Monday, September 18, 2017

Are You A Nurse Stress Cadet?

Just the other day, I heard the term "stress cadet" for the first time, and I was struck by how very apropos those two words are when considering the average 21st-century professional nurse. Are you a nurse stress cadet? If not, do you know one?


Monday, September 04, 2017

The Crucial Nature of Nurse Volunteerism

As the United States grapples with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, I am reminded of how nurses' collective and individual dedication to volunteerism and community service are central to the fabric of society, as well as to the notion of who we nurses are and what we are capable of. Nurse volunteerism serves many purposes, and its importance is worthy of intensive discussion.

volunteering is important

Sunday, September 03, 2017

A Utah Nurse Bullied By Police

On July 26th, nurse Alex Wubbels was working a shift at the University of Utah Hospital. She was tending to a patient who was in a coma; he was the victim of a drunk driver and was badly burned. The course of Nurse Wubbels' shift changed dramatically when the police arrived.


Monday, August 21, 2017

In the ER.......

The following story was published here on Digital Doorway in July of 2010. The issues of nurse burnout and compassion fatigue have not changed in the last seven years, and this anecdote from the ER is as salient today as ever.

Stretcher in hospital hallway

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Nurse, The Martyr and The Oxygen Mask


Over the years, I’ve known a lot of different nurses. I’ve known new nurses, seasoned nurses, frightened nurses, burned out nurses, and nurses who were so jaded they couldn’t even see their patients if they were right in front of their noses. I’ve known nurses who clocked out at the end of their shift and never looked back, and I’ve known others who consistently clocked out two hours late and then were up all night hoping their patients were OK.  It takes all kinds.

oxygen mask

Monday, August 07, 2017

Nurses Leaning Into Uncertainty

Throughout history, nurses have provided care to those in need despite the cultural circumstances or political scenarios at hand. Nursing care, like medicine, is a necessary service that simply needs to be provided in a society at all times. No matter that bullets are flying or elections are being disputed, nurses are there with their patients even as uncertainty rules the day.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Be Your Very Own Nursing Career Detective

If you're an older nurse, you might remember TV shows and movies with a private eye or detective carrying a magnifying glass as he or she doggedly searched for clues to solve a perplexing case. You might remember Columbo, The Rockford Files, or any number of shows or movies. If you're a younger nurse, you might be more likely to think of Sherlock with actor Benedict Cumberbatch.

When it comes to your nursing career, you need to be your very own private eye or detective because good ol' Sherlock or Columbo won't be able to help you with this particular case.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Can You Return to Nursing After a Hiatus?

Many nurses come to me for advice and career coaching when they're ready to return to the nursing workforce after a hiatus. For some, it's just been a year or two, and for others, it might have been 15 years of staying home to do the noble work of raising children. The question is, how do you break back in to nursing after being gone so long? It's possible, and there's a lot to do to get there.

back to work

Friday, July 21, 2017

3 Effective Methods for Finding Preceptors That Actually Work

Guest posts are rare on Digital Doorway, but this subject is so important, I needed to share it with the nursing community. Many nurse practitioner students have a very hard time finding preceptors, and these savvy tips are a great place to begin. Enjoy!

Find your NP preceptor

Monday, July 17, 2017

When the Nurse Becomes the Patient

While nurses have a great deal of experience treating and caring for patients, unforeseen circumstances will occasionally cause the tables to turn, giving the nurse the chance to be a patient. This became my personal reality just last week. 


Monday, July 03, 2017

Elevate Your Nursing Job Interview Skills

Job interviews are a source of stress for many job-seekers, and nurses are no exception. Nursing can feel like a rough and tumble profession when it comes to the high-stakes interview process, and for those nurses who are unsure how to articulate their value, the interview can seem like an insurmountable hurdle.

Monday, June 26, 2017

What Is Your Nursing "North Star"?

Many nurses often refer to the profession of nursing as a "calling". Being a nurse can become and intrinsic part of our personal identity, and reporting for work can end up meaning much more to us than just a paycheck.

