Wednesday April 23rd 2014

Membership Assembly opens with drumming, exploration of trends

Nurses find a common beat during a drumming activity.

Following an energizing and unity-building drumming activity, representatives to the American Nurses Association’s (ANA) inaugural Membership Assembly today began to identify varying trends and how they might impact nurses and the profession 10 years down the line.

In her opening remarks ANA President Karen A. Daley, PhD, RN, FAAN, set the stage for the forward-thinking, small-group discussions by quoting Peter Drucker. Daley noted that, in Managing for the Future, he said: “It is not necessary to be clairvoyant to know the future; it is only necessary to clearly interpret what has already happened and then project forward the likely consequences of those happenings.”

She also spoke about ANA’s progress in its ongoing transformation, such as streamlining its governance; bolstering its technology infrastructure; and strengthening its services and engagement opportunities for nurses, such as through ad hoc professional issues panels.

John Mahaffie of Leading Futurists, LLC

Group facilitator John Mahaffie of Leading Futurists, LLC shared how the digital age, the shrinking middle class and people’s increased perception that they are living in a risky world are shaping the environment. He urged participants to open up their thinking as they approached their discussions.

“Look for positive actions while change is occurring and develop a ‘foresight culture’—that’s the way to have the future that you want,” he said.

One of the major trends participants identified was the greater and ongoing use of technology and how those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged can have access to technology that can make them healthier, such as certain apps. Many also expressed the desire that nurses should be managing technology and not the other way around, and emphasized that caring and empathy must remain central to nursing. They also discussed the increasing trends toward home-based care and a true wellness and prevention focus.

Another group pointed to more consideration being placed on the environment to ensure health as in the days of Florence Nightingale.

The Assembly is taking place June 28 and 29 in the Washington, DC-area.

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