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Preserving Our Past and Building Our Future – colleagues, I like the way that sounds. And I like the challenge these words present as the theme for a new campaign from the NLN Foundation for Nursing Education.
Many of you are aware of the NLN’s origin as the first association for nurses in the United States. We were founded when 18 superintendents of nursing programs, under the leadership of Isabel Hampton (Robb), gathered together during the 1893 Worlds Columbian Exposition in Chicago to establish standards for the study of professional nursing. The early days of the National League of Nursing Education – our old name – are well known, but with mergers with other organizations along the way, several moves, and staffing changes, important documents, representing years of activity, have not been centralized. The result is that critical aspects of nursing history are in danger of being lost forever.
Happily, when we made our move to Washington DC in 2013, the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, with generous support from the Independence Foundation, helped us conduct a first-ever survey of NLN records, data, publications, and other significant documents. Then, this past February, we finalized a Deed of Gift with the Bates Center to formally initiate a four-year process of identifying and preserving NLN archives. Since then the Independence Foundation stepped in with a generous gift to fund the development and implementation of a full archival repository of NLN holdings, including video digitizing and the digitization of paper records. The gift from the Independence Foundation is a matching grant. We will be given $25,000 annually for the Archives Project, but only if we match these dollars with contributions from you. Please watch for additional information throughout the year.
The first part of the NLN Foundation campaign is clear. We are seeking to raise funds in order to preserve our past as a resource for scholars investigating the history of nursing, nursing education, and nursing accreditation in the United States. But what about the second part? What do we mean by building our future?
Here we emphasize supporting the future of nursing education through our established foundation programs, specifically, the scholarships and research grants we award annually. How better to safeguard our future than to support graduate education for tomorrow’s nurse faculty and research that enhances the science of nursing education? I’m convinced, colleagues, that there is no better way. For more information about how to preserve our past and build our future, please visit the foundation website. As we get closer to the 2016 NLN Summit, we will share details about how you can be part of our new Preserving Our Past and Building Our Future campaign.
Building nursing’s future requires leadership, and the NLN, through our Center for Transformational Leadership, helps nurse educators advance through the NLN Leadership Institute. This past Sunday, at the opening dinner for a retreat for Leadership Institute program participants, we heard a mesmerizing presentation by Dr. Cole Edmondson, vice president for patient care services and chief nursing officer at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Cole spoke about “Developing a Taste for Chaos.” His presentation was powerful, thoughtful, touching, and witty. One of nursing’s outstanding leaders, Cole demonstrates excellence and co-creates and implements transformative strategies with daring ingenuity.
Other outstanding nurses may receive recognition soon through Modern Healthcare’s 100 Most Influential People in Health Care. NLN president Dr. Anne Bavier and I, along with six other nurses, are on the ballot this year. Be sure to vote by the June 24th deadline. There is plenty of room for all our nursing colleagues to be recognized.
And colleagues, in May, when we celebrated Nurses Week, the annual celebration of our beloved profession, the NLN DC staff prepared a video of appreciation for you, our members. The message is one that will never be out of date and it’s fun, too. So, on the one-month anniversary of Nurses Week, we’d like to thank you again.
Finally, for NLN members only, we have extended the early-bird Summit registration period though July 31. “Beyond Boundaries,” the NLN Education Summit 2016, takes place September 21-23 in Orlando. Please take a look at the Summit website.There you’ll find all the information you need to register, and you can get a taste of the exhilarating Summit experience by watching the NLN Summit 2015 video.
Doesn't it look enticing? Please don’t miss the opportunity to be part of a conference that wonderfully combines learning and fun. Register now and save.
Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN
Chief Executive Officer