Event Details

The American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) reports that there is a growing body of research that shows that creating and maintaining a healthy work environment is critical to ensuring a strong future for America's healthcare system. Creating and sustaining a healthy work environment requires intentional effort and concrete action steps. It is a journey, not a sprint, that requires long-term organizational culture change throughout all levels of the organization.

While violence in the workplace can occur across many industries and professions, this issue disproportionately impacts the healthcare workforce. Healthcare workers are five times more likely to sustain a workplace violence injury than other professions. in 2018, 73 percent of all nonfatal workplace violence-related injuries involved healthcare workers. Even with such a high reported prevalence, the incidence of workplace violence is likely even higher due to underreporting. Workplace violence in healthcare settings has become an increasing problem in recent years, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, which presented unique challenges for both patients and providers.

In addition to violence that healthcare workers may experience from patients, families, or visitors, horizontal violence is also prevalent in healthcare. Horizontal violence can be defined as hostile, aggressive and harmful behaviors toward coworkers via attitudes, actions, words, or other behaviors such as bullying, incivility, or hazing. while this can occur across all healthcare professions, nurses are especially impacted, with one study estimating that 22 to 44 percent of nurses experience bullying at some point in their professional careers.

Please join ONLNJ in exploring how Nurse Leaders can effectively improve, cultivate and sustain a"Healthy Work Environment".

Participants will hear from Keynote Presenter, Dennis Mcintee, the best selling author of "The 8 Qualities of Drama Free Teams", who will hold an interactive session with participants, offering effective techniques that will enact transformation of your current teams to create a sustainable high-trust and high-performance culture; Elizabeth G Rudolph, JD, MSN, RN, PINC, will impart the most current laws and how they affect your nursing practiceand assist you on building a nurse leader legal skill set; Paul M. Sarnese, MSE, MAS, CHPA, CAPM, owner of Secured & Prepared Consulting, LLC and Past President for the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety, will share evidenced-based and proven best practices on how to mitigate health care violence; and Endnote Presenter, Renee Thompson, DNP, RN, FAAN, CSP, will lead a discussion on developing and cultivating a healthy workforce, by addressing bullying and incivility and will offer practical strategies and tools for healthcare leaders that can be immediately implemented to address workplace violence, bullying, and incivility within their care environment

Target Audience: Nurse managers, nursing coordinators, assistant nurse managers, clinical nurses, chief nursing officers, vice presidents of patient care, assistant vice presidents of nursing, administrative directors, directors of nursing, aspiring nurse leaders, new ONL NJ mentors and mentees, Nursing Workplace Environment Staffing Council members, university deans. nurse educators, nurse researchers and scientists, post-acute leaders and nursing home administrators.

Learner Outcome: At the conclusion of this educational event, the learner will gain knowledge on the critical challenges of improving and sustaining a healthy work environment and will self-report confidence in adopting at least two key strategies to improve and sustain a healthy work environment in challenging times, which may be transferable to their practice and/or organization.

Eighty percent of the learners will report that they have confidence in implementing at least two key strategies to improve and sustain a healthy work environment in challenging times, which may be transferable to their practice and/or organization.

Successful completion of the course is defined as in-person attendance for 100 percent of the didactic learning session and a completed course evaluation.

Continuing Nursing Education Credits: This activity has been submitted to the American Association of Critical Care Nurses for approval to award contact hours. The American Association of Critical Care Nurses is accredited as an approver of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.


  • May 2, 2024

  • May 3, 2024

7:45 AM - 8:55 AM
Preconference Activities
Conference attendees check-in, enjoy breakfast and visit vendor exhibits and poster presentations.
8:55 AM - 9:00 AM
President's Welcome
Dr. Mary Jo Loughlin, president ONL NJ, gives opening remarks and welcome to all participants and sponsors to officially open the conference.
9:00 AM - 10:15 AM
Keynote Address
Drama Free Teams in Healthcare
10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
Healthy Work Culture Interactive Session
Building a Healthy Work Culture Workshop
11:15 AM - 11:45 AM
Vendor Exhibits and Poster Session
Participants visit vendors' exhibits and poster presentations.
11:45 AM - 12:00 PM
President's Annual Report
Dr. Mary Jo Loughlin reports on the activities and state of ONL NJ.
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Luncheon, Vendor Exhibits and Poster Presentations
Enjoy lunch in the Gratella room, network with colleagues, visit vendor exhibits and poster presentations.
1:30 PM - 2:00 PM
A Statewide Study of Nurses' Perception of the Work Environment at Hospitals in New Jersey
The primary investigators present the latest research on the Nursing Workplace Environment and Staffing Council (NWESC) initiative. The discussion will cover the findings from the pre-NWESC ...
The primary investigators present the latest research on the Nursing Workplace Environment and Staffing Council (NWESC) initiative. The discussion will cover the findings from the pre-NWESC Qualitative Study measuring the Healthy Work Environment standards over a three-year period, and will provide an overview of the outcomes from the recent study. The most recent study examined nurses' perception of the healthy work environment at hospitals across New Jersey.
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2:00 PM - 2:45 PM
What Does a Healthy Work Environment Mean to You
Participants will be engaged in an interactive session as they creatively design the visual definition of a healthy work environment.
2:45 PM - 3:00 PM
Afternoon Break
3:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Cultivating Healthy Work Environments in New Jersey
I'm Falling Asleep on My Drive Home: A Call to Action
3:30 PM - 4:15 PM
Cultivating Healthy Work Environments in New Jersey
Reduction of Documentation Burden and Its Impact on Nursing
4:15 PM - 4:20 PM
Closing Remarks
Mary Jo Loughlin, president, will wrap up and adjourn day one of the conference.


  • Mary Jo Loughlin (CNO Senior VP Patient Care Services at Hunterdon Health)

    Mary Jo Loughlin

    CNO Senior VP Patient Care Services at Hunterdon Health

    Mary Jo Loughlin, DNP, RN, NEA-BC
    After graduating high school, Mary Jo Loughlin attended and Graduated from Somerset Technical Institute as an LPN and began working at Hunterdon Medical Center. She immediately enrolled in an accelerated program at Raritan Valley Community College and obtained her RN degree. She continued to work as a staff RN at Hunterdon Medical Center and developed her leadership skills. She obtained her BSN from Gwynedd-Mercy College, her Master’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University and her DNP from Thomas Edison State University.
    Mary Jo has held multiple nursing leadership positions in the organization and is currently the Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services at Hunterdon Healthcare. She is actively involved in the Magnet process as a Magnet Steering Committee member and has been a document writer for the past three designations, including the current designation.
    In addition, she has held several leadership positions in professional organizations that include, Co-Chair Nurse Manager Advisory Committee for NJHA; Co-Chair Organization of Nurse Leaders (ONL) NJ Mentorship Committee and is currently a board member for ONL NJ. Dr. Loughlin will serve as president of ONL NJ for the 2024-2025 term.

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  • Dennis McIntee (Keynote Speaker, Consultant, and Author at Leadership Development Group)

    Dennis McIntee

    Keynote Speaker, Consultant, and Author at Leadership Development Group

    Dennis travels across the world speaking at leadership summits, management training events and healthcare conferences, to name a few. His three-decade career included stints in Africa, Poland, Germany, and throughout greater Europe where he coached and consulted with growing leaders. Through his experience, Dennis developed a systematic approach to helping his clients reach their goals through coaching, speaking, courses, and teaching techniques that enact transformational change.
    Ultimately, Dennis is passionate about helping leaders create high-trust, high-performance cultures while becoming the best version of themselves they can be.
    Dennis is also the author of The 8 Qualities of Drama Free Teams, The Power of Pursuit, and Drama Free Teams in Healthcare.

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  • Kari Mastro (Director of Penn Medicine)

    Kari Mastro

    Director of Penn Medicine

    Kari A. Mastro PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN is the Director of Practice, Innovation and Research, Penn Medicine Princeton Health

    Dr. Mastro is responsible for practice, innovation and research across Penn Medicine Princeton Health. She also serves as faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. As a national leader and scientist, Dr. Mastro contributions at state-international levels span executive leadership, care delivery, and health policy. She has focused her career on ensuring the care provided to women and children is of supreme quality regardless of where care is provided and who is providing that care. Her research and leadership in patient- and family-centered care delivery models has transformed and bridged the gap in care while addressing modern issues confronting children’s health. As an advocate for nursing and children's healthcare, Dr. Mastro leads local, regional, and national board initiatives maximizing care and minimizing childhood morbidity and mortality. She has received many awards for her work, is well published in the fields of nursing leadership, children’s healthcare, and patient- and family-centered care and speaks nationally and internationally on these topics.
    Dr. Mastro received her BSN from The Catholic University of America, her MSN from Seton Hall University, and her Ph.D. in Nursing at the University of Colorado.

