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MORE MEN MOVE TO NURSING CAREERS

Brian Medley, a nurse at Lurie Children’s Hospital, and Zain Rehman, a nurse at Advocate Christ Medical Center Intensive Care Unit, talked about their career path.

Nursing has historically been a female-dominated field, but men are increasingly pursuing the career. The percentage of men in nursing is still small, only about 9 percent to 10 percent,

A nursing career holds many advantages for men, such as highly diverse patient care environments, career stability, and a competitive salary.

Resurrection University will host a “Thinking Out Loud” speaker series for men, by men.

“Men in Nursing” is a free event that brings together a panel of male nursing professionals to talk about what it’s like to be a nurse in today’s healthcare environment

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The New ABCs of Medical School: Anatomy, Biochemistry, and Cooking

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High-Value Care Increasingly Becoming Core Part of Med School Curriculum

High-value care has been added to curricula for many aspiring physicians

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Each Stage of a Nursing Career Offers Opportunities

Whether you’re newly hired or almost retired, now is the time to take charge of your career. Being proactive can go a long way toward developing a satisfying career for life, according to experts.

I have my BSN and passed the NCLEX, but how do I get my career started?

Honing clinical skills is a top priority for new grads in their first two years as RNs. But they also should “immerse themselves in the community of nursing,” suggests Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, Nursing Spectrum’s “Dear Donna” career advice columnist. “It’s not too early.”

An easy way to do that is to participate in your local chapter of a professional nursing association as well as your specialty association, says the president of Cardillo and Associates in Sea Girt, N.J. “You get the community, the support. You can get advice. It helps you to stay current with trends and issues. Join immediately, as many associations have reduced dues for new graduate nurses.”

Do you have any tips for moving forward in a tough job market?

Midcareer RNs with up to 15 years at the bedside have their own challenges. “One of the big dangers of being experienced is that you become complacent. You feel comfortable in your role. You can almost do it on automatic pilot,” Cardillo says. “A comfort zone is a danger zone.”

Keep your career fresh, alive, interesting and moving forward by looking for new opportunities and new experiences. “If you’re not learning, you’re stagnating,” she says. Pursue specialty certifications and further your formal education.

On the job, look for ways to learn something new or showcase your special talents. For example, volunteer for a new project. Start a newsletter. Present an in-service. Become a preceptor. Do community education. Looking for new challenges keeps your career interesting, she says, and keeps you interested in your career.

I’m three months into a management position I hate. What should I do?

“Taking charge [of your career] means constantly staying aware of what’s going on,” says Beth A. Brooks, RN, PhD, FACHE, executive director of the Illinois Organization of Nurse Leaders.

You have to stay on top of what’s latest and greatest and think outside the 4 walls of your organization.

Part of that involves reading professional journals, belonging to professional organizations and volunteering for committees. Another part involves self-assessment. What do you need to do to be a better manager? Brooks suggests using a self-assessment tool like the one available to members of the American Organization of Nurse Executives (aone.org/aone/certification/examprepmain.html) to identify your strengths as well as areas where you need improvement.

Being a good clinician doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a good manager, Cardillo cautions. “You have to learn the art and science of management,” she says. Read about management, take courses, model yourself after a good manager and find a mentor. “A lot of managers fall short because they’ve never learned how to manage,” she says.

My nursing position caused me to have panic attacks and feel burned out. What can I do?

Looking ahead is key even for nurses with more than 15 years on the job. Katie Kessler, RN, MSN, director of professional partnerships at the Michigan State University College of Nursing, suggests you ask yourself what kind of nursing you’d like to be doing in the future. “In what way do you think you could make the best contribution? And what kind of preparation is that going to take?”

The sheer physicality of acute care nursing compels many seasoned nurses to transition to other treatment venues, she notes. But moving into a new field can be daunting, even with years of experience in another area.

That’s why the college, with the support of a Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future grant and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation developed the Nursing for Life program (nursing.msu.edu/nursingforlife.aspx), an educational program consisting of online theory modules and precepted clinicals in community-based settings that are targeted to grow during the next 20 to 30 years: ambulatory care, home care, long-term care and hospice/palliative care. (A new grant is supporting the development of new modules in case management and quality/safety management.)

“Nurses used to be able to transition from one area to another pretty easily, but because areas have become so specialized with the skill sets that they need, it’s more difficult to make those transitions,” Kessler says.

Don’t be afraid to look for educational programs to ease that transition. Changing fields doesn’t necessarily require getting another degree, but getting more education certainly can help you get up to speed in your new area of interest, Kessler says.

After 40 years of nursing, what’s next?

Nurses near retirement should reflect on what they want the legacy of their life’s work to be, says Betty Smith Williams, RN, DrPH, FAAN, president emerita of the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nursing Associations. “The more you know yourself and the more you analyze what your career was about, the better off you’ll be.”

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posted in: Career, National, New Jersey, Employer News
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NJ Spotlight’s Interactive Map: NJ’s Nursing Homes

Often, the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is difficult and fraught with emotional and financial considerations.

A year of nursing home care costs on average $50,000, according to the AARP. For those who can afford to shop around, the biggest question is how well a facility does at caring for the residents.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services attempts to help answer that question with its Nursing Home Compare data. This is a report card of sorts, with the federal agency giving ratings of between 1 and 5 stars to each nursing home based on the results of inspections.

In New Jersey, the Department of Health and Senior Services conducts inspections at least annually of all nursing homes that receive federal money.

CMS rates the results of these inspections according to the three main areas: health, including resident care, staff and resident interactions and environment; staffing, which measures the hours worked by nurses and assistants; and quality measures, which include data on vaccinations, pressure sores, depression, infections, and weight loss.

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posted in: New Jersey
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New Jersey League for Nursing honors nurse for leadership

Elisabeth Micich Otero, RN, MSN, BCCC, quality manager and clinical educator at Christian Health Care Center in Wyckoff, N.J., was honored with a New Jersey League for Nursing’s 2011 Nurse Recognition Award. She accepted the award Nov. 4 during the 2011 Nurse Recognition Awards Gala at The Pines Manor in Edison, N.J.

“Elisabeth is an accomplished nurse,” Elaine Whelan, RN-BC, MSN, clinical education director at CHCC, said in a news release. “She possesses a unique blend of expertise in psychiatry, gerontology, nursing professional development and quality improvement. She excels in everything she does.”

A resident of Scotch Plains, N.J., Otero is a 29-year veteran of CHCC and has held many leadership positions, such as charge nurse, supervisor, clinical nurse educator, director of performance improvement and education, and quality manager for the long-term care division.

“Elisabeth has a reputation for being a nurse who exhibits expert skills, tolerance and compassion and is totally committed to working within an ethical framework,” said Whelan, who nominated Otero for the award. “She is a great role model for anyone who wishes to pursue his/her lifelong dream and is determined to achieve it.”

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posted in: New Jersey
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NJ Nurses Train to Coordinate Their Patients’ Care

A new crop of nurses is being trained as population care coordinators—nurses who serve as part coach, part health advocate to improve coordinated follow-up and preventive and wellness care.

The program is a collaboration among Horizon Healthcare Innovations (HHI) and its education partners Duke University School of Nursing and Rutgers University College of Nursing.

It’s attracting nurses like Janet Duni, who has been working for the past year as a population care coordinator at Vanguard Medical Group in Verona.

“I manage the most high-risk population in the practice,” she said, those with chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease. “I reach out to patients who have had a hospital discharge or an emergency room visit, to make sure that they are at home, that they are settled, that their medications are correct. If they need a follow-up appointment with a doctor, I make it.”

Duni, with 30 years experience as a nurse, including in the emergency room and intensive care, began the new 12-week training course in January, a combination of online and face-to face-instruction that focuses on case management using databases, skills Duni will use for the care she coordinates for 5,000 Vanguard patients who are Horizon members.

The training is funded by HHI, a new company launched in 2010 by Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey. “We are creating a new nursing leadership role that will support New Jersey’s primary care doctors and deliver improved care to patients,” said Christy Bell, chief executive of HHI.

Dr. Richard Popiel, president of HHI, said the company has been funding the hiring of population care coordinators since launching a patient-centered medical home pilot program more than a year ago with eight primary-care practices. That pilot was expanded with an additional 15 practices in January, and now involves about 80,000 patients. The curriculum to train more coordinators grew out of the work that has already begun in the medical practices.

