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  1. Carol Ebert

    Boomer Fest Quest

    I have a “side hustle” wellness business and as I continue to age, the population I want to work with gets older too. So I decided if that is whom I want to reach with my message of staying healthy as you age, then I need to find them. And how do I find them? Invite them to an event! Which I did. I created Boomer Fest – a Resource Fair for Baby Boomers. Drawing on my professional skills of program development and event planning I started from scratch by assembling like-minded professionals looking to reach this population. That was easy because I was already involved in a Networking Group who were trying to reach Boomers as well. And so we started the process of creating the event. Here’s a step-by-step approach of how it unfolded in case you might want to do the same thing with your newly found “free time”. Decide who you want to reach Because I am a Boomer and am keenly aware of the health and social issues we face at this age, and I am aware that not all Boomers are ready for the life of retirement, I wanted to help my peers find the resources they need as they age – that they don’t even know they need to know about. Decide what you want them to learn from the event I struggled with what the retirement lifestyle was all about and followed a trial and error process when I finally “retired”. I was amazed to find that no one seems to prepare retirees for the next phase of life which I call Your Third Act. My mission then for this event was to provide the resources I felt they needed to be aware of and the options available to them for all the dimensions of a wellness lifestyle: social life, work life, spiritual support, physical activity, intellectual stimulation, emotional well-being, travel aspirations, volunteer opportunities, and active senior housing options. Decide who can provide the answers Boomers are looking for Once I decided how well-rounded I wanted the event to be, I started making calls and visits. That’s when the fun begins because someone knows someone else who knows someone else, and pretty soon I had identified 30 vendors for the event. And having them get to know me and me them, got me in touch with the people, groups, agencies and facilities that deal with the Boomer population. Which in turn positions me as an expert who can help them in the future with educational health programs that I have already designed for the Boomer population. So it became a win-win for both of us. Secure a venue for the event A new event center had just opened in the community where I live and I thought how perfect it would be to have Boomer Fest there – not only because it was a perfect venue, but because it was brand new people were curious to see it and that alone might draw them in. Of course there was a fee for the space so I had to come up with the money! Create a budget This is extremely important so you don’t lose money. Our plan was to break even and that is about what happened. Of course I did not pay myself for all my work, and if we do this again that issue will need to be resolved! Revenue = $900 Vendors each paid $50 Non-profits were not charged Expense = $875 Room rental - $750 Marketing Consultant - $125 Delegate tasks This is a key issue not to be overlooked. I actually took on too much myself, but at least I delegated someone to arrange for music thru the PA and someone to sit at the registration table to check people in and out. Arrange for volunteers I did not think of this until the last minute when I didn’t have anyone to manage the registration table. Fortunately someone stepped in at the last minute, so I lucked out. I did discover later that there are a lot of groups including college students who are very willing to help out as long as they have prior notice. Provide incentives to attend I asked each vendor to provide a door prize at their booth, and we also had a grand prize drawing for a one night stay at the new adjoining hotel in a king room. In order to participate in that drawing I had each participant find the answers to questions from each vendor so I was assured that all vendors would have people stop and talk to them. The sheet of completed answers was then dropped in a box and we drew the winner from those sheets. We had 56 people complete the sheets and the winner was the perfect person. She had brought along two elderly friends who sat at a table while she went thru the exhibits. She was being very kind to them by taking them out for the day and I felt she was the perfect person to be rewarded for that kind gesture. The Universe works in amazing ways! Promote the event All vendors were responsible for promoting to their audiences thru newsletters, emails, social media, etc. We posted flyers around town and made up free tickets to give away. I contacted the local TV station who sent out a reporter and we were on the news at 6 and 10 that day. If we do this again I would contact the media at the beginning of the planning so they would partner with us and provide free promotion. Keep statistics 56 people attended, even tho I would love to have had 200. But everyone felt it was a good response since it was the first time we have done this and we only had 8 weeks to pull it off! Followup evaluations from vendors and participants I am still compiling evaluations from the vendors and most want this to happen again. As participants left the event and passed by the volunteer at the registration table, most mentioned that they loved the event and would like to see it happen again next year. Debrief with planning committee and plan for next year Our planning committee is very happy with the results and are on board to do this again. Our recommendations are: Start planning sooner – at least 6 months before the event Create a more extensive budget Include a fee for the coordinator (that would be me!) Secure sponsors to generate more revenue Charge non-profits $25 each Continue to charge vendors $50 each Provide refreshments because food is always a draw – with few dollars to work with, we did get apples donated and water was free. Consider having entertainment, round-table discussions, break-out sessions So why did I share this with you? Because it’s never too late to take on a new challenge that has meaning and can give back to others who might need your talents and time. It doesn’t have to be this involved of course. It can be just what you want it to be. And you don’t have to ask permission from a boss! Feel free to share new challenges you have embarked on to give your life more meaning in retirement.
  2. When I began writing from home, I had a sluggish ten year old laptop and my tiny desk was shared with my less than organized husband, the conditions were not ideal. The funny part is, at the start, I didn't even realize what I needed to be more efficient. After taking some time to cultivate my perfect setup, my days and creative process now seem to go a bit smoother. Where to Start It can be hard to imagine all the items you might need to work from home if you've never done it before. While a separate space is key, it may not always be possible. However, if a full office space/room is not available, setting aside a relaxing and comfortable workspace can keep distractions down and create workflow ease. Potential expenses for your first year are also quite difficult to imagine (especially if you're anything like me and unsure of what you might even need to start). Here's a general list to help give you an upfront idea of what you might need... Laptop While my old laptop was technically in working condition, it wasn't very conducive to getting much done. Despite cleaning it up, it was painfully slow and many tasks took twice as long. Time is money, especially when you're paid to create content and expected to be on the computer for most of your workday. Get a current & updated laptop or computer (with virus protection!) The money spent on my new laptop was one of the best investments I could have made. Not only did my new toy inspire me to write more, but it's cool features help me get so much done in half the time. I personally work on a Surface Pro Laptop. The screen in big enough to read/view work, yet easily portable to make my office mobile. My other favorite features include the detachable screen (turns into a tablet - you're allowed to have a little fun too!) and the touchscreen capabilities, including being able to take on-screen notes. I find this feature particularly helpful when researching multiple sites for information to be included in an upcoming article. Keyboard While the keyboard on my laptop is great, typing all day requires a proper, full keyboard (unless you want your wrists to whimper by lunch every day). I use a Logitech K120. Do a little research and see what setup you might prefer - there are many different orientations of keys available. If possible, test drive it at the store before you buy. While there were other keyboards I had my eye on, this one's key placement works best for me and far reduces my rate of typos. Hey now, don't go digging through this article looking for typos... a tired nurse writer can easily defy the rules of any helpful keyboard. Bonus feature of the K120 keyboard - it's quiet and doesn't have that extra loud clackety-clack noise that could drive me to the brink of insanity. Get Comfy Make your setup work for you and as ergonomic as possible - your body will thank you. If working on a laptop, elevate it to eye level (lots of cool setups to choose from online... or a huge med surg book works well, too!) Ensure your chair has great back support, elevate feet if space permits Lower the keyboard so your shoulders don't ride up to your ears (yikes!), keeping a near 90-degree angle in elbows Invest in proper lighting for your workspace (I see you squinting...) Stay Organized I'm definitely an office supply nerd. It's quickly become one of my favorite things to shop for. Aside from the basics (pencils, steno pads, paper clips & post its - among my frequently used items), you may also need: File folders Separate office calendar to plot out due dates for work ahead Small dry erase board (to keep track of potential pitch ideas, to-do list, or business goals) Templates Getting your hands on some pre-formatted templates can save you a ton of time. (You guessed it, I learned this one the hard way.) To find these formats, dig around online, in the Microsoft Office suite, or reach out to other helpful colleagues. Examples of some frequently used templates include: Invoices, expense sheets, time tracking sheets, contracts, pitch formats, etc Employee ID Number (EIN) Obtain an EIN from the IRS While the options of LLC, Inc. and other business structures exist - that's a whole topic for a whole other day. What I can tell you is obtaining an EIN is a great starting point for any new freelancer and the online process is actually quite easy. The benefit to having an EIN is it prevents your social security number from floating around on invoices and other forms exchanged between you and clients. The application form takes less than 10 minutes. The best part? It's free. Ambiance One of the benefits of working from home is being able to tailor your space to your needs... and likes! Include some fun stuff that will keep you happy & motivated. Here are a few examples of things I love to have/frequently use in my office: "Focus & Patience" scented candle, made by Chesapeake Bay (Target.com) Fresh Flowers Essential Oil Diffuser (Amazon.com) *I like to use an energizing citrus scent when working Music Application (Pandora.com) Note cards of encouragement from friends Surrounded by books (inspiration, humor, nursing research, etc) What are your favorite things that make your work-from-home day a little easier or more enjoyable?
  3. Melissa Mills

