Ex-felon nurse graduate helps to get law changed so she can work

Lisa Creason served a year on a felony charge of an attempted robbery that occurred in 1993, according to The Washington Post.

Flash forward to 2014, when, after the struggle of earning a degree in nursing from a community college, Creason learned that an Illinois law prevented convicted felons from getting state health care licenses. “I was devastated. I was absolutely devastated,” Creason told the newspaper. “And then I got mad. I did everything the right way. I worked the measly jobs. I don’t want to be on government assistance,” she said.

Creason leveraged some skills picked up in paralegal classes taken while in prison to research the issue and ultimately headed to the state capitol to make her case for a change.

The end result: Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill last week changing the law to allow felons to work in health care under certain circumstances; now she just has to pass her state exam. Good luck!

Don’t underestimate the work of school nurses

Compared with the constant bustle of working in hospitals, the role of a school nurse might seem like a low-pressure job. But a recent story in the San Antonio Express News illustrates just how tough the school nursing role can be.

The idea that school nurses take summers off is somewhat of a myth: They usually spend those months brushing up on continuing education and certifications, tackling paperwork, writing health plans for students with special needs and other duties.

The school year itself is often nothing short of demanding, as well. Nurses in the Bellefonte Area School District are considered first responders to any health problems that occur, some of which can be life or death situations. School nurses are also often tasked with counseling duties, health education, community participation and more. And we haven’t even discussed how many children probably fake stomachaches.

How nurses can help to cut down on physical restraint

Physical restraint is often used to protect patients and staff, but can also lead to agitation, confusion and similar unwanted effects. A recent study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine took a look at the issue and found that restraints are used less when more nurses are on the job.

The study looked at more than 923,000 patients at 869 hospitals in the U.S. between 2006 and 2010. Not only did the research show that nursing numbers matter, but found the more registered nurses there were on a shift, the lower the probability restraint would be used, suggesting the skills those nurses possess also matter.

“Nurses must obtain a physician order for restraint, and having an adequate proportion of RNs apparently reduces the likelihood of nursing staff requesting such an order, perhaps because RNs are better trained to find alternatives to restraint,” wrote researchers in the study. “In any case, restraint involves both nurses and physicians, and reduction in restraint use must be a collaborative effort.”

Rapid fire:

  • Think your young patients don’t remember you? Think again. These former patients were born in the neonatal intensive care unit in a Nashville hospital and recently reunited with their caregivers.
  • Therapeutic Research Center, or TRC, just released a new resource called “Nurse's Letter,” which helps clinicians to reduce medication errors.