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January 10, 2018 | NLN CEO Update | Celebrating 125 Years of Service

 
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January 10, 2018
bevphoto Dear Colleagues,

Happy New Year, colleagues. I hope you are thawing out and starting the new year in good health. Those of us residing on the East Coast experienced some freezing temperatures during the holidays, with a blizzard for added good measure, but temperatures seem to be moderating and it is time to take on the world!

As I mentioned last year, 2018 is a special year for the NLN, the 125th anniversary of our founding as the American Society of Superintendents of Training Schools for Nurses. The mission of the 18 women who convened at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 was to establish standards for the education of nurses, and their story is one of vision and enormous accomplishment. With perseverance, masterful organizational skills, and good judgment, our founders put into motion the establishment of the high quality nursing education system we have today.

We will be telling their story, and the story of the NLN's 125 years of leadership, at our 2018 Education Summit, September 12–14 in Chicago, with an interactive picture gallery. If you have any photos from historical moments in your nursing education career, please share them with us.

We use the term historical broadly, as we tend not to see ourselves as part of history. But think of the enormous changes that have happened, even in the course of our own lives. For example, I grew up in segregated Kentucky and came of age during the Civil Rights Movement and the Women's Movement of the 1970s. I was still in nursing school when Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. were both assassinated in 1968. And then there are the technological changes we enjoy today. As a nursing student I know I would have loved to use simulation instead of my fellow student's arm, and I'm sure having a laptop computer, not to mention a smartphone, would have been of enormous help studying for exams. I tell you this to emphasize that if you have any photos at all, they may be historical photos, and we would like to see them.

Which brings me to Monday, January 15, the day we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr., and this year, his actual birthday. I think of Dr. King often and his words continue to stir the soul. Dr. King told us that "hate is just as injurious to the hater as it is to the hated" and that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Writing from the Birmingham jail in 1963, he reminded us that "we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." We could use his wisdom and his courage today.

In 1994, the US Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, which designated the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday as a national day of service. Participation has grown steadily in recent years, with many individuals using this day of service as a starting point for becoming engaged in service to others on an ongoing basis throughout the year. While a number of organizations have websites with suggestions to plan service activities for Monday, I am providing a link to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), which offers a toolkit for planning a day of service, especially for students.

Each era has its own challenges, and those facing us today are particularly challenging. But it is important to remember the past as we confront the future. The MLK Day of Service — a "day on, not a day off" — calls for us to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. To quote the AASCU website, the MLK Day of Service "empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King's vision of a Beloved Community." On a page titled "Why Engage?" the toolkit notes that "these ideas of unity and purpose — and the great things that can happen when we work together toward a common goal — are just some of the many reasons we honor Dr. King through service on this special holiday."

With this first message of 2018, let me just say that I am looking forward to working with you this year, and I hope you will feel free to forward this email to your colleagues. Share with them what the NLN is, why you are a member of our organization, and why they should engage with us. We have a unity of purpose within the nursing profession — there is so much for us to do — and working with the talented NLN Board of Governors and our committed members, I anticipate an incredible anniversary year full of purpose and celebration. Happy New Year, colleagues.

 
All the best,

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Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN
Chief Executive Officer
 
DATES & DEADLINES
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SOCIAL MEDIA
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