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Marcia Frellick
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Marcia Frellick is a freelance writer.
From spotlighting research to fashion shows, nursing schools across the nation have wide-ranging and meaningful plans for celebrating National Nurses Week. The festivities are as varied as the roles nurses perform. Here’s how some of the nation’s top nursing schools celebrate.
Leaders at Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y., and University of California Los Angeles School of Nursing will use the week to highlight research by students and staff. Jane H. White, PhD, PMH-CNS, BC, FAAN, associate dean for the College of Nursing and Public Health at Adelphi, said acting dean Elaine Smith, EdD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, decided to shift gears this year to celebrate the future, instead of the past, by highlighting scientific gains. “We want not only students but the campus to know the basis of our practice and our discipline, which I think sometimes gets lost in celebrations of nurses,” she said. During Nurses Week, leaders will display a series of whiteboards across the main lobby, so nurses can write down why they chose the profession. “I think that’s really important for the rest of the campus to see,” White said. Meanwhile, video clips of faculty members and students describing their own research will be on display on monitors. Among the featured studies will be a doctoral student’s research on how night nurses learn from each other since attending classes and lectures during the daytime isn’t always possible. Another doctoral student will present her work which on maternal deprivation as a complicating factor for children with obesity. Adelphi will present the preceptors or professional nurses who work with the students with cards designed with the Nightingale lamp, the signature symbol of the nursing legend. Each of the students will give a card to the preceptor of his or her choice with a note explaining how the preceptor has helped to enhance the student’s nursing education.
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Showcasing the science
UCLA focuses on evidence-based practice
UCLA School of Nursing also is using the week as a chance to celebrate research, said Dean Linda Sarna, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Florence Nightingale was known as the mother of statistics and she used data to impact practice. It’s a nice way for us to call attention to the importance of
evidence-based practice
,” she said. This year the research, which centers on students’ experience in clinical rotations, will focus on quality improvement, strategies for communicating with families, symptom control among patients and technological solutions, Sarna said. The students gather the data from their clinical sites and, with their preceptors identify problems to solve. Throughout the week, students and professors will present posters at the school. Also this year, the keynote address for the week will be delivered by J. Taylor Harden, executive director of the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence.
The festivities begin
At Denver School of Nursing, Colorado, nurses and clinical preceptors are celebrated with food and fun, said Michael Ruschival, director of student services at the school. All students, faculty and preceptors receive gift bags and are treated to an ice cream social, pizza party and rooftop barbecue during the week. On May 10, the school will bring back the popular scrubs fashion event in which a local manufacturer will present the latest scrub designs in a runway show. This year’s Nurses Week theme is appreciation, Ruschival said, and the goal is to showcase a warm, welcoming environment for nurses.
Celebrating partnerships with hospitals
At West Coast University, students and faculty celebrate Nurses Week by recognizing their clinical partners, according to Robyn Nelson, PhD, MSN, RN, dean of the college of nursing. West Coast offers scholarships to nurses who work in the hospitals that provide placement for clinical rotations. The nurses can use the scholarships to further their education in West Coast’s bachelor’s degree or master’s degree programs. During Nurses Week, the hospitals recognize those scholarship recipients. “This emphasizes that academia and service are in this together in preparing our nurses,” Nelson said. West Coast students and staff make site visits equipped with buckets of popcorn and gift cards. They also are given the opportunity to win items such as e-readers, Nelson said. “It’s our way of thanking the people who precept for the students.”
We want not only students but the campus to know the basis of our practice and our discipline, which I think sometimes gets lost in celebrations of nurses.”
-Jane White, PMH-CNS

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