September 23 to 29 Marks Nursing Professional Development Week

September 23 to 29 Marks Nursing Professional Development Week

Of all the specialty nursing practices, a nursing professional development (NPD) practitioner is one that allows nurses to help other nurses advance while also retaining the bedside work that’s so important.

This week is Nursing Professional Development Week, and the timing offers a chance to recognize what these practitioners do and how it helps advance the nursing profession.

Nursing professional development practitioners have a range of duties, says Mary Harper PhD, RN-BC, and the Association for Nursing Professional Development’s director of nursing professional development. Whether they are assisting nurses at bedside with a procedure or on-boarding new nurses in an organization, the work they do has the common goal of improved patient care.

The career offers a role that Harper explains has the following seven distinct responsibilities:

  • partner for practice transitions
  • learning facilitator
  • change agent
  • mentor
  • leadership
  • champion of scientific inquiry
  • advocate for the the nursing professional development practitioner practice

NPD practitioners are hands-on when it comes to helping new nurses adjust to a job, training a unit on better practices, or advancing the skills of a nurse transitioning to a management role. Their role within an organization (sometimes called a clinical nurse educator or learning consultant and generally operating out of the organization’s education department), is one that continually advances how things are done.

The nursing professional development practitioner also has an outward facing role as well. They are in charge of developing cooperative relationships with academics and with members of other professional community organizations. They research evidence-based practices and quality improvement to ensure the best possible care and treatment for patients.

Harper says sometimes nurses assume the role would remove them from direct patient care, but she says that’s not the case. There are many times when the nursing professional development practitioner works with staff at a patient’s bedside to help them improve practices. They still have the direct interaction while also having a chance to work with nursing staff as well. Even more important is that they are teaching skills that will directly, and often very quickly, help patients.

Growth within nurses leads to organizational change,” she says. “We really influence these things. Our goal is always that the patients receive optimal care.”

If you are interested in a career as a nursing professional development practitioner, becoming a preceptor is the best first step, says Harper. Many in the field have an MSN degree with a focus in education. While that isn’t required, working toward that goal will equip you with the skills you’ll use frequently. Dual certification as a NPD practitioner and in another specialty can only help you.

Just because a nurse has excellent skills, doesn’t mean those skills are what’s necessary for a NPD role. “You can be a very competent nurse, and you are thrust into this role where you don’t know how to do a needs assessment or measure the outcome of what you have done,” she says. “We find it’s really important for NPD practitioners to have change management and leadership to fulfill that role.” Training for the role boosts both your nursing skills and your leadership skills.

You can also reach out to your organization’s education department and ask to get involved, says Harper. For example, if you find some of the staff is having trouble starting an IV and you are the best nurse at starting an IV on the floor, you can offer to help put together a training plan for improving the process. “It’s a great way to get recognized,” Harper says.

This is a distinct specialty with its own specialty skills,” she says. This week, celebrate the nurses who are in this varied and busy role.

Equipping Nurses with Disaster Skills is Critical to Prepare for the Unpredictable

Equipping Nurses with Disaster Skills is Critical to Prepare for the Unpredictable

Disasters—both natural and man-made—can bring great loss and destruction, but are inevitable and unpredictable. Each year, we witness deadly earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, accidents, and mass shootings.

Dating back to the Galveston Hurricane in 1900, Johnson & Johnson has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to disaster relief. Support continued during the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 through to recent disasters, like Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Maria. Today, guided by  Our Credo, which states that the company must be “responsible to the communities in which we live and work and to the world community as well,” the company alongside our partner organizations continue to focus on responding and rebuilding in the wake of disasters across six continents. Our strong, longstanding partnerships give proof that banding together with others, uniting under a common purpose, sharing knowledge, and combining reach can bring results, as detailed every year in our Health for Humanity report. This report also highlights our Campaign for Nursing’s Future initiative.

At Johnson & Johnson, we recognize that nurses have a unique and critical responsibility when disaster strikes. They provide vital medical aid, comfort, and leadership during times of confusion, fear, loss, and suffering. Often, they face uncomfortable and dangerous conditions, with risk to themselves, limited resources, and very little sleep.

Although disasters usually follow a similar sequence of prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery, no two disasters are exactly the same. Nurses need different knowledge, a new set of skills, and diverse experience to respond to a hurricane, disease outbreak, or a transportation accident. As the backbone of disaster response, nurses must learn how to solve problems quickly, rapidly direct groups of people, prioritize needs, and allocate inadequate supplies.

Johnson & Johnson is helping to equip nurses with the skills to respond by partnering with organizations that train and mobilize disaster nurses. For example, Johnson & Johnson supports the TOMODACHI Disaster Nursing Training Program, which aims to deepen the professional knowledge of nursing students specializing in disaster medicine and nursing in Tohoku, Japan.

Born out of support for Japan’s recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011, Johnson & Johnson is partnering with the U.S.-Japan Council to develop a seven-month Disaster Nursing Training Program. As part of the initiative’s cultural exchange, participants from Japan visit the U.S. to visit facilities specializing in disaster response and meet with U.S.-based experts who helped during and after 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy.

Many participants were personally impacted by the Great East Japan Earthquake—and became nurses as a result. Yumi Gima, a participant in 2018, said: “I experienced the Great East Japan Earthquake during my first year of middle school. At the time, there was no water in the area where I lived, and when I saw seniors volunteering to collect water, I became inspired to volunteer and help others. However, I could not take any real action at the time.

“I became interested in disaster nursing due to my experience during the earthquake—it is why I applied to this program. In recent years, a variety of disasters have taken place in Japan due to extreme weather. During the study tour in the U.S., I’ve learned about disaster response measures not only for earthquakes, but also for hurricanes and other disasters that cannot be easily studied in Japan. In the future, I would like to become a member of a disaster medical assistance team (DMAT) and be able to take positive action in times of disasters.”

In addition to developing disaster nursing skills, participants like Yumi share their memories of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, while demonstrating their compassion for strangers. They interact with a multilingual and multiracial society, uncommon in Japan, and learn the importance of understanding and respecting other cultures, backgrounds, and ways of thinking to foster a global perspective not only as health providers, but also as human beings.

September is National Preparedness Month and programs like the TOMODACHI Disaster Nursing Training Program are critical for preparing frontline responders for the unpredictable. Johnson & Johnson appreciates that the need to care for, comfort, and advocate for patients comes naturally to nurses—even when their own health could be at risk. This compassion makes them vital during this time of unprecedented disasters and supporting their knowledge, skills, and abilities through training is imperative to help them mobilize and respond faster and, ultimately, save lives.

9 Health Tips to Curb Calories At Work

9 Health Tips to Curb Calories At Work

Losing weight can be challenging for busy nurses. Long days, tons of stress, and sugary temptations—from goodies kept in bowls on desks to carb-loaded snacks coworkers bring for celebrations—can make it difficult to lose unwanted inches and pounds. A healthy weight can help you prevent or manage diseases and other conditions, boost your body image, and give you more energy. Here are 9 habits to make part of your daily routine to curb calories:

1. Eat a healthy breakfast. 

Protein and healthy fats such as avocado and eggs are more filling than sugary food. Breakfast will help you think and perform better at work.

2. Bring lunch. 

Grab-and go-meals may taste good, but do you know what’s in them? Make your own meals (organic if possible) to allow you to control ingredients, cut calories, and save money. Add protein and nuts to your salads to make them tastier.

3. Get a work partner.

An accountability partner on the job can provide that extra motivation to stay on track. Set a weekly weigh-in goal and check in with each other.

4. Add healthy snacks. 

Raw almonds, seeds, a boiled egg, and fruit can easily be stashed in your bag, drawer, or the office fridge. Stay prepared to avoid vending machine snacks.

5. Take the stairs. 

Increase your heart rate by climbing up the steps. Research shows taking the stairs can help keep your brain young. Make the elevator a rare option.

6. Practice portion control.

Eat a sensible amount of food to stave off hunger. Even if you slip, instead of a slice of a coworker’s birthday cake, stop at a couple of bites or split it. Chances are someone in the office is trying to cut calories, too.

7. Keep a food journal. 

Writing down daily meals and drinks provides an honest look at food habits. It’s a tool to keep track of calories and make changes to achieve your goals.

8. Do a daily walk.

Get outside for fresh air. Aim for at least 30 minutes or 5,000 steps. Even if it’s just 10 minutes at a time, walking will provide a break and boost your energy while reducing stress. Use part of your lunch to get some steps in.

9. Drink water.

Often, overeating stems from thirst and not hunger. Set your cell phone alarm to remind yourself to drink throughout the day. The extra trips to the restroom mean more steps. Dehydration can also make you feel drowsy and sluggish.

Losing weight won’t happen overnight. But practicing these healthy habits will move you closer to your goal, which will improve your overall health.

