Practice Matters

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#WeAreFirstline

ANA joins CDC’s new infection control training collaborative  Healthcare professionals agree that infection prevention and control measures, when implemented correctly…
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125 years of progress

ANA’s track record shapes its pandemic response.  “We have been so busy that we don’t know where we are at.…
20 million strong

20 million strong

Nurses and midwives create a healthier world. No matter what continent we call home, the experience is the same—nurses and…

2009 H1N1 Flu – Situation Update

Each week CDC analyzes information about influenza disease activity in the United States and publishes findings of key flu indicators…

2020 ANA Innovation Award winners update

Making strides forward during a challenging year    The American Nurses Association (ANA) Innovation Awards, powered by BD, highlight, recognize, and…

4 million reasons

Let’s celebrate and promote workforce diversity. This content is for Digital Access and Print Plus subscribers only. Log In Register

A conversation with Rep. Lois Capps

Over the past several months, I’ve written extensively about the importance of nurses increasing their political advocacy to protect health care…

A kinder, gentler workplace

According to an analysis in the May 2016 issue of BMJ, medical errors in U.S. healthcare facilities are incredibly common and are…

A quantum life

Quantum theory explains how you create your life through what you choose to think, then intend and, ultimately, do.

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A whack on the side of the head

The last iteration of repealing and replacing Obamacare has gone down in failure because of Republicans appalled by cost and Democrats obsessed with numbers of Americans without access. I think repeal and replace keeps coming up because the narrative never changes. What Congress needs is a new way of thinking—a whack on the side of the head.

Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN President, American Nurses Association

Addressing the opioid epidemic

Funding and access to care are crucial to solving substance use disorders. The word crisis can be defined in several…

Adventures in virtual meetings

Tired of unproductive staff meetings held at inconvenient times? Had it  up to here with being interrupted when trying to express your opinion? Maybe it’s time to explore alternatives to the traditional in-person meeting. One hospital unit did just that, and their online meeting forum helped them create new protocols in record time.

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Advocacy agenda

Collective action reaps rewards in public policy.  Ernest J. Grant Advocacy—the process of influencing public policy—occurs at all levels of…

Advocacy matters

Concerted efforts yield wins on nursing priorities.  In an era of political rancor, an important piece of legislation involving nursing…
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Affirmation of focused practice competencies

In August 2017, the American Nurses Association (ANA) Board of Directors approved the inclusion of an additional component to ANA’s newly revised recognition of a nursing specialty, approval of a specialty’s scope of practice statement, and acknowledgment of standards of a specialty practice program. The new component, affirmation of focused practice competencies, provides a formal review process for identifying the specific knowledge, skills, abilities,accountability, and judgment deemed important for professional practice success, interprofessional collaborative practice and team success, and achievement of defined outcomes.

Workplace

Afraid at work

Sometimes certain people have personality problems — and anger problems. If that person happens to be in a position of…
Home Equity

Agendas for change

Nursing’s path for growth, diversity, and health equity. Even as nurses worldwide confront one of the gravest crises in modern…
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Amazing you!

Celebrate yourself…you deserve it! By Leah Curtin, RN, ScD(h), FAAN Things are so different today. I remember being thoroughly and…

An invitation to error

What happens when you’re short staffed and there isn’t anyone to help?

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An ounce of prevention

Engage in practical training through Project Firstline.  A lifetime of working with patients with serious burn injuries truly ingrained in…
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ANA’s 125th anniversary

Building on our history and recognizing nurses When I first began serving as president of the American Nurses Association (ANA),…
aromatherapy

Aromatherapy: Essential oils and nursing

Explore this option for enhancing well-being Takeaways: Aromatherapy is a growing holistic therapeutic option, but is not typically taught in…
AI

Artificial intelligence in nursing

Practical implementation in clinical settings. Editor’s note: This is an early release of a web exclusive article for the January…

Asking difficult questions

Inclusive nursing assessment in a new era of healthcare Takeaways: Collecting information about race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity…

Attitude: The power of human energy

Our thoughts, feelings, and disposition influence other people, not just because people see and read our facial expressions or body language, but because thoughts themselves are energy.

Avoiding flu complacency   

Avoiding flu complacency

Vaccination coverage is key to managing outbreaks.     As of June 17, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated…
Battling burnout and languishing 

Battling burnout and languishing

Brief evidence-based tactics that work Even before COVID-19, rates of burnout, depression, stress, and anxiety in nurses, and other healthcare…
Predatory journals

Beware of predatory journals

Choosing best evidence requires watching for these red flags.   Takeaways: Predatory journals (reading them, citing them in your writing, or…
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Beyond a box of chocolates

Often, patients and families express their gratitude for a special nurse’s outstanding care with spoken thanks or heartfelt commendations written…
thank you gift patient giving

Beyond a box of chocolates

Often, patients and families express their gratitude for a special nurse’s outstanding care with spoken thanks or heartfelt commendations written…

Beyond customer service

Many nurses don’t like to hear their patients called “customers” or be told to provide “customer service.” This expert explains how to lose the lingo and adapt the principles of customer service to patient care.

Brighter days ahead

Marking one year of the pandemic and nurses’ response We generally think of anniversaries as causes for celebration, as is…

Brought to you by NDNQI: Data that do good

Thanks to the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators, hospitals and nurses are capturing and converting into data what nurses actually do and how their actions affect patient care.

Calculating and interpreting the odds ratio

Researchers use the odds ratio to analyze which of two groups of individuals
is more likely to have an adverse outcome. Find out how to calculate the
odds ratio and interpret its significance

fire patient

Can you fire a patient?

The answer may surprise you. WHAT can you do with a patient who won’t comply with any of your directives?…

Case study: Coerced consent

“Coercion is commonly said to invalidate consent, and that is always true if the source of the coercion is the physician.

Case Study: How much is enough?

Three-year-old Christy* has been in the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) since birth, when she was diagnosed with McCune-Albright…
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Catching up to stay ahead

Getting back on track with routinely recommended vaccinations The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in dramatic declines in adolescent vaccinations, which…

Celebrating nurse innovators

Nurses’ creativity showcased at the ANA Quality and Innovation Conference in Orlando. THE American Nurses Association (ANA) continued its commitment…
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Changing injury trends related to diabetes and insulin injection

This article is the first in a two-part series brought to you in partnership with the International Safety Center.

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 30 million people live with diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes, and the American Diabetes Association estimates that 1.5 million Americans are newly diagnosed with diabetes every year.

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Chaplains as connectors

Promoting spiritual care in the wellness continuum. Takeaways: Many assume that the chaplain’s work is limited to religion. However, their…
cherish differences

Cherish the differences

You’ve probably heard of groupthink—the psychological phenomenon that arises in a group, where the desire for conformity or harmony leads…

Claiming our rights

The pandemic has cast a spotlight on human rights. According to CNN, the night-shift emergency department (ED) nurses at a…
Climate Courage

Climate courage

Act now to protect the global population.  I’ve always accepted the science of global warming, but I stayed on the…

Coaching Communication: Tips for nurse managers

One key element of performance management is coaching staff to improve behavior. In this section on coaching communication, I will share ideas for how you as a manager can coach employees via your day-to-day conversations.

Combatting stress

Nurses know stress—it seems like a defining characteristic of the profession. In a recent ANA Health Risk Appraisal survey of…

Communication for coordination

Key takeways – Communication across the continuum of care is more than “just read my notes.” – Consistent communication is…

Compassion holds everything together

Despite our physical separation from each other, we’re still all connected and react to what happens to each other. Compassion is the unifying force that holds it all together.

