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Managing people, human capital and culture - Human Resource Management (HRM) is critical for business success. HRM Guide publishes articles and news releases about HR surveys, employment law, human resource research, HR books and careers that bridge the gap between theory and practice.

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PHR/SPHR: Professional in Human Resources Certification Study Guide

by Sandra M Reed and Anne M. Bogardus
The Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) exams from the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) reflect the evolving industry standards for determining competence in the field of HR. Serving as an ideal resource for HR professionals who are seeking to validate their skills and knowledge.
This new edition is must-have preparation for those looking to take the PHR or SPHR certification exams in order to strengthen their resume.
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PHR Study Guide 2017

PHR Study Guide 2019-2020: PHR Certification Test Prep and Practice Questions for the Professional in Human Resources Exam

Think all PHRŪ/SPHRŪ study guides are the same? Think again! With easy to understand lessons and practice test questions designed to maximize your score, you'll be ready.
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Corporate Communication

Corporate Communication: A Guide to Theory and Practice

by Joep P. Cornelissen
  Academically grounded, it covers the key concepts, principles and models within corporate communication by bringing together academic knowledge and insights from the subject areas of management and communication
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Smoking by Nurses Creates Workplace Issues

Updated September 21 2017 - A study reported in the January 8 2014 issue of Jama found that 2010-2011 survey data from 2,975 health care professionals showed that about 8 percent were current smokers. The lowest rate (2 percent) was among physicians, the highest (25 percent) among licensed practical nurses. This compared with a smoking rate of 16 percent among the general population at the time).

The only significant changes in proportions of those who stopped smoking by profession from 2006-2007 to 2010-2011 were among registered nurses (+13 percent), and among licensed practical nurses (+30 percent).

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Nurses who smoke can create workplace problems that health care systems should address in order to promote better interactions between nurses and their patients and reduce dissension among staff, according to a novel study by researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center reported in 2005.

The study, Nurses, smoking, and the workplace, was based on information gathered from eight focus groups with 60 nurses in California, Kentucky, New Jersey and Ohio who smoke or used to smoke. It appears in the January 20 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Research in Nursing & Health.

"This study focuses on smoking as a workplace issue, not just a behavior that affects the individual," said Linda Sarna, a Jonsson Cancer Center researcher, a professor in the UCLA School of Nursing and lead author of the study. "Smoking among nurses affects interactions with patients. We found it also affects interactions and behaviors among staff at the workplace."

Sarna and her fellow researchers uncovered the perception that:

- nurses who smoke take more breaks,
- spend less time with patients, and
- are less committed to their profession because they need to smoke during their shift.

The study found that some nurses structured their work day around such breaks because of their powerful addiction to nicotine.

"Smoking among nurses was described as an integral part of their work routine, affecting management of patient care and timing of breaks," the study states. "The perception that smokers take more and longer breaks, and were less available for patient care, was an important theme in discussions with both smokers and former smokers, and clearly created conflict in the work environment."

Such perceptions - imagined or accurate - create dissension, resulting in what one nurse in the study characterized as "a war between the smokers and the non-smokers." Also, nurses who smoke often are reluctant or feel uncomfortable participating in smoking cessation interventions with their patients, believing they are not good role models, Sarna said. Nurses also often hide their nicotine addiction from patients and their families, brushing their teeth, washing their hands and applying scents to hide any smell of smoke after a break. They fear the stigma associated with being a health care professional who smokes and often experience enormous guilt when their smoking is discovered by patients or their family members.

Compounding these problems is the lack of smoking cessation programs to help nurses quit, Sarna said. One hospital, the study found, invested money to build a "butt hut" outside where staff could smoke in bad weather, but offered no in-house programs to help employees kick the habit.

"We need to have a culture shift," Sarna said. "While the vast majority of nurses do not smoke, those that do are struggling in the same way other smokers do when they try to quit a very, very powerful addiction. There's never been a system-wide, concerted effort to help nurses stop smoking. We need to have that."

About 16 percent of the nation's 2.3 million nurses smoke, Sarna said, the highest rate among all health care professionals. Many began smoking before starting nursing school, became addicted and found they were unable to quit.

"Nurses are entering the profession as smokers and they aren't getting the help they need to quit during training," Sarna said. "Once they become nurses, they're working in a very stressful environment, making it even more difficult to quit."

Because of the lack of cessation programs made available by health care systems, and a desire among nurses who smoke for anonymity in their cessation process, Sarna and her colleagues created a website (, to help nurse quit and learn more about tobacco addiction.

Nurses who work 12-hour shifts may find they're too tired to attend cessation support group meetings after work. They also may be ashamed of smoking and afraid they'll see people they know at such meetings. The website provides 24-hour access to cessation support, a sort of one-stop shopping for nurses seeking to quit smoking, Sarna said. provides $100 worth of cessation services free, as well as resources geared specifically to health care professionals. The site links to Nurses QuitNet, an organization that has helped tens of thousands of nurses quit smoking through an online community of smokers and ex-smokers, delivering personalized quitting plans, one-on-one counseling, intensive social support, expert advice and pharmaceutical product support to tobacco users.

"More resources than ever before are available for smoking cessation," Sarna said. "We believe our Internet approach, which can be used 24 hours a day, seven days a week by nurses on any shift, provides another valuable resource for those who want to quit smoking."

The study provides "important evidence" that supports the need to develop work-based strategies and programs to support cessation efforts.

"The benefits of supporting smoking cessation in the worksite could have an immediate positive impact on nurses' health, and might result in other positive outcomes (e.g., reduced sick time)," the study concludes. "The benefit to patients must also be emphasized, as non-smoking clinicians are more likely to provide cessation interventions than their smoking counterparts."

See also: Blue-collar workers and smoking

Successful Onboarding

Successful Onboarding: Strategies to Unlock Hidden Value Within Your Organization

Mark Stein and Lilith Christiansen
  Fact: 1/3rd of all external hires are no longer with the organization after 2 years. What can you do about it? In a word: onboarding; although poorly understood, subject to narrow definitions, and with limited best practice understanding or management rigor. Consultants Mark Stein & Lilith Christiansen have worked with leading companies on it, and they've synthesized their work into a ready to use system.
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The HR Answer Book

The HR Answer Book: An Indispensable Guide for Managers and Human Resources Professionals

by Shawn A. Smith, Rebecca A. Mazin
  The HR Answer Book addresses 200 questions that every employer needs to deal with, from recruiting and hiring to discipline and termination, compensation and benefits to training and employee relations. Accessible and concise, this on-the-job companion offers expert guidance on all types of "people" issues.
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