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Clinical Practice Q&A

The CPQ&A is an area to regularly visit for information regarding the many clinical topics outlined below. The questions were sent in from visitors to the website and answered by the AMSN Clinical Practice Committee.
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The AMSN Premier Recognition In the Specialty of Med-Surg (PRISM) Award, provides special recognition to the exemplary practice of medical-surgical units. Is Your Unit Exemplary? Apply Now!
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Third Right Block

FailSafe Certification

The Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board, the affiliated certifying board of AMSN, has a program to help both the health care facility and the nurse: The MSNCB FailSafe Certification Program. You only pay when you succeed, guaranteed!
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Happy Thanksgiving from AMSN

Happy Thanksgiving, and thank you to the med-surg nurses who make a difference in patients’ lives. In observance of Thanksgiving, the National Office will be closed November 26 and 27, 2015.

Don't Forget: The Winter CMSRN Certification- and Recertification Grants are Open

These grants offer funding to cover the cost of registration for the CMSRN exam or recertification. The winter grant applications will remain open through Monday, Nov. 30, 2015 - apply now!

Med-Surg Nurses Week: Keep the Party Going!

MedSurg Nurses Week (MSNW) may have ended, but we're not finished celebrating and neither are you!

CALL for Application Reviewers for AMSN PRISM Award®

To meet part of this goal, AMSN created a way to recognize the exemplary practice of medical-surgical units through the AMSN PRISM Award. We invite members to submit your application if you have the time and are interested in volunteering to be a part of this group.

FREE CNE - November 1-30, 2015

"Suicide Prevention in the Inpatient Medical Setting: Role of the Professional Nurse Conference," taken from the 2014 AMSN Convention, 1.25 CH.

AMSN Research Study: Spiritual Care in the Acute Care Setting

This is an invitation to participate in a research study on Spiritual Care in the Acute Care Setting conducted by Barbara Kitchener, RN, MA - a PhD candidate in the College of Nursing at Seton Hall Univ in NJ.

Industry & Career News

Comparing Blood Pressure Control Targets

While there were some adverse effects with the lower target, study results suggest that the benefits outweighed the risks.

"Your Battle is PTSD, Not Each Other"

As we honor and remember our veterans, we also want to celebrate the people who support them, including their spouses and caregivers.

Joining Forces Wellness Week 2015

Joining Forces is highlighting the health and wellness needs of our nation's veterans, service members, and their families.

Ebola Preparedness in the U.S. - One Year Later

It was the largest Ebola epidemic in history. It took thousands of lives. It was a wake-up call, and today we are better prepared because of it.

Easy Ways Nurses Can Eat Healthy on the Job

It’s no secret that nurses are busy and constantly focused on keeping their patients healthy...

Interview Prep: How to Ask Better Questions

(From the AMSN Career Center): Asking about the company and position you’re interviewing for is a great way to show interest! Take it to the next level with a fresh approach to four common questions.

What Do YOU LOVE About Being a Med-Surg Nurse?

Colleen, RN

I love being a medical-surgical nurse because it allows me to nurture my patients, and really use the nursing skills I was taught to do in nursing school. I work a 3P-3A shift, and this allows me time to assess my patients before I have to rush into medication administration, and throughout the night I have the opportunity to talk with my patients and their families, and share their lives with them. Of course there are hectic nights with patients who have sun-downer's or are incredibly ill, but most of the time I can really spend time with them, and know them before my shift is over at 3AM.

Rowena, BSN, RN, CMSRN

I've been practicing med-surg since 2003 and it has never been boring all this time. The demands of med-surg nursing is so different from other specialties. Keeping up w/ SCIP, HF, Pneumonia, AMI protocols, demanding patients, drug-seeking patients, turning immobile patients every 2 hours, dressing open wounds, 1:1 suicidals, incontinent, tube-feeders, blood sugars every 2 hours... plus... a Rapid Response call on top of that in a shift! Wow! Can anybody handle that? Most will walk away..but med-surg nurses never will.

Aurealyn, BSN, RN-BC

Guam has amazing med-surg nurses, and I am so proud to be one of them! I love coming to work because I do not know what to expect. I love not knowing who your clients will be or what diagnosis you will be dealing with next. It's always a surprise, and that is something I look forward to every day.

