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Men earn more than women in nursing

Men typically earn around $5,000 more than women in the nursing profession, according to a recent study published in JAMA.

Even adjusting for factors such as experience, education, shift, or clinical specialty, the salary gap between men and women is around $5,000.

The Huffington Post quotes lead study author Ulrike Muench from the University of California, San Francisco: “Nursing is the largest female dominated profession so you would think that if any profession could have women achieve equal pay, it would be nursing.”

What do you think of this report? Share your comments below.

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The Image of Nursing: Speak Up!

In a comment on one of my posts last week, Stefani suggested (strongly) that to improve the image of nursing, we need to speak up. I’m reposting her comment below to draw your attention to it.

I’d like to hear your thoughts about why nurses might not speak up when, by staying silent (out of fear?), their personal self-esteem takes a hit and—more importantly—care standards aren’t maintained. Have you developed techniques that help you overcome fear of confrontation so that you can truly speak up?

Speak Up image

Here are a few resources related to speaking up:

  1.  A terrific article from Susan Gaddis, PhD: Positive, Assertive “Pushback” for Nurses
  2.  A table you will be able to download from our reading room in a few days: Say This, Not That: An Empowerment Glossary for Nurses. Look for it on or before 3/19/15.
  3.  Books written by Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN, including Speak Your Truth and Team-Building Handbook: Improving Nurse-Physician Communications.

Improving the image of nursing

Every nurse can play a part in elevating the public perception of the nursing profession. The table below shows you how email, evidence-based research, reasonable work schedules, a diverse workforce, preceptorships, interprofessional communication skills, and name tags can promote the professional image of nursing. This table was adapted from the HCPro book, The Image of Nursing, by Shelley Cohen, RN, MS, CEN and Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN.

 imageof nursing table 2

Evidence-Based Practice: A Soundtrack for Nurses

At HCPro, we offer extensive resources designed to help the nursing community build evidence-based practice (EBP) skills and refine strategies for incorporating EBP in daily practice.

EBP Video Clip

From Viva La Evidence, James McCormack

You can find free resources here and purchase books
and videos, including Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing: A Guide to Successful Implementation, here.

What we lack, however, is a musical EBP score to accompany those resources… For that, you’ll have to visit YouTube and view James McCormack’s Viva La Evidence, a parody of Coldplay’s Viva La Vida that sings the praises of evidence-based practice. Enjoy!

Evidence-based practice vs. nursing research

Judging by the number of people who search our site for an explanation of the relationship of evidence-based practice to nursing research, I thought that you might appreciate the following visual “cheat sheet” of these two important concepts. Both evidence-based practice and nursing research are vital parts of the journey to designation as an ANCC Magnet Recognition Program® organization.

Go to our Reading Room to find this table and the article that inspired it, Evidence-Based Practice and Nursing Research: Avoiding Confusion.

3-4-2015 4-06-40 PM

 

*MRP requires its organizations to show that nurses routinely employ evidence-based research to inform and improve their practice, and that nurses within the organization are conduct original research and share those findings with the nursing community.

Injured Nurses, Part 2: OSHA has your back

Attention nurse leaders in organizations
without designated “lift teams” or assistive
devices for moving patients

Your business case for investing in a cutting-edge, osha2safe patient handling program has been made clearly and indisputably by OSHA, with the help of results from numerous case studies, research reports, and collected data. The benefits are exceptional, and the financial ROI is achievable in one to four years.

Take a quick trip to the OSHA website for wealth of tools, including a form you can use to evaluate your organization, a checklist for designing your safe patient handling program, illustrative case studies, and more.

One more note: NPR plans a fourth installment on the Injured Nurses series, so keep checking the NPR website. Here’s what they’re promising:

Part 4 will explore how the Department of Veterans Affairs implemented
a nationwide $200 million program to prevent nursing employees
from getting injured when they move and lift patients.

And, finally, I’ve uploaded the PDF of Table 18 (promised in my previous post), which you can download from our Tools Library.

Injured Nurses: Who has your back?

In 2013 your nursing staff faced a
15% greater chance of spine injury
than firefighters.

Check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics Table 18 for the spine injury picfinal tabulated 2013 rates of musculoskeletal injuries for FT workers, compared by occupation. Firefighters—who lug heavy ladders, people, and equipment daily—had a rate of 232 per 10,000. For nursing staff, the total was 264 per 10,000 full-time RNs and nursing assistants. A spine injury can end a career in the blink of an eye. But how can these injuries be prevented?

Your mother’s admonition to “bend your knees” while lifting something heavy may not be enough to protect the backs of your nursing staff. In an ongoing article series entitled Injured Nurses, NPR takes a look at what can happen when nurses depend solely on proper body mechanics (essentially, keeping your back straight while following mom’s advice) for moving patients. As of this writing, you’ll find three installments on NPR.org that explore the problem, possible solutions, and how some hospitals may or may not “have your back.”

On a positive note, the Baptist Health System reports that the Transfer and Lift with Care program it introduced in 2007 has reduced patient-handling injuries in their organization by 81%. One important factor in their success? Investing in assistive equipment and devices in each of its five hospitals.

If I can get specific statistics and practices from Baptist, I’ll post them here for you to share with your peers and hospital administrators. I’ll also post a link to a PDF of Table 18, which should be a little easier on the eyes than the official version.

In the meanwhile, if you’d like to share ways your organization has your back, feel free to comment below.


 

UPDATE> 4/4/2015. Here’s a highlighted section of Table 18, with the RN/nursing assistant and firefighter statistics highlighted.table excerpt

Ben Franklin’s advice to nurse preceptors

Tell me and I forget.
Teach me and I remember.
Involve me and I learn.

How do you provide preceptees with constructive advice Ben Franklin2
or feedback? Do you tell them what they did wrong and spell out how to correct it? Or do you encourage them to use critical-thinking skills to truly ingrain a personal understanding of ways to improve their practice?

Look at these two approaches to feedback, and see which you think would be more effective. (More examples excerpted from The Preceptor Program Builder can be found in the Reading Room.)

The preceptor observes the preceptee greeting the manager correctly, giving her name, and stating that she is a preceptee. However, she was not wearing her name tag.

Evaluative feedback
Your name tag is missing, and the manager
won’t like it!

Descriptive feedback
You greeted the manager according to the facility protocol.
Can you think of anything that would help your manager remember you?

The descriptive feedback encourages the preceptee to use critical thinking, which illustrates Ben Franklin’s timeless recommendation to “involve me, and I learn.”

If you would like to share “aha” moments and techniques for constructive feedback, please feel free to comment below…

Budget Item: Skis and Snowshoes for Nurses?

RN SkierThe New England winter of 2015 has made headlines across the country. According to The Boston Globe, some hospitals had to rely on the Boston police to deliver essential staff members to work, and taxis to take patients home.

The Globe also reported that “some managers at Mass. General went door-to-door on their drive into the city, picking up as many colleagues as their cars could handle, and other staffers slept overnight on mattresses in the hospital’s conference rooms because they worried they wouldn’t make it back in Tuesday.” And Boston Medical Center’s spokeswoman Ellen Slingsby reported “numerous staff members who have walked considerable distances or even skied into work in order to be here for our patients.”

Which brings me to the title of this blog. Somewhere in next year’s operational budget, nurse managers in the snowier states should consider adding funding for skis and snowshoes for staff.

The ROI is clear: Better staffing during blizzards and a healthier, more athletic staff.