By Mary Rita Hurley, RN, MPA, FNGNA
Hello NGNA Members,
I am Mary Rita Hurley, your new NGNA Board President for 2013-2015. It is an honor to be leading our esteemed Board of Directors as we represent you on behalf of NGNA. Serving and giving back to the profession that has given so much to me over these past 34 years is one way I can use my voice. How are you using yours? It is so important for us to identify ourselves as nurses in every setting we practice because we are the patient, resident, and client advocates. We walk the talk every day in our role(s) in our practice settings. We are an amazing force of three million strong in the country. Can you even imagine what we could do if we harnessed our energy into one collective voice? I can. We would see older adults treated with consistent dignity and respect. Quality of life discussions would be the norm. Care providers would be acknowledged and applauded for the care and compassion they demonstrate day in and day out. This is not a dream but a reality in many places. We at NGNA are striving to make this the default all over the country. We do this by being involved locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Check out our website and the resources offered there, attend Gero specific conferences, write a letter to Congress addressing your concerns and offer a solution, and volunteer with us or other professional organizations that speak to your heart. We know you are all busy and have trouble finding a spare minute, however, if you stop for just a second and listen you will find you have more to say than you know.
I have been a member of NGNA for many years for one simple reason: I belong here. Why? Because this organization is the only Gero nursing practice organization in the country. We are the only ones that have our LPN and CNA colleagues included in the ranks. We are inclusive. Given the state of our healthcare system and the ever changing landscape, it is important to “rally the troops” and keep our focus steady: quality care of older adults. It’s what you and I do every day. Our 28th annual conference in Clearwater, Florida last month really brought this to light. An energetic gathering of 200 + likeminded Gero nurses came together to share their stories, best practices and collaborative spirits. It was wonderful to reconnect with dear friends and colleagues but I especially loved the students that attended. We had more this year than in our history! Their optimism, positive energy, and natural curiosity got me all excited about being a nurse again. These are very bright and talented young people. I am so glad they chose to affiliate with NGNA. We were inspired by our keynote speakers, shed a few tears, and laughed so hard – we had to catch our breath. That is what I love about NGNA, you can be you and be renewed and refreshed in 2 short days. Priceless!
Enjoy the upcoming holiday season and feel free to contact me or any of the Board with your ideas and suggestions. And, remember your voice is powerful. Use it!
All the best,
Mary Rita Hurley, RN, MPA, FNGNA