There are also nurses who approach their work like any other employed person, with no acknowledgment that there is anything more to be gained than a means to a financial end by fulfilling the tasks required of our position. There is no judgment of this approach to professional nursing, but this apparent dichotomy is worthy of our exploration.

your north star

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

When The Nurse Is Stretched Too Thin

In all likelihood, we can all readily agree that nursing is not for the faint of heart. Nurses in many different settings can be pushed to the breaking point, driven to the precipice of burnout, compassion fatigue, and utter defeat. But there is indeed another way.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Your Untapped Reservoirs of Brilliance

A few weeks ago, I was speaking with a nurse client who came to me for career coaching, and we were discussing a variety of issues pertaining to her nursing career. At some point in the conversation, I used the phrase, "your untapped reservoir of brilliance", and it has stuck with me since. What untapped reservoirs of brilliance are you ready to mine for your highest good?

Brilliance can mean many different things to different people; for me, it conjures a plethora of images and metaphors. Brilliance can manifest at many levels and in every aspect of life, and in terms of your nursing career, your brilliance---and the brilliance of others---can serve you in ways both imagined and unknown.


Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Your Nursing Career Report Card

Remember the days when you'd run home with your report card to show your parents how you did in school? Or were you the kid who hid it at the bottom of your bag so they wouldn't see it? Well, your nursing career deserves a report card, too. How've you been doing and what grade do you think you deserve?

report card A+

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Nursing Career Change and the Soul

When a nurse needs a career change, the reasons can be myriad and multifaceted. However, when we only reach for the money or for career "advancement", we may miss a golden opportunity for a different kind of personal and professional blossoming to take place.

The road to your optimal career

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Five Rights Of A Healthy Work Environment

I recently gave a presentation at a northern California nursing conference on the subject of healthy work environments for nurses. During my preparations, I spent a great deal of time pondering aloud about the scourge of nurse bullying and lateral violence, as well as why healthcare workplaces lend themselves so readily to unhealthy work conditions.

There are many reasons that bullying and unhealthy workplaces have become so common, and I’m sure that you, dear Reader, can rattle off a few without even thinking too hard.


Monday, May 15, 2017

The Continuum of Nurse Career Growth

The growth of your career as a nurse can be consciously self-generated, or simply a result of happenstance and a laissez-faire attitude towards professional development. Neither of these options are necessarily bad in and of themselves, but a thoughtfully sculpted career is definitely fodder for a much richer, satisfying, and rewarding trajectory.


Monday, May 01, 2017

A Nurse, A Wall, And A Bloody Forehead

As a nurse career coach, I hear a lot of stories, and some of those stories revolve around the way that nursing has sucked the life out of a nurse's ambition and self-confidence. And what I see is that nurses who feel demoralized and beaten down sometimes stay in jobs that are killing them because they just don't see another way. 



Monday, April 24, 2017

The 10,000-Foot View of Your Nursing Career

A few weeks ago, I was speaking with a career coaching client, and we were discussing how scary it can be to make a big change. In talking about the minutiae as well as the big picture, I encouraged her to always come back to the 10,000-foot view. "However," I said, "while the 10,000-foot view is a great thing to keep in mind, it can also give you vertigo."
 
Clouds, thousands of feet over Santa Fe, NM


Monday, April 17, 2017

The Three R's of Nursing

This blog post about what nurses really need and want was published in 2013; it's been updated for nursing in 2017. Enjoy!

There are some very basic things that nurses look for--and deserve--in the course of their nursing careers. It's clear that this list could probably be expanded to include many other ideas as well. I posited in that previous post that there are "Three R's" of nursing, and I identified them as respect, remuneration, and recognition.


Monday, April 10, 2017

The "Nursing Class Hero"

This post was originally published on June 24th, 2013. It has been slightly edited and updated for your edification and enjoyment. 

Fans of the late John Lennon might bristle at my adulteration of the title of a famous song by the iconic musician and peace activist, but a "nursing class hero" is certainly something to be.


Monday, April 03, 2017

Explaining What Nurses Do

This post about what nurses do and how nursing is perceived by the general public was originally posted in 2012. It's been updated and republished for your enjoyment and edification. 

When I tell people that I'm a nurse, they will often innocently ask, "So, how many hours do you work at the hospital?" While such questions are well-meaning, they belie the fact that so many people make wild assumptions about nurses and nursing, and most everyone has little idea what nurses actually do. I've expounded on this topic before, and will no doubt do so again.

If we're put in boxes by others, do we also unthinkingly put ourselves in boxes, as well?

Monday, March 27, 2017

5 Ways to Build Your Network of Nursing Career Allies

In the course of your nursing career, you need allies who can help you elevate and advance your journey as a professional nurse. Allies are easier to come by than you think, but so many nurses don't think strategically about this important aspect of nursing career development.

