American Nurse Today

American Nurse Today is the official publication of the American Nurses Association.

Articles from Vol. 10, No. 1, January

A Nursing Recognition Program Gets a Makeover: Why and How One Hospital Revamped Its Clinical-Excellence Recognition Program
In an effort to provide an equitable and systematic structure for recognizing excellence in clinical nursing and to encourage commitment to nursing professionalism, Catholic Medical Center (CMC) in Manchester, New Hampshire, chose to revamp its clinical...
Assessing and Documenting Patient Restraint Incidents: Accurate Information Can Promote Restraint-Free Care
Restraining a patient is considered a high-risk intervention by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, The Joint Commission (TJC), and various state regulatory agencies, so healthcare providers must carefully assess and document the patient's...
Back to School: Tips on Advancing Your Nursing Education: Why You Should Consider Going Back to School
As professional opportunities for registered nurses (RN) expand, so do expectations about nursing education. Employers today are seeking nurses who can translate the latest scientific evidence into practice, provide culturally sensitive care, and demonstrate...
Choosing the Right Restraint: Keeping Patients and Others Safe Is Crucial, but Restraints Should Be Used Only as a Last Resort
Nurses at the bedside are experts in driving the safest, most effective patient care. In some cases, nursing assessment and clinical judgment suggest the need to apply restraints. A patient who is violent or self-destructive or whose behavior jeopardizes...
Decoding the Oxyhemoglobin Dissociation Curve: Understanding the Curve Helps You Put Pulse Oximetry in Context
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Mrs. Glenn, a 72-year-old female on a medical-surgical floor.; was hospitalized 3 days ago for pneumonia. Since her admission, she has been on continuous pulse oximetry and is receiving oxygen (2 L/minute by nasal cannula)...
Enclosure Bed: A Protective and Calming Restraint: Learn about an Alternative to More Restrictive Restraints
An enclosure bed can be used as part of a patient's plan of care to prevent falls and provide a safer environment. This specialty bed has a mesh tent connected to a frame placed over a standard medical-surgical bed. Although it's considered a restraint...
Exercise Your Right to Be Fit! the Medicine of Movement
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Nearly all of us--especially nurses--know exercise is good for our physical and mental health. But incorporating it into our busy lives can be a challenge. The only types of exercise some nurses have time for are working long...
From Your ANA President: Look to the Code of Ethics to Help You with Nursing Practice Challenges
As registered nurses, we adhere to policies and procedures, rules and regulations, standards and processes. But what's central to our practice is ethics. It's what drives us to advocate, helps shape our decision-making, and allows us to stay true to...
Headlines from the Hill: Here Comes the 114th Congress
The 2014 MIDTERM ELECTION last November brought a shift in power and two historical milestones. One hundred women were elected to Congress and $3.67 billion was spent on Senate and House races, marking it the most expensive midterm election cycle in...
How to Increase Unit-Based Shared Governance Participation and Empowerment: Learn about Four Strategies That Have Made a Big Difference at One Hospital
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Today's bedside nurses are inundated with computerized documentation, patient-care coordination, and task lists. Their responsibilities leave them little time to engage in unit-based decision making. On our 30-bed observation...
How to Succeed as a Home Care Nurse: Is Home Care Nursing the Right Career Choice for You?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Sarah, age 4, is on a mechanical ventilator after surviving a near-drowning episode. Her parents, still grieving over her accident, also have a new baby girl. A nurse is providing ventilator care for Sarah in the home. ...
Issues Up Close: Handle with Care: The Known and Unknown Risks to Nurses Who Handle Hazardous Drugs
HOW OFTEN do you handle potentially hazardous drugs? What precautions do you take to protect yourself from exposure? After 4 years of study, our team concludes that nurses handle hazardous drugs more frequently than they think, the exposure potential...
Keeping a Grasp on Patient Safety: A Wall Hook for Hanging a Gait Belt Served as the Focal Point of a Performance-Improvement Project
In any organization, keeping both patients and caregivers safe during patient mobilization is a priority. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] As patient advocates, nurses share responsibility for maintaining optimal patient health. Although healthcare providers...
Knowing You Can Make It
They were the DARKEST DAYS of World War II. Ships--even those sailing far to the north, above the Arctic Circle--were being sunk with disastrous regularity by German U-boats. Most of the sailors on those ships drowned, but a few survived. What fascinated...
National Magnet Nurse of the Year[R] 2014 Award Winners
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The National Magnet Nurse of the Year[R] awards from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) recognize the outstanding contributions of clinical nurses from Magnet[R]-recognized organizations in each of the five Magnet...
Nursing Practice and Work Environment: Collaborating to Address the Risks of Nurse Fatigue
In November 2014, ANA released a new position statement that calls for stronger collaboration between registered nurses (RNs) and employers to address nurse fatigue and emphasizes strengthening a culture of safety in the work environment. The document,...
On the Road to Zero CAUTIs: Reducing Urinary-Catheter Device Days: How a Culture Shift, a Quality-Improvement Project, and Electronic Solutions Reduced One Hospital's CAUTI Incidence
Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) are common healthcare-associated infections that can prolong lengths of stay and increase morbidity and mortality. Despite their best efforts, many hospitals continue to struggle with climbing CAUTI...
Reducing Barriers to Glucose Control in Patients with Gestational Diabetes: How to Help Patients Overcome Knowledge Gaps, Treatment Nonadherence, and Financial Constraints
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] According TO the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 9.2% of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) as a serious complication during pregnancy. A positive glucose tolerance test in the second...
Responding to a Hypertensive Crisis: Nonadherence Puts the Patient at Risk for Stroke and Organ Damage
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] History and assessment hints The ED nurse obtains a health history from Mr. Jones. He states he was diagnosed with hypertension 10 years ago and takes metoprolol 25 mg/day to treat it. But he admits he doesn't take it every...
Something's Gotta Give to Avoid an Impending RN Crisis
Always energizing and informative, the annual ANCC National Magnet Conference[R] never disappoints. The most recent one, held in Dallas last October, was no exception. In addition to learning how to achieve and maintain Magnet[R] designation, I had...
Using Your GIFTS to Protect Your Nursing License
My new client, Karen, sits across from me, looking scared. She cries as she tells me the state nursing board has received a complaint about her and she has been fired. I can tell she's a compassionate nurse who does a great job and doesn't understand...
When and How to Use Restraints: Learn about Possible Indications for Restraint, Types of Restraints, and How to Monitor Patients in Restraint
Few things cause as much angst for a nurse as placing a patient in a restraint, who may feel his or her personal freedom is being taken away. But in certain situations, restraining a patient is the only option that ensures the safety of the patient...
Why Quitting Is Hard: The Author Explains What May Stop Us from Leaving Our Jobs
KATE SHELDON is the director of acute care services in a medical center that's part of a larger system. She recently completed her doctorate and is ready to move into a chief nursing officer (CNO) role. Widely respected by her colleagues, she has received...
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