1. Holden-Huchton, Pat DSN, RN, CNE

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As I contemplate the development of this foreword, I am mindful of the purpose of Critical Care Nursing Quarterly (CCNQ), which is to serve as a resource for continuing education and the clinical practice of critical care on topics of importance to nurses who are directly involved in the care of critically ill patients and their families. I am also mindful that the celebration of the nursing profession will have influenced my view of our work as nurses, educators, and clinical scholars. What other profession garners the respect and trust of the public to have an entire week devoted to the profession and the work of its members? This rhetorical question is easily answered by noting the countless lives nurses have protected, learned from, shown value for, and cared for during those extremes of life such as birth and death, but just as important, during those everyday moments of living with chronic illness for which so many entrust nurses to help them manage. The nursing profession has dominated the news for several years because of the impact the nursing shortage has and will have on the health of the nation. Nurses are there, at the bedside, in the home, in the primary care clinic, in the schools, at the house of worship, on the radio and television, and at the neighborhood, offering consultation, advice, referrals, and the comfort that other professions rival. It is with this continuing issue of CCNQ reflecting the work and passion of faculty and students from Texas Woman's University College of Nursing that I am honored to offer some insight into the work of this faculty and student group as we continue to prepare graduates across the curricula: an adventure in excellence.


As the dean of this well-known college of nursing that is older than 50 years, having some 13 000+ alumni, and located within 3 major geographical areas of Texas, I am in contact daily with faculty and students who are leaders in the classroom and are making a significant difference in the clinical areas and providing knowledge to the professionals in the clinical and educational research that is so much a part of this college of nursing. The college of nursing has advanced its teaching, service, and research/clinical scholarship through the work of faculty and students in addressing health concerns of women, adolescents, and children, issues of violence, palliative and end-of-life care, and the strength of women in building nursing knowledge. This college of nursing programs range from the prelicensure BS and BS completion programs to include an innovative weekend option for mature learners with a previous degree, MS programs with a variety of options for nursing education, family, acute, pediatric, and adult nurse practitioner preparation, clinical nurse specialist, and the new clinical nurse leader, the doctor of nursing practice, and PhD programs. Thus, as a comprehensive college of nursing, we are striving toward our vision statement of "Pioneering Nursing's Future: An Adventure in Excellence." Our faculty and students are, indeed, pioneers in many ways, developing and implementing innovative programs that prepare graduates for the new and emerging roles in the profession (including the clinical nurse leader) and for those much-needed roles as staff nurses, primary care practitioners, advanced practitioners, nurse faculty, and researchers/scholars. With such an array of programs, our faculty and students continue to advance the profession, as evidenced by the work published in this issue and the previous issue of CCNQ.


Our future as a profession, and more important, our role in shaping the future of nursing, is guided by a view of excellence and the adventure required to achieve and maintain that excellence. The adventure for faculty and students is both intellectual and physical, encompassing our creativity, compassion, sensitivity to the changing world around us, and an understanding of our history as a profession. We know that with the advancement of science and continuing implementation of technology, our view of nursing at the bedside, in the classroom, in the simulated learning environment, in the schools, or in the homes of our patients must always embrace our humanity first. The articles in the previous issue of CCNQ and in this issue encompass the humanity of what we do and the adventure of using technology. Nursing is the link between the science and the humanity.


As we continue our adventure in excellence of preparing our future practitioners, educators, and researchers, we appreciate and acknowledge the work of the team of Benner, Sutphen, Leonard, and Day,1 who have called for the radical transformation of nursing education. This report, which is from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, includes 26 recommendations that highlight exemplary practices of teaching. These 26 exemplary practices can bridge our teaching and practice gaps through the use of apprenticeships focusing on clinical reasoning and an increase in integrating classroom and clinical experiences. It is the influence of this work that will clearly shape our clinical educational experiences in the undergraduate and master's curricula and will most certainly influence the preparation of future nursing faculty. The work in this issue of CCNQ reflects a mature faculty and student group that includes expert researchers from both qualitative and quantitative traditions and clinical scholars focusing on highly significant clinical concerns, thus bridging the education and clinical worlds. As pioneers in the preparation of graduates across the curricula, we prefer to view these educational experiences not as practice/education gaps but as opportunities for reflective learning and reflective teaching, with the research informing the teaching/learning process and adding to the body of the clinical nursing knowledge.


No matter what the future of health care reform is or in what political context it is implemented, nursing will continue to be seen as the largest and most significant workforce in the country to ready itself for transformational changes at the bedside and in primary care. As the profession continues to influence safety and patient outcomes, our research, such as the examples in this issue, will be part of the long-term and ongoing transformation of the preparation of nurses and our research and practice. It is with pleasure that I am affiliated with such a knowledgeable and well-prepared group of faculty and students who can participate in the transformation of nursing education and practice. We shall continue to be at the forefront of preparing graduates across the curricula: an adventure in excellence!!


-Pat Holden-Huchton, DSN, RN, CNE


Dean & Professor College of Nursing Texas Woman's University Denton




1. Benner P, Sutphen M, Leonard V, Day L. Educating Nurses: A Call for Radical Transformation. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass; 2009. [Context Link]