30 July 2017

It was a grand ol' time!

By Jan M. Nick, PhD, RNC-OB, CNE, ANEF, professor at Loma Linda University School of Nursing, Loma Linda, California, USA.

Jan Nick
I wasn’t ready to start the 28th International Nursing Research Congress. I had come a week before the congress convened and travelled all over Ireland with my husband and friends. I was having too much fun and didn’t want it to stop. Coming from California where it is hot, dry, and brown during summer months, I wanted to experience cool weather, light rain, green fields, sheep, and beautiful scenery. I was not disappointed. So, with a twinge of sadness, I said goodbye to vacation and hello to congress.

Sitting on the bridge where John Wayne sat during a reflective
scene of “The Quiet Man.”
Neolithic site with portal stones and stone cap.
Everywhere you look there are rocks!

Arriving at The Convention Centre Dublin, I was pleased with its light and airy entrance. Registration was efficient, and I looked for the room where the opening ceremony was to be held. Convention Centre staff members were everywhere, actively looking for opportunities to help us find rooms for various events and presentations. I have never experienced having so many staff members available to help attendees. I felt calm, cared for, and saw excellence in action.

Light and airy venue.
Compared to previous research conventions I have attended, I noticed a shift in the type of research presented. I saw a significant increase in global research, bench research, and RCT-based research. There were also a lot of presentations that addressed the use of technology in healthcare. My colleague verified what I observed. These observations thrilled my soul as we are nurse scientists who want and deserve strong research to guide our practice. Meeting so many nurse scientists these past five days was a sign that our science is maturing and makes me proud.

Today, Sunday, was a big day for me. In the morning, I presented my research and made connections to arrange for more global sites for Phase II of my research. I attended my colleagues’ presentations and viewed their posters, consulted with STTI Global Initiatives representatives about their desire for chapters to support the United Nations-STTI relationship, and then attended the “Best of Irish” Cultural Celebration at Trinity College. There was good food, lively music, Irish dancers, and audience attempts at Irish dancing.

And now, as I finish writing this on Sunday night, I am very happy I came. It has been an enriching experience—as promised—that has rewarded me with new knowledge, renewed vigor, and an expanded network of colleagues, and I have had the opportunity to convey my research passion and share my findings. The people and the experiences make me want to come back for more. Well worth the time, money, and effort, the return on investment was high.

To access information about Nick’s presentation, including slides, click here.

Take a wander

By Kristina Ibitayo, PhD, RN, consultant, Longview, Texas, USA

Ibitayo with Jackie Michael.
How better to celebrate the global focus of nursing than at STTI’s International Nursing Research Congress in Dublin, where, within a few minutes, you can meet nurses from around the world! I really enjoy the sharing of our expertise and stories where our cultural differences enrich our nursing practice.

I love learning new things, and yesterday I laughed aloud in pleasure when I heard the Irish phrase, “Take a wander.” This is exploring, taking a jaunt—wandering. As nurse researchers and leaders, I think we all benefit from stepping away, even if momentarily, from the task at hand to gain fresh perspective and reenergize by reconnecting with others and life’s simple wonders.

Ancient monastery at Glendalough.
In research, it’s about identifying a gap and proceeding from there in research design. Discovering that gap and tracing one pathway after another can be quite a wander. The journey can feel very lonely, especially for new researchers, so while the discovery process itself is exciting, having a support network is essential.

In Saturday’s session on the Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy, Jackie Michael, PhD, RN, highlighted the importance of relationships and the triad mentoring between scholar, mentor, and faculty adviser. She said it is important to be “intentional about encouraging someone’s heart.” The scholar learns from the mentor’s role-playing. Indeed, we need not be alone or wander fruitlessly, but gain from our interactions with others, whether the mentoring relationship is formal or informal.

I took a tour yesterday into the countryside outside of Dublin, taking time to reflect on where I want to be in nursing, how I can best match my talents and desires in the service of global nursing. Conferences with their learning and networking opportunities are essential for our profession. So, take a wander, engage with others, and you may very well come away with new insights or a confirmation of your life’s journey.

