Dear OADN Members:
The fall semester is now upon us! Life returns to that faster and familiar pace as the next academic year kicks into full gear. I hope that summer afforded you the opportunity to visit family, catch up with old friends, and take a little time for yourself after another busy semester. New cohorts of nursing students are fresh reminders of why we dedicate ourselves to educating and inspiring the future nursing workforce. Under your guidance and tutelage, these students will take formative steps on their journeys towards professional nursing careers. OADN is here to support you in that journey, as steadfast partner in our shared commitment to Associate Degree Nursing education.
This has been an exciting and eventful summer for OADN. I traveled to Barcelona, Spain to represent our organization at the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Congress, and also represented OADN at the National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s (NCSBN) General Assembly meeting during August in Chicago. Additionally this summer, we hired Bryan Hoffman, an experienced and dedicated friend of ADN education, as our first full-time Deputy Director. I am honored to have Bryan working with us as his passion for ADN education is so very evident. I know that you will truly enjoy working with him as we continue to grow OADN’s membership and influence. Hopefully, you have also heard the recent announcement that OADN, the OADN Foundation, and the National Forum for State Nursing Workforce Centers have joined to lead the National Education Progression in Nursing Collaborative, or NEPIN. Together with other partners, NEPIN will bring a national focus to identify, support and scale up practices that advance academic progression for all nurses and nursing students. We’ll have more exciting news about NEPIN to share in the coming weeks and months.
As many of you know, myself and a team of six OADN members traveled to a remote village in Guatemala in July to provide care and clinical education. The experience to assist this community in great need was deeply rewarding. We treated over 200 patients and trained local community members in first aid. On our return from the rural area, we were involved in a van accident. Our group did sustain some injuries, but we were all able to travel home and receive care in our home communities. This was a traumatic moment for us all, but I am so proud of the the support we provided to each other. It truly exemplified the resiliency of nurses, and how we pull together in a moment of extreme need. Despite these challenges, we continue to be comforted by knowing that we made important contributions in lives of those we worked with. Thank you all for the loving support, thoughts, and prayers for the team and the community we served.
While this summer leaves us much to celebrate, it has also challenged us in very difficult ways. The horrific attacks in Barcelona, where I walked through Las Ramblas just weeks ago, were a sobering reminder to us all that nurses remain on the front lines. Our shared commitment to equality and against hate was rocked by the painful lessons of Charlottesville. And now, our friends on the Gulf Coast must struggle with the aftermath of this devastating hurricane, while yet another catastrophic storm threatens Florida. While the global community continues to confront acts of terror and natural disasters, they will rely on the care and expertise of nurses. With the unparalleled confidence and trust the public places in us, comes great responsibility and sobering demands. As we persevere, we must work together to model our resilience and nurture it in our students. Someday, their patients will turn to them for support during times such as these. I encourage you all to talk with your students about these recent events. Share your own experiences and lessons from the times when your patients and community have turned to you for hope.
Please, let us join in extending our thoughts and prayers to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Let us also take a special moment to reach out to a friend and colleague in the Gulf Region. Remind him or her that we are here to support their resilience as they heal their communities.
My very best to each of you as you begin the fall semester,
Donna Meyer, MSN, RN, ANEF, FAADN