How Fear Is Inspiring My Nursing Career

How Fear Is Inspiring My Nursing Career

I have a confession.  My biggest nursing career fear is working for an hourly wage as a floor nurse forever.

Of course there are other things I fear in my nursing career as well.  Such as staying burned out working 12’s hour shifts, physically being unable to work after decades of wear-and-tear, and not reaching my full career potential.

But the one thing that really keeps me up at night is the idea of not creating a future for myself that has flexibility, freedom, opportunity, and more money.  I have ambition, dammit. And its about time for a big change.

In order for me to make career decisions that will help me reach my fullest nursing career potential moving forward, I thought it was wise to revisit my career history.  What inspired and motivated me in the past?  Where are my strengths and weaknesses?  What are my biggest priorities from here moving forward and how to I reach them?

So, (deep breath) here we go… 

I was once an aspiring writer in college.

Way, way back in the day, before I ever even considered becoming a registered nurse, I was a journalism major with a minor in women’s studies.  I wrote for our student newspaper, The Orion, and I loved it.  I enjoyed the teamwork and even though I felt way in over my head a lot of the time I absolutely loved the challenge.

But then I graduated with a little debt and decided I was tired of being a poor college student.  I wanted money!  After looking at a few options and going on about 50 intense interviews I finally got my first job as a medical device salesperson.

Reflective takeaway:  I have experience working for an award-winning college newspaper.  I enjoyed the challenge and teamwork aspect.

Inspiring nursing career options

They say hindsight is 20/20. Can a deep dive into my career history inspire my future career as a nurse?

In my first career I sold medical devices to hospital operating rooms.

I spent the next decade working in the competitive field of surgical equipment sales for a fortune 100 company and a few medical device startups.  It was intense and I did very well, but there was always a feeling that I could be doing something even more important.  My soul was craving more clinical education and critical thinking.   I remember thinking to myself “I don’t want to work my whole career just being a salesperson!”  I needed a bigger purpose.

So after years of soul searching, I made the difficult decision to leave the field in pursuit of greater clinical medical knowledge.  I went back to school and achieved a BS in Nursing.

Reflective takeaway: I have many valuable professional skills that I can apply to other careers.  And I’m hyper competitive.

I became a second-career nurse.

I began my career specializing on a Neuroscience and Stroke unit and earned certifications as a Stroke Certified Registered Nurse and Public Health Nurse. In 2017, I began a new phase in my nursing career as an Emergency Room RN.

I love that I help others for a living and I enjoy the mental stimulation I get at work during my 12 hour shifts.  Becoming a nurse has even helped me deal with the craziness of motherhood in some ways because it helps me distinguish things that I should be concerned with from things that are not a big deal.  (I have my time on a neuro science floor and as an ER nurse to thank for that!)

However, the physical wear-and-tear and caregiver fatigue has got me feeling completely spent at times.  And upper-management within the hospital is not something I am interested in at all.

Reflective takeaway:  I enjoy using my clinical expertise to help others.  But I also need to make my own health needs a priority.  

I want to be a working mom who makes my own rules. Having children changes everything.

Starting a family intensified my biggest nursing career fear:  a lifetime of working 12 hour shifts at the hospital

Having children really does change everything.  I am grateful for all of the amazing experiences I have had in nursing.  However, I see the future through a different lens now.  My husband and I are currently raising two toddlers and my priorities are forever changed.  My purpose for success so completely different.  Now my reason for success is my family.

And so, here I am seven years into my nursing career and I have this gnawing sensation that I need to “blow up” my career again.  It is time to make room for more professional growth and development.

As a part of this process I made a list of my future career priorities:

  • Cerebral stimulation
  • Being a positive role model for my children
  • Freedom
  • Flexibly
  • Money

Reflective takeaway:   Becoming a parent changed my career priorities and needs.  Work-life balance is key.

Next (baby) steps…

In 2016 I created a nurse mom blog called MotherNurseLove.com.  In the sparse amount of free time I have I am creating a website, writing blog posts and taking courses to hone in on my new craft.   My venture is being crafted out of my love for writing, my business management experience, my clinical knowledge as a nurse and life experience as a mother.  I am creating my own opportunity that is more in line with my current career priorities (as mentioned above).

For clarity, my niche (or at least the niche I am striving to create) is:  “nurse mom lifestyle blogger with an emphasis on nurse self care”  My goal is to write about nurse mom lifestyle topics that interest me and finding helpful ways for nurses to take better care of themselves.

