The good news is: 1) Nursing is the most trusted profession. 2) Nursing is a globally distributed social institution. 3) The people who comprise the nursing profession are adaptable, flexible and diverse. The bad news? Organizational and cultural barriers that have evolved over time often prevent nurses from gaining maximum influence in shaping public policy and achieving excellence in nursing practice.
In light of historically engrained barriers, is excellence in nursing education and practice possible? Yes, it is, provided nurses are prepared to gain and wield the power needed to bring about desirable change, says Tracey McDonald, AM, PhD, RN, RM, MSc(Hons), DHA, DipEd, professor and chair of ageing at Australia Catholic University, Faculty of Health Science. Speaking in the opening plenary of the 23rd International Nursing Research Conference in Brisbane, McDonald challenged attendees to influence policy by entering the political fray. Deciding not to act at a critical moment is, itself, a political action, she observed.
We must demand good policy, she said. It requires: 1) being aware of policies controlling your practice environment and limits placed on your practice; 2) being informed about the political agendas of other stakeholders; 3) discussing and debating issues with colleagues to make sure you understand their views; 4) identifying exactly what is needed to solve the problem; 5) thinking about intended and unintended consequences of policy change; and 6) gathering support, getting onto forums and taking a stand.
It won’t be easy to bring about necessary change, but failure is not an option, concluded McDonald. The opening plenary was sponsored by Johns Hopkins University.
Advancing global nursing leadership
Martha N. Hill, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and professor of nursing, medicine and public health, and Phyllis Sharps, PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN, associate dean for community and global programs at the school and director of its Center for Global Nursing, led two sessions today, each designed to advance global nursing leadership. The first focused on strengths and challenges of initiatives aimed at advancing such leadership, the second on developing leaders, forming lasting partnerships and innovative programs, and securing supporting resources and technologies.
Writing for success
Today, Suzanne Prevost, PhD, RN, COI, president of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International, helped congress attendees learn the basics of abstract, proposal and grant writing. During Prevost’s presentation, she emphasized the importance of crafting engaging copy and provided tips to achieve that goal. “[A good abstract] creates the first impression and provides the overview of your presentation, paper or proposal,” Prevost said. “If it is well-written and inspiring, the audience or readers will want to read or hear more about your work.” Whether writing an abstract for publication or presentation, or crafting a proposal for funding, Prevost encouraged attendees to be “comprehensive, but succinct; innovative and intriguing… . [It] makes the reader want to know more.”
A good abstract or proposal needs to be written and revised thoughtfully and carefully, she added. “Give yourself plenty of time to refine it—don’t try to write an abstract on the day that it is due. Insert everything that is needed, then edit, edit, edit to make it succinct. Get two or three colleagues to proofread it and offer their advice before submitting it.”
Three researchers in Australia–Melissa Walker, RN, MMHN, CMHN; Debra Jane Anderson, PhD, RN, BA, GDNS (ed), MN; and Bronwyn Fredericks, PhD—set out to gauge the social and emotional well-being of indigenous women. Recognizing that traditional Anglo-Saxon terminologies and methods wouldn’t achieve the goal, they turned to “yarning,” or letting the aboriginal women tell of their own experiences. The goal was to get a definition of what it means to the aboriginal women to be well, in addition to learning the factors that contribute to a sense of wellness. The researchers hoped that attendees would learn more about the current state of wellness and the issues that aboriginal women face. The best way to do that, they said, was to share what they had learned from speaking with these women themselves.
International induction ceremony
The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) welcomed 10 new nurse leaders into the organization during the international induction ceremony held Monday. See photo in Ken Dion’s blog, “Postmark Brisbane,” for 30 July.
- Pauline Anderson-Johnson, Jamaica, Beta Tau
- Hossein Asgar Pour, Turkey, Alpha Alpha
- Roy Brown, Australia, Xi Omicron
- Debra Cerasa, Australia, Phi Delta-at-Large
- Joyce Kamanzi, Rwanda, Tau Lambda-at-Large
- Michelle Kelly, Australia, Xi Omicron
- Petra Lawrence, Australia, Phi Delta-at-Large
- Joemer Marvilla, Philippines, Phi Gamma
- Sue Myers, Canada, Mu Sigma
- Natalie Weidman, United States, Upsilon Zeta RNL
Taste of Brisbane: Thursday, 2 August 2012
Taste of Brisbane: Wednesday, 1 August 2012
Taste of Brisbane: Tuesday, 31 July 2012
Postmark: Brisbane, Australia (Blog by Kenneth Dion)
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