ED’s Notes, The

ED’s Notes, The

Wilson, Helen

I expect this to be the last time I will write as the Interim Executive Director, so first and foremost I want to tell you all what an incredible experience this has been. A gigantic thank you to everyone for the trust, support, and assistance you have given me over these many months. I have sincerely enjoyed working with and for. Alabama’s nurses. I am pleased with the progress that has been made under the leadership of President Juanzetta Flowers and I expect this progress will continue under the leadership of newly installed President Janet Donoghue.

I have always believed that effective communications is the most important trait (attribute, talent) of a nurse. I believe this is also true for this association. I have over the years been accused of being too “straight forward” when it comes to communications. Just so it will come as no surprise let me warn you that I am about to continue with my “straight forwardness.”

I have mentioned many times the need for change if this association is to survive the challenges ahead and be able to respond to new opportunities. The most critical challenge, I believe, is our declining membership numbers. We proclaim the desire to be the voice of Alabama nurses but that voice is getting weaker and weaker. We desperately need more voices. ASNA works on behalf of all the nurses in the state. (There are some 67,000 plus nurses, licensed to practice in the State of Alabama, but fewer then 1500 belong to their professional association.) Our Lobbyist, Don Eddins and I worked to get legislation passed making it a felony to assault any Healthcare worker. We were unsuccessful. One of the biggest reasons was that legislators did not see a need for this protection. Had our Legislators heard directly from their constituents (communicate, communicate) I believe the outcome would have been different. We fully intent to continue to pursue this legislation, so I urge each of you to join us and strengthen the voice of Alabama’s nurses. (There are many, many other nursing and healthcare issues that need monitoring.) HELP, HELP, HELP.

If each of us took on the responsibility of urging our colleagues who are not ASNA members to join what a powerful voice we could be. I sincerely believe that together we can make ASNA a stronger more efficient association. An association that can be the leader in promoling issues that effect the safety and well-being of all nurses as well as Alabama’s healthcare consumers.

Another area where we need to communicate and let our voices be heard is the upcoming elections. The most important privilege our nation provides its citizens is FREEDOM. Our nation was built on the democratic principle and one of our constitutional rights is the right to vote. Voting is another means to communicate. You have the privilege, the responsibility and right to elect the officials that will run this great county for the next four years. The officials that will be speaking for you. The officials that will be passing laws that will affect you.

I cannot imagine why anyone would choose not to exercise his or her right to vote. By not voting, you abdicate your right and responsibility of citizenship to others. I urge you to study the issues and try to ignore the political mucking.

The United States of America is the greatest democracy in the world and I urge each and every one of you to get out and vote. I encourage you to take advantage of a privilege that millions of people around this world continue to fight and die for. If you have not registered to vote please do it now and VOTE, VOTE, VOTE.

by Helen Wilson, MSN, RN

Interim Executive Director

Copyright Alabama State Nurses’ Association Sep-Nov 2004

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