The Basics of Starting a Nursing Recruitment Agency

The Basics of Starting a Nursing Recruitment Agency

In this fast-paced era, the demand of nursing is emerging in every nook and corner of the world due to the amazing facilities and developments. Whether it is about treatment or regular health check-ups, the health care industry is playing a significant role in every individual’s life. Can you imagine your days without a health care organization? Of course not!

You probably don’t know about tomorrow, and the only savior in the present scenario is the health care industry. When it comes to health care, the importance of nurses cannot be overstated or overlooked. The popularity and necessity of nursing are known to everyone, as the nurses are the most important part of many organizations. Their quality of service, facilities, and skills are helping patients improve their daily lives.

Hiring a reliable nurse is not an easy task; rather, there are several things to consider before delving deep into the process. Staffing or recruitment agencies help connect nurses with potential jobs in the health care industry while also providing the best facilities to medical organizations.

Many entrepreneurs are observing these facts minutely and have decided to start a business, which can help the health care industry while also taking advantage of ongoing trends. Amidst these scenarios, it is necessary to understand the nuances of how exactly a nursing staff organization or agency is operating, and what types of requirements are needed to resolve the complication of medical institutes. Here is a guide, which can help you in understanding the procedure of how a nursing recruitment agency starts.

Make an Impressive Plan

Before building your castle, you will always need stones, bricks, and cement, and moreover, a strong foundation and base. Isn’t it true? Similarly, while deciding to run an agency for nursing, you need to make a plan, which should be impressive and beneficial too. You will need to decide the following:

  • which part of the company you are going to handle;
  • what sort of things should be there in your business;
  • who will be your target market;
  • what level of growth you will accept;
  • how to employ the staff, and much more.

If you are thinking that opening a new business is an easy job to accomplish, then you are sadly mistaken. You can easily observe the above points and can analyze how critical the things are.Moreover, when the situation comes to operate a nursing agency, then the very thing is to get the license, and you need to communicate with the insurance providers as well. Moreover, if you have a strong plan, then the chances of getting new clients will increase. Furthermore, the plan should involve the details regarding the product and services, company description, marketing strategy, tactics, management plan, financial rules, and much more.

Register Your Company’s Name

According to the present scenario and government policies, every organization is bound to register their company name under the laws and should get a license to operate the business. If any hospital recruitment agency is found without a valid license, then they will be arrested and should be taken into the jail. You might be wondering that why the license is important for the business.

When you are talking about the health care industry, then nobody would like to take the risk when they find an organization or agency running without reliable license and papers. Thus, the agencies are required to register their name, so that they can easily operate without any hassle, and moreover, people will trust them and will seek for help. A medical recruitment agency will thus register their name before joining the marketplace.

The process of the registration depends on several aspects such as location, state, and other factors, which are studied before giving the final commitment. Once you are done with the registration process, you will get a tax identification number, which is mostly used while paying the taxes as well as employee withholding. There are several ways you can get the business license like from the online sites.

Insurance and Drug Screening Services Are a Must

There are many things to complete before starting a new nursing recruitment business, but, getting insurance and permission from drug screening services are a must. Having valid insurance will protect your business in every field, and will cover some funds when you face any losses.

Moreover, before you appoint nurses in your organization, you need to conduct a background test and should do a drug screening test, which will further make sure that the nurses whom you have referred are genuine and experienced.

Build Your Website

In this digital marketing era, you cannot ignore the importance of a website. When you are operating any business, having an online presence is a must. So, for this reason, you need to develop a website where you can mention about your services and can easily interact with the customers. For better understanding, you can do the promotion of the business in social media platforms and can reach more potential customers.

Never Get Discouraged

When you are entering into the business world, many things will happen, which will sometime demotivate you, and will decrease your willpower. But, make sure that you withstand all the pains, and work professionally. A medical recruitment agency is known for their power and ethics, not for the discouragement and losses.

Neonatal Nurses Day Focuses Attention on Nurses Caring for Babies

Neonatal Nurses Day Focuses Attention on Nurses Caring for Babies

Does a career working with the tiniest infants appeal to you? Working as a neonatal nurse is celebrated today and is an excellent time to find out more about this branch of nursing.

Spearheaded by the National Association of Neonatal Nurses, (NANN), Neonatal Nurses Day is marked around the country on September 15 and honors those nurses who work with newborns. Typically, these nurses are working in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) helping babies who have illnesses or health problems right after birth. Neonatal nurses might also care for older babies if their health condition necessitates longer-term care.

