Advocating--Positioning--and Educating New Jersey RNs
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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
Healthy Nurse Healthy New Jersey
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
U.S. Postage Paid
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
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
“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 NJSNA.org 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
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, Sandra@njsna.org
Daniel Misa, Treasurer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Judy Schmidt, MAL, CEO, email@example.com
Dr. Dely Go, Vice Chair/MAL
Ray Zarzar, Community Member/Secretary
Kristin Buckley, Community Member
Dr Mary Ellen Levine, President, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Sandra Foley, President-Elect, email@example.com
Regina Adams, Vice President, firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel Misa, Treasurer, email@example.com
Linda Gural, Secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org
Board of Directors
JoAnne Penn, Director Staff Nurse, email@example.com
Dr. Margaret Daingerfield, Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Ann Tritak, Director, email@example.com
Dr. Tara Heagele, Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Susan Weaver, Chair COPP, email@example.com
Patricia Baxter, Region 1, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Mary Genuino, Region 2, email@example.com
Norma Rodgers, Region 3, firstname.lastname@example.org
Maureen Clark-Gallagher, Region 4, email@example.com
Dr. Barbara McCormick, Region 5, firstname.lastname@example.org
Donna Mazzu, Region 6, email@example.com
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
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
Debra Harwell, Deputy Director, email@example.com
Terri Ivory, Director of RAMP, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Chanti, Exec. Asst./Membership Administrator, email@example.com
Tyea Santiago, Education Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kortnei Jackson, Ed. Adm. Asst., email@example.com
Annemarie Edinger, RAMP Comm. Coord., firstname.lastname@example.org
Deborah Robles, RAMP Adm. Asst., email@example.com
Emily Gannon, RAMP Intake Spec., firstname.lastname@example.org
Benita James, RAMP Case Manager, email@example.com
Joan Peditto, RAMP Case Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
Etha Westbrook, RAMP Case Manager, email@example.com
Andrew Haviland, RAMP Case Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
Advertising: for advertising rates and information please contact
Arthur L. Davis Publishing Agency, Inc., P.O. Box 216, Cedar Falls,
Iowa 50613 (800-626-4081), firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
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
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 (https://healhealthcareworkers.com) and
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: https://www.truthaboutnursing.org/press/pioneers/
ANA Code of Ethics
Mary Ellen Levine, DNP. MSN, RN, CHPN,
"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
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
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
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 NJSNA.org 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 NJSNA.org 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 NJSNA.org.
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-
NJ, February 1,
2021 – Saint Peter’s
a member of Saint
System, received an
‘A’ for the Fall 2020
Safety Grade, which
to high quality patient
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
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
line associated blood
pressure injuries, and
falls with trauma.
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
(https://www.nj.gov/dcf/news/publications/covid19.html#ca) 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
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
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 Pbaxternp@aol.com if interested in purchasing
notecards. This fundraiser assists our region in our
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
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.
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,
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 email@example.com 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: https://www.facebook.com/
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
Essex, Union Counties
Elsie A. Rivera, DNP, APN. FNP-C, Vice
President of Communication
Message from President Norma Rodgers,
BSN, RN, CCRA, ACRP-PM
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
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 region3NJSNA@gmail.com
April 2021 New Jersey Nurse & Institute for Nursing Newsletter Page 9
R egion News
Meet Region 3 Board Members
Eguh, DNP, BSN,
APN, RN. FNP-BC
Elsie A. Rivera,
DNP, APN, FNP-C
Nominating Committee Chair
Shanda Johnson, PhD, APN-C, FNP
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Tara Heagele PHD, RN, PCCN, EMT (also a
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,
RN, NEA-BC, CPPS,CPHQ
• 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.
Gloucester, Salem and
Trish Egenton MSN, RN, CEN, CCRN, NE-BC
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.
Atlantic, Cape May,
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
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
a. Grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better
3. Complete application including essay and
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 email@example.com. To purchase a raffle
ticket or donate to the fund, contact any member of
Region 6 or email Linda Gural, firstname.lastname@example.org or
Kathy Brack, Kathleenbrack7983@gmail.com.
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
MSN, RN, ACNP
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
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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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
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 www.cedarparkregional.com
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
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: https://www.nj.gov/health/
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
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
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:
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. https://doi.org/10.3928/01484834-
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
Natasha Lopez, MSN, RN, AGNP-BD, CCRN,
Email: Natasha.email@example.com Office:
Naomi Fox MSN, RN, CCRN
Saint Barnabas Medical Center
Visit nursingALD.com today!
Search job listings
in all 50 states, and filter by location and credentials.
Browse our online database of articles and content.
Find events for nursing professionals in your area.
Your always-on resource for nursing jobs, research, and events.
Congratulations go out
to Sandy Baker, NJSNA
and Vice-President of New
Jersey State Association
of Parliamentarians. She
successfully completed the
Course to achieve the
highest level of parliamentary
credentialing offered by
the National Association
of Parliamentarians, which Sandra Baker
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
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
Update from the NJSNA
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 (njni.org), 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
• 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
• 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
email@example.com 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: https://njsna-lpn-forum.mailchimpsites.com
Questions/Comments? Email the FLPN directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
**The Next scheduled FLPN Conference Call**
Thursday, June 10th, 2021 @7pm
Use call in phone #: 1-866-855-1152, PIN #: 63415020
NEW JERSEY STATE NURSES
Save the Date
October 27-29, 2021
Harrah’s Casino and Resort
Waterfront Conference Center
Atlantic City, New Jersey
For More Information Contact:
Norma L. Rodgers, Exhibits Manager at NJSNAExhibit@gmail.com or
Debra L. Harwell, Convention Manager at email@example.com
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 (https://njsna.org/healthynurse/).
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@
njsna.org 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 www.njsna.org
In November 2021, members will be elected for 2022:
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
email@example.com. 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.
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). https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/
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 https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/regulations/Chapter-37-
NJ Statutes Annotated, Title 45, Chapter 11, New Jersey Board of Nursing Statutes,
45:11-27 Retrieved on May 3, 2018 http://caring4you.net/laws1.html
Weng, S., & Landes, S. (2017). Culture and Language Discordance in the Workplace:
Evidence From the National Home Health Aide Survey. The Gerontologist, 57(5),
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
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
Location: Rutgers University, School of Nursing, Newark, NJ
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,
storytelling and, perhaps
most of all at this point in
history: advocacy. “Advocacy
is a pillar of nursing. Nurses
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
hospital will serve as the
chair for the Education and
professional development of
MA, RN, Education
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
Uma serves as an
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
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.
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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 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
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
• 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
• 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
Edited by Laura Leahy,
DNP, APRN, PMH-CNS/FNP, CARN-AP, FAANP, FAAN
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
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
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.
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
Student Shares Her
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
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
SUMMER CAMP POSITIONS: • RN • LPN
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 www.keewaydin.org. Contact Ellen Flight at (802)
352-9860 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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
After 25 years
of experience as an
administrative supervisor, I
began empirical investigation
of the administrative
supervisor role with my
dissertation, “Exploring the
role and its perceived impact
on nurse and patient safety,”
in which I interviewed 30
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
such as: “Becoming more
involved with hospital wide
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
Conference this year
on April 28, 2021. This
virtual conference, which
will be sponsored by the
Organization of Nurse
Leaders New Jersey, will
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 (email@example.com
or 201-787-1281) or Susan Cholewka (scholewka@
onlnj.org 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://
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 =
7.12, p = .001) and from pre-test (M = 7.25) to followup
(M = 9.63) based on both the paired t test (t =
10.23, p = .001) and the Wilcoxon matched pairs test
(z = 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 = 3.51, p = .001) and the Wilcoxon matched
pairs test (z = 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 https://www.youtube.
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 Jersey’ Nurses
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.
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
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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
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
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.
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
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. https://www.cdc.gov/
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
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
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
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, firstname.lastname@example.org | Ph: 856-912-2478
Camille Williams, email@example.com | Ph: 856-602-2247
For APNs, Daphne Correa, firstname.lastname@example.org | Ph: 856-602-1104
APPLY online: www.cfghealthsystems.com