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GNSA Bulletin - December 2021 Edition

Published December 01, 2021

Emerging Leaders

Paula Gellner, MSN, RN


DNP Program

Rhode Island College


Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2022

For over 30 years, I have been involved in nursing leadership, program development, and patient quality-safety initiatives. Throughout this time, my passion has been to engage nurses in delivering high-quality, safe care to our patients at both the unit and administrative levels. As a result, I found satisfaction in experiencing the success of the hospitals where I worked. They were awarded national and local recognition for high quality and safety scores. In addition, my staff has succeeded in receiving hospital-wide distinctions for achieving high quality and safety metrics. In part, these recognitions contribute to the overall quality of care provided by the organization to the community.
Concurrently, I have seen a robust turnover in nursing of more senior nurses and new nurses before COVID-19. This situation has since magnified. Unfortunately, this turnover risks the quality and safety of the care we provide. Therefore, nurse turnover during the transition to practice is the focus of my DNP project.
In 2019, I enrolled in the DNP program at RIC. It is a new program located in my home state, focusing on evidence-based research and practice. Before enrollment, my first encounter with the program director was so inviting and positive that I looked no further and have no regrets! Although the program was new and enrollment was small, our graduating class this spring will be five people. My cohort is very cohesive. The professors are responsive and supportive. They thoroughly embrace the diverse experiences of each student. I found this program to be enriching as I stepped outside my comfort zone of nursing leadership and into the world of learning from other perspectives.
Upon graduation, I am looking forward to exploring new opportunities in nursing leadership and teaching at the college level. 



Are you our next emerging leader? Do you excel in your graduate program, demonstrate excitement for your nursing work, and/or have potential to greatly contribute to health care? If so, submit an emerging leader nomination form today to self-nominate or nominate a fellow student. The emerging leader will be selected from the applicants and notified when they will be profiled. Help us recognize future nursing leaders!


Noteworthy Article: 

In the December 2021 issue of Nurse Leader, Kristen M.J. Azar, published an article titled 'The Evolving Role of Nurse Leadership in the Fight for Health Equity'. The article highlights the role of nurse leaders as innovators, scientists, educators, and advocates. The author provides several actions that nurse leaders can take to improve health equity. 

Join the GNSA!
Take advantage of the various benefits that are free to you as a graduate student! Tell your fellow students and make sure they join today! Click here to complete the online application.

Reflecting on 2021: The GNSA and the Graduate Nurse Experience


It is hard to believe that another year is coming to an end. At times I feel like I am still stuck in and processing 2020, but we did it. We made it through another year of graduate school, another year of nursing, another year of this life while continuing to combat a global pandemic. I am thankful for a sense of normalcy through the GNSA, our graduate nursing student community, and the wonderful resources we were able to access this year:

The GNSA offers many wonderful resources to help us along our academic journeys, but if there are other resources you would like to see feel free to reach out to your GNSA Liaisons, Leadership Council Members, or just jump on the discussion boards in the GNSA Community to chat! We know that academic life mixing with our everyday lives can become overwhelming, which is why we strive to foster an online community that supports one another. As this year comes to a close, please take a moment to recognize your accomplishments and growth. Think about one “win” for your year. A win can be anything and is unique to you; it can be something that brought you joy, your growth as a nurse and a person, or simply your success in getting through the year. What is your “win” for this year? How has your knowledge expanded? What are you reflecting on? Let’s support each other by celebrating each other’s growth and accomplishments. Join me on this month’s discussion board titled Reflecting on 2021” to talk about just that!

I hope everyone has a safe and restful holiday season.

Take good care,

Marissa Bartmess, BSN, RN
GNSA Leadership Council Member
University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Share Your Win with the GNSA Community!

Join Marissa in the GNSA Connect community and share your win. Reflect on your year and share with the community by logging in to your MyAACN account and clicking on GNSA Connect from your GNSA dashboard. If you have questions about how to access or use this resource, contact Autumn Spriggs at

Become a GNSA Liaison! 
Interested in building a stronger connection with the students and faculty at your school? If so, sign up to serve as a GNSA Liaison for your institution! Click here to learn more about the role. As a GNSA Liaison you will be among the first to know about opportunities, scholarships, and events. If you have any questions, contact Autumn Spriggs at

Take Over the GNSA Instagram!
Are you interested in sharing details about your life as a student? Want to show how you balance your time between work, school, and home? If so, participate in the GNSA Instagram Takeover Tuesdays. Share your strategies for success with other graduate students. What is your go-to study snack? What does your desk look like? Have you recently attended a webinar and want to share your experience and thoughts? Share all this and more on #Takeover Tuesday. Fill out this form to participate

How to Select an Appropriate Journal for Your Publication
December 8, 2021 at 6:00 pm ET
You have a manuscript draft, but how do you select the best journal? Join our speakers as they explore the key elements in deciding which journal is the right fit for your submission.


AfterCollege-AACN Scholarship

The AfterCollege-AACN Scholarship supports students who are seeking a baccalaureate, master’s or doctoral degree in nursing. Special consideration will be given to students in a graduate program with the goal of becoming a nurse educator; completing an RN to BSN or MSN program; and those enrolled in an accelerated nursing program. The next application deadline is December 31, 2021. To apply and learn more about the scholarship requirements, click here.  


CastleBranch-GNSA Scholarship

The CastleBranch-GNSA Scholarship recognizes the outstanding work of graduate nursing students who are advancing the nursing profession through a commitment to innovation, leadership, and mentoring and will award two $2,500 scholarships each semester to eligible GNSA members. The next application deadline is December 30, 2021. To apply and learn more about the scholarship requirements, click here.  

Registration is Open: 2022 Student Policy Summit

Registration for AACN’s 2022 Student Policy Summit is now open! Up to two students from AACN member schools, who have the permission from their dean, may register for this exciting two-day conference from March 27-28 in Washington, DC. Nursing students from around the nation will have opportunities to participate in dynamic program sessions, with direct engagement from federal legislative and policy experts. To register for AACN’s 2022 Student Policy Summit, click here.


For more information on the conference, as well as safety precautions that will be taken for this event, visit the Summit website. We look forward to seeing you in March!