Category: Professional Development

What is “email etiquette” and why is it important to nurses?

As a professional nurse, you are expected to master the skill of effective communication, including email interactions.  However, email has its own language and etiquette. We’ve all been on the receiving end of a bad email – one that’s confusing; one where somebody rambles on and on; or one that’s abrasive, intentionally or not. The perception is that the sender is not very professional.  Likewise, some of us have sent emails that we wish we could take back. Once an email is out there, it can take on a life of its own. Therefore, knowing how to master email language and etiquette can pave the way for you to always be perceived as a consummate professional.   According to, “There are many etiquette guides and many different etiquette rules.” Some rules will differ according to the purpose of your email. Below are my top 10 favorite tips from their 32 etiquette rules: 10 most important email etiquette tips: 1. Be concise and to the point2. Use proper spelling, grammar & punctuation3. Do not write in CAPITALS4. Read the email before you send it5. Do not overuse “Reply to All”6. Do not use email to discuss confidential information7. Avoid using URGENT and IMPORTANT8. Avoid long sentences9. Don’t send or forward emails containing libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist or obscene remarks10. Use cc: field sparingly And then my own personal favorite...

Read More

Magic Mirror Neurons! Using brain science to create a positive work environment

We sometimes spend more of our waking hours at work than we do at home. Spending that time working in a negative environment means that most of your waking hours are spent under an umbrella of negativity. Ugh! Nobody likes to work in a negative environment, right? But generally people feel powerless to change it.  The mistake most people make is that they expect someone else to fix it – their boss, administration, or even their co-workers. If you really want to create a positive work environment, then tap into what nature has already given us – our brains!...

Read More

Mastering the Art and Science of Giving and Receiving Feedback

Have you ever worked really hard on a project or presentation and either had to ask a colleague for feedback or had to ask an audience to evaluate you? Those moments when you know others are evaluating your work can be both exciting and torturous!  Nobody can deliver a perfect presentation, write a perfect paper, or design a perfect project on their first try. The best way we can improve is to get good, constructive feedback from others. Without feedback, we don’t grow. And then the moment comes. You get to hear or see the feedback. Dun da da dahhhhhhh. All of that anticipation, and then, nothing! Or at least, nothing you can use. Sometimes, you get the “it’s great” or “looks good to me,” general comments, but my first thought is “what specifically is great about it?” or “did they really read or pay attention?” Most evaluations provide opportunities for the audience to include comments. But many times you get the same circled number on the Likert scale with no comments or worse yet, comments that are not constructive – good or bad. Recently, I designed an online learning module to help teach senior nursing students how to “bully-proof” themselves before starting their first job. This project is part of my doctoral work and I was eager to try it out on a group of students. Sixty students...

Read More

Want to Influence Others? Learn How to be Enchanting

I read a summary of the book, Enchantment, by Guy Kawasaki. According to Guy, the key to influencing others while maintaining the highest ethical standards is to become “enchanting”.  In my entire 21 years as a nurse, I never really thought about being “enchanting”. Competent, compassionate, skilled – yes.  But enchanting?  Not really. It’s sometimes hard to view yourself as enchanting, especially after those marathon shifts when you look like death on a cracker or display a variety of colorful body fluids on your uniform. However, when you look at the work nurses do and the potential we have to influence positive behaviors in our patients and each other, Guy’s suggestion to become enchanting makes perfect sense! Using Guy’s three pillars of enchantment, let’s take a look at how nurses can become enchanting. Likability – This is all about making a good first impression. Patients want to “like” their nurses. They want their nurses to be nice. So, how do we enchant our patients by becoming more likeable? ·      Big smile – simple yet sends an incredibly powerful message ·      Introduce yourself with a firm handshake while maintaining eye contact ·      Dress professionally ·      Spend time – “presence makes the heart grow fonder” ~Guy Kawasaki Trustworthiness – Patients might like you but may not trust you. As nurses, our ability to influence patients demands that they trust us.  ·     ...

Read More

Growing Your Nursing Career by Adding the Right Nutrients

Ah. Spring is here. If you’re like me and live in a state that sees clouds and a cold winter, you wait patiently for the sun and warmth to return. When spring comes, you feel as if you can get back to your life again.  Many nurses do the same thing with their career.  They finish school, get their first job and then wait. They wait patiently for their career to grow. They wait patiently – okay, or impatiently – for success. They mistakenly think that “spring” or success is right around the corner and all they have to do is wait. The problem with this thinking is that growing your career and becoming successful requires you to add the right nutrients throughout the year. You need to feed and water your career even during the times you think it’s okay to hibernate. What are the right nutrients to grow a successful nursing career? Knowledge (food) Nursing school teaches you the basics of caring for patients. However, you’re not done cooking yet! Knowledge is the food we need to do our job well. Commit to lifelong learning as an adult. Once you master the basics of your role, kick it up a notch. Attend inservices, read journal articles, dig deeper into your role and learn how to be the best at what you do. Trust me. Once you are...

Read More

Subscribe to our Blog

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Renee Thompson
wordpress visitors

Send this to a friend