New Jersey Nurse - April 2021


Advocating--Positioning--and Educating New Jersey RNs

Brought to you by NJSNA’s Dues-Paying Members. JOIN US TODAY!

The Official Publication of the New Jersey State Nurses Association/Institute for Nursing

Volume 51 • Number 2 Quarterly publication direct mailed to approximately 130,900 RNs and LPNs in New Jersey April 2021


NJ Sharing Network Announces Record

Organ Donations in 2020:

Over 200 Donors Contributed Organs and Tissue

Saint Peter’s University Hospital

Nationally Recognized with Leapfrog

Hospital Safety Grade of ‘A’ for Fall 2020

Page 5

Healthy Nurse Healthy New Jersey

Page 15


CEO Report. ................................ 3

President’s Report . .......................... 3

IFN Report ................................. 4

A Sustained Vigilance Means Safer Children. ....... 6

Achieving the Elusive “Work-Life Balance” . ........ 7

Region News ............................... 8

Caught in the Chaos: The Pandemic Precepting

Predicament. ........................... 10

Adult Use Cannabis in New Jersey. ............. 11

Trauma, COVID-19 and Collective Resilience A Way

Forward for Nursing. ..................... 12

Members in the News. ....................... 14

LPN Forum. ............................... 15

Healthy Nurse Healthy New Jersey. ............. 15

current resident or

Non-Profit Org.

U.S. Postage Paid

Princeton, MN

Permit No. 14

NJ Sharing Network, the nonprofit, federally

designated organization responsible for the recovery

of organs and tissue donations in NJ, announced the

number of organ donors in a single year reached an

all-time high as 222 generous individuals gave the

gift of life in 2020, an 8% increase over last year’s

previous record.

This donation milestone was achieved despite the

unprecedented challenges and restrictions that the

COVID-19 pandemic has placed on organ donation

and transplantation throughout the nation, especially

in New Jersey where severe hospital patient surges

forced the temporary suspension of routine medical

care, elective surgeries and most transplant activity in

April and May 2020. In addition, deceased patients

with active COVID-19 virus were absolute rule

outs for organ or tissue donation in 2020. Despite

these challenges, NJ Sharing Network’s clinical

staff continued to put their own lives at risk on the

frontlines of care providing comfort and support to

donor families.

“We owe this achievement first and foremost to the

generous donors who gave the gift of life, as well as

their families,” said Joseph Roth, President and CEO

of NJ Sharing Network. “We are also deeply grateful

for the extraordinary efforts of our team members

and healthcare partners who have bravely worked

INF Raffle Committee

The Year of the Nurse and Midwife, 2020,

supplied us with great challenges, let us celebrate

2021 by bringing positivity and support to those

continuing to give so much to us all, the New Jersey

State Nurses Association (NJSNA). Our nurses remain

in service on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic,

faithfully helping those in need and they

deserve our support. By helping to support

the Foundation of the NJSNA, the Institute for

Nursing (IFN), you will be sustaining the IFN’s

mission of providing Scholarships, Research

Grants, Educational Programs and Support

for our nursing health care heroes and nursing


The IFN in collaboration with Garden State

Honda of Clifton N.J., are proud to present

you with the opportunity to be the winner of

a brand new 2021 Honda CR-V 1.5T AWD

EX-L SUV in the color Modern Steel, worth

$33,709. This well-equipped CR-V includes

desirable extra items such as, wheel locks,

cargo tray, splash guards, all season floor mats,

IFN Car Raffle

throughout the difficult year to power our life-saving


In 2020, 572 organs were transplanted thanks to

donors in New Jersey, including 339 kidneys, 124

livers, 50 hearts, 45 lungs and 14 pancreases. In

addition, 46,462 tissue and eye donations healed and

enhanced the quality of life of those in need. Tissue

donations include eye corneas, heart valves, skin

grafts, and bone grafts, ligament and tendons.

NJ Sharing Network has helped to increase organ

transplantation in NJ by 31% over the last decade.

“An increase in awareness about donation, the

growth of the state’s donor registry and advances in

transplantation medicine have all contributed to a

significant growth in lives saved by donation,” said

Carolyn M. Welsh, Vice President and Chief Clinical

Officer, NJ Sharing Network.

In November, five New Jersey cities, including

Newark, Jersey City and Edison, were among the

top ten highest in the US for registrations on the

National Donor Registry. NJ Sharing Network’s team

of professionals, volunteers and community partners

helped drive this impressive growth through online

promotions, including a host of daily activities on

its robust social media channels, on its website and

through targeted e-mails and mailings. An easy-tofollow

video detailing the steps to register as an organ

donor via the iPhone Health App has received more

than 20,000 views on social media. These successful

outreach activities helped generate a 14% increase

in New Jersey registrations on the National Donor

Registry in 2020.

In New Jersey, nearly 4,000 people are on the

organ transplant waiting list and one person dies

every three days waiting for a transplant. One organ

donor can save eight lives, and one tissue donor can

enhance the lives of over 75 people.

and nitrogen filled tires! Garden State Honda has

graciously donated this vehicle in recognition of the

extraordinary culture of dedication and commitment

demonstrated by our New Jersey Nurses.

Information on the purchasing of raffle tickets will

be available on website, tickets are $25

per chance. The winner will be chosen June 16, 2021

at 2pm on the grounds of the Allwood Diner, 913

IFN Car Raffle continued on page 2

Page 2 New Jersey Nurse & Institute for Nursing Newsletter April 2021


New Jersey Nurse

Official Publication of the

New Jersey State Nurses Association and Institute for Nursing

1479 Pennington Road

Trenton, New Jersey 08618

Phone: 609-883-5335 ext 111

Fax: 609-883-5343



NJSNA Mission Statement

Advance the practice of professional nursing by fostering quality

outcomes in education, practice and research

Institute for Nursing (IFN) Board of Trustees

Dr. Sandra Foley, Chair,

Daniel Misa, Treasurer,

Judy Schmidt, MAL, CEO,

Dr. Dely Go, Vice Chair/MAL

Ray Zarzar, Community Member/Secretary

Kristin Buckley, Community Member

Executive Committee

Dr Mary Ellen Levine, President,

Dr. Sandra Foley, President-Elect,

Regina Adams, Vice President,

Daniel Misa, Treasurer,

Linda Gural, Secretary,

Board of Directors

JoAnne Penn, Director Staff Nurse,

Dr. Margaret Daingerfield, Director,

Dr. Ann Tritak, Director,

Dr. Tara Heagele, Director,

Dr. Susan Weaver, Chair COPP,

Region Presidents

Patricia Baxter, Region 1,

Dr. Mary Genuino, Region 2,

Norma Rodgers, Region 3,

Maureen Clark-Gallagher, Region 4,

Dr. Barbara McCormick, Region 5,

Donna Mazzu, Region 6,

IFN Car Raffle continued from page 1

Allwood Rd., Clifton, NJ 07012. The winner need not

be present the day of the raffle but why not stop by for

a bite to eat, you may be driving home in a brand-new

Honda CR-V!

Florence Nightingale was directly responsible for

shaping the science, caring and philanthropy of the

nursing profession as it is today, it is a fitting tribute

for the IFN to support her nursing legacy. Please

consider assisting the IFN in support of our nursing

heroes by purchasing chances to win this beautiful

new vehicle. Your generosity will be appreciated and

directly benefit the IFN mission. God Bless the New

Jersey State Nurses Association and all that they do

for us and the communities they serve!


Judy Schmidt, CEO,

Debra Harwell, Deputy Director,

Terri Ivory, Director of RAMP,

Jennifer Chanti, Exec. Asst./Membership Administrator,

Tyea Santiago, Education Coordinator,

Kortnei Jackson, Ed. Adm. Asst.,

Annemarie Edinger, RAMP Comm. Coord.,

Deborah Robles, RAMP Adm. Asst.,

Emily Gannon, RAMP Intake Spec.,

Benita James, RAMP Case Manager,

Joan Peditto, RAMP Case Manager,

Etha Westbrook, RAMP Case Manager,

Andrew Haviland, RAMP Case Manager,

New Jersey Nurse Staff

Judy Schmidt, Editor

Jennifer Chanti, Managing Editor

Dr. Barbara Wright, Executive Editor

New Jersey Nurse Copy Submission Guidelines:

All NJSNA members are encouraged to submit material for

publication that is of interest to nurses. The New Jersey Nurse also

welcomes unsolicited manuscripts. Article submission is preferred

in MS Word format, Times New Roman font and can be up to 500

words. When sending pictures, please remember to label pictures

clearly since the editors have no way of knowing who persons in the

photos might be.

Copy Submissions: Preferred submission is by email to the

Managing Editor. Only use MS Word for test submission. Please do

not embed photos in Word files, send photos as jpg files.

Submit Materials to: New Jersey Nurse, Attention to Jennifer

Chanti, Managing Editor at

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), NJSNA 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 advertisement.

Acceptance of advertising does not imply endorsement or approval by

the New Jersey State Nurses Association 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. NJSNA 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 NJSNA or those of

the national or local associations.

April 2021 New Jersey Nurse & Institute for Nursing Newsletter Page 3

CEO Report

President’s Report

Judy Schmidt, CEO

The COVID-19 virus and pandemic continue to

challenge us as nurses. In New Jersey, we were fortunate,

after the surge in the beginning of 2020, to have a small

respite with a decrease in the transmission rate (RT) and

hospitalizations. The Fall of 2020 and the early Winter

of 2021 has challenged us again. In addition, we are

seeing many nurses suffering with Post Traumatic Stress

Symptoms (PTSS). There is help available privately and

in groups. If you need help, please seek it out, do not be

embarrassed, you are not alone.

Our Healthy Nurse Healthy NJ Committee continues

Judith Schmidt

to offer programs on resilience and other topics that will help us get through

this continuing public health emergency. Other groups offering assistance

are the NJ Healthcare Workers COVID Hope & Healing Hotline Rutgers

University Behavioral Healthcare ( and

#FirstRespondersFirst (

Nurses must educate not only patients but family, friends and co-workers on

the need to keep up on safety measures, handwashing, social distancing, facial

coverings and vaccinations. Seek out information that comes from reliable health

care resources not social media posts and blogs. Nurses must continue educating

and re-educating everyone about this unrelenting virus until reliable evidencebased

treatments become the norm. Special attention needs to be paid to the

younger generation who often feel that they are invincible or will have minimal

effects from exposure. We have seen their lack of understanding of the long-term

negative consequences with texting while driving, diving into shallow waters,

underage drinking and illegal drug use.

As I stated in our October 2020 edition of the NJ Nurse, NJSNA is challenging

legislators both on the state and, in collaboration with the American Nurses

Association (ANA), the federal level to ensure that healthcare workers are not

put in the same situation again this year and into the future. Nurses should not

be asked to risk their health and wellbeing to help combat any pandemic without

appropriate equipment, staff availability and health care policies. Infection

prevention groups must not “bend” the infection prevention rules as we have seen

in the past.

Again, I implore you to read both the “Nightingale Pledge” and follow the

ANA Code of Ethics. In both is the inference of advocacy. You must continually

advocate for yourself and your profession. There is strength in numbers. The New

Jersey State Nurses Association cannot do this alone. We need your help. Call

your state and federal representatives and tell them your COVID experiences.

Ask them to support, demand and ensure that all healthcare workers will be

guaranteed a safe working environment. Healthcare was stretched to the limit in

2020, nurses must make sure that 2021 does not repeat 2020.

Nightingale Pledge:

ANA Code of Ethics

Mary Ellen Levine, DNP. MSN, RN, CHPN,

NJSNA President

"To do what nobody else will do, in a way that

nobody else can do, in spite of all we go through...

that is what it is to be a nurse." - Rawsi Williams, RN

I am truly humbled to be serving as your 48th

President of New Jersey State Nurses Association.

January 16th was a truly memorable day. I am

honored to be serving and as the first NJSNA

President to be installed virtually. I am grateful to say

so many nurses and family members (over 90!) were Mary Ellen Levine

able to attend. It was emotional to not be in person,

especially under the circumstances. The good wishes and kind words were a


I feel so blessed to be supported and prepared by NJSNA Past President

Kate Gillespie and CEO Judy Schmidt, the NJSNA Board of Directors, and

you, the membership. I am eternally grateful for the wisdom and guidance

shared while I carve my own path in these especially uncertain times.

While in office, top priorities will include promoting, advancing, and

advocating for all New Jersey nurses as we continue to fight this pandemic.

The pandemic has not only shown how nurses strive to safely and effectively

work within the healthcare team, but also our strength to support each other.

"Healthy Nurse Healthy New Jersey" continues to be at the forefront

of supporting our mind, body and spirit in these especially difficult times.

Through the Governor's continuation of the executive order to foster the

creativity and fluidity of the advanced practice nurse, they more freely

provide for the mental and physical health of New Jersey's residents. We

are part of the mass inoculation efforts, as well. We are enmeshed in every

corner of our communities, often at increased risk, being away from family

and friends.

In a time in history when there is information overload with virus updates,

social unrest, and economic hardship, I chose the theme for my presidency to

be, "Education and Communication."

Education is an essential service of the NJSNA and an integral part of

our Strategic Plan, along with legislation, membership, and leadership.

Communication, or the exchange of information, is paramount as we

reach out to our patients, our families, and amongst ourselves with words,

body language, and connectedness that we continue to support each other

and continue to grow our association.

I am also grateful to those who are and continue to be on the frontlines

of healthcare. Thank you for all you do and continue to do every day! I look

forward to continuing the good work of past President Kate Gillespie, upon

the foundation of all the past presidents, and with the NJSNA Board of

Directors, each of the Regions, and you, the nurses of New Jersey during this

time of continued challenges, growth, and hope.

Stay safe and be well.

Find your NJ Legislators by municipality

Find your US Congress Representatives

Page 4 New Jersey Nurse & Institute for Nursing Newsletter April 2021

IFN Report

Sandy Foley, DNP, RN,

Institute for Nursing Chair

"I can do things you cannot,

you can do things I cannot;

together we can do great

things." Mother Teresa

I would like to thank

everyone for supporting me

during the NJSNA 2020-

2021 election. I was installed

into the position of NJSNA Sandy Foley

President Elect, Institute

for Nursing (IFN) Chair on January 16, 2021. The

NJSNA 57th Installation had a different look this year

– it was virtual, and I loved it! The event was attended

by 93 participants which included nurses, family

members and friends. The number of participants was

more than triple than if the event were held face-toface,

a powerful reminder of the support and impact

nurses have.

