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Recognizing nurses with Cinnabons and parade floats

As Nurses Week is upon us (May 6-12), many organizations and companies are coming up with ways to honor nurses in any way they can. Whether it is free cookies in the break room, banners hanging from the ceilings, or a placard with quotes from physicians on why they appreciate nurses, most facilities are honoring their nurses. But it doesn’t stop there. Even some companies are honoring nurses.

Take Cinnabon, for instance.

Collaborating with The DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune Systems) Foundation, these two companies found a way to show their appreciation for nurses and the extraordinary service nurses provide on a daily basis. During Nurses Week, when a nurse shows their healthcare badge at any local Cinnabon bakery, he or she will receive a free Cinnabon Classic Roll.

“Nurses always put others before themselves, so we’re happy to thank them for their constant ‘WOW’ service,” said Gary Bales, Cinnabon president, in an official statement. [more]

Celebrating Nurses’ Caring: Meaningful Activities for Nurses’ Week

I would like to introduce Wendy Leebov, Ed.D., who is a new monthly contributor to the blog! She will be posting a variety of articles to help educate and empower staff. She comes to the Leaders’ Lounge with more than 30 years experience in communication, training design, and delivery. Welcome, Wendy, to the Leaders’ Lounge!

Every year in May, as Nurses Week approaches, I stop and reflect about the gifts of caring that nurses deliver to patients and families day in and day out. These gifts are remarkable.

While nurses’ acts of caring deserve recognition year-round, there are so many ways to use Nurses Week to express our appreciation and support. Here are favorites from my experience as chief human resources officer at the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network where I worked before leaving to become a full-time consultant (fanatic) on the patient experience. [more]

Death before life, a new way of teaching nurses

Nurse educators are taking a new approach to help nurses understand and feel competent in end-of-life care. How you ask? By simulating death that is.

Kim Leighton, PhD, RN, CNE, and Jenna Dubas, MSN, RN, are studying this approach as a way to successfully teach nurses about end-of-life care. The study, published in Clinical Simulation in Nursing, looked at how nursing students and practicing nurses could increase self-efficacy and competency levels for end-of-life care. (Click here to read the abstract. Full text requires a log-in.)

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Study looks at the 2009 economy in nursing

A recent benchmarking report posted on the Strategies for Nurse Managers Web site surveyed 179 nursing professionals in the healthcare industry regarding the effects of the 2009 economy. The results illustrate how the tumultuous 2009 economy had varying effects on facilities of all sizes in acute care, critical access, long-term care, ambulatory, home health, and rehabilitation settings.

Although the data reported do not dissect the particulars at any one institution or among any one age group of nurses, they provide a comprehensive look at the issue among a variety of facilities. The data also provides a glimpse into how each facility dealt with the economic downturn and where they stand in 2010.

The results show most facilities were affected in some way by the economy, as 60% reported cutting back on travel expenses along with renegotiating supplies in 2009. Facilities also reported individual ways specific units helped their facilities cut back on spending—for example, 78% of the respondents said overtime was reduced. [more]

Book clubs help nurses connect with patients

When the phrase “book club” comes up, one thinks of a group of people, meeting at a coffee shop or a member’s home, discussing the most recent best seller showcased on Oprah Winfrey’s daytime television show. However, the definition of a book club will now have to include nurses reading medical-themed literature to better connect with their patients.

The first hospital to institute the idea of a nurse/physician-based book club was in 1997, and over the past decade, similar ideas and book clubs have become more popular across 25 states, including California, Massachusetts, and New York. [more]

Nurses speak out against “naughty nurse” image

For years, nurses have been fighting an uphill battle to change the way the public views them as professionals. With television shows like Nurse Jackie, Grey’s Anatomy, and Mercy each portraying nurses in a different light, it’s no wonder the public’s view of nurses is skewed. Even the phrase “naughty nurse” has the public believing female nurses should be wearing white stockings, a short skirt, and heels while attending to their patients.

In an effort to change this belief, nurses around the world are speaking out against Mariah Carey’s recent music video for her song “Up Out My Face.” Nurses want Carey to reconsider the video, in which Carey and fellow pop star and rapper Nicki Minaj are wearing white stockings and high heels. [more]

Snow storm paralyzes D.C. area, leaves 11 nurses jobless

In the aftermath of what President Obama dubbed “Snowmaggedon,” the Washington, DC, area slowly dug its way out of record-breaking snowfall. And 11 nurses and five other staffers from the area’s Washington Hospital Center were fired for failing to show up during the back-to-back storms.

When nurses graduate, they take a pledge to “do all in (my) power to raise the standards and the prestige of practical nursing”, but in light of the firing, many are questioning at what point one should draw the line and say nurses should consider their own health and safety first?

Shirley Ricks, one of the nurses who was recently terminated, tells The Washington Post she missed her shift on February 8 because the street she lives on remained unplowed, and her and her husband could only get their driveway cleared.

“I see it so unfair and uncaring,” the paper quotes Ricks as saying. “You call in one day in the biggest snowstorm in history and you’re out. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.” [more]

Nurses now aim to improve protection for nurse whistleblowers

Earlier this month, Anne Mitchell, a former administrative nurse at Winkler County Memorial Hospital in Kermit, TX, was accused and eventually acquitted  for the “misuse of official information.” If she had been convicted, she would have faced 10 years in prison for reporting Rolando G. Arafiles Jr., MD, to hospital officials.

Mitchell’s acquittal has nurse associations breathing a sigh of relief, but also has associations looking to the future on how to prevent similar cases from happening.

In addition to Texas, only 19 other states have whistleblower protection laws that pertain specifically to healthcare workers in that state. [more]

New findings say progress means more than recognition

A new report in the Harvard Business Review contradicts the idea that employees value recognition of their efforts higher than anything else. Amabile and Kramer write that the top motivator of performance is progress.

The study involved gathering more than 12,000 e-mail diary entries from the participants, which revealed that making progress in one’s work, no matter how little or big, is associated with positive emotions and high motivation. The survey notes when participants experienced progress in their jobs, 76% of people reported it as their best day. [more]

Texas nurse faces jail time after reporting physician

It is a nurse’s duty to report any physician practicing bad medicine, but to Anne Mitchell, a former administrative nurse at Winkler County Memorial Hospital in Kermit, TX, it has turned into a career and life-altering journey.

Mitchell faces trial on February 15 at a state courthouse for the “misuse of official information.” She has been charged with a third-degree felony and faces 10 years in prison after she anonymously reported a physician to the Texas Medical Board in April 2009. As an administrative nurse, Mitchell felt obligated to report Rolando G. Arafiles Jr., MD, to hospital officials to protect the safety of her patients

Initially, Mitchell and a fellow colleague raised red flags about Arafiles within their own hospital, but had to direct their concern to a state medical board for fear of their concerns going unnoticed. Mitchell and her colleague wrote a letter documenting six different areas “of concern,” and directed the medical board to specific patient files using only the file numbers, while protecting the patients’ names. [more]