Evidence-based Practice Fuels Change in Nursing Landscape

It’s that time of year again when nurses and health care organizations take time out to celebrate the profession of nursing. This year’s celebration of National Nurses Week is a special one for me as I mark my 25th year as a nurse. While I am amazed at how far nursing has come over my career, I also see there is much more that we need to accomplish. One area that I have given a lot of thought to recently is how we can empower bedside nurses as clinical leaders and change agents to... More

Self-Care in Nursing: The Sky's The Limit When You Know How to "FLY"

If you have ever traveled in an airplane, then you’ve heard the safety instructions provided by the flight crew before takeoff, reminding you to put on your own oxygen mask first before assisting other passengers. This is an essential part of the survival chain because if you run out of oxygen, you won’t be able to assist anyone else.  More

Hours and Nurses and Patient Days, Oh My!

The increased pressure on nursing leadership to manage budget and productivity continues to add to the sometimes overwhelming mountain of responsibilities of this group of former caregivers. I think it’s often forgotten that nurse leaders are just that: nurses. Nowhere in our education on pharmacology, pathophysiology and anatomy did they sneak in studying the ins and outs of productivity. And yet it has arguably become one of the most critical aspects of a nursing leadership position... More

Four Things Bedside RNs Must Know about the Future of the Nursing Workforce

Socrates once said, “I know that I know nothing,” which may ring true when trying to predict the long-term future of an industry. But in the case of the nursing industry, here’s what we do know … and here’s why you need to know it. 1. The BSN requirement isn’t going away. More

Patients and Families: The Most Underutilized Patient Safety Resource

I can’t remember who said it first, and it’s been said many times now, patients and families are the most underutilized patient safety resource in health care today. Health care organizations are always looking for tools and resources to provide patient-centered, safe, high-quality care and the best resources are abundantly available right in front of us. Patients and families are the only constant across the care continuum. They see and experience the good, the bad and the ugly in... More

How the Wrong Data Can Put Patient Safety Work Product Protections at Risk

A key component of the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 was the collection of data related to patient safety events for accountability and learning. Fast forward to 2017 and what we often see are organizations placing all quality and safety data into their Patient Safety Evaluation System (PSES), reporting it to the Patient Safety Organization (PSO) and calling it Patient Safety Work Product (PSWP). If only it were that simple. More

Why Monitor a Problem If You Don't Fix It?

When I think about how most hospitals audit their work processes, a favorite commercial comes to mind: the LifeLock™‘Bank’ TV spot. It begins with several armed robbers entering a bank filled with people. The robbers tell bank customers and employees to drop to the floor, but the security “monitor” remains standing. One of the customers looks up and whispers, “Hey, do something.” He responds, “Oh, I’m not a security guard, I’m a... More

From the Ground Up: Meeting the Standards Sets the Stage for Safe Care

Saturdays around my house are spent taking care of routine tasks like cleaning, grocery shopping and laundry. The television is usually on in the background with whatever is on HGTV. My favorite is Fixer Upper. While it inspires projects in my own home, it also reminds me of that 1980s movie, Money Pit. Just moments after the dream house that needed a little fixing up was purchased, it began completely falling apart. While “good bones” are important, inevitably it’s the basic... More

5 Ways to Tame the Contract Labor Beast

In December 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a study stating that by 2025 the supply of registered nurses would outpace the demand by approximately 240,000 full-time equivalents. Regardless of your opinion of this analysis, I think we can all agree that as we kick off 2017, we are in the midst of a nurse staffing shortage. More