29 July 2017

Moments of pride

By Roger Watson, PhD, RN, FRCP Edin, FRCN, FAAN, professor of nursing at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom and frequent visitor to Australia and China, where he has visiting positions, is editor-in-chief of Journal of Advanced Nursing and editor of Nursing Open.

Roger Watson
On Thursday, the STTI umbrella provided in the conference bag was called into service within five minutes of registering. Yesterday, it was wet and windy with sunny spells, and today it’s mostly cloudy. In Dublin, “four seasons” refers to the weather, not a hotel.

Friday started early with the Emerging Researcher awards, of which there are three. Only two recipients, however, were able to attend: Ryan Shaw, PhD, RN, Duke University, USA, and Parveen Ali, PhD, RN, SFHEA, University of Sheffield, UK. Parveen is a long-standing colleague and very good friend. I am proud to say that I employed her on several projects as a research assistant when she was still a graduate student at The University of Sheffield, and she never failed to deliver. She came with me to the University of Hull and made a great impression there with her hard work and “can do” attitude.

Parveen has since returned to Sheffield, where her work is focused on violence against women, especially in minority groups. With her Pakistani background, she is well placed to carry out research among the Pakistani diaspora in the United Kingdom. I am sure her recognition as an emerging researcher will be followed by even greater achievements.

Friday’s opening keynote was given by Tanya McCance, PhD, RN, University of Ulster, UK. Tanya was one of my earliest master’s students when I was at The University of Edinburgh. My academic career was then in its infancy, and it is wonderful to see someone who was once a student—an excellent student—rise to her position of influence and achievement. In her presentation, which was on the development of KPIs (key performance indicators) in nursing, she described her highly original and participative approach and the international dimensions of that work. The session was inspiring and encouraging.

Afterward, Cathy Catrambone, PhD, RN, president of STTI, Hester Klopper, PhD, RN, past president of STTI, and Elizabeth Rosser, STTI board member and founding president of Phi Mu Chapter in England, posed for a series of photographs with Parveen to help create a memorable morning. 

President Cathy Catrambone, Parveen Ali, and Yours Truly.
Like most delegates, I moved between sessions where my interests took me. I was impressed by the excellent facilities in the Dublin Conference Centre, as well as the excellent organisation by the honor society staff and local staff.

While in Dublin, I also took the opportunity to catch up with an old friend and the godfather of my daughter Lucy, whom I had not seen for 20 years. Not strictly relevant to the conference, but this would not have been possible, despite the geographic proximity, without being here for more than an overnight stay.

Friday ended with Parveen's special session on the work that led to her Emerging Researcher award. She is always confident and entertaining, but I felt the award added to her stature and, more than words can say demonstrated the value of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International.

To access information about Watson’s presentation, including slides, click here.

Reflections of an Emerging Researcher

By Parveen Ali, PhD, RN, lecturer and researcher at The University of Sheffield School of Nursing and Midwifery in Sheffield, England and associate editor, Nursing Open.

Parveen Ali
I am in Dublin to attend the 28th International Nursing Research Congress, the first research congress I’ve attended. It is special and exciting for me as I was presented the Emerging Nurse Researcher award. A big “thank you” to STTI and those who nominated me.

The purpose of this post, however, is not to talk about my award, but to reflect on my experiences of attending sessions, chairing a session, and conducting a session. Yes, I played all these roles at this event, in addition to meeting colleagues from around the world, those I’ve known and those I’ve just met. It is a great opportunity to learn about research that is being conducted in various parts of the world. While all sessions I’ve attended have been very informative and interesting and it was difficult to choose between sessions offered concurrently, I particularly liked sessions on use of technology in nursing education.