    Calling All Nurse Innovators

    Nurses are innovators. Whether they create something new or revise an established product, idea, or method - they're at the center of new ideas in healthcare each and every day. You might notice this about yourself or colleagues, but do others see it? They do! In fact, Johnson & Johnson, the world's largest and most broadly based healthcare company, has recognized the vital role nurses play in the future of healthcare. They've launched past nursing campaigns, but on October 1st, J&J initiated a new challenge for nurse innovators in the US - the Johnson & Johnson Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge. J&J isn't alone in the mission to recognize and support nurses as innovators. Maria Menounos, the host of Conversations with Maria Menounos podcast and Host/CEO of AfterBuzz TV, has partnered with them for this exciting challenge. This article is featured in the Fall 2018 issue of our allnurses Magazine... Download allnurses Magazine While J&J is a leader of healthcare, Maria's career always kept her in the spotlight, until 2016 when she and her family began a journey that led to her both herself and her mother being diagnosed with brain tumors. In a recent interview, she described her healthcare journey, the importance of nursing, and why she wanted to help recognize nurses through this challenge. Maria's Journey In 2016, Maria's mother, Litsa, was diagnosed with stage IV brain cancer. Just eight short months later, Maria had an MRI and was told she had a brain tumor also. Her brain tumor was as a meningioma. While this type of tumor is benign, Maria found out that it had to be removed. Both women underwent surgery to remove the tumors. As nurses, we know this means long recoveries, medications, intravenous fluids, and nurses. Maria said that during her illness, even though she understood the importance of nurses, she was able to see the integral role nurses have on health. She reminisced, "I've always been around nurses. My dad is a type 1 diabetic. But, when you're the patient, you're vulnerable, and it takes everything to a whole other level. I think that's the reason we use the phrase 'nurse back to health, that's what nurses do." She shared how it was hard to leave her nurses at the hospital behind. She relied on them for help, care, and compassion. Lessons Learned Along with meeting nurses and overcoming a brain tumor, Maria learned valuable lessons about life and health. We talked about health and how it isn't just the absence of illness or disease. "The physical healing was just one part of the process," she said. "I had to heal emotionally, mentally, and spiritually too. And, now, I live with much more intention. Life isn't about who liked your picture on Instagram or trying to be everything to everyone. We must be intentional and practice preventative health too. That's why nurses are so important, they are there for all of this." Most people come in contact with nurses during times of illness, but they are there during health and prevention too. Nurses teach, offer support, and heal. So, it makes sense that these front-line warriors are inventors and creators also. Importance of Nurse Innovators Nurses have been improving the healthcare industry since Florence Nightingale. But, Florence certainly is not the only nurse innovator. Many of the protocols, equipment, and practices you use each day were created by nurses. Here are a just a few: In 1968, Anita Dorr built a prototype of the modern day crash cart after watching precious minutes pass while equipment was gathered during a code. In the 1950's, Sister Jean Ward discovered that sunlight decreased jaundice in newborns, which started the use of phototherapy. In 1954, Danish nurse Elise Sorensen created the first ostomy bag for her younger sister who had colon cancer. As Maria and I discussed a few of these nurse innovators, she added, "Nurses are resourceful and creative. They must think on their feet quickly to benefit their patients. We need others to see nurses for how important they are, which is why the J&J Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge is so important. This program is taking nurse innovations to the next level by giving nurses the time and resources they need to fully develop their ideas." The Challenge Johnson & Johnson believes that nurses have the power to profoundly change lives. And, they have the know-how to help innovators move forward with their ideas. J&J is looking for ideas that can impact patient care and human health. They will present one or more nurses with up to $100,000 in grants and access to mentoring and coaching from Johnson and Johnson Innovation, JLABS. If you've got an idea that can improve the lives of your patients or the healthcare industry as a whole, here's what you need to know about this challenge: Criteria A panel of reviewers and judges will evaluate all solutions on the following criteria: Uniqueness of the idea Potential impact on human health Feasibility of the idea Thoroughness of approach Identification of key resources and plan to further idea Areas of Interest New Treatment Protocols New Health Technologies New medical device New preventative approach New consumer product New community health approach Are you ready to put your idea in front of some of the industry leaders in healthcare innovation? For more information about this challenge, visit the Quickfire Challenge page here. You can find the link to apply on that website too. Best of luck and happy innovating!
  4. traumaRUs

