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Rock Your Health: With Carol Ebert, RN, wellness specialist

Hello! I will be writing a weekly blog for YOU, the professional nurse leader in the second half of your career, anticipating what’s next and wanting to embrace a wellness lifestyle. I’m the perfect partner for you as you embark on this journey since I am already in the Boomer Retirement Zone myself. So let’s get acquainted!

I am not a nurse in the traditional sense—a patient care expert—though I did do that some. I am a nurse in the global sense, caring about the total health of the human condition: mind, body and spirit. Luckily, my nursing path led me to wellness, my true passion, where I spent the majority of my career. Even within my passion, however, I still found a need to reinvent myself regularly.

Why this desire to change? Born with a creative brain, I am often plagued with frustration when working in a structured and predictable environment. I can do it if I have to, but it is not my true nature, which I discovered once I reached adulthood when I could fully express who I was.

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Introducing a new weekly column!

Please join me in welcoming Carol Ebert, RN, to the StrategiesForNurseManagers.com and The Leaders’ Lounge blog community!

Carol is a health and wellness expert and devotes much of her time to helping nurses focus on their own health and wellness, as well as preparing for retirement and the later part of their careers.

Carol will pen the “Rock your health” column each Wednesday on The Leaders’ Lounge. Be sure to stop by and check out her latest helpful tips and advice!

The unofficial whistleblower flowchart for nurses

Last week, a whistleblower lawsuit was filed by Kim Cheely, a nurse manager at Georgia Regents Medical Center prior to being fired last October for “insubordination.” In this case, “insubordination” appears to mean that the trusted, 37-year veteran of GRMC dogged management to address quality-of-care concerns related to repeated staff reductions in the oncology and bone marrow transplant units.

The story in The Augusta Chronicle documents a situation where anything that could go wrong, did. Cheely took every logical step she could to affect change, and thought she would be protected from retaliation by invoking the hospital’s conflict resolution policy. This did not turn out well for Cheely, unfortunately. In fact, to be protected as a whistleblower, you must report to the state or national agency responsible for regulation of your employer.

For anyone considering blowing whistleblower flowchartthe whistle, take a look at the flowchart I created from advice offered on the ANA website. The chart, which illustrates just the bare bones, will be available for download later in the week, in case you want to share it with your colleagues.

On a related note: I’m currently reading draft chapters for an upcoming HCPro book, The Nurse Manager’s Legal Companion, by a wonderful nurse and attorney, Dinah Brothers. We’ll also have a handbook for staff nurses. Neither is available for preorder quite yet, but I’ll be sure to let you know when they are.

Change agent: Download your action plan for new staff

preceptor package

Yesterday I promised you a free tool adapted from
The Preceptor Program Builder, by Diana Swihart
and Solimar Figueroa.


If you’d like to download their Action Plan for New Nurses, you’ll find it here

Change is good: An action plan for new nurses

As a nurse manager, one of your challenges is to lead the change process for your staff. And, while new procedures and practices need to be assimilated by your experienced staff members as they arise, your new nurses experience the greatest number of changes every day as they transition to service from preceptorship.

Unfortunately, by and large, people are programmed not to change. New staff members may think that the skills learned in school or in a previous position will map directly to your workplace, and they will tend to fall back on the way things were done before. You, on the other hand, need them to adapt quickly, putting behaviors learned in orientation to work. In other words, you need them to change.

Try using the action plan below to help identify specific areas to address. It will give you the framework you both need to keep improving and changing.

Note: Check back tomorrow for a link to download this tool from our library of nurse manager resources. It is adapted from The Preceptor Program Builder, by Diana Swihart and Solimar Figueroa.

ActionPlan

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.

Nurse Leader Insider ~ Free E-Zine

NurseLeaderEnvelope The HCPro Nurse Leader Insider newsletter contains news
and articles, plus links to free tools for nurse managers.
Sign up here to have this insightful newsletter delivered
(for free!) to your email inbox every Friday.

 

Nurses: Say This, Not That

Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself.
—Gloria Steinem

In a recent post, I promised a free tool adapted from The Image of Nursing.
If you’d like to download SAY THIS, NOT THAT: An Empowerment Glossary for
Nurses,
you’ll find it here. And while you’re waiting for the download, try this: 

If you hear yourself saying:

No one notices my contributions  

Say this instead:

I’d like to share with you how I’ve handled this situation

 

March 19 is Certified Nurses Day!

Congratulations to all Certified Nurses out there! Obtaining a national board certification in your specialty takes hard work and a commitment to professional excellence. It demonstrates that you have advanced skills and knowledge that enables you to provide a deeper level of patient care and ensure improved patient outcomes.

In your time in nursing, have you seen an increase in the number of nurses who obtain their professional certification? If you have a certification, how has it changed your practice?

Leave a comment below and let us know.

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.