In our new ‘Nursing Blog of the Month’ feature, every month we will introduce a new blog that we enjoy reading and know you will too.

Blog of the MonthOur first featured blogger is Shelly Lopez Gray, the registered nurse behind the blog Adventures of a Labor Nurse: the Highs and Lows of Labor and Delivery. She writes about

Shelly Lopez Gray - Adventures of a Labor Nurse the secret (good) work of nurses and provides information for women before, during and after their pregnancy as well as resources for nurses for professional growth and development.

Shelly works at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women and at Houston Methodist San Jacinto. She volunteers teaching prenatal classes to women at a pregnancy crisis center and provides breastfeeding information to mothers at a teen clinic. Shelly is dedicated to the health of moms and babies and genuinely believes that every nurse has the potential for greatness.

Tell us a little bit about your background. What lead you into nursing and how long have you been a nurse?

I always thought I wanted to be a nurse. There are so many nurses in my family, including my mom and my sister. When I was 25 I found myself pregnant and very nervous. I wanted to make sure I’d be able to financially support myself and my daughter if anything ever happened to my husband. So I decided to go to nursing school. I graduated in 2009 with my ADN, 2011 with my BSN, and 2015 with my MSN. I’m currently in a DNP program.

What inspired you to start blogging?

I realized very quickly that there’s a gap between our patients and their healthcare providers. I worked at a hospital that served a lot of young mothers, and I wanted to find a way to provide patient education prior to hospital admission. I also wanted to inspire nurses. My first year as a nurse, I went to an AWHONN national convention and realized that nurses are the same everywhere! We’re all experiencing the same emotions, and we’re basically all taking care of the same patient.  It was very reassuring to know that I was not alone.

Has anything surprised you about starting a blog?

I never realized it would take off the way it has. It’s been a truly incredible experience, and I’m so very grateful that I’ve been given an opportunity. I just want to do something good with it.

What can our readers expect to find on Adventures of a Labor Nurse?

You can find information geared towards women and their partners on anything pregnancy-related….from breastfeeding to grief support to what to expect during labor and delivery. Nurses can find inspiration and education. I’m constantly adding new stuff.

I actually just started a non-profit organization called NursesWomenBabies. I plan on highlighting the creative talents of nurses and women to help raise money for charities that support the population and profession that I’m so passionate about.

Finally, is there one piece of advice you would give to a labor nurse at the start of their nursing career?

Join your professional organization, get certified, and get involved. We have the ability to impact so many things, we have to collectively raise our voices to make a difference.

Connect with Shelly on Twitter and Facebook. Shelly also blogs over at the Huffington Post.

 

Do you have a favorite nursing blog or run a nursing blog yourself? Nominate them or yourself to be featured in the comments below!

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2015 MBH Winner Spotlight – Phoebe Sumter Medical Center

by Carmela Nazareno on June 16, 2015

2015-most-beautiful-hospitalsThis year’s Most Beautiful Hospitals in the U.S. contest has been momentous, humbling, and astounding all at the same time. Year after year, we see hospitals ramp up their engagement efforts in hopes of making our Top 20 list in the last few weeks of our contest. This year was a little different in that we received a record-breaking (almost) 400,000 votes, a quarter of which were for one hospital alone. [click to continue…]

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2015-most-beautiful-hospitalsAfter a record-breaking 388,505 votes (more than one and a half times the votes from last year) the results are in for Soliant Health’s 7th annual list of the 20 Most Beautiful Hospitals in America. [click to continue…]

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Did you know? Just ONE WEEK separates us from June 8, 2015: the day when we will find out which hospitals reign as Soliant’s Most Beautiful Hospitals in the U.S. for 2015!  In previous years, we’ve seen votes rush in during these last few days, so if want to see your hospital make it to the Top 20 — now is the time to vote, vote, VOTE! Don’t forget to keep encouraging your friends, families, and colleagues to do the same! Wondering where your hospital stands? Check out our rankings as of today, June 2, 2015:

  1. Phoebe Sumter Medical Center
  2. Homestead Hospital
  3. Forest Park Medical Center – San Antonio
  4. Riverside Regional Medical Center
  5. HealthPark Medical Center
  6. St. Anthony Regional Hospital & Nursing Home
  7. Elmhurst Memorial Hospital
  8. Doctors Memorial Hospital
  9. Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center
  10. Forest Park Medical Center – Southlake
  11. Logan Regional Hospital
  12. Forest Park Medical Center – Fort Worth
  13. West Shore Hospital
  14. Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
  15. Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel
  16. Mercy Health West Hospital
  17. Flagler Hospital
  18. Adirondack Health
  19. Riverview Medical Center
  20. La Rabida Children’s Hospital
  21. Southwestern Virginia Mental Health Institute
  22. Caromont Regional Medical Center
  23. Cuyuna Regional Medical Center
  24. Gulf Coast Medical Center
  25. Summit Pacific Medical Center
  26. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
  27. Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System
  28. CHI Health St. Francis
  29. Memorial Hospital
  30. Eisenhower Medical Center
  31. Phoenix Children’s Hospital
  32. Tenets Resolute Health Hospital
  33. Bear River Valley Hospital
  34. Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula
  35. Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute
  36. Palomar Medical Center
  37. Orange Regional Medical Center
  38. McKay-Dee Hospital
  39. Metro Health Hospital
  40. Parker Adventist Hospital
  41. North Valley Hospital Whitefish
  42. Virtua Voorhees
  43. Chestnut Hill Hospital
  44. Desert Regional Medical Center
  45. Providence Regional Medical Center
  46. Sierra Providence East Medical Center
  47. Seattle Children’s Hospital – Building Hope
  48. Sky Lakes Medical Center
  49. Park City Medical Center
  50. St. Mark’s Hospital

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My Special Nursing Moment 2015 Winner!

by Carmela Nazareno on May 19, 2015

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Year two of Soliant’s My Special Nursing Moment Contest is in the books! What an honor it is to hear heartwarming stories about care from the ultimate caregivers themselves: nurses! This year, we were especially moved by the more than thirty moments we received, each bringing us to that point in time, where a special bond was made,  where special words were spoken, or where a special silence was shared between nurse and patient.

Congratulations to Kim Stafford, RN for her winning Special Moment of 2015. Read it below:heartwarming-nurse-story

“When I worked as an ADON in long term care, I made some great friends — not just my co-workers but my residents and their families. One particular woman who made my day every day with her smile and her perfectly coordinated outfits was such a friend. She knew all about the comings and goings of the facility, asked about your children, and loved them to come visit. She was a sweet soul with a ton of spunk at her age of over 90. She walked the halls every day and always said hello to everyone. One particularly sad day, she suddenly fell ill. And when I say suddenly, I mean RAPIDLY. We later came to figure out she had an abdominal aortic aneurysm that dissected. I was called to the unit to assess her and knew right away her time was short. I had helped her complete her advanced directive some months before so I knew that if this happened, she didn’t want to go to a hospital and wanted to remain in her room with comfort measures. When I entered the room all she could say was ‘Kim. Sick. Dying. Don’t go.’ And I honored that wish. We were able to get emergency orders for meds for comfort and I never left her side. I held her in my lap while she left us, and I know that I provided her with exactly what we discussed those months ago. She left us with dignity without pain and with the comfort of her nurse, her friend with her the whole way. After she was gone we all cried for a long, long time. She left a big void when she passed, but she always taught us, “Chin up buttercup, it always gets better,” and it did. But I think to this point in my career despite the patients I have successfully coded, the lives I have helped save in the ER since then, I still call this day and this experience my best day as a nurse.”

Thank you, nurses, for sharing your special moments with us. It may only take a few words to express your passions, but what you shared with us spoke volumes of why you chose this path. We are so glad you did!

Happy Nurses Week from all of us at Soliant!

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This week marks National Nurses Week, a week dedicated to recognizing the tremendous work nurses countrywide are putting in.

In honor of Nurses Week, here at Soliant we are celebrating by sharing with you a small group of nurses who have not only been inspiring their patients, but who have also been inspiring others far and wide through their blogs.

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Today our inspiring blogging nurse is the Nurse Teacher; she has been a Registered Nurse since 1998. After taking the opportunity to move into teaching in the clinical arena with nursing students in all levels of their education in 2007, she then graduated with a Masters in Nursing Education in 2014 and looks forward to continuing her career educating the next generation of nursing professionals. 

Tell us a little bit about your background. What led you into nursing and how long have you been a nurse?

Growing up, especially in high school, I loved the sciences and especially animals. For a very long time I wanted to be a veterinarian, but was very intimidated by all the years of schooling. As I started college, I was still trying to find my niche. Many of the students in my biology classes were pre-nursing students. Although my mom was a nurse, it never really occurred to me, but I soon began to realize it was the perfect blend of science and caring. So, I went on to get my BSN from Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY, graduating in 1998.

What do you find the most satisfying thing about your profession?

The most satisfying thing about my profession in knowing you’ve made a real difference in someone’s life. Often that impact is not known or even intentional, but is so powerful to them. I love people and getting to know people and truly helping them in a time of need. For example, I took care of an employee’s husband during his final days. I was there for her and her family, just as I would be for any patient – I was just “doing my job”. But for years to come, every time I saw her, she would thank me profusely for how kind I was to her at that difficult time. It’s the little things that mean so much.

And the most frustrating?

The most frustrating aspect of my profession is being stuck in the middle – the nurse wants to do what is right for her patient, but may not have the resources, support or guts to make it happen. Also, the fact that the bedside nurse is not truly seen for their value in patient care. So much is expected of the nurse in the trenches, but not a lot of support or input into their daily decisions and role.

Is there anything that stands out as the most memorable moment in your career?

Most of my memorable moments are the stories of crazy nursing adventures and sad tales told among nursing friends. But, one of the most memorable moments I like to share is about a young patient who came to us in liver failure due to a possible ingestion. He clearly was not a transplant candidate, however was critically ill and not likely to survive the next 48 hours. I remember being in the room when the physicians told the mother the news. As I held her hand, hugged her and comforted her as she got mad, cried and then watched her rally to be strong for her son. Well, youth can never be underestimated and he did survive – literally a miracle as he was basically on the verge of death for a few days. I was the nurse who transferred him to the floor with a new chance at life. His mom thanked me profusely and the lesson to never give up hope was forever written in my heart!

What inspired you to start blogging?

I actually started blogging a little bit by accident. While working on my Master’s degree, I had to do a project for my Internet in Education class. We had to use the internet to solve a problem or create a learning activity. Well, I had been teaching clinicals for over five years and each semester, I was trying to find ways to share resources with my students that I had found on the internet. So for my project, I created a small blog where I “stored” resources.  I could then refer my students to the site each semester. Little did I know, it was becoming quite popular and being shared among other nursing students and over time The Nurse Teacher site was born!

Is there one piece of advice you would give to nurses at the start of their nursing career?

Wow – this is a tough one…. if I had to pick one piece of advice – remember to care! If we make decisions from a place of caring, we are likely to make the best decisions for our patients. Treat them like a family member you love and you will do the right thing. I always say, if you want to fix health care, we need to put the CARE back in it!

You can connect with The Nurse Teacher over on Pinterest or follow The Nurse Teacher on Facebook & Twitter.

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