Bad Request

President's Message; Volume 18, Issue 3

Innovation, Inspiration, and Imagination: Put Yourself Out There

By: Susan Carlson, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, GNP-BC, FNGNA

NGNA Form Listen to the President's Podcast

Susan Carlson If you are interested in having a truly humbling and exhilarating experience – one that might be described as “to infinity and beyond”, or nicknamed “extreme learning” - simply sign up for one of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 150 Symposia open to the public to showcase and celebrate its accomplishments over the past 150 years. Being interested in a variety of subjects, I enrolled in the course titled, “Computation: The Transformation of Practically Everything” 1 on April 11 &12. After all, I did take four years of math in high school – taught by Mr. Trulson, a genius of a teacher - so I decided it would be great idea!

Some of you may remember the iconic TV commercial several years ago advertising Maxell Sound Systems. The image is of a guy sitting in a low, easy chair with his hands gripping the armrests while gale force winds blow his hair straight back, necktie permanently in fixed position. That closely describes my experience with this course. After the initial shock, it was absolutely fascinating to hear pioneers in the fields of computer science and engineering discuss the advancements with computers since first introduced primarily for storing information. I thought about how, during the course of only a few decades, our world has been transformed in the most fundamental ways. For example, we are so connected electronically to our mobile devices with apps for everything imaginable, and we can view nearly real-time events with YouTube videos at our fingertips.


President's Message; Volume 18, Issue 4

What’s New at NGNA, c. 2011

By: Susan Carlson, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, GNP-BC, FNGNA

NGNA Form Listen to the President's Podcast (July-August 2011)

Susan Carlson As seasons go, summer flies by faster than most. Midyear often arrives with the disbelief that it is already time to think ahead toward the coming year. Graduations and other spring celebrations are over and there is barely time to catch a breath before the next set of deadlines is upon us. This is an excellent time to update NGNA members on our extraordinarily productive first half of 2011. Here is a summary of major accomplishments since January. Have a pen ready to jot down a few notes to read during your re-entry into professional life. I hope you are reading this message while sitting on a beach.

NGNA Marketing Plan: A considerable amount of time and resources have been invested in a comprehensive 1-2 year Marketing Plan that includes market research, relationship development, product development, and membership recruitment, retention, and reclamation. Already completed is the demographic survey sent to members in April, which will provide a picture of who we are, where we work, and what positions we hold. How many of our members are certified and in what specialty? What is our educational preparation? Soon to follow is the 2011 NGNA Membership Needs Assessment, designed by NGNA Staff, Board and the Evidence Based Education Committee. The survey has been reviewed by our Research Committee for format and design purposes and the needs assessment will be released later this summer. Members will have an opportunity to provide feedback on what type of products, education, and services are most valued and desired. Information from the needs assessment will help drive the organization’s priorities, so please complete and return the electronic survey when it arrives in your inbox.

We are also conducting market research on possible Annual Planned Giving options, to provide an ongoing philanthropic entity for NGNA. Individuals, groups, NGNA members and all who share our commitment to improving the nursing care provided to older adults will have an avenue to support our mission with a monetary gift. Contributions will support the highest quality experiences for NGNA members and fund programs for scholarships, research, committee activities, leadership development and education. Participation is what matters most – giving is an act of commitment to our future and all contributions count.

Relationship Development: Since January, NGNA has strengthened our communication and alliances with several organizations that share complimentary goals and objectives. NGNA and Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) continue to collaborate on education efforts that increase the number of nurses successfully achieving ANCC certification in gerontological nursing. Both organizations endorse, support, and promote professional certification as an evidence-based strategy linked to improved clinical outcomes.

In April, NGNA entered into a Collaborative Agreement with the Alliance for Excellence in Hospice and Palliative Nursing to further strengthen the value of membership in our respective organizations. Together, NGNA and Sigma Theta Tau International Foundation for Nursing collaborated on a matching research grant for gerontological nursing research. The agreement includes an annual award of $5,000 for the next four years with the first funding starting on November 1, 2011. Thanks to the tremendous vision and leadership from the Minnesota Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, nursing students interested in pursuing geriatric nursing are now members in NGNA. Read the complete story in this issue of SIGN.

Another very exciting development comes from the Midwest where over a hundred RNs working in long term care, all of whom have participated in the two year program called the Geriatric Nurse Leadership Academy, are actively working with the NGNA Board of Directors to create an ongoing relationship that includes membership, mentoring, and the development of a Long Term Care Special Interest Group. Stay tuned for many more good things ahead.

Product Development: In June, the inaugural Podcast of the President’s Message was completed and launched on our NGNA website, providing another method of communicating to any visitor or member. We also taped our online version of the one-hour continuing education program, “Advancing NGNA Committee Leadership: Tools for Achieving Outcomes,” soon available on our website at no charge for NGNA members. Over 40 participants attended our live webinar on the same topic in December and January. Our Facebook account has been created and we look forward to discussing events and updates with students, faculty, clinicians, educators, researchers and the like. A Media Kit is currently under development for our website for all potential vendors, members, institutions, and corporations to learn about our story, mission, and activities. We continue to critically analyze our website and look for additional enhancements of value to our members and website visitors.

And finally, a dynamic 2011 NGNA Annual Convention, appropriately titled “Unbridled Nursing Innovation and Care for Older Adults” is just around the corner! Make plans to join us in Louisville, October 13-16 and you will see that we have something for everyone. This convention has even more diverse preconference sessions sponsored by the NGNA Fellows (student – faculty focused); the Gerontological Advance Practice Special Interest Group (medication management); the Chapter Resource Committee (structure and governance); and the annual two-day Certification Preparation Course taught by faculty Deborah M. Conley. NGNA is pleased to announce that this year’s convention will include a presentation and reception hosted by NICHE on Saturday afternoon for all to attend following our committee meetings. We look forward to hearing speaker and last year’s recipient of the 2010 NGNA APN Excellence in Gerontological Nursing award, Deirdre Carolan Doerflinger.

I could go on and on because, as the saying goes, “Don’t get me started!” However, realizing that there’s a good chance that many of you might actually be lying on a beach somewhere enjoying your summer vacation, I will stop. For your reading pleasure, pick up a copy of Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s book, Gift from the Sea, and enjoy her message of patience, patience, patience.

With Gratitude,


President's Message; Volume 17, Issue 6

The Courage to Lead

Susan Carlson, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, GNP-BC, FNGNA
NGNA President

The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.1
- John Buchan

To put it another way, leadership is when you look for and find the strengths of others and mobilize them for action toward a vision. NGNA conventions illustrate these phenomena artfully and deliberately. In my experience, NGNA conventions have always included a blend of culture, entertainment, scholarly pursuit, and professional networking, all centered on our mission of improving the quality of nursing care provided to older adults.

The NGNA 25th Anniversary Convention added the historical perspective and our call to action for gerontological nursing’s future. There was no better way to celebrate our past, present, and future than to unveil our 2010 Gerontological Nursing Practice: Scope and Standards of Practice (4th ed.)2 and to hear the highlights of the IOM Report on “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health”3 delivered by Jennie Chin Hansen, IOM committee member and recipient of the 2007 NGNA Lifetime Achievement Award.