Advocating Empowerment: A Conversation With Elizabeth Smart

by Leslie Nikou
INSider Associate Managing Editor, Infusion Nurses Society

Elizabeth-Smart.pngLike many moms, her typical day starts with a personal wake-up call from her toddler daughter, tending to her infant son, taking a quick run with her dogs, then tackling the day’s to-do list. Sometimes that includes laundry and cleaning the house, and sometimes it includes conference calls, writing, or meeting with survivors of sexual assault and other types of abuse. Elizabeth Smart is a typical mom with an inconceivable story.

Abducted at knife point from her home in 2002 at age 14, then raped, drugged, and abused for 9 months, the story of Elizabeth Smart’s ordeal gripped the nation. Incredibly, after witnesses spotted Elizabeth walking with her captors on a public street, she was safely returned to her family in March 2003.
Elizabeth largely credits her parents with aiding her recovery by creating a sense of normalcy when she returned home. While they were sensitive to her needs, they didn’t treat her any differently than her siblings, and slowly guided her back into teenage life. After finishing her education, Elizabeth became a staunch advocate for change related to child abduction and founded the Elizabeth Smart Foundation in 2011. She considers herself one of the “lucky ones,” not only because she survived, but because she was able to go home.

She wants to lend her voice to other victims and their families worldwide by creating “something that would help shed a light on the brave work done in fighting crimes against children…(and) provide a place of hope, action, education, safety and prevention for children and their families, wherever they may be.”1 Elizabeth strongly believes that empowerment is a key component to victims’ survival. She says a traumatic experience might alter the direction of our lives but it does not have to define who we are. Regardless of your background, how you were raised, your financial situation, or whatever impactful event you have experienced, “there is nothing that another human being can do to you that can diminish your worth as an individual.”

In addition to promoting the National AMBER Alert system and other child safety legislation, Elizabeth’s foundation has propelled her into public speaking events across the country. While the actual events of her abduction have been chronicled in best-selling books and made-for-TV movies, the focus of Elizabeth’s talks is not just about what happened to her, it’s about hope, survival, and recovery. She reminds her audiences not to compare themselves or their personal traumas to anyone else’s, because everyone’s situation is unique. There is no “one-size fits all” formula to healing, but learning to love yourself again is one of the first steps.

Elizabeth Smart will bring her inspiring and powerful words to INS 2018 this May as the meeting’s keynote speaker. Listen to our podcast in its entirety at For more information about Elizabeth Smart and her foundation visit
Elizabeth Smart Foundation. Accessed February 5, 2018.

INS2018.pngINS 2018 is heading to the shores of Lake Erie and the bustling city of Cleveland, Ohio. This year’s annual meeting will include 4 days of thought-provoking educational sessions, peer presentations, round-table discussions, and so much more! We have lined up nearly 4 dozen speakers from all facets of the industry to bring you the latest evidence-based information in the infusion specialty.

Highlights for attendees will include a chance to test their infusion IQ in an interactive quiz show, ask infusion nurse-experts about the top-10 most common questions and answers, and collaborate in a 2-hour boot camp on immunoglobulin therapy. Accompanying the education, attendees can roam the jam-packed exhibition hall, experience a special event at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and enjoy countless networking opportunities with colleagues.

Can’t make it to Cleveland? Take advantage of our Virtual Infusion Education located in the INS LEARNING CENTER. The INS Virtual Infusion Education platform is designed to deliver conference programming directly to your home or office. Programming is presented to a live audience and streamed simultaneously. The program is recorded and available on-demand.

This year’s virtual conference, “Infusion Nursing: Why We Do What We Do,” will be streamed live on Tuesday, May 22. It will feature expert infusion nurses and provide foundational information about fluids and electrolytes, and pain management strategies. The day will conclude with a mother’s testimony on the impact infusion nurses have had in her family’s life.

Whether you plan to experience INS 2018 in person or virtually, this year’s meeting is a must! Visit for a complete schedule and registration information.  


Posted: 3/22/2018 6:26:18 PM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 0 comments

Categories: Education & Career Infusion Nursing

T3 and T4 – What’s the Difference?

Thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) are important hormones produced by the thyroid gland that are essential for brain and physical development in infants and for metabolic activity in adults.1 Thyroid hormones help the brain, heart, liver, muscles, and other organs function properly.2  If unregulated, thyroid hormone imbalances can lead to life-threatening conditions such as myxedema coma (dangerously low thyroid hormones) and thyroid storm (excessive thyroid hormone concentration). Health care professionals should know how to monitor these hormones to prevent emergencies and improve outcomes.

Let’s review thyroid hormone production.

The thyroid gland, located in the anterior neck, consists of two types of cells: follicular cells, which produce T3 and T4, and parafollicular cells, which produce and secrete thyrocalcitonin (also called calcitonin).3 The thyroid takes iodine, found in our diet, combines it with an amino acid, tyrosine, and converts it into T3 (containing three iodine atoms) and T4 (containing four iodine atoms). T4 is produced solely by the thyroid gland. About 80% of T3 is formed by the removal of one iodine atom from T4, a process called deiodination. This occurs primarily in the liver and kidney, but T3 is also produced in some, if not all tissues.1 Factors that inhibit the conversion of T4 to T3 include stress, starvation, beta-blockers, amiodarone, corticosteroids, iodinated contrast media, and propylthiouracil (PTU).3 Cold temperatures may increase the conversion.3 The thyroid gland synthesizes and stores mass quantities of T3 and T4 within the protein thyroglobulin.1

T3 and T4 production is regulated by thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) secreted by the pituitary gland, which is in turn regulated by thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) secreted by the hypothalamus.2 This process works as a negative feedback loop. When levels of T3 and T4 decrease below normal, the pituitary gland produces TSH, stimulating the thyroid gland to produce more hormones and raise the blood levels. Once the levels rise, the pituitary then decreases TSH production.

The thyroid hormones are released into the bloodstream and transported throughout the body. Most are bound to plasma proteins, while a smaller portion circulates as free hormones that enter cells and trigger metabolism.3 More than 99.95% of T4 and 99.5% of T3 in serum are bound to serum proteins such as thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG), transthyretin (TTR), albumin, and lipoproteins.1 For T4, approximately 75% is bound to TBG, 10 % to TTR, 12% to albumin, and 3% to lipoproteins. A minimal amount, about 0.02%, of T4 in the serum is free, or unbound. For T3, approximately 80% is bound to TBG, 5% to TTR, and 15% to albumin and lipoproteins.1 About 0.5% of T3 in the serum is free. It is the free T3 and T4 concentrations in the blood that are responsible for biologic activity.1 The binding proteins maintain serum free T3 and T4 within tight limits, yet ensure that these hormones are accessible as needed to the tissues, therefore acting as both storage and buffer systems. For example, if the thyroid stops secreting hormones, the hormones stored in the serum will help delay the onset of hypothyroidism.1 T3 and T4 are rapidly released from binding proteins and can become available almost instantly. Conversely, the binding proteins also protect tissues from sudden increases in thyroid secretion or extrathyroidal T3 production.1

What role do these hormones play in measuring thyroid function?
Thyroid function is assessed by one or more of the following tests1:
     • Serum TSH concentration: As stated earlier, there is a relationship between serum free T4 and TSH concentrations in that very small changes in serum free T4 stimulate very large changes in TSH. A high TSH level indicates poor thyroid gland function or hypothyroidism. If the thyroid is not making enough hormone, the pituitary keeps making and releasing TSH into the blood. A low TSH typically indicates an overactive thyroid that is producing too much thyroid hormone, or hyperthyroidism.1 The pituitary then ceases production and release of TSH into the blood. Normal ranges vary among laboratories; however, a typical range is 0.4 to 5.0 mlU/L.

     • Serum Total T4 concentration: This measures both bound and unbound (free) T4. A high serum T4 may indicate hyperthyroidism while a low level may indicate hypothyroidism. However, a high or low level may not indicate a problem. For example, if the patient is pregnant or taking oral contraceptives, levels will be higher. Critical illness, corticosteroids and medicine that treat asthma, arthritis, and other health problems, can lower T4 levels. These medications may change the amount of binding proteins and therefore may not correctly reflect T4 levels.1 Normal ranges will vary among laboratories; however, a typical range is 4.6 to 11.2 mcg/dL (60 to 145 mmol/L).1

  • Serum Total T3 concentration: A high T3 level may help confirm a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism if the T4 level is normal. The normal range is more variable among laboratories than total T4; the typical range is 75 to 195 ng/dL (1.1 to 3 nmol/L).1  
  • Serum Free T4 concentration: This measures T4 unbound to proteins; a low free T4 will indicate hypothyroidism, while a high free T4 will indicate hyperthyroidism.1 This test may provide a better indication of T4 levels since it is not affected by binding proteins.
  • T3 resin uptake (T3RU): an indirect measure of serum thyroid hormone binding capacity.
  • Free T4 index (FT4I): is derived from T4 and T3RU and indicates how much free T4 is present compared to bound T4. FT4I can help determine if a high T4 level is due to abnormal amounts of TBG.

*Consult your institution’s normal laboratory ranges.

Screening for thyroid dysfunction

Thyroid function tests (TFT) are used to screen thyroid activity, diagnose diseases such as hyperthyroidism, Graves’ disease, hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease, thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer as well as monitor thyroid supplemental therapy and the treatment of hyperthyroidism.4 Some clinicians screen all patients with TSH and free T4, however this could be costly. Many laboratories are using strategies such as the following to limit unnecessary laboratory testing1:

      • If the TSH is normal, no further testing is required.
      • If the TSH is high, check free T4 to determine the degree of hypothyroidism. 
      • If the TSH is low, check free T4 and T3 to determine the degree of hyperthyroidism.
      • If pituitary or hypothalamic disease is suspected, check both serum TSH and free T4. 
      • If TSH is normal, but patient has convincing symptoms of thyroid dysfunction, check free T4.

This screening method may be used for patients who are at risk of thyroid disease but have not been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder. For patients with a normal TSH level who exhibit signs and symptoms of hyper- or hypothyroidism, or if a pituitary or hypothalamic disease is suspected, a free T4 level should be drawn.1

Signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism may include:
     • General loss of energy
     • Slowed metabolism
     • Weight gain
     • Bradycardia
     • Dry skin and hair
     • Constipation
     • Cold intolerance
     • Puffy skin 
     • Hair loss
     • Altered cognition
     • Hyporeflexia
     • Menstrual irregularities/infertility in women
     • Stunted growth in children

Signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism may include:
     • Hot flashes, sweating
     • Tachycardia
     • Anxiety, nervousness
     • Weight loss
     • Hair loss
     • Difficulty sleeping, restlessness
     • Tremors in the hands
     • Weakness
     • Diarrhea
     • Emotional instability, irritability or fatigue
     • Goiter
     • Moist, sweaty skin
     • Exophthalmos, lid lag

In addition to these lab tests, health care providers should always conduct a thorough patient health history, evaluate the patient’s clinical presentation and reconcile all medications when evaluating patients for thyroid disease.

1Ross, D. (2017). Laboratory assessment of thyroid function. UpToDate. Retrieved on 7/31/17 from

2Crawford, A. & Harris. H.(2013). Tipping the scales: understanding thyroid imbalances. Nursing Critical Care. 8 (1): 23-28.

3 Leung, A. (2016). Thyroid Emergencies. Journal of Infusion Nursing. 38 (5): 281-286.

4U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Thyroid Tests. Retrieved on 8/23/17 from:
Myrna B. Schnur, RN, MSN

More Reading and Resources

Thyroid Emergencies
Red Flags: Helping your patient weather thyroid storm
Personalized Risk Criteria for Radioactive Iodine Therapy in Thyroid Cancer 

Posted: 3/15/2018 8:49:37 AM by Lindsey Lynch | with 0 comments

Categories: Diseases & Conditions

Nursing Now – A Global Campaign to Raise the Profile of Nursing

Nursing-Now-logo.pngWe know the value of nurses, and we demonstrate our knowledge and skills to our patients, their families, and the public every day. Now, with a new global campaign launched in collaboration with the World Health Organization and International Council of Nurses, we have a larger voice uniting us and validating the work that we do.

