Thank You for a Privileged Year


This is my last blog posting as your ENA president. My intent this year was to use my blog as a way to give you insight into the life of the president and to get you thinking about issues that impact emergency nursing.

I have shared in earlier blog posts that my husband and I have been building a house this year. What were we thinking! Anyway, we moved into the house the week before Thanksgiving. I love this house; however, if you were to ask if there were things that I would have done differently, the answer is yes. What I wouldn’t change are the location and the design.

I think about my year as ENA president the same way. I love ENA! Are there things I would do differently if I had a chance to do it again? Absolutely. This year has been filled with smiles and tears, frustrations and joys and much satisfaction. What I wouldn’t change is my focus on mentoring, leadership and communication.

I read a fortune from a fortune cookie this week that said, “The road to success is a journey, not a destination.” ENA is on that journey and I hope that this year has contributed to this journey for the specialty of emergency nursing.

It has been my honor and privilege to have served as your president. There is no adequate way to express my thanks to all of you for your kind words and support. I especially want to thank my husband Richard, my family, the ENA Board of Directors, the staff at ENA, Sue Hohenhaus and my employers, Mark and Jim. I know this year has not been easy on any of you but you supported me through it all. Thank you!

I wish all of you very happy holidays and a safe and prosperous New Year.



Workplace Attack Hits Close to Home

Last week we held our last board meeting of the year. It is hard to believe my term as ENA president is almost over. Just a few weeks left and I turn the gavel over to Deena Brecher.

Two weeks ago, a terrible tragedy occurred. A nurse died as the result of workplace violence in my hometown of Longview, Texas. Three others were injured during the attack. This week, one of the three people injured also died. Now two people are dead, the result of a senseless act of violence. This incident emphasizes the importance of the research ENA is doing in this area. We have to continue to collaborate with others to create a safe environment for all health care workers. There are so many things that need our focus while we are at work, and whether or not our environment is safe should not be one of them. Talk to the leadership at your hospital. Educate them to the facts. We have to advocate for ourselves.

ENA resources that can help you work with your colleagues and administrators to prevent workplace violence can be found here.

Stay safe!


Giving Thanks for Collaboration and Commitment

Another week of travel – I started the week in Olean, N.Y., and I am now in Minneapolis attending the Nursing Organizations Alliance meeting. This meeting is a forum for identification, education and collaboration-building on issues of common interest to advance the nursing profession. ENA has been a longtime member of this group. We typically send the executive director, president and president-elect. This year we chose to also send the 2014 president-elect. We believe this meeting is a great opportunity to give next year’s president and president-elect a jump start on networking with specialty organizations.

I mentioned last week that I was attending the Nurses Service Organization meeting in West Palm Beach, Fla. One of the discussions focused on patient errors, the learning that comes with these errors, whether we should share these errors and what we have learned with our patients and families. The speaker shared a video with our group and I thought this video was worth sharing with all of you.

Next week is Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season. My hope for all of you is that you will enjoy your time with your family and friends. Please take a moment to thank them for supporting you in your role as an emergency nurse and the time you commit to our profession. I am thankful for your dedication!


The suitcase is always full

I started off the week in Olean, N.Y., and I am now in West Palm Beach, Fla. Try packing for that! I am in Florida attending the Nurses Service Organization advisory board meeting. This is an opportunity for nurse leaders from many organizations to come together to talk about issues in our practice that impact our abilities to work safely.

I go home tomorrow afternoon, and then I head back Sunday morning to Olean for work. On Thursday of next week, I head for Minneapolis to attend the Nursing Organizations Alliance meeting.

For those of you wondering about the progress on our house that we are building, we are being told we will be able to move in next week. Bless my husband! He has had to tackle this building project with me giving advice long-distance, and now he will be moving us in without me. He definitely deserved the President’s Award I gave him in Nashville. At least it looks as if I will be able to spend some days at home the week of Thanksgiving.

Only 47 more days ‘til a new year, 2014!


I went to London to visit the Queen

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Well, not actually the Queen; I went to England to attend and present at the Royal College of Nursing Emergency Care Association (RCN ECA) Conference “Safer in Your Hands.” Janet Youd, RN RCN ECA Chair (President) attended our Annual Conference and was part of the international panel. The RCA ECA Conference was a great meeting and a great opportunity to catch up with friends I met last year when I attended this same conference. I presented on bullying in nursing and the feedback I received reinforced the fact that this is a global issue. I had several attendees come talk to me and thank me for talking about this issue. I also had the opportunity to present a poster on ENA’s work on workplace violence.

Coming back to England brings me full circle in my role as president and also in my life. I attended this conference last year as a representative of ENA. It was a wonderful opportunity way to begin my role as president, even if it was a couple of months before becoming official. The relationships I developed during that meeting have continued through this year.

Besides being able to attend the conference I also had the opportunity to visit the Florence Nightingale Museum in London. This visit reminded me of the impact that we as nurses have on our patients— the importance of creating a safe environment.

