Dr. Stacey Maslow, Vice-Chair of the Hadassah Medical Organization, recently sat down with Robin Shuman, Chair of the Nurses and Allied Health Professionals Council, one of the professional councils of Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, to hear about the Council’s recent activities.
Maslow: Robin, please tell us about the work of the Hadassah Nurses and Allied Health Professionals Council.
Shuman: What used to be called the Nurses Council, recently became the Nurses and Allied Health Professionals Council. This exciting change allows us to integrate people from other medical fields into our council. We are discussing the best way to share leadership to represent our many professions. For example, Geri Lipschitz, a social worker, has started a new role as liaison for the members who are not nurses.
Our steering committee meets four times a year. Participation is a wonderful way to stay abreast of the latest news from the Hadassah Medical Organization, and the Henrietta Szold Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Nursing.
We are planning a trip for health professionals from the US to tour Israel, meet colleagues and visit sites throughout the country. This will be an excellent opportunity to establish relationships which will impact the future of healthcare in Israel.
Maslow: Please tell us about some of the developments in your Council.
Shuman: We are strengthening our relationship with the School of Nursing, which we own and which created the first Bachelor of Science and Master of Science Degree programs in Israel, and the clinical nursing department at the Hadassah Medical Organization, Hadassah’s medical center in Israel. We see this as a great partnership that will enhance nursing in Israel, increase our nurses’ level of professionalism and allow us to share best practices and develop collegial relationships between nurses in the United States and nurses in Israel.
We are also developing a network of peers in the US and in Israel to discuss topics of professional interest. Nursing is a common language. Everyone benefits by sharing creative approaches to challenges faced by all.
We are very proud to have raised the funds to convert the Goldwurm Auditorium at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem into a state-of-the-art learning center. Thanks to generous donors, we raised over $1 million. This project was undertaken to address the critical nursing shortage in Israel and a request by the Government of Israel to increase the size of our nursing classes by 25 percent. We offer opportunities to support the simulation lab at our nursing school.
Maslow: Tell us about programs at the School of Nursing that the Council has recently sponsored.
Shuman: In 2022, the first “white coat ceremony” for Advanced Practice Nurses in all of Israel took place at our nursing school. (White lab coats symbolize professionalism, enhancing both practice and confidence. At white coat ceremonies, new graduates receive a white lab coat to signify their entrance into their new professions.) We were asked to provide white coats and advice on developing this new ceremony to honor these nurses. Watch the video here.
Currently, nurse practitioners are not licensed in Israel and there are no schools for them there. However, they can be educated outside of Israel and may work in Israel in expanded roles. Supplying white coats made here, in the US, and collaborating on this meaningful ceremony has been a wonderful way to strengthen the connection between nurses in the US and our nurses at Hadassah’s hospitals, who strive every day to elevate the practice of nursing in Israel.
Other recent Council programming has included a Zoom event featuring our nurses’ talking about the innovative roles they played when treating COVID patients in the hospitals, a program highlighting research at our School of Nursing and research being carried out by Council members, and a celebration of Council members and their accomplishments.
Council member Ellen Audet, a nurse educator from Florida, is spearheading the creation of a signature program to take place this fall on a subject that is dear to many hearts: how caregivers, a title most of us can relate to, are supported in our health care systems. We have much to share as fellow professionals.
Maslow: Please tell us about the Council’s upcoming focus on philanthropy.
Shuman: We are proud to roll out a campaign that will support the Center for Nursing Research. Excellence has been a hallmark of the nursing care and education that we provide at Hadassah’s hospitals and at our School of Nursing. We will be fundraising to provide statisticians, administrative support and other resources so that our nurses are able to do the research necessary to achieve advanced academic status, and to improve nursing practice.
We look forward to a strong future for our Hadassah nursing professionals and a shared partnership bringing health care to the people of Israel and the world.