This first letter as President of WARN is bittersweet for me as it will also be my last, because I am resigning this position effective Oct. 1.
Judy Klaver, who was elected to the position of president-elect and a long-term WARN board member will be stepping in as president to cover my term. I am resigning from the WARN board because I was recently elected to the ARN Board of Directors. This is a very exciting opportunity and I credit my time on the WARN board for creating the desire to represent the rehab nurses of Wisconsin on a national level.
I have been a member of the WARN board for 10 years and I have enjoyed every minute. I have held the roles of president, president-elect and education chair multiple times and I have had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful people. I highly recommend becoming more involved in your professional organization and would ask you to consider running for a position next spring. I am not sure what exactly I will be involved this new director role, but I will guarantee that I will be actively involved in supporting and advocating for issues important to our state members.
I recently had the opportunity to participate in a survey by the Wisconsin Action Coalition which was measuring our organization's involvement and support in promoting and implementing the recommendations of the 2011 IOM report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. This report made 4 recommendations for the future of nursing.
1. Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education
2. Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression
3. Nurses should be full partners, with physicans and other health care professionals, in redesigning health care in the US
4. Effective workforce planning and policy-making require better data collection and information infrastructure.
Taking this survey made me reflect on and examine what role this organization has done to support these lofty goals. The year that the report was published, Judy Klaver gave a presentation at our April conference and to my surprise, many of our members were unaware of its existence. This landmark report supports pushing the professionalism of nursing up a notch and I for one felt a sense of pride and excitement the first time I read the report.
I would encourage you to read this report if you haven't yet. Our organization's purpose to this point has been to provide education on a quarterly basis to our members. Perhaps it is time that we step it up a notch and expanded our focus to look at what we can do to support these goals and disseminate this information to our colleagues in nursing and health care.
As the saying goes "If you aren't moving forward, then you are moving backward."
Past President's letters