    Notes from an Entrepreneur

    Denetra Hampton, MHSA, BSN, RN is a nursing entrepreneur who has built an educational empire consisting of a start-up that focuses on bridging the gap between nursing education and technology. She has also developed a digital magazine as well as a nursing leadership initiative. She is currently the producer of an upcoming Mini-documentary, THE BLACK ANGELS, the untold story of African American nurses who risked their lives to care for patients with tuberculosis, when there was no cure. She is an author, and 22-year USN veteran with multiple nursing experiences under her belt. With over 18K followers in her nurse entrepreneur group on LinkedIn, she is a social media presence. allnurses.com was able to interview her recently about hot topics in nursing social media and she provided some tips for potential entrepreneurs. Health disparity is a hot topic today among healthcare staff on social media. What do you view as the biggest factor? Health disparities have been around since the beginning of our healthcare system, and the fact that we see it as a HOT TOPIC is one of the biggest factors to a continued widening gap. Health disparities are rampant simply because of a lack of diversity. And because of our changing demographics, the hand of healthcare has been forced to implement strategies in areas they otherwise have neglected. We have many disenfranchised in the US: minorities, LGBTQ community, prisoners and those recently released as the poor in general. What suggestions do you have to help them access health care? Gaining entry into our healthcare system should be the ultimate goal of any healthcare facility. Fundamental access or not will set the pace for future patient encounters. And unfortunately, basic access is not a reality across the board of our America. Of course patients in rural and underserved areas are more likely to struggle with access to care, and because of this, we have to create community pipelines that are in their favor. It is important that any strategy that is implemented to empower others focuses on the community and their education. Trust in your healthcare team and the ability to KNOW that you will get good care and have your wishes respected is a hallmark of a good patient/provider relationship. Do you have any tips on how to establish trust? Trust starts with self, it does not start with the patient. Any and all vibes are created by the provider, nurse or any other clinician. This is why it is important that we have the right people in place who have a clear vision about patient engagement, diversity and community work relations. Healthcare has a long tradition of doing things the way it has always been done. However, we are in a new era where just because you have been doing something for 20 years, does not mean you have been doing it right. And furthermore, it may just not work anymore. This is something we have to be more open to, if we are going to empower trust on any level. And shifting gears here: You have been an entrepreneur for several years. Many of our nurses are looking to expand their expertise into different more non-traditional nursing venues. What is the piece of advice that you could give them that would promise success? My #1 advice is PURPOSE over PROFIT. I have found in my journey, that most nurses believe that they can do what another nurse is doing business-wise, simply because they are a nurse. This is false. And when a nurse follows down a path of another because they see success, they may find themselves in a hole they can't come back from. So, I always tell nurses to find your own purpose or craft and master it. Be consistent and be authentic. Let your work lead the way. What do you think are the up and coming business ventures for nurses? Nurses have many pathways to a successful business. But true entrepreneurs solve problems. And they solve them for people. So, the creators, the innovators and the risk takers are going to be the winners of tomorrow and future generations. It is important to create a platform that socially impacts another. Social media impacts nursing in a variety of ways. Its especially important for entrepreneurs as many aspects of developing a side career involve social media. Thank you Ms Hampton.
  5. Maureen Bonatch MSN

    Unexpected Side Effects from the Side Gig

    A side gig is something you do to add to your income in addition to your regular job. Having a side gig has become more common with many people cashing in on a variety of things. The new endeavor may have nothing to do with their current employment and might be something previously considered a hobby. The Internet has made starting a side gig easier than ever. It offers vast opportunities to create a website or promote and sell a product or service. As a nurse and a fiction author, freelance writing was a natural progression for me as a side gig. Initially, I saw healthcare freelance writing as an opportunity to combine my two areas of expertise to make some extra cash doing what I enjoy, but I discovered several unexpected non-monetary rewards that accompanied my side gig. Expand Your Mind There is a certain comfort found in routine. Although sometimes we get to a point in our careers when we're not necessarily looking for something different, perhaps we crave something more. A variation from the usual to help keep our mind sharp and prevent us from tiring of the daily routine. Even though I've been a nurse for many years, writing healthcare articles often involves extensive research to ensure accurate and up-to-date information in the rapidly evolving healthcare environment. The word, research, initially made me cringe. I was done with school, right? I'd been out of the nursing classroom for a long time, and never realized I might miss some things about that environment. Maybe not the starchy uniform or the nursing cap that never wanted to stay on my head, but perhaps the thrill that accompanied learning new things. As I researched articles, my thirst for knowledge reawakened. Subject matter and healthcare topics that had lain dormant since graduating nursing school and moving into a specialty stirred. It seems that we don't really lose this knowledge. Although sometimes sharpening our brain and flexing those familiar muscles can allow us to appreciate just how much we've invested in our career. Grow Your Professional Network Many of us bonded with a group of friends in nursing school, and then with coworkers at our job, but often that circle narrows the higher we climb the career ladder. Initially, my venture into freelance writing was a solitary endeavor, but as my side gig grew, I met other like-minded healthcare writers. The ability to interact with nurses from across the country, as opposed to my little section of the world, did more than expand my professional network. It also: Opened new opportunities for jobs that may not have been obvious Made professional connections to seek advice, references and referrals Improved my confidence with the ability to share my expertise and knowledge Provided new perspectives for things that I'd been doing one way for so long that I hadn't realized there were other options Pushed me to learn new technology and challenge my comfort zones Helped me realize that you could make good friends without ever meeting them in person Change How You Perceive Yourself Since a side gig is in addition to your regular job, it provides a certain freedom over your regular employment. With this extra work, you have more of an ability to turn projects down or step away when you need a break. A side gig does not have to be related to your regular nursing job. Spending time doing something different might be helpful to reduce stress and allow you to clear your head when your job becomes overwhelming. As the years' pass, we often lose time for hobbies we used to enjoy. Pursuing these passions as a side gig can help prioritize this time for keeping your dream alive without guilt. Exploring a different interest can: Validate that you can still be something more and that your job doesn't define you Try something new without the commitment Keep your skills fresh Improve your time management skills Help to prepare for a career change Socialize with people with similar interests or in different stages of their life or career Offer a creative outlet Provide a way to reduce stress More Than Extra Cash That extra cash can come in handy for paying down debt, increasing your savings or indulging in an extra extravagance without guilt, but often there are other benefits to pursuing a side gig. There's no reason to change the work you do now, but perhaps you have some motivation to add something more.
  6. tnbutterfly - Mary

    So You Want to Be Published: Just Do It!