Neonatal nurses will care for infants who are born full-term and those who are born prematurely, sometimes months early. The babies might also have been born with a genetic condition or birth defects or who may have developed an infection.

Because the babies are in such fragile health, a neonatal nurse will call on a range of skills and will require excellent critical thinking and decision making. Working in an environment where a baby’s condition can change rapidly, neonatal nurses must cultivate a steady approach and devote time and effort to developing excellent interpersonal and teamwork skills.

An integral part of what is generally a large team of nurses, physicians, specialists, social workers, and staff, the neonatal nurse’s role is defined, but requires an awareness of how all the different parts operate as a team. Newborns under the care of a neonatal nurse often have complex conditions and their age and oftentimes underdeveloped body systems put them at risk for additional complications.

Families are a big part of neonatal care. Parents, extended family, and friends are anxious about the baby and the unfamiliar equipment and setting only heightens that anxiety. A neonatal nurse also works with families and must be able to do so in the face of all kinds of outcomes.

The impact neonatal nurses make on the infant in their care and the infants’ families often links them for life. Families depend on nurses to provide care and also to fill them in on treatments, procedures, facts, and tell them what’s going on in a manner they can understand when they are coping with so much stress. As a neonatal nurse, you’ll develop strong bonds that will make the babies as memorable to you as you are to them.

And as medical advances progress at a rapid rate, it’s imperative that neonatal nurses are lifelong learners who will continue to gather information, knowledge, and get certified. They need to understand the developmental variations of these babies to help inform treatment and care.

If you’re a neonatal nurse, take today to reflect on the way you change the lives of the babies you care for and how you are an important partner with their families. If a neonatal nurse has been a big part of your life, be sure to celebrate the job they do in this inspiring career.

Considering an Accelerated Nursing Program? Here’s What You Should Know

Considering an Accelerated Nursing Program? Here’s What You Should Know

Higher institutions of learning are responding to the demands of society in the need for additional Registered Nurses (RNs) by offering accelerated degrees in nursing. These programs are designed for those who hold a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in areas other than nursing. Many schools offer an accelerated, or direct entry, program for a BA/BS to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN); fewer schools offer a BA/BS to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or BA/BS to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.

There has been a steady increase in the number of RNs with a bachelor’s degree over the past several years. One reason for this increase could be attributed to the fact that nurses with a bachelor’s degree report earning an average of $10,000 more per year than those nurses with a diploma or Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN). Additionally, many institutions are requiring their staff nurses to hold a minimum of a BSN even for direct patient care or charge nurse positions. In turn, these facilities are paying higher wages to attract and retain the bachelor’s-prepared nurse.

Accelerated nursing programs require a rigorous commitment to the program, which can run anywhere from 12 to 24 months, depending on the institution. Most schools offer traditional or hybrid tracks where courses are delivered on-campus with a few courses completed online. Those schools with traditional (weekday courses on the campus) tracks discourage their students from working during the accelerated program to foster an environment of less distractions and to aid in the overall success of completing the demanding coursework and clinical requirements.

Tuition for accelerated programs may vary from school to school. Public institutions, such as California State University, Fullerton, run close to $23,000 for tuition and fees. Private schools like Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, charge over $80,000 for their 15-month program. These tuitions and fees do not include other necessary items such as books, lab fees, uniforms, transportation to clinical sites, etc. Students must plan for several more thousand dollars to cover these additional items.

Prerequisites for accelerated programs also vary according to the school. For example, Samford University in Alabama requires those applying for the accelerated BSN program to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in the past 10 years with a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.5. Additionally, the program requires the applicant to have completed a number of science courses including anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and chemistry. Most nursing programs also required students to complete the TEAS test and/or Critical Thinking tests prior to admission.

Coursework for the accelerated programs remains fairly stable as set forth by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the requirements for accreditation through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Courses may include:

  • Adult Health I, II, III
  • Pharmacology
  • Health Assessment and Promotion
  • Pathophysiology
  • Women’s Health Nursing
  • Child and Adolescent Health Nursing
  • Evidenced-Based Practice
  • Epidemiology for Population-Based Care
  • Inter-Professional Health Care Practices
  • Leadership in Nursing
  • Public Health Nursing
  • Psychiatric Nursing
  • Role Transition

In addition to the coursework, nursing students will also complete over 1,035 hours in clinical rotations through a variety of medical settings such as critical care, medical/surgical, emergency rooms, labor and delivery, pediatrics, psychiatry, and community health.

For those students who have completed a bachelor’s degree in another field, and now see the value that nursing has to offer, options such as accelerated nursing programs allow them to pursue that career at any stage in their life path. Accelerated nursing programs are an excellent way to complete a degree in nursing, in a short period of time, for a lifetime of reward and benefit.

Vascular Nurses Celebrated This Week

Vascular Nurses Celebrated This Week

This week’s Vascular Nurses Week (September 9-15) recognizes the important role vascular nurses play in the health of patients with vascular conditions or disease.

Requiring a broad skill set, vascular nurses care for patients in their home setting or can assist in surgical procedures. Their specific expertise is required for anything ranging from varicose vein surgery to amputation procedures to cardiac stent placement. In the course of a day they can care for those with leg ulcers or those suffering from peripheral artery disease. Their treatment and care can range from education about vein health. They educate about lifestyle factors that can improve it to helping patients and their families understand infection prevention and control.

Vascular nurses work as part of a team to care for patients, so communication, collaboration, and attention to detail are essential skills for them to have. Because they might work in emergency situations, they must have excellent critical thinking skills. Those will help them quickly assess what’s going on and determine how they can help.

To provide the best possible nursing care and to follow the highest of standards in care, obtaining a certification is an excellent career move. Offered through the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the cardiac/vascular certification is valid for five years and offers an excellent way to advance your knowledge.

Because vascular nurses see patients for a variety of conditions, they gain experience on how other conditions add to the complexity of patients’ vascular care and treatment. Diabetes and heart disease are a big influence on vascular health as are lifestyle choices like diet, exercise, and smoking. Being overweight can also have an effect on the proper function of vascular systems.

Vascular nurses are tasked with providing patients with educational materials about preventing the development or worsening of vascular disease, but also how to care for themselves if it has developed. Given that vascular disease cuts across all demographics and locations, vascular nurses encounter many cultures and attitudes that are closely entwined with the very things that impact health. Knowing the cultures and habits of populations served is important. By having cultural competency, nurses will be able to help develop care plans that will work with the patient’s beliefs and traditions and therefore, be effective.

With this partnership approach, nurses have the opportunity to develop close relationships with their patients and see the positive impacts of their care. Many vascular diseases are painful and being able to see improvement in a patient’s comfort is rewarding and inspiring.

If you think vascular nursing is a good career match for you, check out the Society for Vascular Nursing to find out more about joining a professional network or learning more about training and education.

Rising Demand for Male Nurses

Rising Demand for Male Nurses

There is a growing demand for more nurses in general and that the demand for male nurses is currently on the rise. Male nurses are increasing their presence at the bedside, hospital, clinic, and nursing home. The American Association for Men in Nursing (AAMN) profiles the progress of its campaign for a 20% increase in the number of male nurses in the workforce by 2020. We all know that the nursing profession would benefit from a more diverse representation of gender, age, and cultures within the workforce.

Male nurses are bringing balance to the profession, which benefits patients as a whole. Having male nurses ensures that male patients are well cared and represented. Sometimes patients prefer a nurse of a certain sex, particularly for procedures like inserting a catheter, serving a bedpan, or administering EKG. Male nurses have skills and care-giving strengths that can make nursing an excellent career for them. Importantly, the benefits of being a male nurse are the same benefits of being a nurse.

If you are male and thinking about becoming a nurse, don’t hesitate to explore the career and most importantly look into yourself to ensure that this is the right career for you. Nursing is a challenging job and one that requires hard work, integrity, and dedication. Nurses can treat every patient regardless of gender, but dealing with human sickness and patients who may be crabby and cranky is simply a fact of life for nurses. As nurse, you are able to help patients and give them a level of comfort and put them at ease. The world of nursing holds many possibilities. There are over 100 different nursing specialties available and there are plenty of ways to advance your career if you are willing to work hard. Since not everyone has what it takes to be a nurse, there are a lot of considerations when it comes to nursing and what your personality needs to be like in order to be a good nurse.

Here are four key questions to ask yourself.

1. How well do you cope with stress and emergency situations?

Nursing jobs can be stressful at times. If you are someone who can work well under pressure and copes well with stress, you will do well as a nurse.

2. Are you easily offended?

Nurses sometimes come in contact with patients who are hostile or unfriendly. Being easily offended can make your nursing job difficult and stressful quickly.

3. Do you consider yourself to never stop learning?

The field of health care is continuously changing, whether it is a new disease or recently discovered new treatment, nurses learn something new every day. Therefore, a good nurse is always ready to learn more.

4. Are you a team player?

Teamwork is essential in nursing to getting the job done right and improving the patient’s health. Nurses, who enjoy their job, work well with other team members.

Nephrology Nurses Make a Difference

Nephrology Nurses Make a Difference

Nephrology Nurses Week kicks off today and is a time to appreciate the dedication and expertise nephrology nurses bring to their roles.

Nephrology nurses have a distinct role in helping patients across the age spectrum who are dealing with issues concerning kidney function and health. Whether it’s a family history that predisposes someone to kidney disease, an older patient who is coping with a new diagnosis, a teen recovering from a kidney transplant, or a person with advanced end stage kidney disease, nephrology nurses specialize in all the ways to help patients.

Anyone interested in a career as a nephrology nurse can reference the American Nephrology Nurses Association for background information, career tips, certification information, and guidance. Nephrology nurses can flourish in any number of settings from corporate to home care to a coordinator of dialysis or transplant services. They have a broad knowledge of the entire body system and will know how kidney function will impact the rest of the body.

Often nephrology nurses will administer the frequent dialysis needed to keep a patient functioning. They might also counsel patients and their families who are preparing for a kidney transplant or recovering from one. Their expertise in helping both the patient learn about typical expected symptoms or results and in helping family members care for a patient will make a significant difference in physical and emotional recovery.

With the rapid treatment advances for complex health issues, many nephrology nurses become well-versed in the many conditions patients have and how those conditions can impact the kidneys and treatments for kidney disease. Because of this, they need excellent teamwork skills and critical thinking skills that will help them assess and prioritize care in crisis situations.

As with other specialties, obtaining certification improves your knowledge base, and it also helps you serve your patients to the best of your abilities. Certification is available for several areas of nephrology nursing including as a nephrology nurse, as a nephrology nurse practitioner, as a dialysis nurse, as a dialysis LPN, or even as a clinical hemodialysis technician.

Studying for and passing a certification exam is well within your reach, especially if you have been in the field for a while. You very likely already know a good deal of the information. But certification helps you stay up-to-date on the latest evidence-based practices, technology, and treatment, and also gives you a peek into the exciting developments in the industry.

As you gain more training, your employment becomes even more valuable to your organization. Certification also shows your dedication to your role. Taking the extra time to advance your learning shows the kind of attention to detail and commitment to high-quality care that employers want to see. When career advisers talk about showing your skills and your results, certification fits the bill.

Take this week to appreciate nephrology nurses and to find out more about the career if it sounds appealing to you.

Honoring Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses Today

Honoring Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses Today

Today, September 8, celebrates the nurses who work with children and families who are often facing some of the most frightening times of their lives.

As Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses Day, today honors a nursing career path in which nurses rely on their expertise to help patients and families navigate diagnoses of cancer and blood disorders.

The Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses (APHON) notes how nurses bring technical nursing skills to this role, but they also rely heavily on their compassionate care skills. Working with infants, children, and adolescents with potentially life-threatening diseases requires a high degree of sensitivity. But pediatric hematology/oncology nurses also work with the family unit to help them understand medical plans, procedures, results, and potential outcomes.

But the deeply rewarding career offers the opportunity to touch lives in a way few other professions allow. Pediatric hematology/oncology nurses often form close bonds with both their patients and with the families who grow to rely on them for a level of care that respects their difficult situation.

They are also there to motivate patients when needed and to comfort them when that’s the only thing necessary in the moment. These nurses are continually assessing medical, physical, emotional, and social needs of their patients and families.

If you’re interested in working in this area of nursing, be sure to train in the environment for a while to help you decide, either through a clinical, an internship, or after you earn your degree. APHON recommends beginning in a pediatric inpatient unit so you gain an understanding of the pediatric care environment. Pediatric hematology/oncology nurses can work in various settings including inpatient, outpatient, home care, free-standing centers, hospitals, or physician’s offices.

Because nurses in this area need to keep current in a fast-paced and constantly evolving field, a BSN is a good goal to begin. Certification will keep you up-to-date on the newest treatments and evidence-based practices, but pediatric hematology/oncology nurses should continue to keep themselves informed on their own as well. Join a professional organization to meet others in your field and gain insight and education.

If you are a pediatric hematology/oncology nurse, take this day to feel proud of your work and your patient and family care. With such an intense and sometimes incredibly stressful environment, be sure to practice self care. Taking care of yourself will help you be a better nurse.

And if you have pediatric hematology/oncology nurses in your life, this is a great day to appreciate all they do.