Have you ever been a victim of violence in your workplace?  Psychiatric nurses and ED nurses can be repeatedly subjected to this trauma, due to the instability of the patients in their care.  Those suffering from psychiatric disorders and/or substance use disorders or those who are delirious and mobile can wreak havoc on your unit and endanger the staff and the other patients.  Sometimes it’s the family members of the patients who act out their frustrations.

What have you witnessed or been a victim of?  How have you dealt with it?  Was the institution you were working for at the time supportive of you and the potential for additional violence?  Did they put measures into place to make the environment more safe for you and your colleagues and the patients?  What measures were instituted?  Were they sufficient to help you feel safer?  Are you still working there?  Did you leave because of the potential for additional trauma to you or others near you?  Was anyone (a nurse or patient) seriously hurt or killed before changes were made to improve security features?

What would you like to see happen?  Check out these links below for more information.



SPEAKING OF NURSING VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE…Did anyone see last night’s GREY’S ANATOMY?  A very large man was agitated by his injury(?) and began beating up on the ED staff and repeatedly kicked and pummeled a very small man (with the cushioned end of a crutch), who had recently been a patient there.  Of course, ED security force never showed up and Dr. Hunt (new chief of surgery) swooped in with his WHITE COAT and rescued the ED with a left cross to the violent man’s jaw, breaking it.  This is another level of the problem–staff-on-patient violence (despite how justified it may have been)–which complicates the issue even further.  My fear about this is that non-medical people watching the show may feel that this is what routinely happens in EDs when people lose control of their anger/frustration…but I digress 🙂

Looking for feedback from Educators, Clinical Specialists, Nurse Practitioners, Staff Nurses!  What are the trends you’re seeing in Psychiatric Nursing these days?



I am so very proud to have FINALLY been inducted into this elite group of academics!  It didn’t happen in undergrad, but I only had to wait another 31 years!  Dreams DO come true!!

My husband is a pretty good photographer and caught me at the perfect moment, just as I was getting my Purple and White Honor Cord.
I posed with other members of my family–my husband, my sister, who is also an RN and my mother-in-law who is the unofficial president of my fan club!!

This is the HUGE cake (it was at least two full sheet cakes wide)–there were over 300 inductees!!

Here I am grinning as hard as I can, showing off my new award!!

2nd Annual PADCNETC Conference, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa

I  was honored to be a guest of Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions for their 2nd Annual Pennsylvania/District of Columbia Nursing Education Technology Collaborative (PADCNETC) Conference, held at the Doubletree Hotel, Philadelphia, PA, May 14, 2010!

I was part of the Howard University Division of Nursing contingent that is in partnership with Drexel to facilitate faculty development in the newer technological strategies for nursing education, through a five year grant from HRSA!

As a part of the Howard University DON faculty this spring semester as a ‘practice teacher’, I was invited to join the conference by Associate Dean, Mary Hill, DSN, RN.  It was a great opportunity to hear about the efforts Drexel is making to update three nursing higher education institutions through this grant.  It was also a great opportunity to network!  Below is a photo of Dr. Hill during her speech.  Drs. Rocky Rockstraw and Linda Wilson are seated at the table next to her.

Drs. Linda Wilson and Leland ‘Rocky’ Rockstraw were excellent hosts for HUDON’s whirlwind 24-hour stay at the Doubletree Hotel, where we were luxuriously cared for!

Here are some of the HUDON faculty during dinner on May 13, 2010:

This is Dr. Hill with Ms. Crystal Waters, MSN, RN

Here I am below with the Dean of the College of Pharmacy, Nursing and Allied Health Science, Dr. Beatrice Adderley-Kelley:

Below, L to R: Dr. Pauline Green, Ms. Susan Schwartzman, MSN, RN (fellow Psych Nurse), and Dr. Adderley-Kelley.

Below, L to R: Dr. Joann Smith (sorry ’bout cutting you in half like that!), Ms. Jacqueline Vincent, MSN, RN (newest faculty member!) and Dr. Eva Stephens.
Ms. Frederica Shepard-Smith, MSN, RN (Learning Resource Center Coordinator)  and Dr. Veronica Clarke-Tasker


Hey!  I’m trying to get my blog ‘certified’ by this organization that reviews medical blogs (askapsychnurse.net is considered a medical blog vs. a patient blog) that meet its standards.  http://medbloggercode.com/ Watch for the icon or logo that signifies it!  That will help legitimize me to other medical bloggers and folks like YOU!  🙂
Peace, Sylvia

FEATURED NURSE EDUCATORS from the Institute for Educators Conference

  • SUSAN BOYER, MEd, RN, FAHCEP, Executive Director of VNIP (Vermont Nurses In Partnership), an organization dedicated to supporting nurse development.  Her organization has initiated a movement to provide curriculum for and regulate nursing preceptorships.  She gave a very energetic lecture–at the Institute for Educators on March 11, 2010.  Check out her website at www.vnip.org!
  • DEBRA WEBSTER, EdD, MS, RNBC, of SALISBURY UNIVERSITY, Salisbury, MD.  She was a Poster Presenter on ‘Addressing Academic Uncivility in Nursing Education’. She can be reached at dawebster@salisbury.edu
  • TRACY BARR, BSN, RN, CEN, TRACY KOSTELEC, BSN, RN, CEN and Monica Nelson at Mercy Medical Center, who were Poster Presenters on ‘Writer’s Block: Improving Nurses’ Professional Writing Skills’.  Their In-House Workshops educated the Mercy Medical Center nurses on Basics, Getting Published, Grant Writing!  20% of their attendees have gotten published!!  This is something I’m very interested in.  I want to become (more) published and learn how to write grants!  Tracy Kostelec can be contacted for more information at tminard@md.mercy.com

It was also a pleasure meeting Julie Cook, MSN/MPH, RN, PHCNS, who works with the Programs of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) at the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS)