| Dear Colleagues,
I know I think about it and I imagine you do too. As we grow older, and as we see our parents and other loved ones age, we are all too aware of the vulnerability of the elderly and the complexity of the care they require. With that realization comes the understanding that a skilled nursing workforce is needed to deliver individualized, humanistic, and competent care to older adults.
Educating faculty to prepare such a workforce was the motivating factor in the development of ACE.S (Advancing Care Excellence for Seniors), our highly successful, evidence-based program that offers geriatric teaching resources for faculty. Many of you have attended ACE.S workshops throughout the country and use our teaching strategies and resources regularly. You are on a first-name basis with Millie Larson, Red Yoder, and the other original ACE.S unfolding cases, and you visit ACESXPRESS to view our webinars and download starter kits for an introduction to teaching each of the ACE.S essential knowledge domains.
With the success of ACE.S, however, we became aware of an enormous gap. The segment of the nursing workforce in the frontlines of providing care to the elderly in non-acute care settings – in community-based ambulatory clinics, in long-term care facilities, and in homes – are practical nurses educated as LPNs and LVNs. These dedicated nurses are regularly called upon to provide care to an increasingly frail population, who often cope with chronic and debilitating diseases. It is imperative that PN program faculty also have access to resources that will help them teach individualized, humanistic, and competent care.
To help address this need, the NLN’s Center for Excellence in the Care of Vulnerable Populations and the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI), with generous funding from the Retirement Research Foundation, are offering an intensive workshop several times this year at locations across the country. “Integrating Nursing Skills for Person-Centered Care in Practical Nursing Programs” will provide evidence-based tools for PN educators, using the ACE.S program and PHI’s coaching-communication skills. The workshop will take place in five cities, starting with Santa Ana, CA, on April 6. PN faculty will learn about interactive teaching strategies that explore the role of nurses through the eyes of the person served and will be introduced to geriatric tools, resources, coaching skills, and simulations. PN faculty, don’t miss this excellent opportunity and, when you can, please take a look at our 2014 “Vision for Recognition of the Role of Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses in Advancing the Nation’s Health.”
Now a few announcements before I close. First, let me tell you about the exciting honor just bestowed on a great friend of the NLN. Tore Laerdal, founder of Laerdal Medical, was named an Oslo Business for Peace Award recipient, the first Norwegian to win the prestigious honor. An independent committee of Nobel Laureates in peace and economics selects the honorees from a pool of nominees put forward by the UN Development Program, UN Global Compact, and the International Chamber of Commerce. As noted in the announcement, “Tore Laerdal, through his company, Laerdal Medical, has manufactured modern resuscitation services and solutions that have helped save hundreds of thousands of lives.” Laerdal Medical is a long-time corporate partner of the NLN. We thank Tore for his vision and leadership and his contributions to society.
Next, did you know that March is Women’s History Month? Nursing’s remarkable history in the United States and around the world is a tribute to many amazing women. A number of events are scheduled but nurses may be particularly interested in “Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project.” Enjoy your reading and the feelings of pride that are inevitable when we remember the pioneers who brought our profession into being.
And March 19 is Certified Nurses Day, a national day to honor and recognize the important achievement of nursing specialty and subspecialty certification. I would like to close with a shout out to our 5,100 certified nurse educators. Colleagues, when you use the credential CNE, you communicate to students, peers, and the academic and health care communities that the highest standards of excellence are being met. You are a leader and a role model for others. If you are not yet a CNE, read about the NLN Certified Nurse Educator Program and the requirements for taking the CNE exam. We have numerous resources such as the official NLN Certified Nurse Educator Review Book and the Certified Nurse Educator Examination Candidate Handbook to help you on your journey.
And finally, I’ll soon be taking a few days’ vacation, so look for my next Member Update in one month, on April 13. I hope you enjoy the beginning of spring.
Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN
Chief Executive Officer