Greetings, NSNA members and future colleagues!
I hope you are all had a lovely holiday to those who celebrate and take the next few days following Thanksgiving to reach out to loved ones that you are grateful for. Last weekend, I attended the Nursing Organizations Alliance (NOA) Annual Fall Summit in Providence, Rhode Island, which is attended by Presidents and Executive Directors of nursing specialty associations that are members of NOA. It is an organization for association leaders to learn from one another as many share the same issues. President of the American Nurses Association (ANA), Dr. Jennifer Mensik-Kennedy, gave a wonderful presentation that talked about different changes that ANA is outlining and advocating for such as:
Dr. Mensik-Kennedy also discussed a Commonwealth report that suggested U.S. Healthcare spending was two times that of other first world countries. Nursing salaries only account for 5% of this total healthcare spending with healthcare administration costs at 30-40% and drug costs at 10%. If we were to reallocate some of this money by decreasing the cost of drugs and decreasing the budget of administration, we would be able to allocate more money to our nursing salaries and help increase the retention of the nursing profession (with the betterment of work environments and more practice-ready nurses as well—retention is not a simple one fix issue as we know).
After Dr. Mensik-Kennedy’s wonderful presentation, there were meetings on diversity, membership engagement, and more. I attended both membership engagement and learned a lot of insightful ways to engage more members. In the next coming months, we are hoping to implement some of these amazing techniques. Additionally, I was able to help other organizations in sharing our Breakthrough-to-Nursing position and how at NSNA, we promote diversity. Furthermore, the board has a policy during our meetings called the “Ouch” rule. If someone says something offensive or is a microaggression, the person hurt can say ouch and all board meeting business stops. The person who was hurt is asked to speak about what was said and the person who said the word or phrase is asked if they would like to speak in order for them to clarify their statement and apologize. We have found it is a helpful strategy to make sure that everyone feels comfortable and heard. We have never had to use it before but having it in our back pocket in case it needs to be has allowed our board to feel comfortable in their roles. Many organizations were so receptive to this rule that we have at NSNA and I know that many will implement it into their own organizations.
Not only was I able to connect with Dr. Mensik-Kennedy, I was able to see my colleague, Dr. Patricia Sharpnack, Chair of the National League of Nursing (NLN), Dr. Terri Roberts, Executive Director of the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA), and Dr. Jane Foote, President of AHNA. All are amazing leaders in their fields and it was so incredible to connect with them yet again at this conference.
There was a lovely reception that was held off-site at a local farm grown place in Providence with local businesses located inside the hall. A small country band played while leaders were able to network and eat all while in their best flannel and jeans! I love when I get the chance to see professional leaders be able to personally connect with other individuals and get to know them as who they are rather than their role. That has been one of my favorite things about meeting all the individuals I have.
Overall, it was probably one of my favorite conferences I’ve been to thus far. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to comment or reach out to me via email at email@example.com!
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 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.