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If you made it this far--thanks for visiting. My name is Joe. I'm allnurses.com's Chief Information Officer. I'm the tech behind the scene. I'm in charge of everything that makes allnurses.com tick. Isn't she a beauty!

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  • Apr 25

    Thank you all for the great and lengthy advice; can't get enough of it. I never even thought of getting compression stockings before making this post. It'd be a great idea cause even when I was working 8's in the convalescent home; my feet were killing me after each shift, and I'm fairly young (20). I'll make sure to definitely look into the brands ya'll posted and start making those concept maps. As for my anxiety, I'll have to learn to manage that on my own because it seems that it is frowned upon nurses to even be using prescription drugs.

  • Apr 25

    A good stethoscope, a good amount of my class upgraded to the Cardo iv in second semester. I had a Littmann classic II to start which was find for first semester but I couldn't hear heart sounds or lung sounds well with it, even my instructor couldn't hear with it.

    Shoes, I've yet to find a pair that don't rub unfortunately.

    Get a NCLEX book, I have the Saunders Comprehensive review, you get additional questions online in addition to the book questions. It will help you get use to the type of questions nursing school tests have on them.

  • Apr 25

    Only thing I wish I started doing my first semester was - Concept Maps.

    If I could go back I would start making them. They have helped me a lot since 3rd semester.

    Also, start practicing NCLEX style questions asap.

    That's it for me. Oh - and compression stockings are a must.

  • Apr 25

    The Alegria Women's Keli Professional Shoe is stupid comfortable. Amazon carries it for almost half off at ~$65. When they arrived, I had been on my feet all day in running shoes at my current job and tried them on and was amazed at the difference. The insoles are replaceable for around $30 I think, so you can bring back the magic when they start to wear down without having to replace the whole shoe.

    Supplies and organization are kind of a personal preference thing. I'm a color-coder and love my big pack of Stabilo Point 88 fine felt tip pens. I color code my notecards, draw diagrams, etc. all the time. I also took some time to figure out writing instruments that minimize hand fatigue for me, esp. since writing by hand really helps things stick in my brain. Three hour lectures is a long time to write.

    I have the Scanner Pro app on my phone and use it to scan my written notes for review anywhere. I like the NCLEX RN Mastery app (free trial, paid version that they send you discount emails for when you don't buy it before the trial expires). It's robust and easy to use, and I've been playing with it even before nursing school to get a feel for questions and how they want us to think.

    I also have a North Face backpack I love. So comfy with lots of nice organizing details like a fuzzy padded pouch for sunglasses and one for electronics.

    I absolutely love my cardio scope. The cheap one recommended for the program and available at the bookstore left me hearing nothing but tubes rubbing together. All my nurse/doctor/medic friends told me to get a cardio if I could afford it, and my parents got it as a Christmas present. They're under $200 on Amazon. I love being able to hear everything, but it's definitely not necessary. Spend more than $20, though.

    For real - healthy snacks and water. If you can swing a cooking or meal prep day on the weekend (even just to cut up the veggies and plan menus), it makes it easy to eat well and take care of yourself. There are always raw almonds and a couple of Lara or Kind bars in my backpack, and I try to snack on raw fruits/veggies with some kind of protein like apples and almond butter or celery and hummus. Try to moderate your caffeine intake so you don't screw up your sleep and crash midday in a nasty cycle. If you aren't taking care of yourself, you can't take care of other people.

  • Apr 25

    There's an app in the Apple App Store called Resuscitation and even though it's technically for medical students, I feel it's really fun and useful to help test my knowledge.

    I have the Medscape app just to keep up to date on medical news.

    Even though all of my electronics are Apple, I use Microsoft OneNote because I found it's much more easier to stay organized using it to take notes in lecture as well as taking notes at home as I read my books. I have it downloaded on my phone as well as my laptop.

    I wear Nike Shox which aren't the best but they aren't the worst either. I just didn't want to spend the money on Danskos and have to break them in but I'm honestly thinking of getting a pair for Autumn semester.

    Compression socks!!! I've noticed a huge difference when wearing them. When I wear normal socks my calves and feet kill me.

    I get the Five Star Flex 1" binders. They hold so much and since they're flexible they don't take up all my room in my backpack. On the topic of backpacks, I have a North Face one which is super comfy on my shoulders and doesn't hurt my back.

    For stethoscopes: even though a cardiology stethoscope sounds amazing because you'd be able to hear EVERYTHING, don't get it!!! As a nurse, you don't need to hear EVERYTHING and they just end up weighing you down and hurting your neck! Get a light stethoscope with a bell and you're good.

    Bring water with you, and healthy snacks. Don't give in to the donuts in the cafeteria
    I'm just finishing up my first semester in nursing school and the biggest piece of advice I have is to try and figure out and put into check any mental health problems you have before you start the program! Find out effective ways to release and prevent stress. Don't go into nursing school trying to battle depression and anxiety, you will be a mess.

  • Apr 25

    Hey all! I'll be starting nursing school this Fall and looking for some input on what types of items upcoming students should be buying in order to be prepared for class/clinicals. Our scrubs will be a maroon color provided for us.

    Please feel free to post your favorite/what works best for you. Here are a few options:

    • Shoes - comfortability, doesn't leave sore feet. Which ones did you feel helped you the most with all the walking about?
    • Nursing bag/Totes/Backpacks - which ones fit all your binders?
    • Binders/Planners
    • Pens/pencils
    • Apps - anything helpful that you have found that new students may benefit from.
    • Study Guides/Cheat sheets/Videos - same as above
    • Stethoscopes - Not my area of expertise; would love some opinions on choosing the right stethoscope!

    Feel free to post what items to avoid too

    Also for those currently in a program, what piece of advice could you give to someone entering nursing school that has no idea what to expect? I'm sure many could benefit from your replies. Thanks all in advance

  • Apr 24

    In 2015 The Journal of American Medicine released a study on the pay gap between male and female nurses. That survey revealed that male nurses earn about $5100 per year more than women. This survey sparked much interest and dialog as to the reasons for this disparity.

    The new analysis, which included data on more than 290,000 registered nurses, also found that the pay gap had not narrowed within workplace settings and specialties from 1988 to 2013. The new study is the first to have measured gender disparities in pay among nurses over time.
    Published in 2016, an allnurses.com survey yielded results also showing the wage gap with men making more per hour than their female coworkers. Is it just about gender or are there other variables that factor into the results?

    Women make up 92% of the nursing workforce while men hold only 7.74%, as noted in the allnurses. com 2015 survey. The majority of nurses at the time were paid hourly, 80%, in fact. Men tended toward specialty areas like anesthesiology (with 41% of nurse anesthetists being men), cardiac care, critical care and Emergency room care. The AMA study found that approximately 40 percent of nurse anesthetist are men and were paid on the average $17,290 more annually than female nurse anesthetists.

    It seems that one of the main factors that may influence the gender wage gap is that woman take time off to care for family and children. When they return to the workforce they often come back at generally the same pay grade while men have continued working and have received hourly wage increases along the way.

    Women are also more apt to regulate their work hours. They seek out opportunities for a more traditional 9-5 nursing job or a shorter work week, again to meet the needs of work/family balance. Men are more likely to take “off hour” opportunities for higher pay and have more overtime on a regular basis.

    In the 2017 allnurses Salary Survey nurses were asked to provide the number of regular hours they work per week as well as how many hours of paid overtime they average per week. This data, as well as a breakdown by gender, could shed some additional light on the gender gap in salary.


    Men are also known to negotiate salary increases and higher pay rates than women. This accounts for some of the higher wage per hour values noted.

    As we are nearing the release of the current (2017) allnurses.com salary results, it will be interesting to see if the gender gap has narrowed over the past year and what the variables will look like! What are some of your thoughts on this finding?

    Resources:

    Pay Gap Between Male and Female RNs Has Not Narrowed

    Although women dominate the nursing profession, do men make more money?

    2015 allnurses Salary Survey Results

  • Apr 20

    Maybe I am reading it incorrectly, but it looks as if Drexel is listed as a for-profit school? It is not.

  • Apr 14

    Guys & Gals...

    I know we are "not supposed to talk about pay"... but we all do. That being said, my hospital recently did a market analysis and raised base pay for all hospital employees. I got a small increase (50 cents I think)... However- the base pay for new grads (BSN) was also raised.

    I have been at the hospital for 6 years, 3 of those an a BSN prepared nurse. I have med surg and peds experience, and currently work in ICU as charge nurse/preceptor (and have done extensive training since I started there 2 years ago). I am also pursuing my master's degree. I've always rated the highest level on my yearly evals, have never been wrote up and have called off 4 times in six years.

    I recently found out that new grads are now starting out making a wage that is only 50 cents less than what I make per hour.

    The big question: Am I wrong for being slightly upset about this?

    I realize I will be done with school in a few years and be making double what I make now anyways.. But I cannot help but to feel like I'm getting jipped. Don't get me wrong- I do not think the new grads should be making less.. but I also have a hard time justifying that I have all this experience and am basically getting the same wage as someone who doesn't even know how to start an IV or complete an admission history assessment.

    Thoughts on this? Am I just being a negative Nancy? Should I just suck it up? Or do I have a valid point here?

  • Apr 14

    Four years ago this month, I decided to join allnurses. I'd been lurking for several months. I had 11 years of experience as an LPN, and thought I could provide some insight to other nurses and student nurses who shared their stories and questions. When I passed the NCLEX-RN in 2014, other members congratulated and celebrated with me. Every day, I learn something new from other members, and I truly feel that allnurses is a resource that has made me a better nurse. My favorite allnurses memory is how we all came together, in the fall of 2014, to offer our support and prayers for the two Dallas-area nurses who became ill with Ebola while caring for their patient in a Texas hospital. While the media was criticizing them and scrutinizing every detail of their lives, we stood together to offer encouragement and hope. I love allnurses, and it's true...Nurses Rock!

  • Apr 14
  • Apr 14
  • Apr 13

    Through the glazed windows of my soul I watch as the scene played out before my eyes. I stood quietly observing the final hours of my patient and her family.

    Shadows danced on the walls in the room where she lay. Sunlight filtering in through the grated window brought into focus the few scattered orange freckles sprinkled across her nose. Crystalline tears dotted her cheeks. Her pale grey face glowed with the promise of another day, in another time and space, outside the drab existence of those of us who remain.

    Colorful wooly animals were packed on a shelf nearby, their warm comfort more for the family and friends standing vigil; waiting for something they will not openly express; perhaps fearing that somehow the words spoken aloud would be the final truth.

    Now exhausted, her parents sitting in chairs positioned close to the bed on either side of their daughter, rest their heads on the still soft form of this woman child, inanimate and heavy in physical death, wearing the accouterments of the true church. Scapular placed around her shoulders and head by the faithful. Wrists entwined with Rosary beads and bracelets. In a moment of whimsy a package of her favorite pop-rocks were placed alongside the religious articles. Two stuffed animals were tucked neatly in the crook of her left arm appearing as if the girl was holding them.

    Some of those present beg for a miracle, challenging their G-d to intercede. They become insistent and demanding in their prayers, unanswered by a seemingly uncaring deity. Some cannot understand that G-d does as he pleases.You may ask but cannot compel G-d to do your bidding. His decisions are not that of a capricious child but part of a greater plan outside our scope of understanding.

    I witness this with two nurse acolytes who stand with me quietly observing this scene. This experience foreign to them, sharing this private moment, grieving with the family, seemingly embarrassed when I see the unshed tears in their eyes, choking back soft, near silent cries in sympathy as the scene continues to unfold. I position myself between these nurse interns, speaking quietly to them as we stand as silent witnesses, watching as dozens of lives are forever altered, some destroyed by this tragedy, knowing that nothing will change what happened to this girl and her sister one early morning in a split second; a series of poor choices forever altering the lives of another family, the friends and colleagues of the deceased in the other car; struck down in a foolish moment, just blocks away from his home.

    I explain to these young women their responsibility when caring for both the patient and the extended family when death is expected. I explain how to be a silent yet comforting presence, gently touching the closest family member, turning off the alarms on the eerily glowing monitor as vital signs fade; encouraging the grieving to gather around the bed, sitting or standing, touching the patient or her bed, being sure that each person who wants to do so can.

    I encourage those strong enough to talk about this girl to share the humorous stories of her short life, acknowledging her uniqueness by speaking aloud how she impacted her lives.

    Her father bragged about her skills as a fisherman, catching a large parrotfish in a canal that should never have had any fish in it. How she learned to bait her own hook, bragging about her ability to cast her line far out into the water; first demonstrating this skill at a very young age; enjoying this time with her father. He told us how he would clean her catch and cook it for her.

    There were photos of her dressed for a formal with her sister and her friends and a photo of her getting a kiss from a horse. He stretched his head and neck far out over the stall door, she was leaning in to allow him to kiss here. There were other photos as well, numerous cards and letters from her school friends and family.

    Her father had been playing a song for his daughter repeatedly over the last few days of her life. He explained to anyone who would listen that his daughter had told him this was their special song. He said that they had danced together to this music. Father and Daughter. Now realizing that this would be their final dance.

    I recognized the song, it was Butterfly Kisses, he held her face with both hands sprinkling her with dozens of gentle tiny kisses, unmindful of the endotracheal tube, gastric tube and the soft rhythmic sounds of the ventilator. He cried while sharing with us how special she was and how his life was complete for having had her for such a short time. Her mother clung to her child, sobbing her grief, unable to speak. Grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and other extended family members and a few friends from school stood as sentinels in her room surrounding the parents with love and sharing their pain.