    Last year at the AACN National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition (NTI), I had the opportunity to interview Mary Fran Tracy, Editor of the AACN Advanced Critical Care Journal and a Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview. Mary Fran's association with AACN spans several years beginning as a critical care staff nurse. She benefitted greatly from the resources offered by AACN. She is a former president of AACN and a board member. When her term as president ended, she became a journal editor. AACN has 3 journals. Two are members journals: The American Journal of Critical Care (AJCC) and Critical Care Nurse (CCN). Mary Fran is Editor of AACN Advanced Critical Care which is a subscription journal for the more advanced critical care nurse, critical care educators, and staff nurses who are really experienced in critical care. It is published quarterly. According to Mary Fran, "We are always looking for articles for the journal and ways for people to publish." How do nurses feel about publishing articles for AACN and how do you convince them of the importance of being published? "Each year the 4 editors have a panel discussion at NTI for people who are interested in publishing. They can come to this panel session, hear a little more about the journals, and how to get published in them. The facilitators then ask the questions... Why are you hesitant? What do you want to know about publishing? "What we frequently hear is that people think 'I'm not doing anything innovative. No one wants to hear this. It's just what everyone else is doing. I don't need to do a poster.' Then they come to NTI and 'see people presenting on what I had done, the same topic. I see a publication come out and think well really I could've written that.' So I think people tend to underestimate their knowledge, their skill, they think writing is hard. It is hard but you have to try. If you don't try, then you'll never get published. So I try to convince people they can get a start...get mentors and really they can publish. Their ideas are worthwhile to get out there because we are all struggling with the same problems. Presenting is great, but when you present you do it to a room of 50 or 100 people for one time. When you publish it's in the literature for many years for people to access." After you get them to do the initial article, how many come back and do another one? "After they publish once or twice, people sort of get a feel for it... Then they do come back, maybe not to my journal, but to other journals. People feel if they could just get mentored once or twice, then I feel like they could go mentor the next person to write an article so more people would feel more comfortable. It's the guidance... the how-to... that is overwhelming." "There is research that says the more you write, if you write every day, the more likely you are going to be prolific, and it doesn't matter whether you are a novice or an academic. You have to write, you have to do it and just keep doing it and practice and get in the mode of writing to be successful." What are you waiting for? There are always people who dream about doing things, but they wait too long and then somebody else does it. Then they think "I could've done that." Don't be the one who waits too long. Just Do It! If you are one of those nurses who has been hesitant to follow your dream of being published and would like some help, NTI will be having 2 sessions on publishing. Publishing In AACN Critical Care Journals - Monday, May 22, 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm Writing for Publication: Demystifying the Publishing Process - Tuesday, May 23, 11:45 am - 2:15 pm If you cannot attend NTI this year, feel free to post your questions in our Innovators Hub here on allnurses. Some of our published writers will be glad to assist you.
  7. 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!
  8. 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 writer Is 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 write Unless 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 freelance There 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 business This 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 success I 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.
  9. traumaRUs

    Nursing Entrepreneurs

    This field is wide open for enterprising nurses. So many opportunities, so little time! Here are just a few of the possibilities: Website Designer Best example of this is the allnurses.com site owner, Brian Short. He started AN while in nursing school, nursed it throughout his first few years of nursing and soon was able to go full time with this venture! It has grown into the largest nursing website on the internet with 760,000 + members. Life Care Planner This role is a registered nurse who uses the nursing process to assist clients with their goals for their lives. This can encompass planning for future disability or can be planning during an acute event. These nurses provide resources such as independent living, assisted living, nursing home, hospice, hospice home and nursing home. They can also serve as navigators through the healthcare system for clients, explaining medical terms, treatment plans, options, and securing a second opinion. A Life Care Planner can also serve as an expert witness. Legal Nurse Consultant This title encompasses several roles: expert witness, medical records reviewer, consultant to attorney explaining nursing care provided to a patient. Nurse Authors Many people in general like to write. However, a nurse author has a special slant on writing. Audiences are always looking for authentic medical books or articles. Nurses have the edge here! Other Possible Options Infusion agency Nursing assistant school Foot care Medical massage Tutoring Nursing staffing agency Nurse concierge Nurse navigator Mother-baby home nurse Private duty nurse Duties/Responsibilities/Salary These will vary tremendously with the individual job, whether full time or part time, number of clients served, ability to bill insurance and just the individual involved. Education/Experience This will vary by individual entrepreneurial endeavor. However, in general, a nurse that is going to develop a company and sell a product (themselves) needs to have experience and education in business. It is paramount when one is the owner of the business that you have planned for a reasonable debt/asset ratio and that you have a working understanding of the governmental rules/regulations regarding running a business. Although an MBA would be nice to have, especially in the start-up phase of a company, realistically few nurses wish to invest the time/money needed to earn this degree when they have already decided. Nursing experience is also needed. When you figure that you will have a deficit in business education, having extensive nursing experience can be a huge plus. Resources National Association of Nurse Life Care Planners: This organization serves as a policy maker and clearinghouse for nurse life care planners. They also provide resources for further education and information for prospective life care planners. Certification information is also available on this site. Wound care, Ostomy and Continence Nurses: This organization provides multiple certification wound and ostomy exams and also offers a very specialized foot care exam. The Academy of Oncology Nurse Navigators provides education, certification and many resources for nurse navigators. They provide explanation, education, friendship and genuine care as a patient goes through the pathway of a cancer diagnosis
  10. 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
  11. 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!
  12. 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!
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. Sarah Matacale

