Do Night Shift Workers Die Sooner? Nurses, you do.

Welcome to the night shift, new nurse! Many people in different professions think you are nuts for even accepting that you will work third shift after going to school for nursing. “Good luck with that”, you may have heard. Well, new evidence shows night shift does not only feel bad on your body when you wake up, but it is increasing your risk of cancer and heart disease…woo hoo.

The Nurses’ Health Study released information and it was recently published in an article in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, proving that those women who have been on rotating night shift work (OK, those who work nights, unless you live in a cave, are rotating on their days off), have a significantly higher rate of cardiovascular disease. Those who worked longer than that had even higher rates. Lung cancer is also 25% higher in those who worked rotating shifts, but generally not all cancers.

Tips to help your health on night shift

Well, unfortunately, nothing has been proven to help (like sleep aids), but we have no choice but to work it as a nurse, most of the time. So, night shift workers need to try to lower their risk in other ways. How?

  • If you smoke – quit!
  • Exercise – Yes, move!
  • Stop the night shift cravings – learn to eat a healthy diet.
  • Go to the doctor – As nurses we are the worst when it comes to being a patient. GO to the doctor for regular screening to help avoid problems.

Working night shift is not easy for anyone. Check out how to get through the night shift in the nerdy nurse Brittany’s blog.
Those who work night shift do not usually do it because we want to. If you have a chance to get off the shift, do it, it’s the best decision. Most nurses after coming to dayshift do not realize how bad they were until they started to feel good.
Tip for those who think your kids want you on the shift: they don’t. Most kids understand that you won’t be there at night, but they don’t see you “there” when you have 2 hours of sleep either. Rest for your kids. Put them in daycare if you need to sleep a little bit, don’t feel guilty. You need to take care of yourself, they sleep at night, you should be able to sleep during the day.

In the meantime, she says that shift workers concerned about their risk should do everything they can to lower their risk of heart and cancer risk in other ways — by quitting smoking, getting enough exercise, eating a healthy diet and getting regular cancer screenings.

5 Tips to become a better nurse

5 Tips to become a better nurse

Congratulations! You are hired! Now, what? You have a lot on your plate, learning your new careers ins and outs. How can you be a better nurse in a hospital setting? Your first year on the job is often the most stressful because you don’t know what you don’t know. You will constantly learn throughout your career, but just when you thought you were prepared in nursing school, bam, the real world of nursing takes you by surprise. Sound familiar?

Use these tips on how to become a better nurse:


  • Continue to Learn – Continuing education is a constant reminder that our learning as nurses must never end. Most State Boards require nurses to complete continuing education hours (CEUS) to be competent in their licensure.
  • Become Certified –  A certification in your field can help you learn your specialty the best in your unit, making you the resource person. If you have a true drive for what you do, becoming certified is the step to prove it.
  • Turn off your brain at home – Always continue to learn and seek out new opportunities at work. At home, look up things you are not familiar with that you want to know more about, but be sure to take time for yourself. You need to, nurse burnout is too common.
  • Remember the good times –  You may have the drug seeking addict in room 4, the incontinent, ungrateful patient in 12, but there was someone you truly helped that day. Remember that patient. To get ahead in nursing, you have to remember the good we do for people. Were you there to hold the hand of the women diagnosed with cancer that day because the physician didn’t have the time to sit with her and grieve? Those moments will keep you ahead of the colleague who does not spend any time with her patients.
  • Find a rock – We all need a mentor, someone to vent to. After getting your feet wet on your unit, find a buddy. Someone who can relate to you. Maybe it is your preceptor, someone who had a child when you did, or maybe one of the older nurses who you remind them of when they were young. Find someone to lean on when times are tough.


You will get ahead in nursing with these tips. What other tips do you have to help get ahead in this field of nursing?

10 Survival Tips for Nurse Orientation

Have you heard of the high turnover rates for new grads? How awful would it be to go through a 12 week nurse orientation, go out on your own, and realize after all that training, that it is not for you. Quitting your first nursing job is not an ego booster. It hurts you and the department who paid you to train.

How can we change that? Hospitals across the Nation are looking at ways to revamp their nursing orientations to retain nurse, but you can help as the new nurse.

