Dear OADN Members:
I am wondering if everyone else is feeling the same way I am at this point! What happened to the first month of 2015? I can hardly believe January is coming to a close and yet with every new year there is renewed energy for the upcoming activities and innovative endeavors approaching. Shortly after the arrival of 2015, the OADN Board of Directors traveled to the national office in Pensacola, Florida for the Board of Directors meeting. Do not be too envious of our Florida travels, one night it was 19 degrees! However, the gulf waters looked breathtaking and there was an era of excitement as this was our first meeting at the national office. We spent time with the dedicated staff that helps so much in our work. OADN would not achieve many of the accomplishments it does without this essential support and commitment to our mission. The Board meeting was an intense period of hard work, discussing many complex issues to continue advancing the mission of OADN.
One extremely important decision was the appointment of the public board member, Dr. Liana Orsolini. I am sure everyone saw the announcement regarding Dr. Orsolini’s appointment. However, as CEO I would like to personally welcome her. Her addition to the Board is truly an asset as her background and expertise in associate degree nursing is nationally recognized. Dr. Orsolini was the only nurse representing associate degree nursing on the institute of Medicine’s report on the Future of Nursing: Creating Change, Advancing Health. She will bring a new perspective to the OADN Board and we look forward to her valuable insight over the next two years.
Shortly after returning from the Board trip, it was off to Houston for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) Advisory Committee Meeting. This was an invitation only meeting, and I am fortunate to represent OADN as a member of the RWJF APIN National Advisory Committee. There were approximately 55 individuals present representing the nine APIN states, as well as members of other state action coalitions, Center to Champion Nursing (CCNA) consultants, and Dr. Susan Hassmiller, RWJF Senior Advisor for Nursing. It was exciting to be with OADN members who were present to represent the community college voice through their action coalitions and the amazing academic progression initiatives they are focusing on in their regions. Thank you for being there so our voice is heard and for being BOLD! Being bold and taking risks is a true sign of leadership and so as the CEO, I say THANK YOU. It was a meeting filled with candid discussions concerning academic progression with universities and community colleges discussing a new model of academic progression involving true partnerships. You will be hearing more about the new model, as well as others in the very near future. However, the important point is that community college programs are and will continue to be a major player in nursing education. It may change in appearance to some degree, but community colleges will be engaged in educating the future registered nursing workforce of this country. I encourage all of you to become involved in OADN and your state action coalitions; associate degree nursing needs your innovative thoughts and VOICE! We need everyone’s involvement to continue nursing education at the community college.
Believe it or not, I am flying through the clouds as I journey to my next destination to represent all of you. I am traveling to the American Association of Community Colleges Workforce Development Institute. I will be presenting on “Planning Properly for HealthCare Professions.” I will be discussing the new models of nursing education, including community colleges offering the baccalaureate degree in nursing. This initiative is becoming more wide-spread in every state I travel, and I believe will continue its momentum.
It is relaxing sitting in my window seat, watching the clouds go by, and thinking of you: the membership as I write this message. I think of the important work you are completing on a daily basis. I often compliment and expound upon your dedication as nurse educators to the profession and to students as I travel the country to discuss the important role of community college nursing programs. Each of you is providing the foundation to the future nursing workforce. I want to say thank you for giving me such a wonderful opportunity to represent each of you as OADN members. Everyone needs to find their passion, and I have found mine in supporting and advocating for all of you and community college nursing education. Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.