About Leslie

Leslie wears many hats. In addition to being the Program Coordinator at the Portland Community Free Clinic, she is Editor-in-Chief of CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, Editor of Nurse Author & Editor, and President and Owner of Maine Desk LLC. She is very proud to be a new Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

Truth in Reporting: Straight Talk for The Good Nurse

NB: The following resources are designed to accompany the open source editorial published here. Faculty, editors, and other interested colleagues are free to use these resources, with proper credit to Charles Graeber, author of The Good Nurse, Diana J. Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN Co-Director, Center for Health, Media & Policy, Rudin Professor of Nursing, and INANE 2014.
PART I: Editorial Notes Outline:


  • In the book “The Good Nurse,” eight years of investigative journalism uncovers the shocking story of a serial killer nurse, and the hospital administrators who passed him on, hospital to hospital, for 16 years. It also highlights the attempts of several brave whistleblower “good nurses” to stop Cullen along the way.
  • Serial Killer Charles Cullen is in prison for what he did. Many of the administrators who passed him on got promoted.
  • New Health care employee reporting laws, designed to stop another serial killer like Charles Cullen, in fact treat truly “good nurses” like criminals.
  • Meanwhile it’s still business as usual for the health care executives.
  • We should know the truth and demand common sense laws that respect nurses, protect patients, and don’t force executives to choose between protecting their institution from lawsuits, and protecting patients from harm.



  • The book details how nurse Charles Cullen was able to selectively or randomly kill an admitted 40 patients, though expert estimates of the real number of Cullen’s victims to be closer to 400, making him the most prolific serial killer in United States history.
  • But as lurid as these details are, more troubling are the descriptions of how Cullen was able to go from hospital to hospital in Pennsylvania and New Jersey–often facilities with stellar reputations, including Magnet designation—without being reported to the police, the state boards of nursing, and state departments of health (until a coworker reported her suspicions to police, against the expressed wishes of her hospital’s administration and lawyers).
  • The book describes situations in which top executives and administrators stymied detectives’ investigations into the suspicious deaths, including misleading them about the medication system and record-keeping.
  • When Cullen’s actions (serious repeated nurse practice issues, delivery of non-proscribed meds, bizarre behavior, patient complaints) were uncovered by hospital authorities, he was either removed from the schedule, fired or allowed to resign. But never was he stopped.
  • Example: At one hospital, Cullen was the only suspect in a rash of insulin overdoses. He was removed from the schedule, and so applied for a job at another hospital, where he commenced overdosing patients. At another hospital, Cullen was caught red-handed by his fellow nurses, stashing empty vials of deadly paralytic drugs which he had used for murder during his shift. Outside council was brought in, and Cullen was allowed to resign, rather than be fired, so that he could receive a neutral recommendation.Cullen quickly found a new job, and began killing again.
  • Instead of opening themselves to outside scrutiny- at the risk of reputation, donor money and massive lawsuits- the hospitals, intentionally or otherwise, operated in a manner which protected the institution, but put their patients at risk.
  • When Cullen’s suspicious behavior was brought to the attention of the authorities by a whistle-blowing nurse, the hospital drove the nurse whistle-blower out of the state, and later, counter-sued families of patients who were suspected dying at Cullen’s hand, and have tried to intimidate the book’s author.
  • None of the hospital executives and administrators were held accountable for their actions or their failure to report Cullen in a timely fashion, if at all; several, including a risk management administrator who obstructed a police investigation, were promoted.
  • There has never been a criminal investigation into the actions of these administrators, but it’s not too late; nurse leaders and patient advocates can still demand the truth. (Somerset County NJ Police detectives also called for a Grand Jury).
  • New Jersey and Pennsylvania quickly passed broad laws (see below) in the wake of Cullen’s prosecution and life jail sentence, but there appears to be little enforcement of these laws requiring hospitals to report a dismissed employee.While ineffective at inspiring change at a corporate level, they appear to be overloading the nursing board review process, and can brand the career of an inexperienced nurse who makes a simple mistake.
  • Questions that this book raises include:
  1. How do we prevent another Cullen from going undiscovered in our midst?
  2. What policies and procedures are needed to ensure that health care organizations take the proper and ethical actions that are needed to prevent employees from continuing to do harm to patients?
  3. How do we tell nurses to blow the whistle on unsafe practices when their employers skirt doing so, even when required by law to report these?
  4. What are the local and national conversations that need to happen around institutional priorities (patient welfare versus financial health of the institution) accountability for patient safety in health care?
  5. What are the ethical dilemmas that nurse administrators face when becoming aware of potential criminal activity with their facilities, but are told by executive leadership that they must not investigate further, nor report it? How does this nurse weigh the legal requirement for reporting unsafe practitioners versus the institution’s interest in maintaining its fiscal health by preventing the information from becoming public?
  6. Exercise> CASE STUDIES: Students form groups to report and present case studies related to the practice and ethical issues raised.


