The Nursing Voice March 2021 Page 1
The Official Publication of the Illinois Nurses Foundation
Quarterly publication direct mailed to approximately 4,500 RNs and
electronically via email to 90,000+ RNs in Illinois.
VOLUME 8 | NUMBER 4 | MARCH 2021
ANA-Illinois Announces Student Nurse Political
Action Day 2021: Connect, Grow, Energize
The American Nurses Association - Illinois (ANA-
Illinois) is proud to announce that registration is open for
“Student Nurse Political Action Day 2021: Connect, Grow,
Energize,” to be held on April 13, 2021, virtually.
Each year, Student Nurse Political Action Day brings
together hundreds of nursing students from across the
state in Illinois’ capitol for a day of learning, networking
and advocacy. Most recently, the event drew 1004
student nurses from 37 Illinois colleges/schools of
The health and safety of Student Nurse Political Action
Day attendees are always of utmost importance. In light
of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ANA-Illinois reimagined
this year’s event, and is pleased to present #SNPAD2021
as a one-of-a-kind, virtual experience—at no cost to
Our 2021 event will:
● feature an exceptional keynote speaker who will
inspire and provide concrete lessons on how to
weave inclusive thinking into one’s daily life.
● spark discussion, encourage learning, and foster
● deliver relevant and timely content for the current
state of nursing in Illinois.
● energize and fuel the growth of future nurse leaders!
The virtual event is completely free to attend, and
open to student nurses of all ages. Topics will include
public health, school nursing, diversity and inclusion, and
legislative issues facing the nursing profession.
For more information or to register visit http://bit.
NURSES! Please Tell Us Your COVID-19 Story
Your nursing experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic
demonstrate the nursing profession at its best. Your stories
are of great interest to fellow nurses, as well as to the general
Have you worked with COVID-19 patients on an acute
inpatient unit? What has the experience been like for you,
your colleagues, and your patients? Do you have a memory of
a particular patient (no names to maintain HIPAA)? Can you
relay a particularly stressful event that impacted your staff
Do you work in a community health or a primary care
setting? Can you relate the impact of the epidemic on persons
from underserved populations? Were you able to teach
individuals ways to protect themselves from the Coronavirus?
How has the virus affected you and the communities that you
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your practice of
nursing? What measures have you taken to protect yourself,
your family members, and your patients? What new skills or
nursing knowledge have you acquired from the pandemic
experience? What experiences have you had with distance
learning, virtual clinical settings for nursing students, ZOOM
meetings, social media, homeschooling, or other adaptive
How has the COVID pandemic affected your personal life?
Have you been furloughed, laid off from work, or moved to
a different practice setting? What coping techniques have
you used to deal with the stress generated by the pandemic?
How have you and your family members coped with the self-
NURSES! Please Tell Us Your COVID-19 Story continued on page 3
current resident or
U.S. Postage Paid
Permit No. 14
INF President’s Message.............. 2
ANA-Illinois President's Message. . . . . . .3
40 Under 40 Accepting Nominations. . 4
Ethics in Action...................... 5
Fostering Student Success and
Addressing Disparities in an Online
Learning Environment................ 6
"No Visitor" Policy in Health Care
Facilities. ........................... 7
Impact of Crystal Healing on Maternal
Nursing Leadership in Light of the
IDFPR Online Resources..............12
Thank you for your Support...........13
Nurses' Day at the Capitol. ...........13
Practice Corner..................... 14
INF & Nurses PAC Donor Forms .......15
Page 2 March 2021 The Nursing Voice
INF PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
Cheryl Anema Ph.D., RN
In 2021 we continue to deal
with the ongoing pandemic with
COVID-19. We continue to make
progress and learn more about
the virus, possible side effects,
short- and long-term impact,
and now the new vaccines. It
will take a while before the
world catches up with the virus.
We are learning how to manage
in a world of change, new
adventures, new practices, even
new ways of learning.
These changes affect not only direct patient care and
nursing practice but also nursing education. "Nursing
education will continue to engage in active learning
strategies that integrate technology through simulation,
both live and virtual. Classrooms will embrace both
face-to-face and virtual learning, as well as engage with
applications for health promotion that facilitate learning
with students and patients, like telemedicine" (Kelbach,
2021, para. 12). Although simulation in nursing education
is a proven pedagogy, with the Next Generation of
NCLEX and testing critical thinking through case studies,
the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN)
hopes to address some of these concerns.
The INF is committed to funding scholarly initiatives
that promote people's health and the development of
the nursing profession. Now, more than ever, we need to
identify the needs of the people and the profession. We
need to develop support for furthering the public and
professional education surrounding COVID-19, variant
viruses, and vaccines. More research is needed around
such things as PE use or availability, donor plasma, and
the long-term effects on mental health of those caring
for those with COVID-19, as well as those that contracted
the virus. We are only in the infancy of understanding this
Pivoting through ever-changing policies and standards
of care is the new norm. This has added a new level of
stress to our healthcare providers, especially those nurses
working at the bedside. How do we prepare our nursing
students to handle these situations we have never had
At Clinton Manor we understand that our team
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team member contributes a unique set of skills,
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We are now hiring:
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Clinton Manor Living Center is a top rated nursing
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For more information, please apply online
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to deal with before now? Do we do enough for the selfcare
of our caregivers – nurses? I challenge some of our
nurse researchers to look at some of these unknowns and
begin the process of understanding through research. Is
there a better way to prepare our new graduate nurses
for patient care when currently, most of their experiences
have been moved to simulation? Is simulation the
I have to be honest in that I have some fear for
the new graduates. I currently teach NCLEX review
for graduating seniors in nursing schools around the
country. I have heard on multiple occasions, "how would
I know that? I have never been to a hospital?" Due
to COVID restrictions for clinical sites, some students
are graduating today, with little to no hospital clinical
experience. This may be the answer, but are the hospital
sites ready to educate and orient these new graduates?
These are just some thoughts I have had over the past
months. As nursing professionals, it is our responsibility
to ensure our patients are receiving the best care
possible. It is through education and research that this
care is developed. The Illinois Nurses Foundation (INF)
needs your help to help the people of Illinois and the
The INF is currently collecting "YOUR" stories of
COVID-19. We want to hear how it has impacted you, your
family, loved ones, and your professional practice. We
intend to pull the stories together and create a book to
be released later this year. All proceeds from the sales will
be donated to the INF. Submit your story today to susan@
It is not too late to order your Illinois "Nursing" License
Plate through the Secretary of State. When you chose
your license plate, look for the specialty nursing plate. For
every nursing specialty plate ordered, the State of Illinois
will send $20 to the INF. The INF Board of Directors has
earmarked this money to build our Grant and Scholarship
Remember, your donations to the INF are needed on
an ongoing basis to meet our goals and support our vision
and mission of transforming healthcare through the
power of nursing in Illinois. Donating even $10 a month
can go a long way. If you feel you can afford $10/month to
support nursing advancement, please go to https://www.
illinoisnurses.foundation/ today and sign up with your
credit card or bank to be a monthly donor. Thank you in
advance for your support!
Kelbach, J. (2021, January 10). 25 nursing school leaders tell
nursing students what to expect in 2021. RegisteredNursing.
NursingALD.com can point you
right to that perfect NURSING JOB!
Free to Nurses
Easy to Use
E-mailed Job Leads
INF Board of Directors
Cheryl Anema PhD, RN ..........................President
Brandon Hauer MSN, RN ....................Vice President
Cathy Neuman MSN, RN .........................Secretary
Karen Egenes EdD, RN ...........................Treasurer
Maureen Shekleton PhD, RN, DPNAP, FAAN
Alma Labunski PhD, MS, RN
Linda Olson PhD, RN, NEA-BC
Amanda Buechel, BSN, RN, CCRN
Lauren Wojtkowski BSN, RN, CEN
ANA-Illinois Board Rep
Stephanie Yohannan, DNP, MBA, RN, NE-BC
Colleen Morley DNP, RN, CCM, CMAC, CMCN, ACM-RN
Susana Gonzalez MHA, MSN, RN, CNML
ANA-Illinois Board of Directors
Elizabeth Aquino, PhD, RN .......................President
Monique Reed, PhD, MS, RN ..................Vice President
Jeannine Haberman DNP MBA, RN, CNE ...........Treasurer
Colleen Morley, MSN, RN, CMCN, ACM ............Secretary
Holly Farley, EdD, MS, RN
Susana Gonzalez, MHA, MSN, RN, CNML
Nicole Lewis, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC
Stephanie Yohannan, DNP, MBA, RN, NE-BC
Zeh Wellington, DNP (c), MSN, RN, NE-BC
Alma Labunski, PhD, MS, RN
Lisa Anderson-Shaw, DrPH, MA, MSN
Cheryl Anema PhD, RN
Deborah S. Adelman, PhD, RN, NE-BC
Linda Anders, MBA, MSN, RN
Kathryn Booth, MSN, RN, CNL
Nancy Brent, RN, MS, JD
Irene McCarron, MSN, RN, NPD-BC
Linda Olson, PhD, RN, NEA-BC
Lanette Stuckey, PhD, MSN, RN, CNE, CMSRN, CNEcl, NEA-BC
Susan Y. Swart, EdD, MS, RN, CAE
ANA-Illinois/Illinois Nurses Foundation
• Subject to editing by the INF Executive Director & Editorial
• Electronic submissions ONLY as an attachment (word
• Email: email@example.com
• Subject Line: Nursing Voice Submission: Name of the article
• Must include the name of the author and a title.
