Nurses who led the way: Loretta C. Ford

Dr. Loretta C. Ford is an internationally recognized leader in nursing and the founder of the nurse practitioner movement, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. She received her diploma in nursing in 1942 from Middlesex General Hospital in New Jersey and started her nursing career as a staff nurse for the Visiting Nurses’ Association. After serving as first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Force for three years, Ford earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Colorado School of Nursing. In 1961, she earned her doctorate of education from the University of Colorado School of Education.

Ford, along with pediatrician Henry K. Silver, was offered a grant from the University of Colorado in 1965 to create a demonstration project to expand the role of nurses in healthcare. After publishing their findings, they created a curriculum to educate nurse practitioners. The program gained national success, and Ford became the founding dean of the University of Rochester School of Nursing in 1972. 

She wrote more than 100 publications, earned six honorary doctorates, and received numerous awards, including the Gustav Lienhard Medal from the Institute of Medicine, the Living Legend Award from the American Academy of Nursing, and the American College of Nurse Practitioner’s Crystal Trailblazer Award.

Today, Ford continues to lecture on the nurse practitioner movement. 

Posted: 5/12/2014 4:13:56 PM by Cara Deming | with 0 comments

Categories: Leadership


Nurses who led the way: Virginia Avenel Henderson

Regarded as one of the most famous nurses in history, Virginia Avenel Henderson is credited with developing a nursing theory, in which she defined the role of nurses in healthcare. Henderson was trained at the Army School of Nursing in 1921, and she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Teachers College in Columbia University. She started as a public health nurse at the Henry Street Settlement in New York City and soon became the first full-time nursing instructor at the Norfolk Protestant School of Nursing. 

In 1953, Henderson began teaching at the Yale School of Nursing and continued to teach there with emeritus status until 1996. She wrote and published numerous textbooks throughout her career, as well as The Nursing Studies Index, a 12-year project in which she covered the first 60 years of nursing research. Her nursing theory, the “Henderson Model,” is used internationally as a standard for nursing practice. 

Henderson received 13 honorary degrees, was inducted into the American Nurses Association Hall of Fame, and was awarded the most prestigious honor in nursing, the Christiane Reimann Prize, by the International Council of Nurses. 

She died in 1996 at the age of 98 in Connecticut. She is still known today as “the first lady of nursing.”

Posted: 5/11/2014 4:16:55 PM by Cara Deming | with 1 comments

Categories: Leadership


Nurses who led the way: Mary Eliza Mahoney

Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first African-American professional nurse in the United States. She dedicated her life to the profession, starting by working for 15 years in the New England Hospital for Women and Children before enrolling in its nursing program. She was one out of only four nurses to graduate out of a program of 42 students. 

After graduation, Mahoney became a member of the American Nurses Association (ANA) and helped establish the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses in 1908. She was elected the chaplain of the association in 1909 and received lifetime membership status. 

Mahoney also fought for women’s rights. At the age of 74, she became one of the first women to register to vote in Boston. Later, she continued her work as a nurse at the Howard Orphan Asylum before she retired.

Mahoney passed away from breast cancer at 80-years-old. Today, ANA offers an award in her name every year to members who strive to ease racial obstacles. She has been inducted into the Nursing Hall of Fame and the National Women’s Hall of Fame. 

Posted: 5/10/2014 4:20:48 PM by Cara Deming | with 2 comments

Categories: Leadership


Nurses who led the way: Sarah Emma Edmonds

Disguised for much of her life as a man, Sarah Emma Edmonds proudly served her adopted country, the United States, as a nurse and spy during the Civil War. After fleeing from Canada to escape her abusive father, Edmonds enlisted in the Union Army as a male nurse named Franklin “Flint” Thompson.

In 1861, she began serving in the hospital unit of the 2nd Michigan Volunteers as Franklin. She didn’t have any problems keeping up her masculine disguise. Her skills in hiding her identity served her well when she enlisted as Franklin as a spy in the Union Army. 

As Franklin the spy, she crossed enemy lines disguised as a black man named Cuff. She also infiltrated Confederate lines as an Irish peddler woman, a mammy, and as a man again to identify southern spy work. In total, Edmonds used her alias, Franklin, to pull off 11 missions. 

