Dear OADN Members,
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I am Laura Schmidt, OADN’s President-Elect. My term as President will begin in November and I look forward to working with you more closely over the next few years. Currently, we are experiencing a very different environment as many of us are ordered to “Stay in Place.” I have been in nursing for almost 44 years and have not experienced anything close to what is happening at this time.
I would like to acknowledge and extend sincere gratitude to each of you who are working with students and patients in healthcare settings or assisting those who are sick or impacted by COVID-19 or any other illness. In addition to patients, nurses care for the families, friends, or significant others who are a part of the patients’ support systems. This is one aspect of the profession many people do not realize. The public views the nurse and patient relationship but not the nurse and support system relationship. This is part of the reason nursing is complex and yet so very rewarding.
A special thank you to all the programs across the country who helped and offered their surplus personal protection equipment (PPE) supplies. Supporting the OADN Call to Action was vital for so many nurses and health care providers! It may be small in comparison to the actual need, but OADN is here to help during this unprecedented crisis. Following this, the Community College Daily from the American Association of Community Colleges put out the call to action to college presidents Donating medical masks, gloves to hospitals
OADN has developed a webpage with COVID-19 updates and other valuable resources. I want to specifically acknowledge representatives of OADN who have been interviewed by Inside Higher Ed (Donna Meyer) Health-Care Students on the Front Lines , The New York Times (Sharon Goldfarb, Donna Meyer) Coronavirus May Keep California's Students From Graduating, Inside Higher Ed (Sharon Goldfarb) Clinical Training for Nursing Students Sidelined. Additionally, OADN’s LinkedIn page (thank you to a member suggestion) is a place to share your thoughts. There are exceptional ideas being posted, and this is a way we can share and support one another when time is so valuable. I also want to invite you to join us for an Open Forum, tomorrow Wed. April 1 @ 4pm (ET) to discuss and share strategies for addressing the COVID-19 pandemic’s implications for nursing education. OADN will also provide updates on what the organization is doing nationally to support nursing programs broadly at this time. Please consider joining this call so that we may benefit from each other’s experiences at this difficult time Register Here
We have the opportunity as health care professionals to collaborate and unite. We are maneuvering through uncharted waters. We do not have the knowledge to draw from previous pandemics of this magnitude, but we do have the critical thinking skills, the clinical reasoning skills, and the wisdom to draw from past experiences and develop a new plan to implement for this novel virus. We must trust in one another and work together to overcome this crisis, so we can return to educating students to enter this wonderful profession we call NURSING! Let us Lead so history will remember the work of all the nurses around the world who helped during this crisis. Lastly, take care of yourself! Nurses usually put others first and leave their own needs behind. Rest, drink plenty of fluids, eat, exercise, and take that 5-minute break when possible. All the things we tell everyone else to do. Be safe and thank you for all your extraordinary and compassionate work!
With sincere gratitude,
Laura A. Schmidt, DNP, FNP-BC