Dear OADN Members:
As you know, the World Health Assembly, the governing body of the World Health Organization, declared 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, in honor of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. This is a very important celebration of nursing. For me, it provides reflection on the history of the profession. Consider Florence Nightingale, Lillian Wald, Clara Barton, and countless others - these individuals were emphatic about the social mission of nursing. Nursing’s history is rich in providing care to those less fortunate in the communities they served. It is also interesting that the consensus study currently being conducted by the National Academies of Medicine, Future of Nursing 2020 -2030 will focus on charting a path for the nursing profession to help our nation create a culture of health by addressing social determinants and improving the health and well-being of the U.S. population in the 21st century. Addressing the social determinants is a major part of the social mission of nursing.
Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) programs are prime exemplars of addressing the social determinants of health in a community and development of health competencies. These programs are connected to all communities and all care settings, particularly those serving our most vulnerable populations. These programs are embedded in the community and as a result, the students and graduates are continually extending the concept of social mission. In many nursing programs, the role of social mission is introduced in the first semester of a nursing program during the nursing history discussion and continues throughout the course of the program.
There is no question that ADN programs understand, but also stress, the social mission of the nursing profession and are true exemplars of our history. It is for this reason that OADN will add our own personal dimension to the Year of the Nurse. The theme will also complement the work of the Future of Nursing 2020-2030 consensus study.
OADN’s 2020 theme will be: The Year of the Nurse - Advancing the Social Mission of Nursing!
OADN is excited to focus on this work as we have already formed a Social Mission Task Force that is researching the integration of the social mission in the ADN programs. As a CALL TO ACTION for this initiative and to emphasize the importance of the ADN pathway, OADN is asking you to share your program’s work so we can highlight your program!
In a few short sentences: 1) Describe clinical settings that students provide nursing care to underserved populations and 2) Provide specific examples of key content related to the social determinants of health. Pictures are also welcomed.
My very best regards,
Donna Meyer, MSN, RN, ANEF, FAADN, FAAN