Newsletter Issue 3: May 2010

May 21, 2010

Category: Newsletter Archives

In This Issue:

Joel, Johnson Are Models for Future Nurse Education Leaders in New Jersey
Leader’s Column
– The Salary Question
Mother-Son Duo Forge Parallel Paths in Nurse Education
Did You Know…?
NJNI on National Stage on Behalf of Nurses
Call for NJ Nurse Leaders

Joel, Johnson Are Models for Future Nurse Education Leaders in New Jersey

New Jersey boasts some of the brightest stars in nursing education, but there is an urgent need for more luminaries—and more nurse faculty—in the state.
To ensure that New Jersey has the well prepared, diverse nurse faculty it needs to meet the demand for health and health care, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce launched the New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI) last year. The goal of the program is to develop nurse faculty leaders like: Lucille Joel, Ed.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., a professor of nursing at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and interim director of the school’s Ph.D. Program; and Barbara Ann Johnston, Ph.D., R.N., C.N.E., the Hess Endowed Chair for Nursing Education and professor of nursing at Monmouth University in West Long Branch.
After more than three decades in nursing education, Joel and Johnston have become influential leaders in nursing education in New Jersey—each in her own way.
A Scholar and Leader
Joel has become renowned for combining her academic responsibilities with advocacy work in local, national and international nursing communities. For her, no two days are the same. She may spend one day teaching a class on health care trends or interviewing techniques, another day coaching doctoral students about how to publish their research findings, and another day at an international association discussing immigrant nurses.
“I believe nurse faculty have a responsibility to be visible and active in their professional community,” she says. “So, many of my days are spent at meetings in other states or with foundations, hospital associations, or state nurses associations.”
Joel is currently project director of the NJNI Faculty Preparation program at Rutgers, which aims to shape the next generation of national leaders in academic nursing through career development awards. She has been the first vice-president of the International Council of Nurses, and served as president of both the New Jersey State Nurses Association and the American Nurses Association. She is the immediate past president of CGFNS International (formerly the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools), which screens foreign health care workers who are seeking occupational visas to immigrate to the United States.
An Active Life Onand OffCampus
Similarly, Johnston says variety is the spice of her professional life as a nurse educator. When she’s not preparing for or teaching courses in advanced pathophysiology, education, and wellness and aging, Johnston spends her time serving on university committees, writing grant proposals and conducting research.
Off campus, she has also served as a nursing representative on the United States Pharmacopeia, a non–governmental entity that sets standards for drugs and other health care products sold in the United States. She has served as a board member on a state Geriatric Society; was an alternate delegate to the White House Conference on Aging; and is currently a faculty mentor to RWJF New Jersey Nursing Scholars.
“Each day has variety,” she says. While the bulk of her time is spent with students, research on medication management for the elderly is also a high priority.
When elderly patients go to see a doctor, Johnston says, they often come out with another prescription to add to their list of medications. But these patients often end up in the hospital with unintended medication problems. Being cared for by several doctors and using several pharmacies sometimes lead to duplication of medications and uncoordinated medication schedules, she says.
“Things are improving in many long term care institutions,” she says. “But problems still do occur, particularly for those elders living at home.”
Research to Improve Health and Health Care
Johnston is currently studying tools that will assist nurse practitioners and nurses evaluate patients taking multiple medication regimens to provide for patient safety and reduce polypharmacy. The tools will come in handy especially in areas like Monmouth County and nearby Ocean County, both of which have high populations of senior citizens.
She has also recently completed research that showed that the presence of an on-site pharmacist at nursing homes helps ensure that medications are properly administered via feeding tubes, and reduces over-medication in elderly patients. The study was conducted on a national scale.
The first phase of the study—called “A Survey of Texas Long-Term Care Facilities to Determine the Characteristics of Medication Administration through Enteral Feeding Tubes”—was funded by grants from Texas Tech University.
The second phase of the survey—called “A Nationwide Survey of Long-Term Care Institutions to Determine Characteristics of Medication Administration through Enteral Feeding Tubes”—was funded by the Gustavus and Louise Pfeiffer Research Foundation.
Survey results were published in the journal Nutrition in Clinical Practice.
Joel’s most recent area of scholarship involves immigrant nurses. While president of CGFNS International, she became concerned with the situations encountered by recent nurse-immigrants that hampered their adjustment to the U.S. workforce. She found that foreign nurses’ adjustment to practice in this country was linked to their comfort with idiomatic English, their understanding of the U.S. health care system, and their ability to become assertive advocates for their patients.
Joel has also written and edited numerous books and journal articles on the nursing profession, psychiatric nursing, and advanced practice nursing, among other topics. But policy remains her chief area of interest. “[I’m committed to] working with nursing groups to secure legislation that would profit the profession and subsequently also profit the public,” she says
Both women work with students to complete their scholarly projects.

