In May, Excelsior College’s Barbara Pieper, PhD, RN, director, Robert E. Kinsinger Institute for Nursing Excellence, and Patricia Cannistraci, DNS, RN, CNE, assistant dean, School of Nursing, traveled to Rome for the Ruth K. Palmer Symposium. The international conference, titled “Pushing the Boundaries: Exploring Research Frontiers to Transform Nursing Practice, Education and Policy”, focuses on innovative research, excellence in global health, and creating opportunities for international and trans-disciplinary collaboration.
Dr. Pieper and Cannistraci attended the conference to present on findings stemming from their study, “Student Reading Preferences: Will the Past Be Our Future?” which explores the differences between how students read for pleasure versus academic study. The paper, co-authored with Excelsior’s Dr. Maurice Odondi, found that despite widespread cultural technological adoption and the growing role of technology on college campuses, students still prefer to study using traditional books and paper print outs. (They are platform and device agnostic when it comes to reading for pleasure.)
“We are in such a tech-driven environment, it’s easy to get tripped up by your own assumptions,” said Dr. Pieper. “For college administrators and decision-makers, understanding and taking the student perspective into account is essential.”
According to Pieper and Cannistraci, the symposium was also an essential opportunity to network with international nurse leaders and explore potential future projects. Keynote speakers included Linda Burnes Bolton, DrPH, RN, FAAN, vice president, nursing and chief nursing officer, Cedars-Sinai Health System, and Susan S. Prevost, RN, PhD, dean and professor, University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing.
Dr. Bolton, whom also served as the vice chair, committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing, shared her vision for how “nurse scientists and educators can chart new directions to transform nursing practice”. Dr. Prevost, a past president of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Honor Society of Nursing, discussed ideas to improve global health and advance the nursing field through strategic collaborations and partnerships.
The two-day conference included presentations by a diverse field of experts, including nursing theorist Nola J. Pender, PhD, RN, FAAN, distinguished professor, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Dr. Pender spoke on transforming the future of health policy and practice.
“There’s something to the idea of educators congregating in an ancient city to predict the future of nursing field,” said Cannistraci.