Dell Medical School Construction Update

Things are changing here at the UT Austin School of Nursing. Seriously changing!

May 7, 2014: Two weeks after the groundbreaking for the Dell Medical School, Centennial Park becomes ground zero.

May 7, 2014: Two weeks after the groundbreaking for the Dell Medical School, Centennial Park becomes ground zero.

Once ground was broken for the Dell Medical School and a new teaching hospital on April 21, it’s been full steam ahead.

Parking lots have been ripped up. A few trees have been taken down. Roads have been closed. A park has disappeared.

May 14, 2014: Another week, another mound of dirt.

May 14, 2014: Another week, another mound of dirt.

And still we stand!

Here are a few photos showing the construction progress next door (which will be the hospital). The medical school will be across the street where the Erwin Center parking lot once was.

Check back in a couple of months for more information and photos of the progress.

May 30, 2014: Looks like all that rain over Memorial Day weekend brought the grass back to life. Notice how the large trees have "collars" around them. This is part of the process of relocating them. Big job!

May 30, 2014: Looks like all that rain over Memorial Day weekend brought the grass back to life. Notice how the large trees have “collars” around them. This is part of the process of relocating them. Big job!

Oh! And if you were concerned about the statues of the three muses that once graced Centennial Park next door, they were safely relocated to Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum near Zilker Park.

Background: Last year, the UT System Board of Regents committed $334 million for the construction. Additionally, the Seton Healthcare Family has committed $295 million — a portion of which will come from fundraising — to build a new 211-bed teaching hospital to replace the aging University Medical Center Brackenridge.

June 11, 2014: Still fairly green. And the mound of dirt keeps growing.

June 11, 2014: Still fairly green. And the mound of dirt keeps growing.

Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas will serve as the medical school’s primary clinical in-patient teaching facility and enhance services to residents of Central Texas.

At the Learning Center

Woman in library

Mandy Deen, Librarian at the School of Nursing Learning Center

Many of you may be very familiar with the School of Nursing Learning Center on the 5th floor of the Nursing building.

Some of you may not be familiar with the Learning Center on the 5th floor at all.

Some of you may believe I am confusing the collection of lunch tables and excellent napping couches in the southeast corner of the 5th floor of the Nursing building with some kind of center of learning, but I assure you, that’s what it is!

I know because I work there. I am your friendly, coffee-dependent, departmental librarian, and I have therefore compiled the following list of tips and notes (#LCLifehacks, I fully expect this hashtag to be trending later today) regarding the Learning Center (LC) and nursing research.

The LC is covered with giant windows. The thermostat is probably lying to us all about the real temperature, so bring some layers! In the winter you can pretend you’re shooting your very own North Face commercial.

Woman and printer

The printer seems to be working!

If you are a Twitter user, you can follow the LC’s very own Twitter account (@TheSONLC) to find out the instant a) the printer is broken, b) or fixed, c) if any new fancy materials have been donated or bought for the LC, d) if there is any free food at the reference desk, and e) if any advances or changes occur in the field of academic research.

Set up your own accounts on any of the databases you use: It will make your life so much easier when you want to save or revisit items you previously found. Particularly when it’s 3 a.m. and you’ve just decided to completely change your paper topic.

Use more than one academic database. Different databases have different materials. We all like the interface of the ONE single database we’ve used for everything since high school, but Wikipedia is very much against the rules in college. Being familiar with more than one interface will give you a lot of academic flexibility and make you a stronger, more fearless student.

If you’re a graduate student OR writing a lengthy literature review, don’t work harder than you have to. Look into downloading and using a Citation Manager. They allow you to store articles, PDFs and create citations easily. Some of them are free! Some of them are not! Check out the LC bulletin board on the 5th floor by the south elevator for further details on the more popular options. (ReadCube, Mendely, Zotero, Endnote).

During October the LC has free candy! Plan your meals accordingly.

Woman at computer

The Learning Center’s computer classroom

The LC has two scanning computers, both in the outer computer classroom. Instructions are taped to the desk by the computer, and many people from all walks of academia have successfully scanned items. Don’t be intimidated.

