Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Adult CCRN Review Webinar

AACN will offer an Adult CCRN Review Webinar. There will be seven, 2.5 hours sessions, starting April 6, 2015. Find more information HERE.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Critical Caring: Crew Configuration: Feet, Urine and the Value of "...

Here is a thoughtful article by flight paramedic and blogger, Michael Berrier. He outlines the existing crew configurations found in critical care transport and asks, which are the most essential ingredients in creating that highly proficient and skilled provider/team: Education, training, experience, or personal chracteristics?

Critical Caring: Crew Configuration: Feet, Urine and the Value of "...: A staple in all of my airway lectures is "every game in critical care transport (CCT) is an Away game", simply meaning that people...

Check out Michael's company: Critical Care Excellence, LLC

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Value of Professional Certification

Let me start by saying that I am a firm supporter of specialty certification or credential by examination. Certification bodies and professional associations will provide long, enticing lists of all the reasons that you should become certified. Even though you will likely not experience all or even many of the cited perks, there are several reasons you should become certified. The greatest benefits are less tangible than you might imagine.

As a new-graduate nurse, I was lucky to gain entry into the gnarliest ICU in the region. It was affectionately known as the “Meat Grinder” for its ability to chew up and spit out many of the nurses that attempted to work there. I was honored and terrified.

Certification had been on my radar since my senior year and my desire only intensified when I became licensed as a registered nurse. Time and experience are the elements that you cannot rush and I have always lacked patience. Even though I was consumed with learning how to become a nurse and how to negotiate the often torrid waters of unit politics and culture, I kept my sights on the day I would become eligible to sit for the CCRN exam.

Approximately 18 months into my new career, I became eligible. This is a critical period, when the new nurse is beginning to gain the experience necessary to start putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

Certification was an important element of my five-year-plan, so I set a date, registered for the CCRN exam, and began preparing diligently. The time pressure imposed by the three month timeline provided the extra motivation needed to review the fundamentals and systematically work through nearly every known injury or physiologic compromise. It also allowed sufficient time to spend with the “soft skills,” so important in nursing.

I took great pride in first becoming certified. It was a milestone and part of the process of creating future professional options. It is true that I overestimated the professional clout and financial reward, I would gain. This is not the fault of certification or the associations and certification bodies that offer them.

Hospital and unit culture are important factors in determining the value placed on professional certification. I have lost count of how many senior nursing staff members have said “it is just a test” or “it is just a way for the associations to make money.” Courageous cultures celebrate, provide incentive, and recognize the value gained through hiring and creating certified nurses. Sadly, many cultures do not see this. Some fear making the non-certified nurse feel bad, while others cite staffing issues when a patient or their family request a certified nurse over one that is not.

Credential by examination is a common requirement for entry into advanced or expanded roles in nursing. It is an excellent tool for measuring a reasonable level of achievement and knowledge attainment. My dream since contemplating a career change and pursuing nursing was to become a rotary-wing (helicopter) flight/critical care transport nurse.

Preparing for the exams allowed me to revisit the topics I had learned in that first critical care course, but now with the advantage of the tangible framework of real-world experience. I was able to solidify the allusive concepts that had remained a mystery. I believe that the process of obtaining specialty certification was instrumental in shaping the attitudes and level of commitment that has allowed me to carve out a path of excellence and realize my dream.

Ultimately, I found the greatest benefit of certification. I became a more confident, more professional, and more effective critical care nurse.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

MSN Programs

Are you a Registered Nurse that is contemplating going back to school? MSN Programs Online has created a comprehensive state-by-state directory of colleges and universities in the United States. All programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Click here to find RN to MSN and BSN to MSN programs.

The Big Four in Wilderness Medicine

There are several wilderness medicine training programs in the United States and abroad. Outside Magazine profiled four of the best known. Click here to read the article. For all things Wilderness Medicine, consider joining the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Alphabet Soup

The ABCs of Alphabet Soup was created to help me to articulate and negotiate the fellowships, credentials, certifications, curricula, and courses available to nurses and EMS professionals. The selected practice areas are reflective of my personal experience, interest and supported my professional goals of becoming a flight nurse, a paramedic and a wilderness medicine practitioner-educator.

The ABCs of Alphabet Soup provides general information and corresponding links regarding select fellowships, board certifications, credentials by examination, certifications, curricula and courses in each of the practice domains. Relevant professional associations and contributing bodies are mentioned along with the initial professional and experiential requirements, target audience, format, certification term, and re-certification criteria.

The ABCs of Alphabet Soup and it's authors are not affiliated with nor do they endorse any organization or offering. The ABC's of Alphabet Soup attempts to clear up some of the ambiguity and overlap among available options and will hopefully help you choose which fellowships, credentials, certifications, curricula and courses are right for you and your career goals.

I hope you will find the information helpful!

Brian Wilson