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  1. Elizabeth Hanes

    How To Get Started As A Nurse Writer

    I field a lot of questions from nurses about how to break into freelance writing. I always enjoy interacting with my fellow nurses and helping them get started in a new career as a writer. I thought I'd share my best tips and advice here. Here is a post for anyone who is in the "thinking about it" stage of the decision-making process. 1. Clarify why you want to become a writerIs it because you want to share your personal journey with others? Is it to report on breaking health news? Is it to help pharmaceutical companies navigate the regulatory path? Is it to write patient engagement materials? These are important questions to ask because the path to success looks somewhat different for each of these different types of writing. For instance, I do healthcare content marketing which has a relatively low barrier to entry and a prescribed path for finding work. Regulatory writing can be very lucrative but also requires a high degree of technical skill and is less easy to break into. If your goal is to share your personal journey, then maybe essay writing is your path. It's not necessarily lucrative, but surely it's rewarding. 2. Start reading about how to writeUnless you're that person who got straight-As in English composition class, it's worth your while to brush up on your writing skills: grammar, punctuation -- all that stuff you might have hated studying in school. And by the way, if you hated studying that stuff in school then you might not be a good fit as a writer. You absolutely, positively must have a good grasp of composition before you plunge into writing as a career, just as you had to have a good grasp of anatomy before you ever performed a venipuncture. 3. Read blogs on how to freelanceThere are a lot of excellent resources on the web for how to get started as a freelance writer. I won't mention any by name in case it's against the rules. One caveat: Maintain a healthy sense of skepticism when perusing these sites. If you run into one of those "get-rich-quick" as a writer sites, avoid it at all cost. No matter what anyone says, success as a writer takes time to achieve. Yes, it is possible to make excellent money in this business (I'm living proof of that), but you cannot develop your skills, marketing and contacts overnight. 4. Understand freelance writing is a businessThis tip is for the people who really want to earn their living as a writer, as opposed to those who just want a creative outlet. I see many nurses wash out of freelancing because they wanted to be 99% artist and 1% businessperson. It doesn't work like that. I estimate I spend 60-75% of my time on administration/marketing/accounting activities and 25-30% actually writing something. That's the game, folks. If you can't see yourself as a businessperson, then maybe freelancing isn't for you. 5. Enjoy the process and savor the successI can't even begin to express how you will feel when you make that first sale. And then that same joy will wash over you again when that first check arrives in the mail. To put something "out there" that you wrote and have it valued in a tangible sense, well, it's difficult to describe. Savor every moment because freelancing can be a bumpy process. You need to celebrate all those little victories. I'll be back again with other posts that delve into more of the practical "how do I get started" stuff. Meanwhile, feel free to ask questions.
  2. The better question to ask first is, "What the heck is a podcast?" The garden variety dictionary definition: It's an on-the-go recording that you can listen to at your leisure, on your own time, when you have the time. The recording itself can be virtually anything you can think of. There are story telling podcasts, interviews, topic gathering, information sharing and fact finding podcasts. There are how-to podcasts, podcasts that actually teach you how-to podcast. Podcasts that can walk you through starting a business, becoming an entrepreneur, how to run a business, marketing secrets. There are podcasts just for listening to music, and there are podcasts for watching videos!! The list truly is endless. The type of podcast you choose to listen to is only limited by your imagination and effort you make searching for them. Ironically podcasting has been around for decades, once called audio broadcasting. It was actually referred to as 'audio blogging' for a short time, but thanks to Steve Jobs and his visionary company Apple (you may have heard of it) who invented this little thing called the iPod the name podcast was created. So, now that you have a brief idea of what a podcast is. How does this podcast-thingy work? It's easy-peasy. You need two things. An actual "Podcast" that produces an RSS feed A podcatcher system/program/application So. RSS? What the heck is that? Check out this quick description: Sean is an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, host of The Change of Shift Podcast and has been a Nurse blogger 10 years. He's a mentor, educator, leader, coach and consultant (#asktheNP). His website, Sean P. Dent, MSN, ACNP-BC, CCRN - The Host of The Change of Shift Podcast. Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. Mentor. Leader. Coach. Consultant. is a social media vault for all nurses across their career spectrum who are seeking guidance on how to succeed. RSS is a fancy-shamncy way to gain access to any piece of multimedia (when you subscribe to a topic or article within allnurses.com, RSS is being used). You don't need to understand the guts or inner workings of RSS, just know it exists and whatever podcast you choose to listen to must offer/have an RSS feed (99.9% of them do, so don't worry) Now that podcatcher. It's a program that 'catches' your podcasts. A program/website/mobile app that catches those pesky RSS feeds and makes them available for you to listen to. Most of us listen to podcasts from our mobile phone/device. Ironically those of you who have an iPhone... you already have a pre-installed podcatcher... it's called the "Podcasts" app on you iPhone. For android users you'll actually have to download one (you can Google podcast or podcatcher for a list of apps). That's it. Simple and easy. Now once again, why should a Nurse care about Podcasts? Wholly cow! Think about it. You can access thousands (if not millions) of free media to download onto your device to access and listen to at your own leisure. On your own time. Is that NOT the number one complaint of every Nurse? Whether a student or practicing Nurse.. time is not abundant. We barely get time to eat, pee or sleep. Podcasts monopolize on your time management. Listen to a podcast while on your commute. Maybe during your workout? Maybe during a meal break at work? Maybe in-between classes? All of those time-buffers when you are moving from one thing to the next... a great way to learn something new! I'll finish by listing a handful of Podcasts that would benefit ANY Nurse out there: The Change of Shift Podcast The Change of Shift – Where Nursing meets the Internet - Where Nursing meets the internet. They discuss current events, impactful stories and invaluable lessons from the front lines of Health Care. (Full disclosure, this is a Podcast I host) The Nursing Show Nursing Show Podcast - For Nurses by Nurses -Every weekly Nursing Show episode features news, tips and tricks, medication information, nursing career interviews, education and commentary for nurses, RN, LPN, BSN, and nurse students, and anyone interested in general medical information. NRSNG Show (NCLEX® Prep for Nursing Students) NRSNG | Helping Nursing Students Succeed. Period. I Help Nursing Students Succeed. Period. Free Nursing School and NCLEX Cheat Sheets at NRSNG.com/freebies Welcome to the NRSNG Show from NRSNG.com . . . #1 Nursing Podcast and the leader in nursing student education. New motivational episodes 2-3 times per week EMCrit Podcast - Critical Care and Resuscitation EMCrit Blog - Emergency Department Critical Care & Resuscitation Help me fill in the blanks of the practice of ED Critical Care. In this podcast, we discuss all things related to the crashing, critically ill patient in the Emergency Department. Find the show notes at emcrit.org. The Elective Rotation: A Critical Care Hospital Pharmacy Podcast Critical Care Pharmacy Resources The Elective Rotation delivers unbiased & valuable critical care and hospital pharmacy content from a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist. The FlightBridgeED Podcast http://www.flightbridgeed.com/ The FlightBridgeED Podcast provides convenient, easy to understand critical care medicine education, and current topics related to the air medical industry. RNFM Radio Show http://rnfmradio.com/ RN.FM is a revolutionary Internet radio station for nurses and by nurses. Our mission is to challenge and expand the common understanding of what it means to be a nurse. I'm always available for blog or podcast questions. I'd love to hear from you.
  3. Kyrshamarks

