Tag Archives: nursing jobs in Hawaii

Nursing in Hawaii blog is still on Hiatus while I’m in #Nepal until May 30

Thank you for wandering into this blog site!

Though it’s titled Nursing in Hawaii, most of it is devoted to general advice about nursing. There are three blog entries that seem to get the most hits – look on the list at the right and you can see them in all their glory.

Work in Hawaii?

I do have specific advice for nurses from the mainland who want to work in Hawaii. In summary, if you enjoy the cultural stuff, you will love it here. You can maximize your fun by studying the different cultures of the patients and co-workers you will meet. Browse the blog entries to find the gems…. I love Hawaii!

Nepal

You may wondering why the blog is suspended. Well, the answer is, I have been following a lifelong dream and working in Nepal for a year. I am making a difference in health care in this country, and every day I thank God for designing my life so I can do this.

Read my Book?

My second book is a novel about Nepal health care. It’s titled The Sacrament of the Goddess, and there is a FaceBook page for it. Click here to get to the Amazon site.  Also I have another blog, just for the book.

The book is enjoying popularity here in Nepal, as crazy as that sounds. Want to read a review in Nepali language?

I will return to USA after May 30th.

Aloha!

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Escape the cold with a Nursing Job in Hawaii Jan 8 2014

note: you are missing the boat if you don’t click on the hyperlinks – the colored text. Click here to see how some Americans live

Two phenomenon:

a) record cold in the mainland USA – colder than it’s been in decades due to a “polar vortex

and

b) a small surge in hits on this blog with the title “Nursing in Hawaii

Q: are they related? or a coincidence?

A: darned if I know! But – it’s no accident that there is always a TV show about Hawaii…..

Fact is, this blog has four or five entries that directly address the nursing job situation in Hawaii, and they have taken an uptick in hits for the last month or so, really noticeable this past week.

The first is:  Read This Before You Move to Hawaii to get a Nursing Job.

Next: It’s Official Hawaii has an “Oversaturated” Nursing Jobs Market

then there is: Hawaii Nursing Jobs Update Oct 2013

and: part One Guide to Hawaiian Culture for the Travelling Nurse

along with: Part Two Guide to Hawaiian Culture for the Travelling Nurse

finally, there are special aspects of culture here, and while this one may seem like a stretch, you can have more fun if you approach it this way: Twelve Steps to Prepare for Global Nursing. If you come here, get off the beach and explore. You will find a wonderful mix of Asian cultures here. There is also something called “local culture” which I love love love.

Humbly, I recommend all of the above. When I lived in rural Maine, we spent winter evenings by the woodstove curled up with a cup of tea of cocoa and reading the seed catalogs. (studying the seed catalogs is more like it.)  I suppose the Youth of Today are curled up by the woodstove with their iPad or laptop (does anyone use a laptop anymore?) surfing the Nursing Jobs Board for Hawaii.

This is not new.

In World War Two, the US Government was desperate to promote nursing as a contribution to the war effort. As part of the marketing campaign, there was a series of books based on the adventures of Cherry Ames, a fictional nurse from Hilton, Illinois ( a fictional town; but I bet it’s cold there today!). The third book of the series was “Army Nurse” published in 1944, and the book opens as Cherry Ames, RN is celebrating Christmas in Panama under the palm trees.  Now, everybody knows she was actually in Hawaii but the information was classified.

What is the answer?

Should you move to Hawaii or – no? Well, if you ask me it’s too late for this year. By the time you get here it will be springtime! The vast majority of nurses working here are from here, and we have excellent schools of nursing. There is a steady stream of military nurses who come through here, as well as spouses of military. In past days when the job market was a bit more inviting, Hawaii was a must-stop for young nurses who wanted to use their profession to work/travel around the USA.  (it used to be, if you had a nursing license and walked into a hospital, you could get a job quickly. Not so much these days).  Alas, we do not presently have an acute shortage.

If you should decide, I invite you to read all my other blog entries to prepare. I have truly loved being here. It’s a special part of America, and the beauty of it extends beyond the climate and scenery.