In conclusion

Turning my nursing career fear into a catalyst for growth is a process.   As I grow older (and hopefully wiser!) I am discovering that their are so many paths that nurses can take.  The sky is the limit as long as I work hard and continually open myself to learning new skills.

My ultimate goal:   To create a career for myself were I can combine my journalism degree with my nursing knowledge and motherly experience.  This is the first “career” I have ever had where I didn’t have to fill out an extensive application and interview for the position.  For the very first time, I am warming to the idea of being my OWN boss.  And I’m really looking forward to what the future will hold.

I hope you enjoyed this post.  If you are a nurse who is looking for alternative career options or want to find ways to take better care of yourself as a working mom and RN please join my email list below!

Additional Recommended Reading:

3 Reasons Why Nurses Quit

3 Reasons Why Nurses Quit

Why do nurses quit the profession?

Nursing is the most trusted profession in America and has been considered so for decades.   Yet, nurses are burning out at a rate unparalleled to any other profession.

Turns out that nurses may not be getting the same respect and care that they give to their patients and employers.   As a result, many nurses are looking for alternative ways to practice nursing or are even leaving the nursing professional altogether.

I became a nurse as a second career.  Nursing called to me because I genuinely wanted to help people and I thought that a nurse’s schedule would work better for me as a mom.  Now, 7 years into my nursing career, my passion for nursing is still high.

Yet I, like many other nurses, struggle with burnout.  I have even started looking outside of patient care for alternative ways that I can practicing nursing to deal with my struggle.

Sad and tired nurse (This post may contain affiliate links.  You can find my disclosure page here.)

Reasons Why Nurses Quit

#1.  Not having control over work schedules

Hospital nurses are expected to work all hours of the day and night, holidays, and weekends.  And on top of that many nurses don’t even have control of their schedules (unless they work per diem – which has been a game changer for me). I can’t tell you how many times I have missed Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years parties, Easter Sunday, Fourth of July weekend and so many other special events with my family.

Now that I have my own children, missing these events is so much harder for me, especially if I have to work on one of their birthdays.  This past Christmas I was lucky enough to NOT work on Christmas Day, but I worked the entire 2 weekends before, the 2 days before Christmas and the day after Christmas, so I missed several Christmas parties and I was so tired on Christmas day that I could barely keep my eyes open.

Thankfully I am not working graveyard shifts anymore, but if I did I would have quit being a nurse a long time ago.  Working night shifts literally made me feel like I was going to explode.  I felt sick all the time, I was in a constant fog and I even started to get a little depressed.

Here is an idea that can help:  Work per diem or switch to another nursing position that requires a more regular 9 to 5 work schedule such as occupational health or the Cath lab.

#2.  Bullying in the workplace

You have probably heard the phrase “nurses eat their young.”  That is just a clever way of saying that there are many experienced and burned out older nurses bullying less experienced nurses.  It’s also a main culprit as to why nurses quit working in patient care.

I remember one of my own experiences with bullying very clearly. When I was a new nurse grad a nurse I gave report to at shift change would question everything I had done for my patients that day, and drill me about why I didn’t do things differently.  Her attitude was awful and I could tell she hated her job and being on the unit.  She had been there for many years and she treated several other new nurses the same way.

There were days where my shift had gone great up until I had to deal with her at the very end.  Then I left the hospital feeling defeated and inadequate just because of some unhappy, grumpy nurse. I did my best to hold my ground and keep my reports as simple as possible.

Eventually, (and thankfully) she quit and we never had to deal with her again.  Things got better for me, but unfortunately there are still nurses “eating their young” who are lurking within the hospital.

Here is an idea that may help: I took a course called “Crucial Conversations” during my second year as a nurse and it was so helpful for me.  It taught me how to deal with difficult situations with other co-workers. Sometimes addressing a bully head on or finding a way to avoid them entirely is the best way to handle the situation.

#3.  Abusive patients and/or family members

By and large, most patients and family members in the hospital treat the medical staff respectfully.  However, that is not always the case.

In my 7 years career as a nurse I have been kicked, swung at (thankfully never hit head on!), had a full urinal thrown at me, been cussed out, and told I should “kill myself.” And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  There are patients who, despite having full capability to execute all activities of daily living by themselves, take advantage of nurses and other medical staff by asking that everything be done for them.  It’s as if we have nothing to do all day except be a personal butler.  At least it can feel that way sometimes. I’d rather not be a character from Downton Abbey though!

Often when people are in the hospital it is because they are sick and need to be there.  Nurses are happy to bend over backwards to give the best patient care we can for those patients.  Unfortunately, there are people who take advantage of the caregivers and, over time, it leads to decreased morale and ultimately, burnout. This is another big reason why nurses quit the profession.

Here is an idea that can help: Nurse abuse is never okay and can be traumatizing for nurses.  Communicate with management any time a patient or family member is being abusive.  Ask for help.  Call security if you feel threatened.   Ask for another assignment or take turns with other nurses giving care to extremely difficult patients.   Talk to staff, family and friends to help talk out your experience. All of these things can help make dealing with difficult patients and their family a little easier.

HEY NURSES!  Remember to sign up for your FREE COPY of “The Nurse’s Guide To Health & Self Care” E-book in the sign up box below! (scroll down)

If you are considering leaving the nursing profession altogether here are a few ideas to help rekindle your nursing career:

Are you a nurse struggling with burnout and considering leaving the nursing profession?  What experiences lead you there.  Please leave a comment!

Additional Recommending Reading:

Why I Quit My Corporate Sales Career To Become A Nurse

Why I Quit My Corporate Sales Career To Become A Nurse

I am a second-career RN who took an unconventional path into the nursing profession.

I began my first post-college career as a medical device sales representative selling medical equipment to hospital operating rooms.  Then after nearly 10 years in the business I decided to go back to college and earn a Bachelors of Science in nursing.

I hear about nurses becoming second-career medical device or pharma reps all the time.   But I have never known anyone who worked in medical device sales and then went back to college for a nursing degree.  Not once.

Here is my journey from budding journalist, to corporate sales manager, to nurse…  and the lessons that I have learned along the way.  

Nurse with stethascope discussing career change

As a young college grad, my priority was making money.

After graduating with a BA in Journalism in 1999, I was ready to start making money.  After all, I was broke and tired of being poor.  I was also passionate about living a healthy lifestyle, so a sales job in the healthcare field seemed like a natural fit.

Over the course of my decade career in sales I worked for a fortune 500 company and a few startups.  I covered huge territories and at one point even spent almost an entire year living out of a hotel.  It was a lot of hard work, but the money was there.

But I got better every year, despite a gnawing feeling that my calling was somewhere else.  My twenties flew by before my eyes.

One day after a lot of soul searching I finally decided to go back to school and earn a BSN.  My sales counterparts couldn’t believe I would leave the medical device industry after what most would consider a very financially successful career.  I tried to explain the best I could – that I wanted to be a part of something bigger then myself.  And medical sales just wasn’t doing it for me anymore.

Why I Left Medical Device Sales To Be A Nurse

At 22, my first priority was making money.  I knew if I worked hard in medical device sales I could earn more then most college grads my age.

I wanted to jump into procedures as a part of the medical team.

Even though I wasn’t an actual healthcare professional at the time, I got to work in hospital operating rooms and observe almost every kind of surgery.  It was through those experiences that I learned I wanted to be more truly clinical – instead of just repeat a sales pitch with each new physician who gave me the time of day.

More specifically, I wanted to jump in to the procedures that I was selling products and actually be a part of the medical team. Not sit and wait on the side lines for hours until they used the product I was selling (if they used it at all).

More importantly though, I was continually drawn to help people and learn clinical life-saving skills.  I was tired of going home every day feeling as if I wasn’t doing enough with my life to make the world better.

Sounds a little cliche, I know.  But this little voice in my head kept telling me that one day all I was going to say about my life was that I was a “sales person.”  And I wanted more than that.

So one day, l quit my career and went back to school to earn my RN.

Nursing school is the hardest thing I have ever done in my professional life.

I paid my own way through my nursing prerequisites and another college degree.  And let me tell you – college is so much more expensive now then it was in 2000.  I was lucky that I had such a large savings from my prior career to help get me through.

In addition, I also worked as a bartender at night – sometimes until midnight – and then had to be at a clinical rotation by 0700 the next morning.  I studied nonstop for 3 years.  Nursing school was so much harder then medical sales, or my first college degree for that matter.  In fact, I didn’t even know school could be that hard.

Still, I pressed on, feeling like I was going to get kicked out at any moment for failing a test (and 1/4 of my cohort actually did get kicked out, its a miracle I wasn’t in that group).  To this day, nursing school is the most difficult thing I have ever done in my professional life.

From Medical Device Salesperson To Registered Nurse

From medical device sales person to nursing school student (this is the only photo I have of myself in my nursing school scrubs).

I worked as a Certified Nurses Assistant in nursing school.

I worked as a CNA during my last year of nursing school and I both loved and hated it.  It was such as honor to give care to my patients in some of the worst times of their lives.   It was primary, basic care  – and it was important!  I tried to give my patients humility.   I helped people feel human when they felt invisible.

But being a CNA was also so challenging- both physically and physiologically.   This is because for the first time in my life I was not at the top of the food chain.  I sometimes felt like just a staff person boss around.  No longer did I have my salary plus commissions, my company car and expense account, my catered lunches, my bonuses and my stock awards at the end of the year.  And I really missed that.

I finally attained my RN, BSN title.

After three years of nursing school and a lot of sweat and tears, I finally graduated with my BSN.   I began my career specializing on a neuroscience and stroke unit and earned certifications as a Stroke Certified Registered Nurse and Public Health Nurse. In 2017, I began a new phase in my nursing career as an emergency room RN.

As I nurse there is always an opportunity to learn.

While being a nurse is exhausting and I have moments of extreme burnout, I do feel that nursing is my calling. I am a closet science geek and the love cerebral stimulation that I get as a nurse. I have had the opportunity to see more disease states, complex injuries and unusual diagnoses then I ever could have imagined even existed. It would not be an exaggeration to say I learn ten new things everyday at work.

To top it off, I am surrounded by some of the most intelligent people I have ever met. Many of my co-workers have the same drive for helping people I do. They motivate me to keep learning.

I am thankful for the professional experience I received in the corporate world as a medical device salesperson.

In fact, I am so grateful for my time in medical sales.  My experiences have given me a much different perspective than many of my nurse peers.  And I see my experiences as a huge advantage for my professional development.

Working in the medical sales industry gave me valuable business and communication skills.  I met a lot of great friends with whom I still have close relationships with.  My organizational and time management skills are much more fine-tuned and I learned how to be a professional in the workplace.

I just like to think of myself as being a little more well-rounded now. After all, the business women in me still exists.  But now I have the clinical prowess and expertise to match.

HEY NURSES!  Remember to sign up for your FREE COPY of “The Nurse’s Guide To Health & Self Care” E-book in the sign up box below! (scroll down)

Additional Recommended Reading:

I would love to hear stories from other second-career nurses.  What did you do in your first career and how did you know you wanted to be a nurse?  Leave a comment below!

12 Nurse Essentials I Can’t Live Without!

12 Nurse Essentials I Can’t Live Without!

I have a few favorite nurse essentials that I keep with me each day I go to work.

I am a registered nurse who has worked in several departments in the hospital setting taking care of ER, Med Surg and ICU patients.  As a result, I have seen it all and then some.  And I still see new things that shock me everyday!  That is why it is so important to be prepared with the right nurse supplies to succeed no matter what happens.

I created this list of my favorite essentials I use as a nurse to help other nurses keep their professional nurse game on point!

Hospital corridor and nurse's station

(This post contains affiliate links.  You can find my disclosure page here.) 

12 Nurse Essentials I Can’t Live Without

#1.  Littman Stethoscope

I bought a 3M Litmann Classic in nursing school and I have been using it ever since.  They are available in many different colors and have a “non chill” rim so you don’t shock your patients with a cold stethoscope.  Whether you are trying to obtain a manual blood pressure or listening to lung sounds, every nurse needs to have a stethoscope.

 

#2.  Koala-Qlip Stethoscope holder

Keeping your stethoscope around your neck can get in the way sometimes.  I love the Koala-Qlip stethoscope holder because it attaches firmly to my scrubs and it takes the weight of the stethoscope off my neck.

 

#3.  Nike Running Shoes

Nikes are my favorite shoes to wear for 12 hour shifts when I know I’m going to be on my feet all day long.  Wearing sturdy, no-slip shoes that help cushion your feet during 12 hour shifts is an absolute must!

#4.  Compression Socks

Compression stockings are often overlooked as a way to prevent some of the chronic issues that come from working in a profession where you are on your feet for such long hours.  Wearing compression socks helps to prevent varicose veins, improve venous blood flow, decrease the risk of blood clots and decrease swelling of the ankles and feet.  I have found that compression socks with 20-30mmHg is the right compression strength for me as a nurse.

#5.  Apple Watch

At work, I use the Apple Watch as a stopwatch, a timer, and as an alarm to remind myself of tasks I might forget when my shift gets crazy busy.  I can also receive and send text messages on it without having to carry my cell phone with me.  But my favorite thing about the Apple Watch is that it records how much I stand, exercise and move throughout my shift (it breaks them down into colorful rings)  and tells me how many total steps I get in a shift.  My record so far is 22,000 steps during a single shift!

