ORANGEBURG, N.Y. — The NYS Northern Metropolitan Action Coalition held its first assembly March 12 to galvanize nurses and non-nurses to act on the recommendations from the 2010 Institute of Medicine report, “Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.” The event was held at Dominican College in Orangeburg, N.Y.
With more than 80 nurses in attendance, keynote speaker Diana J. Mason, RN, PhD, FAAN, Rudin professor of nursing, Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing at Hunter College, Manhattan, emphasized the need for nurses to talk with non-nurse stakeholders and recruit them as partners to assure comprehensive healthcare services for everyone in the state. Mason, who also is co-founder and co-director of the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College, challenged the audience to use the evidence in the report to remove barriers to practice, increase the number of BSN-prepared nurses and assume leadership positions on agency boards.
“We raised awareness about the evidence in the IOM report and invited everyone to join us in improving the health of the people in our state,” said coalition co-leader Maureen Creegan, RN, EdD, ANEF, professor of nursing, graduate studies, Dominican College.
The NYS-NOMET AC includes Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties.
Through a poster presentation and discussion, participants learned about the regions journey to inform and engage the nursing community and non-nurse stakeholders about the IOM recommendations. A poster developed by the coalitions media committee was submitted and accepted as part of the poster sessions at the Sigma Theta Tau International leadership conference in Indianapolis last year.
Along with Creegan, Margaret Cusumano, RN, MSN, FACHE, vice president for nursing services and CNO, Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Mary Alice Donius, RN, EdD, dean, College of New Rochelle (N.Y.); and Deborah Hunt, RN, PhD, assistant professor of nursing, CNR, serve as NYS-NOMET AC co-leaders.
With the goal of expanding the BSN-prepared workforce, developing leadership skills and increasing the number of doctorally prepared nurses, the coalition has been mobilizing nurses and others in the community through facility presentations, identifying clinical and professional partners and developing non-nursing stakeholder relationships, among other activities. The coalition is creating a mentorship program and modeling it after the one the NYS-Metropolitan AC recently initiated, but with a different slant.
“We are developing a mentor program that will pair up nurses who are interested in returning to school with mentors who can guide them through the process,” said Hunt, who is collaborating with Connie Vance, RN, EdD, FAAN, professor and former dean, CNR School of Nursing; Roxy Raffa, RN, MS, nursing workforce development coordinator, Catskill Hudson Area Health Education Center; and Wanda Montalvo, RN, MSN, ANP, Jonas nurse scholar and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation executive nurse fellow alumna, on the program.
The NYS-Metropolitan AC launched an official statewide online pledge, “Mentor for Nurses,” to engage leaders from nursing, business or policy who are willing to mentor emerging nurse leaders, which the NYS-NOMET AC group is participating in and using as their model.
“I feel like were finally getting some traction behind the critical role mentors play in developing emerging nurse leaders into transformational leaders,” said Montalvo, who serves as co-leader for the leadership subcommittee, NYS Action Coalition.
Nurse leaders who can provide a minimum of one hour a month to cultivate a relationship with a protege are asked to sign a pledge. The statewide goal is to have 150 leaders sign the pledge and identify an emerging nurse leader to mentor by June 30. Montalvo hopes to far exceed that number.
“We know that mentor connections and relationships are essential for the success of the [Future of Nursing]. The real power of transformational nursing leaders in the state and throughout the country will emerge as nurses develop and strengthen each other through mentoring,” said Vance.
Janice Petrella Lynch, RN, MSN, is a regional nurse executive.
LEARN MORE at FutureOfNursing-nys.org or Pledgebank.com/MentorForNurses.