Sadness and celebration

By Roger Watson | 10/10/2017

First FAAN inducted from UK-Europe honors recent inductees.

Humber Bridge in EnglandAuthor attends American Academy of Nursing induction ceremonies in Washington, D.C.

HULL, United Kingdom—Flags were flying at half-staff for the duration of our stay in Washington, D.C. last week. For anyone unaware of the shooting incident in Las Vegas, the constant television coverage would have brought them up to speed very quickly. Notwithstanding the devastating effect of this tragedy, life went on in the U.S. capital as usual, the best response to those who would attempt to terrorise us.

I was in Washington with my wife for the induction of the 2017 class of 173 fellows into the American Academy of Nursing, which brings current FAAN ranks to approximately 2,400. In light of continuing arguments in the UK over the value of nursing more moves to undermine the present model of all graduate entry to the profession, it was almost therapeutic for me to read and hear about achievements of the people who crossed the stage last Saturday evening.

Roger WatsonI am inordinately proud of my own FAAN designation. As a pioneer of those inducted from outside the United States into the American Academy of Nursing, I am very pleased to see an increasing number of international FAANs being inducted, including many of my friends from across the world. [Editor’s note: Inducted as a fellow in 2007, Watson was the first UK-European nurse to be elected to the American Academy of Nursing.] It is always my pleasure to attend the annual ceremony and to applaud and personally congratulate those who are inducted.

This year, I was there to support my Italian colleague, Gennaro Rocco, PhD, RN, FAAN, who pioneered regulation of nursing in Italy and parts of Eastern Europe. I first encountered Rocco a few years ago when he was head of IPASVI—the nursing board of Rome—and I look forward to joining him in Palermo, Sicily, in a few weeks to address a conference on advanced nursing practice.

Another inductee I was very pleased to see was Edith Hillan, PhD, RN, FAAN, a fellow Scot now at the University of Toronto, Canada, where she has served as dean and continued her work in midwifery. Others whose induction I was personally gratified to witness were Melissa Batchelor-Murphy, PhD, RN, FAAN, Duke University, who works in my own area of dementia-related feeding difficulty, and Sek Ying Chair, PhD, RN, FAAN, Chinese University of Hong Kong, whom I have known for many years. A most impressive inductee was Walter Sermeus, PhD, RN, FAAN, Leuven University, Belgium, who has extended RN4CAST work across Europe.

Roger Watson with Paula Milone-Nuzzo and Elaine AmeliaThe highlight of the evening for me, however, was an emotional reunion with my own FAAN sponsors from 10 years ago: Paula Milone-Nuzzo, PhD, RN, FAAN, former dean of nursing at Penn State and now president of MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, and Elaine Amella, PhD, RN, FAAN, Medical University of South Carolina. It is a privilege to have such friends.

Behind the scenes, Mrs. Watson and I “ran” D.C. On our first morning, we were leaving the hotel at sunrise, intending to head directly into town from Dupont Circle. But the bellman asked where we were going and suggested an alternate three-mile route to the White House, which we took and then ran back through the city. Running along the Potomac with the sun coming up as teams of rowers were being put through their paces, and then running by the Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial was wonderful. On Saturday morning, we participated in the Roosevelt Island DC parkrun with 70 other runners, many from the UK and some from Australia and South Africa. My wife recognised and spoke to one of the organisers from the run we did last year at Fletcher’s Cove. Her recognition ability is a skill that completely eludes me.

The academic year has started in the UK, and I am pleased to see a good number of graduate students signing up to take my online quantitative methods module. I also have a group of final-year, undergraduate-student projects to supervise, and I look forward to meeting this group soon. In addition, we have new PhD students, and I have the pleasure of supervising two of them, one from Thailand and another from China. I also have international visiting scholars from China to work with.

Our community of Chinese nurse academics is growing, and they are a great pleasure to have with us. As they adjust to their new surroundings, one of my major tasks will be to help them relax as they contemplate what lies ahead and begin establishing—unassisted—daily goals for themselves. Our cultures are very different, as I will be reminded again next week when I make my final visit to China for 2017. RNL

Roger Watson, PhD, RN, FRCP Edin, FRCN, FAAN, professor of nursing at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom and a frequent visitor to Australia and China, where he has visiting positions, is editor-in-chief of Journal of Advanced Nursing and editor of Nursing Open. Click here to access Blogger-resident entries posted before 2017 in Watson’s former blog “Hanging smart.”


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