Dear OADN Members,
In my February CEO message, I detailed information about the 2018 - 2020 strategic direction that was approved by the OADN Board of Directors. Additionally, I commented on the OADN values of equity and inclusion, authenticity, visionary, excellence and innovation. The OADN Board of Directors developed these values with strategic focus to ensure they truly reflect OADN. These values resonate with me personally because I am able to identify each one in the work of OADN we do each day. There is one value, however, that speaks to my heart and the importance of our members, and that is authenticity. This value stands OADN apart for the genuine nature each of you demonstrate, through your caring attitude, enduring dedication to students, and tireless commitment to the profession and healthcare.
In my roles over the years, I have had the privilege of getting to know so many of you who demonstrate this value of authenticity. In truth, every one of you in some way demonstrates this value. I would like to share three examples of members that validate authenticity, keeping in mind that this value is in each of you.
Anna Valdez, Dean at Santa Rosa Community College, who maintained the stability of the nursing program during the wildfires that devastated the region and community. With faculty and student homes destroyed, she persevered along with others to ensure that the program remained intact. Her stories of driving to find cell phone reception so she could reach her faculty and students were heart wrenching. But she said simply, “I had to let them know I loved them.” This was her authentic self. Recently she told me, “I am happiest when I am doing work that is important to nursing students.” How many times have one of you said those exact same words?
On the other side of the country is Robin Harris, Dean of Health Sciences and Wellness Programs, at the College of Albermarle in North Carolina. Over the past two years I have had the opportunity to address various issues and trends in associate degree nursing education with Robin. She states, “I am a PASSIONATE supporter of the role ADN nursing programs play to produce graduates that are RNs and employable in all aspects of nursing. The role of Associate Degree Nursing programs is critical across many parts of our country.” Her passion is evident in her voice and written word. How many times have you described yourself as being passionate about your work as an ADN educator?
Preston Molsbee is the Department Chair, ADN Program at the University of Arkansas. He strongly believes that to impact the profession, we need to begin during the educational process. He stated, “I have to share my passion and enthusiasm for the profession with soon-to- be-nurses before they ever entered into practice. I am a nurse educator, but over my time in education, I have realized I also serve as a counselor, a role model, a male figure for some who have never had a male in their lives, and a professional. I also know that what we do in our programs contributes to students having a better life.”
Preston provided a poignant example that I know you can appreciate. He refers to a student, called “Amy.” Amy entered his program several years ago. He did not know much about her other than she was quiet and he had concerns about her ability to survive the rigors of nursing school. Unfortunately, Amy was unsuccessful her first time through the program but applied for readmission. She returned to the program, and it was during her last semester Preston discovered the many hardships she was encountering. She was living in her car and going to junkyards collecting metal in order to sell it to pay for food, gas and other necessities. Yet, she was very determined, graduated and is now a successful registered nurse. Preston stated, “Our ADN program made a significant impact on her and gave her a new outlook on life, again emphasizing why ADN programs are so important.”
All of these preceding exemplars represent each of you for being authentic, dedicated, and passionate about your work. I applaud you for embodying the OADN value of authenticity and making this organization truly unique, and for helping that student who might not have RN by their name if it was not for your authenticity.
Thank you for making me proud and honored to be part of OADN!
Donna Meyer, MSN, RN, ANEF, FAADN