Quarterly Publication sent to 19,500 Registered Nurses,
Volume 25 • Number 4 LPNs, and LNAs in Vermont
August, September, October 2022
What a beautiful summer it has been in Vermont so far!
I hope this finds you and yours enjoying all that Vermont
has to offer.
Whether you spend quiet time in nature or playing sports
with teammates, we hope you are taking time for self-care, fun,
and fresh air!
We just returned from the ANA Annual Membership
Assembly in Washington DC this June where we spent an
amazing few days packed with education, excitement, and
nurses from all over the country. ANA-VT is reinvigorated and
ready to grow as a group and support you as an individual!
ANA National is working hard to ensure that the mission
and vision of nurses nationwide is being upheld, remaining
vibrant, and surging ahead with positive and impactful
progress on environmental stewardship, workplace violence,
and our recently published Racial Reckoning statement.
Your local ANA-VT team is excited to welcome Fritz
Asuncion and Susan Shayne to the team and we are looking
to you and our membership to see if you too would consider
joining us. Together we can make our voices heard and make
long lasting changes to better support our colleagues, patients,
families, and communities.
Thank you for being a member. We look forward to hearing
from you, engaging with you, and working with you. With a
warm heart, open mind, and the same excitement we all once
had when we first passed our NCLEX – we are here for you!
Wishing you sunshine, laughter, and light always.
Sigma Theta Tau International:
Omega Mu At-Large Chapter Updates
ANA VT Membership Assembly
The 2022 Annual Meeting of the ANA Membership
Assembly was Friday, June 10 and Saturday, June 11, 2022
in Washington, DC at the Grand Hyatt Washington.
Over 270 nurses gathered from 47 states, including (for
the first time) Hawaii!
The energy was contagious with excitement in the air.
President Grant set the tone with his opening remarks,
received more standing ovations than I could count, and
beamed as he discussed ANA’s strong financial position
and professed gratitude that ANA is investing thoughtfully
and strategically in the future of nursing.
You can view the 2022 ANA Membership Assembly
Agenda here: https://www.nursingworld.org/~4962f7/
The first day started with a general networking
breakfast and time to meet the candidates running for
There was an ANA-PAC meeting with ANA Rosa
Potts who is on the National ANA Policy Committee and
who has just moved to Vermont! The ANA-PAC has been
meeting for nearly 50 years, and has been working to elect
ANA VT Membership Assembly continued on page 6
Benefit Bakes Fundraiser
current resident or
Betsy and Jessilyn with Ernest Grant at Membership Assembly 2022
Page 2 • Vermont Nurse Connection August, September, October 2022
A Message from the Executive Director
Amy Martone, MBA, BSN, RN, NPD-BC
It has been a very exciting three months for the
ANA-Vermont! We welcomed two new Directors to
our Board, participated in a fundraiser with Benefit
Bakes, and sent two Vermont nurse representatives to
the ANA Membership Assembly in Washington, D.C.!
These successes have provided us with great energy and
momentum forward. I am excited to see what we can
achieve together in the next three months.
The ANA-Vermont Board is working together to
finalize a strategic plan that will be used to guide our
initiatives in the coming year. Earlier this month, the
Board met for an in-person strategic planning session in
Burlington. It was a wonderful day filled with inspiration
and collaboration! Our strategic plan will be finalized in
the near future and shared with you.
One item in our strategic plan is to engage with the
members we represent by listening to their personal
If you wish to submit a “Letter to the Editor,” please
address it to:
Please remember to include contact information,
as letter authors may need to be contacted by the
editors of the VNC for clarification. NOTE: Letters to
the Editor reflect the opinions of the letter authors
and should not be assumed to reflect the opinions
of the ANA-Vermont.
Cynthia Peterson, MSN, RN, Editor
experiences, innovative ideas, and professional concerns.
In doing this, the ANA-Vermont understands the
prevalence of workplace violence in our practice settings,
and the immediate need for action to advocate to protect
nurses. The ANA-Vermont hosted a series of virtual
Nursing Forums that connected Vermont nurses with
States Attorneys from across the state for facilitated
dialogue. Thank you to all that participated in this series
as developing a relationship with key stakeholders was the
first step in our advocacy and action.
Lastly, we are excited for you to read this newsletter
because we have been working to increase the content
contributed by Vermont nurses. I hope that you will
find the articles exciting and engaging as we focus on
highlighting the achievements and accomplishments of
nurses in our state and sharing a local nursing perspective
on special interests. If you are interested in writing an
article, I would encourage you to reach out to our editor
Cynthia Peterson at VermontNurseConnection@gmail.
com, or me at ExecutiveDirectorANAVT@gmail.com.
Deadlines for the
Vermont Nurse Connection
Are you interested in contributing an article to an
upcoming issue of the Vermont Nurse Connection? If so,
here is a list of submission deadlines for the next 2 issues:
Vol. 26 #1 – October 10, 2022
Vol. 26 #2 – January 11, 2023
Articles may be sent to the editor of the Vermont
Nurse Connection at:
Official publication of ANA-Vermont, a constituent member
of the American Nurses Association. Published quarterly every
January, April, July and October. Library subscription price is $20
per year. ISSN# 1529-4609.
ANA-Vermont, 4 Carmichael Street, Suite 111, #215, Essex, VT
05452, PH: (802) 651-8886, E-mail: VermontNurseConnection@
Editor: Cynthia Peterson
For advertising rates and information, please contact Arthur
L. Davis Publishing Agency, Inc., PO Box 216, Cedar Falls, Iowa
50613, (800) 626-4081, email@example.com. ANA-Vermont 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 ANA-Vermont of products advertised, the advertisers,
or the claims made. Rejection of an advertisement does not imply
a product offered for advertising is without merit, or that the
manufacturer lacks integrity, or that this association disapproves
of the product or its use. ANA-Vermont and the Arthur L. Davis
Publishing Agency, Inc. shall not be held liable for any consequences
resulting from purchase or use of an advertiser’s product. Articles
appearing in this publication express the opinions of the authors; they
do not necessarily reflect views of the staff, board, or membership of
ANA-Vermont or those of the national or local associations.
ANA-Vermont welcomes unsolicited manuscripts and
suggestions for articles. Manuscripts can be up to:
• 750 words for a press release
• 1500 words for a feature article
Manuscripts should be typed double-spaced and spell-checked
with only one space after a period and can be submitted:
1) As paper hard copy
2) As a Word Perfect or MS Word document file saved to a
CD-Rom or zip disk
3) Or e-mailed as a Word Perfect or MS Word document file to
No faxes will be accepted. Authors’ names should be placed after
title with credentials and affiliation. Please send a photograph of
yourself if you are submitting a feature article.
All articles submitted to and/or published in Vermont Nurse
Connection become the sole property of ANA-Vermont and may not
be reprinted without permission.
All accepted manuscripts may undergo editorial revision to conform
to the standards of the newsletter or to improve clarity.
The Vermont Nurse Connection is not a peer review publication.
Articles appearing in this publication express the opinions of the
authors; they do not necessarily reflect views of the staff, board,
or membership of ANA-Vermont or those of the national or local
Copyright Policy Criteria for Articles
The policy of the ANA-Vermont Editorial Board is to retain
copyright privileges and control of articles published in the Vermont
Nurse Connection unless the articles have been previously published
or the author retains copyright.
ANA-Vermont Officers and Board of Directors
President ...................................Jessilyn Dolan
Vice President ............................. Dionne Heyliger
Secretary ...............................Samantha Gambero
Treasurer ......................................Amy Swarr
Director ....................................Michelle Wade
Director .....................................Susan Shayne
Director ....................................Fritz Asuncion
Delegate Membership Assembly .................Betsy Hassan
Alternative Delegate ........................Cynthia Peterson
ANA-Vermont Foundation Board
President ....................................Carol Hodges
Vice President ..............................Christina Olcott
Treasurer ......................................Amy Swarr
Secretary ..................................Christina Olcott
Trustee .....................................Jessilyn Dolan
Trustee ...................................Meredith Roberts
Trustee .....................................Michelle Wade
Trustee ........................................... Vacant
Trustee ........................................... Vacant
Bylaws ........................................Amy Swarr
Finance ........................................Amy Swarr
Government Affairs ..........................Jessilyn Dolan
Membership & Publicity ...................Amy Visser-Lynch
Nominations & Elections ......................Michelle Wade
Programs ......................................... Vacant
Congressional Coordinator for Welch .........Meredith Roberts
Senate Coordinator for Sanders ..............Meredith Roberts
Senate Coordinator for Leahy ...............Meredith Roberts
August, September, October 2022 Vermont Nurse Connection • Page 3
Change your thoughts. Change your life.
