June 23, 2010, 1:36 pm

An Open Letter to the ANA

To the American Nurses Association,

I am a member of the American Nurses Association and a dedicated supporter of HR 4601 The National Nurse Act.

For the life of me, I cannot understand ANA’s reluctance to endorse the National Nurse Act.

The infrastructure already exists, in fact the position already exists. The Act seeks to have the Chief Nursing Officer of the US Public Health Service designated as the National Nurse.

There is nothing political about this – the nominating procedure for the position does not change. It is not a presidential appointment, nor is it a Cabinet position.

And it costs nothing to implement – it’s already funded. It takes no resources away from other nursing initiatives; it competes with no other nursing organization.

But more importantly, it gives the public a visible nurse leader as our health care delivery system transitions to one that focuses on health and the prevention of disease.

And yet, the ANA does not endorse the Chief Nurse Officer of the US Public Health Service being known as the National Nurse.



I sit here holding a copy of the ANA Social Policy Statement for Nursing (Second Edition).  The Office of National Nurse promotes every aspect of our social policy.

From the ANA  “Definition of Nursing”:

Nursing is the protection, promotion and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury…(p.6)

From the ANA “Knowledge Base for Nursing Practice”:

Nurses partner with individuals, families, communities, and populations to address issues such as…healthcare systems and their relationships with access to and quality of healthcare…the environment and prevention of disease (p. 7)

From the ANA “Values and Assumptions of Nursing’s Social Contract”:

Public policy and the healthcare delivery system influence the health and well-being of society and professional nursing (p.3)

These are the very foundation of the National Nurse Act.

Imagine the impact of a focus on disease prevention and health promotion at the national level. Imagine the Medical Reserve Corps gearing up with nurses who volunteer in their own communities – think of the impact on health disparities, on social inequities. Imagine patient education on a national scale.

Imagine the public understanding what nursing is…what we do.


HR 4601 was introduced on February 4th. Fifteen members of Congress support it. Four state legislatures are on board and over 100 organizations and prominent individuals are supporting it.

But not the ANA.

I want to know why.

No cost, no politics and an existing infrastructure ready to go…what more do you want?

Because from where I sit, the National Nurse Act seems to blend beautifully with the ANA.

So, speaking as a card-carrying-dues-paying member of the ANA, we need to get onboard.

We need to support HR 4601 The National Nurse Act.

Thank you.

Kim McAllister, RN, BSN


(Further information can be found at The National Nurse.)


American Nurses Association (2003). Nursing’s social policy statement (2nd ed.). Silver Spring, MD: nursebooks.org.

June 10, 2010, 3:05 pm

Mid-Blog Crisis

Capping Day!

A joyous occasion!

So…why are half the women ticked off?

(Did they realize their cap looks like used gauze?)

And the one getting capped? There is one of those in every class.


Change of Shift is up at first-time-host NursesNetwork.com! Katie did a great job of putting the edition together, many thanks to all who submitted (and those who are surprised to find that a little birdie submitted for you!).

The next edition is at Digital Doorway with Keith. Submissions can be sent to “nursekeith at gmail dot com”.


Emergiblog has been on a pseudo-hiatus.

It wasn’t intentional. I was having a mid-blog crisis.

All of a sudden, I seemed to have lost my “voice”.

It wasn’t blog burnout.

The ideas were there.

So…why did it feel like I needed four gallons of BlogLytely to get a single post initiated?


The crisis stems from what I want Emergiblog to be. Or what I think it should be. Or what I think it is supposed to be.

I feel like I’m “supposed” to write about serious nursing topics; perhaps that came from being exposed to so many new nursing experiences in my BSN program. Maybe it came from thinking Emergiblog would be seen as a type of serious professional writing by grad schools.

(Trust me, it wasn’t.)

Every post felt like it should to be in APA format, with research and references.


Then I graduated with my BSN.

Imagine me as Wile E. Coyote over there and the Road Runner as graduate school.

Not getting accepted was my “gravity lesson”.

It made me question every thing about myself. My career, my goals, my ability to write…especially my ability to write.  The one asset I thought I had wasn’t good enough to get me where I wanted to go.

It spilled over into the blog. I started to over-think everything I wanted to post. Was it good, was it bad, was it appropriate, was it silly, was it stupid, was it….perfect?


Well, it’s all that and more!!!!!! (Except for the “perfect” part…)

It’s just taken me a little while to figure that out, and I think I’ve gotten my “voice” back.

But it makes me wonder…

Many of us have been blogging for 3, 4 or 5 years.

Have you had a “mid-blog crisis”? Have you lost your “voice”?

How did you get it back?

All I know is thinking I was blog toast had me pretty anxious.

Blogging is a huge part of my life.

I’m not ready to go gentle into that good last post.

Not for a long, long time.

May 19, 2010, 1:31 pm

Dysorientation in the ER

Found this pic in the Library of Congress collection.

Perhaps this was a “Nurses Week” gift: a ping pong table in the break room!

This looks like a combination of ping pong and marital arts (Tae Kwon Pong?).

Either way, who plays ping-pong in their cap?

Nurse Ratched has discovered the same LOC collection.

Not that I have to use them before she does….

But it’s more fun if I do!


Change of Shift is up at The Muse, RN! Many thanks to our “muse” for hosting a great edition!

The host for May 27th will be Nurse Teeny at The Makings of a Nurse.

Submissions can be sent via Blog Carnival or to “nurseteeny at gmail dot com”.


Congratulations on your new job!

For the next six weeks (or so), you will be center stage, in the spotlight.

The play is called “Employment”, the audition is called “Orientation”.

You may embark on a long, successful engagement, or you could go dark on opening night.

Your audience decides.

Your audience = your colleagues.


Let’s face it: orientation is all about evaluation. Your actions directly affect whether or not you are successful in keeping your new role.  I’ve seen many an orientation turn into a “dys-orientation”.

How can you tell a successful orientation vs. a “dys-orientation”?

  • Orientation: You’re the first to get up and the last to sit down.
  • Dysorientation: You think the night shift is for relaxation and spend the down time texting, reading five-year-old editions of Better Homes and Gardens and snoozing. At the desk.
  • Orientation: You  realize the only way you will get the routine of the department is to be responsible for patients. A slow shift means you have to take the patients that do come in to get that experience.
  • Dysorientation: You pout when it is suggested that you take those patients, even if they are coming in only once an hour with simple chief complaints.
  • Orientation: You document your nursing care clearly and legibly.
  • Dysorientation: You think scribbling “IV” in the narrative is enough.
  • Orientation: You get to know your new co-workers.
  • Dysorientation: You spend time trading giggles with the guys/gals in the corner while you have four charts in the rack with orders.
  • Orientation: When your work is done, you ask your co-workers if they need any help.
  • Dysorientation: When your work is done, you sit.


I see an entirely different attitude toward orientation in younger hires. The focus is less on “how much can I learn during this time?” and more on “how little do I have to do before I can sit?”.

“What can you do for me?”  vs. “What do I need to learn here?

It’s the difference between seeing employment as a registered nurse as a “job” or embracing it as a “career”.

Have I turned into the dreaded “old fogey”?  T. Rex, RN?


Orientation is supposed to be the time when you put your best foot forward; a time for making a good first impression.

There will be time for socializing or “downtime” activities once you get the rhythm of the department. Time for splitting a slow workload with your co-workers. Time for knowing when you can relax and when you need to be on alert.

Orientation is not that time.

About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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