From the President
Thank you to the members of the District Three Continuing Education Committee. This group has produced a series of stellar educational opportunities
and events. Much was learned about the opioid crisis and what measures are evolving to try to address this issue as it rages through Mahoning County. The event took place this past November and was well attended. Along with the education came the great food of Johnny’s in Boardman.
Most recently we were treated to breakfast at the Ala Cart Catering facility in Canfield. In the spotlight as speaker was our own Linda Warino who expertly delivered the information needed to receive the Category A Law Continuing Education unit required for license renewal. During the presentation, I sat at a table of nursing students from Kent State University, Salem and Hiram College. It was interesting to listen and talk with the students about their experiences thus far. They were eager to share. The students questioned why the event was sparsely attended. “I think because there are so many avenues for nurses to obtain continuing education these days,” was my response. The student responses came quickly. They loved the speaker, the food and learning about the issues of the profession. They also attended the brief business meeting that followed. They were sure they would attend such events when they became graduate nurses.
I have since been thinking about the questions I was asked and the answers I gave. Why don’t nurses come out? Is what we are doing and planning for District Three members no longer relevant? Everything is rapidly changing around us. The Internet and social media have changed the way the country and the world function. Any question that comes to mind can be quickly researched. We download newspapers, magazines, books, music and movies. We can even go to school online to get a diploma and or a degree. With all the changes, have our professional organizations changed with this moving tide? I would have to say yes, we have and that we continue to change. District Three’s membership continues to shrink, and
the members continue to age. This may be reflected in the decreased attendance in the events planned. But are those the only reasons for low attendance?
What changes should be occurring? How, in this rapidly changing nursing world, can the District meet the needs of its membership? We are struggling to answer these questions and address the challenges that lay ahead. One student asked a question that I did not have an immediate answer for. “What is the most important reason you maintain your ONA membership?” That question made me think. Is it the continuing education? Is it the committee and volunteer work of the district? Hmm.
Eventually the response was clear. It is the work of the legislative and health policy committees of ONA. These nurses are attentive and aware of the policy issues that impact nurses regardless of the work setting; nurses who work with boards of nursing, hospital boards and legislators to define and resolve nursing issues. They address issues such as scheduling, mandatory overtime, nurse fatigue, scope of practice, work place violence and bullying. Many matters arise from within and outside of the profession that impact the law, the administrative rules and standards that define and direct the nursing profession.
I am grateful to the students for asking me the question. I hope I gave an appropriate response. As the landscape continues to rapidly change, I am thankful that “someone” (legislative committees) watches over the proposed changes that help to define the Nurse! Be sure to read the Legislative Corner in this newsletter to see what is happening with the Ohio House Bill 456.