June 25th, 2015 · Leave a Comment
By Dana Smith
Written by: Ilana Logvinov, M.S.N., R.N.
Nurses often ask me about my role as an Advanced Certified RN Clinical Research Coordinator. How did I learn about it ? What do I do in this role? In fact, my role is very diverse and as a dedicated RN Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC) for the Department of Anesthesiology at Mayo Clinic in Florida, I have grown in this role tremendously.
Clinical Trials Nurse (CTN) or RN CRC are registered nurses specialized in the facilitation and conduct clinical trials involving human subjects. A nurse working with clinical trials has a wide range of responsibilities involving coordination of care and research activities. CTNs or RN CRCs are responsible for not only managing the prescreening process for prospective eligible research subjects, but also enrollment, recruitment, and participation in the informed consent process. CTNs or RN CRCs are responsible for supervising the coordination of care for research participants with other members of the multidisciplinary research team in addition to maintaining the research files according to the Federal Guidelines.
Becoming a CTN or RN CRC is huge learning curve for even an experienced RN, because the “research language” is very different and learning Federal Regulations is imperative to outstanding performance. It took me about 2 years to really learn my new role and understand all the language surrounding research. It was also beneficial for me to complete my MSN with major in Clinical Trials Research. After coordinating trials for several years, I became more involved with drafting the research proposals, conducting literature searches, and contributing to manuscript preparation. My clinical experience as a nurse really helped me understand the logistics and practicality of conducting clinical trials. In addition to my clinical experience, I continued to gain knowledge through post graduate studies in my doctorate program.
June 19th, 2015 · Leave a Comment
By Jill Turck
Erin Martin, CRNA, DNP
We’ve all heard the adage, “Those who can do . . . Those who can’t teach.” Whoever coined that phrase had obviously never met a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. As CRNAs, we teach every day – we teach our patients, their families, the public, and those with whom we collaborate professionally. And some of us are fortunate enough teach the next generation of CRNAs. I consider myself lucky to be a member of that group.
I received my Master of Nurse Anesthesia degree in 2005 from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, School of Health Sciences Master of Nurse Anesthesia Program. Attending the anesthesia program at the Mayo Clinic was a true privilege, as it is the oldest continually operating Nurse Anesthesia Program in the country – celebrating its 125th Anniversary in October, 2014. As a student in this program, I had the opportunity to work side by side and learn from many of the experts who write the textbooks that line our shelves. When I graduated, I had no idea that I would eventually become a faculty member at my respected alma mater.
When we were all eager new graduates, we had many goals and aspirations. For most of us, spreading our wings and refining our anesthesia delivery skills was at top of that list. Along with that goal, many of us also wanted to impact our profession in some way. For me, becoming involved in education was an effective means of doing just that.
I view the provision of anesthesia to patients undergoing surgical procedures as one of the greatest privileges in nursing and medicine. The trust that patients put in anesthesia providers is great, and so is the subsequent professional responsibility. I feel lucky to be able to both provide this care and educate others on how to do so. In my role as an educator, I strive to instill in students a sense of inquiry and professionalism while providing them with solid didactic and clinical preparation for their anesthesia careers. Just as providing anesthesia to patients is a great privilege coupled with great responsibility, so is providing education to curious minds.
So what does a day in the life of a nurse anesthesia educator look like? One certainty – two days never look the same! Most days involve a variety of activities – preparing lectures, correcting papers, scheduling workshops, attending meetings, working with students on research projects, etc. The amount of preparation that goes into developing an entire course is astounding. I aim to make sure that my courses include the latest evidence, and involve multiple modes of teaching in order to reach all types of learners. This does not happen without the investment of a lot of time and energy – a fact I had grossly underestimated prior to my involvement as a faculty member. The days when I am involved in face to face classroom lectures are the best days, as I have an opportunity to interact with the students. These days may involve lecturing, instructing students in workshops or simulation sessions, or casually visiting with them and hearing about their clinical experiences. The feeling one receives when you see the ‘light bulb’ illuminate for a student is nearly indescribable.
