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Celebrate Amazing Nurses!

Don’t miss your chance to nominate a special nurse in the 2012 Amazing Nurses contest. The Campaign is thrilled to announce a second year of the Amazing Nurses contest to celebrate and reward the important role that nurses play in our communities.

Recognizing that nurses are invaluable to medical care in emergency rooms, hospitals, military facilities, clinics, schools, homeless shelters and nursing homes, the Campaign’s Amazing Nurses contest provides an opportunity for families, patients and communities to celebrate the contributions of individual nurses.

The winning Amazing Nurse and his/her guest will attend the 2012 CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute in Los Angeles, courtesy of CNN. He or she will also be honored in a video profile to be screened before the live audience at the show and featured on the Nursing Notes by Johnson & Johnson Facebook page.

Last year’s winner, Lillian Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, was selected for her dedication and commitment to transforming the face of breast cancer treatment and survival during her career at the Breast Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Md.

Nominations are now being accepted through June 29, and the public voting phase will take place from August 28 through September 28. To learn more and participate, go to the Nursing Notes by Johnson & Johnson Facebook page.

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did you know that there are approximately 698,000 unique visits from healthcare practitioners on Twitter each month? That number represents 18.3 percent of the total presence of healthcare practitioners online. In fact, a recent article highlights how nurses specifically are using Twitter to connect with colleagues, gain knowledge and create awareness.

We are happy to announce that Nursing Notes is now on Twitter – follow us @JNJNursingNotes for tweets about the Campaign’s initiatives, our resources and other nursing-related updates. We also invite you to follow announcements and news surrounding the Amazing Nurses contest via the Twitter hashtag #AmazingNurses.

National Nurses Week 2012 Recap

“To do what nobody else will do, a way that nobody else can do, in spite of all we go through; that is to be a nurse.”
-Rawsi Williams, BSN, RN

Every year, National Nurses Week is a time to recognize and honor nurses for their yearlong accomplishments. Beginning each year on May 6 (also known as National Nurses Day) and ending May 12 on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, the week is meant to call attention to our society’s caregivers on a greater level.

This year’s theme was “Nurses: Advocating, Leading, Caring,” and hospitals and other healthcare organizations across the country raised awareness of the value of nursing, educating the public about the role nurses play in meeting the healthcare needs of Americans.

The Campaign encourages you to show your appreciation for nurses all year long! Share your thanks with a “Thank a Nurse” badge at the Nursing Notes by Johnson & Johnson Facebook page or let us know on Twitter (@JNJNursingNotes) about a time when a nurse helped you. Also, don’t forget to nominate an Amazing Nurse in the 2012 Amazing Nurses contest, now through June 29 at the Nursing Notes by Johnson & Johnson Facebook page.

Be sure to check out the new complimentary CE course launched by during National Nurses week titled “Evidence-Based Effective Nursing Leadership: Check Your Practice," designed to provide nurses with five evidence-based strategies to enhance their leadership effectiveness. The free online CE course will be available until May 1, 2013.

AWHONN Announces 2012 Class of Emerging Leaders

Building confidence and leadership skills is a key component in training the next generation of amazing nurses and retaining talent already in the profession. That’s why the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future has partnered with the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) in support of its Emerging Leaders Program.

First launched in 2007, the yearlong leadership-training program engages nurses in a wide variety of activities from networking events to meetings with members of Congress. As last year’s participants are preparing to take their new skills into the field, AWHONN has proudly announced the 2012 class of emerging leaders.

This year’s class of 10 nurses was selected based on a number of factors, including the applicants’ skills, experience and enthusiasm for women’s health. The participants represent all corners of the country and bring a diverse set of attributes together for this exciting opportunity. For more information on AWHONN’s Emerging Leaders Program, visit

The June issue of Nursing Notes will feature articles on men in nursing and highlight recent news from the Campaign.

A Tribute to Amazing Nurses Throughout History

Nurses throughout history have demonstrated their ability to improve quality of life for patients and shape the profession as a whole.

Nurses are renowned for their knowledge, skill and determination, but often compassion is called out as one of the most celebrated characteristics. The legacy of amazing nurses throughout history continues to inspire those who work in the profession, igniting the same spirit in today’s nurses that was evident more than a century ago.

“The evolution of the nurse role and the nursing profession overall can be attributed to the remarkable men and women who have proven to be selfless, dedicated nurses,” said Barbra Mann Wall, PhD, RN, FAAN, Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in Philadelphia. “Their contributions and significant accomplishments have made the profession what it is today.”

The word “nurse” is often associated with Florence Nightingale, a nurse who revolutionized nursing practices. Her most notable contribution was during the mid-19th century Crimean War, where Nightingale and a staff of 38 women volunteer nurses cared for patients in military field hospitals. At the hospitals, medicine was in short supply, hygiene was being neglected and mass infections were common. Nightingale and her staff worked to make the hospitals more efficient, scrubbing the injured men’s clothes, buying bandages, and cleaning the hospitals from wall-to-wall to stop contamination and the spread of disease. Like Nightingale, “Over time, women proved that nursing really could make a difference in caring for sick and impaired patients,” said Wall. In fact, the Army Nurse Corps became an official branch of the Army Medical Department in 1901, opening the door for women into the military.

