2017 membership assembly and lobby day report.

In June, Lisa Caffery, INA’s voting Representative to
Membership Assembly; Sue Whitty, Iowa Nurses Association (INA)
Vice-President and INA Representative; along with Jann Ricklefs, INA
President and MA Observer, had the privilege of attending the American
Nurses Association’s (ANA) Lobby Day and Membership Assembly (MA)
in Washington DC. It was a quick, but packed event. Lobby Day started
with representatives from ANA prepping participants for the
conversations they would be having with House and Senate
representatives. The Iowa group then spent the rest of the day literally
running between appointments and relating nursing perspectives and
experiences to Iowa legislators. Unfortunately, the Iowa group was not
able to participate in the ANA group picture on the Capital steps,
because they were visiting with a healthcare staffer in Joni
Ernst’s office discussing important nursing and health care issues
that are affecting Iowa.

While not newcomers to the sites and activities of Washington DC,
this was a first experience at Lobby Day for Lisa and Jann. Sue has
attended previously and was able to help guide the group through the
grand historic halls that house the federal government. It was exciting
to see how things work behind the scenes. Attending ANA Lobby Day was an
enlightening and educational experience and all INA members would find
it highly motivational to attend the annual event held in June. Next
year’s Representatives to Membership Assembly would certainly
appreciate having more people with them to tell their stories. While
there, take a few days to enjoy all the beauty of our Nation’s
Capital.

At Membership Assembly, the Iowa delegation met nurses from across
the United States and its Territories. It was exciting to see the number
of nurses just beginning their journey in the profession and based on
what was observed, the future is in good hands! Membership Assembly
participants worked hard centering on updating of the ANA By-Laws and
deciding the structure and makeup of the Membership Assembly for the
future. While the current format of Membership Assembly will not change,
the number of representatives will increase with a total of 300 people
representing all states and a total of 400 votes cast. The number will
be based on a weighted system. With this increase, it is likely that
state associations (C/SNA’s) will once again need to plan to assist
with the additional cost.

We are blessed as a national organization to have an ANA President
who is able to inspire from the microphone. Pam Cipriano’s thoughts
run deep. She has a gifted ability to communicate and spoke about how
the deep divisions that are currently present in our country and are
causing an unhealthy level of stress. She reflected back to her early
nursing education and Hans Sele’s stress response model. She
suggested we use the model to find a maintenance state vs. allowing
unhealthy stress responses to take its toll. How appropriate. She
stressed that nurses need to know what is going on to respond positively
but stated, “my desire to be well informed is currently driving me
insane.” Then, quoting Dorthea Dix who said, “Be of good cheer
because sadness cannot heal the national wounds.” President
Cipriano also discouraged us from wallowing in the “ain’t it
awful” way of thinking and instead encouraged nurses to:

* Fight for your highest attainable aim but never put up resistance
in vain; make resistance lead somewhere.

* Remember, kites rise highest against the wind not with it; we
have strong headwinds right now.

* Remember, if you are not at the table, you may be on the menu.
Nurses, more than ever before, need to be at the table or our viewpoints
will be overlooked.

Throughout both days, there were a number of opportunities to
discuss topics of concern with other nurses, including member
engagement, advocacy, and recruitment of new members. Some activities
that stood out to the Iowa delegation were discussions on the use of
social media when connecting with key stakeholders in healthcare policy
and engaging member interest, Also, a powerful presentation by former
ANA President Karen Daley was a particularly inspiring.

She shared her involvement with HIV (called AIDS at that time) and
blood borne pathogen advocacy after she was exposed to the virus in her
emergency room work.

We appreciated having our Interim Executive Director, Tobi Moore
with us for the first time. Her leadership at the ANA level is clearly
present. It was particularly enlightening to watch Tobi advocate for
MaryLee Pakiser’s candidacy. MaryLee, immediate past president in
Michigan and was elected as an ANA board member giving the Midwest
states a voice at the table. Overall, it was a busy and engaging three
days with many worthwhile outcomes!

Caption: L to R: Jann Ricklefs, INA President; Sue Whitty, INA Vice
President; Lisa Caffery, INA Delegate

Caption: L to R: Lisa Caffery, INA Delegate; Jann Ricklefs, INA
President; Sue Whitty, INA Vice-President

Caption: L to R: Jann Ricklefs, INA President; Sue Whitty, INA
Vice-President; ANA President Pam Cipriano; Lisa Caffery, INA Delegate

Caption: 2017 INA Membership Assembly

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