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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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To Post-Doc or Not to Post-Doc, That is a Very Good Question - Part 1

Happy 2019!

Much to my surprise, I realized I went all of 2018 without posting anything. I got tenure in 2018 so technically, I should have had more time with that monkey off my back. Yet as a wise colleague told me, tenure usually means more work. Sure enough.

Nonetheless, let's start 2019 off fresh with a burning question I get from many of my PhD students: To post-doc or not to post-doc. For those of you not in academia, I post-doctoral fellowship (post-doc) involves additional training. You see, science has evolved so much these days that despite doing a PhD for 4 to 7 years, you might need more training.

I went into my post-doc reluctantly. After 5 years of PhD study, I was really hoping to have a just one job and a regular salary that might actually allow me to travel and start paying down my student loans. A post-doc just seemed like more years being poor.

It was, however, the best decision I ever made. I was lucky to have a great mentor who passed along many wonderful oppo…

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…

Here's a Great Study Highlighting the Impact of Racism on Nurses

“I Can Never Be Too Comfortable”: Race, Gender, and Emotion at the Hospital Bedside
That's the title of a new study that just came out in Qualitative Health Research. The study of bedside nurses' diaries of their experiences reveals how nurses experience racism on the job. It comes not just from patients, but also from peers and management.
We have to talk about this more folks. It's time we deal with it better, in every setting.