The LC has a lot of clinical equipment, and some of it may be useful to students conducting health fair screenings and school presentations. Relevant items include School of Nursing banners, scales, anatomical models, blood pressure cuffs and thermometers. I personally feel that the UT Austin School of Nursing Hypertension Screening Banner does not get enough circulation.

student asleep with book on couch

One of the center’s excellent napping couches

The LC does NOT have Mac chargers for check out, but we do offer a battery pack for laptops with a Mac adapter. It also has adapters for PC laptops. It is advertised to last 19 hours! Which should be more than long enough to get you through your classes, even if they feel longer.

The LC lab computers just will not print HTML documents. They won’t even recognize your command when it comes to HTML. Try and cut and paste your text into a Word document. They’re better at those.

A $20 bill is hidden in the seat cushions in the LC couch. First person to find it …… keeps it.*

The LC also has a select number of laptop computers for student check out. Checkout times range from two hours to a week. These are very precious items; please handle them carefully, like a newborn child.

Lost and found box

Don’t look for lost IDs in the Lost and Found box!

If you have lost your ID in the LC it probably won’t be in the “Lost and Found” box at the end of the reference desk. We keep lost IDs in a secret behind-the-desk location. Ask one of the workers to check for you.

There you have it. These are all the important details for a successful semester at the Learning Center.

If you have any questions at all, or any kind of free pretzels, please stop by and see me.

— Mandy Deen

*OK, not really. $20! That’s a lot of pretzels!!

Nurses Need Nutrition, Too

Shannan Needleman and her daughter Taylor

Alumna Shannan Needleman and her daughter Taylor

Whether as a nursing student, professor, school nurse, floor nurse or research nurse, at one time or another we’ve all had to eat on the go. There never seems to be enough time in the day to sit down and enjoy a meal. We’re always looking forward to the next class, next patient or next task at hand.

Some nurses work nights adding to their dietary disorder. We, as nurses, stress the importance of good nutrition with our patients, but when it comes to nourishing ourselves, nurses are just as guilty of turning to empty calories or skipping meals all together.

This post is a gentle reminder that nurses should take time to grab a healthy snack and seek nutritious meals.

Surprisingly, the hospital cafeteria is not always the best model for nutrition. Often they grill frozen processed hamburgers and chicken breasts and offer high-calorie, sugary, carbonated drinks. In most hospitals, the cafeteria is rarely open at night or serves a limited menu of junk food items, such as microwaveable sandwiches and burritos.

Patients’ families are typically quite generous, especially around the holidays, and love to spoil the nursing staff with sweets and desserts. These are just a few of the contributing factors to poor nurse nutrition, lethargy and weight gain.

Although you might think that bad eating habits don’t affect your job performance, the headache, lack of energy, and grogginess you feel after your 44-oz. soda rush leaves you mentally and physically challenged for the remainder of your shift. You may also find that those extra pounds hiding around your waistline make it harder to move patients. Without a doubt, your nutrition affects your overall wellness and your ability to think on the job.

OK, so maybe nutrition is important even for the most physically fit and brightest nurses, but with all these roadblocks how can nurses motivate themselves? Little things make a big difference; first explore new foods.

There is always something exciting about opening up your lunchbox and finding a food you’ve never tasted. Even the most diversified eater can find something in a farmers’ market or health food store they have never tried before. You may find you hate certain flavors and textures, but at the very least you will expand your palate.

Dr. Seuss promoted this concept in his beloved book Green Eggs and Ham.

You do not like them so you say.
Try them, try them, and you may!
Try them and you may, I say.
Sam, if you would let me be,
I will try them, and you will see.
Say!
I like green eggs and ham!
I do!! I like them, Sam-I-am!

Speaking of lunchboxes, treat yourself to a sassy new lunch carrier. Gone are the days of metal lunch pails displaying your favorite Muppet character. Today you can find shabby chic, contemporary and useful containers to store your meals. My personal favorite is Vera Bradley. Although on the pricier side, I have found the quality of these lunch carriers to be impeccable.

The Container Store has unique items to store lunch, from trendy thermal lunch sacks to stackable bento boxes, the options are endless. And don’t forget to add a fun matching tumbler or travel mug, which often can be personalized. Do you have a favorite lunch container idea or brand you love? Please share your favorites in the comments section below.

