Left Third Block

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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Middle Third Block


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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New Clinical Practice Q&A in Assessment & Interventions

What are the latest recommendations for performing a bed bath? Does AMSN advocate getting rid of bath basins?

Care Coordination and Transition Management (CCCTM) Certification Exam

CCCTM Exam Registration NOW OPEN! The CCCTM credential is the FIRST validation of RN care coordination and transition management. A new nursing role... a groundbreaking certification... be among the first to become certified!

Meet the 2015 BOD Election Winners!

The AMSN Ballot took place July 23 – August 12, 2015. This year, AMSN members elected a President-Elect, a Treasurer and two Directors to the AMSN Board of Directors. The Nominating Committee is pleased to present the results...

It's Time to Apply!

The CMSRN Certification- and Recertification Grants are Now OPEN! Find out about it...

Clinical Leadership Development Program (CLDP)

A leadership development program for you, the clinical nurse at the bedside. AMSN has partnered with HealthStream to develop a 10-module program to help you become a force of change and inspiration!

New Clinical Practice Q&A in Genitourinary (GU)

Question: When irrigating a Foley catheter, should the nurse deflate the balloon before attempting this? Our procedure manual does not state performing this. Is there any literature out there about this?

Industry & Career News

Five Tips to Help You Stay Motivated in Your Job Search

(From the AMSN Career Center): One thing that’s important to acknowledge is how critical it is to stay motivated. Sending in your materials to one job and then waiting around with fingers crossed won’t do that for you. You need to stay driven in order to keep the ball in your court. Here are a few ideas for how to do just that.

Let ‘Em Know How You Feel!

(From the AMSN Career Center): Did you leave your last interview wondering if a potential employer knew just how much you wanted that position? Here are a few simple steps to help you walk the line between enthusiasm and desperation.

Five Steps for Uncovering Hidden Opportunities

From the AMSN Career Center: Here are five steps you can take to take to reveal career opportunities that may be hiding in plain sight.

The Med-Surg Nurse: What’s in Your Toolkit?

In an article from Nurse.com, Meaghan O'Keeffe, RN, BSN talks about what it takes to be a successful med-surg nurse.

Breaking News: House Passes 21st Century Cures Act; Brat Amendment Fails

The House of Representatives just passed the 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6). This bill amends the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through FY2018...

More than Half of Older Adults Take Daily Aspirin

Hoping to prevent a heart attack, stroke, or other illnesses, many older adults are following their physicians' recommendation...

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

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.

Keyna, RN

First of all,I am proud to be a nurse,then a med/surge nurse.Being a med/surge is having the qualification and knowledge(knowledge is power) to give the best care at any time and anywhere,be it at your place of work,your house and or in your community.It's knowing the best thing to do at any giving time when the occasion calls for it.As you know that nursing is the only profession that embodies every other profession in it.Example we educate as teacher,recommend the best diet ,as dietician,help with balancing as a physical therapist,treat as doctor,council as psychologist etc.Nursing/med/surge nursing is a rounded profession.


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!


Medical-Surgical Nursing is a fulfilling career because of the diversity in the patients population. It allows me to be knowledgeable in many different aspects in nursing. Empowering me to educate and encourage my patients and their families in disease processes and most importantly preventative measures. Med./Surg. Nursing continues to enrich my career and this is a priceless education.


I love the teaching aspect of Med.-Surg. nursing. Being able to effectively heal my patient's and then teach them about healthier lifestyles or ways to prevent recurring problems from happening again. Information is power and empowering my patients with evidence based information will hopefully lead them to a healthier lifestyle.


Med-surg nursing is a passion, a passion that has offered me the opportunity to excel in my profession of nursing. I am proud to be part of a team that provides high quality care with measurable outcomes. With a staff that takes pride in their work and profession I am proud to say that our team consist of many med-surg certified nurses. Our organization not only supports certification but encourages certification. Med-surg nurses are versatile and adapt to various situations with grace and knowledge. I am confident that once a med-surg nurse always a med-surg nurse proud to be part of this distinguished specialty.

Daisy Singh, RN

I love everything about being a med-surg nurse. I love the idea of going to work and doing little things to make someone's day better. I like to make people feel more confident and happy with themselves. I love changing people's lives for the better and educating them and inform them so they know how I'm helping and how much they've improved.

Vincent, RN, MSN, CMSRN

The most rewarding career ever! You get to help people when they need help the most. You get paid to care, teach, and motivate.

Tamika, CMSRN

What I love about being a med-surg nurse is the vast amount of experiences and learning opportunities offered by the specialty; and the broad knowledge base that it has provided me to take care of just about any patient.


I love the diversity of my patients. the daily challenges I face and the great outcomes.

Chelsea, RN BSN

I love that every day there is something new to learn. We have daily opportunities to touch the lives of our patients. Life is never boring in med-surg! I love being an Army nurse because I get to take care of the best patients in the world!

Tell us what you LOVE about being a med-surg nurse!     Read MANY more answers