Dear OADN Members:
As I write my first message to you in the new year of 2021, I cannot help but take a deep sigh with the conclusion of 2020. When preparing to write this message, I reviewed last year’s message never realizing my concluding words would be so imminent in 2020. One year ago, I said to each of you, “I think we are all frequently reminded of the fragility and preciousness of life, and so in conclusion, my wish for each of you is ultimately good health!” At that time, I had no idea we would be faced with the greatest global pandemic we had ever encountered; nurses as front-line workers would provide care from the essence of their soul, nursing education would pivot to a totally different modality of education always keeping students at the forefront, and the way of life we were accustomed would be disrupted and forever changed.
Throughout this past year, OADN has attempted to be accountable to member needs with various initiatives to guide and assist through these tumultuous times. The OADN COVID-19 Task Force generated resources to provide innovative ideas and strategies. This task force will continue to meet and produce much needed information. Under the leadership of the Chief Operating Officer, the OADN Simulation Task Force in partnership with Unbound Medicine has created OADN Virtual Simulation Reviews (VSR) – a structured and objective resource that assists nursing educators in identifying products that augment or replace clinical experiences. I encourage you to review this exceptional resource. The OADN Virtual Convention was a huge success with record registration, thanks to many of you who attended. OADN has realized the virtual format was very advantageous and provided many of you the opportunity to participate.
Finally, 2020 displayed many injustices and as result OADN has formed the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force. This task force will assess the nursing education experiences of faculty and students with diverse positionalities and develop educational resources to support the development of antiracism and social justice competencies in nursing education.
As a result of the past year my message is to embrace the unknown and hold with deep conviction the preciousness of life. In many ways, we have all suffered some loss. But, as devastating as the pandemic has been, it has taught us many lessons. Life can never be taken for granted, our community whatever it may be is so very important, inclusivity and transparency are essential, and we must take care of ourselves and each other. As our world continues to be forever changing, we must remain vigilant in our focus, a positive attitude, and demonstrate gratitude to each other. Embracing the unknown may be an uncomfortable proposition, but I encourage you to face the future with the continuance of persistence and with a strong spirit. We are dynamic individuals, and we will get through this current situation stronger for what we have learned.
In closing, I appreciate all of you for your compassion as nurses and nurse educators. I am hopeful the year ahead will be exactly what we describe every January, a NEW YEAR filled with possibility. As I checked out of a store today, I said to the young clerk, Happy New Year. Her reply simple but filled with positivity and huge smile, “Yes, it will be!” I am holding those words close and wish you all the very best in 2021.
Donna Meyer, MSN, RN, ANEF, FAADN, FAAN