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  • Susan Weaver (Nurse Scientist at Hackensack Meridian Health)

    Susan Weaver

    Nurse Scientist at Hackensack Meridian Health

    Susan H. Weaver, PhD, RN, CRNI, NEA-BC

    Susan Heidenwolf Weaver is a nurse scientist at the Ann May Center for Nursing at Hackensack Meridian Health and the New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing, the state nursing workforce center. As a nurse scientist, Weaver’s program of research is on the nursing workforce, particularly underrepresented groups such as administrative supervisors, licensed practical nurses, and nurses working the night shift.

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  • Helene Burns (Chief Nurse Executive at AtlantiCare Health)

    Helene Burns

    Chief Nurse Executive at AtlantiCare Health

    Helene Burns, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAONL, FAAN
    Chief Nurse Executive, AtlantiCare Health
    With more than 40 years of experience in the healthcare industry, Helene Burns, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAONL, FAAN, is the Chief Nurse Executive @ AtlantiCare, an integrated health system in Atlantic County, New Jersey. Dr. Burns joined AtlantiCare, a five-time Magnet Designated® organization, in December of 2023. She oversees nursing care for 1,700 nursing staff, 628 hospital licensed beds, and more than 100 locations in five southern New Jersey counties. Dr. Burns is a member of the Organization of Nurse Leaders - New Jersey (ONL-NJ). She serves on the board and was President for the 2022-2023 term. Dr. Burns was selected as an American Academy of Nursing Inductee in the 2023 Class of New Fellows as a distinguished nurse leader recognized for substantial, sustained, and outstanding impact on health and health care. In 2024, Dr. Burns was selected as an American Organization of Nurse Leaders (AONL) Fellow – recognizing her exemplary leadership to the specialty of nursing leadership and to AONL.

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  • Marie Foley-Danecker (Vice President, Chief Nursing Officer at Hackensack Meridian Health Ocean University Medical Center)

    Marie Foley-Danecker

    Vice President, Chief Nursing Officer at Hackensack Meridian Health Ocean University Medical Center

    Marie Foley-Danecker, DNP, MSN, RN, CCRN, NE-BC is the Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Ocean University Medical Center, Hackensack Meridian Health.

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  • Mary Ann Donohue-Ryan (Manager, Administration at Atlantic Health System Chilton Medical Center)

    Mary Ann Donohue-Ryan

    Manager, Administration at Atlantic Health System Chilton Medical Center

    Mary Ann Donohue-Ryan, PhD, RN, APN, PMHCNS-BC, CPHQ, FACHE

    She currently holds the position of manager, Nursing Administration, at Chilton Medical Center, Atlantic Health System; she is also an adjunct professor in the graduate and DNP programs at William Paterson University, and an ANA Enterprise Consultant for Magnet/Pathway, and the Associate Editor and Board Member of the journal, Nursing Economic$.

    Dr. Donohue-Ryan’s work related to clinical nurses’ documentation burden reduction is as Principal Investigator of this IRB-approved, system-wide research project.

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  • Mildred Kowalski (Nurse Researcher and Manager of the Center for Nursing Innovation and Research at Morristown Medical Center - Atlantic Health System)

    Mildred Kowalski

    Nurse Researcher and Manager of the Center for Nursing Innovation and Research at Morristown Medical Center - Atlantic Health System

    Mildred Kowalski, PhD, RN, NE-BC
    Mildred Ortu Kowalski has a PhD in Nursing Theory and Research from New York University and is the nurse researcher and manager of the Center for Nursing Innovation and Research at Morristown Medical Center, Atlantic Health System. In this role, she facilitates nursing evidence-based practice, quality improvement projects, research, and innovation. An Evidence Based Scholar Program and Designing Nurses Workshop are two ten-month programs that Dr. Kowalski spearheaded and are now offered through the Center for Nursing Innovation and Research.

    For this study, Dr. Kowalski served as Co-Investigator and she assisted with the study design, analytical plan, creation of the database for QR access by participants and data analysis.

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  • Natalie A. Peleg (Senior Manager, Information Technology, ISS-Clinical Systems at Atlantic Health System)

    Natalie A. Peleg

    Senior Manager, Information Technology, ISS-Clinical Systems at Atlantic Health System

    Natalie A. Peleg holds a Master of Science degree in Nursing Informatics, and has been in the EMR industry for over 10 years. Natalie has dedicated her career to improving the EMR experience for front line clinicians, particularly nursing and her current role is Senior Manager, Information Technology, ISS- Clinical Systems. As part of Atlantic Health System’s initiative to reduce the nursing documentation burden and promote Nurse Well-Being, Natalie’s role was to lead a clinically focused interdisciplinary workgroup to champion innovative change, challenging the long-standing norms of clinical documentation.

    Natalie also served as Co-Investigator for the Documentation Burden Reduction research study, and together with Denise Fochesto and Dr. Mary Ann Donohue-Ryan, was invited to speak at Epic XGM in 2023, to speak about the documentation reductions achieved in Epic.

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  • Sabeen Masih (Vice President of Public Affairs at Capital Impact Group)

    Sabeen Masih

    Vice President of Public Affairs at Capital Impact Group


    Sabeen Masih is the Vice President of Public Affairs at Capital Impact Group (CIG), where her policy expertise ranges from healthcare to animal welfare, while representing a variety of clients including Progressive Insurance, Girl Scouts of New Jersey, and the Wine Institute.

    While earning her Dual BA in History and Political Science and Minor in Spanish at Drexel University, Sabeen worked in Philadelphia on local and budgetary issues and on state campaigns as a Speech Writer. Sabeen earned a Masters of Public Policy from Rutgers, and as an Eagleton Fellow, she was placed in the NJ Department of Human Services, focusing on healthcare.

    Sabeen co-founded the growing Asian Women of Trenton Networking Group and is also a member of the Eagleton Alumni Committee, the Bipartisan Coalition for Women's Appointments (BCWA), and serves as a Mentor for: Rider Women’s Leadership Council at Rider University, Rutgers’ Road to Government, Policy and Service (RTGPS) program, and the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.

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  • Gene Mulroy (Principal at Capital Impact Group)

    Gene Mulroy

    Principal at Capital Impact Group


    Based in Trenton, New Jersey, Capital Impact Group (CIG) is a bipartisan government affairs firm that advocates for its clients at all levels of government. With a focus on healthcare, CIG represents clients’ interests on legislative, permitting and rulemaking matters. The firm is comprised of former public officials, agency professionals, and communications experts with an intimate knowledge of government and access to key decision makers in every realm of public policy. CIG Principal Gene Mulroy and his team have represented ONL, and formerly ONE, for more than a decade.

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  • Elizabeth Rudolph (Founder, Instructor, and CEO of JurexNurse.com)

    Elizabeth Rudolph

    Founder, Instructor, and CEO of JurexNurse.com


    Elizabeth Rudolph, JD, MSN, RN, PLNC

    Elizabeth Rudolph is an attorney and nurse who founded JurexNurse.com, a company that trains nurses to be certified as Professional Legal Nurse Consultants. Elizabeth obtained her Bachelor’s in Nursing, Master’s in Nursing, and law degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. She has been a nursing faculty member, and she has practiced law for many years in Memphis, TN.

    A nationally known speaker and author on legal issues in nursing, Elizabeth has provided presentations on legal topics in nursing at over two thousand conferences, seminars, and workshops.

    To reach Elizabeth, go to www.JurexNurse.com, on Facebook @JurexNurse, or on Instagram @jurexnurse.

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  • Paul Sarnese (Owner at Secured & Prepared Consulting, LLC)

    Paul Sarnese

    Owner at Secured & Prepared Consulting, LLC

    Paul M. Sarnese, MSE, MAS, CHPA, CAPM

    Paul is the owner of Secured & Prepared Consulting, LLC. He is a Certified Healthcare Protection Administrator and a Certified Associate Project Manager.
    Paul is the Past President for the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety.
    Paul was recognized as the 2022 Campus Safety-Healthcare Security Director of the Year.
    Paul participated as a Technical Advisor to the Joint Commission in developing the Workplace Violence Prevention Standards.
    Paul M. Sarnese has had leadership positions directing and managing safety, security, emergency management and operations in large health systems. Most recently Paul was the Assistant Vice President of Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness for large health system in New Jersey.
    Paul has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Rowan University, a Master’s Degree in Safety Engineering from Warren University and a Master’s in Administrative Science from Farleigh Dickinson University.
    Paul has been published in Campus Safety Magazine, govCIO Outlook, Total Security Advisor, Annals of Emergency Medicine, Journal of Emergency Nursing, Security Management Magazine, Journal of Emergency Nursing, HcPro, Journal of Healthcare Protection Management, and Hospital Safety and Security Management.
    In 2020, Paul was presented with the Russell L. Colling Literary Award from the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety for making a significant contribution to the healthcare security, safety, and/or risk management professions.

