Here’s some of what I’ve been putting into my brain this week:

So what has caught your attention this week?


I saw this video for the first time two weeks ago via TheONC. The video is absolutely worth another mention as it sheds light (quickly) on a daunting topic – delivering difficult news.

What do you think? Will you (or do you already) utilize this method in your practice?

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The seasons are changing, and you know what that means, don’t you? Fall shoes and boots!

Dansko just launched its fall shoe collection. Oh, you didn’t know Dankso makes more than fabulous Professional clogs for work? Uh, yeah, they do! With three new casual collections, Dankso shoes are perfect for after-work style, too. Dansko really does have a shoe for every activity, and the Ventura, Monaco, and Havana collections are the perfect lines to choose from for whatever fills your evenings and weekends:

o   The Ventura Collection has simple adornments and burnished full grain leather highlighting superior, classic craftsmanship.

o   The Monaco Collection has the same ride and construction of the Stapled Clog, but with a more tapered silhouette and pronounced heel profile.

o   The Havana Collection features hand antiqued full grain leathers with studded and cutout details; this collection blends old world charm with a gritty urban vibe.

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 9.03.16 PMI have the Tilda shoes from the Ventura collection. I absolutely adore them, mainly because they double between work and fun. I can easily pair them with business pants for a meeting with healthcare leaders or with one of my favorite fall maxi skirts for a family dinner out or with jeans for a movie date night with My Love. They look great, and they have all the comfort of Dansko shoes.

To celebrate nurses’ off-shift shoe love and the new fall collection, Dankso is giving away a pair of shoes from the Ventura, Monaco, or Havana collection to one lucky Nursetopia reader! Pearl, from the Monaco line, and Faith, from the Havana line, are not available for the giveaway, but there are eight…eightother styles from the Dankso fall collection to choose from if you win! To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment about which shoe you’d like to have and why. The winner will be selected via on Saturday, September 21, 2013, at 7:00 PM Central Time.

So, which Dansko fall collection shoes are you eyeing?

Disclosure: I received Dansko shoes to review. I love them! All comments are my own. 


Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 7.27.54 PMYeehaaaw! It’s time for the 4th Annual Cowtown Oncology Symposium in Fort Worth, Texas.

I am a Texan – born and bred. Contrary to popular belief and pervasive stereotypes, I don’t routinely say yeehaaaw, still, the Cowtown Oncology Symposium is so fun and enlightening that it’s worth breaking out my Southern drawl, Y’all.

The planning committee cordially invites you to submit your abstract on oncology, radiation, hospice, and palliative care nursing trends for poster presentation by January 31, 2014. Submission guidelines are below, so giddy up!

COS Poster Abstract Submission Guidelines

P.S. And, if presenting isn’t your thing (which it totally can be your thing no matter your level of leadership!), you should definitely attend the Symposium. It’s set in beautiful and historic Fort Worth on the fabulous Texas Christian University campus.


MashupHere are some of the highlights of my reading (and viewing) this week:

What are you reading?


Greater Than

by Nursetopia on September 8, 2013

greater than


I Heart Algorithms

by Nursetopia on September 6, 2013

I’m not sure when it happened, but it seems like algorithms and “pathways” have overtaken healthcare. I’m not complaining; I love it. I’m a visual person, so when people explain processes to me, I tend to draw them as I’m listening or reviewing my notes. I’ve found that algorithms turn gray processes and care to black and white. They clarify exactly what everyone can and should do rather than leave that information in one person’s head. I frequently make – and revise – algorithms. They’re easy, artful, practical, and just plain smart work.

AlgorithmI make algorithms one of two ways – in Microsoft Visio or in Microsoft PowerPoint. You could also use Microsoft Publisher, but I prefer not to use it for algorithm creation simply because I know PowerPoint shortcuts and tools much better. Visio is intended to develop algorithms and pathways. It’s incredibly easy to use (especially if you know how to use PowerPoint or Publisher) and takes all the guesswork out of making straight lines and centering text. If you don’t have Visio but make a lot of algorithms (or are planning to do so), purchasing Visio is well worth the investment. No, Microsoft Visio is not paying me for this article; I just love Visio that much. I know, it’s geekily comical. I am unashamed.

If you don’t have Visio, you can still develop your algorithms in PowerPoint. It may take a little longer than Visio, but hey – it works. Open a blank file. You’ll only need to use one PowerPoint slide for this. Start adding your quadrilateral shapes, overlaid text boxes, and add in arrows. Capture or highlight all the items on the slide, group them, and then right-click to save the file as a picture to then insert into other documents. It’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it.

Do you use or create algorithms in your healthcare setting?


An August 2013 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll revealed “more than four-in-ten Americans think the new health care law has been repealed, overturned in court or are just unsure whether it remains the law.” The same amount of people surveyed stated they trust “a lot” the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, information their doctors or nurses give them – the highest among even federal and state agencies and well above insurance companies. Oddly, though, most Americans are not receiving information about the ACA, including exchange marketplace information, from healthcare professionals but rather news media and family and friends, both of which rank lower on survey participants’ trust scales for the information. A full 65% admit they have not sought information on the ACA, and about half of those surveyed reported experience comparing health insurance plans in the past.

ACAexchangeMarketplaceThe Kaiser Family Foundation poll includes additional, enlightening information, including data pertinent to specific demographic groups. Healthcare professionals are trusted sources of ACA information, but clearly we are not having these discussions with patients or the public. Perhaps it’s because even the experts are still novices on the ACA and we lack the education and confidence to share this dialogue with others? If you find yourself in this predicament, here’s a synopsis of helpful, easy-to-understand resources:

Open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace begins October 1, 2013, which is right around the corner. It will last until March 31, 2014, and coverage begins January 1, 2014. Everyone can access the Marketplace at or, and you can prepare for the Marketplace before October 1st via numerous ways.

Have you sought information about the ACA and how it will impact you as well as your patients? Are you having these conversations with your patients to ensure they’re informed about the ACA and how it will (or already has) impact their care?


Kaiser Family Foundation. (August 28, 2013). Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: August 2013. Retrieved September 3, 2013, from



Plant the Shade Tree or Thank the Sower

by Nursetopia on September 1, 2013



MashupHere’s a smidgen of the goodness I’ve been reading and watching this week:

What are you filling your brain with currently?