September 2021 • Volume 15, No. 9

From the Editor

With the Delta variant, there’s been a new rash of stories in popular media about the impact of COVID-19 on overwhelmed teams of nurses. We’ve been seeing stories like that for more than a year. It’s hard not to become numb to them.

But it all came home to me more vividly last week when I received an email from a friend who is an ICU nurse in Denver. She wrote, “I feel very traumatized and broken. I felt like I could start living my life and then my life again became COVID. . . . The nursing shortage is more real than ever and the trauma is more than a lot of us can bear. I’m scared to bring the Delta variant to anyone I encounter as I’m mostly in the COVID ICU [and] I feel so scared of transmitting COVID to anyone.”

Some friends and I put together a little care package (goodies from an imported food market) for our friend. But it feels like the tiniest drop of help against the tidal wave of difficulties so many nurses are experiencing. 

We can’t turn around the pandemic or the nursing shortage overnight. But I know from personal experience that attending to our inner equilibrium can have a big effect on our stress levels and our lives, whatever the external circumstances.

That’s why, for this issue, we’ve assembled some self-care strategies and programs for nurses, and some ideas of what you can do to support other nurses in your life. If you have other ideas you’d like to share with our readers, let us know and we’ll put them in an upcoming issue.

Our Student in the Spotlight is Sofia Esquivel, Boerne, TX.

You will also find jobs we’ve collected for you and NIFA’s favorite links.

Enjoy, and hang in there.


Julie Lancaster, Editor

Self-care Strategies for Nurses

Summary of Approaches

Here’s a thoughtful summary of general strategies from the University of Houston-Victoria, BC. Read More…

Resilience Groups for Nurses

No-cost, confidential, video conference groups for nurses to connect and process COVID-19 together. Read more. . .

Well-being Initiative

Free tools and apps to support the mental health and resilience of nurses, presented by ANA Enterprise (representing the American Nurses Association, the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and the American Nurses Foundation). Included are hot lines, a narrative expressive writing program, a podcast series, safe spaces to talk, a stress self-assessment, and much more. Read more. .

Headspace Meditation App

With meditation modules for stress, anxiety, getting better sleep, parenting, and on and on . . . Headspace is one of the most respected names in the guided meditation field, with millions of users in 190 countries. Their basics course is free; other programs available with a subscription. Read more. . .

Self Care Tip Sheet for Nurses

Tips to nurture your mind, body, and spirit from psychiatric-mental health nurses around the country. Read more. . .

Things You Can Do to Support Other Nurses in Your Life

Here are two collections of good ideas, coming at the matter from different angles. They were both written back in March 2020, but the tips are still pertinent.

  • How to support nurses during a crisis like COVID-19, from the Nerdy Nurse. Read More…
  • 20 ways to support healthcare workers on the front lines of COVID-19, from Read More…

Student Spotlight: Sofia Esquivel


Student Status
Current student, NIFA’s RNFA program

City & State
Boerne, TX

Current Position
Surgery Orthopedic Coordinator

Where did you get your RN degree?
Texas A&M International University, Laredo, TX

How did you come to choose perioperative nursing?
I started my career in L&D and loved the OR portion of L&D. I quickly decided that L&D wasn’t for me and decided to transfer to the surgery dept. after two weeks of being in L&D. I’ve been in the OR for 15 years now. ?

What is the scariest moment you’ve ever seen at the table?
Scariest case was a 9-month-old with a bowel obstruction who went into laryngospasm during induction. CPR was initiated because spasm lasted too long. Patient was transferred to another facility post repair of obstruction.

What is one technique or RNFA trick you’ve learned from NIFA that you will use for life?
The double loop knot!!

How do you feel having your RNFA will impact your life/career?
It will help me expand my knowledge about the human anatomy. I will learn about teamwork and expand my network in the OR department.

Jobs Front

Click here for the RNFA job postings we’ve collected for you this month.

NIFA – Office Hours

Monday-Thursday, 8:00am – 5:00pm
Friday, 8:00am – 4:00pm

Practice Resources

Here are several of the most-in-demand sites for our students, prospective students and grads:

MD Edge Surgery News: Specialty News and Commentaries, Videos and More
RNFA Scope of Practice by State (PDF)
ACS List of Cases that Require an Assistant at Surgery, 2020 (PDF)
Perioperative Nurse Links (state nursing boards & professional associations)
APRN Nurse Links

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this newsletter are strictly those of their respective authors and do not necessarily represent the views of NIFA. NIFA does not give any express or implied warranty as to the accuracy of statements made by our contributors and does not accept any liability for error or omission. It is the responsibility of all perioperative personnel to work within and adhere to their facility bylaws and individual scope of practice.

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