Celebrate Certified Nurses Day Today

Celebrate Certified Nurses Day Today

Today marks the annual celebration of Certified Nurses Day to let nurses know just how important additional training is for career growth and for patient care.

Certified Nurses Day gives a shout out to nurses who take on the additional training and education to gain board-certified credentials in their area of specialty or in an area in which they want to gain more expertise. With many dozens of certifications available, nurses can find something that will help them do their jobs better.

Why is certification so important? In addition to gaining the extra knowledge, taking the initiative to gain certification shows a nurse who is willing to do all he or she can to offer the best care possible. As methods, equipment, and evidence-based outcomes change frequently, certification is one way to keep up-to-date on the very latest information in your area of specialty.

What about nurses whose jobs don’t require are specialization in one particular area? If your job requires more of a general skill set, then more than one certification can help you as a nurse. Do you work in an ICU that sees lots of heart patients? Or in an ER where you see asthma attacks? Or are you especially interested in wound care? Certifications in heart failure, asthma, emergency care, wound care, women’s health, palliative care and hospice, and nurse leadership are just a few of the available certifications nurses can hold.

If you are interested in gaining knowledge and learning as much as you can, you can earn more than one certification, and, in fact, doing so makes your expertise deepen.

If you are debating whether you should get certified or not, know that it adds a level of status to your professional standing and lead to greater opportunities. Employers appreciate the effort and like to have nurses who gain credentials.

Certification is hard work and you do have to pass an exam to receive your credential, so you should choose those that will expand your skills in a strategic manner. When you do gain a credential, take pride in knowing you are doing all you can to advocate for, protect, and care for those in your care.


Informed Consent and Informed Refusal in Managing Patient Expectations

Informed Consent and Informed Refusal in Managing Patient Expectations

Insights from the new Nurse Practitioner Claim Report: 4th Edition from CNA and Nurses Service Organization (NSO) show that the majority of claims against nurse practitioners developed from a failure involving core competencies, such as diagnosis, medication prescribing, or treatment and care management. Allegations related to failure to diagnose and improper prescribing/managing of controlled drugs occurred most frequently.

What the report also found was that in many claims, the nurse practitioner met the standard of care, but the patient was nonetheless dissatisfied, often due to a lack of communication or understanding. The informed consent discussion represents the first step in managing patient expectations, thus reducing the possibility of a misunderstanding and mitigating the risk of a consequent lawsuit.

Additionally, documenting the informed consent process provides the best defense in the event a patient alleges that the proposed treatment, other options, or the potential for injury were not adequately explained to them. Refer to state statutes for guidance on the informed consent process, as there is considerable variance among states. This is especially true when it comes to caring for minors or cognitively impaired patients, and emergency situations.

The informed consent process involves two main components:

  • Discussion, providing the patient with sufficient information about and time to consider:
    • The nature of the proposed treatment, including rationale, anticipated benefits and prognosis.
    • Alternatives to the proposed treatment, including specialty referral options or no treatment at all. This should also include an explanation of why, according to one’s professional judgment, the recommended treatment is preferable to alternatives.
    • Foreseeable risks, including potential complications of the proposed treatment and risks of refusing it.
  • Documentation of the discussion and the outcome of the discussion in the healthcare information record, which often includes the use of a written informed consent form in addition to the verbal component.

The informed refusal process is similar to, but goes beyond, the process for informed consent. Refusal of care increases the potential liability exposure for the nurse practitioner, but nurse practitioners can help minimize their liability exposure by being aware of their consequent responsibilities and documenting the informed refusal process.

Nurse practitioners who continue caring for a patient after they decline treatment recommendations must be aware of their responsibility to:

  • Continue to examine and diagnose the patient for the duration of the practitioner-patient relationship and as long as the patient continues to refuse treatment.
  • Continue to inform the patient about the condition and its associated risks, while the practitioner-patient relationship is in place, the condition exists, and the patient continues to refuse treatment.
  • Continue to inform the patient how their refusal of treatment may affect treatment of other conditions or problems, when discussing these conditions.

