Greetings, NSNA members and future colleagues!
Every time I travel on behalf of NSNA, it is always such a pleasure to be able to represent all of us! It was especially a pleasure as I attended the National League for Nursing Education Summit in National Harbor, Maryland. Not only did I meet and recognize so many amazing colleagues, but I also got to learn about nursing education from a faculty perspective. The conference started with a 5K that I completed early in the morning on the first day.
After the run, there were sessions on teaching to brain science concepts like priming and retrieval practice. Some of the brain concepts discusses were:
I also learned the therapeutic communication that should be used in speaking to students and methods to assist them in their journey to success. Things like proper labeling with assignments, flexibility, rubrics to help students define where to get their points from, organized modules, and a detailed calendar in your syllabus. It is also important to be supportive for nursing students. Often, teachers claim to be support or are outright not support by saying, “nursing school becomes your life,” instead of assisting with setting boundaries and helping students by being flexible.
Additionally, during this session, I was also introduced to the “next thought please” method. If a thought pops into your head about something we don’t need to think about or are overthinking, we can say “next thought please” and ask the thought to disappear. I attended the opening ceremony and listened to Dr. Victor J. Dzau, President of the National Academy of Medicine talk about Climate Change and how it is not only a public health crisis, but an equity crisis as well. He discussed how the health damages from U.S. pollution is the same magnitude as preventable deaths by medication errors and how as the health sector holds 8.5% of all U.S. carbon emissions, we need to take action on environmental health.
In another session, we learned about how educators can be role models in reducing burnout and providing a safe, autonomous environment. By doing so, it removes barriers to learning, demonstrates respect, reduces potential for reactivation of trauma, and makes the classroom a safe place to fail. And instead of just preaching about processing stress and building resilience, educators need to give the keys to unlock the doors for students. This includes adequate sleep, a well-rounded diet, physical activity, creative outlets, social connection, meditation, and more.
After this session, Dr. Kenya Williams and I were invited to the NLN Reception in the Presidential Suite to spend time with the many colleagues and scholarship recipients invited as well. It was an honor to receive an invitation and be asked to introduce myself during their welcoming words and presentation of the scholarship winners.
Dr. Kellie Bryant gave the fantastic 2023 Debra Spunt lecture and talked about how to increase health equity by engaging in personal development, evaluating and enhancing our curriculum, and implementing simulations to promote health equity. We need to turn into upstanders instead of bystanders.
Then, Dr. Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk from Ohio State University taught us how at-risk students are for suicide, chronic disease, depression, and more. She taught us about the factors playing against students in nursing school but also how to rise above these statistics. Based on evidence-based practice, she recommended physical activity 30 minutes a day for five days a week, eating a minimum of 5 fruits and vegetables per day with other health eating habits, no smoking, alcohol in moderation (one drink per day for men and women), and getting 7 hours of sleep while regularly engaging in stress reduction.
She also recommends the morning 1-5-5 eye opener 30-day challenge that calls for 1 minute of gratitude, 5 minutes of an inspirational podcast/book, and 5 minutes of movement/physical activity every morning.
After the closing ceremony, NLN held a wonderful Gala event where they raised money for their Foundation. The Foundation reached their goal of raising $30,000 by exceeding it and raising slightly over $40,000.
Overall, I had a fantastic time learning about providing excellent education for nursing students and made so many amazing connections with colleagues that I will cherish.
Yours in service and signing off for now,
My name is Lauren Lodico and I am the 2023-2024 NSNA President. I attend Molloy University in Rockville Centre, NY as a senior in their traditional program. I am expected to graduate in May 2024 with my BSN and a minor in Writing. I aspire to be a future Labor and Delivery nurse with hopes to further my education by going back to school for my Family Nurse Practitioner and PhD, so I can have the pleasure of teaching future nursing students and conducting my own research. I have also published two novels and written several unpublished in genres such as young adult romance, mystery, suspense, and more.