• INF reserves the right to pull or edit any article / news
submission for space and availability and/or deadlines
• If requested, notification will be given to authors once the
final draft of the Nursing Voice has been submitted.
• INF does not accept monetary payment for articles.
Article submissions, deadline information and all other
inquiries regarding the Nursing Voice please email:
Article Submission Dates (submissions by end of the business day)
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Advertising: for advertising rates and information please contact
Arthur L. Davis Publishing Agency, Inc., P.O. Box 216, Cedar Falls,
Iowa 50613 (800-626-4081), firstname.lastname@example.org. ANA-Illinois and
the Arthur L. Davis Publishing Agency, Inc. reserve the right to
reject any advertisement. Responsibility for errors in advertising
is limited to corrections in the next issue or refund of price of
Acceptance of advertising does not imply endorsement or
approval by the ANA-Illinois and Illinois Nurses Foundation
of products advertised, the advertisers, or the claims made.
Rejection of an advertisement does not imply a product offered
for advertising is without merit, or that the manufacturer lacks
integrity, or that this association disapproves of the product or
its use. ANA-Illinois and the Arthur L. Davis Publishing Agency,
Inc. shall not be held liable for any consequences resulting from
purchase or use of an advertiser’s product. Articles appearing in
this publication express the opinions of the authors; they do not
necessarily reflect views of the staff, board, or membership of
ANA-Illinois or those of the national or local associations.
The Nursing Voice March 2021 Page 3
ANA-ILLINOIS PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
Dear Illinois Nurse Colleagues,
First and foremost, I hope
you are doing well and finding
effective strategies for selfcare.
As we move into 2021
with optimism and hope that
a new administration and
COVID-19 vaccines will move
us in a positive direction, let
us also celebrate the annual
Gallup Poll recognition naming
nursing as the most trusted
profession 19 years in a row! Liz Aquino, PhD, RN
Congratulations on a continued
and well-deserved honor!
Due to the pandemic, how ANA-Illinois has
traditionally connected with members across the state
has had to change, and we will continue to host our
upcoming events virtually. Our goal is to create virtual
events that are engaging while informative. Information
and registration for all forthcoming events and webinars
can be found at ana-illinois.org.
I will highlight a few exciting upcoming virtual events
that also offer nursing continuing education contact
hours. Nurse educators…please promote Student Nurse
Political Action Day with your students on April 13th. It’s
an event that helps nursing students understand critical
topics and legislative issues impacting healthcare and the
nursing profession. The next day, April 14th, is Nurses
Day at the Capitol. Previously known as Nurse Lobby
Day, this event has been newly branded as a collaborative
event with the Illinois Society for Advanced Practice
Nursing. Although we won't be traveling to Springfield
together, you will learn about opportunities to continue
to advocate for nursing and healthcare issues. To stay
informed on current advocacy efforts, sign-up as an
Advocate on the ANA-Illinois Advocacy Portal to receive
Sharing your personal first-hand experiences and
perspectives is valuable to helping direct and advance
ANA-Illinois's work; we want to hear your voice. Reach
out if you have ideas, questions, concerns, or need
additional support. We appreciate all that you do for your
patients, your community, and the nursing profession.
Sending thoughts of good health and peace; and
looking forward to the day when we can safely gather
Elizabeth Aquino, PhD, RN
NURSES! Please Tell Us Your COVID-19 Story continued
from page 1
quarantine experience? Have you experienced losses
related to the pandemic, such as the death or illness of
a significant other or colleague? Have you been forced
to cancel a significant event, like a wedding, graduation,
or even a funeral? Have you contracted COVID-19; what
was the experience like for you? What are your fears and
hopes for the future?
The Illinois Nurses Foundation (INF) would like to
gather your stories for publication. By submitting your
stories to us, you grant the INF permission to publish
them. Please indicate your consent for us to publish your
name or indicate that you would prefer that your story
be published anonymously. Institution names will not be
Please submit your story (or stories as an attachment
to an email) at: email@example.com Please include
your name, daytime telephone number, email address,
mailing address. If you have photos to accompany your
story, please send them by email in the JPEG format.
We are living what has become a significant event
in the history of nursing. Your personal stories will
document the contributions of nurses during this time.
We look forward to hearing from you!
We want YOUR COVID STORY!
Page 4 March 2021 The Nursing Voice
The Association for Nursing Professional Development (ANPD) will hold its annual
convention on August 3-6, 2021, which will be presented in-person and online.
Access cutting-edge nursing professional development (NPD) education with peers
by attending Aspire to Inclusivity, the 2021 ANPD Annual Convention and earn up to
65.5 contact hours! This year, choose to attend in-person in Chicago, Illinois or online.
For registration and more information, please contact the ANPD National Office at
312.321.5135 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Hotel and Travel, and Health and Safety Information
can be found at anpd.org
See you there!!!
Visit nursingALD.com today!
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location and credentials.
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LOOKING FOR NOMINEES FROM ALL AREAS OF NURSING -
Practice, Education and Administration
Please take a moment today to nominate a nurse deserving of recognition for the
work they do.
The Illinois Nurses Foundation is accepting nominations for the 7th Annual 40 Under
40 Emerging Nurse Leader Awards. The awards will recognize 40 Illinois RNs younger
than 40 who positively represent their profession by participating in the community as
well as professional organizations. Nominations are due April 15, 2021.
Winners will be chosen by their peers based on the following criterion: positively
represent the nursing profession by actively participating in the community and/or a
The award is designed to recognize nurses in Illinois who demonstrate exemplary
professional practice along with community engagement and/or advocacy on behalf of
the profession and those we serve.
Awards will be presented on September 23, 2021.
Nominate someone today - https://portal4nurses.com/awards/inf/forty-under-forty
The Nursing Voice March 2021 Page 5
ETHICS IN ACTION
DrPH, MA, MSN, APN-BC, HEC-C
Linda L. Olson, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN
This is the second article in a new series, Ethics in
Action, that is related to ethical issues in healthcare and
in our workplace environment. Over the next several
issues of The Nursing Voice, we will be reviewing the
American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethics
for Nurses with Interpretive Statements (ANA, 2015).
The Code consists of nine provisions, with associated
interpretive statements. We invite readers to submit
questions about bioethics or ethical issues you face in
your nursing practice for consideration for inclusion in
this new series.
Provision 6 of the ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses
with Interpretive Statements (ANA, 2015) supports
a safe working environment, which includes voicing
concerns about the safety and integrity of the workplace
environment. Provision 6 states that “The nurse, through
individual and collective effort, establishes, maintains,
and improves the ethical environment of the work setting
and conditions of employment that are conducive to safe,
quality health care” (ANA, p. 23). Nurses are responsible
for respectfully voicing concerns to colleagues and
managers when there appears to be an unsafe work
environment that may compromise personal safety, the
safety of other health care professionals, and of patients.
Example: The Intensive Care unit (ICU) beds are full in
a large metropolitan hospital. Most patients have been
diagnosed with COVID-19 with over half on ventilators.
Medical and nursing staff received training on how to use
their personal protective equipment (PPE). A registered
nurse who recently started working in the ICU asked
the unit nurse manager to not be assigned to COVID-19
patients due to a personal underlying respiratory
problem, which is exacerbated when PPE is on for long
periods of time. The nurse manager tells the nurse that
this request will be honored but only if there is enough
nursing staff to care for COVID-19 patients.