The first presenter, Cynthia Foronda, PhD, RN, talked about nursing education in a virtual world. Seamus Cowman, PhD, MSc, discussed replacing hard copies of textbooks with e-books in Bahrain and its impact on student learning. It was interesting to explore the usefulness of technology in nursing education and enablers and barriers that can affect its use. It was also interesting to see that the same issue is of relevance to nurses and nurse educators, whether they work in developed countries, such as the United States, or in developing countries and conservative societies.

Parveen Ali, Past President Hester C. Klopper, and Janet
Scammell of Bournemouth University in England.
Another very useful and interesting session explored family-centred versus child-centred care. It was interesting to listen to arguments pro and con regarding these two types of care in pediatric settings. The conclusion was that both are important and there is no reason for choosing one over the other, that perhaps we should be providing person- and family-centred care. In our discussion, we acknowledged that these concepts may have different relevance in different contexts, which needs to be considered.

Janet Scammell, STTI board member Elizabeth Rosser,
and Parveen Ali.
Finally, I had the pleasure of exploring posters presented at the congress. I am amazed by the quality, breadth, and depth of the subjects covered by nurses and nursing students from around the world. While it’s refreshing to see new ideas being explored and exciting results presented, it is concerning to note that, for many topics, it appears that we haven’t moved much. For instance, I remember exploring the role of nurse as advocate more than 15 years ago as an undergraduate nursing student, and it’s a little bit disappointing to see that maybe we haven’t progressed significantly with regards to this issue in many countries.

Nevertheless, conferences such as this research congress provide nurses—practitioners as well as educators—with an opportunity to discuss contemporary issues that affect nursing practice and to address problems as well as solutions, thereby advancing evidence-based practice.

As I write this, I am looking forward to witnessing the induction of senior research leaders into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame. Roger Watson, my teacher and mentor, is among them!

To access information about Ali’s presentation, including slides, click here.

‘Nice to meet you!’

By Giuseppe Aleo, PhD, research associate, Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy

Giuseppe Aleo
“Nice to meet you!” are four words that people most frequently say at the International Nursing Research Congress—a short sentence that initiates networking, the paramount achievement of this conference.

This simple but extremely meaningful communication underlines the enormous human value of this conference. Especially nowadays in a world where everyone is connected through email, mobile devices, Skype meetings, Facebook, etc., the pleasure of meeting old friends and new ones, the warmth of talking to people in person, and the good feeling the grasp of a handshake gives you have no equal.

“Nice to meet you” is the common denominator of support, encouragement, hospitality, sharing, and positivity—ingredients that account for the success of all STTI events.

Aleo with colleagues Monica Bianchi of the University of

Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland and

Annamaria Bagnasco of the University of Genoa.
“Nice to meet you” helps motivate congress participants in their commitment to the advancement of nursing through knowledge and leadership. And the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International honours champions of this advancement by inducting them into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame and by recognizing early-career nurse researchers with the Emerging Nurse Researcher Award.

“Nice to meet you” is the genesis of relationship building, stakeholder engagement, global expansion, establishment of a new vision for the future of nursing, and advancement of global health, which are at the heart of STTI global initiatives.

“Nice to meet you” is where philanthropy starts, providing research and leadership opportunities that positively impact the health of people nursing serves—24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Nice to meet you” is the enzyme that unites. Unity is strength, much more than the mere sum of parts. It is the concrete and mutually enriching environment that STTI offers through its events, where people discover the opportunity to work together for the good of everyone.

So, thank you, and “Nice to meet you!”

To access information about by Aleo and colleagues' presentation, click here.

28 July 2017

Everyone is a little bit Irish if you look back far enough!

By Michelle A. Beauchesne, DNSC, RN, CPNP, FAAN, FAANP, FNAP, associate professor and director, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Like millions of tourists who arrive on this beautiful isle, I am excited to be in the land of my ancestors. Although you may be misled by my married name, I, too, have Irish roots—the surnames of my grandmothers were Lynch and McGuinness.

