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Showing posts from August, 2015

Please, Let Sleeping Patients Lie

A recent Kaiser Health News article highlights one of my personal pet peeves about hospital care: Unnecessarily interrupted sleep during hospitalization. It is bad for the patient and certainly impacts their satisfaction with your care.

You know how you feel when you haven't slept well, right? Add illness to that and for some, aging changes and you end up with a cranky patient and often family to boot.  Sleep is important for all when ill, no matter what age the patient.

Sleep helps you heal.  It allows your body to work on fixing the problem while the mind switches to different activity levels that allow for physiologic healing to occur.

Sick kids need it so they have the energy to cope with their illness during the day and all those grown ups doing stuff to them.

The elderly need sleep because it will take them longer to recover.  Lack of sleep also puts them at higher risk for delirium, confusion, and wandering. (Oh, does that explain a few things?!)

So if you are working night …

How to Choose the Right PhD Program for You - Part III: Finances

Money issues stop a lot of nurses from going back to do their PhD, sometimes for good reason. Let's dispel some common concerns first.
When Enrolled Full Time in a PhD Program, Your Student Loans Go Into Payment Deferral
That's right. When you're studying full time you don't have to pay your loans. You're allowed to defer payments until you finish. You can pay the interest so the amount doesn't accumulate too much.  It is a good idea to pay the interest while in school.
Many Full Time PhD Programs Offer Full Tuition Funding and a Living Stipend
Funded PhD study is a great thing. It allows you to focus on your studies and develop your ideas. You can take the time you need to think, because you'll never have it again.
So how much is a living stipend? It varies by school and program but reports from the field suggest that it ranges from $1,500 to $2,300 per month. It is usually enough to cover rent, food, and your internet/phone connection. It is not meant to be…

A Better Way to Get Rid of Your Nursing Student Loans OTHER Than Working Another Job

Social media recently tuned me into a great resource every nurse with loans should know about: Student loan repayment through volunteer work. SponsorChange is a non-profit committed to helping people repay their student loans.

Here's why it is a better option for you than working a second job to repay those loans.  And yes, I know many of you do.

1) Working more than three 12 hour shifts a week is bad for your health and your patients.

More and more research shows that 12 hour shifts are bad for you.  How come?  Let's think about it. The shift starts at 7am.  You're up at 5:30 or 6 so you can commute and get there on time unless you live within a short walk to your job, which most people do not in the US.  So your day really starts at 5:30am.

You work all day long and give report, which ideally means you finish report at 7:30pm and then you leave.  But that never happens right?  So, you stay to finish up everything and maybe get paid overtime for documenting on your patient…

How to Choose the Right PhD Program for You - Part II: Family Factors

In 2011, some colleagues and I wanted to see what factors might influence someone's choices for going back for a PhD. Our pilot study found some interesting results and you can read about them in our 2014 published study here.

Among our findings, family and financial factors were major concerns. This is a pretty common concern among most women returning for graduate study, and increasingly for men.

Let's take a look at common questions and concerns around family issues that come up among potential PhD applicants.  Most responses are geared toward individuals returning for full time study and modified for part-time study as needed. These responses also apply to the US context. They may not be relevant outside the US.
My family can't afford for me to quit my job for full time study.

Full time PhD study is at least a 4 year commitment and most Ph…

What's This Big Data Stuff Anyway? (Besides increased documentation for frontline nurses)

There's a lot of potential to make a real difference for our patients.

How to Choose the Right Nursing PhD Program for You - Part 1: The Right Program

Congratulations! You've decided to take your career to another level and pursue a research degree. I can assure you that you've not lost your mind (however, you can email me during years 1 and 2 when you're sure you've lost your mind and I'll give you a pep talk), you've just probably come up with more questions that you cannot find answers for in the existing evidence. Even though your undergraduate self that probably did not like your introduction to research course is in shock at the moment, you've made a good choice.

So at this moment you're trying to figure out where to go to study. Here's how you should choose.  This is the first post in a series getting published in the Fall of 2015.

Do you see yourself doing research just about all the time or maybe part of the time?

Just about all of the time = You need to choose a top 25 graduate school that is designated as a Research I university. Most of your time will be spent doing research and less t…