Friday, December 19, 2014

Exceptional Nurse an Exceptional Resource!

Happy Holidays to everyone,

I am so excited to share a new article written about

May thanks to Nina Rao for writing the piece and to everyone who was interviewed.



Saturday, December 13, 2014

Book review showcases nurses with vision loss

With thanks to Katy Lewis from the American Foundation for the Blind for a review of "The

Exceptional Nurse: Tales from the trenches of truly resilient nurses working with disabilities".

Katy showcases commentary written by Detra Bannister, from the American Foundation for the Blind.........

Check out this preview of Detra’s commentary from the book!
I was very sorry to hear about the traumatic loss of Barbara’s son, husband and sight all wrapped into one long lasting event. People are amazing when they respond to such keen mental suffering the way she did. The triumphant outcome of keeping a promise and advancing her degree is tremendously healing and satisfying.
If you are now among the more than 25 million people in the United States living with vision loss, you need to know how important it is to find ways to accomplish routine tasks and goals. These are the skills that will enable you to live independently and productively, read and write, maintain a career—or launch a new one—raise a family, have a social life, travel, enjoy recreational sports, and games. In short, lead a normal life.
Go back and read Barbara’s story. Get in touch with American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) CareerConnect mentors who, in spite of being blind or visually impaired, are working as nurses. They have already traveled this road. Volunteers in this program can help the nurse or nursing student who is/has lost sight sort through the twists and turns of navigating their way to a career in nursing (or back into one).
Questions to ask yourself: Do you want to stay in this field of nursing or use this as an opportunity to broaden your experience? Do you want to stay in nursing at all or use your skills to re-career? Be encouraged that accepting that you may have to modify what you do in nursing or switch areas altogether is a winning strategy and not a defeat.
To read more of Detra’s commentary or any of the other inspirational stories, get your copy of The Exceptional Nurse: Tales from the trenches of truly resilient nurses working with disabilities today!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Court ruled accommodation exceeded ADA

      A University of Kansas medical student, who uses a wheelchair,

requested accommodation related to the "mobility technical

standard". The student requested the need for a staff person to assist

her with lifting and positioning patients and performing basic life


     The student's admission to the medical school was rescinded. A

law suit followed (details of the case are attached). 

     The court ruled that the student's request for accommodation

would alter the educational program over and above what the ADA

and Rehabilitation Act require.


      Thoughts and questions to ponder: How will this decision
impact future nursing program applicants who use wheelchairs?
     Other nursing and medical school programs have
accommodated students who use wheelchairs.

     Are we moving backward?

Please share your thoughts below.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Calling all nurses with disabilities: Are you looking for a job?

Are you a nurse with a disability? Looking for a job?

How about posting a "Position Wanted" ad on this blog?

Just post your ad below in the comment section. Become a blog follower or follow with your email.

I will post the blog on various nursing groups (including groups of nurse recruiters).

Give it a shot! Paint your paradise!

Here are some examples of what you could post. Keep it short and to the point. Only include your email address.

Seasoned RN interested in a telecommuting or remote position. Experience in newborn nursing, public health, office nursing, surgical & emergency room nursing, school nursing and home health. Additional experience in case management, utilization review, chart reviews and worker's compensation chart auditing. Administrative experience as well.

Northern California (San Francisco Bay Area)
RN, with 35+ yrs. experience: hospital, hospice, home care, managed care, case management, discharge planning, clinic, UR, and QA. Looking for part time work (24 hrs/wk) with little standing/walking due to post-polio syndrome. Familiar with computer documentation. Desire work in an office setting or at home doing chart reviews, extraction, wellness coaching or telephone triage. Eager to learn and help.

BSN prepared nurse with 20 years experience in geriatric rehab and home care seeks home based position in telephone triage, hospice triage or similar position. Limited ambulatory ability. Motivated and eager to work. Excellent communication skills.

Keep us posted if you hear from anyone or land a job!

Good Luck!


Monday, November 10, 2014

Best jobs for people with disabilities....Ummmm?

An interesting article appeared in today. 

Susan Adams shared a list of jobs for people with disabilities compiled by Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast, a job listing and advice website run by classified advertising software maker Adicio.

A physician's assistant was included in the list along with the following comment: 

".......... where a disabled person might have first-hand experience and greater [sic] for patients with similar physical disabilities. Lee says this job can be especially appealing for veterans who may have lost a limb or have some limitation resulting from combat injuries, who may work with other disabled veterans."

Questions abound!

Who knows the "best" job for another person? Disabled or not....

And, don't many nurses and nurse practitioners have first hand experience with disability? Lost limbs? Or have limitations resulting from combat injuries?

Please feel free to share a thought or comment below....

Until next time,


Monday, October 27, 2014

Good for One Good for All……“Nursing From Within: A Fresh Alternative to Putting Out Fires and Self-Care Workarounds”

No surprise….I read Elizabeth Scala’s new book through the lens of being an advocate for nurses with disabilities. While reading I paused often to ask, “How could a nurse or nursing student with a disability use this message?

The simple answer is that the book applies to all nurses—those struggling to remain in their current place of employment as well as those who are carving out new paths—particularly nurses with disabilities who are struggling to adjust to providing nursing care in new and different ways.

Are you holding on to the nurse you used to be prior to an illness, injury or disabling condition? Elizabeth teaches the reader that letting go can allow energy to flow and movement to occur. Letting go can also free us from pain. She teaches us to go “within to shift without.”

Reading the book will help you connect to your authentic self, your best nurse, and help you use your skills, talents and abilities to create the experience of your dreams. You will learn the healing power of thought and awaken or re-awaken your spiritual side.

Six simple steps can help you reconnect to the nurse within and create your personal roadmap.


Figure out your true heart’s desire.

Go after what you want, instead of away from what you don’t want.

Have a clear vision of where you are going.

Feel how it will be when that vision comes to fruition.

Be open to opportunities, insights, resources and synchronicities.

Have fun.

The book will also encourage you to examine how you show up as a nurse. Is your heart open?  Are you present? Head held high? Do others feel your energy? Is your love for nursing shining through?


Do you love you?

Love the good, bad and the ugly?

Love the parts of you that are sick or in pain?


New, seasoned or disabled nurse…..this book is a gift for you!  Learn to “show up” joyful…. heart open… have fun… and “choose” to walk unique, new paths in life and nursing.



Nursing from Within is an innovative and uplifting guide for nurses at all levels of the profession. Learn how to shift your inner perspective so you can enjoy the work of helping others, regardless of how stressful or challenging the environment you are working in may be. Are you ready to rediscover the joy and passion of nursing? ‘Nursing from Within: A Fresh Alternative to Putting Out Fires and Self-Care Workarounds’ is available now. Get your copy today by visiting Elizabeth Scala’s site, or purchase directly from



Monday, October 13, 2014 scholarships awarded to nursing students with disabilities

Nursing students with disabilities are increasing in number every year. Disabilities may include hearing loss, low vision, learning disabilities, limb differences, paralysis, mental illness and chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis and movement disorders.

Financing an education can be a challenge for some students with disabilities. In addition to routine expenses (tuition, room and board, books) some students may need to purchase an amplified stethoscope, computer software programs, or audio books—as well as medications, hearing aids, therapies, special equipment and have custom alterations made to uniforms and lab coats. Working a part-time job may not be possible.

Scholarships are available from, a nonprofit resource network for nursing students and nurses with disabilities. The organization provides links to disability-related organizations, technology, equipment, financial aid, employment opportunities, mentors, blogs, continuing education, message boards, a speaker’s bureau, legal resources, social media, research and related articles.

The organization has been awarding scholarships to nursing students with disabilities since 2003. The awards are based on academic performance, letters of recommendation, financial need and an essay which answers the questions: “How do you plan to contribute to the nursing profession? How will your disability influence your practice as a nurse”? The awards range from $250.00-$500.00. is honored to announce and congratulate the winners for 2014.

Gianna Puccinelli from West Chicago, IL

is attending Olivet Nazarene University

Natasha Brzoska from Granville, MA

is attending Fitchburg State University

Taelor Rempe from Pella, IA

is attending Lewis University

Christal Anne Hays from Anchorage, AK

is attending Pacific Lutheran University

Carolyn Burr from Scottsdale, AZ

is attending Grand Canyon University

Aimee Powell from Lake City, FL

is attending the University of West Florida

The scholarship awards are funded through donations, grants and proceeds from book sales of “The Exceptional Nurse: Tales from the trenches of truly resilient nurses working with disabilities”, “Leave No Nurse Behind: Nurses working with disabilities” and “Nursing students with disabilities change the course”. To make a donation, please visit



Friday, September 19, 2014

Monday, May 26, 2014

On Memorial Day....remembering nurses

Please visit the “nurses section” at Arlington Cemetery


The granite statue of a nurse in uniform, sculptured by Frances Rich, honors the nurses who served in the U.S. armed forces in World War I, many of whom rest among the hundreds of nurses buried in Section 21 -- also called the "Nurses Section."




Friday, March 28, 2014

Accessible Rx Labels

Monday, March 24, 2014

Must read for maternal/child nurses and all those interested in nursing history

A must read for maternal/child nurses as well as all nurses interested in nursing history.

The book is written by an Exceptional Nurse....

"This is the captivating story of my great-grandmother Alice Ada Wood Ellis - who was a single mother with two small children - Myrtle who was 2 ½ years old and Marie who was a 6 month-old baby. She traveled to Seattle in 1900 on a locomotive steam train to join the Alaska-Yukon-Klondike Gold Rush Stampede. She built a home in Green Lake. Soon after she placed two beds in her front parlor in her home and helped women with birthing. She fufilled her calling as a pioneer midwife-nurse. This epic saga includes life in 1895 nursing schools, train robbers, birthing in the home, Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition, women's suffrage, bubonic plague and unclaimed children. Stories from the 1918 Great Pandemic Flu and the Great Depression conclude this remarkable journey. This is Alice's story."

Friday, January 24, 2014

Did you listen when they said you couldn't be a nurse?

       Derrick Coleman is the first deaf offensive player to ever play in the NFL.

He wasn’t drafted in 2012 in spite of a stellar career at UCLA. But this season, he is a fullback for the Seattle Seahawks.

Throughout his life, Derrick was picked last or not at all— and often told to quit.

He has been deaf since he was three…

he didn’t listen when they said it

couldn’t be done!

Did you listen when they said you couldn’t be a nurse?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Employers who have accommodated nurses with disabilities salutes the following employers who have accommodated
nurses with  disabilities

 Beverly Hospital - Beverly, Massachusetts

Jewish Home & Hospital Lifecare System - Bronx, New York

Capital Region Mental Health Center - Hartford, Connecticut

Care Core National - Wappingers Falls, New York

Children's Specialized Hospital - Toms River, New Jersey

Craig Hospital - Denver, Colorado

Health Direct, Missouri

IT HealthTrack, Inc. - Williamsville, New York

Positive Reinforcement Nursing - Lawsonville, North Carolina

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago - Chicago, Illinois

Warren G. Magnuson Clinical Center, National Institutes of    Health

New York Presbyterian Hospital - New York, New York

St. Anthony's Hospital - Westminster, Colorado

St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

Veterans Hospital - Long Beach, California

Shriners Hospital - Chicago, Illinois

Children's Hospital - Denver, Colorado

Cleveland Clinic - Cleveland, Ohio

Bend Surgery Center - Bend, Oregon 

St. Francis Hospital, Bon Secours Health System, Greenville, SC

Can you add any others to this list? If so, please share.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Nurses with disabilities...write on!

            While doing research for my next book about nurses with disabilities, I found a growing list of nurses with disabilities who have written books.

            Susan Fleming (2014) wrote a book about her grandmother called Alice Ada Wood Ellis: Seattle Pioneer Midwife, Nurse, & Mother to All. Susan was born missing her left hand. The book will be released in March, 2014.

            Christine Molloy (2013) wrote Tales from the Dry Side: The personal stories behind the autoimmune illness Sjögren's Syndrome.

            Karen Ingalls (2012) wrote a book about her journey with ovarian cancer. It is called Outshine: An ovarian cancer memoir.

            Patricia Holloran (2005) wrote Walking Like a Duck based on her personal journey from addiction to recovery.

            Cleo Graham (2005) wrote a book called From Mess to Message Understanding the hidden meanings of pain and suffering.

            After a back injury, Trenee’ Carlson Zweigle (2004), wrote Psych Ward, a book about her experiences working in mental health settings. Later she wrote Never Give Up: Hope and Encouragement for Women (2013).  

             Following a work-related spinal injury, Anne Hudson and William Charney (2003) wrote Back Injury Among Healthcare Workers.

            Beka Serdans (2001) wrote I’m moving on…are U, a book about her experiences as a nurse with dystonia. She also wrote I’m moving two, a poetic journey with dystonia (2000).

Congratulations to all of these nurse/authors!

Can you add any others to this list?


Charney, W. & Hudson, A. (2003). Back injury among healthcare workers. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Fleming, S. (2014). Alice Ada Wood Ellis: Seattle Pioneer Midwife, Nurse, & Mother to All.

Graham, C. (2005).  From Mess to Message Understanding the hidden meanings of pain and suffering. Amazon Digital Services.

Holloran, P. (2005). Walking like a duck: The true story of a nurse walking from addiction to

recovery. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse.

Ingalls, K. (2012). Outshine: An ovarian cancer memoir. Edina, Minnesota:

Beaver’s Pond Press.

Molloy, C. (2013). Tales from the Dry Side: The personal stories behind the autoimmune illness Sjögren's Syndrome. Outskirts Press.

Serdans, B. (2001). I’m moving on…are U? Philadelphia, PA: Xlibris Corporation.

Serdans, B. (2000). I’m moving two. Xlibris Corporation.

Zweigle, T.C. (2005). Psych ward. Frederick, MD: Publish America.

Zweigle, T. C. (2013). Never Give Up: Hope and Encouragement for Women.