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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

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.


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:

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,

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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Congratulations to the 2020 Scholarship Winners

Posted By Ashley Lovelace, Thursday, February 13, 2020

NOVA on the Hill Day Scholarship Awardees are Selected! 

Two scholarships will be awarded in the amount of $250 each for the following two nurses to attend NOVA on the Hill Day on March 5, 2020. 

Congratulations to:

Ashley N. Jones, MS, BSN, RN, OCN, CHPN
VA Maryland Healthcare System

Steven D. Powell, MSN, BSN, BA, RN-BC
Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Criteria for the scholarships:

Applicant must be a member of NOVA for one (1) year. Must attend NOVA on the Hill Day 2020. Scholarship recipients will be required to submit to NOVA within 30 days after the conclusion of NOVA on the Hill Day 2020 a written narrative describing: How they plan to use and/or have used their experience at NOVA on the Hill Day 2020 and why they would return to NOVA on the Hill Day in the future.

Current members of the NOVA Board of Directors are not eligible to apply

Tags:  2020 Scholarship  NOVA  NOVA on the Hill  VA 

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A Message from Our President

Posted By Ashley Lovelace, Thursday, February 13, 2020




Dear NOVA Members,

Have you ever thought about using your knowledge and experience as a nurse to advocate for improving VA health care beyond the local facility level, at the state or national level? Does policy and advocacy interest you? If so, you should seize the opportunity to join us, your fellow NOVA members, at NOVA on the Hill Day on March 5th Click Here to Register and NOVA’s Annual Legislative Roundtable Click Here to RSVP on March 6th in Washington, D.C. Getting involved and creating change can have a significant positive impact on both your professional development and Veterans’ care.

Nurses instinctively protect their patients’ rights and welfare. They are advocates for quality of care improvements, and are in an ideal position to engage in political activism. However, this isn’t a new concept. Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, also known as The Lady with the Lamp, utilized evidence and political tactics to improve sanitary health conditions for the British soldiers during the Crimean War which led to changes in the health care delivery system.

If nurses don’t participate, policy decisions will be made without nursing input, which is unacceptable. Decision makers need to hear from nurses. The Institute of Medicine’s Report, The Future of Nursing: Leading change, Advancing Healthcalled for an increase in leadership from nurses at all levels, including front line staff nurses to nurse executives. All nurses can demonstrate their role as a leader by serving as an advocate and addressing public policy through the legislative process. Don’t underestimate the power of sharing your personal experiences. Politicians want to know how legislative issues affect their constituents. 

Having a voice on Capitol Hill is pivotal, and NOVA is the Voice of VA Nurses on Capitol Hill. Therefore, we must band together to improve health outcomes and effect change. There is power in numbers. The VA employs more than 80, 0000 nurses, so we should be a force not to be reckoned with. I encourage you to participate in advocacy and policy to strengthen NOVA Nurses’ impact in Washington D.C. by attending NOVA on the Hill Day and NOVA’s Annual Legislative Roundtable in March 2020. These are wonderful opportunities for you to meet face-to-face with your representatives in Congressmen and Senators from professional nursing organizations as well as Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs). Don’t miss out!

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 commendable. 

With appreciation,

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


Tags:  Capitol Hill  health care  Hill Day  Kelly Skinner  NOVA  NOVA on the Hill Day  Nurses  President  Roundtable  VA  VSO 

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NOVA Member of the Month

Posted By Ashley Lovelace, Wednesday, February 12, 2020


Betty M. Ogren, LPN



Betty M. Ogren is an active NOVA member and the first LPN to serve as a NOVA Board of Director. She functions as a Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) LPN at the VA Northern Indiana Health Care System (VANIHCS) in Fort Wayne, Indiana. As a nurse, who cares for our Nation’s heroes every day, Betty is committed to enhancing access, coordinating care and improving the health care provided to our Veterans. She is passionate about developing her leadership skills and making a difference. Honesty, Integrity, Hard-working, Dedication and Advocacy are key characteristics that are extremely important to her. Betty recognizes the significant role nurses play in health care innovations and the delivery of care and is committed to influencing change in the VA and the profession of nursing.

On February 13, 2020, Betty was notified that she was awarded the full Nurse In Washington Internship (NIWI) scholarship which covers airfare expenses, up to three nights lodging expenses, and the registration fee for the conference. She can’t wait to attend NIWI in March 2020 so she can learn more about the legislative process, advocacy, health care policy, and Capitol Hill meetings while networking with other nurses who are also interested in influencing health care in the legislative arena. Congratulations, Betty!


Tags:  Betty Orgren  Feburary  Member of the month  NOVA  nurse  VA 

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Certified Nursing Impacting Quality, Safety & Practice

Posted By Ashley Lovelace, Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Shawn Meadows BSN, RN, CWON

NOVA Chapter 308

Charles George VA Medical Center Asheville,NC  

I am a Certified Wound Ostomy Nurse (CWON) at the Charles George VA Medical Center, and am also proud to be a NOVA member. I am currently serving my third year as a board member for the Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB). WOCNCB is the certifying body for wound, ostomy, continence, and foot care nursing. They are  accredited by ABSNC and NCCA and are included in the VA Office of Nursing Services recommended certification list.

Board certification is a voluntary process that requires consistent evaluations of a nurse’s professional knowledge and skills in specialties beyond RN licensure. WOCNCB certified nurses provide cost-effective and high-quality care by bringing real solutions and benefits to organizations and their patients to maintain strong clinical practice components along with education for each of the specialties. WOCNCB is honored to be an associate member of NOVA offering a 30% fee reduction for initial wound, ostomy, continence, or foot care examinations for VA nurses. Information regarding this discount can be found at

Over the last year, I have served as a course coordinator for the WOCN Wound Treatment Associate (WTA) Program which was designed to provide specialized education to enhance nurses’ abilities to provide optimal wound care to patients with acute and chronic wounds. The Charles George VA Medical Center had several registered nurses complete the WTA program.

Jocelyn Turner is an RN and NOVA member of Chapter 308  who earned her WTA certificate in January 2020. Jocelyn works on a busy medical oncology unit, and we look forward to her becoming WOCNCB certified as a WTA and sharing her expertise in wound treatment with her colleagues.

2018 WOCN Society Conference

Shawn Meadows, BSN, RN, CWON (left)

2019 WOCNCB Fall Board Meeting

Shawn Meadows, BSN, RN, CWON (center)

 Jocelyn Turner, MSN, RN

WTA Graduate and NOVA Member

Tags:  blog  certified  CWON  NOVA  nursing  Ostomy  Ouality  practice  safety  Shawn Meadows  WOCN  WOCNCB  WTA 

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Thinking About Going Back to School?

Posted By Ashley Lovelace, Wednesday, February 12, 2020


Do you know about the partnership that Excelsior College has with NOVA?  Read more here  about the current discounts and partnership advantages that are available to you. Excelsior offers associates, bachelor’s and master’s in Nursing and Heath Sciences. Now is the time to focus on your educational and career goals.  

If you are a veteran, Excelsior College specializes in serving the academic needs of military and veteran students. Excelsior is ranked Best for Vets, 10 years running! With our Center for Military and Veterans Education, active duty military, spouses, and veterans are in good hands with educational professionals who know and understand your educational and career needs. Click here to find out more about how to utilize your GI Bill and more about Excelsior College programs and services.

If you think going back to school is going to be too difficult with all the current obligations, responsibilities and goals you already have, read this article about a U.S. Sailor who balanced it all!  She balanced her service to our Country, her family and earned three degrees. Just when you thought you had too much on your plate, there was someone that showed you it can be done!  Or read about Laura Davis who turned her tragedy into a passion for nursing. Our students are amazing, just like you. Join our Excelsior family today! 


Tags:  Excelsior College  Laura Davis  Military  NOVA  partnership  Veterans 

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