A Closer Look: Systemic Issues Uncovered in The Good Nurse: The Enabling Patterns of Dysfunction

The investigation revealed several factors which contributed to perpetuating Cullen’s nursing/murder career for 16 years and 9 different health care facilities.

  • Hospitals were slow to react, understandably fearful of lawsuits, and repeatedly chose laborious and ineffective internal investigations, rather than outside attention from regulatory agencies and detectives. During these investigations, Cullen continued working, and killing patients.
  • Cullen exploited the space between the business of health care and the care itself.  In moving Cullen out of their employ and back into the job pool, many of the hospital administrators who dealt with the “Cullen problem” did their job as business people, but not their duty as patient advocates.
  • The trend toward outsourcing and use of staffing agencies increasingly allowed hospitals to treat nurses as disposable employees, and discouraged recognition or ownership of the Cullen problem.
  • Nurses who voiced concerns with Cullen’s behavior were marginalized, ignored or dismissed. Those who spoke up said they did so at the risk of their jobs. The whistle blowers identified in the book not only left the hospitals at which they had worked, and also the state.
  • Information flow was guarded, making problem solving slow, if impossible.
  • Outside investigators, who usually lacked familiarity with the healthcare setting and terms of art, were not given full information and didn’t even know what to ask for.
  • Family members of Cullen’s victims were sometimes not told of overdose levels of drugs found in their loved one’s bodies, and thus did not request autopsy.
  • Outside agencies, in the rare instances they were contacted regarding Cullen-related incidents, did not communicate with each other, or across state lines.
  • Penalties for non-reportage of sentinel events were rare and minimal, especially compared to  the perception that potential lawsuits would result from admitting to the problem.

The Good Nurse” is available in hardbook, paperback, and e-book versions, anywhere that fine books are sold.

“Cullen Laws” and Their Impact on Nursing Practice: Time for a Change?

NB: The following editorial was written by Charles Graeber, author of The Good Nurse, with Diana J. Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN Co-Director, Center for Health, Media & Policy, Rudin Professor of Nursing, to share with the participants of INANE 2014. It is designed as an Open Source Editorial and may be used, in part or in whole, by nursing editors for their respective journals, with credit given to Graeber, Mason, and INANE 2014. This editorial grew out of the presentation by Charles and Diana at the INANE 2014 conference and serves as a response to some of the questions raised by members of the audience.


Good NurseThe Health Care Worker Reporting laws that now impact the lives of millions of American nurses  got their start on a cloudy December day in 2003, when two homicide detectives arrested a veteran RN named Charles Cullen as he left a suburban New Jersey restaurant.

Cullen was charged with the murder of one of his patients and the attempted murder of another. Over the next two days, Cullen added dozens more. Investigators now believe that Charles Cullen may be responsible for the murder of as many as 400 patients at nine different New Jersey and Pennsylvania medical facilities that employed Cullen during his 16 year career.

The press dubbed Cullen an “Angel of Death,” but these were not mercy killings. Many of Cullen’s victims were, in fact, targeted at random.

But perhaps as shocking are the actions of Cullen’s employers, who repeatedly sent the troubled young nurse back into the job pool—with neutral or positive references—where he would kill again.

The question about Charles Cullen isn’t why he wasn’t caught sooner. Cullen himself said that he was caught inappropriately medicating patients at many of the hospitals at which he worked. His career, as detailed in the book “The Good Nurse,” contains several instances in which his employers seemed to suspect, or should have known, that Charles Cullen posed a danger to patients. Repeatedly, he was fired or allowed to resign in the wake of such incidents. But why was he never stopped?

One reason was the hospitals’ failure to admit their problem. Intentionally or otherwise, hospital administrators treated Cullen as a liability best moved quickly and quietly out the back door, even though that door led toward another hospital. We may never know their motives, but we are all too aware of the consequences of their actions, which protected institutions at the expense of patient safety.