This is no more surprising, however, than the discovery my family and I made as we drove across Ireland—from the east coast to the west coast—to view the Cliffs of Moher. Along the way, we stopped to rest at a service station named in honor of Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States. In 2011, he and his family visited Moneygall, his great-great-great grandfather’s birthplace, “to find the apostrophe that got lost along the way.” President Obama’s words, not mine! It seems that everyone is proud to claim a little bit of Irish.

Michelle Beauchesne and Patrice Farquharson.
This visit to Ireland is particularly special for me because I am accompanied by my husband Alan and sons Mark and Ryan. In addition, Patrice Farquharson, EdD, my sister and research co-investigator, has joined us together with her partner Mike and daughters Julia and Elena. It’s a true family affair. We have spent the past few days experiencing the tastes, sounds, and picturesque scenes of beautiful Dublin.

The Cliffs of Moher.
Everyone we meet is friendly and hospitable. Even the skies have been friendly. On our trip to Ireland’s west coast, we left Dublin in rain but approached the coast accompanied by a spectacular rainbow, followed by sunshine that allowed us to view the magnificent Cliffs of Moher. All that was needed was a leprechaun and his pot o’ gold. Here in Ireland, the connections go both ways. Every taxi driver seems to have a relative back home in Boston where we live.

Bernadette Melynk (right) with colleagues
from The Ohio State University.
Making connections could be the theme of this 28th International Nursing Research Congress. It seems that everyone I meet knows someone I know. This is truly a melting pot of global nursing scholars who hail from different corners of the world but share many common bonds. At this conference, credentials and experience are less emphasized than the excitement of scholarly discovery. What an invigorating experience to be in a venue where seasoned researchers mingle with young “Rising Stars” who are entering a new phase of their careers.

Today’s opening session illustrated that nicely when recipients of the 2017 Emerging Nurse Researcher Award were honored—Parveen Azam Ali, Lydia Aziato, and Ryan J. Shaw. This was followed by an enlightening overview of the contributions of nursing and midwifery in Ireland, given by seasoned researcher Tanya McCance, DPhil, MSc, RN.

Beauchesne with her students.
Later in the day, Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, FAAN, together with colleagues from The Ohio State University in the United States, reflected on their vision for the future of nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. Melnyk enthusiastically urged us to partner with each other—PhD- and DNP-prepared scholars together—in synergistic ways to achieve greater impact as we strive to improve healthcare outcomes. As a pediatric nurse practitioner with a research doctorate, I have always embraced the words of nurse philosopher Ernestine Weidenbach (1963), who observed, “Nursing is a helping art—a deliberate blending of thoughts, feelings, and overt actions.” Today’s sessions illustrated this message: Our goal is to advance both the science and practice of nursing through discovery and translational research. The poster session was rich in examples of such efforts.

With Debra Burke.
A significant aspect of my professional career has been mentoring students and other nursing colleagues. I am privileged to have several alumna and students here from Northeastern University: 2017 Rising Stars Jennifer Clair, DNP; Paul Ethan Schuler, DNP; and Lauryn LeGacy, DNP; as well as Bertha Lee, a current PhD student. Deborah Burke of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a 2016 DNP alumna, is also a presenter. We are all honored to witness a premier mentor well known in the Boston area, our own Diane L. Carroll, PhD, RN, FAAN, of MGH, who will be inducted tomorrow into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame. A great presence for Boston!

The young scholars and experienced researchers attending today’s meeting all share a common bond. The words of George Bernard Shaw, the great Irish playwright, best captures their spirit: “You see things; you say, ‘’Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’”

To access information about Beauchesne’s presentation, click here.

Greetings from Ireland!

By William L. Holzemer, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean and Distinguished Professor, School of Nursing, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey, USA.

William Holzemer
Greetings, colleagues, from beautiful Dublin, Ireland. Weather is mixed, but today is beautiful. There are more 1,400 attendees at this Research Congress—a record. Hot topics include: globalization of nursing, the U.S. introspective focus on whether DNP graduates do ‘research’ (a topic that does not translate globally), mentorship, communication, interprofessional practice, and evidence-based/outcomes research. 

