| Dear Colleague,
Colleagues, do you know that last Friday, December 5, was International Volunteer Day? IVD was established by the United Nations in 1985 to highlight the contributions of volunteer organizations and individual volunteers at local, national, and international levels. I only recently became aware of this special day, but fortunately, NLN members have lived the volunteer experience forever and ever.
With this final NLN Member Update for 2014, I'd like to speak to the wonderment of NLN volunteers and celebrate those individuals within our membership and member agencies who, through their amazing work on behalf of all of us, support our mission to promote excellence in nursing education. Together we are building a strong and diverse nursing workforce to advance the health of our nation and the global community.
Much of your volunteer efforts happen at the local level through the activities of our 26 affiliated constituent leagues, which serve 30 states. I don't talk enough about our constituent leagues and the work they do. But let me tell you about the November 6 meeting of the DC/Maryland League for Nursing at Howard University. This was a Meet & Greet held to chronicle the league's nearly 100-year history through storytelling and personal video. Under the leadership of Janalyn Edmonds, the DC/MD Constituent League encourages mentorship among nurse educators and collaboration across the nursing spectrum. And it's in our own backyard. Chrissy Ward, our new director of membership and recognition programs, and her entire membership team, were able to attend this event, along with Dr. Virginia Adams, director of the NLN Center for Diversity and Global Initiatives. This is just one example of the extraordinary work of our constituent leagues. Keep reading in the new year for more.
You can find contact information for our existing constituent leagues online, along with a calendar of events and other pertinent information. Note the word existing... If there is no constituent league in your area, and if you and your colleagues are interested in starting one, we are eager to help. Feel free to contact Chrissy for a personal conversation (firstname.lastname@example.org /202-909-2502).
The NLN also has a growing global community of nurse educators. I wish to extend my personal thanks to Elizabeth Fildes and Roseminda Santee, professor at the Chamberlain College of Nursing and dean at the Trinitas School of Nursing, respectively, who now serve as informal international ambassadors, encouraging faculty in their native Philippines to share our welcoming mission and values. Utilizing their own widespread faculty networks in the Philippines and word-of-mouth marketing, Elizabeth and Rose are making personal connections we could not make from here. Who knows how far their efforts will take us in developing international formation policies, procedures, benefits, and even board representation? Oh my!
Speaking of international opportunities, I will be keynote speaker at the 10th baccalaureate commencement of the Faculté des Sciences Infirmières de Léogane in Haiti in January. I am so excited and pleased to be invited. Our colleagues, many of them NLN members, are doing incredible work on behalf of nursing education in Haiti. If you missed it, please take a few minutes to read the cover story in the spring 2014 issue of the NLN Report.
No mention of our members is complete without a shout-out to our official NLN ambassadors, who take seriously their mission to inform colleagues about our programming, activities, and member involvement initiatives. This past Monday Chrissy and I held a conference call with ambassadors to talk about the approaches we will take during 2015 to make your membership more meaningful. This means introducing you to more member colleagues, making career connections for you, helping you motivate your faculty team, and celebrating your achievements. You can start today, for example, by joining your constituent league or preparing for the NLN Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) exam. NLN ambassadors are a vital link in our communications plan.
And, by the way, communication goes both ways. Get to know your school's ambassador and share your thoughts about any areas of concern you may have. Help us implement our motto, being and living as the voice for nursing education.
Leadership at the local level or within your school of nursing inevitably helps cultivate great leaders on the national stage. At this moment, through January 9, we are accepting nominations for the NLN Board of Governors, including president-elect, the Nominations Committee, and the NLN Certification Commission. Service begins at the 2015 annual business meeting during the NLN Education Summit in Las Vegas (September 30-October 3). If you would like to be considered for the 2015 ballot, please visit the NLN Elections 2015 page and read the instructions under "what you will need for your submission."
Preparation to lead is always important, and I know that putting your name forward may seem daunting. But consider this: We need a diverse NLN Board of Governors with members who exemplify our core values: caring, integrity, and excellence, as well as diversity. It has been my experience that League members are often great leaders — but it is important to take that first step. If you don't feel ready for this election cycle, get a mentor and start preparing for the next opportunity to be part of the NLN leadership team.
Now a reminder to deans, directors, and department chairs: Yesterday you received notice about the 2014 NLN Biennial Survey of Schools of Nursing. As I mentioned in the November 26 NLN Member Update, when you help the NLN provide trustworthy, comprehensive, and current data about the nursing workforce, you have an impact on public policy, specifically funding for Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Programs. Please complete the survey at the earliest moment.
And another reminder, this time to all faculty: The NLN Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CNEA) Standards Committee has released a proposed draft of Standards for Accreditation and is asking for your comments. Your feedback will be used for further development and refinement of the accreditation standards prior to final approval by the NLN CNEA Board of Commissioners in spring 2015.
Yesterday, members of the NLN CNEA Steering Committee and Standards Committee participated in a webinar about the standards. Two more webinars are scheduled, so be sure to mark your calendar: January 8 at 11 am (ET) and January 15 at 3 pm (ET). This is certainly an exciting development for 2015. Can you believe we are already planning for important dates in 2015?
And one more thing: The NLN has issued recommendations based on the findings from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing landmark study on the outcomes of simulation in pre-licensure nursing education. The NCSBN finding that simulation can be a substitute, under certain conditions, for up to 50 percent of traditional clinical experiences is exciting. With our long experience of scholarship in the pedagogy of simulation, I know that you will find our recommendations to be noteworthy. By the way, congratulations to our NCSBN colleague for a rigorous, scientific, and sound report.
That brings me to my final word... I wish you a happy and healthy holiday season. Get the rest you need and join us, energized, in 2015. We have lots of work to do together for the betterment of our beloved profession.
All best wishes,
Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN
Chief Executive Officer