The New Jersey’s Health Care Professional Responsibility and Reporting Enhancement Act, enacted in the wake of Cullen’s arrest, was supposed to change that, by mandating the reporting of troubled health care employees. The intention of this and other so-called “Cullen Laws”—signed in NJ in May of 2005 and now adopted by some 35 states—is good.

But critics say these laws—drawn up by politicians rather than health care specialists—hurt more than they help, and have done nothing but punish innocent nurses, create a poisonous and paranoid “informer” atmosphere among colleagues, and clog the State Review Boards with more noise than information. Amazingly, inexperienced nurses making rookie mistakes, or nurses who are overworked due to administrative staffing choices may be tarred with the same brush as a drug-addicted nurse stealing meds, incompetent or impaired workers, or even a serial killer. Fighting even anonymously-reported claims costs time and money, and many nurse attorneys say that the law treats nurses who are reported to state boards as guilty until proven innocent. Nurses who have been unfairly and anonymously accused in a bullying work environment cannot leave their jobs, as an accused nurse who quits mid-process essentially concedes his or her case. The result is an effective blackballing from nursing. It remains on a nurse’s record for seven years, and in many cases, effectively terminates a career.

The problem, as Nurse Attorney Edie Brous (RN, Esq.) puts it, is that laws focused upon healthcare providers but ignoring healthcare administrators, “have the emPHAsis on the wrong sylLLAble.” “It is not the nurses in the Cullen case who allowed him to move from facility to facility, yet they are the ones punished by this legislation,” Brous says. “It was the hospital authorities who were grossly negligent and, in fact, complicit in the crimes. But these laws do not address those actors.”

Brous explains that while the unintended consequences of such laws are that individual nurses risk the damage or destruction of their careers, those actually responsible for the harm are still not held accountable.  Instead, administrators face a different standard, with very different consequences. Self-reporting a “Cullen Problem” could cost a hospital many millions of dollars in lawsuits and loss of reputation. Meanwhile, the penalties for failure to self-report a possible “Cullen Problem” are laughably small- if such a failure is caught, or can even be proven. Should administrators and risk managers be faced with another Cullen, they’ll still be asked to self-report a problem that could bring financial ruin to their employer. But under the current laws, a failure to report is potentially less risky, financially and criminally. Without proper laws, administrators are effectively forced to choose between the wellbeing of their business and the wellbeing of their patients. That’s not fair to anyone.

Is it too much to ask for smarter “Cullen Laws”? We hope not. Here’s what they might look like:

A smarter policy wouldn’t treat nurses like criminals. Nurses who forget to put siderails back up or make medication errors should not be treated like serial killers. Lumping good nurses who make inevitable human mistakes together with a rogue nurse who committed homicide does not serve any purpose. A smarter policy would distinguish between purposeful misconduct and unintentional human error.

It would also offer meaningful and enforceable financial and criminal penalties for hospital administrators who pass on a “Charles Cullen” employee without notifying the proper investigative authorities. If we realistically expect the executives tasked with maintaining the fiscal viability of our health care institutions to willingly expose those institutions to potentially devastating lawsuits and loss of reputation, we should also demand a law which makes the consequences of failing to do so just as dire to the bottom line. A proper “Cullen Law” wouldn’t force a false choice between making “good business decisions,” and truly doing good.

And one more characteristic of a smarter healthcare protection policy: it would also be enforceable in retrospect. In fact, the police detectives who finally put Cullen in prison asked for a grand jury, to look into whether health care administrators obstructed or delayed police investigations at their hospitals. Incredibly, their request was ignored,  but there is no statute of limitation for such crimes. Readers of “The Good Nurse” are now able to ask important questions about what hospital administrators did, and demand answers.

The point of the “Cullen Laws” is transparency in health care, for better patient outcomes. Good Nurses everywhere expect nothing less. Let’s ask the same of the administrators who passed Cullen on.

In Memory of Connie Curran, EdD, RN, FAAN

Curran.ConnieIt is with great sadness that I share the news of the death of Connie Curran, EdD, RN, FAAN, Editor Emerita of Nursing Economic$. INANE colleague Donna Nickitas told me that Connie was a 17 year survivor of cancer; she was just recently diagnosed with stage IV cancer which caused her death. Donna had planned to see Connie at the American Academy of Nursing meeting last month, which tells us how quick this was.

“She was a wonderful friend, colleague and mentor and will be sorely missed. Connie’s leadership, political acumen and how to manage the corner office taught us how to use our influence, power, and poise to position nursing’s contribution to society.” writes Donna Nickitas, Editor of Nursing Ecomonic$.

A further memorial comes from Patricia O’Donoghue, Interim President of DuPaul University. Dr. O’Donoghue writes:

“It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that our great friend, Trustee Connie Curran, who passed away this morning after a long battle with cancer. Please keep her family in your prayers as they mourn their tremendous loss.

A leader and caregiver, Connie offered encouragement and kindness to everyone who crossed her path. Having earned her master’s in nursing from DePaul, she was an outstanding alumna and supporter of our university. A member of the Board of Trustees since 2007 and a Member of the Corporation since 2009, she had recently agreed to serve as the chair of the Philanthropy Committee, a role that speaks volumes of her dedication to our university. She also served as the chair of the Mission Committee.

Connie never stopped motivating others to support DePaul and was an energetic advocate for our science and health programs in particular. Her personal generosity helped support the construction of the Msgr. Andrew J. McGowan Building. She also was a tireless fundraiser for DePaul and actively volunteered during the Many Dreams, One Mission campaign.

With roots as an inner-city nurse, Connie served as chief nursing officer of Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, vice president of the American Hospital Association and dean at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She became a national voice for health care and advocated tirelessly for nurses to have a seat at the table for governing boards of hospitals and health care organizations. Having experienced the complexities of the health care system, she knew firsthand how nurses serve as navigators for their patients and represent their voice at the table. She argued good patient outcomes depend on having nurses in the boardroom, because they are closest to the customer.

As a national health care expert, Connie shared her insight with audiences across the country by appearing on such talk shows as Good Morning America and Nightline. She authored four books, most recently “Claiming the Corner Office: Executive Leadership Lessons for Nurses,” with her colleague and fellow nurse, Therese Fitzpatrick, a member of the advisory board for our College of Science and Health.

In addition to serving on DePaul’s board, she was the chairman of the Board of Directors for DeVry, Inc. and was active on the boards of Hospira, Inc., Lurie Chicago Children’s Hospital and the University of Wisconsin Foundation. She was executive director of C-Change, an advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. dedicated to the eradication of cancer. At C-Change, she worked closely with former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush, the founding honorary co-chairs of the organization, and Senator Dianne Feinstein, the founding honorary vice-chair. In 2006, she founded her own independent health care consulting firm, CurranCare. She founded and served as CEO of Best on Board, a national organization focused on educating and certifying health care trustees, from 2010 until the time of her death.

Always dedicated to higher learning and supporting the next generation of nurses, Connie served on the board of the National Student Nurses Association. In a recent interview, she offered aspiring nurses the following advice: “Challenge self-limiting beliefs about what you can accomplish. Nurses have unlimited potential.”

In her 67 years, Connie inspired us all by demonstrating her own unlimited potential every day. We will miss her dearly.”

Another memorial comes from Kathleen Corbett Freimuth, Editor of Nursing Dimensions, the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing quarterly e-newsletter.

“The University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing is profoundly saddened to lose an alumna, dear friend, and supporter. Curran, a 1969 graduate of the School of Nursing’s baccalaureate program, was a stalwart supporter of the school in its pursuit of the dream to build Signe Skott Cooper Hall. Curran’s gift to support the construction of Cooper Hall and to endow a fund to support nursing student organizations merited the school’s naming of Curran Commons, Cooper Hall’s first-floor student lounge.

Attending the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing set Curran’s trajectory to become a respected health care scholar, entrepreneur, and nursing advocate. Attaining an MBA from Harvard Business School and a doctorate in education (EdD) from Northern Illinois University, Curran rose to prominence in health care executive leadership. She was co-founder and CEO of Best on Board, a Chicago-based national organization focuses on educating and certifying health care trustees and assisting hospitals and health systems with board and governance issues. Additionally, she sat on numerous hospital governing boards in the Chicago area and on organizational boards, including the University of Wisconsin Foundation Board of Directors.

Curran once said, ‘You must have a passionate mission.’ For her, it was nursing.”

The community of INANE offers our sincerest condolences to Connie’s family and friends…..and keeps them in our prayers and thoughts.

Invisible Nurse Redux


This was posted on the HealthCetera blog–I wanted to share with my INANE colleagues. –LHN

Originally posted on HealthCetera - CHMP's Blog:

leslie nicollThis post is written by Leslie H. Nicoll, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN  a passionate nurse, wife, and mother. She lives in Portland, Maine where she owns her own business, Maine Desk LLC. She is the Editor-in-Chief of CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing and Editor of Nurse Author & Editor. Dr. Nicoll is an advocate for the poor and vulnerable in our society and lives this mission by working 2 1/2 days per week as the Coordinator at the Portland Community Free Clinic. Dr. Nicoll was very proud to be inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in October 2014. 

Kaci Hickox, the nurse who was quarantined in a tent in New Jersey for four days, has become a household name—sort of. What isn’t as well publicized are her educational credentials and expertise. Nurse Hickox is presented as “just a nurse” and if one is to believe the comments…

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INANE Member in the News: Patricia Yoder-Wise

New Treasurer for National League for Nursing


Patricia Yoder-Wise

Washington, DC- A new treasurer was sworn into office on Friday, September 20 at the NLN’s annual Business Meeting.Patricia Yoder-Wise, EdD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, ANEF, was installed as Board of Governors (BOG) treasurer.

“I am always awed by the enthusiasm of colleagues to step up to the responsibility of board service, and this year is no exception,” said NLN CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN, in congratulating the winners of the 2014 NLN elections. “On the League’s behalf, I extend a warm welcome to the newest additions to the BOG. I look forward to a productive year.”

Added NLN President Marsha Howell Adams, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, a professor and the dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Alabama in Huntsville: “The talent, expertise, and collective years of leadership in nursing education that our board represents will continue to enhance the NLN’s effectiveness as it moves forward to promote excellence in nursing education to build a strong and diverse nursing workforce to advance the health of our nation and the global community.”

Patricia Yoder-Wise, dean emerita and professor emerita of the Health Sciences Center School of Nursing at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, was a 2012 winner of the prestigious NLN Award for Outstanding Leadership in Nursing Education. She has touched the careers of many colleagues and aspiring nurse educators through her writing, which includes the well-known volume, Leading and Managing in Nursing; numerous scholarly articles; and 25 years as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing: Continuing Competence for the Future and for three years ofNursing Forum. Although retired from the Texas Tech administration since 2000, Dr. Yoder-Wise remains active in nursing organizations and continues to teach at Texas Tech, Texas Woman’s University, and the University of Texas in San Antonio. She has served as president of the Texas Nurses Association and the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and treasurer of the American Academy of Nursing.

Call for Editor-in-Chief: IJNP

IJNP Header

Applications are invited for the position of
Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Nursing Practice

The current Editor-in-Chief, Professor Alan Pearson, has retired and stepped down after founding and leading the journal for 20 years. We are therefore seeking applications for this prestigious position with one of the world-leading international nursing journals published by Wiley-Blackwell, part of John Wiley & Sons. Ideally, the successful candidate would take over this position from January 1st 2015.

IJNP is a fully refereed journal publishing original scholarly work that advances the international understanding and development of nursing both as a profession and academic discipline. The Journal focuses on research and professional discussion papers with a sound scientific, theoretical or philosophical base.

The successful candidate for the position of Editor will be recognized internationally for his or her academic and research achievements, will have worked at a strategic level within academia or healthcare, and will have an impressive track record of publications and presentations at conferences. The ideal candidate will possess the following skills and knowledge:

  • Leadership qualities
  • Professional standing
  • Sound scientific judgment
  • Broad knowledge of nursing on an international level
  • Awareness of trends and standards within knowledge dissemination
  • Awareness of international ethics and standards for journal publishing
  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • Ability to work to tight deadlines
  • Previous experience in Editor-type role

The main functions within this role are: leadership, manuscript handling and quality control, strategic development, and journal promotion. The post involves working closely with the Publisher and the Associate Editors.

Applicants should note that this position requires a weekly commitment of time, with additional days required for meetings. The Editor can be based in any international location but preferably in Australia or the Asia-Pacific region. The successful candidate will start work on the journal in January 2015 or sooner depending on commitments.

Applications should include a curriculum vitae, a short assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of IJNP, and an accompanying letter outlining the skills you would bring to this position and your vision for this Journal and how you would like to see it develop in the future.

A description of the role and information about the journal is available on request.

Please send your application, in confidence, to:
Sophie Suelzle, Wiley, Cremorne Street, Richmond Victoria 3121, Australia.
Email to: ssuelzle@wiley.com

Applications to arrive no later than 21st November 2014.