It is very encouraging to see so many talented young nurse scientists present their posters and papers. We have a strong cadre of talented researchers launching their careers. Irish song and dance provide a joyous backdrop to the pubs and Guinness beer. Rutgers is a proud sponsor of this meeting, and we are pleased to support this important work. Next year, Research Congress moves to Melbourne, Australia. See you Down Under!

Congress pix

Therese A. Fitzpatrick, PhD, presents “Staffing Optimization: Improving
Staffing to Improve Nursing Worklife.” She is co-author of
Claiming the Corner Office, published by STTI.

Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP, PMHNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, speaks
on “Integrating the Doctor of Nursing Practice in Practice Settings:
Implications for Clinical Outcomes and Scholarship.” Melnyk is editor of Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing and co-author of EBP Competencies in Healthcare, published by STTI.

Attendees applaud during a session.

Younglee Kim, PhD, RN, PHN, presents “Social Determinants of
Rural Hispanic Women at Risk for Postpartum Depression.”

Thóra Hafsteinsdóttir, PhD, RN, STTI board member, speaks about GAPFON
(Global Advisory Panel on the Future of Nursing & Midwifery).

STTI President Cathy Catrambone, PhD, RN, FAAN, presents the report of the
Global Advisory Panel on the Future of Nursing & Midwifery (GAPFON).

Sonja Mcilfatrick, professor of nursing at Ulster University, with Roger Watson.

Other congress photos by Piet van Wyk of Piet van Wyk Photography are available via Flick’r. Click here to access.

27 July 2017

Irish and Middle Eastern nursing perspectives

By Seamus Cowman, PhD, MSc, PG Cert Ed, DiP N (London), RNT, RGN, RPN, FFNMRCSI, FAAN, professor and head, School of Nursing, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland-Bahrain.

As an Irish person, I find it rather unorthodox to return to Dublin from Bahrain, my adopted country of employment, to present a paper at the 28th International Nursing Research Congress. Last year’s Cape Town event was a wonderful demonstration of nursing’s internationalisation, and Dublin will serve to further consolidate STTI’s position as a leading global organization in promoting nursing scholarship.

Seamus Cowman
Nursing in Ireland
Ireland is sometimes referred to as the land of saints and scholars, and validation of this reputation is reflected in how international communities acknowledge things Irish: St. Patrick’s Day; our writers Joyce, Shaw, Wilde, and Yeats; and the Guinness. Many of our visiting nurses may not be aware of the strides made in Irish nursing. In 2002, Ireland became a flagship country in Europe by implementing a four-year honours degree programme for nursing. Clinical career pathways followed, and new opportunities for nursing research were instituted.

The papers presented at this conference are strongly rooted in the empirical approach and delivered by nurses committed to nursing research. Therefore, I think a majority of congress attendees in Dublin may share my belief that evidence-based nursing practice is our best opportunity to focus on the growing body of healthcare knowledge. However, best practice can only occur when we find effective ways to address the gap between what is known and what is practiced.

Nursing is embedded in practice, and this opens many opportunities for us all to be more creative in developing effective ways to teach and engage clinicians in research. I have recently been pushing a model of “bedside to bench” as a preferred model for the development of nursing research, and I genuinely believe that the adoption of a bedside-to-bench model can lead to major progress in applying nursing research to patient care.

Middle East nursing
Nursing in the Middle East is in a stage of transition with recognition that indigenous growth of the profession is central to providing health services in the region. In some Middle Eastern countries, the expatriate nursing workforce may be as high as 80 percent. However, an expatriate nurse workforce is a transient workforce. This results in lack of stability, which presents a challenge in establishing and sustaining nursing developments.

Nursing is not an attractive career for young Arabic people, and in Bahrain, where I work as head of a school of nursing and midwifery, I was delighted to be able to initiate a positive promotion-of-nursing campaign. Bahrain is now exemplary in that more than 60 percent of its nursing workforce is composed of nurses of Bahraini origin. Arabic nursing is a much-neglected component of the nursing family, and I encourage organizations such as the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International and the American Academy of Nursing to enhance their efforts to support nursing developments across the Middle East.