    Used Nursing To Start My Business

    Now you are asking what kind of legal business could he be in that makes that kind of money? Well let me tell you. I am in the business of death. I clean death and crime scenes. It seems kind of strange and surreal for me right now being in this business. It seems I have spent my whole life working with death. In my 20's and early 30's I was a Special Forces Soldier. In that time frame i was the cause of death. Then when I got out of the service and became a nurse I spent my time helping people fight off death (which I still do). Now as I look to the end of my carrer I now clean up after death. I guess I have come full circle in a way. Well enough about me. Let me tell you about this business. I started a company that is hired after someone either commits suicide or is murdered and we literally come in and clean up the mess. After the coroner is gone, it is up to the family to clean the mess that is left behind. That mess is a biohazardous mess and the coroner usually tells them this. I also work with hotels and motels and even have done a few small strip mall shops and stores. The cleaning takes specialized training and equipment. All things that have been touched by the body is considered contaminated and all fluids are biohazardous and must either be cleaned and decontaminated or red bagged and burned. I provide that service. I have a company here that arranges for the burning of redbag material and I also have home remodelers that can redo dry wall and carpet and ceilings. I offer all those services. One thing though it does not come cheap. My services range from 250-1000 dollars an hour. Not your average cleaning bill. Luckily most homeowner policies will pay for the clean up of suicides and if it ws a crime there is the federal crime victims assistance fund that will pay for it. If there is no insurance I am willing to work out a price reduction and payment options. I know this all sounds interesting but let me tell you, this business can be hard on you. It takes a strong stomach and constitution. The coroner picks up the body but not all the body parts. I have literally picked up pieces of scalp and bone and even a few fingers. All gets destroyed. The smell can be overpowering. A decomposing body can sure leave some bad smells and big stains. I have had to remove subflooring before and replace it. Wood is very expensive to redbag and burn but it must be done properly. Sometimes you are even picking teeth out of walls and ceilings. And imagine doing this with a grieving family standing over you and asking why did this happen. Now also imagine doing this in a biohazard suit with a respirator on with possibly no ac or heat on in the place. That is where more of my nurses training comes into play. I have to be empathetic but not to the point of allowing their grief and the scene to affect me or my crew. I will give the family a list of resources that helps with grieving that I have acquired over the years as a nurse, I also have social worker info and even legal info that I can give them. I try to offer a compassionate service in their time of need. When I leave I know that I have done the family a service and can feel good about it. Another big part of the business is hotels and motels. you would be surprised at the amount of people that check into a hotel to commit suicide. Those places want nothing but utter discretion and speed of service. I provide that to them. After all their housekeeping staff cannot handle the cleanup and they do not want their reputations damaged. I have been to a few high end 4 star hotels to clean rooms. And to think I started this business with less than $10,000 dollars saved over 8 months. I bought a used 1998 Ryder moving truck and had it painted white for a total cost of 3400. I bought saws and wet dry vacs. I use shovels and plastic putty knives quite a bit. A fish tank to soak items in in cleaner. Tyvek biohazard suits and gloves and respirators..both full face and half mask. I even took a course in this type of cleaning to get ABRA (American Bio Recovery Association) certification. I have a several hand held steamers, used to steam dried brain material which is like cement when dry. A generator and lights for working nights or where there is no power. I use plenty of house hold cleaners a few industrial cleaners and bug bombs for killing flies and maggots. I also have a large ozone generator to help kill odors and clean the air. I am a complete cleaning facility on wheels. I have a photo printer to print out photos of the scene both before and after for the insurance companies as well as for the family if they want them. I am now keeping two crews busy almost full time. These guys are high school graduates for the most part and now they are earning a great wage of 50 bucks an hour and if they can make it to one year I will raise it to 75 an hour. I believe in paying well for a good job. Plus this business is hard on people. You get to see some of the worst things in life and have to clean them up. I have marketed this business like crazy to get it started though. I literally hit almost every hotel, motel, strip mall and funeral home, hospital, church and police and fire department within a 300 mile radius of me. I am constantly calling them and just inquiring how things are going for them and to remind them that if they ever need my services to just remember I offer satisfaction guarantee and total discretion. It is paying off. So just remember in these tough economic times there are still ways to make money for a very little start up. All you have to do is find a niche market and fill that need. Kyrshamarks
  4. My first migraine attack occurred years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I had just showered after PE class in 8th grade and was walking to the lockers to get dressed when I started seeing stars. It was an odd sensation, but I kept going. I later realized that was a big mistake. As the day progressed the head pain I'd later come to know all too well reared it's ugly head and made it clear it wasn't backing down. My 14-year-old self learned an important lesson that day; playing chicken with a migraine is never a wise move.There's a saying that goes "If your head hurts, it's a headache. If you think you may die, it's a migraine." I was sure I was dying. The fuzzy stars, extreme head pain, and nausea that accompany migraines have affected my life in ways I couldn't have imagined at such a young age. As a teenager, the migraines took a toll. I missed school from time to time, couldn't always go out with my friends and was sick more than I would have preferred, but, I still managed to do most of the things I enjoyed, including competitive dance, drill team, and drama. By the time I was a young adult, I had found ways to control my pain enough to function well most days and decided to pursue a career in nursing. Nursing school was hard, and I suffered several migraines while there, but I graduated! Once I got my first nursing job, things were going well as the constant stress of nursing school was gone, and my body seemed to be cooperating with me again. I'd been at my first job for about four months when I became pregnant with my third son. It was bad. I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, and my migraines came back with a vengeance. I had to call in sick several times, which obviously became an issue as we all know nursing isn't a job you can "do tomorrow." I eventually resigned my position. I had my fourth son only 18 months later and quickly realized that going back to a traditional nursing job just wasn't in the cards for me at the time. The truth is at first I was mad- I mean truly angry- at life for taking away something I had worked so long and hard for. However, I believe the saying, "Once a nurse, always a nurse" is a true statement and I desperately wanted to find a way to stay involved in health care in some capacity. During nursing school, I'd read my textbooks, but when I wanted to learn about a disease or condition and how to truly care for someone, I'd look for blogs. I remember wishing I could find a website that had all the stories I was looking for in one place, and even considered creating such a site. The thought left me then but crept back up almost three years later. In October 2015, I decided to create Living the Diagnosis, a medical story sharing site. Many amazing people have shared their stories. I've learned a lot about professional blogging, social media marketing, curating content, writing, and editing. Although I love sharing other people's stories, I've also always enjoyed writing my own, so I started searching for ways to write in the healthcare field. That's when I came across a "Nurse Writer" and was intrigued. I researched the profession and decided to try my hand at freelance writing. Becoming a blogger and freelance writer focusing on healthcare has been an amazing journey. It has given me the opportunity to continue working in healthcare, but in a way that my chronic illness will allow. My reason for sharing this story is to encourage anyone who has had to quit bedside nursing and loves to write to consider freelance writing. It has been wonderful to feel like I'm helping others even if it is from my home, or sometimes even in bed! All nurses, just like everyone else, have their own challenges. Your challenge may put you on the bench from time to time, but don't let it keep you out of the game. Is chronic illness threatening your nursing career? Have you found a way to stay in the field while dealing with your illness? Tell us about your experience.
  5. You can write the best article, but if you aren't mindful of SEO, all your time might be wasted if your writing is buried on the Internet. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) might sound like a confusing, technical term, but writers need to become familiar with it to increase visibility through web traffic driven by commercial search engines. Improving your SEO doesn't have to be challenging. I've sought the expertise of content creator, consultant and writing instructor, Annie Beth Donahue, to explain the basics. Annie Beth began her career in the healthcare field, but emphasizes that she has always been interested in writing stating, "Words are a large part of what makes us uniquely human." She describes how she started a professional writing career after working in the healthcare field for almost twenty years. She combined her skills by writing for a non-profit that serves children with chronic health problems and disabilities. Donahue added additional freelance writing a few years ago and now offers a variety of writing classes. Annie Beth expanded her SEO knowledge working as an inbound marketing content writer for an international medical equipment company. She states that "There are different places to examine to see if your SEO is good." She's sharing a few SEO optimization tips to help us get started. Leverage Keywords Each post needs to have a unique keyword. Annie Beth describes how choosing a keyword that relates specifically to your post will help people searching for this topic find your article. Consider how you search on the computer. What is your post about? What are people looking for? Choose Your Title Your title should be approximately 70 characters or less. Annie Beth explained that a carefully chosen title will catch the interest of your audience and boost your visibility. There is also something called the SEO title. This is what Google will display on your search page. There are different guidelines for the SEO title, which Annie Beth discusses in more depth in her free SEO course. Make a Meta Description Your meta description is the 160-320 character snippet under the title in the Google search. Annie Beth stressed the importance of writing your own, or Google will create that paragraph. The result could be something that may not entice someone to read your article. Annie Beth's tips for meta description: Include your focus keyword Write in active voice, and use questions, such as, "How does it differ?" or "How do you know?" to gain the curiosity of your readers End it with a call to action (CTA) to entice the reader to continue reading Article Body Size Matters Longer pages rank higher, but Donahue encourages writing with your reader in mind. She states, "Be as concise as possible and write high-quality content to keep your readers coming back. If people come and leave, it can result in a high bounce rate. You want them to read the article and go to another page on your site." Most importantly, Annie Beth emphasized that "Readability is king. It matters more than SEO." Annie Beth's tips for the body of your article: No shorter than 300 words, aim for around 500 or more, with an ideal length of 800-1000+ Link to other posts on your site to increase website engagement Have a call to action at the end of the post telling you what to do next such as, "Read more to learn..." or "Get it now, "or "Try it free." Optimize Your Images Pictures are great for your post, but understanding where you to add your keyword can gain SEO benefits. Featured image-This is the image that displays with your article. Image description-The screen reader reads this to the visually impaired. Alt text- Include the focus keyword here. The screen reader also reads this. Caption- Displays underneath the photo and doesn't affect your SEO. Annie Beth's SEO Do's and Don'ts- SEO Do- Optimize your SEO by including your keyword in your title, the beginning of your article, in headers, once or twice in the body, the blog's URL and in the meta description. Try not to use the same keyword for different blog posts, which can make your website pages compete Make your post mobile friendly Consider an SEO plugin for your site to assist with optimization SEO Don't - Don't stuff your keyword. Use it an average of one out of every 100 words. Over 5% can get you penalized for keyword stuffing. Update your old posts to improve SEO, but don't touch the permalink or it will break your link For more detailed SEO information, Annie Beth has a written material, and a video for visual learners, in her free SEO class. SEO Lingo URL- Once you hit publish, your writing has a unique web address Outbound link- links to another website Internal link- a link on your website linking to another page on your website Inbound link- comes from another site to your website Long-tail keyword phrase- 3+ words- often have better search results. Think about what you type in to search. It's usually more specific. I.e.: keyword= nursing, long-tail keyword= online nursing schools Stop words- these words are skipped over by search engines. Usually words like: at, by, and, can and other conjunctions. Cornerstone content- An expert piece on a keyword that covers everything you need to know on that topic. Algorithm- process, or set of rules and calculations, a computer follows Annie Beth, tell us more about your writing classes... Writing and teaching are Donahue's passion. Annie Beth says, "I believe every writer should have the tools and frameworks to communicate clearly so they can develop relationships and share knowledge." Her classes cater to different learning styles. Some are live with written materials accompanying each module or chapter and many are self-paced to watch at your own convenience. Content Matters Above all, Annie Beth emphasizes the importance of writing original, high-quality content and allowing your writing to speak for you. Then follow these SEO tips to make sure your authentic writing gets the visibility you desire. The specifics that drive algorithms can change, but quality writing will make people want to come back for more.
  6. By definition, an innovator is "a person who introduces new methods, ideas, or products". Allnurses.com will be featuring nurses that are innovators as a regular series to encourage other nurses to "think outside the box" and create new ideas for themselves and their colleagues in the healthcare industry. It will also help nurses connect with each other and reach out through the resources that these innovators have paved our path toward. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce Deanna Gillingham RN, CCM, The Stay at Home Nurse. She is a true nurse innovator. She practiced nursing for 17 years at the bedside before an ankle and foot injury forced her to rethink her career focus. She needed a desk job. She quickly found a position with a large insurance company as a case manager, with a condition of employment being to become certified in case management. As she began searching out study materials to prepare for the exam, Deanna found it difficult to find any good resources. She ended up doing the material research on her own. She passed the certification exam and became a Certified Case Manager. After her success, Deanna shared her information with other case managers studying for their exam and voila, they passed as well! Here is where Deanna's innovative mind brought her hard work, dedication, and passion to fruition. She decided to write and publish her own case management study guide called: CCM Certification Made Easy: Your guide to passing the certified case manager exam. Along with this, Deanna developed a workbook to go along with the test prep book. Deanna opted to self-publish her book due to the extent of time it takes to get a book to print through a publisher. She found that if she had gone through a publisher, her book would have been outdated before it was published! Deanna created a website called Case Management Study Guide that offers information and support to fellow case managers as well as an online case management certification review course. She also formed a Facebook page called The Stay at Home Nurse. Amongst her biggest challenges has been learning to write. As she says "after writing nurses notes for over 20 years, writing a complete sentence was difficult, let alone a paragraph or a book!" The technical portion of the career path has been a challenge as well. She ultimately took on a business partner who handles the tech portion so that she can focus on her own strengths. When asked about career role models, Deanna stated, "I have a lot! Laura Mitchell RN, BSN was a role model who took me under her wing and encouraged me to really grow in my profession as a nurse. Her inspiration and leadership inspired me to seek out opportunities before I felt I was ready for them. The second would be Anne Llewellyn, RN-BC,MS, BHSA, CCM, CRRN who has become a role model and mentor. She has a wealth of knowledge and expertise and is dedicated to sharing it in order to promote the practice of case management and case managers". As far as advice that Deanna would give to aspiring nurse entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, Deanna encourages doing something each day toward reaching your goal. Baby steps so as not to become overwhelmed. Ask a lot of "how and why" questions when a problem is introduced. Thinking of how to solve a problem and delving deeper into the why questions. Deanna believes mentoring the next generation of nurses to elevate the quality of nursing professionals is one of the single most important issues to face over the coming years. Addressing issues such as bullying and staffing ratios will help to ensure that the next generation can properly care for patients without burnout and risk of losing good nurses. For more information regarding case management or materials and support groups for studying for the certification exam see Deanna's facebook page or webpage listed above!
  7. seanpdent

    Why Every Nurse Should Blog

    These were some recurrent thoughts I had during those first several months. I had successfully re-entered the collegiate world for the second time. I applied and entered Nursing school, (barely)survived an 18 month fast-track diploma program before taking and passing my NCLEX-RN exam. I was a green-behind-the-ears Graduate Nurse (GN) working in a small-town busy ICU. To say I was overwhelmed was an understatement. It's as if everything shifted into warp-speed after I stepped off that darn graduation stage. ...more crazy-scared thoughts.. Back then, in my state of residence, we could work as GN's with a state-issued temporary license upon graduation. The license would expire in 90 days (if memory serves me correctly). So you had to take your state board exam quick. Those first several months were a blur. I remember surfing the internet one day looking up a new diagnosis I encountered when I heard/red the term 'Blog'. Yep, I had to 'Google' the term. Yes, this was before the days of Twitter and Facebook. Yes, this was pre-MySpace. After some digging over several more months I realized these blog-thingy's were a great way to share and vent your day. Also a great way to communicate with other people. And even better, you could read other blogs, other stories. ..(I WASN'T ALONE?!!) I shyly dipped my toe in the blog waters ever so slightly. I could share my stories! Ask crazy questions. Truly find out if all this crazy stuff was only happening to me. Give some helpful tips on what NOT to do when this certain situation cropped up on the unit. I also could give my opinion on some really great ways to save time, save money and save yourself a lot of undue stress! I remember how quickly it caught my attention, and how addicting it became. After a while, not only was I sharing my stories and reading others stories, but complete strangers (from all over the world) were communicating with me about what I wrote! It's been 10 years and I'm still telling stories. Each generation of Nurses benefits from my words and I benefit from theirs. Over those 10 years I've not only told my stories and met countless other nurses, but I've developed relationships. I've created professional networking connections, landed paying jobs (yes blogging), traveled and experienced opportunities that would have never existed had I not taken the leap and started that crazy weB LOG thing. How do you blog? Just tell your story.
  8. When you make the decision to launch a side hustle, you are buzzing with excitement. When I launched my writing career, I could not contain my joy in anticipation of this amazing business. I imagined myself spending my days playing with my daughter, writing during her naptime, and making more money than I did as a nurse. The amazing thing is, that IS how I spend my days now. It took time to get to this point, but it was worth it. The downside is that there is a long murky middle period. You're still working your full-time job while building up a completely new business, and probably feel like you're losing your mind most of the time. Self-doubt and overwhelm become your constant companions, and you can't help but wonder if all of this work and time are going to pay off. Over my career transition the past five years, I've learned that the secret to creating something new is focus. Keeping a positive focus on your business will help move you forward even when you feel like quitting. Commit to a Schedule The first step to launching a business is taking it seriously, and that means devoting regular time and energy to it. When we decide to work on our business "whenever we have time," that time never comes. You are busy with work, family, school, and other obligations. If you want to grow a sustainable business, you have to start taking it seriously from the very beginning. Every weekend, look at the week ahead and make a plan. Maybe you will decide to wake up 30 minutes earlier every morning or devote your lunch break (what's that?) to building your business. It doesn't matter if you only have 15 minutes per day to work on your side business. If you commit to those few minutes and accomplish one task, you will move forward and achieve your goals. Ignore the Naysayers Here's a little secret that all new business owners face. Your loved ones will probably discourage you from trying. It doesn't mean that they don't believe in you or don't support you. They simply may not see your vision and just don't want to see you disappointed. When I told my husband that I was going to leave nursing to launch a freelance writing career, he was less than thrilled. I knew he believed in me, but he had never seen a nurse writer before and didn't know if this was possible. He didn't want me to get my hopes up, only to waste all of my time and energy. But here's the thing. Starting a new business is a gamble. There is no such thing as guaranteed success, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth trying. If your family and friends are not on board yet, just don't talk about your business with them. Talk to people who have done it before, and don't sweat the people who haven't. Envision Your Future Because building a business can be a long, challenging road, it is crucial to stay focused on what you want and why you want it. Create a clear picture in your mind of what you want. If you can't stand working every other weekend, imagine the time freedom that your business will bring you. If you are hoping your side hustle will bring a higher income, imagine what that money will mean for you and your family. Spend a few minutes each morning visualizing your future. This will keep you focused and motivated, even on the toughest days. Look for People Who Have Done it Before As the motivational speaker Tony Robbins says, "Success leaves clues." Actively seek out nurse business owners who have successfully done what you're working towards. You could reach out directly with questions or simply follow their journeys. Pay attention to the kind of content they are putting out. Read interviews with them to learn their success strategies. You don't actually have to meet someone for her to be your mentor. Be Kind to Yourself When you're working towards a goal, it's easy to get caught up in everything you don't know and haven't accomplished yet. I still constantly find myself comparing myself to more established nurse writers, rather than appreciating how far I have come. Make sure to take time to take care of yourself during this process. If you burn out from exhaustion, there will be no business, so prioritize self-care. Take days off. Go for a walk in the sunshine. Write down 10 things you are grateful for. Take exquisite care of yourself so that you can pour that energy into a successful business.
  9. Tim Raderstorf RN, MSN Masters prepared nurse, Chief Innovation Officer at Ohio State University College of Nursing, Speaker, inventor, entrepreneur, consultant........say what???!!! These are just the titles and roles that Tim Raderstorf currently plays in the realm of nursing innovation. I have the privilege to share with you all a bit about how Tim got where he is today, the incredible work that he is doing for nursing and healthcare in general, and where his passions and mindset towards innovation are directing him. His philosophies will make all of us nurses rethink our everyday practice, no matter your field. That's why I titled him the "innovator of innovation". Tim has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. He recalls watching the movie Apollo 13 as a child and unlike other kids his age, he did not want to be an astronaut and travel to space. He wanted to be part of the engineering team who was on the ground working out the details and developing the solution to problems on the shuttle. From that point on he knew his mindset was different, that he wanted to provide tangible solutions to an issue. In the quest to use his interpersonal skills, love of helping people, quick thinking and innovative mind, Tim found himself in nursing school receiving his RN license and eventually achieving his Masters Degree in Nursing. Throughout his nursing career, Tim worked in pediatric hematology/ oncology. He began to notice that nurses are very innovative in their everyday practice. He refers to this as the "working around" workflow. For example, if a nurse is unable to connect a urinary catheter to a leg bag, he/ she is likely to "work around" this problem and develop their own solution. They will often find a new way to attach the bag and make it functional. This nurse will go on to do this same thing each time they have the problem. They just work around it. Another example is opening an IV start kit. Let's say following the protocol of their care area, the nurse inserts the IV and each time is left with one piece of unused gauze per packet. This gauze gets thrown out. These kinds of "workarounds" can cost the hospital/facility a lot of money over time. Most nurses never think to mention these minor issues to their unit director or nursing supervisor for a closer look to alternatives. They just do their work and head home and no one addresses the problem, it just gets hidden in the workflow. Tim encourages that we all look at ourselves as innovators. As nurses and healthcare providers we are natural problem solvers. We just might not know how to find the solution. Sometimes we have ideas to fix the problem, sometimes we just know there is a problem, sometimes we might have an invention that would change healthcare or patient safety and outcomes. Sometimes we may just know that a policy or procedure needs adjusting to fit into the workflow as it exists. Tim knows this through personal experience as an inventor of a care team communication device that promotes patient safety and satisfaction. He recognized a gap in the system and worked with a team to develop a solution. This innovative and entrepreneurial mindset is one of the many steps that have lead Tim down his career path. Tim states, "during my time in healthcare, I've studied and focused on neurosurgical research on Tethered Spinal Cord Syndrome, skilling the healthcare workforce in India, developing Innovation curriculum, designing clinical spaces, improving patient throughput in the pediatric hematology/oncology ambulatory settings, promoting patient safety and satisfaction in one of the nation's largest Emergency Departments, transitioning organizations into new physical locations, and developing novel commercial innovations to enhance patient outcomes." As a speaker, consultant and clinical instructor regarding innovation, his current position seemed to be a natural progression of a life long passion. As the Chief innovation officer at the Innovation Studio, Tim and team members assist medical staff and students at Ohio State University bring their ideas, inventions, or problem solutions to fruition with the help of grants provided to the school. "My passion lies in connecting great thinkers and fostering ideation through the innovation and commercialization process." This team of experts across all of Ohio State's campus' work together to bring ideas through all stages of development. "The Innovation Studio exists to foster interprofessional collaboration in creating healthcare solutions. If you have an idea for a health care product, service, or software and would like help developing it into a commercial reality, we have resources, mentors, and tools to help. Besides housing an array of prototyping tools, the Innovation Studio hosts workshops with topics such as product design, pitch development, interprofessional collaboration and maker skills, and provides project mentors, entrepreneurs-in-residence and daily technical support." Besides housing an array of prototyping tools, the Innovation Studio hosts workshops with topics such as product design, pitch development, interprofessional collaboration and maker skills, and provides project mentors, entrepreneurs-in-residence and daily technical support. Tim is a true entrepreneur. He credits his success and mindset to the support of his father. He says his father has always been behind whatever he wanted to do. "My Dad never batted an eye when I said I wanted to shift my career focus toward nursing". This certainly put Tim on a solid path of free thinking that continues to generate ways to get things done "outside the box". Another individual that helped mold Tim into the professional he is today is Paul Newman. Tim had the privilege of working with the actor and philanthropist through a camp called the Flying Horse Farm (founded by Paul Newman in 1988) to create opportunities for children with serious illness' and their families Tim has volunteered with this organization since 2006 and has learned a lot about how to use what you are given to help others. I am excited to see where Tim Raderstorf's entrepreneur spirit will lead him. Just think of the number of like-minded people that he and his team will impact through the Innovators Studio. Nurses are the hub of the patient care world. Our ideas matter, our thoughts, subtle workflow changes and substitutions matter. Grab hold of your innovative mind and run with it! Your thoughts may change the day to day aspects of patient care, safety, quality or workflow and alter future of healthcare! For more information, see: Office of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships Flying Horse fact sheet
  10. caroline.madormo

    My Nurse Writer Journey

    On June 11, 2012, my entire life changed. Up until that point, I had been pushing hard and working constantly. I was working full time as a nurse and quickly burning out. I was also pursuing my master's degree in public health on the weekends and evenings. Life was moving fast, and I refused to slow down long enough to ask myself if I even wanted all of these things. Then on June 11th, we welcomed a sweet baby girl into our family. I became a mother, and suddenly my entire world opened up. I began to explore the possibility of slowing down. What if I didn't have to go to a job I don't love every day? What if I had more time at home? What if I could create a new career from home? Once that thought crossed my mind, there was no turning back. During my maternity leave, I started obsessively googling things like, "work at home jobs for nurses" and "nurse businesses." I found some work-at-home options like telephone triage nursing jobs, but I knew that type of job would not give me the freedom I craved. I wanted to plan my days around my family, not another employer. It seemed the only option was to work for myself. During one of my daily google searches, I came upon the term, medical writing. Something inside of me clicked, and I knew this was it. I began reading everything I could find about how to break into medical writing. I read articles, listened to podcasts, and watched Youtube videos. I checked out books from the library, and started connecting with nurse writers on LinkedIn. There were not a lot of resources available yet, but I soaked up everything I could find. Here are the exact steps I took to launch a successful nurse writing business. I conducted informational interviews After researching everything I could find on nurse writing, I was ready to take the next step, but I wasn't sure what that was. With a new baby and a full-time job, my time was limited, so I didn't want to waste any of it. I wanted to become a freelance writer, but how could I call myself a nurse writer when I had only just learned this job existed? That is when I decided to get out of my comfort zone and get on my phone. I began calling nurse writers I had found through LinkedIn and their websites. I was surprised how receptive many of them were with talking with me and sharing advice. It began to sink in that no one knows what they are doing in the beginning, but it's the ones who decide to try who become successful. I committed to my goal Once I discovered health and medical writing, I had to be courageous enough to say that I wanted this. It is really easy to look at a big goal and talk yourself out of it. To commit to my goal, I first began talking about it. I told my family and friends that I was pursuing a freelance writing career, and most importantly, that it would eventually support me. I didn't quite believe that part when I said it, but I had to own the goal if it was ever going to happen. Once my goal felt real, I began taking action. I set a weekly schedule for myself and committed to doing a little bit each day. I started before I was ready This is truly the best piece of business advice I have ever received. You will never feel ready to make a big leap or go after a big goal. Your brain wants to keep you safe and will start thinking of all the reasons why it won't work. Start anyway. Start with little actions, and completing those will give you the courage to do a little more. Accept the fact that it will be uncomfortable at first, and that is a good thing! It means you're growing. Don't wait. Start before you're ready. I was persistent Freelance writing is a numbers game. I had heard that before, but it didn't sink in until I began pitching myself to companies and editors. I received countless no's and rejections in the beginning and still do. However, the more I put myself out there and pitch my services, the more yeses come my way. Keep your goals fresh in your mind, and keep going no matter what. You only fail when you quit. By following these steps, over and over, I have built a successful freelance writing career. I now stay home with that sweet baby girl and her younger brother who came along a few years later. I write during school and nap times and have managed to build my salary higher than it was when I was working full-time as a nurse. The journey took time, but it is so worth it.
  11. dianah

    Nurse Massage Therapists

    The world wide web is brimming with articles about nurses who have combined the two disciplines of nursing and massage therapy into a viable and complementary client-centered practice. It well seems to be a perfect marriage for those who are drawn into nursing initially by the desire to help decrease suffering and effect positive changes in patient health and comfort. Nurses can utilize skills of patient assessment in obtaining a history of the client's problem and in formulating a plan of care. Massage therapy involves therapeutic touch and manipulation of muscles and soft tissues of the body. Studies have shown therapeutic massage will effect physiologic and chemical changes in the body that can lessen pain (acute or chronic), lower blood pressure, decrease anxiety and help manage stress. It is a physically demanding occupation, and repetitive stress injuries may occur. As massage therapists work by appointment, they may experience a greater sense of control over their lives by being able to schedule their own work hours. Reports indicate a high rate of job satisfaction, using skills that produce positive outcomes. Nurse massage therapists must possess strong interpersonal communication skills, good decision-making in interviewing clients and then choosing techniques for each one's needs and tolerance, good business acumen, physical stamina and strength as well as dexterity. Some may choose to expand their area of influence and undertake teaching in schools of massage therapy. Massage therapists may start their career working part-time, until networking and exposure help them build a steady, word-of-mouth client base. Membership in professional organizations may increase ones potential for contacts, increasing the likelihood for steady work. Practice Setting The majority of massage therapists are self-employed. This is a different work environment and focus than most nurses' work environment, that of being employed by a facility (whether hospital, LTC center, outpatient clinic or office). Often, pre-conceived ideas and deeply-ingrained reluctance to marketing ones self and skills must be overcome in order to establish a clientele. Massage therapists can work in private offices, spas, fitness centers, some hospitals and nursing homes, businesses and even shopping malls. Some therapists perform massage in client's homes, traveling to appointments. Education There is no requirement for massage therapists to hold a previous degree or possess work experience in a related occupation. Standards and requirements vary by state and locality, but most require completion of an accredited training program (which includes, for example, 500 hours of study and experience) resulting in an undergraduate degree in applied sciences. Certifications Nurse Massage Therapists may be either licensed or board-certified. Local ordinances may require a business license as well as massage therapy license or certification. Passing a state exam is usually required for licensure, or one may apply to take one of two nationally recognized tests: the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx) from the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) or the Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, through the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB). Salary Average salary is $40,000-70,000 per year, depending on geographic location and hours. The need for massage therapists is projected to increase by 20% through 2020. Resources National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork National Association of Nurse Massage Therapists Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards
  12. About NNBA The National Nurses in Business Association (NNBA) is dedicated to supporting, advancing and promoting Nurses in Business, Nurse Entrepreneurs, and Intrapreneurs. Since 1985, thousands of nurses have benefitted from membership in the NNBA launching successful businesses. The NNBA is the forerunner of the nurse entrepreneur movement and that is a result of the active participation and contributions of its richly resourced membership. The NNBA is filled with Nurses, Leaders and Mentors and serves as "The Voice of Nurse Entrepreneurship." The National Nurses in Business Association (NNBA) is hosting its annual Nurse Entrepreneurship & Career Alternatives Conference designed for nurses that are thinking about starting a business, those already in business and those looking for career alternatives. This conference provides business opportunities, best practices, and strategies for nurses to start, manage, grow, and expand their business. Attendees benefit learning from top-ranked experts on relevant topics and connect with prestigious speakers and like-minded colleagues. Come join nurse entrepreneurs as they gather in the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas, Nevada at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, October 14 - 16, 2016. Where & When Las Vegas, Nevada at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, October 14-16, 2016. Conference highlights include More than 18 sessions presented by today's leading nurse entrepreneurs, industry experts, educators, and inspirational business leaders. For a full list of topics, sessions, speakers, and hotel information visit: NNBA Conference 2016 - National Nurses in Business Association Beth Hawkes (Nurse Beth - allnurses' own career advice columnist) will be presenting a session on "Using Social Media to Boost Your Business" Dr. Louise Jakubik, Nationally acclaimed speaker, educator, mentor, and entrepreneur is providing Saturday's Keynote Address, "Beyond Your Wildest Dreams: Business Ownership as THE Difference-Maker for the Life and Work You Really Want" NNBA's 2016 Shark Tank Competition - a crowd favorite! Come learn how to swim with the sharks. Five pre-conference workshops: each offering additional insight into career alternatives and essential entrepreneur and business skills Donna Cardillo - Speaking for Fun & Profit, Stella Nsong - The Hidden Fortune in Elder Care Business, Brittney Wilson - Blogging to Build your Business, Pauline Sanders- Independent Case Management, & RNFMRadio- Kevin Ross, RN, BSN; Keith Carlson RN, BSN, NC-BC and Elizabeth Scala, MSN/MBA - The Power of Podcasting Earn up to 13 CNE contact hours! Register Here:Nursing Conference Agenda - Las Vegas, NV - NNBA Who Should Attend? Nurses new to the idea of being an independent nurse or nurse entrepreneur Self-employed nurses and nurse business owners in the startup and growth mode Nurses interested in learning business skills and strategies to advance their careers Nurse entrepreneurs already in business looking for additional revenue streams Nurses interested in meeting like-minded colleagues and extending your network Why Attend - Actionable Take-A-Ways Emerging opportunities of nurses roles in the new healthcare landscape Information on how to transition to independent nursing or a nurse entrepreneur, business owner and leader How to start-up or grow your existing business Sound business management principles and strategies. How to market and diversify your business Ideas for your own nursing business Come join nurse entrepreneurs as they gather in the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas, Nevada at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, October 14 - 16, 2016. Don't miss out on this golden opportunity to explore your entrepreneurial dreams. Register today!
  13. Michelle DeLizio Podlesni, RN - President NNBA Michelle DeLizio Podlesni, RN is a woman whose name has been mentioned to me as being a mentor to several of the last innovators that I have interviewed for articles. These nurse innovators and entrepreneurs come from all walks of nursing and their paths have led them to Michelle who currently is the President of the National Nurses in Business Association. It speaks volumes to her character and love of nursing entrepreneurship that she takes the time and effort to personally encourage, listen, and advise those she meets. It is a privilege to tell the story of her journey of innovation that has led her to a lead role in a national organization that gathers and celebrates nurses who "think outside the box". Journey of Innovation Michelle is a US Navy Veteran and Registered Nurse of over 30 years. She began to feel nurse burnout in the traditional hospital based role and started to leverage her experiences into the nontraditional settings. She took on the role of Case Manager and Life Care Planner for a major insurance company. This role evolved to specialization in Utilization Management, Healthcare Data Analysis, and then Software development. Having a successful track record in leading start-ups to multimillion-dollar enterprises gave her significant experience as an executive and a nurse business owner. Business Coach & Author Michelle has been coaching managers, executives, and nurses for the past 20 years by using her experience to teach others how to strategize career advancement. Her passion for mentoring and helping others succeed in business has led her to national speaking engagements and to being a trusted business advisor to many. She has written an Amazon #1 Best selling book called UNconventional Nurse -Going from Burnout to Bliss!, and she holds workshops and personal coaching to "teach nurses business skills that will accelerate, increase and maximize small business owner success!" Nurse Entrepreneur Champion Michelle's current position is leading the National Nurses in Business Association (NNBA). She ensures the the NNBA's "rich legacy of being the forerunner of the Nurse Entrepreneurship movement and continues to fulfill its mission: encouraging nurse entrepreneurs and nurse intrapreneurs to start, grow, and manage their own businesses, develop opportunities locally and nationally for nurses in business and serve the networking and educational needs of our members. Every day is full of one of these aspects of my work and I am truly fortunate to have this opportunity." When asked about barriers that Michelle faces in her current position, she replied that there really are none, "only recognition that there are some issues that I need to have better resources to overcome. One of the issues that needs to be overcome in my current position relates to the traditional nursing model and academic community that doesn't recognize or appreciate the impact and influence of Nurses in Business and Nurse Entrepreneurship. Many times our members will hear 'so you are no longer a nurse' when in reality, we are nurses desiring to use the full scope of our nursing license." She explains that she is hopeful that times are starting to change as she has seen an increase in a handful of nursing colleges and universities that have some type of entrepreneurial program and business courses. "Recognize and Nurture Your Unique Innovative Spark" Michelle believes that mastering ourselves and our environment is the best way to recognize and nurture our unique innovative spark. She says that focus is the best advice that she would give to aspiring Nurse Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs. "We are in an age of distraction due to the proliferation of data coming at us from all angles. Everyone wants our time and most of us are electronically tethered the majority of each day. This is the #1 detriment to results". Michelle says that there are endless options to improve healthcare as we all bring different levels of knowledge, experience, and backgrounds to the table. I asked Michelle what she believes the single most important issue that nursing professionals must address in the next 2 years. Her response was that "nurses need to have a plan B, C and more. What I mean is that economic, legislature, and technological changes are dramatically impacting the largest group of healthcare providers: nurses." In her current role as President of the NNBA, she is able to help nurses discover how critical thinking skills and diverse experiences as a nurse can translate into high demand professionals and emerging business owners. The best way to wrap up this article about an amazing innovative thinker and doer in healthcare is to share who she cited as her role models. I believe you really can tell a lot about a person by their role models in life. In her own words, Michelle describes three ladies she admires in particular. " Florence Nightingale, Erma Bombeck, and Julia Child. At first blush, you may think they are all different but they were all late bloomers. Each had a passion that they had to express; each was very talented and gifted. Each connected with a wide audience touching millions of lives and each had a clear love of family and a delightful sense of humor!" Sounds a lot like what I have heard other nursing professionals say about Michelle! I have to meet this woman in person someday!
  14. Becoming a Healthcare Writer My pursuit of a role beyond the bedside There's something you should know about me. I bore quite easily. The thrill and freshness of change is something I constantly crave. So, it was no surprise that after a fulfilling decade of hands-on nursing, I was ready for yet another transition in my career. Due to some life changes, I needed to find something less physical - and fast. I love being a nurse but after multiple roles, bedside care began to feel stale. I sensed there was something more waiting for me. The trick was to still use my degree (I had worked so hard for!) and wealth of knowledge obtained over the years. I still wanted to connect with patients and fellow RNs, just in a different way. Where to start? Commence google search... "Non-clinical RN jobs". This simple search led me to an entire world of nursing I hadn't realize existed before. Health coach, midwife, concierge medicine, forensics, legal nurse consultant - all fascinating but not for me. Keep searching. Educator, navigator, management - none of these even sparked a whiff of interest. Scroll, scroll, scroll... nurse writer. Pause. Keep reading. Excitement. I was head over heels with the idea of becoming a writer and writing about what I had come to know best. My honeymoon phase had begun. I was in hot pursuit of information. How would I even begin to break into this field of nursing? I had always enjoyed writing but other than some songwriting and poetry as a hobby, I hadn't written anything substantial since college. Had the dreaded APA style changed yet again? I was getting ahead of myself. This article by Elizabeth Hanes (fellow bedside RN turned writer) is single-handedly what gave me the confidence and starting points to break into writing. The article was short and sweet, to the point and filled with jump-off points. I kept researching - what opportunities were there for nurse writers? There's plenty. Magazines, websites, and journals all looking for original content. Online companies and hospitals seeking nurses to help write policies and patient education. Ghostwriting for other healthcare writers and authors. Online and in print learning modules needed to be created - remember all those questions we mulled over in nursing school? Or those we still endure for our continuing education requirements? Nurse writers can help create them. You could even start your own blog - although this felt a bit overwhelming to me. I wanted to get my sea legs first. Get my name out there. I began by writing... about anything. Sounds simple - but I had to be sure I could actually do it. I created a folder on my laptop entitled "writing samples" and got to work. I looked for writing prompts through searching for online writing contests. I bought a book from Writer's Digest that gave tons of information on all types of paid writing gigs. I tried it all - romance, short story, poetry. I created my first nursing article, "A Nurses Sacrifice". I submitted it to a large website...crickets. I kept writing and submitting and writing some more. Reading other articles kept me busy as well - trying to find what writing style I liked reading and writing best. Deep in my many online searches, I came across the need for writers and submissions on allnurses.com. I submitted again. Waited for weeks - heard nothing. Maybe I wasn't cut out for this. Maybe you needed connections to break into this arena? Oh no.... maybe... I was... a terrible writer. Spiraling in self-doubt I decided the only thing left to do was keep writing and gathering information on how to get better. Shortly after, I received an email from allnurses.com expressing interest in my article and a chance at pursuing a contracted writing position with them. I was so excited on my phone interview I actually teared up when I realized it could be a reality. To be honest - it's not a job that will pay the bills on its own just yet but I was just so happy to be given a chance. It has been an incredibly supportive environment for a new writer. Like any career, we all need to start somewhere and pay our dues. I currently write a few articles for allnurses.com every month. I'm always looking for other areas of healthcare writing to break into as well. I scan (my now regular) websites each week, looking for freelance work that interests me. Apply, write, enter a contest, write, read, submit a proposal, write some more. You can never have too much material in your bank. That's my honest advice to anyone interested in healthcare writing - do your research and just keep writing. Reach out. Make connections. The rest will sort itself out. I'm still very new to this field and still have so much to learn - but I am totally hooked.
  15. Sarah Matacale

    Clifton Joullian- The Nurse Farmer

    I chose a beautiful spot outside on this 72 degree day to write about this nurse innovator. It seemed fitting to be surrounded by blooming azaleas, periwinkle, dogwood trees and to hear the birds chirping while I introduce Clifton Joullian RN, BSN. His story is just plain cool! Clifton was a home health case manager for 20 years before transitioning into home health intake nurse recently. He has always had an interest in gardening, starting small with flower beds. Throughout the years his interest expanded to backyard farming and he began connecting this passion of farming into his nursing career and goals. If you are like me, you are wondering how the two passions fit together, read on! Clifton Joullian is "The Nurse Farmer". He connects his love of farming and nursing in a blog called The Farmdamentals of Nursing. "My mission as a nurse and a backyard farmer is to advocate and teach how farming and gardening are a means of health promotion and disease prevention from a holistic perspective, bodies, mind, and spirit." Healthy Bodies Farming promotes healthy bodies in a few ways. It increases physical activity and exercise and it also increases vegetable consumption. Evidence has shown that people who grow their own fruits and vegetables have a tendency to eat more fruits and vegetables. This is particularly true for children. Research has shown that children who grow their own vegetables are 5 times more likely to eat them! Clifton has been helping with his sons' high school vegetable garden, teaching the students about the link between the foods we grow, how we grow them, and how they can have a positive impact on our health. The Centers for Disease Control says, "Gardening is an excellent way to get physical activity. Active people are less likely than inactive people to be obese or have high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, depression, colon cancer, and premature death." Gardening has been used in nursing and assisted living facilities as part of a physical rehab and stroke recovery program. For the elderly, it also increases hand strength and joint mobility. Healthy Minds Clifton refers to the emotional and mental benefits of gardening/ farming as a" natural antidepressant". There have been studies to support this as well. Gardening leads to decreased cortisol levels and positive moods which can promote relief from acute stress. Being out of doors and working with the earth can provide mental clarity. There is also a boost in positive self-esteem and a feeling of reward that comes from seeing the literal fruits of your labor. Gardens have been used in communities to get people to work together for a cause. They have also been used in nursing homes to decrease aggression in patients with dementia and mental impairments. Clifton has been stretching outside of the virtual world to volunteer his services at a local church that needs his help with their garden. He is helping them grow vegetables that are being donated to an organization that feeds the homeless. Spiritual Health Clifton sees gardening as a means to promote spiritual health by helping us connect with others or even feel closer to God. Clifton read an article quoted some individuals who viewed their time working in their garden as their church time with God! When asked about what has lead Clifton toward his innovative idea as The Nurse Farmer, he credits advancing his degree from ASN to BSN a few years ago. He learned how to research and write using evidence -based information which further advances his career goals as a nurse blogger and potential growth in his business. Clifton believes that one of the most important issues professional nurses must address in the next few years is to increase the number of baccalaureate-educated nurses. He argues that having a BSN "opens so many doors and exposes us to so many sides of nursing that maybe we didn't know existed. Having a BSN is a tool that makes navigation in innovation that much easier!" Clifton says he was also exposed to a whole new world of professional organizations, through his BSN, such as holistic nurses. His search for like-minded nurses who 'think outside the box' led him to The National Nurses in Business Association (NNBA). He attended the national conference last year and was able to meet one of his career role models and fellow nurse innovator, Donna Cardillo RN, CSP. She has been very supportive of Clifton's role as The Nurse Farmer. She stresses to him the power of publicity as a means to separate yourself from competitors in your business. Clifton's long-term goal is to further integrate farming into his nursing career. He advises that nurses need to think outside the box when it comes to their career and license. As a nurse who wants to branch out of their current career, Clifton recommends asking yourself this question that may steer you in the right direction. "If I could throw a sign up in my driveway that read REGISTERED NURSE FOR HIRE, what could I do for financial compensation using my nursing license that did not require a physician or employer directing or controlling me?" He says, "before answering the question remember the definition of nursing (abridged) is the promotion of health and the prevention of disease". For Clifton, that means teaching and advocacy. He can teach and advocate farming, gardening, and nutrition. Clifton admits his concept is still in its infancy. He is constantly rethinking and developing his skill set and knowledge base. Through The Farmdamentals of Nursing and his role as The Nurse Farmer, Clifton is able to reach out to his community and affect the mind, body and spiritual health of those whom he is in contact with. I am so glad to have connected with Clifton Joullian, nurse innovator. He has inspired me to think of how I can reach people through my own passions. Connecting, caring, advocating, helping others to achieve health and wellness is what we all as nurses hope to achieve. We all need to be encouraged to step out into the world and "get our hands dirty" to make a difference!
  16. Becoming a Nurse Blogger I love writing, and a little over a year ago, on a whim, I started a nursing blog. Starting a blog using Wordpress could not be easier. There are tons of guides and tutorials on the web, and it's fairly intuitive. One of the early posts on my blog nursecode.com was "Traits of an ED Nurse" with 111,285 views to date and recently "8 Things to Say When Your Patient Dies" has gone viral on Pinterest. What I've found is that when you write from your experience and your heart, it resonates with readers. Nurses have unique, compelling stories that people love to read. But...nurse bloggers need an audience! Without an audience, the best material goes unread. So....how do you get your material out there? The best exposure for me has been writing for Allnurses.com because of the sheer numbers. Allnurses.com gave me an audience of pretty much one million readers. Hands-down, Allnurses is the largest nursing online forum on the planet. Just the other day, I was talking with a nurse in my hospital from the Philippines who said she was an Allnurses.com follower back in Manila who had read my articles. I felt very grateful, globally connected and... humbled. Affiliate Programs Blogging affords potential income. There are many ways to make money from a blog. One way is to become an affiliate with a company, such as Amazon. It works on commission. You post an image or ad that links to the affiliate's site (Amazon). If the reader clicks through and makes a purchase, Amazon is able to track that the reader came from your site. The great thing is, if a reader clicks on an ad for a stethoscope, for example, and does not purchase the stethoscope, but goes on to purchase anything at all...you still earn commission for everything purchased during that encounter. I am not particularly aggressive about monetizing my site, but even so, over December, I earned $488.00 from Amazon in this way. It's called passive income because it's income you you make without any action on your part- I like to say while sleeping. Some bloggers do quite well, especially those who are patient and realize that it takes time to build traffic to your site. Sponsored Posts Sponsored posts are when a company asks you to write an article for them at an agreed upon price on your site. An example could be a staffing agency. The benefit for the staffing agency is exposure to your readers and a link back to their site. This is similar to a paid product review. Nurse bloggers can be asked to review and/or endorse compression socks, stethoscopes, nursing apps and more. Indirect Monetary Benefits Exposure may be the best benefit of blogging. Blogging provides a platform and Allnurses provides exposure. Exposure brings recognition and opportunity. Within a short amount of time of starting my blog, I was offered a (paying) job blogging for bsntomsn.org where I am now their official nursing site blogger. I also write for other blogs on request. My charge per article has quadrupled in the past 18 months. I am regularly approached to do (paid) product reviews, guest blogging, endorsements, interviews, and speaking engagements at national nursing conferences. Networking and Making Friends I have connected with and met so many other inspiring nurses entrepreneurs. When you blog, you join a tribe of like-minded nurses. Blogging Gives You a Voice I did not start blogging to make money at all. In fact, I would say it should not be the primary reason or motivation. The fact that I have made a little bit of income is a nice benefit that I never expected. I started blogging to have a voice. I believe that as nurses, we need to get our voices out there. I am passionate about working conditions, nurse-patient ratios, supporting new grads, and so much more. My husband Bob, who used to write a business column, smiled at me when I started my new hobby and warned: "It's lots of fun, but the time will come when you run out of things to write about." That was about 200 articles ago, and I like to tease him about that. It just hasn't happened. I don't run out of ideas-I do run out of time. Have you considered blogging? If you have, it's probably because you have a passion and talent. What are you thinking? If your heart is beating faster in excitement, I'd say... you're a blogger! Maybe you're already blogging. I'd be happy to help you on your journey. Leave a comment or your questions.
  17. allnurses.com is THE social media site for nurses. With over 1,000,000 members there is a wide variety of nurses and students. So ... what does it take to grab our members' attention? These are some of the memorable threads that have been wildly popular over the years and my assessment as to why they were so popular. These are some of the most popular threads in the last five years: How About a Game of Questions - a thread started by one of our Staff members in 2012. This started as a simple thread where posters simply asked questions back and forth without declarative statements. With more than 5000 posts and 50,000+ views, it still maintains its popularity. Its simple, straightforward, doesn't requires specialized education, just an inquisitive mind. What are you Doing Right Now? - another very simple questioning thread started in 2011. This thread has resulted in >300 pages of responses. In this era of the "here and now" this type of immediate feedback is needed to keep up interest. So, the takeaway from this thread is that sometimes the simpler the concept, the more popular it will be. This thread has well over 100k views. General Election Thread 2012 - I included this older thread as an example of political threads that when timely are very popular. The caveat to these political threads is to realize that politics can bring out controversy from even the mildest member. So, when posting about political topics, it is best to remain neutral, control the blog entry by frequent comments and direction when needed. And...as a reminder, content on AN must adhere to the terms of service. Pearsonvue Trick - Does it work? Part 3 - nothing brings out students like anything relating to taking the NCLEX. This test can strike fear in the heart of even the strongest 4.0 student. There are many threads in the student forum about the NCLEX. This thread is from 2011 and provides details on how to access Pearsonvue and what the results mean. Student members are very active also. Students want info on study tips, time management, teacher relationships, and general info on what it's like to be a nurse. This thread had >873k views and >2000 responses. It is important when your blogging audience is students to also provide a mentoring experience and be a role model to them. VA Hiring Process - after graduation comes the all-encompassing job search and many career and job search threads have been very popular. This thread from 2012 garnered >400k views and almost 900 replies. After students have worked so hard to graduate and pass the NCLEX, looking for a job is the next step. Our career forum is widely read. Nurse Beth is a very popular blogger who lends her career expertise to our students and experienced nurses as well. Her wit, humor and knowledge are greatly appreciated. So, in summary here are some topics of interest to our members: Students are very interested in doing well and need to be reassured that they are making good choices in school as well as seeking general advice from experienced nurses. AN has a widely read immigration, registration and foreign-trained nurse forum also. Gaining employment in the US is not easy and our members appreciate knowledgeable and reliable information in an easy to understand format. Our general nursing forum offers a wide variety of topics ranging from how to handle difficult patients and families to what to say when you call the provider at 3 am. AN offers a multitude of forums for many specialties including a high-mileage APRN forum. Know your audience, be prepared and you too will be a successful allnurses.com blogger!
  18. Sarah Matacale

    Meet Ersilia Pompilio RN,MSN,PNP

    Ersilia Pompilio RN, MSN, PNPStoryteller, Educator, Producer, Nurse, and Super Cool Lady! I can't wait to introduce Ersilia Pompilio to everyone at allnurses! As her subtitle reads, she is a nurse innovator and entrepreneur, that has found a niche using many of her talents, interests and strengths combined with her passion for nursing. Ersilia Pompilio is the Creator and CEO of Rogue Nurse Media 501c3 whose mission is to empower nurses to tell their stories. "I teach and develop innovative educational tools focussed on healthcare that are in alignment with current trends in social media, mainstream media, art and technology. The goal is to abolish fake news in healthcare and change the stigma around how people see nurses and patients in the media. My goal is also to encourage nursing schools to change their curriculum and bring them more into the mainstream technology using social media." Ersilia has several tools and productions that are moving her mission forward: The Well Written Nurse: Writing workshops that teach nurses storytelling, screen/ TV writing, journalistic writing, memoir writing, blogging, and how to get published. Ersilia and her team are set to launch a screen/ TV writing workshop in November of 2017 called Mapping the Story of Genome, A Screenwriting Workshop for Healthcare Professionals. The workshop will focus on the character developement of the healthcare professional...nurses and patients. Nurses and Hypochondriacs Storytelling Show: a storytelling show where real Nurses, Patients, and Hypochondriacs take the stage and tell true, unscripted comedic stories. Nurses and Hypochondriac Podcast: Nurse experts, patients, and hypochondriacs come together to discuss hot topics in healthcare. Since Ersilia has a teaching background, she was able to get her courses approved by the California BRN for CE's! How this all got started!?! Ersilia admits that she loves to tell stories. "When I was working as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner on a busy pre surgery unit, I often had many nurse friends from around the hospital that I knew stop by to ask: 'Got any new dating stories?' They loved my perils of being single in Los Angeles and dating wacky men. I attracted a certain type of guy in my dating world. My HIPPA attorney friend and fellow writing buddy affirmed in the middle of a story one day: 'You sure do date a lot of hypochondriacs!'" So it was born! Due to "burnout" from teaching nursing and working as a nurse practitioner, in 2008, Ersilia started taking writing classes at a boutique writing school in downtown Los Angeles' Art District. She found writing healing and cathartic, and soon published her first short story, "Our Little Hospital Ghost". This opened a creative portal, and Ersilia started to gather a team of creative writers to help her produce her one woman show The Nurse and the Hypochondriacs. After 3 runs of the show, she "put it to bed", feeling deflated and defeated, until a few audience members told her how much they learned through the show. Ersilia "resurrected" the show in 2015 and made a few changes, turning it into a storytelling show called Nurses and Hypochondriacs. She produced 5 productions for the Hollywood Fringe Festival with 20 storytellers. The show was a slow hit, but once again the audience affirmed how much they learned through the show. At the end of 2015, Ersilia had one of Oprah's "ah-ha moments" and she got to work developing Rogue Nurse Media 501c3. While writing an article for Working Nurse Magazine on Nurses in the media, it all came together, the only way to change the stigma of nursing is to teach and empower nurses to write and change it for themselves! Barriers Moving from the Health Care Nurse Practitioner world into the creative unknown was very intimidating to Ersilia. She learned that she needed to listen to the voice inside and trust that her intuition was leading in the right direction! Her motto (from Field of Dreams) was "Build it and they will come!" So, Ersilia jumped in head first creating websites, working with graphic artists, hiring and firing people, working with ensues for shows, directing and coaching storytellers, and now learning to podcast! Advice to Give Aspiring Nurse Entrepreneurs The best advice that Ersilia would give to aspiring nurse entrepreneurs is "not to listen to your co-workers and the naysayers! Follow your gut and create. Spend lots of time outside of your 'Nurse' box! Do fun stuff like go to museums, take art classes, watch stage shows etc....do something that makes your soul sing and dance! Read books that teach and inspire you! Journal, meditate, and write!". When asked what the best way to prepare and nurture dynamic innovators for the future of healthcare practice, Ersilia offered that nursing schools need to start offering creative classes for innovative nurses. "Your career needs to be malleable to what your personal needs are! Nursing schools need to start teaching that!" Career Role Models and Inspirational Persons "I recently attended a one act play at the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2017 called Mary's Medicine. It was an adaption of Mary Seacole's autobiography. Mary Seacole was a Scottish-Jamaican Nurse who invented ginger beer. She married a Scottish man who was sickly. She too was a hypochondriac magnet. Mary was a great inventor, entrepreneur, nurse, and pioneer. I related with her character and her story in the play. I have faced and currently still do face many of the same challenges she did. Creating something unique and empowering nurses and patients to tell their stories through storytelling and podcasting has brought about much scrutiny from people in the profession who are used to runnings on the same treadmill of life and are afraid of getting off and doing something different!" The Single Most Important Issue For Nurses to Address in the next 2 years Ersilia feels that most important issue that the profession of nursing needs to address is the image of the profession itself. "We have nurses getting their Ph.D.'s and DNP's yet the mass population still sees us as the bedside nurse. Nurses are great innovators and educators. The public needs to understand that...the only way to do that is by telling and educating the public about what we do as nurses through our stories!"
  19. I'm scared! I am thinking about starting a business! I am a future nursing entrepreneur...I think? When I think of entrepreneurs, I am reminded of three characters in the Wizard of Oz. The scarecrow, lion, and tin man wanted a brain, courage, and a heart. These are the three tools of an entrepreneur. I need the Wizard! Nurse Entrepreneurs spend years preparing for the right opportunity to use their nursing education, expertise,and experiences to start businesses. We turn the elements of the nursing process into blueprints for starting ventures within the healthcare industry.Assessing analyzing, planning, implementing, and evaluating clients are transferrable skills that make up the entrepreneurial mindset. The nursing process and the right opportunity is a recipe for successful nursing business ventures. Webster's dictionary defines opportunity as "an advantageous occasion". An opportunity is not advantageous unless the entrepreneur feels some level of passion for an idea, and a personal connection.Like the tin man in the Wizard of Oz, the heart of the entrepreneur drives motivation and the ability to think outside of one's environment where the opportunity presents itself. The brain is the command center for which all things are controlled. In the Wizard of Oz, the scarecrow wanted a brain. The entrepreneurs brain power keeps them on the track to success. The brain is a culmination of a person's life experiences, personal beliefs and values, and education both formal and informal. Altogether it shapes how the entrepreneur analyzes, develops, and implements an idea. For the entrepreneurial mindset nurses have "heart" and"brain" covered. Nurse entrepreneurs are increasing in various areas in the health care industry demonstrating creativity, business know-how and the ability to identify niche markets and consistent customer bases. Nurses entrepreneurs are branching out into coaching, teaching/training, public speaking, writing/editors, software developers, and day care to name a few. I believe I found my opportunity. I am passionate about developing nurse leaders for the future. I guess that is why I teach nursing leadership and management to nursing students. Providing courses on relevant topics for nursing leaders is not only an opportunity,but a passion for developing future nurse leaders. As a future nurse entrepreneur, a barrier for me would be overcoming self-doubt. Internally, self-doubt is also an objection that requires intervention. The entrepreneur that lacks confidence or courage likeOz's lion will fail even before they begin. They spend too much time thinking about why it "won't work" instead of mitigating the "what ifs." These negative thoughts prevent them from seeing the big picture, and often the fear of failure paralyzes the ability tomove forward. Perhaps turning the lion's quest for courage into a positive acronym can provide a box of tools for potential entrepreneurs lacking courage. L-I-O-N. L is for leaning forward. It takes less energy to lean forward than backwards. Just about all motivational speakers talk about the positive aspect of leaning forward. We lean into the wind when walking or when there something we want to listen to. Leaning forward helps the entrepreneur to approach a new venture with a singular focus. You are not dwelling on the past if you are facing forward. I is for intervention. No one expects an entrepreneur to know everything about starting a business. New entrepreneurs tend to try to go it alone and view asking for help as a sign of weakness. There are thousands of entrepreneurs in the world. Pick one and start asking questions. Entrepreneurship is a team sport and like baseball you are only alone when you get up to bat. Until then,you have the support of team members and fans. O is for opposite direction. It is okay to make a U turn if you are facing the wrong way. Just because you start off in one direction, you may need to offramp to a new destination. The beauty of entrepreneurship is that it is a journey with many twists, turns, and detours. Approach it like the adventure itis and be prepared for anything. N is for natural. Let the idea come simple and unrehearsed. If you are forcing yourself to come up with an idea, it not for you and you will spend more time talking yourself out of the idea than with the idea. Noticed I did not say "into" the idea. You should not have to talk yourself into anything. It takes courage to stand up to people who want to reshape your idea into something they really want to do. An idea should fit and feel like a pair of well-worn slippers. At the end of the Wizard of Oz story,the characters realized that what they were looking for was inside each of the mall the time. The scarecrow had a brain, the lion showed courage, and the tin man demonstrated emotion and passion. The wizard is in all of us. We don't need to go to the land of Oz to see the Wizard. Now where is that yellow brick road to entrepreneurship?
  20. Ashley Hay, BSN, RN

    Tools for the Freelance Writer

    Connect If there's a new avenue you'd like to try in your career, chances are someone is out there doing it already - and well. Find them and learn from their experience. Despite my original hesitancy to join the masses, social media has proved to be a great way to meet other freelance writers and build a strong support network. I've found LinkedIn the most helpful. It allows me to search for other writers by name or title and can give a sense of what kind of writing they like to produce. See who they are writing for. Does it interest you or relate to your nursing experience? You can never have too many leads for potential future work. LinkedIn has opportunities to join nursing and/or writing groups there also - many are closed groups and require just one click to request free membership access. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even Pinterest are studded with connections for the new freelance writer. The trick is to keep changing your search words to find your niche: freelance health writer, health care writer, content writer, etc. Here are just a few websites I like to frequent: Nurse Entrepreneurs / Innovators Hub Writing Meetups in Lansing- Meetup LinkedIn Group: Nurse Writers Reach Out Adding someone as a friend on LinkedIn or Facebook is a great start, but sending personalized emails can really help strengthen your network. I have been astonished by the level of assistance many other nurse writers were willing to provide to a new freelance writer. I've been given great advice on my growing business, leads for work and even online tools to keep my expenses/invoices on track. If you are serious about pursuing this area of nursing there are many experienced writers who are more than willing to share their knowledge with you. Just ask. Job Sites When starting out it can be difficult to even know the scope of work you are capable of. If you have no prior writing experience, there is a fair amount of research needed at first to catch up and sort through all of the new terms used in the freelance writing world. Large job search websites don't typically lead to a ton of work for a brand new writer, but it can help you identify the types of jobs out there and prepare your body of future work. You can also see a variety of pay rates. Some websites I've found helpful for this are: How It Works - Upwork Freelance Writer Jobs, Employment | Indeed.com Hire Freelancers & Find Freelance Jobs Online - Freelancer Freelance Writing | Helping Freelance Writers to Succeed since 1997 Competition It can be difficult to land a steady paying gig if you've yet to publish any articles to date. Many freelancers will tell you never to work for free. I consider competitions the exception to the rule, especially for beginners. There are many sites that release upcoming writing competitions weekly or monthly and entries can range from poetry to science fiction. Use these as writing exercises or an excuse to stretch your brain a bit and try a different genre altogether. Community The sense of community among freelance healthcare writers is strong and after months of research I've been lucky enough to stumble upon some great online communities. The following internet sites have given me a sense of support and pride. They have allowed me to meet many others in the freelance world - at all levels of expertise. National Nurses in Business Association - Welcome Page If you haven't yet - sign up! They provide many invaluable resources for any nurse starting their own business and have a yearly conference packed with great information for all nurse entrepreneurs. Healthcare Writers Network | The Social Nurse This online community is incredible! They host many fun events like #freelancefriday where you can enjoy a happy hour drink with your fellow freelancers while discussing relevant topics, #socialsunday where you can post your published work for the week and receive valuable feedback, and host #pitchfest where you can try your hand at pitching a willing company and even win cash prizes! The founders are passionate, experienced and incredibly approachable, making this my absolute favorite site to visit regularly. Write Better, Get Published, Be Creative | WritersDigest.com This was where I first began my writing journey, purchasing The Writers Market Deluxe Edition 2017. It gave me many useful tips when starting out and continues to serve throughout my evolving freelance career. The website has many opportunities for online learning, lots of helpful articles related to writing tips, hosts many competitions, and has an online store with a multitude of in print resources. What doesn't exist: onesite that will tell you how to best break into this field. You need to hunt & gather information - keeping the gems you need and disposing of what you don't. Time spent researching now will be more than worth it's weight down the line. I've learned it is okay to ask for help and that many of my fellow RNs turned writers are more than willing to assist in my career move. I still have much to learn but feel a whole lot better with a great community to support me in my progress. Get out there and write, my friends!
  21. Brenda F. Johnson

    Word Love; My Writing Journey

    After my high school graduation in 1983, I got married to my high school sweetheart and we moved from Florida to Clarksville, TN. He was in the Army and that is where we were stationed and where we began our lives together. Being away from family and on our own, we learned to rely on ourselves and make our own decisions. It was liberating for me. However, there were times I found myself sitting on the green shag carpet of our small trailer, crying with frustration, but together we pressed on. Those years taught me who I was and how strong I could be. I worked at a local sub shop (that is still there) called Foxx's Sub Shop. I loved working there and found some great friends. After about a year, I looked into college. I knew I wanted to go, it was important to me. I enrolled at Austin Peay State University where I was going to study journalism. I loved being on campus, attending class and studying in the library. In those days we were allowed to smoke in the classrooms and the library. There were small copper colored ashtrays on every desk. I remember the teachers smoking while lecturing and the smell of stale cigarette smoke. My husband and I wanted a family, so before I finished my first year at college, I found myself pregnant. I was so delighted! I did not have many people in my life available to help me with decisions, so I withdrew from school with the thought that I couldn't do both. It wasn't until my second child was about a year old that I began to think about college again. We were back at home, John was done with the Army and we were both working at a boat manufacturing plant. He worked days, I worked evenings. I was exhausted but enjoying being a mother. The kids were my top priority and I had to work to help keep them fed and clothed. Then one day the plant eliminated the evening shift and I found day care getting my entire paycheck. That was the day I went to the local community college. Nursing had always seemed interesting to me, and the program seemed easy enough so I began taking my prerequisites. I left the boat business and got a paper route. Those were the toughest three years of my life (until the kids became teenagers). My day began at 2 am to get the papers. I learned to roll them as I drove to save time, and once I delivered them I ran home to get ready for school and get the kids ready for daycare. My house was hardly ever clean or my laundry done during those years. But I realized that something had to give. The kids were toddlers and demanded my attention, often making it difficult to study. Naps on Sundays were a must, and we all crashed into bed after church. Graduating from nursing school was one of my proudest days, followed by getting that long awaited letter in the mail saying I could finally use RN at the end of my signature. I worked nights on a med surg floor for the first two years. I had the time of my life. I met some of the most fantastic women I have ever met - they were great nurses too. My nursing supervisor was very supportive and when I decided to go for my bachelors, she backed me 100%. So there I was, back in school. The hospital that I worked at was offering a satellite program for RN to BSN, and I couldn't pass it up. It was a personal goal of mine. I was on day shift now, and my classes were in the evening. There were a lot of papers to write and while everyone else complained, I actually enjoyed writing them. Skipping forward in time, I now work in a GI/OPS department and have found my niche. I work in a great department with co-workers that became my family. I have another beautiful daughter who is about ten. I got the itch to go back to school, and my youngest was old enough that I felt she could handle me being gone occasionally for school. Once I made the decision to go back to school, I couldn't land on a major. For an entire year, I thought about it and prayed about it. I weighed my options with becoming a nurse practitioner, education, or management. Neither made my heart beat faster. Driving to work one day, the idea hit me with such intensity I felt dizzy. What took it so long I have no idea. But there it was! Writing! My first love had circled back around and now I could use my nursing knowledge along with my life experience to do the one thing that I longed to do so badly. After taking one class at a large university, I found Eckerd College who offered a bachelor's in creative writing. So began my trek twice a week to learn how to write correctly and professionally so I could be taken seriously. At Eckerd College, I was blessed with so many great and passionate professors who realized how much I wanted to do well and invested in me the time and expertise to mold me into a better writer. During that time I realized how much I loved poetry. I went into my poetry class with trepidation but soon found it was my passion. When the time came for me to sit and defend my thesis in creative nonfiction felt surreal. I had worked hard to be sitting there, and now my dream was about to be fulfilled. Walking out of there on that sunny, breezy day, my heart rejoiced. My family and I had the chance to move from Florida to Tennessee about two and a half years ago. We had been wanting to move for a very long time, so this was a dream come true. Soon after, I saw that allnurses.com was looking for writers and I immediately applied. I could barely contain my excitement while having my over the phone interview, and soon I was writing articles. I have some personal projects that I am working on, but life often slows that process down. I also do contributory work for SGNA, helping to update, edit and contribute to the Study Book for Certification, and now I am working on the review manual. I have days when I wish that I could spend my days writing. I crave to write, as I craved as a child to learn to read those words on the page. I have many great stories to tell, some of them true. One day I will see my dream come to fruition and publish a book (being honest, I want to write many books!). In the meantime, I relish writing nursing articles and I hope you enjoy reading them. Lately, I have thought about getting my master's in creative writing . . .
  22. Sarah Matacale

    What 5 Innovative Minds Can Do!

    This may be one of the coolest and most challenging innovator articles I have written yet! I want to make sure I give justice to this awesome group of nurses who came together with interest in one specific population and developed an idea that gives comfort and strength to the emotions and symptoms of this very underserved patient population. These five ladies come from different institutions, backgrounds, states, and educational and nursing experiences, but share one common interest, AYA patients (Adolescents and Young Adults) with cancer. Their interest in this group comes from their recognition that AYA are not the same as children with cancer or older adults with cancer. This population has unique needs. They are tech savvy and use their own style of language and communication. They like to be connected with others of similar age and experiences. So, who are these nurses, how does a group like this come together, and what is their idea? What Have These Innovators Created? These five nurses from 5 different parts of the country have come together to create an "IPad app that allows adolescents and young adults with cancer to share their symptom experience (presently at one time point) as they complete the app." The idea behind this is that they are able to "See their symptom experience for themselves- which they have noted to be helpful in 'putting it all together' and thus, managing the symptoms they are experiencing" "Have the ability to share it with others such as caregivers and healthcare providers so that they might help" "At present the tool is used exclusively for AYA cancer patients (and a different iteration that was used in menopausal women) but we have had interest from others who manage other chronic diseases who see its potential utility in other groups as well."-notes Kristin Stegenga. Who Are These Entrepreneurs? Catherine Fiona Macpherson PhD,RN,CPON "I am a staff nurse on an inpatient pediatric oncology unit and have been for my entire career. During my doctoral program at the University of Washington School of Nursing, our faculty encouraged us not only to contemplate what established path we might choose but to consider crafting our own path. My 3 dearest mentors Dr. Kristen Swanson, Dr. Pam Hinds, and Dr. Nancy Woods supported my desire to remain in clinical practice as a staff nurse while simultaneously pursuing clinical research as a nurse scientist, which is an unusual combination. I would advise other nurses to follow their passions and surround themselves with people who share those passions. During my formative years in my undergraduate program at the University Faculty of Nursing, I learned that as a nurse you could be whatever you wanted to be and do whatever you wanted to do, and that nursing as a service to humanity depended on innovation." Suzanne Ameringer PhD, RN "I am as associate professor at a school of nursing where I teach and conduct research. I have been in this position for nearly 10 years. Prior to this position I have practiced as a pediatric nurse in a variety of settings, including inpatient and outpatients units, pediatric primary care, and public health. After many years of practice, I decided to go back to school and obtain a PhD so that I could conduct research on issues that I found most troublesome in practice. Some current barriers in my position are the significant amount of resources (e.g.' funds, university infrastructure, personnel) it takes to conduct meaningful research. While working on my masters, I met a nurse researcher who would eventually be my mentor. Her work was in pain management with adults, and I thought about how I wanted to make a difference for adolescents with cancer and sickle cell who experience pain. This experience led to my decision to get a PhD and conduct research with this population. Dr. Sandra Ward was my mentor in my doctoral program and she was an excellent role model of a successful scientist. Dr. Deborah McGuire has been a role model and mentor these past 4 years and exemplifies how to be a senior faculty member and scientist. I have felt very fortunate to be with these amazing individuals". Jeanne Erickson, PhD, RN, AOCN "I am currently on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Nursing. In this academic role. I teach undergraduate and graduate students and maintain a program of research related to symptom management of adolescents and young adults with cancer. I have been an oncology nurse for my entire career; I have had positions as a staff nurse, clinical nurse specialist, nurse educator, and I previously taught at the University of Virginia before moving to Milwaukee 3 years ago. The barriers that I face today are related to conducting research in an academic health system where I am not formally employed. I need clinical partners to help me navigate the systems where I recruit and enroll patients for my research studies. I encourage other innovators to keep a list of research questions and ideas that interest you. Find opportunities to discuss your ideas and interests with colleagues who share similar interests, but also be open to discussing your ideas with others who are different from you or who have a different set of skills or perspectives. Nurses need to develop partnerships and work on interprofessional teams in order to bring about that are needed in health care. One of my personal career role models is Dr. Pamela Hinds is a nurse scientist whose work has made a difference to nurses and to young patients with cancer. She has been a mentor to many nurses, educators, and researchers, and she inspires me with her intellect, productivity, generosity, and warmth." Lauri Linder PhD, APRN,CPON "I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Utah College of Nursing. My position also includes a 20% appointment as a Clinical Nurse Specialist with the Cancer Transplant Center at Primary Children's Hospital. I have actually been working at Primary Children's since I graduated with my bachelor's degree in 1989. In 1996, I moved to a joint appointment with the College of Nursing to serve as a clinical track faculty member teaching pediatric clinical nursing to our undergraduate students. After finishing my PhD, I accepted my current tenure track position in 2010. For me, my clinical practice drives my research questions. Remaining immersed in the clinical setting keeps me current on clinical practice issues and positions me as a team member for conducting my research. It can at times be challenging to balance expectations and responsibilities at both sites. I am fortunate to have leadership teams who support this joint appointment at both the academic and practice settings. As for role models, two individuals come to mind. I first became acquainted with Dr. Pamela Hinds work during my master's degree studies. I actually became a participant in one of the studies she was supporting. Throughout the years Dr. Hinds has become a mentor and role model both in terms of the quality and quantity of her research and the manner in which she invests in the up-and-coming generations of nurse scientists. Dr. Nancy Woods became a mentor in 2010. Although the primary focus of her research is in a separate population, she has invested in our team with our shared interest in symptoms and symptom clusters. She has challenged our team and served as a source of encouragement." Kristin Stegenga PhD, RN, CPON "I am a nurse researcher at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. I have always worked in hematology/ oncology/bone marrow transplant. It is the one thing I said I would never do when I started nursing school but I found that I had a passion for kids and teens with cancer and never looked back. I recognized early on that there was never a good time to get cancer but the teen years were particularly bad! I also realized that I had a lot of questions about why we did what we did and how we could help our patients more. I think we need to recognize just how important we are to solving the issues that surround health care. Often people think of nurses as somehow secondary in the healthcare world but our position so close to patients makes us so very primary that we may well be positioned BEST to understand what is needed to provide safe, meaningful and cost-effective healthcare in the future. Funding for research is tight and so it is hard to do all the important research that needs to be done. The work we are doing now has come from as a group has been funded three different ways in smaller bits. With tight funding, you also find yourself tight on time. You find yourself doing much of the work yourself because there isn't money to have a lot of help. I love the interaction with patients 1:1 but I do most of my own work so I track patient appointments, do data collection and work with the research team across the country all in the same workday! My mentor Dr. Pam Hinds has been instrumental in helping me learn to be an excellent nurse and nurse researcher. She has been my role model ever since I met her!" How Did This Group of Innovators Come Together? They all got together bit by bit. Some knew each other from working on their PhD's at the same school, some knew each other from the same nursing organizations, APHON and ONS. They noted that they had similar interest in symptom management and the AYA population, and began to come together. Some of the reason that they came to work together is, shared interest, some is that they really enjoy each other and the different strengths they bring to the table and some is the realization that group is not large, so cooperation is key to reaching the population. "Together we are incredibly strong and apart, it would take us a long time to get this kind of work done, both because we are individual researchers at individual institutions and because the populations are so small at most places." Why the AYA Population? "What we are seeking to do with our work is to meet AYA in their own realm, with technology because they are tech savvy, and language that is appropriate to their world and recognition that they are just starting to become aware of their symptom experience. We want to give them the tools to make sense of the experience for themselves and to make it possible for them to reach out to those around them as they want/ need to in order to manage their cancer experience in the best way for them", notes Stegenga. This is a fantastic example of innovation, teamwork and collaboration from different areas of knowledge and expertise. These 5 nurses have found each other through shared experiences and professional organizations, and what was born from this is a voice to an often lost group in the medical world. What an amazing blessing to those AYA who are able to reach each out to each other in a way that would never have been possible before this group of minds came together. I have been so eager to share this story with readers and my own daughter as a spectacular example of women in science AND nursing as well as the capabilities that result from innovative, brave, strong minds coming together! From Left to Right: Fiona Macpherson, Nancy Woods (mentor), Kristin Stegenga, Lauri Linder, Jeanne Erickson, Suzanne Ameringer, Pam Hinds (mentor)
  23. The tech side of blogging is crucial to developing a solid blog. 4 Tips On How to Be More Effective with Your Blog Increase Article Submissions Watch Your Writing Style Promote Your Blog Stay Active 1 - Increase Article Submissions The best way to increase traffic to your blog is to have fresh content. Submitting articles on a daily basis will ensure the success of your blog. 2 - Watch Your Writing Style A successful article is one that grabs the reader's attention and promotes reading. To do this, you must first write an article that is easy to read. To grab the reader's attention follow these simple rules: Use the Inverted Pyramid Structure Create Short Articles Use Short Paragraphs Format Text When Appropriate Use appropriate text link Link to your past articles Use the Inverted Pyramid Structure We were always taught to begin an article with an introduction. However, when using the inverted pyramid structure you begin with its conclusion followed by any supporting information. Do you remember the last time you read an article from start to finish? Do you remember why? Typically, most readers will jump to another page before reading the entire article. They will scan a page - if nothing stands out they will exit. This is why it's important to have the conclusions or key points first. NOTE: Every blog article should have an introduction. The intro will tell the reader what the article is about; and, it may be used for inclusion in newsletter or main page when promoting article. Create Short Articles Write short articles. A 600 word article will provide just enough information. Long articles scare people away - it's just too much to read in so little time. If your article consists of 2,000+ words you should consider splitting into 2 or more articles. Use Short Paragraphs - Long paragraphs are Difficult to Scan 3 sentences maximum when possible. Use short and familiar words - no jargon. Format Text When Appropriate To promote reading: Use Bold, Italic, and Headings Divide content in short paragraphs Use bulleted list when possible. Offer plenty of contrast between text and background. Do NOT Change font-size - use default. Use emojis within text. emojis are great for conversations but not for articles. Use Appropriate Text Links When adding links to your article use descriptive text for links. Which do you think is better? http://allnurses.com/nursing-educators-faculty/active-learning-strategy-385807.html Active Learning Strategy: Concept Mapping Sucuri WebSite Firewall - Not Configured.udel.edu/DSS/ University of Delaware Office of Disabilities Support Services Sucuri WebSite Firewall - Not Configured.udel.edu/ADA/ Office of Disabilities Support Services : University of Delaware USA TODAY: Latest World and US News - USATODAY.com is OK. http://medscape.com is OK. Link to Your Past Articles A great way to promote your articles is to link to each other. So when writing an article - always think about your previous articles. If you believe that it's content can help support your current article than mention it. 3 - Promote Your Blog Whenever possible promote your blog. You can mention your blog to your co-workers, family, or friends. Other ideas: Promote your blog on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc Clear your forum signature and use this space to promote your blog. Add your blog URL to your business card. 4 - Stay Active
  24. In the PACU, my day started early with a 7:00am report time. By the time my shift ended at 7:00pm, I'd spent most of the day clamoring to be heard above the high ambient noise levels of the cavernous unit. Air exchangers, telemetry units, 50 or 60 people talking all at once -- the sheer cacophony became too much for me to take. My ears would ring for hours after going home. I'd wake up hoarse the next morning from literally shouting discharge instructions at my patients the previous day. And then I'd go right back and do it all over again the next day. Contrast that scenario with my life now, as a freelance writer. I wake up around 7:30am and often drink my first cup of coffee on the patio, where I can enjoy the scenery of my backyard. I'm an avid birdwatcher, so it always brings me joy to start my day by sighting a crimson cardinal on the fence or watching the neighborhood hawk wheel through the sky. After my first coffee, I amble upstairs to my home office to check email and browse a handful of sites. Then I get to work on my assignments for the day. On any given day, I might be crafting a short informational article on a specific disease or I may be writing newsletter copy for family caregivers. My work always offers variety. I break for a leisurely lunch with my elderly mother (who lives with me), and then I head back to my office and turn my attention to the "me" work. That's stuff I do to feed my creative soul -- things like writing this blog post or outlining my book. By mid-afternoon, my brain's tired so I head to the gym for an hour of cardio and weights. One of the great things about freelancing is the ability to set and control (to a degree!) my own schedule. I admire nurses who manage to squeeze in a workout on their hectic work days. I sure never could do that! But as a freelance writer I now work out at least three days a week, and often five. After the gym, I head home and take a nap. Don't tell anyone! I find a 30-minute recharge after my post-workout shower gives me extra energy into the early evening, which is a work period for me. Dinnertime comes, I cook for Mom and my husband, and then I head back to my office for a couple more hours. Evening isn't a particularly creative time for me, so I usually devote those hours to administrative tasks -- making sure my self-employment taxes are filed, cleaning up my contact list, tinkering with my business plan. Finally, I retire to the TV room and snuggle with my hubs on the sofa. We love watching home improvement shows, so that's frequently on the menu. When I worked as a nurse, I generally returned home after a shift and collapsed into bed. I didn't even have enough energy to watch TV! My life is so serene now, compared to the days I worked in the noise and chaos of PACU. Other perks of freelancing? I never get vomited on, and no one ever codes in my office. LOL Yet I'm still helping patients. Just the other day, a man took the time to find my email address and write me a nice note: "Thank you for your easy-to-understand explanation of insulin pens on XX website! I spent 40 minutes searching for an answer to my question, and yours was the only one that made sense. I really appreciate it!" THAT makes my day. Yes, I loved clinical nursing. But I've never regretted leaving the bedside for the desk. It's great to continue helping people from the comfort of my (quiet) office!
  25. traumaRUs

    What to Blog about????

    What should you blog about? Hopefully you are passionate about "something." Maybe its your nursing job caring for the elderly - write about the funny things they discuss, the way life was when they were growing up (living history). Or...maybe you want to improve nursing by... ....educating nurses ....empowering nurses ....supporting nurses ....sharing resources ....Or something completely different. Here are some ideas from our members: PaleoNurse owns a nutrition business and promotes that by blogging. She writes about system changes in healthcare and encourages changes by establishing a proactive versus reactive healthcare business. One of our members wants to organize nurses to be patient advocates. Her passion is caring for the whole patient. Holistic medicine is a huge field and is tailored for the blogger who wants to promote a wellness concept. allnurses hosts a Holistic Nursing forum. Many hospital systems are advocating for nurse health coaches. Much of this education would provide material for bloggers who are interested in improving overall health of a particular medical system's patients. Improving provider/patient communications is also an open field for bloggers. How many times have you provided discharge instructions to patients only to have them ask very basic questions? As nurses, communication knowledge is built into our education and we hone it thru years of clinical practice. Here is one thread about using social media to get the word out. Nurse bloggers talk with one another, have their own conferences where they can network and discuss new ideas and AN also offers blogging tips. One of the more popular threads in that forum is this one that talks about starting to blog/write. Here are some tips from that forum: 1) Writing articles on what is important to other nurses and not necessary what interest you the most. You can search with google trends or twitter. 2) Learn backlinking well. This means becoming involved on multiple message boards that allow you to put your website address in your signature. The number of high quality websites that link to your site will tell Google where you belong in pecking order when someone does google search. 95% of web traffic comes from being on first page of google for your specific keyword or niche. 3) Social Media - it will be your best friend in getting your blog on the map. Google does not reward social media sites as much as say established community message board or web established web site that is in your niche but it is increasing becoming powerful. Facebook, twitter, linkedin, etc should be springboard to your site. Remember goal is traffic to your site and not just become well known on social media sites. 4) Speaking of niche - you will do much better if you pick a niche and become an expert in it. The sheer number of blogs out there has eliminated the need for broad based blogs. Users are looking for specific well written, intelligent information geared toward their specific need. So...there you have it - some solid ideas about how to decide what to blog about....now you are ready to get started.

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