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Hawaii Nurse Jobs Update Oct 30 2013

Nursing Jobs in Honolulu

As of Oct 30, there are signs that the nursing market in Hawaii is looking better. In April I re-posted a link to an article in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that said we had a “saturated” job market.

The need for nurses isn’t going away

It’s just that we have a mismatch in the number being produced and the number we can absorb. this mismatch is due to accelerate. click here for a nifty graphic update about the need for nurses.

Geography Lesson

For those of you not living here, some geography is on order.

Most of the big hospitals are located in downtown urban Honolulu (yes, there is a city here. about 900,000 people. if we were on the mainland we’d have an NFL team. we are the 11th-largest city in the USA. we are not a foreign country.). But the population growth on the island of Oahu is planned to take place in the western side of the island, in the part called Kapolei. For years, there was a hospital in Kapolei, run by the Sisters of St Francis. It went bankrupt after running deficits for years, and hundreds of nurses became unemployed. The job market could not absorb so many nurses at the same time. The building sat vacant for awhile. It was/is a nice building. ample parking. central to their neighborhood. convenient for a whole bunch of people.

During that time, if you lived there and you wanted to go to the hospital you would need to drive on H-1, the most congested interstate highway in the USA ( how we got an interstate here, while we are separated from California by two thousand miles of open ocean, is a whole nother matter).

The building was finally bought by Queen’s Medical Center, the biggest hospital here. QMC has a “Magnet Nursing Service” and is very forward-thinking. they have planned to reopen the Kapolei building.

Job Fair(s)

which brings me to the next step. they will hold two job fairs for nurses in Honolulu, one this coming Saturday Nov 2nd in Kapolei, and another Nov 9th, the following week, in Manoa. they are hiring for all kinds of jobs, not just nurses.

Also, anecdotally, I have run into any more of my former students who are now finally getting out of the holding pattern and into new grad residency programs, particularly at Queen’s. The general consensus is that things are easing. I know I am biased, but I think UH is a terrific school of nursing, and I want to make sure our graduates get properly launched into becoming the fine nurses we educated them to be.

the link

If you want to get to a specific link for the job fair, CLICK HERE.

good luck on the job hunt!

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It’s Official – Hawaii has an “oversaturated” market for nurses

Update: As of October 30, 2013, the job market seems to be easing.  click here to get to an updated blog.

note: be sure to click on the hypertext links, they are either underlined or else in a different color, and BTW you can also find the surprise

Is this really news?

The Honolulu Advertiser Sunday April 28th, 2013  edition included an article on page D-1 titled Nurses Wait for Jobs. (as of 2014 this is a year old…)

The subtitle?  recent graduates end up competing for a few positions in an “oversaturated” market.

Here is the link, but there is a warning – The Honolulu Star-Advertiser will ask you to buy a subscription in order to read it. Bummer. It is well-written though.

In summary, the Honolulu article describes the recent closure of Hawaii Medical Center East & West, the number of currently registered nurses who are working in jobs that do not a require an RN, the predictions of the Hawaii State Center for Nursing, and the statistic from one of the major hospital groups that they now have 150 recently-graduated RNs on the payroll in non-nursing positions. This latter effort is admirable but it makes you wonder how long it can be sustained.

The article tries to end on a hopeful note, saying that in a year or two things will be better.

National Student Nurses Association

It’s important to get a feel for whether this is just a collection of stories or not. Here is some data.

this book is about medical missionaries in Nepal. sure to become the number one beach read for summer 2014! go to Amazon and pre-order your copy at  http://www.amazon.com/Sacrament-Goddess-Joe-Niemczura/dp/1632100029/

this book is about medical missionaries in Nepal. sure to become the number one beach read for summer 2014! go to Amazon and pre-order your copy at
http://www.amazon.com/Sacrament-Goddess-Joe-Niemczura/dp/1632100029/

There is a quarterly publication of the National Student Nurses Association named “Dean’s Notes” and their Jan 2013 issue focused on the results of a nationwide survey of new graduates that showed a lot of info about this very subject. click here to find the URL – go to “Jan 13 issue” and it will appear by magic.