Thinking outside the (lunch) box brings some excitement back into your meals. Try packing your favorite granola cereal, milk and yogurt for your night shift. Some of my favorite meals involve creatively mixing things I love, such as sandwiches made of peanut butter, honey and apples on toast, and Nutella and bananas on raisin cinnamon bread.

Another favorite is ham, cheese and mayo sandwiches served on King Hawaiian original sweet bread buns with salt and vinegar chips. Consider tortillas, pita bread and crackers combined with sandwich items or dips like sun-dried tomato hummus or pesto.

Pinterest and the internet are filled with ideas for creative lunches and snacks. Spend a day surfing and finding new ideas that appeal to you. This small effort will make a difference and light that spark of inspiration, which hopefully will encourage you to think about nutrition in 2014.

Most importantly work for a balanced diet. Try filling your lunchbox with all the food groups, including grains, fruits, dairy, vegetables, and a good source of protein.

Here are some helpful links:

Container Store

Vera Bradley

Thirty-One

Lunchbox.com

Lunch Ideas

Awesome Lunches to Bring to Work

7 Easy, Speedy Lunches

85 Snack Ideas for Kids & Adults

Let Me Give You Some Advice

Graduate coordinators for the UT Austin School of Nursing

Tracy Demchuk and Rudy Ortiz, Graduate Coordinators

The job of a graduate coordinator goes far beyond advising students. They must be effective advocates for graduate students and graduate causes for the School of Nursing. In addition to being accessible to students, the graduate coordinator role involves:

  • Providing an effective liaison between students and the graduate advisor, the graduate program, and the graduate school
  • Having the ability to carry out administrative tasks
  • Anticipating problems and resolving issues effectively
  • Having great communication and organizational skills
  • Having the ability to promote efficient and effective administration of the graduate programs

In this session of “Let Me Give You Some Advice,” we meet Tracy Demchuk and Rudy Ortiz, graduate coordinators for the School of Nursing.

Why is advising important?

Ortiz: Faculty advisors help graduate students navigate the system by assisting students in completing their program requirements for their MSN, post-MSN (certification) or PhD program and developing career goals. Graduate advisors and the graduate program coordinators also assist with The University of Texas at Austin and the School of Nursing policy and procedures, along with administrative duties submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies or Graduate and International Admissions Center.

Demchuk: Advising at the graduate level is two-fold. All graduate students have a faculty advisor who they officially meet twice a year to ensure that they are meeting course requirements for the concentration area in which they are enrolled. As a graduate coordinator, I support the faculty advisor by having a strong working knowledge of the academic policies as well as understanding each program of work, which also ensures that the student meets all course requirements and that all policies of the graduate school are being followed.

Graduate coordinators for the UT Austin School of Nursing

Graduate coordinators Tracy Demchuk and Rudy Ortiz review graduate programs

What is a typical day like for you?

Demchuk: It would depend on the semester and time of year. October through February, my typical day involves working on admissions and communicating with prospective students and the admissions team. A month or so of every semester, a typical day is preparing and coordinating advising. During the beginning of each semester, it’s dealing with registration issues or questions. No matter what time of year, a big part of most days is communication with students, prospective graduate students, and assisting graduate deans and faculty with data and questions. In addition, I need to be available at a moment’s notice to complete important time-sensitive tasks, which is an integral part of any process that ensures student success at the graduate level.

Ortiz: Answering 75 plus emails the first thing in the morning, returning several phone calls, being available for walk-ins during business hours, and working on several projects as we prepare for the next business cycle; for example, admissions, registration, prospective students, recruiting, advising, current student assistance, graduation. The list goes on!

What’s a typical question you get?

Demchuk: There are several. When is the last day to drop a course with a refund? Can I take this course credit/co-credit? Can you help me register for this course? Can I use this course for my support course?

Ortiz: Does the School of Nursing offer graduate online degree programs? Are there scholarships for me? How much scholarship funding may I expect to receive?

What are some of your job duties other than meeting one-on-one with students?

Demchuk: Speaking with prospective students, facilitating information sessions for the AE-MSN program, gathering graduate data for the School of Nursing and the university, managing admissions for the AE-MSN and AE-PhD program, coordinating and managing, advising internal transfers, keeping all documents and information current, managing graduate fellowships processes, assisting with compliance, assisting with School of Nursing alumni needs, and being part of team with all of the other School of Nursing departments.

