Nursing Community Monthly Roundup – September 2020

September 2020

NCC Sends Letter to House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees to Honor World War II Cadet Nurses

On September 11, sixty-one members of the Nursing Community Coalition sent letters to both the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee urging them to support and advance S.997/H.R.2056 – the United States Cadet Nurse Corps Recognition Act of 2019. This legislation recognizes nurses who served as members of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps During World War II and provides them with honorable discharges, medal privileges, and burial benefits.


NCC Sends Letter to Congressional Leadership UrgingSupport for the FAAN Act

On September 30, fifty-three members of the Nursing Community Coalition sent a letter to Congressional Leadership and key Committees expressing support for the Future Advancement of Academic Nursing (FAAN) Act (S.4396/H.R.7945) and encourage its inclusion in the next COVID-19 legislative relief package. This legislation would provide vital federal investments to ensure nursing education pipelines remain strong, not only during COVID-19, but in future public health challenges as well.


External Presence

Nursing Community Website: Site Visits: 368 Top Sub-Page Visited: Resources

Twitter: @RN_Community New Followers: 18 Total Followers: 1,494

Profile Visits: 109 Tweet Impressions: 5,459

Message from the CEO and President, September 2020

Dear OADN Members:

We know you are all very busy with the launch of the fall semester and realize this year the semester looks very different than the past as programs continue to develop strategies in the new norm of COVID. OADN is here as a resource through our COVID-19 landing page. Even more importantly coming soon is the annual convention: Vision 2020: ADN Educators Leading the Way.

We have made modifications in this year’s convention to ensure that the most timely and relevant sessions are made available to your programs. As COVID-19 has changed our lives, it has also changed the demands placed on us as nurse educators, requiring creativity and innovation of an unprecedented level. Amidst these challenges, our nation is also confronting longstanding pain that results in severe economic and health disparities, affecting patients, students, and faculty alike. We have listened to your needs as well as your faculty and students by planning some exceptional sessions. Although we will miss seeing you at convention, the OADN virtual convention is a wonderful opportunity for more faculty to attend at a substantially reduced cost. We encourage you to view the program and register!

OADN Organizational Update

Over the past few months, the Board of Directors has been assessing the OADN governance and operational structures as well as processes. One area of focus has been reviewing the vision and mission to ensure the mission and vision represent the true work of OADN. After much discussion, the Board approved a revised mission and vision. The Board believes the statements better represent OADN’s strategic directives and the work we do to represent and advocate for the associate degree pathway in support of faculty and students.

  • Updated mission: OADN is the national voice and a pivotal resource for community college nursing education and the associate degree pathway.
  • Updated vision: To expand networks that promote leadership, collaboration, and advocacy to further enrich nursing education and the communities we serve.

Additionally, modifications have been made with OADN staff positions of Bryan Hoffman and Mary Dickow. Bryan has been named Chief Operating Officer. In his new role, Bryan he will oversee budget development and monitoring, business and advocacy strategy, communications and marketing, educational programming, convention management, and website support. Bryan’s outstanding skills and talent are a perfect fit for this timely change to the OADN organizational structure. Mary’s new title is Director of Leadership Development. In this role Mary will focus on OADN’s strategic initiatives related to leadership development for nursing education. Both Bryan and Mary demonstrate exceptional senior leadership and are true assets to OADN.

Wishing you a very successful and safe fall semester and please take care.

Laura Schmidt DNP FNP-BC



Covid-19: Adaptation And Resilience In Nursing Education

Donna Hedges PhD, MBA, MSN, CNE, RN
Director, Nursing Services
ABSN Program – Orbis Education
Adjunct Professor, RN to BSN Program (Online)
Schreiner University

OADN Board Director – Southwest Region

(August 5, 2020) – We live in challenging times. Covid-19 has revealed the harsh realities of being on the frontlines of a global pandemic and the vulnerabilities of our healthcare system. As the number of cases escalates in parts of the United States, we continue to witness the perseverance, courage, and dedication of nurses and all members of the healthcare team and most sadly, the physical and psychological suffering of so many people. The pandemic has also caused unprecedented challenges to nursing education. As Dr. Pam Jeffries so accurately stated, “The silver lining of this pandemic is that it’s made us move forward to do something different” (2020). With little preparation and a tremendous amount of work to accomplish in a short period of time, nursing faculty transitioned didactic and clinical courses to the online environment. Faculty and students were asked to “think outside the box” and resoundingly, they have.

