Nursing Instructors Influence a Generation

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Google says that the average salary for an assistant nurse educator/ professor is $78,242. But, as with any job, pay depends on the person’s level of experience, size of the city, reputation of the college, and in what part of the country they teach.

A side note is: educators who work only during the academic year are paid their annual salary over those nine months.

In what settings do nursing instructors work? Most nurse educators are employed by colleges or universities.

All nurses have a fairly good idea of what nursing instructors do for the students. But what are their behind-the-scenes duties and expectations? And what should a person know before considering such a venture?

  • Participate in nursing curriculum development and instructional progression.
  • Help in evaluating the program’s core curriculum, assess effectiveness of institution’s efforts, and prepare reports.
  • Coordinate plans and programs with instructors in other departments.
  • Support recruiting and participate in interviewing nurse educator candidates.
  • Play a part in your department’s textbook orders.
  • Serve on various institutional committees.
  • Assure QA for continued compliance with all governing entities.
  • Promote recruitment of students through methods set in place by college.
  • Become acquainted, and work well, with managers at clinical rotation sites.
  • Work overtime hours as needed.
  • Keep abreast of new developments in the nursing field and incorporate those into their lessons as authorized.

What are the minimum requirements to enter this field? Nurse instructors may teach in theteacher-apple-clip-art-books-20clipart-books_apple_pencil_school LVN program with a bachelor’s degree, two years nursing experience, and a valid nursing license. To teach in a BSN program, a minimum of MSN degree is usually required, but a BSN degree may sometimes be acceptable.

What are nurse educators’ hours? Besides the obvious work hours, most are expected to spend about 10 hours of office-time per week to complete their admin duties.

Is there much overtime involved? There are likely to be many opportunities to participate in professional seminars and meetings. These could take place outside of normal business hours.

How do nursing instructors train for their jobs? There are programs that offer a Masters of Science degree in Nursing and Health Care Education. The University of Phoenix is one college that offers this.

A Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) examination program has been developed and is offered through The National League for Nursing (NLN). It is optional, but it does demonstrate a nurse’s interest and expertise in nursing education.

What is the job outlook for nursing instructors in this country? The need is great, and the projection for increase in employment opportunities for all types of postsecondary teachers is from 2012-2022 is 19%.

Many toss out their opinions as to why there seems to be such a shortage of nursing instructors and why it is often very difficult for qualified, would-be, nursing students to be accepted into college programs.

But the bottom line is this: If you would like to see the nursing field flourish more than it is, consider becoming a nursing instructor. That is where you can have the greatest influence on the future of nursing.

The power is in your hands and in your heart.



Wilderness Nursing

lady in front of mountainsDo you have an adventurous spirit? Are you a little wild at heart? Combine those traits with your nursing skills and you will discover a wilderness nurse.

Consider the conquering spirit that loves to encounter water, mountains, snow, waterfalls, sky, wild animals, desert, or any other type of environment. And there you will also, unfortunately, find people who suffer trauma or illness.

And you can be the one to rescue them. Think about it. You could apply your professional experience to wilderness medical emergencies. Enjoy the wild and help others at the same time.

If you are a nurse who also loves – say – mountain climbing, you could train to lead a group on a climb and double as a nurse giving wilderness emergency pre-hospital care as needed.

You will obviously need to gain wilderness and leadership skills, along with the ability to work with a range of people and personalities. A background in ER, critical care, and pre-hospital emergency nursing is clearly needed.

This type of work calls for staying in strong physical condition. Weather, terrain and the characteristics of the individuals and their injuries could often call for physically demanding efforts on your part.

What certifications should you earn? Check out the Wilderness Medical Society. Certifications such as WALS, WEMT, CEN, and CPEN. These are all helpful in making you as qualified as possible to render life-saving aid in wilderness environments.mountain climbing

Earning your FNP will help you be more competitive in that job field, and also enable you to write prescriptions.

That sounds like a lot of training. But, you will progress. Starting with your RN degree, begin working in a high-volume ER in a major city and learn from a wide variety of experiences.

Then after 2-3 years in the ER, take a pre-hospital paramedic course and work a job in a rural/remote area. You will gain great experience treating a wide variety of conditions.

Go on different kinds of expeditions and observe the skills and confidence required for back country medicine. Note how care is provided in places that are not clean, well-lit, and with only the equipment that can be carried on your back.

Attend nature-based continued education experiences in the wilderness with doctors, EMT’s, and other nurses whenever you can. There are adrenalin-pumping CME adventures being offered WORLDWIDE.

There are many classes being offered for Wilderness Medical Training. They are probably all exciting and educational. BUT, investigate. Always be sure you spend your time and money only on classes that are accredited!

Since most expeditions will not hire a medic just because they are a medic. It is necessary to also possess other needed skills. One choice is to be the team’s photographer and medic or climbing guide and medic, etc.

If you want to take a ONE-YEAR Wilderness Certification Program that says they teach you all aspects of wilderness survival, see:

Is there good money in this? That depends. Some expeditions may pay, but many expeditions would expect you to join the team as a volunteer. Your expenses might be partially or completely paid.

However, wilderness medic instructors are paid.

A more tame variety of wilderness nursing would be to work in a Wilderness Treatment Center. These are 12-step inpatient chemical dependency addiction treatment facilities in remote wilderness settings.

So there is no excuse for being bored in your job. Adventure awaits!

Be sure to look at these awesome references below and check out the books suggested at the side bars of this site.


What is Outpost Nursing?

inuitladyOutpost nursing is pretty much an unfamiliar term in the US. However, Canada has about 800 outpost nurses stationed throughout the more northern regions of their country. And US travel nurses sometimes take 13 week assignments there as well.

Outpost nurses are actually the primary care health providers in remote, undeserved communities of which many have only fly-in access.

Outpost nurses say their role is what community nursing is all about – using what you have, in cooperation with your local people, and getting them to help you make things happen. And they will if they’re given the chance.

Doctors may visit only every one to six weeks but are available by phone. So outpost nurses must be able to work very independently.

Residents of the remote northern communities, where outpost nurses practice, are said to experience the poorest health status of all Canadians. This is partly related to their isolation and lack of connection with better ways of living. So these nurses are literally their life-line.

Primary health care know-how is an expectation of outpost nurses. This role integrates the concepts of disease prevention, health promotion, population health and community development. Responsive relationships, and trust, with community members increase adherence to healthy choices.

Some say that ideally this would be a nurse practitioner role. However outpost trained nurses, with ER backgrounds, are the ones who are (very capably) filling most of these positions.

Outpost nurses must be independent by nature. They must have assertive personalities and strong assessment and teaching skills.

They must triage, deliver babies, prescribe drugs (per standing orders), perform dressingIgloolik changes, remove staples/sutures, collect samples, take x-rays, run and develop tests, and interpret results – and even perform some small surgical procedures.

Outpost nurses are community health nurses and usually the only health care source in the entire village. Besides physical care, they provide education, screening, immunizations.

She might be a public health nurse this morning, an ER nurse this afternoon, and a flight nurse in the middle of the night on some days. She is always on call. Her position, and her love and devotion to her community, make her a powerful advocate.

Due to the extreme level of responsibility, at least two years of hospital experience is generally mandatory. Of great help is having extra training and certification through a northern clinical program or outpost nursing program.

One to four nurses may communities of from 300 to 2000 inhabitants. They may also drive from one community to the next as part of their responsibilities. They must also be very versatile in diverse situations.

You must know your limitations and be able to deal with the isolation and inconveniences of living in a tiny village.

What does it pay? I found three job postings offering 123600$ (Canadian dollars) for a full time outpost nurse. Currently one Canadian dollar equals $0.78 USD.

You may want to check out the Dalhousie Outpost Nursing Program. It is designed to prepare RN’s for this work.

You can also find nurse forums discussing this specialty field. If you have an independent spirit, and you don’t mind the cold, check out some of the following resources and get more information.

As always, Cheers!

Correctional Nursing

2013 Apr 11 eBay pics TOOLS etc 003What exactly are correctional nurses – also sometimes called correctional forensic nurses? These are specially trained nurses who work with patients in the prison system.

What education and training is required for this specialty? Nurses may enter this arena at the LPN, ADN, or BSN level. Some authorities say that this field is especially welcoming to LPN’s, while others tell us BSN level is preferred.

Med/Surg experience is desirable, as well as ER and mental health. However some nurse-grads go straight into this specialty with no prior experience.

Can I get certified in correctional nursing? Yes. Certification is available through the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC.)

Is correctional nursing a growing field? Yes. This field is expected to grow, especially for LVN’s. There is work available in prisons, halfway houses, and juvenile detention centers. You might work in the facility’s hospital, infirmary, or hospice unit.

What are some of the main differences between hospital nursing and correctional nursing? The primary goal in U.S. prisons is custody and safety vs the traditional model of a caring science.

Correctional nursing is a very autonomous role. Intake screening is a major responsibility for correctional nurses – allowing the nurse to determine care requirements and make referrals.  The physician usually fills an on-call role, so there is much self-direction in this work.

What are some of the expected duties? These would include: assess physical and mental health, administer meds, provides chronic disease management care, obtain specimens, treat wounds, provide nursing-level mental health care, play a role in decisions on early release for ailing inmates (compassionate releases), arrange for continued care and medications on the outside for prisoners being released, and more.

How else is it different from regular nursing? This is obviously a nontraditional health care setting. The role is best suited for nurses who want to be autonomous in their position. They work closely with security officers. Duties and policies are more regimented.

It is not necessarily the cheeriest of all environments – but offers its own unique brand of job satisfaction. Even though the environment and equipment may be older, some personalities are drawn to serve the under-served, and this gives them great fulfilment.

Correctional nurses are the gatekeepers to getting prisoners the health care they need. Another source of job satisfaction stems from the fact that the care provided is medically necessary – not elective. 

Nurses must maintain boundaries, focus on the care and remain professional. However, they smile and greet prisoners and do show verbal empathy. They also let a grieving patient vent about a loss when that occurs.

Do I have what it takes to be a correctional nurse? Are you willing to cast off biases and follow strict security rules? If so, you may find this the most satisfying nursing job ever. This work allows a nurse to really focus on what nursing was always supposed to be: caring for people.

If you want to serve this population, be autonomous, be a strong advocate for patients, and are well versed in all of the major specialties, this might be for you. You will need to use critical thinking, assessments, and be flexible when needed inside of a very structured environment.

Is there room for advancement?  Opportunities within the correctional nursing field include positions for advanced practice providers, nurse practitioners, managers, quality assurance personnel, juvenile nurses, and more.

Is it safe? Some inmates have anger issues, making trust-building vital. But correctional nursing might be safer than traditional because you will be trained and prepared and have security guards present with you.

Show me the money! Currently, average pay is listed at: $32.43 – $45.40 hourly. Of course, actual figures are determined by the size of facility and city and your years of experience.   Retention is very high.



*** ***

What its Like Losing Dad

Scan0021Today I lost my dad. I’ve never lost an immediate family member before, and I never understood these kinds of feelings. I’ve heard people talk about their loss, but I couldn’t really relate.

Dad and I argued a lot. And then we would each complain about the other to our friends. Then we would drop it and move on. We were both stubborn, bull-headed (and whiny.)

But besides his argumentative side, he was generous and friendly. He was the kind who made friends and kept them. He was genuinely interested in others. And he could always make you laugh.

He progressively deteriorated with time. But he remained in denial and often complained about living in a care home “with all these old people”.

Then there was a sudden decline Tuesday morning, but he could still understand things and communicate a bit.

That afternoon his best friend called to talk and pray for him as I held the phone to Dad’s ear. Dad was in a much lighter mood for three or four hours after that call.

Wednesday, the Hospice chaplain came, and that was comforting. Dad was not able to communicate, but the chaplain prayed over him where he could hear.

Today (Thursday) his respirations were in the 40’s, deep, and quite loud. He could not communicate at all. His eyes remained shut.

I put a Julie True CD in the player, grabbed his Bible, lowered his side rails, and arranged the chair next to him. I sat and held his hand, and talked to him – doubting he could hear me over the breathing noises – but tried anyway.

I read some Scriptures to him but felt that wasn’t what he needed to hear. I had read him the first 30 Psalms on Wednesday. And my spirit told me this wasn’t what he needed today.

So I prayed. His breathing was so labored, even after another dose of morphine, and I knew he couldn’t carry on like that for much longer. I texted Dad’s best friend and asked him to pray for Dad’s peace, and he said OK.

Then I felt to tell Dad all the things from the depth of my soul. “Its OK, Dad. Its OK. I’ll miss you, Dad, but I’ll be OK. You are a good dad. I’m sorry for my part in all of our disagreements, and I forgive you for your part in them. I love you and respect you. I am proud of you. Its OK. You can rest now. I’ll miss you. I love you.”

Then I didn’t feel prompted to say anything more, so I just held his hand and stroked his arm. Next thing – his respiratory rate dropped to the 30’s for a couple of minutes – and stopped. Another minute or so later – another breath – then another breath a while later – then no more.

I could see his carotid pulse – rapid and small – then it became undiscernible. It was 12:45 PM. The caregiver came by the room– no doubt because his breathing had become quiet. She checked him, hugged me, and went and called the Hospice nurse.

I cried. I knew Dad had gone to a better place. But I had lost my dad – and my friend. His skin became pale yellow. His fever resolved rather quickly.

The caregiver returned and held me for a long while. We exchanged stories of some of Dad’s pranks. We both laughed and cried off and on.

She told me she used to go to Dad’s room, when she had time, and hold his hand and talk to him. He would call her his “pretty doll”, and she would call him her “handsome prince”.

Another caregiver said sometimes Dad acted obstinate and would try to kick her. She would play-kick back at him and challenge him to a duel. Pretty soon they would both be laughing, and he would agree to whatever care she wanted to do for him.

As they told me their stories, it was bitter-sweet. They fixed me some tea. The Hospice nurse came, assessed, pronounced, and told me what would be next. She would make all of the phone calls, and I would need to sign papers in the morning.

When I got home, I was struck by how quiet it felt. I couldn’t understand why it should feel quiet. Dad didn’t live with me in my apartment. Why should it feel quiet now that he is gone? But it did feel very quiet.

As I pondered the quiet, I noticed what I can only describe as a large hollow feeling in my chest – like something had been there – and now was missing. I had heard of feeling hollow inside, and I never really knew what that was. But it was real.

I called the people that needed a personal call, and there were more tears. Generosity and kindness abounded. Dad was well loved by many.

I’ve tried to remain coherent all day – but, honestly, I have felt rather confused. I have been wandering around, starting chores, losing items, and feeling sad. But, really, what are you supposed to do on the day your dad dies?

I’ve never been in this kind of place before, and that empty hollow feeling keeps threatening to come back. There are more emails & texts to respond to.

Now its been eight hours and five minutes since Dad left this world. I never knew losing him would be this hard.

Do I have regrets? Yeah. But all I can say now is that he was a great man, and he loved me.

Holistic Nursing – Healing the Whole Person

Holistic nurses should not be defined only by the use of tasks and procedures that are defined as ‘alternative’. Holistic nursing is a way of thinking, reflecting, practicing, and being-in-the-world.

And just as this way of being becomes incorporated into a holistic nurse’s professional identity, it becomes part of their personal way of life.woman doing yoga

So, what exactly is Holistic Nursing? It is all about healing the whole person. Florence Nightingale modeled holistic nursing as care that focuses on unity, wellness, and the interrelationship of human beings and their environment.

The American Holistic Nurses’ Association, 1998, Described Holistic Nursing as: “all nursing practice that has healing the whole person as its goal”.

They may integrate alternative modalities with conventional to treat the whole person. Convential/Alternative Modalities is  shortened to CAM.

Key in holistic nursing is to integrate self-care, self-responsibility, spirituality, and reflection in clients’ lives to facilitate the healing process.

Holistic nursing embraces, as its goal, all nursing practice that promotes enhancement of healing the whole person from birth to death.

The American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) is active in integrating this field into accepted standards of nursing practice.

***Holistic nurses can start their own private practice which is rewarding and empowering, but does require planning and work. Many have gone before you and are paving the way for you.

Also called Complementary Health Nurses, Holistic Nurses use many modalities to treat the whole person – understanding that many illnesses originate in our mental, psychological, emotional, and spiritual areas. This field is becoming an increasingly sought-after, niche field.

What types of treatments do Holistic Nurses provide? Your training for practice will include: acupuncture, stress management, aromatherapy, massage, hypnosis, hydrotherapy, balneotherapy, Chinese and Eastern healing practices, and wellness coaching.

How and from whom can I get this training? You will begin with your ASN or BSN and pass your state boards exam.

Next you will earn your HN-BC Board Certification from the American Holistic Nurse Certification Corporation (ANHCC). After that, you may wish to earn your Master’s Degree in Advanced Holistic Nursing.

As in any profession, core values must be identified. In this case, they are as follows: 1) Holistic Philosophy and Education; 2) Holistic Ethics, Theories, and Research; 3) Holistic Nurse Self-Care; 4) Holistic Communication, Therapeutic Environment and Cultural Competence; and 5) Holistic Caring Process. (See references below.)

Notice, please, that “holistic nurse self-care” is centered exactly in the middle of all five core values. You will not see that element being promoted in traditional nursing environments.

More detail on this specialty and receiving training for this field can be found from the following resources, as well as from the two offers at the top, right sidebar of this blog post.

Frisch, Dossey, Guzzetta, & Quinn, 2000


Save Lives in the Air – Flight Nurse

Does saving lives give you an absolute adrenalin rush? Do you love being the one in charge? Then flight nursing might be perfect for you!

What is Flight Nursing? Flight nurses transport unstable trauma or medical patients in critical condition, either in helicopters or fixed-wing planes, for military or civilian entities. Their expected skill level far exceeds that of typical ED nurses.

What do flight nurses do on scene? They may need to perform physician-level procedures to save lives in the air. Their training is extensive and gains them respect.

On arrival to an accident, the flight nurse typically takes charge of the scene. They utilize ground support to assure optimal stabilization and then quickly transport.

What special skills would I need? The flight nurse is a one-man-show in the air. You arehelicopter responsible for every aspect of patient survival. Per established protocols, you will administer medications, perform ACLS, and other first aid procedures to get the patient to hospital alive.

You may even have to insert femoral lines or chest tubes in flight – once you are qualified.

Where do flight nurses work? They typically work out of hospital emergency departments, trauma centers, fire departments, search & rescue outfits, or independent med-evac companies. Military flight nurses are generally stationed in war zones.

How will I know if I would like this field? A few years working in a busy emergency department or large ICU will give you a great education and enough experience to know if you want to remain in emergency nursing. A few life flight trips, as an observer, will cinch it for you.

How much do flight nurses get paid? One website ( reported $55,000-$85,000.  ( reports pay as high as $94,858/yr which includes bonuses. This could vary significantly according to many factors.

How do I become a flight nurse? Once you have your nursing degree, and have a few years  experience working in critical care, you can earn your advanced degree in emergency nursing.

When you are ready, you can sit for the Certified Flight Registered Nurse Examination. Be sure to get trained and certified in as many aspects of flight nursing as possible.

This might include earning your Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN), Certified Critical Care Nurse (CCRN), and Paramedic (EMT-P). Also keep your ACLS current, study Air-Medical Crew National Standard Curriculum, and take an Altitude Physiology Course.

You also want to take these courses: Trauma Nurse Core Course (TNCC), Basic Trauma Life Support (BTLS), Pre-Hospital Advanced Life Support (PHALS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Neonatal Resuscitation Course (NRS), and Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD).

For military personnel, it is the same – plus there is additional, specialized, military training required.


Retention rate in this field is high and turnover is low. So, be  patient, and use your great networking skills to get an inside track for the next opening.

Keep your body in shape and have healthy, fun, outlets outside the job to keep your balance for the long haul.

If your heart thrills to save lives at all costs, then flight nursing might be just right for you!




Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,752 other followers

%d bloggers like this: