AMSN & MSNCB CEO Terri Hinkley Earns Doctorate, Gains Invaluable Lens to View the Future of Nursing

  • Posted on: 27 June 2019
  • By: AMSN

In May, AMSN and MSNCB CEO Terri Hinkley, EdD, MBA, BScN, RN received her Doctorate in Human and Organizational Learning from George Washington University. The Human & Organizational Learning curriculum focuses on organizational issues such as strategic change, transformational leadership, individual and group learning processes, organizational development, and global and international issues. The degree helped Hinkley to develop a more critical lens with which to see the nursing community and its issues and challenges.

“What interested me about the program at George Washington University was that it was structured with four main pillars: leadership, learning, culture, and change. You can take those constructs and apply them to whatever challenge you are facing in business or professional life,” she says. “For me, as a non-profit executive in the healthcare industry, with a true passion for nursing, I could marry my experience and commitment to the profession with the executive leadership principals, to better explore the future of nursing.”

Hinkley completed the three-year doctoral program with a dissertation that focused on a critical issue that she feels is extremely important to nurses: second victim syndrome. She used a structural equation model to measure causal relationships between psychological capital, social capital, and second victim syndrome. In other words, she was interested in understanding how an individual’s overall life outlook and social support systems combine to impact the severity of second victim syndrome experienced by a registered nurse.

Second victim syndrome occurs when a care provider experiences an unanticipated adverse patient event and becomes victimized in the sense that the provider is traumatized by the event. The provider can feel personally responsible for the patient outcome. Many nurses feel as though they have failed the patient, second guessing their clinical skills and competence. If left unchecked, it can leave the professional depressed, feeling alone and desperate. Sadly, second victim syndrome has led to death by suicide for some nurses.

“I am interested in the impact of negative affective states for nurses: burnout, compassion fatigue, moral distress and second victim syndrome. I am drawn to them, because I really want to change the experience for our nurses moving forward. I don’t want them to have such negative experiences that they drop-out, disconnect from their jobs and their patients, or turn to alcohol and drugs,” says Hinkley. “I welcome anything that brings to light the factors that contribute to these conditions, because it means we can better help to minimize them.”

Hinkley’s research found that no matter how much hope, optimism, self-efficacy or resilience you generally had, how severely – and if – you suffered from second victim syndrome depended on how people treated you, and whether people affirmed your competency as a nurse or blamed and shamed you.

“That treatment from the nurse’s social support system was clearly the important variable in my study. You need support from your unit or team, your institution, and the industry / profession to recover from an episode of second victim syndrome. All three levels of support are important to preventing such negative effects,” she says.

Hinkley says that her doctoral degree will benefit AMSN, MSNCB, and AJJ (AMSN and MSNCB’s association management agency) more broadly, because she can see things even more clearly from the nursing perspective. She can offer more ways to help nurses navigate a rapidly changing work environment, as her doctorate research prepares her to better help the AMSN and MSNCB boards and staff to think differently about what programs and services are offered to nurses by the associations.

“I wanted to focus on the environmental factors and strategic foresight. It allowed me to look at nursing through a lens of culture and change. Skillsets and experiences and backgrounds have changed from what they were for nurses decades ago. So we need to ask: How do we address that and meet new needs of the future workforce?

“We now have a five generational workforce for the first time ever: traditional, baby boomer, Gen X, Millennial, and Gen Z. That landscape alone causes disruption of support and increases misunderstandings – because each generation is so markedly different,” she says. “The Gen Zs are digital natives; they have never grown up without a smartphone. Their expectations and experiences are unique to traditionalists and baby boomers, who sometimes never fully embrace technology. Gen X-ers live-to-work, while Gen Zs want to work-to-live – that’s a very different paradigm. It means we need to think about work differently to meet both organizational and nurse needs.”

To effect change, Hinkley believes that everyone involved in the nursing community can do more to support nurses and give them the tools they need so that they can support each other. With those resources, nurses can thrive.

“I can’t express how eye-opening the doctorate program was for me. I am fulfilled knowing I will be able to apply what I have learned. I am able to look at nursing through a very special lens to study the issues affecting nurses. I know that AMSN and MSNCB will be able to meet the needs of our nurses even better as a result.”

CEO's Corner: Happy Pride Month!

  • Posted on: 20 June 2019
  • By: AMSN
Terri Hinkley, AMSN CEO

Happy Pride Month!

AMSN continues to work tirelessly to bring value to our members and customers. As you’ve likely seen, we’ve rolled out podcasts, videos and new webinars. We’re building new online learning courses in behavioral health for medical-surgical nurses, significantly increased our advocacy and legislative activities and continue to explore ways we can support you as you navigate the increasingly complex and rapidly-changing work environment.

Doing so requires significant strategic thinking and foresight. What will nursing look like in 2 years? In 5 years? What will med-surg nurses need to help them in the workplace? How will the nursing students in school today be prepared for the changing practice environment? There aren’t answers to these questions, at least not yet, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t critical to consider. Now I don’t know anyone with a crystal ball, so we’re left to try and understand today’s work environment and how external factors are likely to affect it. In the world of strategic thinking and foresight, these factors are called ‘signals’. We, at AMSN, are continuously scanning the external environment for such signals to understand how they will impact you and your profession in the future.

To do so takes a lot of expertise and experience. We are not doing this alone. AMSN has an exceptional board made up of committed medical-surgical nurses from a variety of backgrounds and practice settings. We have hundreds of volunteers that have contributed their expertise and experience to the work we are doing. We can’t do it without them. You see, diversity improves the decision-making process. As one of my George Washington University doctoral professors noted in a publication on strategic thinking, “Diversity of age, gender, education, experience, organizational tenure, knowledge, and skills has been found to enhance work group creativity, judgmental quality and overall outcomes” (Goldman, 2012, p. 28).

In fact, many scholars and experts in strategic thinking have identified the team involved in decision-making as one of the strongest indicators of success. It is not enough to have a smart ‘leader’ making the decisions for an organization. Teams, made up of diverse individuals willing to critically debate opportunities before reaching consensus on a decision, increase the success of an organization. Collectively we are better thinkers and make better decisions than we do individually. That’s because we bring a variety of perspectives, lived experiences and expertise together in committees, task forces, teams, and our boards of directors, which enable us to consider many alternatives that might not be apparent to one individual. The greater the heterogeneity of the team, the better.

So, let us remember to value and embrace those that are ‘different’ than we are. Let us welcome them to the table and learn from them. Let us truly strive to ensure that we are representative of all people in the work we do. AMSN is committed to increasing the diversity and inclusion of its staff, board, volunteers and members. We have so much we can learn from all of you. As we celebrate Pride Month, let us celebrate all that diversity and inclusion can do to make us stronger and better…as nurses, as leaders, and as people.

Goldman, E. (2012). Leadership practices that encourage strategic thinking. Journal of Strategy and Management, 5(1), 25-40. doi:10.1108/17554251211200437

CEO’s Corner - Dawning of a New Day – AMSN’s New Logo and Branding

  • Posted on: 4 March 2019
  • By: AMSN

Terri Hinkely, MBA, BSN, RN, CCRC, AMSN CEO

As individuals in the nursing community, we are fundamentally wired to always be listening, always be considering the needs of those around us. We assess, we plan, we implement, and we evaluate. The nursing process is the cornerstone of nursing practice. At AMSN, we work hard – month in and month out – to embody the same process when we interact with our members. The things that matter to each and every one of you, also matter to us.

We are excited to say that we have listened to you and how you would like AMSN to continually communicate, engage and interact with you. We are thrilled to announce an official re-branding of AMSN – with new colors, new logo, brand-new website, blog and more - due to launch in May of this year! Of course, you already have seen that we have recently launched our podcast, “Med-Surg Moments: The AMSN Podcast” that is hosted by nurses, for nurses. You can subscribe to our podcast through iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, and Stitcher. You can also visit our podcast site at

You can look forward to a streamlined, user-friendly website for AMSN, where you can find everything from convention information, continuing education, social interaction, and more – quickly and seamlessly. You’ll see a modern look and feel and will have more opportunities to get the most out of your AMSN membership. As ever, we are always listening to you, and what you want out of your AMSN experience.

If you have any thoughts to share on things you’d like to see in the coming year, please let us know. We will continually strive to make AMSN your source for professional development, certification, scholarships, and advocacy.

You can depend on us, just as your patients and colleagues depend on you.