Listen to the President's Podcast (May-June 2013)
I love the changing of seasons in Maine and spring is no exception. For any of you in areas of the country where things are coming back to life, you know what a boost it is for us all. It is a fitting time to share with you some exciting news as well.
I am thrilled to share with you a major national collaboration for NGNA and significant new member benefit. The Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing (HIGN) has joined with us to launch a new webinar series to improve nursing care for older adults. NGNA will provide expert faculty for six webinars each year and present clinical topics relevant to improving the delivery of healthcare to older adults. Members of NGNA will be able to access these webinars and other resources developed by the Hartford Institute, including the Gerontological Nursing Certification Review Course and other online learning modules, at heavily discounted rates. The webinars will also produce revenue for the organization. This is a win-win and I hope all of you will take advantage of this new member benefit.
For those of you with sharp eyes, did you notice anything new about the NGNA logo? Notice the new tagline: Where Compassion meets purpose. Your board leaders thoughtfully crafted a short description to describe to the world who NGNA is. I know you have all had experiences where people have asked “gero what?” when we tell them about NGNA. We felt it was important to differentiate our nursing organization from others. Our mission is clear – to improve nursing care for older adults. We now have a tagline that truly shares member passion and purpose.
Thank you all for your commitment to NGNA, the only inclusive nursing organization for gerontological nursing in the country!
Listen to the President's Podcast (Jan-Feb 2013)
As we roll into 2013 and see the world around us changing so rapidly, I thought I would share with each of you perhaps a new perspective on change: If it is not broken, then break it! If change is needed, be radical yet gradual. Some of you, like me, may have done a double take as you read this. This thinking flies in the face of conventional wisdom. Then I started to reflect on times when change is desperately needed and how being open to innovation is essential. How about our leaders in Washington, DC and their approach to the economy? After hearing about the fiscal cliff, debt ceilings, payroll tax hikes and health care cuts, have you concluded, like I have, that what we have always done just isn’t working? Only one thing is certain, that the fiscal management of our country will have to change. What isn’t so clear is the “right” path to accomplish this. Your Board leadership has been tackling the current realities of the changing economic climate and diverse member needs for our Association. We are staying laser focused on the path we have laid for NGNA in our dynamic strategic plan to address member value, member benefit and member networking opportunities.
2012 brought many successes as we achieved goals in our dynamic Strategic Plan, including new online CE webinar opportunities for members, the re-activation of our member list serve for networking, strengthening relationships with organizations such as the Hospice & Palliative Care Nursing Association and the Elder Workforce Alliance, and a collaboration with major health publisher Wiley-Blackwell to identify the learning needs of nurses caring for older adults. There is still much more to do.
In this first president’s message of 2013, I want you to know NGNA needs you now more than ever! Gerontological nurses, in all practice settings, can find a home in NGNA. The specialty of gerontological nursing is more relevant than ever. Stay tuned this year for new collaborations to provide you with accessible and affordable continuing education resources, more opportunities for showcasing your expertise and the Association’s continued influence to represent your voice in major health policy issues impacting clinical practice, education and financing.
I close by expressing my sincere thanks to each of you, whether you are retired, a volunteer, a clinician, educator, policy leader or researcher. No matter what your specific role or interest in gerontological nursing is today, kudos for doing what you do to improve the lives of older adults and their family caregivers everywhere.
Keeping the Passion Alive
By Amy Cotton MSN, GNP-BC, FNP-BC, FNGNA
For those of you who joined me at the 27th Annual NGNA Convention in Baltimore, you know the inspiration, energy and passion that was present. Regardless of your role as a gerontological nurse, finding ways to re-energize, gain new knowledge and remember why you commit yourself to influence improved nursing care for older persons is critical. NGNA’s annual convention is an important opportunity to do this; but don’t forget, networking locally with your gerontological and interprofessional colleagues is powerful as well.
At Convention, I was reminded of two things. First, our appreciation for the leadership and legacy of those NGNA members who have blazed the trail for our organization, and remain active participants in meeting our mission. You know who you are. Without you freely sharing your wisdom, resources and time, NGNA would not be the organization that it is today.
Second, I was reminded that the “new guard” is arriving on a regular basis. From the enthusiastic involvement of students, to the number of members who are dipping their toes into committee involvement for the first time, and all others who are putting forth their names for leadership and Fellows opportunities - all of you are the vital sources for NGNA to continue to meet our mission, improving nursing care given to older adults.
I am so appreciative of the current state of scientific knowledge, the evidence-based practice tools and relevant health policy information I heard at our Baltimore meeting. Equally important was the ability to fill up my “passion tank” and be reminded in such a vivid way of the extraordinary influence my gerontological nursing colleagues have on the world.
Take a moment to think of ways to fill up your “passion tank.” The world needs us to lead the way for improving health care for older persons!
Baltimore-Bound for a National Gerontological Nursing Week Celebration
By Amy Cotton MSN, GNP-BC, FNP-BC, FNGNA
Listen to the President's Podcast (September-October 2012)
It is an honor to recognize and celebrate the nation’s gerontological nurses during National Gerontological Nursing Week October 1 – 8, 2012. On behalf of NGNA’s Board of Directors and national office staff, I heartily express appreciation for your passion and commitment to excellence, and the difference you make in the lives of older adults and their family caregivers. I do hope you can join me at NGNA’s celebration during our 27th Annual Convention in Baltimore October 4 – 6, 2012.
I encourage all of you to remember your story of becoming a gerontological nurse. Early in my career on a med-surg hospital unit, I accidentally discovered my passion for older adults. I vividly recall scanning a shift patient assignment and having my heart light up when I saw their dates of birth were over 70. I had an innate burning desire to deliver excellent care to older patients and their family caregivers. Too many times to count I had patients, family members or others on the health care team tell me how different my nursing care delivery was from other nursing colleagues on my unit. This was what prompted me to obtain specialty certification as a gerontological nurse.
How do others recognize you as a gerontological nurse? Is it your passion, expert knowledge, or dogged determination to make things better for the elders to whom you provide care? The nation’s gerontological nurses are positioned to influence current and future health care delivery to older adults across this country. NGNA’s voice is strengthened as we join with the 7 gerontological-focused organizations in the Coalition of Geriatric Nursing Organizations to influence policy and practice. With the Affordable Care Act transforming health care delivery, gerontological nurses are an integral part of the solution to re-invent a system of care that needs to change.
Thank you for all you do to improve the quality of nursing care delivered to older adults. Don’t ever stop….we need you now more than ever. Happy Gerontological Nursing Week!