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  1. As we celebrate the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife 2020, the nursing profession is soaring to new heights. However, India being the second-largest country in the world in terms of population has failed to protect the rights of nurses, especially male nurses. Recent Changes India holds the largest medical sector of the world which means the world's most nurses are in India. Also, India is the biggest supplier of nurses to various countries around the globe. But, nursing as a profession is deprived of development as discrimination on the various basis is very common. Recently, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the premier medical institute of the nation, held its fourth meeting of the Central Institute Body (CIB) on July 27, 2019, under Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, in which no nursing representative from any Nursing Council or Nursing Body was called in; it released its final minutes on October 28, 2019. Beginning of the End for Male Nurses This meeting decided many things that will be implemented in the healthcare sector along with point number 16. This point discriminates against male nurses of the country as it allows only 20% male nurses in the healthcare sector. As 80 out of 100 nurses will be females, males who have studied nursing or currently pursuing nursing will have no future as a nurse. Two units of AIIMS, Nagpur and Patna recently released recruitment notice for nurses based on CIB recommendations. The former has reserved 80% posts for female nurses whereas the latter is one step ahead and will allow only 10% of the posts to be filled by male nurses. This is the beginning of the end for males in the nursing profession. The Past This discrimination is not new to male nurses. In the beginning, males joining the nursing profession were considered taboo across the world. But, this narrative changed over time everywhere except India. Military Nursing Services (MNS) will still not consider taking any male nurses. There is not a single male nurse in MNS. Corporate and private sectors also keep away from recruiting male nurses. And recently this gender-based reservation in the government sectors has completely demolished the dream of millions of males who have studied nursing or aspire to be a nurse in the future. Where Does the Problem Reside? I might not be correct but this is the major issue behind this discrimination: The Administration. The Administration, which also takes nurses, doesn't want nurses to be the face of the healthcare system in India. Every hospital, Healthcare institute or regulatory body has only doctors as the administrators in India. Nursing administrations, bodies or councils have limited themselves to making duty rosters, conducting semester exams or providing nursing licenses. Nobody talks about the up-gradation of nurses. The bitter truth is that nurses in India do not have any specialization in the healthcare system. If anyone pursues Masters in any nursing field, he or she will not get any special post or department. For example, It doesn't matter you hold a Master's degree in Pediatric Nursing, you won't be called a Pediatric Nurse and won't even get to work in the pediatric department. Moreover, you don't get a senior post or a nursing administrative post on the basis of your education. It all gets decided by your work experience and special reservation in the promotion you get as per Indian constitution which is directly linked to your cast of birth. You can be a nurse administrator whether or not you hold a diploma or degree in nursing administration and it doesn't even require to hold a BSN degree. Dominating the Nurses Weaker nursing administration leaves an opportunity for others to dominate the nurses. A few years ago, Central government brought a bill that allows BSN nurses to complete a 2 years course which enables them to practice medicine at community health centres and allows them to diagnose, prescribe and treat the patients. Doctors opposed it nationwide and got it cancelled using their political approach. Similar circumstances have happened this time where without consulting any nursing body, a discriminatory decision about nursing recruitment policies has been made. The clear reason behind this decision is the threat to the dominating nature of doctors in the healthcare system by male nurses. I'm sorry to say it, but female nurses of India have been fearful of administration since the beginning and never try to leave their comfort zone. It is 2020 and we still don't have a definitive cadre structure for nurses; we can't even think of becoming CRNA in India. An increasing number of male nurses in recent years promised hope of improvisation but it is also being demolished. End Notes Our only hope is the legal action against this gender-based discrimination. if this decision is not reverted, millions of male nurses will be left in the lurch. Without jobs, they will fail to pay back education loans and will struggle to survive. The future of nursing in India is dark and full of terrors.
  2. NursonalTrainer

    Year of the Nurse - What is Your Nursolution?

    The year of the nurse is upon us folks, 2020 is here and nurses are getting ready to take on the world in the innovation space, the tech space, and more! Nurses owe it to themselves to create their own New Years' resolutions, or nursolutions, and make this their best year yet. That being said, here are some ideas to help the nurses out there that want to kickstart their year and advance their careers! 1) Advance your degree These days nurses are constantly acquiring new opportunities and new positions and advanced degrees are contributing to this. Take this year to decide if you want to go on based on your dream job and then research the programs you want. Maybe you don’t know what you want to get for a degree so start talking to people. Ask anyone you know that is or has gone back to school and get their advice and feedback. You can go online and easily request information from various schools and programs to educate yourself on which way to go. Knowing what you want to do before you start a program will make this easier and less expensive though so do your research before you jump into anything! 2) Go for a Promotion…or better yet create your own! The squeaky wheel gets the oil, right? If you are ready to take that next step towards a promotion, put aside the hesitation and just do it! You are not getting younger so why not advance your career starting now. And if there isn’t room in your workplace to grow then look elsewhere for the position you want or create your own. Research the position you want and create a proposal to present to your leadership highlighting what this position would consist of, the need for it, why you would excel in this position, your past achievements, and how this would impact your institution. Talk to others who hold this position in different institutions and be ready to explain why yours needs this person. What’s the worst that could happen? They would say no but now you are on their radar and have given them something to think about. 3) Explore your interests When you first went into nursing, everyone said how great a career it is because of all of the different areas you can work in. If you were the person who stuck with their first job because you love it, that’s great! But if you have other areas of interest, you owe it to yourself to explore them too. If change is daunting to you, as it can be to me, then baby step this part. Start by narrowing down what you are interested in and see if you can talk to people working in that specialty. Then, maybe you can shadow that person. If it’s looking like this is what you might like then look for a per diem position so you aren’t putting your eggs all in one basket. Moral of the story, if you don’t try, then you will never know what could have been! 4) Find a side hustle Burnout is a huge problem in nursing. Burnout is driving nurses away from the bedside at alarming rates. In order to avoid hitting that wall, consider doing something on the side. There are scores of nurses out there that have health-related side hustles giving them a break from the long hours and allowing them the freedom to work when it is convenient for them and from home if they desire. Some of those side hustles include health and wellness coaching, essential oil sales, teaching classes like BLS, ACLS, and PALS, just to name a few. You can even work for companies that will get clients for you which takes some of the leg work out of it. Maybe it’s time to drop some hours and try something else you can do from the comfort of your own home while making some extra cash. 5) Join a committee or organization Sometimes it is difficult to stay engaged in your career or get re-engaged. Joining a committee in your institution or a professional organization is an outlet allowing you to have a voice again. Choose a committee that interests you that may be a little different than your day to day if you need it. Or do you seek change and want to be an agent of change because, why not, you work 40 hours a week and you deserve to have a say! Nurses are strong-willed and many like to be heard as we are natural patient advocates, so filter that into another form of advocacy and join a group. Hospital committees can be a great way to network and professional organizations have plenty of member benefits to take advantage of. So, no time like the present to get started on your nursolution, whatever it may be. This is your year so make it the best one yet!
  3. First, the World Health Organization has declared that 2020 is the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. The theme for 2020, Nurses: A Voice to Lead - Nursing the World to Health, demonstrates how nurses are central to addressing a wide range of health challenges. It will encourage nurses and the public to celebrate, but also provide information and resources that will help to raise the profile of the profession throughout the year and attract a new generation into the nursing family. 2020 is also Florence Nightingale's Bicentennial – celebrating her 200th birthday on May 12. Having the Year of the Nurse and Midwife coincide with Florence Nightingale’s bicentennial raises the exciting prospect of nurses finally being recognized for all the good they do. And the Nursing Now Nightingale Challenge will produce a new cohort of young nurse leaders who will take the profession forward over the next decade. National Nurses Week is May 6-12, 2020. Supported by the American Nurses Association, National Nurses Week celebrates nurses and their role in society. The week also helps to raise awareness about nursing as a possible career choice and also to educate the public about the kind of work nurses are involved in. And, finally, coinciding with that week is: National Student Nurses Day May 8 National School Nurse Day May 8 International Nurses Day May 12 So there is a lot happening for you to get involved in. But we also need to be aware of and address some of the challenges that might be jeopardizing the forward progress of our profession. Challenge #1 There is a NURSING SHORTAGE on the horizon due to these factors: Aging Population As the population ages, the need for health services increases. Aging Work Force One-third of the workforce could be at retirement age in the next 10 to 15 years. Nursing faculty is also experiencing a shortage, and this leads to enrollment limitations, limiting the number of nurses that a nursing school can generate. Nurse Burnout Some nurses graduate and start working and then determine the profession is not what they thought it would be. Others may work a while and experience burnout and leave the profession. Career and Family Often during childbearing years, nurses will cut back or leave the profession altogether Regions Some areas of the country struggle to fulfill the basic needs of the local population as a whole. Growth A higher need is seen in areas that have high retirement populations. Violence in the Healthcare Setting The ever-present threat of emotional or physical abuse adds to an already stressful environment. Emergency department and psychiatric nurses at a higher risk due to their patient population. Challenge #2 Unhealthy Lifestyles There is an abundance of nurses with unhealthy lifestyles. We need to give attention to the personal health of our nurses. After all, if we don’t have healthy nurses, everything else we try to do to increase our nurse population will be of no avail. So let’s look at the state of our health. A study of 2,730 hospital nurses from the American Nurses Association (ANA) Health Risk Appraisal (HRA), surveyed from October 2013 to December 2015, found serious deficits in diet, sleep, and physical activity that may jeopardize nurses’ health and negatively impact the healing strength of the profession. (And from my vantage point as a Wellness Practitioner, this data probably holds and in fact may even be worse in 2020.) For nearly every indicator, the health of America's nurses is worse than that of the average American. Nurses are more likely to be overweight, have higher levels of stress and get less than the recommended hours of sleep. Here are some key findings: (Notice how many are within your control) Nurses are Exhausted 56-57% reported often coming in early and/or staying late and working through their breaks to accomplish their work 33% said they had often been assigned a higher workload than that with which they were comfortable 59% of respondents reported that they worked 10 hours or longer daily 47% slept fewer than 7 hours per day. Nurses are Overweight 56% were overweight/obese with a body mass index > 25 kg/m2. Only 14% of the nurses were eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day (2.5 cups). Just 45% of the respondents were engaged in aerobic activity of at least moderate intensity for 2.5 or more hours per week, while 47% performed muscle-strengthening activities twice a week. Nurses Do Not Prioritize Their Health Over Others 68% put their patients’ health, safety, and wellness before their own. Nurses are Stressed and Burned Out From a study by the Cleveland Clinic of their nurses, 63% suffer from burnout. If it is not addressed nurses can become disengaged and eventually leave the profession. And, severe levels of stress are not only unhealthy but can negatively affect patient care. As you know, if nurses don’t adopt and maintain healthy lifestyle behaviors they are at risk for chronic diseases and early mortality. On the other hand, nurses who make healthy lifestyle choices have a spill-over effect and will be more apt to discuss and recommend preventive behaviors such as smoking cessation, more physical activity, and eating a healthier diet to the people under their care. With personal health on top of their mind, they may be better able to prevent workplace injury and avoid errors related to fatigue. So nurses who adopt healthy lifestyles may even provide better patient care. So What Does All This Mean For You? YOU can contribute by taking action on whatever you think would work for you. After all, you are the key to everything that will make The Year of the Nurse a truly important opportunity to showcase what we do and who we are. In my opinion, your best option that could be a win-win for both you and your profession is to take action on adopting a plan to get healthier. You are, after all, being watched by those around you as the expert on health, and if you embrace wellness as a lifestyle choice, you will make an impact on other’s behaviors as well. Don’t overlook the fact that you are a role model for not only your expertise but how well you model the health practices you teach to others to manage and prevent the chronic diseases they experience. And because this is the beginning of a NEW YEAR this is the perfect time to get started. What Are You Waiting For? Please share your lifestyle enhancement ideas to give other nurses ideas to draw from.
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