Newsletter of the Medical Library Group of Southern California and Arizona

Report on the Western Institute of Nursing Conference

Posted on May 3, 2023 by Angela Murrell | No Comments

by Carrie Grinstead, Professional Development Award recipient

At the end of April, I attended the Western Institute of Nursing Conference in Tucson. The conference theme was Leveraging Technology to Advance Nursing Equity in Research, Practice, and Education. I learned a lot about innovative uses of technology in nursing, and I participated in a symposium focused on programming delivered online and made available remotely.

I work for the Providence health system, and, even before the COVID pandemic, we were developing dynamic, flexible library resources and services. It’s been exciting to see these mature over the years, and I loved presenting on them to a non-library audience. However, the best part of the conference was the chance to connect in person with clinical nurses, researchers, and educators whom I’d previously known only through screens. We had twenty-five participants from most of the seven states that Providence serves.

Our symposium was called Creating Programs to Support Clinical Nursing Scholarship in a Large Health System, and I presented first on a series of library skills that my colleagues developed and began delivering in 2022. The classes last 90 minutes, are worth 1.5 nursing continuing education units, and include an in-depth library orientation as well as instruction on finding evidence in PubMed and CINAHL. The classes are delivered quarterly on Microsoft Teams and are recorded and made available for on-demand viewing on our SharePoint site. Other presentations in the symposium included:

We had a large, engaged audience, and many participants approached our Director of Nursing Research later to say how impressed they were with Providence’s work, especially since our programs seem to be unique among non-academic institutions.

I was continually impressed and inspired by the emphasis on honoring nurses’ experiences and supporting their health and wellness. An art exhibition called Seen and Heard: The Sacred Stories of Pediatric Nurses Living in the Pandemic, was on display throughout the conference. I found two posters especially compelling, one defining the concept of “medical gaslighting” and the other exploring nurses’ moral injury related to organ transplantation. I attended a panel discussion on care providers’ well-being, with presentations on nutritional intake according to shift and work status and on nurses’ interactions with chaplains. Providence nurses presented a qualitative research framework for studying hospital staff stressors.

I loved seeing results of several projects that our library was involved with in some capacity. A nurse from Oregon described an Evidence-Based Practice Nursing Boot Camp, a program that my colleague has spent many years developing and teaching. A nurse from one of the hospitals I serve described increasing specialty certification on her unit, after the library added relevant certification review books to the collection.

Finally, I attended a keynote lecture on simulation and gamification in nursing education. The speaker described an “extended reality” game in which nursing students worked to stabilize a patient with sepsis—and had to speak with the patient’s family if she didn’t survive. I’m definitely not a gamer and didn’t initially think I’d be that interested in the lecture, but it was very compelling, and I wondered about opportunities for library involvement in projects like this. I don’t think my hospital library will ever be in a position to, for example, loan VR headsets, but perhaps we could participate in instructional design, or in finding published cases that games could be based on.


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