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President's Message; Volume 18, Issue 3

Innovation, Inspiration, and Imagination: Put Yourself Out There

By: Susan Carlson, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, GNP-BC, FNGNA

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Susan Carlson If you are interested in having a truly humbling and exhilarating experience – one that might be described as “to infinity and beyond”, or nicknamed “extreme learning” - simply sign up for one of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 150 Symposia open to the public to showcase and celebrate its accomplishments over the past 150 years. Being interested in a variety of subjects, I enrolled in the course titled, “Computation: The Transformation of Practically Everything” 1 on April 11 &12. After all, I did take four years of math in high school – taught by Mr. Trulson, a genius of a teacher - so I decided it would be great idea!

Some of you may remember the iconic TV commercial several years ago advertising Maxell Sound Systems. The image is of a guy sitting in a low, easy chair with his hands gripping the armrests while gale force winds blow his hair straight back, necktie permanently in fixed position. That closely describes my experience with this course. After the initial shock, it was absolutely fascinating to hear pioneers in the fields of computer science and engineering discuss the advancements with computers since first introduced primarily for storing information. I thought about how, during the course of only a few decades, our world has been transformed in the most fundamental ways. For example, we are so connected electronically to our mobile devices with apps for everything imaginable, and we can view nearly real-time events with YouTube videos at our fingertips.

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President's Message; Volume 18, Issue 2

Susan Carlson

President's Message

The Art of Possibility

By: Susan Carlson, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, GNP-BC, FNGNA

If your latest reading choices are seed catalogs, travel books, and tips on how to de-clutter your life, you might just have a touch of Spring Fever! Spring’s tempo is fast and short-lived so take advantage of the wonderful feeling of anticipation brought by this emerging season. Like the natural laws of nature, the NGNA board follows a sequential and progressive schedule. We discuss and deliberate our strategic plan in the winter, we begin to cultivate and implement our plans in the spring, summer is the season to monitor and nurture the initiatives, and in the fall we measure our outcomes against our goals, gather for our annual convention and begin the cycle all over again. But this illustration is simply a linear process and although certainly important and fundamental to good business planning, the systems thinking approach used by our board, committees, SIGs and fellows is really the heart of NGNA’s innovation and focus on mission. Let’s discuss another approach that is much more than a “how to” guide to accomplish professional goals.
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President's Message; Volume 17, Issue 6

The Courage to Lead

Susan Carlson, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, GNP-BC, FNGNA
NGNA President

The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.1
- John Buchan

To put it another way, leadership is when you look for and find the strengths of others and mobilize them for action toward a vision. NGNA conventions illustrate these phenomena artfully and deliberately. In my experience, NGNA conventions have always included a blend of culture, entertainment, scholarly pursuit, and professional networking, all centered on our mission of improving the quality of nursing care provided to older adults.

The NGNA 25th Anniversary Convention added the historical perspective and our call to action for gerontological nursing’s future. There was no better way to celebrate our past, present, and future than to unveil our 2010 Gerontological Nursing Practice: Scope and Standards of Practice (4th ed.)2 and to hear the highlights of the IOM Report on “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health”3 delivered by Jennie Chin Hansen, IOM committee member and recipient of the 2007 NGNA Lifetime Achievement Award.