Since such a large number of nurses seem averse to consciously and purposefully building a professional network, here are five ways to build your network of nursing career allies.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Is Your Nursing Career on Autopilot?

Nurses, do you ever feel that your nursing career is on autopilot? Are you coasting, resting on your laurels, or otherwise sitting in the back seat of your career? This can work for a while, but it can eventually lead to boredom, ennui, and even burnout and an abandoned career. If you're on autopilot right now, would you like to get back in the pilot's seat?


Are you on autopilot in your career?

Monday, March 06, 2017

The New LinkedIn: Pay Attention, Nurses!

LinkedIn is an important networking tool for nurses and healthcare professionals, and there are changes afoot on the LinkedIn user interface (UI) that the savvy and prudent nurse needs to be cognizant of.

Some readers may be aware that LinkedIn was purchased by Microsoft in 2016, and the changes are now rolling out. If you haven't looked at your profile for a while, you may now be surprised when you log in. As of this writing in early March of 2017, most every user should be switched over to the new UI, so be prepared for some frustration as you adjust.


Monday, February 27, 2017

The "Shoulds" and "Coulds" of Your Nursing Career

In the world of nurses and nursing, it can feel like we are told what we “should” do with our careers much more often than what we “could” do. While the difference can seem subtle, it is actually something that can have a serious impact on the career path we choose and the subsequent satisfaction that we derive from our choices.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Lions, Gazelles, and Nurses

Nursing has a hierarchy of power and experience just like any other profession; in fact, it also has a hierarchy that sometimes feels akin to the laws of survival on the savanna or in the jungle.

Have you ever observed that the less experienced and more vulnerable nurses frequently get left on the outside, often falling prey to bullies and "predators"? This is the herd mentality at its worst, and many novice nurses are taken down by bullies and power-hungry colleagues who eat them alive when they're demonstrating the slightest weakness.


Monday, February 13, 2017

A Nursing Valentine

On this occasion of Valentine's Day, I want to take a pause for the cause of singing the praises of nurses; you are true heroes of healthcare and humanity.


Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Your Nursing Career Mitochondria

We all know that mitochondria are the energy-producing powerhouses within each cell of our bodies, synthesizing ATP (adenosine triphosphate) for us around the clock. In terms of your nursing career, what are the mitochondria that power your engine? What impetus, desires, goals, or motivations drive you forward? If you need to stoke the fire of your nursing career, the spark cannot be created in a vacuum.


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Feeding Your Nursing Career

Your nursing career is a lot like your body; it needs to be fed, watered, exercised, and well-rested in order to function optimally. What kinds of nutrition does your career need? What nutritional deficits does your nursing career demonstrate? Are you willing to feed your career as well as you feed your own body?


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Nurses, Microscopes, and Telescopes

Some nurses appear to use a microscope when looking at their career options. If we take the microscope metaphor further, picture a glass slide being placed on the apparatus upon which the nurse has placed a solution containing her limited perception of what she can do with her career. What will she see? Only what she knows she is able to see.

On the other hand, picture the Hubble Telescope; it searches the known and unknown universe for what we already know is there, as well as what we don’t even yet know exists. Can we view our nursing careers with the same grand vision?


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Digital Doorway Nursing Blog Turns 12!

Well folks, it's hard to believe, but this nursing blog turns 12 today! And after all this time, Digital Doorway isn't even a teenager yet! What's up with that? But seriously, 12 years of blogging is significant, and I have none other but you to thank, Dear Reader, for this blog's continual success and global reach.


Nurse Practitioners Rock 2017!

Ten or fifteen years ago, many ordinary healthcare consumers may not have known much -- if anything -- about nurse practitioners. Moreover, only a small percentage would have received care from an NP. But in January of 2017, nurse practitioners are gaining ground like never before, so many nurses who are thinking about career mobility are likely considering the NP or APRN path.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Finding Meaning In Your Nursing Career

We all seek meaning in various aspects of our lives, and when we work in nursing and healthcare, we often look for meaning and value in our lives as professional nurses. Finding that meaning can be central to our identity and relative happiness, both personally and professionally. 


Monday, January 02, 2017

Your Nursing Career: Intentions and Positive Change


When the New Year begins in earnest, many of us nurses start to consider what we'd like to accomplish in our personal lives and nursing careers. We can run around like chickens afraid that the sky is falling all around us, or we can set our intentions and plan for an inspired year.