After discussing the potential consequences of refusal with the patient, nurse practitioners should complete a comprehensive progress note and document the refusal using a written form, which should be incorporated into the patient health care information record. Progress notes should document:

  • The individuals present during the discussion.
  • The treatment discussed.
  • The risks of not following treatment recommendations, listing the specific risks mentioned.
  • The brochures and other educational resources provided.
  • The questions asked and answers given by both parties.
  • The patient’s refusal of the recommended care.
  • The patient’s reasons for refusal.
  • The fact that the patient continues to refuse the recommended treatment.

As the data proves, it is imperative for nurse practitioners to protect their patients and their practice by documenting all phases of medical treatment, discussing (and documenting) the nature of all proposed treatments with patients as well as educating them about the need for follow-up, and signs and symptoms that should prompt a follow-up call.

In addition, today’s nurse practitioners must continuously evaluate and enhance their patient safety and risk management practices by remaining current regarding their clinical practice, medications, biologics, and equipment utilized for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses and conditions related to one’s specialty and obtain regular continuing education.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide individualized business, risk management or legal advice.  It is not intended to be a substitute for any professional standards, guidelines or workplace policies related to the subject matter.

This risk management information was provided by Nurses Service Organization (NSO), the nation’s largest provider of nurses’ professional liability insurance coverage for over 550,000 nurses since 1976. Reproduction without permission of the publisher is prohibited. For questions, send an e-mail to [email protected] or call 1-800-247-1500. www.nso.com.

Patient Safety Awareness Week

Patient Safety Awareness Week

National Patient Safety Awareness Week (March 11 – 17focuses attention squarely on one thing at the top of every nurse’s list – keeping patients safe.

Minority Nurse spoke with Patricia McGaffigan, RN, MS, CPPS, vice president, safety programs at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) about the ongoing issues around patient safety and how nurses can continue to implement positive and productive change.

While nurses provide a majority of care in inpatient settings, McGaffigan says the issue of patient safety extends to a wider setting as interprofessional teams are responsible for so many levels of care.

Because of the nurse’s role, they are especially able to impact patient care. “Nurses represent the largest segment of the healthcare workforce, in roles that range from the bedside to the boardroom,” says McGaffigan. “One specific and relatively easy way that nurses can effect change is to become educated in foundational safety science.” Nurses who aren’t trained in safety science can obtain training, and many student nurses receive the training as part of the curriculum. “Nurses are perfectly positioned to be able to identify risks and hazards in their work environments that may be mitigated before harm occurs, and this daily commitment to mindfulness about preventing harm before it happens is vital.”

As nurses, ongoing education, and maintaining and obtaining appropriate certifications help nurses provide the optimal care when they are with patients. Consistency in providing care and following a standard of care plan help patient outcomes as well.

Nurse-sensitive indicators that reflect structure, process, and outcome are of great importance to nurses.” she says. “As a profession, we want to ensure that we have appropriate numbers of skilled nursing professionals who are able to meet the unique needs of patients and families. Process measures are focused on ensuring that we deliver the right care in a consistent and reliable manner.”

Patient harm can result when there is a lack of guidance or an absent standard to follow, says McGaffigan. For instance, harm can result when patients aren’t regularly repositioned or when oral care in ventilated patients is neglected. Other areas of particular importance include medication errors, falls, hospital-acquired infections, or complications, and other injury.

To provide the best care, nurses must also be able to care for themselves. If they are overly fatigued, do not feel supported or able to thrive in their organizations or if they are working in an organization where a culture of safety is not emphasized, patients cannot receive optimal care and nurses themselves might be at greater risk.

Nurses are increasingly and very appropriately focused on their own physical and emotional safety, as well as cultures of safety,” she says.

The interactions that build relationships between nurses and patients are key to keeping patients safe. “Nurses are often the profession that has the most interaction with patients and families,” says McGaffigan. “We can consistently strive to identify the needs and preferences of patients and families, and also ask patients and family members what matters to them, and what they might be worried about.” McGaffigan knows this first hand. “As a former pediatric critical care nurse, one of my greatest ‘early warning systems’ was when a parent might tell me that ‘something just doesn’t feel right about my child,’” she says.

When errors do happen, a transparent process to understand what went wrong, assess the cause, and prevent future harm is essential. “Punitive cultures exacerbate reluctance to report near-misses and errors,” says McGaffigan. “Nurses can become more familiar with Surveys of Patient Safety Culture, identify areas where unit and organizational performance is stronger or weaker, and play a key role as leaders and participants in initiatives to improve scores on their survey domains.”

Patient safety continues to evolve as new medical technologies are introduced and as patient care continues to become more complex and more challenging.

Nurses, as well as our other colleagues in healthcare, have chosen our profession because we have a core value of ensuring that our care is not only technically sound and appropriate, but is safe,” says McGaffigan. “As nursing professionals, we come to work every day to ensure nothing less than safe care. Whether we are in traditional roles at the bedside or as nursing leaders, educating our next generation of nurses, sitting on boards of directors of health care organizations, serving in formal patient safety positions, contributing to progress in the medical device and pharmaceutical industries, or more, we individually and collectively embody safety as our core value.”

Those who enter the profession do so knowing they are often a patient’s greatest advocate and a crucial partner in receiving the best care. “We are committed to creating a world where patients are free from harm,” she says, “and we advocate and anchor our healthcare system to not simply regard safety as ‘one more thing that we do,’ but understand that ‘it is the one thing that must permeate and provide the foundation for all that we do.’” 

Risk Recommendations for Medication Management

Risk Recommendations for Medication Management

Prescribing is not a responsibility to be taken lightly. Prescribing a drug to any person – even as a “one-time favor” for a coworker, relative, friend, or neighbor – establishes a patient-practitioner relationship. Prescribe the right drug, for the right patient, in the right dose, by the right route, at the right times, for the right duration, and for the right indications.

As health care delivery has continued to evolve, many Americans are using nurse practitioners for much of their health care needs, making NPs a critical component of the modern system. This growth in demand and responsibility has also increased and evolved the many risks NPs face in their work environments.

The Nurse Practitioner Claim Report: 4th Edition from CNA and Nurses Service Organization (NSO) took a deeper look at those risks by analyzing 287 closed professional liability claims against nurse practitioners (claims that resulted in an indemnity payment of $10,000 or greater) over a 5-year period.

Five allegation categories accounted for 95% of all the closed claims in the analysis: diagnosis, medication prescribing, treatment and care management, assessment, and scope of practice. A detailed view of the allegations related to medication prescribing/management show that within this category, the top three allegations involved improper prescribing or management of controlled drugs (27.7%), improper management of medication (24.7%), and wrong dose (15.4%).

The following strategies can help nurses reduce the likelihood of drug-related errors:

  • Review current allergy information.
  • Learn about medication allergies, side effects and interactions, including how to screen patients for potential allergic or other adverse reactions, recognize an allergic response, and treat serious reactions.
  • Review previous medication orders alongside new orders and care plans, and resolve any discrepancies each time a patient moves from one care setting to another.
  • Use developed standard order sets to minimize incorrect or incomplete prescribing, standardize patient care, and clarify medication orders.
  • Emphasize the importance of keeping follow-up appointments, especially when the patient is discharged on warfarin or direct oral anticoagulation therapy and there is a transition of care process.

Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that overdose deaths related to prescription opioids were five times higher in 2016 than 1999. Nurses can play an important role in reducing these deaths, as well as addiction problems, through their assessments and monitoring of patients.

When prescribing opioid drugs:

  • All patients suffering pain should be given a thorough physical and have a history taken, including an assessment of psychosocial factors and family history. Reevaluate the level of pain and the efficacy of the treatment plan at every visit.
  • Conduct an opioid risk assessment and depression scale test before prescribing opioids and perform periodic screening thereafter.
  • Use an appropriate opioid dose based on patient age and opioid tolerance.

These claims and recommendations demonstrate the importance of the responsibility for properly evaluating each patient prior to prescribing, following up, and documenting the results of appropriate tests and consultations in a timely manner. While rare events may be difficult to prevent, nurse practitioners can glean lessens from the experiences of their colleagues to help enhance their own clinical, patient safety, and risk management practices.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide individualized business, risk management or legal advice.  It is not intended to be a substitute for any professional standards, guidelines or workplace policies related to the subject matter.

This risk management information was provided by Nurses Service Organization (NSO), the nation’s largest provider of nurses’ professional liability insurance coverage for over 550,000 nurses since 1976. Reproduction without permission of the publisher is prohibited. For questions, send an e-mail to [email protected] or call 1-800-247-1500. www.nso.com.

5 Early Career Nursing Jobs to Consider

5 Early Career Nursing Jobs to Consider

The health care industry is expected to grow over the next decade, and some of the top gainers are either entry level or early career jobs with only a few years of experience required, which is good news for prospective nurses looking to gain some experience while studying to become a nurse and for those who already have their licensure and are looking to launch their career.

HospitalCareers.com recently put together a list of some of the best early career hospital jobs for health care professionals. Here are five of the best hospital jobs to consider as a minority nurse.

1. Home Health Aides

Home health aides help play an important role in providing care for patients who are stuck at home. These patients still require careful monitoring, and assistance doing basic tasks that others would normally take for granted. Some of these basic tasks include helping patients with bathing, dressing, bathroom assistance, eating, and repositioning. The training that nurses receive will pay off in this entry level career as home health aides are also asked to check vital signs and record pulse, respiration patterns, and temperature readings from time to time.

In addition, nurses are needed for these roles as increasingly home health aides need to spot more symptoms. The training that registered nurses receive help spot symptoms with greater efficiency than those who just receive a certification. In this role, you can help identify challenging care behaviors, home safety, and aging disorders such as dementia.

Typically, home health aides will transit back and forth between a hospital to update necessary physicians and maintain close contact with those who oversee the care plan of individual patients.

Over the next decade, home health aides are expected to grow roughly 47%, which makes it a great hospital job to consider for nurses looking to get their career started.

2. Medical Assistant

Medical assistants work closely with physicians in hospitals, medical offices, and smaller clinics. Currently, there is a surge of elderly patients who will require care from medical assistants, and nurses can find a great career starting point as a medical assistant. Medical assistants typically play a key role in preparing patients for examinations.

In addition, medical assistants help with measuring vital signs, maintaining accurate medical records, authorizing prescription refills with the authorization of a physician, and the collection and preparation of a laboratory specimen.

New nurses are needed for medical assistant roles to help assist physicians during examinations, draw blood, remove stitches and dressings, and instruct patients about medications and diet plans.

Nurses can start a career with a positive trajectory by becoming a medical assistant, as they are expected to grow roughly 29% over the next decade.

3. Licensed Practical Nurse

Becoming a licensed practical nurse is perfect for those who would like to start their career in nursing and garner some experience with an entry level job. Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) typically work under the supervision of a registered nurse.

Working under the supervision of a registered nurse is great for those nurses who would like to gain some valuable experience working firsthand with patients, and also see the future opportunities that their nursing career might hold.

LPNs typically take vital signs, provide treatment for bedsores, prepare and administer medications, monitor catheters, observe patients, collect lab samples, and record food and fluid intake/output.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of LPNs is projected to grow 12% over the next decade.

4. Health Coach Nurse

Health coach nurses are essential in educating patients about taking care of themselves moving forward. Often referred to as health coaches or wellness coaches, health coach nursing is a great way to gain some experience interacting with patients. Health coach nurses provide vital education to patients about their future treatment plans, and how they can best stick to those plans.

Essentially, health coach nurses educate patients on dealing with chronic conditions, improving overall well-being, and promoting various healing options. Health coach nurses typically work closely with physicians to ensure that the recommendations and coaching they provide are accurate and best meet the patient’s treatment needs.

To become a board-certified nurse coach, you’ll need: a current RN license, a minimum of 2 years of experience as an active RN, a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), and completion of at least 60 CNEs in order to be eligible for the exam. To learn more, visit the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation’s website.

5. Informatics Nurse

Becoming an informatics nurse is a great way to combine big data and nursing expertise for those who are looking to have a job that combines technology and patient care. Informatics nurses incorporate big technology from various clinical settings into readable data that can help predict future care trends or opportunities to change existing care.

As more health care facilities and hospitals look to treat patients more efficiently, informatics nursing will continue to become more vital. While informatics nurses typically don’t work closely with patients, they do work with data that will impact patients in the long run. You will get to see firsthand why some policies are implemented based on data trends.

While some informatics nurse jobs may not require clinical experience, employers often prefer to hire a licensed nurse who has a few years of clinical experience under his or her belt and at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). You will also need to become certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. For those interested in advancing in this field, you may also wish to pursue an advanced degree, such as a master’s in health informatics.


As you can see, there are plenty of great early career jobs to consider as you begin your nursing journey. These jobs offer a great way to gain experience that can be useful for finding future RN positions that require more experience and offer additional skills that can be used to separate yourself from other qualified candidates when job hunting.

