Mind the Gap: Preparing Nurses to Practice with Resilience & Integrity

Mind the Gap: Preparing Nurses to Practice with Resilience & Integrity

Nurses, nurse educators, leaders of nursing practice, and the students who represent the next generation of nursing came together to talk about how we heard nurses’ voices through the WIKI Wisdom Forum that produced Mind the Gap: Preparing Nurses to Practice with Resilience & Integrity, releasing May 12, 2021.

It fits with the Nurse’s Week theme for 2021, “Nurses: A Voice to Lead,” and the sub-theme, “A Vision for Future Healthcare.”

Mind The Gap is a product of NSPII grant, R3: Renewal, Resilience and Retention Initiative in Maryland Nurses, through which our panelists, and nurses across Maryland, are working to integrate the report’s recommendations to transform the next generation of nursing education in key areas.

So how can nursing curriculums build a strong foundation of resilience and integrity? What can we do to shore up future practitioners’ resilience across the continuum from education to practice? How can nurses and nursing students remain mindful, grounded in the here and now, amidst stressful situations? How do we incorporate resilience practices into a systemic approach throughout the state? These are the questions panelists dug into.


Key Takeaways:

We have to focus on the humanity of people, now.

Workforce sustainability is top of mind for CNOs, so it’s great that Mind The Gap is grounded in the voice of real nurses.

Dr. Lisa Rowen, University of Maryland Medical System

I’m grateful that we’ve had the opportunity to hear so directly from the people we hope to impact. This is not our report, it’s their report.

Dr. Cynda Rushton, Johns Hopkins University

If you’re serving people experience challenges related to social determinants of health, the people experiencing them are the experts we must engage to find solutions. Simulation is eclectic, it should include interviewing skills.

Dr. Joan Sylvia Tilghman, Coppin State University


On the student experiences that informed the report’s recommendations:

“I wasn’t prepared to manage patient interactions, for example disruptive or disrespectful patients, and that chipped away at my confidence early on.”

Jenell Steele, RN and PhD in Nursing student

“The mentor/mentee relationship among new and senior students is so helpful. Most units expect you to precept eventually, being a mentor as a student teaches you to educate fellow nurses.”

Nicholas Girard, BSN student



Nancy Reller, Moderator

Nancy Reller, President of Sojourn Communications, the communications lead on R3 Renewal, Resilience and Retention Initiative, has provided strategic communications, facilitation and leadership coaching to a variety of individuals, initiatives and organizations including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, AARP, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and Inova Health System. She’s worked in and around hospitals, health systems, and nursing homes to address the complex issues of end-of-life care, women’s health, the national nursing shortage, and organizational change. She is a team member to the Johns Hopkins Hospital/JHU School of Nursing Mindful Ethical Practice and Resilience Academy (MEPRA) that works to transform moral distress into moral resilience in hospital-based front-line nurses and she is a core team member of the R3 NSPII grant. She is designated an Associate Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation.


Cynda Rushton, PhD, RN, FAAN, Panelist

Cynda Hylton Rushton, PhD, RN, FAAN, is the chief synergy strategist for R3 Renewal, Resilience and Retention Initiative in Maryland Nurses, and the Anne and George L. Bunting Professor of Clinical Ethics at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and the School of Nursing.  In 2016, she co-led a national collaborative State of the Science Initiative: Transforming Moral Distress into Moral Resilience in Nursing and co-chaired the American Nurses Association professional issues panel that created A Call to Action: Exploring Moral Resilience Toward a Culture of Ethical Practice. She was a member of the National Academies of Medicine, Science and Engineering Committee that produced the report: Taking Action Against Clinician Burnout: A Systems Approach to Professional Well-being.  She is the editor and author of Moral Resilience: Transforming Moral Suffering in Healthcare.  Dr. Rushton is a Hastings Center Fellow and Chair of the Hastings Center Fellows Council and a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.


Lisa Rowen, DNSc, RN, CENP, FAAN, Panelist

Lisa Rowen, DNSc, RN, CENP, FAAN, Chief Nurse Executive for the University of Maryland Medical System, a 14-hospital health system, serves as the System’s leader for nursing practice, standards of care, nursing professional development, and the partnership with the University of Maryland School of Nursing. She also has served since 2007 as the Senior Vice President for Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at the University of Maryland Medical Center and oversees 5500 nurses, advanced practice nurses, and other health professionals. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and served as the co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the Academy. She is a member of the R3 Coordinating Council.


Joan Sylvia Tilghman, PhD, RN, CRNP, WHNP-BC, CNE, Panelist

Dr.  Joan Sylvia Tilghman is the Chairperson for the DNP program at Coppin State University.  She earned a Ph.D. in Transcultural Nursing at the University of Miami and served in the United States Air Force as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. She is a nurse researcher and has held positions as a program coordinator, Chairperson, Associate Dean, and Dean of programs of nursing. She maintains national certification as a Certified Nurse Educator and as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner.  Dr. Tilghman’s current research is an investigation about identifying the utilization of artificial intelligence to promote skill competency for nursing procedures. Dr. Tilghman is also actively involved in her church as a Deacon serving in community ministry. She is a member of the R3 Coordinating Council.


Jenell Steele, BSN, MSN, RN, Panelist

Jenell Steele is a registered nurse with over 9 years of clinical experience in high intensity settings.  She is currently working in a hospital system located in Baltimore, MD as a bedside nurse and as a part-time clinical instructor. She received her BSN from St. Xavier University and MSN Nursing Education from Notre Dame of Maryland University. She is currently a PhD student at The University of Maryland and has a strong interest in making nursing practice more humane and supportive for nurses, especially given the times we are in. She also serves as an RN member of the Maryland Board of Nursing by bringing a firsthand perspective of the issues and trends impacting nursing care in Maryland. She is a thought leader for the WIKI Wisdom report.


Nicholas Girard, Panelist

Nicholas Girard is a nursing student at the University of Maryland and is set to graduate in December 2021. His passion for nursing began through a high school program set to train students to become Certified Nursing Assistants, and from there he has not looked back! Nick also volunteers at a rescue squad in his hometown in Southern Maryland, where he is an Emergency Medical Technician. He is passionate about serving his community and seeks to use his nursing degree to continue to do so. Once he graduates, he hopes to obtain a position as a nurse in a critical care specialty. He is a thought leader for the Wiki Wisdom report.


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