What Happens with Medical Improv in a Room Full of Nurses?

Catching my breath after returning from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and presenting a Medical Improv workshop that focused on building emotional intelligence for Patient-centered Care at the International Nursing Symposium.  The symposium was part of the Security Forces Hospital’s initiative to improve Patient Experience and took place in the vast city of Riyadh!

What an enriching experience!

And you know, there ARE cultural differences!  But get a room full of nurses and we can get to the heart of some of our communication challenges while having fun pretty quickly. And this group was especially diverse with nurses from Ireland, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, Scotland, Africa, the Chech Republic, Saudi and more! Even if the teacher’s native language, in this case, English, was most people’s second language!

There was laughter, learning, and cooperation! Big time!

Nurses from everywhere know what it is like to provide service work that requires skill and knowledge beyond which many understand or appreciate.  And which involves frequent tragedy and loss and chronically excessive workloads.  With these and other challenges acknowledged, new territory can be forged! That is exactly what happens with Medical Improv in a room full of nurses!

What did participating nurses have to say?

  • The activities are fun and mind-exercising!
  • You’re learning and at the same time enjoying productive activities!
  • Taught me to understand another’s perspective!
  • I learned that if you want to be heard you have to learn to listen!
  • Very thought-provoking.  Really made me think how simple gestures/communication are so vital to our patients!

And soon”Medical Improv:  A New Way To Improve Communication” (With 15 activities you can teach STAT!) will be available.  This is a train-the-trainer resource! Nurses all over the world (literally) will be able to teach Medical Improv and promote skills associated with emotional intelligence, communication, teamwork, and leadership! This will lead to safer, compassionate, more cost-effective care and long-term, rewarding careers. Read this preview by Mayo Clinic Nurse Educator, Kelly Wise!

If you’d like to receive a special notice and discount send me an email (beth@bethboynton.com).

Posted in Assertiveness, Book & Movie Reviews, Communication in Healthcare, Complexity in nursing, Diversity, Healthy Workplaces, Listening, Medical Improv, Nurse Entreprenuers, Nurse Leadership, Patient Advocacy, Patient Safety, Teambuilding, Workplace Bullying | Leave a comment

Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness – Know the Facts

by Drew Cloud

Nurses play a critical role in our healthcare system. However, the education to become a nurse comes at a cost, which has made the topic of student loan forgiveness a hot topic among nurses. They want to be able to offset the cost of their educations somehow so that they aren’t sinking a large amount of their hard-earned paychecks into the repayment of student loans.

With an aging population, nurses work very hard, so they deserve something that helps them navigate the student debt landscape. Fortunately, there are federal- and state-based student loan forgiveness programs that can help nurses. The programs that are offered to nurses are some of the best loan forgiveness programs, making them worth exploring.

Loan Forgiveness Qualifications

Regardless of which state you reside in, you are practically guaranteed to have a chance at loan relief through federal or state programs. There is no indication that this will change anytime soon. The student loan forgiveness benefits available to nurses are determined by their position, location, degree, and work duties. The good news is that there is usually some kind of loan forgiveness offered to nurses. Those offered to nurses tend to match or exceed the student loan forgiveness benefits offered to military personnel, teachers, nonprofit employees, and government workers.

Federal Loan Forgiveness

Federal loan forgiveness can take the form of the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program (NHSC), the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, or the Perkins Loan Discharge or Loan Cancellation Program.

The NHSC program is for nurses that work in underprivileged communities in a facility that is underserved. The idea behind this program is to encourage nurses to work in communities that need more nurses. Most nurses don’t want to work in such communities because the job can be more stressful, but doing so can result in a great deal of financial relief.

The second program is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. This program can forgive all of a nurse’s student loan debt regardless of the amount of the loan. All you have to do is serve in a qualifying public service role and make your monthly Direct Loan payments for 10 years. 

Both the NHSC and Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs are competitive because the level of loan forgiveness is substantial. To receive approval, you have to submit an application, and you are subject to a selection process. Don’t let the selectiveness frustrate you because you could be the one to receive the relief.

Another type of federal loan forgiveness is the Perkins Loan Cancellation for Nurses & Medical Technicians. Teachers also benefit from this loan cancellation program. The downside to this is that there aren’t many Perkins loans out there. If you are one of the nurses that took out a Perkins loan to pay for your education, then you should pursue this program because the amount of loan forgiveness is substantial. To have the entire balance of your Perkins loan forgiven, you have to work in your field for five years. This program also allows for incremental forgiveness, which means you can have a percentage of your loan forgiven each year you work in the field.

Private Student Loans for Nurses

While not specifically related the nursing industry, many private lenders and banks offer student loans to aspiring nurses, like any other student. Taking out a loan with these lenders could help you get the finances you need, but there are some catches to this solution.

If you have one of these private student loans, loan forgiveness is much more difficult to achieve. This is because student loan forgiveness is only offered for federal student loans – not private student loans. You can learn more about this at my site, The Student Loan Report. You may want to check with your employer to see if there is a student loan repayment program. Some medical facilities will reward their nurses with such programs if they provide a certain amount of service. The facility may not advertise the program, which is why it doesn’t hurt to ask.

When searching for a nursing job, it could pay to apply at medical facilities that offer student loan repayment programs. This can increase your chance of having at least a percentage of your student loans paid for you.

If there are no employer programs, you can consider other options, like refinancing your student loan for a lower rate. Refinancing can benefit nurses with private loans a great deal when the interest rate is too high. A lot of money can be saved over time by refinancing, so it is worth looking into if there are no loan forgiveness or other repayment programs out there for you to benefit from.

Drew Cloud is the Founder of The Student Loan Report – a site dedicated to keeping student loan borrowers and their families up-to-date with the latest student loan news and information.

Posted in Communication in Healthcare, Complexity in nursing, Miscellaneous, Nurse Leadership | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Medical Improv in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia!

Hi All,
I’m getting ready for an exciting journey to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where I will present at the International Nursing Symposium!  Nervous, excited, and honored are feelings swirling around in my heart and mind about my trip and workshop!  I’m teaching this workshop:

Medical Improv:  A New Way to Develop Emotional Intelligence, Promote Patient-centered Care, & Build Positive Inter-professional Relationships!

What a wonderful opportunity to share this emerging field with nurses from all over the world and in this very different culture!  I’ll learn a LOT and share more when I get back, but please keep all of us in your heart and prayers as we push the positive growing edges that improv supports!

Related news is that final touches are being made to my book and should be published by the end of the month! Medical Improv:  A New Way to Improve Communication (With 15 Activities You Can Teach STAT!)

In the meantime, if you are in the Portsmouth, NH area (or know someone who is) please check out this class:  Discover PILL:  The Improv Way to Meet Nice People, Have Fun, & Grow!

No experience in improv or healthcare necessary!

Things are cooking! Thanks for reading and have a super day!



Posted in Assertiveness, Communication in Healthcare, Complexity in nursing, Diversity, Healthy Workplaces, Listening, Nurse Leadership, Patient Advocacy, Teambuilding | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments