Dr. Sabita Persaud, Notre Dame of Maryland University’s Associate Dean of Nursing, has been named the editor of The Maryland Nurse, a peer-review journal. The journal is a publication of the Maryland Nurses Association, a state-wide non-profit, professional membership organization for Registered Nurses in Maryland that provides direction and a voice for the profession of nursing in Maryland. The journal publishes four times per year and distributes to all registered nurses in the state, nursing libraries and state legislative offices – approximately 77,000.
“The publication is one way in the state to give a voice to the nurses in Maryland, connect with what they are thinking, seeing and experiencing that is specific to their work here in Maryland,” shared Persaud.
Dr. Persaud’s vision for the publication is to provide more relevant content, soliciting more stories of the nurses and sharing their experiences working in the field. Recently, she leveraged the journal to highlight the tremendous work of the nurses working through COVID-19 to propel the profession and elevate the perceived importance of a nurse’s role in healthcare. It is her hope that a positive outcome of COVID-19 and the visibility it provides for the nursing profession will spur interest in the field and help address the industry’s shortage in the mid-Atlantic.
“I would like to see more media coverage of nurses and the important role they play in healthcare. If COVID-19 leads to anything positive, I hope it will be to generate an interest in nursing. While the mid-Atlantic is experiencing a slight shortage in registered nurses, we need to further diversify the candidate pool to attract more males and more Latinx,” states Persaud. Males represent just 11% of registered nurses, and Latinx, just 4%.
According to Persaud, nurses receive just 2% of healthcare-related media coverage, yet nurses outnumber doctors 8 to 1. Nurses are not considered experts, and she aims to showcase the expertise of nurses and leverage COVID-19 to amplify the voices of nurses in Maryland.
Under her direction, the publication has several new sections including a Letter to the Editor and a specialty spotlight to highlight the work of nurses in fields such as forensics and education. These new sections are intended to further amplify the voices of nurses and build awareness for the diversity of the profession.
“I am intentionally working to highlight all the faces of nursing – diversity across the state, not just by gender and culture, but also geography – nursing in urban environments can be very different than nursing in rural areas. The Maryland Nurse represents all nurses,” shares Persaud.