NEW YORK NURSE: October 2011
by Winifred Z. Kennedy, MSN, RN
Karen Ballard, RN, has been an effective leader as president of the New York State Nurses Association and will continue as a nursing leader as first vice president of the American Nurses Association. Taking her place as president seems like an almost impossible task. My hope is that you will join me in the work of the association and make this job easier and more productive.
Let’s start at the beginning and get to know each other. I am one of the 1-in-44 woman voters in NYS who is a registered nurse. I am one of the 1,300 nurses at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn. I am one of the nearly 37,000 nurses in the New York State Nurses Association. In other words, I am one of you.
Being a NYSNA member is important to me. Being president of NYSNA is an honor and a responsibility.
Like the other members of the board of directors, I am bound by certain duties:
All new and ongoing board members must take these duties seriously and pledge to serve, protect and defend the association we all hold so dear.
The job won’t be easy. Together, we have faced lawsuits, threats of hostile financial takeover by outside groups, dissention within the association, decertification attempts, the challenges of the changing healthcare environment, threats to our pensions and benefits and other economic risks. Through these times we have continued to work together for the good of NYSNA. Together, we can continue to accomplish great things.
Together, we can continue to hope and work for a time when the New York State Nurses Association has fulfilled our vision of being the voice for all nurses. When we are all engaged together in the work of the association. When all the work that we have put into getting the BSN-in-10 passed pays off, it will be as successful as our past efforts for the gag law repeal, safe staffing disclosure, prevention of violence against nurses and protection of the Nurse Practice Act. We continue to look forward to a time when we will see the fruits of our efforts to ensure that there is access to health care for all.
Hope is there in the darkest times when we need it most. It gives us the capacity for empathy that we need as nurses, to be able to identify with and join with the suffering of others, to help “let it out” as Pandora did with the evils in the box; and still be able to act and to intervene. Look into your hearts. Join me in hoping for the best in the New York State Nurses Association, for the best for all of us.