As you may know I recently visited Australia with a delegation of community college representatives. It was an amazing trip as we visited the many Technical and Advance Education (TAFE) schools, which are similar to our community colleges. There were so many unique opportunities that I experienced and I wish I had the ability to share all of them. I would like to highlight a few thoughts about my travel aboard. My first comment and I believe is the most important is the heartfelt warming reception from ever Australian I encountered. This was not just the people related to the TAFES and the conference, but every individual was welcoming and engaging. We were welcomed into the convention organizer’s home for an evening of food and educational conversation. It was truly a moment I will always cherish.
I believe when you travel aboard it provides a certain amount of time for reflection. Traveling has always allowed me the time to reflect on the similarities and differences in cultures, and often I have found the gap in differences is minimal, and that we are much more similar than different. My time in Australia once again proved this theory to be accurate. Upon visiting the different TAFES and discussing nursing, I could have been sitting in an American conference room at any given community college. The discussions included: lack of clinical sites, the desire for the TAFES to confer the baccalaureate in nursing, the challenges with this idea, and simulation as a replacement for clinical. It truly was exhilarating to have these discussions and share our mutual experiences. I am hopeful that the relationships formed will provide an avenue to offer a summer faculty exchange program beginning in 2016 for OADN members. I will be sharing more of my thoughts in the upcoming column, “Reflections from 40,000 Feet” in the official OADN journal, Teaching and Learning in Nursing.
Speaking of exciting and engaging, the OADN 2015 National Convention is fast approaching. If you have not yet registered, please consider attending. There will be nationally known speakers, such as Carolyn Jones, who completed the documentary, the American Nurse Project after her very personal encounter with a health care crisis and the nurses who cared for her. Dr. Sue Hassmiller, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Senior Advisor to Nursing will lead a panel discussion on models of academic progression, and an informative plenary session presented by Dr. Tina Rayfield, A Call to Arms: Why Aren’t We Passing NCLEX? Viewing the poster presentations, attending outstanding concurrent sessions, and networking with colleagues who share in the passion of associate degree nursing are all part of the 2016 convention in Jacksonville.
If you have not visited the website lately, I would encourage you to review the most current materials on the recent accreditation meeting, the work of Texas team on academic progression, and the academic progression survey spear headed by our Academic Progression in Nursing Committee, chaired by Rhonda Hutton- Gann and Alice Myers. The committee has completed great work and now needs YOUR INPUT!
I would like to end with one thought to share. No matter where one travels, there is a universal language of nursing that is spoken. Despite our differences that we may encounter, there is still a common bond of caring for others, upholding ethical standards, and passion for the profession.