years. This makes the profession more appealing; the higher the demand, the better chances of employment. The baccalaureate program offers courses that prepare the student to become a professional nurse.

BSNThe program is composed of classes and trainings that best prepare the students to handle medical care, treatment and support to patients. The students will learn the basic nursing care, fundamentals, theories, medicines, terms etc. At some point of the curriculum, the nursing student will be exposed in an actual situation. Wherein they will learn how it the real scenario looks like; this is done to better prepare the student before they graduate. Once the student satisfies the requirements, they will be qualified to take the examination for licensure to practice as a registered nurse.

The objective of the BSN program is to prepare graduates to work as professional nurses in a number of scenarios. Graduates are envisioned as having acquired fundamentals for ongoing professional development. Nurses are expected to be fully equipped once they graduate; there’s no more time to practice once the nurse is on duty. The patient’s recovery and safety depends on how the nurse handles the treatments and medications.

The curriculum is developed to assist the student to develop skills, stimulate intellectual curiosity and also to develop the capability to work with other health workers. The professional nurse is dedicated to the function of maintaining health insurance and ensuring the quality of health care services. The nursing school plays an important role in preparing the nurse to become well-equipped with skills and knowledge needed for efficiency.

Nursing Challenges: Stress

Nurses face different challenges daily, not just in the hospital but in their personal life as well. Nursing is actually a career with lots of challenges. Nurses are confronted with emotional and professional demands that lots of people can’t even imagine. Taking responsibility for the wellness of people’s lives is a big challenge for individuals employed in healthcare. There have been numerous enhancements to controlling most of the physical perils of the nursing care. Good examples include universal safeguards and safety practices. However, there are concerning hazards to some nurse’s mental and emotional health.

nursing challengesStress is associated with people working in the hospital. It may be the emotional and physical reaction experienced when a person is put in a situation he or she is not capable of handling. Nurses face different types of patients with different kinds of health conditions. These put so much stress on them while doing their own routine.

Signs and symptoms of stress include fatigue, disrupted sleep programs, high blood pressure and pulse, appetite loss or overeating, muscle tension, decreased libido, utilization of alcohol or drugs, irritability, eagerness, sadness, poor concentration, anxiety, worry, ambivalence, memory lapses, and lack of spontaneity. Physical results of stress may include cardiovascular disease, stroke, immune disorders, putting on weight, weight reduction, intestinal problems, diabetes, discomfort, headaches, fertility issues, allergic reactions, skin conditions, hair thinning, periodontal disease, and much more.

Stress could be handled in a number of ways in which can result in enhanced overall health and wellness for people employed in healthcare. Though the career has so many challenges, it’s still a satisfying profession which has a profound and positive impact on many people’s lives.

Importance of NLNAC to Nursing Programs

Choosing a nursing school is an integral part of your career. There are a lot of considerations to take into account, like the distance of the school from where you live and the cost of the program. One thing to consider is the accreditation of the nursing school. Nursing, like some professions, has more than one accrediting agency. The university is either accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

accreditationLet’s get to know the background of this accreditation agency. NLNAC was first created in 1893. When the new Higher Education Act made some changes in the accrediting requirements and processes, the NLNAC was not able to comply. This made way to the entrance of the CCNE in 1998. There are people who favor the NLNAC accreditation because it supports a larger mixture of institutional missions and therefore provides greater opportunities for students. Some say that it had an explicit standard addressing a program’s integrity, which the CCNE lacked. Having an accreditation basically controls the profession’s quality and standards. They are referred as gatekeepers to quality. Through accreditation, students will be guided on what program or school to choose, determining the more dominant program and the more competitive. The two accrediting agencies have their own focus and standards.  Both have their pros and cons, but helps improve the quality and effectiveness of a nursing school.

Accreditation is very imperative for the forthcoming nursing student when choosing an entry-level nursing program. In the U.S., all nursing schools must have a license and an approval from the state where it is located. There are certain requirements that must be met by the school to be accredited. Whatever accreditation the school will use, it will enhance the quality of its nursing program which will create more competitive nurses.

 

Nursing Home Quality

Many reports have published information on the quality of care administered by nursing homes. This includes data on resident and family satisfaction and care outcomes. Information regarding a nursing home must be reviewed if you know that a family member needs nursing home care. Of course, we need to be sure that the facility is secure and the services they offer are above standard. You can also visit nursing homes yourself to check it or ask friends and family for their thoughts and experiences.

nursing homeThere are agencies that monitor and check nursing homes regularly. The Office of Facilities Regulation examines nursing homes to guarantee that they follow state and federal standards. You can contact them to learn more about a facility’s inspection results and recommendations.

The Healthcare Quality Reporting Program issues reports comparing the quality of care provided by different nursing homes in the state. Use the reports to learn about the outcomes that resident at different nursing homes experience and how often they get health conditions that good care may prevent.

Learn what residents and families say about their experiences with nursing homes by viewing satisfaction survey results. You may have heard horror stories about the quality of nursing home care. However, there are good nursing homes as well as bad ones. The nursing home should be hygienic and well maintained. A bad smell may indicate the staff is too busy to help residents to the bathroom or to change clothes. Rooms and public areas should be comfortable. The dining room and kitchen should be clean, and the food should be hot and appetizing or else their patients will lose weight due to lack of appetite.

Another thing, find out how the nursing home complies with the state and federal government regulations such as patient/staff ratio and training. Notice how staff members treat residents. Your choice will be a big factor to the health of your family member. Make sure you make the right decision and to continually monitor their program.

Why Choose Nursing Education?

When you are pursuing college, you will have many options on what career you will take. You could become an engineer, a chef, an attorney, a photographer etc., depending on what field you most likely see yourself in the future. But if you want to have a career in the health care field, then you could enter a field that has become desperate for candidates: nursing.

nursing-programsNursing is an excellent choice for any students who are interested in health care. Opportunities are growing for nurses faster than qualified individuals can fill the openings, which virtually ensure your employment once you graduate. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, nursing is the fastest growing profession in the economy. There is also a projected shortage for nurses, currently and in the years to come. The estimates of the U.S. Healthcare Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) state that the country will need several hundred thousand more nurses by year 2020. This shows how important nurses will be and how large the opportunity is for them.

Nursing is a noble profession and it positively affects individuals in the community. When you are a nurse, you have the opportunity to provide care for infants, children, adults and elders to avoid or prevent diseases or to help patients recover from their illnesses. Nurses actually compose most of the healthcare work force and have diverse work settings.

Nurses can either work on hospitals, heath clinics, care facilities, home health agencies, or schools. Advancing your studies is possible in nursing. You can pursue nursing education at the graduate levels to advance your skills and earn more knowledge. Salaries are not an issue for nurses. Due to the accuracy and the efforts offered by nurses, they need proper compensation. The growing need for nurses also helps in the increase of nurses’ salary. But, for nurses who work for the love of the services they rendered, salary is just a bonus.

National League for Nursing Academy Class of 2014

The National League for Nurses has chosen twenty nurse educators as the eight class of fellows. They were all endorsed for induction into the prestigious Academy of Nursing Education. There were also two nurse educators who were named as honorary fellows, this is the category for nurses who have dedicated their life in educating nurses, those who retired from service, and those who have made a significant contributions and honor to nursing education. The induction ceremony will be held during the 2014 Education Summit on September 14 Friday evening at the NLN Banquet. This will be witnessed by the 187 nurse leaders in nursing education, health care professionals and other guests from other institutions.

The review panel of the Academy of Nursing Education has to consider a vast number of things, like background, records, affiliations, etc of the prospected nurse fellow. One of their criteria will be the applicants’ contributions and efforts towards innovative teaching/learning strategies; nursing education research; faculty training and development activities; leadership in the academe; being active in promoting the improvement of health care system or being able to collaborate with institutions and other partners towards the advancement of the nursing education.

The Academy of Nursing Education was established in 2007 by the NLN in the year 2007 with the hopes of creating excellence in nursing education by focusing on the wisdom and skills of the nursing educators. The Chief Executive Officer of the NLN Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN, explained that the fellows will support the mission and the core values of the NLN and will assist in the work required to prepare graduates from the different types of nursing programs. The fellows will be the mentors of the next generation of nurse educators and for those in the clinical practice who wants to be a part of a nursing faculty.

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Considering a Nursing Home

A nursing home is a provider of custodial care for older people who can no longer take care of themselves. They differ from other senior housing facilities since they provide a much higher level of medical care. Assistance with feeding, bathing, and dressing are part of the services they offer as well as physical and speech therapy. Some nursing homes are designed to look and feel like home, which makes the mood more at ease and won’t make the elderly feel like a patient.

It may be painful to send a family member to a nursing home, it is still the best option to ensure the safety, health maintenance and as well as practicality. Most nursing homes provide residents with nursing aides and skilled nurses who will who will be on hand 24 hours a day.

nursing_homesSo when should you consider sending your family member to a nursing home? Here are some of the things you need to ask yourself before making a decision:

Is your family member can no longer take care of himself?  If yes, then it would be risky to leave him alone at home when everybody’s at work or at school. Most of the elderly became forgetful, like wandering and forgot the way back or leave a stove that may lead to a disaster. Bringing him to a nursing home where nurses can provide him basic services will then be an option.

Are there any family members who are available to take care of him? In some situations when the need for a nursing home is just temporary, family members can rotate care or hire a health worker who can work part-time when it is needed.

Are you ready to be separated? It would be hard to send him away when you are used to living with him. But you can visit him anytime at the nursing home whenever you have a free time.

Is the nursing home you know can provide his needs? The senior’s medical needs must be provided and a 24-hour supervision is must. The center must also have programs and conducts activities that will keep the elderly active and healthy.