On February 27, 2018, Nursing Now kicked-off with activities across the globe, including a passionate speech by HRH Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, who, at the London launch, was announced as Patron of the Nursing Now campaign. The Campaign Board, along with its partners, will work over the next three years to improve healthcare by enabling nurses to do what we do best – promoting health and preventing disease. Based on the findings of the Triple Impact of Nursing report (improve health, empower women, strengthen local economies), the campaign will run as a program of the Burdett Trust for Nursing.
The five main programs of the campaign are:
  1. Universal Health Coverage – ensuring quality health care for everyone
  2. Evidence of impact – building up evidence of the contributions of our profession
  3. Leadership and development – supporting nurses as leaders in policy and practice
  4. Sustainable Development Goals – ensuring health, gender equality, and economic growth
  5. Sharing effective practice – disseminating and improving access to collections of effective practice.
 This short excerpt from Nursing Now’s vision gives great insight into the goals of the campaign:
“The changing needs of the 21st Century mean nurses have an even greater role to play in the future. New and innovative types of services are needed – more community and home-based, more holistic and people-centred, with increased focus on prevention and making better use of technology. These are all areas where nurses can play a leading role. However, maximising nurses’ contributions will require that they are properly deployed, valued and included in policy and decision-making.”
Nurses – we are a key component in solving today’s healthcare challenges. Let’s get involved! Here’s how: Nurses, it’s time to lead the charge and make a difference on a global scale. Together we can tackle the healthcare challenges that exist today. This is a big step for our profession. I encourage everyone to learn more about Nursing Now and get involved!



Posted: 3/13/2018 9:58:19 AM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 0 comments

Categories: Leadership Administration & Management

Incivility in Nursing- Enough is Enough! [VIDEO]

incivility.jpegAt some point, we have all likely witnessed behavior from one colleague toward another that was disrespectful, impolite, or downright rude.  The topic of workplace incivility calls to mind several examples from my own experience, where I had to step in to shield a colleague from the cruel words or actions of another nurse.  

The most troubling example that I have seen in my career behavior directed toward a new graduate nurse, who was transitioning from a successful career in business to the emergency department.  This nurse brought years of experience as an adult in the workplace, rich experiences as a parent, several advanced degrees, a calm demeanor, and an easy-going personality.  As an adult learner and career-changer, this nurse was highly motivated, eager to learn the rules of the unit, quick to master tactile skills, and asked excellent questions. There was one problem; this nurse made an early enemy, for unknown reasons, with a nurse who was one of the most out-spoken nurses in that department. This seasoned nurse was in a position of power, and was deeply involved with the day to day management of the unit.  When it came to room assignments, scheduling, patient assignments, or breaks, there was no doubt who her least favorite nurse on that unit was.  

Please, picture both of these nurses.  Would it surprise you to learn that the new graduate nurse was a man?  I am happy to report that thanks to supportive colleagues, this lateral violence did not drive out the new nurse.  He persisted, developed, and flourished in that department, despite being treated with derision by the nurse who bullied him.  It has been ten years since he joined that team, enthusiastically seeking guidance and mentorship from those more experienced than he was at that time, only to be repaid with disrespect and rudeness from a fellow nurse in a position of power.  In the ensuing years, he has generously offered help and mentorship to assist other new graduates as they transition into the new and sometimes overwhelming role of nurse.  

Our beloved profession can be taxing on the body and spirit.  With all of the pressures we face in our units every day as we take care of patients with increasingly complex comorbidities, there is no room for the added stress of lateral violence.  As nurses and members of the profession most trusted by the American public, we are not here to push each other down, but to help one another up.  What we permit, we promote, and it is incumbent on all of us to draw a line in the sand and say “enough” when it comes to workplace incivility.  

Jessica Ann Emmons, MSN, CRNA


Posted: 3/10/2018 5:38:19 AM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 0 comments

Categories: Patient Safety Patient Safety

It’s Not You, It’s Your Body Language

Are your instinctive gestures while communicating betraying your message?

The only way to answer that question is by practicing self-awareness. Self-awareness is by no means a new concept, but it can be something you turn a blind eye to unknowingly amid everyday life. And if you’re like most people, you likely do not regularly ask for feedback from others regarding your body language.nonverbal.jpg

Body language and self-awareness go hand-in-hand and are particularly pertinent in the profession of nursing. It is crucial that you convey confidence, certainty, and credibility when caring for your patients and, though that is always the intention, your body language may be communicating other messages.

Take Clint Lange BSN, RN, for example. Lange reveals the nervousness he experienced on his first day as a new graduate with patients of his own. He was working in a Level 1 trauma center ICU and while aiming to maintain a calm façade, his patient detected his nervousness from his bodily behaviors (Lange, 2016). He discusses the challenge he faced in regaining his patient’s trust after unknowingly relaying nervousness. Interestingly, Lange realized on his first day that both nurses and patients are observing each other equally (Lange, 2016). As Lange was carefully observing the patient for signs of discomfort, so too was the patient measuring Lange’s facial and bodily gestures for information about his/her condition (Lange, 2016).

Think of the well-known phrase, the medium is the message. A nurse serves as the medium, the primary vehicle of communication in a patient’s care. That said, your body language needs to coincide with and support your message to your patients because it's less important that they hear what you say and more important that they understand what you mean. The delivery of the message, taking all factors into consideration such as posture, facial expressions, and nervous habits, carries the same (if not more) importance.

Remember, it’s not you, it’s probably your nonverbal cues. Try to be cognizant of your body language and be aware of your audience and atmosphere in your setting as much as possible. Is your body language drawing attention away from your message? Is your body language fostering open communication and creating an inviting climate? Do you detect any signs of uncertainty in your speech? Consider talking to yourself in the mirror to be an audience member of your own message and objectively evaluate your body language.


Lange, C. (2016, April). Nursing and the importance of body language. Nursing2016, 46(4), 48-49. Retrieved from

More Reading and Resources

Nursing and the Importance of Body Language
Body Language: Melting Pain Into Song.
Evidence-based Approaches to Breaking Down Language Barriers


Posted: 3/6/2018 2:33:29 PM by Lindsey Lynch | with 0 comments

Categories: Blog

Inspired Nurses Calendar 2018: Heart to Heart

Lippincott is partnering with Lippincott Solutions to bring you an inspired nurse’s story every month. Here is the February 2018 inspired nurse story, Heart to Heart. 
Heart to Heart
Cameron Mitchum
Medical University of South Carolina ∙ Nursing Professional Development Specialist
February.pngSome years ago, I was working in the hospital's ICU float pool, caring for a young man with traumatic brain injury received from a fall. The physicians had declared him brain dead. He was only 16 years old. He had run away from home several years before, so after many hours, his mother was finally located, but unfortunately couldn’t make the journey across the country in order to say good-bye to her son, so asked if I would stay with him until he went into the operating room.

After my shift ended, I stayed with him as a visitor until he went into surgery. I stroked his hand, talked to him, and told him his mother loved him. Later I called his mother and told her about his last few hours. We cried together, and I gave her the number of our chaplain support services.  

Two nights later, I was asked to pick up a shift in the cardiovascular ICU.  When I walked into the room of a new patient, I asked him how he was doing. He had just been extubated, and he replied, "Let me tell you, I'm doing great!  I feel like a new man!”  This patient was a high school principal and had received a heart transplant two days prior.  I sat down, and we talked for a while, trying not cry.  While I never knew for sure, I suspected that this vibrant man had received that young 16-year old boy's heart. At a time in my life when I wondered if I should look at other career options, this experience moved me in ways I still can't fully comprehend.  The wonder of nursing care hit me full force that night, and my decision to stay in nursing was firm and never regretted.
To share an inspiring story of your own about being a nurse, or how you were inspired by another, and enter to win prizes, visit  Be sure to check our blog every month for a new inspired nurse’s story.
More Reading & Resources
Lippincott Solutions Inspired Nurses: The Heroes of Healthcare
 Inspired Nurses Calendar 2018: Like Angels and Fairies
Reflections on Nursing




Posted: 2/28/2018 8:22:54 PM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 1 comments

Categories: Inspiration

Preparing for the Worst: Active Shooter Training

In the fall of 2017, after returning from Nursing Management Congress2017 and the National Conference for Nurse Practitioners, both of which took place in Las Vegas immediately following the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, I received an invitation from my state nurses association to an active shooter training. I felt compelled to attend this training and vowed to write about what I learned here on this blog. I attended the training session and took extensive notes of the valuable lessons I learned. Well, time passed, and that to-do item got pushed down on my list, which both embarrasses me and teaches me a valuable lesson.

Time goes by. While we don’t forget tragedies, over time we do get caught up in the everyday chaos of our lives and think “I’ll get to that later.” On February 14th, the 18th school shooting occurred in the United States since the beginning of 2018. That’s 18 school shootings in 45 days. Unacceptable. We can’t put this on the back burner any longer.

There are many famous quotes about not being able to change others (or the world) without making changes to oneself. So, I challenge you to think about what you can do to address issues related to gun control, mental health, and protecting students, staff, and teachers. What I can do right now is share what I learned from the Pennsylvania State Police back in December of 2017 and share a list of resources to help us all be prepared for an active shooter incident.

active-shooter.jpgPennsylvania State Nurses Association Active Shooter Training: December 4, 2017
Here are some key takeaways from this presentation:
  • Many victims say, “I didn’t know what to do,” or “I was just waiting my turn to be shot.” The important lesson here is to tell people in an active shooter situation to do something. Time is a valuable commodity, and by doing something, one takes some time away from the shooter.
  • 63% of active shooter incidents are in commerce or an education environment, but no place is off limits.
  • Active shooter incidents typically evolve quickly and end (historically) within 10 to 15 minutes; 36% end before the police arrive.
  • Be prepared:
    • Mental preparation – Chaos and panic will occur. As best as you are able, trust your instincts, breathe, and remain calm.
    • Sounding the fire alarm is NOT recommended. The potential negative consequences outweigh the benefit.
      • People are complacent with fire alarms.
      • People won’t think “active shooter.”
    • Role of police – Police officers are there to neutralize the threat, not treat injured.
  • Three options (you may have to do all three):
    • Run – If you have an opportunity to escape, do so.
    • Hide – Don’t let anyone in.
    • Fight – Fight for your life with whatever you have. There is power in numbers and the shooter is typically not looking for a fight.
It is incumbent upon you to be mindful of these things and know how to react if you are involved in an active shooter situation. Think, if you were to be involved in an active shooter situation tomorrow, would you be able to answer the following:
  • Are you prepared?
  • How would you react?
  • Are others prepared?
  • Do you know what to expect?
  • What is your ability to protect?
The final thoughts of the presentation? “Be prepared and plan to survive.”

Important Resources
National Association of School Nurses: Violence in Schools
Active Shooter Resources from the FBI
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Active Shooter Preparedness
National Institute of Mental Health

More Reading
Plunging Forward in the Aftermath of the Las Vegas Tragedy
Is there a Cure for Gun Violence?
Active shooter on campus! [CE]
Active Shooters: What Emergency Nurses Need to Know


Posted: 2/17/2018 7:48:48 AM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 3 comments

Categories: Patient Safety

Palliative Care and Hospice Care: What’s the Difference? [VIDEO]

As caregivers, educators, and advocates, we must understand the differences between palliative care and hospice care so that we can ensure that patients and families are getting appropriate care and services at the appropriate times.

Both palliative care and hospice care require an interdisciplinary approach, with a focus on relieving pain and managing physical and psychological symptoms, while improving quality of life. What differs is that palliative care should begin at the time of diagnosis, when possible, and can be offered at the same time as curative treatments. Hospice care is appropriate for those with a prognosis of six months or less and excludes concurrent curative treatment.

