At a recent meeting in New York City, Beverly Malone, RN, PhD, FAAN, CEO of the National League for Nursing; Eileen P. Williamson, RN, MSN, president of the New Jersey League for Nursing; and Carol Patterson, RN, MSN, president-elect of the NJLN, shared initiatives and activities of their organizations, and looked at mutual goals and objectives and various collaborative opportunities.
The NLN is an organization for all nurses, and each of us assumes a teaching role wherever we work, Malone said. It is a national affirmation of nursing education in all settings. With a membership of about 32,000 and 24 constituent leagues throughout the country, the NLN supports the core values of excellence, diversity, integrity and outreach.
When we speak about diversity of the NLN, while acknowledging race, gender and other differences, we look at the broader picture and strive for differences in thinking and the development of new ideas and initiatives to assist nurses in fostering excellence in practice, Malone said.
In their work to support faculty excellence, the NLN has hosted two scholarly writing retreats, one at the University of Connecticut, and one at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. At each, experienced editors mentor 10 to 12 participants who, by the end of the weekend, are well on their way to publishing a scholarly paper. Funded by Pocket Nurse for five years, the program requires participants to apply with a written proposal and after approval, attend the weekend retreat. I have seen our participants become more energized through the process, Malone said. In addition, it can result in higher salaries, more promotions and tenures and leadership role development.From left, Eileen P. Williamson, RN, president of the New Jersey League for Nursing; Beverly Malone, RN, CEO of the National League for Nursing; and Carol Patterson, RN, president-elect of the NJLN, discuss initiatives and activities of their organizations.
The NLN also is developing packages of online learning for deans, directors, chairpersons and faculty. Over the course of the year, these training programs will provide a road map and a development opportunity for them, she added.
To foster leadership development within a mentoring relationship, the NLN and Johnson & Johnson formed a partnership in their 2009-10 Faculty Leadership and Mentoring Program. In it, each mentor provides leadership and expertise aimed at meeting the needs and interests of a matched protege, and over a 12-month period, proteges and mentors work on individual leadership development and on a group project. These projects will be presented at the 2010 NLN Education Summit from Sept. 27 to 30 in Las Vegas.
In looking at ways to improve nursing education, Malone acknowledged the need for more scholarships so RN leaders can study the science of nursing education, examining issues such as the effectiveness of simulations, how to structure clinical rotations and how to mix theory in practice. When we study the science of nursing education, we can build an educational program that is theoretically sound and clinically competent, Malone said.
Williamson and Patterson updated Malone on their recent New Jersey Nursing Convention and board strategic planning retreat, plans for the annual Nurse Recognition Awards Gala on Nov. 5 and upcoming NJLN educational programs and membership initiatives. They spoke about the three New Jersey nursing schools that were designated as centers of excellence by the NLN and their plans to recognize them at the November gala. The schools are Trinitas Hospital School of Nursing, Brookdale Community Colleges nursing program and Christ Hospital School of Nursing. A believer in the role of state-level constituent leagues, Malone said, Although we are nationally and globally involved, we want to be visible and attached to our local constituents, as well. Our constituent leagues are the face of the NLN.
Before being named CEO of the NLN, Malone was the general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing for six years. During her tenure, membership of the Royal College rose to 390,000, making it the largest professional union for nurses in the world. Before joining the college, she served as deputy assistant secretary of health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and CEO of the American Organization of Nurse Executives.
For information on the NLN and NJLN programs and initiatives, visit www.nln.org and www.njln.org.