Nurses should not have to fear any retaliation for
voicing concerns about safety issues to their managers
and organizations. The ANA supports nurses for raising
concerns about their professional, ethical, and legal
responsibilities and protection when caring for patients
with COVID-19, and for their own personal safety and
the safety of patients (ANA, 2020a). In addition, ANA
“condemns employers that retaliate against nurses for
advocating on behalf of themselves and their patients”
Provision 6 addresses the nurse’s role in fostering,
creating, and maintaining an ethical workplace
environment. The unit management and administration
are especially responsible for this component of an
ethical work environment, of which one is promoting
both patient and staff safety. During this past year, in
dealing with the fears and challenges associated with
caring for COVID-19 patients, as well as for protecting
themselves and their families, nurses have advocated for
acquiring the required resources. These resources include
sufficient staff and supplies needed to provide protection
for nurses and patients. In this example, Provision 5 of
the Code also is important: “the nurse owes the same
duties to self as to others, including the responsibility to
promote health and safety…” (ANA, 2015, p. 19). In this
scenario, the nurse has a duty to inform the manager of
personal risks involved in patient care. The Code supports
the role of nurses in expressing their concerns for
participating in situations in which they feel they are put
at risk. While assuring adequate staffing, which involves
increasing the numbers of staff required to care for
COVID-19 patients, it is also important that those patients
who are not COVID-19 positive receive safe care as well.
Taking care of patients with communicable diseases
has its risks, even when PPE is used. As in the example
above, there are times when personal risk may be too
great. Kadish and Loike (2020) state that “We believe that
the question of whether health care workers must risk
their lives to treat COVID-19 patients does not have one
uniform answer. We do believe that health care workers
who specialize in infectious disease or respiratory
medicine have a greater responsibility to treat COVID-19
patients than health care workers in other subspecialties
of medicine. Moreover, most, but not all, health care
workers have a professional obligation to provide some
medical service during this pandemic. Society, however,
should be understanding of those health care workers
who may defer their medical responsibilities because
of their own personal health risks or extenuating family
responsibilities” (Kadish & Loike, 2020).
American Nurses Association [ANA]. (2015). Code of ethics
for nurses with interpretive statements. Silver Spring, MD:
ANA. (2020a). ANA disturbed by reports of retaliation against
nurses for raising concerns about COVID-19 safety. https://
ANA. (2020b). Nurses, ethics, and the response to the COVID-19
Kadish, A., & Loike, J. (2020). A pandemic ethical conundrum –
Must health care workers risk their lives to treat COVID-19
patients? STAT. https://www.statnews.com/2020/07/24/apandemic-ethical-conundrum-must-health-care-workersrisk-their-lives-to-treat-covid-19-patients/
Page 6 March 2021 The Nursing Voice
Fostering Student Success and Addressing Disparities in an
Online Learning Environment
While the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the routines
of many people’s lives, nursing students and faculty are no
different. While many of America’s workers and students
were able to switch to learning and working completely
remotely, for those whose daily schedules require in-person
tasks – like nursing students – adjusting to the new normal
has been less seamless. Despite this, both students and
faculty in nursing higher education have been able to adapt
to a new learning environment while delivering high quality
instruction and learning.
Challenges of Online Learning in Higher Education
With the switch from in-person learning to online
learning, nursing students and professors have experienced
a variety of issues. Because of the extra layer of separation
that occurs with online learning, ensuring that students are
keeping up and understanding can, at times, pose a hardship
Luckily, many professors have found ways to adapt and
keep students on track.
“Our faculty are trying to reach out to students earlier
than normal about attendance issues, poor course grades,
or anything that would be a sign of a disengaged student,”
said Tiffany Greer, Associate Dean of the School of Nursing
at Olivet Nazarene University. “The psychological stressors
have increased with a year full of health, political, and social
unrest. For students also trying to earn a nursing degree,
many reach a tipping point more quickly than they normally
would. So it is important that professors keep a close eye on
Beyond the disconnect that can happen with online
learning, the technology itself can also cause challenges.
Across the board, IACN member institutions indicated that
they moved to address this issue quickly.
“We have provided hot spots and computers to students
so that no one is left unable to access class,” said Terri
Weaver, dean at the University of Illinois at Chicago College
of Nursing. “For our undergraduate students, we have also
initiated a student success program that will support them
socially, psychologically, as well as strengthen skills they will
need to be successful in the most challenging courses. It also
includes a high level of mentorship. Many students have
taken advantage of this program and it appears that it will be
Benefits of Online Learning in Higher Education
Despite the issues that remote learning has caused for
nursing students and educators, there have also been a
number of benefits.
“Our biggest priority during the transition was to
maintain the same level of quality education. The switch
to online learning has helped us realize that some aspects
of our curriculum can be taught online and that we can still
maintain the level of quality and engagement that we expect
in our program. It has also helped us realize that nursing is
a discipline that requires students to engage directly with
faculty and patients to learn at the highest level,” said Judy
Neubrander, Dean at Illinois State University.
“Online learning has created flexibility for both students and
faculty. Online, students have the ability to go back and review
specific sections of content–something they have expressed
has been very valuable to them,” explains Cindy Hudson, Dean
at North Park University. “Even after the pandemic has passed, I
think there are strategies we have implemented for COVID that
should remain. For example, virtual office hours to meet with
students for a ‘face-to-face’ experience. We will continue to
encourage students to use online tools like Teams or Zoom for
group learning, studying, projects, and to stay connected. These
are great resources post-COVID for single parents, or students
with other responsibilities.”
Online learning also gives students and faculty options
for either synchronous or asynchronous participation.
Some content is best presented asynchronously, while
other content requires synchronous presentation with
opportunities for immediate feedback. According to Diane
Salvador, Executive Director of Nursing and Health Sciences
at Elmhurst University, having options to use both can meet
student learning needs and enhance learning.
Sandie Soldwisch, President of the Saint Anthony College
of Nursing, added that “Remote learning has sparked critical
and creative thinking in the faculty - and good things are
emerging because of that thinking!”
To ensure quality in the delivery of curricula online, IACN
member institutions utilize the Guidelines for Evaluation
of Distance Education (On-Line Learning) developed by the
Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC), of
which the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is a member.
Dr. Joan Libner, Chair of the Department of Nursing and
Health at Benedictine University, notes the HLC, which
accredits IACN colleges and universities, recently announced
a collaboration with the Online Learning Consortium (OLC)
to provide access to resources for HLC member schools.
Per the HLC website, these resources include webinars
supporting “online pedagogy, equitable and inclusive course
design, instructional technology for student engagement,
and leadership in online education.”
Remote Learning: A New Environment for Nursing
At the Illinois Association of Colleges of Nursing, we
understand that the switch to online learning has been
difficult, but that it has also allowed for a level of both
flexibility and creativity by both students and faculty.
Membership stresses that a variety of approaches is needed
to make sure that students from different backgrounds
feel included and have the opportunity to be successful.
If you are a student or educator struggling with the new
online environment, please reach out to us for some
helpful tips. You can find our contact information at https://
Lastly, we leave you with this advice about remote
learning from Dr. Tina Decker, Chair of the Department of
Nursing at Trinity Christian College, that will allow you to set
yourself up for success:
“First, create an environment where you can commit to
learning, and set up a schedule and space that allows you to
set yourself up for success. Online learning often requires
more self-accountability and so it has the opportunity to
create professional growth.”
The Nursing Voice March 2021 Page 7
"No Visitor" Policy in Health Care Facilities:
Pandemic Isolation and Creative Solutions
Since March of 2020, most hospitals, long-term care,
and assisted living facilities have instituted "No Visitor"
policies to keep patients, residents, and staff safe from
the spread of COVID-19. The restriction of visitors,
especially in nursing homes, "cut off over 1.5 million older
residents from family and friends, with limited exceptions
for end-of-life visits" (Brown, 2020, para. 1). In addition
to the "no visitor" policy, residents of residential and
long-term care facilities were no longer allowed to leave
the facility with family or friends (Anderson-Shaw & Zar,
2020). Residents of nursing homes and long-term care
facilities must stay in their rooms for meals. The group
activities, such as bingo, crafts, and other group activities,
were on hold, leaving residents isolated.
Isolation during illness is not uncommon, but the
effects of this pandemic have further isolated people.
"Visitor restrictions are reasonable public health
measures, but they are inherently inequitable" (Vais,
2020, p. 1), especially for those who have dementia,
chronic illness, or other disabilities that isolate them
further. When people are isolated in care facilities
without family or friends able to visit, they may become
frustrated and confused that people they are used to
seeing are no longer there. Such isolation can lead to
changes in behavior and affect.
In the absence of visiting in person, many hospitals and
care facilities have become very creative in finding ways
for loved ones to see and hear their family and friends.
Facilities use technologies such as Zoom meetings,
smartphone apps such as FaceTime, or various other
electronic communication aids. Although such technology
can bridge the gap of in-person communication, it does
not provide a genuinely personal interaction that face-toface
Because isolation from friends and loved ones can
cause frustration, sadness, and confusion in the elderly
and others in care facilities, staff in these facilities
have used incredible ingenuity and technology to help
patients, family members, staff, and communities bridge
the isolation gap during this pandemic.
In Brookfield, Illinois, Cantata Adult Life Services
provides independent living, assisted living, and skilled
nursing services, all on their 10-acre campus. Cantata
Adult Life Services offers a variety of services and
resources to help older adults age successfully.
While there was no in-person visitation in the facilities,
including the independent living units, the campus staff
has done an outstanding job keeping residents in their
facilities engaged with each other and assisting residents
to connect with others through electronic devices and
internal video screens. Kevin Heraty, Chief Development
Officer, states, "It is often hard to find the positives in the
current pandemic situation. There are often surprises that
show the humanity of our care provider heroes in seeing
how they care for the residents." Kevin's parents live in
one of the assisted living units, and they were able to stay
engaged with their large extended family using Zoom to
see and chat with family. He remembers how difficult
it has been for family members not to see each other in
person. Also, ipads were available to residents who could
play games and use the internet.
Mary Allen, RN, Director of Case Management,
described the staff in various departments at Cantata
began offering several programs throughout the day
on the facility's internal TV station. Allen shared, "We
offered a lot of live TV programming for our residents,
such as cooking classes, fitness classes for all levels,
local and national news, current events, bingo, and
other game sessions, as well as movies and community
church services." The goal is to keep the residents socially
engaged in their community, both internal and external
In addition to these programs, there was "Hall Bingo,"
where residents could open their room doors. A staff
member would call out the letters and numbers from
the hall and other games, including trivia contests,
where residents could participate with others while at an
acceptable social distance. During the summer of 2020,
outdoor visits with family could be arranged using masks
and social distancing, which allowed family and friends to
visit in person safely.
Lisa Capone, Facility Transition Manager, also noted
that the Cantata Community is a vibrant community
within the larger Brookfield community and information
to and from the communities is very important. Capone
stated "Our marketing department did a great job
communicating with staff, residents, family members,
and the Brookfield community regarding the effects of
the pandemic on our residents and family members.
The website is updated often to keep the information
up to date and allow transparency to residents and our
The pandemic "no visitor" policies have also hit the
disability community in residential facilities very hard.
Karen Kelly has a son (Eric) who is 47 years old who
is nonverbal, and has severe autism; he has lived in a
residential care facility in Southern Illinois for 30 years.
He was diagnosed with autism when he was about four
years old. Kelly and Eric's dad were always present in
his life and would bring him home to stay a few days
each month. They would also frequently take Eric out
of the facility for lunch or dinner locally at his favorite
restaurant. Kelly explained that "Before the pandemic 'no
visitor' policy, we would see him about every 10 days and
bring him home every three to four weeks for a three to
five-night stay. Not having personal contact with him for
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management, leadership, CCTM, and telehealth
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many months is very difficult for him and us. We miss our
time with him." Eric lives an hour away from his parents.
The facility located in Centralia, Illinois, has been
very active in keeping residents in touch with family
and friends. Kelly shared, "The staff takes photos of
our loved ones, which are then posted to the Facebook
page by the parents' association president. Staff also
engage the residents with frequent activities such as
crafts, group pizza parties, and arrange video chats /
Zoom calls with family." Eric's parents have a Facebook
blog where they post, keeping family, friends, and blog
followers up to date with how he is doing. His parents
use FaceTime to visit with him often. Kelly and her family
can also order his favorite food from a local restaurant
and have it delivered to him, which helps keep some of
their traditions going, just altered a bit due to visitation
restrictions. Kelly says that Eric has been able to adapt to
not seeing her for the past several months and that "he
knows something is different, but also that it is not his
fault and it is not our fault."
Anderson-Shaw, L.K. & Zar, F.A. (2020). COVID-19, Moral
conflict, distress, and dying alone. Bioethical Inquiry, 17,
Brown, B. (2020). US nursing home visitor ban isolates seniors.
Vais, S. (November 11, 2020). The inequity of isolation. New
England Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp2029725
To access electronic copies of
The Nursing Voice, please visit
Page 8 March 2021 The Nursing Voice
Impact of Crystal Healing on Maternal Grief Following
Perinatal or Newborn Loss
Holly Woodruff MSN, RN
Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing
& Health Sciences
Investigating the healing power of crystals on
maternal grief following a perinatal or newborn
loss was researched in the qualitative study. It was
designed using interpretive phenomenology, guided
by the Theory of Integral Nursing as a framework
(Smith & Parker, 2015). The literature review yielded
information on maternal grief and how it differs
from the loss of an older or adult child as compared
to the loss of an infant, either before or shortly after
birth. A strong indication is given for grief support
in these mothers. Ancient and modern teachings of
healing properties believed to be attributed to rose
quartz and Apache Tears crystals were integrated as a
support tool for maternal grief following a perinatal or
newborn loss. This study was completed by sampling
members of a support group and integrating crystals
as a method of grief support. The participants reported
their feelings towards carrying two specific crystals
and how that made them feel. All participants reported
positive feedback after carrying the crystals.
Keywords: Maternal grief, crystal healing, perinatal,
Approximately 20% of all pregnancies are
miscarried, and out of every 200 births, one stillbirth
occurs (Rice et al., 2017). Despite the prevalence of
such a loss throughout society, a minimal amount
of research regarding parental grief has resulted in
support that is inadequate in long-term care (Farrales
et al., 2020). Bereaved mothers are consistently at a
higher risk for physical manifestations of intense grief,
including anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress
disorder (Farrales et al.).
Crystals are natural forms of stable and organized
matter that form deep within the earth. The frequency
of energetic vibrations for each type of gemstone has
a long and ancient history of properties specific to the
type of crystal. Due to the stability of the crystal, they
are said to be an endless source of consistent energy
(Truter, 2006). For centuries gemstones and crystals
have been used by humans for a variety of reasons,
including not only decoration but also protection and
healing. Crystals are thought to be a natural source of
healing and balance from the earth. Ancient accounts
provide very detailed instructions on use for healing
properties (Truter). Throughout history, crystals and
gemstones have been regarded universally as sources
of wisdom and healing from their time of formation
Dossey pioneered combining ancient healing
methods and philosophies to support modern
medicine. She was instrumental in recognizing and
researching holistic nursing care and advancing how
balancing body, mind, and spirit are integral for
true healing (Gustafson, 2015). Bereaved mothers
supported by carrying crystals chosen specifically for
grief healing build upon Dossey's teachings.
The purpose of this study was to understand how
carrying the two crystals influenced the participants'
perceptions of grief following a perinatal or newborn
loss. The research question proposed was, "Do healing
crystals assist mothers in the development of healthy
patterns of grieving?"
A literature review was conducted on maternal
grief and crystal healing as separate topics. Searching
articles on perinatal and newborn loss yielded several
results. Alternative therapies have been primarily
ignored by modern healthcare or thought of only in
terms of the placebo effect (Gustafson, 2015).
Throughout society, a certain amount of shame
and guilt occurs with mothers who have experienced
miscarriage or stillbirth (Farrales et al., 2020). These
mothers may not be served well by a support group
whose members have experienced the death of an
older or an adult child. Loss before or during birth is
particularly difficult for mothers socially as family
and friends oftentimes display words and actions
that demonstrate a feeling the baby was not real.
Mothers reported feeling invisible and isolated due
to reluctance from family and friends to discuss the
dead child. Parental grief also included dreaming of
the lifetime of memories they will never share with this
child (Hvidtjorn et al., 2018).
Mothers described feeling validated in the
profoundness of their grief when a caregiver or
members of their social circle acknowledged the child
existed by calling the baby by name. Although the
babies have died, the women are still mothers (Farrales
et al., 2020). Mothers who have lost a child are at
high risk for the development of depression, anxiety,
posttraumatic stress disorder, and complicated grief.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders (DSM-V) added complicated grief as an
official diagnosis. The younger the child at the time of
death, the greater the intensity of the grief (Farrales et
Women who felt supported by family, friends,
and support groups reported their experiences
with grief and depression as being much lower than
those who do not. Feelings of isolation, blame, and
stigma frequently happens in mothers who felt a
lack of support (Shakespeare et al., 2018). Parents
experiencing a loss perceive a negative experience
immediately after the loss and will describe extreme
distress in vivid detail even years after the death.
The support level is crucial in meeting the individual
and unique needs of these mothers (Basile &
Thorsteinsson, 2015). A comparison study between
Canadian and Brazilian women who experienced a
stillbirth indicated that Canadian mothers were more
likely to attend a support group than Brazilian mothers.
This resulted in a significant reduction in the level of
grief 80% of the time (Paris et al., 2016).
Many parents who experienced the death of a
newborn have reported using religious and or spiritual
coping skills following the loss. Mothers indicate
feelings of emotional emptiness and devastation.
