Academic journal article Nursing and Health Care Perspectives

Reform & Renewal

Academic journal article Nursing and Health Care Perspectives

Reform & Renewal

Article excerpt

During its 106 years of existence, the National League for Nursing has had the opportunity for both leadership and "followership" for issues of national import. As the oldest national nursing organization in the United States (established in 1893.), we have often served as a leader for the greater good of national nursing. We have also been followers, supporting initiatives most appropriately led by other organizations.

During this last decade of the millennium, NLN has focused much energy on ensuring that its internal structures are sound and its financing is stable. As we have looked inward, we have also focused our attention on the comprehensive nature of our mission. For many, the mission of the NLN had become so constricted as to be synonymous with accreditation.

The crisis of confidence in the organization, as clearly expressed by the Department of Education, resulted in restructuring. Accreditation is now, unmistakably, only one function of the NLN, "separate and independent" from the membership organization. This function is a province of an independent entity known as the National League for Nursing Accrediting. Commission.

An additional, important result of this restructuring makes clear that the more comprehensive mission for NLN is the assurance of quality nursing education in its broadest sense. Freed from concerns for the safety needs of particular schools of nursing (as expressed in intensive focus on accreditation criteria and processes at our national meetings), we can engage in dialogue and deliberation related to self-actualization for nursing and its educational system and programs. With our internal structures in place, we are positioned, as we move into the next century, to fulfill our unique leadership responsibilities among the nation's nursing organizations.

Two major initiatives require our immediate leadership. First, we must transform the landscape of nursing to create a rational continuum of nursing education and practice. …

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