Applications for the Mentoring Editors Awards are Now Being Accepted!

Hello Everyone!

Applications for the Suzanne Smith Mentoring Editors Awards for INANE 2015 are now being accepted. Click here to be taken to the application page.

SS_photoThis Awards program was inaugurated for INANE 2014. Named in honor of long-time INANE colleague and friend to many, Suzanne Smith, the awards recognize her passion for mentoring and supporting others. The awards provide complimentary registration for four aspiring or novice editors to attend INANE 2015. In addition, each awardee is paired with a mentor who provides guidance and networking opportunities before, during, and after the conference.

Last year’s Mentoring Editors Awards program was extremely successful. You can read about the award winners here. In an informal evaluation, the awardees had high praise for their experience at the conference as well as the guidance of their mentors. A few of their comments include:

Attending INANE 2014 was very valuable for my insight about what it takes and what it means to be an editor. It provided an overview of the role and challenges in the editorial world.

I met the other candidates who received the awards and I think, based on my modest experience as a researcher and future editor, that the awards were well-deserved.

The conference was very helpful. I adore my mentor–she has been extraordinary.

The Mentoring Editors Awards are supported by INANE members and others who have generously contributed to the Suzanne Smith Development Fund. While we have enough money to support this program for the immediate future, donations are always gratefully accepted. Click here to donate to the fund for 2014-2015 and be listed on the honor roll of donors!

If you are interested in applying for one of the Mentoring Editors Awards, here are a few important details:

  • Applications are open now and will be accepted until February 1, 2015. Winners will be announced on March 1, 2015.
  • Award winners will receive a complimentary registration to INANE 2015 (value $495) and are expected to attend the conference. Additional expenses, including travel, hotel, meals, and incidentals are the responsibility of the award winner.
  • The award is not transferable.
  • The program is designed for new or aspiring editors, authors, peer reviewers, and others who have an interest in dissemination of nursing knowledge through the published literature. Seasoned or experienced editors are not eligible. Note: if you are seasoned editor who would like to serve as a mentor, contact Leslie to express your interest!
  • Winners will be asked to provide a photograph and brief bio to be posted on the INANE 2015 website.

If you need more information, please contact me using the Contact Form or by email: Leslie@medesk.com

Thank you! We look forward to reading the applications in the coming months!

On behalf of the Mentoring Editors Awards Committee for INANE 2015,

Leslie Nicoll, Chair
Lucy Bradley-Springer
Susan Carroll
Jan Fulton

On Sale Now: The Prince of Los Cocuyos by Richard Blanco

download (2)Richard Blanco, our closing speaker at INANE 2014, mentioned his forthcoming memoir several times during his presentation. It has been released today and is available in both hardback and e-book versions. From the publisher:

A poignant, hilarious, and inspiring memoir from the first Latino and openly gay inaugural poet, which explores his coming-of-age as the child of Cuban immigrants and his attempts to understand his place in America while grappling with his burgeoning artistic and sexual identities.

Richard Blanco’s childhood and adolescence were experienced between two imaginary worlds: his parents’ nostalgic world of 1950s Cuba and his imagined America, the country he saw on reruns of The Brady Bunchand Leave it to Beaver—an “exotic” life he yearned for as much as he yearned to see “la patria.”

Navigating these worlds eventually led Blanco to question his cultural identity through words; in turn, his vision as a writer—as an artist—prompted the courage to accept himself as a gay man. In this moving, contemplative memoir, the 2013 inaugural poet traces his poignant, often hilarious, and quintessentially American coming-of-age and the people who influenced him.

A prismatic and lyrical narrative rich with the colors, sounds, smells, and textures of Miami, Richard Blanco’s personal narrative is a resonant account of how he discovered his authentic self and ultimately, a deeper understanding of what it means to be American. His is a singular yet universal story that beautifully illuminates the experience of “becoming;” how we are shaped by experiences, memories, and our complex stories: the humor, love, yearning, and tenderness that define a life.

