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A Message from OADN, December 2019


mary dickow


Dear OADN Members:

It is hard to believe that 2019 is coming to a close! As I reflect on my first year with OADN I am incredibly proud of our focus on leadership and the path that created for the organization. It is exciting to report that we realized the dream of OADN becoming a more influential voice as independent organization. Thanks to the hard work of our CEO Donna Meyer, Deputy Director Bryan Hoffman and the leadership of our Board of Directors we successfully navigated this new chapter in our history!

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Board member Michael Bleich and his words resonated with me. "There are many dimensions to leadership, one to be a champion for the organization and its members, and two, to accept being a true partner with the Board who is entrusted with the direction and viability of OADN. Less visible are operational details and in the past year, the OADN leadership heralded in a new era, taking the responsibility from a proprietary management firm to bringing operational services inhouse. Donna’s vision for this entailed potential cost savings, enhanced services for our members, and more control over the strategic and operational alignment of resources. What appeared seamless to our members was actually a monumental undertaking; early results show the wisdom of Donna in guiding the Board's decision to move in this direction."

Donna understands the importance of what is to be a great leader. As OADN continues to be the leader and voice for associate degree nursing it is also important for us to model that personally. Donna was recognized for her visionary leadership in October when she was inducted as a 2019 Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. “I was deeply honored to share the stage with a cohort of stellar nurse leaders and receive the nation’s top honor in nursing! The 2019 Fellows Class includes 231 individuals from 38 states, the District of Columbia, as well as 17 countries. While this was an incredible moment for me it is also important to recognize what an important moment it was for OADN to be represented on that stage,” she said.

Throughout 2019 OADN remained focused on the importance of leadership. Our convention this year provided opportunities for nurse educators to engage in sessions specifically designed to enhance their leadership skills and contribute to their success. In addition, OADN partnered with the DAISY Foundation to issue a National Call for Nurse Faculty Recognition to honor nursing faculty who work diligently to prepare the next generation of the professional nursing workforce and to recognize committed faculty members who model leadership every day as inspirational educators and mentors. 

Donna, Bryan and I had many opportunities to represent OADN at national events this year. The OADN Board of Directors and Donna recognize the significance of being at the table as the national voice for associate degree nursing. Serving in this capacity is a critical aspect of being leaders and stewards for the profession. All of us are grateful to be part of such a great organization and remain inspired every day to continue to serve as champions for associate degree nursing and represent all of you. Under Donna’s leadership we have come a long way. Speaking with Greg Lardner, President of Castle Branch Corporation and a committed partner of OADN, he had this to say, “In an industry where rapid change is difficult but necessary, Donna has demonstrated that where pride and passion are present, positive change can happen in spite of any obstacle. She is an inspired leader - always willing to listen, learn, and ready to act - who has elevated OADN, nursing education and the greater nursing profession. OADN has become the undeniable leader in advocating for associate degree nursing, an indispensable force for good thanks to Donna's leadership and transformative vision.”

As we head into the new year it is exciting to recognize that the World Health Organization has designated 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse” to advance nurses position in transforming healthcare. 2020 also marks the 200th Anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s Birth! OADN applauds these wonderful reasons to celebrate and continue to focus our work leading the way to make a difference on the future of nursing.

I wish you, your families and friends the best the holiday season has to offer. Cheers to the end of 2019 and all that 2020 will bring!


My very best,

dickow sig

Mary Dickow, MPA, FAAN

Director, Strategic Initiaives

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