Top 15 American Journal of Nursing Blog Posts in 2013

Blogging - What Jolly Fun/Mike Licht,, via Flickr Creative Commons

Blogging – What Jolly Fun/Mike Licht,, via Flickr Creative Commons

In keeping with journalistic custom, here’s an end-of-year list of the most popular 15 blog posts on Off the Charts in 2013. Some were new posts this year. Some were from previous years but are still as relevant as ever. We’d like to think not everything that appears on this blog is ephemeral. Thank you to all our excellent writers and thoughtful readers. Cheers!—Jacob Molyneux, senior editor/blog editor

 1. “The Heart of a Nurse”
“As nurses, we are drawn to the field for many different reasons. What is exciting and fulfilling to some is stressful and boring to others. Our ability to show compassion is perhaps our best nursing skill, better than our proficiency with machines, computers, and even procedures. It may not be what we do so much as how we do it.”

2. “A Report from the ANA Safe Staffing Conference”
“Nurses continue to beg to be taken out of the ‘room and board’ costs and to be seen as an asset. But instead, they are often seen as a major expense that can be reduced for the sake of the bottom line. If this impasse is to be brokered, it will demand new thinking and new communication.”

3. “Should We Get Rid of 12-Hour Nursing Shifts, Despite Their Popularity?”
“So the question remains: should nurses’ convenience trump patient safety and satisfaction, and our own health?”

4. “Scrubs on the Street: Big Concern?”
“She wants people to photograph the ‘offenders’ and send the photos to hospital administrators.”

5. “Issues Raised by Media Coverage of a Nurse Declining to Do CPR”
A wide-ranging post by nurse-ethicist Doug Olsen dealing with institutional policy and advance directives, journalistic ethics, the public’s ignorance about CPR, and the roles of nurses.

6. “E-Cigarettes: Positive Smoking Substitute or a New Problem Replacing the Old”
“Only time will tell if e-cigarettes are safer than cigarettes and a viable option as an aid to quit smoking.”

7. “‘Go Home, Stay, Good Nurse’: Hospital Staffing Practices Suck the Life Out of Nurses”
“This practice isn’t new; we covered it in “The Other Side of Mandatory Overtime” in our April 2008 issue. Still, when I speak with nurses who work under this system, the injustice strikes me anew. Yet nurses seem to think this is the norm. Why is this an acceptable practice?”

8. “Well On His Way: A Nursing Professor’s Humbling Experience”
“He’d been able to see the patient holistically, while I’d focused on ensuring the student could perform tasks.”

9. “Ten Lessons Learned from Florence Nightingale’s Life”
“My husband has called this trip a ‘game changer’ for me, and indeed it has been. I see things differently now, including our health care system and the critical contributions that nurses are making, and need to continue making, to improve care for patients.”

10. “Fecal Impaction and Dementia: Knowing What to Look for Could Save Lives”
“I’ll always be grateful to the nurse who correctly diagnosed my grandmother’s problem before it was too late.”

11. “New Nurses Face Reality Shock in Hospital Settings”
“The difference I see between my early experience as a new nurse and what seems to be the experience of many new nurses today is the support I and other new nurses received from more senior colleagues. Perhaps that is what made the workplace problems bearable.”

12. “The Real Reason Why Older Nurses Don’t Retire”
“Many of my longtime colleagues are old enough to retire. When they do, they often retain on-call status. . . . It’s weird to attend a retirement party for a coworker and then see her or him again the next day at work, helping out with a special project for their manager.”

13. “When There’s a Disconnect Between Good Nursing Practice and Reality”
“In AJN, we often focus on examples of best practices and insightful, compassionate, engaged care. And we get that there are many institutional obstacles that undermine nurses in their attempts to provide quality care to patients. But even so, we’d be remiss to pretend we don’t hear about, and sometimes personally experience, care that simply falls short.”

14. “Guess Who’s Wearing Housekeeping Garb Now: Surprise! It’s Your Nurse”
Using nurses as catch-alls for various jobs not designated to specific departments is an established tradition of hospital administrations.”

15. “Do Male Nurses Face Reverse Sexism?”
“A recent blog entry at the Boston Globe asks: ‘Should you let a male nurse deliver your baby?’ No wonder men still aren’t joining the profession in droves.”

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Senior editor/social media strategy, American Journal of Nursing, and editor of AJN Off the Charts.

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