Nursing Blog of the Month: NurseGail.com

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Recent media coverage has brought great attention to the role of nurses in our society. At the Miss America pageant held recently, Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson chose to perform a monologue about being a nurse in her talent segment. Joy Behar, host of the variety show “The View,” questioned the stethoscope around Johnson’s neck, a comment which quickly erupted in a social media storm in defense of nurses, which then spurred the #NursesUnite trending topic.

Every month in our ‘Nursing Blog of the Month’ feature, we will introduce a nursing-related blog that we enjoy reading and know you will too. We also hope that this series can help promote greater awareness, especially to those who work outside of the healthcare field, about the critical role nurses play.

Blog of the MonthGail Ingram - NurseGail.com

This month’s blogger of the month is Gail Ingram. Gail is the founder of NurseGail.com but the website is not about her.  The site, which started as Gail’s nursing business blog (which explains the name), has evolved into something much more exciting.

It is now the first health and wellness website authored solely by nurses and strives to correct misconceptions promoted by mainstream media, report the latest scientific research, and provide expert nursing opinion. NurseGail.com empowers nurses to take their health promotion to the next level and provides readers with accurate and reliable health information.

 

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

Nursing was ingrained in me from childhood.  Growing up, my sick grandmother and I took care of each other.  But after high school, I travelled the world and worked in fashion and media production before my nursing career.  It is the media experience combined with my BSN from UT Austin and my MS from NYU that made the growth of NurseGail.com possible.

As a registered nurse of ten years, I did everything from critical care to home care.  I thought I might teach nursing someday so I set out on a mission to try many different specialties.  I was a travel and contract nurse for over 6 years which provided opportunities for unique experiences.  Working in different areas gave me a leg up in graduate school and helps me to publish a wide variety of topics on NurseGail.com.

While at NYU, I saw that the campus health center was struggling to reach students in a meaningful way so I pitched a health column to the popular student blog, NYULocal.com.  They took a chance on me and my column developed a surprisingly large readership.  I won a prestigious peer-nominated President’s Service Award for my efforts and it gave me the boost to expand NurseGail.com.

When I’m not working on the website, I’m a primary care adult nurse practitioner making house calls in Manhattan.  I love what I do and I highly recommend that any nurse considering advanced education get started ASAP.  I wish I hadn’t waited a decade to do it.  But then again, I had to cross everything off my RN bucket list and that took some time.

 

What inspired you to start blogging?

In 2010, I started a concierge nursing service in Manhattan and along with it, I created a blog to communicate with clients and their families.   The blog took on a life of its own and, while in grad school, my goals for the site expanded.  I saw how it could reach a much wider audience with evidence-based health information, showcase the nursing profession, and become a leadership tool for nurses.

My Facebook feed gives me daily inspiration when I see “friends” sharing inaccurate health information from millennial fashion bloggers and self-proclaimed wellness “experts”.  I am motivated to engage nurses (the REAL health experts) in the e-health conversation.

 

Has anything surprised you about starting a blog?

If it is done right, starting a blog is time-consuming and becomes a barrier to sustainability and longevity for many potential nurse writers.  That is why we provide, maintain, and promote the collaborative online platform.  Nurses can focus on the writing; we take care of the rest.

Also, there is a learning curve when writing, especially for nurses.  Nurses are taught how to chart on patients which is very different from a writing style that is buzz worthy and gets a lot of hits.  We have a media advisor who created a formula for us, we have a well-established mission, and we have editors who work closely with nurses to help cultivate their voice.  All of these things combine to improve quality and shorten the trial and error period for new writers.

 

What can our readers expect to find on your blog?  And is there anything they can get involved with?

Most nursing blogs target other nurses with nursing perspectives or nursing career advice.   We are doing something very different.  We don’t turn our knowledge inward, redirecting it back into the profession.  Instead, we are showing the public what nurses know and do.

Without exposure to nurses, healthy young and middle-aged adults (who have never been hospitalized) have no idea what role nurses play in healthcare so they rely on stereotypes.  These misconceptions prevent growth of the profession and minimize the education, experience, and hard work of nurses.  The public will take a new interest in nursing and abandon old stereotypes when they find person value in us as health experts.  It isn’t enough to simply tell them how great we are—they need to see it for themselves.

At NurseGail.com we show people how smart and capable nurses are by having nurses provide readers with information about current health issues.   By doing this, the public better understands what we do, develops a personal appreciation for nurses, and ultimately the perception of the profession is enhanced.  This is in addition to cultivating nursing leadership and making the world a healthier place.

If any nurses are interested in writing with us, they can click on the “Contribute” tab at the top of the main page and send us a note.  No writing experience is necessary.

 

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

I encourage all nurses (new or seasoned) to practice at the top of their license.  This means being the most effective nurse possible and taking on leadership roles.  Though, it is important to keep in mind, this practice may not be rewarded with money.

Unlike other professions, money is not a marker for success in nursing.  However, there are a lot of other outside-the-box jobs for nurses in the fields of medical technology, banking, and policymaking that come with a higher paycheck.  Regardless of which direction a new nurse goes, it is my hope that they find joy and pride in their work.

 

Connect with NurseGail.com: NurseGail.com / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest

Get to know Gail Ingram better: Personal Statement and Bio / LinkedIn / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

 

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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Nursing Blog of the Month: Nurse Eye Roll

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

Blog of the Month nurse eye roll

This month we’re delighted to introduce Kati Kleber, the nurse behind Nurse Eye Roll. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Kati writes about nursing from the frontline and shares her experiences with a good dose of humor and an ever greater dose of honesty.

Tell us a little bit about your background. What led you into nursing and how long have you been a nurse? Kati Kleber, Nurse Eye Roll

I have been a nurse for 5 years.  I am currently a nurse in a neuro ICU and have been for the past 3 years.  Prior to that, I spent my first two years as a nurse on a cardiothoracic and vascular surgical stepdown unit.  I have my BSN and am thinking about getting an MSN or PhD.  I am highly involved in Shared Governance at my hospital and just obtained my CCRN certification!  I went into nursing because I liked medicine and I liked teaching, so nursing made sense to me.  I started taking classes and hoped for the best!  Thankfully it worked out.

What inspired you to start blogging?

I was frustrated with the lack of support for the newbie nurse and nursing students online from currently practicing bedside nurses.  I created what I wish I had when I started out as a nurse.

Has anything surprised you about starting a blog?

There have been a lot of things that I’ve had to teach myself how to do.. a lot of technical things, things related to business and taxes that I was not prepared for! I’ve had to learn along to way and talk to others that have done similar things in different fields.   It’s definitely been a challenge!

What can our readers expect to find on your blog?

I like to have a mix of informational, inspirational, and humorous posts on my blog.  I occasionally host giveaways and contests on the blog that readers can become involved with and comments are always welcome!

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

Be honest about what you don’t know, communicate with your preceptor and support staff, and try to be as independent as possible while on orientation so that you’ll be ready to rock when you’re done!

Connect with Kati on her social media channels Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!

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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Nursing Blog of The Month: Adventures of a Labor Nurse

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Every month we will introduce a new blog that we enjoy reading and know you will too. June’s blog of the month is Adventures of a Labor Nurse written by Shelly Lopez Gray.

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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My Special Nursing Moment 2015 Winner!

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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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Most Inspiring Blogging Nurses: The Nurse Teacher

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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.

SOL-Nurses-Week-Blog-1

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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Most Inspiring Blogging Nurses: Notratched.net

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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.

SOL-Nurses-Week-Blog-1

Today our inspiring blogging nurse is Megen Duffy RN, BA, BSN, CEN who runs notratched.net. Megen is a writer, medical editor, nurse, photographer, and self-confessed geek. She has been a nurse since 2008.

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

I’ve been a nurse since 2008. My first career was as a freelance medical editor, and I became more interested in action as opposed to fixing what other people wrote about medicine. I had wanted to be a nurse as a child, but my mother discouraged me; she thought I should be a doctor. So I ended up doing neither for a long time.

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

Statistically, there’s a very good chance that every time I go to work, I am going to make a notable difference in someone’s life. Nursing is a very concrete, instant-feedback job.

And the most frustrating?

Politics. National politics in the healthcare system, workplace politics, lateral-violence politics. I get worn out just trying to jump through hoops that do not help and in many cases hinder patient care.

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

Yes. I worked briefly at a pediatric residential facility, and one of the kids coded. I was the only medical nurse there and was able to do appropriate things to save the kid. It showed me that critical care is really my area of comfort.

What inspired you to start blogging?

When I started nursing school, there were a lot more nurse bloggers than there are now; people hadn’t been fired and run out on rails yet. I got a lot of benefit from reading and identifying with the experiences of other student nurses and from receiving advice from veteran nurses. I’ve always liked to write, so it became an obvious step for me.

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

Fly under the radar. It has been a hard-learned lesson for me that drawing a line in the sand over one patient or one issue will prevent you from making a difference for a greater number. It is never worth it. Be silent, and stay to nurse another day. (I am rarely able to take this advice, but it’s good advice, and I would be happier if I could follow it.)

You can connect with Megen on Facebook & Twitter.

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