Indian nurses in the U.S. have made huge contributions in shaping healthcare, says Donald Kautz, RN, MSN, PhD, CHRN, CRRNA, assistant professor at University of North Carolina at Greensboro School of Nursing.
To showcase those contributions, 11 chapters of the National Association of Indian Nurses of America participated in the organization’s first national conference Sept. 26 to 28 in Skokie, Ill. The association was inaugurated in May 2007 and embraces nurses’ change, growth, and development.
About 250 Indian nurses and supporters listened as lead speaker Cheryl Peterson, RN, MSN, director of nursing practice and policy for the American Nurses Association in Silver Spring, Md., detailed the new Voluntary Code of Ethical Recruitment for Foreign-Educated Nurses.From left, Mary Benny, RN, awards chairwoman; Mary Thomas, RN, of Houston; Saroja Samuel, RN, of Detroit; Aney Abraham, RN, of Chicago; Alisha Kuttiani, RN, of Florida; Marykutty Simon, RN, of New Jersey; Aney Paul, RN, of New York; and Aparna Hande, RN, of California, were Nurse Excellence of the Year Award winners of the National Association of Indian Nurses of America.
“The code with a monitoring system currently under development will help ensure the ethical treatment of foreign-educated nurses coming to the U.S.,” says Peterson.
Evidence-based practice expert Bernadette Mazurek Melynik, RN, PhD, CPNP/NPP, FAAN, FNAP, dean of the College of Nursing & Health Sciences at Arizona State University in Phoenix, reinforced the need to embrace evidence-based nursing and patient preferences. Ignoring patients’ values and cultures impinges on patient satisfaction and adherence to health regimens, Melnyk says.
Because the U.S. has become more diverse, attention to culture is vital, says Betty Smith Williams, RN, PhD, president of the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurses in Culver City, Calif.
During the conference, Smith Williams provided an overview of diversity in the profession today and a historical perspective of the development of minority nursing organizations across the nation.Left, Ancy Kalayil, RN; Mercy Kuriakose, RN; Siby Kadiampaly, RN; Beena Vallikalam, RN; Elsa Methipara, RN; Chinnamma Philip, RN; Mary Benny, RN; Sara Gabriel, RN; Tisy Cyriac, RN; Philpmina Philip, RN; and Aney Abraham, RN, are the National Association of Indian Nurses of America’s conference committee chairs from the Illinois chapter.
“Indian nurses who immigrate face challenges as they transition to U.S. society,” says Sheba George, PhD, assistant professor at the Research Centers in Minority Institutions, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science in Lynwood, Calif.
Sometimes foreign nurses become minorities overnight and often have little or no orientation to the country or the healthcare facility in which they work.
To ease this transition, immigrant nurses need a comprehensive and standardized orientation program with curriculum to address the history of U.S. race and ethnic relations, cross-cultural competencies, and communication skills, says George, whose qualitative research focused on Indian nurses’ acculturation experiences.
Because of the nursing shortage, Indian nurses are in high demand, says Diane Jedlicka, RN, CNS, PhD, dean at Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio, and India is viewed as a source country.
In addition to speakers, several nurses were recognized for excellence in teaching, managing units, performing care in myriad settings, conducting research, and implementing evidence-based care during the conference. Some also were commended for their recognition by legislators, educators, and state and national organizations.