In mid-June, 100 RNs convened at Clinton Manor in Union, N.J., to learn, network, and honor those whose support has propelled the American Association of Indian Nurses forward.
Ethnic minority nurses are of great value in the U.S. especially with the growing numbers of minorities now estimated as one of every three in this country, said Lydia Albuquerque, RN, president of the American Association of Indian Nurses, New Jersey chapter 2, at Integrating Diversity Creating Change, the first conference sponsored by the organization.
Keynote speaker Kem Louie, RN, PhD, CS, FAAN, associate professor in the department of nursing at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J., walked the audience through the historic journey of several ethnic minority nurse associations as they struggled to develop their unique voices.Josephine Berrata, international nurse recruiter at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, N.J., receives an award for her work with Indian nurses from Thangamani Arvandin, RN, left, president-elect of AAIN-NJ2, and Lydia Albuquerque, RN, president of AAIN-NJ2.
Join your ethnic minority nurses association, said Louie, secretary of the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurses Associations and past president of the Asian/Pacific Islander Nurses Association. Through them you learn to network, become a leader, and make a difference in the lives of those you serve and in your own, as well.
Albuquerque presented a special award to Nancy Holecek, RN, senior vice president of St. Barnabas Health Care System, for the support she and SBHCS have provided to nurses from India. Since the foreign recruitment program began 10 years ago, SBHCS is proud to count about 200 Indian nurses successfully working in New Jersey, she said.
SBHCS nurse recruiter Josephina Berrata also was recognized for her special devotion to Indian nurses as she helped them acculturate to their new country. Since most of the nurses were women, I considered them as the daughters I never had, Berrata said.
A new advisory council for AAIN-NJ2 also was announced during the conference: Thangamani Arvindan, RN, president; Sijo Kallarakal, RN, vice president; Varsha Singh, RN, secretary; and Sandra Emmanuel, RN, treasurer.
The conference was co-sponsored by a grant from Johnson & Johnson, The Campaign for Nursings Future. For information, visit www.aain-nj.org.