Dear OADN Members:
Happy Fourth of July! I have always enjoyed celebrating the independence of our nation, with the festive fireworks, gatherings, and tributes to this great land we call the United States of America. While this year is no exception, I am also called to reflect on the many men and women who have fought to ensure that we can indeed call this the land of the free. On behalf of the OADN community, I would like to thank all of our country’s service members for your sacrifices and applaud you for allowing us to live in this country of opportunity. Although our country faces many challenges, I also know we are still very fortunate, particularly as I view the struggles of those who desire to make the United States of America home. May we always remember the plight of those less fortunate and be proud to hang the American flag.
A few short days ago, the OADN Board of Directors completed the summer board meeting in Washington, DC. I want to recognize the Board and OADN staff for their dedication, innovation, and bold thinking as we continue to move the organization forward. OADN stays steadfast in its vision, mission, and advocacy for associate degree nursing education and I am elated to report that our membership is growing. However, to ensure our voice is heard we need the involvement of all nurse educators. As you know, associate degree nursing is continually vulnerable as a pathway. I encourage you to reach out to your colleagues and invite them into the OADN community. As we develop new partnerships, we continue to create new benefits for our members as well as the amazing Teaching and Learning in Nursing journal that publishes high-quality articles to assist in faculty professional development. The Alpha Delta Nu Honor Society this year has added five more chapters providing distinction to the associate degree nursing student. Our voice is being represented coast to coast for as one Board member stated, “WE ARE OADN!”
Last week many of you saw the press release about my induction into the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) this coming October. Although it is cliché, words cannot describe the feeling of honor and elation over being accepted into the Academy. The platform for my application was my belief that associate degree nurses have been the foundation of the nursing workforce in many communities, with numerous graduates representing minorities and first-generation college entrants. As the ADN pathway remains a vital entry point into the profession, my passion has been to be its national advocate and emphasize the importance of academic progression within the national community college landscape.
An honor such as this is not achieved by one individual, it is collective. I have had the encouragement of mentors, dear friends, and family. But more importantly, I have had the unyielding support of the OADN membership and Board. You have stood by me since I began this journey as OADN’s President in 2011 and then provided me the opportunity to serve as OADN’s first Chief Executive Officer four years ago. Although it is my name that will be read in the 2019 Fellow’s Class of the AAN, it is truly for OADN and all that OADN represents. Serving our organization is truly my passion. I feel so very fortunate to be at this point of my career where I see the fulfillment of the vision I had for many years – making a difference in the world of associate degree nursing education and the nursing profession.
This past Christmas, my daughter Kara gave me a gift of a silver bracelet that I wear every day. It is engraved with the following words, “Nevertheless she persisted.” It has become my motto and I will continue to do this for each of you on behalf of associate degree nursing education.
Thank you for allowing me to represent all of you.
Donna Meyer, MSN, RN, ANEF, FAADN