    There was soft laughter with occasional humorous outbursts from some of those who sat by the bed relating their own experiences with this girl. There were those sobbing intermittently while listening to the others, unable or unwilling to understand that this sharing was also a part of the grieving process. The cadence of their crying and wailing rising then fading echoed in this small room, spilling out into the hallway as unbearable grief was expressed.

    Time passes. To swiftly for some, too slowly for those who have stood vigil since the first day. Minutes later, just before noon, she is finally freed from her mortal self. More family and friends arrive to comfort the two sets of parents who claim this girl as their own. The "first" Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years without this daughter will weigh heavily on the family.

    Soon the family leaves. One of the nurse interns remains with me learning the care of the deceased patient; preparing her for her next journey to the medical examiners office, the funeral home, her final resting place yet to be determined by her family.

    I explain everything to this new nurse as we perform post mortem care. As required by law all lines and tubes remain in place awaiting removal after the medical examiner finishes with her. A young man arrives with a stretcher. There is an orange backboard and a neatly folded purple velvet cover lying on it. We assist this young man as he pulls her onto the stretcher. He positions her gently, carefully before unfolding the purple velvet cover, symbolic in its resemblance to the receiving blanket of a newborn. As he covered her he showed both compassion and respect for this young girl.

    Beginnings and Endings are an integral part of our lives as we march forward. There is the beginning of the journey to be traveled by these young nurses' as they continue to grow in wisdom and compassion; practicing and perfecting their art and newfound skills, never forgetting a father's Butterfly Kisses in a room of dancing shadows on a clear November morning.

    And the ending of a young life never fully realized yet loved beyond measure.

    Eeka End Game RN
    November 2, 2007

    This is for Valerie and Jillian, two nurse interns who were my inspiration for sharing our story.

    This is also for this child's family, extended family and friends and her school who provided so much love and support. It was an honor and privilege to care for you.

  • Apr 13

    State Licensures: Compact or no?

    One of the biggest hassles while travel nursing is dealing with state licensures. You find your perfect assignment, high pay, great location, and fantastic housing. One big problem, you find out that you are not licensed in that state and it could take almost 6 weeks or longer before you are able to actually get your nursing license in the state of your perfect assignment. There are a lot of different ways to address this problem, but one of the easiest is knowing what states are considered compact states.

    Compact States, What are those?

    If you are new to travel nursing compact states are simply states where your license is transferable from another state and you don’t have to do anything additional to be licensed there. Knowing what states are compact is one of the most useful tools that you can have as a travel nurse. There are 25 compact states currently and that list could potentially grow significantly over the next 3-5 years. If you are licensed in one of these states you can work in any of the other 25 states with your current state RN licensure.

    One thing to keep in mind is where your permanent tax residency is located. Whatever address you have on your license should match your state licensure unless you have moved recently. If your permanent tax residency is in a non-compact state, unfortunately, you are not eligible for a compact license. Note: As a travel nurse moving your permanent tax residency to a compact state can be an easy way to make yourself eligible for a compact license. For more questions click here. The list of current compact states is listed below:

    Arizona
    Arkansas
    Colorado
    Delaware
    Idaho
    Iowa
    Kentucky
    Maine
    Maryland
    Mississippi
    Missouri
    Montana
    Nebraska
    New Hampshire
    New Mexico
    North Carolina
    North Dakota
    New Mexico
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina
    Tennessee
    Texas
    Utah
    Virginia
    Wisconsin

    Keep in mind this list WILL CHANGE!!! It is important to check these regularly (at least every 6 months). IF you have questions check www.ncsbn.org. This website is the National Council of State Boards of Nursing and is the definitive resource for clarification on compact states. Be careful of information on websites of travel nursing companies as they tend to have bias agendas and their information may not be 100% accurate.

    “Walk Through” and Quick Licensure States

    Don’t have a compact license? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered. Another great resource is understanding what is considered a “walk through” state and a quick licensure state. The simple definition of a “walk through” is a state where you can get you RN license in that state in 24 hours or less. First and foremost, let me start by saying this is not set in stone. There is no definitive list of what states are specifically “walk through” states. These can vary by the time of year and just how many applications the Board of Nursing (BON) in that state is processing at the current moment. However, there are several states where this almost always applies. Below is a list of “walk through” states.
    1. Alaska
    2. Arizona
    3. Hawaii
    4. Idaho
    5. Missouri
    6. Louisiana
    7. South Carolina
    8. Wyoming

    While “walk through states are great for getting your license quickly, there are several other states where you can get a license in 10 days or less. While these are not considered “walk through” states, it is valuable to know these as well because typically you can be submitted for a travel nursing position BEFORE you have to actually pay to obtain a license. These are usually called quick licensure states. (I know very original). Below is a list of quick licensure states:
    1. Minnesota
    2. Wisconsin
    3. Nevada
    4. Texas
    5. Colorado

    One big thing to keep in mind is that this list does can change throughout the year based on how busy the BON is in each state. Also, remember that processing times will almost assuredly be slower around graduation time because of all the new RN license applications that need to be processed.

    Playing the long game

    While being able to equip yourself with knowledge on what state licensures you can obtain quickly is great, there are going to be licensures that are going to take a while. Knowing what states a license will take longer, or is some cases much longer than 10 days is a good way for travel RN’s to plan ahead. There are a lot of different reasons that a state licensure would take longer to process; some of these include high volume for the BON, poor and/or slow processing procedures, or even stricter requirements for the issuing of new licensures. Below is a list of the states that take the longest to get an RN license issued. (approximate processing times included):
    1. California (3-6 months)
    2. Illinois (3-6 weeks)
    3. Florida (3-6 weeks)
    4. Ohio (3-5 weeks)
    5. Massachusetts (3-4 weeks)

    Tips for licensing

    I know what you’re thinking, “I wanted to go to California and now I have to wait 6 months?” This is a very common problem for new travel nurses. They typically have a good idea of what location they are interested in and then they find out how long it will take to get a license and they don’t want to wait that long. Don’t worry I’ve got a few key tips that might just be able to help.

    1 ) Going to the BON is a specific state can really speed up the process. RN’s that take required documentation to the BON in a specific state and do their fingerprinting process there will really help to get your license processed faster. It is definitely worth it to take a road trip (or fly) to the state you are trying to get licensed in

    2 ) Make sure you know what documents are required for the license you are applying for. It happens all too often that an RN takes valuable time out of their day to send in documents to the BON for a new state licensure, only to find out they sent the wrong documents 10 days later. You have now wasted 10 valuable days. Researching information on the BON website for the state you are trying to get licensed in is a great way to avoid this pitfall.

    3 ) Call the BON yourself. This might seem self-explanatory, but this can be the easiest way to get things done. Some BON will be challenging to actually talk to someone, but if you can get someone on the phone they can usually tell you what has been received, what else you might need to do, and give you a time frame on when your license will be active.

    4 ) Take an assignment close by to start. If you want to go to San Francisco and you live in Illinois you already know that it is going to take quite a while for you to get your California RN license. I always suggest taking an assignment in your home state first and working on your next license while on your first assignment. Some travel agencies will even foot the bill for the license!!!

    5 ) Research, research research. All of this state licensing information is on the internet. Be careful where your information comes from, but if you have a question do a little research. Most of the answers you are looking for can be found from your smartphone is just a few simple clicks.

    State licensures are just one of the many issues that travel nurses face. As I stated above make sure you are keeping up with the changes that will ultimately affect you. The states that are currently considered compact or quick licensure will definitely change in the upcoming future. Staying on top of this information could be the difference between your dream assignment and an assignment in the middle of nowhere. Happy Travels!!!

  • Apr 10

    Please nurses, stand up for yourselves and the patients! Healthcare is evolving to the physicians doing hardly anything and putting all responsibility on the nurse. I feel the shift is for the doctor to spend less time with patients so they can see more pt's which only equals more money for doctors. Conflict of interest in my opinion.

    You have the right to say no to physicians and point out why certain situations require action from the MD and not the nurse. I will make a list and if you have something else to add please do.

    1. Physicians still giving verbal orders - this has been noted as a national patient safety issue. So why can't the physicians protect patients safety? Are doctors truly concerned with pt's safety? If they are ignoring pt safety goals then I'd say no they aren't.

    2. Why are nurses now responsible to make sure certain medications or therapies ordered such as Metoprolol or VTE prophylaxis? Nurses are getting burned because physicians aren't capable of being thorough enough to make sure they have ordered what is appropriate for their patient. This is just lousy of physicians in my opinion.

    3. Nurses having to get physicians to renew 24 hour restraint orders and foley cath orders.
    If your physician does not know the pt is in restraints or has a foley catheter that requires a new order then they are not fully aware of the pt they are managing care for and is not professional.

    4. Physicians are not giving report of their patients when another physician is taking over call. Calling a physician for help with a pt issue and the MD has no clue who you are talking about is poor physician management in my opinion and is a safety issue.

    If you want to elaborate on what I've mentioned or have some of your own similar situations please add as I'm interested in others opinions.
    Thank you,
    RN


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