Watching the transformation of a timid, new SRNA into a confident clinician is an amazing experience, and one that is rarely seamless. Every student struggles at some point in his or her program, whether it is with intubations, pharmacology, or communication. Helping the struggling student, and seeing him or her overcome roadblocks is particularly rewarding. Because I also work in clinical practice, I have the opportunity to work side by side with the students I teach. What a gratifying feeling it is to help a student with an induction or emergence, and realize they barely need you there. Working with students also makes me a better clinical practitioner; teaching them how to deliver the best possible care is a constant personal reminder to follow my own instruction.
Although it may sound mundane, preparing lectures and developing curriculum is also a challenging and rewarding aspect of my job as an educator. Examining current literature, staying abreast of the newest technologies and issues within our profession, and figuring out how to most effectively and creatively deliver this information to students is invigorating. Ensuring this information is delivered within the framework of the standards set forth by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs is a crucial component of curriculum development and delivery. Much debate occurs within our profession about the quality of educational programs these days. I feel a great sense of responsibility to make sure that the program of which I am a part delivers the highest quality, most up to date information possible to our learners, and a great sense of pride when I see the high quality CRNAs that are entering our profession.
It’s an exciting time to be involved in Nurse Anesthesia Education. The advent of the clinical doctorate, new technology, and political influences have brought with them both positive and negative chatter within our profession . . . which all leads to interesting dialogue. Why do we need the clinical doctorate? How will it make me a better CRNA? Is more technology beneficial or detrimental? What can we do to ensure our profession remains respected and relevant? As an educator, I have the opportunity to engage in these rich conversations and hopefully provide some answers to these not-so-straightforward questions.
I would encourage everyone to re-examine those new-graduate goal lists we all made after graduation, and to thoughtfully consider how you might influence our profession. Maybe your means of influence and improvement is through anesthesia education. Remember . . . those who can do, and those who can do it really well, teach others how! The profession of nurse anesthesia has a long, rich history . . . and with dedicated educators, it will also have a solid and bright future.
Written for AANA - Become a CRNA
June 9th, 2015 · Leave a Comment
By Dana Smith
There are thousands of facilities that hire new grad nurses to fill nursing opportunities. Of course they train and provide an onboarding program but, is it enough to help new nurses gain the skills and knowledge at the beginning of their career? Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida offers a Nurse Residency program that is recruiting top students from around the country, has low turnover, is changing the lives of many new grad nurses and ultimately creating better patient outcomes while strengthening the skills and confidence of the new graduate.
According to Maria Becker, RN, “The program helped me gradually adjust to my role as a nurse, providing a 12 week orientation with a nurse preceptor, residency classes in varying topics every month, shadow experiences in different departments, and a nurse mentor for the first year. I remember going home each day after my first weeks and thinking that there were so many little things I learned that day that I did not know before. For a while it was all about the little successes throughout the shift, giving myself credit for something I didn’t know how to do a day earlier. It was also so nice to have a nurse mentor, someone I could talk to when I was nervous about my first shift on my own, had a difficult shift, experienced my first code, or what she did in a similar situation, etc. I think having a mentor in the nursing profession, especially as a new nurse, is so important and can really make a difference in that first year out of school adjusting to the RN role.”
Rachel Shad, RN, “I think the aspect of the program that is most helpful is being able to have a group of peers who are all at the same stage of their careers, that are able to come together in a group and share stories, offer advice and just have open discussions about the different struggles and successes they are having on their individual units. It helps normalize some of the stresses and pressures that you experience during your first year of nursing.”
Recently the Nurse Residency program at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida was highlighted in Nursing Management Magazine, to read the article please visit this link. Reeling in RN's with a residency program
For more information visit our website at Nurse Residency in Florida.
April 8th, 2015 · Leave a Comment
By Jill Turck
Nursing Students hope you have a great conference at this week’s convention NSNA! Stop by our booth 509/511 to learn more about our A Life-Changing Career with Mayo Clinic!
The Summer III Nursing Externship Program extends beyond the borders of Rochester, MN. I learned this when I was first exposed to Mayo Clinic in Michigan and then again, two years later, in Kansas.
