Sunday, August 21, 2016

Scholarship for nursing students

For all the Nursing students starting their journey, we were notified by that they've opened their next scholarship cycle. See all the information below if you'd like to apply.

University of Washington Graduate Nursing Student, Erin Picolet, receives award

Bellevue, WA, July 25, 2016 - is pleased to announce that the 2016 Healthcare Leaders Scholarship has been awarded to Ms. Erin Picolet, a student in the University of Washington’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, Nurse-Midwifery (NM) track.

Picolet hopes to counteract some of the vulnerabilities in the health status of her future patients with a strong understanding of the determining factors that cause them.  As a CNM, she will be trained to look at basic and simple interventions to make profound differences. It is this simplicity that she hopes will make changes possible for individuals with limited resources and low health literacy.

“I hope to help create a healthcare system for my population of interest that is not solely based on profits and productivity but one that also nurtures its patients to reach their full health potential and live fulfilled lives,” said Picolet.

As an organization committed to supporting nurses and helping them achieve their career and educational goals, applauds Ms. Picolet for her noble ambitions and will continue to offer the Healthcare Leaders Scholarship on an ongoing basis.  Applications are now being accepted for the 2017 scholarship cycle on

About the Healthcare Leaders Scholarship

The $1000 Healthcare Leaders Scholarship is offered to students entering or currently pursuing an educational program related to nursing or medicine. Students must be at least 17 years of age and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

All applicants must submit a 600 to 1,000-word essay explaining what they hope to accomplish during their career in the medical field and how the scholarship would fulfill those goals.

To submit an application for the 2017 scholarship cycle, please  visit the scholarship page. Make sure to enter Noggin Blog as the referring website.


A group of hard-working professionals teamed up with working RNs with one goal: to build the perfect nursing career site. The result is, the only site that shows nurses the inner workings of a hospital before they accept the job. Nurses review shift policies, management, nurse-to-patient ratio and more.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Five Summer Reads for Nursing Instructors and Students

We have a few big readers in the office who have all mentioned how summer is their time to catch up on reading materials. Even more true for instructors, there is no better time to sit down with a book than a long summer evening.

Here are some good reads for the Nurse in all of us:

1. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Ann Fadiman is an excellent way to broaden your horizons and remind yourself to be sensitive while dealing with all cultures and religions.  The story discusses how a Hmong child collides with her American doctors, reminding us that we can all stand to learn a little more about those unlike ourselves. 

2. I Wasn't Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse by Lee Gutkind is a collection of short stories written by Nurses. If you're a seasoned Nurse, these are a great way to step into the past. For Nursing students, you can learn from other nurse's experiences and find sympathy in those who have been where you are now. 

3. Notes on Nursing by Florence Nightingale is the quintessential Nursing read. If you haven't read this book yet, now is as good a time as any. 

4. The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital by Alexandra Robbins is a look inside the world of Nursing as written by a literary journalist. This is a wonderfully written exploration of the profession.

5. Shroud for a Nightingale by P.D. James is a fictional thriller with nursing students as the characters. This one is on the list for anyone looking for something more "fluff" and less heavy for a care free summer read.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A better solution to Prior Authorization with medications

This blog post was written by the CoverMyMeds team and might help practicing nurses learn more about prior authorization for medications. If you're a Nurse Educator, this could also give you some ideas for how to discuss prior authorization with your students or incorporate it into simulation.

Nurses: With Specialty Meds on the Rise, You Need a Better PA Solution
Did you know specialty medications make up the majority of the prescription market? Most require Prior Authorization (PA), which can leave you and your co-workers trapped in the endless paper form and fax cycle of the traditional PA process. Prescribers writing scripts for specialty meds can often lean on their nurses to handle the details when it comes to completing PA requests. Today, the team at CoverMyMeds wants to fill you in on some new stats regarding specialty meds and the new electronic solutions available to help alleviate some of the headache when completing PA requests.

What defines specialty medication?
Specialty medications often manage chronic disorders (multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C and immune deficiencies are a few examples), and can require special administration (i.e., through injectable or intravenous (IV) infusion).

Another defining characteristic: specialty medications are expensive. The industry generally recognizes any medication costing $1,000+ per 30-day supply as specialty.

So is PA required for all specialty medications?

While there are always exceptions, specialty medications likely require a PA request. With a significant increase in specialty meds, we’ve seen a direct correlation to PA requests spiking as well. As new medication continues to develop, this will be something that continues to trend upward.


What takes the PA process so long, anyway?
First, let’s review a quick definition:
  • Prior Authorization: The patient’s prescription coverage plan needs extra information about why your patient needs the prescribed medication in order to determine benefit coverage.
The PA process involves several parties (pharmacy, doctor, health plan, patient) and is often time consuming. CoverMyMeds steps in to limit the inevitable back and forth, with an electronic, streamlined solution for nurses and their staff. Instead of printing a form, manually filling it out and sending a paper copy to the plan, you can now complete all requests, from start to finish, through the CoverMyMeds web portal or directly through your electronic health record (EHR), at no cost.

Wait, so who are you again?

Our story began back in 2008 when a pharmacist and a tech guy questioned, “Why won’t the health plan just cover my meds?” Today, we are the leading electronic prior authorization (ePA) company in the nation, helping more patients receive the medications they need in order to live healthier lives. In fact, more than 600,0000 providers and staff use CoverMyMeds to manage PA requests, along with 80 percent of the pharmacy network, nationwide.

As a Provider or Medical Professional, how do I make the process easier, like you mentioned? An electronic solution, such as CoverMyMeds, is your best bet. You may already have access to manage PA requests within your EHR system. If not, it’s easy to get started with the CoverMyMeds HIPAA-compliant online portal. Simply create a free account or log in to complete your next PA request in minutes!

By completing PA requests electronically, your office will save time, reduce administrative waste and help patients get the medications originally prescribed. On average, users indicate they complete PA requests in 3-5 minutes through CoverMyMeds versus the traditional fax or phone process, which often requires 15-20 minutes. The CoverMyMeds solution works with all health plans and for any drug (retail and specialty). This is important to ensure you only need to work through one process for any scenario — even Medicare and Medicaid.

Want personal help getting started?

Live chat our PA experts or call 1-866-452-5017.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Summer is the perfect time to get CE credits!

With a month or less of summer left, we know many instructors fill summer with assessing new resources, planning for the coming year and attending conferences. We'd like to make another suggestion if you find yourself with a little extra time during long summer evenings: get your CE credits out of the way!

Here are some resources for finding free, online, continuing education credits: - Free CE courses worth 1 hour each. Classes focus on everything from specific ailments to best practices in the workplace. We like the selection of leadership and professional courses offered through this website.

Nurse CEU - Free, online classes worth .5-2 hours. Several credits are framed as activities surrounding a specific case scenario, which we think is a more engaging platform than a simple slideshow or powerpoint with facts.

The Online Learning Center - This resource offers a handful of free courses largely related to home health care and geriatric care. If you don't find any free courses you like in any of these resources, you can always browse the paid courses on this website as well.

If you know of any additional websites for free CE credits, include them in the comments so we can continue sharing with our readers!

Monday, June 13, 2016

EHR Tutor now integrates with Medication Cabinets!

EHR Tutor announces upcoming integration with Capsa FirstDose Medication Management System in an effort to streamline simulated medication dispensing and administration.

The newly created integration includes plans to allow EHR Tutor’s academic electronic health records system to push data including patient lists and patient orders to the FirstDose cabinet. Planned integration will also include drug formulary sync between FirstDose and EHR Tutor allowing seamless assignment of medications to drawers.

The FirstDose system from Capsa Solutions is the modern way to track who is accessing medications, what medication is pulled, and who the medication is for. Features include configurable medication storage bins and drawers, storage drawers available for organization and stocking of supplies, an expansive work surface and medication preparation area and casters for easy storage or relocation within a space-limited simulation lab.

Using a combination of FirstDose and EHR Tutor, Simulation Lab faculty in Nursing and Health programs will be able to simulate the entire medication process from start to finish. “Now students will be able to use the monitor on a FirstDose cabinet to view a list of patients and patient orders. Then, students will open the correct drawer and bin to retrieve the medication and log it as removed before transferring the medication to the patient’s bedside where they will be able to open the electronic charting system to do the final medication administration process including barcode scanning” explains Diane Yeager, Founder of EHR Tutor.

This new integration will mean less work for simulation lab staff and faculty as patient lists and patient orders only need to be entered once and will be visible to students in both the FirstDose system and EHR Tutor.

EHR Tutor continues to offer a cutting edge, intuitive and feature rich solution to electronic charting in Nursing and Health education. The company has plans to integrate with SimCabRx provided by KbPort as well in an effort to provide choices to educational facilities in need of medication dispenser solutions that sync with an electronic charting system.

To get a hands-on view of how integration will work, stop by the Meadows Medical Supply booth #209 at the INACSL conference on June 16th at 5pm. We’ll be doing a five minute demonstration: A perfect marriage between your EHR and Medication Cabinet.

For more information on EHR Tutor::
Nikki Yeager

For FirstDose purchasing information contact:
Meadows Medical Supply

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

EHR Tutor's "Scenes" makes unfolding scenarios a reality for Nursing and Health simulation!

EHR Tutor announced the release of a new "Scenes" feature as a way to create unfolding scenarios in simulation.

As more focus shifts to simulation in Nursing Education, Simulation Lab Coordinators often struggle to set up and maintain patient scenarios. An electronic charting system allows a student to view patient data and then chart the skills he/she performed. However, until recently, the changing information from the scenario itself would have to be manually entered by an instructor throughout the lab, or entered in advance on the static chart.

Now, with a single click of a button, lab staff can add orders, lab results and other data sets to a patient to match the scenario as it unfolds.

Founder of EHR Tutor, Diane Yeager, explains the importance of Scenes, "Unfolding scenarios in simulation is a hot topic, but there is no easy way to show unfolding patient data as a lab progresses. The manikins on the market respond to show signs of anaphylactic shock in response to an improper medication, but the chart showing the patient's information will not reflect the patient's distress. Where else do students find the proper information including updated orders and lab results if not in the chart? To have realistic simulation, we need the chart to reflect the changing scenario as well as the manikin and it needs to update in real time, not make believe time."

Using Scenes, an instructor can create multiple Scenes on a standard patient scenario within EHR Tutor's Patient Chart Library. Scenes can either correspond with a standard scenario as time progresses, or be used as responses to a student's actions during a simulation.

The new Scenes feature was announced in a wave of EHR Tutor feature updates including multidisciplinary charting for interprofessional simulations, an Activity Library that allows activities/labs to be saved as templates and the framework for additional charting including Community Health, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy.

The new Scenes feature will be available to explore hands-on at INACSL 2016 in EHR Tutor's booth #315. EHR Tutor will also be hosting a webinar on June 10th at 3pm Eastern to discuss teaching ideas related to unfolding scenarios in simulation. Registration can be found here:

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Teaching ideas for Medication Carts and Medication Dispenser Cabinets

After our last webinar on Medication Cabinets, Carts and EHRs, we realized that not only is there confusion about what each product does, but there is confusion regarding how to use any one of these products in a Nursing or Health simulation lab.

So here are a few ideas:

Medication Cabinets 
For Pharmacy Students, this is a clear simulation. Have students stock opiates and narcotics in the medication cart and take inventory in order to restock after a Nursing/Allied Health simulation. This teaches students how to use and manage a cabinet, but also provides free labor when it comes to restocking your machine between simulations.

For Nursing students, cabinets can be tricky. Because cabinets are designed to track medications and hold Nurses/Clinicians responsible for the drugs they remove, typical simulations don't always fit when it comes to using a cabinet. Instead, we suggest doing a medication day. Set up your EHR system with orders for pain medications on 3-4 patients. Have students practice going to the medication dispenser cabinet and removing the proper medications for those patients based on the orders. Then, require the students to safely transport the medications to the patients bedside and properly administer the drugs. For an idea on the actual administration, look at our previous post on Medication Administration labs/tests.

Medication Carts
Medication Carts can be incorporated into every simulation. These carts are a way to safely store medications in transport and at the patient's bedside. Instead of having your practice medications laying around your lab setting, make sure to load them into a cart before any simulation. Then, run any medication administration lab as normal but have students remove the meds from a cart instead of picking them up from a table or unlocked drawer. The cart also provides a mobile work station for you to store your computer or laptop for students to access your EHR system.

Hopefully that helps start the conversation when planning how to use these devices. We'd love to hear what your school does in the comments!