Category Archives: Careers

Mar 7 2014

Listen First, Lead from Behind

One of the country’s most powerful women,  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, calls that the best advice she ever received in a recent “Influencer” post on LinkedIn. The advice, Lavizzo-Mourey writes, came from Nelson Mandela.


One of her teachers and mentors, the legendary Samuel P. Martin III, MD, taught her “the Mandela axiom.”

“Decades later,” Lavizzo-Mourey writes on LinkedIn, “it is a lesson that I continue to draw from every day.”

Lavizzo-Mourey’s post is part of a series in which LinkedIn Influencers share the best advice they’ve ever received. Read all the posts in the series here.

Read all of Lavizzo-Mourey’s LinkedIn Influencer posts here.

Feb 21 2014

Mentoring and Leadership Development: The Future of Nursing Scholars Program

An Interview with Julie A. Fairman, PhD, RN, FAAN, co-director of the Future of Nursing Scholars program, and Nightingale Professor of Nursing and director, Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, at the University of Pennsylvania.


Human Capital Blog:  What is the goal of the Future of Nursing Scholars program?

Julie Fairman: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation launched the Future of Nursing Scholars program to create a large and diverse cadre of PhD-prepared nurses who are committed to long-term leadership careers that advance science and discovery, strengthen nursing education, and bring transformational change to nursing and health care. It is vitally important that we meet the growing need for PhD-prepared nurses, not only to ensure that we address the shortage of nurse faculty members, but because nurse researchers make valuable contributions to practice and policy.  The program will fund schools of nursing to provide scholarships, and it will provide mentoring and leadership development activities to build the capacity of a select group of future nurse leaders. The program’s call for proposals launched this week, and scholars will be selected by the nursing colleges and universities that submit successful program proposals.

HCB:  Congratulations on the release of the program’s first call for proposals! As schools begin applying to participate in this program, what would you like them to keep in mind?

Fairman: We are very excited about this program. The major requirement for participation is that research-focused schools of nursing must be ready and able to graduate PhD students in three years. We understand that acquiring a PhD in nursing in three years is not the norm and that many schools have not previously graduated students within that time frame. So, schools are not necessarily ineligible if they have never operated this way, but they will need to provide a thorough description of how they will meet this obligation. We are asking applicant schools to provide information not only about their curricula, but also about their mentoring activities and faculty engagement with research. We also ask that they provide a discussion of interdisciplinary engagement in their institutions, and details about their admission, retention, and graduation of PhD nurses.

Schools that are chosen for the program will be responsible for selecting the scholars who will participate. Schools should select scholars who understand and accept the challenge of completing their PhD degrees in three years. To succeed, the scholars they select will be goal-directed, focused, and committed to long-term academic careers with a focus on science, health policy, and/or innovation. They also should be interested in health policy formulation or in the development of new evidence-based solutions to address health care problems.

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Feb 4 2014

Dermatologists Are Happiest Specialists in Physician Lifestyle Report

In a survey of more than 31,000 U.S. physicians for Medscape’s 2014 Physician Lifestyle Report, dermatologists emerged as the specialists who are happiest both at home and at work. Seventy percent of dermatologists said they are very to extremely happy at home, slightly behind ophthalmologists. But at 53 percent, dermatologists topped the list by a considerable margin in reporting a high level of happiness at work.

Among the least happy specialists are family and emergency medicine physicians, with only 36 percent reporting great happiness at work, followed at 37 percent by internists and radiologists.

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Jan 13 2014

In the Media: The Straight Story about Travel Nursing

This is part of the January 2014 issue of Sharing Nursing's Knowledge.

Travel nursing has gotten some bad press recently thanks to Scrubbing In, a salacious new “reality” show on MTV about a group of young travel nurses in California.

More realistic and less sensational information can be found at The Gypsy Nurse, a blog about travel nursing by Candy Treft, RN, a veteran of the field. It is aimed at nurses who suffer from what she calls “hypertravelosis,” a tongue-in-cheek condition in which nurses have an overactive need and desire to travel. The treatment plan, of course, involves becoming a travel nurse.

Treft was inspired to become a nurse when she found herself unemployed and attempting to support herself and two young children. She decided to become a travel nurse in 2004, and has since worked in 16 states and in Europe. She has also traveled throughout North, Central, and South America.

“I live, work, eat, sleep, and breathe TRAVEL,” she writes on her site.

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Jan 2 2014

Nurses Continue to Top Public Trust Survey

With all the changes in the country’s health care system, one thing has remained constant: nurses remain the nation’s most trusted profession.

Nurses topped Gallup’s annual survey as the profession most trusted by the public again last year.  It was the 12th year in a row—and the 14th time in the 15-year history of the survey—that the public rated nurses as the most trusted profession.

Gallup conducted the survey in December.  More than four in five respondents (82%) said “high” or “very high” when asked: How would you rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in these different fields – very high, high, average, low, or very low?