As we enter the fall semester, academic leaders, faculty, and students are facing uncertainty as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to evolve. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and college policies and procedures will dominate how educational content is delivered. In many cases, students will continue to learn in the online environment whether or not they intended to pursue this mode of delivery. In addition, the lack of available clinical placements within hospitals will necessitate the use of simulation and virtual simulation to augment clinical hours. If students are permitted to practice skills within on campus labs, social distancing, adequate PPE, and disinfecting procedures will be paramount. While these measures are critical to the safety of faculty and students, the need for fewer numbers of students and increased numbers of lab sections will be necessary. Academic leaders will be faced with the dilemma of how to meet state board requirements for graduation, students will be anxious about their readiness for NCLEX and for transition into practice, and healthcare systems will be faced with the need to strengthen preceptorships and internships designed to facilitate new graduates’ transition into practice. There is no shortage of complexity as we collectively seek to answer these issues in the best interests of our students.

Reflecting on the lessons we have learned, and the challenges that we still face, one thing is certain: nursing faculty and students must be flexible and resilient. The world of nursing education has dramatically changed. Yet there’s another silver lining in all of this: we also have changed. Having been pushed “outside the box”, faculty have demonstrated creativity and perseverance driven by their dedication to educating our future nurses. Nursing students have pressed on despite the paradigm shift in their educational journey and have advocated for continuing to be at the bedside to provide care and to assist the nursing staff. Deans and Directors have strategized through uncharted waters to meet this tidal wave of change and have entered into multi-level discussions to address educational requirements. Despite this intense work, the road ahead is still a bit unclear. In all of this, however, OADN unquestionably believes that ADN academic leaders, faculty, and students have what it takes to blaze the path forward.

As I hear nurses share their experiences and read the social media posts of students I have taught in clinical settings, I have decided that nurses are not superheroes. Nurses are extraordinary human beings who are profoundly dedicated to providing care to people in the worst of times. Nurses are exhausted, they are grieving, and they are afraid – yet they remain at the bedside providing the only light their patients will see in the darkness that is Covid-19. The symbolic lamp we carry is the light within ourselves and that light is passed from faculty to students. This is the essence of nursing and is precisely why we will continue to persevere through this pandemic and the next.

Jeffries, P. (2020). Nursing simulation: What have we learned from the pandemic. Hord Coplan Macht.

Nursing Community Monthly Roundup – August 2020

August 2020

NCC Sends Letter Welcoming the New NINR Director, Dr. Shannon Zenk

On August 31, members of the Nursing Community Coalition sent a letter welcoming the new National Institute of Nursing Research’s (NINR) Director, Dr. Shannon Zenk. The NCC has a long tradition of working with NINR by promoting the work of nurse scientists, advocating for investments in research and future researchers, and sharing the Institute’s foundational work to improve healthcare delivery across the care continuum. The NCC looks forward to meeting, sharing our collective priorities, and working with the new NINR Director.

NCC Reiterates COVID-19 Priorities to Congress

On August 18, Fifty-eight members of the Nursing Community Coalition reiterated in a letter to House and Senate Leadership and key Congressional Committees outlining their shared priorities for any COVID-19 legislative package working its way through Congress. These requests include bolstering efforts to protect all nurses on the front lines, increasing funding for Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Programs, supporting nursing education infrastructure and research, strengthening investments in public health, and promoting access to telehealth. The timing of resending this letter was great as Senate Republicans released another legislation proposal, known as the ‘skinny’ bill, later in the day on August 18.

The science is clear: wearing a mask, washing your hands, & practicing #socialdistancing will slow the spread of #COVID19@ANANursingWorld@ahahospitals & @AmerMedicalAssn launched the #WearAMask campaign to reinforce how these simple steps can have a large impact #MaskUp

For more information on the NCC please visit:

Follow the NCC on Twitter @RN_Community

Guidelines And Evidence-Based Quality Indicators For Nursing Education Programs

OADN participated in the expert panel that informed this national study by NCSBN. The study was conducted over three years to identify quality indicators of approved nursing programs, and warning signs of programs at risk for approval, for the development of regulatory guidelines for nursing programs. Please, read this important report.

Message from the CEO, August 2020

Dear OADN Members:

Approximately five months ago the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning to confront our nation. At the time, I never thought we would be dealing with this crisis in such epic proportions. Over the months, OADN has kept our programs informed by providing needed resources in simulation, on-line teaching, updates in regulations, changes in clinical placements, and other important nursing education trends. In late May, it was apparent this crisis was here to stay, and changes being made in nursing education could be more long term than anticipated. There was a sense of urgency and OADN wanted to ensure that we continued to listen to our membership. As a result, the OADN COVID-19 National Task Force was formed.

The COVID-19 Task Force is a diverse, national group of OADN members and stakeholders from across the country in both urban and rural. Director of Strategic Initiatives, Mary Dickow coordinated the activities and led the task force members in their work. The purpose was to provide a national perspective and guided consideration and generate ideas to address future teaching/learning structures and opportunities in nursing education. The goal of the task force was to create a repository of information for dissemination of the identified tasks.

