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New Jersey nurses focus on positive leadership

Monday April 8, 2013
Convention cochairpersons Karen Abbruzzese, RN, med/surg educator, Somerset Medical Center, left, and Donna Murray, RN, assistant director, admissions, recruitment and faculty, JFK-Muhlenberg Snyder School, welcomed more than 800 attendees to the convention.
Convention cochairpersons Karen Abbruzzese, RN, med/surg educator, Somerset Medical Center, left, and Donna Murray, RN, assistant director, admissions, recruitment and faculty, JFK-Muhlenberg Snyder School, welcomed more than 800 attendees to the convention.
(Photos by Janice Petrella Lynch, RN, Nurse.com)
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NJLN president Carol Patterson, RN, associate professor, Health Science Education, Raritan Valley Community College, left, poses with keynote speaker Liz Jazwiec, RN, president and founder, Liz Inc.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – More than 800 nurses from education and service, along with nursing students, gathered for the New Jersey League for Nursing’s annual convention, which was themed "Nursing: Issues of Our Times." The event took place March 20-22 at the Tropicana Casino and Resort.

"It’s time that we stop judging others, because it only hurts us; that we recognize our work morale is up to us; and that we realize we can create a positive workplace," said Liz Jazwiec, RN, keynote speaker and president and founder, Liz Inc., Oak Lawn, Ill., who shared her engaging humor, poignant anecdotes and life lessons with the audience.

"I am passionate about restoring pride in our profession and helping others to support the positive, not the negative, around them, whether it be through words or actions," she said.


NJLN board of directors member Lorraine Steefel, RN, adjunct assistant professor, UMDNJ School of Nursing, left, and Dely Po Go, RN, owner, Nursing Network, LLC, presented and participated in the continuing education sessions, with more than 20 offered during the convention.
In her books, "Eat That Cookie," and "Hey Cupcake, We Are ALL Leaders," Jazwiec gives practical advice on how to implement a culture of positivity and foster leadership traits.

Other keynote presenters were Theresa Brown, RN, BSN, OCN, writer, New York Times, and national lecturer; Gerti Heider, RN, PhD, associate professor, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey School of Nursing; and Phyllis S. Quinlan, RN-BC, PhD, founder, MFW Consultants, Queens, N.Y.

Geared for educators, clinicians and students, the more than 20 breakout session topics included innovations in wound care management, active learning strategies, simulation, head injury care, mission field nursing in Africa, transgender issues and employment opportunities beyond acute care.


Myrna Young, RN, nursing education specialist, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, presented "Advocating Blocks for Surgical Patients," with Gregg Puluka, RN, OR pediatric urology, at the convention poster sessions.
Sharing research, evidence-based practice and best practices in the poster sessions were nurses from local facilities that included Raritan Bay Medical Center; Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital; Seton Hall University; Cooper University Hospital; VNA Health Group; Monmouth University School of Nursing and Health Studies; Raritan Valley Community College; Somerset Medical Center; Monmouth Medical Center; Einstein Medical Center; East Orange General Hospital; Rutgers College of Nursing; University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro; and UMDNJ School of Nursing.

Nurse educators participated in a professional education day before the convention. The regional workshop, which was presented by simulation leader and researcher Suzan Kardong-Edgren, RN, PhD, consultant, National Council of State Boards of Nursing, focused on the current and future state of simulation science.


Donna Murray, RN, assistant director, admissions, recruitment and faculty, JFK-Muhlenberg Snyder Schools, right, welcomes keynote speaker Theresa Brown, RN, writer, New York Times, and lecturer, who presented "Don’t Get Sick in July."
"It is our members and our students who can and will keep quality healthcare alive and well in New Jersey," said Carol Patterson, RN, MSN, CNE, president, NJLN, and associate professor, Health Science Education, Raritan Valley Community College, North Branch.

Janice Petrella Lynch, RN, MSN, is a regional nurse executive.


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