National Nurses Week: Celebrating nurses



National Nurses Week: Celebrating nurses
North Jersey
Sunday, May 10, 2009
National Nurses Week: Celebrating nurses
Every year, National Nurses
Week is celebrated from May 6,
known as National Nurses Day,
through May 12, the birthday
of Florence Nightingale, the
founder of modern nursing. The
American Nurses Association
(ANA) is a key sponsor of
National Nurses Week and has
been supporting the nursing
profession for more than 100
years. This year, the ANA salutes
nurses across the country with
the theme “Nurses: Building a
Healthy America.”
The ANA supports and
encourages National Nurses
Week recognition programs
through the state and district
nurses associations, other
specialty nursing organizations,
educational facilities, and independent healthcare companies
and institutions. Annually,
National Nurses Week focuses
on highlighting the ways in which
registered nurses are working
to improve health care.
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In conjunction with the theme
of National Nurses Week,
Overlook Hospital, of Summit,
hosted a hospital-wide luncheon
on May 7. The luncheon was held
in the hospital auditorium where
there were photo displays of the
nursing staff, a DVD of photos
set to music, and displays of
nursing memorabilia from the
old nursing school at the
hospital. At the ceremony, the
chief nursing officer personally
presented a gift to each member
of the nursing team and a raffle
took place offering gifts donated
by the local community. The
hospital also invited former
graduates of the Overlook
School of Nursing.
“We want to honor our current and retired nurses and celebrate their commitment,” said
Terri Bernaz, a registered nurse
and manager of orientation for
the education department.
In order to retain and educate
nurses, Overlook Hospital provides opportunities for nurses to
learn at its new specialty medical
centers. The Atlantic
Neuroscience Institute is home
to a dedicated Stroke Center.
Nurses are able to train in the
center with courses in critical
care, take daily workshops
on neurology topics, and listen
to speakers at symposiums.
“The training impacts our
ability to give excellent care,”
said Bernaz.
“When we see the outcome
of the patient recovery, it’s very
exciting to be a part of that,” she
While there is a national shortage of nurses, Overlook Hospital
takes great pride in its nurse
retention rate. Currently, there
is a waiting list of nursing school
graduates who want to work at
Overlook Hospital. A strong reason for the hospital’s success is
its Clinical Ladder program that
rewards nurses who are involved
in their hospital committees. The
Magnet Award-winning
nursing care at St. Joseph’s
Children’s Hospital, Paterson,
is family-centered with
the main focus on treating
the whole child - body, mind,
and spirit. St. Joseph’s
Regional Medical Center/St.
Joseph’s Children’s Hospital,
has received the award
for nursing excellence three
consecutive times since 1999.
hospital fosters an environment
where nurses can create policy,
present workshops, and participate in committees. Nurses can
achieve different levels in the
ladder program based on their
contributions to the hospital and
nursing staff.
To maintain current staffing
levels, Overlook Hospital accepts
new nursing school graduates
in the emergency room and provides training and support. There
is also always a need for post-op
surgical nurses in the hospital’s
new Telemetry Surgical unit and
designated Bariatric unit.
According to the U.S.
Department of Labor’s Bureau
of Labor Statistics (BLS), registered nurses top the list of the
10 occupations with the largest
projected job growth between
2002-2012. Although registered
nurses have ranked among
the top 10 occupations projected
to grow in the past, this is the
first time in recent history that
registered nurses have ranked
first. The growth in the number
of nursing jobs, coupled with
current trends of nurses retiring
or leaving the profession, could
lead to a shortage of more than
one million nurses by the end
of this decade.
Mountainside Hospital, in
Montclair, is taking full advantage of the meaning of National
Nurses Week by packing a week
full of special events. To
celebrate its 450 nurses, the
hospital has scheduled a special
activity every day from May 4-8.
On Monday, the nursing staff
received sweet treats. On
Tuesday, gift cards towards
continuing education credits
for nursing were distributed. On
Wednesday, a special luncheon
was held at which Miss America
1988, Kaye Lani Rae RafkoWilson, a registered nurse, was
the featured speaker. Her talk,
entitled Building a Healthy
America, focused on how nurses
make a difference in diverse settings ranging from emergency
rooms and operating rooms to
schools and homeless shelters.
The event, which was open to
nurses and hospital personnel,
also featured tributes and a
proclamation from Montclair
Mayor Jerry Fried.
Thursday, the Mountainside
Foundation sponsored the
nursing awards ceremony.
Seven awards were given to 19
nominees recognized for their
professional practice. There was
also a nursing award for a nurse
dedicated to geriatric nursing
and care. Finally, on Friday, a
raffle was held for the general
nursing population offering gift
baskets specially created by each
nursing department.
The nurses at Mountainside
Hospital are making 2009 a very
special year because they will be
“taking National Nurses Week
to the front line” — literally.
The hospital nurses are raising
money so they can adopt a
military medical unit serving
in Afghanistan. The funds raised
will be used to purchase phone
cards, books and other gifts for
active duty nurses, bringing
Nurses Week to the front line.
“We’re not only recognizing
ourselves, we’re also recognizing
those that are risking their lives
working in the front line of the
military,” stated Bonnie Michaels,
chief nursing officer and vice
Each year, the Mountainside
School of Nursing graduates
between 60-70 nurses. The hospital recruits its nurses from the
nursing school, other hospitals
and nurses returning to the
workforce due to the weak local
economy. Mountainside Hospital
currently has nurse staffing
needs in specialty areas such as
the emergency department, critical care, and the operating room.
St. Joseph’s Regional Medical
Center, of Paterson, will also
be hosting a weeklong lineup of
special events to commemorate
National Nurses Week. This year,
the recruitment and retention
committee agreed on the subtheme “Go Green.” In order
to support the subject, doctors
gave the nursing staff a full set
of environmentally friendly,
reusable tote bags on Monday.
On Tuesday, labeled “Vendor
Day,” the staff welcomed
Addressing the ‘what to do’ and ‘how’ in the job search
Career Coach Eli Amdur
Q: Regarding your April 12 article
(“Sacrificing long-term career plans at the
altar of desperation”), a friend and
I both enjoyed your concept, and
discussed at depth that it’s really
something to consider.
However, we didn’t see where you told
us WHAT to do or HOW to keep that from
happening. Using Edison as an example
shows the need to not give up, be persistent, and believe you can do it — a very
good lesson, indeed. But using Edison, to
me at least, doesn’t quite
hit the nail for the solution. We aren’t
inventors trying 200 times for one
success, unless it’s sending out 200
résumés, hoping one will stick. But,
when the right job is not happening, what
are you telling us to actually do
to not be deterred from our goal? Keep
trying? We all do that! My friend built
a career in one industry and, laid off
over a year ago, was ready to take a sales
job in another. Your article — and his
friends — helped him see he would be miserable giving up his passion. I am selfemployed and, as my clients have fallen
away, I’ve wondered if I should go into
another field. We agree with you wholeheartedly about what a mistake that
would be.
Your last line, “Do not sacrifice your
long-term career plans at the altar of desperation,” is very good advice, but I’m left
with wondering, “How do I NOT”? The
desperation we feel is
financial, of course, but also frustrating
and emotionally draining. What we can do
to keep in our fields while keeping a
healthy mental and emotional state so we
don’t succumb to our fears and sell ourselves short?
Fair question. Part of the answer is
more about what you should have done
than it is about what you should do, and —
at the risk of seeming like I have 20-20
hindsight — let me suggest the value
of looking at and learning from history,
and then moving forward with the lesson.
As Winston Churchill said, “The
farther back you look, the farther
forward you are likely to see.” This
compels us to ask ourselves why we’re in
a position to be desperate, uncomfortable
as that might be.
Broadly speaking, there are only
two root causes for not landing a job
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Nurses Week:
Celebrating nurses
Above, Grace Aiazzone, a maternity nurse at Mountainside Hospital in Montclair, checks on Iris Fernicola and baby Mia
Noel. Maternity nurses guide mothers through labor and delivery, assisting and comforting moms.
“green” vendors who greeted to staff
to present their environmentally friendly
service offerings.
Nursing staff were also treated to a day
of pampering as masseuses were available on-site to provide facials and massages. On Wednesday, the hospital administration treated the nursing staff to an
international food service for breakfast,
lunch or dinner. On Thursday, the Nursing
Excellence Awards honored the nurses
from each division who represented the
epitome of the nursing practice in that
department. Nursing research fellowships
were also announced.
St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center is
a large proponent of continuing education
the nursing staff. In order to retain and
develop its nurses, the facility often sends
nurses to conferences and offers opportunities for nurses to grow and develop by
transferring to different units.
“Nurses want to learn something
new. There is no shortage of learning
experiences at the hospital and all kinds
of opportunities for our nurses,” said
Sheila Carr, nurse manager of the
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Due to the robust retention and training programs, St. Joseph’s Regional
Medical Center also has a low nursevacancy rate. In terms of staffing, the
hospital always needs good medical and
surgical nurses that want to work with
a patient on a medical surgical unit.
“These nurses are extremely challenged because they require a huge body
of knowledge,” said Carr.
Scott Schnierer is the vice president of
Marketing and Business Development for
COMFORCE Staffing Services, a provider
of temporary and direct-hire staffing,
third-party payrolling and outsourcing
solutions servicing the tri-state region. He
may be reached at 201-599-9100 or, via
e-mail, at [email protected]

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