New directors, new directions for MNA in 2008.
There have been some major changes at MNA: A new Executive Director, new members of the Board of Directors, new lobbyists, new committee chairs, new issues for nursing, and new opportunities for members to work with MNA to reach their goals. As you read this issue of The Maryland Nurse, you will also find that MNA has important dates for your 2008 calendar.
First, the MNA Board is thrilled to announce that, from a pool of excellent applicants, we have selected a new MNA Executive Director, Ed Suddath of Eldersburg. Ed has had a long history of working with non-profits and volunteer groups. He is a former teacher who has worked with Special Olympics. Most recently he served as the Executive Director of the Manufactured Housing Institute of Maryland. He has put on many conferences and is very cognizant of finances. He is also detail-orientated and an experienced fundraiser. Ed hit the ground running and has already been to a weeklong orientation meeting with the ANA. You will find his photo elsewhere in this issue with an article introducing you to all members of the MNA staff. Please welcome Ed when you meet him. He and I are both eager to come out to the districts, whenever it works best for you!
The Board also selected new lobbyists for the next session in Annapolis. We are working with Cierkot and Elliott, a firm that specializes in working with non-profits and has tremendous expertise in health care and health care finance. They are working with us to make Nurses Night in Annapolis on February 13, 2008 a meaningful event for nursing. Look for information on both elsewhere in this issue.
A third change is that we are actively reinvigorating our committees. Some of our MNA committees are very active, but others offer immediate opportunities for MNA members. Are you interested in work-force issues, or education and practice, or continuing education, or working on the convention, or membership services? Or do you have a new idea? MNA can work with you to start a new Committee! Let us know what you are interested in working on. MNA committees can meet and work via phone and email for members who live far away and can only meet in person occasionally. In fact, three members of the 2007 MNA Convention Planning Committee met for the first time at the Convention itself, because we conducted all of our meetings with conference calls. One of the members came up to me and said, "You must be Rosemary--I recognize your voice." So please, come! Join us if you are not a member and if you already are come help us and I guarantee we will find a place and a job for you. Just call Ed at 410-944-5800 or email Esuddathnace@aol. com. If you contacted MNA earlier to volunteer, and got no response, please try again. MNA had some "challenges" with our electronics last fall, and we do not want to miss a single email or caller.
There are many changes and opportunities for nurses on the horizon. The nursing shortage continues to grow. We are going to deal with the retirement of so many of us baby boomers. The biggest and fastest-growing shortage area, as many of you know, is in the area of nursing education. As I tell my students--they need to be nice to me and to my colleagues, because we are an endangered species. I recommend that each of you read the report on the faculty shortage from the Maryland Hospital Association (web link below) and think about the implications of their proposal. Maryland nursing schools are already turning away about half of their qualified student applicants. With the typical nursing school instructor today in his or her 50's, what will happen after we retire in five or ten years? http://www.mdhospitals.org/mha/ Who_Will_Care/Who.Will.Care.Report.11.04.2007.pdf
Coming down from the northeastern states is a move to encourage all registered nurses to obtain their baccalaureate degrees. This is NOT an entry into practice change, but rather a continued education requirement for licensure within ten years of initial licensure of new nurses, similar to the requirement that Maryland teachers have had for years. The reality is that many Maryland nurses who earn an Associate Degree in Nursing have done almost enough work to reach that baccalaureate degree goal. Creating a true RN to BSN "ladder" would help them build on that, and get the recognition that they deserve. The Deans and Directors of Maryland's BSN and community college nursing schools are national leaders in creating an "articulation" model for nursing education. If you have feedback or questions on that issue, contact the Chair of the MNA Education and Practice Committee, Joanne Oliver. Ms. Oliver is also an MNA Board member and a member of the nursing faculty at Anne Arundel Community College. Contact information is on the MNA website, www.marylandrn.org.
Finally, I mention the departure of the MNA Board Secretary, Megan Hoffman, who is leaving to marry and move to North Carolina, a joyous change for her. I first knew Megan as my nursing student, and then as my colleague. An active member of the Maryland Association of Nursing Students (MANS), Megan continued her professional activism with her local MNA District 2 Board after graduation, and then with the MNA Board. Those of you who have taught know that seeing one of your students move into nursing leadership positions after graduation is like seeing one of your own children succeed. This change leaves me both proud and sad, but I know that I will continue to hear of Megan's contributions to our profession.
As we all know, change comes because of a variety of forces, and we in nursing are often in the eye of the storm. MNA is here to help you be in charge of those changes, rather than a passive recipient.
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|Title Annotation:||Maryland Nurses Association|
|Date:||Feb 1, 2008|
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