While the last year presented many challenges

of its own, I am certain that this new year will bring

opportunities to celebrate together as we look ahead

to better things that await us. I am eager to begin my

IFN journey with all of you and would like to take

this opportunity to share with you some exciting

fundraisers and events.


The C.A.R.E.S. Awards postponed from last

year will be held on April 8th, 2021 at the Pines

Manor in Edison. We look forward to celebrating

our outstanding nurse nominees and recipients in

the categories of clinical, administration, research,

and education with support of family, friends, and


The NJSNA/IFN Convention will be held at

Harrah's in Atlantic NJ, on October 26-29, 2021:

"Surviving to Thriving: Put Your Oxygen

Mask on First...Promoting Resilience in


Come join us for networking opportunities, to gain

valuable knowledge through the many continuing

education offerings and most importantly to have fun!


The IFN Car Raffle Committee in collaboration

with Garden State Honda of Clifton, NJ is proud to

announce a Car Raffle event like no other. Garden

State Honda has graciously donated a 2021 Honda

CR-V SUV with an MSRP of $33,709 for the raffle.

This CR-V includes: 4-wheel drive, cargo tray, splash

guards, all-season floor mats, and nitrogen-filled tires!

For more information go to to purchase a

$25.00 ticket for a chance to win this car and benefit

the IFN and Gardens State Honda.

The fundraiser event, "Tour, Explore, and More,"

at the Beach Haus in Belmar, NJ was postponed

until May 23rd, 2021 due to COVID-19. Registration

information is located at to buy a

ticket and support the event! Hang a flyer in your

breakroom or circulate it through your email and

social media. Spread the word!

Beginning in December 2020, the IFN began

a fundraising event along with "Old York Cellars

Winery and Vineyards." Thanks to the hard work of

IFN Trustee, Kristin Buckley, and DJ Levine, amateur

photographer and graphic artist, who designed the

three wine labels. Purchase wine with our label and a

donation will be made to the IFN! You can find more

information for purchases at

The IFN and New Jersey Devils are coming

together to show support for nurses and healthcare

workers. We are collaborating to bring you the


* Opportunities for healthcare worker recognition

* An event will happen during the 2021-22 NHL


* A percentage of each ticket will be donated

back to the IFN.

The Institute for Nursing offers annual scholarships

for nurses pursuing degrees from entry into practice

to the doctorate. The Scholarship Committee is in the

process of reviewing many applications. Awardees will

be announced in the NJ Nurse July Issue. The IFN

wishes all scholarship awardees continued success. If

you are a past scholarship awardee and have a story

you would like to share of how the NJSNA/IFN

scholarship has impacted your career, we would love

to hear from you! Send up to 250 words to sandra@

Thank you in advance for your generosity! Stay

safe and be well.

April 2021 New Jersey Nurse & Institute for Nursing Newsletter Page 5

Saint Peter’s University Hospital Nationally Recognized with

Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade of ‘A’ for Fall 2020

Teresa Artz, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, director,

Magnet Program and Nursing Quality-


New Brunswick,

NJ, February 1,

2021 – Saint Peter’s

University Hospital,

a member of Saint

Peter’s Healthcare

System, received an

‘A’ for the Fall 2020

Leapfrog Hospital

Safety Grade, which

demonstrates the

hospital’s commitment

to high quality patient

care. Developed

under the guidance

of a national panel

of experts, the

Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses up to 27

measures of publicly available hospital safety data

to assign grades to more than 2,600 U.S. acutecare

hospitals twice per year. The Hospital Safety

Grade’s methodology is peer-reviewed and fully


All interprofessional healthcare staff at Saint

Peter’s has contributed to the achievement of a

Leapfrog ‘A’ grade, inclusive of all clinical nurses

at the bedside and in leadership roles. Many of the

measures that Leapfrog utilizes to grade hospitals

are nursing sensitive. Nurses at Saint Peter’s are

committed to always providing the highest level of

quality care at the bedside driven by evidence-based

practice resulting in successful patient outcomes

and a culture of safety.

“Safety is always a number one priority at Saint

Peter’s but receiving this recognition amidst a

pandemic is even more meaningful,” said Leslie

D. Hirsch, FACHE, president and CEO of Saint

Peter’s Healthcare System. “Receiving Leapfrog’s

highest safety grade reinforces patient confidence

in the ability to receive quality medical care without

compromise. At Saint Peter’s, we are proud of our

ongoing ability to safely deliver the highest quality,

evidence-based clinical practices along with the

compassionate care that is the hallmark of our

Catholic mission.”

One of the first areas of the Leapfrog scorecard

reviews the structure within the hospital, including

the nursing workforce. The objective of this

measure is to ensure that nursing staff services and

nursing leadership at all levels are competent and

adequate to provide safe care.

Other measures that nursing care contributes

to are within the process and outcomes domains.

The nursing sensitive

indicators include

barcode medication


hand hygiene,

catheter associated

urinary tract

infections, central

line associated blood

stream infections,

healthcare acquired

pressure injuries, and

falls with trauma.

Additional measures

that evidence-based

nursing care impacts

are the prevention of healthcare acquired infections,

such as surgical site infections, MRSA and C. diff.

Hospitals are also graded upon their level

of patient satisfaction relative to the patient’s

experience of care. HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer

Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems)

questions are graded based on questions that are

reflective of nursing care within the hospital. The

HCAHPS domains, relative to nursing, included in

Leapfrog are Communication with Nursing, Staff

Responsiveness, Communication about Medications

and Discharge Information.

According to Linda Carroll, MSN, RN-BC,

vice president of Patient Care Services and chief

nursing officer at Saint Peter’s, “Our clinical nurses

are leaders in the patient experience, quality, and

patient safety. Saint Peter’s nurses have been

recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing

Center for the sixth consecutive time as a Magnet

organization based on the same metrics scored

upon in the Leapfrog methodology.”

Page 6 New Jersey Nurse & Institute for Nursing Newsletter April 2021

A Sustained Vigilance Means Safer Children

Christine Norbut Beyer, MSW, Commissioner

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. At the New Jersey

Department of Children and Families, we recognize the vital role that nurses, and

other frontline health professionals play in reporting abuse and neglect, not just

during the month of April, but every single day.

We know that the stress and uncertainty of the last year – and likely the next

several months – is unprecedented. Families continue experiencing many COVID-

19-related challenges, including furloughs, unemployment, reduced work hours,

health worries, childcare concerns, and more.

The impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic is difficult on everyone, but even more

so on children and families who are already at-risk. This includes families with:

• infants and toddlers

• children with disabilities

• a history of addiction or mental illness

• a history of violence

• economic/housing insecurity

Using any mobile device’s camera, one can ‘capture’ a web address that leads to

a poster designed specifically for youth, with a list of hotlines and helplines. The

QR code is discreet, which allows children to access the information or resources

they need to be safe.

Together we can eradicate child abuse and neglect, and ensure families are safe,

healthy and connected.

Abuse and neglect can thrive in isolation. Because many children are not

physically reporting to school or child care programs, regularly visiting friends or

family in the community, or seeing nurses and pediatricians for routine physical

checkups, it is much more difficult to spot the warning signs.

Children at-risk may appear to be unkempt. They may try to hide injuries or

have confusing explanations for how they got hurt. They may be hard to engage

or seem unemotional. Youth that are struggling may demonstrate worrisome

behaviors for longer than six months, such as acting out, seeming distant,

becoming easily agitated, performing poorly in school, engaging in substance

use or other risky social behaviors, running away or getting involved in gangs or

human trafficking. We all know each child and youth is unique and the impact of

the pandemic on them and their families can manifest in a variety of ways.

In New Jersey, everyone is a mandated reporter of child abuse or neglect. As

valued partners who have their “eyes and ears” on children in some capacity

during the year, we need your help.

We urge you to stay alert to these signs and to find creative, discreet ways

to allow children or youth to signal their need for intervention. These posters

( can help nurses and

other professionals that may interact with children to know the signs.

One of the posters includes a QR code that can be used by professionals as a

virtual background or email signature. It can even be used as a place-holder slide,

at nurses’ stations and physicians’ offices.

April 2021 New Jersey Nurse & Institute for Nursing Newsletter Page 7

Achieving the Elusive “Work-Life Balance”

Donna L. Castellani, MSN.ED, RN, CNE

How many of us have often dreamed of having

that perfect work-life balance? Meeting the demands

of a heavy workload while maintaining healthy

relationships with family and friends is challenging at

best. Technology that enables constant connection

easily allows work to invade our time at home.

Working from home can also blur professional and

personal boundaries (Mayo Clinic, 2020, para 2). We

often feel we may never figure out the perfect routine

to eliminate stress and return joy to our lives. Don’t

give up your dream of the perfect work-life balance!

By defining what having a balanced life means to you

and implementing a few strategies, it is possible to

achieve the elusive work-life balance.

Many people define work-life balance using the

example of equalizing a seesaw, with work on one

side and the rest of your life on the other side. It is

felt the goal is to equalize both sides, making sure to

spend equal time on each side of the seesaw. The

majority of the solutions to achieving work-life balance

stress better management of time at work so there is

more time to spend at home. However, when asked

how they define work-life balance, most people

describe it as making a bigger impact at work without

sacrificing personal health or happiness, having a

positive impact on your family’s lives, prioritizing what

is important to you without guilt, shame or apology,

having strong boundaries that you feel good about

enforcing, and letting go of trying to do or have it all

(Moulder,2020, para 4). It seems that time itself is

not the most important part to balancing your life in

the way the seesaw model suggests. It is more about

feeling content with who you are and the decisions

you are making (Moulder, 2020). It is not something

you find; it is something you must create to meet your

lifestyle needs.

It is suggested by the Mayo Clinic that setting limits

and caring for yourself are two essential strategies to

implement when creating a healthy work-life balance

(2020). Without set limits, you may not have time for

your family and friends, or to participate in activities

you enjoy. Consider giving yourself enough time to get

things done by not overscheduling yourself. Learn to

say “no” to accepting tasks out of guilt or perceived

obligation. Prioritize and shorten your to-do list. When

you are done working for the day: detach from work

and transition to home life by taking a walk or doing

a fun activity with your family. Eat well and include

physical activity in your daily routine. Get adequate

sleep. Participate in activities you enjoy which will

take your mind off work and allow you to recharge.

Develop a support system with co-workers who can

cover for you – and vice versa – when family conflicts

arise. Enlist trusted friends and loved ones who can

pitch in with childcare or household responsibilities

when you need to work late. Practice mindfulness

relaxation techniques to eliminate stress. Find joy in

simple everyday experiences.

Meeting the demands of career and personal

life will be an ongoing challenge. Creating work-life

balance is a continuous process as your family needs

and work responsibilities change. It is important

that you periodically examine your lifestyle and

make changes as necessary to make sure you are

maintaining the balance that is right for you. By

setting limits, and taking care of yourself, you will be

able to finally achieve your dream of the perfect worklife



Moulder, H. (2020). 10 Reasons Why Work Life Balance

is Important. Coach Correction Coaching, http://

Work-life balance: Tips to reclaim control. (2020). Mayo


Page 8 New Jersey Nurse & Institute for Nursing Newsletter April 2021

R egion News

Region 1

Morris, Passaic, Sussex,


Trish Baxter, DMH, MSN, RN and

Meghan Keaveney, BSN, RN

Region 1 is an active network of nurses supporting

one another, our practice and our communities. Once

again, our Region was able to provide assistance

to a nursing student by sponsoring the Dr. Foley

and Brian Foley scholarship. We continue to offer

our Nightingale lamp notecards for purchase (pack

of 10 for $20). Please contact President Baxter

at if interested in purchasing

notecards. This fundraiser assists our region in our

philanthropic endeavors.

Due to the limitations and restrictions of

COVID-19, unfortunately our Region has not been

able to perform in-person volunteering at our

community food banks, soup kitchens, and other

outreach programs. We look forward to providing

in-person community services when deemed safe.

When able, we provide monetary support to our local

pantries to assist them in their valuable work.


Congratulations to Mary Ellen Levine, DNP,

MSN, RN and Sandy Foley, DNP, MSN, RN as

they begin their tenure as President and Presidentelect

of NJSNA. Our entire Region is proud of their

work, dedication to nursing and their long-term

commitment to supporting NJSNA

Business Meetings

We had a great start to the new year with two wellattended

business meetings. Our January meeting

held via Zoom featured a presentation on Hospice and

End-of-Life Care by Region 1 member and NJSNA

President Mary Ellen Levine, DNP, MSN, RN, CPHN.

Our March meeting was also conducted remotely.

Networking and sharing amongst attendees made

both these meetings well-received and appreciated.

Upcoming Meetings:

Region 1 Annual Dinner meeting will be held on

Wednesday, May 12th at 6pm. The event will be at

the Rockaway River Country Club. Please consider

attending this fun and engaging night. For more

information, contact President Baxter at pbaxternp@

June 12th 2021; Sussex County location, 11am-


October 16th 2021; Warren County location,

11am- 1pm

NJSNA Election 2020

The Installation of NJSNA Board and Region

Officers ceremony took place on January 16th via

Zoom. Region 1 was well represented with both reelected

and new officers joining our board.

We were excited to retain valuable members

of our Board of Directors with the installment of

Treasurer, Jodi Rotter; Secretary, Deborah Foster;

Passaic County Coordinator, Tanya Anevski; and

Warren County Coordinator, Lauren Krause.

We also welcomed our new officers to the board:

Vice President for Communications, Meghan

Keaveney; Sussex County Coordinator, Dr. Daria

Napierkowski; and Vice President for Education,

Michele Lawson. Newly elected Nominations

Committee members were Lisa Dispenziere and

Buffy Reilly. They join Elisa Green as members.

Dan Misa chairs the 2021 Nominations Committee.

Region 1 Call for Nominations

Please consider joining our Region 1 Team. We

will be welcoming new members for the following

positions open starting 2022: President-Elect,

Vice President for Membership, Vice President to

the Institute, Vice President to the Congress on

Policy, Morris County Coordinator, Sussex County

Coordinator, and Nominations Committee (2). Please

contact Dan Misa for more


Social Media Presence

Follow our social media pages for the most up-todate

for our events and news postings. Twitter and

Instagram handles are @NJSNARegion1. Facebook

link is as follows:


Region 2

Bergen, Hudson

Mary Jane Genuino, DNP RN-BC

The past year was difficult for a lot of us and

Region 2 was not immune to all the challenges that

the current pandemic brings. The new year, however,

beckons a new light and beginning for all of us. The

year of the nurse was filled with challenges and we all

came out winners. 2021 will prove to be the catalyst

to all that we are meant to be as a profession—

respected, trusted, and essential. We will hope that

the strands that brought these will not deter us and

burn us but keep our spirits alive and soaring instead.

The first meeting of the year for Region 2 was

scheduled in February. The members are in discussion

with partnering with a local community healthcare

agency in rolling out the herculean task of providing

vaccination to all. The last educational offering that

Region 2 gave in November on Zoom navigation and

remote work opportunities for nurses, was a success.

Plans are underway, as well, to replicate the event

with different topics and speakers that will appeal to

the needs of our members.

We are starting the year with the same goals. To

continue to pursue avenues to reach our fellow nurses

within our region, and to endeavor to seek ways to

enhance our members’ professional, and personal


Region 3

Essex, Union Counties

Elsie A. Rivera, DNP, APN. FNP-C, Vice

President of Communication

Message from President Norma Rodgers,


Greetings to Region 3 members: I would like to

thank everyone for this opportunity to serve you

as President of NJSNA Region 3. As I enter my

final year there are things that I plan for my term

in collaboration with our alliances and would like to

ask each of you for your support in these endeavors.

2020 has been interesting to say the least, we

switched from face-to-face meeting to Region

meetings via ZOOM. The new platform has allowed

the Region 3 Board to continue to serve and engage

the membership. We look forward to seeing you all

face to face someday soon. As a Team we will be


On January 16, 2020 NJSNA gathered via Zoom

to witness the installation of new officers. I welcome

and look forward to working with the new elected

officers from Region 3. Thank you all for your

commitment to serve NJSNA and Region 3.

Region 3 General Meeting Dates for 2021 are as

follows, and will be held on Tuesdays via ZOOM:

* April 6 6pm - 8pm

* May 18 6:30 - 8pm

* September 14 6pm-8pm

* October 27-29 NJSNA/IFN Convention


* December 14 6pm-8pm

Congratulations to Sandra Baker, Union County

Member at Large in successfully becoming a

Registered Parliamentarian. (see page 14)

Call for Nominations - 2021. Region 3

Nominations Committee has called for member

suggestions for the November 2021 elections.

Members would take office January 2022. VP

Membership, VP Education, VP Congress on Policy

and Practice, Essex County Member-at-Large (1),

Union County Member-at-Large (1), Nominating

Committee (3).

All nominations are due before the close of the

NJSNA business meeting at the annual meeting. For

additional questions or information, please email

Shanda Johnson, Chair Nominations Committee

Region 3 members are invited to share news! Send

information to

April 2021 New Jersey Nurse & Institute for Nursing Newsletter Page 9

R egion News

Meet Region 3 Board Members


Nwanmaka Helen

Eguh, DNP, BSN,


VP of


Elsie A. Rivera,


Nominating Committee Chair

Shanda Johnson, PhD, APN-C, FNP

Region 4

Bucks, Hunterdon,

Mercer, Middlesex,

Somerset Counties

Maureen Clark-Gallagher MS, RN


The Region 4 Board continues to work for you. We

thank you for all that you are doing for the nursing

profession and the communities that we serve.

We continue to have monthly Board meetings. The

meetings are held on the second Thursday of every

month at 7 pm. The meetings are held via Zoom and

we also have a good time. The more the merrier!

Please contact me at and I will

send you the meeting link.

Monthly newsletters have been published since

May. We hope you are enjoying them. The newsletter

name is Region 4 Notes on Nursing out of respect

to Florence Nightingale. In addition to providing

Region 4 members with information on the nursing

profession and NJSNA, due to your interest, we

added sections on the history of nursing in Region

4, nursing specialties, podcasts, Region 4 members’

accomplishments, books, wellness, hobbies, education

resources, important dates in nursing etc. We

welcome your contributions and/or ideas on what you

would like covered in the newsletter.

An education program was presented on

February 3rd by Dr. Susan Utterback on the topic of

Enhanced Recovery for Cesarean Section: A Quality

Improvement Project to Reduce Opioid Use. It was

well received by all and applicable to nursing practice

in various settings.

Congratulations to Region 4 members on their

recent accomplishments:

Tara Heagele PHD, RN, PCCN, EMT (also a

NJSNA Director):

Heagele, T. N. & Nurse-Clarke, N. J. (accepted

for publication January 25, 2021). A nurse-led home

disaster preparedness intervention for new parents.

Neonatal Network: The Journal of Neonatal Nursing.

Melissa Sherman BSN, RN (Region 4 VP of

Communications) has received certification as a

certified school nurse in New Jersey (CSN-NJ).

The Region 4 annual meeting is tentatively planned

for November 13, 2021. We are seriously considering

having a virtual meeting again.

Region 4 donated:

• $500 to the Bound Brook School District in

order to provide students with much needed

items such as winter hats, gloves, coats,

sneakers/boots, and or personal hygiene items

such as shampoo, etc.

• $75 to current IFN fundraiser

The following officers were sworn into their

positions at the January 16 NJSNA installation


• Region 4 Secretary: Joan Gleason Scott PhD,


• Region 4 VP of Communications: Melissa

Sherman BSN, RN,CNS-NJ

• Region 4 VP for Policy and Practice: Kari

Mastro PhD, RN, NEA-BC

• Region 4 VP for Nominations and Elections:

Sarah Bilyj MBA, BSN, RN, CLC

• Region 4 Member at Large for Mercer County:

Daniel Marino MSN, RN, CCRN-K

• Region 4 Member at Large for Middlesex

County: Marge Drozd MSN, RN, APRN-BC

Please know that the Region 4 Board is here for

you. Feel free to reach out to me or any member of

the Region 4 Board.

Region 5

Burlington, Camden,

Gloucester, Salem and

Cumberland Counties

Trish Egenton MSN, RN, CEN, CCRN, NE-BC

Communications Director

Region 5 is pleased to announce our new

President, Barbara McCormick, DNP, RN, CEN.

Barbara works for the Jefferson Health System,

Washington Township. She has been employed for

27 years there, and presently serves as a Resource

Nurse for the ED, ICU and Step Down Units.

Barbara is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force,

and is the Chief Nurse for the 514th Aerospace

Medicine Squadron, Joint Base, McGuire-Fort Dix.

Barbara is also adjunct faculty at Rutgers, Camden.

Congratulations on becoming President Barbara!

Barbara’s goal for Region 5 is to increase

engagement during this challenging time in public

health. One of the ways Barbara plans on increasing

engagement is to send out NJNSA Region 5 face

masks this summer. The order is in, and we will

begin sending them out ASAP. If you would like one,

please email MPEGENTON@AOL.COM. Supplies are

limited! Additionally, “LIKE” Region 5 on Facebook,

and look for ways to win your very own NJSNA

Region 5 face mask.

Speaking of Facebook, we now have over 500

followers! This is a 25% increase from this time last

year. Thank you for your interest and support, and

please share or comment.

We also have another new member on Region

5’s board. Audrey Brooks, DNP, RN is now the

Membership Director. Audrey recently retired from

nursing education. Audrey is also a veteran, having

served as an RN in the US Air Force as well. Audrey

serves a dual roll for Region 5 because she also serves

as the Burlington County Coordinator. Welcome


On December 12, 2020, Audrey coordinated a

food drive at the Zallie’s Shoprite in Williamstown.

Audrey singlehandedly collected over 25 bags of food

for the Red Cross Pantry at the McGuire-Fort Dix

Base! Nice job Audrey!

Region 5 is looking for a President-Elect to support

the President in their duties. The President Elect

serves two years, and then assumes the role of the

President. Additionally, we are looking for anyone

who is interested in getting more politically involved.

2021 is an election year here in NJ, and as nurses,

we need strong advocates to ensure our voices and

concerns are heard. Our Congress on Policy and

Practice (COPP), needs one nurse to reach out

and advocate to elected officials. COPP monitors

nursing practice and makes recommendations that

keep practice current. INPAC (Interested Nurses

Political Action Committee), also needs one nurse to

become politically involved from Region 5. These two

highly visible positions are a must for anyone who is

passionate about nursing policy and practice issues.

Please email MPEGENTON@AOL.COM if interested


We are also very grateful to all of our members

who voted on our by-laws in 2020. We hope you stay

healthy during these trying times, and we continue to

honor each and every one of you on the front lines for

months on end now, thank you.

Region 6

Atlantic, Cape May,

Monmouth, Ocean

Kathleen Mullen DNP, MA, RN, CNE

VP of Communications

Jacqueline Bortu BSN, RNC-OB, CBC,

C-ONQS, VP of Communications

Following Opening Remarks by Ocean County

Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer, JD. Rutgers School

of Nursing-Camden faculty, E. Renee Cantwell DNP,

RN, CPHQ, Clinical Associate Professor, and Jeanann

Sousou Coppola, DNP, RN, CNM, CNE, Clinical

Assistant Professor presented their program “Human

Trafficking: Educating New Jersey Registered Nurses

in Identifying Victims to Promote Positive Patient

Outcome” at the first virtual education meeting by

Region 6 in October. Virtual meetings will continue

in the spring, so follow the Region 6 facebook to stay


Region 6 election for the 2021-2022 Executive

Board of Officers was conducted online in conjunction

with NJSNA elections. The first virtual installment

ceremony took place on January 16th, led by former

President of NJSNA, Kate Gillespie introducing

now President Mary Ellen Levine. Recently installed

President-Elect Sandra Foley and Secretary

Daniel Misa were also announced, as well as each

regions new officers who then took their pledge of

commitment to office. The past year has brought

many challenges but has taught us all perseverance.

All NJSNA officers and members in attendance felt

hope for the new year and the renewed voices of

nurses worldwide.

Every year, Region 6 awards the Beulah Miller

Scholarship for Nursing Education to four (4) nursing

students: a prelicensure entry level student (AAS,

ADN, or BSN), an RN to BSN student, an MSN

student, and a doctoral student. The deadline date for

this year’s scholarship application is April 1, 2021.

The applicant must meet the following criteria:

1. Current membership in NJSNA Region 6

a. Candidates enrolled in a prelicensure entry

level program exempt

2. Current enrollment in an accredited program of

nursing education

a. Grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better

3. Complete application including essay and

recommendation letters.

A nursing student may only receive an award one

time per level of educational program. For more

information about the Beulah Miller Scholarship for

Nursing Education view the NJSNA website or email

the Region 6 Scholarship Committee Chair, Barbara

Blozen at To purchase a raffle

ticket or donate to the fund, contact any member of

Region 6 or email Linda Gural, or

Kathy Brack,

If you are a member of Region 6 and are not

receiving email blasts about our Region meetings,

please update your profile on the NJSNA website and

check the group correspondence box in the Email

Preferences section of your account. If you are not a

member, join us at an upcoming virtual meeting!

Page 10 New Jersey Nurse & Institute for Nursing Newsletter April 2021

Caught in the Chaos:

The Pandemic Precepting Predicament

Clinical Professor Clarese M. Bradley


Identifying your calling in life is something that few

get the opportunity to experience. When the calling

is greater than yourself one may consider themselves’

fortunate. They map their route and set out on their

journey, establishing benchmarks. Nurses are no

stranger to this, anxiously setting high hopes for the

day they are able to put their skills to use. Before

that day they must endure intense training, endless

study nights and challenging exams. They yearn to

complete benchmarks; graduation, National Council

Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and their first

nursing assignment. These are the tales I, a clinical

professor, hear nursing students speak of.

What does a novice nurse do when their dreams

are met with a reality nightmare - the Corona Virus

Pandemic, infamously known as “COVID-19?”

COVID-19 has overshadowed the medical field casting

anxiety, fear, doubt and hopelessness in even the most

experienced of medical professionals. The normal rite

of passage for new nurses, preceptorship, has been

marred by COVID-19. Nurses have had to endure

increased work demand, lack of medical supplies

and support. Although not new, burnout has been

exacerbated at an accelerated rate, within nursing.

Welcoming first day orientation by experienced nurses

has been replaced with exhausted and frustrated

nurses forced to find the emotional strength to nurture

impressionable new nurses. More disconcerting is

preceptorship by first year nurses, due to insufficient

staffing. I have personally witnessed both in my time

at the bedside during this pandemic.

Where does this leave our new nurses? How does

the exhausted bring up the apprehensive novice?

What little strength that is left in our experienced

nurse is reserved for their families and/or personal

lives. This misrepresentation orients the novice nurse

into a fight or flight response, creating a two-prong


Fight: Those that stay may be trained by

unseasoned nurses resulting in the compromise of

patient care. Should this become the new norm we

can expect to see more medical errors, threatening

the positive outcome of patient care.

Flight: Novice nurses overwhelmed by lack of

guidance, affirmation, and emotional support may

feel inept. They may feel their personal calling was

illogical and instead may seek alternative career

options, risking the continued nursing shortage across

the nation.

Where will this leave the future of nursing?

Recruitment, retainment and resiliency should be

made priority. Nurses represent approximately 50% of

the healthcare work force.

To the community, nurses are the icons of trust in

healthcare. It is because of this high regard nursing

needs to be viewed as a profession rather than a

vocation. The pandemic has been brutal but when

has the nursing profession been for the fainthearted!

This is a time that we look to nursing leaders,

educators, and mentors to exemplify why their role

is so imperative. Our new nurses deserve dedicated

training. This is a call to uphold the pride of nursing

through strong leadership, guidance, and composure.

This is a call to all education programs to put their

best recruitment and training efforts forward. Lastly

this is a call to all professional nursing associations

and boards to highlight the vitality of this profession

and charge our leaders to remain the consistent

caregivers we are.

