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Showing posts from June, 2012

X Degree to BSN: The Next Step

You have an AD, Diploma, LPN, possibly even an NA degree.  Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to go back to school.  For 500 reasons I am sure you can name as to why you should not, I'm going to provide a few as to why you should..

To start,a BSN provides you with more job security than you currently have.  Whether it is a hospital or community setting, most non-clinical positions who like to hire nurses require a BSN.  That degree is more security for you in the long run than your current degree.  More income?  Depends on which level you're coming from.  In the long run, however, a BSN provides you with the most flexibility.
It doesn't matter if you do it online, in a classroom, or in some other format.  A BSN means more money, more job security, more career options in the long run than you can possibly imagine without it.  You become an example to your children with a college degree.  You say that no matter what, you can go on at any age, under any circumstance and get a c…

Global Health Careers: Volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to test out if a global health career is in you future or not.  In the majority of cases, that first volunteer trip you'll have to pay for yourself.  I would encourage you to do your own fundraising for the trip and not take out additional student loans whenever possible;
So, that first trip.  It can be life changing or reinforce that you really like working in your home country.  In my case, I volunteered while on study abroad through my university.  While I was mostly doing observations, it was enough for me to realize that global health was the way I wanted to go.  In particular, after observing nurses in Mexico and where they worked, I knew I wanted to study human resources development.  
For other students I've had, however, the trip abroad made them realize how important it was for them to work in their own country.  They realized that the problems at home were enough for them to tackle and they felt more comfortable working domestically.  It …

Surviving Spinning Plates: You Must Eat

In my 17 years as a nurse, the most common phrase I have heard from new graduates, even experienced nurses, is "I didn't have time to eat."

That's crazy.  Not eating when you're working is not only not good for  you, it's not good for your patients.  Here's why.

We're back to pathophysiology again.  When blood sugar drops, so does your energy, your short term memory, and your general ability to think clearly.  Think about what that does to your patient care skills.  You might miss important details, forget to check something, be late with a medication, any number of possibilities. That puts your patient at risk.

When you're working in a good place, your co-workers, the charge nurse, and the manager should make sure you get a chance to take a break and eat something when your working your shift.  In fact, they have to; it's the law (at least in the US).  Sure, nurses don't get long breaks for meals and can rarely go off site, but they do ge…

Global Health Careers: Getting Started as a Nurse

One of the most frequent questions I get asked by nurses and students alike is about building a global health career.  This is always music to my ears because more nurses need to work in global health at every level, from the frontline to the policymakers at international health organizations.  
The good news: There is no single, "correct" path to take.  The bad news: There is no single, "correct" path take.  In light of that, let's focus on a few basics first.
If any of the following freaks you out, a global health career is probably not for you:  Working with few resourcesClinical practice that can, at times, be a bit fly by the seat of your pantsManaging systems that have little or no structure to them, or so much structure that even the people who live and work with them can't figure them outDealing with poverty so extreme it's in your face all the timePeople speaking other languages around you makes you uncomfortableYou live life certain …