Greetings, NSNA members and future colleagues!
I hope you have found some time to relax during this sunny month of July!
I have been asked several times about my leadership journey and where it started so I would like to share it with all of you, if that’s okay.
Like many heard while I was campaigning, leadership has always been instilled in part of the fabric of my being since I was a child. I was an advocate for my baby brother by sitting by his crib all day to ensure he had everything he needed. And my leadership skills only grew more evident from there.
So when I stepped inside the doors of my University my freshman year and saw there was nursing leadership, I immediately submitted an application to join the slate of candidates. I did not have any clue what nursing leadership was or how much I would come to love it as Co-Communications Director of the Molloy Nursing Student Association (MNSA). When I attended the Nursing Students Association of New York State’s (NSANYS) 70th Convention my freshman year, I had no idea that I would be encouraged to run for a state position, submit my application minutes before it was due, get nominated on the floor, and become Midhudson Regional Director. Looking back, I am so immensely grateful for the individual who pushed me to run because I would not be where I am today if I didn’t have that positive peer influence--if he didn’t have the ability to see something in me that I didn’t necessarily see yet.
And this was all before I stepped foot or virtually attended an NSNA Convention. That April, I attended my first NSNA Annual Convention virtually and it was love at first sight. I knew that someday, I wanted to be able to do what I love and for the students I love, but on a national level.
After I became Midhudson Regional Director, I knew this was something I wanted to do for the rest of my nursing career and immediately applied to be Treasurer. I spent the next year as Treasurer for NSANYS and Co-Vice President for MNSA. And I loved every minute. It was during this year that I attended my first NSNA Annual Convention in-person in Salt Lake City, Utah. There, I was given that same push as I was given my freshman year. Only this time, it was for a different opportunity. This time, it was to run for President of the National Student Nurses’ Association. I felt it was achievable but it didn’t feel like it was my time. I decided not to run during that year and told myself that I had to do it my senior year and give it my final shot. I attended my first NSNA MidYear Convention in-person in Virginia Beach, Virginia and was given the same shove forward to go for national leadership. Taking what I learned about leadership the past couple of years, I decided to give it my all. I was given such gratuitous financial support, asked the best campaign manager anyone has ever had to be mine, gathered my colorful supplies and goals for office, pre-slated, used social media and early campaigning as a tool, packed my suitcase, and flew into Nashville, TN.
I gave my speech, had a wonderful debate with my fellow candidates, campaigned, and was elected to be the 72nd President of the National Student Nurses’ Association.
Many students have come up to me since and seen this role as unachievable, untouchable, and that once elected, are a powerful force. But I humbly disagree. As the power is in the people. The power was in your hands by voting and trusting your elected official to do their job. That trust is the untouchable force. I am simply human, the same as all of you. Which makes me proud to tell you all, if I can accomplish my dreams of being able to call myself President of NSNA and represent the entire United States nursing students as a whole, then you can do whatever you set your mind to. Whether that is running on your local level, on your state level, or even on the national level. You are capable of multitudes. And I hope if not now, that one day, when you are standing where I am, you are able to reflect and realize that you are exceptional, capable, and are a leader.
Hope to see you at Leadership Summit Friday!
Yours in service and signing off for now,
My name is Lauren Lodico and I am the 2023-2024 NSNA President. I attend Molloy University in Rockville Centre, NY as a rising senior in their traditional program. I am expected to graduate in May 2024 with my BSN and a minor in Writing. I aspire to be a future Labor and Delivery nurse with hopes to further my education by going back to school for my Family Nurse Practitioner and PhD, so I can have the pleasure of teaching future nursing students and conducting my own research. I have also published two novels and written several unpublished in genres such as young adult romance, mystery, suspense, and more.