Nurses Week 2016

Thursday, May 5, 2016
National Nurses Week begin each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th, Florence Nightingale's birthday. Although there is no coincidence that Nurses Week starts the day after Cinco de Mayo, it should be a week to recognize the quality care that these medical professionals dedicate their lives to.
American Nurses Association kicked off a yearlong campaign this year: Safety 360 Taking Responsibility Together. A culture of safety refers to the core values and behaviors of managers, workers, and patients. Attributes of a positive safety culture include:
  • Openness and mutual trust when discussing safety concerns and solutions without individual blame.
  • Marshaling of appropriate resources, such as safe staffing and skill.
  • A learning environment in which health care professionals learn from errors and proactively detect systemic weaknesses.
  • Transparency and accountability.
National Staffing Solutions reached out to get insight from our nurses, who are staffed across the nation, about ways they can individually and collectively work toward creating a culture of safety in their workplaces.

Alex M. | Pediatric Travel Nurse | @fitgypsywife

Creating A Culture of Safety for Nurses Week
  • How can you create a culture of safety for all nurses, your patients, and yourself?
I think the best advice I have for creating a culture of safety is to not be afraid to speak up. Whether it's speaking up when you see something unsafe, to communicate a specific patient need or concern, or to voice that something makes you uncomfortable. Communication is such an important aspect of health care and as nurses we have to know when to break the silence when we see a need for change or reevaluation.
  • As a traveler, you deal with different people and environments every 13 weeks or so. Do you see an opportunity to spread this message to other nurses?
Especially as a traveler, I've learned that you may have something educational to share that you picked up from another facility. You can learn something valuable to put into practice elsewhere.
  • Can you give an example of a situation where you applied what you learned from an assignment to your next one?

So my first job was at St. Jude affiliate hospital so we had a lot of chemo patients. Most of them had the bigger procedures such as bone marrow transplants, chemo induction, etc. This was at the main campus in Memphis, but they would come to us if they got sick between trips or needed more routine treatments.

I was caring for a patient who had been undergoing treatment for several years and needed a routine blood transfusion. While checking off the unit of blood, the patient spoke up and told us we had the wrong blood type documented. I was confused because they had been in and out of our hospital so frequently. It just so happened that they took a trip to Memphis and undergone a bone marrow transplant that resulted in a new blood type (I didn't even know that was possible at the time).

The timing was just perfect that her type and cross were not quite expired. Had we not gone through the proper channels, checked AND rechecked the blood as protocol requires, we would have transfused what we thought was the proper unit. There could have been detrimental results. This situation was proof that computer double checks are not always fool proof. It’s something I will always keep in mind when transfusing now. Needless to say, some hospitals are not cancer centers. So it is definitely an experience that I can use to educate coworkers.

Kristina | ICU Travel Nurse
Creating A Culture of Safety for Nurses Week 
  • What is your Nursing specialty?

My name is Kristina and my specialty is in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), caring for critical ill patients.

  • How long have you worked with National Staffing Solutions?

I have worked with National Staffing Solutions since July 2015 and have worked in Denver Colorado, St. Petersburg Florida and in Brattleboro Vermont.

  • What's your idea towards creating a "Culture of Safety"?

Working towards creating a culture of safety for both patients and nurses starts with appropriate nurse staffing. Ensuring proper staffing decreases nurse fatigue, therefore decreasing preventable errors and increasing patient safety and satisfaction. Creating a flexible staffing system that is determined by the acuity of patients and their needs, rather than on the number of total patients, is one way that we, as nurses, can collectively work together to help create a culture of safety for not only our patients but for ourselves as well.


If you would like to share your ideas for creating a Culture of Safety with us, please email We are a nationwide health care staffing agency for Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech-Language Pathology, Nursing, and Advanced Practice. Please submit your info to our home page if you would like to speak with one of our knowledgeable recruiters about available jobs in your desired location.

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Leanne Leuterio

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