Building Skills and Celebrating the NP of the Year at NCNP

The National Conference for Nurse Practitioners (NCNP), sponsored by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, the publisher of The Nurse Practitioner Journal, is well under way at the Las Vegas Hilton. NCNP began on Wednesday, May 11 with a keynote address on The Implication of Health Care Reform for Nurse Practitioners by Eileen T. O'Grady, PhD, RN. Dr. O'Grady is a visiting professor at Pace University's Graduate School of Nursing in New York City where she teaches health policy. Her energizing presentation outlined the many opportunities that nurse practitioners have in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 including funding for education and nurse managed clinics.

Also at NCNP, the conference chairperson, Margaret A. Fitzgerald, DNP, FNP-BC, FAANP presented the Nurse Practitioner of theYear Award to Margaret L. Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN, Assistant Professor at Wayne State University. Dr. Campbell is noteworthy for her contributions, not only to nursing, but to health care for her pioneering work in the palliative care specialty.

Through Saturday, May 14 nurse practitioners will engage in hands-on workshops to build skills in common office procedures, orthopedic procedures, dermatology procedures, and suturing. Participants will also update their practice at numerous sessions on the latest evidence-based diagnostic and treatment recommendations for acute and chronic care for patient populations from children through older adults. For more information about the National Conference for Nurse Practitioners, visit

Posted: 5/13/2011 3:49:14 PM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 0 comments

Categories: Leadership

The makings of a good mentor

What does it mean to be a mentor? Is it showing someone the ropes - where to find the 2-inch silk tape, how to get in touch with pharmacy for an urgent medication, when to change a central line dressing?  Does being a mentor mean acting as preceptor and taking assignments with a new nurse or new-to-the-unit nurse? Does mentoring end when that nurse’s orientation is over?

I’ve worked with many different preceptors over the years - colleagues who did indeed show me the ropes, take assignments alongside me, and then take their own assignments when I was ready to function more independently. When I think of a mentor, though, only a few nurses stand out in my mind. These were the nurses who were always teaching, whether that was their intention or not. It wasn’t always the “what” of their teaching, it was the “how” most often. Their actions and examples made more of an impression on me than any task they would teach. 

The nurses that I consider my mentors are professional, caring, and assertive. They work well with other nurses and members of the healthcare team. While they respect policy and procedures, they are also critical thinkers who are open to change. In addition, these nurses are eager to increase their own education and seek out new learning experiences for themselves as well as those around them.

What characteristics of a mentor are most important to you?

Posted: 5/24/2010 3:56:47 PM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 2 comments

Categories: Leadership

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