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Fall Semester 2018

A Letter From the President

Greetings colleagues!

My name is Matthew Machado and I am thrilled to be the President of the Massachusetts

Student Nurses’ Association (MASNA) for the 2018-2019 school year. I am currently a senior
at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in Dartmouth, MA. The e-board members
and I are excited to kick off the year as we diligently work to better serve you. It is always
encouraging to work with a devoted team whose love for nursing is reflected in all the time
spent creating opportunities and experiences for all nursing students.

This year we are planning to continue many of our successful events and are striving for
a fruitful year to provide the best community, legislative, and educational opportunities.
We will be participating at the Fall and Spring conferences for the Massachusetts Nurses’
Association (MNA) and Massachusetts chapter of the American Nurses’ Association (ANA-
Mass), respectively. In addition, we will be hosting our annual Career Forum, participate in
charity walks, send representatives to the NSNA National Convention, and much more! Our
yearlong focus will be on strengthening partnerships with nursing students an registered
nurses’ associations from across the state. We believe that there is strength through unity
and unity through commitment.

Please refer to our newsletter and website ( as your guide

for this upcoming year. Enclosed you will find important dates, student reflections, and how to
get involved as a student nurse.

From personal experience, the benefits of being an active member of student nurses’
organizations are numerous and offer many rewarding experiences. I look forward to working
with our new members, community, friends and future members.
We hope that MASNA is a stepping-stone along your journey. Inside this Issue:
Please feel free to share your thoughts, experiences, or comments
with me via email at
Why I’m a Nurse...2
What’s in the Vape...4
Matthew Machado How to: Nursing school...5
Safe Patient Limits...6
MNA Convention...7
Why Do You Want To Be A Nurse?
By Julia Thompson
“So, why do you want to be a nurse?” It’s the most
common question any nursing major will receive
during the interview process, whether for school
or for co-op positions. “Why do you want to be a
nurse” is ubiquitous, and with good reason. Your
answer says a lot about you and your motivations,
not to mention where your passion lies. I’ve heard
many variations on a theme in the answers to this
question, ranging from sincere to predictable and
fake. Here are the two best ways to answer this
question if you find yourself without a “classic”
crisis, please don’t try to make one up. You will
just come across as phony, and nurses can spot an
exaggerated story a mile away.

1. The Heartfelt Approach

If you became a nurse because of a personal

experience, this answer is for you! For example,
if you spent time in the hospital when you were Example: “When I was twelve, my best friend John
young due to your own illness or a relative’s, and was diagnosed with cancer. I visited him every
that’s where you discovered your passion, your day in the hospital and found myself fascinated by
answer will come across as genuine and give how the nurses cared for him. They saw him more
the interviewer a great idea of who you are. But than the doctors did and always took the time
beware! This way of answering can backfire if to make sure he was doing OK. I knew then that
you stretch too hard to make a connection. If you I wanted to be a nurse someday so I could help
didn’t have an epiphany in the midst of a medical people the way my friend was helped.”

My story mixes the two, and I’ve found that my
answer works because it feels real. I always had a
passion for science and taking care of others from
a young age. I also really loved working with kids
in summer camps and after school plays. When
high school started and I began thinking about
my career and college, nursing jumped out at me.
When I volunteered at my local hospital, it all
clicked for me. I loved making people feel better,
and to me, the nurses were superheroes. The same
spirit of discovery that I loved about science is
at the heart of nursing as a profession. Being a
pediatric nurse means caring for the whole family,
not just the patient, and that appealed to me. I
applied to NU Nursing and never looked back
because I knew I had made the right choice and
found my life’s passion.

2. The Realistic Approach

Let’s face it, there are many benefits to nursing that

have nothing to do with patient care. There’s the
flexible scheduling, the many varied career paths
and specialties, not to mention the job security.
So if you became a nursing major for any of those
reasons, good for you! These are perfectly valid
reasons for entering the nursing profession. The
problem, however, is that flat-out stating this in an
interview makes you come across as caring only
for the money, not the patients. Many interviewers
see nursing as a lifelong passion, not “just a job,”
so if the realistic approach is not taken tactfully,
this answer could set a sour tone for the interview.
One way to prevent this is to explain your evolving
passion for nursing alongside your practical
thinking, proving that you are pragmatic about
your future career, but also have a passion for it.
No matter what your reasons are for entering
Example: “I first applied to nursing school because nursing, just know that this one question does
I liked the flexibility involved in the profession not define who you are or who you will be as a
and the job availability in my area. But now that I nurse! Whether you decided to be a nurse for the
have been in nursing classes, I realize how much practical benefits or the emotional rewards, what
I love nursing in addition to all of the practical matters most is what you do at the bedside for the
benefits it provides. I am excited about my patient every day.
career choice and couldn’t imagine myself doing
anything else!”

What’s In the Vape? By Sydney Conti
Returning to campus this fall, I seemed to Studies regarding the long-term health
have noticed far more students using e-cigarettes effects of e-cigarettes are practically non-existent
sitting outside in the sun, in secret during class, due to the fact that e-cigarettes have only been
and even at parties. The CDC has reported the wildly popular for about a decade. It will likely
rise in use of electronic cigarettes and even be another decade or so before we begin to see
stated that among the youth in the U.S., it is the what the health implications really are and to find
most highly used tobacco product (Marynak et good evidenced based research to support these
al., 2017). With this shift in culture away from findings. A study conducted at the University of
traditional cigarettes towards e-cigarettes, what are California found high concentrations of diacetyl
the potential health implications that we as future in some of the flavored e-cigarette liquids (Arnold,
nurses will see? What is truly in an e-cigarette? 2018). Diacetyl is a compound that can also be
And how can we as health care professionals found in products like microwavable popcorn and
properly educate patients when there is so little is linked to bronchiolitis obliterans, a disease that
research currently available? constricts the bronchioles.
An e-cigarette traditionally delivers a E-cigarette’s have also gained their fame
nicotine product to it’s user by heating a liquid as a nicotine replacement therapy for smoking
that contains nicotine, which produces a vapor cessation, although this is not evidenced based.
that is inhaled (Arnold, 2018). It is widely Among college students at the University of Texas,
researched and understood that nicotine use those who were using e-cigarettes for smoking
especially during adolescence can cause addiction cessation had better outcomes after 6 and 12
as well as adverse effects on the developing months remaining cigarette free, than those who
teenager’s brain (Marynak et al., 2017). In addition did not use e-cigarettes (Mantey, Cooper, Loukas,
to the potentially harmful effects of nicotine, & Perry, 2017). Smoking remains the number
the liquid used in e-cigarettes is also cause for one cause for preventable death in the U.S. and
concern. A study conducted at Johns Hopkins e-cigarettes may be a promising future solution.
Bloomberg School of Public Health revealed As of January 2019, a new law will become
that levels of heavy metals including nickel, active raising the legal age to purchase tobacco
chromium, manganese, and lead were present products to 21 in Massachusetts (Commonwealth
in the vapor in concentrations that exceeded of Massachusetts, 2018). While our state legislators
the recommendations made by the Agency for do their part ensuring the safety of young people,
Toxic Substances Disease Registry and the U.S. we too must do our part by staying up to date with
Environmental Protection Agency (Arnold, 2018). the most current research to properly inform our
patients and keep our communities safe.

Marynak, K., Kenemer, B., King, B.A., Tynan, M.A., MacNeil, A., & Reimels, E. (2017). State
Laws Regarding Indoor Public Use, Retail Sales, and Prices of Electronic Cigarettes- U.S. States,
Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, September 30, 2017. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 66(49). Retrieved from
Commonwealth of Massachusetts. (2018) Massachusetts law about smoking. Retrieved from https://
Arnold, C. (2018). Between the Tank and the Coil: Assessing How Metals End Up in
E-Cigarette Liquid and Vapor. Environmental Health Perspectives, 126(6).
Mantey, D.S., Cooper, M.R., Loukas, A., & Perry, C. (2017). E-cigarette Use and
Cigarette Smoking Cessation among Texas College Students. American Journal of Health Behavior,

How To: Nursing School Edition By Manny Santos

Throughout my past three years of being a nursing student, I have had to go through trial
and error in order to discover how to be successful in nursing school. My number one tip is to do
your absolute best in the beginning of the semester, because it is easy to lose motivation and become
overwhelmed as the semester progresses. If you excel in your performance in the beginning, you will
have more leeway come end of semester (especially when it comes to the score you need in order
to pass your finals!) I highly recommend to use all of the resources made available to you, such as
office hours, review sessions, and tutoring. Not only will this give you an opportunity to be in a more
condensed learning environment, but it will show your professors that you are serious about passing
their classes and learning the information.

Another tip is to utilize your textbooks! Reading the assigned chapters usually seems like
a daunting task, and it may be time consuming, but it is well worth it to receive the full depth of
information that lectures and PowerPoints cannot provide. Highlight, take notes, and form connections
with the information. Study like you have a quiz in class each day, so that when it comes time for
exams, you will just need to review what you’ve already learned. This leads me into my next tip – don't
procrastinate. Organize your assignments and readings and get them done in advance to save yourself
from the added stress of waiting last minute. Last but certainly not least, remember to take care of
yourself. Find a hobby, get in a workout, meditate, or do anything that brings you peace and joy. At
the end of the day, you perform at your best when you feel your best, and you cannot care for others if
you yourself are not being cared for. I wish everyone the best of luck as we progress through this new

