OADN Voices: December Leadership Message

December 11, 2023

Reflecting on a Year of Achievements:

Forging Connections & Looking Ahead to OADN’s 40th Anniversary


Dear OADN Members,

As I returned from San Diego to Washington, D.C., I took a moment to reflect on the exceptional experience of meeting numerous OADN members in person at this year’s OADN Convention. The event boasted a record-breaking attendance of 607, highlighting the significance of in-person connections and community-building.

The time spent together offered meaningful opportunities for spontaneous conversations during keynote addresses, workshops, and the various breakout sessions. It was heartening to see numerous members approaching me, sharing that this marked their first OADN Convention and expressing their appreciation for the event. The resonating spirit of this year’s theme, “Turning the Tide of Nursing Education,” contributed to a memorable atmosphere.

As educators in Associate Degree Nursing, you have the ability to influence numerous lives. Those who have had the privilege of working with our exceptional students can attest to the transformative nature of the ADN pathway, often influencing generations to come. Keynote speakers Dr. Rebar and Dr. Heimgartner emphasized the dichotomy between preparing students for NCLEX and the practical realities of clinical practice.

This year’s convention provided ample networking opportunities, allowing me to personally connect with numerous OADN members. One standout member, Theodora from Instituto in Chicago, IL, was someone I had the pleasure of meeting during the virtual Coffee and Conversations with the CEO. Our connection deepened at this year’s Convention, where we sat together for lunch and had the opportunity to catch up. I facilitated an introduction between Theodora and a Chicago-based ADN colleague, paving the way for further collaboration.

We were fortunate to be hosted in San Diego, the home city of Donna Meyer. Donna played a crucial role in organizing a walk to the Unconditional Surrender statue near the hotel, providing a picturesque backdrop as the sun set behind us.

As we bid farewell to 2023 and embrace a new year, the anticipation of OADN’s 40th anniversary fills the air, promising celebrations. Expressing gratitude for this year’s achievements, we approach the future with optimism and determination. OADN remains steadfast in its commitment to leading the charge in fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in nursing. Together, we continue to shape a nursing community that mirrors the richness of human experiences and backgrounds within and across our communities.

OADN is dedicated to fostering the next generation of nursing education leaders in 2024. As you explore your personal leadership journey, consider applying to the OADN Leadership Institute. Previous participants attest to the profound impact of this program, highlighting life changing experiences provided through mentorship and meaningful connections with national thought leaders. To learn more about this signature program visit our website for more information. Application deadline closes December 20, 2023.

I extend my deepest appreciation to each of you whose contributions have fueled our shared success. With confidence, I anticipate that the coming year will bring even greater accomplishments for OADN.

Thank you for your unwavering commitment to excellence in nursing education and practice. OADN wishes you continued health, prosperity, and success in the new year and beyond. May the holiday season be a time of rest and reflection, surrounded by family and loved ones!





Rick García, Ph.D., RN, CCM, FAAOHN, FAADN
Chief Executive Officer
OADN and OADN Foundation