“Every great dream begins
with a dreamer. Always
remember, you have within you
the strength, the patience, and
the passion to reach for the
stars to change the world.”
~ Harriet Tubman
Early on in my career I was
recruited into a position as the
HIV Clinical Nurse Manager
for an inner-city health center.
One day the director of the
center walked into my office,
sat down and said, “Do you
know some people are like
trucks stuck in mud?” I sat there flummoxed and tonguetied
waiting for her to continue so that I wouldn’t have
to answer the question. She did continue to vent how the
staff in general didn’t like change. After she left, I began
to ponder if I was a person who didn’t like change. Could
I be or become one of those people? Throughout my
career I have encountered situations where I was asked to
change something or adapt to the changes. When I felt like
resisting the changes being made, I found myself asking
“am I like a truck stuck in mud?”
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who
cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
~ George Bernard Shaw
As nurses, we have come to understand that the concept
of change is an inevitable part of life and that the way we
practice today is increasingly dynamic. Realizing that
nothing lasts forever is one of the keys to lasting happiness
and peace. The other important factor is knowing what
parts of our lives we can change and what parts we cannot.
We discover in the course of our lives that reality refuses
to bow to our commands. We are forced to let go when we
want to hold on, and to hold on when we want so much to
let go. There are unexpected twists, unwanted endings, and
challenges of every puzzling kind. As nurses we know and
understand that we must change our skills, behaviors, and
ways of working with one another if we are to continue
playing a valuable and meaningful role in our profession.
As scary and difficult as it may be, change forces us to
look at our lives and ourselves, with fresh eyes. Do I need
to change? Do I need to change jobs? What am I looking
for in a job? Am I searching for a job or the work I was
born to do? What is my purpose in healthcare? Do I stay
where I am or do I move on? Robert Quinn, a renowned
expert on deep change suggests that deep change is the
path to self-understanding and the key to revitalization
of an individual. By finding our own moral core and
beginning to see ourselves and our organizations in
new and more productive ways, he explains, we can
transform ourselves from victims to powerful agents of
change. He goes on to say, “We need to look within for
at least two reasons. The first has to do with purpose:
Making fundamental choices about who we are. The
second involves revisiting our fundamental choices and
continuously realigning our behavior accordingly. By
honoring and acting in alignment with our ideals, we grow
within and increase what Gandhi called soul-force. The
clearer we are about ourselves, the greater is our capacity
for change.” i Dr. Mary-Frances Winters suggests in her
book, Only Wet Babies Like Change, that we must first
take a walk with ourselves. This journey of self-reflection
and introspection involves asking the tough questions.
Have I found my authentic self? How do I respond to
change? What do I have to learn, unlearn, and relearn to
find fulfillment in my job? ii Change is the operative word
for successful and resilient nurses. If you can identify the
sources of your resistance to this dynamic atmosphere, you
can work to minimize the negative attitudes and results of
changes you are going through. Equally important, you
can make change your friend, not your enemy. Gandhi was
correct when he said, “You must be the change you wish to
see in the world.”
“If you don’t like something change it. If you can’t change
it, change your attitude.” ~ Maya Angelou
Changes often hurt when they first emerge, but resisting
them goes against the way the world works. Developing
an appetite for the unknown might initially feel like a
reckless act. But being with change is not haphazard. It’s
an intentional practice that takes courage. It invites us to
stand up and explore our lives with vigor, knowing we
will never experience this moment again. As corny as
it sounds, everything really is only here for now. It’s all
ephemeral. When we realize this, we can open our eyes
to what’s in front of us and be present to what is coming
and going. You don’t have to want what’s coming. But
you can always smile knowing that, whatever it is, it too
shall pass. iii You’ll never change your life until you have
stepped out of your comfort zone. It’s only after you’ve
stepped out of your comfort zone that you begin to change,
grow, and transform. Real change can be difficult at the
beginning. Without the familiar to rely upon, you may not
be in as much control as you had once been. When things
are not going your way, you may start doubting yourself. iv
Honoring the unease and discomfort that goes along with
change is important, but taking the initiative to move past
these emotions and master the art of change allows you to
feel like you have agency and power in your life. You don’t
need to be fearful or “just go along for the ride.” In fact,
each and every change you encounter is a new opportunity
for you to be a significant player in shaping the newfound
world you now inhabit. v
“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge
into it, move with it and join the dance.”
~ Alan Watts English Writer
It’s undeniable that change is integral to our personal
development. You may think of yourself as someone who
doesn’t like change, but it’s important to always remember
that change is inevitable. Many huge career changes will
not stop and ask your permission first. They will happen
with or without your consent. However, there are still
some changes that you can take control of, so it’s better to
embrace the course of change and make it your own along
the way. Choice, not chance, determines destiny. We have
all said at one time or another, I need to change, but can
I? Will I? Do I dare? What will become of my treasured
past, the familiar sameness of my life? In the end as nurses
we know that we will change because we want to achieve
our maximal potential. We want to leave our signature,
though invisible, on others’ lives so that when our career
ends, others will begin. That is a nursing legacy of positive
The ANA-Vermont website has been updated:
ANA-Vermont.org. We will continue to update and
expand the website.
Do you want to stay updated on the latest ANA-Vermont has to offer?
Learn of webinars offered by the ANA?
How you can earn CEU hours?
‘Like Us’ on Facebook. Find us at
CHANGE IS GOOD
1. IT ALLOWS US TO MOVE FORWARD.
2. IT CAN MAKE US BREAK A
3. IT CAN ALLOW US TO THINK OUT OF
4. IT CAN GIVE US HOPE FOR THE
5. IT CAN HELP US TO BECOME MORE
6. IT CAN MAKE US STRONGER
7. IT CAN BRING NEW INNOVATIONS
8. IT CAN REFRESH OUR ATTITUDE
ADAPTED FROM: HTTPS://WWW.
“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can
change his future by merely changing his attitude.”
~ Oprah Winfrey
Priscilla Smith-Trudeau, MSM, RN, BSN, CCM,
CRRN, HNB-BC is board certified in holistic nursing
and board certified in rehabilitation nursing. She has
been a nurse for forty-five years and understands the
interconnectedness of body, mind and spirit. She brings
a comprehensive holistic and integrative approach to her
practice for providing whole person care.
i Quinn, R. E. (1996). Deep change: Discovering the leader
within. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA
ii Winters, M.F., (2002). Only Wet Babies Like Change.
Winters Group, Inc., St. Paul, MN
iii Smookler, E., (2017). Why change is your greatest ally.
Retrieved April 22, 2022 from: https://www.mindful.org/
iv Bennett, R., (2021). The Light in the Heart. Published by
v Koffler, T. (2017). The art of easing into change. Retrieved
May 4, 2022 from: https://www.mindful.org/art-easingchange/
South Burlington School District
Seeking School Nurses, Nurse Assistant, and
Substitute Nurses for the 2022-2023 School Year
RN: Full, part-time and on-call positions available. Provides health services and maintains
records. A BSN from an accredited program, current RN license, and must hold/eligible for an
Educator’s license in school nursing. Experience with school-aged population is preferred.
LPN/Health Assistant: Under the direction of the School Nurse, provides health
services and maintains records. Current Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Registered
Nurse (RN), or EMT certified. Experience with adolescent aged students is preferred.
Please apply through SchoolSpring.com, Keyword: South Burlington
School District or contact Elissa Galvez, HR Employment Specialist
at 802/652-7247 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions regarding our social media and website?
SFC Theodore P. Provost
AMEDD Specialty Branch Manager
Page 4 • Vermont Nurse Connection August, September, October 2022
Sigma Theta Tau International:
Omega Mu At-Large Chapter
By Susan Shayne, BSN, RN, CPPS
Sigma Theta Tau International is celebrating 100 years of excellence on October
5th this year. Chapters across the world will partner to showcase and celebrate the
achievements of our organization. Vermont’s Omega Mu At-Large Chapter has many
reasons to celebrate including successfully launching a chapter on Oct 6, 2019 and
immediately being thrown into the pandemic. The lessons learned and challenges we
faced have made us a stronger and more cohesive chapter with members from across the
state and numerous practice settings. Stay tuned for more information on how we will be
celebrating this year.
