By Linda J. Keilman
“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they have the heart!”
– Elizabeth Andrew
Volunteering, or giving of one’s time, is an important component of the professional nurse role. Volunteering can be about wanting to give back to your community or professional organizations, advancing your career, supporting various populations or colleagues in meeting their needs, using your expertise in a variety of situations, or because it is just the right thing to do!
Paying it forward is a concept most of us have heard about – how to make others feel good when something good has happened to you! But another view is that volunteering is very therapeutic for the individual (Alspach, 2014) – that means you – the willing volunteer!
Alspach found career, social, and health (mental, physical) benefits reported by volunteers led to a 22% lower mortality rate than non-volunteers. Now, I would never bribe any of you to volunteer for the 2020-2021 GAPNA ballot related to those mortality statistics! I do know that volunteering just plain makes you feel good all over – mind, body, and spirit.
There is always a lot of laughter in groups as well, which we all know is the best medicine!
During this novel coronavirus pandemic, things have changed quickly and regularly, leading to stress and uncertainty for many. Yet, nurses have kept working and caring for patients, holding meetings through video conferencing and telephone; boards have continued to meet virtually. The work of the world and our profession never comes to a standstill; we go on despite seemingly insurmountable barriers.
“The need for you to be a respected, credible and contributing member of a board is two-fold. First, the nursing workforce must be present where decisions are being made so they can lead the healthcare delivery system.
Second, the Institute of Medicine Report (2010), The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, recommended that all nurses (especially practicing RNs) lead the American public to higher levels of health.
By participating in board room discussions, you can gain political advantage, thus increasing nursing’s power, and influencing society’s health and well-being across a variety of interdisciplinary settings” (Slater & Arms, 2016). Now more than ever, nurses are being watched to see our courage, motivation, and determination during this global pandemic.
The world sees our knowledge, experience, and compassion in action every day and have realized the incredible value of nurses during this pandemic and, thus, our service will be greatly in the future.
Will you step up to the plate to be a candidate for the GAPNA Board of Directors and the Nominating Committee? This year we had the most people volunteer to run for a position in many years. It was thrilling!
We thank the GAPNA members who ran for a position but were not selected this time around. We want the candidates to understand there are no negatives in running – only positives. One gains valued experience in having the courage to stand up and say “follow me into the future!” There are no losers! No one “lost” in our election. There were only victorious volunteers and winners!
Every time you put your name into the running, you become a more well-rounded individual, capable of standing up and saying what you believe for the future of the organization and how you can help GAPNA get there. You know what you believe in! You can share your vision! You are victorious!
Please thank the following GAPNA members who put their names in the running for the 2020 election:
- Amy O’Dell
- Amy Rose Taylor
- Amy Siple
- Ann Kriebel-Gasparro
- Donna Leake Hamby
- Karen A. Neeb
- Maria I. Contreras
- Nina Ganesh Nandish
GAPNA members appreciate your willingness to volunteer your time to serve and delight us! We hope that you will consider running again in the future. Next year we hope to have at least three candidates for every position. The more the merrier; the more diverse the better! Think about running!
Thank you to the GAPNA members who took the time to vote. Unfortunately, the voting number is not where we would like it to be. Voting always occurs in the month of May. Write down in your 2021 calendar now that you need to vote in May.
Take time to get to know your fellow members and take charge of your organization by voting, volunteering, and engaging. Together we can change the world!
“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”
– John Wesley
Linda J. Keilman, DNP, MSN, GNP-BC, FAANP
Nominating Committee Chair
- Alspach, J. G. (2014). Harnessing the therapeutic power of volunteering. Critical Care Nurse, 34(6), 11-14.
- Institute of Medicine (US). Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing. (2010). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
- Stalter, A., & Arms, D. (2016). Serving on organizational boards: What nurses need to know. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 21(2). https://doi.org/10.3912/OJIN.Vol21No02PPT01