President's Message: Joanne Alderman; March 2016

By Joanne Alderman, MSN,RN,BC,APRN, FNGNA

NGNA Members…

Last month, my letter spoke to our practice as Gerontological Nurses. I also asked that you send me your comments, suggestions, and ideas regarding your National Gerontological Nursing Association.
 
I received a very thought provoking email from a nurse in Texas and we discussed also by phone, the tremendous need for nursing, as a work force, to understand how to recognize, assess, determine interventions and to re-evaluate those, sometimes, evasive, Geriatric Syndromes. How many of you watched “Barbara’s Story” and the complete “Barbara…the Whole Story” on YouTube? We are all aware of the tremendous growth of individuals over age 65 and each subsequent decade through 100 y/o and older that will become increasingly apparent between now and 2050.
 
NGNA is an active participant in the Nursing Community, Promoting America’s Health Through Nursing Care. NGNA supports the Nursing Workforce development Program. Senator Jeff Merkly (D-OR) is circulating a letter in the Senate requesting support for $244 million for Title VIII, The Nursing Workforce Development program in FY 2017. The deadline for Senators to sign was COB Tuesday, March 15th.
 
As President of NGNA, I have consistently voted our support for the Nursing Workforce Development programs, Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act [42 U.S.C. 296 et seq.]. NGNA supports Senator Jeff Merkly (D)-OR) and his efforts supporting Title VIII These programs are directed toward all that the nursing workforce demands. This includes education, practice, recruitment and retention. Title VIII programs support nursing education at all levels. Registered Nurses (RN), as they collaborate with the interprofessional team, extend nursing care that is indispensable in a variety of settings and cultural diversity. As RNs pursue graduate degrees allowing them to provide healthcare services as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN), it is important for us to be aware that “their contributions are connected directly to availability, cost, and quality of healthcare services”. (Nursing Community 2016 Title VIII brochure).
The Nursing Community is comprised of 62 organizations and I invite you to review the website
thenursingcommunity.org.
 
On March 15, 2016, a Senate Nursing Caucus Briefing was held at The Capitol Visitors Center: “The Nursing Profession: What You Need to Know and Why It Matters”.  Four Nursing Representatives spoke on the following subjects: (1) “101” of the nursing profession, (2) Overview of Nursing Education, (3) Health IT as it relates to nursing, and (4) Nurses’ roles in a large system, including APRNs.
 
The Nursing Workforce will need to be equipped with knowledge and skills to care for not only the healthy and functional older adult but the fragile, non-functional older adult with exacerbating chronic illnesses. They will need to understand the dynamics of transitioning these individuals from hospitals to the ED, inpatient, OBS, and back to their home, CCRC, Nursing Home, etc. in a manner that is complete and not fragmented.
 
NGNA is the premier Gerontological Nursing Association and our mission is to equip the workforce with the necessary skills and knowledge to care for our older adults. Please join us in this effort, share our mission with your colleagues to join NGNA, and provide NGNA with the strength in numbers that we need to reach our Nursing Colleagues and subsequently, our older adults, their families, caregivers and their communities.

 
Yours in Nursing,
Joanne Alderman, MS-N, APRN-CNS, RN-BC, FNGNA
President, National Gerontological Nursing Association
jalderman.President@NGNA.org