From the category archives:


What is the NCLEX?

by Howard Gerber on August 10, 2010

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Anyone who wants to become a registered nurse will quickly become familiar with the NCLEX. NCLEX is short for the National Council Licensure Examination. There are actually two versions, the NCLEX-RN and the NCLEX-PN. The NCLEX-RN is the test that a candidate must past before becoming a registered nurse and the NCLEX-PN is for practical nurses. These tests are the culmination of years of study and are the final step a nursing student must take before being admitted into the world of nursing. As with any licensure test, they are extremely stressful. Before you can register for the test, you must first apply with your state nursing board for your nursing license. They will then determine if you are eligible for the examination.

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Surviving Your First Year as a Nurse

by Howard Gerber on July 13, 2010

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Making the transition from a nursing student to a full time nurse can by very trying. You no longer have someone constantly watching your work to tell you if you are doing a good job or if you have messed up. You are entirely responsible for the comfort and safety of your patients and the stress associated with that responsibility can be substantial. Use these five tips to make your first year of nursing more enjoyable. [continue reading…]


Choosing an OB Nursing Environment

by Angela Stevens on June 14, 2010

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It is amazing the things you can learn about people when you are watching them work. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a naturally inquisitive person. When I’m nervous or bored, that curiosity gets ramped way up. When I was pregnant, I spent a lot of time in my doctor’s office, and then quite a bit of time in the maternity ward. During this time, I chatted with the nurses that were taking care of me. I had quite a lot of time to chat as it turned out, especially with the OB nurses in my doctor’s office. I asked them what they liked about working in an office rather than in the maternity ward at the hospital, and I asked the opposite question to the nurses that worked on the OB floor of the hospital. The answers I received were quite enlightening.


First, it was obvious that both types of OB nurses really enjoy working with pregnant women and their newborn babies. The biggest difference was the type of environment and amount they individually wanted to work. [continue reading…]


Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners

by Angela Stevens on April 13, 2010

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Working in the mental health field, I have been privileged to meet a number of exceptional doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, therapists, and other mental health specialists. As health care costs continue to rise, and budgets to shrink, I’ve noticed more and more psychiatric nurse practitioners in the mental health facility. It seemed a greater number were being employed while fewer doctors were available.


I thought this might hinder patient care at first, but after getting to know the nurse practitioners, I realized they were not only capable, they were also competent and caring. [continue reading…]

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Nursing in a Correctional Facility

by Angela Stevens on April 7, 2010

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When most people think about becoming a nurse, they think of working in a hospital or doctor’s office. Once they begin their training, they realize there are numerous other locations where they can practice nursing, such as schools, clinics, and nursing homes. There are also specialties within the field of nursing a nurse may wish to focus on such as geriatrics, pediatrics, obstetrics, or surgery.


I have not yet met a nurse who began his or her nursing education with the idea of becoming a nurse in a correctional facility. [continue reading…]


The Difficult Decisions of an ER Nurse

by Angela Stevens on January 18, 2010

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I’ve known a few ER nurses over the years, and all of them have told me that, no matter how much training they have had, how their teachers and textbooks tried to prepare them, and even how much experience in other fields of nursing…nothing prepared them for the reality of working in an emergency room. When choosing any nursing specialty, it is important to test drive the environment before making a final decision. This can easily be accomplished by taking a position as a traveling nurse and visiting different areas of the country as well as different nursing environments. In fact, one of the girls I went to high school with did this, and she found her great love was in pediatrics. Janey, the friend who became a pediatric nurse, actually did a stint in an emergency room for several months and told me some of the hardest things she had ever had to do occurred during that time. Don’t get me wrong, she said that the heartbreak in pediatrics could be excruciating, but that – more often than not – it was a happier place to be.


One of the difficulties she faced in the emergency room was not being able to make a personal connection with the patients. [continue reading…]


What is a Nurse Anesthetist?

by Angela Stevens on December 28, 2009

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Nurse AnesthetistI had never heard of nurse anesthetists until a few years ago. After doing a bit of research on the topic, I realized that few people probably had. It seems to be a profession known well in the medical community, but not as well amongst the general population.

A few years ago, a colleague of mine was discussing his wedding plans. He indicated that he was going to become a stay at home dad to his son and the baby he and his future wife were expecting. I found this to be uncommon, so I asked him about his situation. He explained that his fiancé was an Army nurse anesthetist, and she made almost triple his salary. When she retired from the military, she expected to make even more in the private sector. Because her job was obviously able to support the family, they decided he would stay home and be the homemaker. All of this had me wondering exactly what a nurse anesthetist was. [continue reading…]


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