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Welcome!  Here's a site that might prove useful to you as the nursing student, practicing bedside nurse, and nurse seeking a career transition. My students were the inspiration for this blog as I discovered I was having the same conversation over and over: Nurses need mentors and there are too few out there.  Hopefully, this site will lead you to some helpful insights, essential humor, and support for those challenges and high moments that involve being a nurse.  I will try to post regularly (I think weekly might be feasible) with exceptions made at the end of the semester when grading for large classes takes a lot of time.

You can email me with questions about (también en español y mais u menos em portugués): Surviving nursing school, the job search (AD, BSN, MSN, PhD, Post-Doc), career progression (to grad school, or not to grad school, that is the question!), and working in global health.  Am sure other topics might come up and I hope I can help there too.  Meanwhile, in the interim I hope to share with you insights into building one of the most amazing careers you can have in a very special field: Nursing.

My background includes 11 years worth of real life, hands on, bedside nursing experience coupled with additional years of teaching and research.  You can read more about me here:  In summary, I worked 3 years in med-surg float pool at a large, urban medical center, did a 2 year stint in staff development in a rural community hospital in Pennsylvania, and then committed to 5 years as a staff nurse in kidney transplant in at a university teaching hospital in the northeast.  I've been the only bilingual nurse where I've worked and spent a lot of time translating between patients and providers.  Somewhere in there, I also worked on a congressional campaign in Nebraska and have a deep understanding of rural health issues in the US. I am a health policy geek who often goes through election withdrawal at the end of a presidential campaign season.  Globally, my hands on work has been mostly in Latin America.  Research-wise, I've had the privilege of collaborating with colleagues from 28 countries.

My true love for work lies in global healthcare human resources development issues.  All the cool gadgets, technology, and resources in the world can't replace the effect that a competent, well-educated human being can have on patient and health outcomes.  It's deliciously complicated and people in policymaking positions are just starting to figure this out.  It's going to cause a major paradigm shift in health services delivery, economics, politics, and a host of other fields.  If global health sings to you, you're in the right place at the right time, no matter what your discipline.

So again, WELCOME!  Thank you for choosing Nursing, no matter what country you're in or where you are in the world.


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There Are Other Masters Degrees Besides a Nurse Practitioner - Part I

It strikes me that many students and nurses do not seem to know about the "other" masters degree options for nurses.  Everyone seems to want to be a nurse practitioner these days.  Now, that's great news for the primary care provider shortage, but we need nurses with masters degrees who can work in other positions and have other skill sets.
Let's review the other masters degrees in nursing.  Nearest and dearest to my own heart is Nursing Education.  Remember that really cool clinical instructor you had in your entry-level nursing program --that could be you!  Do you like precepting new hires?  Are you the person on your unit who unofficially keeps everyone up-to-date on the latest evidence?  Do you really enjoy patient teaching, whether in the hospital or community setting?  Do you just like to teach?  Nursing education is the right masters for you.  Skills learned in a nursing education masters cannot be learned on the job.  Curriculum writing and program developmen…

Why You Will Get a "Bad" Grade in Nursing School & Why It Will be the Best Thing to Happen to You

Perhaps you have been a straight A student all your life.

Perhaps you had one subject you struggled with, got Bs in it, but mostly As in the rest of your classes.

Then you started nursing school.

Most students quickly discover that nursing is one of the hardest majors at any university. Not only do you have a lot of time in class, your "lab" equivalent involves learning how to care for really sick people. Most nursing students spend between 24 to 30 hours per week in class --and THEN have lots of reading and other assignments they need to do to prepare for their "labs." After all, in a chemistry lab you probably won't harm or kill anyone due to the highly controlled conditions. When any health profession student is learning, there is always the risk for mistakes and it's why they are so closely supervised.

Inevitably, every nursing student gets their definition of a "bad" grade. For some, this is an actual failure of a class and that can happen fo…

Language Barriers and Your Patients - Let the Evidence Guide Your Decisions so You Can Comply with the Law

In almost every health care setting in the United States (US) these days, nurses and other health care providers are dealing with language barriers as part of care delivery more than ever before. In fact, most countries in the world run into some kind of language barrier issue in the health care setting. Global migration means more tourists and immigrants for every country in the world. 
In the US, language access--meaning the availability of interpreters and their services-- is a civil right. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) also added new provisions for health care services providers around language access that are important for you to know. From CME Learning:
New rules on language access were implemented on July 18, 2016. These changes are sweeping in scope as they apply to “every [federal] health program or activity, any part of which receives Federal financial assistance.” Section 1557 is a “non-discrimination” provision that broadly prohibits discrimination in health care or health c…