From the beginning of most of our careers, we have been trained to be advocates. In fact the American Nursing Association includes advocacy in the definition of nursing. Florence Nightingale led the early advocacy movements in the nursing profession. She believed that nursing should organize and control itself. Through her vision and advocacy, the birth of modern day nursing was born. Fast forward from 1860 to 2017, the nursing profession would most likely be unrecognizable to Nightingale. Could she have ever imagined the APRN role? As a visionary what would she imagine the next step for APRNs in Ohio? Hopefully it would be Full Practice Authority.

OAAPN has been led by and represented APRNS who are visionaries in the same style as Nightingale by organizing and shaping practice. Since OAAPNs inception in the 1980s, the organization recognized the need to have our voices heard at the legislative level. The organization was responsible for Ohio APRNs gaining prescriptive authority in 2000, passage of the fi Schedule II law in 2009, and the removal of many of the initial barriers to prescribing in 2012. Now in 2017, OAAPN continues to break barriers to APRN practice with the passage of H.B. 216. OAAPN has earned the title of the premier APRN professional organization in the state of Ohio.

Visionary is not a title for only a few APRNs but a title for all of us. Once we became the leaders in the nursing profession, we were all tasked to be involved in shaping healthcare policy and advocacy. At the very minimum of that involvement is having a membership to your professional organization. Never underestimate the power of your individual membership. The strength of our numbers gives OAAPN a meaningful voice in state legislation and with major stakeholders that can impact APRN practice.

If you are not a member or need to renew your membership, please visit today!

By Tonya M. Carter, APRN, FNP, OAAPN Secretary