| Dear Colleague,
So, for the first test of 2015, who knows which historic city was the setting for the first formally recognized curriculum for RNs established by the Daughters of Charity? If you think it’s New Orleans, you are correct — and you have the answer to the NLN Foundation for Nursing Education’s (FNE’s) very first Friday Fascinating Fact, broadcast via social media this past February 13. This coming Friday, February 20, the FNE will issue another Fascinating Fact challenge — and you will be tested once again; that is, I mean, you will be invited to find the answer on Tuesday, February 24, on the FNE website
We hope that playing Fun Fact Friday — and seeking the answers to intriguing questions — will pique your interest in nursing and nursing education history and that you will share your new knowledge with friends, students, and fellow nurses. And, most importantly, we want Fun Fact Friday to cause you, each week, to think about the NLN Foundation for Nursing Education and the important work we do.
The FNE supports the work of the NLN by raising money for our efforts to build a strong and diverse nursing workforce to advance the health of our nation and the global community. Each year, the FNE offers scholarships to graduate students seeking to advance their education and careers as nurse educators. For example, in 2014, four doctoral candidates shared $28,000 in scholarship awards thanks to fundraising and to a number of named NLN Foundation funds: the Margaret Ann Kerr Endowment and Elizabeth Isaac Marcil Endowment Funds, both donated by Kathy Mershon; the Jack and Joe Simpson, Jr. Endowment Fund; and the Dorothy A. Otto Endowment Fund.
A goal of the scholarship program, created in 2007, is to promote academic progression and expand the diversity and cultivate greater cultural competence of nurse educators. We succeeded beautifully with the following recipients: Nakia C. Best, MSN, RN, CNL, a clinical Instructor at Duke University and student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Janet A. Levey, MSN, RN-BC, CNE, an assistant professor at Concordia University and student at Marquette University in Milwaukee; Zula Price, MSN, RN, an assistant professor at Langston University and student at Hampton University in Virginia; and Deborah A. Stone, MSN, RN, an instructor at Fitchburg State University and student at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. In 2015, we want to continue offering funding to eligible nurse educators for master's and doctoral training. With your help we can do just that.
When we presented the four awards at the 2014 NLN Education Summit, development officer Maureen Concannon was not present — in fact she joined the NLN staff a week or two later. But she will be with us when we reconvene this year in Las Vegas, September 30 to October 2. Maureen is eager to communicate her goal to encourage members to become donors, so that the FNE can expand this valuable scholarship program as well as the grants, research, and faculty development programs we offer.
Let me call your attention to the NLN Foundation Endowment Funds webpage and the Invitation to Join the Isabel Hampton Robb Society . If every one of our members who has benefited from faculty development opportunities from the NLN or has had excellent results in the classroom while using NLN-developed teaching materials would give back — even a little — we could do so much more.
Giving is an interesting phenomenon, especially for nurses who are continually giving so much to others. However, when one gives to the NLN Foundation, one chooses to give back to nursing education, to the nurses of the future, and to those nurse faculty who strive each day to advance the science of nursing education. These are the educators who reject the practice of teaching without an evidence base, just like those clinicians who insist on the practice of evidence-based nursing. They are frequently our certified nurse educators (CNE), fellows of the Academy of Nursing Education (ANEF), NLN ambassadors, and faculty teaching within our NLN Centers of Excellence. Some may be outstanding students, lacking significant resources but eager for a faculty career and already willing to give back.
When you turn around and look down the side of the mountain you've been climbing, don't you want to make it easier for those who follow? Giving is a way to create footholds along the side of the mountain, to build not only roads but highways to faculty excellence and to share with our colleagues what may not have been available to those of us who came along at an earlier time — resources and funds to advance the science of nursing education.
Please think about these words this coming Friday when you are again faced with the challenge of a Fascinating Fact. Repeat after me: This is not a test. It is simply an invitation.
All best wishes,
Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN
Chief Executive Officer