National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA) is celebrating the ‘Year of the Nurse and Midwife’ with a variety of activities throughout the year. NAINA, a professional organization for nurses of Asian Indian origin and heritage, collaborates with other national and international nurses associations in its journey towards professional excellence and improving global health. In 2019, NAINA joined the ‘Nursing Now’ global campaign. For the ‘Nursing Now’ campaign, NAINA selected three focus areas: enhancing clinical practice by continuing education, empowering nurses to become leaders at the bedside and beyond, and sharing examples of best nursing practices. In January 2020, NAINA joined the American Nurses Association’s Healthy Nurse, Healthy NationTM campaign as a champion organization to positively impact the health of its members and advance the goals of ANA.
NAINA’s upcoming national event on April 18th, 2020 will advance the goals for ‘Nursing Now’ and its commitment to the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation challenge thereby empowering nurses to take charge of their health and the health of the nation. NAINA’s 4th Leadership conference will be held at Howard Community College, Columbia, Maryland. This conference is designed for licensed health care professionals and pre-licensure students as well. This one-day event is designed to augment the knowledge, understanding, and appreciation for self-care, workplace safety, and promote resilience in nurses. The event will promote interprofessional learning and it will highlight how nurses can lead interprofessional teams from the bedside to the boardroom and promote health for themselves and others to build a healthy nation.
Deborah J. Baker, DNP, CRNP, NEA-BC, Senior Vice President for Nursing, Johns Hopkins Health System and Vice President of Nursing & Patient Care Services, Johns Hopkins Hospital will give the keynote address.Lois Gould, MS, PMP from American Nurses Association will address the participants on the topic of ‘Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation: The Grand Challenge’. Mary Kay DeMarco, PhD, RN, CNE, past president, Maryland Nurses Association, Georgene Butler, PhD, RN, CNE, Dean, Health Sciences, Howard Community College, Maryland, and Bobby Varghese PhD, RN, CNE, Professor of Nursing, Broward College, Florida will speak on various topics related to the theme of the event: Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation: Leading from the Bedside to Boardroom. Viji George, MA, BSN, RN, RNC-NIC will moderate the panel discussion on the domains of ‘Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation grand challenge’ . Teams from several state chapters of NAINA will enact how to create joy and find meaning at work amid challenges and pressure.
NAINA is an ANCC accredited provider of nursing continuing professional development and nurses may earn up to 6.5 contact hours by completing this conference activity. Registration is open to nurses for this great educational event for an affordable price of $50.00. Please visit the NAINA website for details of the conference and other monthly NAINA webinars (www.nainausa.com).
The 2017 clinical excellence conference organized by the National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA) concluded on December 2nd at Houston, Texas. It was for the first time that NAINA as a minority organization ventured to engage in a clinical excellence conference titled “Advancing Health through Excellence in Clinical Practice.” This conference, hosted by the Indian Nurses Association of Greater Houston, Texas (INAGH), was attended by over 200 participants and nurses were provided with 8.91 CEUs by the Southwestern University Hospital, Texas. Participants applauded the organizers for providing an opportunity to network and immerse in a day full of activities that provided thought provoking information to bring back to their own clinical practice.
The APN committee chairperson, Dr. Lydia Albuquerque, set the tone of the conference by welcoming the Houston chapter President Accamma Kallel, MSN, APRN, APN-C, CCRN, president of INAGH and local chapter APN local planning committee chair, to deliver her welcome address. The key note speaker, Melissa Herpel, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, challenged the participants to embark on pathways to excellence in independent practice as nurse practitioners. As an entrepreneur, she shared success stories of her own business model, how she overcame the challenges that she faced during the process and dared to challenge the participants to go out and start clinics that would provide primary care to the communities. All other speakers delivered their topics of interest and expertise with recent practice guidelines to the participants.
Poster presentations were coordinated by Dr. Letha Joseph, Dr. Solymole Kuruvilla, and Dr. Simi Jesto. Bindu Jacob, BSN, RN (New Jersey) was awarded the first prize, Jessie Kurian, MSN, RN (Dallas) was awarded the second prize, and Dr. Lisa Thomas (Houston) was awarded the third prize. Dr. Rachel Koshy, committee chair of the NAINA Journal, motivated the participants to submit scholarly articles for publication. The NAINA Journal was released by NAINA President, Dr. Jackie Michael. This Journal has been published for the second time with a goal to continue publications at least twice a year.
At this conference, NAINA presented a donation towards the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund which was accepted by Mr. Zafar Tahir, Houston planning commission representative on behalf of the mayor of Houston. NAINA received a grant from Boston scientific and generous sponsorship from educational and pharmaceutical companies. Our grand sponsor, “APRN world,” an independent educational organization started by Dr. Harila Nair, a nurse practitioner and entrepreneur of Indian origin based in California, needs a special mention for his generous support.
Conference hosting chapter, INAGH, facilitated the Gala night celebration with Bollywood dancing, a grand finale of the Texan dance choreographed by the nurses of Houston chapter, and other entertainment programs. The plenary committee members along with the planning committee were given a standing ovation for conducting an excellent conference which was inspiring, energizing, and remarkable.
Professional organizations run the gamut from those that teach you how to tackle public speaking to those that address a very specific specialty. As a nurse, professional organizations are an essential career tool, and those that address the needs and issues of minority nurses in particular are especially helpful.
According to Vilmala George, past president of the National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA) and a current advisory chair of the organization, minority nurses of all ages benefit from sharing professional and personal stories and tips.
NAINA has 13 chapters across the country and hopes to expand to more in the future. The organization reaches out to nurses of Indian heritage through regular meetings, online opportunities, and a biennial conference.
According to George, meetings help members grow a professional network and gain education and professional skills through seminars and talks. But as a minority nurse, these professional organizations have an extra significance. Gathering with colleagues in your profession who also share your cultural beliefs or background can give you a support that adds another layer of understanding.
“We have the latest advice for technology and mentoring,” says George about a few of NAINA’s benefits. “We have lots of expertise in our field, so we can share our experience and share our knowledge.” NAINA members with all levels of education and all kinds of professional experience connect with each other to share professional success, offer advice for problems or issues, and support each other’s growth as nurses.
Minority nurses know their own culture can have a big impact on their own career path and how they approach certain things. “Families are a big thing for us,” says George about NAINA’s membership base. “And we have a primary responsibility for it.” So outside of a nursing role, family plays a major role in the lives of many Indian nurses. Connecting with other nurses who have similar experiences in their own lives helps NAINA members form deep connections and gives them practical tips for managing a career and family life successfully.
NAINA members enjoy the connections, but also appreciate the many professional opportunities of being in an organization specifically focused on their career choice and cultural background. NAINA chapters meet regularly and invite speakers on topics ranging from retirement planning to academic tips and computer classes. Chapters offer scholarships for nursing students and also do community outreach to high schools and community organizations. There are chances for nurses to do fund raising for chapters and for special charitable causes. Some chapters offer NCLEX prep classes, too, and all chapters stay current through the NAINA newsletter.
George invites anyone interested in NAINA to attend a meeting or contact the organization with any questions.
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