5 Ways to Become a Research Literate Nurse

I have to admit. As a new nurse, I never really liked research or had any aspirations of conducting my own. When required to read research articles, my eyesight would get blurry as I read the methods section and I would catch myself mentally writing my grocery shopping list instead of reading! But then I went to graduate school and my understanding of nursing research changed. I realized that as a professional nurse, I had an ethical responsibility to my patients to become RESEARCH LITERATE. Evidence-based research is the foundation of many procedures performed in nursing. Hospital and department...

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CREATING A POSITIVE WORK ENVIRONMENT ONE ACT OF KINDNESS AT A TIME

One of the most common complaints I hear from nurses is that the atmosphere and culture on their unit is so negative. Nobody smiles, nobody says hello, nobody says good things – everything is so negative. The boss doesn’t recognize the things we do right – he/she only reminds us of the things we do wrong. Moral is low and staff are miserable. While some people might think: “Just get over it.” or “Do your job and stop whining.” There is a problem with that mindset. A new movement called “Positive Organizational Psychology” is validating that a positive work...

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Gratitude Stops: Communities Are Asked, “What Are You Grateful For?”

  Gratitude is more than feeling thankful; it’s expressing it! Those who feel and express gratitude for what they have and the relationships they experience have proven benefits for themselves. Gratefulness should be experienced by every single person, starting in childhood. Parents know raising children in this “latest and greatest” society is not an easy task. Hofstra University did a study on the benefits of gratefulness for children. They found that children experience, “better relationships with friends and family, higher GPAs, less materialism, less envy and less depression, along with a desire to connect to their community and to want to...

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Developing Clinical & Professional Competence in the Nursing Arena

This is what I know about patients: They don’t care if you’ve been a nurse for 1 month, 1 year, 10 years, or 100. They don’t care if you have a diploma, an associate’s degree, a bachelor, masters, or even a doctoral degree. Patients expect all of their nurses to be competent! You and I both know that you cannot maintain your competence just by graduating from nursing school or during your “Monday thru Friday” or three 12-hour shifts job. Nurses have an ethical responsibility to patients to maintain their competence independent of whether or not they get paid to learn or if it’s a requirement for their job/license. And it’s not just clinical competence. Professional competence is equally important. Studies show that when nurses misbehave, aren’t skilled communicators, and don’t engage in collegial relationships, patients suffer just as much as if they were given the wrong medications! Therefore, as nurses, we MUST maintain our clinical AND professional competence so that we can provide the high quality, safe and effective care that our patients deserve – that your mother, father, spouse, or child deserves. How do We Maintain Competence? By committing to continuous learning INDEPENDENT of what your boss or your organization requires.  This is why I started hosting nursing symposiums a few years ago; to provide nurses with the clinical AND professional skills needed to succeed in today’s...

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5 Conflict Resolution Strategies for Savvy Nurse Managers

According to Forbes Magazine,  managers spend between 25 and 40 percent of their time dealing with conflict. Helping your team to resolve conflict is not as difficult as one may think. Effective conflict resolution has been shown to relate to the safety of the patient. Therefore, not dealing with conflict in your unit may lead to unsafe patient care. 5 Styles of Conflict Resolution An appreciation of conflict resolution styles is key to understanding the communication process. While the names may differ slightly, there are five major responsive approaches to managing conflicts. There is no right or wrong conflict...

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Let’s Get Clear: What Bullying Is Not

“My manager is a bully!” Gina screamed when she exploded into the Human Resource office. “She wrote me up for calling off and I’m sick of her bullying me! YOU need to do something about her!” Is Gina’s boss a bully? Here’s the deal. Not everything is bullying. When we label EVERYTHING as bullying, we really do a disservice to true bullying. So, let’s get very clear about what bullying is and what it is NOT! BULLYING IS NOT: The manager holding staff accountable for performance, behavior, etc. Many nurses complain that their boss is bullying them because they...

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Cyber Bullying: Harassment in the Information Age

Bullying doesn’t just exist on playgrounds.  Thirty-five percent of adults in the US report being bullied at work – approximately 54 million workers.[1]  This is a scary number when you consider that cyber bullying is a relatively new phenomenon in the workplace. If you’ve ever received a hostile e-mail from someone at work or had nasty things written about you, your work or business online, you know what it’s like to be cyberbullied. A perpetrator might whip off an aggressive, threatening, demanding or humiliating e-mail to someone they supervise. #Cyberbullying is a passive form of #bullying. It’s serious, insidious...

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Forensic Notes to the Rescue: Securely Document Workplace Bullying Incidents

You love your job and the patients you help, but why do you feel anxious about going to work? As Dr. Renee Thompson points out, “Of the new nurses who quit their first job, 60% cite workplace bullying behavior as the primary reason.” Although you may have difficult and trying moments as you care for your patients throughout the day; it is your interactions with co-workers that leaves you feeling emotionally and physically drained. Most people decide to work in the healthcare industry due to a strong desire to help others. What most don’t expect is the daily bullying...

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Bully Bosses: A New Nurses’ Nightmare

Having a Bullying Boss Can Be a Nightmare for ANYONE! Last week, you saw it’s National Bullying Prevention Month. With that in mind, I want to focus on something I hear about all the time from new nurses. It’s a type of bullying that’s treated as a rite of passage. Something you just have to deal with as a novice nurse. Something most new nurses have to deal with. But there’s nothing normal about it, and it’s certainly not a type of bullying that most novice nurses experience. So what is it? It’s bullying by your boss. Now some...

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National Bullying Prevention Month: The End of Bullying Begins with Me!

Join me in Celebrating  a Decade of Partnership Against Bullying! National Bullying Prevention Month is a nationwide campaign founded in 2006 by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. This initiative used to be just the 1st week in October but due to an increase in prevalence, has expanded to include the entire month. Over the past 10 years, this campaign grew from a small week-long event to a worldwide effort with multiple activities throughout October. National Bullying Prevention Month constitutes a national effort to unite communities together to educate, raise awareness, and join forces to prevent and address bullying. Bullying:  It doesn’t always...

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