Activities of a spiritual nature can assist in a reduction
of manifesting symptoms of depression, anxiety,
and posttraumatic stress disorder. Relating to others
who have experienced a similar loss assists bereaved
mothers in mental health improvement (Hawthorne et
Humans have a long and rich history of appreciation
and fascination for gemstones. Ancient royals such
as Cleopatra and Queen Puabi of Sumatra both
prized lapis lazuli and felt as if somehow the deep
blue stone enhanced personal intuition and power.
According to the Mineralogical Society of America,
approximately 3,800 minerals have been identified and
are known to exist on the planet. In the metaphysical
context, gemstone, mineral, and crystal are terms
used interchangeably. No matter which term is used,
crystals are an actual and robust history of what
exactly was occurring in the world during the period of
formation (Perrakis, 2019).
Rose quartz was the first crystal chosen for this
study. Greek mythology for rose quartz states it
springs from the eternal union of Aphrodite and Adonis
(Perrakis, 2019). Pink colored crystals of the mineral
quartz are found in many worldwide locations. The
intensity of the pink color can vary from very light to
an almost opaque intensity (King, 2020).
Crystal healing meanings for rose quartz all center
with love. Reiki practitioners and other energy healers
note feelings of calmness and serenity when holding
a rose quartz crystal. Love for self and others are
thought to be enhanced and supported by rose quartz
(Magner, 2019). Rose quartz encourages letting go
of heartbreak. It is believed to heal the heart chakra,
which is the body's center of love. Rose quartz gently
supports acceptance and moving forward with life
(Crystal Curious, 2020c).
Apache Tears crystals are known as a form of
obsidian. Obsidian is a volcanic glass that is formed
when molten rock is rapidly cooled. In any landmass
with volcanic activity, deposits of all types of obsidian
can be found. In modern medicine, obsidian blades can
be used inside of surgical scalpels whose primary use is
extremely precise surgery (King, 2020).
The number one healing property known for Apache
Tears is grief support. The legend of Apache Tears
states grieving Apache Families cried and grieved so
hard the crystal can relieve some of the pain from
grief. Deep emotional trauma requires slow and steady
energy, which is provided by Apache Tears Obsidian
(Crystal Curious, 2020b).
Apache Tears allow one to connect with all others
who have grieved before us. As in perinatal or newborn
loss, a mother may express feelings of attempting
to keep her head above water during maternal grief,
and Apache Tears is a perfect crystal for this need.
Processing grief and pain allow humans to recognize
these feelings in others and perhaps allow grief and
pain to become a spiritual teacher. Apache Tears is
thought to support anyone who is suffering (Crystal
Mothers from a local monthly grief support group
participated in this qualitative study. All of the women
who attend have either had a perinatal or newborn
loss. A questionnaire was developed, including pre and
post-study questions. Participation was on a voluntary
basis. The theory of integral nursing and interpretive
phenomenology served as a guide in designing the
Interpretive phenomenology or hermeneutics
served as the basis for the study design. This
qualitative method includes understanding and
interpreting human experience rather than only
describing it. Understanding the phenomenon requires
supplementary analysis of artistic expressions, such
as the healing properties of crystals that have been
handed down through the generations from ancient
times (Polit & Beck, 2017). Participants in the study
were given the freedom to share their stories of how
carrying the crystals impacted their feelings.
Dossey's theory of integral nursing is roundly
considered a grand theory (Smith & Parker, 2015). Dr.
Dossey's theory builds on the philosophical foundation
of Florence Nightingale's legacy. One cannot have
true healing unless the body, mind, and spirit are
in balance. This theory includes that nursing is not
just a science but also an art. She was a pioneer in
not only administering medication for pain but also
teaching a patient to utilize other modalities such as
guided imagery to enhance a patient's relaxation and
reduce anxiety (Smith & Parker). Dossey's theory of
integral nursing forms a natural framework for a study
incorporating crystal healing into support for bereaved
Mothers who have experienced a perinatal or
newborn loss are a vulnerable population and must be
treated with respect and sensitivity. Before beginning
the study, approval was obtained and approved from
the Independent Review Board at Blessing Hospital,
where the support group meets. Participation in this
study was on a voluntary basis. Women who attend a
support group were recruited by the researcher when
they attended a regular meeting. Nine women were in
attendance, and each was given a printed copy of the
consent form. Signing the form was not required since
the acceptance of the two crystals and completing the
questionnaire was interpreted as consent.
The researcher distributed a questionnaire asking
them about their individual stories of loss, their
feelings regarding the loss, coping skills, knowledge of
crystal healing, and their feelings on carrying the two
crystals to assist with healing. One attendee did not
want to fill out the questionnaire; however, she did
request she be given the two crystals, and her request
One small rose quartz was distributed to each
participant, followed by one Apache Tears crystal.
Once each woman was holding the two crystals,
the researcher presented education on the healing
properties of each one. The women were instructed
The Nursing Voice March 2021 Page 9
to carry the crystals for the entire next month. After
the month, the women would return to the group
and answer questions regarding their feelings about
carrying the crystals. The questions included not only
carrying the crystals but how they felt if they forgot to
carry them. There were also asked if they felt better,
worse, or the same after carrying the crystals. All of
the women were allowed to keep the crystals at the
completion of the study.
Mothers participating in the study had experienced
many different types of losses. Participant #1, a
29-year-old mother of three, stated, "I felt as though
my life had ended as if time just stopped for me while
everyone else kept moving forward, while I am stuck
in a moment in time that will never move forward,"
when describing the loss of her two-month-old
daughter from shaken baby syndrome by the caregiver.
Participant #2, a 34-year-old mother of nine, reported,
"The loss made me feel guilty and heartbroken," when
she spoke of the full-term stillbirth of her daughter.
Participant #3, a 34-year-old mother of four, described
her feelings after the loss of her 18-week pregnancy as
"I fell apart. Somedays, I couldn't get out of bed. I have
a lot of guilt because I was still nursing my 18-monthold
son when I lost my baby. I thought it was my fault
for taking away all of his nutrients."
Participant #4, a 30-year-old mother of four,
developed a slow leak of amniotic fluid at 20 weeks
and eventually had to be induced with her daughter.
She describes her feelings as, "My family thought I was
silly for wanting a funeral. I feel guilty for not being
able to give her a good home inside me. I am sad, and
I still miss her." Participant #5, a 24-year-old mother of
two, lost her two-month-old daughter to Sudden Infant
Death Syndrome, and she states, "I was and still am
devastated. The loss of my daughter changed my life
drastically. I am still afraid something will happen to
my son; he's two." Participant #6, a 28-year-old mother
of three, lost her son shortly after birth from a genetic
disorder that was incompatible with life. She states, "It
wasn't like I didn't know it was coming, but I still hoped
for a miracle. We had him here in Quincy, but there
was no transport team from a bigger hospital here.
I still feel some regret about that, but my nurse said
I loved my baby, and that is what really counted. We
had testing done, but all it showed was a freak genetic
disorder that should not happen again."
Participant #7, a 26-year-old first-time mother, lost
her daughter during delivery, and she states, "For a
while I was numb. I didn't want to feel anything at all.
I just wanted to hide at home. I cut hair, and I didn't
want to go back to work and have to tell people we
didn't bring home a baby. Everyone seemed like they
were walking on eggshells when they were around
me. My sister-in-law suggested I look for a support
group, and that is how I found SHARE. She came with
me to the first meeting." Participant #8, a 35-year-old
mother of three, lost her son to placental abruption,
and she states," My feelings were all over the place. I
didn't want to get out of bed or leave the house for any
reason. The funeral was horrific. Lots of family came,
and even some of the nurses from the hospital. In the
picture we displayed, he looked absolutely perfect.
Two years later, we had another baby boy, and while
we are so blessed and lucky, I still feel a tremendous
sense of guilt."
Eight mothers elected to participate in the study.
Each participant described a positive experience
carrying the crystals. Common themes emerged from
the answers written by each mother, despite the
differences in each situation.
The overall emerging theme was how the presence
of the two crystals allowed the mothers to feel as if
they were not alone. The literature reflects feelings of
isolation and stigma oftentimes overwhelms bereaved
moms. These feelings are associated with complicated
grieving and place the women at a higher risk for
developing posttraumatic stress syndrome (Hvidtjorn
et al., 2018). Participant #2 stated, "I feel as if I am
not alone. It gives me comfort to have them because I
know I am not alone. I feel less sad when I have them. I
feel supported." Participant # 3 stated, "When I notice
them, I think about my friends from the group. They
Loss of an infant increases the association of
morbidity and mortality, with up to a third of
mothers reporting professional diagnoses with clinical
depression (Hawthorne et al.). The distress of bereaved
mothers has been found to shorten with the support
that is planned (Basile & Thorsteinsson, 2015).