Listen in as Dr. Anne Woods and Lisa Bonsall go more in-depth on the differences and similarities between the two, and why it’s so important for nurses to be part of related conversations with patients, families, and the interdisciplinary team. 


Inspired Nurses Calendar 2018: Like Angels and Fairies

Lippincott is partnering with Lippincott Solutions to bring you an inspired nurse’s story every month. Here is the January 2018 inspired nurse story, Like Angels and Fairies. 
Like Angels and Fairies
Chinazo Echezona-Johnson
Services for the underserved ∙ Vice President of Nursing Services
January.pngI did not want to be a nurse. I always wanted to be a lawyer. But then something extraordinary happened. My mom went into labor prematurely, and since there was no one to watch me, I had to go with her to the hospital. While in the waiting room, the nurses played with me and kept me company until my father arrived. In my eight-year-old mind, the nurses looked like fairy-tale characters because they were so kind and caring. They were also immaculately dressed in starched white uniforms, polished white shoes and white caps. They looked like angels and fairies to me.

It was a difficult delivery for my mother, but the love and care she and my baby brother received was magical. I did not see the birth, but when I could finally come in and hold my new little brother, I saw many nurses comforting, mothering and supporting other women in various stages of labor, delivering or recovering from childbirth. These kind nurses did not complain – not even when people were yelling at them. They kept their composure and professionalism at all times and it was at that point that I decided I must become a nurse. And today, after 24-years practicing as an Obstetrical and Gynecology nurse, I can still remember the caring nurses who took care of my mother and brother – those magical nurses who changed my life.
To share an inspiring story of your own about being a nurse, or how you were inspired by another, and enter to win prizes, visit  Be sure to check our blog every month for a new inspired nurse’s story.


Posted: 1/29/2018 8:21:07 AM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 0 comments

Categories: Inspiration

For CRNA Week – An interview with Jessica Emmons, MSN, CRNA [Podcast]

Jessica-Emmons-CRNA-(1).pngI had the pleasure of speaking with Jessica Emmons, a recent Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) program graduate who, like many of us, has quite an interesting story to tell of her journey into nursing and to her latest career stop, as a nurse anesthetist. Jessica began her adult life as an accountant and when she was looking for a change, others in healthcare described nursing as an “enviable world.”

During her 12 years as an emergency room nurse, Jessica also worked as a vascular access nurse, where she experienced significant autonomy and decision-making responsibility. As she developed her leadership skills and was sought after for more responsibility, she realized that remaining at the bedside was important to her. She shadowed a colleague in the operating room and had a “wow experience” that drew her to becoming a CRNA.

Please listen in on our conversation to learn more about Jessica, including the human piece of her work as a CRNA, what a typical day is like, and what she means by saying “You never hear about the overly prepared or overly clean nurse on the 5 o’clock news!” Jessica also tells us about the importance of the trust established with a patient in her care and shares an example of providing care to a patient who was not expected to awaken after surgery. Lastly, Jessica has some great advice to anyone considering application to a CRNA program and joining this group of 52,000+ advanced practice nurses!

Happy National CRNA Week!


A 2017 graduate of the Nurse-Anesthesia Program at Drexel University, Jessica Ann Emmons, MSN, CRNA is employed full time with United Anesthesia Services, P.C. and is based out of Paoli Hospital. Her graduate research focused on the second victim phenomenon, and the need for structured peer support after unanticipated adverse outcomes. She continues to speak and present this information at conferences and state meetings in the hopes of creating awareness about this vital topic. In 2003, Jessica earned her ASN from Gwynedd-Mercy College, launching a nursing career and leaving the business world behind. Prior to starting her specialization in anesthesia, Jessica was an emergency department nurse, vascular access specialist, and worked in the neuro-cardiac intensive care unit. Jessica resides in the borough of West Chester, PA with her husband, Will, and their three daughters. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys cooking, bicycling, and quilting, although never all three at once.  


Posted: 1/23/2018 9:12:15 PM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 0 comments

Categories: Education & Career

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