Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Stay Tuned!!!

RNSpeak! is coming back online. Sorry for the long silence over the last year. I am finishing my doctorate and have little time for posts. However, stay tuned, more posts are coming ... and thanks for your patience.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

RNSpeak! A Connected Community

As the world of online technology evolves - so too must the people that use this technology. Technology scares many nurses because they believe it is taking the place of the human touch and that special connection they have with their patients.  While I will submit to that feeling overall, I have found the use of technology beneficial in helping me manage the mired of information I must process on a daily basis.  Further, I think technology helps with time management and evidenced-based practice.  Prior to all these search engines, evidenced from research was hidden in journals and publications.  If you did not subscribe, you simply did not know about the new developments that could offer improvements for patient outcomes.

The world is changing - we must adapt. If you recall the Borg from Star Trek - The Next Generation - they use to say "Resistance is Futile."  I think this statement really says it all.  So - embracing the world of technology, I am linking all of my online accounts together.  It is my hope this will help move RNSpeak! into a connected world where more than myself and a few patrons will read this blog.  Of course - I will need to do a much better job keeping this blog moving with interesting posts!

The posts here will be sent through Twitter to those following me.  If you want to follow me on Twitter - my username is rnpatl.

Time to start blogging.  Thanks to all of my fans that read this blog.  You really are the best!  All 2 of you.  :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Reason to Write

I have just finished one of my tutorials on writing and finding my scholarly voice. The tutorial that I found most compelling tonight is developing an addiction to writing. This tutorial was really quite wonderful and helped me to see where I have built some barriers to writing. In order to comply with the tutorial, I am suppose to identify some of my barriers to writing and then develop a plan to overcome these barriers in my quest to write more.

First, I must say that I love to write. Writing to me is very therapeutic. It helps me to process my thoughts for the hour, the day, or for whatever time frame I may need to process. It also allows me to listen to my own voice. I will admit readily that I don't often listen to my own voice and perhaps this is the reason I don't write as often. Well, before I say that, let me explore the barriers to why I have not written for a while. First, I have been totally demoralized by my doctoral program. While I do criticism very well, I guess I am try to find my way in this new world of writing.  As a doctoral student, writing at this level is very different than how I wrote for my masters program. I think the main issue is with the scholarship.  Each paragraph I write, it feels like I need to qualify everything I say with a reference. I do have an opinion and sometimes I state this opinion in my writing. I need to develop a better balance.  So this is another barrier that stops me from writing. I get so caught up in the research and reading, I have little time left to write.  Instead, I am rushing to write and I resent that because it takes the joy right out of it for me! Not having enough time to write is really an excuse for me sometimes. Yes, I am very busy with work and with school, but at the end of the day, I enjoy writing.  Yet, I find excuses why something else should be a priority over my writing. Perhaps my rebuke is the result of my dwindling confidence because of being a doctoral student. Maybe I do not handle criticism as well I I thought I did.  Time to explore that for sure.

Ok - time for my plan.  First, I promise I will write at least 3-4 times per week. I can either write here in my blog (which I really enjoy doing for my entire 3 or 5 readers - I am thankful for you though), or I can write for assignments, or I can simply write for the sake of writing.  I generally do that form of writing in my blog here.  Whatever the case, I promise myself I will write at least 4 times a week. My reward for writing will be the writing itself and the accomplishment of knowing that perhaps I am regaining my writing confidence again.  Yup - that sounds good.  Oh and I can watch my favorite show on TV ... wait, I am going to do that anyway. Well ... the next time I write I will better describe my reward for writing.

Thanks for coming back to my blog.  I hope you enjoy my new commitment to writing.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Little Help for New Graduates

BLOG STATEMENT: This post was originally listed on this blog in 2007 as a reminder to experienced nurses that new graduate nurses would be entering practice soon and as a way to give new nurses with some tips for success. I thought it was appropriate to re-post this message.

I certainly do not profess to be the expert here, but as a nurse for 23 years in med-surg, surgical progressive care, open heart, and ICU as well as a clinical nursing instructor and a graduate student (MSN), I think I have some general words of advice. So, for those of you who need it - here it is for what it is worth to you.