    Alene Nitzky, Ph.D., RN, OCN

    I have been blessed to interview many nurse innovators and entrepreneurs over the past several months, but none have had as unique a path that leads them to their current career as Alene Nitzky, Ph.D., RN, OCN. Her journey toward helping cancer patients, families, the healthcare system and community at large is inspiring. Her journey includes caring for and listening to her own needs and will encourage all of us to rethink how we can truly affect our patients and families. Starting the Journey At present Alene is a Registered Nurse certified in Oncology with critical care experience, but she started her career far from bedside care. In fact, she did not start out in healthcare at all but rather in natural resources. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Forestry and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources Recreation. Her doctoral program was in the health benefits of leisure. Arlene studied both the psychosocial and physiologic aspects of recreation behavior and the health benefits of leisure in the outdoor setting. She also taught at the college level in exercise science for a few years, and then started a personal training business to work specifically with older people with chronic health conditions. "While doing that, I was learning so much about their health conditions, medications, and the disease processes that I felt I needed a medical or healthcare background. I ended up going to nursing school!" Carving Her Own Niche Alene has been through the healthcare system as a patient and had a sister diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. Her father also has a chronic form of leukemia that is currently in remission. "As a family member of someone with cancer, it is hard to watch the effects of the gaps in care and information for people with cancer during and after treatment. These experiences were pivotal in making me want to do a better job for patients." With this passion for patients with cancer all along the care spectrum, Alene started her own business where she develops support programs that focus on improving the quality of life and health for cancer survivors in her community. Her work encompasses coaching individuals who are often in the phase between finishing cancer treatments and trying to regroup and regain control over their own lives again. These individuals also struggle with regaining confidence in their bodies once treatment is over. She also works with individuals who are either in the middle of ongoing treatment or have chosen palliative- only interventions. Alene states that "I teach the public about cancer at every opportunity. I write articles on topics related to how different healthcare industry practices impact cancer patients' lives, I teach classes and speak to many different groups about cancer and health concerns." Alene has developed two programs that support her mission in advocating and empowering patients at whatever stage of the cancer journey they are in. The first is called Cancer Harbors which is a six-month coaching program that addresses a comprehensive range of concerns common to many cancer patients after treatment ends. The second is FIERCE, which is a class that encourages movement and physical activity, and introduces cancer survivors to different therapeutic movement and mind-body modalities that help in healing. It provides social support, learning, and community resources. As if this doesn't keep her busy enough, Alene is working on publishing her first book that will go to press this fall called, Navigating the A Nurse Charts the Course on Cancer Survivorship Care. Her book will showcase the ideas behind the two programs she runs. "I think working nurses' voices need to be heard in the discussions about healthcare policy, legislation, and operations. The nurses who work directly with patients are the ones who need to steer the future of healthcare as much as physicians, administrators, or policymakers. My book talks about values- and living true to those values, no matter what your role in healthcare is." Challenges One of Alene's biggest barriers is getting the time with physicians, and potential patients to have her ideas heard. "But that's why I am writing the book. It gives me the chance to get it all out there and I am not limited to a 10-minute talk or a 2-minute video presentation. I get to showcase my work to the individuals who can benefit from it." Getting the word out about post cancer treatment is imperative to Alene. This is a time of great angst for patients. They have anxiety about recurrence as well as not being as closely followed by their treatment team. She would like to get policy and practice in place where these patients can be taught what reasonable self-expectations are, regarding activity level, fatigue, healing, and goal setting that is realistic for themselves in a year or two after treatment so that they don't get discouraged. This kind of care is innovative and getting health care professionals, administrators and policymakers to think about these patients after their active cancer care is finished is the most challenging part of Alene's entrepreneurial experience. A Word of Advice for Aspiring Innovators "Really examine your own values, and what you really want to get out of the work you do? What is most important to you, makes you happy? Find mentors, people who encourage you. You need to be willing to set a long-term vision for yourself, and not expect things to happen quickly. Money helps, but it isn't everything. Network, talk to as many people as you can, if you are enthusiastic about your work, it will show and people will be drawn to you." Passion Passionate is the single word that comes to my mind as I write about Alene Nitzky. She has evolved herself, her career, and her life around a passionate, caring heart for patients who need it the most. She uses her knowledge accumulated through lifelong learning and experience not only as a nurse but in all of the areas of her formal education. Her ideas have grown through the experiences of others and her willingness to really listen to the patient, family, and caregiver's needs. It takes great passion to bring your ideas to fruition in an innovative market. I can't wait to hear more about how far Alene's passion takes her into the future of healthcare!
  18. 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!
  19. 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 . . .
  20. AllNurses Innovator Hub #1 My Writing Path from Personal Journaling to Textbook Author (or How I Got Started in Writing as a Nurse) For me, writing has always been a safe way to reflect on things that interested or challenged me. Sometimes, a process of self-discovery and other times a way to process what is or was going on in my life. I kept a journal for many years and found I enjoyed being playful with language. As a Registered Nurse, I first tried my hand at publishing in the 90s and was successful with publishing a couple of articles on the Utilization Review process, one of which was for a legal journal. I didn't do much with any professional writing until my decision to build a consulting career that focused on teaching communication and collaboration skills and used an online newsletter to build my reputation and network. In looking back, I can see how my personal and professional writing began to overlap at that time. I was recently divorced and raising my son and developing my own emotional intelligence and assertiveness skills. It soon became apparent how hard it was to practice new and healthy communication skills in work cultures that did not support them i.e. toxic cultures. I found I had lots of material to write about and great satisfaction in sharing experiences with other nurses. A community was forming and it was/is a joyful feeling to hear feedback from a nurse who might have felt isolated or had self doubts about her (or his) experiences. This inspired me to write and self-publish my first book, Confident Voices: The Nurses' Guide to Improving Communication & Creating Positive Workplaces". I was very fortunate to work with a nurse editor who joined with me for free because she believed in the work. Bonnie Kerrick, RN, BSN and I are close friends to this day. Not long after, I met a young Nurse Blogger, Brittney Wilson, aka the Nerdy Nurse. We had a wonderful connection and she helped me to switch from a monthly newsletter to my blog, ''Confident Voices in Healthcare" which I continue to publish and write for today. (And I'm always interested in Guest Bloggers who want to share expertise or ideas that in some way make healthcare safer, kinder, fairer, and more rewarding to work in.) Then in the Spring of 2012, an acquisition's editor from F.A. Davis Publishing Company contacted me to set up a video conference. Honestly, I wasn't sure what we were going to talk about, but it turned out that he was familiar with some of my work and were planning on publishing a communication textbook for nurses. I was invited to submit a proposal! Almost 3 years later, Successful Nurse Communication: Safe Care, Healthy Workplaces, & Rewarding Careers was published! What's happening for me now in the nurse-writing world is I have many cyber blogger and author friends who write about all sorts of topics interesting to nurses. We share resources, ideas, and contacts and best of all cheer each other on. I also have several invitations to write for exciting publishers like ALLNurses, KevinMD, and F.A.Davis! If you are interested in writing, I encourage you to go for it. Write about things you are inspired to study and share and keep at it! I believe that nurses have a huge potential to be positive change agents in healthcare and writing is one way of doing so!
  21. Elizabeth Hanes

