| Dear Colleague,
Happy New Year. Here we are in 2015. Do you remember the dawn of the new millennium and our concerns about Y2K? It hardly seems possible that we are already well into the second decade of the 21st century, but yes, here we are, ready to promote excellence in nursing education to build a strong and diverse nursing workforce to meet our overarching goal — the advancement of health care in our nation and the global community.
Last year was a challenging one for nursing. We saw from afar the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, and we witnessed the nation's painful response when Ebola visited the United States. The nurses who treated patients with Ebola — those who worked anonymously and those who became known to the public — did an extraordinary job and I was extremely proud. It was evident that we are doing something right in how we are educating our nurses. But challenges remain, and the need for strong leadership in nursing will not diminish.
You can do something right now to help address the need for strong leadership. We have less than three days left and still need well-prepared candidates for our NLN Board of Governors, Nominations Committee, and the NLN Certification Commission. Please visit the NLN Elections 2015 page for all the information and instructions you need to submit your nomination. The deadline is the day after tomorrow: Friday, January 9, 2015. Do it now before the day gets away from you.
There are also all sorts of ways coming up from the NLN this spring to increase your leadership skills. Here are just a few.
First, jump right in and take part in the annual NLN Leadership Conference, February 5-7 in San Antonio, a program of the NLN Center for Transformational Leadership. A number of experts and thought leaders will share strategies to co-create a positive culture where diverse opinions, perspectives, and ideas are respected and collaboration thrives among faculty, administrators, and students. "Academic Leadership Excellence: Co-creating a Positive Collaborative Organizational Culture" is structured around plenary sessions followed by small-group discussions characterized by interactive, courageous dialogue. For complete information, including bio sketches of plenary speakers and online registration, visit the conference website.
Among the attendees at the Leadership Conference will be two groups of 20 educators each, meeting face-to-face for the first time: the participants in the 2015 cohort of the NLN Leadership Institute. This great program has two tracks: LEAD, directed by NLN chief program officer and director of the NLN Center for Transformational Leadership, Dr. Janice Brewington, and Leadership Development for Simulation Educators, led by Dr. Pamela Jeffries, author of the NLN's Simulation in Nursing Education: From Conceptualization to Evaluation, now in its second edition. Although applications for the 2016 cohort will not open until this summer, I want you to know about the institute, its goals, and its structure. Designed to help you identify your personal professional goals and strategize how to re-tool your skill sets and experiences to achieve your goals, the institute includes online and live group coaching sessions as well as participation in NLN conferences and webinars. Read about it now, but move from reading to action when applications are announced for 2016.
A more immediate offering is our spring webinars. Both the Faculty Series and the Simulation & Technology Series begin in mid-February. Look out for more information as the new year moves forward.
And, of course, we offer three Scholarly Writing Retreats, yearlong programs designed to help you overcome the hurdle of writing for publication. The deadline has been extended till January 30 for the retreat that takes place April 24-26 in Chicago. Applications are also open for Denver (June 26-28) and Dallas (November 13-15). The Scholarly Writing Retreat is one of my favorite NLN initiatives. Participation can boost your climb on the university professional ladder and thereby increase your salary.
Now, here is something for those of you who have already contributed to nursing education in sustained and significant ways: February 15 is the application deadline for the NLN Academy of Nursing Education. Academy fellows provide visionary leadership in nursing education and support the NLN's mission and goals. It is always a joy to welcome the new fellows at our annual Summit, coming up September 30 to October 3 in Las Vegas. And it is instructive to read about the fellows — the individual paths they have taken and the range of experiences they have had.
Many people assume that great leaders are born but we know better. Great leaders are usually mentored. They are those who take chances, pursue their vision, and inspire others. Let 2015 be the year you take steps toward leadership in nursing education, and let the NLN be your inspiration and your guide. Together we can bring our beloved profession to great heights and have a positive and profound influence on the nurses of tomorrow — and on the nurses of today as well.
Happy New Year.
All best wishes,
Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN
Chief Executive Officer