Vermont Technical College and Norwich faculty banded together to bring Sigma and
its membership benefits to their nursing students and nurse leaders. Starting out as the
Greater Vermont Nursing Honor Society and working with Sigma leadership we were
able to grow our honor society to 50 student and nurse leader members and worked
to meet the rigorous standards to become our own STTI chapter. We were thrilled to
become chartered in 2019 as the Omega Mu At-Large Chapter. Recently, we extended
membership to Castleton University nursing students in order to support more nurses
across the state in joining and benefitting from Sigma membership. Sigma Theta Tau
International Nursing Honor society welcomes baccalaureate and graduate nursing
students by invitation, or nurse leader members by application. You can apply online
today at: https://join.sigmanursing.org or you can view our chapter website here: http://
One of our goals as a chapter is to increase the number of nurse leaders and this year
have happily extended membership to six new nurse leaders. We are proud to announce
that we currently have 147 members, 38 members living outside of Vermont, and one
member is a Virginia Henderson Fellow. You can learn more about becoming a Virginia
Henderson Fellow here: https://www.sigmanursing.org/docs/default-source/Foundation-/
We encourage nurse leaders who promote healthy communities through education,
research, and volunteer projects that transform healthcare locally and ultimately globally
to apply online today to join us at https://join.sigmanursing.org by selecting “I am a nurse
leader” on the webpage.
Leaders increase diversity in an organization and can act as mentors assisting
colleagues in promoting evidence-based practice and research and encouraging bravery
to implement change (Wei & Horton-Deutch, 2022). Leader mentoring is important
work and supports new nurses as they embark on their journey in a very changeable
environment. In mentoring, leaders are able to educate, model, and encourage nurses to
collaborate, publish, engage in research, and develop relationships that support policy
and practice. In doing this work and sharing information, news, and activities between
Sigma chapters and our American Nurses Association we strengthen all of our work.
Sigma Theta Tau International provides a structured onboarding process that creates
a succession plan to promote learning from each other; this includes an orientation to
offices held and can encourage members to develop skills by participating in task forces
and committees. Members also have access to many free or discounted continuing
August, September, October 2022 Vermont Nurse Connection • Page 5
nursing education credits. Our new nurses have access to
“Surviving Your First Years as a Nurse” and free online
journal access that provides free contact hours.
At the Spring Induction meeting, we hosted Dr. Sandra
C. Garmon Bibb, DNSc, RN, FAAN Sigma Presidentelect,
who passionately discussed this year’s Sigma’s
missions and goals to twenty-four inductees. This set the
stage for the installation of new board Omega Mu at-Large
• Paulette Thabault, President
• Susan Shayne, Vice President
• Karen McKenny, Treasurer
• Mary Hill, Secretary
• Carolyn Stannard-Carlo, Faculty Counselor -
Vermont Technical College
• Corey Bennett, Faculty Counselor - Norwich University
• Virginia Kittell, Awards Committee, Char
• Linda Havey, Governance Committee, Chair
• Julie Jones, Membership Involvement Committee,
• Leadership Succession Committee Members: Jason
Kirchick and Lisa Fox
• Governance Committee Members: Jess Sherman and
The Strategic planning committee of the board also met
to review specific goals to fulfill the mission and vision
of Omega Mu at-Large for the next three, five, and ten
years. Ideas included: community service, scholarship and
research, programming, chapter benefits, communications,
leadership development, financial, recruitment, and
networking. The Omega Mu at-Large Membership will
be surveyed soon to help direct the work they would like
our chapter to undertake and how to get involved. We will
narrow down our goals based on member feedback and
how we can meet the needs as chapter leaders.
In early 2022, the board sent a survey to members to
find out what our members were looking for in terms of
programming. This review netted some of the following
results: 54.5% of respondents attended an event last year,
86.6 % wanted professional growth and development, and
50% enjoyed the in-person networking we missed over the
last few years. We will use this information and more as a
planning guide moving forward.
Decision Making Regarding Surgical Attire Guidance
Adherence-Beyond New England” by Carole “Gert” Mayes,
Ph.D., RN, NPD-BC, CNOR. Dates will be provided soon
for their 2023 presentations to the membership.
Sigma Theta Tau and the Vermont American Nurses
Association are hand in hand in supporting nurses across
the state and having an impact on the health of all of our
populations. Nurses continue to be on the front line, in the
board room, at the decision-making table, in the legislature, the
classroom, hospital, public health department, senior housing,
the list goes on and on. We are brave, bold, and know how to
pull together to gather and share our expertise, our evidenced
based practice, and to support each other as we move through
these challenging times in healthcare and in our profession.
Wei, H., & Horton-Deutsch, S. (2022). Visionary leadership in
healthcare: Excellence in practice, policy and ethics. Sigma
Theta Tau International.
Susan Shayne, BSN, RN, CPPS has extensive experience
in supporting nursing students and faculty in advocating
for innovative clinical experiences and professional
development. She holds a breadth of healthcare experience
to include specialized pain management and regulatory
compliance. Additionally, she hold specialty certification
as a Certified Professional in Patient Safety. Susan is a
Director on the ANA-Vermont Board of Directors and is the
Sigma Theta Tau Omega Mu Chapter Vice President.
The Medical Reserve
Corps of SW Vermont
Thank you to all the volunteer nurses
and clinicians who joined our Unit
during COVID19 and helped Vermont be
the national leader in State vaccinations.
Come join our Unit and be ready for the next emergency or
pandemic! Great training, teamwork and opportunities to
VT Health RMS (vermont.gov) | 802-447-6401
In the meantime, here are a few Omega Mu Save the
• Walk to End Alzheimer’s at the Shelburne Museum
September 18th: https://act.alz.org/site/TR/
• Breast Cancer Making Strides in South Burlington
on October 9th: https://bit.ly/TeamJulieStrides
• Breast Cancer Making Strides in Castleton on
October 16th: https://secure.acsevents.org/site/
We are also planning on our fall induction to name
a few upcoming events. Please look for upcoming
communications regarding these events on our Facebook
newsletter, and email communication.
The Omega Mu at-Large Chapter also awarded two
research grants this year for research conducted by our
members: “Changing Minds, Changing Lives for Vermont
Nurses” by Cynthia Peterson, MSN, RN, and an honorable
mention for “Exploring Intraoperative Team Members’
• Inpatient Medical Surgical Unit
• Charge RN- Emergency Room
• Primary Care
• Operating Room
• Maternal/Child Health
• ER RN
Voices of Vermont Nurses
premiered at VSNA Convention 2000 and
is available from the ANA-Vermont Office at:
ANA - Vermont
4 Carmichael Street, Suite 111, #215
Essex, VT 05452
Price: $20 each book
(plus $3.95 for postage and handling)
Make check or money order payable to:
VERMONT STATE NURSES FOUNDATION
State: __________________ Zip: _______________
Page 6 • Vermont Nurse Connection August, September, October 2022
ANA VT Membership Assembly continued from page 1
and re-elect nurse champions to public office. It's critically
important - now more than ever - to make sure nurses have
a seat at the table.
At one point during opening comments, immediately
after a new nurse professed how nervous she was to speak
out, I joyfully reminded the entire room to “Speak up,
even if your voice shakes,” and thanked the new nurse,
everyone in the room, and ANA for their service and
Together, we highlighted and celebrated the work
that ANA has been doing with a hearing on our recently
released ANA Racial Reckoning Statement which you can
view here: https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/
After a report by the Nominations and Elections
Committee, President Grant again entertained and
educated us all with his elegant and elevating words.
Detailed, concise reports by several ANA Subsidiaries
and Constituent Associations helped us understand our
partnerships and colleagues in the American Academy
of Nursing, American Nursing Credentialing Center,
American Nurses Foundation, and National Student
Reports from the ANA Chief Nursing Officer, ANA
Treasurer, and ANA Vice President finished the morning
leaving everyone ready for more, excited for the future of
nursing, and reveling in all that ANA has accomplished.
After lunch, we participated in several dialogue
forums: Impact of Climate Change on Health, Advancing
Solutions to Address Verbal Abuse and Workplace
Violence Across the Continuum of Care, and Nurse
Staffing. These forums were ripe with discussion and
debate as nurses from all across the country shared their
thoughts, concerns, and aspirations.
Vermont’s representatives urged the ANA to be
mindful of “zero tolerance” language in Advancing
Solutions to Address Verbal Abuse and Workplace
Violence Across the Continuum of Care in regards to
certain patient populations - such as children living with
Autism, or adults living with Dementia.
Voting delegates and board representatives of each
state voted in support of all forums.
That evening, we had another Candidate Forum
to meet and greet those running for ANA, which was
followed by Regional Meetings and an ANA-PAC
Day two started off with your President and delegate
proudly representing you and Vermont nurses, and voting
to choose our new officials!
The APRN Task Force met to work on “Enterprise:
Tools to Dismantle APRN Practice Barriers.”
It wouldn't be a nursing conference without discussing
the impact and implications of COVID-19. We also heard
a warm and heartfelt greeting from the International
Council of Nursing (ICN) President with a message to all
nurses about how important “influence” is and continues
to be, as well as highlighting Nurses For Peace and the
efforts to support Ukraine.