Ortiz: Recruiting in the Texas area, certifying graduation, and assisting with graduation ceremony are some of the fun duties.

What do you consider the most important part of your job?

Demchuk: Being a liaison for School of Nursing graduate students and the university; which means I’m available to assist, direct and support each student to ensure that they are successful.

Ortiz: Being available to assist current students, faculty and prospective applicants in understanding the policies and procedures in order to achieve their educational goals.

What’s been one of the more difficult questions you’ve had to answer or situations you’ve had to deal with?

Demchuk: I don’t think any question or situation is too difficult to answer or deal with but the ones that tug on my heart are situations that are personal (loss, illness, etc.) and that are affecting or inhibiting student success.

Ortiz: Why hasn’t the School of Nursing started the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program since it is mandatory by 2015? This is a topic that applicants hear in chat rooms, that it will be mandatory for all nursing programs in the U.S. to establish a DNP program by 2015 and eliminate the traditional MSN nurse practitioner programs. THe DNP is not a mandatory requirement. It is a recommendation by the accrediting board for nursing programs to consider. The School of Nursing is currently exploring the possibility of starting the DNP program, but doesn’t have plans to dissolve the traditional MSN nurse practitioner programs.

What should students understand about the services you offer before they come to see you? How should they prepare?

Demchuk: A graduate coordinator can answer questions or point a student in the right direction, and we are here to help. But I like to instill a sense of responsibility in students by asking them to, at minimum, search for information prior to coming to my office. The School of Nursing and UT websites hold a wealth of information, and it just takes a SEARCH to find answers.

Ortiz: Students should understand that our office is available to assist them with their academic goals as they pursue their MSN or PhD degree. We provide the tools and resources needed to complete the necessary paperwork required by the university and the School of Nursing. Our goal is make life easier and less stressful so the students can focus on their studies.

Anything else you’d like to share about the job or about working with students?

Demchuk: I have worked in many roles in post-secondary admissions and student affairs for over 13 years, and my favorite aspect of every position has been the opportunity to work with students and watch each one succeed and GRADUATE! Being a small part of a student’s reaching the finishing line through graduation is very fulfilling.

Ortiz: It is one of the best jobs on campus. I have the opportunity to see students earn their degree (graduate) and walk the stage (commencement). That is the greatest joy, plus all the thank you’s we receive for doing our job. That’s rewarding to me … to see so many smiling faces of success.

A Closer Look at Health Care Rationing

Dr. Terry Jones

Dr. Terry Jones

Health care rationing is a politically charged issue that evokes deep emotional reactions from a variety of individuals and institutions: politicians, patients, payors and providers. Despite widespread agreement that resources to sustain current trends in health care spending are inadequate, the role of rationing in U.S. health care reform remains polarizing.

But what exactly  is health care rationing?

Rationing is a term used to describe allocation of resources in the context of scarcity, which exists in health care when the need for services exceeds the resources to provide services. Thus, health care rationing involves decisions to withhold beneficial services for reasons associated with inadequate resources.

Rationing is best discussed in the context of health-care decision making, which is made at multiple levels within the system:

•    the macro level, where policy is established by governments, health authorities, insurance plans, etc.;

•    the meso level, where organizational budgets are established by organizational administrators; and

•    the micro level, where care is delivered by clinicians.

Macro- and meso-level decisions are most commonly made by administrative authorities in the form of explicit policies and fixed budgetary allowances. Such policies are typically rule based and broadly applied. Decisions of this form that result in withholding health care are administrative and/or political in nature and are considered a form of explicit rationing.

In contrast, decisions about withholding care at the micro level are typically applied to specific patients and contexts based on the judgment of frontline clinicians. Decisions of this form are clinical and discretionary in nature and are considered a form of implicit rationing, also known as bedside rationing.

Most of the political rhetoric and media attention about health care rationing has centered on explicit rationing, while implicit rationing has received comparatively little attention. This is not surprising since policymaking is more visible to the public than bedside clinical decision making. Consequently, implicit rationing has been characterized as a form of hidden rationing that remains largely invisible to the public and possibly to patients themselves.

