Why Nursing Is Still a Great Career Choice for Women – Donna Irving ARNP

Donna Irving, APRN of Naples, FLHi, My name is Donna Irving and I’m a Nurse Practitioner with Advanced Urology Institute.

I would say nursing, in general, [is] for women that get bored easily or they want some opportunity that will expand through a lifetime. You could still work into your sixties (60s) and still be able to do something in nursing and if you become a Nurse Practitioner you can have several specialties. You don’t have to rely on one specialty, you can go to another if you so choose so it gives you a wide variety of jobs within a job.

Diagnostic Tools and Urodynamic Testing for Urinary Problems

Donna Irving, APRN of Naples, FLHi, my name is Donna Irving and I am a Nurse Practitioner with Advanced Urology Institute.

I think [with] the tool sets that we use, we have good ways to evaluate just with blood withdrawal, looking at the PSAs [etc.]. Then we have what’s called urodynamic studies, where we can put catheters in people’s bladder and we can actually tell them how well their bladder is working because we have men that will come in and we’ll say “We’re not sure if its your prostate or is it actually your bladder that’s not working”. [With Urodynamic Testing] we can actually measure both of them or we can do the cystoscopies, look up inside their bladder and tell them how big of a prostate that they have, how much is it impinging on their urethra and we can also measure their bladder so that we can tell them if they have a little bit of both, [and] so we’ll know how to treat them afterwards.

How Female Nurse Practitioners Can Be More Sensitive To Male Patients

Female Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are an integral part of urological care. As NPs, we diagnose and manage chronic and acute urologic conditions, request and interpret diagnostic tests, perform a selected number of procedures, provide patient counseling, prescribe pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments, and help patient adhere to treatment. Armed with urology specific knowledge and with particular know-how in diagnosing and managing urologic conditions, we are always available in the urology office to deliver timely and effective care for patients, especially when doctors are away conducting emergency operations.

Handling a typical patient

Donna Irving, ARNP of Advanced Urology InstituteAt Advanced Urology Institute, all NPs have laptops. As a nurse practitioner, you go into the consultation room with your laptop, sit next to the patient and, using your laptop, you begin your discussion with the patient. For instance, if you have the patient’s lab results, you show him on your laptop, asking him questions about the results to make sure he understands what they mean for him and informing him of the treatment options available for his condition. If this is a first-time visit with the patient, you may ask him questions about why he is visiting and what sort of help he is seeking.

We make sure our patients are as comfortable as possible throughout the consultation, diagnosis and treatment sessions. As we speak with our patients, we make sure they are able to see all the information we have gathered in our laptops about their conditions. And if we have to conduct any exams, we make sure to treat our patients with respect, never being critical of them in any way. For us as NPs in urology, the goal is always to establish meaningful relationships with our patients, particularly the male ones, which in turn allows us to deliver safe, efficient and excellent whole-person care.

Customized Care for Male Patients

Since a bigger proportion of patients in urology clinics are men, female nurse practitioners are mindful of this gender difference and try to turn it into a strength in their delivery of urologic care. For instance, while we recognize that a large number of male patients are more willing to speak to female NPs than male NPs about impotence and other urologic disorders — due to the fear of comparison with other men — we also understand that most male patients are embarrassed by their conditions and may find it difficult to speak openly about their problems. So we make sure that we express warmth, empathy, openness and interest in their problems in order to make them feel at ease and ready to discuss their issues.

Comfortable, compassionate care

As nurse practitioners, we communicate with patients in a compassionate, respectful and sensitive way, looking to build confidence and trust. For instance, we are open to asking patients about their comfort level, such as whether they are ready for a biopsy, can take the next step of having a MRI or still would like to continue with a series of PSA tests. And as we ask these questions, we break everything down for them so they understand the reasons and need for any such steps. In turn, this compassionate and cordial approach ensures every decision they make is well-informed and best for their treatment and recovery.

Making care decisions

Once we provide our patients with the information they need, we allow them to make decisions about what they think is best for them. Sometimes patients are not ready to make decisions and want us to make these decisions for them. But we turn it back on them, guiding and helping them as much as possible until they are comfortable enough to make the decisions.

For us, it is very important that patients are fully involved in the medical decision-making process so they undergo procedures and treatments they are comfortable with. We even share treatment plans with them, ask them what they think about the plans and eventually when they are ready to begin treatment.

At Advanced Urology Institute, working with male patients is something we enjoy and look forward to because of the results we have been able to achieve for our patients. And from the feedback we regularly get, we know we have managed to keep our patients happy and satisfied with our services. For more information, visit the “Advanced Urology Institute” site.

Becoming a Nurse Practitioner with Donna Irving, ARNP

A nurse practitioner is a Registered Nurse (RN) who in addition to earning nursing credentials, has gone on to receive further training, such as a masters degree or a doctorate in a specialized area of nursing practice. Nurse practitioners are a part of a wider category of specialist nurses, collectively referred to as Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners(ARNP). While Registered Nurses offer care in a generalized way, which means they end up doing a little of everything, nurse practitioners focus on the specific area in which they have received specialized training.

How does one become a nurse practitioner?

Donna Irving ARNP of Advanced Urology InstituteAchieving the title of Nurse Practitioner requires a sustained effort to build up one’s nursing career. The journey to becoming a nurse practitioner can be summarized as follows:

1. Earn a bachelor’s or associate’s degree or a diploma from an institution duly licensed to offer nursing programs.

2. Pass the National Council Licensure Examination. This is what earns a nurse the license to practise as a Registered Nurse. One has to seek the approval of the State Board before taking the exam.

3. Gain experience as a Registered Nurse.

4. Enroll for a masters degree or a doctorate in a chosen area of specialization and at an accredited institution. Usually graduating from any of these programs will require a certain amount of practical work in the chosen area in the form of residency programs.

5. Complete a certification program from an institution accredited by the American Board of Nursing Specialties or the National Commission for Certification Agencies. Some of the agencies that grant certification include the National Certification Corporation, the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.

6. Obtain a licence to practice in a particular state, in accordance with the regulations of that state’s Nursing Board.

Advantages of becoming a nurse practitioner

Registered Nurses are encouraged to further their education to the level of nursing practitioner to help fill the gap left by a shortage of doctors. Due to the level of education, nurse practitioners earn more than Registered Nurses. In addition to being able to do all that a Registered Nurse can do, nurse practitioners occupy a decision making position and can determine the care plan of patients and give directions on how the plan should be carried out.

The role that nurse practitioners play in improving access to and the quality of healthcare is so important that some states even allow nurse practitioners to operate on their own without the supervision of a doctor. Established institutions such as the Advanced Urology Institute now have nurse practitioners among their ranks so there is no shortage of employment opportunities for trained nurse practitioners.