I remember when I started nursing school about a decade ago, that there was a near militant attitude describing the nursing shortage. School administrators, politicians, and journalists hopped on this easy bandwagon and talking point. Research and polls of dubious quality rode the tidal wave of popular opinion. Unsurprisingly, their genesis in an echo chamber yielded predictably confirmatory responses. As graduation time was fast approaching, the class began to job ...

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This is based on a true story. The name and some details of the events have been changed.  She was the smarter nurse who floated to ICU, to CVRU, to CCU. She could handle any crisis: balloon pumps, CRRT, open-heart patients, respiratory distress, code blues — anything. Sandy was quiet. She didn’t really have any nurse friends. She was a loner. But we could depend on her to take the most difficult assignments. She ...

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Leaving the nursing profession is bittersweet. My heart left nursing a while ago when I came to the realization that nursing left me first. It never was a two-way relationship. The profession left me without acknowledgment of work-related stress, specifically post-traumatic stress (PTS). First responders and emergency workers often hear the phrase, "It's just part of the job.” So we all just deal with it — or not. I've heard this ...

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The nurse grabs me. "You have to check my patient now! She is screaming and bearing down." Without letting go of my hand, she leads me into the labor room. I don’t even consider saying no, I know not to question this nurse. She has been a labor and delivery nurse nearly as long as I have been alive -- she knows much more than I about everything. The room is dark, but ...

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Shortly after the publication of "Independent practice: Both nurse practitioners and physicians should be outraged," the nurse practitioner (NP) leadership responded with a press release, denouncing the concerns that were cited, calling them “rhetoric.” But in contrast to this criticism from the political end of the NP spectrum, I was inundated by emails from working NPs across the country in support ...

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In my travels up and down the East Coast, I have been fortunate enough to work with some fantastic nurses. From what I hear, there was much more of an authoritarian relationship between doctors and nurses a few decades ago -- preceding the time I entered the medical profession. This has now morphed into much more of a collegial teamwork approach, as we battle to get our patients better at ...

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“Nurse practitioner (NP) education is seriously underfunded. The profession is attempting to saddle private physicians with this cost.” That is how “Dr. X” replied to my email asking whether he would be willing to precept a nurse practitioner student for her clinical rotation. I read through his clearly disgruntled letter and wanted to explain to him why NPs have to train “on the backs” of physicians and why funding for nursing ...

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Patsy loved playing bingo every Wednesday night. Her boyfriend of three years loved watching her daughter Jenna who was a tiny and pretty six-year-old her momma called "princess." Even though they weren't related, Jenna called Patsy's boyfriend "Uncle Billy" at her mother's behest. And Uncle Billy made Jenna shyer and quieter than she usually was. He'd walk in on those Wednesday nights and demand a big hug and kiss on the cheek ...

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The hospital I work in used to have posters hanging up, describing patients’ rights. The right to have their medical care explained to them, the right to refuse treatment, the right to be treated courteously and the right emergency care regardless of the circumstances. These posters are no longer displayed, but the concept hasn’t gone away. The health care team I work with makes every effort to treat people fairly and ...

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During a 15-minute recess, the elementary school students trooped from the playground toward nurse Catherin Crofton’s office — one with a bloody nose, a second with a scraped knee and a third with a headache. Kids quickly filled a row of chairs. Staffers brought paper towels for the bleeders and tried to comfort the crying. “We’re here for first aid, emergency, counseling,” said Crofton of the Mount Diablo Unified School District. “There ...

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