AMSN Legislative Brief June 2019

  • Posted on: 17 June 2019
  • By: AMSN

The House of Representatives was expected the week of Mon., June 10, to vote on legislation that includes strong funding for key AMSN workforce development and research priorities.

Along with the Nursing Community Coalition, AMSN and its members have been urging Congress to support these vital funding priorities. A key committee on May 8 cleared the FY 2020 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill (HR 2740, H Rept 116-62) providing increases in Title 8 nurse workforce development and the National Institutes of Nursing Research. It also provided level funding for the Agency for Health Care Quality and Research (AHRQ), though overall AHRQ funding was cut from expiration of a key funding source authorized by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But the House bill’s funding increases are at risk: its overall $11 billion increase in funding depends on bipartisan congressional leaders and the Administration agreeing to increase overall domestic spending for 2020 which they have not yet done. See AMSN’s written testimony to Congress HERE.

New legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate that reauthorizes Title 8 nurse workforce development programs AMSN supports. AMSN is calling upon members to contact their members of the Senate to cosponsor the Title 8 Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act (S 1399), introduced by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Richard Burr (R-NC).

Support Your Workplace – Be Heard in Congress on Nurse Workforce Legislation here:

More than a dozen major national nursing organizations joined AMSN in signing onto national-level regulatory comments May 31 in support of health information technology improvements. Led by AMSN, the letters supported making more patient health information available to health care professionals through trusted exchange networks. They also favored requiring hospitals to improve the effectiveness and reliability of electronic patient notifications. Read the letters to the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

State-based legislation opposed by AMSN has stopped progressing in the states of Illinois and Pennsylvania. A bill in Illinois inconsistent with AMSN policy on safe staffing for patient care, HB 2604, failed to be cleared by the Rules Committee before the legislature adjourned for the summer. AMSN advised the legislature that staffing should be based on “patient acuity, and the skill and capability of individual nurses in a unit… By contrast, HB 2604 sets fixed nurse-patient ratios in Illinois health care facilities; therefore, our organization is opposed to the legislation in its present form.” Likewise, a bill in Pennsylvania that risked complicating nurses’ CMSRN and CCCTM credentials, HB 811, has failed to progress in committee and is likely finished for the year. “We respect that the intent of HB 811 is to open employment and economic opportunity for persons who have criminal records and have paid their debts to society,” wrote AMSN President Hertel. “Our organizations are concerned that HB 811 as introduced includes several problematic and unclear provisions.

How to Subscribe to "Med-Surg Moments: The AMSN Podcast" on iTunes

  • Posted on: 17 June 2019
  • By: AMSN

How to Subscribe to Podcasts in iTunes (which will be called Apple Podcast this fall)
If you want to get every new episode of a podcast when it comes out, subscribe to it using iTunes or an app on your iPhone. With a subscription, each new episode is automatically downloaded as it's released. Subscribe by following these steps:
Follow the first 5 steps in the last section.
On the podcasts page, click the Subscribe button beneath its cover art.
In the pop-up window, click Subscribe to confirm the subscription.
Click the Library menu and click on the podcast you just subscribed to.
Click on the gear icon in the top right corner to control settings like how many episodes to download at a time and whether you should auto-delete played episodes.
Click the Feed button and you'll see a list of all episodes available for download.

Robin's Nest - AMSN President's Message, June 2019

  • Posted on: 17 June 2019
  • By: AMSN
Robin Hertel, AMSN Board President

June has had a long history of celebrations with weddings and graduations; of freedom with the celebration of Juneteenth; and of personal and social rights with the celebration of Pride month. Unfortunately, nursing hasn’t always celebrated the differences that make us stronger as a profession. We have, on occasion, denied our colleagues the freedom to be themselves in the practice setting and failed to acknowledge the personal and social rights of the members of our profession.

I have a colleague who has told stories about increasing stress and anxiety after informing other members on the nursing team of his identification with the LGBTQIA community. Rather than a feeling inclusivity and freedom to be himself, my colleague described being subjected to a hostile and often homophobic environment, even to the point of being told by a nurse leader to “stop acting so gay."