UPDATE May 17 – one of the Universities is offering a refresher course in clinical skills this summer for those RNs not employed in the RN role. I think this is a great idea for keeping skills sharp.

I am very curious to know my reader reactions on this subject. please feel free to comment.

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Nurses take direct political Action Oct 17th – you are invited

When Nurses Talk, Washington Listens

(be sure to click on the hyperlinks!)

Summary: Wednesday, Oct 17th is the date for “Nurses CAN”

In case you haven’t figured out, nurses have a lot at stake in the election.  In my opinion and that of experts, to repeal Obamacare will be a disaster for nurses; and also, the GOP is presently waging a War on Women that is painfully real. The War on Women extends to women’s health, child health, equal pay for equal work, and  the like.

Here is your personal invitation from Karen Daley, RN, the President of the American Nurses Association. FYI, Karen Daley is a personal friend of mine dating back to the days when I was President of Maine’s Nurses and she was President of Massachusetts Nurses. At the national meetings of A.N.A., the states were seated alphabetically and so we got to know each other. Ms. Daley is an E.R. nurses who “came up through the trenches” as the saying goes – lots of bedside nursing experience.

Twitter

#NursesVOTE

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thank you, Medscape

My Long Walk

been a bit out of touch, enjoying the hike. see my other blog, about the trip along the A.T. in the southeastern USA.  As of July 15th, I have logged 250 miles. I enjoyed Tennessee and North Carolina, but was happy to get to Damascus, VA. I have about ten more days……

Return to civilization

Imagine my delight to see the book recommendation from Medscape. the premise was simple:

Books for Nurses

If you love to read, you’re always looking for that next great book. To find out what books speak to nurses, we asked Medscape readers and Medscape Nurses Editorial Advisory Board members to recommend books that affected them profoundly, inspired them as nurses, or changed the way they viewed healthcare or patients. Did your favorite make the list?

My book was there, along with a re-issue of Florence Nightingale’s Notes on Nursing.  The blurb was:

The Hospital at the End of the World

According to Medscape Advisory Board member and author Carolyn Buppert, The Hospital at the End of the World, by Joe Niemczura (Plain View Press; 2009), was written by a nurse/faculty member in Hawaii who teaches nursing students and nurses in Nepal during summer breaks. The book is part travelogue, part philosophy, and very entertaining. The author also has a blog where he writes on topics of interest to nurses, such as “How to Succeed at a Summer Nursing Internship.”

My hat is off to Carolyn Buppert,RN, JD, a textbook writer in her own right.

the cover. the temple on the cover is “Boudhanath,” – known as a site for “Kora” – walking meditation. I am doing a lot of that, these days.

The immediate consequence is that I got about 800 blog hits beyond the usual; also, acording to Amazon book sales tracking, The Hospital at the End of the World got to #10,721 at one point. Amazon carries 8,000,000 titles;  what tends to happen is that as the initial publicity fades, a book sinks in the rankings…..I’m surprised to get ranked there after three years in print.

Evergreen

Okay, that’s hardly in the category of  NY Times best seller (i.e., numbers 1 through 20).  I suppose every author with a passionate viewpoint wishes to appear on Oprah. Since a good measure of my book describes problems with no solution, I never harbored such a conceit – When people read about global health issues, the want to end on an upbeat positive hopeful  note, which I refused to do. That is why it is a niche book. But, I think I will always sell a  few copies year after year. In the book biz, that makes it an “evergreen.”

My harshest critics

The NGO in Nepal with which I worked,  asks potential new volunteers to read it before arrival in Nepal. To me,  it’s quite flattering to think I have gained the respect of my most knowledgeable readers. (Many of whom are portrayed in the book and have contributed reviews of it). I invite any nurse or doctor thinking of serving in South Asia, to contact me.

The platform

Even if you don’t buy the book, please do look at theYouTube Channel and FB fan page. We can all benefit from greater awareness of on-the-ground  challenges in this planet we share.

Thank you, Ms Buppert and thank you to Medscape!

