Reactions to our special education section
Thank you for the special section highlighting timely topics in nursing education ("Insight on Education," May 2013). As a nurse educator, I enjoyed these articles. I was especially pleased to read “From capstone project to published article.” Much of the scholarly work conducted by students is of high quality. Yet the publication process may seem daunting. This article demystifies the process and offers practical advice and encouragement. The sample query letter it includes gives novice authors concrete assistance as they start their pursuit of publication. I plan to direct students to this helpful resource and will encourage faculty colleagues to do the same. I hope that after reading the article, many students and recent graduates will feel empowered to transform their academic projects into published works, making an important contribution to nursing science.
Anne Durkin, PhD, RN
Re "Role of the staff nurse in undergraduate nursing education" (May 2013): I think I can speak for many nursing students when I say that staff nurses can make or break a student’s clinical experience. After graduating from nursing school in 2012, I found employment as a staff nurse on an extremely busy med-surg unit. Although I felt like a rookie nurse and more of a student than an actual RN, I found myself mentoring new nursing students. It was intimidating having students ask me questions—and even more intimidating to have to answer them. But remembering how well my favorite staff nurses had treated me as a student, I welcomed the students assigned to my patients. When I told them I was just a few months out of nursing school myself, we bonded immediately. I developed a great rapport with students in several of the classes. They did everything they could to assist me, and I truly appreciated it.
A positive student-staff nurse relationship benefits both the busy nurse and eager student and it can dramatically improve patient experiences and outcomes. Under the direction of a nurturing staff nurse, students can and should become valuable members of the team.
Rana Watterson, BS, RN