In essence, cost containment strategies shift the burden of responsibility for rationing decisions from policymakers to clinicians. Additionally, the decision-making process is shifted underground from the visible world of policymaking to the invisible world of clinical-decision making. Invisible decisions are inherently more difficult to measure and evaluate and invisible decision makers more difficult to hold accountable.

As prescribers of medical care, physicians are often viewed as gatekeepers for access to health care. However, health care extends beyond medicine to include multiple clinical disciplines, and access to medical care requires more than a physician prescription. Although medical care may be prescribed by physicians, it is largely accomplished through the interdependent and collaborative efforts of other disciplines, particularly nursing.

For example, physicians may prescribe medications, diets and procedures, but it is the nurse that must administer them. When the volume of care prescribed exceeds the available time among the nursing staff on duty, decisions must be made about which elements of care are completed and which are delayed or left undone. This might mean that, in order to administer all prescribed medications on time, a nurse may cut back on the amount of teaching provided, limit the frequency in which patients are assisted to the bathroom or skip a scheduled blood pressure assessment.

The frequency and patterns of implicit rationing of nursing care in the U.S. are not known. Furthermore, the practice of implicit rationing may not be generalizable across countries due to the variability in systems of health care delivery, health care reimbursement and nursing education. Given the U.S aversion to explicit rationing and the prevalence of cost containment initiatives among U.S. health care organizations, it is imperative that implicit rationing practices be more thoroughly explored and evaluated.

A study I recently completed provides evidence that implicit rationing may be a routine component of clinical decision making among medical-surgical nurses in at least one U.S. state. Moreover, it suggests that, when faced with time scarcity, medical-surgical nurses may favor completion of activities to address direct and immediate physiological health needs over psychological and future health needs.

The documented presence of implicit rationing of nursing care in the U.S. health care system has important implications for research, practice and education. Research is needed to determine if the relationships documented in other countries between implicit rationing and adverse patient outcomes are also present in the U.S. If these relationships are supported, then implicit rationing may serve as an important quality indicator.

A better understanding of the decision-making process is needed to guide quality assessment of rationing preference patterns and develop strategies to support “good” rationing decisions. Nurse leaders must create opportunities to learn more about the underlying rationale for rationing preferences and what information is considered when deciding among choice options.

Finally, more research is needed to assess relationships between specific preferences patterns; for example, completion of direct and immediate physiologic care activities and patient outcomes to support value judgments about the quality of rationing decisions.

Armed with this information, educators can better guide clinicians toward choice options associated with favorable risk-benefit profiles.

—Terry Jones, RN, PhD, assistant professor

________________________________________

Jones, Terry. (2014). Validation of the perceived implicit rationing of nursing care (PIRNCA) instrument. Nursing Forum, (early release online January 8, 2014). Doi:10.1111/nuf.12076

Jones, T. (in press). A descriptive analysis of implicit rationing of nursing care: frequency & patterns in Texas. Nursing Economic$

Learn About the ADN to BSN Program

ADN to BSN student

Nelda, ADN to BSN student

The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing’s Associate Degree in nursing to Bachelor of Science in nursing (ADN to BSN) program is designed to prepare registered nurses with an associate degree to advance their careers, gain new skills and confidence, pursue leadership opportunities, and prepare for graduate school.

“The different teaching-learning options in this program address the fact that most of these students have already started a nursing career and have life responsibilities in addition to employment. For instance, many have work schedules that vary weekly and may have families,” said Dr. Lorraine C. Haertel, assistant professor of clinical nursing. “Offering options that best fit their lifestyle, learning style and schedule is a strong contributing factor to our goal of increasing the number of nurses who have BSN degrees. Course options include the traditional face-to-face classroom, online and hybrid courses that combine online with periodic, but not necessarily weekly, classes.”

The ADN to BSN program takes approximately 15 months to complete if students attend part-time, and 10 months, if full-time. Students range from newly graduated ADN holders to nurses with more than 30 years of experience.

“It’s an unbelievable program,” said Dr. Linda Carpenter, associate professor of clinical nursing. “It’s rigorous and offers both depth and breadth. Once students graduate, they are prepared to carry out their job with greater confidence or pursue leadership opportunities. We are also seeing a growing interest from these students in advanced practice nursing. Completing the BSN program provides so many options.”