1. First - every time you sign your name as a RN - please remember how hard you worked for this accomplishment and the sacrifices of yourself and all those people in your life that helped you "make it!"
2. Remember, nursing is a hard job! It has always been a hard job and it will always be a hard job! (Florence Nightingale).
3. Learn as much as you can! Do NOT be afraid to ask questions. You might drive an experienced nurse crazy, but in the long run, any experienced nurse understands why you are asking the questions and will respect you for trying to build upon and grow your knowledge base. For those that don't - forget about 'em - they ain't worth the time of day and probably are burned out nasty nurses that need to get the hell out of the business.
4. Always remember - the only reason you are an RN is to care for that patient. They are the true reason our profession is here. Don't ever forget your compassion, honesty, love and integrity. Fight for that patient and the care they need - they are counting on you!
5. Never give a medication that you don't know how it works. Ask the "WHY" questions as many times as you need too until you feel you understand and are comfortable with WHY you are doing something. Too many nurses don't ask the "WHY" questions and that gets them into trouble.
6. Never let a physician intimidate you. Yes, they are more educated (in some cases) and have more experience than you do, but you are the person at the bedside that is best situated to see changes in condition. While in the beginning you might feel like you don't know enough - rely on other experienced nurses to review your assessment with. They will help you to determine what to say to the physician.
7. An employer will work you until you are dead! Live a balanced life and don't make excuses for having balance in your life. If they ask you to work extra and you know that your child has a play and you can't work - please know that NO can really mean NO! And, you don't need to feel guilty about it.
8. Don't get STUCK working in an area of nursing that you are not passionate about. It is the fastest way to burn out in this profession. Seek out learning opportunities that will grow your knowledge and skill in an area of nursing that you desire to work in. Nursing offers so much variety that there is really no reason to stay in a place that you are not happy working. And - don't let them tell you that you need a year of med-surg before you can go to a speciality area. While having a med-surg background offers you the opportunity to develop your skills and competencies - I have known many of nurses that went into a speciality areas right out of school and have been highly successful. It really all depends on your motivation and your commitment. You call the shots.
9. After you have finished your first year in nursing - pay it forward. Remember that poor new graduate that your manager just hired - help them, be friend them and mentor them. You owe it to them.
10. Remember that nursing is a life-long learning profession. No matter what happens in your life - keep learning and never forget the benefits of more education. And - finally, remember your days as a new graduate and be the experienced nurse that other new graduates can look too as a resource and a person to learn from.

Congratulations on passing your boards and becoming a nurse! We need you and we need you to stay around for a long time. Thank you for entering our noble profession and for making a REAL difference in the lives of patients that need your care and love. Thank you for caring.

The Path to Here! Where was the Advice?

As I continue my educational journey to the DNP level, I reflect on how much time it has taken me to arrive at this point in my life. I am certainly proud of my accomplishments, but can’t help but think … “was there an easy or perhaps more time efficient way to earn all these credentials?” My answer (to myself anyway) is a resounding yes!

When I was younger and knew I wanted to teach, I went from college advisor to college advisor trying to get an established pathway for what courses I would need, what degree path I should take, etc., etc. Very few people were helpful and I felt as though I was self advising. Funny thing … I had no clue what to do – so self advising was like answering myself when I had a question but did not have the answer.

We talk so often about the shortage of faculty in nursing and we discuss funding options from the government, employers and scholarships. Yet, maybe it is time that look at something pretty simple – advisors that have half a clue about what nursing education is and how a young person might define a career path to one day become a nurse educator. Maybe, just maybe something as simple as giving information might provide us with a few more bright young people that want to become nurse educators.

This goal will start with me! I know that I can mentor a young person and provide them with an academic pathway that will ultimately lead to qualifications as a nurse educator. So – what about you all out there in nurse educator land … can you see where you can make a difference in the educational journey of a would-be nurse educator? It is time.

The Blog Wins!

Despite no responses to my plea for your vote as to whether the blog stays or goes - I have made up my mind that the blog stays! I enjoy writing and after several hours of reviewing the posts I have made over the last 3 years - the blog really does have some great meaning.

I may change the focus of my blog a little more and center on the new degree I am pursuing. I am currently attending Capella University for my Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. This new practice doctorate now available for nurses in clinical practice is a pretty important step. I want my focus to be on my journey while earning my DNP and on what I do with it after I graduate.

I have a great deal to say about nursing doctorate education and I think this blog provides the forum for that conversation.

Let me know what you think. Stay tuned - lots of changes are coming to RNSpeak! I think you might like the new blog - I know I will.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Should I Continue?

My last post to my blog was in January of this year. Much has changed and I have so much more to say. But, do you want to hear what I have to say? Does this blog have meaning or is it a place where I come to vent or just write because I have something to say? Whatever the case for me - I want your opinion. Should this blog continue? If you come here often and you have read some of my writings and you think this blog provides meaning - send me a comment and let me know.

It seems that a lot of spammers have certainly located my blog. But I want real nurses or nursing students to tell me - "SAVE RNSPEAK! THE BLOG HAS MEANING!!!!!

Thank you.