| Dear Colleague, |
I cannot begin this week's Member Update without saying a word about NLN chief operating officer and former member of the NLN Board of Governors Dr. Linda Christensen, who next month will earn her EdD from the College of St. Mary. As we approach Nurses Week 2015, May 6 -12, and talk about the value of lifelong learning for nurses, we can look to Linda as an exemplar. Already with a law degree, Linda can now be warmly acknowledged as "Dr. Dr." You can read more about Linda and the rest of our stellar management team here.
And colleagues, to all of you, happy Nurses Week. It is an honor for me to celebrate you, our members, and the valuable work we do. The NLN is planning some terrific activities including "Ethical Concerns for Nursing Faculty in Nursing Education," a webinar on Thursday, May 7, from 3:00 to 4:00 pm ET, in keeping with the 2015 theme, "Ethical Practice, Quality Care." Watch your email and social media for more information about the webinar and other events.
A week or so ago, I had the privilege of speaking at our Texas Constituent League in Austin. It was delightful. And I was so impressed by the determination, commitment, and passion of those nurse leaders as they described their ongoing journey with their relatively new league. I hope there are others interested in beginning or renewing an NLN Constituent League in their state. Chrissy Ward, our new director of membership, will be right there to help you along the way. Please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now on to other matters... Just yesterday, members of the NLN Board of Governors and our Public Policy Committee took part in our annual NLN Day on the Hill, and what a day it was! As always, we divided into teams, and in small groups made our way to the offices of the senators and members of the House who represent our home states. In that way, we were able to present the NLN message to Congressional representatives from all across the country.
And what was that message? So glad you asked. We advocated for Fiscal Year 2016 funding in three separate areas: Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Programs; Title VII Health Professions Programs; and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). We emphasized how Title VIII programs are evidence-based, cost-effective best practices that hold substantial promise for mitigating the complex factors contributing to the current and expected nurse and nurse faculty shortages. And we described how Title VII programs are a cost-effective source of funding for the education of health care providers who are more likely to return to medically underserved areas. We told of the need for SAMHSA funding in terms of dollars and cents but especially in human terms.
You and I both know how vital these programs are, but with the competition for funds and budget constraints, it is essential that nursing organizations — and individuals — advocate for what is right. Read about the NLN Public Policy Agenda and recommendations for advocacy teaching on the Advocacy and Public Policy page of the new NLN website. And be sure to take advantage of the teaching advocacy toolkit and our Government Affairs Action Center. We hope you will introduce the center to your students and encourage them to use their significant influence as future nurse professionals.
To give you a taste of what we experienced yesterday on Capitol Hill, visit our Twubs page. Yes, we tweeted yesterday's visits with our representatives, and yes, Twubs is a real word in the social media vocabulary. It means Twitter Hub, and it allows you to take part in the conversation if you have a Twitter account. And even without an account, you can check in and see what it's all about.
As we concluded each visit during our Day on the Hill, we left our business cards and offered our assistance. We left Christine Murphy's card as well. Christine, our new director, public policy and advocacy, is an important asset since we serve as the voice for nursing education in the public sphere and strive to mold the policy issues facing the nursing profession today. Be sure to contact her if you have any questions or recommendations.
Now one more thing. Please think about the people of Nepal who are facing devastation from the horrific earthquake this past Saturday. As I write this, CNN tells us that the death toll has passed 4600 and per the United Nations, though aid has started arriving there is still huge need; 1.4 million require food aid. There are many ways to help. A list of organizations is available here.
The heartrending news above reminds us how vital our profession is. There is nothing that can compare to being a NURSE so I'll close with all best wishes for an inspiring and thoughtful Nurses Week.
All best wishes,
Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN
Chief Executive Officer