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Learn from Industry Leaders How to Kick-Start Your Nursing Career

May 2013

Attention all student nurses and new nurses – are you interested in learning how to expand your network, prep for interviews or gain valuable experience in nursing? Or maybe you want to know what to expect during your first year as a nurse. We are inviting student nurses and nurses with less than five years of nursing experience to share your fundamental questions with us on the Nursing Notes by Johnson & Johnson Facebook Page and on Twitter @JNJNursingNotes. Each month, we will pick a few questions to highlight in this section with responses provided by seasoned nurses!

This month we spoke with Judith A. Halstead, Ph.D., RN, ANEF, FAAN, President of the National League for Nursing (NLN), and Diane Mancino, Ed.D., RN, CAE, FAAN, Executive Director of the National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA). Here is what they had to say about what it takes to be an Amazing Nurse.

Q. As a nurse, what inspires you every day?

A. As a nurse, every day brings an opportunity to make a positive difference in our patients’ lives. In today’s world, healthcare is so complex, and it is easy for patients and their families to become overwhelmed by the chaos. We need a strong and diverse nursing workforce to deliver safe, quality care to patients in these complex healthcare environments.

As a nurse educator, I have the opportunity to shape the nursing workforce through my teaching. I can prepare future generations of nurses and influence their professional development, thus impacting the quality of care that patients receive. As President of the National League for Nursing (NLN), I have the opportunity to influence national healthcare policy and the quality of nursing education and care, as well as advocate for nurses and nursing education in national and even international arenas.

Q. What common traits do you see in some of the Amazing Nurses that you know?

I know so many Amazing Nurses. Some of their common traits include being empathetic and caring; having the courage to advocate for what they believe to be in the best interest of patients; and being versatile and creative. Additionally, they all possess a spirit of inquiry about the world around them, and they have excellent communication skills with an ability to form collaborative partnerships.

-Judith A. Halstead, Ph.D., RN, ANEF, FAAN, President of the National League for Nursing (NLN). Halstead has been a nurse since 1976.


Q. What motivates you every day to be an Amazing Nurse?

A. Every day, I look forward to the rewards and challenges that this profession brings. I am fortunate enough to have a job that I love and one that gives me the ability to work with nursing student leaders – our future leaders. Their passion fuels my motivation to provide leadership and administrative support to advance the mission of the National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA) which, in turn, advances the profession of nursing. The ultimate goal is to develop nursing leaders who will empower the profession of nursing to provide the best possible nursing care to the public.

Q. What common traits do you see in the Amazing Nurses that you know?

A. The Amazing Nurses I know have a genuine interest and motivation to improve healthcare. They are individuals that are able to see the big picture as it pertains to the nursing profession and healthcare. They raise important questions and have the courage to seek answers – they create and participate in change.

There are a million adjectives I could use to describe the Amazing Nurses that I know, but mostly they are approachable; excellent communicators; engaged and non-judgmental; life-long learners; and nurses who go beyond the “call of duty.”

-Diane Mancino, Ed.D., RN, CAE, FAAN, Executive Director of the National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA). Mancino has been a nurse for more than 40 years.

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