As an important figure during the American Civil War, Clara Barton is recognized as a pioneer who cared for thousands of wounded soldiers. Known as the “Angel of the Battlefield,” Barton risked her life to provide supplies and support to those in the field. As founder of the American Red Cross organization, Barton adopted the framework of the International Red Cross to fit the needs of the United States not only during wartime but also in peacetime. “As a relief worker, Barton demonstrated her passion for humanitarianism and consistently worked to find solutions for those who were in dire medical need,” said Wall. Through her leadership, the American Red Cross assisted with relief efforts following natural and manmade disasters, including forest fires, earthquakes and epidemics.

Social reformer and advocate for the poor, Lillian Wald is remembered today as the founder of public health nursing. In the late 1800s, during her time as a student at the New York Hospital School of Nursing, Wald provided nursing services to immigrants and the poor living in New York’s Lower East Side. Recognizing the need for basic health care among the tenement dwellers, Wald – along with Mary Brewster – founded the organization that later became New York’s Henry Street Settlement, the first public health nursing program in the nation. Today, it delivers a wide range of social service and arts programs to more than 50,000 New Yorkers each year. Wald continued to lead social reform throughout the early 20th century, creating widely-adopted models of public health and social service programs.

As the push for higher education became more prominent throughout nursing history, professionalization of the career also began to emerge. As the first president of the American Nurses Association, Isabel Hampton Robb is recognized as one of the founders of modern nursing practice and education. While serving as superintendent of nurses at the Illinois Training School in Chicago and later at Johns Hopkins Hospital Training School for Nurses, Robb was responsible for the implementation of strict admission criteria, a grading policy to evaluate academic and clinical progress, and hospital affiliation experiences for students to gain experience not available in the school setting. As a strong advocate of nursing education, Robb wrote the textbook Nursing: Its Principles and Practices, which was published in 1893 and became the industry standard for new nurses. She was also one of the founders of the American Journal of Nursing.

“Over time, nurses have learned to become advocates not only for themselves, but also for their patients, which translates to better patient care and advancement for the profession. To me, taking that initiative and advocacy role is what truly makes an amazing nurse,” said Wall.

For more information about noteworthy nurses throughout history, including Walt Whitman, Mary Breckinridge and Helen Fairchild, visit the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Human Capital Blog. Additionally, to view a webinar highlighting Florence Nightingale’s impact on nursing today, visit

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The Amazing Nurses contest provides an opportunity for the public, patients and the healthcare community to nominate nurses who continually demonstrate their commitment to the profession.

During the 2011 Amazing Nurses contest, after narrowing down more than 2,600 nomination entries to just 20 semi-finalists, the public was invited to vote for their favorite nominee on the contest tab located on the Nursing Notes by Johnson & Johnson Facebook page. Five finalists emerged and an esteemed all-nurse panel of judges evaluated each against the official contest criteria.

In this month’s “Get to Know” section, we took the time to learn a little more about the careers of these Amazing Nurses and what they have learned along the way. Be sure to also check out the December 2011 “Nursing Notes Live” podcast episode, featuring an interview with the 2011 grand prize winner, Lillian Shockney, RN, BS, MAS.

Get to Know 2011 Amazing Nurse Finalist:
Patricia Grusholt, RN, Pediatric Oncology Nurse, Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Q. What does it mean to you to have been selected as a finalist in the 2011 Amazing Nurses contest?

A. For me, it was a very humbling experience. The woman who nominated me had a son who fought a long, hard battle with osteosarcoma, and she, in my eyes, is the real hero. For me to be honored by her was the utmost privilege. It inspired me and gave me hope. I can’t even explain how touched it really made me feel.

Q. What inspires and motivates you to be an Amazing Nurse?

A. I’m motivated every day by the faces of my patients and the fact that I genuinely love helping people. Some people say being a nurse is a thankless job, but it’s definitely not. The reward I get for the work I do is seeing the smiles on my children’s faces when they get to go home. The fact that these kids have the strength and courage to fight for their lives at such a young age gives me the inspiration I need to fight with them.

Q. What common traits do you see in some of the amazing nurses that you know?

A. The number one question I get from people is “How do you do what you do every day?” and for my colleagues and me, this job is possible only because we have hope. If you lose hope, you lose the ability to fight and help anyone. We all have a strong sense of hope that these kids will get better, and when some of them don’t, we are there to provide them with love and compassion so that they die peacefully with dignity and comfort.

Q. What has been one of the greatest moments of your career?

A. I’ve received many awards throughout my career, but I have to say that being nominated by Johnson & Johnson as a finalist for the 2011 Amazing Nurses contest was one of my proudest moments so far. The truly greatest moment, however, happens again and again on a daily basis. To simply watch so many children overcome cancer and get back to their lives knowing that I helped out along the way – that is the reason I wake up every morning and do what I do.

Get to Know 2011 Amazing Nurse Finalist:
Kristine McGregor, RN, Emergency Room Nurse at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Mich.

Q. What does it mean to you to have been selected as a finalist in the 2011 Amazing Nurses contest?

A. I was actually quite surprised. Being a nurse comes naturally to me, and I always thought I was just doing my job. It never occurred to me that what I was doing meant so much to so many people! When I look at my trophy, it encourages me to always go that extra mile to make a difference in my patients’ lives. I wasn’t expecting the award at all, but I’m very honored and humbled by it.

Q. What inspires and motivates you to be an Amazing Nurse?

A. I’m inspired most by a simple “thank you” from a patient and knowing that I made a difference in his or her life. Most of the time it’s with family, as a patient may not be physically able to communicate with me. If I connect with the family members on a deeply personal level, then they become comfortable that their loved one is taken care of.

Q. What common traits do you see in some of the amazing nurses that you know?

A. My coworkers all genuinely care about people, and we are there first and foremost to do a good job and save people’s lives. I think they’re all amazing nurses, and I really believe it goes back to doing what comes naturally. If you are a nurse because it feels right and you put your heart into it, I think you will be an amazing nurse.

Q. What has been one of the greatest moments of your career?

A. I have thousands of stories that all qualify as great moments in my career. Helping patients is always one of the best things about my job. The greatest moment, however, is definitely when I became a finalist of the 2011 Amazing Nurses contest. Just being nominated gave me so much pride and the motivation to keep doing what I’d always done and to move forward as a nurse.

Get to Know 2011 Amazing Nurse Finalist:
Jody Newell, RN, Pediatric Nurse at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

Q. What does it mean to you to have been selected as a finalist in the 2011 Amazing Nurses contest?

A. I was very surprised and honored to have been selected as a finalist. It felt great that a "regular nurse" like me could be honored in such a grand way. All of this was triggered by a very nice letter sent by a patient’s mother. It goes to show you that the things you do as a nurse really matter. The things that you may take for granted as something you do as just part of your job – these are things that really make a difference to people.

Q. What inspires and motivates you to be an Amazing Nurse?

A. I spent the first 10 years of my career working with adults in a surgical intensive care environment. I never thought that I could work with children. I always thought that they would remind me of my own children and that it would make me sad to see them be so uncomfortable or sick. What I didn’t know was that all of the love that I have for my children would be reflected in what I feel for the children at St. Jude. I truly love the kids I take care of at work in a similar way to the love I have for my own children.

Q. What common traits do you see in some of the amazing nurses that you know?

A. I have worked with many amazing nurses. The common trait I see in all of them is the level of care and compassion they give to their patients. There is not a more admirable quality than when I see someone taking care of a patient and giving them the same care that they would give to their own parent or child.

Q. What do you enjoy most about your profession?

A. Because I work at St. Jude and care for children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, I see patients and parents who are going through what is most likely the toughest battle that any of us could ever imagine. Sometimes we are able to provide comfort to a parent or a child. If I can help someone, even just a little, it makes my day a little brighter.

Get to Know 2011 Amazing Nurse Finalist:
Lisa Schoen, RN, ICU and Critical Care Transport Nurse at Bellin Hospital in Green Bay, Wis.

Q. What inspires and motivates you to be an Amazing Nurse?

A. I am inspired and motivated every day by my patients and their families. I have a “can do” attitude and will stop at nothing when it comes to the safety and well-being of my patients. It’s a great feeling to know that your patient and his or her family feel like they are in good hands. I’m also inspired by the positive attitudes and outlooks that my patients have on life. It motivates me to work hard for them to ensure their comfort, preserve their dignity and provide them with the answers that they need.

Q. What common traits do you see in some of the Amazing Nurses that you know?

A. I work with many amazing and talented nurses who possess invaluable qualities needed to work in our field. The amazing nurses that I know have the ability to listen to their patients with compassion, maintain a positive attitude, stay dedicated, pay great attention to detail and work well together with their fellow nurses as a team. Collectively, all of these qualities make an amazing nurse.

Q. What do you enjoy most about your profession?

A. I truly enjoy the difference and impact I can make in the lives of others. There is no greater reward than a patient who comes in critically ill, and after weeks of being in the hospital, is able to walk out of the hospital with a smile on their face. I also like the diversity of settings that I’m able to work in as a nurse – the opportunities are endless. I can honestly say that every day, when I wake up, I look forward to coming to work. Nursing to me is more than just a job, it is a profession. It is one I am honored to be a part of.

Q. What has been one of the greatest moments of your career?

A. One of the greatest moments of my career was when I received a letter from a patient who said that I was his “angel” and that because of me, he was alive and able to play with his grandchildren. I knew that the teamwork between me, my fellow nurses and physicians had made that possible for our patient. Knowing that we made a significant impact on his life was an incredible moment for me in my career as a nurse.

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