Lorna Finnegan, PhD, FNP, FAAN
Welcome back to another academic year. It is a privilege to serve as the President of NONPF, the leading organization solely dedicated to promoting high-quality NP education. The work at NONPF continues, and your commitment to NONPF is clearly evident through your service on committees and special interest groups. Your passion and willingness to volunteer have built NONPF into the organization it is today.
This past year our major focus has been on the DNP as the entry degree for NPs by 2025. We have hosted listening sessions, convened many workgroups, and completed an environmental scan to identify the key areas that need to be addressed to accomplish the DNP by 2025 goal. A summary of the four DNP Summit Workgroup activities and the plan for the coming year are posted on the NONPF webpage.
Be sure to register for this year’s Special Topics Conference, What You Need to Know to Deliver a Quality NP Program, December 5th and 6th in Bethesda. We will present the first of many workshops to help you transition to the DNP by 2025, Getting Started- DNP 2025: Creating a Seamless BSN to DNP Curriculum. Additional Fall Conference Workshops include Simulation Best Practices, Design, and Debrief Process, Guidelines for Assessing On-line Course Quality, DNP Scholarship Conundrums: Improve Writing, Manage Data, and Ensure Project Rigor and more. I hope to see you there.
In addition to the Fall conference, as part of the NONPF Faculty Institute, we will present a 3-part webinar series to prepare new NP faculty, and we will be putting out a call for applications for the fifth cohort to join the Leadership Faculty Mentor Program. This year-long leadership program provides one-on-one mentoring and concentrated sessions to support future faculty leaders.
I also look forward to seeing you at our 46th Annual Meeting in Chicago April 22-26, 2019. We are expecting over 1000 attendees. The 2019 NONPF Conference Planning Committee has planned an exciting program: 2020 – Envisioning a New Era for NP Education. The conference will focus on three main objectives: 1) Develop strategies to prepare students for advanced-level DNP knowledge, skills and abilities; 2) Evaluate NP education to determine gaps in education innovation; and 3) Formulate approaches to manage scarce resources to ensure quality NP education. This annual conference provides rich program content, networking opportunities with faculty from other institutions, and access to new resources from NONPF.
Thank you to the many members who applied to serve on a committee during the open call for committee volunteers. Unfortunately, we were not able to place everyone on a committee, but this is first of many opportunities. Please apply again. We appreciate your time and energy to support our organization. As NONPF is member-driven, we rely on your extraordinary strength to achieve our vision. We could not do it without you.
I would like to end this message by recognizing our grief over the loss of Anne Thomas, NONPF President from 2016-2018. Anne’s dedication to NONPF was unwavering. She left her imprint on NONPF in many ways. Anne and I worked closely together, as I was President-Elect during this time. During her two years as President, Anne transitioned NONPF from an organization led by an Executive Director to an organization led by a CEO. She also strengthened our partnerships with key organizations such as AANP and AACN. Leveraging her strong ability to bring multiple stakeholders together to achieve consensus, she convened the DNP by 2025 summit. On the last day of her presidency in April 2018, she announced the NONPF decision to embrace the DNP as entry to practice for NPs by 2025. I know she is watching over us as we work to accomplish that goal.
Prior to her presidency, Anne’s key accomplishment was the development of the population and core competencies that still guide NP curriculum today. I would see her at every conference huddled with various groups hammering out competencies when others were out taking a break from the conference. This was no easy task. Her ability to bring multiple stakeholders together to achieve consensus was amazing.
When Anne completed her presidency, I knew I had big shoes to fill, but she prepared me well for the role. She was a thoughtful and humble person and leader and I still wish I can consult with her today, but her words of wisdom remain a part of me.
On behalf of NONPF, I would like to thank Anne’s family for setting up The Anne Thomas Memorial Fund. Donations have been outstanding. Our generous members and friends of Anne’s have brought in $12,000. We are using these funds to develop faculty leaders in memory of the legacy of Anne’s leadership throughout her time with NONPF and in everything she did. We will continue to accept donations to this fund indefinitely.