What more could I have done?

A nurse educator’s reflection on student outcomes.

Dr. Erica Edfort, DNP, NVRN-BC, RN-BC, FAHA

As nurse educators, we provide our students with knowledge coming from

years of experience in various health care settings. We mentor them through

their academic careers. However, at times, we see our efforts are not enough for

our students to achieve successful outcomes. We deliver the traditional classroom

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Cedar Park Regional is offering a

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assistance for RNs with at least one

year of acute care experience in the

following areas:

Med/Surg, ICU, ED, Labor & Delivery

Cedar Park Regional Medical Center is a 126

bed acute care facility located in the northwest

corridor of Austin, Texas, one of the fastest

growing areas in the nation.

The area offers an abundance of outdoor

activities with many parks, hiking and bike trails.

Austin is known as the culture center of Texas

and prides itself on being dubbed the live music

capital of the world. The area will not disappoint

with many diverse shopping venues, amazing

dining experiences, microbreweries and wineries

to suit every taste.

instruction which usually includes multiple teaching/learning methods such as

lectures, case studies, classroom discussions, to name a few. As faculty, we mentor

our students through difficult times, holding tutoring sessions, offer additional

aids to our students, such as 1-on-1 consultations, review sessions, or hands on

demonstrations to support our students. With the efforts we provide as nurse

educators, we hope that the outcome of our efforts has empowered our students

to succeed.

There may be many issues in today’s world that lead students down an

unproductive path. The problem may be time management (work-school-life

balance), personal issues, comprehension of academic material, or a myriad of

other things. Unless we, as nursing faculty, can identify the barriers, the outcome

may not be as expected and result in unsuccessful completion of a nursing

course. With this outcome comes a variety of issues on the faculty side – realizing

that our efforts were in vain for some students may place a faculty member at

a disadvantage – will he/she feel that they did everything in their power to help

the student to succeed? Will the faculty member look at the student’s path to see

“is there anything else I could have done for this student?” Unless there is an

established plan, the faculty member must act accordingly – notify the student of

his/her unsuccessful attempt in the class.

Looking back on the efforts of the student throughout the academic session,

is the accountability on the student to seek assistance if he/she is not performing

effectively? Has the faculty member kept the student in his/her sights and

identified them as an “at risk” student, offering all resources to lead the student

down a different path? But is the issue only on the student’s shoulders? Are faculty

prepared to “fail” a student if he/she underperforms in the academic setting? The

support faculty provide will not only be to assist the student to gain knowledge in

subject matter; however, if needed, they must also support the student during the

difficult time of realizing their efforts have not been successful in the academic

setting. Elliott (2016) recognized that faculty may require knowledge and skill to

support an unsuccessful student while in the process of discussing the potential

negative outcome. Peate (2018) identified that faculty may be reluctant to fail

students who do not meet the learning outcomes. Do faculty require additional

training to identify the need to make the appropriate decisions in these situations?

Do they need to gain knowledge of how to mentor students effectively who are

falling behind and have difficulty meeting the course requirements?

As faculty, we must first identify students who do not demonstrate the

application of knowledge in the classroom setting as an “at-risk” student.

North, Kennedy, Wray (2019) identified several reasons which may deter faculty

from recognizing underperforming students, such as faculty who exhibit lack of

confidence; unwillingness to devote time required to fail a student and emotional

impact of failing a student. So, as an educator, we need to look deeply to

determine… is it me or is it my student who needs assistance?


Elliott, C., (2016). Identifying and managing underperformance in nursing students. British

Journal of Nursing. 25(5). 250-255

North, H., Kennedy, M., Wray, J. (2019). Are mentors failing to fail underperforming

student nurses? An integrative literature review. British Journal of Nursing. 28(4),


Peate, I. (2018). Failing to Fail. British Journal of Nursing, 27(7): 355-355.

Apply online at

April 2021 New Jersey Nurse & Institute for Nursing Newsletter Page 11

Adult Use Cannabis in New Jersey

Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, Coalition for Medical

Marijuana–NJ, Inc., Executive Director

The Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey,

Inc. (CMMNJ) is an all-volunteer, non-profit, 501(c)(3)

educational organization, incorporated in the State

of New Jersey. The mission of CMMNJ is to educate

the public about medical E marijuana. The goal of

CMMNJ is to have safe and legal access to medical

marijuana for all New Jersey patients who can benefit

from it.

On March 10, 2020 CMMNJ celebrated the 17th

anniversary of its founding.

CMMNJ was instrumental in getting the "New

Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act"

introduced into the Legislature in 2005 and passed

into law in 2010.

In 2014, CMMNJ’s Board of Directors endorsed

legalization of marijuana. The Board recognized

legalization as the most efficient and effective way to

get the therapeutic effects of marijuana to the vast

number of patients who can benefit from this plant.

Legalization of marijuana is also an important step in

undoing the harms to our society that are caused by

our current policy of drug prohibition.

In 2020, CMMNJ conducted a campaign

in support of the New Jersey ballot question

to legalize marijuana. CMMNJ broadened its

coalition of supporters; continued its educational

campaign; instructed residents to register to vote;

and, encouraged residents to vote "YES" on Ballot

Question #1 in the General Elections on November


The final election results on Question 1 to Legalize

Marijuana in New Jersey:

YES - 2,737,674 (67%)

NO - 1,343,603 (32%)

(As of 11/25/20 with 6,348 of 6,348 Precincts

Reporting - 100%)

Cannabis legalization won in all 21 counties in

New Jersey, with approval rates from 75% in Camden

County to 60% in Ocean County. The Constitutional

Amendment takes effect on 1/1/21. Per the ballot

question’s Interpretive Statement: “The Cannabis

Regulatory Commission (will) oversee the new adult

cannabis market…The scope of the commission’s

new authority (will) be detailed in laws enacted by the


It is estimated that cannabis will be available for

purchase over the counter by adults in New Jersey

in late 2021. Registered Nurses are encouraged to

familiarize themselves with the Endocannabinoid

System (ECS). This system in the human body was

discovered only about 25 years ago, and it is not yet

taught in most nursing or medical schools. The ECS

provides the scientific understanding for how cannabis

can be a safe and effective treatment for such a wide

variety of diseases, symptoms, and conditions. For

a list of the debilitating medical conditions that are

currently approved by the Department of Health for

cannabis therapy, see:


In 2020, CMMNJ held twelve free, public meetings

on the second Tuesday of each month from 7 - 9 PM.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the meetings since

April 2020 were conducted via Zoom conferences.

CMMNJ sent the agendas for these meetings via

e-mail to over 1000 supporters each month and

posted the agendas on Facebook, Twitter and on the

CMMNJ blog.

For further information contact CMMJ at: www.

Page 12 New Jersey Nurse & Institute for Nursing Newsletter April 2021

Trauma, COVID-19 and Collective Resilience

A Way Forward for Nursing

“It was bad, really bad. Traumatizing. I didn’t recognize

my ED. Beds and equipment were everywhere. The

noise never stops, alarms, ventilators. I was in a war


Like the fiercely precipitous arrival of COVID-19, stress

and trauma have disrupted our lives and practices. The

consequences may be invisible yet toxic, in different ways.

Although stress is alleviated once a stressor is removed,

trauma lingers on after we are exposed or witness actual

or threatened death or serious injury (APA, 2013).

War, assault, death, and mass casualties are traumatic

events. Throughout the pandemic nurses have struggled Donna Gaffney

with some if not all types of trauma; alien landscapes,

hazardous responsibilities, and witnessing deaths in unprecedented numbers.

Unlike stressors, traumatic events precipitate a cascade of physical and

emotional responses, lasting well after the event ends. These reactions are

normal in the aftermath of trauma, and can vary, depending on the situation, life

experiences, and coping skills. Memories of traumatic events, both durable and

accurate, are accompanied by physiological arousal affecting sleep, concentration

and day-to-day activities. Nurses working in the most harrowing COVID settings

are likely to have traumatic memories, at least for a while. When such memories

cause long term distress, posttraumatic stress disorder is a possibility.

Previous traumas can contribute to new symptoms. When nurses bear witness

to critically ill patients and overwhelming clinical settings, it takes a toll, no matter

how well prepared they are. Nurses in many practice environments, not only ICU

or emergency departments, have been impacted by this public health crisis. A new

study by the International Council of Nurses (2021) found that almost 80% of their

affiliate associations reported that nurses working during the COVID-19 response

experience mental distress. The pandemic has triggered collective trauma within

the entire nursing profession.

Collective trauma refers to traumatic events that affect an entire community,

society, or profession, and we’ve seen it before. In the early months after 9/11,

researchers emphasized the potential for resilience: “When the trauma happens

on this large of a scale, it is an opportunity to capitalize on the collective grief and

trauma that we all feel, and destigmatize it. . . . I believe in our ability to cope. I

believe in resilience.” (Yehuda, Korn, 2001). Today nursing colleagues are coming

together from many settings. There is a path to healing.

“I’m in awe of my coworkers. We have each other's backs. I’ve never felt closer.”

Hirschberger describes healing that “begins with a collective trauma,

transforms into a collective memory, and culminates in a system of meaning that

allows groups to redefine who they are and where they are going.” (p.1, 2018).

Resilience is the capacity to overcome adversity, not only bouncing back, but

moving forward. It is forged over time, in community. Humans are relational

beings; our interdependence on each other is indispensable for well-being and

resilience. Collective resilience is fostered by shared beliefs—making meaning of

the pandemic and its challenges. It’s possible to gain a positive, hopeful outlook,

rising above distress and hardship by redefining values and transforming priorities

and purpose, and deeper bonds (Walsh, 2020).

Communal coping occurs in the face of shared trauma, by linking emotional

connection and collaborative problem solving. Nurses are describing meaningful

interactions with their colleagues— expressions of gratitude, offering help, physical

and emotional presence. New research confirms the effectiveness of these “rich,

reciprocal, and attuned experiences of emotional connection” (Bender, 2021).

Nurses also share their sadness, frustration, and grief. There is even a place for

humor and light-heartedness in these emotionally connecting activities—posting

memes, group competitions, and music playlists (Bender, 2021).

Resilience can be strengthened in unique ways. Getting involved, through

advocacy or activism, contributes to the profession and the community. Yet

there is an even greater benefit—taking action is a potential antidote to vicarious

trauma. Writing and sharing stories of one’s challenges also empowers and heals

(Pennebaker & Smyth, 2016; DeSalvo, 2000).

Coping with trauma and stress means taking time to learn effective strategies

that promote well-being and healing. It also means sharing those strategies with

each other. Building collective resilience can be the way forward.


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental

disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: Author.

Bender, A., Berg, K., Miller, E. et al. (2021). Making sure we are all okay: Healthcare

workers’ strategies for emotional connectedness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clinical Social Work Journal.

DeSalvo, L. 2000. Writing as a way of healing. Boston: Beacon Press.

Hirschberger G (2018) Collective trauma and the social construction of meaning. Front

Psychol. 9:1441.

International Council of Nurses. (2021, January 13). The COVID-19 Effect: World’s nurses

facing mass trauma, an immediate danger to the profession and future of our health

systems. Geneva: Author.

Korn, M. (2001). Posttraumatic stress disorder—an interview with Rachel Yehuda, Ph.D.

Med Gen Med, 3, (4).

Pennebaker, J.W. & Smyth, J.M. (2016). Opening up by writing it down. NY: Guilford


Walsh, F. (2020). Loss and resilience in the time of COVID-19: Meaning making, hope,

and transcendence. Family Process, 59(3), 898-911.


Donna Gaffney, DNSc, PMHCNS-BC, APRN, FAAN, is collaborating with

nonprofits and universities during the pandemic. She created the webinar series

Healing Ourselves While Healing Others, for Rutgers University and adapted it for

Northeastern University School Health Academy. Donna offers prop-bono therapy

through the Emotional PPE Project, and is a facilitator for the New Jersey Nursing

Initiative’s Virtual Schwartz Rounds.

April 2021 New Jersey Nurse & Institute for Nursing Newsletter Page 13

Incivility Among Nursing Faculty in Academia in New Jersey:

Some Highlights

Valera A. Hascup, PhD, MSN, CCES, DLC,

Associate Professor, Saint Peter’s University,

Jersey City, N.J., Funded by the NJCCN via the

George Hebert Award

The purpose of this comparative correlational

research study was to explore the perception,

presence, and extent of faculty-to-faculty incivility

in nursing academia and its impact on the nursing

shortage. The aim of this study was to shed more light

on this negative behavior to improve the culture of

nursing in academia to attract and retain faculty.

The theoretical framework for this study was

Freire’s (1972) Oppressed Group Behavior Theory

(OGBT). Characteristics of oppressed groups

include assimilation, marginalization, exploitation,

powerlessness, and horizontal violence. Matheson

and Bobay (2007) and Dubrowsky (2013) related the

OGBT to nursing and consider nursing an oppressed


There is much literature on incivility in the clinical

setting, but little empirical evidence of incivility among

nursing faculty in academia. For this study, workplace

academic incivility was defined as “a low intensity

behavior with ambiguous intent to harm that violates

workplace norms of mutual respect” (Anderson &

Pearson, 1999). These low intensity behaviors can

include ignoring, yelling, interrupting someone who is

speaking, spreading rumors, taking credit for other’s

work, sabotaging colleagues work, envy of colleagues’

achievements, and power differentials between

the victim and perpetrator (Guidroz et al., 2010).

Noteworthy is that incivility in academia is rarely


IRB approval was received from Saint Peter’s

University. A purposive sample of 669 nursing faculty

was recruited via Survey Monkey from both public

and private New Jersey university websites, with a

return of 153 completed surveys with a response

rate of 23%. The Workplace Incivility/Civility Survey

[WICS] survey (Clark, et. Al, 2015), a Likert type

format scale, was used for data collection and included

a narrative component to elicit ways to foster civility

and create a healthy work environment. The survey

measured perceptions of experiencing and frequency

with workplace incivility from a broad co-worker

perspective. Cronbach’s was reported at .95.

Stata was used for statistical analysis. The

results revealed that on a scale of 0 (no incivility) to

100 (completely uncivil), the incivility rating was

62.81. Eighty-eight percent of the participants

believed incivility to be a problem, and 60 percent

believed incivility to be moderate to severe in their

organization. The frequency with which respondents

experienced incivility themselves was significantly

related to how much they viewed it as a problem.

