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Best and worst nursing portrayals of 2010

The Truth About Nursing, a non-profit organization in Baltimore that seeks to increase public understanding of the role nurses play in today’s healthcare, has announced its eighth annual list of the top 10 best and worst media portrayals of nursing in 2010.

At the top of the “best” list is Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, which the organization applauded for the lead character’s virtuosity in using creative and effective ways to improve patient outcomes, despite her own ethical and personal issues.


Nurses refuse raises in the name of patient care

Newspapers and websites have been inundated this year with protests, strikes, and complaints of nursing staff shortages affecting patient care. It’s the same old story that’s being told everywhere, and after a recent poll that asked nurses whether they’d turn down a pay increase to hire more nurses on the floor received an 83% response of “Yes, we need more help,” it’s a story that seems to be evolving into one for the ages. Type “nurses strike” into your browser and enjoy the show of headlines from 2010 that pop up before your very eyes:

  • Early in 2010, 18 nurses at Washington Hospital Center, the largest non-profit hospital in the DC area, were fired for not reporting to work during a snow storm, in what was dubbed the Blizzardgate firings. The move was protested by National Nurses United who said such a move was unprecedented in the hospital’s history and brought decreased morale to the hospital’s staff members. Ramifications of the issue were still being felt as of early November, when National Nurses United sent a 19-page report to the DC Health Department informing it that Washington Hospital Center is understaffed and compromising patient safety.  The report contained more than 50 different allegations of incidents related to patient care in hopes that the Health Department will investigate.
  • [more]

You can’t teach with apathy: Why it’s important to support your preceptors

by Julie Harris, MSN, RN

I occasionally peruse online nursing forums to see what the hot topics are. Last night, I was on a highly popular forum and came across an interesting discussion. A new graduate was being oriented and her preceptors were not interested in training her. She perceived their behavior as intimidating and somewhat hostile and she didn’t know what her next step should be. Should she quit and look for a new job? Should she stick it out?

Responses to her post ranged from “This is part of orientation. Try not to take it personal,” to “Those nurses shouldn’t be preceptors. If this facility supports that kind of behavior, you need to leave and find a new job.”

I find myself agreeing more with the last response. Nobody should be forced to precept. Some nurses are wonderful caregivers with excellent clinical skills; however they do not possess the desire to train orientees. Other nurses have a strong craving to teach and pass on their knowledge to orientees. Both options are perfectly acceptable.


Joint Commission announces revisions to medication reconciliation goal

As reported on our AHAP blog, medication reconciliation has received a facelift: revisions to the medication reconciliation National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) have been approved for implementation as of July 1, 2011. The Goal, NPSG.03.06.01 (formerly NPSG.08.01.01) has been altered based on feedback The Joint Commission has gathered that indicated the Goal was too prescriptive and detailed to be implemented effectively.

The changes effect the ambulatory, behavioral health care, critical access hospital, home care, hospital, long term care, and office-based surgery accreditation programs.

Intent to update or improve medication reconcilation requirements began in at the beginning of 2009, when The Joint Commission announced it would begin an analysis and review of the NPSG, and would not include medication reconciliation findings into survey results.

Medication reconciliation remains under the National Patient Safety Goal chapter of the Comprehensive Accreditation Manual, but has been moved under a new number (NPSG.03.06.01).

For more information, visit The Joint Commission’s Web site.

20 people who make healthcare better in 2010

Each year, HealthLeaders Media chooses 20 people who make a difference for good in healthcare, and tells their stories of how they changed healthcare for the better. Some are revered industry fixtures, while others would not win many popularity contests and even be considered outsiders. However, all of them are playing a crucial role in making the healthcare industry better.

This year’s top 20 features Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN, author of Speak Your Truth: Strategies for Effective Nurse-Physician Communication and Ending Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility: Why Nurses Eat Their Young and Each Other. Bartholomew helped expose the bad behavior, bullying, and backstabbing that can often run rampant in healthcare. Her hard work and strong voice shone a light on the lack of care and communication that existed among some professional caregivers, to the point that they made lives miserable and disrupted patient care. Bartholomew has made it her life’s work to end bullying and bad behavior by physicians and nurses by focusing attention on its critical impact on patient safety.

