05/06/19

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Kathleen O’Grady Winston, PhD, RN.

SPECIAL TO OKNT:

Master’s Degree in Nursing: Surprising, Practical and Significant Rewards

By Kathleen O’Grady Winston, PhD, RN, College of Nursing Dean at University of Phoenix

Obtaining either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing (BSN) is a pre-licensure pathway to becoming a Registered Nurse (RN). This is often the required academic path for entering into the Nursing profession. Earning a Master’s in Nursing (MSN) may lead to many new paths and opportunities.
An MSN helps prepare practicing Registered Nurses (RN) for advanced practice by developing skills and knowledge in specialized areas of nursing. It can help enhance a nurse’s skills by increased autonomy and expanded practice roles. The healthcare delivery arena broadens beyond acute care hospitals and other traditional healthcare settings. The experience will both challenge and change you.
Here are a few of the practical benefits associated with the MSN:
Learn advanced skills. An MSN program teaches advanced clinical skills and management strategies. The nurse’s skills expand with increased autonomy and expanded practice roles. Many MSN programs offer specialized tracks that prepare nurses to learn advanced skills that are applicable to their clinical practice and outside of the normal scope of job responsibilities.

Pursue flexible career options. Nurses who earn an MSN may be able to perform their job remotely, during shifts that are more convenient and with the freedom to determine the workday schedule. With greater flexibility and greater responsibility associated with an MSN, there is also an opportunity to extend the life of the nursing career as those with an advanced degree are often charged with less physically demanding job duties.

Increase professional networks. A graduate degree can help provide added respect from colleagues, other healthcare professionals and peers. Nurses are among the most-trusted professionals in the nation and that trust and admiration can extend and expand as nurses pursue educational and professional growth. Master’s programs in nursing help students establish valuable relationships with other nurses and professors.

Partake in lifelong learning. The master’s degree often becomes the gateway to the Ph.D. in nursing or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Prospective students might consider online programs, or take advantage of bridge programs that help students go directly from the pre-licensure program into a graduate program.

Make a difference. Often nurses enter the profession to make a difference in the lives of others. Expanding knowledge through advanced education can serve as an inspiration to others, including others in the profession. The personal fulfillment and professional satisfaction that accompany the MSN can be measured in the sense of accomplishment and improved self-esteem.

These are just a few of the ways an MSN can lead to career enhancement. To learn more about an MSN at University of Phoenix, visit https://www.phoenix.edu/nursing/msn.html.

About the Author
Kathleen O’Grady Winston, PhD, RN is the College of Nursing Dean at University of Phoenix. She is an accomplished nurse clinician, educator and academic Dean.

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Devin Davis and his family help nurses stay on the floor with their flexible certification courses.

Being there when it matters the most has always been a rule in the Davis household.
From nurses to firefighters, Devin Davis saw it all around him growing up.
It’s no wonder the family business revolves around keeping those front line professionals on the front lines when it matters the most.
Davis is a driving force behind Heartland CPR, a business his mother and father began more than 15 years ago.
The Davis family has built Heartland CPR into a successful business that revolves around providing life-saving skills in a fun, friendly environment.
Heartland CPR offers courses in CPR, AED, First Aid, Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers, Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) as well the addition of Pet First Aid + CPR.
Flexibility and customer service drive Heartland.
Devin’s mother, Ginger, coordinates with individual travel nurses and travel nursing agencies who appreciate that Heartland provides training in multiple disciplines in a single weekend. Heartland even partners with nearly hotels to offer discount accommodations to out-of-town overnight customers.
But that’s what Heartland specializes in, getting medical professionals the training and documentation they need when they need it.
One in-demand course is the S.T.A.T. program which stands for Sequentially Timed Accelerated Training. Nurses can renew the entire BLS, ACLS and PALS certification suite in a weekend.
Despite the demand, classes are limited to 10 people each.
It’s a Heartland tenet to ensure the quality of the training and the ability for students to ask questions and truly grasp the material.
To keep up, Heartland simply adds more classes. And the company’s ability to deliver training wherever the client needs it has made Heartland a nurse favorite.
From doctors to dental assistants to oil field companies, Heartland can put together a training package that fits the need.
Heartland has also become a leading supplier of AED equipment to local businesses, covering both training and equipment sales.
Devin dove deep into the family business, understanding the why as well as the how behind life-saving skills.
Not only did he enjoy teaching, he enjoyed what he was teaching.
“I like to make sure people understand the science behind it,” Davis said of the CPR classes he teaches. “You’d be shocked at how many people who don’t understand – especially ones first going into EMT or nursing school – the basic principles of CPR and what we’re actually doing. They know how to do it, they just don’t know we’re trying to fill that heart up with blood and pump that oxygenated blood into the brain and then back down to the heart.” Along the way he’s learned how to reach students that range from 18 to 80-year-olds.