Maria, BSN-RN

I love being a nurse because I can relate to my patient's at their level and their age group. I always love connecting with my patient's as my own families, friends, and love ones. Recently, I have an elderly patient she have a CVA that impaired her speech, which cause her to mumble her words. She told me, that she love me and I am very good to her. That's just broke my heart and I told her that I am always good to all my patients. Then she said, "No you are good nurse and you are good to me."


I have been working as a medical-surgical nurse since 2006. I started as a beginner and have grown up in this field. I fell honored and proud to be a med-surg nurse. I started my journey from med-surg nurse to critical care nurse, then researcher and transplant nurse. Today I am a critical care nurse caring for organ transplant and med-surg patients. I am a patient care provider, advocator, educator and researcher. Within years, I have always felt my self as a compassionate nurse and every day we are giving strength and hope to our patients. Many patients survived and fight with their diseases and cancer. I consider my self as the most satisfied and extraordinary patient care nurse. I am learning and I am still growing in this profession and journey. I hope i will continue providing exemplary and evidence based practice care to my patients with caring and compassion.

Juanita, RN, MSN, CDE; Diabetes Educator

From the time I began nursing 23 years ago, I loved the patient interaction. One very wise professor I had always said: "Don't forget to look at the patient-the person behind the tubes and lines-that who is important, frightened, angry and needs you." med-surg nursing has challenged my skills and helped me to develop the critical thinking skills necessary to multi task and coordinate the care for a diverse group of individuals each with different needs. I love med-surg nursing because it taught me I can do ANYTHING!


Med-surg nursing has so many different aspect that you can come in to work one day & see different scenarios to deal with. Its gratifying to see patients get better & you always feel you're one of the reasons for it. It's also great nowadays that patients are involved with bedside rounding & they feel being part of the team that make them well. For this, I always like to plan our week-long activities to celebrate Med-Surg Nurses week.


I love being at the bedside, the diversity of care, and the amazing med-surg nurses that work beside me!.

Read Mary's It's All About You! story in AMSN Chapters, titled "Starting Our New AMSN Chapter and its Success!"

JudyAnn, RN

Sometimes, when I am being asked this question, I actually pause for a while and then start thinking back. I have been doing med-surg nursing now for more than 26 years and on going, starting from Asia, Europe and North America, then I must really love being a nurse. I love med-surg because there's a lot to learn every single day, especially with this new technology where surgeries are done differently.

In the last 15 years or so, an appendectomy patient stays in the hospital for two weeks. Where as now, lap appy is a one night stay and for this reason, it also made a change on how we nurses give our care to our patients, considering that now patients ambulates early.

Cecily, RN

I have been a med-surg nurse for over 40 years, most of all of it in one facility. I love this specialty because it's never a dull moment. It's different everyday. People that say they are board with med-surg, I think,are crazy. NO WAY is this possible!

Desi, RN

I love that the sheer breadth of the conditions I see on a daily basis forces me to constantly expand my knowledge base and refine my critical thinking. The fast paced environment coupled with the high acuity makes for challenging, and rewarding shifts.

Antonio, RN BSN,BC EMT-B

I love being a Med-surg RN because I love bedside nursing in general. I enjoy taking care of patients and making rounds at bedside with the physicians. I learn a lot about the past history of the patients and can ask the physicians questions about disease processes.


Being there for the patients is what always bind me to being a Med-surg nurse. The roles of a nurse are endless but being able to communicate and to give quality time are things that we practically do everyday at work, sometimes even without knowing it.


I have been a die-hard surg nurse for more than 40 years. I never tire of this specialty. Day in and day out it is NEVER boring.

Read Cecily's It's All About You! story in Healthy Practice Environment, titled "Making Changes in Your Work Environment - Education is the Key."

Sabina, BSN, RN, CMSRN

I am not restricted to just one group of patient population. The wide variety of patients to care for, constantly motivates me to keep learning. I have been a med-surg nurse for 18 years and love moving on to be a Nurse practitioner in the same field!

Tell us what you LOVE about being a med-surg nurse!     Read many more replies!