Older Americans are nationally celebrated each May. The United States Administration on Aging has chosen “Unleash the Power of Age” as the theme for this year’s recognition. The Administration on Aging developed Older Americans Month in 1963 as a time to pay tribute to the contributions of past and current older Americans and to raise awareness of the needs of this population to live a healthy, enriching life. Through this theme, NGNA members recognize that older Americans are productive, active, and influential members of society, sharing essential talents, wisdom, and life experience with their families, friends, and neighbors.
Imagine for a moment if every older adult admitted to the hospital asked what steps were being taken to ensure their safety and how could they help? How would the health care landscape change if every older adult was engaged in shared decision making for treatment decisions? These kinds of actions could change the world of health care delivery. I encourage each of you to identify one way you could “Unleash the Power of Age” in your area of influence.
NGNA’s board of directors, committee and special interest group leaders and members as well as our Fellows are working hard to take action to improve the health care older adults are receiving. As the October 3 – 5, 2013 NGNA Annual Convention fast approaches, I hope you will consider joining your peers in Clearwater, Florida from across the nation to advance your nursing knowledge and improve the nursing care you deliver.
On behalf of your board of directors, I thank each of you for the work you do to honor the lives of older Americans and ensure quality nursing is delivered to those who need it.
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, FAAN
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!