Category Archives: New Careers in Nursing

Feb 10 2014
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A New Nurse Promises to Focus on the Fundamentals of Providing Care During This Turbulent Time

Carli A. Culjat, BSN RN, is a staff nurse in the Emergency Department at Bryan Medical in Lincoln, Neb., and an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing program. She graduated with her BSN from the Creighton University School of Nursing. This post is part of the “Health Care in 2014” series.

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As a new graduate and a young person, I am very eager to see what will happen to my country, my career, and my own future with the changes taking place in the U.S. health care system.  As I walked across the stage receiving my diploma, my emotions developed and they included excitement, relief, and fear of the unknown.  I believe our county is facing similar emotional complexity. As a new graduate and new employee – change can bring forth so many emotions, especially on the large scale that is taking place in health care today.

The media covers the controversy of the situation and as a former student, my class still uses social media to reach out and develop opinions on the changes and their possible effects.  Fear creates controversy and with this, we see so many different perspectives and reactions.  Even still, I believe our country is excited for a change and ready for the health care system to evolve into a system that we can be proud of and utilize.

There are many who are relieved, myself included. I am relieved that employment is an option at this time in this changing system, I am relieved that our country has taken the initiative to address a need, and I am relieved that I have an education and position that I can use to assist, in the best way a single person can, in health care reform—as a frontline person, a staff nurse in an Emergency Department.

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Jul 3 2013
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A New Nurse Aids Some of Those Who Lost So Much During Hurricane Sandy

Olivia Jackson is an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) program. She graduated summa cum laude from Fairleigh Dickinson University's Accelerated Bachelor's Degree in Nursing program this past May. She has a BA in Biological Sciences from Rutgers University. She is currently pursuing a career in medical surgical nursing.

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The Jersey Shore is open for business this summer, and I am proud to say that I played a small part if making that happen, and helping the community that was devastated by Hurricane Sandy last year.

In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the East Coast, especially in New Jersey and New York. For our November volunteer project, I and several other NCIN scholars at Fairleigh Dickinson University devoted a Saturday to helping the citizens of Rockaway Beach, New York, where the storm was particularly strong.

Through online research on Newyorkcares.org, I located a bus going to the Rockaways that needed more volunteers to help assemble and distribute care packages to the people affected by Hurricane Sandy. As our bus pulled into the Rockaways, the first thing we saw is what used to be a parking lot for beachgoers. It looked like a scene from an apocalyptic movie. Mounds of debris, most of which used to be the homes of Rockaway residents, extended across the horizon. I felt a deep sense of sadness and could not even imagine how devastated these people must feel having lost everything.

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Jun 26 2013
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NCIN Announces Support for 400 New Nurses

Vernell DeWitty, PhD, RN, is deputy program director for New Careers in Nursing, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

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Luis Sanchez has come a long way in life from his humble beginnings as the son of Mexican migrants. He was recently named New York University’s  (NYU) Distinguished Accelerated Nursing Student for the Class of 2013 and will soon be published in a respected nursing journal. Sanchez has been accepted into NYU’s adult primary care nurse practitioner dual-degree program, and plans to work in an acute care setting before returning to school to complete his master’s degree.

He is just one of more than 3,000 nursing students who have been supported by New Careers in Nursing (NCIN), and a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Luis and his peers are exactly what we hope the future of the nursing workforce will look like: capable, culturally-competent nurses who bring diverse and valuable perspectives to the field, and are prepared to meet the challenges of a changing health care system and patient population.

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May 12 2013
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Simulation: A Powerful Tool to Support a Quality Learning Environment

Ann Marie P. Mauro, PhD, RN, CNL, CNE, is a clinical associate professor, fellow with the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing, and the program liaison and project director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing scholarship program at the New York University (NYU) College of Nursing, which has made extensive use of simulation. This is part of a series of posts for National Nurses Week, highlighting how nurses are driving quality and innovation in patient care.

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For students in the health professions, the beauty of simulation is the ability to apply their critical thinking and assessment skills in a safe environment where they can learn without fear of harming a patient. Sometimes I think people learn much better from their mistakes. While simulation does not completely replace traditional clinical experiences, it is a great teaching strategy to help standardize students’ learning experiences, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

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You can achieve targeted learning outcomes for students who have the opportunity to work with patients with specific health concerns. When we take students into a traditional clinical setting, we do not have control over which patients might be available and what students might be able to do. It is getting particularly challenging not only to find clinical sites, because of competition among schools, but to deal with health care organizations that have transitioned to electronic health records and electronic medication administration records, which are difficult for faculty and students to access. Furthermore, it is time-consuming and costly for faculty to be trained on different systems.

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Feb 21 2013
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Human Capital News Roundup: Hormone replacement therapy, monetary rewards for weight loss, student loan debt, and more.

Around the country, print, broadcast and online media outlets are covering the groundbreaking work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) leaders, scholars, fellows and grantees. Some recent examples:

A study led by RWJF Health & Society Scholars alumna Emily Goard Jacobs, PhD, finds that the estrogen in hormone replacement therapy may help protect some women from Alzheimer's, when taken beginning at menopause. Health Canal and the Telegraph (United Kingdom) report on the findings. Read more about the study.

New Careers in Nursing, a program of RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, launched the Doctoral Advancement in Nursing (DAN) project to identify and encourage nurses interested in pursuing doctoral degrees, and to support doctoral nursing students in their studies. The DAN project is scheduled to issue a white paper this summer; it will offer strategies and resources to support doctoral advancement, Healthcare Traveler reports.

Ryan Masters, PhD, a Health & Society Scholar, spoke to NPR’s Shots blog about an editorial he co-authored in the Journal of the American Medical Association that points to problems in a study that found being a “little” overweight was associated with a lower risk of death. “The risk of mortality from obesity compounds and grows stronger as you age,” he said. “In light of our findings, we are… much more concerned about inappropriate denial of the epidemic's consequences for U.S. mortality.”

John H. Cawley, an alumnus and National Advisory Committee Member of the RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research program, spoke to NPR’s Morning Edition about why monetary rewards for employees to lose weight may not work. Cawley’s research finds that three-quarters of people give up on diets even when they stand to earn a monetary reward for losing weight. On the other hand, he finds, people will fight harder to shed weight if they stand to lose money should they fail.

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Feb 19 2013
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RWJF’s First 40 Years Investing in Nurses and Nursing

For more than four decades, the grantmaking of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has advanced the nursing profession, supporting nurses in their efforts to improve care and strengthening nurses’ role in shaping the future of the nation’s health care system. The latest issue of Charting Nursing’s Future, RWJF’s periodic series of issue briefs, tracks the Foundation’s growing commitment to nursing.

The brief examines RWJF’s impact in five distinct areas:

  • Expanding roles for nurses;
  • Building educational capacity;
  • Demonstrating nurses' contributions to quality and safety;
  • Creating leaders for the 21st century; and
  • Bridging gaps in research and data.

Among the two dozen past and present programs highlighted in the brief:

  • Expanding roles. In the mid-1970s, RWJF played a critical role in the emergence and acceptance of nurse practitioners (NPs), supporting demonstration projects in rural areas of California, Alabama, Tennessee and New England. Subsequently, RWJF’s Nurse Faculty Fellowship Program helped create an intellectual home for primary care nursing, leading to the creation of master’s degree NP programs across the nation.

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Feb 12 2013
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Meet New Careers in Nursing

This is part of a series introducing programs in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Human Capital Portfolio.

A few years ago, Natasha Leland was a professional opera singer. John Pederzolli was in financial sales. And Blake Smith was a high school soccer coach. Today, all are nurses, thanks to support from New Careers in Nursing (NCIN), a program of RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Since 2008, NCIN has helped facilitate more than 2,700 scholarships for second career nurses entering accelerated degree programs. Thanks to resources and support from NCIN, these students—who are from groups underrepresented in nursing—are quickly entering the workforce, ready to provide high quality patient care and become leaders in the profession.

Before realizing their dreams of becoming nurses, NCIN scholars had a wide variety of professions: customer service, teacher, aviation safety professional, and even professional clown, among others. Each Scholar brings unique life and real-world experience to his or her new career. That makes them well-equipped to handle a fast-paced training program, and the demands of the profession.

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Dec 28 2012
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YOUR Favorite Blog Posts of 2012

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Human Capital Blog published more than 350 posts in 2012. Which ones were your favorites? Today and on Monday, with the year coming to an end, we’re taking a second look at the posts on this blog that attracted the most traffic this year.

A Dream Comes True: A Single Mom with Five Kids Becomes a Nurse. Christy O’Keefe, RN, made the leap from hospital administrative staff to emergency room nurse with help from the RWJF Jobs to Careers program. In the sixth most-read post published on this blog in 2012, she shares the experience, talking about overcoming doubt and what her career means to her and her family.

New Careers in Nursing: A Whole New Direction. Karen Jennings, MS, RN, PMHNP-BC, was well on her way to earning a PhD in clinical psychology. But while working at McLean Hospital, she noticed the impact nurses had on patients, providing medical knowledge and advanced clinical skills as well as comfort and security. It was then that Jennings changed course, becoming a nurse with support from New Careers in Nursing, a program of RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Her account was the seventh most-read post published on the RWJF Human Capital Blog in 2012.

Nursing Needs All Hands on Deck, Including the Quiet Leadership of Introverts. When Jennifer Doering, PhD, RN, joined the RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars program, she wondered and worried about whether an introvert could be the kind of effective nurse leader that patients, the health care system and the country need. After reading and pondering, she concluded that “introverted leadership” is not a contradiction in terms. Read more in the eighth most-read post on this blog in 2012.

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Dec 11 2012
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“Call the Midwife:” Horrors and Humanity in 1950s London

Vernell DeWitty, PhD, RN, is the deputy program director for New Careers in Nursing, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

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Every now and then a television program gets it right, and so it is with “Call the Midwife.” This BBC-produced program aired on PBS this fall, and will be back with a new episode in December. Set in London's very pre-revitalized East End during the late 1950s, and based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, the series chronicles the adventures of a group of midwives working at the Nonnatus House, a nursing convent named for the early cesarean-surviving patron saint of childbirth.  

The series is blunt about the medical practices of the day and the state of birth control and female empowerment at the time. But the strange pull of this series is its humanity, not its horrors.

It is easy to think that women were always tended to during pregnancy, childbirth and delivery; however, this is not the case. We tend to forget the number of women who died in childbirth and the high rate of infant mortality due to lack of proper care not that many years ago.

But with the appearance of the nurse mid-wife, we realized significant decreases in maternal and infant mortality. Indeed, nurse midwives were the forerunners of the advanced practice nurse practitioners of today.

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Nov 1 2012
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Human Capital News Roundup: RWJF’s 40th anniversary, graduate medical education, the New Mexico Hispanic Nurses Association, and more.

Around the country, print, broadcast and online media outlets are covering the groundbreaking work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) leaders, scholars, fellows and grantees. Some recent examples:

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the Foundation’s 40th anniversary celebration last week, as well as some of its most notable accomplishments during its first four decades. Learn more about RWJF’s anniversary, and about the “Force Multipliers” it is saluting this year.  The Foundation also announced ten winners of its first-ever RWJF Young Leader awards last week.

RWJF Physician Faculty Scholar Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, gave comments to Reuters about a study that finds babies are less likely to get eczema if their mothers take probiotics during pregnancy. Gupta, who was not involved in the research, calls the findings “fascinating.” Read a post Gupta wrote for the RWJF Human Capital Blog about her professional and personal experience with children’s food allergies.

Kristy Nichols, MS, an RWJF Community Health Leader, spoke to the Associated Press about cuts to Louisiana State University’s (LSU) hospital health care system, and proposed changes to the state’s graduate medical education training program.

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