    How Freelance Writing Works

    When I talk about freelance writing, I'm talking about making a living as a writer. I'm not talking about writing fiction or poetry. It's tough to make a living at those. I like to break down the field of freelance writing this way... There are two major categories: journalism and everything else. Let's take a peek at how journalism works, to give you an idea of how it is possible to make a living as a freelance writer. I find that a lot of people who read consumer magazines think the stories contained inside were written by staff writers (people employed by the magazine). This is not true at all. At a magazine, most of the staff people are editors of some sort. They may write a few of the stories, but mainly their job is to assign articles, oversee the writing, make edits for grammar and style, and work with designers to create a visually appealing presentation of the work. The bulk of stories in any magazine are actually written by freelancers like me. The way we get assigned to write these articles is by pitching stories directly to editors. For example, let's say I have a great lead on some new research into breast cancer. I may contact an editor (figuring out exactly which editor is a whole other story) and basically say, "Your readership consists of women between the ages of 18 and 35. Here's some new research that may change the way they approach breast cancer screening. Can I write this for you?" (That's a very condensed version of a pitch.) Then the editor comes back to me with a yes or no. If she gives me the assignment, then I get a contract that specifies the deadline, number of sources, word count and rate. I do all the work, turn in the story, and BOOM! Next thing you know my name is on the article in a glossy magazine at your friendly local supermarket. That's how freelance writing works on the journalism side. But what about the marketing side (which is what I do)? Freelance writing is basically a service industry. The client needs content. This could range from blog posts to marketing brochures to white papers...the list goes on. The client doesn't employ its own writers because it's cost-prohibitive to do so. Instead, the client looks for a contractor like me to handle these writing tasks for them. If you're wondering how much potential work is available in this sphere, just look around your own hospital, clinic or facility. How many items around you have printed words on them? Someone (like me) had to write all that stuff. Seriously. Nothing writes itself. Still skeptical? I urge you to spend one week collecting everything you encounter in your daily life that has words on it: brochures, magazines, junk mail, you-name-it. Clip web pages, blog articles, celebrity news, whatever. At the end of the week, remind yourself that someone got paid to write all that stuff. It could have been you. But I digress... To obtain this type of work, I have to market myself by locating potential clients and sending them a "letter of introduction" (LOI). In this email, I tell the client how I can help them or their clients (if it's an agency, for example) achieve their content marketing goals. Most of the time, these prospects yawn and delete my LOI. But sometimes they write me back and say, "Excellent timing! We need someone to write a case study, and you'd be perfect for the job. Let's talk." My personal strategy for earning a living as a freelance writer is to form ongoing relationships with as many clients as I can handle. I currently write regularly for about 5 clients, plus I take on one-off gigs as time permits. So that's basically how freelance writing works, at least for journalism and marketing typewriting. It's a little different for hard-science writing like regulatory writing for pharma. Questions? ~Beth
  22. Let me introduce you to an amazing woman who took a wealth of nursing knowledge and experience, the love of patient care, and an entrepreneurial mind and spirit and created a one of a kind approach to nursing care for cancer patients. Susan Scherer, RN, BSN, OCN is a nurse who seems to have done it all in the field of nursing. Susan's medical career spans over 25 years. Her experience ranges from working in trauma, diagnostic coding, neurological, medical and surgical intensive care units, neurological-oncology, endocrine cancer and disorders to oncological emergency medicine. Not only did she work in England for the National Health Service at Ipswich Trust Hospital for 2 years, Susan has traveled the globe attending and participating in oncology research and acquiring an extensive oncology education learning the latest cancer treatments, best practices with emphasis in patient education and advocacy. She has served in the United States Air Force and has received countless awards for oncology and business. Susan has served on various committees and speaks nationally about cancer patient advocacy. Susan's ambitions and innovative thinking have led her to the company she founded called RN Cancer Guides (RNCG). Susan states, "I have had family members that were diagnosed with cancer and I used to think, 'how do people do this? I am in the system which allows me to help my family but what about others?' I am one who roots for the underdog and I wanted to make a difference." So in 2013, Susan founded a company called RN Cancer Guides. RNCG is a company that hires experienced Oncology Certified Nurses to help navigate cancer patients and their families through all of the barriers of their care with a unique approach. The nurse meets with the patient and family in their home to determine what knowledge they have about their cancer and their medical plan. They find out what the most important issues are in the patient's life and then go on to try to obtain help for them. By remaining independent of any particular provider, clinic, hospital, or insurance company, RNCG is truly able to support the needs of the patient and family. Nurses with RNCG are able to operate to the fullest extent of their education and scope. The nurse goes with the patient and family to doctors appointments and then disseminates the information given so that the patient can make their own decisions regarding care and treatment paths. The RNCG nurse acts as a liaison for the patient and support network with their own medical team and healthcare provider. RN Care Guides are committed to helping patients have a better understanding of the complexities of cancer treatments. Their knowledge and relationships with physicians, social workers, therapists, billing offices, pharmacies and community support resources helps the patient transition more efficiently and confidently through each phase of treatment. The company has 4 service lines: Working with primary care providers in an ACO or IPA capacity Private patient program that is utilized when patients want to hire them directly Employee Cancer Assistance Program (ECAP) that was trademarked to help employees of companies. These companies hire RNCG to care for them and their family members directly RNCG started a not for profit 501 ©3 called RNCG Angel Foundation in 2014 that allows them to care for patients that don't have the means to pay for service In creating this company and concept, Susan encountered many barriers which she proudly states they have overcome. How do I let patients know that we are here? How do I educate the medical profession about the role we play while integrating with their care team? How do we get paid? Nurses can not bill insurance companies unless working under a doctor. RNCG has been very fortunate to have local and national media and press cover what they do. The company gets invited to speak at professional organization conferences that utilize their service lines. Susan has done some radio shows and has spoken to patient support groups. The company has a very robust sales and marketing plan that allows them to have a national reach. When asked what advice Susan would give to aspiring nurse entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs she said, "being on the frontline of healthcare allows nurses to have the most impact. We are constantly troubleshooting problems and having to come up with solutions which allow us to find business opportunities. I think nursing teaches us to have the same skills in medicine as well as business." Having a passion for what you do and a predisposition to multitasking is imperative in starting one's own business. "You need to have the passion for your idea to take you through the highs and lows of running or starting your own business because you will have them." Susan states that nurses have made great strides in practice, research, and business. As our skill set and knowledge improve, she feels "we must break out of the mold that we are perceived as a 'supportive role profession'. We must take the lead in our own employment and in legislation." Nurses have the the advantage of the trust factor in regards to integrity and honesty which is typically an obstacle for business folks looking to build a business or client relationships. "I believe that nurses need to be aware of what is happening with the health care changes, what drives the market, and how it affects everyone involved. Because of my passion for raising our profession along with changes in healthcare, I created a business model that was not dependent on the traditional healthcare insurance reimbursement. My aspiration is that nurses are recognized and reimbursed for their skill set and knowledge." In order to make changes and have an influential voice, nurses need to recognize their own value in monetary terms, not as an expense but as a revenue generator. Susan Scherer has taken her passion and ideas and created an amazing company that is helping so many patients undergoing cancer care. She also is making a major impact in the role of the nurse as an income source in the ever-evolving healthcare market. She says that her role models have been her patients and industry leaders. She takes bits and pieces of inspiration and advice from colleagues and reference organizations such as the National Nurses in Business Association. Most of all she credits her faith in God. " I feel He is my moral compass when dealing with people and business decisions. It has taken many prayers and lots of faith to have come this far and I feel very blessed to be doing this work."
  23. Persons who regularly engage in creative writing, whether it involves simple memoranda, formal business reports, articles, short stories, novels, or dramatic works, supposedly possess the requisite skills for clarity, conciseness, logical structure, organized flow, and other attributes addressed toward maximum comprehension by any duly intelligent reader. Unfortunately, our many years of experience in both the composing and editorial realms have found this often not the case, even among professionals. Being inclined toward perfectionism in this respect, we tend to become unduly upset upon seeing output which fails to meet what we have defined as well-disciplined standards. Copy is being published every day and in many ways where the types of shortcomings we'll cite herein all too often pass virtually unnoticed by composers, proof readers, editors, and end recipients. The sole acceptable excuse might be deadline-meeting urgency, but that's a mighty slim one indeed. The collective output chiefly suffers from abject carelessness. The sins being constantly committed by our literary gentry in nearly every area are discussed below, but not necessarily according to commission severity. We judge them roughly equal in proportion. Failure to pre-establish a structured outline, which leads to rambling and potential confusion Incorrect spelling and/or grammar Inconsistency of terms and spelling Incorrect spelling of foreign phrases Needless word repetition. Advance Structuring Failure For whatever reason found appropriate, a tendency may prevail just to sit down and begin composing, on the premise that every pertinent issue will come to mind as the effort progresses. Our experience has shown this to be a relatively senseless practice, usually carried out by an insufficiently trained or downright lazy writer. Before the end product can meet acceptable standards under such conditions, a good deal of review and double-checking becomes vital. Normally, a rough advance outline should be all that's required, in simple note form, so as to gain an overall grasp of what to cover before plunging aimlessly ahead. No further elaboration on this point appears necessary. Incorrect Spelling and/or Grammar This is totally and absolutely inexcusable, yet errors clearly abound in both cases, even getting past proof readers and editors. As for grammar, although the teachers ground it into us throughout our school days, the rules never seemed to penetrate 100%. A lot of us go on committing the same inbred errors year after year, with no thought whatsoever devoted to self-improvement once the classroom days have come to an end. Fortunately, most discrepancies are minor in nature, and thus disregarded by readers. The above criticism notwithstanding, it can sometimes be not only acceptable but useful to resort to the vernacular. Selectively intelligent use of the word "ain't" might add a little needed color. Carrying the idea further, an occasional double negative or similar grammatical slip may help put a key point across, provided, of course, such intent remains perfectly clear. Inconsistency of Terms and Spelling An individual writer will normally stick with his or her own standardized terms and phraseology from start to finish. However, occasions arise where an article or report may be handled by two or more individuals, perhaps with one performing an edit/correction review of a colleague's work. When this situation applies, extreme care is necessary to assure word flow consistency, while also making certain not to contradict any original composer's statements appearing elsewhere in the text. Such partnership-type activity can lead to further complications if one team member employs American terminology, subject to edit review by a Britisher, or vice versa. Finding the same words spelled two different ways, maybe no farther than a single paragraph apart, appears awkward to the point of evident stupidity. Inconsistency of this sort isn't apt to go unnoticed by the end reader. Incorrect Spelling of Foreign Phrases Resorting to commonly-used French, Italian, Spanish, German, Latin, Greek, or other language expressions when putting text together is perfectly suitable, just so long as the practice doesn't get overdone. However, a good writer never dares forget the importance of their absolutely correct spelling. We know from experience that foreigners become a bit revolted by reading something expressed in their own native tongue, but reflecting a disdain for accuracy. In absence of full certainty, the writer should stick to pure English. Needless Word Repetition Whereas each of the foregoing issues falls under the basics category, the subject we're now about to introduce tends to border on the semi-revolutionary. What we wish to encourage in the strongest possible terms is never never, well, hardly ever be repetitious, and we ourselves carry this doctrine to a near fault. With considerable past years' mental struggle, we've managed to achieve a self-taught disciplinary practice whereby: " The same noun, adjective, verb, or adverb should appear only once within any given paragraph; and " The same preposition, other than "to", should appear only once within any given sentence. Dwelling on the above rules of practice for a moment or two will bring the realization that applying them at all times can become a rather difficult chore, frequently causing the writer to sit back and reflect. Such discipline requires a lot of studied thought, and perhaps, in many persons' viewpoints, lies far from being worth the effort. Nevertheless, we're quite satisfied with the mental accomplishment we've achieved, even though it often becomes necessary to stare at an uncompleted sentence or paragraph at length, while searching for an appropriate synonym or alternate prepositional phrase. For the newcomer's benefit, having a thesaurus at hand ought to prove helpful. Referring to our "hardly ever" exception per an earlier paragraph, occasions will arise when the need for downright emphasis may actually render repetition a valuable feature, hence fully permissible. This must be a judgment call on the composer's part, and not overapplied. At the very least, we do encourage anybody engaged in creative writing work to give our methodology a good try. The end result can be mentally rewarding, as we've found from our own experience. The two most difficult prepositions to avoid repeating within a single sentence are "in" and "of", especially the latter. Still, intelligent rephrasing does not lie beyond the bounds of possibility. Our English language allows for possessive noun form usage, thus avoiding "of". For example, why must we say "the direction of the aircraft" when it is just as easy, not to mention space-saving, to substitute "the aircraft's direction"? Several years ago we carried out an exhaustive study of the Encyclopedia Britannica, poring through every single volume from cover to cover, in order to establish just who were the 500 persons throughout world history leaving the most significant collective impact on mankind's development and progressive existence. Needless to say, we found it quite fascinating to see the influential effect brought about by an almost infinitesimal fraction of those who've come and gone over the ages. While going through such exercise, we observed over and over that word economy did not form part of the Britannica's literary policy. In fact, we became sorely tempted to write to the publishers, informing them how they could save countless pages by merely using possessive noun forms where their writers had constantly inserted "of". Figuring, however, that nobody would bother to listen, we finally decided to forego communicating our space-saving suggestion. We're going to close out this treatise by presenting several exemplary paragraphs laid out in the manner we see all too frequently, followed by revised versions employing the word economy measures discussed above. First Example James continued to run through the forest, stumbling over tree roots, getting his face scraped by hanging leaves, and beginning to sweat profusely. He seemed to be making some progress, since the barking of the dogs and the shouts of the pursuing guards seemed to be less discernible. James wondered if he somehow might safely reach the river and run through the shallow water nearest the river bank. Revision James continued to charge through the forest, stumbling over tree roots, getting his face scraped by hanging leaves, and beginning to sweat profusely. He seemed to be making progress, since the dogs' barking and the pursuing guards' shouts were less discernible. He wondered if he might safely reach the river and run through the shallow water nearest the bank. Second Example In the bygone days of radio, when a different soap opera would come on the air every fifteen minutes throughout each weekday afternoon, one of the more popular programs was Vic and Sade, a simple family program with more than a slight touch of droll humor. One of the programme's more humourous