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2020 NOVA Legislative Roundtable

Posted By Nancy Claflin DNP MS RN NEA-BC CENP CCRN-K CPHQ FNAHQ NOVA Nurse Emeritus, Thursday, March 19, 2020

 

NOVA’s 26th Annual Legislative Roundtable

NOVA’s 26th Annual Legislative Roundtable was held Friday, March 6, 2020 at DAV Headquarters in Washington, DC.  Participants were welcomed by Kelly Skinner, DNP, APRN, NP-C, GNP-BC, CRRN, WCC, CFCN, NOVA President. Michelle Salazar, RN, BSN, NOVA’s Legislative Co-Chair, presented NOVA’s legislative agenda, followed by presentations from staff from the Office of Nursing Services (ONS) in the Department of Veterans Affairs, representatives from Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), national nursing organizations, and Congressional legislative staff members.  The following topics were discussed:

  • Ensuring adequate budget for VA providing critical funding for VISNS and Medical Centers; support the Independent Budget 

  • Optimizing VA resources to affect and achieve value in models of care

  • Supporting appropriate funding for Community Care

  • Maximizing Veteran access to care through effective use of technology, efficient clinical practice, and role enhancement for nursing personnel

  • Monitoring implementation of VA Mission Act and Community Care Network

  • Requiring training, competency, and quality standards for Community Care Network providers equal that for VHA providers

  • Implementing care coordination system allowing Veterans to easily return to VA when resources are available

  • Enhancing women Veterans’ care, including providers, and benefits

  • Ensuring VA spaces are safe for women

  • Improving access to mental health care and addressing suicide prevention

  • Improving Post 9/11 GI Bill

  • Supporting use of cannabis for Veterans

  • Supporting pain management for Veterans

  • Ensuring Veterans exposed to toxic substances receive care and benefits

  • Ensuring access to opioids for Veterans who need it

  • Improving access

  • Ensuring staffing levels affecting community care referrals and coordination are met

  • Monitoring caregiver expansion

  • Promoting and addressing social determinants of health

  • Providing safe staffing 

  • Elimination of mandatory overtime

  • Monitoring VA’s staffing as the backup to national emergencies

  • Ensuring legislation to support critical patient safety updates

  • Monitoring proposed changes in telehealth legislation

  • Monitoring VHA’s electronic health record and ensuring that both Veterans and staff members are being heard

  • Championing palliative care

  • Ensuring implementation of Full Practice Authority for Advanced Practice Nurses

  • Removing barriers for Advanced Practice Nurses to certify patient eligibility for home health services, as well as cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services

  • Monitoring identification of sex trafficking

  • Increasing diversity in nursing

  • Fostering interprofessional collaboration

  • Updating qualification standards for advanced practice registered nurses

  • Implementing full practice authority for CRNAs

  • Providing funding for education for all APRNs similar to providers

  • Providing necessary resources to combat Corona virus

  • Monitoring modernization and restructuring of VHA, including connection of policy and operations

  • Providing ongoing training for VHA personnel and community providers to improve coordination of care, decreasing fragmentation of care, understanding of military culture, and healthcare needs across all VISNs

  • Improving custodial assistance in VA facilities to free nurses from cleaning responsibilities

  • Support Title VIII funding providing stable, sufficient funding for nurse education programs

  • Expanding VANAP programs to train more students in VA facilities

  • Recruiting and retaining a highly qualified nursing workforce with appropriate budget to support modern staffing models

  • Offering career advancement and growth opportunities for all levels of nursing within VA to retain a highly qualified workforce

  • Ensuring Human Resources (HR) has essential staff to review and streamline policies and procedures to improve efficiency and speed of the hiring process

  • Mandating training for all HR personnel on use of Locality Pay, and Congressional authorizations to improve hiring process

  • Monitoring HR centralization at the VISN level

  • Monitoring VA’s use of hiring authorities

  • Increasing salary caps and supporting competitive wages for all levels of nursing

