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September 6, 2017 | For Members Only | NLN CEO Update on Latest NLN Vision Statement | Hurricane Harvey

NLN Member Update September 6 2017
header XX, Issue Number 16

September 6, 2017
bevphoto Dear Colleagues,

Colleagues, I am writing this message against the backdrop of severe flooding and misery in Houston and other cities in Texas and along the Gulf Coast – with eyes on Hurricane Irma, already causing major damage in the eastern Caribbean. No one at this time knows the extent of the loss of life and property and environmental damage, nor how long families will be displaced from their homes, what they will find when they return, and how they will rebuild. However, we know the resilience of our American family is to return and rebuild.

With lessons learned from recent disasters, most prominently Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and Sandy in 2011, hospitals, nursing homes, shelters, and other institutions have made critical changes to prepare for devastating acts of nature. It has been amazing to know that during this storm, our colleagues – nurses, physicians, first responders, and other health personnel – have been able to maintain, against all odds, adequate levels of staff to provide life-sustaining care and to meet potential challenges to public and individual health. But Harvey and its aftermath have been beyond anything we’ve seen before. The NLN has many, many members in the affected areas – our hearts go out to all of you, to your families, and to your communities. We wish you strength, fortitude, and wisdom in the months and years to come. With more than 124 years under our belt, the NLN is ready to travel the long road to recovery with our members and colleagues.

On behalf of the NLN President, NLN Board of Governors, and all of our members, we have made a $1,000 donation to the American Red Cross through the NLN Foundation. Knowing our membership, I am confident that you will further respond to this crisis by giving generously of your personal funds. I know also that with your students, you will help provide nursing care where needed. Nurses everywhere will rise to this challenge, and there will be stories to share for many years to come.

Before I was overwhelmed by the immediacy of Hurricane Harvey, I had decided to devote my last message before the NLN Summit in San Diego to the NLN’s latest Vision Statement on Graduate Preparation for Academic Nurse Educators. I shall now take advantage of this opportunity. The Vision Statement, and the competencies on which it is based, will be a topic for discussion during our annual National Faculty Meeting at the Summit. I anticipate a spirited conversation there, as well as great interest from all schools of nursing going forward.

Briefly, this new vision statement updates our Vision for Doctoral Preparation for Nurse Educators, released in 2013. It became apparent in recent years that our focus on doctoral education – both research and practice doctorate degrees – overlooked something essential: that all faculty teaching in schools of nursing must understand discipline-specific pedagogy, whether or not they are doctorally prepared. We therefore came to the realization that it would be important to shift the focus “to reinforce the belief that all graduate education in nursing needs to foster scholarship in teaching and learning and advance the science of nursing education.”

You may have noticed, colleagues, that I am using the pronoun we. I must be more specific and give credit to Dr. Barbara Patterson, professor at Widener University, who is serving the NLN as distinguished scholar with the NLN | Chamberlain Center for the Advancement of the Science of Nursing Education. Barbara, working closely with two other fellows of the NLN Academy of Nursing Education – Drs. Karen Morin and Anne Belcher – conducted an extensive review of the literature to identify the state of the science of nurse educator preparation at the graduate level. That was just the beginning. The process of developing our new Program Outcomes and Competencies for Graduate Academic Nurse Educator Preparation involved countless discussions with national experts and thought leaders and as well as focus groups held at national nurse educator conferences.

You already know that nursing education is a specialized area of practice. With this new document (release date: September 11, 2017) and the accompanying Vision Statement, you will find clarity in your critical role as faculty. As always, NLN Vision Statements offer recommendations for the nursing profession and for nursing programs. There are also recommendations for us at the NLN. We will do our part through ongoing faculty development, certification for nurse educators, and scholarship funding, all founded on our core values of caring, diversity, integrity, and excellence.

These are challenging times for all of us, and the NLN mission is as important as it ever was: “To promote excellence in nursing education to build a strong and diverse nursing workforce to advance the health of our nation and the global community.” To meet this goal and be true to our core values, we will continue to do our part to support the “vital goal of preparing faculty to be expert practitioners, skilled in knowledge generation and knowledge translation in the science of nursing practice and care delivery.” I find it essential and affirming for the NLN to have an important role to play.

Before I close, I must share some sad news. Dr. Louise Fitzpatrick, beloved dean of the Villanova University College of Nursing for almost 40 years, has died after a long illness. The president of Villanova, Dr. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, wrote that Louise “embodied the spirit of what it means to be a Villanova nurse – competent and compassionate, fully committed to bettering the lives of patients and the community at large.” Under her leadership, the Villanova College of Nursing was recognized as an NLN Center of Excellence for advancing the science of nursing education. There is so much I could say about Louise, again quoting Dr. Donohue, as a “visionary whose heart and soul were dedicated to advancing the nursing and health care field.” She will live on through countless nurses whose lives she touched over her many years as an educator. I will miss her.

Now let me say a final word. We are thrilled that so many of you will join us in San Diego next week at the NLN Education Summit. (It’s not too late to – onsite registration is available.) We will miss those who cannot join us this year and look forward to connecting with our community of colleagues, both in person and virtually, throughout the coming year…see you at the Summit.

All the best,

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Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN
Chief Executive Officer

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