https://www.heartlandcpr.com/

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Nurse Manager Jessie Lekites, BSN, RN, has helped coordinate a weeklong celebration for SSM St. Anthony nurses.

For more than 25 years now the healthcare industry has celebrated National Nurses Week.
Cakes, cookies, water bottles, pens – swag in all shapes, sizes and colors are routinely given out to nurses as small tokens of appreciation.
But for SSM Health St. Anthony Nurse Manager Jessie Lekites, BSN, RN, she wanted to go deeper while planning the health system’s recognition events this year.
The week will begin with a traditional blessing of the hands.
“We’re really trying to reach as many of our nurses personally at their place of work, at their campus to really insure everyone is involved,” Lekites said. “It will be a renewal of our purpose and the spirit of what we do.”
Lekites explained the system’s professional nurse practice model includes five elements of “I am an SSM Nurse.”
* I am accountable * I am a partner * I am an advocate * I am a professional * I am a leader.
“Typically in the past we’ve had one day we devoted to whether it’s appreciating them with gifts, cookies or snacks … this year we decided that we would make it the entire week and do an event every day.
“We really wanted to keep our emphasis on appreciating our nurses every day of the week.”
Lekites explained nurses will still be treated throughout the week – from pet therapy to popcorn – but the theme is more about celebrating and fostering deeper relationships.
“I think what we do every day is more than just a job like going to an office,” she said. “I think we’ve seen in the press and media nurses are doing more things, taking on bigger roles in healthcare. They’re putting themselves in harm’s way more than ever.
“I think it’s important this year we really recognize just the daily tasks are not what they used to be. The gravity of what we do is so big.”
When she’s not planning National Nurses Weeks, Lekites is the nurse manager of two medical surgical units. She’s been with St. Anthony since 2005.
The vision for Lekites is a simple one.
“The culture I want is I want our patients to feel safe and I want our patients to feel every person on that floor whether it’s myself, the housekeeper, the nurses, the tech that they are all there with the same purpose and there’s no other patient in the hospital but them.
“Everyone is willing to give that extra bit. No one is clocking out and leaving one behind. I think when you have that with the nursing staff it resonates straight to the patients.
They feel that and it’s tangible.”
She points to the system’s nurse residency program that walks nurses through their first year as a success.
The residency puts new nurses in touch with resources they can turn to and lets the know they are supported.
“That really gives them a sense of safety. There are people they can talk to other than just their manager. It’s an extensive network of people they can go to for support and help,” Lekites said. “I think more so now in the generations coming up it’s not just let me do my job it’s give me feedback and tell me how I’m doing. There’s a lot more give and take and constructive criticism.
“We try to be extremely inclusive in giving new nurses the opportunity to be on the unit based councils, make those decisions and guide where the process is going and have a hand in it.”
That translates into something nurses can feel.
“I think we do amazingly well,” she said “I’ve worked here for 15 years and I’ve seen the same faces. And the new ones who’ve come in the last five. The nurse techs I have on my floor when I opened the med surg unit I’m on now two and a half years ago I’m helping them find a floor that fits them.
“Once you know someone is doing the right thing the right way and they’re good for your organization you find a spot whether it’s with you or not.”

https://www.ssmhealth.com

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LifeSpring CEO Karen Vahlberg, BSN, RN, certified home care administrator, and her nursing leadership are ready for today’s changing health care environment.