“This gives us a great opportunity to formalize the education around what they are going to be doing in these practices,” Popiel said. “This is something nurses have not been taught in traditional nursing schools.”

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posted in: New Jersey
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Visiting Nurse Association Health Group to Celebrate 100 Years of Compassionate Care in 2012

RED BANK, NJ - Nearly 100 years ago, six women, led by a social reformer and philanthropist Geraldine L. Thompson, chartered a public health nursing organization to meet the needs of the broader Middletown community. Today that organization, known over the years as MCOSS, the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey, and Visiting Nurse Association Health Group (VNAHG), has grown to be the largest nonprofit community health provider of home care, hospice and community-based services in the state and the second largest visiting nurse association in the nation, caring for more than 120,000 individuals each year, regardless of circumstance.

RED BANK, NJ - Nearly 100 years ago, six women, led by a social reformer and philanthropist Geraldine L. Thompson, chartered a public health nursing organization to meet the needs of the broader Middletown community. Today that organization, known over the years as MCOSS, the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey, and Visiting Nurse Association Health Group (VNAHG), has grown to be the largest nonprofit community health provider of home care, hospice and community-based services in the state and the second largest visiting nurse association in the nation, caring for more than 120,000 individuals each year, regardless of circumstance.
To commemorate the organization’s 100 years of caring for the community, VNAHG has planned a number of events throughout the year culminating in a Centennial Celebration Gala to be held on historic Ellis Island the evening of June 23.  Gala Co-Chairs Lynn Spector and Ann Gargano, representing their fellow Co-Chairs Bill Spector, Tony Gargano and Robert and Kathy Dibble, welcomed committee members to the Spector’s Rumson home for “Bellinis and Brunch” on January 18 to kick off the countdown to this grand anniversary event. 
On June 23, Honorary Gala Chairmen The Honorable Brendan Byrne, The Honorable Thomas Kean and bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark will join revelers in the beautifully restored halls of Ellis Island, overlooking the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty to salute the vital work of VNA Health Group. The evening’s events will include dinner and dancing to the music of The Rhythm Shop.  In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to explore a special exhibit tracing the history of VNAHG, open to all Ellis Island visitors during the summer months.  Plus, a silent auction will offer a wide array of intriguing items from travel to jewelry, sure to entice potential bidders. 
During the course of the evening, dedicated volunteers and supporters of the VNAHG mission will also be honored, including Peter Carton. An esteemed attorney with the New Jersey firm Gibbons, P.C. and a respected community leader, Peter has continued his family’s long-time commitment to VNAHG through his years of invaluable assistance.  Catherine Carton, Peter’s mother, served as President of the VNAHG during the 1970’s. 

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posted in: New Jersey, news
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New York, New Jersey See High Demand for CNSs

Given the Institute of Medicine’s “Future of Nursing” report spelling out the essential role of nurse leaders in advancing evidence-based healthcare, clinical nurse specialists increasingly are in high demand, particularly in the critical care setting.

CNSs are key to developing the culture of quality mandated by healthcare reform that will help hospitals meet heightened requirements for reducing infection rates and improving outcomes, nurse leaders say.

The CNS role attracts nurses who love research and like to teach outside an academic environment. Their expertise is extremely specialized, they educate clinical staff, patients and families, and they help build staff satisfaction in their roles as mentors.

In New Jersey, where master’s degree nursing programs are heavily focused on nurse practitioners, CNSs are sometimes hard to find when openings arise.

Master’s programs for CNSs also were disappearing in New York, says Kimberly Glassman, RN, Phd, NEA-BC, senior vice president of patient care services and CNO at NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan. But now, she says, universities are responding to renewed demand for these positions, and within the past few years have started to add the CNS master’s programs back in.

posted in: National, New Jersey, Employer News, New York
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UMDNJ graduate students do residencies at Bergen Regional Medical Center.

An agreement between Bergen Regional Medical Center of Paramus and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey will allow psychiatry graduate students to participate in a training program as part of their postgraduate education.

Psychiatry residents, under the supervision of attending physicians, will interact with adult residents and discuss cases. Psychiatry fellows who have completed their residency will treat children at the center, said Gary Rosenberg, medical director at Bergen Regional Medical Center.

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posted in: New Jersey
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