NEW YORK NURSE: July/August 2010
by Karen A. Ballard, MA, RN, FAAN, President
The summer months are a time of new beginnings and adventure for many nurses. Nursing students are experiencing the newfound freedom of completed coursework and are preparing to take that first step into the profession of nursing. Others are celebrating various life events as they become spouses/partners, parents, grandparents, or achieve additional professional credentials, or retire. And some are simply looking forward to enjoying a much-needed vacation during a few lazy days of summer.
For a number of NYSNA members, the summer began with the new adventure of attending the American Nurses Association’s House of Delegates (HOD) as first-time delegates. Likely, for most of these newly-minted delegates, what came next was also a first-time opportunity. It was their first time to be in the same room with President Barack Obama and — for a lucky few — the first time to shake hands with the President of the United States.
And, for those of us who have attended the HOD many times before, it was probably the first time that we got through the agenda and business at hand in such a timely manner that we were able to substantively address new business and end early on the last day! For me, it was my first time to attend as NYSNA’s president, and I was so pleased to see so many members emerge as leaders and represent NYSNA in a professional and dignified manner. I was so proud of the NYSNA delegation and just wish that I could do this again with you!
Whatever the summer months bring for you, I hope you will each take a few moments and reflect on what is important to you and what you can do to enrich your life and your nursing association. Take that first step and get involved. Vote in the upcoming NYSNA elections. Attend a local bargaining unit meeting or educational program at your facility. Come to the Biennial Conference in October. As you will see in this issue, NYSNA continues to be at the forefront of nursing issues as advocates for the profession and patients every day, but it cannot be as effective without members like you. You are NYSNA. You can be proud of the accomplishments of your professional association because you had a hand in achieving them.
Here are a few more firsts for NYSNA members to take pride in:
For the first time in NYSNA history, seven members received awards at the ANA’s HOD this year, including two members being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
For the first time, NYSNA members joined approximately 90 other nursing colleagues from across the nation at the first Labor Academy of the National Federation of Nurses (NFN) held in Chicago in May.
For the first time, all four of NYSNA’s legislative priorities were moving at the end of session and, with encouragement, our colleagues at the ANA-HOD made calls to let the state legislature know that nurses across the nation support our educational advancement bill.
Let your first action for this summer be stepping up and getting involved with NYSNA. Become a leader in your bargaining unit; nominate yourself for the Leadership Academy, serve on a NYSNA committee or council; invite a non-member colleague to join; visit a nursing school in your area and talk about the significance of being a member of your professional nursing association. In whatever way you choose, take an active role and make a difference. Your colleagues and the patients you care for depend on you to ensure the future of our profession.
I am NYSNA. You are NYSNA. WE are NYSNA. And together we’re leading the way.