Mind/Body/Spirit

A critical Pathway to Excellence® standard

Initiatives promote nurses’ well-being during the pandemic.  Ensuring nurses’ well-being isn’t just a concept for healthcare systems and organizations that…

A multifaceted gem

Through poetry, Susan Wilcox Stelton, MSN, APRN-BC, CWOCN, reflects on the many facets of nursing.

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A nurse-poet writes what she knows

I started writing poetry in grammar school in Harvey, North Dakota. Our curriculum emphasized writing and poetry—I still have the…
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A Nurse’s Guide to Social Media

Social media can be a tricky business, especially for a profession struggling with how and when to use our voices…
scarf method

A Pioneering Spirit: The SCARF Model

Healthcare professionals struggle to get their messages about mask-wearing and social distancing out to a skeptical public and even their…

A troubled life, a difficult death

Editor’s note: National Homelessness Awareness Week is November 10-18. Like many of our homeless patients, “Sarah” was a bundle of…

Achieving a work-life balance

Almost everyone agrees that achieving a work-life balance is a good thing. Without it, we risk long-term negative effects on…

Acts of kindness

Many of us have lasting memories of a few special patients. For me, Joe is one of those patients. The…

After the earthquake: Volunteer nursing in Haiti

This month marks the 1-year
anniversary of the devastating Haiti earthquake. The author describes her volunteer disaster-relief experience
in that country, which changed her perspective on life.

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American Nurse, American Talent

A Registered Nurse since 1982, Steve Price began his healthcare career in the U.S. Navy in 1971 as a hospital…

An encouraging word

Has a compliment ever made your day? Perhaps it was just what you needed to hear to raise your self-confidence…
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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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And the music plays on…

In the mid-1970s, I was a graduate nurse starting my career at a large, urban hospital. One of my patients,…
AnimalAssistants

Animal assistants in healthcare

An animal may provide just the benefit patients need. Prepandemic, I had the pleasure of traveling to the National Institutes…
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Baby boom: More photos from the NICU

Editor’s note: Our May 2008 “American Nurse, American Talent” department featured newborn photographs taken by Cheryl Briggs. They were so…
Balancing

Balancing the wheels of life

Have you ever ridden a bicycle with a wobbly wheel? The ride isn’t smooth, and you notice every bump in…
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Benefits of feedback for nurse leaders

Viewing feedback as a gift enhances career growth. Takeaways: Without feedback, beginning nurse leaders’ careers can be derailed Constructive feedback…

Bonding over body image

For many college students, the ever-present pressure to be thin has trumped the goal of being healthy. Females face body-image…
influence

Boosting your influence

Jessie was excited to be appointed as chair of the professional practice council in her hospital. She envisioned being able…

Building Your Communication Skills

In her Harvard University Division of Continuing Education Professional Development website blog, Marjorie Lee North, a consultant for political candidates,…
career wellness

Career Wellness

Big and small changes can help you cultivate a healthy work life. Takeaways: Burnout, stress, and dissatisfaction at work should…

Caregiver Resources

Nearly 44 million unpaid caregivers form the backbone of the US chronic and long-term care system. These hard working family…
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Caring during COVID-19

Editor’s note: This is an early release of a web exclusive article for the April 2021 issue of American Nurse…
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Caring for my best friend

Like many of my colleagues, I became a nurse because of my desire to help people. I wanted to relieve…

Caring under pressure

Compassion is an essential ingredient for great nursing. Without compassion, you might as well come up with another word for…

Cartoonist with a cause

The cartoons of Theresa Garnero, APRN, BC-ADM, MSN, CED, help patients cope with diabetes.

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Change maker

Dori Healey is passionate about patient safety, public service, and volunteering. President-elect for American Nurses Association (ANA)-Idaho, Dori Healey, MSN-RN,…
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Choosing the right conversation

It’s 7:10 A.M. Maggie, the night-shift charge nurse, is waiting to give report to Julie, the charge nurse on the…

Choosing your political battles

Mary*, a new manager in the operating room, prides herself on being a strong advocate for her staff, quickly acting…
What is civility

Civility starts with you

Over the last decade, civility has become a hot topic. I got involved with it in 2000, when more than…
Cognitive rehearsal

Cognitive rehearsal

Learn a strategy for addressing incivility and bullying in nursing. Takeaways Incivility and bullying among healthcare workers contribute additional stress…

Could your headache really be a migraine?

If your headaches interfere with your job, home life, and leisure activities, read this article to learn when to suspect you may have a migraine and what to do about it.

Cultivating personal courage

Do you see yourself as a victim? Are you hesitant to speak up, even with your well-being at stake? Learn how to be braver and overcome everyday challenges by discovering your true self, widening your perspective, and challenging assumptions.

Dealing with difficult people

Jackie Jacobs is a charge nurse in a busy intensive care unit. She prides herself on being able to get…

Emergency!

Our new crossword puzzle test your knowledge of medical emergencies.

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Emotional wellness

Learn how to manage stress for a healthy life. Takeaways: A little stress is good for the body and mind…
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…
environmental wellness

Environmental wellness

Pay attention to your environment—it can affect your body, mind, and spirit. Takeaways:  Increasing awareness of your surroundings can improve…
Examing nurse comfort eating

Examining nurse comfort eating

Many years ago I found myself standing in the frozen food section flirting with the prospect of buying a mouth-watering…

Exercise your right to be fit!

Nearly all of us—especially nurses—know exercise is good for our physical and mental health. But incorporating it into our busy…
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Face your fears and forge ahead

Cathleen Wheatley steps up to a challenge. Cathleen Wheatley, DNP, RN, CENP, is president of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center…

Five credit card traps that can sink you

Anyone who uses credit cards (and who doesn’t) should read this article to learn about universal default and other credit pitfalls that can endager your financial future.

storytelling

From our readers: One patient’s story

Eric’s* storytelling made a difference in my nursing practice. Eric was a 27-year-old African American patient with end-stage renal disease…
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From our readers…At the Bedside

As my parents were approaching the age of downsizing their earthly possessions, I became the recipient of the generational family…
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From our readers…The Companion

Parkinson’s had taken away almost everything she loved. She, the artist, had spent her younger days in the upper rooms…
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From our readers…The Dance

Linda Harrington, RNC, works in Labor and Delivery at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, Mission Hills, CA. Below she comments…
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From our readers…Two Poems

Nursing’s Future & Hospital Corridor by Kristina Ibitayo is clinical assistant professor at University of Texas at Arlington College of…

Gaining confidence in public speaking

EVA, a professional practice coordinator, and her team of clinical educators are thrilled to learn that their abstract on an iLead in…
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Getting financially fit

When you’re in control of your finances, you reduce stress and worry. Takeaways: Financial stress can affect your physical and…
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Heavy Reading: Inside Nursing

Diversity, equity, and inclusion can’t be authentically incorporated into curricula when faculty assign textbooks that harm those whose health they…

Helping caregivers cope with death

A one-day retreat called Mindfulness, Meditaion, and Coping with Death helps healthcare professionals deal with patients’ deaths.

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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 avoid biased thinking

Jessica, a Millennial (Generation Y) nurse working on a medical-surgical unit, recently completed her first year of practice. Ralph, her…

How to get off the anger-go-round

One of the most complex emotions, anger is a normal response to certain situational triggers. It’s associated with physiologic changes,…
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How to practice mindful nursing

Make every moment count Takeaways We spend a lot of time “doing,” which can lead to functioning on “autopilot.” Practicing…

How to succeed at floating

If you’ve ever floated,  you know the experience can be challenging at times. Wherever you work, you may sometimes feel you don’t…
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Intellectual wellbeing

Learn how to keep your mind nimble for lifelong health benefits. Takeaways: Intellectual well-being—keeping your mind flexible, informed, and engaged—is…

Keeping your compassion

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of your shift when you make a mistake in the care you’re…

Kick the cigarette habit!

A smoking cessation instructor helps you ditch cigarettes forever. Find out which cessation method suits you best, ways to cope with cigarette cravings, and how to get back on the wagon if you relapse.

Laugh, nurse, laugh!

Victor Borge, the famous Danish comedian, pianist, and conductor once said, “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” Infusing laughter…

Leading at the bedside and beyond

A typical definition for a leader is one who has the ability to influence. Florence Nightingale, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin…

Leading through failure

I have served as a nurse corps officer in the United States Air Force for 27 years. One of my…

Learning from mistakes

Today’s healthcare organizations need to improve patient safety, which includes effectively communicating information to nurses about safety incidents and how…

Living a healthy lifestyle

As nurses, we know how to check blood pressure, administer medications, and counsel patients about healthy living. But let’s face…

Meeting your patients spiritual needs

When a patient says, “I’m afraid I’m going to die,” do you offer empty reassurances? Find an excuse to leave the room? Read this article to learn about simple spiritual interventions that can aid a patient in spiritual distress.

Memory pegging

Forgetting is frustrating. To make memorizing fun, “peg” each item on your to-do list.

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Mindful Appreciation

Tip 6 of 6 Mindfulness Exercises You Can Try Today In this last exercise, all you have to do is…
what is mindfulness awareness

Mindful Awareness

Tip 3 of 6 Mindfulness Exercises You Can Try Today This exercise is designed to cultivate a heightened awareness and…
mindful breathing exercises

Mindful Breathing

Tip 1 of 6 Mindfulness Exercises You Can Try Today This exercise can be done standing up or sitting down,…
mindful nurse immersion meditation

Mindful Immersion

Tip 5 of 6 Mindfulness Exercises You Can Try Today The intention of this exercise is to cultivate contentment in…
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Mindful Listening

Tip 4 of 6 Mindfulness Exercises You Can Try Today This exercise is designed to open your ears to sound…
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Mindful Observation

Tip 2 of 6 Mindfulness Exercises You Can Try Today This exercise is simple but incredibly powerful because it helps…
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My First Day in the ED

Note: This article was written before Kenneth graduated from nursing school. My first experience in an emergency department (ED) setting…
nurse-heroes

Nurse heroes of the Pandemic

Nurses share a common theme: Hope. Be prepared, be strong, and don’t panic Crystal Davis Campbell, BSN, RN Staff nurse,…
nurse-suicide

Nurse suicide attempt survivors

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

Nurses rising

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

Nurses with disabilities: Know their rights

Registered nurses (RNs) with physical disabilities experience discrimination in the workplace. Researchers have found that nurses with disabilities often leave…

Nursing Apps—For Work and Home

The season of gift-giving is upon us, and don’t you think you should start with a few gifts for yourself?…

Nursing’s Future

Nancy Brent discusses of nurses being active participants in the profession’s future.

Nurturing the tree of life

In the United States, more than 15,000 families a year make the difficult decision to donate their loved ones’ organs.…

Poetic expression: Verse 2

In her second appearance on this page, nurse and poet Kristina Ibitayo presents three more poems.

Promoting nurse mental health

An urgent call to shift from crisis intervention to long-term prevention Takeaways: Nurses are experiencing an unprecedented amount of burnout,…

Quiz Time

When comparing patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) and intermittent opioid injections, you should know that: Answer to Quiz Time: d. PCA can…

Reducing holiday stress

Limiting the stress that comes with the holidays requires a bit of planning. The Cleveland Clinic offers some suggestions built…
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Reflection

Hair, she mused looking at her reflection, What is it really? Just dead cells growing out of one’s head. Yet,…
vietnam nurse reflections

Reflections on nursing in Vietnam

Mary Jo Rice-Mahoney, RN, MSN, Colonel U.S. Army, Retired, knows what it’s like to practice nursing in a war zone.…

Relax with lavender

We all experience a certain amount of stress and anxiety, and in small doses it may even enhance school or job…

Resting not regretting

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” — William…

Room with a view: Clutter included?