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Dec 4 2013

The Importance of Nursing in Achieving the “Best Care at Lower Cost”

Richard C. Lindrooth, PhD, is an associate professor at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Olga Yakusheva, PhD, is an associate professor of economics at Marquette University. Both are grantees of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative.

file Richard C. Lindrooth

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released the findings of its Committee on the Learning Health Care System in America in a report entitled “Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America[i] in September, 2012. The report recognized that the complexity of clinical decision-making is rapidly increasing and that clinicians need to continuously update their skills in order to keep up with (1) rapidly expanding diagnostic and treatment options and (2) the increasingly complex and chronic clinical condition of patients.  Given the growing external demands placed on nurses, the IOM reports that a critical determinant of the success of an organization in dealing with these demands is how “a learning health care organization harnesses its internal wisdom—staff expertise, patient feedback, financial data, and other knowledge—to improve its operations.”

file Olga Yakusheva

Nurses in particular are in an excellent position to play a central role in creating a virtuous feedback loop such that it is feasible to continuously adjust and incrementally improve systems in response to rapidly changing external demands.  The report, supported by the results of a growing and increasingly robust body of academic research, stresses the important role of leadership and management in fostering and maintaining an environment within which continuous learning could take hold.

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Nov 20 2013

Survey Shows a Shift in Physicians’ Compensation, But Not Their Disappointment

The website Physicians Practice has released its annual Physician Compensation Survey, which for the third straight year shows that a majority of U.S. physicians view the income from their medical practice as “disappointing.” In 2013, 54 percent defined their net income this way, the same number as a year earlier, but 5 percent more than those who took the survey in 2011.

Physicians Practice surveyed 1,474 physicians and staff for the survey, asking about personal income, practice overhead, practice outlook, and other financial issues. For the first time, the survey acknowledged the shift from volume-based reimbursement to value-based reimbursement, asking respondents to share how much of their income is tied to factors other than the number of patients they see.

Thirty-three percent of respondents said a portion of their compensation is tied to value (quality and cost of care provided), with 8.5 percent of that group saying this was the only factor in their pay. Furthermore, 24 percent of respondents said a portion of their compensation was tied specifically to patient satisfaction.

However, productivity remained the dominant factor in physician compensation, with 28 percent of survey respondents saying that their entire compensation package was factored on productivity alone. Another 37 percent said it made up a portion of their annual pay.

See the 2013 Physician Compensation Survey results.
Read coverage of the survey in Becker’s Hospital Review.

Nov 12 2013

Recent Research About Nursing, November 2013

This is part of the November 2013 issue of Sharing Nursing's Knowledge.

Creating Healthy Workspaces for Older Nurses

The nursing workforce is aging, in part because the nation's economic difficulties have prompted some nurses to delay retirement. A new literature review by Jaynelle Stichler, DNSc, NEA-BC, FACHE, of the San Diego State University School of Nursing, examines ways hospital work environments might be fine-tuned to help older nurses navigate the health challenges associated with their physically demanding work. The article was published online on October 17 by the Journal of Nursing Management.

Noting that Centers for Disease Control & Prevention data indicate that older workers' on-the-job injuries tend to be more severe than those suffered by younger workers, Stichler offers recommendations culled from 25 separate studies conducted since 2002. They include:

  • Ergonomic seating and countertops with the correct height for charting tables, and adequate space for keyboards, in order to prevent strains caused by working in improper body positions;
  • Adequate lighting and non-slip floor surfaces to reduce the risk of falling;
  • Decentralized linen, equipment, and supply storage in or near patient rooms, and decentralized nursing stations, in order to diminish walking distances;
  • Electrical and medical gas outlets placed on either side of the patients' beds and at an easily accessible height, rather than behind or above the head of the bed, so that nurses won't have to strain to plug in equipment;
  • Enhanced task lighting options over beds or on swing arms to ease eye strain and help nurses with visual acuity problems; and
  • Barrier-free patient bathroom and shower designs, with floor drains and shower curtains, so nurses needn't use towels to mop up water.

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Aug 16 2013

A Personal Mission Statement

Clyde Evans, PhD, is an alumnus of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Health Policy Fellows program and president of CE Consulting in Needham, Massachusetts.


In 1995 I was getting “media training” with another colleague, consisting mostly of being interviewed on camera and then critiquing the tape. At one point the consultant stopped the taping of my colleague (a medical school dean) and said “we know you’re smart; we want to know what you’re passionate about.”  Though I wasn’t asked at the time, I realized I couldn’t say (or didn’t know) what I was passionate about. I figured I’d better find out.

"It is not important what your particular mission is. It’s only important that you have one."

In pretty short order I came up with this: “I want to help ensure that every man, woman and child in the U.S. has a chance to live a healthy life.” That “personal mission statement” subsequently led me to the RWJF Health Policy Fellows program and guided me as a fellow, becoming a kind of “litmus test” for me: “How does (or could) X help to give people a shot at a healthy life?”  If I could see that connection, I could care about whatever X was. While this dynamic was admittedly personal and idiosyncratic, it still helped me navigate several key decisions during my fellowship year.

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Aug 14 2013

Health Care Workers Have Confidence in Job Security, Prospects

One in three health care workers say they are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months, according to a survey by Harris Interactive on behalf of the human resources and staffing company, Randstad Healthcare.

Among other findings from the survey:

  • Fifty-four percent of health care workers believe they could find a new job in the next 12 months.
  • About six in 10 health care workers “feel confident in the future of their employer,” and 81 percent feel secure in their jobs.
  • More than a quarter of health care workers (26%) say the economy is getting stronger—a four percentage point increase from last quarter.

The survey includes online responses from 188 health care workers who are 18 or older.

Read a news release about the study.
Read the study.