In case you haven’t heard yet, my name is Phyllis Whitehead, and I am the newly elected NACNS President. Phee Phee was my nickname given to me by my young nieces who couldn’t say Phyllis and now my grandchildren call me, and hence the name of this column where you can ask questions about all things NACNS.
One question I’m getting a lot lately is “what’s all this about advocacy and CNSs”.
Q. Why advocacy?
Part of the reason we are focusing on advocacy is because of my third-grade teacher. Mrs. Flora taught the class about nouns and verbs. She called verbs “action words” because they describe some type of activity.
Advocate is both a noun and a verb. That’s exactly what we want to do over the next few years – take action and advocate for our patients, for each other, and for ourselves. I call it “unstoppable advocacy”. Here’s what we plan to do:
First, we plan to advocate for diversity in all its forms. Not just acute care but all areas . . . Primary care/ambulatory care, LTC/subacute, HH/Hospice/Palliative. NACNS is an open, diverse, and inclusive organization.
Second, we will advocate for you:
- Expand Professional Development Leg/Reg opportunities to promote our scope of practice and competencies
- Launch the new LMS platform
- Simplify the path to membership
- Bridge the gaps between academia and practice
- Work more closely with affiliates and CNSI
Finally, the CNS story has only begun to be told. It is ever-changing series of successful actions that barely registers with some of our colleagues. Maybe we are talking to the wrong people. Maybe we need to be stronger when delivering our message. Maybe both. This is what advocacy is all about – reaching the right people, at the right time with the right message.
Today, “Clinical Nurse Specialist” is a noun. Let’s make it a verb. Working together we are unstoppable. That’s why we advocate.