| Dear Colleagues, |
Happy New Year. I hope you are ready for a truly positive experience, albeit with a tight deadline. With this first message of 2017, let me remind you that the last day to submit nominations for key NLN leadership positions –
to take office during the San Diego Education Summit September 14-16 – is January 13 (that’s in two days!). By submitting your name in nomination, you’ll be in line to help lead the NLN toward the third decade of the 21st century. (Can this really be true? Wasn’t it just yesterday that we worried about Y2K?)
Seriously, for nurse educators who are committed to the NLN mission and core values, having a leadership role in the NLN is an extraordinary opportunity to help transform the nursing education landscape and influence the quality of health care for years to come. We are seeking strong candidates for the positions
of president-elect, treasurer, and governor-at-large, as well as members of the NLN Certification Commission and Nominating Committee. Won’t you think about whether you are ready to be part of the NLN leadership team? If your New Year’s resolution was to work toward the greater good and help expand the influence of nursing, the well-being and resilience of faculty, and students across disciplines, I can think of no better way.
After candidates are announced in April, make sure that you exercise your right to vote. As a member of this proud association – the oldest nursing organization in the United States – you have an obligation to ensure that a strong leadership team is in place to steer us on our journey. All votes count. Your vote will count.
For the NLN, the transition from one governing team to another takes place in September. For citizens of the United States – the time is now, right here in DC. A new president will be inaugurated on January 20, and a brand new Congress was sworn in last week. I am excited to report that this new Congress is the most racially diverse in history – although the number of women will remain the same at 19 percent. We are looking forward to working with all members as we bring the NLN public policy agenda to Capitol Hill.
One of the first areas of concern for nursing has to do with the December 14 rule by the US Department of Veterans Affairs extending full practice authority to three of the four types of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) serving in the Veterans Health Administration.
Now, nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, and clinical nurse specialists can practice to the full extent of their education, training, and certification when acting within the scope of their VA employment, regardless of state restrictions. Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) were not granted authority in the final rule, but the VA provided a 30-day comment period, which closes on January 13, and we were able to add our voice. You still have time to send a message of support for full practice authority for CRNAs through the Veterans Access to Quality Healthcare Alliance. (The NLN is a member.)
The other area of major concern is, of course, the future of the Affordable Care Act. As you know, the NLN is committed to the “principle that all individuals have equitable access to comprehensive health and wellness care addressing all health conditions, including mental health and substance use disorders.” At this time, how the legislative process will play out is not at all clear. We will continue to monitor the actions on Capitol Hill and make every attempt to keep you informed through the monthly NLN Capitol Connection.
One area of great interest in health care policy is the role of RNs in community team-based care. Along with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the American Nurses Association, and the American Organization of Nurse Executives, the NLN is a member of the Tri-Council for Nursing, which has released “The Essential Role of the Registered Nurse and Integration of Community Health Workers into Community Team-Based Care,” which informs consumers, providers, and policymakers about the changing nature of care in the community. The report describes the various models of care and delineates the roles of RNs and community health workers as key members of high-impact teams.
And some kudos before I close . . . vSim for Nursing, a collaborative product from Wolters Kluwer, Laerdal Medical, and the NLN, has won an AJN Book of the Year Award for digital products. Join me in sending a shout out to Dr. Susan Forneris, deputy director of the NLN Center for Innovation in Simulation and Technology, who led the NLN team to develop and pilot the vSim series. Sue is in Minneapolis right now, so I hope she can hear us through the cold and the snow.
In addition, we were excited and proud to learn that Teaching in Nursing: A Guide for Faculty by Dr. Diane Billings and Dr. Judith Halstead, our NLN CNEA executive director, won first place as a Book of the Year in the category Nursing Education/Continuing Education/Professional Development. The second place winner is Transition from Clinician to Educator: A Practical Approach by Dr. Maria C. Fressola and Dr. G. Elaine Patterson, who served so ably as a member of the NLN Board of Governors until last September. The talent in and around the NLN is so very impressive.
I look forward to 2017 as a year of action, mindfulness, and creativity. Colleagues, I am excited to be a part of our NLN journey. Let me close with best wishes for a meaningful remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King on January 16 – a national day of service – and another Happy New Year, with good health and happiness for us all. Let’s make 2017 a year to remember.
All the best,
Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN
Chief Executive Officer