WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The Nursing Students’ Association of New York State conducted its 61st annual convention Feb. 23-24. The two-day conference included breakout sessions geared toward helping new graduates successfully navigate their transition into the working world.
Focusing her keynote presentation on this year’s convention theme, “Nursing Between the Lines: What the Textbook Doesn’t Teach You,” speaker and Molloy College of Nursing Professor Kathleen Lamaute, RN, EdD, FNP-BC, NEA-BC, CNE, told the students there are several things they would not learn in nursing school — honesty, kindness and perseverance. Honesty is especially important because it is crucial to accurately assess patients and document charts, according to Lamaute.
“If you’re honest,” she said, “you will always be true to your patients.”
The opening day of the convention also offered students a choice to attend two of four different breakout sessions that included “The ABCs on How to Keep Loving What You Do”; “Interprofessional Education: The Tipping Point”; “Food as Medicine: Healthy Eating Starts Here”; and “Connect for Respect: Bullying Prevention in Nursing.”
Horizontal violence, also known as workplace bullying, is all too common in the nursing workforce, according to the journal Nursing Economic$. Results of the journal’s Horizontal Violence Behavior Survey showed the majority of respondents reported having personally witnessed instances of horizontal violence like backstabbing, nonverbal negative innuendo and invading the privacy of others.
In their presentation, City University of New York nursing professors Aida Egues, RN, DNP, APHN-BC, PHCNS-BC, CNE, and Elaine Z. Leinung, RN, DNP, FNP-BC, CNE, discussed the implications of workplace bullying, the different forms it can take and ways to combat it.
Workplace bullying has been around for decades, but generational differences could be playing a part in its prevalence, they said.
“This is the first time in history that there have been five generations of nurses working together, and each has a different work ethic, different views on nursing,” Egues said.
This type of bullying can be either overt or covert and typically has three players: victim, bully and bystander, according to Leinung.
“The difference between bullying and assertivenes is when you’re being assertive, you ask for something while respecting yourself and others,” she said.
Career advice was offered in a session by Kaplan Test Prep faculty manager Jen Schmitz, RN, MSN. Schmitz’s seminar, “How to Get Your First RN Position in a Competitive Environment,” offered practical tips on career mapping, goal setting and resume and interview preparation.
She also explained how little changes — such as setting up a professional email address and ensuring your ringback tones and voicemail message are appropiate — can make a big difference on how you appear to a recruiter. Resume and interview consultation was offered to students by Gannett Healthcare Group’s Dan Suarez, RN, MA, associate director of advertising; Jean Arnold, RN, MS, NE-BC, director of nursing recruitment at John T. Mather Memorial Hospital on Long Island; and June Hinton-Doyle, MS, LCSW, PD/counseling, director of career counseling at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, N.Y.
About 150 student nurses were in attendance at the convention, which also offered NCLEX exam reviews on the second day.
“This is one of the hightest enrollments we’ve had,” said NSANYS president Kelly LaMattina, a nursing student at Molloy. “It’s an excellent turnout.”