  • Giving back collective bargaining rights

  • Lengthening timeline for giving second chances due to minor mistakes

Congressional legislative staff members attending included Shauna Rust, Policy Assistant, Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs; Christine Hill, Minority Staff Director, Subcommittee on Health, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs; Sara Dean, Majority Professional Staff Member, Subcommittee on Health, House Veterans Affairs Committee; and Heather O’Beirne Kelly, Majority Professional Staff Member, Subcommittee on Health, House Veterans Affairs Committee. Representatives from Veterans Service Organizations included Marquis Barefield, Assistant National Legislative Director, Disabled American Veterans; Heather Ansley, Paralyzed Veterans of America; Travis Horr, Director of Government Relations, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America; and Rene Campos, CDR, U.S. Navy (Ret.), Senior Director, Government Relations, Military Officers Association of America.

Staff from the VA Office of Nursing Services included Beth Taylor, DHA, RN, NEA-BC, Chief Nursing Officer and Karen Ott, DNP, RN, Director for Policy and Legislation.  Representatives from professional nursing organizations included Peter Kallio, President, Association of VA Nurse Anesthetists; Diane Boettger, MHS, APRN, CRNA, Executive Director, Association of VA Nurse Anesthetists; Matthew Thackston, American Association of Nurse Anesthetists; Elliott Vice, Director, Government Affairs, National Council of State Boards of Nursing; Sam Hewitt, Senior Associate Director, Policy & Government Relations, American Nurses Association; Clare Chmiel, Senior Government Affairs, Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association; Claudio Gualtieri, JD, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, Center to Champion Nursing in America/AARP; Tamara Borchardt, DNP,  WHNP-BC, Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health; Jo Ann Webb, RN, MHA, FAAN, Vice President, Federal Relations and Policy, American Organization of Nursing Leadership; Frank Purcell, Representative, Academy of Medical Surgical Nurses; Colleen Leners, DNP, APRN, Director of Policy, American Association of Colleges of Nursing; Diane Padden, PhD, CRNP, FAANP, American Association of Nurse Practitioners; Alec Stone, Public Affairs Director, Oncology Nursing Society; and Dave Mason, Federal Policy Consultant, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. Marilyn Park represented the American Federation of Government Employees.

NOVA members included Board of Directors members President Kelly Skinner, DNP, APRN, NP-C, GNP-BC, CRRN, WCC, CFCN; President-Elect Taryn-Janae Wilcox-Olson, MHS, RN; Secretary/Treasurer Ruth Holmes, MSA, BSN, RN; Past President Thelma Roach-Serry, BSN, RN, NE-BC; Director and Co-Chair Legislative Committee Michelle Salazar, RN, BSN; Director Catherine Giasson, DNP, MHA, RN, NE-BC; Director Ernestine Goode, MSA, BSN, RN, CRRN, CBIS; Director Theresa Presley, MSN, RN, CNL, CCRN; Director Yvette Twum-Danso, RN, MSN, CCRN, PhD(c); Director Betty Ogren, LPN; Past President Cecilia McVey RN, MHA, FAAN.  Also attending were Past Presidents/Nurse Emeritus Nancy Claflin, DNP, MS, RN, NEA-BC, CENP, CCRN-K, CPHQ, FNAHQ; Margaret Kruckemeyer, MSN, ARNP-C; Nurse Emeritus Beverly Ross; and NOVA Legislative Committee members Grace Conley, Vanessa Coronel, Raquell Garrett, and Steven Powell; NOVA members Sherry Clement, , Pandolla Hicks, Alma Holley, Alma Houlditch, Ashley Jones, Agnes Kaje, , Stella Lebrun, Leticia Mickens, Martha Moreno, Theresa Presley, Faith Santiago, Michella Savoy-Carter. NOVA Executive Director Deb Dupnik and Teresa Morris, Director, Advocacy and Government Relations also attended.

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Soft Skills Deficit Disorder

Posted By Ashley Lovelace, Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Marilyn Simpson, RN, MSN/Ed 

Abilene VA Community-Based Outpatient Clinic  

West Texas VA Health Care System, Abilene, TX 

 

 The Soft Skills Deficit Disorder is not yet listed among the many formal disorders in the DSM-5. However, the symptoms of this imaginary disorder are present in many of our employees and we already have the tools to help them. There is a 100% chance that someone around you will say something which offends others, and you will be smoothing things over for them yet again. Let us unearth the tools for whittling off the rough edges in those with the fictitious Soft Skills Deficit Disorder.

 

Think back to the phenomenal bestseller How to Win Friends and Influence People (Carnegie,1936). Glance at a few of the chapter headings below and think of the employees for whom you are constantly apologizing. Do you see the connection between your part in the equation and salvaging staff with Soft Skills Deficit Disorder?

1. Become Genuinely Interested in Others.
2. Be a Good Listener.
3. Talk in Terms of Their Interest, Not Yours.
4. Make the Other Person Feel Important and Do It Sincerely.
5. Avoid Arguments. 
6. Praise Every Improvement.
7. Make the Fault Seem Easy to Correct.
8. Ask Questions Instead of Giving Orders
9. Give People a Fine Reputation to Live Up To

Creative solutions for staff who don’t communicate well begin with your being a good listener, allowing him/her to talk about themselves, and issuing the challenge to behave better in the form of a game or idea that is exciting to them.(Carnegie, 1936). Here are some possible ideas which may help you capitalize on the strengths of your employees who still suffer from the make-believe Soft Skills Deficit Disorder.
  1.  Assign Talent Management System (TMS) classes for those employees who seem to alienate everyone. Browse the catalog and choose the content which best fits a problem.
  2.  Facilitate the perfect gentle mentor for the loud/abrasive employee who needs coaching. Appeal to the nobler motives. (Carnegie, 1936).
  3.  Provide the coffee and have a friendly, non-punitive chat behind closed doors and include (only) two recent examples. Keep it short, and end with a laugh.
  4.  Throw down a challenge. (Carnegie, 1936). “The thing that most motivates people is the game. Everyone desires to excel and prove their worth. If we want someone to do something, we must give them a challenge and they will often rise to meet it.”

Reference: Carnegie, D. (1936). How to Win Friends and Influence People. Philadelphia: Simon & Schuster.


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A Message from Our President

Posted By Ashley Lovelace, Wednesday, March 18, 2020


      


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!


With appreciation, 




Kelly D. Skinner, DNP, APRN, NP-C, GNP-BC, CRRN, WCC, CFCN

 

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Chapter Highlights: Chapter 362

Posted By Ashley Lovelace, Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Yvette Twum-Danso, MSN, RN, CCRN,  PhDc

NOVA Chapter 362: W. J. Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center, Columbia, South Carolina


NOVA Chapter 362 had a recruitment dinner on February 20, 2020 and recruited twelve new members.Welcome to NOVA, Melissa Rummage, Donna Corbett, Nikisha Brown, Jennifer P. Walker, Angela Weston, Amy Stanley, Beverly Buchanan, Pamela Brevard, Julian Weeks, Anne Whaley, Russell Watkins, and Jacquelin Pearson.A group of people posing for the camera Description automatically generated

NOVA Chapter 362 Recruitment Dinner

NOVA Chapter 362 of Columbia, South Carolina participated in a community outreach activity on February 26, 2020. NOVA members donated 100 pounds of school supplies for Tornado Relief: Kershaw County: Central High School.

Two NOVA Chapter 362 Members won the South Carolina Palmetto Gold Award:

Charlene Speaks and Amy Stanley. Palmetto Gold are Registered Nurses in the state of South Carolina who exemplify excellence in nursing practice and commitment to the nursing profession. This is accomplished through an annual nomination and selection process that includes nurses from across the state and from a variety of practice settings. The top 100 nurses who are selected each year for this prestigious award are honored at the annual Palmetto Gold Gala. To date, over 1,400 nurses have received this award. The Annual Palmetto Gold Gala will be held Saturday, April 18, 2020 at the Columbia South Carolina Metropolitan Convention Center. 



 Charlene Speaks and Amy Stanley


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NOVA on the Hill Day Scholarship Recipients

Posted By Ashley Lovelace, Wednesday, March 18, 2020

NOVA on the Hill Day Scholarship Recipients


NOVA awarded two scholarships in the amount of $250 each to provide support to two NOVA nurses to attend NOVA on the Hill Day on March 5, 2020 in Washington D.C. Congratulations to the 2020 NOVA on the Hill Day Scholarship Recipients: Ashley N. Jones and Steven D. Powell! Ashley works at the VA Maryland Healthcare System and Steven works at the Michael E. Debakey VA Medical Center. Enjoy their testimonials below.


 



Ashley N. Jones, MS, BSN, RN, OCN, CHPN

2020 NOVA on the Hill Day Scholarship Recipient

VA Maryland Healthcare System, Baltimore, MD

 

“Attending the 2020 NOVA Hill Day was one of the best days in my career as a VA nurse. The day began with meeting Congresswoman Lauren Underwood who answered questions and was very informative. I was able to meet with my Senator’s staff and discuss and advocate for issues that affect Veterans in Maryland and Veterans overall. I plan to use this experience to advocate for Veterans on the state and federal level. I will continue to advocate for the passing of the H.R. 647, Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act. This bill will increase hospice and palliative care education of all healthcare providers. I will return to NOVA Hill Day in the future to advocate for exceptional care for Veterans as well as optimal staffing for VA nurses. I plan to network with my fellow VA nurses from different states. It is beneficial to talk with nurses from different states to receive input and feedback to develop ideas for my local facility. Again, I am grateful for the opportunity and will see you next year!”


Steven D. Powell, MSN, BSN, BA, RN-BC

2020 NOVA on the Hill Day Scholarship Recipient

Michael E. Debakey VA Medical Center, Houston, TX


"I plan on using the experience from NOVA to share with my colleagues in Houston and the general public what NOVA’s Legislative Priority Goals are and the importance of contacting their representatives in Congress. Now that I have met with various individuals who handle this legislation, I know exactly who to contact when bills begin to get developed and introduced for a vote. The whole experience was absolutely wonderful! Getting to meet and network with fellow nurses passionate about advocacy from across the country was absolutely inspiring. Plus, as a millennial nurse, I was blown away that the day got kicked off with the first elected millennial nurse to Congress, U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood, joining us for breakfast. It is my hope to attend every NOVA on the Hill Day after this. For anyone that hasn’t been, do yourself a favor and plan on going to this awesome experience!"


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Chapter Highlights: Chapter 226

Posted By Ashley Lovelace, Wednesday, March 18, 2020

NOVA Chapter 226: VA Boston Healthcare System
Kelly D. Skinner, DNP, APRN, NP-C, GNP-BC, CRRN, WCC, CFCN

Healthy Leg Day

NOVA Chapter 226 hosted Healthy Leg Day on February 25th at the West Roxbury Campus and February 26th at the Jamaica Plain Campus. It was an opportunity to educate staff about prevention of varicose veins and venous disorders. The majority of staff were eligible for compression products due to it being a benefit of their health insurance. Their measurements were obtained right there onsite. What a great turnout!



NOVA Trip to D.C.

Several of our NOVA Chapter 226 Members: Ceci McVey, Grace Conley, Theresa Presley, Vanessa Coronel, Carol McTavish, Sherry Clement, and Kelly Skinner attended NOVA on the Hill Day on March 5th and NOVA’s Annual Legislative Roundtable on March 6th in Washington, D.C. NOVA is the voice of VA Nurses on Capitol Hill, and meeting face-to-face with our representatives in Congress and representatives from professional nursing organizations as well as Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) is always such a rewarding experience. Coincidentally, we saw Michael Negrete, President of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, on Capitol Hill as we were leaving the Dirksen Senate Building. That means the representatives were hearing legislative priority goals from not only the NOVA nurses, but also the Veterans receiving VA care. We believe we made our voices heard and appreciate the opportunity to share concerns and provide updates to our elected officials and their staff.



National Certified Nurses Day

March 19th is National Certified Nurses Day! Our chapter would like to recognize the nurses at the VA Boston Healthcare System who have obtained a VA-approved certification within the past year. National Certified Nurses Day is the perfect time to honor certified nurses for their significant professional accomplishment, but also an opportunity to extend an invitation to all nurses to advance their practice by becoming certified in their specialty area.




Tags:  Chapter 226  highlights  NOVA 

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Certification Savings!

Posted By Ashley Lovelace, Wednesday, March 18, 2020

NOVA Certification Partners https://www.vanurse.org/page/certificationpartners

Did you know all NOVA nurses can save $$$ on certifications?

NOVA has established a number of partnerships with various nursing organizations to provide NOVA members with discounts on certifications and recertifications. These certification discounts include substantial cash or percentage discounts off the application cost. This benefit is available to all NOVA member including LPNs, RNs, and APRNs who are interested in pursuing certifications in a wide variety of specialty areas.  

Visit the Certification Partner page to learn more. https://www.vanurse.org/page/certificationpartners

 

Tags:  APRN  certifications  discounts  LPN  NOVA  re-certifications  RN  Savings 

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March Member of the Month

Posted By Ashley Lovelace, Wednesday, March 18, 2020

                                                                            

Yvette Twum-Danso, MSN, RN, CCRN, PhDc
W. J. Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center
Columbia, South Carolina


Yvette M. Twum-Danso is an Assistant Nurse Manager for the Acute Medicine Clinics II - Outpatient Specialty Clinics.  She has been a registered nurse since 1996 and joined the Columbia VA Health Care System in 2003. Yvette has diverse nursing experience in critical care, cardiology: cardiac rehabilitation, research, and case management.  She has also served in the United States Army Reserves for eight years as a nurse. Yvette has a master’s degree in nursing with a concentration in education and is a nurse doctoral candidate. 


Yvette was awarded the South Carolina Palmetto Gold Nursing Award in 2015.  She is a recipient of NOVA’s Professional Nurse Award for Clinical Excellence in 2015 and NOVA President’s Award in 2019.  Her local NOVA Chapter 362 was given the Distinguished Chapter Award in 2019.  In addition to these professional awards, Yvette received NOVA’s Vernice Ferguson Scholarship in 2015.


Yvette has been an active NOVA member since 2012.  She joined NOVA’s Board of Directors in January 2020 and serves as the President for NOVA Chapter 362 at the Columbia VA Health Care System in Columbia, South Carolina.  Yvette has served on the NOVA Legislative Committee since 2015. She is an advocate for NOVA and proudly encourages VA nurses to join NOVA to improve Veterans’ access and outcomes.


Yvette is a member of the American Association of Critical Care.  She serves on the Office of Nursing Cardiovascular Field Advisory Committee and is a chairwoman for New Direction Church. Yvette is passionate about enhancing the professional growth and upward mobility of VA nurses through nursing research.


Tags:  Member of the month  NOVA  RN  Yvette Twum-Danso 

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Chapter Highlights: Chapter 420

Posted By Ashley Lovelace, Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Highlights from Chapter 420

Lynette Short, MSN, RN, NOVA Chapter President 

Central Virginia VA Health Care System, Richmond, Virginia


Community Service - School Drive


The chapter conducted our annual School Supply Drive during the fall. The supplies donated by chapter members were presented by Chapter Board Member Marva Griffin and Chapter President Lynette Short to students at Ephesus Junior Academy in Richmond, Virginia. The students, staff and principal were beyond grateful for the donations. 


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Marva Griffin, Lynette Short 

  and Ephesus Junior Academy Students


Chapter Kudos


Congratulations to chapter members who received NOVA Awards in 2019: Cynthia Solomon, MS, BSN, RN, ACNP-BC (APRN Excellence Award) and Sheleda Marks, LPN (LPN/LVN Excellence Award). Cynthia is a nurse practitioner in oncology and Sheleda is a nurse who works in the community living center.


Sheleda Marks, LPN and Cynthia Solomon, NP



Chapter 420 Holiday Meeting


Chapter 420 held our annual holiday meeting in December 2019. Dr. Kristin Windon, ADPCS of the Central Virginia Health Care System, presented on the “State of the Central Virginia VA Health Care System (CVHCS)” Her presentation was well received. 


Dr. Windon received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Virginia and her Doctorate in Education - Higher Education Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. She is s a Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist who is certified in Nursing Professional Development. Dr. Windon is married to a Marine, and her father and three uncles served in the Navy.


Dr. Windon was appointed as the CVHCS ADPCS in September 2019 and is responsible for the direct supervision of Nursing Service, Chaplain Service, and Sterile Processing Service, providing direct and indirect care for our Veterans. She served as Acting ADPCS for five months after serving as the Deputy Associate Chief of Staff/Education Service for 10 years. Prior to these roles, Dr. Windon served as a critical care nurse, nurse researcher, utilization review nurse, nursing professor, nursing program director, and nursing program consultant.


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Kristin Windon, EdD, MSN, RN, AGCNS, NPD-BC

ADPCS, Central Virginia VA Health Care System


Tags:  Chapter 420  Community Service  Cynthia Solomon  Kristin Windon  Marva Griffin  NOVA  School Drive  Sheleda Marks 

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Heard on the Hill

Posted By Ashley Lovelace, Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Teresa Morris, Director, Advocacy & Government Relations

Greetings NOVA Members –

Wow, it was a busy February and March – the Legislative Committee finalized its 2020 Legislative Priority Goals and NOVA held its Hill Day and Roundtable events in Washington, D.C. Thanks to the over 30 Members who showed up and joined us to speak to Congress about VA healthcare and local issues critical to VA’s Mission. Stories from the day will be presented in the coming weeks. Needless to say, Congress heard loud and clear from our VA Nurses!

Our 2020 Priorities focus on ensuring an adequate budget, monitoring access and the Community Care Network and most importantly, Staffing, Recruitment and Retention, with emphasis on lowering vacancies by recruiting and retaining a highly qualified workforce. For the entire list of goals, visit the NOVA website and click on the Advocacy Tab.

We also held our Annual Legislative Roundtable at DAV Headquarters in DC. The Roundtable is a great event that brings together stakeholders from the VSO community, Professional Nursing Organizations, Hill Staff, Union Representatives, and leadership from the VA Office of Nursing Service. 

Discussions centered around VA healthcare and services, staffing, modernization/reorganization within VHA, APRN status update, and the recently published report, “The Future of Nursing 2020-2030,” which can be found here: https://nam.edu/publications/the-future-of-nursing-2020-2030/

For pictures from Hill Day and the Legislative Roundtable – check out our website today!

Congress continues to hold hearings and introduce legislation designed to improve VA programs and services. NOVA makes a point of monitoring anything that affects our members and how they provide care to Veterans.  The FY 2021 Budget and FY 2022 Advance Appropriations was introduced in February and is now in the hands of Appropriation Committees. NOVA supports the Independent Budget funding request for both cycles. The IB VSO’s – DAV, PVA and VFW have worked to develop and present concrete recommendations to ensure that VA remains fully-funded and capable of carrying out its mission to take care of current and future population of Veterans. I urge all of you to take a look at the information provided, Congress has for years acknowledged the importance of the VSO analytics and accuracy of its numbers.

The link to the document can be found here, http://www.independentbudget.org/116-congress/

I encourage all of you to stay current on our advocacy efforts by visiting the NOVA Website and watching our Social Media accounts – information on hearings and issues moving quickly through Congress are always provided as they happen! 

As we move towards the end of the 116th Congress and the 2020 elections, I ask all of you to continue to voice your views as to how, when and where Veterans receive care as VA moves through new models of healthcare delivery. All of you remain at the forefront and can provide invaluable information on how VA continues to carry out their core mission of taking care of our Nation’s Heroes.  

Stay Tuned!


Tags:  Congress  DAV  Legislative Roundtable  NOVA  NOVA on the Hill  Priorities  PVA  Recruitment  Retention  Staffing  VFW  VHA 

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