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Part One “Getting Your Foot in the Door” for a nursing job

Jan 19th 2012 Update: link to a good blog on The Hidden Job Market, which is another angle on foot in the door…

Foot in the door

This is one in a series of blog entries written for young nurses. Take a look at the previous blogs about resumes, what to put in a cover letter, how social networking can hurt or help you, and ways to look at your portfolio. If you are a nursing student, you can start now to think about these things. Please share with others.

While you are at it, go to Amazon and buy the book I wrote about Global Health Nursing. It won’t help you in your job search but it will give you a window into a very different kind of nursing and it will help you remember the best reasons you chose nursing in the first place ( I hope).

The basis of the foot in the door strategy is simple:

A) In school: If the organization where you want to work hires ward clerks, nurses aides, billing clerks, etc, get a job there while you are still a student.

B) as part of school: If you want to work on a specific unit of a hospital, try to do clinical there through your school.

And

C) after graduating from school: If your target is a hospital which is not hiring for RN positions, apply for a job as a nurse’s aide or computer tech or anything, so you can become an internal applicant as opposed to an external applicant. Many large organizations will offer positions from within, first.

Let’s take these one at a time.

A) working part time while in school.

Nowadays it’s less usual to be a nursing student who does not work in some part-time job, somewhere, I’ve had students who worked as servers, telemetry techs, billing clerks and even as hula dancers at the big hotels on Waikiki.

You might as well be working in a hospital. Don’t underestimate the job of being a ward clerk. A ward Clerk will become familiar with the systems by which the hospital actually runs;  A clerk  gets into the chart everyday; and a clerk has a daily opportunity to become literate on computer systems such as EPIC or MediPro.

Here is a Pearl of Wisdom: Many of the older RNs nowadays don’t have the computer skills for EPIC are reticent about learning on the computer. The more you become proficient at EPIC or some other system, the more you can use this as a sales point for your resume. You are in the tech generation!

If it’s a nurses aide position, most hospitals will only hire you if you already have the Fundamentals course and some clinical under your belt, and often the state will require documentation that you have enough training to be equivalent. This varies state-by-state.

B) through school, as part of clinical, especially during the last semester

Future employment advice if you are doing clinical at a place you want to work later.

General advice: don’t only focus on the patient.

Oh, you need to do excellent patient care. You need to prepare well, be organized using a “nurse’s brain” and you need to be “on it” every day that you are there, using critical thinking and applying what you learned in class. But you also can benefit by adding some extras. You’d be surprised how students miss the little things: learning the names of the ward staff, (then following through by using people’s names when you talk with them), being polite to the housekeeping staff, (you can’t do your work without them!) and relating to the ward staff like future colleagues. On many hospital floors, the staff is already looking at you to evaluate your potential. Hate to put pressure on you, but it’s true. They are taking notes.

Specific advice for seniors:

Most schools nowadays incorporate a senior practicum, in which you are no longer in a clinical group, but are assigned to work one-on-one with a preceptor.

You don’t always get assigned to the floor you want, but that’s not the end of the world. There is strategy to apply here. For example, at one of our medical centers the Medical-ICU is considered to be the among the best placements; but they have never hired a new graduate and there is a waiting list of experienced RNs who wan to work there. So – you can get ICU clinical but it won’t lead to a job there.

If you don’t get placed in ER or ICU, it’s NOT the end of the world. My usual advice is actually to work on a Medical-Surgical ward, because the skills of organizing your day, setting priorities and making decisions about psychosocial issues are ones which apply to any setting. A few years back we had a student whose goal was to be a CRNA and he did his senior semester practicum in the O.R.  He enjoyed it, but it didn’t really help him learn the assessment skills he needed – he focused mainly on the surgery and on sterile technique. Right after graduation he got an ICU job, but did not do well there; I think he would have done better if he’d done medical surgical and gotten solid organizational skills. The O.R. seemed good superficially but turned out not to be a good “fit.”  Having a placement that meets your needs now is actually more beneficial than getting the dream placement if you can’t make the most of it. Have a heart to heart with the clinical placement coordinator as to what you really need, not just what you want.