As a sophomore pre-nursing student, I was very aware of the Mayo Clinic Summer III Program and the way it helps nursing students connect theoretical classroom knowledge to real life situations. To my amazement, Mayo Clinic attended a career fair at Calvin College, a small Christian school in Grand Rapids, MI. While senior nursing students crowded around the Mayo table to speak about post-graduation employment, I waited to find out about the Summer III program. The HR person’s face beamed when I finally made it through the line and told her of my interest. “Latasha, this last one’s for you,” she said and that’s how I met Latasha Perkins, Mayo Clinic’s wonderful Summer III ambassador. I already had my information packet in hand so Latasha quickly realized I didn’t need logistical details. I needed to know if I was a good fit for Mayo Clinic. So, although it was late in the day, and she probably would have liked to pack up and leave, Latasha sat down to listen to me explain my passion for nursing and all my lofty career goals.
She connected with me on such a genuinely personal level that, by the end of our short conversation, I knew Latasha is amazing and different from any other recruiter I’d ever met. NOW, of course, I recognize that she was upholding what I know to be the Mayo Clinic Values. But back then I was simply struck by the idea that, if Mayo Clinic has people like Latasha, then I want to be there too. After repeating my name about a dozen times, and asking her not to forget me, I promised she would see my application the following December. She laughed good-naturedly and promised not to forget.
My life took an unexpected turn when I decided to take a gap year in my studies and work full time as an EMT in Chicago while transferring to a larger university. I was willing to finish my undergraduate degree a year later than originally planned but I also had to postpone Mayo Clinic. So, nine months after meeting Latasha, I emailed her to explain why I wouldn’t be applying for the 2013 program after all. With little expectation she would recall our meeting, a few hours later, crazy as it sounds, I received her response. She DID remember me and would be expecting my application for 2014. Thank you for not forgetting me Latasha. By remembering and caring, you showed me for a second time, just how special Mayo Clinic must be. Without your warm response, I don’t know if I would have mustered the energy to apply to a long-distance externship so soon after re-starting my life in Kansas City. But I did and I was incredibly excited and grateful to accept my Summer III offer.
Little did I know I would experience the “Mayo Way” once again before actually moving to Rochester becoming a Summer III.
I met Mary, a pre-op nurse at a Kansas Hospital, during one of my clinical days in the CV-OR last Spring. Within minutes of working with our first patient of the day I could tell there was something dramatically different about the way Mary provided care. Despite the fact it was 7AM, and Mary’s third consecutive day working a12-hour shift, I watched as she treated our anxious patient with compassion and reassurance. She took the time to listen to his concerns and answer every question, no matter how small. She had a contagious smile on her face and assumed complete responsibility for helping the patient feel calm and safe. She performed her nursing tasks so diligently that, by the time his family left for the waiting room, she had time to pull a chair to his bedside and simply hold his hand – one person connecting to another. She didn’t see him as just another patient; she saw him as an important individual with highly individual needs.
When the patient was transported to the OR, Mary turned to me and asked what I was doing with my summer. My response was general – just that I would be working as an extern in Minnesota. But Mary immediately gasped with delight and said, “Are you going to be a Summer III?” Before I could figure out how she knew, she said she was a Summer III and it had been the single most impactful experience of her nursing career. She made lifelong friends that summer, was even in one roommate’s wedding, and the women remain close friends years later, getting together frequently even though they live in different states.
All of a sudden I realized I had seen Mayo Clinic in action – again – only this time it was a Summer III who was one of my nursing mentors. I was incredibly impressed by Mary, as a person and as a nurse, but I still couldn’t understand how Mayo Clinic produces such wonderful people. What was the secret? I combed the website over and over again, reading all the information and watching and re-watching the Summer III interviews on-line. I wasn’t skeptical when I heard their comments, I just couldn’t fathom a place like they were describing.
Week One of our Summer III Program began to give me answers. As I found myself standing in the unfamiliar setting of an OR, I sensed right away that there were many things to learn here that nursing school wouldn’t, and just couldn’t, teach. Mayo Clinic would teach me about nursing that goes well beyond medications and procedures.
During week two, a patient came into the OR and, as the anesthesia team began their work, my clinical coach walked to the patient’s side to provide a smile and a hand to hold, I saw the patient’s body relax and it all seemed very familiar. Suddenly it clicked and all made sense as I thought back to Mary in Kansas City. Handholding is an international symbol of care and comfort and it represents the spirit of nursing at Mayo Clinic. That’s what I’d been struggling to identify. The Mayo Way is all about caring.
These are Mayo-trained nurses, I thought to myself, the ones who truly and wholeheartedly believe that the patient always comes first. These are the nurses who are willing to hold hope for a patient when he can’t hold it for himself. Mary and Becky embody Mayo Clinic nursing and now I will too. Thank you Becky for all your support and guidance, and for holding my hand during 10 weeks that have powerfully changed my life.
I am so thankful to be a Summer III. The program has been everything I hoped it would be and I’m convinced we have each been prepared and empowered for an exceptional nursing career. We may be here at Mayo Clinic or, like Mary, hundreds of miles away. But wherever we’re called to serve, we will always be Mayo-trained nurses and people will notice there’s something different about us – some THING that sets us apart from the rest. Thanks to Mayo Clinic, I can’t imagine ever being anything less.
March 20th, 2015 · Leave a Comment
By Jill Turck
My name is Amelia Howell and I am an LPN at the Mayo Family Clinic Northeast. I have been at Mayo for three months but my journey to get here was a long one. I had dreamed of being a nurse since I was eight and working for Mayo became a dream shortly after.
Two family members have battled cancer. One was treated at Mayo in Rochester. One was not treated at Mayo and passed away within a year of diagnosis. I always felt the quality of care received, or rather didn’t receive, made all the difference, thus making Mayo all the more appealing to me. For me, the best thing about being at Mayo is exactly that. I AM AT MAYO! I have struggled with Cerebral Palsy my whole life and while being a nurse was always my dream, I was often told that it was a foolish dream; eventually I got a push from a very dear friend and went to school. School was no easy feat and I became very ill during my last few quarters making it seem like I was going to be unsuccessful with my nursing career. I pressed on though and eventually, I made it to my pinning ceremony and passed my boards. I had done it, I had become a nurse.
The question now was could I actually make it a career, and then one day I got the call, Mayo was offering me a position. Not only had I succeeded at becoming a nurse when several doctors told me it was an impossibility, I was going to be working for Mayo. My dream had finally been realized. When it came time to start, I was nervous to say the least, I began to question my abilities as a nurse, but then something changed, while orientating at my clinic I was constantly working as part of a team, and in an effort to be part of the team and make teamwork successful I began to feel empowered. I began to have a can do attitude, and realize that I can do this, I have all the skills. Because I felt so empowered I began to volunteer to learn new skills and even to be one of the LPN on a pilot project at our clinic. While I am a long way from being an expert in my field I have several resources and a great support system to help me grow through my career with Mayo. More important to me than the benefits or the reputation I get by being a Mayo employee is the knowledge that should I choose to further my nursing career Mayo would support me. While I have only worked for Mayo a short while it has made a huge impact on my life, not just in my sense of pride and accomplishment, but it has helped me to believe anything is possible. As for my family, I have never seen my mother more proud. Mayo for her has always meant the difference between life and death, it has always meant quality of care and kind nurses. I have yet to have a day where I haven’t thought to myself, today is a good day. I am at Mayo.
Written By Amelia Howell
LPN at the Mayo Family Clinic Northeast
November 17th, 2014 · Leave a Comment
Written by: Rita Jury, Nurse Administrator
Jim Hubert, a registered nurse educator and wound care specialist at Mayo Clinic Health System Oakridge in Osseo, Wisconsin, celebrates life by giving. Even before he became a nurse (his second career), Jim was generous with his time and talent by serving those in the community, and he and his wife raised their family to do the same. He feels blessed and chooses to bless others!
Jim has been at Oakridge for 12 years and has engaged fellow employees in feeding the homeless through The Community Tabl
e in Eau Claire. Two or three times a year, the signs go up announcing the next Oakridge-hosted event. Jim gathers employee volunteers who prepare, cook, serve and clean up after the meal that typically serves between 150 and 200 homeless people. He also has a theme and gathers items that are necessary for that population – personal hygiene needs, like soap, washcloths, and deodorant; dental care needs like toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, and denture cleaner, and; winter needs like long underwear (a huge favorite!), and new or gently used sweaters, fleece, coats, hats and mittens for people of all sizes and ages (we sometimes forget that children are homeless too).
Jim organizes one person to check blood pressures for any person who stops by. Community Table charges the sponsoring site $100 to help defray the cost of food. Jim gathers donations or pays this fee himself.
Those of us who have participated with Jim are humbled by the benefits we receive – we see grateful people get food, warm clothing, a blood pressure screening, a smile, a warm hello. We see a team of employees pulling together for a great cause and having a wonderful time getting to know one another better. We leave feeling we received so much more than we gave. An additional benefit: We care for each other differently after we serve together!
Jim’s volunteerism didn’t start or stop with the Community Table – he’s been involved in projects with his church, with Hope Gospel Mission, Feed My People, and the Eau Claire Free Clinic, and he has a passion for finding and recycling medical equipment for people with a need. Jim’s house has stored hospital beds, wheelchairs, commodes, walkers, lift chairs, shower chairs, canes and more over the years. Nothing makes Jim happier than to place equipment in the homes of people who cannot afford what they need to recover fully.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful season of giving thanks and of giv
ing back. Jim’s tireless energy around giving reminds those of us who work with him that poverty and homelessness and need are not seasonal. Jim reminds us that giving is a way of life.
September 18th, 2014 · 2 Comments
By Dana Smith
Written by: Ilana Logvinov, RN, MSN, CCRP
RN Advanced Clinical Research Coordinator
May 2003 was the date my journey began at Mayo Clinic in Florida. I began working as a staff nurse in the Medical ICU. Prior to joining Mayo Clinic, I completed my initial nursing education in Odessa, Ukraine. I moved to the U.S. in 1997, and in 2001 I graduated with my associate’s degree in nursing science. As I worked at Mayo Clinic, I continued my education and eventually obtained my BSN and MSN degrees in clinical trials research. I have always been self-motivated, and my colleagues provided tremendous emotional support for my nursing endeavors. I have always wanted to work in research, and I began working as a clinical research coordinator for the Department of Anesthesiology in 2007. This was a life-changing career move for me.
Clinical research opened so many opportunities and allowed me to excel academically. After completing my MSN in 2010, I began working closely with my investigators and participating in writing research proposals, completing the studies, and writing manuscripts for publication. I shared my passion for research with many nurses I mentored along the way as well as clinical research interns. I am currently working on my doctorate of nursing practice degree. My successful career would not have been possible if it was not for Mayo Clinic and wonderful staff that work here. My favorite quote is by Walt Disney: “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
August 26th, 2014 · Leave a Comment
Written by Nichole Herr, RN
In August of 2006 I started with Mayo Clinic in Rochester as a Vascular Access Technician in the Thoracic/Vascular ICU. Growing up all I wanted to be was a Veterinarian, so this was an interesting change of pace.
A year into that position, which I held for 6 years, I decided I really liked working in the hospital and specifically for Mayo Clinic. With the help of Mayo’s great tuition reimbursement program, I completed nursing school and graduated in 2011. From then on, the doors seemed to continually be opening for me within Mayo. I had amazing support working for the float pool in Rochester. After a year of general care I was hired to their ICU float pool and continued to thrive as a new nurse. The sky literally seems to be the limit within Mayo. Peers are always pushing you forward and are there to help along the way.
In the winter of 2013, after spending my whole life in small town Minnesota I was thinking I needed a change of scenery. Knowing I never wanted to leave “Mother Mayo” I started looking at positions in AZ. A patient had told me the previous fall that I needed to stop trying to control my destiny and just go through the doors as they open. This hit me really hard…so I applied for a position within the ICU at the Phoenix Campus and decided to see what happened. After that the flood gates literally opened. On a flight down to AZ to run a race, I scheduled 3 interviews for positions and when I landed was given the opportunity to do an exchange with the AZ Campus. Mayo took amazing care of me, as well as my co-workers. We were treated great while helping the ICU in AZ temporarily and I would strongly recommend this experience to anyone.
After the exchange ended, I made my permanent transition to Mayo Clinic AZ. I feel so lucky to work for such a great institution and will forever be thankful for the opportunities I have been given as a result.