Information about the program, including admission requirements, has been published in a new brochure. If you are a registered nurse interested in obtaining a baccalaureate degree, stop by the School of Nursing to request a brochure, or contact Brian Losoya, ADN to BSN advisor, at blosoya@nursing.utexas.edu.

ADN to BSN student

James, ADN to BSN student

“Through this program, I have gained confidence in my skills as a nurse — and as a person. I plan to continue my education at UT Austin through graduate school, where I know I will be prepared to be the best nurse I can be.” —James, UT Austin ADN to BSN student.

The BSN program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the accrediting organization for professional nursing education and is approved by the Board of Nursing in Texas.

ADN to BSN student

Lauri, ADN to BSN student

“In my BSN program, I’m learning a more global aspect of health care. Besides learning ‘how’ to do the things nurses do, I’m learning ‘why’ they do them. It’s exciting!” —Lauri, UT Austin ADN to BSN student.

Student Nurses to the Rescue

Quote

Hurricane and fire seasons are upon us and a Boston-style bombing could happen at any time in any American city. Is Austin ready for an emergency?

People playing victims of disaster

The aftermath of a tornado strike on Walmart (actually a mock disaster drill in the Lone Star Room at the Frank Erwin Center)

Experts with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that disaster preparedness efforts have improved, but they could—and must—be better and are calling for more and better-trained disaster management teams.

That’s why The University of Texas at Austin Schools of Nursing and Social Work were recently preparing for the unthinkable by staging one of the largest mock disaster drills Austin has seen.

Student nurses sprang into action.

Student nurses sprang into action.

On Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, more than sixty student nurses and social workers triaged nearly 200 “wounded victims” during a recent mock disaster drill sponsored jointly by UT Austin Schools of Nursing and Social Work at the Frank Erwin Center.

Experts agree that improving disaster preparedness requires teamwork, but learning how to work in teams with other health-care providers shouldn’t begin during an actual disaster.

Student nurses moving body

There was teamwork …

Students used interprofessional strategies to respond to the aftermath of a fictional disaster—a tornado hitting a local Walmart—to prepare for a real one.

“We want all of our graduates to have basic competency in disaster preparedness and emergency response,” said Whitney Thurman, RN, MSN, instructor of clinical nursing and organizer of this year’s disaster drill.

“Talking about what to do in the event of an emergency is important, but being able to actually simulate the experience and the emotions of such an event imparts a greater understanding.

“During the drill, students practiced triage and assessment skills as well as basic emergency first aid. Many students have reported being surprised at how much they learned and truly feel more prepared to respond in an appropriate and safe way should they ever need to,” Thurman added.

Teamwork …

Teamwork …

About the School of Nursing Disaster Preparedness Program: Recognized by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing with the 2011 Innovations in Professional Nursing Education Award, the School of Nursing’s Disaster Preparedness program ensures that faculty (experienced experienced clinical and public health nurses) and upper-level students are prepared to mobilize for triage and care of victims and evacuees, allowing hospital personnel to remain at their stations.

And more teamwork!

And more teamwork!

Although some of the lucky victims were merely dazed and confused …

Although some of the luckier victims were merely dazed and confused …

Some of the disaster drill victims were found to be deceased

… others didn’t make it.

Keeping track of victims and injuries

Keeping track of victims and injuries

A new do? No, a "victim" receiving treatment for a head wound.

A new do? No, a “victim” receiving first aid treatment for a head wound.

Slips of paper for triage

Triage tags at the ready

students in a group

After the drill, a debriefing: What went right, what went wrong

Job well done!

School of Nursing professor wearing a badge

Dr. Corinne Grimes, a member of the Disaster Preparedness team, sports the team’s motto “Doing our best to make your day a disaster.”

Pinterest—What Nurses Need to Know

Editor’s note: Social media is growing and changing at a breathless rate of speed, and many people find it difficult to find time to delve into each new tool. The following is alum Shannan Needleman’s take on one new social media tool she thinks nurses—and those who love them—may find particularly fun and helpful. And don’t forget to stay connected with the School of Nursing on Twitter, Facebook and Nurses Lounge.

