After three terms on the Board as Director at Large (2004-2006; 2012-2014; 2014-2016) and one as President-Elect (2016-2018), I remain deeply committed to IntNSA. It is now time for me to serve the organization in a new capacity, as your new President. I’ve never been more proud to be a certified addictions nurse, than I am now, as I become IntNSA’s new President for 2018-2020.
I remain humbled by your trust in me. I am aware of and awed by the important responsibilities that the Board and I will face during my upcoming term. I am excited about new and old relationships and partnerships; confident about our vision; proud of IntNSA’s past successes; certain about IntNSA’s future successes; and am so very honored to be in a position to represent IntNSA and serve as one voice of many for addictions nursing. These are some of my thoughts as I enter this new phase, with you, at your service.
Every Nurse is an Addictions Nurse: During the most serious and deadly drug epidemic of our lifetimes, there has never been a greater need for every nurse to demonstrate training and expertise in drug and alcohol problems than right now. We know that all nurses encounter patients with substance use disorders (SUDs) on a daily basis. We know that, in the words of our esteemed Journal of Addictions Nursing Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Christine Vourakis, “addictions nursing practice is knowledge-specific”, not “setting specific” (Vourakis, 1996, JAN 6(1), 2-3). While there is a role for nurses who specialize in addictions, we know that every nurse is an addictions nurse. As a global leader in addictions nursing, IntNSA welcomes nurses in each and every nursing specialty and setting, and we will share our addictions specialty knowledge and skills with them.
Multidimensional Disorders Require Interdisciplinary Approaches: SUDs are multidimensional disorders, with multiple, overlapping etiologies, so single-minded approaches will be ineffective. IntNSA understands that regardless of professional discipline, all professionals must have a basic understanding of addiction. IntNSA is committed to working with its professional colleagues to promote evidence-based, interdisciplinary addictions practice that addresses the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) needed by all disciplines (medicine, nursing, social work, social welfare, etc.). It will take a global village to resolve the world’s drug and alcohol problems. To this end, IntNSA looks forward to continuing our current and future collaborative and interdisciplinary partnerships for the promotion of health and well-being for all.
On the Shoulders of Others: I am extremely grateful for and indebted to all of the Past Presidents of IntNSA who came before me. I cannot mention them all but let me start by showing my appreciation and fondness for a few of the past presidents with whom I have had the most contact.
- Stephen Strobbe (Immediate Past President): Stephen has done all that he can to teach me the ropes, provide me with opportunities at the USA specifically and international level, and help make this transition as smooth and seamless as possible. I thank him for that.
- Diane Snow(Past President 2000-2002): I have so much admiration and respect for Diane, and view her as an expert role model, my mentor, and my close friend. Somehow, Diane saw potential in me that I didn’t see in myself. Thank you, Diane, for recruiting me for service to IntNSA, first as a presenter at the 2002 conference in San Diego, and then (sucker that I am!) as Chair of the Planning Committee for the 2003 Baltimore conference and the 2004 San Diego conference. Under your tutelage, I became involved in working on Core Curriculum, position papers, and partnerships with other addictions organizations. I want to be you when I grow up, in so many ways. Thank you for inspiring me.
- Carolyn Baird(Past President, 2006-2008): Carolyn, I appreciate that you sent me to the National Organizational Alliance (NOA) Nurse in Washington Internship (NIWI), and asked me to serve IntNSA as leader of IntNSA’s Policy Committee. This allowed me to channel my policy passion and experience so that I could help IntNSA with its policy efforts. Thank you for providing me with those experiences.
- William Lorman(Past President, 2008-2010): Bill, under your leadership, as Past-President as well as Chair of IntNSA’s Finance Committee, IntNSA became infinitely more stable financially, allowing it to grow and expand its scope. You provided an example of how to invest our resources, and to not be afraid to spend money in order to grow the organization, as long as we spend wisely. I learned a lot from you. Thank you for what you’ve taught me.
- Dana Murphy-Parker(Past President, 2014-2016). Your perspective about IntNSA’s global expansion and nursing role at the international level has inspired me and expanded my vision. You coaxed me and coached me. I might not have had the confidence to run for President-Elect, if not for you. Thank you for opening up this opportunity.
Scholarship is IntNSA’s Foundation: I am (and we all are) extremely grateful for and indebted to
Dr. Christine Vourakis, for her role as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Addictions Nursing (JAN) for nearly 30 years. Under your expert direction and leadership, with your powerful energy and abundant enthusiasm, JAN has grown in extraordinary ways and is known as a well-respected periodical. People love the theme issues and columns and blend of scholarship and clinical utility. You have focused on things like impact factors and indexing, recruitment of expert peer reviewers (including specialists in biostatistics, qualitative as well as quantitative research) and aesthetic appeal. Thank you for your service, as well as for recruiting me to be the Editor of the Policy Watch column (writing for the column has improved my academic scholarship). You are the driving force behind JAN’s quality improvement and academic scholarship, and you have guided its development as the only peer-reviewed, internationally recognized scholarly resource specifically for addictions nursing. As IntNSA President and a member of the Editorial Board, I will continue to support the ongoing growth of JAN, and will support Dr. Ann Mitchell (who you are mentoring for your replacement when you retire next year), so that the world can continue to benefit from the innovations and research evidence generated by and with addictions nurses, in accordance with your vision.
Certification of Expertise is IntNSA’s Crowning Accomplishment: I am extremely grateful for and indebted to Dr. Suzan Blacher, Carolyn Jewell, Rosemary Smentkowski, Colleen LaBelle, and all the other members of the Addictions Nursing Certification Board (ANCB), for their role in ensuring that the CARN and the CARN-AP credentials are accredited and that nurses with those credentials are recognized nationally for their value as important members of the SUD workforce. Thank you. I will support and champion the work of the ANCB.
Membership is the Soul of IntNSA: I aim to empower all IntNSA members to be active in the organization and have a voice in how the organization grows and develops. I will remain committed in my support of the Membership Task Force as it works to build and grow our membership. As I stated when I first decided to run for President-Elect, I will equally focus on and support IntNSA’s growth and development at the local (e.g. United States chapters) level recognising the history of our organisation, AND at the international (global chapters) level, as IntNSA takes forward its mission. I will devote substantial effort to development of international IntNSA chapters, but I will not take my eye off the needs of members within the U.S. I ask that you communicate with me directly when you feel that I need to try harder or work more effectively to accomplish this aim.