#6.  Underscrub T-Shirts

Comfortable under scrub t-shirts are great because it can get cold in the hospital.  This brand is especially great because they have thumb holes in the sleeves.  I have them in multiple colors and I have several so that I always have a clean one to put on under my scrubs.

#7.  Insulated Coffee Mug

As a nurse and mom, I start my days very early, usually by 0530.  And then I’m usually on the road to get to work no later than 0600.  Which doesn’t leave a lot of time to sit for coffee.  I have used the same Contigo coffee mug for over a year and it is still in great condition.  It is 20 oz, is stainless and and has a lockable lid that is leak proof.  Best of all it keeps my coffee hot for up to 7 hours!

#8.  Hydro Cell Water Bottle

My Hydro Cell Water bottle is another item I have with me at all times.   It is 32 oz and has a leak proof wide mouth lid.  Nurses often forget to drink enough water during busy 12 hour shifts, but having this water bottle helps me stay hydrated.


#9.  Nursing Work Bag

I have this crossbody bag which is technically not a bag that is just for nurses.  But I love the design.  I use it to hold my nursing badge, stethoscope, water bottle, coffee mug, breast pump, pens, and all work-related paperwork that I need.

 

#10.  Lunch Bag

Making my own lunch everyday has several benefits.  I eat healthier, I don’t reach for junk that is in the break room because I pack my own healthy snacks, and I save a lot of money.  I’m also a foodie and hospital food just isn’t my cup of tea.  So I pack my lunch in my favorite lunch bag every evening before my shifts and I’m good to go.

 

#11.  Raptor Trauma Shears

The Raptor Shears look like a fancy pair of scissors.  But these functional and handy shears are actually 6 tools wrapped into one:

  • medical shears
  • strap cutter
  • ring cutter
  • ruler
  • oxygen tank wrench
  • carbide glass breaker

Many nurses I work with in the emergency room have the Raptor Shears and we use them frequently in emergency situations.  You can hook it to a belt or secure it using the pocket clip.   It also has a 25 year limited warranty and will last you throughout your nursing career or longer.  They also make a great nursing gift for a new graduate!

#12.  Retractable Pen

These retractable 4 color pens are great in case you need something to stand out in your work notes.  Or use different colors for different patients when taking report.  These pens are also great for color coding notes and flashcards for when you are studying for certifications!  I always have a few in my work bag and one on me while I am at work.

HEY NURSES!  Remember to sign up for your FREE COPY of “The Nurse’s Guide To Health & Self Care” E-book in the sign up box below! (scroll down)

Additional Recommended Reading

What nurse essentials do you use at work that you can’t live without?  Leave a comment!

101 Interesting Blog Post Ideas For Nurses

101 Interesting Blog Post Ideas For Nurses

I came up with this list of 101 interesting blog post ideas for nurses so that I could prove a point:  there are so many things that nurses can write aboutAnd I barely even scratched the surface with this list!

Nurses, by nature, are lifelong learners.

Nurses generally love learning.  If we didn’t, we would have never made it through nursing school in the first place.

In order to keep our skills up to par and our licenses current, nurses frequently take continuing education courses.  Many of us go a step further and become certified experts in our nursing specialties.  Most importantly though, being a nurse requires learning about changes in the field of medicine and being open to new challenges during each and every shift.  Healthcare is ever-changing, and it is increasingly important for nurses to stay fresh.

Nurses have a unique perspective that we can share with readers.

This is the coolest part about becoming a nurse blogger:  each post about nursing can be written about from a completely different perspective.  There are so many different specialties and diverse patient populations.  And every nurse has different skill sets and experiences within their career that they can share.  Furthermore, some nurses can bring entirely unique backgrounds into the mix, as many become nurses as a second or even third career.

In other words, nurses can bring a lot of life experience into their writing.  We have important information to share.

Becoming a nurse blogger has welcome benefits

First, you’ll become a better writer.  Each time you create a new piece you improve and continue to develop your writing skills.

Second, you’ll become a better thinker.  The blogging process helps you to stop and think deeper.  You will find yourself having stronger opinions about nurse topics that matter.  You will discover thoughts and ideas about nursing that you didn’t even know you had.


Nurse with ideas

I want to see more nurses blogging.

Since I began blogging in 2017, I have read nearly every nurse blog I can find on the internet.  I have seen some pretty creative nurse niches and been inspired by what my fellow nurse peers are writing about.