Your “new” room is now ready—hospital room, that is. Architects are finally designing and redesigning hospital rooms that could match…
self-management

Self-management = a balanced life

Follow this formula for success. Takeaways: • Self-management coupled with a wellness approach can mitigate the stress associated with nursing…

Shaving as a metaphor for nursing

Over the course of history, people have used metaphors to explain, contrive, reflect, and refute human phenomena. Health care (and…
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Silence and Solace

“We think she’s gone,” he said. It was 6:20 p.m. I was walking down the hall on the med-surg unit,…

Soul habits

Use your mind and body to support your soul. Takeaways: Your outer circumstances don’t need to control your happiness, even…
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Squashing the communication triangle

In the infamous and deadly Bermuda Triangle, things seem to disappear, never to be seen again. In the communication triangle,…

Staying healthy: Advice for telehealth nurses

Telehealth, telemedicine, and home-based telehealth work have grown dramatically in recent years. These programs enable nurses to provide patient care remotely…

Stress-Reducing Creativity

While art therapy is its own field, you can use the benefits of art to express your creative side and…

Tap your way to fast relief

Want to reduce physical and psychological stress? Emotional Freedom Techniques may be able to help.

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Tap your way to fast relief

Can symptomatic relief from fear, stress, anxiety, and a laundry list of other ailments really be at your fingertips? The…

The Bedpan and its Significance

During the holiday doldrums I came across a 2015 Smithsonian magazine article entitled “The strange saga of George Washington’s bedpan.”…

The caring-quilting connection

Even if you’re not a quilt connoisseur, you’re sure to appreciate the beauty and handiwork of this nurse’s quilt. Its creator sees profound parallels between quilting and nursing.

The freeing force of laughter

By reciting wacky dialogue from a scene in a Monty Python movie, Mary Delisle, RN, interrupted the negative thought patterns of a patient mired in dread and dispair.

The joys of journaling and poetic expression

A journalist before becoming a nurse, Kristina Ibitayo has never abandoned her love for writing. Her poems celebrate true friendship and probe life’s possibilities.

nurse story remembering teach

The little things we do

In December 2001, the graduating class of New York University’s College of Nursing asked me to give a speech during…
Mindfulness

The mindful nurse

Mindfulness is an increasingly common topic in both popular and professional literature. In clinical populations, evidence suggests mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs)…
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The pandemic and early career nurses

Find support, shape the profession via input, action. During the peaks and valleys of the now 15-month COVID-19 pandemic, nurses…

The Power of Introverts

Are you an introvert? If so, you may think you don’t have the right personality to be a nurse leader.…

The power of Lean Six Sigma

Lean and Six Sigma are well-established quality improvement tools. Combining the two creates a synergistic effect, boosting effectiveness. In the…
Positive

The power of the positive

Being positive in a negative situation is not naïve. It’s leadership. — Ralph S. Marston, Jr., author and publisher of The…

The ring

A lesson in loss and love.

The will to live – and living well

Groucho Marx said, “Marriage is the chief cause of divorce.” When we mentioned this to a friend of ours, he retorted, “Yes—and life…
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The wisdom of renewal

We all know people who have become discontent with their careers. And we know people who remain energized, excited, and…

Therapeutic storytelling in nursing practice

Storytelling is a useful way to promote holistic care. The next time your patient shows poor coping ability, you might want to ask him to tell a story about what he’s experiencing.

Tips for long-term exercise success

Walking, swimming, cycling, jogging, skiing, aerobic dancing, or any of dozens of other activities can help your heart. They all…

Too young to be a nurse leader?

Marla Johnson began her career on an oncology unit after graduating from a BSN program 4 years ago. She achieved…

Touch of kindness

Helping a little victim of sexual assault brings a profound realization.

Uplifting nurses

Associations respond to member needs in a pandemic. In 2020, what kept me up at night was nurses’ well-being and…
Violence should not be part of the job

Violence should not be part of the job

Universal violence precautions in acute care Takeaways: Workplace violence can surprise and overwhelm nurses, leaving them unable to safely provide…

Volunteering resources

More than 1.3 billion people across the world lack access to basic healthcare services – mostly because the number of…
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