Advance praise for the book is extremely positive:

“A warm, emotionally intimate memoir.” —Kirkus

“Blanco has a natural, unforced style that allows his characters’ vibrancy and humor to shine through.” —Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“Forged from truth and grace, Blanco has crafted a deeply compelling and moving memoir about place, self and family.” —Augusten Burroughs, author of This Is How and Running With Scissors

“The Prince of Los Cocuyos had me laughing time and again with its warm, sweetly self-deprecating portrait of an immigrant family attempting to straddle Cuban traditions and American trends.” —Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree

“Thank you, Richard, for this. The Prince of los Cocuyos is revelation and homecoming.” —Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street

“I adored every minute spent with young ‘Riqui’ and his endearing extended family. And at the end-an ending so beautiful and throat-catching-I felt wonderfully drenched in love.” —Monica Wood, author of When We Were the Kennedys

“Filled with colorful characters, often poignant and sometimes melancholy, Blanco’s episodic memoir is a meditation on belonging, on self-acceptance, and on his family’s almost mystical connection to Cuba.” —Booklist

“Blanco’s touching reminiscence has a deep emotional truth.” —Bookpage

Learn more at the Publisher’s page for the book. If you like to shop at Amazon, here’s the link.

Welcome a New Author to the Blog: Nancy Browne

I am pleased to welcome a new author to the INANE Nursing Editors blog–Nancy Browne! Nancy is on the Editorial Board of the newly launched Journal of Pediatric Surgical Nursing. She attended INANE 2014 and found it such a fantastic experience that she is eager to stay involved with activities during the year. I am thrilled that Nancy is eager to learn more about blogging and share her knowledge and experience with us!

Nancy Browne, MS, PNP-BC, CBN

Nancy Browne, MS, PNP-BC, CBN

As a little bit of background: Nancy is a pediatric nurse practitioner with over 20 years of experience in pediatric surgical nursing. Her interest in nursing education and publication is reflected in the following professional activities: American Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association (APSNA) Publication Chair and publisher of the APSNA newsletter 1993-1997 and Editor of Nursing Care of the Pediatric Surgical Patient (2nd & 3rd Ed.). Nancy has written on bias and discrimination of obese children, weight management for children and adolescents, and writing for publication.

Nancy lives in Falmouth, Maine with her husband Allen and their two Maine Coon cats, O’Malley and Padraig. Please welcome Nancy to the INANE blog by leaving a comment on this post!

Nurse Author & Editor: September Issue Published!

smaller bannerI am happy to announce that the September 2014 issue of Nurse Author & Editor has been published and is available online. If you are not already a subscriber, you can register at the website–the newsletter is available at no charge. I encourage all INANE members and friends to subscribe.

This is an exciting issue for me, in several ways. First, it is my first issue as the Editor, taking over the role from Dr. Marilyn Oermann. Second, I am very pleased with the line-up in the issue, with excellent articles written by Cynthia Saver, Thomas Long, Jacqueline Owens, and Thomas Long.


Dr. Sally Thorne

Third, and perhaps most importantly, the lead article is Predatory Publishing: What Editors Need to Know written by the INANE Predatory  Publishing Practices Collaborative. This article is a direct outcome from our discussion at the INANE meeting in August around issues related to open access, predatory publishers, and traps for unwary authors. It is exciting that our group has gone from discussion to publication in less than seven weeks. I am proud to share this article with INANE and the larger writing and publishing community of nurses. I offer my thanks to the members of the Collaborative for providing content and thoughtful comments and special thanks to Sally Thorne, Editor of Nursing Inquiry for her leadership in pulling this together so quickly and professionally.

As we discussed at the INANE meeting, editors are free to use this document to craft editorials for their respective journals. Similar to the Future of Nursing initiative a few years ago, the goal is to have these editorials reach beyond our members and inform nurses in a broader way about the issues that must be carefully considered around open access and predatory publishers.

If you are an editor and want to use some (or all) of this article in an editorial for your journal, you have permission to do so. There are just three requests that go with use:

  • Please reference the article as follows:
    • INANE Predatory Publishing Practices Collaborative. (2014). Predatory Publishing: What Editors Need to Know, Nurse Author & Editor24(3), 1.
  • Please include a link to the original article:
  • Please send a citation and copy of the editorial to me when it is published. I will keep track and have a report at the INANE 2015 meeting of how widely this content was distributed.

As I say in my Editorial for the issue, I have a goal to strengthen the relationship between INANE and Nurse Author & Editor and I believe publishing this article is a big step in that direction. I look forward to hearing from my INANE colleagues about their editorials and overall thoughts on this initiative.


Leslie H. Nicoll, PhD, MBA, RN
Editor, Nurse Author & Editor
Editor-in-Chief, CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing