March 1, 2021
Dear OADN Members:
It is hard to believe that approximately one year ago we were confronting the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic. For most of us, we probably did not imagine that the pandemic would forever be a changing moment in our personal and professional lives, as well as the world at large. The loss of over 500,000 lives in the United States is devastating, and with each one of those lives, there are family and friends that have suffered immensely. Even with this loss, the human spirit has a strength when confronted with tragedy to persevere. Nowhere is this more evident than in the nursing profession.
This past year, as nurse educators you have demonstrated your willingness to adapt and be flexible to ensure the future nursing students are obtaining the best education possible. I have heard from many of you about the constant change in the clinical environment. One day there is clinical, and the next there is not. The transition to online teaching and learning was a steep mountain to climb, but each of you reached the summit and achieved amazing results. You should be proud of your accomplishments. With your tenacity, you have managed to educate the next generation of nurses. You have impacted their lives and stood by them as they too struggled during the events of this past year.
So, what is next? The 2021 OADN Convention’s theme is fitting: The Power of Nursing Education to Move Beyond 2020. We have learned so much and it is imperative to share these experiences and support each other as we restore our lives with all we have encountered. Most likely, nursing education is forever changed, and this is a positive outcome of the pandemic. Many creative and alternative teaching methodologies have been realized. I hope that you will consider sharing what you have learned by submitting a poster or podium abstract for the Convention. We are powerful as is evident in the transitions we have experienced. I am looking forward to the OADN 2021 Convention as a time we come together, remember all that we have learned, and continue in our shared passion as educators and nurses.
In closing, remember to take some time for yourself. COVID fatigue is real, and we must acknowledge this disruption to our normal routine of life. As nurses, it is not uncommon to place others first before our own needs. This pandemic has shown that we must take care of ourselves and there should be no more excuses. Life is too precious. I am just as guilty of this as I say to myself, “just one more email.” However, I have made a commitment that every day I must do something for myself, no matter how small. I encourage you to do the same. We will only be able to continue if we take care of ourselves, and then each other.
Donna Meyer, MSN, RN, ANEF, FAADN, FAAN