Our own ANA CEO spoke about ANA and nurses as
having emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger
and more determined to achieve our vision and strategic
plan, citing three E’s: Elevate, Engage, and Evolve.
The second morning wrapped up with a Recognition
of Outgoing Members on the ANA Board of Directors,
a Nightingale Tribute, and announcements by ANA Vice
At lunchtime, participants had the option to
participate in one of several meetings: Amplifying the
Voice of the Nurse, Addressing the US Opioid Crisis,
The Role of State Nursing Leaders as Instrumental
Stakeholders Feedback Opportunity, Revision of the
Nursing Administration, or Scope and Standards of
The second day concluded with a Report of the ANA
Professional Policy Committee and Head Teller. Newly
elected officials were also recognized and honored.
Nurses were also given the opportunity to share both
new business and issues they would like to engage in
including reproductive freedom, gun rights, and inclusive
language for LGBTQIA+ individuals.
Closing remarks by the ANA President again left
everyone teary-eyed, laughing, and enlightened. A roomshaking
karaoke to “We Are Family” infused the room
with energy and offered a powerful conclusion to an
amazing and exciting two days!
Join Our Team &
Make a Difference!
All people share a powerful need for the basic necessities of a
good life and a place that understands that good health starts
with a caring touch and a kind word. For over 50 years, the
Community Health Centers of Burlington (CHCB) has provided
access to high quality health care regardless of financial status or
life circumstance. We strive to improve the health of all within the
communities we serve in an environment that conveys respect,
offers support, and encourages people to be actively involved in
their own health care.
Vermont Nurses at Membership Assembly
CHCB is an innovative Federally Qualified Health Center with
sites throughout Chittenden County and southern Grand
Isle County. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and are
especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the
diversity and excellence of the organization.
CHCB is growing and so is our
We have opportunities for
Registered Nurses, Nurse Educators,
Clinical Nurse Supervisors,
Come join our mission-minded,
collaborative, and creative team!
Apply now on our Career Center at
August, September, October 2022 Vermont Nurse Connection • Page 7
Celebrating Vermont’s Nurses
– Islane Louis, MSN, PMH-BC
By Betsy Hassan, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, CPPS
On May 13th, 2022 Islane Louis, MSN, PMH-BC was recognized by the Nurses with
Global Impact, Inc. at their 6th Annual Nurses with Global Impact International Nurses
Day event for her work spanning 15 years of nursing.
Islane began her international nursing work in 2007 while living in Haiti. She was
practicing close to a nearby village that had no access to pediatric care. She became
aware of Dr. Karen Schneider, Assistant Professor from Johns Hopkins University School
of Medicine who participated in Mercy Medical Missions, Inc. in Haiti. This connection
and mentorship with Dr. Schneider propelled Islane’s efforts in developing mobile
pediatric clinics, implementing pediatric home visits, providing financial resources for
medical interventions, and providing much needed care to the children of Haiti.
Over her 15 years in this work Islane has had an incredible impact on patients,
families and healthcare teams in Haiti. While she now lives in Vermont, she continues
her connection to Haiti through supporting a nursing school there and hopes to plan to
bring nursing students to Haiti as part of an international clinical experience as she is
also Clinical Nursing Faculty for the University of Vermont College of Nursing.
In asking Islane what she is most proud of she states, “Honestly, everything I do is
what I am supposed to be doing. I never feel like I’m doing anything extraordinary. I am
most proud of being able to make a difference, even it’s just providing hope to someone
who is hopeless. I am privileged to be a part of their journey.” Islane’s humbleness is a
testament to her benevolent character and aligns with nursing’s greatest work – caring for
those most in need.
Vermont is fortunate that Islane chose this as her home and her place of nursing
practice. Our patients, families, nursing students, and communities benefit from her
experience, expertise, and dedication to advancing nursing practice. Congratulations
Islane – so well deserved!
Benefit Bakes Fundraiser
On Tuesday, May 17th the ANA-Vermont partnered with American Flatbread in
Burlington for a Benefit Bake night! The Benefit Bake proceeds provide aid in funding
the ANA-Vermont Annual Nursing Conference later this fall. Through the generosity of
our community, the ANA-Vermont will continue to provide professional development
and continuing education opportunities for Vermont Nurses. Thank you for everyone that
came out on May 17th and supported the ANA-Vermont!
Pictured here Cynthia Peterson, MSN, RN, CCRN, ANA-Vermont Vermont
Nurse Connection Editor and Betsy Hassan, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, CPPS,
ANA-Vermont Board of Directors
Your next opportunity is at the Vermont
We invite you to become part of our health-care
team where we focus on resident-centered care
fulfilling America’s promise to care for our country’s
Veterans, their Spouses, and Gold Star Parents.
Together we strive to create an environment that
provides our residents with the dignity and respect
that they so rightfully deserve.
Pictured here is Islane Louis, MSN, RN, PMH-BC on May 13th, 2022 at the
Nurses with Global Impact, Inc. International Nurses Day event in
Nursing Employment Opportunities
Licensed Nursing Assistant –
Job Posting ID #32202
Licensed Practical Nurse –
Job Posting ID #32242
Registered Nurse I – Job Posting ID #32264
Registered Nurse II – Job Posting ID #32302
Nurse Supervisor –
Job Posting IDs #34301, 32262, 32263
For more information on the above openings or other
opportunities, contact Joyce.Santacross@vermont.gov.
Vermont Veterans’ Home website:
State of Vermont careers website:
The State of Vermont offers an excellent total compensation package. To apply, you must use the online job application at https://careers.
vermont.gov. For questions related to your application, please contact the Department of Human Resources Recruitment Services at
(800) 640-1657 (voice) or (800) 253-0191 (TTY/Relay Service). The State of Vermont is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Page 8 • Vermont Nurse Connection August, September, October 2022
US Supreme Court’s Decision
to Overturn Roe vs. Wade:
Is a Serious Setback for
Reproductive Health and
SILVER SPRING, MD – The American Nurses Association (ANA) is dismayed by
the 6-3 ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v, Jackson Women’s Health which has
overturned the longstanding and significant precedent of Roe v. Wade. The Dobbs ruling
removes the right of all women to access high-quality health care and make personal
decisions about their sexual and reproductive health care. In doing so, it potentially
paves the way for laws that will fundamentally come between patients and health care
professionals, including nurses, who must be guided by ethical obligations to their
patients and the profession.
“ANA is deeply disappointed in the decision to upend Roe v. Wade, which we view
as a legal protection of basic reproductive health rights and human rights,” said ANA
Enterprise CEO Loressa Cole, DNP, MBA, RN, FAAN, NEA-BC.
Nurses have an ethical obligation to safeguard the right to privacy for individuals,
families, and communities, allowing for decision making that is based on full
information without coercion. As the largest group of health care professionals, nurses
have for decades assisted their patients with weighing the benefits, burdens, and available
options, including the choice of no treatment, when discussing sexual health issues and
pregnancy. ANA firmly believes that no nurse should be subject to punitive or judicial
processes for upholding their ethical obligations to their patients and profession.
In March 2022, ANA affirmed that abortion is a reproductive health alternative
that nurses can discuss when counseling patients. Nurses have a duty to respect the
decisions of their patients, including those decisions that are related to sexual health
and pregnancy. Respect for patient decisions does not mean that the nurse must agree or
support the decision. Nurses can exercise their right to refuse to participate in sexual and
reproductive health care based on ethical grounds, as long as patient safety is assured and
care by others has been arranged.
“No matter their philosophical differences or belief systems, all nurses must strive
to remain consummate health care professionals and display empathy and respect
to all,” said Cole. “This is a complicated issue and deeply personal for all, including
nurses. Nurses, leaders, all health care professionals, and the public must engage on this
issue with empathy and respect.”
ANA will continue to advocate for reproductive justice and sexual health that supports
a patient’s decision and rights in a just society.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing
the interests of the nation's 4.3 million registered nurses. ANA advances the profession
by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work
environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care
issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality
of health care for all. For more information, visit www.nursingworld.org.
Find your dream job now.
Springfield is nestled in the Connecticut River Valley, a short drive
to lakes, mountains and the ocean. Whether your preference is
hiking or skiing; biking or walking; sunbathing or sailing – or doing
nothing at all – you don’t have far to go to find it in Springfield.
Find Your New Career!
Now hiring Registered Nurses in the
Emergency Department, Inpatient Care
Unit, and Windham Center.
If you are looking for new career
opportunities, working with a team that is
changing healthcare in new and exciting
ways, visit springfieldhospital.org/careers
or scan the QR code to apply today.
August, September, October 2022 Vermont Nurse Connection • Page 9
Celebrating ONL’s 2022 Award
The Organization of Nurse Leaders has been recognizing the many contributions
and achievements of nurse leaders since 1982. This year, four Vermont nurses
received awards. Please join us in congratulating the following nurse leaders on their
ANA-Vermont - Representing
Vermont Nurses: Vermont
Commission on Women
By Betsy Hassan, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, CPPS
• Carol Conroy, DNP, RN, FAAN received the 2022 Mary B. Conceison Award
which recognizes the outstanding contributions of a nursing service administrator.
Dr. Conroy is a longtime ONL member and recently served as ONL President.
Congratulations to Carol on this well-deserved award!
• Susan Boyer, DNP, MEd, RN, NPD-BC, FAAN received the 2022 Pamela Leigh
Vecchiarino award which recognizes nurse leaders who are patient-focused change
agents committed to improving outcomes. Dr. Boyer was selected to receive this
award based on her leadership, entrepreneurial approach, and scope of impact in
her practice. Congratulations, Dr. Boyer!
• Betsy Hassan, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, CPPS received one of the 2022 Sharon A.
Smith Scholarship Awards this year. Betsy was selected as a recipient of this award
that honors the legacy left by Sharon A. Smith to support nurse leader development
and continued educational journeys. Betsy is currently pursuing a Master of Legal
Studies at Seton Hall University School of Law. Congratulations, Betsy, on this
• Cynthia Peterson, MSN, RN, CCRN received one of the 2022 Sharon A. Smith
Scholarship Awards this year. Cynthia was selected as a recipient of this award
that honors the legacy left by Sharon A. Smith to support nurse leader development
and continued educational journeys. Cynthia is currently pursuing her PhD in
nursing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a graduate certificate in
Healthcare Administration from Champlain College. Congratulations, Cynthia, on
this scholarship award!
The Vermont Commission on Women (VCW) was founded in 1964 by Governor
Philip Hoff. Nearly 60 years later, the Vermont Commission on Women is governed
by 16 Commissioners appointed by the Governor, Speaker of the House, or the Senate
Committee on Committees, and has an Advisory Council of 27 representatives of
organizations serving women and girls in Vermont. 1 The Vermont Commission
on Women purpose is “to advance rights and opportunities for women and girls in
Vermont.” In supporting this purpose the VCW:
• “conducts research and study of issues affecting the status of women in Vermont;
• advises and consults with the executive and legislative branches of State
government on policies affecting the status of women in Vermont;
• educates and informs business, education, State and local governments, and the
general public about the nature and scope of sex discrimination and other matters
affecting the status of women in Vermont;
• serves as a liaison and clearinghouse between government, private interest groups,
and the general public concerned with services for women.” 1
The ANA-Vermont serves as a member of the Advisory Council to the Vermont
Commission on Women. In this role the ANA-Vermont Advisor participates in
meaningful dialogue on a monthly basis and adds the unique perspective of the nursing
paradigm. Meetings occur monthly from September to June. If you’d like to learn more
visit the website at https://women.vermont.gov/who_we_are.
Betsy Hassan, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, CPPS is a board certified nurse leader and
holds a doctorate of nursing practice from the MGH Institute of Health Professions.
She represents Vermont Nurses perspectives as an Advisory Council member to the
Vermont Commission on Women. Her professional areas of expertise include workforce
development, professional development, shared decision making, and leadership.
1 About Us | Commission on Women (vermont.gov)
Page 10 • Vermont Nurse Connection August, September, October 2022
Marilyn Rinker Memorial
Marilyn Rinker Leadership Scholarship Application
Application – 2023 deadline: March 25, 2023
Telephone #: _____________________ Email Address: _______________________
Vt RN Lic #______________________ VONL member since __________________
School of Nursing: _____________________________________________________
Currently in which year? 1 2 3 4 year of graduation (if applicable) ________________
Graduate school ________________________ 1st yr __________ 2nd year__________
expected date of graduation_______________
If employed in nursing, current employer ___________________________________
Currently receiving Financial Aid, Grants, Scholarships? Yes ________ No ________
If yes please list the sources_______________________________________________
Please attach to this form:
2. Most recent transcript of grades demonstrating a cumulative average of 3.0 (B)
3. A brief essay (500 words or less) describing nursing leadership experience and
aspirations, community service experience, commitment to serve in Vermont,
and financial need
4. At least two (2) letters of recommendation (at least one academic and one work
5. Evidence of acceptance in an accredited program leading to an advanced degree
in nursing if not yet matriculated.
I understand that if I receive an Advanced Degree Nurse Leaders
Scholarship, I commit to practice nursing in Vermont for a minimum period
of two years following graduation.
Student signature: _______________________________ Date: __________________
Return application (with attached materials) before March 25, 2023 to:
Martha Buck, VAHHS/VONL
148 Main Street, Montpelier, VT 05602
(802)223-3461/ext. 111 Martha@vahhs.org
The Marilyn Rinker Memorial Scholarship Award was established by the Vermont
Organization of Nurse Leaders in 2009 to honor Marilyn’s lifelong commitment and
dedication to professional nursing practice, nursing education and leadership. Marilyn
held many leadership positions during the course of her career such as Nursing
Director for Medicine and Cardiology at Fletcher Allen Health Care (University of
Vermont Medical Center); Oncology Clinical Coordinator at the Vermont Regional
Cancer Center; Clinical Research Nurse and Educator in Vermont and Rhode Island;
and, BSN Nursing Program Director at Norwich University. Marilyn also served as
the Executive Director of the Vermont State Nurses’ Association and President of the
Vermont Organization of Nurse Leaders.
This award provides scholarship support in the amount of $1000 for a qualified
registered nurse to participate in an approved course of study leading to an advanced
degree with an emphasis in nursing leadership.
Application Criteria for the Marilyn Rinker Memorial Award
1. Current member of ONL
2. Registered nurse or advanced practice registered nurse currently licensed in the
state of VT*
3. Demonstrated commitment to nursing leadership as evidenced by participation
in professional seminars, organizations, work accomplishments, project,
recommendations of peers
4. Currently enrolled or accepted in an accredited program that will lead to an
advanced degree in nursing
5. Willingness to commit to completing the program as indicated by realistic
6. GPA of 3.0 or the equivalent
7. Two (2) supportive professional recommendations
8. A double-spaced, short essay (500 words or less) of the reasons this nominee
should receive the award according to the criteria listed above
9. Nominee’s current Curriculum Vitae
Nominations must be submitted by March 25, 2023. Annual scholarship award
announcement will be made at the member reception and awards gala at the ONL
*Vermont RNs will receive first priority. Applicants from other states will be
considered if there are no applicants from Vermont or the scholarship criteria are not
met by applicants from Vermont.
Do you consider yourself a patient champion?! Do you want to create a caring
community, where patients seeking mental health find hope, compassion, and
excellent clinical care? Collaborative Solutions Corporation/Second Spring
Intensive Residential Programs is seeking energetic Registered Nurses, like you,
who are ready to be part of a holistic, collaborative, multidisciplinary team that
is devoted to delivering high-quality residential care to Vermonters with chronic
and persistent mental health diagnoses.
Apply directly to join our team:
Start on a Career Path with a Purpose
Inspired by the courage of our patients, the Brattleboro Retreat is dedicated to children, adolescents
and adults in their pursuit of recovery from mental illness, psychological trauma and addiction. We
are committed to excellence in treatment, advocacy, education, research and community service.
In addition to our beautiful campus, nurses enjoy:
• 12 hour shifts
• Competitive pay $34.51- $52.93/hr depending on experience
• Peace of mind working in a safe, low-risk environment for COVID-19
• Extensive clinical orientation
• Collaborative work environment
• Ongoing in-house clinical education
• Training in Six Core Strategies, an evidenced-based framework to reduce
conflict in the inpatient behavioral health setting
• Robust benefits
• Generous signing bonus
Students encouraged to apply! Talk to our RN Recruiter:
Grace Albert-Gardner, BSN, RN: email@example.com
We are looking for Vermont RNs with great clinical skills and an even greater
desire to provide compassion and hope to people who have frequently
experienced many difficulties in their lives. We welcome applications from
seasoned professionals and new graduates alike!
A general description for this position is:
• Provide primary and psychiatric nursing care to patients with both chronic
and acute conditions; assess patients for signs and symptoms of mental
illness and their response to treatment
• Participate in daily primary-care in interdisciplinary treatment team
population management planning; review and analyze clinical data to
evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment plans
• Perform disease prevention and infection prevention/control activities
• Perform delegation to unlicensed staff
This position is not for LPN’s, LNA’s, or Traveling Nurses.
Please check out our website to learn more:
August, September, October 2022 Vermont Nurse Connection • Page 11
Nursing continues to be the most trusted
profession as indicated in annual surveys. This
attests to the collective contributions nurses make
as they care for patients, families and communities.
Efforts of individual nurses however deserve special
recognition by colleagues, employers, patients,
families and friends. There are many reasons
to Honor a Nurse such as: to thank a mentor, to
acknowledge excellent care given by a nurse to a
patient, to celebrate a milestone such as a birthday
or retirement, or to recognize a promotion. Just
think for a moment, you will know a nurse to honor.
Celebration: The honored nurses and the persons
nominating them will be recognized at the ANA-
Vermont Convention in 2022. The honored nurses
each will receive a certificate identifying the person
recognizing her/him as well as the reason for the
honor. Submit nominations by: September 1, 2022.
All contributions are tax deductible to the full
extent allowed by law. ANA-Vermont Foundation
is a 501(c)3 organization. Nominations this year are
Please go here to nominate someone:
NOW ENROLLING FOR FALL 2023
IS YOUR NURSING
AN EDUCATION PROGRAM?
CONSIDER APPLYING FOR
CONTACT HOUR APPROVAL
FOR MORE INFORMATION
CALL THE ANA-Vermont OFFICE @
The Northeast Multi-State Division, (NE-MSD) is accredited as an
approver of continuing education in nursing by the American Nurses’
Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.
Page 12 • Vermont Nurse Connection August, September, October 2022
Where Do I Go From Here?
Sharon Broscious, PhD, RN
Program Director South University RN-BSN
Reprinted with permission from Virginia Nurses Today,
August 2021 issue
As the COVID-19 pandemic winds down, you may be
asking yourself questions about your professional future.
What’s my next career step? What does my professional
future hold for me? The stress of the COVID-19 pandemic
may have created these nagging questions for you, and
you might be unsure what steps you should take to
answer them. The physical, emotional, psychological, and
financial impact of the pandemic on nurses has been well
documented. A plethora of publications in professional
journals and on websites as well as newspaper and television
reports have discussed the impact of the COVID-19
pandemic on nurses. Terms such as burnout, compassion
fatigue, moral injury, PTSD, and healthcare worker
exhaustion are used to describe the physical and mental
effects of COVID-19 on healthcare providers (Chan, 2021;
ICN, 2021). In an interview on NPR, the phrase “crushing
stress” of the COVID-19 pandemic was used (Fortier, 2020).
Not only did the nursing workload change – increased
number of patients per assignment, increased number of
shifts, increased length of workday due to insufficient
staff – but also other factors compounded the stress on
staff. Lack of equipment such as PPE, the unknowns about
the disease itself with policies changing almost daily,
and perceived lack of support from leadership have also
contributed to the COVID effect (ICN, 2021) on nurses.
Some facilities attempted to prepare and support staff for
the pandemic surges, to varying levels of successful impact.
While providing meals to nurses who could not take time
for a meal break was helpful, as the pandemic persisted,
nurses needed more support from their leadership teams.
The recent COVID-19 report released by the
International Council of Nurses (ICN) (2021) describes the
exacerbation of burnout and exhaustion of nurses during
2020. National nursing associations reported approximately
80% of their members identified as feeling stressed. In a
survey of healthcare workers conducted by Mental Health
America (Lagasse, 2020), 93% indicated feeling stressed,
and 76% reported feeling burned out with 55% questioning
their career focus. Similar results were found in a survey
from Brexi (2020) with 84% of responding healthcare
workers identifying some burnout and 18% reporting total
burnout. In addition, almost half had considered quitting
their job, retiring, or changing their career focus. The top
five stressors that respondents identified, in order, were
“fear of getting COVID-19, long hours/shifts, general state
of the world, fear of spreading COVID-19, and family
responsibilities/issues” (Berxi, 2020, para 2). Additional
stressors identified by Shun (2021) include physical,
emotional and moral distress related to ethical issues
faced by nurses such as dealing with patient deaths, scarce
resources, and forced changes in practice.
The 2021 Frontline Nurse Mental Health and Well Being
Survey (Trusted Health, 2021) revealed for nurses under
age 40, 22% indicated they were less committed to nursing.
Ninety-five percent of the nurses responding indicated
their physical and mental health were not a priority in their
workplace or the support received from leadership was
inadequate. Finally, 66% of respondents indicated they
were experiencing depression and a decline in their physical
health. A poll by the Washington Post-Kaiser Family
Foundation (2021) indicated 62% of healthcare workers felt
mentally stressed from the pandemic with their greatest
fears of them getting infected, infecting their families, or
other patients. Another challenge identified was working
while wearing PPE (Kirzinger et al., 2021).
Prior to the pandemic, Shah, et al. (2021) reported
burnout was the third leading cause of nurses leaving their
jobs. However, the pandemic intensified levels of stress
and burnout. From the perspective of Maslow’s hierarchy,
Virkstis (2021) described the need for leadership to focus
on basic needs of staff, not high level self-actualization.
The basic needs were identified as: a safe working
environment, clear mission, time to reflect on what was
happening, and time to connect with peers.
Considering the factors identified here, it is no surprise
that you may be asking what is the next step for you in
handling stress, burnout, and career questions.
Step 1 – Do I stay where I am?
You may be asking the following: Do I leave my job as
other nurses have? Do I want to, or can I continue working
where I am? Do I just need some time off?
The first step to take is self-reflection or self-evaluation. If
you are unsure about a change, pause and take some time to
think about it. Consider staying where you are to determine
how your workday has changed after COVID-19 and
whether factors such as workload, staffing, and equipment,
for example, have improved. Remember wherever you go,
everyone will be rebuilding after the pandemic and trying to
return to a previous level of normalcy, or an improved level
based on lessons learned from the pandemic.
Before making a decision, reflect on your job prior to
the pandemic. Was this job a good fit for you? Were you
happy with your job? Answers to these questions can
guide you to remain in your current job to see if those
same positive feelings come back after the pandemic. The
area you work in may not be exactly the same as it was,
but it could be even better. Other reasons leading you to
consider a change may include the work environment,
the leadership of your current unit, or lack of potential
for growth in your current position. This introspective
evaluation provides time to think about other opportunities
or make plans for change if that is your final decision.
Step 2 – Do I change my career path?
There are numerous websites that provide steps to take
when changing your specialty or your role, but the first
step should be:
1. Identify your passion. What makes you happy? Selfreflection
and serious thought can help provide this
Additional steps to consider include:
2. Complete a SWOT analysis. Guidelines for completing
a SWOT analysis can be found on the internet.
• Identify your strengths: skills, experiences,
education, support from peers/family.
• Identify weaknesses: communication skills,
leadership skills, skills needed for a new path.
• Identify opportunities: What specialty areas might
be of interest? Do you want to be in a hospital
August, September, October 2022 Vermont Nurse Connection • Page 13
or in the community? Do you want to move to
administration or education and have less direct
patient contact? What works for your family?
The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s
Future, provides information about 96 nursing
specialties; this might be a good place to start
looking for new opportunities as it may present some
potential employment ideas you had not previously
considered. A list of more than 100 nursing
organizations is available at https://nurse.org/orgs.
shtml In addition, the Illinois Nursing Workforce
Center web page includes a list of professional
nursing organizations (http://nursing.illinois.gov/
• Identify threats. What barriers exist that might
keep you from making this change – family
responsibilities, work hours desired, access to a
new role in your geographic area, skills or specific
educational background needed. A threat such as
educational level may turn into an opportunity to
return to school.
3. What are your goals in five or ten years?
4. When you have decided on a new role – develop an
action plan or timeline to establish your transition
to the new role. What steps do you need to take to
make this change?
5. Refresh your resume. While you may consider that a
move from pediatrics to geriatrics would not provide
you with appropriate skills, there are many skills
you have that are transferable – your assessment
skills for example, understanding lab results,
providing care to someone who may be unable to
describe how they feel, or organization skills.
6. Network. Talk to someone who currently works in
the specialty you are considering. If the specialty
has a professional organization, peruse their website,
attend a local meeting, or read their journals and
social media networks to help you connect with
nurses in the specialty you are considering.
7. Draw on your support system and mentors to
overcome any barriers/challenges that may be
keeping you from making a change.
8. Resources on the VNA/ANA websites provide
information about available jobs, resume writing,
and interviewing. Scheduling a live meeting with a
career coach is also available.
9. After you have made a specialty change, give
yourself a chance to get acclimated to the new path
you have chosen.
10. Consider staying on good terms with your current
employer. A reference will be needed when applying
for a new position. Staying on good terms may also
be beneficial if the new specialty or organization
change does not work out.
Step 3 – Do I leave nursing and change my profession?
Your reflection may lead you to leaving the nursing
profession. Many of the steps in this process are the same
or similar to the steps above in changing your career path.
1. Begin again with self-reflection/evaluation. What
makes you feel fulfilled? What would you like to do?
What are your interests?
2. Identify areas of interest. There are a number of free
aptitude tests available on the internet that can guide
you in identifying a new career or attend a career
fair. New careers could be with pharmaceutical
companies, insurance companies, the government, or
in education for example.
3. Complete a SWOT analysis
4. What are your goals?
5. Identify the skills/education needed for the new career
6. Develop action plan
8. Career counseling – obtain a career coach, see the
9. Connect with your support system
10. Keep your license current, you may decide at some
point in time you want to return to nursing.
The COVID-19 pandemic has likely changed you
personally and professionally, has certainly changed
healthcare, and has without a doubt changed the world.
What you do to fulfill your life is a priority, so take time
to carefully consider what you want to do and where you
want to be.
As Steve Jobs (2005) said, “Your work is going to
fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly
satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the
only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you
haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all
matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
Berxi. (December 8, 2020). State of healthcare workers in
2020. Business Wire. https://www.businesswire.com/news/
Chan, G.K., Bitton, J.R., Allgeyer, R.L., Elliott, D., Hudson,
L.R., Moulton Burwell, P. (May 31, 2021) The impact of
COVID-19 on the nursing workforce: A national overview
OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing 26 (2),
Manuscript 2. DOI:10.3912/OJIN.Vol26No02Man02
Fortier, J. (December 16, 2020). ICU Workers are quitting due
to crushing stress from COVID-19 surge. (Radio broadcast)
Morning Edition – NPR.
International Council of Nurses. (January 13, 2021). The
COVID-19 Effect: World’s nurses facing mass trauma, an
immediate danger to the profession and future of our health
Jobs, S. (June 12, 2005), Stanford Commencement Address.
Kirzinger, A, Kearney, A, Hamel, L., & Brodie M. (April 6,
2021). KFF/The Washington Post Frontline Health Care
Workers Survey. https://www.kff.org/report-section/
Lagasse, J. ed (December 8, 2020) Healthcare workers
experiencing burnout, stress due to COVID-19
pandemic. Healthcare Finance News https://www.
Shun, S.C. (2021). COVID-19 Pandemic: The challenge to
the professional identity or nurses and nursing education.
The Journal of Nursing Research 29(2), e138. doi: 10.1097/
Shah, M.K., Gandrakota, N., Cimiotti, J.P., Ghose, N., Moore,
M., & Ali, M. (2021). Prevalence of and factors associated
with nurse burnout in the US. JAMA Network Open 4(2),
Trusted Health. (2021). 2021 Frontline Nurse Mental Health &
Well- Being Survey https://www.trustedhealth.com/notahero
Virkstis, K. (March 11, 2021). Nurse burnout didn’t start with
Covid-19. (And it won’t end with Covid-19, either.). Advisory
Page 14 • Vermont Nurse Connection August, September, October 2022
Challenges in the Nursing Workforce, Graduate Nursing
Education, and Future of Nursing
Georgianna Thomas, D.Ed., MSN, RN
Somi Nagaraj, DNP, MSN, RN, CSSGB, CONTL
Reprinted with permission from Illinois The Nursing Voice
September 2021 issue
The healthcare sector is an intricate, albeit
fundamental, part of ancient and modern societies. It
comprises a long list of agents, from the individual seeking
healthcare services to the medical staff and nurses, all
operating within a legal framework involving providers,
consumers, insurance companies, government, medical
schools, nursing schools, and regulatory institutions
(Amorim Lopes et al., 2015).
The healthcare market is always composed of both
suppliers of health services and patients demanding their
services. On the one side is the workforce of physicians,
nurses, and remaining clinical staff educated according
to standards and criteria, ready to assist those in need.
On the other side stand the forces that drive the demand
for medical services, strongly related to demographic,
socioeconomic, and epidemiological factors. Analyzing
these two market forces is a critical step in assessing
whether the available health care human resources are
enough in quantity and skills to meet the current and
future demand in due time and may lay solid foundations
for further research, considering perhaps changes to the
existing health policy framework (Amorim Lopes et al.,
A high degree and extent of uncertainty affect supply
and demand: asymmetric information between physicians,
nurses, and patients, restrictions on competition, an aging
workforce in all areas, strong government interference,
and supply-induced demand are some of the most glaring
differences that can be pinpointed. These may be relevant
when assessing the impact of any policy involving
Healthcare Human Resource [HHR] planning (Amorim
Lopes et al., 2015).
Supplying human capital with the appropriate expertise
to enable workers to perform and satisfy the demand for
health care is no simple task. The time and effort required
to equip HHR, especially physicians and advanced nurse
practitioners, exceeds most other professions. In some
particular healthcare professions, the set of necessary
skills to qualify for medical practice is acquired through
extensive academic learning, which involves enrollment in
long courses that may take up decades to complete due to
a strict licensing process. The analysis of the medical and
nurse education process is relevant but may be insufficient,
as several other factors may affect the efficiency and
effectiveness of the care services delivered (Amorim
Lopes et al., 2015).
Despite the limitations, some measures to overcome
imbalances in the quantity (number) of physicians and
nurses have already been identified in the health policy
literature (Chopra et al., 2008), namely the following:
increasing the number of domestic- and foreign-trained
medical graduates or increasing the number of medical
and nursing schools and classroom sizes; increasing the
enrollment limits; reducing the requirements for entry
to medical and nursing schools; raising the wages of the
medical and nursing staff, as well as the perspectives for
their future career path; or reducing the costs of attending
medical and nursing school, which may encourage
potential students to enroll. These proposals are shortterm
measures to alleviate the immediate stress put on
the healthcare system triggered by an undersupply of
personnel and may not be suitable for tackling long-term
imbalances due to huge shortages or surpluses of medical
and nursing staff (Amorim Lopes et al., 2015).
Demand for health care is a derived demand
(Grossman, 1972), which means that people do not seek
health care services as a final good for consumption but
as an intermediate service allowing them to be healthy
and to improve their stock of health capital (well-being).
They want to improve their health, and to do so; they seek
healthcare services (Amorim Lopes et al., 2015).
The concept of needs in health care is not consensual
in the health literature, with a semantic confusion arising
from its use in health economics (Hall & Mejia, 2009).
While the economic or effective demand translates the
actual, observed demand, usually measured in terms
of service utilization ratios such as bed occupancy
rates, number of inpatients, the needs component tries
to fully encompass the epidemiological conditions that
characterize a given population, measured through
morbidity and mortality rates or by the opinion of a
panel of experts, and how that may translate into a given
quantity of required healthcare services. Therefore, we see
that the classical concept of economic demand may not
reflect the biological needs of the population, as it may
leave out the necessities of the population regardless of
their ability to pay (Amorim Lopes et al., 2015).
An integrated approach uses a dynamic, systemlevel
perspective covering key drivers of supply and
demand that includes manpower planning and workforce
development is critical to overcoming such challenges
(Stordeur et al., 2010). The importance of paying attention
to needs is also continuously stressed, as changes
in the health patterns of the populations take place
(Tomblin et al., 2009). The impact of microeconomic
and organizational changes in productivity and the
skill mix, of the evolution of demand for healthcare
services, and also of the evolution of health diseases
and its potential impact on the health system. The given
quantity of workers may provide more or less healthcare
services depending on their productivity and skill mix,
influencing the conversion from headcounts to full-time
equivalents (FTEs). Such conversion is critical to properly
assess the healthcare workforce, as a significant number
of physicians and nurses work part-time only. For this
reason, FTE is a more accurate measure as it normalizes
headcounts. On the demand side, economic (effective)
demand can be initially measured by analyzing utilization
indicators. How this demand will evolve in the future
will then be subject to typical economic factors such as
demography and the growth of the income/GDP (Amorim
Lopes et al., 2015).
In parallel, potential needs can be assessed by
incorporating the incidence and prevalence of diseases
and then mapping a given disease to an estimate of FTE
requirements. Whether future supply forecasts should
tackle all of the estimated needs is a decision left to the
consideration of the policymaker, as the analysis does not
incorporate financial constraints. Despite the abundance
of approaches and techniques to determine supply and
need for professionals, none of the methodologies has
ultimately proved to be superior (Ricketts, 2011).
Recent studies testing current forecasting models show
that there is still plenty of room for improvement given
the gap between projected and actual results (Greuningen
et al., 2013). It becomes even clearer that workforce
planning should be accurate and performed in due time,
given the attritions and the delays in enacting policies
in the healthcare sector. Adapting medical and nursing
schools, altering legislation, and changing roles is an effort
that may take years to bring forth. Therefore, planning
has to target a long enough time horizon to be useful and
applicable and has to be done pre-emptively (Amorim
Lopes et al., 2015).
Accurate HHR planning requires an approach that is
both integrated and flexible, featuring supply and demand
(potential and effective) and incorporating less tangible
factors, such as skill mix and productivity (Amorim Lopes
et. al., 2015).
Looking at the area of academia, there are many issues
at hand that present challenges for nursing education at the
doctoral level. Having enough faculty to provide quality
education to those interested in pursuing a doctoral degree
in nursing relies on competent individuals. Presently there
are two types of doctoral degrees one can earn, both are
terminal degrees, and both allow nurses to continue
to practice in the clinical field. The Doctor of Nursing
Practice (DNP) has a clinical focus that allows the nurse
to possess expert knowledge to influence healthcare
outcomes across direct patient care, advocating for
healthcare policy implementation, and collaborating with
organizational leadership (Leveck, 2020, Chism 2010).
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) focuses on research in
advancing the nursing profession and change the quality
of patient care and outcomes in the field. PhD nurses
also teach and mentor nurses at the college and university
level, growing the next cohorts of professional nurses.
There is a difference between these two degrees in their
primary foci and length of education (registerednursing.
com). However, the DNP degree has become the more
sought-after degree, and individuals who have earned it
are considered equal at many institutions in academia in
relation to tenure attainment and administrative positions.
It was more common to see the individual with a PhD in
the academic setting. However, individuals seeking this
degree are decreasing in number, and some individuals are
having difficulty completing their dissertation. This adds
to the faculty shortage we continue to experience in the
profession. There is a distinction between the two degrees
and needs to be recognized and valued in advancing new
nurses, however, the DNP graduate is more prepared for
the clinical arena.
According to Drs. Di Fang and Karen Kesten, one-third
of the current nursing faculty workforce in all levels of
education are expected to retire by 2025 (ANA Fact Sheet,
2020). This will certainly have an effect on the numbers of
students who will be accepted when they apply for nursing
Continuous changes in the nursing and medical fields
have been rapidly evolving because of technology and
studies such as the genome project. Graduate student
feedback to courses and discussions with clinical affiliates
to the college/university are two ways that information can
be ascertained in relation to curricular issues for content.
Accreditation standard revisions and the recently adopted
Essentials with emphasis on outcomes and competencies
in learning have also added to many of the changes
schools are making to revise overall curriculums (AACN,
2021). Learning theories are used to expose students to
various learning experiences. Online teaching, simulation,
inter-professional learning, case studies, and other
teaching formats take much time to prepare and grade and
may not all be familiar for present faculty to fulfill.
Interdisciplinary education (IPE) among the various
healthcare providers is expected to be utilized in schools.
This type of education provides shared experiences that
allow for better understanding, improved engagement, and
clearer insight into cooperation in the work environment
and quality patient care. This activity in schools with
major medical affiliations has an edge in providing
this type of learning while many smaller colleges and
universities struggle to gain this opportunity. Many IPE
opportunities that do exist are noted through simulationenhanced
activity (Fawaz, 2018). Although simulation
is helpful, real-time situations may affect the learner
differently when exposed.
Technology has become more influential in our lives,
especially after the past year and a half of pandemic
experiences. However, online education is not a new
concept in education. Use of learning platforms, Zoom
meetings, Wiki’s, Google docs, social media, Electronic
Health Records, and so on have not been mastered by
all in education, faculty, or student. Many students like
the idea behind online learning in that they can study at
their own pace often or at a time that is most convenient
for them. This strategy for education allows for flexibility
to view course material in both an asynchronous and, at
times, synchronous format. Faculty find this learning
takes more time in their schedule for preparation and
grading than when classes met traditionally. Class size
is not always capped. Lack of support staff with course
development and difficulty managing technological
changes have been identified as barriers to distance
education (Iwasiw et al., 2020). This becomes frustrating
to both teacher and student in that the partnership that
develops in learning is not fully developed.
Future of Nursing
The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to
Achieve Health Equity, study sponsored by Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation identified, that a nation cannot thrive
fully until everyone can live their healthiest possible life,
and helping people live their healthiest life is and has
always been the essential role of nurses. The ultimate
goal is to achieve health equity in the United States built
on strengthened nursing capacity and expertise (National
Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2021).
The committee developed a framework identifying
the key areas for strengthening the nursing profession
to meet the challenges of the decade ahead. These areas
include the nursing workforce, leadership, nursing
education, nurse well-being, and emergency preparedness
and response, as well as responsibilities of nursing with
respect to structural and individual determinants of health
(National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and
In 1998 the Pew Health Professions Commission, a
group of healthcare leaders charged with assisting health
policymakers and educators teaching health professionals
to meet the changing needs of healthcare systems,
completed a report listing competencies healthcare
providers of the future would need. The competencies are
listed in the Fourth Report of the Pew Health Professions
Commission (O’Neal & Pew Health Professions
The book To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health
System (Kohn, Corrigan, & Donaldson, 1999) brought
national attention to the issue of patient safety by
August, September, October 2022 Vermont Nurse Connection • Page 15
discussing the number of people who die each year from
medical errors. This, in turn, sharpened the focus of
patient safety in nursing education (Scheckel, 2008).
Despite the practice setting in which students learn
nursing care, it will include using various technologies and
knowledge of informatics to assist with patient care. These
technologies can include but are not limited to medical
devices patients will use to provide self-care, as well as
information retrieval, clinical information management,
and documentation technologies (Scheckel, 2008).
Students’ use of these devices has important implications
for improving their clinical judgment (Newman & Howse,
2007). Nurses are also being exposed to the use of variety
of clinical management systems, like patient surveillance
systems many of which have implications for ensuring
quality and safety.
A significant movement that accompanied the
curriculum revolution involved using pedagogies to
ensure students could think critically in clinical practice.
Traditionally, students who learned the nursing process
were thought to be learning critical thinking. During the
past few decades, the nursing process has been challenged
as the best approach to developing students’ critical
thinking (Scheckel, 2008). However, current research
in nursing education suggests that students also need
to engage in thinking processes that promote reflective
thinking, where they build practical knowledge, embodied
thinking, where they learn the importance of intuition
and pluralistic thinking, where they consider a clinical
situation using many perspectives (Scheckel & Ironside,
As nurses assume increasing responsibility for
patient care in primary care settings, the combination
of increased clinical and systems knowledge, as well as
the capability to apply and evaluate evidence to practice
innovations, can only have a positive impact. The presence
of DNP-prepared APRNs in primary care will expand
educational opportunities. In the short term, the DNPprepared
APRNs can mentor the MSN-prepared APRNs
within the system. Equally important is the opportunity
for enhanced preceptor education for nursing students in
primary care (Dunbar-Jacob et al., 2013).
Indeed, the preparation of the DNP will influence the
perception of health care systems regarding the added
value of DNP education. If graduates of such programs
bring an increased depth of knowledge and skill to the
clinical arena, the DNP will likely flourish. If graduates
bring little more than what is offered by master’s-level
education, the DNP will not be an attractive addition to
the clinical arena. Thus, the quality of the preparation
of the DNP will influence the adoption of the DNP
practitioner and administrator by health care systems
(Dunbar-Jacob et al., 2013).
Challenges in building DNP programs include the
identification of qualified faculty for each specialty,
qualified capstone advisors, and qualified clinical
preceptors. A further challenge is the simultaneous
education of master’s cohorts and DNP cohorts. The
challenges by requiring faculty to obtain a doctoral degree,
developing critical academic–service partnerships in
mentoring students for practicum and capstone projects,
and discontinuing MSN advanced practice specialty
programs while focusing on the BSN-to-DNP and MSNto-DNP
programs. High-quality DNP academics and
DNP clinicians are crucial to help meet these challenges.
Each educational program must assess its challenges
and strategies for addressing those challenges. How we
proceed will determine the impact of our programs on the
future of the health care system (Dunbar-Jacob, Nativio, &
In academia, both the PhD and DNP prepared nurses
can work together to ensure quality education for our
nursing students. Both need an educational foundation to
be learned to be successful educators. The distinction of
the PhD concentrating on teaching theory and research
to assist nursing to maintain its scientific foundation and
the DNP concentrating on the clinical skills and acting as
preceptor/clinical educator at any level of nursing appear
to be the ideal partnership to develop. Both nurses can
assist academia and the clinical arena in staying current
and developing innovative care measures to provide
quality care to clients. When looking at the definitions
noted at the beginning of this work, this collaboration in
teaching nurses fits what was noted.