This group of dedicated individuals came together every Friday beginning June 12th to share their expertise in discussing major issues in nursing education because of the pandemic. At the initial meeting, the task force chose to identify workgroups to complete the initiative as quickly as possible. The workgroups formed were: 1) collaboration with industry partners, 2) on-line education, 3) simulation/virtual simulation, and 4) regulation/ accreditation.

The work groups identified innovative methods of restructuring the teaching/learning process, recognized the need for modifications based on the pandemic; developed strategies for providing meaningful clinical learning opportunities, discussed academic/practice partnership considerations, and created a plan for collaborating with industry partners for high quality and safe return of students to clinicals.

As a result of their collaborative work I am pleased to announce the following resources are now available on the newly revised OADN COVID-19 Resource Page under the following headers:

  • Returning Students to Clinicals, Skills Labs and Sim Labs
  • Online Teaching
  • Virtual Simulation
  • Evidence to Inform Regulatory Changes

I would like to commend the members of the OADN COVID-19 Task Force for their focused work that was completed efficiently to provide these resources. The task force will continue to meet and provide updates as the impact of the pandemic evolves.

In closing, I must express how we must continue to take care of ourselves and each other. This is a very challenging time, and there are times after a full day of Zoom I anticipate when I can see a live face in front of me and hopefully give a big hug. I know we are all in this together, and I appreciate the innovative ideas generated to keep associate degree nursing education moving forward.

Stay safe and well and let us continue to take care of each other!


Nursing Community Monthly Roundup – July 2020

July 2020

NCC Sends Letter to Congress Outlining Additional COVID-19 Priorities

On July 29, Fifty-seven members of the Nursing Community Coalition sent a letter to House and Senate Leadership and key Congressional Committees outlining additional priorities for any COVID-19 legislative package working its way through Congress. These requests include bolstering efforts to protect all nurses on the front lines, increasing funding for Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Programs, supporting nursing education infrastructure and research, strengthening investments in public health, and promoting access to telehealth.


NCC Sends Letter to CMS on COVID-19 Blanket Waivers

On July 15, forty-five member of the Nursing Community Coalition signed onto a letter urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to continue to remove barriers to practice, encourage innovation, and ensure that our patients have access to the highest quality nursing care by extending, and making permanent, waivers beyond this Public Health Emergency (PHE).


Updated NCC Documents

The NCC released the 2019-2020 Fiscal Year Report. This report outlines the NCC’s engagement, accomplishments, and progress, not only in the first six-months of 2019, but for fiscal year (FY) 2019-2020 as well.

For more information on the NCC please visit:

Follow the NCC on Twitter @RN_Community

Message from the CEO, July 2020

The Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN) is deeply disturbed by the recent deaths, tragedy, and fear that have gripped our nation because of racial injustice. The Black Lives Matter movement reinforces that racism is a threat to the health and well-being of people of color and is in fact a public health threat. Therefore, we cannot remain silent. OADN reaffirms our commitment toward the elimination of racial injustice, healthcare disparity, and violence.

Dear OADN Members:

The above statement is from the OADN Board of Directors in response to recent events in our country. As the Chief of Executive Officer, I join with the OADN Board of Directors in their commitment to end injustices against Black, Indigenous, and all People of Color. Racism fuels injustice, economic, educational, and health inequalities, and must be challenged and addressed.

As a nurse, like all of you, I stand by the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretative Statements that obligates us to be allies, to speak up against racism, discrimination, health care disparities, and advocate for human rights. As I contemplate the recent tragedies, I grapple with why in a country such as this we cannot show basic respect for each other’s differences. It saddens me to witness this type of behavior. Action must be taken.

The nursing profession is held in high regard, especially during the current COVID-19 crisis and the heroic actions of nurses in every community across our nation. Historically viewed as the most trusted profession, nursing’s fundamental roots are in public health and social mission. A “perfect” storm has confronted our nation with the pandemic, civil unrest, and economic disruption. This is not the time for us to place our heads in the sand and say it does not apply to us. OADN’s mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities, and therefore this does apply to each of us.

The current environment may feel overwhelming, so I would like to offer a simple idea. Take time to listen and communicate with one individual who is from a different background. It is a small step but an important one. Active listening creates critical steps to understanding. It is through simple, honest communication we demonstrate respect for others’ backgrounds.

I reflect on my first year as a practicing nurse and the amazing patient care technician I worked with at a large pediatric hospital. There were times I did not understand certain aspects of the Black culture. Through candid conversations we helped each other recognize and appreciate our differences. Did I learn everything? No, but she did provide a dimension of deeper awareness that I am grateful for today. I realize now that what she taught me created a strong foundation for my work with the Navajos, the people of Guatemala, the Hispanic culture, and the many others who added so much to my life. These experiences enriched me beyond comprehension, and for that I am grateful.

