August 8, 2011
By Janice Petrella Lynch, RN, MSN
More than 2,000 nursing leaders, practitioners and students from 133 different countries attended the International Council of Nurses biennial conference in Malta. With the theme "Nurses Driving Access, Quality and Health," the May 2 to 8 conference offered hundreds of presentations and poster sessions that reflected the wide scope of interest and expertise of nurses from all over the world.
"If we, as nurses, are committed to promoting the health of people, then we must participate in shaping the social determinants of health and promoting healthy communities," said keynote speaker Diana Mason, RN, PhD, FAAN, Rubin professor of nursing and co-director of the Center for Health, Media & Policy, Hunter College, City University of New York, who also presented on shaping health policy with RNs from the Japanese and Danish nurses associations. "Too often patients are sent home to unhealthy communities without the needed support to enhance their self-care management."
"The First Career Stage in Nursing: A Critical Link to the Future of Professional Nursing Practice," was presented by Connie Vance, RN, EdD, FAAN, professor, College of New Rochelle; Deborah Hunt, RN, MS, PhD (c), assistant professor of nursing, CNR; Susan Sakalian, RN, BSN, OCN, CNR graduate student, recipient of the Russel and Deborah Taylor Travel Scholarship and staff nurse, ambulatory oncology infusion unit, Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx; Shannon Campbell, CNR nursing student, recipient of the Russel and Deborah Taylor Travel Scholarship; and Launette Woolforde, RN-BC, DNP, EdD(c), corporate director, nursing education, North Shore-LIJ Health System.
The group discussed the CNR Nurse Advocacy Forum, created by Vance and Hunt in 2008, which addresses transition strategies for new nurses and senior nursing students. "With its own advisory board, Facebook page and website, the group meets four times a year and members can participate in journaling, networking, peer mentoring, job information sharing and educational sessions with expert presenters," Vance said. "We are now collecting data so we can continue to identify and address the needs of the new nurse during transition into practice," Hunt said.
Nancy Cabelus, RN, MSN, DNP, FAAFS, international forensic nurse consultant, and Barbara Glickstein, RN, MPH, MS, co-director, Center for Health, Media and Policy, Hunter College, CUNY, presented on violence and human trafficking. "Besides looking at the issue of human trafficking, I trained police on forensic investigations of gender-based violence, and started a sexual assault forensic examiner program in Kenya's largest teaching hospital," Cabelus said about her work in Nairobi, Kenya.
Glickstein was one of the few nurses who used Twitter to connect with nurses from around the world during the conference. "I hope in the future more RNs will join the social media movement so that we can reach millions of nurses," Glickstein said.