Summertime and a Bright Future for Nursing

Article excerpt

IT IS SUMMERTIME. For me, this is a time of reflection. To paraphrase Gershwin, the living is easy, the catfish are jumping, and the cotton is high. My two years as NLN president are coming to a close in September, and there is much to celebrate. Across the United States, schools of nursing are seeing record numbers of wonderful students who, as the late Dr. Julia Lane would say, want to be well-educated people who also happen to be nurses.

Most important, I am convinced that we can predict a bright future for this wonderful profession. Navigating through the constant whitewater of change, nurse faculty are taking the time to carefully consider the issues of the day and working toward positive action as needed.

I want to share with you how a new feature offered by the NLN, Reflection and Dialogue, came about. When she returned to the United States as CEO of the NLN, one of the first things Dr. Beverly Malone observed was the need for a forum where nurse educators could reflect on significant issues affecting nursing education. The first Reflection and Dialogue statement, about the doctor of nursing practice degree, was developed to reflect the views of various members of the NLN Board of Governors. It was posted on the NLN website at www.nln.org/aboutnln/reflection_dialogue/index.htm and attracted the attention of faculty who, in turn, reflected and commented in spirited ways, as nurses do. Their comments are posted as well. I encourage you to join in the dialogue and look out for the second posting. The topic is New York State's proposed legislation on educational advancement in nursing practice.

The NLN Ambassador Program, which was launched this past fall, was designed specifically to bring faculty development opportunities to all faculty members. But NLN ambassadors quickly began creating their own space on many faculty meeting agendas. As happens when nurse faculty members talk about what is available, the discussion leads to what needs to be done next. I know that the ambassadors will continue to bring wonderful ideas to the NLN.

It is gratifying that nursing is now taking the time to recognize the extraordinary work of nurse faculty. Many faculty are seeking certification as a means of documenting their expertise as nurse educators and are pleased to learn that their educational systems are recognizing their demonstrated accomplishments. Since nurses always count how many there are of anything, there is now at least one certified nurse educator in 48 of the 50 states in the United States. …