Give the Gift of ARN Membership this Holiday Season
In her December 2020 President's Message, Dr. Patricia Quigley reflects on 2020 Year of the Nurse and Midwife celebrations in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and applauds ARN members for their resilience. In the spirit of giving this holiday season, Dr. Quigley urges members to consider giving their colleagues a gift that keeps giving: The gift of an ARN membership.
Colleagues, as we reflect on the winding roads we have traveled this year, we find that we have learned, shared, celebrated, and affirmed together the importance of our rehabilitation nursing specialty community.
Around the world, nursing organizations planned for the 2020 Year of the Nurse and Midwife and celebration of Florence Nightingale's 200th birthday. Yet by March, we knew that this year was going to be like no other. The debilitating effects of COVID-19—including widespread isolation, the conversion of inpatient settings, and shifting staffing/resources to COVID-19 units—repurposed or closed in- and outpatient rehabilitation units and locked down long-term and post-acute care. We all have witnessed the impact of this disease on our family, friends, and colleagues, and some of us have even experienced loss of our loved ones and colleagues.
Still, through this pandemic, colleagues, you have been resilient in the face of stress, burden, fear, and sorrow—you are heroes!
Reflecting on REACH 2020
The amazing energy and engagement of our first historic virtual REACH conference remains palpable. It was a tribute to early and successful contingency planning that became reality, an event that exceeded all expectations and was experienced by so many. Our 3-day virtual gathering brought us into each other's homes and places of work. We visited with each other through online messages, face-to-face video conversations, and table-top discussions. Nurses reaffirmed the value of membership, giving thanks for joining and renewing membership in ARN. After our conference, I visited our chapters' Facebook pages, and I witnessed many nurses joining for the first time to engage with colleagues. This is the gift of professional nursing organizations—the gift of membership, belonging, and affirmation of our value and contribution to health, well-being, and independence.
I thank our REACH 2020 Closing Keynote Presenter, Edie Littlefield Sundby, bestselling author of The Mission Walker, a story that every member should read. As our meeting streamed around the world, we watched and listened in awe as Edie described her fight with cancer, walking miraculously where no one had ever gone (for spoilers, click here). She brought the entire online conference audience to silence. A wife, adventurer, and messenger of love of life, faith, hope, and discovery, her life's journey now included us—rehabilitation nurses. Her presence brought us comfort, hope, peace, grace, and reflection.
We know intimately the battles faced during life-threatening unexpected circumstances. We know what it means to work to be as independent as possible, to prevail against the odds. We have so many stories to tell—the stories that brought us into rehabilitation nursing. Your story, like Edie's story, is a precious gift.
The Gift of ARN Membership
Our stories are an opportunity for us to renew, rejoice, and shape our specialty together. To reflect on shared practice, service, influence, contributions over a lifetime as a rehab nurse—to shape the lives of thousands in need of habilitation and rehabilitation—is invaluable. This is the gift of membership in ARN, a gift I wish for all rehabilitation nurses and those interested in rehabilitation nursing.
Colleagues, the value of ARN membership is so much more than money; it's a return on investment that yields rewards unending. It is selfless service to those in need of community and belonging, clinical excellence, specialty practice across the lifespan and settings of care, and advanced practice through research and education.
Help others to experience the value of membership in ARN. I say to you, as a proud fellow rehabilitation nurse, we are blessed with lives of purpose—to care for and touch the lives of others so that we may learn, grow, and enrich one another through service in ARN.
Across all walks of faith, may blessings and grace embrace you and your family, friends, and colleagues as we hope for improved health, function, and well-being for all.