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It Takes a Village: Diverse Roles and Perspectives of NCS Nurses

By Currents Editor posted 10-29-2017 23:00

Dea_Mahanes_Headshot.jpgBriana_Witherspoon_Headshot.jpgBy Dea Mahanes, MSN, RN, CCNS, FNCS (left), and Briana Witherspoon, DNP, ACNP-BC (right)

The theme of this year’s annual meeting in Hawaii — “It Takes a Village” — reflects both the rich diversity of NCS membership and the need for all disciplines and professions to work together to improve care. The NCS spirit of collaboration and emphasis on inclusivity provides the opportunity for nurse members to make significant contributions to the society and to neurocritical care.

The composition of the NCS nursing membership reflects the overall diversity of the organization. Nurse members of NCS currently total 319, including 119 individuals who joined in 2017. Based on information from last year’s Nursing Needs Assessment, along with available membership statistics, staff nurses and nurse practitioners each make up about a third of the overall nursing membership. The remaining nurse members include clinical nurse specialists, clinical educators, managers, researchers, nursing faculty members, industry specialists, and others. While each role offers unique contributions to the care of neurocritical patients and to NCS, nursing serves as the common core element of our practice.

NCS nurses also reflect the geographic diversity of the organization. Within the United States, NCS has nurse members from 41 states and the District of Columbia. California has the most nurse members at 51, with Pennsylvania and Ohio coming in second at 18 members each. In addition, NCS has several international nurse members.

The Nursing Committee (members are listed at right) is charged with representing the nursing voice within NCS. The committee consists of staff nurses, clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, educators, program managers, and researchers from ten different states and the Philippines. This year, the committee has focused on the development of two nursing-focused online educational products that utilize a self-paced case study format. Once completed, these modules will be added to N-Case, the section of NCS OnDemand devoted to nursing resources. N-Case is accessible from the NCS website and includes several other educational presentations, most of which are available to members at no cost. This year, the Nursing Committee has also continued to focus on retaining and recruiting nurse members using information obtained from the nursing Needs Assessment.

Nurse representation is reflected on the NCS Board of Directors. Mary Kay Bader, MSN, RN, CCNS, FNCS, FAHA, a neurocritical care clinical nurse specialist from Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, California, is currently serving on the Executive Committee as Secretary of the Society and is in line to become the first nurse president in 2019. “Nurses are represented on the Board of Directors and are active in numerous NCS committees, insuring that the art and science of nursing contributes and is incorporated in NCS throughout the organization,” said Bader.

It takes a village for the nursing profession to make optimal contributions to neurocritical care and to NCS. We value the diversity of our nursing members and encourage nurses in various roles with all levels of experience to get involved. All NCS nurses are encouraged to join the Nursing Committee conference calls. Information for these calls and other important announcements can be found on the Nurse Forum section of the NCS website, which all nurse members can access. Changes intended to increase participation and communication are anticipated in the coming months, so stay tuned.

If you have questions about NCS nursing or would like to learn more about opportunities to contribute, please contact Briana Witherspoon, incoming Nursing Committee chair, at If you are reading this from the Annual Meeting in Hawaii, please attend the Nursing Corner from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 11, in Kohala 3. This session is a great opportunity to connect with fellow NCS nurse members, so we hope to see you there! It takes a village, and we hope you will consider joining the movement to get involved.

NCS Nursing Committee Members

**Dea Mahanes, MSN, RN, CCNS, FNCS; Clinical Nurse Specialist, Charlottesville, VA. (Chair).
Briana Witherspoon, DNP, ACNP-BC; Nurse Practitioner, Nashville, TN. (Co-Chair).
**Mary Amatangelo, MS, RN, ACNP-BC, CCRN, CNRN; Nurse Practitioner, Boston, MA.
Debora Argetsinger, MS, AGACNP-BC, CCRN; Nurse Practitioner, Wyoming, MI.
Cindy Bautista, PhD, APRN, FNCS; Associate Professor, Fairfield, CT.
Honey Beddingfield, BSN, RN, CCRN, CNRN; Staff Nurse, Neuroscience Champion, Stanford, CA.
Mary Guanci, MSN, RN, CNRN; Clinical Nurse Specialist, Boston, MA.
Lori Madden, PhD, RN, ACNP-BC, CCRN, CNRN; Clinical Nurse Scientist, Sacramento, CA.
Karen March, MN, RN, CNRN; Consultant, Sammamish, WA.
Diana Jean “Yana” Serondo, RN, NVRN-BC; Section ManagerStroke Service/Stroke Program Coordinator, Taguig City, Philippines.
Michelle VanDemark, ANP-BC, FNCS; Nurse Practitioner, Sioux Falls, SD.
Christina Watford, BSN, RN, CCRN; Clinical Nurse Educator, Winston-Salem, NC.
Susan Yeager, MS, RN, CCRN, ACNP, FNCS; Nurse Practitioner, Columbus, OH. (Board liaison, non-voting member).

New Committee Members, effective October 2017

Rachel Malloy, MSN, RN, CNRN, SCRN, ANVP; Clinical Specialist, Merritt Island, FL.
Catrice Nakamura, MSN, CCRN-K; Stroke Program Manager, Torrance, CA.

**Term ends October 2017

#Nursing #DeaMahanes #BrianaWitherspoon

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