Safe Patient Limits By Kaitlyn McCarthy
to confidently say that they will be providing the
patient and their family with quality and safe care.
Although this is what every nurse wants to be able
to say, with the conditions we have right now, it is
not always possible. Some days a nurse can have
6 patients and while that nurse wants to assess
their patients, perform hourly checks, administer
medications on time, answer call bells, and
complete their documentation, provide discharge
instructions, admit new patients, teach patients
about their medications, diagnosis, interventions
and plan of care, it is not easy. Having less
patients allows a nurse to spend more time at the
patient’s bedside providing quality, safe care, and
improving patient outcomes.
I am a junior in the nursing program at
Boston College. When I become a nurse and work
on my own, I want to confidently and honestly say
to each and every patient that I care for that they
can trust me to give them the best possible care. I
want to ensure that my patients do not experience
hospital acquired events because I could not spend
the necessary time assessing and performing
the interventions outlined in their plan of care.
Hospitals require nurses to do many things,
however, with increased patient assignments
Hi, my name is Kaitlyn McCarthy and it is very difficult to provide the quality of care
I am the MaSNA Regional 5 Chair. Last year, I that a patient deserves. Nurses are the patient’s
had the opportunity to work alongside the MNA advocates. Patient care and patient outcomes can
regional chair representatives collecting signatures be improved if we all Vote Yes on Question 1.
supporting the Safe Patient Limits bill. In doing so, I care about patients. I care about their
I had to explain why this question means so much safety. I care about their health. I care about their
to me and why I confidently believe that everyone lives. I care about each and every patient as an
should vote YES on question 1. individual. I care about patient outcomes and
My mother and my two sisters are hope you do, too. Please vote Yes for Safe Patient
nurses. Growing up, I heard all of their heart- Limits.
warming, heart-wrenching, interesting, and
beautiful stories of interactions with patients,
families, their nursing peers and members of the
interdisciplinary team. However, I have also heard
stories about their fear and worries about working
in this profession, mainly about not having
adequate time to do what they felt was a good job.
Walking into a patient’s room, they want to be able

MNA Convention
By Samantha Zick

This October, the Massachusetts Nurses Association hosted their 11th Convention, This Is Our
Time, which first and foremost, focused on advocating for the Safe Patient Limits ballot question. The
clock is ticking as the polls open up in a few short weeks on November 6th. President of the
Massachusetts Nurses Association, Donna Kelly-Williams, RN, stated that the foreground of this year’s
discussion forged itself from the goal to improve the overall quality of care for all.
President Kelly-Williams believes that “When it comes to safe patient limits and the future of
our practice, this is our time.” Patient limits provide nurses with the opportunity to address the needs of
the patient which may in turn reduce negative outcomes. While learning more about the ballot
initiative, the convention had plenary sessions on the effects of violence on nursing practice, new re-
search related to Marijuana and the art of nursing. All of which discussed the importance of nursing
advocacy and leadership to promote health.
Countless nurses have dedicated their time to promote and advocate for Safe Patient Limits by
canvassing, phone banking before election day and by simply having the conversations with friends and
co-workers. We as nurses are in charge of taking care of the whole patient and in order to do so,
patient limits must be established so as to enable more time to monitor patients, provide holistic care
and to educate them. There are many misnomers about the ballot question and these nurse activists
have taken the time to provide accurate and research-based information in order to inform the
public. The convention focused on providing support to those who are on the campaign trail for the
ballot initiative and provide up to date information about hot topics in nursing.
As the field of nursing is constantly evolving, it is important to understand that we as nurses
and student nurses are the spearheads of the future practice. It is important to educate ourselves and to
participate in the evolution to fulfill our duties as public servants. This year is a very important year for
nurses all around the state as change is on the horizon and it is beyond true: This is our time.

Want to get involved? Get Published! Recognition

Our Board is here to support you! If you The Board would like to thank:
have any of the following
The Massachusetts Nursing Association
1. An event upcoming you want us to feature for their support and alliance! We as
2. A topic you think other student nurses look to your leadership and
students need to know about expertise going forward into this career.
3. A professor you want to honor
4. A student that is going above and beyond You, our fellow students, for reading this
to inspire others and for being involved!
5. A school program you think is
stellar We look forward to serving you!

Then email Look for the Spring Edition in May!
and pitch your idea!!

What is MASNA? Contact Info for BOD

Matthew Machado (President)
We, your board of directors act in accordance to
your duties Dong Dzindolet (President Elect)
1. To assume responsibility for contributing to Sydney Conti (Vice President)
nursing education in order to provide for the highest Julia Thompson (Secretary)
quality health care.
Amanda Ilaria (Treasurer)
2. To provide programs representative of
Charlotte Kolada (Elections & Resolutions Chair)
fundamental and current professional
interest and concerns. Samantha Zick (Fundraising Chair)
3. To aid in the development of the whole person, Michaila Kaufman (Newsletter Editor)
his/her professional role, and his/her responsibility Savanah Santos (Population & Global Health Chair)
for the health care of people in all walks of life.
Maria Meyer (Media Chair)
4. To advocate for nursing students in preparing for
Jill O'Leary (Region 1 Chair)
their professional roles as nurses.
Kara Balboni (Region 2 Chair)
As a subsidiary state chapter of the National Student
Nursing Association, we are open to all nursing Ayeh Tanteh (Region 3 Chair)
students also involved in NSNA. Your membership Megan LaMonada (Region 4 Chair)
to NSNA provides you with insightful opportunities,
financial options, dis- counts to services and a Kaitlyn McCarthy (Region 5 Chair)
unification to fellow students who are just like you!
Alyssa Chan (Breakthrough to Nursing Chain)
Consider being coming a member today!

Learn more about MaSNA at

This newsletter designed, Written and Edited by Michaila Kaufman, Newsletter Editor MASNA 8