Finding Future Leaders – and a NICHE in Nursing

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 […]

Future Nurses Have Their Say

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.

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.


AJN’s Top 10 Blog Posts for the Last Quarter

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.


What Matters to Today’s Nursing Students?

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

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 […]
2016-11-21T13:18:16+00:00 April 12th, 2010|students|1 Comment