Meet the Candidates 2004

Meet the Candidates 2004

Vice President (Vote for 1)

Vanessa Barlow, BS, BSN

District 5

Present Position:

ASNA Activities: District level: Secretary, Delegate

Statement of Qualifications: I am committed to the profession of Nursing and have a strong sense of where I would like to see advancements made on a local, state, and national level as related to promoting healthcare. I have served as Secretary for District V and have also served as a delegate. I have served as co-chair for convention planning and implementation and have also served as a presenter in the past. I am involved in other professional organizations and believe these can only serve to enhance my abilities to meet the obligations of the office of Vice President.

Views of the Issues: In considering this question, I think back to the reason I became a Nurse and what I dreamed of accomplishing. The primary reason that remains in the forefront of my mind is bringing comfort to those persons in need of compassion and understanding and placing no judgment on the reason the individual became ill, instead what can I as a Nurse do to make their time of need easier to deal with. In the field of nursing today, I see that those willing to provide care are graying at a phenomenal rate and inching towards retirement. I don’t see that we are doing a good job of grooming the younger nurses to take up the baton when we retire. I see dwindling numbers of young people seeking to become Nurses and wonder who will be there to care for those of us that will some day find ourselves in a position of needing the very services we have provided over the course of our careers. Retention and recruitment are crucial not only for the profession but the association as well. There is a lack of participation in the profession but the association as well. There is a lack of participation in the professional organizations dedicated to Nursing and an increase in participation in outside agencies such as steel unions . . . We must examine the reason for this and bring viable options to the table. Nursing as a profession should not be split along educational or degree lines but come together as one with the same goals, objectives, and vision.

Secretary (Vote for 1)

Renee’ Coker, MSN, RN

District 5

Present Position: Instructor

ASNA Activities: Chair, Nursing Emergency Preparedness Task Force, 2002-2004; Environmental Health and Safety Task Force, Secretary.

Statement of Qualifications: Have held numerous offices in professional organizations (ASNA, STTF). Responsible and dependable.

Views of the Issues: Workplace safety and the shortage of both nurses and nursing faculty are a few of the issues facing the nursing profession. As members of ASNA we can make a difference at the local and state level of how these issues are addressed.

ANA Delegate

Paula Casser, MPH, RN

District 3

Present Position: Statewide Nurse Consultant for Children’s Rehabilitation Service

ASNA Activities: Commission on Professional Issues, ANA Delegate (2003-2005)

Statement of Qualifications: I’ve worked fulltime in nursing for over 30 years, and have been actively involved with professional organizations for nursing and rehabilitation for much of that time. I have been a member of ANA and ASNA since approximately 1980, and am an active member of ASNA District 3. I’m currently serving on ASNA’s Commission on Professional Issues. I was privileged to serve as an ANA Delegate from Alabama at the ANA Biennial Convention in Minneapolis, June 2004, and will serve as a delegate in Washington, DC, June 2005. I am also an active member of the National Rehabilitation Association, and served as a delegate at the Southeast Regional National Rehabilitation Association Conference in Nashville in 2001. I serve as Treasurer of the Children and Youth Division of the Alabama Rehabilitation Association.

Views of the Issues: I think one of the most serious issues that continues to be a concern for this nation is the shortage of qualified nursing professionals. A critical shortage of nursing professionals will impact all individuals receiving healthcare in the future. All nurses must be willing to get involved in planning for the future of the nursing profession. Nurses must be willing to participate in their professional organization, advocate for nursing as a career option, and serve as role models and mentors for new nurses. It will take strong nursing leadership and participation in policy-making to assure high quality nursing care in hospitals, community, and long-term care settings in the future. Serving as an ANA Delegate would afford me a greater opportunity to participate at a national level to address issues facing nurses in Alabama and this nation.

Mary S. Lovelady, MSN, RN

District 5

Present Position: Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner, Occupational Health

ASNA Activities: County level: past vice president, past treasurer and member numerous committees; District, level: past vice president, and member of numerous committees; State level: member of numerous committees. Statement of Qualifications: My passion for nurses and the nursing profession runs deep. With 34+ years nursing experience in numerous leadership roles inclusive of clinical practice, staff development, baccalaureate nursing student instruction, and various nursing administrative positions. I feel I have the expertise as well as education to actively advocate for nursing and the various nursing issues and the advancement of the various nursing issues and the advancement of the nursing profession at the local, regional, state and national levels.

Views of the Issues: Workplace advocacy issues, the worsening nursing shortage and environmental heath issues/risks are among the pressing issues facing the nursing profession. As nursing leaders, the opportunities abound for us to effect change in public policy, to enhance professional nursing standards and to advance the profession and the future direction of nursing and healthcare. We must be on the cutting edge when advocating for these issues which will shape the future of our profession for our next generation and the clients we serve. As nursing and healthcare leaders we must be proactive in dealing with these issues now, rather than later being faced with “too little, too late.” We must provide safe working environments for our nurses and patients. This includes adequate staffing, safe workplaces, appropriate technology to provide safe patient care, etc. With rising healthcare costs and healthcare complexity we must be prepared to assume the role of patient advocate. We must believe in, demonstrate the worth of and effectively support the nursing profession so society will recognize its value. All-in all, nurses have always been patient advocates and strong leaders. We will be called upon to enhance and diversify.

Jill Stokley, MSN, RNC, CS, CADP

District 2

Present Position: CNS

ASNA Activities: County Level: 1st Vice President of UAN #3; State Level: Nominating Committee, Awards Committee and CE Committee.

Statement of Qualifications: I have been active in ASNA since the late 1980’s and have served as chairperson for Task Force on Peer Assistance, Nominating Committee and Awards Committee. I have been District 2 President and have served as an officer in Unit #3 Bargaining unit since the mid 1990’s. I have been a Delegate for UAN House of Delegates and ANA House of Delegates. I have also served on both state and UAN strategic planning retreats.

Views of the Issues: As baby boomer nurses retire from the workforce we are going to be in a critical nursing shortage. Improving nursing image, empowering nurses and encouraging involvement with the State Nursing Association are priorities in encouraging more young people to enter nursing. Involvement in ASNA, provides a political voice for ,all nurses. This voice is necessary to mandate laws both state and national to provide funding for nursing education, mandatory nurse/patient ratios and improve the working environment for nurses.

Helen Wilson, MSN, RN

District 5

Present Position:

ASNA Activities: County Level: President, Treasurer, V.P., Secretary; District Level: President, Vice President; State Level: Secretary

Statement of Qualifications: 45 years of nursing experience in a variety of settings. Member of ANA for 45 years. ANA Delegate from Alabama for past two years. Views of the Issues: Nursing is changing rapidly and I believe nurses should be driving the changes that effect them. I believe we need to have a safer, cleaner health environment for nurses and patients. As a delegate to ANA the opportunity to promote nursing issues that can make a difference here in Alabama.

Commission on Professional Issues (Vote for 4)

Mary Battaglia, MSN, RN

District 5

Present Position: Assistant Professor, Troy University School of Nursing

ASNA Activities:

Statement of Qualifications: I am a nursing advocate and I am cognizant of issues that effect the nursing profession. So many issues need to be addressed and acted upon. As a nursing instructor I meet and influence the way future nurses will act and practice.

Views of the Issues: The nursing shortage is of course a subject that, is well known and understood among nurses but not among the lay public. We need to be presenting programs to the public through churches and civic groups and let them all know how the nursing shortage will effect their health and recovery after and during hospitalization. We as nurses need to be more visible and have a stronger impact on the public. The importance of nursing needs to be stressed in school at all levels. We need to start a grassroots recruitment initiative to get young people interested in our profession and wanting to become part of our profession.

The main issue facing the Alabama Nurses Association is increasing our membership to include at least 75% of all nurses licensed in Alabama. They must be made aware of the benefits of membership. This needs to start while the perspective nurse is in college. We need to target nursing schools throughout the state offering a decreased membership fee while in school and then for one year after graduation. The biggest issue facing nursing in the 21st century is our decreasing number. This problem is well known and understood among nurses but not the general public. We need to be presenting programs to the public through churches and civic groups explaining how the nursing shortage effects all aspects of their health care. We need to raise their level of awareness regarding what effects the nursing shortage plays on their health and recovery after and during hospitalization. We as nurses need to be more visible on television news shows, and radio talk shows. We need to continue to educate the uninformed public on the need to increase funding for nurses through federal dollars and state money. We need a concerted effort to enter schools in Alabama and begin to inform students on the benefits of continuing their education in the field of nursing. We need to be proud of our profession at all times and never waiver in our commitment to nursing.

Cordelia C. Nnedu, PhD, RNC, ARNP, MSN

District 5

Present Position: Associate Professor and Assistant Director, Tuskegee Institute

ASNA Activities:

Statement of Qualifications: I am primarily a dedicated nurse and issues concerning the profession of nursing is very dear to my heart. As a nurse educator, these issues are addressed in all my courses. I am an ANA member for over 25 years, member of AWHONN and NPWH for over 10 years. Active R.N. licensure in four states.

Views of the Issues: The nursing shortage has been attributed to a number of factors; for example, aging workforce, decrease in the number of nursing faculty and image concerns. ASNA can assist in solving the workforce shortage by advocating for adequate nurse staffing being visible. The Association can also help in boosting the morale of nurses by being more noticeable. We need to work on an agenda to recruit and retain nurses.

Barbara Witt, EdD, RN

District 5

Present Position: Dean and Professor, AU/AUM Schools of Nursing

ASNA Activities:

Statement of Qualifications: I have been professionally active for thirty years and have a broad perspective of the issues facing nursing. In my current position, I lead two schools of nursing and interact with colleges all over the state in relation to current issues. As an educational administrator, I have a lot of exposure to current thinking and knowledge about professional issues.

Views of the Issues: The major issue facing the state of Alabama is the shortage of qualified nursing educators. Given the shortage of registered nurses in Alabama, it is essential that the nursing schools have the recourses, including faculty, needed to admit the increasing numbers of students seeking a nursing degree. We need to address the faculty shortage on a state-wide basis. The ASNA is in the best position to bring attention to this urgent issue.

Nominating Committee (Vote for 3)

Kim Inman Smith, MSN, RN

District 2

Present Position: Instructor

ASNA Activities: District Level: President/President-elect; State Level: Board of Directors

Statement of Qualifications: Currently serves as President of District 2. Have been on State Board of Directors for 3 years.

Views of the Issues: There is a nursing shortage. We need to recruit people into nursing and to mentor them and keep them in nursing. ASNA has lost members. We need to work to increase membership.

Copyright Alabama State Nurses’ Association Jun-Aug 2005

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