Fifty percent had the intent to leave their position

due to incivility. Tenured faculty experienced and

saw more incivility than non-tenured faculty. The

majority (61%) had a minimal level of confidence in

addressing incivility in the workplace. The top three

contributing factors for workplace incivility were sense

of entitlement; imbalance of power and unclear roles

and expectations; and organizational culture. The

top three strategies for improving workplace incivility

were role modeling professionalism and civility;

establishing codes of conduct for acceptable and

unacceptable behavior; taking personal responsibility

and accountability for behavior. Findings from the

study may help to inform strategies to reduce incivility

and the faculty shortage.


Anderson L., & Pearson, C. (1999). Tit for tat: The

spiraling effects of incivility in the workplace. The

Academy of Management Review, 24(3), 452-471.

Clark, C. M., Barbosa-Leiker, C., Gill, L. M., & Nguyen,

D. (2015). Revision and Psychometric Testing of

the Incivility in Nursing Education (INE) Survey:

Introducing the INE-R. Journal of Nursing Education,

54(6), 306-315.


Clark, C., Landis, T., & Barbosa-Leiker, C. (2020). National

study on faculty and administrators’ perceptions of

civility and incivility in nursing education. Nurse

Educator 00(00), 1-8. https://doi.org10.1097/


Dubrosky, R. (2013). Iris Young’s five faces of oppression

applied to nursing. Nursing Forum, 48(3), 205-210.

Freire, P. (1972). Pedagogy of the oppressed. (Myra

Bergman Ramos, Trans., 1968). Herder.

Guidroz, A., Burnfield-Geimer. J., Clark, O.,

Schwetschenau, H., & Jex, S. (2010). The nursing

incivility scale: Development and validation of an

occupation-specific measure. Journal of Nursing

Measurement, 18(3), 176-201.

Matheson, L. K., & Bobay, K. (2007). Validation of

oppressed group behaviors in nursing. Journal of

Professional Nursing, 23(4), 226-234.

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Page 14 New Jersey Nurse & Institute for Nursing Newsletter April 2021


Members in the News

The author’s names were left off this article from

the January issue, page 19.

Utilization of a RN Journal Club in the ICU as

an Engagement and Teaching Strategy

Primary Author/Presenter:

Natasha Lopez, MSN, RN, AGNP-BD, CCRN,


Email: Office:



Naomi Fox MSN, RN, CCRN


Saint Barnabas Medical Center

Visit today!

Search job listings

in all 50 states, and filter by location and credentials.

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Sandra Baker





Congratulations go out

to Sandy Baker, NJSNA

Region-3 Member-at-Large

and Vice-President of New

Jersey State Association

of Parliamentarians. She

successfully completed the

Professional Qualifying

Course to achieve the

highest level of parliamentary

credentialing offered by

the National Association

of Parliamentarians, which Sandra Baker

represents Professional

Registered Parliamentarians (PRP).

Baker shared that "It was a lot of hard work.

However, I am determined to better serve my

professional organizations and clients, empower the

youth, and enhance the parliamentary profession, as

a Professional Registered Parliamentarian. I want to

thank all of those who supported and contributed to

my journey to PRP status, especially NJSNA Region

3, Chi Eta Phi (Tau Chi), and Northern NJBNA

for affording me the opportunity to serve as your

President and Parliamentarian. Most of all, I thank

God for seeing me through it all." Please join NJSNA

in congratulating Sandy Baker, PRP!!!


Center for Nursing

Names Laura Mularz


The Board of the New

Jersey Collaborating Center

for Nursing (NJCCN) elected

Dr. Laura Mularz Board

Chairperson at the December

2020 meeting. In 2018,

Mularz was appointed to

the NJCCN Board by the

Speaker of the New Jersey

(NJ) Assembly based on

the recommendation of the

Organization of Nurse Leaders

of NJ. Mularz, a member of

Laura Mularz

NJSNA Region 6, is currently Director of Patient Care

Services at Hackensack Meridian Health JFK Medical

Center. She has experience as Nurse Manager and

Advanced Practice Nurse where her role focused on

professional development of the nursing staff, research,

and caring for patients with wounds and ostomies. In

the past, she held a position as a Scientific Indexer for

Schering Plough Research Institute where she was

responsible for abstracting and indexing scientific articles

and has served as adjunct faculty in a number of nursing

programs. Mularz received her Diploma in Nursing from

Muhlenberg School of Nursing, BSN and MSN from

Seton Hall University, and DNP in Nursing Leadership

from Rutgers University. Her capstone project, titled

“Development, Implementation, and Evaluation

of Curricula to Improve Front-line Nurse Manager

Engagement” was presented nationally and published in

the Journal for Nurses in Professional Development.

Mularz is presently a manuscript reviewer for the

American Journal of Nursing for wound and skin care

manuscripts. She holds American Nurses Credentialing

Center (ANCC) Board Certification as an Adult Clinical

Nurse Specialist and Nurse Executive. She is currently

part-time Instructor, Advance Practice Division, Rutgers

School of Nursing, and an Item Writer for the ANCC for

the Nurse Executive Exam.

April 2021 New Jersey Nurse & Institute for Nursing Newsletter Page 15

Healthy Nurse Healthy

New Jersey

Update from the NJSNA

LPN Forum

Wendy Britt, LPN, CMCN, NJSNA LPN Forum


Welcome Spring! Traditionally, spring is seen as a time

of awakening, growth, and renewal. It is in that vein that

I am happy to announce 2021 will be an exciting year

of growth and renewal for the LPN Forum (FLPN)! We

continue to grow by adding members and subscribers

monthly. At the time of this writing, we have 350 FLPN

Facebook members and 84 email subscribers.

The last FLPN Conference Call was held on January

14, 2021 and it was very productive! We had nine

engaged callers, including the new NJSNA President Mary

Ellen Levine, DNP, MSN/Ed, RN. We touched on quite a few topics:

• Kimberlae Key, LPN, who works in pediatric

homecare, represented the LPN Forum by

participating in the NJ Nursing Initiative Schwartz

Rounds (, which are a unique forum for

convening and supporting healthcare staff. She was

a great participant and she felt that the Schwartz

Rounds were extremely helpful for her, giving her

a support system and ultimately better coping

mechanisms to deal with the isolation she feels

working in a homecare during the pandemic.

• Members voiced their visions for NJ LPNs such

as having more advocacy available to support

NJ LPNs, discussed broadening the LPN scope

of practice – allowing supervision of NJ Home Health Aides, and utilizing

more LPNs in acute care hospitals – especially in response to the pandemic.

Building and Renewal of the FLPN

• The BIGGEST news for the FLPN will be the establishment of an Executive

Committee. Nominations/volunteers are needed for the elected offices

of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer. This will be

conducted according to the established NJSNA FLPN Guidelines. If you are

interested in these positions, please email the FLPN at

• Membership Drive - NJ has 23,900+ LPNs! We need to reach as many

LPNs as possible to build the FLPN so that all LPN voices may be heard

and counted. Please SHARE our forum with your NJ LPN friends and NJ

LPN Students!

• Committees - GET INVOLVED! Many hands make light work! We have

an ongoing need for multiple regional contributors to report local happenings

back to the FLPN from YOUR part of New Jersey! We will also be establishing

multiple committees for planning upcoming projects like the Membership

Drive and future In-person meetings (when it is safe from a COVID standpoint).

NOW is the time to establish and complete our inner structure so that we will

be ready to get out and meet with our NJ LPN colleagues! Email the FLPN at with any ideas or groups that you would like to see, or be a

part of. We look forward to hearing from YOU!

Please join the "New Jersey State Nurses LPN Forum" Facebook group at:

If you are not on Facebook, please subscribe directly for FLPN News/Updates

on our current email platform at:

Questions/Comments? Email the FLPN directly at:

**The Next scheduled FLPN Conference Call**

Thursday, June 10th, 2021 @7pm

Use call in phone #: 1-866-855-1152, PIN #: 63415020




Save the Date

October 27-29, 2021

Harrah’s Casino and Resort

Waterfront Conference Center

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Wendy Britt

Kimberlae Key

For More Information Contact:

Norma L. Rodgers, Exhibits Manager at or

Debra L. Harwell, Convention Manager at

Dear Healthy New Jersey Nurses,

I hope this note finds you well and still

taking good care of yourselves, getting

your Hygge on from time to time and

trying to reach your daily steps. Despite

the horrible curve ball that has changed

a lot of things, we are getting back up

every day and trying to stay strong. In

times when we are suffering, we need

to remember that reaching out for help

and sharing our burdens is also part of

self-care. We need to look after ourselves

before we can give our best to others.

We’ve been told this a million times, but

in the thick of it, we sometimes need a


I was recently inspired by the sight of two new nurses unpacking their very

healthy lunches at work. With their fresh, colorful and antioxidant-rich meals, they

are already role models for healthy eating on the job. Healthy Nurse Healthy New

Jersey June 2021 articles will address both Healthy Snacking and Night Shift

Nutrition. Our writers will offer tips, recipes and the research behind why we need

to pay more attention to the way we eat.

As a matter of fact, we’ve got a lot of wonderful, themed articles lined up for

this year—written by nurses, for nurses and for that we are so grateful. I always

love reading them because they offer knowledge on so many areas of self-care.

Writers are volunteers, and the time they take to put these articles together is truly

a gift to themselves and their fellow NJ Nurses. Most themes are revisited annually

because they are integral parts of a healthy lifestyle. I highly recommend a visit

to our Healthy Nurse Healthy New Jersey webpage (

Take the Healthy Nurse Pledge if you haven’t and check out our archive

of articles on topics like Healthy Sleep, Spirituality and Mindfulness, and the

importance of working to achieve work/life balance.

Members of the New Jersey Nurses Association are eligible to join the Healthy

Nurse Team which meets monthly via Zoom. Please stop by our New Jersey State

Nurses Healthy Nurse Facebook page (which now has 824 members) and share

your Healthy Nurse posts. Maybe you have photos of your picturesque walks

and runs, links to your favorite healthy recipes, meditations, inspirational books

and films. Know of a great virtual run or challenge? Reach a fitness goal? Post it

with pride! You could be inspiring someone else to reach theirs. We also have a

New Jersey State Nurses Association Pinterest account loaded with great pins on

multiple healthy lifestyle themes; stop on by.

If you are looking for Healthy Nurse resources, have any questions about

the program or would like to get more involved, please feel free to email us at


Lisa Ertle, B.A., R.N. and the Healthy Nurse Healthy New Jersey Team

Call for NJSNA Nominations

The NJSNA Nominating Committee has called for member

nominations for the 2021 election. All nominations are due to NJSNA

before October 22, 2021. Individuals can also be nominated at the

NJSNA Annual Meeting, October 27-28, 2021. Note that both the

nominator and nominee for the NJSNA 2021 elections must be NJSNA

members in good standing. Please contact Jennifer Chanti at jennifer@ or 609-883-5335 ext. 111 if you would like more information

on any of these positions or for a nomination form. Forms may also be

obtained at

In November 2021, members will be elected for 2022:

Vice President


Director (1)

Nominations (4)

Congress on Policy/Practice (1)

ANA Membership Assembly Representative (3)

2021 Official Call for Suggested

NJSNA Bylaw Revisions

Please consider this the official call for any suggested NJSNA bylaw

revisions for consideration at the 2021 NJSNA Annual Meeting, October

27-28, 2021. All proposed revisions must be submitted to NJSNA before

August 1, 2021. A copy of the Bylaws can be found on the member

landing page on MemberClicks. Please forward to: NJSNA Bylaws

Committee 1479 Pennington Road | Trenton, NJ 08618 FAX: 609-883-

5343 Email:

Call for Resolutions

Any NJSNA member may research, write and submit resolutions for

consideration at the 2021 NJSNA Annual Meeting. Resolutions should be

submitted in form for printing to the Resolutions and Reference Committee

through NJSNA at 1479 Pennington Road, Trenton, NJ 08618 or email Resolutions are due before August 1, 2021.

Page 16 New Jersey Nurse & Institute for Nursing Newsletter April 2021

Home Health Aides in New Jersey

Susan H. Weaver, PhD, RN, CRNI, NEA-BC, Edna Cadmus, PhD, RN, NEA-

BC, FAAN, and Pamela B. de Cordova, PhD, RN-BC

Until a loved one needs care, many of us do not think about the important

role of home health aides (HHA). The New Jersey (NJ) Board of Nursing certifies

HHAs, who are individuals employed by a home care agency and perform nursing

tasks delegated by a registered professional nurse (NJ Statutes Annotated, 45:11-

23(b)). For older adults, individuals with disabilities, chronic illnesses, or cognitive

impairment, the 56,862 HHAs in NJ provide essential hands-on patient care

related to activities of daily living.

With the aging U.S. population, the need for HHAs and personal care aides is

projected to grow 34 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average

for all occupations (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020). HHAs find their role

rewarding, as explained by a HHA, “Being a home health aide is a very rewarding

career because I get to make a difference in people’s lives daily and that is

fulfilling for me because that is my passion.” So, although HHAs find their career

rewarding, the increasing need for HHA is of special concern in NJ because of the

reported low salary, few full-time positions and irregular work schedule of HHAs

(Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020; Hewko et al., 2015; Weng & Landes, 2017).

The NJ Board of Nursing sets the standards for HHA education and training

programs and maintains a registry of all individuals who have certification as a

HHA. To become a HHA in NJ you can obtain your certification by 1) completing

a HHA training program, 2) holding a certification as a nurse aide (CNA) and

completing an additional course, or 3) completing a clinical nursing course in a

RN or LPN nursing education program (N.J.A.C. 13:37-14.9). Interestingly, the

NJ Department of Health (DOH) is responsible for CNA licensing. In November

2020, Assemblywoman Huttle introduced a bill (A5037) which would require

the NJ Board of Nursing to establish dual certification for CNA and HHA and

transfers CNA licensing authority from DOH to Board of Nursing.

The NJ Collaborating Center for Nursing (NJCCN) has begun researching

information about the role of the HHAs in NJ. In the Fall of 2020, the NJCCN

distributed a survey to the 30,971 HHAs with an email address listed with the

NJ Board of Nursing. The 958 HHAs who responded to the survey were

primarily female (91%), Black/African American (44%), a high school graduate/

GED (33%), and had six to 20 years of HHA experience (45%). The average age

of the HHA respondents was 47, and the primary employment setting for the

majority of HHAs (38%) was a home care agency. Although the majority of HHA

respondents worked full-time, a slight majority (53%) of all HHAs do not receive

any benefits with their job.

The HHA respondents indicated how concerned (very concerned, somewhat

concerned, or not at all concerned) they were regarding their personal health

and safety, about injuries from lifting or transferring, about working when sick,

their stress and mental health, and about being required to work overtime. As

depicted in Figure 1, the majority of HHAs indicated they were very concerned

about working when sick (59%), about injuries from lifting or transferring (48%),

and their personal health and safety (47%). For the final question of the survey,

HHAs were asked if there is any additional information they would like to share

about their HHA job. The responses received from 262 HHA were aggregated

into categories and the most common categories were: Underpaid, love the work,

extremely rewarding, hard work, and need benefits.

As NJCCN continues to gather information about this important workforce,

NJ nurses are especially charged to continue to advocate, support, and recognize

the important work of HHAs in caring for patients. NJ needs to continue to

attract home health aides who are passionate about caring for the citizens of

NJ. However, we need to advocate for HHAs to ensure they receive an adequate

salary with benefits.

Figure 1

HHA concerns regarding their personal health and safety, injuries from lifting or

transferring, and working when sick.


A5037, State of New Jersey 219th Legislature. (2020).

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor (2020). Occupational Outlook

Handbook, Home Health Aides and Personal Care Aides, on the Internet at https://

Hewko, S., Cooper, S., Huynh, H., Spiwek, T., Carleton, H., Reid, S., & Cummings,

G. (2015). Invisible no more: a scoping review of the health care aide workforce

literature. BMC Nursing, 14(38), 3-17. doi:10.1186/s12912-015-0090-x

NJ Administrative Code (N.J.A.C.), Title 13, Law and public safety, Chapter 37-13:37-14.9.

(2020). Retrieved from


NJ Statutes Annotated, Title 45, Chapter 11, New Jersey Board of Nursing Statutes,

45:11-27 Retrieved on May 3, 2018

Weng, S., & Landes, S. (2017). Culture and Language Discordance in the Workplace:

Evidence From the National Home Health Aide Survey. The Gerontologist, 57(5),

900–909. doi:10.1093/geront/gnw110

New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing:

The New Jersey Nursing Workforce Center

Established: December 12, 2002 by New Jersey (NJ) legislation P.L.


Vision: To be the dominant voice on nursing workforce solutions for New

Jersey citizens.

NJCCN Board: Seventeen-member Board appointed by the

Governor, Senate President, or Speaker of the Assembly with members

recommended from the following organizations: New Jersey State Nurses

Association, Organization of Nurse Leaders NJ, NJ League for Nursing,

NJ Hospital Association, Health Care Association of NJ, Home Care

Association of NJ, Council of Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Programs,

Council of Associate Degree Programs, Association of Diploma Schools

of Professional Nursing, Practical Nurse Educators’ Council of NJ, and an

LPN and RN who provide direct patient care, and two consumers of health


Board Chairperson: Laura Mularz, DNP, RN, APRN, ACNS-BC, NE-

BC, appointed by Speaker of the Assembly and representing Organization

of Nurse Leaders NJ.

Board Secretary: Donna Murray, MSN, RN, APN-C, WHNP-BC,

appointed by the Governor and representing NJ League for Nursing.

Executive Director: Edna Cadmus, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN

Reports: NJCCN is the primary source for data on the nursing workforce

with publication of an annual Nursing Data and Analysis Report.

Key Projects: Implementation of a state-wide acute care residency

program, and research studies on the LPN workforce and Home Health

Aide workforce

Location: Rutgers University, School of Nursing, Newark, NJ


Twitter: @NJ_CCN

April 2021 New Jersey Nurse & Institute for Nursing Newsletter Page 17

New Jersey Nurses at the helm of Leadership at the National

Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA)

Pressanna J Parackal, DNP, RN, CCRN, CNRN,

CRRN, Communications Chair

National Association of Indian Nurses of America


Established in 2006, the National Association of

Indian Nurses of America (NAINA) is a non-profit

501(c) 3 organization representing 22 chapters with

over 3,000 + members in 15 States across the US.

NAINA offers leadership, mentorship, and education

programs as an ANCC provider unit and supports

Nursing Now and the Nightingale challenge campaign.

About Lydia Albuquerque

Dr. Lydia Albuquerque has

been inducted as the eighth

president of the National

Association of Indian Nurses

of America (NAINA), which

has more than 3,000 nurses

across 21 chapters in 12


Albuquerque, says her

term as president will be

centered on communication,

research, education,

storytelling and, perhaps

most of all at this point in

history: advocacy. “Advocacy

is a pillar of nursing. Nurses

Dr. Lydia


President, NAINA

instinctively advocate for their patients, in their

workplaces, and in their communities, but legislative

and political advocacy is no less important to

advancing the profession and patient care,” she says.

Research, she adds, is also a pillar in her field,

as it helps nurses build knowledge and implement

evidenced-based practice. For that reason, as NAINA

president, Albuquerque plans to create research

interest groups that will work alongside NAINA’s

overall research committee. Research topics will

be related to the health and wellbeing of Asian

American immigrants, their social structure, patterns

of immigration, and experienced/anticipated effects of

COVID-19 on mental health.

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence

wins championships,” Albuquerque subsequently told

fellow nurses during her presidential inauguration

speech in December. “In the end, we will remember

not the word of our enemies, but the silence of our


She is currently readying

a 90-day presidential

virtual tour of listening

rounds, alongside her

NAINA executive team and

committee chairs. On her

100th day in office, Professor

Albuquerque says she will

work with those entities to

finalize a strategic plan for

NAINA for the next year.

Sandra Emmanuel an

education specialist at

Hackensack University

hospital will serve as the

chair for the Education and

professional development of

Sandra Emmanuel,

MA, RN, Education

Committee and



committee chair,


NAINA. Sandra brings in three decades of experience

in continuing nursing education and was named as the

finalist for the NAINA Nurse Excellence award and

Institute of Nursing, 2020 C.A.R.E.S. Award.”

National Association of Indian Nurses of America.

NAINA is an approved provider unit for continuing

education by ANCC. Sandra will oversee and

operationalize the education offers with contact hours

along with team members from 22 chapters and 15

states across the U.S. This term NAINA will focus on

developing partnership through community education

and activities.

Uma serves as an

administrative Supervisor/

Drug Diversion lead Nursing

at St Peter’s University

Hospital, New Brunswick and

an adjunct faculty at William

Paterson University. Uma

joins the Governing board

of NAINA in her elected role

as president of American

Association of Indian Nurses,

New Jersey chapter. Uma

has served the New Jersey

chapter in various roles and

also on the Board of congress

for NJSNA. Uma states that


Venugopal, MSN,


she will adopt the national vision and mission to forge

ahead towards excellence. In 2020 Uma was named

as the March of Dimes Finalist in administration

category and the finalist for the Institute for Nursing

(IFN), NJSNA C.A.R.E.S award. can point you

right to that perfect NURSING JOB!

Free to Nurses

Privacy Assured

Easy to Use

E-mailed Job Leads

Page 18 New Jersey Nurse & Institute for Nursing Newsletter April 2021

Nursing Theorist Sister Callista Roy Encourages Jersey

College’s iCare Initiative During Recent (Virtual) Meeting

Colette Gargiulo MSN-Ed,

Provost, Jersey College

Jersey College’s recent

iCare meeting took on

a special meaning when

Nursing Theorist Sister

Callista Roy provided expert

advice on the College’s

iCare initiative, a program

designed to promote a sense

of continued emotional

support as the student adjusts Colette Gargiulo

to college life while balancing

home and work commitments.

Sister Roy is highly recognized for her development

and continuous updating of the Roy Adaptation

Model (RAM). Her model views individuals as sets

of interrelated systems in environments consisting of

internal and external stimuli. Colette Gargiulo, Jersey

College Provost, commented on the significance of

Sister Callista Roy addressing the iCare mentors.

“Having an internationally acclaimed nursing theorist

speak with our mentors is humbling. Her theory is in

perfect alignment with our iCare program; “seeing”

the person and everything in their environment that

contributes to both their successes and challenges. We

adopt Sister Roy’s view of the person as a complex

being and we need to address and support the entire


In the iCare Program, students are paired with

faculty, staff and administrators with whom they meet

regularly to discuss challenges and potential barriers

to success. This support continues throughout their

enrollment in the college. Sister Roy commented on

the importance of a supportive environment and its

impact on health and wellness.

One participant wanted to know how to help

iCare students cope in the current educational

environment and in maintaining themselves in a

stringent educational process. “Coping has to do

with responding to a change,” said Sister Roy. “Talk

to them about what kinds of changes they had to

face in their lives and determine what was helpful

and what wasn’t.” Sister Roy also suggested asking

direct questions as, “What is the hardest thing for

you to deal with here and how can we help you?”

She commended the College’s practice of meeting

with iCare students early in their enrollments and for

staying focused on essential needs.

Sister Roy was asked how she sees her adaptation

model applied to current COVID health and

educational environments. Sister Roy said the

virus itself is an incredible stimulus and we must

ask ourselves how we are going to deal with it. She

said there’s good information from public health

officials and nurses are the ones who can assist in

implementing these recommendations. “Nurses have a

huge responsibility in times of a pandemic,” asserted

Sister Roy.

Sister Roy is a Professor Emeritus at Mount

Saint Mary’ University and at Connell School of

Nursing. Sister Roy is the recipient of numerous

awards including the Sigma Theta Tau International

Founders Award for her contributions to advancing

nursing science. Later this year, Sister Roy is slated

to receive the Sigma Theta Tau International Lifetime

Achievement Award.

Established in 2003, Jersey College is a nationally

recognized accredited private institution of higher

learning specializing in nursing education. The

College has graduated more than 8,000 nurses

across its seven campuses located in New Jersey and

Florida. The iCare Program is directly aligned with its

mission of supporting students in accomplishing their

educational and professional goals.

COPP Report: Denouncing Human Trafficking Resolution

Francesca Nordin MSN, APN, CPNP-PC,

Congress on Policy and Practice


The Resolution Denouncing Human Trafficking

development was a labor of love dedicated to all the

peoples we care for as nurses. The labor of love is

noted because of the gravity and magnitude of human

trafficking affecting vast numbers of people. The work

was demanding related to the type of information

necessary to review. We express gratitude to all who

shared their expertise, completed literature searches,

wrote, edited and proofread.

The need for such resolutions addressing human

trafficking was identified at the Fall 2019 Congress

of Policy and Practice (COPP) meeting. A Resolutions

Sub-Committee was created with Francesca Nordin

MSN, APN, CPNP-PC as the Chairperson. Uma

Venugopal MSN, RN, CCRN-K and Kathleen

Vnenchak MSN, RN, CNML joined her on this


Main aspects of human trafficking were identified:

• Population affected: Adults and Children

• Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome: burden of

being trafficked has long term ramifications for

suffering victims

• Types: Sex trafficking, Slavery, Forced Labor,

Debt Bondage, Forced Marriages, Domestic

Servitude, Recruiting and use of Child Soldiers,

and Cyber Sex Trafficking

• Health Care Providers Response: Nursing

Interventions, Medical Interventions and Mental

Health/Psychological Interventions

• Legal Response: Criminality of, Law

Enforcement, Immigration and Customs

Enforcement, Federal Bureau of Investigation


• Statistics: Global, American and New Jersey

Kathy Vnenchak, who is a nurse educator leader,

completed the background research with a review of

the literature on human trafficking. Uma Venugopal,

who has Nursing expertise in substance abuse, was

designated to make the connections of trafficking

to drug abuse and focus on the adult population.

Francesca Nordin, who is a Pediatric Nurse

Practitioner and as Chair, was designated to write

the document, focus on the pediatric population,

Statistics, Legalities, and Nursing Interventions.

After much research, writing, citing references,

APA formatting, and proofreading by NJSNA

members, the subcommittee completed the resolution.

Francesca Nordin sent the completed Resolution

Denouncing Human Trafficking to the NJSNA Board

of Directors (BOD), and it was approved and accepted

by the BOD on July 7, 2020. At the October 2020

NJSNA Summit the Resolutions were presented by

Francesca Nordin and the quorum present voted to

accept the Resolution Denouncing Human Trafficking.

They can be read here: NJSNA Resolutions

Denouncing Human Trafficking 2020.

April 2021 New Jersey Nurse & Institute for Nursing Newsletter Page 19

2020 SPAPN Advocate of the

Year Award

Edited by Laura Leahy,


This Fall, Herb Conaway, Jr, MD, the NJ

assemblyman, was honored by the Society of Psychiatric

Advanced Practice Nurses (SPAPN) with their 2020

Advocate of the Year Award for his tireless efforts in

addressing the mental health and substance use needs of

NJ citizens.

Asm Conaway’s leadership as Chair of the Assembly

Health Committee, offered guidance on the easing of

licensure requirements so that healthcare professionals

could be rapidly deployed to address the COVID 19

outbreak which devastated so many. These actions

allowed Advanced Practice Nurses to be able to practice

at the fullest extent of their licensure, education, and Herb Conaway, Jr

training to increase access to care for NJ citizens since the

start of this public health crisis.

During the pandemic, there has been a substantial increase in mental health

concerns, Asm Conaway’s forethought in acknowledging and planning to expand

access to mental health and addictions treatment providers, maintaining the use of

telehealth technology and reducing the insurance and regulatory barriers to care

for those with psychiatric and substance use disorders, will reduce the negative

sequela on these vulnerable patients, families and communities.

Asm Conaway convened a hearing on Mental Health & COVID 19 with

almost 20 mental health and addictions professionals & organizations to better

understand the challenges encountered when providing care to these underserved

individuals. As he has noted, “Not only has mental health always been just as

important as physical health, but the two are inextricably intertwined. The spread

of COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of public health more than ever

before, and our residents cannot be in peak physical health unless their mental

health needs are also addressed… New Jersey must be prepared to address

the mental health of our residents, including the frontline workers and minority

communities most impacted by this pandemic.” By hearing from these many

professionals and organizations, including SPAPN, it is clear, your mission & ours

align to assist ALL NJ residents to optimize their physical health by ensuring their

mental health needs are met.

SPAPN also applauds his acknowledgement of the rise in teen depression

and suicide as well as the ever-increasing mental health needs. His bill (A970)

requiring NJ public schools to administer depression screenings for certain

students in grades 7 through 12, will certainly aid in identifying those at risk and

present avenues for treatment. As the uncertainty of the COVID 19 pandemic

continues, our children and adolescents' mental health needs are likely to further

increase given the isolation from their peers and activities, the challenges of

remote learning and many with unstable home lives and limited resources.

Finding ways to expand access to mental health treatment for New Jersey’s youth

will be even more essential during these trying times in our world.

Acknowledging that barriers to practice and licensure for Nurses and other

healthcare professionals needs to be removed to allow greater access to healthcare

on the frontline and backend of the pandemic and beyond.

WPU Nursing Student

Federal Grant Awarded To

Increase Diversity in Medically

Underserved Communities

Renee F. Pevour MS RN

The Health Services and Resources Administration (HRSA), grant awarded

$650,000 in scholarships to nursing students this upcoming academic year. A new

William Paterson University nursing grant is designed to add nursing professionals

to medically underserved communities in northern New Jersey. The HRSA

scholarship program aims to promote diversity in health care by providing support

to nursing students with demonstrated financial need, who are enrolled full-time

in nursing and show a demonstrated interest in working in medically underserved


Co-director of the HRSA grant, Elizabeth Galetz, PhD

RN, explains “We truly want students to not have to

worry about balancing school and working fulltime, which

they sometimes have to do. This way they can really focus

on their academics and then hopefully give back to the


As of Spring 2021 there are over 25 full-time students

enrolled in the grant program with various amounts of

support being provided. It supports the cost of tuition,

books, on-campus housing/meal plan, nursing-specific

needs (uniforms, sneakers, some components of the

health requirements like background check fee). For

commuting students, a stipend will be provided to assist

with travel expenses.

Elizabeth Galetz

The University’s HRSA grant team, includes nursing professors Nadine Aktan,

Lydia Albuquerque, Joset Brown and Elizabeth Galetz. They explained the WPU

nursing students are quite diverse. An annual nursing department student survey

reveals that a large number of students work, are ethnically diverse, and speak

a variety of languages at home. A commitment of supporting these students to

successful graduation and licensure is also a commitment to promote ethnically

sensitive professional care in the Northern New Jersey area.

Page 20 New Jersey Nurse & Institute for Nursing Newsletter April 2021

William Paterson

University Nursing

Student Shares Her

Experience During

the Pandemic

Written by Jasmil Garcia

Submitted by Dr. Mary Ellen Levine

If it weren’t for the grace of God, I wouldn’t have

the courage to write my story today. Adjusting to the

new “normal” has been strenuous. The challenges I

face as a nursing student, a mother and a healthcare

worker have not only made me stronger but has also

inspired me to share my story with others.

As a nursing student, the change was difficult. I am

the type of student who learns best in a face-to-face

classroom setting and I’ve had to face the challenge of

teaching myself online.

As a healthcare worker, I’ve had to pick up shifts to

help my department due to sick staff members and an

overwhelming number of patients seeking emergent


The hardest battle I’ve faced during this pandemic

has been parenting. My son severely struggled with

the overwhelming changes he was suddenly forced to

face which led him towards depression. Facing those

same struggles, myself, I felt his pain on the deepest

levels. As a mother, I have a responsibility to love,

protect and ensure my child’s happiness and during

the pandemic I felt like I was failing him. Holding my

son tightly as he cried in my arms while holding back

my own tears and fears is a memory that keeps me

pushing forward.

Don’t ever think you are stuck in a situation. You

must push yourself, find solutions, pray and above all

else remain positive and learn how to love yourself

first so you can love and help others. Get up, smile,

and go love.

Need someone to talk to? NJ Hopeline is here to help.

Contact New Jersey Suicide Prevention Hopeline at

855-NJHopeline (855-654-6735) or www.njhopeline.


KEEWAYDIN in Vermont


If you are a qualified nurse who enjoys working with kids,

consider a summer at Songadeewin of Keewaydin for girls or

Keewaydin Dunmore for boys on beautiful Lake Dunmore in

the heart of the Green Mountains of Vermont. Newly renovated

Health Centers and private areas for Nurses. Keewaydin’s

website is Contact Ellen Flight at (802)

352-9860 or by email at

Looking for FT or PT RN’s, LPN’s, and

CNA/CHHA’s. Flexible Shifts Available!

The Arc of Ocean provides supports to

individuals with developmental disabilities. We

are seeking FT and PT medical staff to work in our

Group Homes in Ocean County, NJ. The successful

candidates will assist our residents with everyday

life activities, in additional to providing clinical

support. We proudly offer benefits, paid time off,

and flexible work schedules.

Apply online:

or by contacting 732-363-3335 x104 or by email

Role-specific Education for Administrative


Susan H. Weaver, PhD, RN,


“Call the supervisor”

can be heard from evening

and night shift nurses when

they have any type of

question during their shift.

Administrative or house

supervisors are the nurse

leaders present in hospitals

and long-term care facilities

on the evening, night, and

weekend shifts.

After 25 years

of experience as an

administrative supervisor, I

began empirical investigation

of the administrative

supervisor role with my

dissertation, “Exploring the

Administrative Supervisor

role and its perceived impact

on nurse and patient safety,”

in which I interviewed 30

administrative supervisors

from 20 states. Recognizing

from this study that

Dr. Sue Weaver

Dr. Helene Burns

supervisors lacked role-specific education, we started

the annual Administrative Supervisor conference.

This innovative conference has evolved in just three

years from a conference with supervisors from 72%

of NJ hospitals in attendance to an annual event

with attendance of hundreds of supervisors from

throughout the Eastern United States. The outcomes

from these conferences impact these nurse leaders

and their organizations, augmenting their leadership

capacity by providing a unique opportunity for

networking and role-specific educational sessions,

Linda Corigliano, RN and the Healthy Nurse,

Healthy New Jersey Team

When we practice self-care, we can potentially

increase our self-esteem and boost our selfconfidence.

Simple things like eating healthier,

repeating positive quotes and allotting time for

relaxation can help us in that direction. Remind

yourself that are you a unique individual and

wonderfully complete, with or without a partner.

Say positive thoughts and believe them. Forgive

yourself when you make mistakes.

We also practice self-love when we take control

of our own lives. It is, after all, your life. Schedule

“me time” into your day. Take a short stroll through

your neighborhood and get some fresh air. Take

time out for a healthy snack and prepare healthy

meals for yourself. Organize your environment.

Learn how to say “no” if you already have too much

on your plate.

such as hospital safety

and security and how to

evacuate a hospital during

the night shift. In a followup

evaluation after the

2019 conference, attendees

specified new practices

that allow them to perform

more effectively to improve

organizational outcomes

such as: “Becoming more

involved with hospital wide

committees,” “Improving

communication with nurse

managers,” and “Reviewed

the emergency plans for the


Although we did not

have the conference in

2020 due to the pandemic,

there will be a virtual

Administrative Supervisor

Conference this year

on April 28, 2021. This

virtual conference, which

will be sponsored by the

Organization of Nurse

Leaders New Jersey, will

Annmarie Cutroneo

Jennifer Flynn

include the following presentations: Dr. Helene Burns

will present about Emotional Intelligence, Annmarie

Cutroneo will discuss Challenging Families, Jennifer

Flynn a Risk Manager from Affinity Insurance

Services will provide Malpractice Insights: Top

Nursing Liability Concerns, a panel of Administrative

Supervisors will discuss creative staffing, and of course

Weaver will provide an update on the Administrative

Supervisor research. For more information about this

conference, please Sue Weaver (

or 201-787-1281) or Susan Cholewka (scholewka@ or 732-421-7557)

Self-Love: Practice Self Care

Matheny is a special hospital and school for children and

adults with medically complex developmental disabilities and

a comprehensive outpatient center meeting the health care

needs of people with all types of disabilities in the community.

Are you ready to make a difference in the lives of

our special children and adults? We are hiring!

Registered Nurse at our specialized Hospital, Full Time

and Per Diem Shifts | Licensed Practical Nurses at our

Group Homes, Full Time and Per Diem Shifts

View our openings and apply today!


or email us at

RNs & LPNs

Practice mindfulness and healthy sleep routines.

Sleep is so important to our physical and emotional

wellbeing. Getting a good night’s sleep allows your

body to be better prepared for whatever comes

next and allows you to think differently and react

to situations in a well-thought-out manner. Studies

have shown that chronic lack of sleep or poorquality

sleep can increase one’s risk of disorders

like hypertension, obesity, cardiovascular disease

and depression (National Institute of Neurological

Disorders and Stroke, 2019). Remind yourself that

you deserve to sleep and allow yourself to forget

your cares and reset yourself for another day.

When we fly, we are reminded to put our oxygen

masks on first before putting them on the person

for whom we are responsible. It holds true in life—

we must take care of ourselves so we can better

care for someone else.

Check out “Inspirational Self-Care Quotes

to Lift Your Spirits: Positive Messages to Keep

Your Mind in Check” (Phillips, 2020) (https://


Visit the Healthy Nurse Healthy New Jersey

web page and commit to taking care of yourself

by taking the Health Nurse Pledge at https:// and

looking through some of our self-care articles in our

Healthy Nurse Bag.


National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

(2019, August). Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep.

National Institute of Health. https://www.ninds.


Phillips, K. (2020 June, 7) Inspirational Self-Care

Quotes to Lift Your Spirits: Positive Messages to

Keep Your Mind in Check Country Living. https://


April 2021 New Jersey Nurse & Institute for Nursing Newsletter Page 21

Nurse Practitioner (NP) Student Knowledge of PrEP in

Preventing HIV in High-Risk Women

Regina Inokon, DNP, APN, NP-C, FNP-BC

Introduction: HIV incidence remains

unacceptably high, with the Joint United Nations

Programme on HIV and AIDS reporting more than

36.9 million PLWH and 2.4 million new infections

worldwide in 2017 (UNAIDS, 2018). Pre-exposure

prophylaxis (PrEP) has been shown to be safe and

effective in reducing the risk of HIV infection by more

than 90% (CDC, 2019).

Purpose: The purpose of this pilot study was to

assess knowledge and awareness of PrEP in senior

NP students and compare the effectiveness of the

education interventions in increasing knowledge

of PrEP to high-risk women among NP students.

In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

approved PrEP for use in preventing HIV in high-risk

individuals, but uptake remains low in women.

Methodology: The study was conducted using a

pre-test, post-test design, and a two-weeks follow-up

post-test evaluation. Senior NP students enrolled in

an adult-gerontology primary care 3 clinical course

in a university in Northern New Jersey were recruited

for the study. The target population represents nurse

practitioner students training to become providers

in clinical settings that heavily rely on prescribing

medication as an essential part of the practice. After

completing the pre-test, the NP students received a

PrEP PowerPoint educational intervention; following

the teaching intervention, students completed a

post-test. Two weeks later, they completed another

two-weeks follow-up post-test evaluation to assess

retention and determine utility of the information in

the clinical setting.

Results: Thirty-two volunteered senior students

participated in the study. After an educational

intervention, significant increases in knowledge of

PrEP were noted from pre-test (M = 7.25) to posttest

(M = 8.75) based on both the paired t test (t[31] =

7.12, p = .001) and from pre-test (M = 7.25) to followup

(M = 9.63) based on both the paired t test (t[31] =

10.23, p = .001) and the Wilcoxon matched pairs test

(z[31] = 4.73, p = .001). Also, significant increases in

knowledge were also noted from post-test (M = 8.75)

to follow-up (M = 9.63) based on both the paired t test

(t[31] = 3.51, p = .001) and the Wilcoxon matched

pairs test (z[31] = 2.91, p = .004).

Conclusion: This pilot study was conducted to

assess NP student perceptions and attitudes about

PrEP. The NP students are enrolled in an adultgerontology

primary care 3 course in a university in

northern New Jersey. The study also evaluated the

NP students’ knowledge in identifying HIV high-risk

women, the likelihood of prescribing PrEP to high-risk

women, and concerns about PrEP. As PrEP is being

presented into clinical settings and its accessibility is

being expanded, it will be imperative to continue to

assess future providers’ knowledge, attitudes, and

practices for PrEP as an HIV prevention intervention.

This will facilitate creating educational resources for

NP students that will increase awareness of PrEP

prescribing and support for the adherence necessary

to achieve significant HIV reductions.

Center to Champion Nursing Recognizes Nurses’

Passion, Purpose and Progress

The Center to Champion Nursing held a special

event to honor the contributions of nurses during

these extraordinary times, recognize a decade of

nursing progress and prepare for the release of the

National Academy of Medicine’s second future of

nursing report that aims to advance health equity

through nursing. The webinar, the Future of Nursing:

Passion, Purpose and Progress, was hosted by

Susan Reinhard and featured AARP Foundation

President Lisa Marsh Ryerson, as well as leaders from

the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and nurse

leaders. It included a performance by country music

duo Brown & Gray, who sang a moving tribute to

pandemic nurses. 1,200 attendees from all 50 states

and the District of Columbia and 11 countries were

officially in attendance at the 2/24 CFA/CNA Summit

meeting. Watch the program at


Maria LoGrippo and Edna Cadmus, leaders of

the NJ Action Coalition

Paul Kuehnert, former RWJF Public Health

Nurse: Susan Hassmiller, Robert Wood Johnson

Foundation; and Susan Reinhard, AARP/CCNA

Page 22 New Jersey Nurse & Institute for Nursing Newsletter April 2021

NJNI Launches Virtual Schwartz Rounds (VSR)

to Aid in Stress Reduction for New JerseyNurses

While most people can reduce their risk of COVID

by sheltering at home, essential workers, including

nurses, are required to report to work, where their risk

of infection is particularly high. Witnessing the effects

of the pandemic and working in an environment that

may be overwhelmed and short-staffed—combined

with the fear of bringing the virus home to loved

ones—leads to healthcare providers that are stressed

out and stretched too thin.

In response, NJNI* launched Virtual Schwartz

Rounds as a weekly program to support the emotional

well-being of nurses. Schwartz Rounds were

developed by Ken Schwartz, a Boston attorney who

died at the age of 40 from lung cancer. He felt that

“the smallest acts of kindness make the unbearable

bearable.” He founded the Schwartz Center in 1995,

just days before his death, as a center that would

nurture compassion in healthcare and encourage

caregiver-patient relationships like those that made all

the difference to him.

Testimony 1

Nurses carry the weight of the world on their

shoulders. Pre-Pandemic, Pandemic, and post

pandemic what we do for a living is not normal.

We deal with so much stress, death, and dying.

When the pandemic hit, we were pushed beyond

our limits but we pushed back harder and we

will continue to fight no matter how hard it

gets. I did not know how much the pandemic

impacted my life until Schwartz Rounds. When

I actually had to sit down and write out all my

thoughts. Thinking back on what we have been

through and are still currently going through

literally (if you were present for my panel you

know what I am talking about) brought me to

tears. Schwartz Rounds helped me talk about

my feelings, talk about what we have been

through and really put these last few months

into perspective. Nurses need (and want) more

platforms like this, some place that they can

talk about the weight of the world rather than

just carrying it all the time. I am so humble and

honored to have taken part in Schwartz Rounds

about nursing stress during the pandemic.

Nicole Caristo RRT, RN, BSN

Come Join a

Dynamic Team!

Nurse Team Leader

(Full-time, 10am-6pm – flexibility required)

Overnight RN (Part-time)




Nursing Opportunities

Available Today!

Apply today at

3000 Essex Road, Tinton Falls, NJ 07753 | 732-481-6084

Requirements include New Jersey Registered Nurse License in good

standing. Experience in person centered care households. Preferred

experience with MDS and geriatric residents. CPR and IV certifications.

United Methodist Communities at The Shores –

certified Great Place to Work 3 years in a row!

Located in beautiful Ocean City, NJ

Schwartz Rounds are grand round style events that

focus on a theme related to the emotional impact of

patient care. Themes of “Leading through Stress

and Uncertainty” or "Transitioning from Work to

Home: Strategies to Decompress" are examples of

rounds topics. Virtual Schwartz begin with a small

panel of nurses who share their experience on the

day’s theme. The stories are oftentimes emotionally

compelling. Participants share their stories and

emotional responses and in doing so there is group

learning and support. A powerful aspect of the rounds

is making the connection with other nurses that share

similar experiences. Research has demonstrated that

Schwartz Rounds reduce stress and build resilience in

care providers.

Schwartz Rounds are held virtually. To date NJNI

has held five Schwartz Rounds with an average of 60

nurses in attendance. You can participate using any

computer or cell phone. If there are a large number

of registrants, the group is broken into smaller

groups after the panel presentation to facilitate

discussion. Although Schwartz rounds are held in

many health care facilities, this is the first to be

dedicated specifically to nurses across all health care

organizations in a state.

NJNI invites all NJSNA nurses to attend the Virtual

Schwartz Rounds. To learn more about VSR sessions

and to register, visit NJNI website at http://www.njni.


*The New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI) is a

program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

with assistance and support provided by the New

Jersey Hospital Association/Health Research and

Educational Trust, working to transform nursing

education in New Jersey. In response to the COVID

pandemic, in 2020, NJNI made the decision to

refocus their strategic direction on reducing stress and

building resilience in New Jersey’s nurses.

Vaccine vortex: The nurse leader during

the storm

Naomi Fox MSN, RN, NPD-BC, CCRN, Elaine

Lamb MSN, RN, CCRN-K, CSSGB and Kim

Rosales MSN, RN, CNML

The COVID-19 pandemic called for nurse leaders

to be adaptable and resilient. New Jersey’s spring

wave was felt as strong as the Jersey shore and

although nurses rode it out together, the challenges

are far from over.

Mid-November, our organization was informed

about the anticipated arrival of the COVID-19

vaccination. With a steadfast heed, operations

assembled and formed a facility COVID-19

Vaccination Taskforce. The six nurses on the

Taskforce included Chief Nurse Officer, Director of

Quality and Standards, Director of Accreditation and

Licensure, Nursing Director of Clinical Excellence

and Innovation, Nursing Director of Education

and Research, and Informatics Site Manager. The

multidisciplinary taskforce comprised of leaders

from operations, pharmacy, community health,

registration, human resources, volunteer office,

public relations and medicine.

The planning phase involved constant

collaboration, communication, education, evaluation/

re-evaluation of the design, workflow, roles, and

anticipated outcomes. Three volunteer roles were

designed: registration, vaccination and observation.

Qualifications and guidelines were outlined by the

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

for the roles and utilized (2020).

On December 21, 2020, we opened our

employee vaccination clinic ready to administer

an average of 240 vaccinations daily. The

implementation phase involved ongoing informatics

troubleshooting, schedule managing, clinical

expertise, communication, role qualification

evaluation, education and redesign. Our goal was to

safely and effectively vaccinate as many employees as

possible. The day-to-day clinical flow was managed

by one to three nurse leaders from the Taskforce.

While in the clinic, their title was Clinic Manager.

Testimony 2

My participation in Schwartz Grand Rounds

two weeks ago proved to be a very uplifting

and enlightening experience, not only because

it provided an avenue to share my most sincere

feelings and sentiments, but also allowed me to

connect with other leaders, who much like me,

had to “figure it out” as things were happening

with the pandemic. Being a panelist for this

session provided me with insight and tools

to assist my staff to cope with the stressors

that come in the healthcare field. For me in

particular, as a panelist provided perspective

as a nurse leader on the pandemic that there

is always an opportunity to grow and most

importantly that you are not alone. During

the round, nurses’ leaders from all areas were

able to participate on the topic. The facilitators

provided important insight into the different

themes of leading through stressful times.

Through these rounds, I was able to share and

pick-up strategies on how different views allows

us to handle different and difficult stresses,

mental fatigue, and responding to patients'

needs. For the rounds I participated in, I heard

feedback on how to improve morale and create

personal moments with different staff members

to ensure they felt supported and heard during

these most challenging times. Schwartz Rounds

allowed me to lead and reassess and even

refocus our care to center back to the patient

and support the staff in the best way possible.

Christiam Fajardo, MSN, RN

Our commitment as a Clinic Manager was to meet

the demand of our over 4000 employees, avoid

wasted doses, manage 2nd dose schedules with

two manufacturers, ensure patient understanding

of 2nd dose requirements, and limit and respond to

reactions. This force called for a Clinic Manager to

be on-site, at the front line, every minute of clinic

operating hours. Shift-by-shift, we educated new

volunteers, assisted with patient questions and

anxieties, scheduled, counted person to vaccine

ratios by the hour alongside pharmacy, managed

and triaged reactions, registered, vaccinated, and

observed patients.

The CDC standardized distribution of the

COVID-19 vaccine. When supplies of the COVID-19

vaccine are limited, vaccination should be offered in

a phased approach (CDC, 2020). Phase 1a was our

healthcare personnel. In one month we vaccinated

4,653 Phase 1a members of our organization. We

received a request to become a site for Phase 1b

community members. Phase 1b includes people ≥75

years of age and frontline essential workers (CDC,

2020). On January 22, 2021, our hospital opened to

the public after not having routine visitors for nearly

ten months. The nurse leader adapted, restructured

and committed to serving.

While workflow continues to evolve, lessons are

learned, and best-practices are set, the vaccination

vortex has proved to be a whirlwind related to the

unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Nurse leaders

are pulled into the storm, and are prepared with our

many hats, now more than ever, to find the rainbow.

Naomi, Elaine and Kim are nurse leaders at

Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New

Jersey and currently fill the Clinic Manager role at

the SBMC COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020).

COVID-19 Vaccination.


April 2021 New Jersey Nurse & Institute for Nursing Newsletter Page 23

NJ Elections 2021

What You Need To Know

Keith Hovey, JD, BSN, RN

Chair of INPAC for NJSNA

We are not strangers to


Ryan Murphy APN ACHPN, Steering Committee Member Northern NJ

Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses Provisional Group

This year New Jersey voters will decide who will represent them at the state

level, in the governor’s office, the senate, and the assembly. Unlike the federal

government, there are times in New Jersey at the state-level when both the

executive branch (i.e., the governor) and both houses of the legislative branch (i.e.,

the senate and the assembly) are on the ballot. 2021 is such a year.

This past year the public has been made acutely aware of the need for nurses

and the sacrifices they make for the public good. The issues facing healthcare

in New Jersey are great, namely workplace safety, the role of advance practice

nurses, fair pay, staffing levels, and medicinal and recreational marijuana to name

but a few.

To make sure that elected officials support nurses and our issues, NJSNA

formed a political action committee, known as INPAC, which stands for Interested

Nurses Political Action Committee. Its role is to support candidates at the state

level who sponsor and support bills that help nurses. INPAC supports candidates

with financial contributions raised from NJSNA member dues, with endorsements

from NJSNA, and by volunteering to help with campaign activities, like writing

letters to the editors, phone banking potential voters, and assisting with events.

In addition to helping get candidates elected, INPAC also seeks to educate

nurses on the political and election process. So here are some basics on the

structure of New Jersey government and important dates and deadlines to be

aware of this year. As to structure, New Jersey has its own state constitution, just

like the federal government. It provides for three branches of government. The

governor and lieutenant governor are part of the Executive Branch. The legislative

branch is comprised of two houses. The upper house is known as the Senate.

It has forty members. The lower house, known as the Assembly, has eighty

members. In New Jersey, we have forty legislative districts. In each legislative

district, the voters elect one senator and two assemblymen or assemblywoman to

represent them. The legislature has a website where you can learn who your state

representatives are.

This year, voters will choose their governor, their senator, and their two

representatives in the assembly. New Jersey will hold a primary election in June to

decide who the candidates for each party or each office will be, usually a democrat

and a republican. The voters will then decide in the general election in November

of all the candidates running, democrats, republicans, independents, or any

candidate from other parties, who will represent them come January 2022. So, as

we enter the 2021 election season, here are some important dates to remember:

April 5th – Deadline to File Petition for Primary Election (If you want to be a

candidate as a democrat or republican, you have to submit your paperwork to the

State by this date.)

April 14th – Deadline to Change Party Affiliation for Primary Election (If you

are a registered democrat or republican and you want to vote in the other party’s

primary election, you need to change your party affiliation by this date.)

May 18th – Deadline for Voter Registration for Primary Election (If you have

not registered to vote, you must do so by this date and identify your desired party

affiliation to be able to vote in the primary.)

June 1st – Deadline to apply for a Mail-in Ballot by Mail for Primary Election

June 7th by 3 p.m. – Deadline for In-Person Mail-In Ballot Applications for

Primary Election

June 8th – Primary Election Day

June 8th – Nomination Petition Filing Deadline for Independent Candidates for

General Election (Deadline to submit nomination paperwork for candidates not

running as a democrat or republican.)

October 12th – Voter Registration Deadline for General Election

October 26th – Deadline to apply for a Mail-in Ballot by Mail for General


November 1st at 3 p.m. – Deadline for In-Person Mail-in Ballot Applications for

General Election

November 2nd – General Election

To access electronic copies of the

New Jersey Nurse, please visit

In palliative care, we are not strangers to grief. We aim to alleviate suffering for

patients and families as they navigate life-threatening and terminal illnesses.

As COVID-19 arrived like a tidal wave over the Northeast, the normal grieving

process was washed away. The virus made people critically ill faster than more wellknown

diseases, sometimes taking people from functional to death in a period of days.

It claimed multiple members of the same family. And for some, typical funeral or endof-life

rituals were modified around social distancing guidelines or could not be held at all.

In these moments, I could hear that loved ones needed relief through human

connection and to witness grief in a community. But this all happened behind two

closed doors: one keeping the family from being able to visit the hospital, the other

keeping their support system from visiting to offer comfort.

It felt like the perfect storm to put these families at-risk for complicated grief. With the

mourning process altered or halted, the bereaved are at risk of being caught in the acute,

intense stages of grief, which, over a long period of time, can be a barrier to bridging

back to daily routine.

And I have my own mourning to do as a provider. I wrote the below poem to

process my experience and share it in dedication to the families that I had the privilege

of supporting during this crisis.

Bridge of Light

Can a moonbeam touch your shoulder?

Can the moonlight hold your hand?

Does the Moon hear my silent scream,

Because I can’t help you from where I am.

I see you being swept away,

Every time I close my eyes.

Fighting a war just to catch one breath,

I turned so you wouldn’t see me cry.

Can a moonbeam kiss your forehead?

Can the moonlight wipe your tears?

I pray the Moon enlists help from the stars,

To lighten up your fears.

A lifetime of tests and trials,

We’ve truly walked side by side.

Now you fight a battle you don’t deserve,

And I’m forced to stay behind.

Can a moonbeam carry my body?

Can the moonlight put me in your place?

To take on your pain, your agony, your breathlessness,

Which no medicine can erase.

The end is never supposed to come,

A distant thought now true.

Our ending was never supposed to come,

But when it did, I was supposed to be with you.

Can a moonbeam carry my sorrow?

Can the moonlight hold a little joy?

Let the Moon reflect the weight of this pain,

But know I’ll still smile when I tell our story.

I don’t know how to reach you,

And if I’m honest I know I never will.

So I beg the Moon to comfort you in my place,

The bridge of light between our distant windowsills.

Can a moonbeam bring a whisper?

Can the moonlight share my final prayer?

If nothing else, Moon, please just echo,

“I love you, I wish I was there.”

Join a leader in correctional healthcare!

We have opportunities throughout New Jersey for:





CFG Health Systems provides comprehensive health care services

to correctional facilities including medical, behavioral, health,

dental and more. We are seeking qualified nurses to join our

team. Contact one of our recruiters today:


Leora Washington, | Ph: 856-912-2478

Camille Williams, | Ph: 856-602-2247

For APNs, Daphne Correa, | Ph: 856-602-1104

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