Remembering an Air Force Nurse Killed in a Vietnam War Airlift

This Memorial Day weekend, as we remember all nurses who have served in the U.S. military, we spotlight one, Air Force Captain Mary Klinker, who died in a plane crash outside Saigon during the final days of the Vietnam War. She was the only member of the U.S. Air Force Nurse Corps—and the last military nurse—to die in that war.

Capt. Klinker had volunteered to work aboard the first flight of a mission, Operation Babylift, ordered by President Gerald Ford’s administration in the weeks before the fall of Saigon (now called Ho Chi Minh City). The aim was to move 2,000 South Vietnamese orphans and displaced children to the Philippines and then the United States for adoption.

In addition to Capt. Klinker, more than 300 passengers, including Air Force personnel, Defense Attaché Office employees, and about 250 children, filled the troop compartment and cargo area of the C-5 cargo plane on April 4, 1975. Children were placed together in seats and cardboard boxes. Soon after leaving the airport near Saigon, a substantial malfunction in the rear of the plane led to a forced landing in a field. About 130 passengers, many of whom were in the cargo area, died. Capt. Klinker was caring for children in that […]

2017-05-26T13:22:46+00:00 May 26th, 2017|Nursing, nursing history|0 Comments

What Types of Articles Do Journal Editors Want to Read?

Writing is time-consuming and difficult to do—the last thing you want is to spend time working on a manuscript that has little chance of being published. There are many strategies you can use to enhance the likelihood of publication, which we discuss throughout this series, but the first and most important is writing the type of article that journal editors want to publish.

Those opening sentences from “What Types of Articles to Write,” the third in AJN‘s ongoing Writing for Publication: Step by Step series by Karen Roush, PhD, RN, FNP, speak directly to the uncertainty that besets many would-be nurse writers (and in fact, all writers). Form is intimately tied to content. Ideally, the two should support each other, but first they have to be a good fit.

What type of article should you write?

What types of articles will get journal editors’ attention? And what will hold their attention once they open your manuscript? […]

2017-05-25T11:07:23+00:00 May 25th, 2017|Nursing, writing|0 Comments

Nursing as an International Profession

For much of my nursing career, I functioned as a 100% American-minded nurse.

Even though the Ebola epidemic had trickled right into my city, before I attended a global health day at the United Nations (UN) during Nurses Week in 2015, I’d neglected to really consider nursing at the international level.

Until I listened to non-governmental organization (NGO) subject matter experts’ briefings and toured the restricted areas at the UN where global decisions were made, my view of nursing had been largely consumed with understanding things in my own backyard: my day-to-day struggles as a new nursing leader at work, the evolving Affordable Care Act (ACA), and finding ways to apply the IOM Report on the Future of Nursing to my own clinical and academic practice.

My mono-continental nursing mind began to open that day.

The briefings, and most importantly, the subsequent friendships I kindled with nurses involved in international policy work through NGOs like Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) and the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health, began to help me realize how interdependently we all practice together on a global stage and how attainable international involvement actually is.

Earlier this winter, a new nursing friend, Holly Shaw, PhD, RN, chair of the UN Advisory Council for STTI, asked me if I was attending the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Congress in Barcelona (May 27–June 1). I said I hadn’t even thought of it, […]

2017-05-23T14:22:21+00:00 May 23rd, 2017|Nursing|0 Comments

Chemical Exposure: A Preventable Cause of Harm to Children’s Health

“Children are often exposed to. . . contaminants through their behavior—when they crawl on the floor or explore their environment by touching and tasting objects indiscriminately. In addition, because they are young, there is the potential for environmental exposures to negatively impact their health for a long time.”

Photo © Associated Press

Chemicals are ubiquitous

In “Project TENDR,” an article in this month’s issue of AJN, author Laura Anderko, PhD, RN, a professor at the Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies, discusses why children are particularly susceptible to environmental exposures to chemicals.

Aside from children’s vulnerability to chemical exposures as still developing individuals, Anderko observes that chemicals are also especially hazardous to children simply because they are everywhere: “ . . . in health care supplies and equipment, the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the cosmetics and personal products (such as shampoos, baby bottles, toys, and thousands of other consumer products) we use.”

Developmental harms of children’s exposure to chemicals

Anderko summarizes the concerns raised by a growing body of evidence linking environmental exposures and pediatric health outcomes:

“ . . . widespread exposure to toxic chemicals can increase the risk of cognitive, behavioral, and social impairment in […]

Night Watch

Editor’s note: In this tightly observed guest post, a nurse visiting a sick family member experiences the hospital as a kind of foreign country.

Eileen McGorry, MSN, RN, worked as a registered nurse in community mental health for over 30 years. She currently lives in Olympia, Washington, with her husband Ron.

The walkway is hard, the concrete cold, and I am immersed in darkness. Then there is the swish of the hospital doors and whispery stillness. The light over the reception desk shines on a lone head, bent over a book. A clipboard is pushed toward me. The paper on it is lined with names, some boldly printed, others scribbled, the letters unrecognizable. The spacious lobby is filled with individual groups of soft stuffed chairs and love seats. All of it quiet and empty. Over the chairs and sofas, the black of the midnight hour is changed into twilight.

I remember the bustle of the area at midday. Families gathered together, eyes searching the crowd for the green scrubs of surgeons. “She will live,” they say to some, and to others, “We will wait and see.” The frenzy of the day over, the empty chairs wait for tomorrow.

I sign my name in script. I use the old Catholic school script. The script preached by my mother, who is upstairs recovering from heart surgery. I walk past the chairs along walls so white they gleam. I […]