Nursing is supposed to be the essence of caring and yet more than 50% of persons identifying as being LGBTQ reported hearing jokes in the work setting about lesbian or gay individuals according to a study completed just last year (Fidas & Cooper, 2018). This essence of caring is such an important part of our profession that it is the first standard in the Nursing Code of Ethics which charges nurses to care for others, including their colleagues, with compassion and respect (American Nurses Association, 2015).

Perhaps the issue is not so much that nurses wish to be exclusive to those who identify as part of the LGBTQIA community but instead an unawareness of the unique culture, language, and barriers that members of this community face.

Here are a few things nurses can do to increase awareness and cultural competence:
• Promote an inclusive practice environment. An inclusive practice environment decreases stress and burnout, while promoting feelings of safety and ultimately, improved patient outcomes.
• Recognize the need for cultural competency training. Nurses can establish their own LGBTQIA clinical competence as well as spearhead the drive to increase cultural awareness of everyone in the organization. Multiple resources are available that use a variety of learning modalities including in-person training, webinars and learning modules (see insert).
• Interprofessional collaboration. Nurses can lead committees made up of multidisciplinary healthcare team members in developing processes and nondiscriminatory position statements that create an environment of inclusivity.
• Discuss barriers and needs. Nurses can engage in open and frank discussions with members of the LGBTQIA community regarding the use of preferred pronouns, medical and psychological issues faced.
• Engage in advocacy. Nurses can work to promote and welcome the presence of the family of choice of a colleague who identifies as part of the LGBTQIA community as a part of company activities.

My colleague eventually left nursing because of the increased stress and hostility of the workplace. It is heartbreaking, not just because of the loss of a member of our profession, but also because what he faced somehow diminished the light that was within him. He was never the same vibrant personality but instead became wary and withdrawn. As nurse leaders, each of us can work to transform the healthcare setting to one of inclusion, respect, caring and nondiscrimination. Are you willing to start the journey?

The Med-Surg Moments: The AMSN Podcast Friday 21st edition discussed issues affecting the LGBTQ community and med-surg nursing professionals.
Get the episode everywhere you get your podcasts, or visit here:

More Helpful Information / Links:
Gay and Lesbian Medical Association: Health professionals Advancing LGBT Equality.
Lavender Health.
National Coalition for LGBT Health.
National LGBT Cancer Network.
Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders (SAGE).

Nurses ...Together We Stand.

  • Posted on: 8 May 2019
  • By: AMSN
Terri Hinkley, AMSN CEO


Robin Hertel, AMSN President, spoke of community in her ‘Robin’s Nest’ message in this newsletter. Community likely means something slightly different to all of us, but one thing community will have in common for all of us is that it invokes a sense of belonging. Whether geographical, spiritual, familial or professional, community is where we find expertise, wisdom and support from people that we identify with. As we saw with Senator Walsh’s uncalled for comments, the nursing community immediately came together and rallied as one. Regardless of your practice setting, years of experience, educational preparation …We. Are. One.

There is power in community. There is power that is so much greater than any one individual. Together we are more than the sum of our parts. There is a German term for this, it’s called ‘gestalt’. That’s why AMSN exists. Community. Gestalt. Being more than the sum of our parts. Connection is an integral part of AMSN…it’s in our tagline. Compassion. Commitment. Connection. We want you to connect with your peers and build a community. A community of medical-surgical nurses, proud and strong.

AMSN’s online community, the Hub, provides you with a means to connect and build community with your peers. It’s where you can find answers, expertly moderated by AMSN’s Clinical Practice Committee, so that every answer is grounded in evidence-based practice. It’s where you can find advice, input, best practices, and even share a laugh or two.

We encourage you to visit and engage with your community in the Hub. Over the next few months you’ll see exciting changes in the online community. We’ll be adding new communities, based on member needs. We’ll be improving the infrastructure to be more engaging. We hope these changes resonate with you because we want you to engage with your peers and colleagues. We want you to immerse yourself in your community. To belong. To contribute. To grow.

Gestalt. Together, we are more than the sum of our parts.

Robin’s Nest

  • Posted on: 6 May 2019
  • By: AMSN

A Sense of Community

by Robin Hertel, EdS, MSN, RN, CMSRN
President, AMSN

It’s been a tough couple of months for nursing. In February, a nurse at Vanderbilt was arrested and charged with reckless homicide after a medication error resulted in the death of a patient. Just last month, nurses were in an uproar over Washington Senator Maureen Walsh’s uninformed comments about what nurses do. Incidents like these, and those that happen on a daily basis can bring nurses closer together to offer support and build a sense of community.

Nurses spend a lot of time together in the practice setting; sometimes more time than we spend with our outside friends or members of our family. Incidents such as those that made the news recently provide an opportunity for nurse leaders such as yourself to build and strengthen the sense of camaraderie and teamwork among all the members of the nursing team.
Building a sense of community needn’t (and shouldn’t) wait for a negative or traumatic incident to draw nurses together. Beginning now, you can take steps to form a tight community of support that will increase resilience and decrease the risk of burnout for all the members of the team.

Begin by discussing your shared values – What brought you into nursing? What does excellence in patient centered care look like? What is your ultimate goal in the delivery of nursing care? By discussing these questions and identifying areas of similarity you can begin to build a community with a sense of purpose and a set of values that everyone is working towards.
Also, pay attention to those areas that are different – recognizing that each of us brings different life experiences and talents to the table. Capitalizing on these differences to make a stronger and broader sense of community is a way to promote the synergy of the group.

I was working on a fairly good-sized med-surg unit when I started my nursing career. The nurses had a wide variety of backgrounds and educational levels. Our colleagues - patient care technicians, physical therapists, nursing students and support staff would often visit for short periods throughout the day and we found that despite the varied job responsibilities, educational level, and cultural background, we had a lot in common. It was only after a tragedy that shook us all to the core however, that brought us together into a tightly knit group.

My mentor, and one of my favorite nurses, was killed tragically in an accident with a semi-truck one Saturday morning. Needless to say, I was devastated. Yet our little community pulled together even tighter and supported one another; calling each other to check on how we were doing, discussing the impact one person’s life had on so many, picking up shifts for those who needed some time to grieve. We all wanted to attend the funeral of course and pay our last respects to our colleague and friend. The nursing students and their instructors along with nurses from other units all volunteered to cover our unit so we could attend the funeral together!

Following this, we took some time to tell our stories about our colleague – but it didn’t stop there. We created opportunities to share our own stories in daily huddles. We had created an environment of safety, trust, and collegiality that lasted for quite some time. Everyone has gone their own separate ways of course; pursuing new avenues of practice or retiring. Yet I remember those days of having a little community as one of my favorite things of nursing.

AMSN Legislative Brief May 2019

  • Posted on: 6 May 2019
  • By: AMSN

Support Title 8
Legislation with strong funding for key AMSN workforce development and research priorities cleared its first hurdle in Congress April 30. The House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations subcommittee approved a bill (not yet numbered) providing increases in Title 8 nurse workforce development and the National Institutes of Nursing Research. It also provided level funding for the Agency for Health Care Quality and Research (AHRQ), though overall AHRQ funding was cut from expiration of a key funding source authorized by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Along with the Nursing Community Coalition, AMSN and its members have been urging Congress to support these vital funding priorities. Their next step is in the full House Appropriations Committee, expected to act early May. However, the long-term prospects for such funding increases are in question, as the bill’s overall $11 billion increase in funding depends on bipartisan congressional leaders and the Administration agreeing to increase overall domestic spending for 2020. See AMSN’s written testimony to Congress: Support this legislation:

Health Information Technology
Health information technology industry and policymakers should pay closer attention to the experience of medical-surgical nurses and other end users of health IT systems, AMSN said to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services May 3. “In the interest of patients, the involvement and leadership of nurses is crucial to successful health information
technology policy and systems development and implementation,” wrote AMSN President Robin Hertel, MSN, EdS, RN, CMSRN, in two comment letters to regulatory proposals from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology. In her comments on behalf of AMSN, Yoder:
• Supported an agency proposal to make more patient health information available to health care professionals through trusted exchange networks. “Respecting concerns that health care delivery systems may lack sufficient infrastructure to put such powerful tools to use today, as nurses we know that the more accurate, complete and timely a picture a nurse may have of a patient’s health and care history, the higher quality of care we can provide, and the more effectively we can support transition of the patient’s care and recovery to home or the next care setting,” she said.
• Supported a proposal requiring hospitals to improve the effectiveness and reliability of electronic patient notifications. “Medical-surgical nurses are commonly directly engaged in patient discharge and patient care transition. The objective of effective care transition is to support smooth recovery for the patient in a safe and supportive environment, and smooth uptake of information about changes in the patient’s condition among the health care professionals and facilities involved in the patient’s subsequent care,” she said.
“The expertise of nurses is vital to care and both governments and information technology industry would be wise to call upon nurses in support of improvement of health IT systems architecture, development, implementation and evaluation,” she concluded. Both AMSN regulatory comment letters appear here: After the public comment period closes June 4, 2019, the agency will evaluate the comments and publish a binding final rule in several months’ time.

HB 2604
Legislation in Illinois imposing rigid nurse-to-patient staffing ratios in that state conflicts with AMSN policy trusting nurses to develop safe staffing plans. AMSN has responded by sending bill sponsor State Rep. Fred Crespo (D-44th District) and key committee members a letter in opposition to the bill, HB 2604 (, on April 26. “AMSN policy states that safe staffing for patient care depends on nurse authority, patient acuity, and the skill and capability of individual nurses in a unit,” wrote AMSN President Hertel. “By contrast, HB 2604 sets fixed nurse-patient ratios in Illinois health care facilities; therefore, our organization is opposed to the legislation in its present form.” The bill would amend state laws that already require local shared governance plans to be given weight in nurse staffing decisionmaking. AMSN also noted that a proposal similar to HB 2604 was put to voters in Massachusetts last November. “The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission estimated its annual costs between $676 million and $949 million and possibly more,” adding that Massachusetts voters defeated it by a 70.2 – 29.8% margin. The full text of the letter is available here:

HB 811
Could nurses’ CMSRN and CCCTM credentials be put at risk by legislation pending in Pennsylvania? A bill introduced as HB 811 ( intended to expand pathways for persons convicted of crimes to reenter the workforce once they have paid their debts to society instead adds confusion to credentialing and licensure vital to safe health care delivery. “We respect that the intent of HB 811 is to open employment and economic opportunity for persons who have criminal records and have paid their debts to society,” wrote AMSN President Hertel to bill sponsor State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129th District). “Our organizations are concerned that HB 811 as introduced includes several problematic and unclear provisions. Its definition of ‘licensing or certifying body’ is unclear whether it applies to governmental or private entities or both. It places unusual parameters on the use of the term ‘certification,’ particularly as they might apply to medical-surgical nurses, other registered nurses, or other individuals engaged in health care delivery and administration of controlled substances.” Consistent with the recommendations of the Professional Certification Coalition (PCC) to which MSNCB belongs, AMSN recommended amending the legislation to clarify that it would apply only to state government licensing agencies and not to voluntary professional credentialing bodies. The full text of the letter is available here:

AMSN Testimony for the 2020 Appropriations for Title 8

  • Posted on: 12 April 2019
  • By: AMSN

The following statement will be sent to the following representatives of the Subcommittee on Labor, HHS and Education: Sen. Roy Blunt, Rep. Nita Lowey, Sen. Patty Murray, Rep. Tom Cole on behalf of AMSN.

Dear Chairs and Ranking Members,

On behalf of the 14,000 members of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN), as the organization’s President I write to submit this letter as testimony for the record to the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS and Education, regarding FY 2020 appropriations for Title 8 nurse workforce development programs, the National Institute of Nursing Research, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, all of which are priorities for members of our organization.

AMSN is the only national specialty nursing organization dedicated to developing medical-surgical nurses personally and professionally. You know our members well as the type of nurse who would provide care for a person in the hospital. Our practice is the largest specialty in nursing, consisting of an estimated 650,000 professionals, and is the foundation of all hospital and community nursing practice.
Our national agenda includes promoting evidence-based safe staffing models, addressing social determinants of health and the links between hospital care and postoperative health, promoting professional respect and safety in nursing and health care professions, and advancing nurses into leadership roles in health, community and public service.

We simply request that Congress, in making appropriations decisions, listen to nurses. Med-surg nurses work on the front lines of care delivery every day. America’s 4 million nurses represent the largest workforce in our nation’s health care sector. We know what is best for our patients. We know what makes for effective, efficient, compassionate care. We live it every day, and we bring this experience to our agenda for advocacy.

AMSN Requests for FY 2020 Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations

AMSN requests the Congress provide the following appropriations within the Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations bills for FY 2020:

• U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Title 8 Nursing Workforce Development … $266,000,000

• U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research … $173,000,000

• U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality … $460,000,000.

Title 8 Nursing Workforce Development

AMSN requests Congress provide $266,000,000 in appropriations for nurse workforce development programs under Title 8 of the Public Health Service Act for FY 2020. We urge Congress once again to not accept the Administration’s proposal to severely reduce this program, and to support the joint recommendations of the Nursing Community Coalition, which we share.

Administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration, Title 8 Nursing Workforce
Development programs are instrumental in bolstering and sustaining the nation’s nursing pipeline. Title
8 programs address all aspects of the nursing workforce demand, including education, practice, recruitment, and retention. Furthermore, these programs increase access to care in communities that need it most; those in rural and underserved areas. It is also critically important that these nursing workforce programs continue to have individual line items, which include:

• Advanced Nursing Education (Sec. 811), which includes the Advanced Education Nursing Traineeships and Nurse Anesthetist Traineeships
• Nursing Workforce Diversity (Sec. 821)
• Nurse Education, Practice, Quality, and Retention (Sec. 831)
• NURSE Corps Loan Repayment and Scholarship Programs (Sec. 846)
• Nurse Faculty Loan Program (Sec. 846A)
• Comprehensive Geriatric Education (Sec. 865)
Our members have ranked nursing workforce development among their highest priorities in policy. In a survey of AMSN members taken August 2019, they stated that they prioritized:

• Health care workforce development
• Advocacy for nurses entering the academic workforce and valuing what nurse educators do and provide
• Nurse staffing - including conversations that innovate care delivery
• Addressing gaps in education that contribute to provider burnout and lack of quality care.

Title 8 programs effectively address these priorities. They must be sufficiently funded. America’s population is growing, aging, becoming increasingly diverse, and requiring more health care year by year. Its investment in the future nursing workforce through Title 8 appropriations delivers important value by helping to ensure a supply of highly educated and well-prepared caregivers, supporting the development of nursing faculty and needed educational infrastructure, and expanding incentives for nurses to choose public health careers.

National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)

AMSN requests Congress provide $173,000,000 in appropriations for the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) within the National Institutes of Health for FY 2020. We associate ourselves with the recommendations of the Nursing Community Coalition for NINR funding.

As one of the 27 Institutes and Centers at the National Institutes of Health, NINR’s research projects funded through this Institute are aimed at reducing burdensome chronic illness, improving end of life care, and promoting patient-centered care across the life continuum. From disease prevention and global health, to precision medicine and genomic studies, NINR is at the forefront of nursing science and research.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

AMSN requests Congress provide $460,000,000 in appropriations for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) FY 2020. We ask that Congress one again not adopt the Administration’s request to transfer AHRQ to the National Institutes of Health, rename it the National Institute for Research on Safety and Quality, and reduce its funding by $112.5 million. We associate ourselves with the recommendations of the Friends of AHRQ funding request.

Health services research of the type supported by AHRQ and its budget holds promise for improving health care, improving health, and promoting the cost-efficiency of our nearly $4 trillion U.S. health care sector. AHRQ-funded research identifies waste in health care so that stakeholders in the system can learn and change for the better. AHRQ initiatives have helped to reduce the incidence of hospital-acquired conditions and are well-situated to help the country and the health care industry respond effectively to the growing number of patients with multiple chronic conditions.

Thank you for your attention to these requests. We stand ready to provide the Subcommittees any additional information you may require on these subjects.

Robin Hertel, EdS, MSN, RN, CMSRN

April Connections Legislative Brief

  • Posted on: 10 April 2019
  • By: AMSN

Title 8 nurse workforce development programs are threatened by significant budget cuts, and AMSN and its members are taking action. In its 2020 budget, the Administration recommended cutting Title 8 by two-thirds. Joining forces with the Nursing Community Coalition, AMSN signed on to testimony to Congress supporting $266 million in funding for Title 8, stating, “Nursing Workforce Development programs help meet this demand by connecting patients with care across a variety of settings, including in community health centers, hospitals, long-term care facilities, local and state health departments, schools, workplaces, and patients’ homes.” AMSN President Robin Hertel, EdS, MSN, RN, CMSRN, said, “We are deeply concerned that the Administration's 2020 budget proposes deep cuts to nurse workforce development, health care quality research, nursing research, and coverage important to our patients. This budget proposal is a first step in a long process. We look forward to continuing work with our members, other nursing organizations and coalitions, and members of Congress from both political parties to support policies and funding that advance patient access to high quality, affordable health care.” And AMSN members are contacting Congress today – have you? Take action now, here:

AMSN is making medical-surgical nursing’s voice heard by testifying to the National Academy of Medicine’s kickoff meeting of the Future of Nursing 2020-2030 project in Washington. In her statement March 20, AMSN immediate past president Linda Yoder, PhD, MBA, RN, AOCN, FAAN, said, “To the extent that health financing and policy are barriers to health and health care delivery, we recommend transforming the health care payment system so that nurses are not only a cost but a source of revenue and a resource for solving community health needs. Paying for outcomes and value, and ending laws that keep nurses from practicing to the extent they are educated, can improve care and address challenges in nurse staffing.” Learn more about the project here: , see the webcast here: and read Dr. Yoder’s statement here:

Thousands of women who served their country in uniform as cadet nurses during World War II would be recognized by Congress if legislation newly introduced April 3 is enacted. The “United States Cadet Nurse Service Corps Recognition Act” (HR 2056 / S 997) would designate individuals who served in the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps between July 1, 1943 - Dec. 31, 1948, as veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces active military service, authorize recognition of their discharge as honorable, and render them eligible for burial benefits via the Veterans Administration. It authorizes the Secretary of Defense to produce and award an appropriate U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps service medal. It does not extend them health care or pension benefits otherwise offered through the Veterans Administration. AMSN will formally express support for this legislation shortly as it did in 2018. (Images courtesy United States Government Printing Office via UNT Digital Library)

AMSN advocacy listens to members! In the 2018 AMSN member advocacy survey, the top health policy issue solutions out of ten were these:

“Systems intended to improve health care by addressing social determinants of health and improved monitoring of people with chronic conditions should include med-surg nurses in significant leadership roles.” 40% of respondents said it ranked among their highest priorities, 17% among their lowest.

“To promote patient safety, policy should support translational research into staffing management models that ensure excellent care.” 37% highest, 25% lowest

“Leading AMSN members should be nominated and named to key health policy leadership and advisory panels to ensure med-surg nursing perspective on important issues.” 37% highest, 17% lowest

Robin's Nest - AMSN President's Message

  • Posted on: 10 April 2019
  • By: AMSN

Look Me Up at Convention: A Time to Catch Up with Colleagues

by: Robin Hertel, EdS, MSN, RN, CMSRN, President - AMSN

I’m excited to return to Chicago for this year’s AMSN National Convention, the site of my first convention. I was inspired from the time of the opening ceremony until the close of the convention by the high-level sessions, networking opportunities, and wonderful posters.

I meet wonderfully talented nurses at convention and make friendships that continue despite time and distance. Each year, convention allows me to catch up with colleagues; sharing news and laughter, enjoying discussions of hot topics in nursing and the sessions we’ve attended.

It was also in Chicago that I attended a review course and took the certification exam. (I’m now preparing to re-certify for the second time!) I thought I would be anxious about taking the test but the convention sessions reinforced the learning from the review course while the networking and support from other nurses throughout the convention gave me confidence. I was so pleased after obtaining the results notifying me that I was now qualified to include the credentials CMSRN along with my title! (I still feel I stand a little taller every time I get to list those credentials.).

If I had one regret that convention, it was turning down some tickets to the Oprah Winfrey show, a show in which she gave away a car to everyone in the audience! The city is amazing though and everyone had a great time. A friend and I attended a speakeasy dinner theater, window-shopped along the Miracle Mile and walked the Navy Pier. We took our pictures in front of “The Bean” in the park and enjoyed the wonderful food the city had to offer, including Chicago style hot dogs! I would encourage anyone attending this year’s convention to have one; but a word of advice, don’t ask for ketchup, which the Chicagoans consider a rookie mistake.

I’ve attended every convention since that first one in Chicago years ago. There are always a variety of sessions addressing topics such as professionalism, leadership, and legislative issues in addition to medical-surgical topics; presented for the beginning, intermediate and advanced practitioner. This year won’t be any different! Look for sessions about self-care, resiliency, and incorporating evidence-based practices which are sure to provide excellent tools you can take back for use on your unit. Take advantage of all the networking opportunities available as well; you never know where it might lead! Perhaps, like my experience, the connections you make at convention could take you to places you had never imagined!

Look me up at convention and say hello! I can’t wait to hear your stories and thoughts on the convention as well as your experiences. Maybe we’ll have an opportunity to sit down and have a Chicago Red Hot together! I know it will be an experience filled with learning, laughter, collegiality, and fun. It will be an experience you won’t soon forget and will never regret.

The Power of Lifelong Learning and Commitment: MSNCB's President Message

  • Posted on: 9 April 2019
  • By: AMSN

Welcome to the April/May Edition of MSNCB's Certification Central, your must-read recertification resource. One of the most common questions I am asked by both new and seasoned nurses concerns my career path in nursing. Specifically, they want to know the how and the why behind my career.

When I reflect on my career, I remember that as a newer nurse I was always eager to learn new skills, techniques, and of course new knowledge. I volunteered for committees, helped with annual skills competency days, and later became a nursing preceptor.

In my quest for knowledge and knowledgeable sources, I discovered the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN). At the time there was no Internet, so I had to go to a medical library to read the AMSN journals! I was pretty fascinated with the journals because they were easy to read and applicable to my medical-surgical practice as a trauma nurse.

Eventually, I joined AMSN and began receiving my own journals. One day while reading the journal, I saw an advertisement about the AMSN Annual Conference and I decided the easiest way to attend was to submit a poster that reflected my nursing practice. Thankfully, it was accepted and I had a wonderful time at the conference.

I became convinced that certification as a Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN) was going to be a key component in my pursuit of excellence in nursing. The more I thought about CMSRN certification, the more important it became to share this concept throughout my healthcare organization.

As a result, I was inspired to develop an in-house CMSRN Preparation Course to certify our inpatient and outpatient nursing staff. In developing and teaching the CMSRN course with my colleagues, I developed a love of teaching and began to teach in the Surgical Services Specialty Orientation Program, Trauma Nurse Core Certification, and later became adjunct faculty at a local university.

As my scope of practice broadened, I saw an email from the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB) seeking to fill the position of board director. Reflecting on my nursing career, I felt I was an ideal candidate and I hoped they did too.

Needless to say, I applied for the position, was accepted, joined the board, and recently became its president. In reflecting on my career pathway, CMSRN certification was definitely the catalyst that started my nursing journey.

MSNCB Board President

Clinical Nurse Specialist
Barnes-Jewish Hospital
Saint Louis, MO