What an unusual year this has been, both professionally and personally. As a nurse practitioner with almost 25 years of experience, I have never met with a more difficult time in my career. From the fear of spreading COVID-19 to my elderly patients or bringing it home to my family, to the helplessness of not knowing how to best treat cases early on, to the loss of over 100 patients (some of whom I had taken care of for years), this year had many challenges and heartbreaks.
I know many of you have felt the same way throughout this past year. Additionally, as an active preceptor, I have seen how difficult it has been to navigate for our APRN students and new graduates. However, despite the obstacles and loss, we have all also witnessed amazing things as the healthcare community came together to fight this pandemic; staff who have loved patients when their families couldn’t be with them, teams that came together in new ways to care for incredibly sick patients, and communities who rallied around their essential workers. I want to take this opportunity to thank every one of you for taking such amazing care of our communities during a very difficult time. I remain hopeful that the worst is now behind us!
When I was elected President-Elect in 2019, this was certainly not how I envisioned my 2021 OAAPN Presidency beginning. However, I am excited for the next year. OAAPN has always been a source of education, networking, and advocacy and we have several exciting things planned in the coming year. We are launching a leadership course, planning the return of our in-person statewide conference, working on reimbursement issues that affect APRNs and continuing to work on the retirement of the SCA among other legislative efforts.
One of my goals as OAAPN President is to engage our members and empower you all to become part of a movement towards the advancement of APRNs in Ohio. We would love for you to get involved!
- Do you have a passion for policy and legislation? Join our Government Relations Committee or sign up for our Key Person Program.
- Do you love to educate others? You could serve on our Conference or Education Committees.
- Want to get involved, but don’t have time for a big commitment? Try our Awards or Scholarship Committees who are primarily active leading up to our Statewide Conference in the fall.
- Are you a talented fundraiser? We would love to have you on our PAC Committee!
- Not sure where you fit in? That’s okay too! Many of us started that way and are happy to guide and mentor you!
As you can see, we have all sorts of projects in the works and we would love to meet you and help you find your passion. Look for upcoming OAAPN volunteer opportunities in our member newsletter or submit a volunteer application if you are ready to get involved now. Who knows, maybe you’ll be writing the President’s Message someday!
Finally, I ask all OAAPN members to help us spread the word about the importance of our professional collective voice through membership in OAAPN. Tell a co-worker about OAAPN or bring a friend to a chapter meeting. As OAAPN membership grows, so does our impact!