Posts Tagged ‘student nurses’


Finding Future Leaders – and a NICHE in Nursing

April 15, 2013

By Maureen Shawn Kennedy, AJN editor-in-chief

It has been a hectic few weeks, as I’ve been traveling to the early spring nursing meetings (with still more to come).

With John Gransbach at NSNA meeting

With John Gransbach at NSNA meeting

First I went to Charlotte, North Carolina, to attend the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) annual meeting (April 3–7). AJN has had a long association with the NSNA, supporting it in various ways since its 1952 founding, from hosting board meetings at AJN offices to producing the convention newsletter to convention scholarships for key contributors. In recent years, we’ve sponsored travel expenses to the annual meeting for the winner of Project InTouch, the member incentive plan. This year, the winner was John Gransbach, who graduated from the Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College in St Louis. He recruited 228 new NSNA members—an achievement certainly worth recognizing.

Future leaders. As I told the audience when I presented the plaque to Mr. Gransbach, this award isn’t just about growing membership in the NSNA—it’s about contributing to the future of the profession. Students who join the NSNA are already demonstrating a commitment to nursing by going beyond what’s required of them. They’ve joined an organization that provides considerable resources to help them begin their careers. Not only does it provide practical help with passing the NCLEX exam, writing a resume, and finding a job, but it informs them about what it means to be a nurse. NSNA members are the future of nursing and likely the future leaders of nursing. We’re pleased to support this award and NSNA.

NICHE. And this past week I was in Philadelphia for a meeting of the Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) initiative, a program based at New York University College of Nursing that seeks to provide education and resources to improve care for hospitalized older adults. It provides training curricula and tools to the 450 hospitals that are members of the NICHE network. Much of the agenda focuses on initiatives that NICHE members have successfully implemented to improve care.

NichePhotoAJN partnered with NICHE in a joint initiative, “Professional Partners Supporting Diverse Family Caregivers Across Settings,” funded by the Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation in collaboration with the AARP Foundation. (Pictured in the photo are, from left: Liz Capezuti, director, NICHE; Susan Reinhard, senior VP, AARP Public Policy Institute; Rita Choula, program manager, strategic initiatives, AARP; myself.)

Helping family caregivers. We worked with NICHE to develop a series of articles and videos designed to teach nurses concepts and skills to help them better support family caregivers in assuming care for loved ones after hospital discharge. These materials were used in training staff and as a basis for developing family-centered practices, which were then piloted in five NICHE hospitals. Dennise Lavrenz, the NICHE coordinator on the project, presented some initial results that were encouraging. Overall, as measured by Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAPS) scores, caregivers showed increased satisfaction with their experience and with staff communication and felt more prepared to care for family members.

At the meeting, presenters from Carolinas Medical Center-Mercy in Charlotte, North Carolina, discussed their success in improving caregivers’ experience through employing a caregiver assessment tool, paying closer attention to caregivers’ information needs, and providing the caregiver with a tote bag of personal items for their use when their family member was admitted to the hospital. What started as a nurse-driven pilot on two units was now being rolled out hospital-wide—certainly a success story for the nurses who spearheaded the project and and the hospital, but most of all, a win for the caregivers.

The NICHE Web site offers a wealth of information; you can also find AJN-produced, foundation-funded resources for caring for older adults at this Web page; or access AJN’s family caregiver videos here.

Bookmark and Share


Future Nurses Have Their Say

April 17, 2012

By Maureen Shawn Kennedy, AJN editor-in-chief

I spent part of last week in Pittsburgh, attending the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) annual meeting. This one was special—the 60th anniversary of the organization.

NSNA Imprint Feb/Mar issue cover

Despite the celebratory air (not only because of the anniversary, but because the organization had exceeded its membership goal of 60,000 members), the 2,700 attendees seemed very serious about the work of the organization and about learning skills to help them in their careers—there were few slackers in this crowd.

The approximately 500 students who represented their states in the house of delegates dealt with some 40 resolutions, on such diverse topics as increasing awareness of the effects of third-hand smoke on children to supporting the “BSN-in-10” movement (a push for legislation requiring all new nurses to get bachelor’s degrees within 10 years).

For me, the best part is meeting future nurses and speaking with them about career plans. I met many students in the exhibit hall, where I was demonstrating AJN’s new iPad app. Unlike last year, when jobs seemed to be scarce, many of the seniors I spoke with this time around had already secured jobs—and those who hadn’t seemed confident they would.

Finish this sentence . . . I asked several of those about to start their nursing careers to finish the following sentence: “I’m excited about starting my nursing career because . . .” You can listen to their comments in this short podcast.

 Bookmark and Share


AJN’s Top 10 Blog Posts for the Last Quarter

August 2, 2011

At this blog we’re not always devoted practitioners of the art of the list. Used too often and too cynically (some of the more mysterious nursing blogs consist entirely of lists of articles and excerpts from other blogs), lists can be just another form of journalistic cannibalism.

But it sometimes occurs to me, as I publish a new post that takes its place at the top of the home page and pushes all those below down another notch (until, after a few such nudges, they gradually fall off the page, entering the purgatory of the blog archives), that this isn’t entirely fair.

While blogs allow for quick reaction to a news story, a public health emergency or controversy, a new bit of published research, they are also places for writing that isn’t so narrowly tied to a specific date and event. Many thoughtful posts by excellent writers have been published here in the past couple of years. With this in mind, here’s a list of the 10 most read blog posts for the past 90 days. It doesn’t mean that these are necessarily the very best posts we published in that time, or that they were even published in the last 90 days . . . but it’s one way of measuring relevance.—Jacob Molyneux, senior editor/blog editor 

1. Dispatches from the Alabama Tornado Zone
This one is actually a page with links to a series of powerful and thought-provoking posts by Susan Hassmiller, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Senior Adviser for Nursing, who volunteered with the Red Cross after the devastating Alabama tornadoes in late April of this year.

2. Notes of a Student Nurse: A Dose of Reality
This honest account of a first semester of nursing school is by Jennifer-Clare Williams, a student at Cox College of Nursing and Health Sciences in Springfield, Missouri. We hope to have more of her posts in the future.

3. Bullying Wars: Theresa Brown vs. ‘the entire physician profession’
AJN‘s editor-in-chief Shawn Kennedy comes to the defense of nurse and author Theresa Brown, who dared to write about physicians who bully nurses.

4. New Nurses Face Reality Shock in Hospital Settings – So What Else is New?
We ran this one two years ago, but it’s as relevant as ever for nurses who’ve just graduated from school and are starting out in a new job—and for the nurses who work with them.

5. Don’t Cling to Tradition: A Nursing Student’s Call for Realism, Respect
By Medora McGinnis, a student at Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing in Richmond, Virginia, this post got a lot of attention with its assertion that “nontraditional” nursing students may be the new normal.

6. What Is Meaningful Use? One Savvy Nurse’s Take
By Jared Sinclair, an ICU nurse in Nashville who has a blog about health care and technology, this post demystifies for nurses some of the issues associated with electronic health records.

7. Workplace Violence Against Nurses — Neither Inevitable Nor Acceptable
A look at some helpful articles that have addressed aspects of this perennially troubling issue. Read the rest of this entry ?


What Matters to Today’s Nursing Students?

April 12, 2010

By Shawn Kennedy, MA, RN, AJN interim editor-in-chief

By Meagan/via Flickr

I just came back from the NSNA (National Student Nurses Association) convention in Orlando. What a crowd!  There were over 3,500 attendees, mostly nursing students and some faculty. And contrary to what one usually thinks of students on spring break, this group was serious and focused. Some impressions I took away from the meeting:

  • I was impressed with the many people pursuing nursing as a second career. I incorrectly thought several people I met were faculty because they looked older than many of the attendees—they were nursing students.  One had been a marketing executive, one a financial executive (for over 20 years!), one a regional manager of a cosmetics company, another a stay-at-home mom for 10 years . . . not to mention a bank teller who had been a caregiver for a family member who was quadriplegic. They had professional resumes; plans A, B, and C for job hunting; and were focused and organized.
  • Missing in the exhibit hall were hospital nurse recruiters. But presidents and representatives of nursing organizations were there, wooing potential new members either via booths or focus sessions. And with 80% of nurses not belonging to any professional association (according to Rebecca  Patton, president of the American Nurses Association, in her remarks to the group), associations need to figure out what would make these future nurses join their ranks.
  • Finding a job was the hot topic. I spoke with several students who were graduating next month or in December.  Most were having no luck; some couldn’t even get interviews because they had no experience. Those who had secured jobs seemed to have established an earlier relationship with the agency through an internship or working as a nursing technician or aide. Evetta Eubanks, an NSNA board of directors member from Kansas City, Missouri, told me that of her 63 classmates graduating next month, only eight others have secured jobs.
  • And as in other organizations, proceedings in the House of Delegates were sometimes contentious. Students from the Portland [Oregon] Community College chapter were angry at what they said was a planned move by the board of directors to defeat a resolution they had crafted.  Elizabeth McPhee, president of the chapter, said its resolution to gain the organization’s support to establish a full-time National Nurse was not given fair treatment. (See a 2009 AJN report on the controversy around the Office of the National Nurse, plus a more recent post here on the topic. The movement was buoyed earlier this year by legislation introduced by Oregon congressman Earl Blumenauer, H.R. 4601).

So if you attended the NSNA convention, what were your impressions?

Bookmark and Share


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,928 other followers

%d bloggers like this: