From the Editor

Besides being the month that honors St. Patrick and includes the first day of spring, March is National Endometriosis Awareness Month. Endometriosis affects some 5 million women in the U.S. and although the first line of treatment is hormonal therapy, some cases are treated with surgery, making the condition pertinent to our audience. See below for an overview, news, videos, and an all-new crossword puzzle focusing on endometriosis and the uterus.

As a nurse, you are already helping other people on a daily basis . . . but, like many other healthcare workers, you may be drawn to contribute even more, and in a different way, from time to time. Coming up April 10-16 is National Volunteer Week—a time to inspire, recognize and encourage people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities. We’re telling you about it now so you time to make plans if you’d like to participate.

Here are two sites where you can search for volunteer opportunities in your community:
Points of Light
Volunteer Match

Our student spotlight this month is John Russell, RN, MSN, APN, FNP-BC, CCRN, of Rockmont, IL.

And read on for jobs we’ve collected for you, NIFA’s favorite links, and more.

Happy spring!


Julie Lancaster, Editor

Endometriosis Overview

Endometriosis is a common women’s health problem in which endometrium, the tissue that normally lines the uterus, grows outside the uterus.

According to the Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this tissue may appear on the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, or other parts of the reproductive system; on the bowel, bladder, or rectum; or, rarely, on other parts of the body, such as the lungs, brain and skin. Symptoms often include pain, bleeding between periods, infertility and/or stomach problems. At least 5 million women in the U.S. have endometriosis and research shows a link between the condition and other health problems, such as allergies and asthma, autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, and certain cancers.

There is no cure for endometriosis, although the painful symptoms and growths usually recede after menopause. The first step in treatment is generally hormonal therapy, but for those not receiving relief from hormonal therapy or experiencing fertility problems, surgery is sometimes used. Surgical treatments, as reported by the National Institutes of Health, include Laparoscopy, in which the surgeon finds and excises or cauterizes the lesions, and Laparotomy, a major abdominal surgery procedure in which the surgeon may remove the endometriosis patches and may also perform a partial or hysterectomy.

Click here to read about research activities and scientific advances on endometriosis from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Endometriosis Case Studies

Strategies and Steps for the Surgical Management of Endometriosis

“Should endometriomas be simply drained? Drained and coagulated? Or resected? Should implants be resected, or ablated? And is surgery a concluding phase of care, or just the beginning?” These questions are explored in an article covering several case studies, complete with photos and videos, prepared by Dr. Anthony A. Luciano, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Director of the Center for Fertility and Women’s Health, New Britain, Conn., and two co-authors, published on


U.S. Doctors Attempt Uterus TransplantOn February 24, in a nine-hour surgery, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic completed the first US transplant of a uterus into a woman who was born without one, so she could become pregnant and give birth.  Read more…

On March 11, the doctors announced that the procedure had failed due to a sudden complication; they did not explain what specifically had failed. The transplant was removed and the patient survived. This was the first of 10 transplants planned as a clinical trial. “If any of the transplants are successful, the procedure could make pregnancies possible for women who were born without a uterus or lost their uterus to disease or an accident,” writes Mahita Gajanan of The Guardian.  Read more…

In Sweden: Several Uterus Transplants Have Given Parents Healthy Babies

Several women in Sweden who have had uterine transplants have given birth to healthy babies. In 2014, in what was hailed as a huge step in fertility and reproduction science, doctors announced that a woman had given birth to a baby boy less than two years after she received a uterus transplant. The new mother, 36, had been born without a uterus, so another woman, 61, donated her womb several years after she had gone through menopause. Read more…

Click here to read a scientific article about the case:  Read more…

Perioperative Puzzle: Endometriosis & Uterus
Lungs_CrosswordTest your knowledge of endometriosis and uterine anatomy and surgeries with this month’s crossword puzzle.

When you’re ready to check your answers, follow this link to see how well you did. Good luck!



Student Spotlight: John Russell

IMG_2246_John_RussellName: John M Russell

Credentials: RN, MSN, APN, FNP-BC, CCRN

Student Status: Currently in Doctorate of Nursing Practice program at Mennonite College of Nursing, anticipating graduation Aug 2016!

City and State: Rockford, IL

Current Position: Cardiothoracic Surgery Nurse Practitioner

“I came into the Suture Star Summit 6 day course this past October with minimal suturing or operating room experience. To make matters worse, I am left-handed and working in cardiothoracic surgery opposite a right-handed surgeon, that is a losing combination. The best technique I can give credit to NIFA for is by the end of my Suture Star Summit, I was able to comfortably and ambidextrously suture, and consistently now suture everything right­ handed.”

Read John’s whole story here…


Click here for the RNFA job postings we’ve collected for you this month.

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