Bartholomew tells HealthLeaders Media, “Our patients will never be safe until all caregivers feel safe enough to communicate—to challenge, question, advocate, and ask for clarification.”

To view the entire HealthLeaders 20 list, click here.

Source: HealthLeaders Media

Manager tip of the month: Be a good boss

Bob Sutton, a professor at Stanford University, is the author of the book Good Boss, Bad Boss. He reminds us of the balancing act related to being effective while also being respected in a leadership role. During his podcast “How to be the best boss”, he reveals the following considerations:

  • You must combine competence with compassion.
  • Many leaders are out of tune with what it is like to work for them! Get feedback from your staff.
  • Long term loyalty is your goal.
  • Your enemies “lie in wait,” waiting to crush you – be alert.
  • The skill of being a best boss is learned over time – it is a “craft.”
  • Listen to staff and encourage them to be engaged in dealing with conflict.
  • Be respectful of differing opinions.
  • Understand the work that the people you lead actually do.

Listen to this free podcast at:

Visit Shelley's website, Health Resources Unlimited.


Effective precepting: Giving feedback to orientees

Whenever I conduct a preceptor workshop, I always ask the question, “What is the most difficult aspect of precepting?” I usually get a range of answers, but at least one nurse will always say, “Providing feedback to orientees.” Providing feedback can be difficult, especially if it is your first time doing it.

In a preceptor-orientee relationship, the best type of feedback to provide is constructive feedback. Constructive feedback focuses on improving orientees’ performance by reinforcing desired behavior, and correcting poor performance. It allows orientees to maintain their motivation for learning, and enables them to experience at least partial success.


Rebecca Schorn: Image of nursing in clinical practice

HCPro’s Image of Nursing in Clinical Practice award recognizes nurses who embody a positive image of nursing through their clinical excellence. The award goes to a nurse who has made significant contributions to improve patient outcomes, patient safety/quality initiatives, staff satisfaction, practice changes, research or evidence-based practice projects, interdisciplinary collaboration, or organizational goals.

This year, the judges gave the honor to Rebecca Schorn, RN, BSN, CCRN, nurse clinician level 4 in the PICU at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE. Schorn serves in a direct care role, providing hands-on, evidence-based nursing care, while simultaneously attending to the emotional and spiritual needs of her patients and their families.


Karen Hill: Image of nursing in leadership

Each year, HCPro’s Nursing Image Awards recognize nurses who have helped elevate the image of nursing. One of the categories, the Image of Nursing in Leadership award, recognizes nurse leaders who embody a positive image of nursing through leadership excellence. The award honors leaders who serve as inspiring mentors and outstanding role models to nurses as they strive to be professional in all they do, whether by overcoming challenges, spearheading change, or fostering teamwork that results in the achievement of operational goals and objectives.

This year, the judges bestowed their accolades on Karen S. Hill, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, a visionary vice president and chief executive officer at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington, KY. Hill began her career at Central Baptist Hospital as a teenage candy striper. Twenty-six years later, Hill is a source of empowerment and support for other nursing professionals.


Who’s making the most money?

According to the recently released 2008 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses, a nurse’s salary is most highly correlated with his or her level of education. Typically, nurses in an advanced practice specialty or higher-level management position are the ones with the highest earnings.

Survey results show the top 10 nursing salaries as follows:

1.      Nurse anesthetist: $154,221
2.      Management/administration: senior management: $96,735
3.      Nurse practitioner: $85,025
4.      Nurse midwife: $82,111
5.      Management/administration: $78,356
6.      Consultant: $76,473
7.      Informatics nurse: $75,242
8.      Management/administration: middle management: $74,799
9.      Clinical nurse specialist: $72,856
10.   Management/administration: first-line management: $72,006