PA Nurse Leaders Embrace Healthy Communities in New Mission Statement

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By Marion Burns Tuck

The Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders (PONL) is the state affiliate of The American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) a subsidiary of The American Hospital Association. PONL membership is approximately 400 strong and comprises members in four regions from all levels of nursing leadership and administration from across the Commonwealth. Although most PONL members are from acute care organizations and academia membership is open to all nurse leaders.

Every three years the PONL leadership gathers to delineate strategic priorities. At the planning meeting held in State College in January, four priorities for 2011-2013 were identified. They include: Building an Engaged Membership, Nurse Leader Development, Partnership & Voice, and Ensuring Fiscal Stability. The report released in October 2010 by The Institute of Medicine The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health was used as a guide to direct the group’s efforts.

During the two day session, PONL leaders determined that the previous Mission Statement (“to provide innovative leadership in shaping health care policy and cost effective patient-centered delivery systems) was too narrow and had been outgrown. A new Mission Statement was constructed (“to advance contemporary nurse leadership in shaping healthy communities”) which embraces PONL’s intent to continue promoting innovative leadership while simultaneously focusing outward on the health needs of our communities.

The length and breadth of PA can make attending meetings, educational events and participating in committees a challenge. PONL is planning to accelerate its use technology with webinars, web conferencing, and online education in efforts to address these. The organization intends to partner with our regional groups to offer scholarships and promote research in the field of nursing leadership. Formal mentoring opportunities and partnering with faculty in graduate programs that offer masters degrees in nursing leadership are also being planned. In addition to continuing to issue position papers on topics related to nursing, care delivery and health, PONL representatives visit members of the PA legislature to convey our concern about the health of those in our communities and urge them to increase their efforts to ensure the health of all Pennsylvanians. PONL is often sought as an ally in matters of health care and regularly partners with a broad range of organizations.

The Annual PONL Symposium titled Nursing Leadership: Advocates for Healthy Communities will be held October 26 & 27, 2011 in Harrisburg at The Crowne Plaza. Nationally known speakers from across the country will address topics of interest and concern to Pennsylvania nursing leaders. More information can be obtained from the PONL website at www.panurseleaders.org.

PONL welcomes all of our nurse leader colleagues to join us in making Pennsylvania both a great place to live and to practice nursing!

Marion Burns Tuck, PhD, RN, FACHE is the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders. Dr. Tuck has held positions as a staff nurse, clinical nurse specialist and various positions in nursing and hospital administration including vice president for patient service & chief nursing officer. She can be reached at: tuck@panurseleaders.org or 412-344-1414.