Leader’s Column – The Salary Question

By Catherine Alicia Georges, EdD, RN, FAAN, NJNI National Advisory Committee member

Without the teachers, there would be no students. Here in New Jersey and nationwide, we are finding ourselves in the increasingly challenging situation where there are fewer nurse faculty than are able to meet the demand from students. In fact, more than half of all nursing schools in New Jersey are turning students away because of a lack of faculty, even though the demand for nurses will be greater than ever as the baby boom generation ages and chronic disease spreads.
Nurse faculty play a vital role in our health care system, with nurse faculty careers providing some of the most rewarding and challenging opportunities. But for far too long, the nurse faculty career has failed to draw compensation that is comparable to those of other nursing fields. A recent Advance for Nurses 2010 salary survey of nurses working in the Greater New York/New Jersey Metro Area finds that nurse faculty earn nearly 20% or $17,000 less than advance practice nurses, on average.
Admittedly in lean economic times it is difficult to advocate for pay increases. But if we are to adequately address our state’s growing health care needs, we must act now to ensure that nurse faculty are compensated fairly. Low salaries can and do discourage highly qualified nurses with advanced degrees from choosing a career as nurse faculty, though more are desperately needed. In New Jersey, the average age of nurse faculty members is 55, and many are nearing retirement age.
We must devise creative solutions, encourage innovative partnerships and find new and sustainable sources of funding to provide the economic support our academic leaders urgently need.
The New Jersey Nursing Initiative is doing its part to help alleviate the nurse faculty shortage. We are currently in the process of selecting the second and final cohort of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Jersey Nursing Scholars. These include some of our state’s best and brightest young nurses who have decided to pursue a nurse faculty career. In so doing, they will have the opportunity to influence countless nurses and make their mark on the future of nurse education. But even so, the salary question remains, and will continue to discourage otherwise promising candidates from pursuing a nurse faculty career.
The time is now upon us, and we must strongly encourage our state’s leaders to prioritize the issue of nurse faculty salaries. To learn more about the issue, visit www.NJNI.org.


Mother-Son Duo Forge Parallel Paths in Nurse Education

Robert Scoloveno and his mom are both leaders in nursing education. She is the interim dean of the graduate school of nursing at Rutgers, and he’s earning his nursing doctorate.
Robert Scoloveno, M.S., R.N., left home decades ago, but he still sees his mother, Mary Ann Scoloveno, Ed.D., R.N., all the time. That’s because they both spend their days on the campus of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Mary Ann Scoloveno is a nursing professor and the interim associate dean for the university’s graduate school of nursing, and Robert is earning his doctoral degree in nursing at the university and working part-time as a simulation coordinator.
“It’s strange,” Scoloveno says. “I see a lot of the same people now who I remember seeing as a child. I see nurses who she taught at work and I see the instructors who she’s mentored or worked with.”
Scoloveno grew up in New Jersey, where his mother worked as a pediatric nurse practitioner at a local doctor’s office. Mary Ann Scoloveno was a beloved figure in the community, Scoloveno says, often offering medical advice and treatment to friends, family members and neighbors who came knocking on the door of his childhood home or who called her with late-night questions about their children’s health.
“She was looked on quite favorably, especially by her patients,” Scoloveno says.
Scoloveno Inspired to Consider Nursing as a Second Career
But it wasn’t just his mother who left a positive impression of nurses on Scoloveno. Nurses, he says, helped his wife recover from a stroke she suffered as a young adult and helped his son survive after a premature birth. Together, the nurses in his life inspired Scoloveno to consider a second career in nursing after he lost his first job as an optician in a retail store in Somerville, New Jersey. That nurses continue to be in high demand also influenced his decision to leave the optical field, he says.
So instead of pursuing what he feared would be another dead-end job as a retail optician, Scoloveno decided to follow his mother into nursing and nurse education.
In 1999, Scoloveno earned his associate degree in nursing at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg, N.J.; he then went on to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from Rutgers. In 2006, he took an opportunity to become a clinical instructor in nursing at Rutgers, and quickly realized that he shared his mother’s passion for teaching. “I saw it as an opportunity to affect the whole process,” he says. “I wasn’t just caring for one or two patients in the Intensive Care Unit. I was teaching 30 students every semester.”
Pursuing an Advanced Degree as Nurse Faculty
Last year, Scoloveno decided to dive deeper into nurse education. He applied for a scholarship from the New Jersey Nursing Initiative, a project supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation. He was one of 29 outstanding nurses accepted to the program in 2009 and is now working toward his Ph.D. in Nursing. He studies resilience in adults diagnosed with chronic illness.
The New Jersey Nursing Initiative aims to increase the number of nurse faculty in the state so that there will be enough nurse educators to meet projected patient demands. More nurse educators will enable nursing programs to accept more applicants, which will help ensure that all state residents have access to adequate nursing care.
Each New Jersey Nursing Scholar receives a scholarship covering tuition and fees at their host institution for two to four years, an annual stipend of $50,000, and a laptop computer. Scoloveno gets the added bonus of seeing his mother and her colleagues on a regular basis. Witnessing the positive legacy his mother has created as a nurse makes it “a lot easier” during challenging times to know he made the right decision for himself, he says.

Did You Know…?

By 2020, New Jersey is expected to have a projected shortfall of at least 40,000 nurses.

NJNI on National Stage on Behalf of Nurses

The New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI) was delighted to have one of its representatives take part in the recent release of a groundbreaking Robert Wood Johnson Foundation survey conducted by the Gallup Organization on the role of nurses in health care reform.
Richard Hader, R.N., Ph.D., F.A.A.N., senior vice president and chief nursing officer at Meridian Health, serves as co-chair of NJNI’s “Create Innovative Approaches to Increase Faculty Capacity” working group. Hader spoke at the official survey release in Washington, DC, in January, as part of a panel of national nurse experts.
“Actions speak louder than words and we should begin with educating ourselves by identifying the key components regarding health care reform. Seeking the answers to pertinent questions such as: ‘As a nurse leader, how will health care reform change my strategic focus for my area of responsibility?’ is necessary,” said Hader. “Nurses need to become politically astute to insure that our opinions are heard and acted upon.”
For the survey, Nursing Leadership from Bedside to Boardroom: Opinion Leaders’ Perceptions, Gallup interviewed key opinion leaders including insurance, corporate, health services, government and industry thought leaders as well as university faculty, and found that these opinion leaders see significant barriers that prevent nurses from fully participating as leaders in health and health care. Yet an overwhelming number said they thought nurses should have more influence. The survey was the first of its kind to be conducted on the perceptions of the role of nurses in health care reform.
Hader’s work with NJNI focuses on increasing the efficiency and flexibility of nursing program delivery, and addresses faculty retention issues. His work at Meridian Health has helped establish the innovative Georgian Court – Meridian Health School of Nursing, a four-year, baccalaureate program that is helping improve recruitment and retention.

Call for NJ Nurse Leaders

This month, two New Jersey-based nurse leaders graduated from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Executive Nurse Fellows program, highlighting the accomplishments of the state’s nurse leaders and underscoring the need for more nurses in the state to step forward.
The New Jersey Nursing Initiative’s (NJNI) Susan Bakewell-Sachs, Ph.D., R.N., P.N.P.-B.C., Carol Kuser Loser Dean and Professor of Nursing, School of Nursing, Health, and Exercise Science at The College of New Jersey, andGloria McNeal, Ph.D., A.C.N.S.-B.C., F.A.A.N, are New Jersey’s newest Executive Nurse Fellows, 2007 cohort, becoming part of a national network of experienced executive nurses trained to lead and shape the U.S. health care system of the future.
As NJNI’s program director, Bakewell-Sachs is giving voice to the urgent need to solve New Jersey’s dire shortage of nurse faculty, and reaching out to educators, health executives, businesses, policy-makers and others to design collaborative, sustainable solutions to the nurse faculty shortage. Until recently, McNeal chaired NJNI’s working group on “Create Innovative Approaches to Increase Faculty Capacity”, and in January she was named founding dean of the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles. NJNI’s National Advisory Committee member Nelson Tuazon is also an RWJF Executive Nurse Fellow, 2008 cohort.
“The Executive Nurse Fellow program provides an exceptional opportunity for nurses to take their leadership to another level and receive invaluable mentoring and policy experience,” said Bakewell-Sachs. “With the wheels set in motion for health care reform, New Jersey needs more of our talented senior nurses to apply for this program and learn how to best project the nurse voice in our state’s policy decisions.”
The three-year fellowship is open to nurses in senior executive roles in health services, (including patient care service, integrated delivery systems, health plans, and other health organizations engaged in organizing and delivering health care); public/community health; and nursing education. The next call for applications will be issued in the fall of 2010.