Dear OADN Members:
Happy April Fool’s Day! I can hardly believe March is over and spring is upon us. For some reason, I always think of the month of March as the month with major wind gusts. I have to say for OADN the month of March has been a true whirlwind of amazing representations and meetings. I think it is important from time to time to share the events of one month so everyone has an understanding of OADN’s activities.
It began on March 1 in Washington, DC with the Nurses on Boards Coalition (NOBC) and the Leap into Leadership campaign. As you may recall, the NOBC represents nursing and other organizations working to build healthier communities in the United States by increasing nurses’ presence on corporate, health-related, and other boards, panels, and commissions. Nurses bring a unique set of skills not found in other professions and play a crucial role in developing high-quality systems of care that offer better outcomes and increased satisfaction for people, families and communities. It’s for these reasons that we are working to help the profession “leap into leadership.” Thank you to all of you who have gone to the NOBC website to be counted. If you have not done so previously, I encourage you to visit www.nursesonboardscoalition.org
Next stop was sunny San Diego and presenting to the California Organization for Deans and Directors. Thank you California for such a warm welcome and great conference! Traveling the country and meeting with associate degree nursing educators is truly one of the aspects I enjoy most about my position. Everyone is passionate about their work and engaged in the important work in educating the nursing workforce of tomorrow.
On March 14, it was time to travel to the opposite coast to Washington, DC for the OADN Board of Directors meeting and Capitol Hill visits. The time in DC began with attending the nursing caucus sponsored by the Nursing Community. OADN Board members Cynthia Casey, Christy Dryer, and Arlene Jones attended with me. It was a wonderful experience and we were pleased OADN was able to represent all of you. March 16 took the OADN Board of Directors and chapter representatives, Valerie Browne-Krimsley (Florida), Pam Mammano (Illinois), and Nancy Perry (Maryland) to Capitol Hill to visit our congressional representatives to advocate for associate degree nursing (ADN) education and the Nursing Workforce Development Programs.
These programs are part of the Public Health Service Act, Title VIII funding which are extremely important to nursing education. These programs provide funding for a variety of programs including: the Advanced Nursing Education Grants, Nursing Workforce Diversity, Nurse Faculty Loan Program, Comprehensive Geriatric Education, Nurse Corps Loan Repayment and Scholarship Program, Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention Program, as well as the Advance Nurse Traineeships.
The one-on-one conversations with the Congressional representatives provided an opportunity to discuss the importance of the ADN pathway. The meetings were extremely beneficial and important as we continue to advocate for associate degree nursing and academic progression.
The OADN Board of Directors continued their time in DC with a lengthy Board meeting. As always, the Board was diligent in completing extraordinary work. At this Board meeting, we welcomed newly appointed public board member, Dr. Suzanne Miyamoto. Her expertise in health policy and government affairs will truly add a new dimension to the Board. Thank you to all the Board members for all your creative thoughts and innovative strategies as we continue to move OADN to the national forefront.
The time is DC was invigorating, but now it was off to the windy city of Chicago to the Community College Baccalaureate Association (CCBA). CCBA is an important partner and in the last few years, it has become increasingly aware and supportive of the need for community colleges to confer the nursing baccalaureate degree. CCBA focuses not only on conferral of baccalaureate degrees at the community college, but on academic progression, articulation agreements, distance learning, and university centers. This year, there was a record eight sessions on nursing. Thank you to all my nursing colleagues who presented and those who attended. I saw numerous OADN members at the conference, and there continues to be a great deal of interest in innovative academic progression models and community colleges being given the opportunity to confer the baccalaureate degree. The presence of members brings visual representation of OADN’s engagement at the national level. It was so exciting to see all of you!
CCBA came to a close and now it was time to catch the tail wind and head back to DC to attend the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) spring conference as an invited guest. I would like to acknowledge AACN CEO and President, Dr. Deb Trautman in her collaborative approach in working with OADN. It is only through honesty, transparency, and collaboration that the nursing profession will be able to move forward. I applaud AACN for their work with OADN and look forward to working with the new chair, Dr. Juliann Sebastian. I enjoyed networking with many individuals, although the highlight truly was returning to Capitol Hill for the Congressional nursing education reception. There is something so powerful about being in the congressional buildings on the Hill, especially in these tumultuous times across our world. I am very proud to be an American and a nurse, representing the largest healthcare profession in the country, 3.4 million strong.
The final stop for March was the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) in Orlando and presenting to the next generation of nurses on leadership. What an amazing experience to stand in front of 3,500 student nurses and feel their enthusiasm for our profession.
I hope the winds calm for a brief moment, but April is another exciting month of representing each of you!
Take care and as always my best to each of you,
Donna Meyer, MSN, RN, ANEF