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Rasmussen College graduate program and undergraduate programs help develop your skills to bring out the NURSE in you.

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Rasmussen College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org), a regional accreditation agency recognized by the you.S. Department of Education. Visit our Accreditation page

Phone: 952-806-3900

Headquarters: Bloomington, MN

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  1. Nurses are rock stars at keeping people safe. But what happens when they go home to their normal lives? As these stories will show you, a nurse is more than just a nurse. And you don't stop being a nurse when you take your scrubs off. Read on to hear nurses share about the times they've stepped up to the plate while off the clock. Come mayhem, catastrophe or calamity, nurses in plainclothes are all around us-and ready to act at a moment's notice. Nurses save the day while... Driving in the car Anna-Marie Jenks, RN at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Michigan, was driving with her husband when they noticed a truck behaving erratically at high speeds. "When I looked into his car, his head was on the door window with hands off the steering wheel." Jenks yelled for her husband to pull over. "I kind of just jumped into nursing mode and knew I needed to help him." When the truck went off the highway (thankfully into an open field) Jenks was right behind it. "Two other people broke his window and pulled him out, laying him on a blanket." Jenks assessed him. "I could not feel a pulse, and he was not breathing. I started compressions." For a tense round and a half of compressions, there was no change. But suddenly, he started breathing and Jenks felt his pulse return. "I held onto his wrist until the EMTs got there, so that I could feel his pulse and make sure he would be ok." She thought she would never know the outcome, but the man survived and surprised her at work with his family. "They were so thankful," Jenks recalls. "He has a beautiful family, and I know that we will be close forever because of this." After the moment of action, Jenks felt worried and emotional. "But in that moment, my body knew what to do, and it took over. I never asked myself if I should stop for him. I knew in my bones that I needed to." Attending a counseling meeting RN Michelle Katz was sitting in a marriage counselor's office when her healthy, 40-year-old husband seemed to fall asleep. "He was suddenly making this awful moaning sound when he breathed," Katz recalls. "I grabbed his hand and it was like ice." Katz knew something was wrong. She called his name and felt for a pulse, but he was unmoving. "You could tell blood wasn't flowing to his face," she says. "It was cardiac arrest." Katz maneuvered him onto the floor and told the counselor to call 911. When the counselor did not know what to say, Katz narrated his symptoms while starting chest compressions. "I kept thinking 'what do I do?' but the whole time, my body was acting on training and instinct. It's a weird feeling." Katz spent 16 minutes pouring every ounce of energy into keeping him alive before the paramedics showed up. When they loaded her husband into the ambulance, she started walking the blocks down to the hospital. "I was so zoned," she remembers. Katz gave the staff her husband's details, his medical history and a summary of the situation before he even arrived in the ambulance. "I just went into auto-pilot," she explains. "They were prepared for him when he came in." "When you're in a non-healthcare setting as a nurse, just in your normal life, it's totally different. You don't expect things like this to happen. You'll be in shock," she warns. Doctors treating her husband were amazed at Katz's response decisions. "In the end, I'd done exactly the right things," Katz says. "Some of them without knowing why I did them. It was just instinct." Flying on an airplane Nicole Lerouge, nurse at King's County Hospital in New York City, was on a flight when she heard a loudspeaker call for nurses. Her daughter turned to her saying, "Mom, they're calling you." When Lerouge made her way to the scene, she saw a woman lying in the cramped floor space with flight attendants trying to keep other passengers in their seats. Lerouge and another nurse teamed up. "She was so pale and clammy," Lerouge recalls. "No movement, unresponsive and she wasn't breathing." Lerouge asked the attendants for oxygen. "I don't know if you've ever seen the oxygen they have on a plane, but they are like toys compared to what we use," she says, adding that she asked for several other emergency items, even jelly (suspecting hypoglycemia), but the crew did not have it. "You're not in a hospital and you don't have what you know you need," she explains. "You're wedged into this tiny space trying to work." The attendants had a doctor on the phone who