How to get the best orientation


  • Read a book –  Your orientation is not the only place you need to keep learning. Keep your nursing school book of whatever specialty you are focusing by your bed at night. Anything you came across that day that you didn’t understand, look it up. Nowadays, you can always Google it and inform yourself even more with scholarly resources.
  • Prove you know it –  Orientation is the time to perfect your skills and learn new ones. You have someone monitoring you now, so perform! Lacking at IV skills? Start every IV in the unit that day with your preceptor, and by the end, you will be the one they will call!
  • Don’t be cocky –  Simple. We all know you went through nursing school, no need to talk about how smart you are. Put it to use. Those who are book smart, are not always the best in the clinical setting. Take it in, but show you know it through your work, not through your mouth.
  • Don’t fake it –  On the other hand, if you don’t know something, ASK! Even if you already learned it once. Your preceptor knows you are taking in so much information, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • “New preceptor, please”- This is one of the hardest things to deal with. Are you and your preceptor not a good fit? You need to be the one to act. Talk to your unit director to possibly switch you to someone like you. This orientation needs to train you, don’t let your preceptor make you a bad nurse.
  • Being overwhelmed is normal. – Every nurse will tell you they were overwhelmed in the beginning of their orientation. We expect it. If we covered way too much for your brain to take in anything else that day, stop the preceptor and ask to focus on one thing.
  • You will mess up. – Believe it or not, you’re human. You will mess up, not only in orientation, but in nursing generally. Don’t be afraid, you have someone by your side at this time. Again, never feel stupid for asking questions to do something right.
  • Give feedback –  Orientation processes can always grow and change. Preceptors and Directors of your unit need feedback on what works, and what doesn’t work. Help them create the best orientation for all nurses. Afterall, they will be your colleagues after their orientation.
  • Weekly Meetings –  Make sure your weekly meetings with your preceptor and director/educator are not overlooked. You need to hear constructive criticism and be able to focus on what is working, and what is not working.
  • Be ready to work –  Come to work prepared, even if it is a little early in the shift. Find out your assignment and prepare for your day. Impress your preceptor with our excitement to work on the unit.


With these tips, you are bound to succeed through your orientation and career. Remember to acknowledge the new nurses in your unit and care for them. We know the feeling of “nurses eating their young”. Change that perception to embrace everyone who chose this caring profession.

Career Spotlight – Travel Nurse


Travel nurses are a breed of nurses that like change. They thrive on adventures and love to see where the next job will take them. What is involved with becoming a travel nurse? Is it worth the time away from home? These questions can help you answer if travel nursing is right for you.

What is a Travel Nurse?

A travel nurse is a nurse who travels to different hospital units to work for a limited time, usually 13 weeks. The travel nurse has the option to move around the Country if she chooses and obtains licensure in different States. Usually, travel nurses are needed in hospitals that are short staffed. Therefore, the pay is usually higher than staff nurses. There are a variety of different specialty jobs are available for travelers.

How does a nurse become a travel nurse?

To become a travel nurse, most companies want a nurse to get at least 1-2 years experience. A new graduate nurse will have a hard time in the travel industry because the orientation time is around 3 days.

Once you have experience, obtain any certifications you may need to stand out from others. For example, a labor and delivery nurse may want to obtain her certification in electrical fetal monitoring.

Who should not be a travel nurse?

Those who dislike change will not like travel nursing. Your assignments are usually more involved than the other staff nurses, and you will most likely be running short staffed. If you are not someone who likes to be away from home, traveling may not suit you.

Who is a good candidate for traveling?

Someone who likes to travel, obviously. You can see all other areas of the country and work with a variety of people. With this, you will learn various ways hospitals do things.

You can get away from the cold in the wintertime if you live in a climate that tends to get a lot of snow. Traveling is nice, too, because you normally will work three days a week, leaving you time to enjoy yourself and explore the city.

How much does a travel nurse make, on average?

Due to nurses making various wages through the Country, for travelers, usually they make more than the staff nurses in their unit, plus medical benefits, retirement, CEUs, and housing stipends! The company will take care of you. Travel nurses are one of the highest paid nurses in the field.

How do I choose a travel company?