There’s little doubt the bulk of health care delivery is rapidly moving out of the hospital and into the home.
With 38 years in nursing, Karen Vahlberg, BSN, RN knows nurses will once again be called on to provide that care no matter where it’s needed.
That’s why the CEO of LifeSpring Home Care is focused on ensuring her nurses are fulfilled in order to fulfill the needs of their clients.
LifeSpring is a faith-based company with primary values.
“We believe both in the Golden Rule – treating others as you would like to be treated – and also having a learning culture, a culture of growth and education,” Vahlberg said. “For that reason I think we stand out amongst many other employers.”
Being nurse-owned keeps the focused squarely on the patient and their families. And it allows Vahlberg to mentor her nurses and make sure they are being served as well.
“We are here to serve,” she said. “We’re here to serve our staff who serve our patients. I do believe if you take care of your staff they will take care of your patients.”
LifeSpring has served the community for 16 years, all the while owned by Vahlberg.
“We believe that health care will continue to move away from the four walls of the hospital and into the community,” Vahlberg said. “That means there will be more people and more demand. We’re also the least expensive setting of care so that’s appropriate in a world where we are trying to control health care costs. With so much GDP going to health care it’s only natural home-based care will be more desirable both to payors and those who receive the care.”
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S. health care spending increased 3.9 percent to reach $3.5 trillion, or $10,739 per person in 2017. Health care spending growth in 2017 was similar to average growth from 2008 to 2013, which preceded the faster growth experienced during the 2014-15 period that was marked by insurance coverage expansion and high rates of growth in retail prescription drug spending
Vahlberg started her home health career as a nurse in the field. She understands the challenges.
The paperwork and windshield time can add up. But the unhurried time spent with one patient at a time in their home can be the most fulfilling of a nurse’s career.
“Sometimes those can be challenging for nurses and yet I believe home health and hospice care are some of the purest forms of nursing,” she said. “In nursing school we spent our time developing care plans and trying to determine what are the things to do for our patients. That’s absolutely what you do in home health and hospice.”
Instead of operating under a generic order set created by a committee of physicians, nurses in the home are able to use the skills they’ve learned and create tailored plans for each client.
It’s a holistic approach designed to keep that patient living safely in their home as opposed to just getting them off a hospital unit.
Nursing in the home also means there’s control over a nurse’s schedule, with largely day time work.
“For nurses who are organized and like to control their lives home health and hospice are good places to go,” Vahlberg said. “What hooked me on home health from the very first day was this was where my patient wanted to be. We see the real challenges they face with their health.”
That’s one reason Vahlberg’s nurses stay with her so long.
Her home health chief clinical officer is closing in on 10 years with the company. Her hospice and personal services chief clinical officer has spent the last six years with LifeSpring.
With the focus on both nurse and patient, LifeSpring is ready for the changing face of health care, no matter what direction it takes.

https://www.lifespringhomecare.com/

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What was your first car? The Veraden Senior Living
Edmond

1976 Triumph Spitfire convertible

Brenda Cole

2010 Dodge Nitro Heat

Dakota Grandara

2008 Chevy Cobalt

Brittney Duncan

1997 Chevy Camaro

Tycha Pullen

Moore Norman Technology Center seeking PRACTICAL NURSING INSTRUCTOR

Position will support Moore Norman’s Mission, Vision and Core Values through educating, motivating, inspiring and supporting students.
Please visit www.mntc.edu for complete job description, requirements and benefits details. Open until suitable candidate is identified.

Apply Online at www.mntc.edu or fax application to (405) 701-6718.

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