Many reported thinking about the other participants
from the group. Participant #3 stated, "When I notice
them, I think about my friends from the group. They
understand me." Several stated coming to the group
was a safe place to speak about their pain and feelings
of guilt. Every single one of the mothers stated they
felt better after carrying the crystals. Participant #1
stated," The negativity that has followed me lifts away
when I carry crystals." Participant #4 stated, "If I felt
myself starting to feel out of control and wanting to
cry hysterically, I would get them out of my pocket and
squeeze them in my hand. I can feel myself calming
down and becoming more rational." The research
question proposed, do healing crystals assist mothers
in the development of healthy patterns of grieving?"
All eight mothers reported that, yes, the crystals
made a difference in their lives. All of the participants
planned to keep the rose quartz and the Apache Tears
crystals and had plans for continued use. The literature
supports a maternal need for continued support
following the initial hospitalization. Long-term support
is necessary once mothers are discharged into the
community and expected to acclimate (Farrales et al.,
The main limitation of this study would be the
demographics of the sample. All of the participants
were identified as Caucasian and located within one of
three mid-western states that border each other along
the Mississippi River. Rural or small-town locations
were the only two reported geographic locations. It
would be recommended to repeat the study at other
support groups in urban areas. Recruitment needs to
focus on searching for mothers who have a variety of
There were no fathers, significant others, or samesex
partners or spouses participating in the study.
Including paternal participants and significant samesex
others may also provide more varied results. A
loss impacts entire families, including siblings of the
deceased baby and or grandparents. Future studies
could also include these family members as well.
One of the strengths of this study would be the ease
of replicating the project. Rose quartz and Apache
Tears crystals are abundant and inexpensive. The
universal positive impact on this particular sample
group cannot be denied, and obtaining results from
other locations would enhance reliability.
This study sought to integrate crystal healing into
support for bereaved mothers who experienced
perinatal or newborn loss. The literature review
supports these women are at an increased risk for
developing mental health complications, which can
manifest into a reduction in quality of life for many
years. Crystals and their use as tools for healing and
wisdom have been around for centuries. Knowledge
has been handed down through legends and myths
since the beginning of time, yet they are ignored by
research into modern nursing interventions (Magner,
The results of this study were overwhelmingly
positive. Current healthcare providers are searching
for non-invasive methods to treat physical pain and
a variety of other symptoms. As Dossey pioneered
developing, integrating alternative methods of healing
into her practice, nurses continue to advance and
improve care for patients (Smith & Parker, 2015).
Crystal healing demonstrates another avenue for
further exploration, especially when it comes to
assisting a largely forgotten segment of society, such
as those who grieve a child either through perinatal or
Basile, M. L., & Thorsteinsson, E. B. (2015). Parents'
evaluation of support in Australian hospitals following
stillbirth. Peer J., 3, 1049. http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/
Crystal Curious. (2020a). Apache Tears meaning &
Crystal Curious. (2020b). Apache Tears spiritual properties:
Stone of recovery. https://reikigemwellness.
Crystal Curious. (2020c). Rose quartz meaning & properties.
Farrales, L. L., Cacciatore, J., Jonas-Simpson, C., Dharamsi,
S., Asher, J., & Klein, M. C. (2020). What bereaved parents
want health care providers to know when their babies are
stillborn: A community-based participatory study. BMC
Psychology, 8(18). http://dx.doi. org/10.1186/s40359-
Gustafson, C. (2015). Barbara Dossey, PhD, RN: Developing
a healing approach in nursing. Integrative Medicine,
14(5), 72-77. https://www.researchgate.net/
Hawthorne, D. M., Youngblut, J. M., Brooten, D., Lynn,
C. E., Wertheim, H., & Wertheim, N. (2016). Parent
spirituality, grief, and mental health at 1 and 3 months
after their infant's/child's death in an intensive care unit.
Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 31(1), 73-80. http://dx.doi.
Hvidtjorn, D., Prinds, C., Bliddal, M., Henriksen, T. B.,
Cacciatore, J., & O'Connor, M. (2018). Life after the
loss: Protocol for a Danish longitudinal follow-up study
unfolding life and grief after the death of a child during
pregnancy from gestational week 14, during birth or in
the first 4 weeks of life. BMJ Open, 8(12), e024278. http://
King, H. M. (2020a). Obsidian: What is obsidian, how does it
form, and what is it used for? https://geology.com/rocks/
King, H. M. (2020b). Rose quartz a pink color-variety of the
mineral quartz. https://geology. com/gemstones/rosequartz/
Lucas, C. (2019). Apache tears: Meaning, properties and
Magner, E. (2019). 5 ways to harness the energy of rose
quartz, the crystal with a love-magnet rep. https://www.
Paris, G. F., de Montigny, F., & Pelloso, S. M. (2016). Factors
associated with the grief after stillbirth: A comparative
study between Brazilian and Canadian women. Journal
of School of Nursing, 50(4), 546-553. http://dx.doi.
Perrakis, A. (2019). Crystal lore legends & myths. Beverley,
MA: Fair Winds Press.
Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2017). Nursing research generating
and assessing evidence for nursing practice (10th ed.).
Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health.
Rice, R., Nuzum, D., O'Connell, O., & O'Donoghue, K. (2017).
Parents and clinicians: Partners in perinatal bereavement
research - experiences from the international stillbirth
alliance conference 2017. Research Involvement and
Engagement, 5(4). http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40900-018-
Shakespeare, C., Merriel, A., Bakhbakhi, D., Barnard, K.,
Lynch, M., Storey, C., Siassakos, D. (2018). Parents'
and healthcare professionals' experiences of care
after stillbirth in low- and middle-income countries: A
systematic review and meta-summary. International
Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 126(1), 12-21.
Smith, M. C., & Parker, M. E. (2015). Nursing theories and
nursing practice (4th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis
Truter, I. (2006). Crystal healing and gem therapy - "using
energy vibrations to heal and harmonise. Pharmaceutical
Journal, 73(8), 54-57. https://journals.co.za/content/mp_
MSN Project Questions 2020
#1. Tell me about your loss?
#2. How did the loss make you feel?
#3. How have you coped with the loss?
#4. Have you ever heard about using crystals for
#5. How do you feel about carrying crystal to assist
#1. Do you feel the crystals have made a difference
in your life?
#2. How do you feel when you are carrying the
#3. If you forgot to carry the crystals, how did you
#4. Do you feel better, worse, or the same after
carrying the crystals?
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Page 10 March 2021 The Nursing Voice
Nursing Leadership in Light
of the Unknown
Nurses and the COVID-19
Linda Anders, MBA, MSN, RN, CSRN
Nursing leadership in the acute care hospital setting is faced daily with various
challenges. However, in 2020, leadership was involuntary propelled into various
difficulties due to staffing concerns and the rapid increase of COVID-19 positive
patients. Leadership was forced to concentrate on operations working under their
Emergency Operating Procedures. Due to the operational demands placed on
leadership, many of their daily tasks were placed on hold, including senior team
rounding, daily huddles, and being visible to the bedside staff.
The lack of presence of the leaders in the hospital setting coupled with
furloughs, layoffs, and the pandemic's deadly sickness left the staff to work in
the space of uncertainty. Many people will accept situations or decisions made
by management if they live in a space and place of certainty, even if they do not
like the final decision. Uncertainty leaves people scared. When people are afraid
and feel like they do not have all the information, they fill in the gaps with stories.
These fabricated stories are a way that humans justify and deal with uncertainty.
This, coupled with the stress of virtual learning at home, fear of bringing the virus
home to their family, and stress of picking up extra hours, really took a toll on our
nation's nursing staff.
As we have stepped into 2021, we know that this pandemic is far from over.
However, we see the heaviness lift a little, as evidenced by approved vaccines,
decreased COVID-19 positive patients in the hospital setting, and stimulus money
from the government. Looking forward to this year in healthcare, it still seems
uncertain what it will look like. This is where leadership needs to take a small step
back from operations to place some focus back on the people. Operations are still
essential and always will be, but the staff needs leadership to be visible, to be
fully present when interacting with the bedside team members, to celebrate all
that the team has been through. One of the focuses of nursing leadership in 2021
should be about restoring a sense of certainty. The certainty that the staff matter,
certainty that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and certainty that the work
they performed to save countless lives has not gone unnoticed.
Whatever restoring certainty looks like in your immediate surroundings,
maybe, but one thing for sure is that the staff is tired and needs affirmation tenfold
more now than any time before. Every nursing leader should pledge to focus
on restoring certainty in 2021 in light of the unknown.
