January 10, 2022
Dear OADN Members:
I hope everyone had the opportunity to take a breath and enjoy the holiday season over the past few weeks. Unfortunately, I know from member communications that many of you have been impacted by the Omicron variant. However, the positive news is the illness has been less severe. I know all of us have been impacted in one way or another, but as we enter 2022 may we celebrate a new year with new beginnings.
It is often customary for the first communication of the new year to reflect on the past year’s work and provide perspective for the year ahead of the organization. I would like to briefly continue with this tradition by highlighting some of OADN’s work while emphasizing that this work is only possible due to the dedication of OADN members. It is difficult in a limited message to share all that has occurred, but I would like to focus on a few high points.
The world of simulation changed dramatically during the pandemic, as the shift was made to the high demand for virtual simulation. Throughout 2021, the OADN Virtual Simulation Task Force under the leadership of OADN member Dr. Rebecca Cockrell developed a structured and objective resource to assist nursing educators in identifying products that augment or replace clinical experiences. The OADN Simulation Task Force members’ creation of this database of virtual simulation product reviews is unprecedented in nursing education. The success of this initiative is unparalleled with tireless efforts and consistent dedication to the project through the task force members who provided this valuable resource to OADN members.
Disturbing events in our country raised awareness of the impact that racial and social injustice has on Americans’ health and well-being and as a result, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force was formed. The OADN Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force members developed a bold position paper with actionable items. The actions once again keep in mind the need to assist OADN members by “providing learning opportunities for nursing faculty and students that critically examine the social determinants of health, the social mission of nursing, and the needs of under-resourced communities.” The OADN Board of Directors unanimously endorsed this exceptional paper that was authored by OADN members: Dr. Anna Valdez, Patrick McMurray, Dr. Angela Millan, Dr. Justin Fontenot, Dr. Tyler Sturdivant, Dr. Sharon Goldfarb, Lorrie Davis-Dick, and Deonna Thompson.
Throughout 2021 the OADN COVID Task Force members continued to focus on the trends driving changes resulting from the pandemic, as well as the tools needed to undertake new challenges. The Task Force recognized the unique set of challenges and opportunities faced by ADN educators and created a repository that included resources for online teaching, updates in regulations, changes in clinical placements, and important nursing education tool kits. This committed group of OADN members meets monthly to assess the ever-changing environment in nursing education. The Task Force is now focusing on the Future of Nursing 2020-2030 recommendations to influence and innovate specifically as it relates to Recommendation 8 which in part states the “nursing profession should strengthen and protect the nursing workforce during the response to such public health emergencies as the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters, including those related to climate change.”
The OADN Research Committee is a long-standing committee of OADN and over the years has done exceptional work including publication. The OADN Research Committee members understand the many areas of research needed for ADN education. Consequently, this enthusiastic and devoted committee has decided to undertake a major project on ADN Faculty Salary and Workforce Shortage. Collection of this data is critical as OADN pursue strategies to address this nationwide issue. The committee is currently developing a survey with plans for dissemination in early 2022. We are hopeful all OADN members will participate.
As you look back at this message you will notice the words, “OADN members” emphasized throughout. OADN would not be the thriving organization it is today if it were not for the continued support from each of you. Each of you has persevered and made a difference as you educate nursing students. YOUR impact as an OADN member continues to advance the profession. My new year message is not about what OADN has accomplished but about what you have helped us accomplish. “Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
I want to wish each of you a healthy, adventurous, and a year full of laughter.
Donna Meyer, MSN, RN, ANEF, FAADN, FAAN
Chief Executive Officer, OADN