In terms of nursing’s future, a quote from Irish writer Sean O’Casey comes to mind: “All the world’s a stage, and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.”

Welcome to Dublin!

To access information about Cowman’s presentation, including slides, click here.

26 July 2017

Research Congress: It's the craic!

By Janice E. Hawkins, PhD, RN, lecturer at Old Dominion University School of Nursing in Norfolk, Virginia, USA. Master adviser certified, Hawkins also serves as the school’s chief academic adviser.

When I learned that the annual International Nursing Research Congress, sponsored by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International, would be held in Ireland this year, I immediately knew I wanted to be a part of it. This is my first congress, but not my first trip to Ireland. My first visit was earlier this year as faculty leader of a short-term, study-abroad experience. I lived with a host family for nine days and fell in love with the people and the country.

The author at Trinity College.
As part of my Irish immersion, my hosts enthusiastically educated me on the proper use of the term “craic.” I learned that craic is where it’s happening, it’s the scoop, the place to be. For the next five days, the 28th International Nursing Research Congress is where it’s happening, where I’ll learn the scoop on evidence-based practices, and the place I want to be.

I’m very happy with my decision to return to Ireland for this conference, but I’m not counting on the luck of the Irish to make the most of it. To have a better idea of what to expect, I’ve watched the video for first-time attendees. I’ve reviewed the conference schedule and mapped out plans to attend presentations most relevant to my practice. For networking opportunities, I’ve confirmed my reservation for the Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy (NFLA) Meet and Greet. I also plan to attend the Welcome Reception. I should be able to find my way around the convention centre with assistance from the app I’ve downloaded for the congress.

Earlier this year, in “Stand at ease, then forward, march!,” I shared with RNL readers my goal to increase my scholarly productivity. My presentation at congress is partial fulfillment of that promise I made to myself. On Friday, I’ll be presenting on educational strategies to improve graduation rates of RN-BSN students from disadvantaged backgrounds. We’ve had tremendous success with this population at our institution, and I’m anxious to share our model with other educators.

My presentation is part of a larger symposium, Innovative Evidence-Based Strategies for BSN Education. I’ll be presenting with colleagues from Old Dominion University. This is the first time I’ve been part of a symposium presentation. Getting ready for the presentation has been hard work. Coordinating a group presentation is definitely more challenging and time-consuming than an individual one, but the payoff is bigger, too. Without stepping foot into the convention centre, I’ve already learned a lot from my peers at home about educational strategies as well as tips for presenting to an international audience. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is that we have something valuable to share that helps advance best practices in nursing education.

Hawkins at Glenveagh Castle
during March visit to Ireland.
A side benefit of presenting with my colleagues is the shared excitement for this conference and the opportunity to travel together. We’ve scheduled extra time in Ireland to tour the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula. We also plan to visit Cork and Blarney where, donned in our personal protective equipment (PPE), we’ll kiss the Blarney Stone.

In Dublin, I’m thrilled with our accommodations at Trinity College. This historic university and popular tourist destination will be our home for the week. We’ve purchased our tickets to see the Book of Kells, a treasured biblical manuscript housed on campus in the Trinity College Library. And, of course, we’ll stop by Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction, the Guinness Storehouse.

I toured this museum on my previous visit to Dublin. Since this will be my second visit, I already know that Arthur Guinness had 21 kids with his wife Olivia Whitmore. Olivia Whitmore Guinness had 21 kids! No blarney! This bit of trivia had my internal labor-and-delivery-nurse alarm buzzing with postpartum hemorrhage risk alerts.

I’m excited and ready for Research Congress 2017. Tá súil agam go bhfeicfidh mé thú (I hope to see you) in Dublin.

To access information about Hawkins’ presentation, including slides, click here.