Nursing Headlines

  • Rock Your Health: Retirement: When your star is finally born!

    By Carol Ebert, RN, BSN, MA, CHES, CWP

    I thought being in the retirement zone meant I was done with a lot of things, including being a student. I never thought I would ever have the desire to start all over again. But I was wrong!
    And here is why. I love to work! (Are you like that too?) It feeds me, energizes me, brings me joy, allows me to give back by helping others, brings structure to my day, and creates money so I can do more of the pleasurable things I want to do like travel more. So guess what. I'm a student again! But it's a new way of learning for me, while being at home and managing the wellness business of which I dreamed.
    What are your thoughts about your own retirement? Have you given it any thought?

    Read the rest of the steps at our blog for nurse managers.

  • Safety champion program improves culture of safety and staff engagement

    Safety champions at Henry Ford Health System have helped transform the way staff members prevent patient harm.

    Henry Ford Health System's (HFHS) "Safety Champion" program began in 2008 with around 10 staff members from the radiology department who were interested in improving patient safety. Although it represented a small fraction of the system's 23,000 employees, the pilot program would become the launching pad for a program that includes more than 600 staff members today.

    The program coincided with the health system's "No Harm" campaign, also launched in 2008, with the goal of reducing patient harm events by 50% "by enhancing the culture of safety, improving quality and clarity of clinical communication, identifying top causes of harm and redesigning care to eliminate common causes of harm." As of December 2012, HFHS had reduced harm events by 34% and mortality by 31%.

    Read the rest of this story here in the Reading Room at

  • Rock Your Health: Self-sacrifice no more!

    By Carol Ebert, RN, BSN, MA, CHES, CWP

    Are you caught in a web of putting others ahead of yourself? Nurses have a tendency to be codependent—admit it—and we thrive on giving it all to our patients, our colleagues, our families, our parents, and even to our worthy causes. Consequently, we're spent and have nothing left for ourselves.

    I challenge you to try a new way of being for this next phase of your fabulous life. It is an opportunity to reprogram that self-sacrifice tendency into a new, improved you who is focused on self-care. It might be awkward at first, but this is your time to shine and the quality of your life may depend on it. 

    Here are some simple steps to help you start putting yourself first:

    For your self: What is one thing you can do today and every day to pamper yourself?
    For your dreams: Imagine having the perfect life. What is one step you can take toward it?
    For your fulfillment: What makes you feel spiritually alive and how can you make that happen more?
    For your health: How would you like your health to be and what resource can help you get started?

    Read the rest of the steps at our blog for nurse managers.

  • When nurses get sick, a culture of toughing it out can put patients at risk

    A woman comes to the hospital lobby asking to visit a friend who has recently had surgery. The visitor is coughing heavily and appears to be sick. Do you let her in to see her friend? Most hospitals would say no; a well-meaning but sick friend or relative could have a devastating effect on an immunocompromised patient.

    Meanwhile, a nurse arrives for his shift with the exact same cough as the sick visitor. Do you let him go to work, potentially treating the exact same immunocompromised patients you're trying to protect?
    According to a study published this July by The Journal of the American Medical Association, the answer is yes.

    The study found 83% of physicians and advanced care practitioners (APCs) came to work sick while in 2014, with 9% going to work at least five times while sick. Of those who came to work, 30% were experiencing diarrhea, 16% had a fever, and 56% had an acute onset of significant respiratory issues. This is despite the fact that 95% of respondents believe coming work sick is a health risk for patients.

    So what compels nurses to go to work sick, even though they know it's a bad idea?

    Read the rest of this post at our blog for nurse managers.

  • Rock Your Health: Got the sugar blues?

    By Carol Ebert, RN, BSN, MA, CHES, CWP

    Depression is predicted to be the second-leading burden on society among all diseases by the year 2020. At the same time, global consumption of refined high glycemic index (GI) foods is steadily rising and there is some evidence that these trends may be related.

    A study I recently came across in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that the incidence of depression in postmenopausal women may be linked to an increased consumption of high glycemic index foods, added sugars, and refined grains (Gangwisch, J., et al. High glycemic index diet as a risk factor for depression: analyses from the Women's Health Initiative. Am J Clin Nutr doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.103846).

    Now that we are entering what may be termed the Sugar Season, it is a good time to pay attention to this message. Ask yourself these questions:

    Read the rest of this post at our blog for nurse managers.

  • Alarm management plans that improve patient safety

    The topic of alarm hazards has crowned ECRI's top 10 list of health technology hazards for the last four years. It's no wonder: Spend any amount of time in a hospital, either as an employee or a visitor, and you are bound to be greeted by a barrage of beeps, various alarms, and other sounds.

    Studies have shown that healthcare workers are subjected to hundreds of such alarms every shift, and that after a while, the sounds turn into white noise that can be ignored, causing alarm fatigue.

    In 2013, The Joint Commission issued Sentinel Event Alert #50 after a study showed that 80 patients had died as a result of alarm-related events. And in 2014, The Joint Commission issued a National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) on clinical alarms, NPSG.06.01.01, to help hospitals combat this problem. Healthcare systems have had almost two years to determine the most important alarm signals and figure out how to manage those signals within their facilities. Surveyors can ask questions about the 2016 standards now, but the standards will not take effect until January 1, 2016.

    To find out how to develop an alarm management plan, click here to read this free article on