I especially love reading about the amazing things nurses are doing in the face of adversary.  For example, I recently read about how nurses in Paradise California continued to care for hospitalized patients during the most devastating fire in modern history.  At one point some were outside trying to fight flames.  Now if that isn’t blog-worthy, then nothing is.

(I really, really want to interview more nurses who go on medical missions and help people in need after catastrophic events.  Many nurses care for patients in the face of devastation and their stories should be shared.   In time, I will get there…)

101 interesting blog post ideas for nurses to write about.

I put a lot of effort into thinking of new topics that I would be interested in reading (or writing) about as a nurse.  Don’t be surprised if you see several of these topics on my blog over the next year.

So, without further ado, here it is: 101 interesting blog post ideas for nurses.  (If there is anything you thing I should add, please leave a comment and I will add it to my next list!)

  1.  Advice for getting through the first year as a nurse
  2.  Nursing specialty information: what to consider when you need a change
  3.  What happens when nurses go on strike
  4.   Stress relieving tips for nurses
  5.   Safe patient ratios
  6.  Nurses helping patients cope after natural disasters
  7.  How nurses can inspire their patients to take better care of themselves
  8.   Nurse burnout
  9.   Health & fitness for busy nurses
  10.  National nursing certifications
  11.  Helpful nursing products
  12.  15 reasons you need to try travel nursing
  13.  Ways to improve communication between nurses
  14.  Dealing with death as a caregiver
  15.  20 healthy snack alternatives to share in the break room.
  16.  Professional development for nurses
  17.  How to make sure you are saving enough for retirement as a nurse
  18.  Meditation for nurses
  19.  Ways to exercise on you nursing lunch break
  20.  How to budget as a nurse
  21.  The top 20 best nurse bloggers on the internet
  22.  Inspirational nurses to follow on social media
  23.  20 most hilarious nurse memes
  24.  Positive nursing quotes
  25.  Tips for becoming a better nurse writer
  26.  What to consider when looking for the right nursing specialty for you
  27.  How to change your nursing specialty
  28.  How to become a nurse blogger
  29.  Alternative nursing careers
  30.  20 reasons why nursing is a post-apocalyptic survival skill
  31.  How nursing inspired me to become a blogger
  32.  15 helpful ways to survive the night shift
  33.  Personality traits of nurses
  34.  Managing caregiver burden
  35. 30 blog post ideas for nurses who work with children
  36.  A day in the life of a nurse
  37.  Why HIPPA is so important for patients
  38.  9 qualities that all great nurses share
  39.  Dealing with difficult patients
  40.  Violence in healthcare: how nurses can protect themselves
  41.  The best (fill in the blank product) that every nurse needs
  42.  Educational resources for new nurses
  43.  11 ways to be a kick-ass preceptor to a new grad nurse
  44.  How to prepare for 12 hour shifts
  45.  Awesome work-from-home nurse jobs
  46.  Blood sugar stabilizing foods that nurses should eat during 12 hour shifts
  47.  9 great reasons why you should consider an MSN
  48.  Bad habits that nurses can develop
  49.  How LinkedIn a a great career resource for nurses
  50.  9 ways that nursing has changed over the years
  51. Nursing in the year 1950 vs nursing today
  52.  How to give quality CPR
  53.  Why becoming a certified nurse is so important
  54.  What does it take to become a Magnet Hospital
  55.  What being a nurse has taught me about compassion
  56.  Your favorite nursing specialty and why
  57.  Why more men need to join the nursing profession
  58. Interesting facts about famous nurses
  59.  Flight nursing
  60.  Nurse bullying in the workplace
  61.  7 things I wish patients understood about nurses
  62.  How to master IV starts
  63.  The most interesting nurse podcasts you must listen to now
  64.  Career advice from an experienced nurse
  65.  How to promote teamwork on a nursing unit
  66.  Misconceptions people have about new nurses
  67.  How to squeeze in exercise on your lunch break
  68.  Share information about products that were invented by nurses
  69.  Write a list of the funniest patient comments you have ever heard
  70.  Discuss the importance of de-stigmatizing mental health
  71.  Highlight a nurse(s) who volunteered after a natural disaster (such as the California fires)
  72.  Talk about different medical missions
  73.  New innovations in stethoscopes or other nurse products
  74.  What it is like to work as a nurse when you have small children at home
  75.  How nursing teaches me to have more gratitude
  76.  National Preparedness Week from a nurse perspective
  77.  Fun holiday gift ideas for nurses
  78.  The teach-back method for teaching patients about medications
  79.  How nurses can improve health literacy
  80.  Things that nurses can teach patients within their scope of practice.
  81.  Tips on how to have difficult conversations with patients and/or family members
  82.  10 helpful ways to save for maternity leave as a nurse
  83.  Why working on the holidays as a nurse is hard (& how it can also be fun)
  84.  Continuing education programs for nurses
  85.  9 ways my nurse peers inspire the heck out of me
  86.  Nurse leaders that I want to emulate and why
  87.  The pros of moving into nursing administration (or why you’ll never do it)
  88.  10 websites that will pay nurses to write for them
  89.  Why nurses need to be writing more
  90.  Nurse entrepreneurs
  91.  Reasons why nurses should be paid way more than they are
  92.  Dealing with difficult co-workers
  93.  Holistic pain management techniques that nurses can use in practice
  94.  Working with adult patients vs working with pediatric patients
  95.  Diabetes Education
  96.  Tips to prevent high blood pressure that I want my loved ones to know
  97.  How to study more efficiently as a nursing student or grad student
  98.  Why more nurses should consider getting an MSN or Doctorate Degree.
  99.  What to consider before committing to an advanced nursing degree
  100.  Nurse job outlook and career options
  101.  Why nursing really is the most trusted career on the planet


