From the Editor

Julie Lancaster
The new year is a good time to take a look around you, appreciate the things that are working well, and see if there are some changes you’d like to make.

In that spirit, here are tips for approaching a job shift . . . plus medical news and NIFA news. Happy New Year!

Julie Lancaster, Editor
Want to Make a Job Change in 2009?
Of course, at NIFA we’re all about increasing your skill base. But even at your current level of training, if you’re a perioperative nurse, you have a huge edge over the average Joe when it comes to looking for a job, because nursing skills are in demand.

But just because you can find a job doesn’t mean you’ve found one that makes your heart sing.

That’s the cue for many to start surfing the plethora of Internet
job boards for a better position. But according to my friend Lyn Chamberlin, a branding expert for corporations and individuals, that’s the wrong place to start.

“I’m not saying don’t use all the tools available,” Lyn says. “By all means, comb through what’s out there. But do it with a plan. Craft a strategy as if you were the marketing manager of your own product launch – with yourself as the product.”

That means, according to Lyn, sitting down and asking yourself some questions, like what attributes and experience do you have that others with your training don’t have? What specific places would you like to work, and what specific job title are you seeking? How can you get the attention of the person with the power to hire you? And what problems does that person or company have that you can answer or solve?

At the very least, such a process helps you eliminate jobs that look interesting but aren’t really right for you. A well-thought-out personal marketing campaign can put you in the enviable position of being able to cherry-pick your next job.

Since you are the product, you need to ascertain your value before launching your job campaign. Once you have cherry-picked your next job “be prepared,” says Jeremy Gofton, NIFA’s RNFA Program Director, “many nurses are too willing to accept the first offer from employers.

“By being prepared and knowing your value (in your market) in advance, there is a greater chance you will be able to get the rate you feel you deserve,” he says. “Don’t be intimidated. Well-qualified nurses are hard to find, so you’re in the driver’s seat. You can’t lose what you don’t have – so, go for it!”

News: Disease Outbreaks at ASCs
A hepatitis C outbreak at a Las Vegas endoscopy and colonoscopy clinic, and the resulting effort last year to notify 40,000 patients that they might have been exposed, have fueled congressional concerns about infection control at Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs)

At the request of several members of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Governmental Accountability Office will conduct a nationwide study to examine the link between care provided at outpatient clinics and the spread of infectious diseases. Read more here.

Student Spotlight
If you enjoy seeing the faces and reading the real-life experiences of other NIFA students and graduates, please consider sending some information about yourself for us to share in an upcoming issue.

Just e-mail a photo along with the following particulars: Name, city & state, credentials, current student or graduate (if graduate, what year?), current job, recent accomplishments, and a quote (a piece of wisdom you’ve learned on the job, something you tell yourself to keep your sense of humor on the job, or any observation about life in the OR that your colleagues might find interesting or helpful.)

If you’re bashful about writing or just too busy, we’ll be happy to help you hone your words – or send us a phone number and we’ll gladly ask you these questions by phone.

Send to [email protected]. Thank you!

RNFA Tips: Tuition Increase and AORN Membership
NIFA’s RNFA Program II tuition will increase Jan. 31, 2009. If you or a friend have been considering taking the RNFA training, right now is an excellent time to pick up the phone and enroll.

Because we believe strongly that all nurses working in surgery should support and be members of the Association of PeriOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), during the month of January, all new RNFA enrollments will automatically receive a one-year membership in the AORN from NIFA – FREE!