NEW YORK NURSE: December 2008
by Joely Johnson
Would you like a say in what happens to nursing issues at a national level? Now is the time to run for a two-year position on the American Nurses Association House of Delegates, the governing body of the ANA.
NYSNA representatives, elected by the entire membership, attend the ANA House of Delegates to vote on issues that affect nursing across the United States. The House meets in June of even-numbered years and the association provides a stipend to cover delegate travel expenses. NYSNA also provides informational sessions before each meeting to orient delegates and help them understand the questions they will be voting on.
NYSNA has the largest contingent of delegates in the House – there is voting strength in our numbers. Because of new term limits, however, 33 of the 86 members who served as delegates in 2008 will be leaving at the end of their current term. They will not be eligible to run for delegate in the upcoming 2009 election, which elects delegates for the 2010-2011 House.
In addition, the association’s delegate allotment will most likely increase in the next biennium. It will be crucial to fill all of NYSNA’s positions in the 2010 House. Extra candidates are also required to be named as alternates.
Kimberly Velez of Brooklyn has been a delegate for six years and said the experience was very worthwhile. “I never knew there was a level of nurses that help to make big decisions for the whole country,” she said. “I found it fascinating and took my position very seriously.” Velez says she is sorry to have to leave her seat, but she has plans to run for delegate when she becomes eligible again.
New delegates can ask to be connected with an experienced delegate for support and guidance. “There was so much information to absorb,” said first-time delegate Beverley Shields of Jamaica Hills. She attended the 2008 House, which met in Washington, D.C., during the ANA Convention. “Judy Gonzalez was my mentor and she really helped me feel at ease.”
The Nominating Committee strongly urges members to become candidates for delegate and to encourage colleagues to consider this service. You must be a full NYSNA member to run (Those with “Direct Membership” status are not members of ANA and so are ineligible). The nominating form is included on page 17 of this issue of New York Nurse and is also available at www.nysna.org. The deadline for nominations for delegates and other positions is Jan. 30, 2009.
The Nominating Committee requests that you make note of the following special circumstances relating to this Call for Nominations for the 2009 association-wide election:
The Nominating Committee’s deadline for submission of nominations – Jan. 30, 2009 – is earlier this year than in past years.
The Election Committee is being elected for the first time in 2009 and will be responsible for considering all protests from members concerning all aspects of the election process. Detailed information about the Election Committee’s role and functions is contained in Board of Directors Policy 3.8 Election Protest Procedure, which was adopted in June 2008 and can be found on the members only section of www.nysna.org (log in at the top of the page and click on “Board Policies”).
Three members of the Election Committee are elected to three-year terms, and two members are appointed. Election Committee members may not be candidates for any NYSNA position on the slate while they are serving on the committee.