Shannan Needleman and her daughter Taylor

Alumna Shannan Needleman and her daughter Taylor

Pinterest is one of the newer fads sweeping the Internet. It is by its own definition “a tool for collecting and organizing things you love”—and who wouldn’t love that? The photo-sharing website boasts that millions of people use Pinterest in their lives and work, and that no matter what you’re interested in, there is a place for it on Pinterest.

For instance, you can “pin” your favorite fashion designs or crafting tutorials. Some people like pinning home decor ideas and photos. Even if you are a regular on the site, you probably never thought to search “nursing.” Well, think again!

Pinterest has several boards titled “nursing school,” “nursing student,” “nursing humor,” “nursing scrubs,” and my personal favorite: “anything nursing.” On these boards you will find a slew of nursing information from adorable scrub outfits to new and exciting nursing products or even just a good laugh for the day.

Each pin can be re-pinned on your personal board(s) to save for future reference or you can visit the sites the boards have highlighted by simply clicking the pin on the board and then clicking the link below the photo. Or you can follow another person’s board. This is a timesaving option when you find a board with lots of things that you’re interested in.

The best way to learn about Pinterest is to just do it. You’ll need to create an account, which is easy. Visit www.Pinterest.com and log in with an email address and password or your Facebook account.

Once you create your account, you will be asked to follow five boards, select anything that interests you and BAM! you are ready to create your own boards.

But BEWARE! This site can be addictive and you may spend countless hours browsing other people’s boards.

Pinterest users are terrific at finding unique products and photos. You’ll get a whole new perspective on surfing the Internet or finding new interests. You may discover, for instance, a budding interest in architecture or sewing.

I decided to create a nursing board when I was searching the Internet for a gift for a recent PR_282594graduate. My initial Google search for nursing gifts resulted in the usual items, such as a framed copy of the Florence Nightingale pledge and jewelry boxes, so I decided to search “nursing” on Pinterest and my oh my … other people had done the work for me.

I found pictures and links to adorable nursing tags and stethoscope covers, a box of chocolate band aids, a prescription bottle cocktail shaker, holiday ornaments, waistband stethoscope clip, unique t-shirts, car decals—the list was virtually endless. The gifts I found were in different price ranges, too.

Want inspiration? Get a taste for the Pinterest world simply by viewing my board and then sign up for your own Pinterest account: pinterest.com/shannanneedlema/anything-nursing/

Already 900x900px-LL-457062b1_modulescopperminealbumsuserpics6092431_1240279155have an account? Be sure and check out what Pinterest has to offer in the world of nursing. You never know when you might need to give a graduate a fun gift.

And let me leave you with a cartoon on one of the 130
“nursing humor” 60f75bf9339b2146d72ce987cc7037b6boards:

Welcome to a New Semester

Dean of the UT Austin School of Nursing

Dean Alexa Stuifbergen

You really know that time is flying when you find yourself saying “welcome” to the Class of 2017! We’ve got a wonderful group of undergraduates joining the School of Nursing family this fall for their J1 semester and have high hopes for their success.

These students are among the best and brightest, with an average cumulative UT GPA thus far of 3.65. In addition, 60 percent of our incoming upper division students graduated in the top 5 percent of their high school classes. Truly impressive!

I’m particularly pleased to welcome several new faculty members to campus. Each enhances our level of excellence and innovation. You’ll be hearing from some of them this year through their posts on this blog and you can learn about others from checking out our website at www.utexas.edu/nursing.

Nursing will also have a significant presence in University matters with the appointment of one of our newest full professors, Dr. Miyong Kim, as associate vice president for Community Health Engagement.

We’re also welcoming our colleagues across campus as they join us in our efforts to create a climate rich in interprofessional education and collaboration. After the launch of a highly successful elective in this area last fall, this year we’re offering another new course, in conjunction with the School of Social Work, focusing on transformative health care teams.

With the coming Dell Medical School and Seton’s new teaching hospital, the look of our end of Red River Street will soon be changing. We’re ready to welcome a new group of students, faculty, staff and researchers to the neighborhood. Ah… but first we must welcome the surveyors, architects and construction crews.

In the space of a few months, the transformation of our end of campus will begin, and we’re welcoming the progress.