President's Message

Empower, Encourage, Engage!

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ANNA is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. In preparing for this special anniversary, a colleague shared presentation titles from ANNA’s very first educational symposium in 1969. Topics from that year’s meeting included therapeutic nurse-patient relationships, dialysis in the home, teaching patients on dialysis, nutritional considerations, and the psychiatric aspects of renal transplant.

These topics are as contemporary today in nephrology nursing as they were 5 decades ago. This does not mean there has been a lack of advancement in the care of patients with kidney disease; instead it indicates that 50 years ago we aptly defined the attributes and strengths of nephrology nursing. Today, we continue to expand the science and roles for this area of practice. The concepts of interprofessional collaboration, varied practice settings, communication, and development of long-term relationships with a patient population with a chronic illness characterize nephrology nursing.

To further explore the varied roles of a nephrology nurse and the long-term connection nephrology nurses have with patients, I invite you to view the newly created film, Nephrology Nursing: The Career of a Lifetime.

To learn more about the evolution of nephrology nursing, I invite you to listen to our 50th Anniversary Podcast Series, which features ANNA Past Presidents sharing stories of nephrology nursing history and their visions for the future.

I also encourage you to follow ANNA on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to stay in touch with nephrology nursing practice and opportunities – as we promote and support nephrology nurses and our specialty over the next 50 years.

As ANNA President, I call on each of you to work together to Empower, Encourage, and Engage each other as nephrology nurses and ANNA members. I ask you to consider what role you will play within ANNA at the local or national level. (View volunteer opportunities.) ANNA provides tools and resources to develop your leadership skills and provides opportunities to carry out a leadership role. I started my leadership trajectory at the local level in a simple way. I entered a contest to name my ANNA chapter’s newsletter. I won the contest and received a voucher to attend my chapter’s local conference for free. After attending the conference, I volunteered to assist with the newsletter, and my involvement in ANNA grew from there.

If you are not an ANNA member, I encourage you to explore the ANNA website and seek out the varied opportunities for education, advocacy, scholarships and grants, and networking offered at the local and national levels. If you are not a nephrology nurse, I encourage you to explore the many opportunities and practice settings available to you.

When we empower, encourage, and engage each other as nurses, we attend to our own needs first and ultimately, we become the best nurse we can be for our patients. Through this focus on the personal and professional needs and growth of nephrology nurses, we are implementing ANNA’s mission statement to improve members’ lives through education, advocacy, networking, and science.

Tamara Kear, PhD, RN, CNS, CNN
2019-2020 ANNA President