Another opportunity I had was an invitation from someone I met last year at the RCN meeting. Sara Charters, RN, RCN ECA member and in RAF Reserves, extended an invitation to visit the Royal Air Force (RAF) Club in London to have tea. This was especially significant to me because my dad was stationed at Ruislip Air Force Base outside of London, which was a RAF Air Force Base that the US used as a tactical air command. While my dad and mom were stationed there I was born and lived in London for the first two years of my life. So, it seemed to be coming full circle in both my life and as my role as president. This was an experience of a lifetime. As ENA President I have had many of these experiences and I am so thankful for the many opportunities.

There are 51 days left in this year and as many days left in my presidency. It has been an amazing year and it is not finished yet. I have several more meetings to attend and more work to do.

I hope you have a great week.


From Spreading Our Messages to ‘Scrubbing In’

This has been a busy week. I started off the week in Austin, Texas, attending the annual conference of the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management. This was a wonderful opportunity to meet leaders from other associations that are interested in workplace and patient safety. I attended a collaboration breakfast Monday with representatives of 10 other organizations. All of them were interested in the research ENA has done on workplace violence.

On Tuesday, we sent out a “State of the Association” e-mail to all ENA members. I discussed some of the opportunities for improvement we have identified specifically within the Emergency Nursing Pediatric Course (ENPC) and our Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) provider unit. I also talked about our plans to advance our government relations agenda and the preparations for the rollout of Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC) 7th Edition. If you did not receive this email, please contact the ENA office.

Yesterday we posted a message on our ENA website about the new MTV show “Scrubbing In.” The American Nurses Association has sent a letter to MTV and its president to express its dismay and frustration with this depiction of our nursing. As ANA posted on its Facebook page, “Depictions of nurses behaving unprofessionally can undermine the respect patients have for the most trusted profession. For those concerned with the recent MTV show, ‘Scrubbing In,’ you can sign a petition against it and encourage friends and family to refrain from watching.” I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

Tomorrow I head to the United Kingdom to attend the Royal College of Nursing Emergency Care Association conference. I will be speaking on bullying and presenting a poster on our workplace violence study. I am excited about reconnecting with colleagues I met last year during my visit.

Have a great weekend.


Working Together

I spent the beginning of this week in Virginia Beach attending the Air Medical Transport Conference. During the conference I had the opportunity to meet with a few of the leaders of the Air and Surface Transport Nurses Association.  What a great group!  I hope we are able to find ways to work together in the future.

While I was attending the conference in Virginia, a helicopter crash occurred in Tennessee. Our condolences go out to the families of the three victims, their coworkers and patients at Memphis Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, the air transport program staff members, and our Tennessee ENA colleagues.  Our prayers go out to all who have been touched by this tragic event and to those who work to save lives every day.

Today I am in Austin attending the American Society of Healthcare Risk Management conference. From Austin, I fly to Denver on Monday for work, and then next weekend I head off to the UK for the Royal College of Nursing Emergency Care Association conference.

Have a great weekend.



Family Presence

I have a new grandson. Mason Kinsler was born Oct. 11, at 7 pounds, 6 ounces and 20 ¾ inches. We now have eight precious grandchildren. We are so blessed!

I was scheduled to attend the American College of Emergency Physicians conference in Seattle this week with Deena Brecher, 2013 ENA president-elect, and Sue Hohenhaus, ENA executive director. Even though I wasn’t able to attend, we were well represented by Deena and Sue at ACEP’s board, council and committee meetings.

I felt slightly guilty about not attending until I saw Mason. We all find ourselves at some point having to decide between career and family. For each of us, it is an individual decision. For me, this week the right decision was to stay home.

Next week I will be back on the road again, attending the Air Medical Transport Conference in Virginia Beach, Va., and then on to Austin, Texas, for the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management.

Enjoy your weekend,


My grandson Mason Kinsler


Celebrating You

Happy Emergency Nurses Day!! Thank you for your commitment and dedication to the specialty of emergency nursing. I think we often take for granted what we do each and every day. Whether it is holding the hand of a lonely patient, making a frightened child smile or participating in the resuscitation of a patient, as emergency nurses we impact the lives of our patients, their families and our communities every single day.

You may say you are just doing your job. I say it takes someone very special to be an emergency nurse. Each and every one of you is an extraordinary hero and this week is about celebrating you.

Thank you to all of you who sent in submissions to our Instagram contest. It is great seeing the pictures and I would love to hear how you are celebrating this week.

Emergency Nurses … Everyday Extraordinary!


Recognizing Life’s Teachable Moments

Today I had planned to be in Guanajato, Mexico, attending and speaking at the Mexican Association of Emergency Nurses conference. Instead, I am here at home waiting for my daughter to go into labor with her second child and my eighth grandchild. Being at home gives me the opportunity to recover from our annual conference in Nashville. I am learning that things don’t always go according to plan. This is true in both our personal and professional lives. These moments can become learning experiences for what to do and what not to do the next time. I bet all of you can relate to this.

This year as president I have had many of these moments. If I had to do it all over again, there are things I would do differently and others I would not. Most of all, I am glad I have been given this opportunity.  ENA is a great organization supported by amazing staff and many committed members.

Next week we celebrate Emergency Nurses Week.  This will be a time to celebrate each other. I would love to hear what your emergency departments, local chapters or state councils are planning for this special week.