Letter from AKPNO President
Barbara Berner EdD, MSN, APRN President of the AKPNO Board of Directors.
It is with some sadness that I write this letter to you. The Alaska Professional Nurses Organization is completing its third and now final year. We had our final membership meeting in November and disbanded after that meeting. Our website will close December 31, 2016. Our newsletter, Alaska Nursing Today, will continue until spring, 2017, then cease. Though our organization will be going away, we have a great deal with which to be proud. Our mission, a nursing society dedicated to improving the health of all Alaskans through fostering nurse leadership and excellence in nursing practice, has been the foundation of all of our activities. We have sponsored many continuing education programs, encouraged creativity and leadership of our members, and recognized up and coming nurses with evidence based practice awards for our new nursing graduates at UAA. Our newsletter has been the hallmark of our organization, providing objective, well-researched, pertinent and timely information about nursing and healthcare issues impacting our varied practices throughout the state. A special note of gratitude goes to Lynn Hartz, our mighty editor. She has done a remarkable job throughout these three years and, though she is retiring, leaves a strong legacy of providing us with health issues perspectives that are relevant and without prejudice. My thanks also go to that core group of nurses who faithfully attended meetings, agreed to take positions in the organization requiring additional work, and doing the work of the AKPNO. Mary Stackhouse, our Vice President has been a strong and continuing advocate for the organization. She has provided us with award certificates and presented these at our School of Nursing recognition ceremonies. LeMay Huff, our Secretary, has dependably provided reminders of meetings, sent out agendas, taken accurate minutes and worked with the executive committee to brainstorm plans and deal with problems. Our Treasurer, Debbie Thompson, has kept detailed and accurate records of our finances and kept us apprised of statewide issues. Tina DeLapp, a Director, has stepped up to head our membership activities. Directors Patricia Barker and Pat Dooley have also been strong advocates for the AKPNO and all have dedicated many hours to make the organization meaningful in spite of limited resources and manpower. We are also grateful to Anna Webb for providing us with bylaws and offering her expertise in the legal aspects of the organization. Finally, we must recognize Kay Lahdenpera for her leadership in the creation of the AKPNO. It was her vision to establish a professional nursing organization in Alaska that focused on leadership and advocacy for our profession. As you can readily see, the organization has been functioning on the efforts of a handful of very dedicated people. The longevity of an organization is dependent on those who are willing to take up the gauntlet and move it to new heights. An organization cannot continue without new advocates being willing to take that step up. In spite of our attempts to encourage new leadership, we have been unable to find those additional few. We all understand the difficulties of volunteering, especially when we are all juggling many pursuits. We all must decide our priorities. I know that I speak for our leadership group at the AKPNO, though we have experienced a great deal of satisfaction working in the AKPNO, we too, must move on. It has truly been and honor and privilege to be a part of the AKPNO. I have made strong friendships that are founded in our mutual goals of furthering our profession. I wish everyone well and will continue to work for a robust future for our nursing profession in Alaska.
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