The preceptor is critical. You need to know that when it comes time to apply for work there after graduation, about fifty per cent of the input as to whether you should be hired, comes from the preceptor. Recommendations, the interview, the cover letter? Nowhere near as important. When you apply to that hospital for a nursing job, highlight the name of your preceptor in the cover letter.

Read up on how to have a good relationship with your preceptor.  There are some great articles about your relationship with your preceptor on the Web.

The next thing is to consider work behaviors, and for that I have a story. Two years ago one of our senior  students took an ER job right out of school at the hospital where he’d done his senior practicum. This was a “success.” I asked him about it and he said:

“I took your advice”

Oh? ( couldn’t remember which advice he meant, I give lots of advice. What I am writing here is something I have preached for years, but don’t ask me to recall every single thing.)

“Yeah, I knew I needed to impress them with not just my nursing knowledge, but my work ethic. So, I never sat down when I was there. If there was something going on, I offered to help, but in the quiet times I did stuff like defrost the refrigerator, clean the nurse’s station counter with rubbing alcohol, and tidy things up. I didn’t brag about it, but everyone sure noticed.”

So what he was saying was, he was neat and cleaned up after himself, in addition to using checklists and following protocols. He was the kind of guy who showed up to lecture class or lab with a to do list, and I bet if I spoke to his mom he also made his bed at home and helped with the dishes and chores. ( I never did speak with his mom, this is a guess.).

Even if you don’t have your foot in the door, ask yourself whether you have this kind of attitude at which ever job you now have?

Tomorrow:

Situation C – getting an aide job *after* nursing school.

This blog is 1,316 words – long enough to digest in one day; I will break it in 2 pieces. The last part of foot-in-the-door is when a hospital has enough RNs but will consider hiring you as a nurse’s aide even though you have a BS and pass NCLEX.

Til then, share this with every nursing student you know, and Stay tuned!

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Is FaceBook hurting your search for a nursing job? 1 Corinthians 13:11

UPDATE: The National Council of State Boards of Nursing now has a video on Social Media for nurses. click here to see it! I strongly recommend that every nurse, new or old, become familiar with this.

Now you have graduated from nursing school and you are out there looking for a job.

Only it is  taking longer than you expected to find that dream job that caused you to study so hard and to dedicate your life to nursing school. Is it me? You ask. Nursing is a profession that demands a high degree of emotional investment, and if you are not getting a job, it’s easy to second-guess yourself down to the core. Think back to when you started nursing school. There were stories about nursing as being recession-proof. The Baby Boomers will all retire and who will replace them? When you started nursing school, you may have met new nurses who were walking proof of what a good career choice nursing is – and it’s true, just three years ago the job market seemed to be wide open compared to how it is now.

It’s the economy.

If you have the sense that the Clock of Doom is ticking, or the Sword of Damocles is hanging over your head, lighten up. Look around. The national economy is not some abstract thing that happens only on TV or to everyone else. In the USA we’ve had nine per cent unemployment, part of a worldwide slowdown and the daily news says Europe is in big trouble. Here in USA,  one party in Congress has done everything it possibly could to prevent expansion of health care funding, even though it is needed by an aging population. As long as the anti-Obama forces control congress, it is my belief that the nursing job market is going to be more difficult than it needs to be.  That’s little consolation while you are searching, but it should help your self-esteem: it’s not you.

Small things make a difference.

When there are five applicants per nursing job, sometimes there will be very little difference between the winning candidate and the second- or third- place candidate. It may very well be that some extraneous factor beyond your control, made the difference, such as which high school the winning candidate attended, something they said about being a baseball fan in the interview, that sort of thing. It can be very superficial. The best advice is to be yourself. When you read things like the paragraph above, there is a tendency to try to over-control things and get nervous about saying the wrong thing, or writing the wrong thing. You still need to wake up every day and be who you are. Make a schedule of exercise and time with friends.

There are things you can and should control.