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  • Renee Thompson (CEO & Founder of Healthy Workforce Institute)

    Renee Thompson

    CEO & Founder of Healthy Workforce Institute


    Renee Thompson DNP, RN, FAAN, CSP
    CEO & Founder of the Healthy Workforce Institute

    Dr. Renee Thompson is the CEO & Founder of the Healthy Workforce Institute and works with healthcare organizations to cultivate a professional workforce by addressing bullying, and incivility. Renee has authored several books and is one of only 30 nurses in the world who have achieved the prestigious certified speaking professional designation. In 2018 she was recognized as one of LinkedIn’s Top Ten Voices in Healthcare for her contribution to their global online healthcare community and in 2022 and 2023 was identified as one of the top 5 Nurse Influencers on LinkedIn.
    Also in 2022, Renee was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing for her work to eradicate disruptive behaviors in healthcare.
    Renee and her team are on a mission to create a world where bullying and incivility are immediately rejected and kindness, respect and professionalism become the new norm.

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Platinum Sponsor
  • Symmetry Healthcare Strategies, LLC

    With easy-to-use software and over 100 staffing partners in our program, Symmetry is your simplified workforce solutions provider. ONE contract, ONE contact, ONE invoice and ONE accountable compliance partner – we’re your ONE-stop solution to all of your staffing challenges.

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Gold Sponsors
  • EBSCO Clinical Decisions

    EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) is the preeminent provider of online research content and search technologies serving academic, school, public, and medical libraries. The EBSCO Clinical Decisions suite of solutions gives health care providers worldwide evidence-based peace of mind in the form of clinical decision support, shared decision-making and skill development offerings. Flagship solutions including DynaMed®, DynaMedex®, DynaMed Decisions, and Dynamic Health™ are united across a familiar platform and supported by the same rigorous evidence-based methodology ensuring fast, trusted answers to clinical questions. Our mission is to improve patient care by providing health care professionals with trusted information when, where and how they need it.

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  • StaffGarden LLC

    Discover how Grow, the purpose-built, cloud-based platform for managing clinical professional advancement programs, can transform your organization. Join Magnet Hospitals across the country who have already switched from paper-based Clinical Ladder programs to our user-friendly, scalable online application. With Grow, programs have seen over 300% increase in user participation and improvements in engagement.

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  • Medtronic

    Medtronic Patient Monitoring

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  • Wolters Kluwer

    Wolters Kluwer N.V. is a Dutch information services company. The company serves legal, business, tax, accounting, finance, audit, risk, compliance, and healthcare markets. Wolters Kluwer in its current form was founded in 1987 with a merger between Kluwer Publishers and Wolters Samsom.

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  • Stryker

    Stryker Medical - Vocera communication devices, beds, stretchers, LIFEPAK defibs, Sage products

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  • Baxter Healthcare

    Infusion pumps (LVP and Syringe), bi-directional interoperability (AP and AD), and asset tracking
    Clinical Optimization package for customers > semiannual infusion analytics performance review and annual 8-hour clinical day

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  • Aceso Interactive

    Aceso develops software that enhances the patient experience, and simplifies care team workflow. The Aceso patented platform transforms the TV in the patient room into a customizable Pane of Glass that can display relevant information and services to streamline workflow and drive patient engagement and satisfaction.

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Silver Sponsors
  • Silentia Inc.

    "Silentia privacy screens are the leading alternative to
    privacy curtains. For over 30 years, Silentia has revolutionized patient privacy with
    the patented Silentia Screen System. Solid surface, modular screens made with
    durable materials that are easy to clean allow hospitals to improve infection control
    and reduce resource waste. All products can be cleaned in place with common
    disinfectants, contributing to faster room turnover, long-term cost savings, and increased patient safety."

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  • Nature Plus Inc

    NaturCare Odor Eliminators - Unscented & essential oil sprays for nursing use on and around patients. Naturally breaks down odors without leaving a lingering chemical smell.

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  • Seton Hall University

    Seton Hall University's College of Nursing provides a wide variety of undergraduate and nationally ranked graduate programs that have prepared students for leadership in the nursing industry since 1937. We are pioneers in evidence-based practice, servant leadership and cutting-edge technology, and encourage our students to integrate their values into their daily nursing practice.

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