NAHN-NY student member and VNSNY Soto Scholarship to Promote Diversity in Nursing winner Angela Plasencia, second from right, receives congratulations from VNSNY and NAHN leadership. From left, VNSNY CEO and President Mary Ann Christopher, RN; NAHN-NY president Maria Pina-Fonti, RN; and NAHN national president-elect and Nurse.com associate director of sales, N.Y. region, Daniel Suarez, RN, pose with Plasencia.
The Visiting Nurse Service of New York hosted a breakfast May 13 at the Grand Hyatt New York Hotel at Grand Central Station for more than 1,000 of its nurses. The event, held as part of the agencys National Nurses Week celebration, included remarks from VNSNY board members, an address by nursing theorist Kristen Swanson, RN, PhD, FAAN, and an awards ceremony that highlighted staff achievements and honors.
“Isnt this a great day to be a nurse?” asked board member Mathy Mezey, RN, EdD, FAAN, professor emerita, senior research scientist, and associate director of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing, NYU College of Nursing, who brought greetings from the board of directors. Mezey, one of four RNs on the board, offered congratulations to VNSNY staff on being “one of the most active agents of change at this time in the country.”
Mezeys sentiments were echoed by the many congratulatory proclamations the agency received from New York legislators during the ceremony, including U.S. Senators Kevin S. Parker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles E. Schumer; U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who declared May 13, 2013, as “VNSNY Day” in New York City.
Swanson serves as the dean and alumni distinguished professor of nursing at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing and associate CNO for academic affairs for UNC Hospitals. She is the developer of the Swanson Theory of Caring, which identifies the five components of caring: knowing, being with, doing for, enabling, and maintaining belief in others, such as patients and their families, and co-workers.
“The optimal healing environment begins with respect,” she said. Swanson tailored her presentation toward how VNSNY nurses can apply the theory to their work to turn a care system into a caring organization by aligning caring and leadership with joy in the workplace.
Swansons address was followed by an awards program.
As a special tribute to former employee Elsie Soto, RN, VNSNY sponsors a scholarship that is awarded by the New York chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses for a student member in a baccalaureate nursing program.
NAHN-NY student member Angela Plasencia was recognized as the inaugural winner of that award.
Tracey Boyd is a regional reporter.