Soon OADN will be releasing a more comprehensive statement with a call to action that we encourage all member programs and beyond to embrace. Challenging times create opportunities, and we must lead with more than words – we must lead with action!
Please stay safe and well.


OADN Announces Transition To 2020 Virtual Convention

The OADN Board of Directors Announces the Transition to a Virtual Convention for 2020.

As your advocate, OADN works to elevate your voice and foster understanding and ideas around the important trends you face each day as a nurse educator. OADN’s convention remains the only national education offering designed specifically for Associate Degree Nursing educators, with a keen focus on teaching innovations and student success. While we were very much looking forward to our time together in Indianapolis, the ultimate assessment from public health experts was that safety featuered speakersand social distancing could not be maintained throughout the event.

Nevertheless, we are confident that a virtual convention will afford you the many opportunities that the OADN Convention provides each year. These include thought-provoking speakers, engaging workshopworkshops, innovative research, top industry exhibitors and networking opportunities. This year’s virtual convention will start on November 5th with live events and continue for several weeks with on-demand and interactive sessions. We are happy to report that this year’s registration fee will be $295 for members and $395 for non-members, inclusive of the all-day Next Gen NLCEX workshop on November 5th, one half-day workshop, and all convention sessions. This represents a 65% savings on registration and nearly 40 CEUs for each attendee!

We are working diligently to ensure that this year’s virtual convention includes the most timely and relevant sessions for you and your programs. As COVID-19 has changed our lives, it has also changed the demands placed on us as nurse educators, requiring creativity and innovation of an unprecedented level. Amidst these challenges, our nation is also confronting longstanding pain that results in severe economic and health disparities, affecting patients, students, and faculty alike. Together, we will share and learn about trending topics in nursing education and concerns draw from current events such as:

Next Generation NCLEX and clinical reasoning
Simulation and virtual strategies
Creative clinical placements
Nursing’s social mission and the curriculum
Leadership strategies
COVID-19 implications for nursing programs
Your work as Associate Degree Nursing educators provides a high-quality pathway into the nursing profession for students of many diverse backgrounds, ensuring a strong nursing workforce and access to healthcare for communities across the nation. Stay tuned for more updates on featured speakers, workshops, and other virtual convention activities. Registration will launch no later than August 1st!

Your friends and partners,


Anna Valdez Named Editor In Chief Of OADN’s Official Journal

The Board of Directors for the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Anna Valdez, Ph.D., RN, CEN, CFRN, CNE, FAEN, FAADN as Editor in Chief of the association’s official publication Teaching and Learning in Nursing (TELN). OADN President Dr. Donna Spivey echoed the support of the Board by adding, “We are very excited to have Dr. Valdez assume the role of Editor in Chief as she brings many years of reviewer and editorial experience. She began her career as an associate degree nurse and continues to be passionate about nursing education and the future of the nursing profession.”

Dr. Valdez has over 25 years of experience in clinical practice and nursing education. She has taught nursing at all levels and in a variety of settings, and served in leadership positions that include Associate Dean of Nursing at Santa Rosa Junior College and past President of the California Organization of Associate Degree Nursing – North. Dr. Valdez has served on numerous doctoral student dissertation committees and mentors both DNP and Ph.D. students. She is currently serving as a Postdoctoral Fellow Mentor through the Center for Faculty Excellence at Walden University. Dr. Valdez is passionate about emergency nursing, social and environmental justice, health equity, academic progression in nursing, and evidence-based nursing education strategies. She is nationally certified in emergency nursing, flight nursing, and nursing education. Her current research interests focus primarily on emergency nursing, social determinants of health, health disparities, and nursing education. Dr. Valdez has presented at several conferences and served on a variety of health-related advisory boards. She has published over 20 peer reviewed articles and contributed as an author in two current emergency nursing books. Dr. Valdez has served as an Associate Editor, Section Editor and member of the Executive Editorial Board for the Journal of Emergency Nursing. In 2015, she was inducted as a Fellow in the Academy of Emergency Nursing. Dr. Valdez was inducted as a Fellow in the Academy of Associate Degree in Nursing in 2018.

“I am honored and humbled to assume the role of Editor in Chief for the TELN journal” says Dr. Valdez. “I began my career as an associate degree in nursing graduate and I value the contributions that faculty and graduates of ADN programs make in improving global health outcomes. I look forward to continuing to shine a light on the important contributions made by ADN nurses and educators.”

OADN CEO Donna Meyer states, “Dr. Valdez brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that will only continue to provide further advancement of TELN. TELN is an excellent nursing education journal that provides scholarly articles for nursing educators. Dr. Valdez has a vision to enhance the journal with additional innovation that will only provide more reading value for our members and others.”