Posted By Ashley Lovelace,
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
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Dear NOVA Members,
I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to all the NOVA nurses who joined us for NOVA on the Hill Day on March 5th and NOVA’s Annual Legislative Roundtable on March 6th in Washington, D.C. What an honor it was to have Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, MSN, MPH, RN, Suzanne Miyamoto PhD, RN, FAAN, and Teresa Morris, BS, kickoff Hill Day with us at the Wink Hotel! Congresswoman Underwood is a masters prepared registered nurse who is a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Suzanne Miyamoto is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Academy of Nursing and Teresa Morris serves as NOVA’s Director of Advocacy and Government Relations. The energy in the room during their interactive presentation focusing on the power of the nursing voice was palpable. It was a great start to a productive day of advocacy on Capitol Hill.
Having a voice on Capitol Hill is critical, and NOVA is the Voice of VA Nurses on Capitol Hill. Based on the level of engagement and information-sharing that took place at these legislative events, I believe that our voices were heard. NOVA nurses shared their expertise and personal stories while discussing NOVA’s 2020 Legislative Priority Goals related to the Budget, Access/Community Care Network, Staffing/Recruitment and Retention with their congressional members and staffers, staff from the VA Office of Nursing Services, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, as well as representatives from professional nursing organizations, the union, and Veterans Service Organizations. We rallied on Capitol Hill to ensure our NOVA members provide the best care for Veterans. From the overwhelmingly positive feedback provided by the attendees, this trip to D.C. was a huge success, but there is still work to do. On March 7th, the NOVA Board of Directors kept the momentum going and had a productive board meeting putting action items into motion and discussing future strategies.
One of the areas identified in NOVA’s 2020 Legislative Priority Goals related to Staffing/Recruitment and Retention focuses on offering the opportunity for career advancement and growth for all levels of nursing within the VA to retain a highly qualified nursing workforce. Did you know that March 19th is National Certified Nurses Day? It is a national day to honor certified nurses. Obtaining a nursing certification is a great way for nurses to advance their careers and professional development. Certification enhances patient care, validates nursing knowledge and expertise, shows dedication to nursing as a profession, and demonstrates meeting national standards. Special thanks to all the NOVA Certified Nurses who have achieved and maintained a national board certification in their specialty area of practice. The fact that you continue to grow as a health care professional and are committed to increasing your clinical knowledge to improve clinical outcomes is noteworthy and deserves recognition. For those interested in further advancing their careers or professional development by choosing an initial or subsequent certification, visit the Certification Partners page to learn more about the certification discounts available to NOVA members..
In closing, I would like to thank you for providing exceptional care day in and day out to America’s heroes across this great nation. Your passion is always commendable. Therefore, I am not surprised that during these unprecedented times related to the current COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and national emergency, you continue to have a patients-first approach. Please know that your unwavering commitment and sacrifices to ensure the safety, health, and well-being of our Veterans aren’t being taken for granted. I am grateful to you for your resiliency and selfless dedication to our Veterans as the presumptive cases of COVID-19 continue to increase; it is nothing less than inspiring. Stay healthy and safe!
Kelly D. Skinner, DNP, APRN, NP-C, GNP-BC, CRRN, WCC, CFCN
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