This is a hard question to answer because it is like choosing a loaf of bread in the supermarket. It is whatever suits your specific needs. Do your research, create questions to ask and interview the company before they interview you.

Overall, if traveling is an option for you, do it now. Many nurses practice for a long time, then feel stuck in a comfort zone, unable to break away.


What is the NCLEX-RN exam?

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What is the NCLEX-RN exam?

Students exploring the option to go to nursing school should know that nursing school is not the end to being a nurse. It is your doorway to the NCLEX-RN exam. The NCLEX-RN exam is what makes you a licensed nurse.

History of the NCLEX-RN exam?

The NCLEX is the licensure exam every nurse must take to become a licensed registered nurse. It was founded in 1978 by The National Council of State Boards of Nursing. It was a pencil and paper test until 1994.

What specifically does the NCLEX-RN test?

The NCLEX-RN exam tests the nurse’s knowledge comprehensively  to guard the safety of the public. Every State has it’s own Board of Nursing. The NCSBN and Boards of Nursing work together to protect the welfare of the public with safe nurses, who have passed the exam before practicing.

The Boards of Nursing and NCSBN are constantly working together to understand the safety issues in healthcare. Together, they tackle this issue with the creation of different questions for nurses coming out of school.

Each student will have a different exam, and each student scores 50% of the questions correct, whereas the difficulty of the question is how the student passes. Each testing bank holds over 2,000 questions. For example, if you pass with 75 questions, you only get half of those right…some nurses pass with the 265 questions given.

When can a nursing student take the NCLEX-RN?

A nurse must complete an accredited nursing program before they can become eligible for the NCLEX exam. When the school sends the records to the State, then the Authorization to test will be given to the nurse by their State board, then the nurse can register for the NCLEX-RN exam. There is a specific time frame from the ATT to test time (about 60-365 days).

How should nursing students study for the NCLEX-RN exam?

Nursing schools are prepping nurses in every class they take for the NCLEX-RN. The NCLEX-RN exam questions are uniquely thought out and so are exam questions in nursing school. Review questions are available for testing as well as review courses for graduate nurses to take before their exam. Many nurses feel the exam prep helps.

How many nursing students do not pass?

For the NCLEX-RN, the national passing rate is 72.1%. Your school has to post how their passing rate is as well.

What if I don’t pass?

The testing center will retest you in 91 days from the last test date, depending on the State licensure board.

The NCLEX-RN is not an exam to roll off your shoulder. It is what makes you an OFFICIAL nurse. When you pass the exam, celebrate! It is something to be proud of!

Ultimate Guide: 60 NCLEX Strategies to Use in Answering Questions (2017 UPDATE: Revised for 2017 ( Includes New Practice Questions)



NCLEX Strategies: In a standard four-answer NCLEX multiple-choice question, if you can systematically eliminate false answers, you can reduce the four-answer question to a two-answer one and thereby make your chances as good as those in the true-false type of question; that is, the odds will favor your guessing half of the answers correctly.


IMPORTANT: If your exam date is coming up in the next few months, this is the best time to join our FULL NCLEX-RN REVIEW and begin your studying to be ready for your Board Exam. This is true for Nursing Graduates un the U.S. and Canada. (USE COUPON: FIFTYOFF and Save $50 today. That is 67% off!)


Other questions will ask you to “select all that apply” from five to seven options by clicking in the correct boxes to select the answers (multipleresponse questions). In the alternate items, you may see charts and tables, or you may find pictures and graphs requiring identification of a correct location (“hot spot”) by either point-and-click or fill-in-the-blank.

In the items requiring a calculation, determine which numbers are needed to figure out the correct numerical answer and use the drop-down calculator to fill in the blank. Another alternate item is the “drag and drop–ordered” response, in which you are asked to arrange all the correct responses in priority order: identify action or factor that you think should be first, then identify which should be last.

We think that the following NCLEX Strategies will assist you to narrow down your choices systematically and intelligently:-


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Ultimate Guide: U.S. NCLEX Application and License Instructions for International RNs and LPNs

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NCLEX application can be hard for foreign and international nurses. Here’s a guide to help get you started! We’ve included links that help you go right to the instructions for those who went to nursing school outside of the United States.

Another part of this guide will teach you how to become an actual nurse in America – how to start the immigration, getting a work visa, permanent residency, and more.

See THIS guide if you need help with the Canadian NCLEX Application Process


Keep in mind this is made as a reference guide, not as a primary source! For the most specific information to your case, please use the contact information to ask each Board of Nursing yourself. Either call or email to ask your questions!

Overall, becoming a nurse in America is made up of three steps:

Step 1: Applying with the State Board of Nursing where you will be practicing.

Step 2: Registering with Pearson Vue to schedule your NCLEX location and date. Registration costs $200, plus additional fees if you are taking the NCLEX outside of the U.S.

Step 3: Getting into the Country. This involves immigration, visas, and getting approval to stay and work in the country.

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The NCLEX Alternate format Questions


In April 2004, the NCSBN added NCLEX alternate format items to the examination. These currently include seven types:

Multiple response–multiple choice

  • Hotspot
  • Chart or exhibit
  • Drag and drop
  • Audio
  • Graphic options

However, most of the questions on the NCLEX are four-option, multiple-choice items with only one correct answer. Certain strategies can help you understand and answer any type of NCLEX question.

The NCSBN has not yet established a percentage of alternate-format items to be administered to each candidate. In fact, your examination may contain only one alternate-format item. So relax; the standard, four-option, multiple-choice format questions compose the bulk of the test.

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Preparing for the NCLEX Examination

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The National Council of State Boards of Nursing(NCSBN) develops a licensure examination, commonly referred to as The NCLEX-RN / NCLEX PN,  that is responsible for regulating entrance into nursing practice in the United States.

Development of the Test Plan

Before presenting the actual test plan for the NCLEX-RN®, it is essential to understand the NCLEX-RN® test development procedure. It takes 18 months for each item to be taken through every step of the test development procedure to ensure a completely valid and reliable exam that measures the knowledge, skill, and ability to be a safe entry-level registerednurse. The development of the NCLEX-RN®
test plan goes through several steps.

First, a job analysis is performed every 3 years by surveying new graduates of schools of nursing for what skills and procedures they are most frequently performing. Hand washing and medication
administration are two skills that new graduates respond are frequently performed. This job analysis serves as a guide in the development of the test plan from which the items are developed according to client need and the phase of the nursing process.

Second is the test plan, which guides the development of the NCLEX-RN®. Although every candidate’s exam is different, each exam is developed to equally assess each candidate’s knowledge; skill; and ability to promote, maintain, or restore a client’s health and be a safe entry-level registered nurse.

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The NCLEX prioritization questions and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory


The NCLEX prioritization questions

In tackling the NCLEX prioritization question, we use Maslow’s theory as a blueprint to decision making. Abraham Maslow theorized that human needs are satisfied in a particular order, and he arranged human needs in a pyramid or hierarchy. According to Maslow, basic physiological needs, such as airway, breathing, circulation, water, food, and elimination needs, are the priority.

These basic physiological needs are followed by safety and then the psychosocial needs, including security needs, love and belonging needs, self-esteem needs, and self-actualization needs, in that order.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory is a helpful guide when prioritizing client needs. When you are answering a question that requires you to prioritize, select an option that relates to a physiological need, remembering that physiological needs are the first priority.

If a physiological need is not addressed in the question or noted in one of the options, then continue to use Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory as a guide and
look for the option that addresses safety. If neither physiological nor safety needs are addressed, then look for the option that addresses the client’s psychosocial need.


Abraham Maslow developed the Hierarchy of Needs model in 1940-50s USA.

The Hierarchy of Needs theory has remained valid up to today for understanding human motivation, management training, and personal development.

Maslow’s ideas surrounding the Hierarchy of Needs concerning the responsibility of employers to provide a workplace environment that encourages and enables employees to fulfil their own unique potential (self-actualization) are today more relevant than ever. Abraham Maslow’s book Motivation and Personality, (Pub. 1954 2nd ed. 1970) introduced the Hierarchy of Needs, and Maslow expanded his theory in other work, notably his later book Toward A Psychology Of Being.

Abraham Maslow was born in New York in 1908 and died in 1970.

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