That’s where social media and the internet come in. Any hiring manager will be under pressure to choose the best employee, and they will attempt to learn as much as they can about their applicant, which is why the “foot-in-the-door strategy” (which I will call “FITD”) is so important. I will discuss the FITD strategy  in a future blog, (subscribe now so you won’t miss it!). Now that you have graduated, though, the FITD strategy may not be available to you. In that case, it’s time to take another look at social media.

What does your FaceBook page say about you?

In the past several years we have all been cautioned about HIPAA, over and over again we are warned never to post anything about our patients, online. At every hospital you sign a HIPAA acknowledgement during orientation. All too often the student overlooks the idea that confidentiality affects them too. Your potential employer can use the internet to check you out. They can check your FaceBook page; they can Google your name; they can run a background check (for a fee) and a credit check (nowadays they pressure you to agree to this by putting a box on the application for you to check and give permission.  Did you give them the okay?).  They can legally learn a lot about you  – it’s all there for them to see. Most often, you are the one who put it there.

There are internet “reputation-monitoring services” available to which any employer can subscribe. The way these work is, they run a search for the name of the company, they scour the internet for any possible mention of a given employer’s name, and automatically send an alert to the Human Resources Department for review by a person, whenever the keywords appear. One the one hand, it’s all an invasion of privacy, but on the other hand, when we posted it to the internet, we enabled it ourselves. So, think about it.

Then do the following: Look at your own social media profile from the perspective of your potential employer. Be advised, the H.R. Department person who will look at your profile is likely to be a person older than you with a different sense of humor.   They will have a different idea as to what is funny or disrespectful. If you have to, find a person about your mother’s age who will look at your profile objectively and tell you what it says about you.

Set everything to private.

Learn about the privacy settings on FaceBook, and use them. You don’t have to make it easy for a stranger to find things they don’t like. From the employer’s perspective, a conservative approach is always preferred – if an employee is ever named in a lawsuit, it is inevitable for the attorneys in the case to dig up dirt to discredit that employee. Do you want to be that person? Take yourself out of the “search.” You can hide your FaceBook profile so it won’t show up on a Google search.

Rethink your friends and what they can tag you with.

There is an old saying among high school guidance counselors that to learn about a student, all you need to do is to look at their friends. (I hung out with the nerds in high school.  I was an Eagle Scout for gosh’s sake.  To this day that just about sums me up).  If your friends are presenting themselves in some out-of-the-mainstream way, a reader might conclude that you too, are out-of-the-mainstream.

Look at it from a risk management viewpoint

In the hospital’s defense, they know that errors occur in the hospital industry and they don’t want to ever get sued. They know that if they are ever sued for malpractice, the attorneys will dig up every thing they can on every person involved in a potential problem. Ask yourself: If I was ever sued for malpractice, would I want to explain in court, why I thought something on my FaceBook page was funny or hip?

Scrub your photos, your ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes.’

When I reminded students of this a year or two ago, one person approached to express his gratitude and admitted that it was long overdue to remove some fashion photos in which he appeared wearing only a speedo and  a Mardi Gras mask, covered with gold body paint holding a champagne glass in hand. Another told me she was prompted to remove photos that revealed that her entire torso is covered in tattoos. TMI! (tattoos are a generational thing, and so is body piercing. twenty years from now, it will be okay. For now, the HR person is the same age as your mom, and so it’s not quite in the mainstream).  Set the album to private or remove it altogether.

Go to Google and run a search on your own name.

You will be surprised what you find. Everything you have ever done on the internet since about 1995, is still there. If you ran track in sixth grade, your time is searchable. Don’t believe me? Try it.

That brings up another issue: what is Okay? well, if your profile shows that you are an active churchgoer, humanitarian, well-balanced, hardworking, dependable, loves small children and has a Golden Retriever for a pet – these are good things.

To be continued.

I present these ideas to raise your consciousness level about nursing as a professional career. You can find a Biblical Quote that backs me up. Please consider subscribing to this blog, and sharing as widely as possible. Go to the little box on the right that says “sign me up”

and while you are at it, check out my book on Amazon.

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