Saturday, November 7, 2015

The goal: Cutting edge

President Klopper
President Hester C. Klopper began today’s keynote address by directing audience attention to a conversation between Ethel Palmer—a nurse educator—and Marie Hippensteel—a nursing student. Four other nursing students—Edith Moore, Elizabeth Russell, Elizabeth McWilliams, and Dorothy Garrigus—were also a part of that conversation. On that October day more than 93 years ago, the focus was on questions they had been discussing for a couple of months: How will we celebrate excellence in nursing? How will we know when we see quality? Their answer was an association known today as the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI).

Today, as President Klopper looked back on her two-year term in that office and reflected on the state of the organization, she challenged the audience to join her in asking pointed questions of themselves and STTI. True, the organization has grown to 500 chapters in 98 countries with 135,000 members, she observed, but can we afford, she asked, to rest on our laurels. We need to ask ourselves: Are we as an organization on the edge, over the edge, or cutting edge? 

If we are on the edge, she observed, we exhibit strength, resilience, and endurance. Organizations that are over the edge have become their own worst enemies, because they have lost the innovation to drive the business forward. The ideal is to be cutting edge, a combination of being at the edge and on the edge. Noting that it’s the most important position to be at, she offered substantial evidence that STTI is fulfilling its vision to be the nursing organization of choice.
— James Mattson, editor, Reflections on Nursing Leadership (RNL)

Flag processional.
Exhibit Hall is officially open!

Getting older and, with STTI’s help,
getting better

By Amy Berman, senior program officer, The John A. Hartford Foundation, New York, New York, USA

Welcome to Las Vegas, amazing members of Sigma Theta Tau International! In case you didn’t notice, this state has one of the fastest-growing aging demographics. But no matter where you come from, chances are, the majority of people you care for are aging.

Aging is the single biggest trend in health care. STTI recognizes the need to prepare nurses to be leaders of change in health care delivery and knowledgeable about care of older adults. In 2006, in response to the growth of the aging demographic, STTI launched the Geriatric Nursing Leadership Academy with support from The John A. Hartford Foundation, The Retirement Research Foundation, Hill-Rom, and the Hearst Foundations.

Christie Robbins with
Amy Berman
I am proud to have helped launch the program but even more proud of past impactful participants such as Amy Cotton, Karen Reynolds, and Cathy Roscoe-Herbert, and current fellows such as Christie Robbins, who was just named Advanced Practice Nurse of the Year by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

With Lisa Binns-Emerick
and her poster.
At Saturday afternoon’s poster session, I was beyond impressed with the work of the Geriatric Nurse Leadership Academy fellows. For example, Lisa Binns-Emerick of Detroit Medical Center’s Rosa Parks Senior Health Clinic is working to reduce opioid use in older adults with non-cancer pain.

Special thanks to outstanding mentors,
such as Tina Sandoval!
With the help of Sigma Theta Tau International, these fellows are developing capacity in their health care institutions and meeting the needs of our most clinically complex elders. They are also developing their leadership potential for greater impact.

And guess what? Applications are now open to apply for the Geriatric Nursing Leadership Academy. This is your chance to be the change! Click here for more information on STTI’s Geriatric Nursing Leadership Academy.

Speed Connect: Getting to know you!

By Tim Bristol, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, or “Nurse Tim,” as he is widely known, is a nurse educator, administrator, informatics specialist, educational consultant, and owner of Nurse Tim, Inc., a Web-based faculty-development site.

Tim Bristol
To start off the convention, nurses from around the world took part in an event called Speed Connect. Using some very effective tools—bingo cards and funny ribbons—each participant met more than 100 new people in less than an hour. It was a sight to behold!

The bingo cards, each of which described one participant, were packed full of professional and personal characteristics about him or her. In sequential spaces of three to five minutes, each person had to interview other players to connect the cards with the right people. Here are example clues:
  • Nursing is a second career.
  • Serves as a chapter president.
  • Works in a clinical setting.
  • Volunteers in his or her chapter.
  • Recently inducted into STTI.
  • Recently graduated from college.
  • Has been in one job for more than 30 years.
  • And the list goes on.
The interviews elicited much laughter and inquiry. There was an outbreak of “Happy Birthday” when it was discovered that one of the participants had just turned 25. There was an impromptu fashion show of all attendees who were sporting purple. (One even had a purple stethoscope.)

Battle of the ribbons.
And then there were the ribbon battles. Some participants are trying to grow the longest chain of ribbons off their conference badges. For safety’s sake, we cautioned them to stay away from power tools and paper shredders.

Collaborative IQ—learning and sharing in community about how others approach their work, their chapters, and even life situations—was also part of the mix. Speed Connect participants heard many new ideas in this fast paced, fun environment. From a nursing student in southern Minnesota to a nurse in Connecticut to a nursing professor from Swaziland—they all brought something to the table and gave ideas on how others can take their ventures to the next level.

Smartphone collaboration!
An interesting aside related to Collaborative IQ: Many participants left saying, “I need to do this with my team.” We know that collaborating with peers can benefit not only ourselves, as nurses, but also the clients we serve on a day-by-day basis. We know that if we watch other people develop their critical thinking skills, our critical thinking skills will be enhanced as well. We know that considering the views, ideas, and contributions of others improves patient outcomes. We know that others are more likely to pursue excellence, if we convey worth to them through a spirit of motivational inquiry.

Consider infusing Collaborative IQ into your next event. Whether it is a staff meeting at the hospital, a lecture on mental health nursing, or a chapter meeting, is there a way for you to role model the benefit of learning about others? Maybe a Speed Connect is the way to go!

Convention an amazing experience!

By Temeaka Gray, PsyD, MBA, MSN, CNP, RN, University of Toledo College of
Nursing, president, Zeta Theta Chapter at Large, Toledo, Ohio, USA

This has been an amazing experience filled with warmth. The knowledge and recognition that is a part of this event has definitely made me feel a part of the bigger collective (STTI). With so many locations, it is understandable that we think that the questions each chapter has only belong to the chapter. This convention has shown me that is not the case and that the organization is more than interested in addressing chapter concerns. I have met so many people and made some truly amazing connections. This is definitely an event that all Sigma Theta Tau members should experience at least once in a lifetime!

What is ENFLA?

Carol Huston
In a special session, Carol L. Huston, DPA, MSN, RN, FAAN, presented an overview of the Experienced Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy, a 12-month program offered by the Sigma Theta Tau International/Chamberlain College of Nursing Center for Excellence in Nursing Education.

The academy, designed for faculty with at least seven years of experience, launched in October 2014 with a pilot cohort of nine leadership scholars, nine mentors, and eight faculty members. Online learning activities and discussion forums, personal reflection assessments, and face-to-face workshops assisted scholars in planning and implementing comprehensive leadership projects.

During this session, scholars shared experiences and insights gained in achieving their leadership goals. They will also be presenting project outcomes through poster presentations. Applications for the 2016-17 cohort will open 1 April 2016.