Recommended reading for new nurse bloggers:

Resources for new bloggers:

(You need to know by now – if your goal IS to monetize your blog you must invest in a few courses to help move you forward. Otherwise, blogging is a lonely, frustrating island.)

  • Nurse Blogging 101: Healthcare Media Academy –  If you are a nurse or other healthcare blogger, I highly recommend starting with this one.  Creators Brittany Wilson and Kati Kleber are both published, award-winning authors who are also considered the Godmothers in nurse blogging.  They are especially great because they go into more detail about patient privacy concerns and other considerations that healthcare bloggers need to be aware of.
  • Pinterest Ninja:  If you want to understand how Pinterest can grow blog traffic you need this Pinterest Ninja Course.  A blogger colleague of mine, Megan Johnson, created Pinterest Ninja to help people increase their blog pages views by the thousands. I did the course when I was on maternity leave and I was able to increase my blog traffic from 0-1000/day in just over one month. Seriously, read some of her reviews. Her course is invaluable.

Are you an aspiring nurse blogger who needs a little direction?  Drop me a message and I can forward you some of my resources that helped get me started as a nurse blogger!

P.S.  HEY NURSES!  Remember to sign up for your FREE E-BOOK “The Nurse’s Guide To Health & Self Care” in the sign up box below! (scroll down)

Why Nurses Should Blog & 101 Great Nurse Blog Post Ideas To Write About!

5 Best Trauma Shears & Bandage Scissors For Nurses 2019

5 Best Trauma Shears & Bandage Scissors For Nurses 2019

(The material in this post about trauma shears and bandage scissors for nurses is not intended for the diagnosis, treatment or cure of any disease or condition.  There are affiliate links in this post.  You can find my disclosure page here.)

I am a registered nurse who has worked all over the hospital taking care of emergency room, ICU and telemetry patients. As a result, I have seen it all and then some.  And I still see new things that shock me everyday! That is why it is so important to be prepared with the right nurse supplies you need to be able to perform at your best.  And that includes having a quality pair of bandage scissors and/or trauma shears with you at all times.

I purchase a pair of white bandage scissors in nursing school and used them for my first few years as a neuroscience and stroke nurse.  They came in so handy while removing IV’s, changing dressings on wounds, and opening difficult packaging.

Eventually, I invested in a good pair of trauma shears about 5 years into my nursing career when I became an emergency room nurse.  Dull shears are not good in an emergency and I wanted a great, non-disposable pair that performed well, especially while treating trauma patients.

The Best Trauma Shears And Bandage Scissors For Nurses 2019

Best Trauma Shears and Bandage Scissors For Nurses In 2019

Trauma Shears vs. Bandage Scissors

Trauma shears are a type of scissors used by emergency medical personal such as ER nurses and first responders to quickly and safely cut clothing from injured people.

Trauma shear construction and durability enables them to cut through strong materials such as seat belts, leather, jeans and even thin metal.  In addition, the wide, blunt tip on the shears are designed to slide across skin, minimizing risk of injuring the patient while cutting clothing.   Trauma shears can also be used to cut bandages or open difficult packaging and come in handy during 12 hour shifts.

They usually consist of a handle with a metal blade, which is traditionally bent at about 150 degrees. This “lever arm” gives them an unusual appearance as compared to normal scissors.