Lanette Stuckey Ph.D., MSN, RN, CNE, CMSRN, CNEcl, NEA-BC
Dean of Nursing/Associate Professor, Lakeview College of Nursing
The United States is preparing for the largest vaccine initiative in decades, with
millions of people being vaccinated in short time frames to gain control of the
virus and ultimately save lives. Nurses are considered the most trusted profession
by the general public and should educate and encourage the public about the
importance and safety of the COVID-19 vaccine. Education and encouragement
will help ensure high participation, which will help decrease COVID-19 in the
United States. Many people will have questions on the COVID-19 vaccine and will
be looking at nurses for guidance. Some key points to share with the public about
the vaccine include how the vaccines work, safety, and common misconceptions.
Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines have been the first COVID-19 vaccines
authorized. It is essential to know that even though the mRNA technology is new,
it is not unknown. mRNA has been studied for over a decade. mRNA vaccines take
the process that cells use to make proteins that trigger an immune response and
build immunity to SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19. Identical
to all vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested for safety
before they were authorized to be administered.
Furthermore, the COVID-19 vaccines do not contain a live virus and do not risk
causing disease in a vaccinated individual. A common misconception is that the
vaccine will affect or interact with a person's DNA. This is not true as mRNA never
enters the cell's nucleus, where DNA is kept. The vaccine gives instructions to our
cells to make a spike protein. As soon as the instructions are inside the immune
cells, they use them to make a protein piece. After the protein piece is created,
the cell breaks down the instructions to eliminate the protein. After this, the
cell will display the protein piece on its surface. A person's immune system then
recognizes that the protein does not belong, and it will begin to build an immune
response and make antibodies. At the end of the process, the body has learned
how to protect against future COVID-19 infections.
The COVID-19 vaccines are a two-dose series, and both doses are necessary for
protection. The first dose primes the immune system by helping it recognize the
virus, while the second dose strengthens the immune response. Protection is not
immediate; it takes one to two weeks following the second dose to be considered
fully vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine should be recommended to people
regardless of prior symptomatic or asymptomatic COVID-19 infection. However, if
a person has a current COVID-19 infection, the vaccination should be postponed
until they have recovered. A significant benefit of the COVID-19 vaccines is that
people vaccinated will gain protection without having to risk severe consequences
of getting sick with COVID-19. It is still uncertain if vaccinated individuals can still
carry COVID-19 and transmit it to others; therefore, social distancing and wearing
masks is still recommended.
Stopping the pandemic will require that we use all tools we have available,
including the vaccine. Nurses should lead the public by example, by giving a
strong recommendation to receive the vaccine, which will be critical for vaccine
acceptance. Nurses should share the importance of these vaccines to protect
their health and those around them.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]. (2021). COVID-19 vaccination. https://
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The Nursing Voice March 2021 Page 11
Leadership Visited and
Joyce J. Fitzpatrick, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN, FNAP, FAANP (hon)
Director, Marian K. Shaughnessy Nurse Leadership Academy
Elizabeth Brooks Ford Profession of Nursing
Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing
Distinguished University Professor
Case Western Reserve University
“So what is leadership?” This is the simple (yet complex) question that I am often
Here are the answers I provide:
Leadership is part of your being, the moral compass that permeates all that you do,
say and believe.
Leadership is an attribute that is reflected in your everyday interactions with
everyone in your orbit, your family and friends, your co-workers, and those who you
barely know, but with whom you have contact.
Leadership is being authentic in the way you behave with others, the communication
that you share and the feelings and thoughts that you have.
Leadership is also a set of skills, learned behaviors that encourage others toward a
shared vision, common goals, and a greater purpose.
Leadership is finding meaning and purpose in your work.
Leadership is modeling the way in everything that you do and say.
Leadership is self-awareness, listening to yourself, reflecting on your own beliefs,
your knowledge and skills.
Leadership is doing what you can to actualize your unused potential.
Leadership is managing conflict to create true win-win situations.
Leadership is learning from others, the children in the playground who are
spontaneous in their support of each other, and the board members in the meeting
who are supportive in their own way.
Leadership is humility, knowing that none of us is infallible
Leadership is a belief in the power of our collective humanity, working together for
the good of all.
Leadership is sharing your deepest convictions about the way that nursing and
health can and should be, reaching for the stars that promote health as a right and not
Leadership is caring for those most vulnerable, the neglected, the ill, the downtrodden,
the marginalized…just as nurses do every day in every organization.
Leadership is listening to those whose views are radically different from yours and
trying to find a common purpose and a common ground for the good of all.
Leadership is professionalism, understanding the social contract that we as nurses
have with the public, upholding our ethical obligations to all in our care, and living our
professional nursing standards.
Leadership is assuming responsibility for our own actions, being accountable for our
actions and understanding the consequences.
Leadership is pushing the boundaries when the boundaries need to change.
Leadership is investing in others’ greatness.
Leadership is identifying needed change and creating the vision and processes to
Leadership is providing guidance, to individuals, groups, and organizations.
Leadership is active and decisive decision-making to achieve shared goals.
Leadership is taking a risk, to implement a vision and achieve goals.
Leadership is understanding yourself, being aware of your potential and the power of
Leadership is building relationships with your those who can help you and those
you can help, building relationships for the purpose of helping others to actualize their
Leadership is mentoring others, and allowing yourself to be mentored.
Leadership is promoting collaboration and building community.
Leadership is knowing when to step back, when there is an affront to your integrity.
Leadership is being transformational.
Leadership is being an advocate, for patients, for colleagues, and for the public
Leadership is being a trusted professional.
Leadership is motivating others to act.
Leadership is embracing change and effecting change as needed.
Leadership is acclaiming others’ successes and assisting them to achieve their
Leadership is YOU!
April 22, 2021 • 2-6PM
MULTIPLE CAREER-FOCUSEd SESSIONS
As a professional nurse, you know
the challenges of the continually
evolving healthcare field.
Due to increased emphasis on
preventive care, growing rates of chronic conditions,
and demand for services from the baby-boom population,
employment of nurses is projected to grow 7% by 2029
according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. At our spring
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learn how our graduate nursing programs can help keep you
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How many of these leadership attributes describe you?
Which of these leadership attributes do you want to develop or strengthen?
What is your plan to make it happen?
Apply online at www.cedarparkregional.com
Page 12 March 2021 The Nursing Voice
One stop – Illinois Department of Financial and Professional
Regulation (IDFPR) home page for your online resources
The IDFPR home page (https://idfpr.com/) has a direct
link to the following:
The State of Illinois Coronavirus Response Site: The
COVID-19 Vaccine Plan, up-to-date information on what
Illinois is doing protecting the health, safety, and wellbeing
of Illinoisans. It can be found at https://coronavirus.
IDFPR’s webpage with resources for Illinois residents
and licensees impacted by COVID-19. It may be found at
https://www.idfpr.com/COVID-19.asp This webpage lists
the guidance and variances issued by IDFPR during the
COVID-19 pandemic. It includes COVID-19 relief options
available concerning evictions, mortgages and student
loans. The Out of State Temporary Practice Permits will
expire May 31, 2021.
IDFPR has streamlined licensing for Military members
and their spouses who are seeking professional licensure
in Illinois. Public Act 100-286 (2019) expedites the license
review process for Military Service Members who are
an active duty member or whose active duty service
concluded within the preceding two (2) years before
application. This review process also is applicable to
spouses of service members. IDFPR has hired a military
liaison to work directly with Military Service Members
to provide them with tailored guidance when applying
for professional licensure in Illinois. Use this link for
additional information www.idfpr.com/military.asp
The Illinois Nurse Practice Act Rules were
finalized on January 4, 2021. A copy is available at
this link: https://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/
The Illinois Nursing Workforce Center (http://nursing.
Education: there is a list of all Illinois nursing
education programs, beginning with the pre-licensure
nursing education programs approved by the Board
of Nursing. On this same page are program pass rates
for the past five years as well as five years of admission
and graduation data for the 132 pre-licensure nursing
Post-licensure Illinois nursing education programs are
separated between baccalaureate degree completion
and graduate education opportunities. The graduate
education page includes a grid of which practice specialty
each graduate program includes. http://nursing.illinois.
Reports highlighting data collected during online
license renewal are available, and date back to 2007 may
be found at http://nursing.illinois.gov/ResearchData.
asp Thank you to everyone that completed the RN
post-license renewal voluntary survey, a report is to be
completed by the end of the year.
Illinois Nursing Licenses Data Overview (2020) was
created in March 2020. This short report includes RN
specialty area as well as geographic distribution of nurses
throughout Illinois, including by county. http://nursing.
As always, the IDFPR home page (https://idfpr.com/)
offers several features for licensees, including:
• To print your license or download an electronic
copy to your phone: use the icon under the blue
middle section of the IDFPR homepage. www.idfpr.