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Compassion: A nurse’s primary virtue

Strengthening compassion may help you avoid burnout. Nurses, we’re told, are fundamentally compassionate people. In fact, nurse burnout could be…
compassionate connections

Compassionate Connections

Improve outcomes, promote trust, and keep patients safe. Takeaways: Creating meaningful, compassionate connections with patients can improve outcomes, promote trust,…
COVID-19 and palliative care

COVID-19 and palliative care

Primary care symptom management can enhance quality of life and prevent hospitalization.  Takeaways: Early identification and reporting of symptomatic COVID-19…
covid-19

COVID-19 exposed our deficiencies

The U.S. healthcare system needs adequate reserve capacity to address future pandemics. The current U.S. healthcare delivery system doesn’t have…

Creating a smooth move for patients and staff

When Missouri Baptist Medical Center had to relocate nearly 200 patients in a single day, staff and leaders knew collaboration and planning would be key. Here’s how they did it.

Moral space

Creating moral space for nurses

Some years ago, I was caring for a 67-year-old wom­an dying of leukemia who had received an experimental chemotherapeutic agent…
data science for nurses

Data science for nurses

Learn how to apply this skill to nursing projects.  Takeaways: Using data science methods and techniques has the potential to…

Déjà vu all over again

Some people simply can’t learn from the past—even the fairly recent and painful past.

Delegating without doubts

With this decision tree as your guide, you’ll delegate tasks to assistive personnel with confidence.

Digital dashboards and staffing

Many healthcare organizations use digital “dashboards” to provide employees with real-time data collected from various sources, helping to guide decisions and improve the quality of care. Increasingly, dashboards also are being used to support effective staffing decisions.

Do you know the schedule for vaccinating children?

Learn how to promote pediatric immunizations in your practice. Part of ANA’s Bringing Immunity to Every Community campaign. this handout stresses the importance of vaccinating children and their caregivers, parents, and siblings.

Do you know which vaccines are recommended for special populations?

Pregnant and postpartum women, immunocompromised
children, and persons at high risk for flu-related complications have special immunization needs. Part of ANA’s Bringing
Immunity to Every Community campaign, this handout
explains how to help ensure that these vulnerable populations are protected.

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Do you want to be a preceptor?

PRECEPTORS MAKE ALL the difference. Without the right preceptor, the transition from classroom to patient’s room can be difficult, but…
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Driving staffing solutions

Stakeholders join forces to address the nursing shortage.     The COVID-19 pandemic response has magnified long-standing nurse staffing deficits burdening the…
workplace violence

End workplace violence

Charting a path to zero tolerance April 16, 2021, marked a key milestone in the journey to end workplace violence…

Ending stigma

From your ANA President: Mental health support is vital for nurses to thrive. If a flood or fire were to…
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Errors, care, and the bottom line

Try a mock survey to ensure patient safety. PRESIDENT Calvin Coolidge once said, “The chief business of the American people…

Ethics for nurses in everyday practice

In recent years, most of the world’s people have celebrated their diversity: different races and languages, religions and cultures, and…
Report of Racism

Examining racism in nursing

National Commission releases foundational report.     The National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing released a series of six reports on…

Fighting emerging threats

Three years ago, the American Nurses Association (ANA) and nurses nationwide found themselves on the frontlines of a crisis when the Ebola virus made its way to the United States, killing one patient and infecting two RNs who provided care to him. The crisis wasn’t in the number of cases in this country—four diagnosed and 11 treated—but in the need to ensure that healthcare workers could keep themselves and the public safe when faced with a potentially fatal infectious organism.

first last line defense

First and last line of defense

Nurses are crucial to ensuring the safety of patients and the public. NURSES want every interaction with every patient to be…

Forgive us our trespasses

When Archbishop Desmond Tutu, chairman of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee, speaks of Nelson Mandela, he insists Mandela has always been a free man because he was free from any need or desire for revenge.

foundation

Foundation for the future

A bold initiative to reshape nursing and healthcare. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses nationwide have been providing exemplary service under…
From idea to impact

From idea to impact

Innovation Awards recognize nursing initiatives.       The 2022 American Nurses Association (ANA) Innovation Awards, sponsored by Stryker, recognized an individual nurse’s…
Practice Matters - Gandhi

Gandhi and the practice of nursing

Professional ethics and daily practice. One man, Mohandas Gandhi, led us back into morality as a practical thing. In my…
generational-learning

Generational learning preferences

Target patient teaching to match generational and individual needs.  Takeaways: Generational cohorts frequently have similar characteristics that influence learning preferences.…
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Give the gift of life

Make a personal commitment to support blood donation in your community.     Nurses first learn about the value of blood and…
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Global issues are our issues

Nurses around the world focus on healthcare quality and access. While a lack of access to health care, widespread poverty…

Going from the gut

The current emphasis on best practices, guidelines, and checklists make cause healthcare professionals to turn off their judgment and go by the book – even when it’s the wrong thing to do.

Good intentions eclipsed

Leah Curtin discusses how negative effects of work on work/life balance and mandatory overtime affect patient care.

From where I stand

Good-bye and God bless…

Practical hope will create new realities.  It is with some trepidation and a great deal of nostalgia that I say…

Grasping the all-important concept of risk

To fulfill your responsibility toward evidence-based practice, you need to understand statistical techniques. In the first article in our new “Spotlight on Statistics” series, the authors demystify the concept of risk and describe how it helps you apply evidence to your practice.

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Grooming our future leaders

The future of nursing may be in jeopardy. For almost a decade, we’ve known that when the current shortage peaks…
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Hazardous drugs, a safety blind spot

Know the risks of handling many commonly administered drugs.  WARFARIN, OXYTOCIN, CLONAZEPAM—registered nurses administer millions of these drugs daily with…
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Hazardous exposures and military veterans

Identify veterans and perform exposure assessments to improve care outcomes.  Takeaways: Many military service members access healthcare outside of the…

Healing our hazardous environment

Environmental pollution threatens our homes, workplaces, and communities. So what can you do? This article will tell you.

Healing the wounds: Quantum nursing V

Quantum nursing demands that nurses honor each person’s
humanity, promote independence and autonomy, and offer the
opportunity for individuals to redefine for themselves who they are and how they choose to live.

Hospital at home

Hospital at home

Expand capacity, increase patient satisfaction, improve outcomes  Takeaways: Outside of the United States, countries such as England, Canada, and Australia…

How do we manage in uncertain times?

As the early months of a new political landscape unfold, there are many concerns about the future direction of health care…
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How shall we mourn our dead?

Take your time and follow the path that’s right for you. Since May 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid…

How to comment on government regulations

You can get directly involved in developing public health policy by submitting your comments on proposed government regulations to federal departments and agencies.

How to deliver bad news

Healthcare providers often must give bad news to patients and families. Doing this in a direct, concise, compassionate way is a skill that equired practice.

How to improve your listening skills

Find out how the “GRRRR for
great listening” model can improve your communication with colleagues to help you deliver high-quality care.

This content is for Digital Access and Print Plus subscribers only.

How to meet the challenge of disruptive patients

Disruptive patients can be challenging for even the most experienced nurse. Learn how identify those at high risk for disruptive behavior and strategies for defusing a person who is being disruptive.

Huddle up for patient safety

You have received report on your patients and are starting your shift on a busy medical-surgical unit. To help control…
human rights

Human rights

ANA and nurses call for migrant family reunifications IMMIGRATION across our southern border took the spotlight earlier this year. People…

ICU Diary: The Gift of Care™

As an ICU nurse you’ve probably encountered the critically ill patient who is experiencing hallucinations, delusions, and confusion. Healthcare providers…
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Immunization nurse champions

Staying informed about vaccines is the key. By Chad Rittle, DNP, MPH, RN, FAAOHN, and Ruth Francis, MPH, MCHES Are…

In pursuit of a good night’s rest

Good sleep quality is essential for overall health and well-being. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), via the Sleep…
care boards

In with care boards, out with care plans

To promote patient-centered care, healthcare professionals are striving to find new ways to respond to individual patient preferences, needs, and…
flu vaccine

Influenza prevention

Immunization options offer coverage across the population. Last year, the incidence of influenza worldwide was unprecedentedly low. For example, less…

Initiative on the Future of Nursing

Dear American Nurse Today readers: Here’s your chance to help shape the future. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “Initiative on…
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Innovating during a pandemic

An on-site makerspace leads to quick solution experimentation and implementation. Takeaways: Nurses have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in inventive…
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Innovation central

Resources and recognition for advancing nurses’ ideas and ingenuity. Ernest J. Grant Innovation—creating something new or improving on an existing…
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Innovation in action

Harnessing the power of nurse-led innovation. The American Nurses Association (ANA) embarked on a journey of innovation as a part of…
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Inspire, innovate, and influence

Let’s work together to tackle public health issues.  With National Nurses Weekcoming soon, we’ll be publicly recognized for our many…

Introducing the quantum patient

The quantum patient is an indivisible human being whose health
problems might not be healed through traditional specialization.

self-care

Investing in ourselves

Self-care boosts nurses personally and professionally.  Nurses nationwide have performed arduous and impeccable work during the COVID-19 pandemic, now in…

Is there a right to medical care?

Bridging gaps through familiarity, kindness, and acceptance To even begin to answer the question—“Is there a right to medical care?”—one…

Is your patient on a clinical trial?

One simple question can make all the difference. Takeaways: The billions of prescriptions filled by Americans every year demonstrate the…
pamela cipriano phd rn ana president

It’s who we are.

Nurses are part of high-performing teams during disasters. By Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN In the past few…
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Key competencies for nursing

To innovate is to put new ideas into practice or existing ideas into practice in new ways. Innovation isn’t new, but its prominence and need in health care continues to increase. Addressing the complexities of healthcare delivery requires creative solutions and approaches that challenge the status quo. Building a culture of innovation necessitates developing skills that allow for ongoing innovation. For this reason, the American Nurses Association (ANA) is focused on nurse-led innovation for healthcare improvement as a part of its strategic goals.

Killing for profit

Reinforcing hospice’s valuable services after disturbing court case (more…)

Knowing you can make it

They were the darkest days of World War II. Ships—even those sailing far to the north, above the Arctic Circle—were…
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Leadership: Making things better

According to the Huffington Post, “A recent survey by the World Economic Forum found that 86 percent of respondents believe we are suffering a global leadership crisis…. The world is in crisis mode and there are few effective leaders to be seen.” One of the gifts of aging is that one has a great deal of hindsight, which improves insight, and gives one just a tad of foresight. All of which leads me to ruminate on leadership, especially in health care.

Racism In Nursing

Listening with compassion

Nurses’ experiences of racism in nursing. “Many Black girls don’t make it through this nursing education program.”  Have you ever…

Making prone positioning a priority

Perfecting protocols to support patients with COVID-19     Research on the benefits of prone positioning for acute respiratory distress syndrome—and now…
medical-device-development

Medical device development

Things to know before you make the leap Takeaways: Nurses are perfectly positioned to engage in medical device development. The…

Medical futility: A nurse’s viewpoint

Caring for a medically futile patient can be a wrenching emotional experience. Learn how to cope with the complex medical, ethical, and legal issues and help patients and families make difficult decisions.

medicare leah curtain

Medicare for all? Why not?

If President Trump really wants a healthcare plan that gives him a big win by covering all Americans, reducing insurance costs, and cutting the cost of healthcare, it could be done. And it would be far better than President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA). Mr. Trump could push Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) bill that makes Medi­care available to everyone. And wouldn’t it be a hoot? A Republican president, House, and Senate would finally make universal access a reality. And why not? A single-payer system offers cost-cutting strategies that have succeeded all over the globe.

Medication titration

Medication titration

Meeting The Joint Commission standard. Takeaways: The Joint Commission Medication Management Standard states that hospitals are responsible for reducing medication…
mindful observation

Mindful observation

Bring your full attention to the patient to gain perspective. “If you cannot get the habit of observation one way…

Moral space

Understanding the problems of living and dying. (more…)
nurse fatigue shared responsibility

Nurse fatigue: A shared responsibility

RNs and employers can work together to promote healthy sleep. GETTING ADEQUATE REST is important for everyone, especially when fewer…
Nurse Innovators

Nurse innovators shine

NursePitch ™ reveals products for better care. The third annual NursePitch ™—held in collaboration with the American Nurses Association (ANA)…
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Nurse suicide attempt survivors

Easing back safely to the work environment Frequently, suicide ideation is a manifestation of mental illness, such as depression or…
vaccine-hesitancy

Nurses and vaccine hesitancy

You’re too important not to get vaccinated. Editor’s note: This is an early release of an article that will appear…
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Nurses living mindfully—Over the holidays and always

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim is to improve population health, increase patient satisfaction, and reduce per-capita spending. The Quad­ruple Aim adds the goal of improving healthcare pro­viders’ work life. This holiday season, “gift” yourself with self-care techniques to ensure the best care for patients and families and to promote effective interprofessional work environments.

Nurses rising

Recognizing, elevating, and caring for RNs during a pandemic As we celebrated the inauguration of President Biden and Vice President…

Nurses’ role in managing pain

ANA offers guidance to help address a national and global epidemic. ON MY WAY INTO WORK at the burn center…
Nursing's role in healthcare reform

Nursing’s role in healthcare reform

The 2010 healthcare reform act (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or PPACA) gives nurses new opportunities to deliver care…

On the power of one

The actions of a single person can be incalculable. That’s why it’s crucial that each of us instill “habits of virtue” in children.

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Pandemics and ‘One Health’

The intertwining of nature, wildlife, and humans increases the risk of disease spread.  With the world’s attention gripped by vaccinating…
passion with purpose

Passion with purpose

Looking back on ANA’s work and presidency. THE PRESIDENCY of the American Nurses Association (ANA) is one of the most exciting,…

Pathological individualism

Our rights come with responsibilities. They call it a “pandemic,” meaning the disease has spread all around the globe. Horrible.…
patient family tele-education

Patient and family tele-education

Remote education is an effective teaching tool. Takeaways: Tele-education can serve as an alternative to in-person subcutaneous injection training for…

Patient Nutrition

Do you routinely talk to patient’s about nutrition and their health? Please click here to participate in a very short…
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Patients need more sleep

By Leah Curtin, RN, ScD(h), FAAN “Sleep, gentle sleep that…knits up the raveled sleave of care.” —Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act II,…

Pick up some research to go!

Find out how to grab the latest research on the run, decide of the findings are ready to use in practice, and plan practice changes accordingly.

Preventing preceptor burnout

Preventing preceptor burnout

New graduate nurses are vital to the success of healthcare organizations. We need their “new blood” to fill workforce gaps.…

Preventing workplace violence

Analyze, report, and educate to ensure staff and patient safety The stress and isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has…

Problems with Privacy

Leah Curtin discusses how the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has been misinterpreted to the detriment of patients.

Professional prioritization

Professional prioritization

Remember all the good we do.   Marla J. Weston Nurses repeatedly confront overwhelming workloads and the need to make extraordinarily…
program evaluation

Program transformation through evaluation

Assess program effectiveness using the CDC framework.  Takeaways: Nurses can drive change through program evaluation to improve patient outcomes. The…
leukoencephalopathy

Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy

Education and surveillance are key for patients at risk for this rare but fatal complication.  Takeaways: Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)…

Protect yourself and your patients with vaccination

Why is immunization so crucial for nurses? Which vaccinations should all nurses get? Find out with this educational handout focusing on national efforts to reduce vaccine-preventable disease through ANA’s Bringing Immunity to Every Community campaign.