How I Spent My Summer: Funding the Cost of a Nurse’s Education

Photo by Julianna Paradisi/2017

At a neighborhood grocery store, I picked up a few items for dinner, one of which was a preroasted chicken still warm and juicy from the heat lamp display.

After ringing up the total, the checker began bagging my purchases. Before placing the chicken in a bag, she put a rubber band around the container to prevent it from accidentally opening, and then wrapped it in a separate paper bag as a further precaution against leakage.

I thanked her for the extra care. No one waited behind me, so we exchanged a bit of small talk. It was a weekend, and she asked if I had plans. “No, my husband and I work in health care, and it’s his weekend on,” I said.

“What area of health care?” she asked. I told her I’m a nurse and work with cancer patients. Expecting the cringe I usually get from laypeople when I say this, I quickly added, “It sounds sad, but I really love my work.”

Her face lit up. “I’m a nursing student! I’m taking exams to become a CNA so I can work with patients while I finish my BSN.”

Her news delighted me. I have strong intuition, and I felt sure she would make a terrific nurse. I congratulated her on her career choice, truthfully […]

2017-08-22T15:07:48+00:00 August 22nd, 2017|Nursing, nursing students|2 Comments

The National Student Nurses Association: Always a Kick

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

IMG_2262Once again, the annual National Student Nurses Association (NSNA, www.nsna.org) convention was packed—full of high-energy, engaged nurses-to-be.  Approximately 3,000 attended this year’s meeting in Orlando from March 31 to April 3.

The NSNA meeting easily rivals those of other associations, with seemingly round-the-clock House of Delegates and state chapter caucuses (one could observe LOTS of pizza cartons moving between hotel and meeting rooms), a guidebook app, a daily convention newspaper, an impressive exhibit hall, professional motivational speakers (though motivation does not seem to be an issue with this group), award presentations, and a full slate of educational and career information sessions.

Nursing leaders and representatives from most major nursing organizations, including the ANA, National League for Nursing, American Red Cross, and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, were there to meet students and talk about initiatives to get these future nurses ready for the real world. They received lots of practical advice, including sessions on interprofessional collaboration, disaster nursing, how they can get involved on boards, legal aspects of licensure, tips and practice for taking the licensing exam . . . even one session on how to get started writing, led by yours truly! […]

Latino Nurses in the United States: Numbers Don’t Reflect Demographic Trends

“Increasing [the] numbers of RNs from minority backgrounds is a prime consideration in reducing the substantial racial and ethnic disparities in health.” – National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice

indexThe U.S. Census Bureau estimates that, by the year 2060, Latinos, currently 17% of the population, will make up almost 29% of the total U.S. population. Will the diversity of the nursing workforce reflect the diversity of the populations we serve? The authors of “Latino Nurses in the United States: An Overview of Three Decades (1980-2010)” provide us with a demographic baseline against which to measure our future diversity progress:

“In 2010 (the latest data available), there were 1186 non-Latino white RNs for every 100,000 non-Latino whites in the U.S., yet only 311 Latino RNs for every 100,000 Latinos in the U.S.”

The authors review historical information on Latino nursing in the U.S., offer a state-by-state profile from the five states with the largest Latino populations (California, Florida, Texas, Illinois, and New York), and recommend modifications to existing nursing school recruitment, admission, and retention strategies. […]

2016-11-21T13:01:26+00:00 February 24th, 2016|career, Nursing, nursing perspective|0 Comments

Five Steps to Make Writing a Research Paper Less Daunting

By Amanda Anderson, a critical care nurse and graduate student in New York City currently doing a graduate placement at AJN.

By DeclanTM, via Flickr. By DeclanTM/Flickr

It takes a certain kind of super strength to be a grad student in springtime. Some days, I’d rather sit on a bench and watch the daffodils sway in the breeze than search for citable references to back up assigned claims. But after three years of graduate study, I’ve found a method that eventually grounds me. A looming deadline helps me hunker down with all necessary objects—iPad, keyboard, headphones, dirty stares for chatty undergrads. Most of my time is spent searching, until I’m finally ready to write. Edits are fairly quick, and my adherence to APA (American Psychological Association) style comes naturally now.

My system for writing a research paper is not new or undocumented. Research papers span all disciplines, but with little structural variation—a research paper is simply that: a paper that discusses research. Once I am able to will myself to focus, my research papers can be written in five basic steps.

Write a Thesis
Writing a research paper (for a school assignment or a work evidence-based practice project) can be intimidating, but fear can be eased by starting with just one sentence. A thesis statement should say exactly what I, the writer, plan […]

Essentials for New Clinical Nursing Instructors, Especially Adjuncts

There are many things it’s helpful to know when you start work as a clinical instructor—and you might not get a lot of orientation first.

By Maureen Shawn Kennedy, AJN editor-in-chief

“So you’ve accepted the contract for your first part-time clinical teaching assignment and you’re wondering where to start in preparing for this new role. Perhaps you’ve been working in an administrative role, away from direct caregiving. Maybe you’ve been active in bedside nursing but have no formal preparation in clinical teaching. If you take the time to prepare for your teaching assignment, you can confidently lead your students through a meaningful clinical experience.”