features was the fraternal lodge to which the husband Vic belonged and served as one of its officials. He happened to be the Exalted Big Dipper of the Lazy Venus Chapter of the Sacred Stars of the Milky Way. Revision In radio's bygone days, when a different soap opera would come on the air every fifteen minutes throughout each weekday afternoon, among the more popular shows was Vic and Sade, a simple family program with a fair amount of droll humor. The fraternal lodge to which the husband belonged and served in an official capacity could readily bring on a listener's grin. Within an organization known as the Sacred Stars of the Milky Way, he held the Exalted Big Dipper post for the Lazy Venus Chapter. Third Example Lillie's day-to-day life certainly wasn't anything to get excited about. Doing the breakfast dishes, doing the day's laundry chores, then lunch, more dishes, a most boring afternoon, then the evening meal, still more dishes, finally boring TV reruns, and off to bed to rest up for yet another dreary day. Should anyone ever ask Lillie how things were going for her, she'd always resort to what little French she could recall from high school days and reply "Oh, comme si, comme sa". She'd long ago resigned herself to a life of sheer drudgery, often resorting to still another French expression of a philosophical nature by telling herself "Ce le vie". In November she would be thirty years old and still living in the same squalid flat where she'd lived for the past eight years. Revision Lillie's existence certainly wasn't anything to get excited about. Each day's activities would involve cleaning up after breakfast, attending to the laundry chores, then lunch and more dishes to do, a most boring afternoon, the evening meal, finally a series of tedious TV reruns, and off to bed to rest up for yet an equally dreary tomorrow. Should anyone ever ask the lady about her well-being, she'd always resort to what little French she could recall from high school and reply "Oh, comme ci, comme. She'd long ago resigned herself to a life of sheer drudgery, often employing still another philosophical Gallic expression "C'est la vie". In November she would reach age thirty, occupying the same squalid flat where she'd resided for the past eight years. Fourth Example Perhaps the most sensational baseball player of the sport's early era was Tyrus Raymond Cobb. Cobb wasn't only an outstanding hitter, but also possessed the exceptional speed and daring to become the best base stealer of his day. However, base stealing wasn't his only forte. Cobb employed his speed and downright nerve to perform such feats as going from first to third on a teammate's infield out or scoring all the way from first on a teammate's single to the outfield. Revision Perhaps the most sensational baseball player of the sport's early era was Tyrus Raymond Cobb. Not only an outstanding hitter, he also possessed the speed and daring to become the best base stealer of his day. Furthermore, Ty had the ability and downright nerve to reach third from first if a teammate should ground out to the infield, or all the way to the plate on an outfield single. Windup As noted above, repetitiousness is certainly no virtue in a writing exercise. Clearly, it reflects an abject lack of imaginative thinking, often considering execution speed a supposed virtue. The English language contains an almost endless array of fully or nearly synonymous expressions. Their intelligent use can add significantly to improved presentation. The reader will observe how we've managed to avoid senseless word duplication within each given paragraph or sentence, depending on the part of speech involved. We cannot overemphasize what we deem a more than worthy revised approach to any individual's creative writing habits. True, a bit of frustration may apply, but it's sure to pay off in the long run. We know, having gone through the exercise ourselves.
  24. Life has a funny way of changing our plans, doesn't it? You made it through nursing school, have a great nursing position, and care for others on a regular basis. Maybe you've even made plans to continue your education or move to a different type of nursing career. Then chronic illness took over, and your body is no longer tolerant of the long hours bedside nursing requires. What comes next? If you're like me, your bodies decision to leave you high and dry probably made you angry. However, once I got over the resentment and sadness, I got back up and did a ton of research. Through this research, I've not only found ways to stay in the healthcare field, make money without the strenuous hours, but I get to do it all from home! That's right; the jobs I'm going to cover in this article can all be done from home. If you target healthcare related subjects, these are excellent ways to continue using your nursing knowledge while working online. Blogging I began my online presence by starting a website/blog called Living the Diagnosis. I'll admit, I didn't do any research about professional blogging. I'd been keeping a family blog, so I thought "how much harder could it be?" It took me about six months of hard work on the website before I saw a profit. I'll tell you this; the money didn't come from ad's on the site (which is how I initially planned on monetizing it). It came in the form of sponsored posts. I became a member of the Chronic Illness Bloggers Network. Once I had enough traffic coming to the site, I was able to apply for sponsored posts from the network. There are many ways to make money from blogging including: affiliate marketing courses products/services I didn't do any of these on Living the Diagnosis because I discovered the next way to make money; freelance writing. The beauty of a blog is you can write about any subject you want, so the possibilities are literally endless. Freelance Writing Living the Diagnosis is a medical story sharing site. People share their stories, and I edit them. After about six months, I realized that though I enjoy editing, writing is where my real passion is. One day, I came across a "Nurse Writer" and was instantly intrigued. Obviously, the words "nurse" and "writer" in the same title were exciting to me! I did some digging and started learning all I could about the art of freelance writing. One of the first things I realized was that almost all the lessons I'd learned in school and college about writing were not hard and fast rules when writing for the web. I learned how to find publications and companies to write for, how to figure out who may hire writers, and how to "pitch" my writing. Once I learned the basics of freelance writing, it was time to start marketing myself. One of the first things I realized was that I needed to find a "tribe" and fast. Freelancing is fun and all, but it does get lonely, even for introverts. Besides, you need to find someone who "gets" it! One of the "tribes" I found and am still very active in is the Healthcare Marketing Network. This is a group of healthcare writers and marketers from all disciplines who have come together to swap ideas, educate each other and just have fun! They also have a job board where you can find jobs! There are tons of writing "tribes" out there, so no matter what niche you pick, you're sure to find one that fits your needs. The beauty of freelance writing with chronic illness is you can choose as much or as little work to take on depending on your health. The downside is, as you know, you never know how you will feel, so sometimes it is hard to complete the work you take on. The best tip for that is to make sure you communicate with those you write for. A way to use your nursing knowledge while pursuing freelance writing is to make sure to apply for jobs that are in the healthcare niche. You can contact nurse bloggers and see if any of them need writing done (many will hire ghostwriters to help with blog posts), or ebooks or other types of blog content. There are many writing companies out there who write for major hospitals and love to hire nurses who like to write and have the knowledge and experience to write well. Social Media Management I kinda fell into social media management. When I began, one of the major challenges was learning to market the blog. A big part of that was social media. I used to joke that I spent 10% writing/editing my blog and 90% trying to market it so people could find what I just wrote. It's not far from the truth! I learned my way around all the major platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Instagram. As time went on, I'd chat with other bloggers and freelance writers and found out that the social media part of the biz was hard for them, they didn't like it, or it was just too time-consuming. Then I learned people are willing to pay others to help them with their social media! A great way to use your nursing knowledge in this field is by working with healthcare entrepreneurs. There are many nurse authors, entrepreneurs, and bloggers who likely need help with running their social media platforms. Over the past two years, I've been making money working from home, and I love it, but I know these methods aren't for everyone. If the things I've listed aren't your cup of tea, here are a few other ways you can work from home: editing proofreading graphic design Etsy Store (physical or digital products) virtual assisting This is by no means an exhaustive list of ways to make money from home while using your nursing knowledge, but hopefully, gives you an idea of a few things you can do if your body isn't cooperating with your heart and mind. Do any of these sound like they would be a good fit for you? Let us know in the comments.

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