| Dear Colleague,
What will you be doing tomorrow afternoon at 3 o'clock Eastern? Well, if you have nothing else planned, I hope you will take part in our very first Twitter Chat, moderated by NLN chief program officer Dr. Elaine Tagliareni (@elainetnln): #ACESXPRESS Let's Talk About Aging.
But first a comment about Twitter. Just a few months ago, like many NLN members I suspect, I did not use this social media tool. But with the support of our communications team, I took the plunge — and I can honestly say Twitter is a great way to easily reach out to the world. I now tweet and retweet regularly. For those of you who could use some help, our communications team has prepared a Twitter Cheat Sheet to get you started.
Now back to ACESXPRESS.ORG and the many opportunities it offers. The ACESXPRESS site was developed to deliver a wide range of free resources and teaching strategies to implement best practices in gerontology. You've already been introduced to the Twitter Chat. The site also tells you about webinars, such as next Wednesday's "ACE.S Knowledge Domains Overview," presented by Tamika Curry (@tamika_curry) and Laureen Tavolaro-Ryley (@laureen_lryley) and free, downloadable ACE.S Domain Starter Kits. These provide an introduction to teaching each of the ACE.S Essential Knowledge Domains: individualized aging, complexity of care, and vulnerability during life transitions. The kits include two examples of domain-specific teaching strategies and an unfolding case scenario.
For several years now, the NLN has been very proud of the ACE.S (Advancing Care Excellence for Seniors) initiative. Initially funded through a three-year grant to foster gerontological nursing education for pre-licensure nursing programs, ACE.S has been disseminated across the academic spectrum through workshops in more than 20 states. The period between the E and the S in ACE.S is quite new — it was introduced in 2014 when the NLN extended the ACE.S concept to veterans (ACE.V) and persons with Alzheimer's disease (ACE.Z).
The ACE.S initiative is now housed in the NLN Center for Excellence in the Care of Vulnerable Populations. You can learn all about this extraordinary program — its funders, our partners, the ACE.S team, and, of course, upcoming events and all free resources — when you explore ACESXPRESS.org. Have fun — and let your imagination run wild as you plan ways to use ACE.S in your nursing classroom. If you would like to join the NLN as a strategic partner in disseminating ACE.S resources, be sure to let us know. Contact Tatiana Nin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope that my emphasis on ACE.S in this Member Update does not overshadow the many other webinars we are offering this month and through the spring. Look to the column on the right, to the Dates & Deadlines. Or click on the Professional Development Calendar for the most comprehensive list of events. A couple of significant deadlines are coming soon: abstracts are due February 13 (right before Valentine's Day) for the 10th Annual NLN/Elsevier Technology Conference, scheduled for October 22-24 in sunny Tampa, and applications are due February 15 for fellowship in the NLN Academy of Nursing Education.
There is another important deadline you should know about. February 15 is the deadline to enroll in or update an affordable, quality health insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Individuals can sign up at HealthCare.gov, and they can call 800-318-2596 or visit a local health center or other facility for information about coverage options. As health care leaders, nurses are among the most trusted sources of information about health care — not just to patients, but to the public as well. Please share this information with your patients, family members, and others in your community. You'll find additional information and links to materials relevant to nurses at marketplace.cms.gov.
In other public policy news, President Barack Obama released his federal budget for fiscal year (FY) 2016 on Monday February 2. Continuing his investment in the nation's health workforce, the president allocated $231.622 million for Title VIII nursing workforce development programs. While this is the same funding level as FY2015, this is only the first step in the federal funding process. The NLN will continue to educate the administration, members of Congress, and the public about the importance of these vital programs.
And a final word. February is Black History Month, a good time to read about the interesting life of Mary Seacole, a Jamaican/Scottish nurse who also provided care to the British soldiers during the Crimean War. She never worked with Florence Nightingale, but they were contemporary providers of care during a very important time of history for the nursing profession.
I'm not sure whether or not the groundhog saw its shadow on Monday, since there were multiple groundhogs co-creating mixed messages, but there are certain to be at least six more weeks of winter. I can feel it in the air. I hope yours is at least tolerable and actually enjoyable. We're beginning to see some slightly warm days in Washington and are looking forward to cherry blossoms.
All best wishes,
Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN
Chief Executive Officer