Martha Dawson and Thoughts on Nursing

Martha Dawson and Thoughts on Nursing

As Black History Month closes, Minority Nurse interviewed Martha Dawson, DNP, RN, FACHE, and assistant professor in the Nursing and Health Systems Administration at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing (UABSON). Dawson is also director for the Nursing Health Systems Leadership (NHSL) Division at UAB. The NHSL division includes nursing administration, clinical nurse leaders (CNL), and nursing informatics students. She is also the historian for the National Black Nurses Association.

Dawson, who knew early on that nursing was her path, earned her doctoral degree in nursing after many of her colleagues encouraged and prodded her to advance her studies. The challenges she faced, the experiences she had and her determination will resonate with many minority nurses.

“As I would mentor younger nurses and encouraged them to continue their education to the doctorate level many would say, ‘But, you don’t have a doctorate,’” says Dawson. “I knew then that I had to be the role model and earn a doctorate so I would not become a barrier to young nurses seeking higher education. I have always enjoyed learning and sharing my knowledge.”

The following is our Q&A with Dawson.

Why did you choose to become a nurse?  

Becoming a nurse was just something I wanted do from a very young age because I could help people from birth to end-of-life. I can recall telling my father that I wanted to be a nurse. When he asked me repeatedly what type of nurse, I kept replying an RN—I had no idea about the vast career options at such a young age.

I can recall begging my mom one Christmas for a doll that had a medical kit including syringe, stethoscope, bandages, clutches, and arm and leg casts. Nursing provides me with so many career options from providing hands-on care, teaching, mentoring, research, and leadership, and most importantly paying it forward to help others become nurses. Then, there were the times when I took care of my grandmother when she broke her knee and my father when he burned his back. I can also recall when my brother dislocated his leg and I my big toe—mom reset or aligned them using wood splints without us going to a doctor. I was impressed and hooked on being a nurse.

How did you choose your path?

For me this a limiting question because nursing offers pathways, not just a path. Currently, I guess one would say that I am an educator.

I am a planner and strong believer in career mapping and progression. My current educator role is the result of taking a systematic approach to my nursing career by setting short- and long-term goals. I decided early in my nursing career that I wanted to teach, but only after I acquired the expertise to share both lived experiences and book knowledge—in short, I wanted to walk in the shoes of those I would be educating. Therefore, my nursing career started as a BSN nurse in a cardiovascular open-heart intensive care unit where I provided direct care and worked as relief charge nurse and then charge nurse.

Then, like many nurses, after transferring to a pre- and post-cardiovascular unit, I was asked to step into the nurse manager role with no preparation. Management and leadership came naturally to me, but I knew that I needed business and organization skills and knowledge. Therefore, I completed a dual master’s as a cardiovascular clinical nurse specialist (CNS) and in nursing administration that required completion of a 10-month hospital residency certificate program.

By the time I started the nursing administration studies, I had become hooked on leading and influencing change, plus being a voice for nursing both internal and external to the organization. Nursing administration became my passion, and I committed myself to learning as much as I could. I have held positions at the director level, associate chief operating positions, chief nurse, and executive VP level in practice setting, mostly academic medical centers. These roles provided me with the experience to teach the next generation of nurse leaders. I am still growing and determining the next chapters in my career.

I am a life-long leader and forever a student of our great profession.

What kinds of challenges did you face in your career and how did you overcome them?

My challenges would fill a book. There were very few minority students in my school, and it was rarely that more than two of us would be assigned to the same clinical group. In addition, there were very few African American faculty. During my BSN and MSN studies, I did not have a faculty member of color from any ethnicity. Most of the time, I felt the grading was fair, but then I had experiences where I would receive a B on a paper with no correction or remarks only the letter grade. Yes, I did follow up with the faculty and administration as needed.

My advice, and what helped me, is that challenges are there to overcome and to be used as stepping stones. When someone said that I could not do something or advance my career, I felt that it was my God-given right to prove the person wrong. My faith has made and kept me strong. I really try to set my goals and pathways in life and not allow others to determine my destiny. I know and respect that this approach and mental model will not work for everyone. Therefore, I try to help others find their voice.

Mentoring is important for any nurse, but especially for minority nurses. Did you have any kind of mentoring relationship?

I really did not have a mentor(s) early in my career, as I progressed in my career there were leaders that I would say have served as good coaches for me. During my doctorate education, I had my first African American nursing faculty—31 years after becoming a nurse.

Do you mentor young (or new-to-nursing) nurses now?

I mentor everyone that will allow me, from elementary school to doctorate level students. Giving back and investing in others is a personal charge that I have accepted to afford others a smoother path. I mentor nurses, other healthcare professionals and those who aren’t nurses/healthcare professionals. Mentorship is a bidirectional relationship.

However, as a mentor it has to be about the mentee and their career goals. For me as a mentor, the relationship keep me current with professional and society issues, and it improves my listening skills so I can hear and support the mentee. It is key that mentees come to the relationship with a desire to focus and put in the time. Too often, I believe the mentees fail to appreciate the work that will be required of them. However, a good mentor will help mentees step outside of their comfort zones and encourage them to excel beyond the level of the mentor.

True mentorship must include self-assessment, self-reflection, and the willingness to change and reinvent oneself if necessary. It is a learning and growing process that never ends. I encourage my mentees to outgrow me and seek advice from others. In addition, I tell them that if I can only get them to my level of performance, accomplishment, or achievement, then I have failed them because it is not about me, but them. I should help them do more, give more, achieve more, and go further. The mentees help and allow me to sow into their success and support them as I transition into a different phase of my career.

In short, each mentee is a part of my succession plan to ensure that the profession and world are in good hands with the next generations of nurses, nurse leaders, and teachers.

What is the most beneficial outcome of increasing the diversity of the current nursing workforce?

I believe the greatest benefit of having a diverse nursing workforce is the role model and mentoring that can be provided to students of different races and ethnicities to help them enter, matriculate, and graduate from nursing programs. Next, if the profession truly wants to improve population health, then we must have nurses that have lived experiences of the populations we are trying to help.

In the same manner, if we want to create a culture of health, it is important that the owners of culture are engaged on the front end and that the engagers look like them and understand them. There is also a business and economic case to be made that we rarely read about in the literature; nursing is a great profession and one of the few occupations that can continue to earn a livable wage during an economic recession. Nursing as a career can help improve the economic status of families and improve the long-term health outcomes of whole communities for generations. I appreciate diversity at all levels. However, we have to be careful of the global approach to diversity, i.e., where we are counting everything to avoid addressing the real issues of race and ethnicity.

We need more men in nursing but not to just increase the “diversity count.” In other words, I still want to know the breakdown of male nurses by age, race, and ethnicity. Then, we have to address the issue of diversity and inclusivity. Diversity without inclusivity is just a pen, paper, and number game. My motto is that diversity is the quilt that creates a beauty pattern, but inclusivity is like tapestry, many different colors of threads creating a picture. Therefore, an organization has to ask, “Is our vision of diversity a pattern or a picture of interconnectivity?”

What are the biggest barriers for young students of color to become nurses and how can that be changed?

After serving as the principal investigator for two HRSA workforce grants, I am convinced that if we want to increase diversity in nursing and the medical field, we have to start with pre-K through 7th grade.

Nursing is a science-based discipline, and students must be introduced to the profession with the understanding that they have to take the STEM-related courses. The lack of preparation in math and science is the biggest problem facing our students. Prerequisite courses derail many of our pre-nursing students of color. Therefore, they cannot wait to take chemistry, advanced math, anatomy, and physiology, and other related science courses. These courses are needed prior to college entry.

The second major problem is related to high school and freshman counselors. Top performing high school students are receiving information on nursing as a career option. Then many students of color, even some with the GPA, are being mis-counseled and advised against nursing because of the rigor of the program. In addition, many schools of nursing that are concerned about their NCLEX pass rates are growing and holding more and more seats for their “honor programs” thus making it more difficult for that pre-nursing student with an ACT of 20 and GPA of 3.5 to even be considered for the nursing program.

Finally, we still have the issue of lack of diversity among SON faculty. Nursing must become more committed to developing a diverse academic workforce. A great starting point would be to increase faculty diversity to be 10% higher than the state demographic profile because we have a lot of catching up to do.

I still love nursing and think it was the best choice for me. I am not sure what I will be when I grow up, but it will have something to do with nursing. Oh, not grow up, but when I retire.