Message from the CNA president ...
In this issue of the Colorado Nurse, you will find an article about 31 Nursing Students who I believe represent the Nurses of the future. The diversity may surprise you! There is an LPN who climbed the career ladder to RN and is now in a BSN program and another AAS-graduate who will soon be a MSN-FNP. A Vietnamese student learned English after her family immigrated to the United States when she was a young child. Another woman said her mother spoke little English, only Spanish and today, she is a second career BSN student. In addition to Vietnamese and several who speak Spanish, there is a student fluent in French and another in Portuguese.
The "Second Career" nurse is now much more common. The scholarship recipients include those with undergraduate degrees in Education, Social Work, Organizational Behavior, Sociology/Political Science, Biology, Natural Resources Ecology, Business Administration, Music, Psychology, Spanish, Communications, Bioresource Research and, of course, Nursing. There were many examples of plans to integrate knowledge from a prior career and enhance nursing practice. Did you have a former Wildlife Biologist in your nursing school class? I didn't!
Many students are parents, some single, others with spouses who are students. Their children range in age from infancy to college graduates. There are student nurses who have waited for years to complete a dream to become a nurse. Although not a scholarship applicant, a recent newspaper article reported on a Colorado woman who started nursing school and dropped out over 35 years ago, worked in a school cafeteria, raised her children and has nearly reached her goal to become a Registered Nurse. She will be 60 when she starts her first RN position! I am sure that her RN daughter is very proud of "Mom"!
The Community Service/Volunteer information describes a myriad of experiences in their home communities and around the world--Africa (several fall into this category), Central/South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. They have taught English, worked in HIV-AIDs clinics and performed other duties. These experiences will only enhance their practice as professional nurses.
It is my belief that nursing has a much brighter future than many have painted in recent years. The men and women profiled in this issue of the Colorado Nurse represent more than simply being recipients of scholarships. They reflect the "Faces of Colorado Nurses," and they represent the "Leaders of Nursing Tomorrow"! I hope you agree that the profession of nursing, with its problems and challenges, is also experiencing an infusion of talented and committed men and women who will help the profession to grow and expand to meet the changing healthcare needs of our communities and our country.
Please take advantage of any opportunity that you have to welcome into your setting and into the profession of nursing our new RN graduates, and those who are completing graduate degrees. We need them and they need us. Together we will meet the needs of today as we prepare for the healthcare growth of tomorrow.
by Eve Hoygaard, RN-C, WHNP, MS