Every year during the third full week in May, the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANN) celebrates Neuroscience Nurses Week (NNW) to honor all nurses who work in the field. To get more insight, we contacted Allison Begezda, MPS, senior marketing manager of the AANN. What follows is an edited version of our Q&A.

Why was NNW started?

Neuroscience Nurses Week was started to celebrate the nurses who care for the most vulnerable patients and their families. During NNW, AANN thanks our nurses for providing the highest level of quality care to their patients. The week is all about highlighting neuroscience nurses’ influence on patient care to hospital administrators, allied health professionals, and the community.

What kind of celebrations/recognition are held for this week? Why?

AANN encourages hospital administrators to celebrate their neuroscience nurses by providing lunch, cake, a party, or other recognition. We provide an activity planning guide on our website with tips and ideas for planning a NNW celebration. We also have a NNW logo and poster hospitals can print and use.

Additionally, we offer a proclamation template that hospitals can use to alert the media or that their local officials can use to endorse the observance of NNW. Our journal, the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing (JNN), also offers the current issue for free.

AANN has partnered with Jim Coleman Ltd. to offer branded neuroscience nurses week merchandise for sale. Hospital administrators can purchase pens, tote bags, t-shirts, and more for their nurses as a NNW gift. Learn more at www.AANN.org/NNW.

What are the various kinds of neuroscience nurses? What kinds of training or education do they need to have in order to hold this position?

Neuroscience nurses assist patients with brain and nervous system disorders. They work to understand and treat illnesses and injuries that affect the nervous system. Neuroscience nurses work in diverse, challenging, and rewarding environments, such as hospitals, health care clinics, brain injury units, and intensive rehabilitation units.

As for their education, neuroscience nurses have a nursing diploma such as an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and then must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). After two years of practice (candidate must have at least two years of full-time experience or 4,160 hours in either direct or indirect neuroscience nursing practice during the past 5 years), nurses are eligible to sit for the Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse (CNRN) exam and upon passing become a CNRN.

Michele Wojciechowski

Michele Wojciechowski is an award-winning writer and author of the humor book Next Time I Move, They’ll Carry Me Out in a Box.

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