Thursday, December 1, 2011

Scholarships for nurses with multiple sclerosis is pleased to announce
a scholarship program for nurses with multiple

Three nurses with multiple sclerosis will be awarded
a scholarship for $1,000.00
Applications must be received by December 31, 2011.
Late, unsigned or incomplete applications will not be considered.
Scholarships will be awarded based on the following:
Documented medical verification of disability
Acceptance or enrollment in an accredited Masters of Science degree program in nursing
(Preference will be given to nurses enrolled in nurse educator tracts)
Financial need
Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can personally attest to academic abilities and personal character (these cannot be relatives)
Essay (approximately 1-2 pages) and official transcripts of college courses completed.
Please email for an application and additional information.
**These scholarships are funded by a generous gift from Genzyme, a Sanofi Company. This contribution is in no way conditioned upon the use of, or referrals for, any Genzyme product or service, and is not intended to promote Genzyme products, directly or indirectly.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tenacity, personality or both?

Recently, I asked my online MSN students to share their thoughts about an article I wrote in 2004.
One student responded:
“As I read your article, it brought to mind several nurses that I have worked with through the years that have had disabilities. My employer made accommodations for one nurse by making sure her patient assignments were located so that she had to walk only short distances between them. Still another nurse was given a desk job, as your article suggests. While in nursing school, I can recall a nurse at the hospital where I did my clinical who had such a profound speech impediment that it was very difficult to understand her. She worked the night shift which would seem accommodating in that most patients would sleep through the shift, requiring little conversation. I recall a nurse's aide went into the rooms with her during her initial assessment to facilitate interaction with the patient. I definitely agree with your stance that we need to be accommodating for nurses with disabilities but the tenacity of the nurse plays a huge role in how they are treated and their success in the workplace. I am not saying that it is appropriate to treat someone according to their personality, but the nurse must be an asset to their employer regardless of physical limitations or lack thereof.”
Is it tenacity, personality or both?

Maheady, D. (2004). Positions wanted: Nurses with disabilities: Barriers to employment remain despite the nursing shortage. American Journal of Nursing, 104(3),13.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tough Cookies

This week our thoughts and prayers have been with Beka Serdans, RN, MS, A-NP. 
Beka is an ICU nurse, author, founder of the nonprofit organization, advocate for nurses with disabilities and photographer.
Among many other accomplishments, she has been interviewed with Dr. Oz and encouraged Alice Cooper do a PSA about dystonia.
A photo journal of Beka’s experience with deep brain stimulation for dystonia (DBS) can be viewed at
Sadly, Beka had to return to surgery for DBS on July 7, 2011.
But, as Candy Asman, RN states “tough cookies don’t crumble”! And, Beka Serdans is a tough cookie!
Many thanks for all of your prayers, emails and Facebook posts. 
We are thrilled to report that Beka is
doing well.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Celebration of Ability

Let’s celebrate ability this week!
This slide show was created by as a tribute to nurses with disabilities for Nurses Week. It features nurses from all over the USA who have various disabilities. The show is a celebration of ability!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Do nurses need to find agents?

According to a Gallup poll, nurses were judged to be the most honest and ethical profession.
Athletes, movie actors, physicians, and politicians routinely promote medications and products in television advertisements.
Why aren't nurses who have arthritis promoting medications used for arthritis? Why aren’t nurses who use mobility aides seen in product advertisements? Why aren’t nurses with hearing loss promoting hearing aids?
Do nurses need to find agents?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Do nurses receive compassion and support following injury?

Karen Daley, PhD, RN, FAAN and President of the ANA wrote a recent article called "A perspective on trauma".

Dr. Daley talked about how it has become increasingly common to hear of incidents where nurses have been harmed or injured on the job.

She states that "nurses who experience trauma at work must be treated with compassion and respect and receive the support and care that providers would extend to any trauma patient....we deserve no less."  

Are nurses treated like other trauma patients?

Daley, K. (2011). A perspective on trauma. American Nurse Today, 6 (3), 20. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

RFB&D Audiobooks are Now Accessible on Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Devices

Audio books have improved the lives of many.

Some of us can't drive without listening to a book:)

For nursing students with low vision or print related disabilities,

the availability of a required textbook on audio book is a blessing.

Now, RFB&D audio books will be accessible on Apple's iPhone,

iPad and iPod touch devices.

"Nursing students with disabilities change the course"

and "Leave No Nurse Behind: Nurses working with

DisAbilities" are available from RFB&D.

Should all required nursing textbooks be made available through


RFB&D Audiobooks are Now Accessible on Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Devices

Friday, March 4, 2011

Does nursing contribute to hearing loss?

Leslie Neal-Boylan, Kristopher Fennie & Sara Baldauf-Wagner reported the findings of their recent study in Rehabilitation Nursing.

The study explored the characteristics of registered nurses with sensory disabilities and risk for leaving their jobs.

They found that length of time spent as a registered nurse was associated with difficulty hearing (21 years=some difficulty, 28 years=a lot of difficulty).

This begs the question of whether working as a nurse contributes to hearing loss?

What factors involved in nursing practice might contribute to hearing loss?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"The real risk is doing nothing"

Susan Fleming, RN, MS, PhD student is the keynote speaker at an upcoming conference at University College Dublin, Ireland. Susan was born missing her left hand. She lives and teaches nursing in Washington.

The conference titled "The real risk is doing nothing" includes the following information:

The landscape of higher education has changed dramatically in recent years and there are now over 6000 students with disabilities registered in higher education. In the case of nursing programs this presents a unique challenge as educators must think beyond the lecture halls and consider how to support students with disabilities in clinical practice.

This conference will explore the implications for clinical practice and will review good practice, both national and international.

This event is aimed primarily at nurses and midwives in preceptor, academic and supervisory roles but will also appeal to policy makers, professional bodies, human resource professionals and student nurses.

This event is organised by AHEAD together with the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems.

It takes place on the 16th March 2011, O’Reilly Hall, UCD.

I wonder, is the real risk doing nothing?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Changing the way things usually are done

According to the Job Accommodation Network, a reasonable accommodation "is a modification or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or the way things usually are done that enables a qualified individual with a disability to enjoy an equal employment opportunity. An equal employment opportunity means an opportunity to attain the same level of performance or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are available to an average similarly-situated employee without a disability. The ADA requires reasonable accommodation in three aspects of employment:
  • to ensure equal opportunity in the application process;
  • to enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of a job; and
  • to enable an employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment."
Some nurses and nursing students are successful changing the "way things usually are done".....and some are not. I wonder why?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Do you practice what you preach?

To be an effective healer, you must work on your own healing every day. That involves tending to your physical, emotional, and spiritual health and healing. You must practice what you preach.

Donna Wilk Cardillo, RN
A Daybook for Beginning Nurses

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Coal or Diamond?

Pressure turns coal into diamonds.

Will the pressure of disability crush you or turn you into a diamond?

Please share your thoughts.

With thanks,