When her time as Franklin ended due to a case of malaria, Edmonds headed back to Washington, D.C., to serve as a nurse through the end of the war. After marrying and moving back to Canada, she died in 1898 in her home country. 

Posted: 5/9/2014 3:48:00 PM by Cara Deming | with 0 comments

Categories: Leadership


Nurses who led the way: Mary Todd Lincoln

Mary Todd Lincoln, former President Abraham Lincoln’s wife, led a controversial life during her time as first lady. Her fierce sarcastic comments, high spending, and alleged mental illness caused turmoil during her time in the White House, but she was also a woman of intelligence and compassion. 

Throughout her time in the White House, she worked as a volunteer nurse in the Union hospitals. She played a major role in keeping soldiers’ spirits high by visiting them and making rounds. 

When the war ended, she backed the establishments of a nursing corps and helped raise money for former slaves. She also helped freed slaves and Union soldiers through the Sanitary Commission and Contraband Relief Association, which were established during Lincoln’s administration, providing them with supplies and medical care. 

Mary died of a stroke in 1882 at the age of 63 at her sister’s home in Springfield, Illinois. 

Posted: 5/8/2014 4:28:55 PM by Cara Deming | with 2 comments

Categories: Leadership


Nurses who led the way: Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman was not only a famous American poet, teacher, and journalist, but he was also a volunteer nurse for three years during the Civil War. In 1862, Whitman traveled to Washington, D.C., to tend to his brother, who had been wounded during the war. After witnessing the hurt soldiers in the battlefield hospital where his brother was receiving care, Whitman signed up to be a nurse at the battle zone in Fredericksburg, Virginia. 

He spent his time visiting various Civil War hospitals tending to the sick, listening to soldiers’ stories, and writing letters home for them. By the end of his service, he estimated he visited “more than 100,000 wounded soldiers (both Union and Confederate) during 600 hospital visits.” 

Some of Whitman’s most famous poems are written about his time as a nurse, including “The Wound Dresser,” which describes the act of nursing to the ill and dying:

           I onward go, I stop,

With hinged knees and steady hand to dress wounds,

I am firm with each, the pangs are sharp yet unavoidable,

One turns to me his appealing eyes—poor boy! I never knew you,

Yet I think I could not refuse this moment to die for you, if that would save you (35-39)

Following his death in 1892, Whitman was buried in a tomb he designed in Harleigh Cemetery, Camden, New Jersey.

 

Posted: 5/7/2014 4:31:28 PM by Cara Deming | with 0 comments

Categories: Leadership


Nurses who led the way: Clara Barton

To kick off Nurses Week, we are starting with Clara Barton, “one of the most honored women in American history.” Known as the “Angel of the Battlefield,” Barton served as a nurse during the Civil War at the battles of Chantilly, Fairfax Station, Fredericksburg, Harpers Ferry, Antietam, South Mountain, Petersburg , Charleston, and Cold Harbor, often at the front line. Not only did she nurse the wounded, she comforted, cooked, read, wrote letters, and prayed for them. Barton also helped establish a national cemetery and identify the graves of 13,000 men at the Andersonville prison in Georgia.

In 1870, in the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, Barton was introduced to the International Red Cross. Her time with the organization during the war led her to work with Red Cross officials in Switzerland in an effort to establish a charter in America in 1900. Barton left the organization in 1904 to start the National First Aid Association of America, which emphasized basic first aid instruction, emergency preparedness, and the development of first aid kits. She served as its honorary president for five years.

After publishing several books about founding the American Red Cross, Barton died in 1912 at her home in Glen Echo, Maryland. Her service to the profession of nursing is remembered today through the continued work of the organization. 

Posted: 5/6/2014 4:34:24 PM by Cara Deming | with 0 comments

Categories: Leadership


The American Nurse Project

During a discussion with several nurses last night, we acknowledged the importance of nurses having a passion for the profession, and how this passion makes a difference in patient care. When I view the trailer for The American Nurse: Healing America, I feel the passion in the voices of those nurses featured. I can only imagine the impact that viewing this entire feature documentary will have. It premieres during National Nurses Week and I am really looking forward to seeing it! 

In 2012, Carolyn Jones, a photographer and filmmaker, traveled across the United States documenting the work of nurses. Her book, The American Nurse, was published that year and includes portraits, interviews, and biographies of nurses she encountered on her journey. An interview with Jones reveals her passion for this project, despite not being a nurse herself. She states, “Nursing is real. I'm fascinated by how a nurse can help all different people, even people that have committed terrible crimes, with the same compassion that they can treat a friend.” She learned a lot during her conversations with nurses and her journey is bringing our important work into the eyes of the public. For that, I am grateful. 

I will leave you with this powerful quote from the mission of The American Nurse Project: 

“At some point in our life each of us will encounter a nurse, whether it be as a patient or as a loved one. And that one encounter can mean the difference between suffering and peace; between chaos and order. Nurses matter.

I hope that many of you will get the opportunity to see this film. You can find a list of theaters here. I look forward to hearing what you think! 

Posted: 4/25/2014 8:40:25 PM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 0 comments

Categories: Leadership


Nurses On the Move: Part 2

Welcome back to Nurses On the Move, where we shine a light on impressive nurses who go above and beyond in their profession and who serve as a role model to those around them.

Last week, you were introduced to Anne Dabrow Woods MSN, RN, CRNP, ANP-BC , the Chief Nurse for Wolters Kluwer Health/Medical Research and the publisher of the American Journal of Nursing and the Joanna Briggs Resources and Karen Innocent DNP, RN, CRNP, ANP-BC, CMSRN, the Executive Director of Continuing Education for Wolters Kluwer Health and the lead nurse planner of Lippincott’s continuing nursing education provider unit.

This week, discover what these Nurses On the Move see happening for the future of nursing and learn their best piece of advice to new nurses.

Q: What do you envision for the future of nursing?

Anne: Nursing will be the solution to the healthcare problems around the world. People need education on conditions, diseases, prevention, wellness, and how to optimize their life living with chronic diseases – that’s all nursing. As we switch to a wellness/holistic model of care, nursing will be the profession leading the charge, working hand in hand with the patient and other healthcare professionals to optimize quality, cost-effective care.

Karen: As the health delivery model continues to place an emphasis on health promotion rather than illness, there will be more career opportunities for nurses in primary care, ambulatory care centers, rehabilitation, and home care.

Q: For a nurse starting out, what would be your number one piece of advice?

Anne: It’s okay not to know everything, you just need to know where to find the answer. Confidence is not about knowing everything; it's about having the wisdom to know when and where to find the answers.

Karen: Find an area you like. Take time in your career to change your setting to find something more comfortable. New nurses need to adjust to the workload and stress level…but they need to know it does improve with their experience. Things won’t be as difficult.

Q: What do you see as a major obstacle/problem in the current nursing environment? 

Anne: As nurses, we don’t speak with one voice and don’t realize the importance of lifelong learning and education to move the profession forward and improve patient care.

Karen: Most nurses are employed by hospitals and have competing priorities. Feeling busy and overwhelmed is a problem. We need time management and prioritization skills.

Q: What do you hope for this Nurses On the Move blog? What types of nurses would you enjoy shining a light on?

Anne: I would like to see nurses that are making a difference in institutions, patient lives, and the community, that aren’t afraid to stretch beyond their comfort zone and really move the bar on healthcare excellence.

Karen: My hopes for the Nurses On the Move blog are to motivate nurses to pursue certifications and/or advanced degrees, to provide encouragement and support to newer nurses, and to highlight the accomplishments of nurses who are doing great things every day.

Do you know a great candidate to be featured for Nurses On the Move? We want to know about the nurses who are advancing the profession and inspiring others to do the same. We will feature a new nurse every month. Email your submissions to ClinicalEditor@NursingCenter.com.   

Posted: 2/21/2014 4:57:23 PM by Cara Deming | with 0 comments

Categories: Leadership


Nurses On the Move: Part 1

We are so proud of the diversity of our membership here on NursingCenter.com. The educational background and experience of our members includes everyone from first-year nursing students to nurse practitioners and nurse executives, and every position and role in between. No matter where you are in your career, we know that many of you have gone above and beyond in your practice and modeled exceptional nursing professionalism for your colleagues and your patients. 

We want to hear from you, our members, and share your story (or perhaps you have a certain colleague in mind you’d like to nominate) for our new blog feature, Nurses on the Move. 

To start, we are recognizing the exceptional nurses who work right here at NursingCenter.com. 

Anne Dabrow Woods MSN, RN, CRNP, ANP-BC is the Chief Nurse for Wolters Kluwer Health/Medical Research and the publisher of the American Journal of Nursing and the Joanna Briggs Resources. With more than 30 years of nursing experience, she continues to work as a Nurse Practitioner in critical care, is adjunct faculty, and will earn her Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Texas Christian University this May.

 

 

Karen Innocent DNP, RN, CRNP, ANP-BC, CMSRN is the Executive Director of Continuing Education for Wolters Kluwer Health and the lead nurse planner of Lippincott’s continuing nursing education provider unit. She has grown Lippincott into the largest producer of CNE that is accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. In 2013, Karen led the provider unit to Accreditation with Distinction. Karen earned her Doctorate of Nursing Practice from George Washington University in May 2013.

I sat down with these impressive nurses to learn why they love nursing, what motivates them to succeed, and where they see nursing going in the future. 

Q: Why did you choose nursing as a profession? 

Anne: Ever since I was a child, I’ve always wanted to help people. When I was 12, my father died of cancer [leukemia]; it changed me. I wanted to be a nurse and make an impact in people’s lives to improve their quality of life and help them achieve better outcomes. Being able to help people in the most difficult times in their lives is a humbling and rewarding experience. 

Karen: Actually, I didn’t. It was chosen for me. My mother was a nurse and so were six of her siblings. My father saw their independence and job security and wanted that for me. I made the conscious choice to be a nurse when I attended a conference as a student. I saw that nursing was an intellectual profession, more so than what I knew beforehand. I saw these nurses who were so educated, so intelligent. I thought, “I would like to be like that.” 

Q: What motivated you to go for your doctorate? 

Anne: Watching the evolution of healthcare, being a practicing Nurse Practitioner, and the Chief Nurse of this company, I needed to get as much knowledge about healthcare, where it's going, and learn how we as individuals and as a profession can make a difference. I know how to look at healthcare from a more global perspective now – I see the big picture.

Karen: I believe in the importance of lifelong learning, regardless of formal education vs. continuing education, or challenging work experiences. It’s important to improve practice and knowledge to improve care. Also, to get from one career level to another, you need more academic education. It is required now. 

Q: What has been your most difficult challenge related to patient care?  

Anne: Since I practice in critical care, the most difficult patient care challenge I face is quality vs. quantity of life. When a patient has decided he is ready to die, but the family is not ready for it; it creates a difficult and challenging position for everyone involved. We need to remember the patient is the captain of the ship and his decision is the one we need to follow. There needs to be more education with patients and families that quantity of life without quality is not acceptable. Everyone deserves to die the way they chose, with dignity and with their loved ones by their side giving support.   

Karen: It’s changing now, but the payer system – how insurance pays for care. Before, insurance companies decided what they paid for regardless of patient outcomes. I had a patient in home care whose insurance paid for a blood glucose meter, but not for the expensive strips. I wrote a letter to the company, explaining why this person needed close monitoring [and without the strips], the patient would have complications, possibly require hospitalization, and cost the company more money. The company changed their mind and started paying for the strips. Now quality and improved outcomes are required. I hope this reduces barriers providing quality care.

In Part 2, discover how these Nurses On the Move envision the future of nursing and learn their best piece of advice to new nurses.

Do you know the perfect candidate to be featured for Nurses On the Move? We want to know about special nurses who are doing great things within the profession and within the healthcare industry as a whole. We will feature a new nurse every month. Email your submissions to ClinicalEditor@NursingCenter.com.

Posted: 2/12/2014 4:59:21 PM by Cara Deming | with 0 comments

Categories: Leadership


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