The World Health Organization designated 2020 as The Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. What does that mean for nurses everywhere?
The designation was made last year by WHO to help raise awareness of the nursing and midwifery professions and also to call attention to global health. Nurses and midwives, says WHO, are critical components for improving the health of people worldwide. By calling attention to the nurses and midwives who take care of people every day, it’s also shining a light on disparities that exist and that nurses are helping to bridge.
What makes 2020’s Year of the Nurse and the Midwife so special? It happens to be the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of the nursing profession. And 2020 is also the end year for several campaigns around nursing—the Institute of Medicine’s proposed goal for having 80 percent of nurses having earned a bachelor degree and WHO’s own three-year NursingNow! campaign that ends in 2020. NursingNow! focuses on how raising global health will raise the state of nursing and help support essential policies around nursing.
This year also marks the year WHO is developing a State of the World’s Nursing Report to be presented at the 73rd World Health Assembly to be held May 17 to 20 in Geneva. The organization is also contributing to a State of the World’s Midwifery 2020 report that will be released this spring.
As more attention is focused on the nursing profession and the role nurses play in offering primary care around the globe, the more strategic decisions will focus on strengthening the nursing industry and supporting nurses and midwives in their roles. The hope is that focus will bring an influx of funding into more research, career supports, and adding new or strengthening existing policies to protect nurses, midwives, and patients. With these positive and effective changes started, the path is paved for better working conditions, more nurses in the field, a more diverse and inclusive workforce to represent patient populations, and improved patient health.
As a force of global change, nurses will play a pivotal role in helping achieve the WHO goal of universal health coverage and contribute to the global Sustainable Development Goals presented by the United Nations.
As a goal, the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife is on target for what professional nurses need and want to hear and have action taken on. But the designation also speaks to the state of global health and the pivotal role nurses and midwives play in keeping humanity healthy, despite some declining rates of nurses.
Nurses work in all conditions in some of the most remote corners of the world to ensure that no matter where people live and no matter what conditions they live in, that they will be able to achieve the best health possible. That alone is a lofty goal and one that nurses get up every day and just do. At the very least, nurses deserve a year dedicated to the impact they bring. Let’s hope the Year of the Nurse brings the change nurses deserve.
If you have decided to advance your career this year, getting a promotion might be at the top of your to-do list. Or maybe you’re content with your current role, but would appreciate more recognition from your supervisor for bringing 110 percent to the job all day, every day.
Promotions take a lot of effort—few nurses get promoted just because they come to work every day. How can you bring some attention to your work?
Here are five small steps to do this year that may set you on a path to your next promotion.
- Be Valuable
Doing your job is expected; doing more is what gets you noticed. Create value for your organization by always assessing processes to see where you can create more efficiency. When you can do something better, faster, or with less people and the end result is better patient care, you become a really valuable nurse. Keep alert to ways to improve routines.
- Get Extra Training
Making the effort to get an additional nursing degree is almost a fast-track plan for getting a promotion. With a push for having nurses attain a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, extra education is a valuable asset. If an advanced degree isn’t really an option for you, certification is another way of achieving a higher professional level. Certification helps you gain a deeper understanding of complex nursing areas—from cardiac to wound care—and will help you provide better nursing care. Find out about new practices and new technology, Don’t forget about online or in-person seminars that many healthcare organizations offer.
Whatever you do, make sure you keep learning and keep your supervisor in the loop when you learn something especially valuable.
- Become a Networking Pro and Get Involved
Get to know other nurses and healthcare professionals by getting involved in the professional nursing community. Join a professional organization and volunteer to take an active role within that organization. While you are out and about, be an active and positive ambassador for your organization. This activity won’t necessarily get you a promotion, but it will get you noticed for what you bring to your organization.
- Go to Conferences and Share Your Knowledge
Attending conferences is an excellent way to learn more about nursing and to uncover ways you can improve your own nursing care. But don’t go to a conference and then operate in a silo. Share what you have learned when you return. Offer to give a lunchtime talk about a new tactic, a cutting-edge technology, or a vital change in evidence-based practice. Let others know what you learned about how other nursing units are successful.
- Think of Good Publicity
Become a vocal nurse advocate wherever you are. Find a nursing cause you believe in and get involved to change policy. Write letters to the editor championing the valuable care nurses provide. Raise funds for causes devoted to nursing. Becoming a positive force for change elevates your own personal goals and gives your industry and your career a boost in the process.
Being a good nurse is any nurse’s goal, and getting ahead in your career involves that qualification and then a little more. Extend yourself to reach that promotion.
Tomorrow marks the 40th anniversary of National IV Nurse Day, which was made a national recognition day in 1980.
For 40 years, National IV Nurse Day has honored the day-to-day professional work and accomplishments of infusion nurses across the world. This path of nursing is one that informs each step of patient care and treatment.
According to the Infusion Nurses Society, patients rely on the expert care of the infusion nurses who work with them to administer fluids and medications and establish best practices for infusion therapy.
Healthcare teams rely on infusion therapy nurses to begin any kind of infusion therapy and in all kinds of settings. Whether it’s in the hectic emergency department or in pre-op care, patients depend on IV nurses to administer precision care with a calm and professional demeanor. Patients respond to IV care with a range of emotions and reactions, so IV nurses must be ready to do their work on both calm and agitated patients as well as on patients of all ages.
As with the entire nursing spectrum, IV nurses must remain current on the specialty’s best practices and any evidence-based changes that will make patients’ health and safety more assured and will make their jobs easier. A certified registered nurse infusion (CRNI) is a nurse who has received certification for infusion therapy to ensure the highest standards in practice. Nurses who aim for this highly recommended certification must prepare for a rigorous exam that will test them in all aspects of IV care.