Bandage scissors, otherwise known as bandage forcepts, are very similar to trauma shears in that they are used for cutting.  They are generally slightly less “hefty” then trauma shears, however they are still very durable and a good quality pair can be used for many years of service.

Bandage scissors also come with a blunt tip on the bottom blade, which helps in cutting bandages without gouging the skin.  The blunt tip design of the scissor prevents accidental injury while making bandage removal very easy,

Here is a list of the best trauma shears & bandage scissors for nurses in 2019:

#1.  Raptor Shears


Many nurses I work with in the emergency room have the Raptor Shears and we use them frequently in emergency situations.  You can hook it to a belt or secure it using the pocket clip.    Also, the Raptor Shears also have a 25 year limited warranty and will last all the way through an entire medical career or longer.  This is an amazing gift for new medical graduates!

These functional and handy shears are actually 6 tools rapped into one:

  • Medical shears
  • Strap cutter
  • Ring cutter
  • Ruler
  • Oxygen tank wrench
  • Carbide glass breaker

More about the Raptor Shears:

  • Ready for anything: The Raptor features the necessary tools for medical professionals to handle emergency situations, as mentioned above. 
  • More functionality: The Raptor is equipped with 6 tools, including folding medical shears, a strap cutter, a ring cutter, a ruler, an oxygen tank wrench, and a carbide glass breaker.
  • Simple and secure: The specially-designed sheath allows you to carry your Raptor open or closed so you’re always prepared. 
  • Pocket clip: No belt on your scrubs? The pocket clip ensures it’ll never leave your side. Alternatively, attach your Raptor with the integrated lanyard hole.
  • Comes with a 25 year warranty and made in the USA.

#2.  Leatherman Raptor with Personalized Engraving


This tool has all the same features as the regular Raptor Shears, but these can be engraved to make an extra special personalized gift for medical professionals.   Therefore, these make a fantastic gift for graduates, groomsmen or bridesmaids, and gifts for first responders, nurses, doctors and other health care professionals.

Here are a few features of the Leatherman Raptor Shears with Personalized engraving:

  • Free personalization for groomsman, graduation and gifts. 
  • Fantastic gift for any heath care professional or 1st responder.
  • Free engraving up to 20 cincluding spaces. Letters and numbers only.
  • Engraved items are not returnable.


#3.  XShear 7.5” Black Titanium Trauma Shears


The XShear titanium trauma shears are great for paramedic, EMT, Nurse or any other medical provider.  These are very heavy duty, perform well over time, and are non-disposable.

A few features of the XSHEAR trauma shears (per the manufacturer):

  • Twice as thick as most trauma scissors and sharpened to a razor sharp edge.
  • Black Titanium coating for sleek all-black appearance and superior durability.
  • Serrated lower blade for added grip of material and exceptional cutting performance.
  • Durable plastic with slip-resistant, soft touch inner rings.
  • Extra tough center bolt designed to not loosen over time.
  • Patented design features curved tip and edge that is gentle for cutting near skin.

#4.  Madison Supply Fluoride Coated Medical Scissors


I wanted to include a few less expensive options on this list.  These trauma shears are a more affordable option as they are not titanium strength and do not have as many features as titanium shears.  However, they are durable and will perform over time for basic and

practical purposes.

About this product:

  • 1-pack of black-handled, autoclaveable, EMT Shears.
  • Fluoride-coated non-stick surface.
  • 7.5 inch long trauma shears.
  • Sharp edge and milled serrations for cutting.
  • Durable,high-impact plastic handles, and stainless steel blades, premium quality, long-life medical scissors.

#5.  Fluoride Coated EMT Trauma Shears With Carabiner


What I really like about these trauma shears is that they have a carabiner that can easily be clipped to your waist ans be within reach at all times.  As a result, it makes it much easier to keep handy.

More about this product:

  • Cuts fast and safely with professional grade medical scissors.
  • Carabiner feature – the steel-reinforced carabiner can be easily clipped onto your waist and be within reach at all times.
  • Durable construction – surgical grade stainless steel
  • Available in black, blue, red and neon pink, and black.

Runs With Trauma Shears T-Shirt


I mean, come on.  This is a funny shirt if you actually do have to run with trauma shears!  (As many ER nurses and other first responders do).  This shirt comes in men’s and women’s sizes in 5 different colors.  When paired with a great set of trauma shears this combo would make such a great gift for a first responder, MD, nurse or new graduate!

Check of these articles for more great gift ideas!

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