Welcome Back from MASN President
August 15, 2015
Dear School Nurse Friends,
Some of you may be returning to your school buildings over the next few days and others by early September. We are blessed to have time away from our schools to enjoy the Maine summer and time with family and friends and to perhaps learn something new to help us in our practice. It does help to re-charge and start the school year with a fresh prospective.
I hope you will take time within your busy start to visit your professional organization's web page at https://maineschoolnurse.nursingnetwork.com. Here you will find a list of upcoming events, messages from Nancy Dube, our School Nurse Consultant, minutes from MASN meetings, school nurse resources, and current job openings. NASN's website offers a wide variety of professional development opportunities, position statements on school nurse "hot topics", benefits of membership, and many other helpful tips to practice school nursing safely. Visit the NASN website for the new 2015-2016 "Back to School Toolkit". Whether you are a new school nurse or seasoned veteran, it has many useful tools and links in one place. http://www.nasn.org/ToolsResources/BacktoSchoolToolkit.
Speaking of professional practice? Are you a member of your professional organization? Do you know about NASN/MASN? Did you know you pay one price and have membership to both organizations? If you already belong congratulations for recognizing how important it is to belong to your school nurse organizations. If you are not a member I ask that you strongly consider joining us.
Belonging to your professional organization provides you access to discounted NASN publications, two free professional journals, vision care provided free for your students who do not have any health insurance and can not afford an eye exam or prescription eyewear (VSP Program), reduced registration fees for conferences both in Maine and nationally offered by MASN and NASN, access to many on-line continuing education programs, and several other benefits. I strongly encourage you to join your organizations.
Do you find community service important? I invite you to join MASN's Board of Directors or volunteer for a special project. We will have several openings on our board this fall and I am personally inviting each of you to consider joining us. You can choose whatever might interest you. Stay tuned for a list of anticipated openings listed on our website. Next summer we will be helping Nancy Dube with the School Nurse Summer Institute and many hands are needed to make a successful professional development event. Being on the board helps to develop leadership skills by becoming more aware of what is happening across the state of Maine, and sharing the information locally in your work. You will learn how advocacy and strong communication skills will advance your practice. We need your help! Please consider joining us. I am happy to answer any questions you may have regarding membership to NASN/MASN or membership to our Board of Directors.
What has the MASN board accomplished over the past year? Over 30 members have worked hard to develop leadership within the board. We hired a consultant, Jeff Wahlstrom, from Starboard Consultants in Bangor to look at our board as a whole, our practices, membership, and our strategic plan. We did a board self-assessment to look at ways to improve. We divided into task force groups to look at treasury practices, membership development, orientation activities, revise the strategic plan, operating guidelines, and by-laws of the organization, and many other board governance topics. We continue to grow as a dedicated group of professionals. It is very exciting and rewarding work and continues to be a work in progress. At our board meeting in April, we reported out on the work of each task group and our hard work was validated by Jeff Wahlstrom stating that he has never worked with a board who has accomplished so much in a short period of time. Again, I hope you will consider joining us either on the board of directors or as a member of NASN/MASN.
We heard you! We realize getting a sub is difficult for many school nurses so this year we are offering our fall conference on a Saturday. I am personally inviting you to join us, October 17, 2015 in Bangor, at the Ramada Inn. Our conference theme is " Ordinary School Nurses Make Extraordinary Leaders. " We chose Bangor to make it more accessible to nurses from all over the state of Maine. We hope you can join us!
My wish for all of you is to enjoy you work with students and staff, to get out there with your voice and let your colleagues know who you are and what you offer to your students and staff and that if you need help you have many interested professional nurses available to assist you. Feel free to call me anytime at 222-1062. I am happy to answer any questions you may have about our professional organization.
Teresa M. Merrill, R.N.