Because this specialty continues to improve and develop with medical advancements and technological improvements, remaining current in the field is essential. Nurses who achieve this credential are able to provide the best nursing care based on the latest information on medications, physical responses, line placement, and equipment changes.
With this knowledge, they care for patients in organizations and are also able to help educate patients, families, and caretakers of patients who may go home with some kind of IV line. They can teach about why a patient needs this treatment and how this kind of IV line will help the patient. They also offer education about how to care for the site, what to watch for, and what to do in certain circumstances.
As a registered nurse with a specialty, IV nurses will see a robust career outlook with a predicated continued demand for nurses. Because IV nurses are involved in so many aspects of patient care, they are a vital member of the healthcare team and their specialty practice only increases that value.
On National IV Nurse Day, take a moment to thank the IV members of your organization. And if you’re an IV Nurse, thank you for all you do!
The start of a new year brings new opportunities to organize all areas of your life. Some of that enthusiasm definitely starts to wane as January drags on, so this is a good time to plan some small tasks that you can do to make your whole year better.
Here are a few items to add to your to-do list that really will help get your life on solid footing.
1. Run a Credit Report
You can request a free credit report once a year from each of three different credit bureaus. Set a reminder to do one in January, May, and September, and you’ll have a much better control over your credit. Having a credit report run frequently lets you organize your credit, check in, and make sure nothing is amiss.
2. Evaluate Your Retirement Contributions
There are many different ways to set up your retirement savings, and no matter what you do, make sure you reassess your plan each year. If you got a raise last year, you should be able to put more into your retirement savings. If you turned 50 last year, you can add extra funds as part of a catch-up plan for those over 50. If saving money is one of your resolutions, this is where you put that into action. Designate what you might give up and figure out how much that would be each month (for instance, give up one coffee a week and save $20 a month). Then choose that as a set amount to automatically withdraw from your paycheck and go to your retirement.
3. Reset Your Environment
Lots of people advise clearing out the clutter to organize and have a more peaceful home environment, but that’s an overwhelming thought when you’re working a week of back-to-back shifts while juggling family and all your other commitments. So in the next month pick just one area of your environment that would bring you the most peace. Do you have a long commute? Maybe a clean and tidy car would make you feel a sense of calm. Is your kitchen the hub of your home? Cleaning off the counters will be like a breath of fresh air. Even a new playlist each month or a small bouquet of fresh flowers in your bathroom can brighten up your mood and get your day off to a good start.
4. Learn Something
Yes, learning a new language would be fantastic, as would playing the guitar or succeeding at skiing. But if you’re short of time, inspiration, and energy, find a small goal and perfect it. Learn how to make one go-to appetizer so you’re not perplexed when going to a party. Nail down your elevator speech. Find a new route to an old place. Clean up your resume. Fine tune three yoga poses to take care of yourself. Learn how to make your signature drink (coffee, alcohol, fruit – whatever you like). Gaining control over one thing often helps launch other accomplishments.
5. Accept Yourself
This one is harder than just about any other personal commitment. Once a day (or more if you remember!) tell yourself you are good enough and that you are strong. Say it out loud so you set that as an intention. Yes, we all can get better and can improve, but we all fail. We all mess up. Humans are far from perfect (even the ones on Instagram who look like they have it all together).
What are some other ways you can take small steps for big gains?
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) Week kicked off on January 19th and recognizes this specialized area of nursing. Sponsored by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), the week honors all these nurses do.
CRNAs recently received a public recognition of their career path when U.S. News and World Report published a Best 25 Jobs of 2020 and nurse anesthetist came in at the number 21 slot.
This nursing career has a lot going for it. It pays well, is constantly changing, and has lots of patient interaction. Nurse anesthetists often assist during surgery or may be in charge of the patient’s entire anesthesia plan and process. In fact, in some places, including rural areas or on the frontlines of the military, nurse anesthetists are often the main providers of anesthesia care to a patient.
Nurse anesthetists bring home a large paycheck. Although the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the amount will vary based on location, an average annual salary comes in at $167,950. Nurses interested in this path will complete a rigorous educational training. After your early nursing career, a typical path starts out in a critical care role, such as the intensive care unit, where they gain valuable training on evaluating and caring for patients with life-threatening injuring or illnesses. These nurses often have a masters’ degree, but more and more nurse anesthetists earn doctoral degrees. Beginning in 2022, all nurses entering accredited anesthesia programs will be required to earn a doctorate in the specialty.
This role requires initial certification and continued professional certification as the field changes rapidly. Lifelong learning in this specialty is essential for providing the best nursing care and ensuring the best patient safety.
Because of their role in providing essential care, nurse anesthetists routinely work in many areas, so finding a role that suits your career plans and your lifestyle is possible. Flexibility within this role isn’t as common as within other nursing roles, but because there is such a high demand for this role, the job variety is excellent.
According to the AANA, nurse anesthetists provide care to patients in varied locations and settings. From a chaotic battlefield to an organized dental office, nurse anesthetists are required to provide focused, deliberate, and incredibly precise anesthesia care. This role is also essential in pain management clinics and in surgical settings.
CRNAs also play an active and important role in the policies and regulations surrounding the patient care and the professional standards of this specialty. The CRNA Political Action Committee represents the interests of CRNAs and their patients in Washington and in the political establishment of each state.
Nursing leaders and those who take an active role in political decisions can offer a perspective that speaks to ensuring patients have equal access to the best care possible, no matter where they live or their income. These nurses are also proficient in speaking about veterans’ affairs, the opioid crisis, and patient safety.
CRNAs are a vital part of patient care. This week is acknowledgement of all they do.