advised the nurses to administer fluid. But the patient's jaw was clenched shut, making this a difficult task. Improvising in what she now suspected was a seizure, Lerouge asked for sugar packets and orange juice, mixing them together and coating it around the patient's gums. After a second administration of the sugary paste, the woman's jaw loosened. "We made sure she could swallow. Then I tried giving her fluid, a little at a time, with oxygen in between." At this point, the patient was still disoriented and in danger when the pilot asked Lerouge to make a judgment call. "He asked me if we should make an emergency landing," Lerouge says. "I could hardly think I was so focused on the lady." When Lerouge learned that the regular landing wasn't very far off, she said she thought the woman might be stabilizing. After more care, the woman opened her eyes and thanked Lerouge. "You have no idea how relieved I was to hear her talk," she says. After the event, she received a letter from the airline, thanking her for her help and offering her gift miles. "I really don't want to take the credit," she says. "The crew and the other nurse were on point. It takes a team to save someone's life." Sitting down for dinner Kayc Campbell was in nursing school and working as an EMT when she was sitting down for dinner on a seemingly normal night. Then she remembered she'd left her bag outside. "I stepped out the front door, looked down the street and saw a pizza driver flying down the road, running into what I thought must be a garbage can," she remembers. Campbell watched the driver get out, look under his car, then back up over whatever he had hit. The horrified looks on the face of the witnesses told her she needed to go help, so she ran to the car. "I took a deep breath and rounded the car to see a small child wearing red pants with an open compound fracture of his left leg." "The child's face was bleeding from the pavement. I snapped into EMT mode and told everyone to get back," she says. "I came up behind his head and slipped my hands gently around his neck." Campbell immediately knew there was brain trauma, but she felt breath and a pulse. "I looked him over and saw that he had lost a shoe. A shoe like one I had bought two days ago for my son for his first day of school," she recalls. "My blood ran cold." Campbell froze in shock, realizing the boy was her own 5-year-old son. But a moment later, she snapped back. "I told myself ... don't be his mom; he needs you to be his EMT. You can't lose it, he needs you!" When the ambulance arrived, Campbell started with her credentials first, before telling the EMTs she was his mother. "I wanted them to talk to me like an EMT and not as the mom." From the hospital they had to call a helicopter to transfer her son, a life flight only licensed personnel could take. "But I was licensed, and I was going," Campbell insisted. She assisted the EMTs with the defibrillator on the ride. "He flat lined for what felt like an eternity, but he began to stabilize." Their arrival at the new facility was the beginning of a long rehabilitation process. "The nurses became my family," Campbell says. "They carried me through what was the most horrific thing a parent/nurse could see." Campbell quit nursing school for a few years to work with specialists for her son adjusting to a new life with brain damage. But as soon as she could, she went back and became an RN. "I had several overly-emotional job interviews at the question 'why nursing?'" she explains. Now, Campbell works as a pediatric RN at Rady's Children's Hospital in San Diego. "My motivation is to pay forward the care that we received. To someday be the nurse that slips into the room of that mom who has just seen her life pass before her and say, 'when I see your heartbreak, know that I feel it too.'" To the heroes among us... Nurses are hardwired to help people. During every shift - and every moment in between. Their wisdom and training has equipped them to shift into nursing mode no matter what the situation, making them an asset to all those around them. Do you have a story of your own to add to this impressive list? Have you also jumped into action outside of your scrubs? Have you seen nurses come through for a stranger in a crisis? Share in the comments below!
  2. You spent years pulling all night study sessions, learning the miracles of the human body and overcoming your shock reflex. Passing the NCLEX was a great day in your professional life, but your first day on the job can make it seem like you might have made the wrong career choice. But let's face it - there's only so much you can learn from a textbook. That's why we asked veteran nurses to share the lessons they learned the hard way. Here's what they had to say. Tips they don't teach you in nursing school 1. You have to swallow your pride... "A cantankerous patient was asking for all sorts of unnecessary things and berating everyone who came into her room. I decided to swallow my pride and irritation, ignore more pressing priorities and get my patient that second cup of coffee she wanted. Her whole demeanor changed - she just wanted to know that someone cared. She didn't have any more petty requests for the rest of the day, and even her vital signs improved. - Nick Angelis, CRNA, MSN 2. You'll eventually be able to stomach anything... "Within a week of working as a nurse, I guarantee you'll be able to eat your lunch while listening to your coworker tell a story about his or her worst 'Code Brown' experience. You won't push your lunch away, you won't gag, you won't even blink an eye. You'll be laughing!" - Natalie Kathol, CRN 3. You WILL make mistakes... "The most earth-shattering realization for me is that no one ever told me that I would never 'arrive.' In school I thought I'd arrive once I finished. Then I thought I'd arrive after a few years' experience. But after I made an enormous error and had a terrifying near miss, I realized that I was standing on an abyss of all the clinical knowledge that I would never know. That is when the thought first occurred to me that perhaps you never arrive and you just keep learning and developing." - Nicole Nash-Arnold 4. You're so much more than a nurse "In school, you learn about anatomy and diagnostics. But there's a reason why almost everyone loves nurses. We are often the first line of defense. We protect, defend and advocate for our patients. We hug relatives and friends. We are cheerleaders. We explain all we can. And we never stop. This isn't something you can necessarily learn just from a book or guest lecture. Our experience and our experiences make us who we are as individuals and colleagues." - Josie Vega, RN, Menorah Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care 5. Follow your hunches... "I worked on a telemetry floor and a [physician assistant] removed a patient's pacing wires after heart surgery. Afterwards, the patient felt sick and nauseated. I told the PA something was wrong and kept calling up the chain of command. Sure enough, the patient needed emergency surgery for cardiac tamponade, which would have killed the patient in a few more minutes. The key with hunches is to eliminate impossible choices and examine improbable ones." - Nick Angelis, CRNA, MSN 6. You have to manage your time... "One of the things I never truly learned in nursing school was how to be proficient in time management and team building. As a registered nurse, I worked 12-hour shifts and didn't have time for a personal break. At first, I felt there was never enough time to get everything done and do a good job. As my capacity for teamwork evolved, so did my time management skills and general joy for a career in nursing. As a result of this progression, my patients received better care." - Susan Finsaas, national health services director at The Goodman Group 7. You never stop learning... "Don't think you're done learning just because you graduated. There are STILL medical diagnoses and medications I am looking up and researching! And that's OK! Keep looking things up! Also join your local or state nursing chapter sooner rather than later! Get involved! Go to meetings. Read nursing journals. I wish I would have sooner." - Natalie Kathol, CRN 8. Sometimes you need to negotiate with patients... "A wheelchair-bound alcoholic wanted to go home but there was a blizzard outside and nobody to deliver him safely. How could I get him to stay in the hospital for the night? The nuns called me down to care for him in the ER. Despite objections of the staff, I asked a guard for a coat and the man said, 'I'm not wearing any coat.' I said, 'The coat is not for you, it's for me. The blankets they just got are for you. I'm here to wheel you home.' With more objections, the nuns hushed everyone. As soon as he could see through the glass doors to the blizzard outside, he asked if it would be OK to spend the night instead of going home." - Jonathan Steele, RN executive director 9. You'll bring work home with you... "I wish I had learned more about the emotional aspects of nursing. When your shift ends, the laughs, tears and heartaches don't disappear. It's important to learn coping skills and have mentors who can offer you tools until you develop your own." - Josie Vega, RN, Menorah Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care 10. You have to trust yourself... "In nursing school, you don't learn that rampant paranoia diminishes your ability to become a good nurse. Calling a physician over trivial matters or insisting that dire complications are around the corner clouds rational judgment." - Nick Angelis, CRNA, MSN What do you wish you learned? Experience is a nurse's best friend - and some lessons just can't be taught in the classroom. They must be learned firsthand. What do you wish you'd learned before becoming a nurse? What did you have to learn the hard way after nursing school?
  3. Rasmussen College

    Do Bachelor's Degrees Save Lives? - The Facts about Earning a BSN

    Our BSN program actually costs less than half of that and we're continually seeking innovative ways to minimize costs and improve curriculum for our students. We appreciate all of the thoughtful feedback and insights this post has generated thus far. As we predicted, this is a hot topic in the industry which is why we love hearing the viewpoints of those on the front lines! Keep them coming, everyone!
  4. Rasmussen College

    Do Bachelor's Degrees Save Lives? - The Facts about Earning a BSN

    Great insight - Thanks for sharing!
  5. Some assert that there are some pretty distinct differences in the capabilities, responsibilities and patient outcomes that come with each educational milestone. It's no secret that more voices in the field are citing those differences as a driving force behind the push to convince more RNs to pursue BSN degrees. But are the benefits as clear-cut as they've been made out to be? Here's what we found from doing some research on what has been written. The push for more BSNs Initiatives like "80 by '20" and "BSN in 10" have become hot topics in the nursing world, but they're often misunderstood. Here's a quick breakdown of the differences: 80 by '20 is a call-to-action that requires 80 percent of nurses to hold bachelor's degrees by 2020. This initiative has been put in place by the Institute of Medicine in tandem with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. BSN in 10 is a proposed policy that would require new nurses to obtain their BSN within 10 years of entering the field if they wish to continue practicing. The initiative originated with the New York State Nurses Association and has received support from the House of Delegates of the American Nurses Association. The motivation for initiatives like these is threefold. Proponents hope to see improvements in patient care; increased prospects and longevity in nursing careers; and efficiencies in the ability of healthcare facilities to manage increasing patient loads. It hasn't taken long for other healthcare organizations to align with these commitments. Many hospitals may be drawn by the motivation to uphold high standards of patient care and professional development in order to achieve magnet status, while others can't seem to ignore the question, "Do bachelor's degrees really save more lives?" The link between education & mortality rates Healthcare organizations and hospital leadership continually recognize the contributions made by nurses of all educational levels. But many have acknowledged reports that suggest qualifications impact mortality rates. What does the data say? Studies suggest a correlation between patient mortality rates and the level of education achieved by their nurses. A 2014 study supported by the National Institutes of Health reported a 7 percent decline in patient mortality for each 10 percent increase in the number of nurses who hold bachelor's degrees. Put simply, nurses with more education appear to have better patient outcomes. The study brought the conversation a step further by comparing patient outcomes with nursing workload. Hospitals in which 60 percent of nurses hold bachelor's degrees and care for six or fewer patients saw a 33 percent decrease in patient mortality when compared to hospitals in which only a third of nurses hold a bachelor's degree and care for up to eight patients. This suggests a significant decrease in the number of patient deaths for nurses who have more education and also care for fewer patients. The data suggests that healthcare organizations recognize the need to not only increase RN qualifications, but also increase the number of nurses available to care for patients. The added benefits of earning a BSN Because many healthcare facilities are prioritizing a bachelor's level education for RN candidates, the number job prospects for nurses with bachelor's degrees has seen a huge surge in recent years. In fact, Burning-Glass was used to identify more than a million RN job postings from the past year and found that candidates holding a bachelor's degree qualified for 78 percent of them, while diploma and associate degree holders qualified for just 53 percent.1 The prospects are also greatly increased for RNs hoping to progress into advanced nursing positions later in their careers. For example, we examined nearly 100,000 nurse manager job postings from the last 12 months. The data revealed that candidates with bachelor's degrees qualified for 70 percent of the jobs available, while associate degree holders qualified for just 25 percent of them.2 But the job vacancies don't tell the only story here. There is also increased earning potential for bachelor's degree holders. Nurse manager candidates with bachelor's degrees can expect a $7,000 increase in mean annual salary.3 Are BSNs worth more than the hype? The initiatives in place to encourage more RNs to earn bachelor's degrees are hard to ignore, but there are two sides to every coin. Some professionals are pushing back despite support from leading healthcare organizations. It's a debate that continues to rage throughout the comment streams of nursing blogs across the Internet. So what do you think? Are there tangible benefits to a nursing workforce with a higher percentage of bachelor's degrees? Is the jump from RN-BSN worth it? Share your thoughts in the comments below! Sponsored by Rasmussen College Is RN-BSN Worth It? 9 Reasons to Level Up. Earn Your BSN Degree - Your Way
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