• Address update: Please note that all IDFPR
correspondence are now delivered electronically,
including renewal reminders (in lieu of the paper
postcard sent by U. S. Mail). Licensees are strongly
encouraged to visit IDFPR’s online address change
LicenseReprint/) to provide a current email address
and ensure contact information is up-to-date and
• Name change: Change of name CANNOT be
completed via this online process. If your name
has changed, you must submit a written notice to
the Department and include documentation of
the name change (marriage license, court order, or
divorce decree) For a copy of the written notice,
please use this link https://www.idfpr.com/Forms/
If you have questions, assistance is available Monday
through Friday by contacting the IDFPR call center at
1-800-560-6420, or by email at FPR.PRFGROUP09@
To apply, visit www.KCSD96.org and
click the EMPLOYMENT tab.
The Nursing Voice March 2021 Page 13
We would like to recognize and thank the following donors who were instrumental
in helping us achieve our goals in 2020. Because of their general support we gave away
over $12,000 in scholarships and awarded $10,000 in grants through our new grant
Lisa Anderson Shaw
Nancy J. Brent
Kathy Kane Villina
Phyllis B Kantor
P. Joan Larsen
Paulette Buczko Piotrowski
Diane Vander Ploeg
Arthur L Davis Publishing
Walter W. Schultz Agency,
Smits Funeral Homes, LTD
Stepping Stone Financial
In Honor Donations
Regina Martin, RN, BSN
Carmen Lydia Alvarez
Charles Chesley Woodcock
Full time/Part time/All Shifts
NEW GRADS WELCOME!
New higher wages of $25.37 for LPN
and up to $31.37 for RN.
SIGN ON BONUS
Resumes can be sent to email@example.com
Apply online at MILESTONE-INC.ORG or in person at:
Milestone, Inc., 4060 McFarland Rd., Rockford, IL 61111
Page 14 March 2021 The Nursing Voice
Illinois Law & Nursing Practice
Nancy J. Brent, MS, JD, RN
If you have a legal question for Nurse Attorney Nancy
Brent, please send it to susan@sysconsultingsolutions.
com. The INF has the right to review and publish selected
questions and responses.
An RN who has worked at the bedside for over 30
years writes that she has always gotten a second nurse
to witness getting consent from a parent over the phone
for a patient who is a minor. A younger staff nurse told
her that witnessing a consent for a minor is not done
anymore. The RN thought it was a law, and if not, it seems
to be best practice. Have things changed, she asks?
No. State statute or administrative rule requires you
to have a second RN witness a parent's phone consent
for his or her minor child who is being treated in your
This RN's practice most likely stems from working in
hospitals whose own policies and procedures required
that this occurs.
The RN's comments that the procedure seems to be
"best practice" are noteworthy from a risk management
Risk management is an essential internal component
of a health care delivery system. It is a precise process
that attempts to reduce preventable injuries and
accidents and also prevent financial loss for the
The four main components of reducing risks to the
health care entity are "risk identification, risk analysis, risk
treatment, and risk evaluation."
For this RN, the risk management policies and
procedures that governed the requirement to get a
second RN to confirm consent were obtained from a
parent likely emanated from these components.
In applying these elements to the RN's question, one
can identify several risk factors in not obtaining a witness
to the phone consent:
What if the parents are divorced? Who has the legal
right to consent for the minor child? What if the parent
who is legally able to provide consent later has doubts
and changes his or her mind, saying consent was never
given? How many incident reports have been received
by the risk management department from nurses that
document these and other issues?
The consent risk analysis would most probably be
seen as relatively high and, therefore, the importance of
identifying how to treat the risk is to avoid its occurrence.
Treating this particular risk apparently appeared to the
RN's employer reasonably simple: get a second person
to hear the consent given and document it according to
adopted policy and procedure.
Evaluating the treatment instituted for the risk
includes the frequency of occurrence and the severity of
outcomes, if any, after the treatment is instituted.
Although not a legal requirement, such a practice
might help you—and your employer—if a later challenge
to the consent given is raised.
You can learn more about risk management in the
article, "Steps in the Process of Risk Management" @
A discussion of parental consent for a minor is not
complete without a brief conversation about when a
parent's consent is unnecessary for a minor's care.
A minor in Illinois is defined as an individual who is
17 years of age and under. The law sees such individuals
as not having the legal capacity to provide the required
Generally speaking, then, as the RN's submitted
question illustrates, it is the parent(s) of the minor who
provide consent for treatment. Others that can give
consent for a minor include a guardian or person standing
in the parents' place (in loco parentis doctrine).
There are specific exceptions to this mandate in many
states and specifically in Illinois under the Consent by
Minors to Health Care Services Act.
When the minor's condition is an emergent one,
meaning that the minor's health or very being is such that
waiting to obtain consent for treatment would "adversely
affect the condition of the minor's health," parental
consent is not needed. Whether the minor's condition
requires immediate emergency care rests solely with
the health care provider, including an advanced practice
registered nurse (APRN).
Pregnant or Married Minors
Regardless of age, a married or pregnant minor can
consent to healthcare services, including those from an
advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).
Primary Health Care
A minor between the ages of 14 through 17 who is
not living with parents or a legal guardian or unable or
unwilling to return to his parents' home, and is managing
his personal affairs, may consent to primary care
(including screening, medication, and immunizations in an
out-patient setting) under specified conditions (including
the minor being identified in writing by an attorney
licensed to practice law in Illinois or a school social
If you provide care to minors in any capacity in
any setting, following your facility's requirements for
obtaining consent for those 17 and under is essential to
avoid potential liability for both you and your employer.
You also need to be knowledgeable about and follow
Illinois law applicable to consent for health care by, or for,
Potential liability for you would rest in being named a
defendant in a civil case brought by the minor's parents
for not obtaining consent as Illinois law requires.
Potential culpability for you may also be alleged in a
professional disciplinary action for a violation(s) of the
Illinois Nurse Practice Act and its Rules that apply to
obtaining proper consent.
For example, a parent might allege that your failure
to obtain their consent is a failure to conform to practice
A regular reading, then, of the Act and its Rules is vital.
Refreshing your memory about consents for minors
can easily be done through a 2019 Illinois Health and
Hospital Association's summary of applicable Illinois' law
THIS INFORMATION IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES
ONLY AND IS NOT TO BE TAKEN AS SPECIFIC LEGAL
ADVICE BY THE READER. IF LEGAL OR OTHER ADVICE IS
NEEDED, THE READER IS ENCOURAGED TO SEEK SUCH
ADVICE FROM A COMPETENT PROFESSIONAL.
EARLY REPRESENTATION IS KEY TO A GOOD DEFENSE
Lillian Walanka and the attorneys at Crick Walanka Law Group have decades
of combined experience defending LPNs, RNs, and APNs in investigations
and disciplinary prosecutions before state and local administrative agencies
related to various allegations, such as:
Failure to Report a Conviction, Termination, or Out-of-State Disciplinary Action
Drug and/or Alcohol Abuse • Mental or Physical Impairment
Unprofessional Conduct • Drug Diversion • Patient Abuse
Boundary Violations • Standard of Care Issues • Falsification of Information
We also represent and consult with nurses regarding
Petitions, Appeals, and Applications.
Crick Walanka Law Group, Ltd.
111 W. Washington St., #1820 Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 335-8860 • www.crickwalankalaw.com
The Nursing Voice March 2021 Page 15
Nurses want to provide quality care
for their patients.
The Nurses Political Action Committee (Nurses- PAC) makes sure
Springfield gives them the resources to do that.
Help the Nurses-PAC, help YOU!
So. . . . . . . if you think nurses need more visibility
. . . . . . . . . if you think nurses united can speak more
effectively in the political arena
. . . . . . . . . if you think involvement in the political
process is every citizen’s responsibility.
Become a Nurses-PAC contributor TODAY!
I wish to make my contribution via personal check
(Make check payable to Nurses-PAC).
I wish to make a monthly contribution to Nurses-
PAC via my checking account. By signing this
form, I authorize the charge of the specified
amount payable to Nurses-PAC be withdrawn from
my account on or after the 15th of each month.
(PLEASE INCLUDE A VOIDED CHECK WITH
I wish to make my monthly Nurses-PAC contribution
via credit card. By signing this form, I authorize the
charge of the specified contribution to Nurses-PAC
on or after the 15th of each month.
I wish to make my annual lump sum Nurses-PAC
contribution via a credit or debit card. By signing
this form, I authorize ANA-Illinois to charge the
specified contribution to Nurses-PAC via a ONE
TIME credit/debit card charge.
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City, State, Zip Code:_____________________________
Preferred Phone Number:__________________________
Please mail completed form & check to:
PO Box 636
Manteno, Illinois 60950
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We take health and wellness personally at Sinai Chicago. We believe that excellence in health care
is about more than just medicine, technology, tests and treatments. It’s about deeply caring for
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Learn more about these excellent opportunities and apply online
Sinai Chicago is an Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V