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President's Message

Posted By Ashley Lovelace, Thursday, April 16, 2020

                                 


Dear NOVA Members,

 

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to each and every one of you for your bravery, compassion and resilience that you continue to demonstrate during the coronavirus global pandemic. Even though the presumptive and confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 keep climbing, the death toll is increasing, additional surges are expected, and there isn’t an effective antiviral therapy or safe vaccine at this point, your commitment to care for our Veterans is the priority. Therefore, your dedication, professionalism, and sacrifices deserve special recognition. To date, the Department of Veterans Affairs COVID-19 National Summary reports that nationally there have been 6,943 Veterans with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and 435 COVID-19 Veteran inpatient deaths.

 

 All of us have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak on a personal and a professional level. Hopefully, we are heeding the current recommendations to prevent spreading the coronavirus by employing proper hand hygiene, social distancing, and wearing face masks or cloth face covers in public to flatten the curve. Travel restrictions, closures of schools and nonessential businesses, and stay at home advisories are still in in effect. Many of us are also experiencing first-hand the concerns related to fear of exposure and transmission, lack of proper protective equipment (PPE), screening and testing, staffing shortages, and rapidly changing guidelines and policies. Life as we know it has changed. The uncertainties, loss of control, feelings of vulnerability, inability to be with loved ones during hospitalization due to visitor policy restrictions, delaying non-emergent medical appointments or surgeries, worries of becoming infected and transmitting the coronavirus to our family members and significant others, waiting for COVID test results, quarantine precautions and social isolation have become the new reality. 

 

Many thanks to the NOVA members who completed the COVID-19 Survey and responded to the emails about COVID-19. The COVID-19 Survey results are linked below this article. I appreciate you taking the time to share your issues of concern and making your voices heard. Your feedback with your personal experiences is critical. As the COVID situation swiftly evolves, NOVA is tracking your responses and messages to the COVID-19 survey and emails to better understand the effects of the novel coronavirus. The national NOVA Board, Legislative Committee Chairpersons, Michelle Salazar and Cecilia McVey, with the Legislative Committee Members, and Teresa Morris, Director of Advocacy and Government Relations are diligently advocating for you; making sure that the House and Senate VA Committee staff and leaders of Veterans Service Organizations including the DAV, IAVA, PVA, VFW, and the Wounded Warrior Project know what is happening at VA facilities. Another COVID-19 survey will be coming out soon. Please know that NOVA remains vigilant in ensuring that the necessary proper protective equipment, screening tests, and other essential resources are available to protect you and the Veterans during the COVID-19 era. There is a COVID-19 Resources page with reliable references available on the NOVA website for you to utilize. It is important to have up-to-date resources with trusted, evidence-based information.

 

In closing, I truly value the exceptional care you provide to America’s heroes across this great nation. Your passion is always commendable, but your conviction and teamwork during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis is truly exemplary. This is a challenging time but we will get through it together. In the meantime, implement strategies to sustain your health and mental well-being, as well as boost your immunity. Utilize COVID-19 prevention measures, be informed, maintain a balanced diet, exercise, sleep well, deep breathe, practice relaxation techniques and mindfulness activities, focus on the good and provide acts of kindness, keep socially connected and engaged virtually, and have a positive attitude. Stay healthy and safe!

 

With appreciation, 

 

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



         


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Tags:  Awareness  COVID-19  Message  NOVA  President  PSA 

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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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