NPD Rock Stars
Affiliate Spotlight: Rising Above the Shadows of COVID-19
By Jillian Russell, MSN, RN, NPD-BC
The Society of Healthcare Education and Training of New Jersey (SHET/NJ)
Our affiliate spotlight this month shines on the rock stars who make up the Society for Healthcare Education and Training of New Jersey (SHET/NJ). They have been a proud ANPD affiliate since 2005 and an allied member of the New Jersey Hospital Association since the early 1970s, embracing a philosophy of lifelong learning for nearly 50 years.
Current officers include:
President: Anita Murphy, DNP, RN-BC, NE-BC; Tower Health at Chestnut Hill Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
Immediate Past President and Secretary: Annette Keller, MA, BSN, RN, CEN, CNL; CentraState Medical Center, Freehold, NJ
Treasurer: Jill Devito, MSN, RN; Deborah Heart and Lung Center, Browns Mills, NJ
Programs/Mentorship: Diana Tocko, MSN, RN, NPD-BC, NE-BC; Deborah Heart and Lung Center, Browns Mills, NJ
Website: Cindi Calabrese, MSN, RN-BC, NPD-BC; Inspira Health, Bridgeton, NJ
Membership and Recruitment: Laura Wilno, MSN, RN-BC; Deborah Heart and Lung Center, Browns Mills, NJ
Trustees at Large: Brenda Vogt, MSN, RN-BC; Our Lady of Lourdes School of Nursing, Camden, NJ and Shamika Montgomery, RN; Deborah Heart and Lung Center, Browns Mills, NJ
SHET/NJ was established in 1971 as a statewide organization comprised of healthcare professionals drawn from diverse areas of expertise including education, administration, human resources, community health, nursing research, educational media, professional development, and more. To foster a dynamic learning community, SHET/NJ consistently strives to cultivate support systems, promote professional development, provide educational opportunities, and encourage networking among healthcare professionals in a wide variety of settings.
Member benefits include reduced program fees for quality educational and professional development programs, nursing professional development (NPD) certification exam annual scholarships, networking opportunities, and a unique mentorship program. Affiliate dues are $55.00 per year and SHET/NJ currently has 34 members. The board conducts four meetings throughout the year and actively reviews needs assessment data to target identified professional practice gaps of members. Recent conference topics have included Identifying Your Hunch to Transform Research and Evidence-Based Practice and Quality, Safety and Competency: Connecting the Dots. In support of SHET/NJ’s mission to encourage networking, a “seek-and-share” session is included as part of their conference offerings. Participants come prepared with questions focused on obstacles they are trying to overcome. These anonymously submitted questions are pulled from a hat and responded to in a large group discussion setting. These brainstorming and idea-sharing discussions have proven to be successful in helping participants work through issues in their given practice environments.
Annette Keller, immediate Past-President, shares she is most proud of the affiliate’s implementation of their mentorship program. The SHET/NJ Mentorship Program connects experienced NPD practitioners with members who may be new to the specialty or who are novices in supporting specific projects. Mentors are dedicated to their designated protégé for one year, supporting the development and/or enhancement of the protégé’s skills and abilities as an NPD practitioner. The mentors promote self-confidence by listening, providing feedback, and encouraging self-assessment and reflection. All SHET/NJ mentors are volunteers who are committed to meeting the mentoring needs of members.
Many SHET/NJ affiliate members are members of ANPD, some having served on ANPD committees. All board members have attended the ANPD annual convention, and they share ANPD updates in their “SHET Happenings” newsletter. Recognizing ANPD’s commitment to a diverse and inclusive environment, SHET/NJ is purposeful in its outreach efforts to various schools of nursing. In fact, Trustee at Large, Brenda Vogt, is a faculty member at Our Lady of Lourdes School of Nursing, Camden, NJ.
The State of New Jersey has the second-highest rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States and the SHET/NJ affiliate has been greatly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The affiliate could not meet as planned this spring, but virtual meetings have allowed members to network and discuss onboarding processes, use of agency staff, infection control updates regarding PPE, and daily education needs at their respective facilities. Not only are these NPD practitioners supporting the educational needs of staff, but they are also working on the frontline. Annette reflects, “I have been a member and on the board of SHET/NJ for over 20 years. This is undoubtedly the most intense and stressful time for us in healthcare. As educators, I know we are being called on to support staff during this pandemic. It is so important to have professional organizations and continue to network going forward” (A. Keller, personal communication, April 20, 2020).
When it is safe to meet as a group, SHET/NJ will be celebrating their 50th anniversary! Their next educational program is scheduled for November 2020–Heart of Nursing: How to Stay Connected to Yourself, Your Patients and Your Profession–how timely a topic for this group to reconnect and celebrate their journey.
If you are interested in launching an affiliate in your area, Annette expresses the importance of diversifying educational offerings to promote collaboration among a diverse group of NPD practitioners, academic faculty, administrators, and students. Networking is another important facet affiliates have to offer– “networking, networking, networking [is] absolutely the best benefit!” (A. Keller, personal communication, April 20, 2020).