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National League for Nursing.

Dear %%firstname%%,

When we think of the NLN in our 120th year, many of us reflect on the leadership of our founders with awe. In those days, our leaders were true pioneers. The superintendents of the training schools of nursing who convened in 1983 to establish standards for nursing education had few opportunities as women to make their names known, but together, they brought our profession into being. Today, things are very different, and we have many options for professional fulfillment. But the American Academy of Nursing realized that there are still luminaries in nursing who inspire others and deserve our collective recognition--and yes, even our awe. These are the ANA American Academy of Nursing Living Legends, and I could not be more proud of those recognized for 2013.

One of the four, Dr. Jean Watson, was president of the NLN. A nursing theorist and scholar in caring science, through her work, Dr. Watson provided a meaningful philosophical foundation for human caring, relational practices, and patient-centered care. She has truly transformed the nursing profession and health care worldwide, and all nursing students know her name.

Dr. Margaret Miles was a professor at the University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill when I was dean of nursing at North Carolina A&T State University. A pioneer in pediatric nursing and an early researcher on the suffering of bereaved parents of critically ill children, Marge was a generous mentor for some of my faculty. Her leadership in launching the Society of Pediatric Nurses has shaped the field for generations of nurses.

Clara Adams-Ender, a graduate of A&T, was an active alumna when I was dean. A brigadier general in the US Army when she retired and the Army's top nurse executive, she was so many firsts: the first nurse and woman to be awarded the Expert Field Medical Badge, the first corps chief retained on active duty, and the first nurse in Army history selected as a commanding general. What a remarkable career she has had!

And then there is Dr. Hattie Bessent, my mentor, who has been a passionate trailblazer for advancing the voice, visibility, and impact of minority colleagues and students in the fields of mental health and substance abuse nursing. A new edition of her groundbreaking work The Soul of Nursing, originally published in 2005 by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, provides the views of African American nurses on leadership in what had been a predominantly white profession. Hattie has spoken at the White House and counseled every US president on mental health issues since Dwight D. Eisenhower, and she has counseled me--I will be forever grateful!

One of the things many of us forget is that we never know where our leaders will come from. When Dr. Marsha Adams took her oath as NLN president at our 2013 Education Summit, she was careful to tell us, "I am you." She told how, as a rural health nurse at a University of Alabama clinical site, she pursued her education, started teaching, and introduced her students to research and the impact of research on communities. She did not know then that she would become a leader in the League and assume a prominent role in the arena of nursing education.

Then there are the others on the new NLN Board of Governors: Dr. Anne R. Bavier, professor of nursing and medicine at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing in Storrs, was NLN secretary and is now president-elect. She has years of experience in leadership roles at federal health care agencies, including that of deputy director of the National Institutes of Health's Office of Research on Women's Health. Dr. Joan L. Frey, dean of the Louisville Campus of the Galen College of Nursing in Kentucky (my state of birth), was re-elected secretary and will serve another two years in that office. And two new members have joined the board: Janet Tompkins McMahon, MSN, RN, clinical associate professor at Towson University in Maryland, and Dr. G. Elaine Patterson, a professor of nursing in the School of Theoretical and Applied Sciences at Ramapo College in New Jersey.

Members of the NLN Board of Governors shape our future in many ways. They are indispensible to our decision-making and to our vision. When we issue a call for nominations to the board and other roles in November, you can nominate a colleague or put your name forward, taking a step on your journey as a leader in nursing education.

Of course, leaders need mentoring and guidance, and for that reason, we take the development of leaders as a core responsibility. We know the world is complicated, and we work to help you develop your voice as a future leader.

Just look at the presentations for this year's annual Leadership Conference, which takes place February 6-8 in Savannah, Georgia, and has as its theme "Lean In to Inclusivity." Conference highlights include a keynote address by Dr. Antonia Villarruel on "Integrating the 3 D's: Diversity, Disparities, Social Determinants"; "Cross Cultural Communication and Barriers to Inclusion" by Dr. Valerie A. Batts, executive director of Visions, Inc.; and "Courageous Dialogue ... Diversity and Inclusion" by BOG member Dr. Rumay Alexander. Between sessions there will be work groups, opportunities to engage in courageous dialogue about leading in a diverse world, and just some time to reflect and relax.

This conference is a joint program of two NLN Centers for Nursing Education: The NLN Center for Transformational Leadership, led by chief program officer Dr. Janice Brewington, and the NLN Center for Diversity and Global Initiatives, headed by Dr. Virginia Adams. Both Janice and Virginia will be there, along with chief program officer Dr. Elaine Tagliareni. They will engage with you in dialogue and help you find your voice. (And, as at last week's NLN / Elsevier Technology conference, they will give you plenty of moments to tweet.) Sign up and participate in a conference that will serve as a platform for your leadership journey.

So, as I have noted, potential leaders are everywhere, and they are you and me. We offer plenty of opportunities to step up to the plate (an apt metaphor for World Series time), and we offer personalized opportunities to develop your leadership skills. When we see a need for change, and when we take those first steps toward leadership, we are following in a long tradition in nursing and nursing education. How wonderful it is to be part of the best of the history of our glorious profession.

All the best,

Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN

Chief Executive Officer

Dates & Deadlines

October 31: How To Use Simulation webinar series resumes

November 15: ACES Workshop

December 10: Applications due for Spring Scholarly Writing Retreats

February 6-8: NLN Leadership Conference 2014

Facebook Posts

Recent news, events, and opportunities posted include:

* Take action to promote fair nursing and healthcare legislation. Download the app from the ANA eAdvocacy Center today!

* Latest Blog Post from AARP and Public Policy Institute: Transforming Nursing will Improve Health Care.
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Title Annotation:NLN MEMBER UPDATE
Author:Malone, Beverly
Publication:NLN Member Update
Date:Oct 28, 2013
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