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President's Message: What this new year could hold for you

While the winter season falls upon us with all the sparkle, glitter, and magic of the holidays and the promises that a new year brings, I know that you are hard at work bringing encouragement, empowerment, and hope to your patients and families. The Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) is grateful to you for your mentorship, advocacy, and volunteerism as you provide support for your organization, peers, and work colleagues.

Maria and her husband, David, during the holiday season in Pennsylvania.

Let's look ahead.
At the end of every year, I look to the beginning of the new year with anticipation and a plan for renewal. I ask myself, "What do I want to do this coming year? How do my personal goals fit in with my professional goals? What are the goals of my employer and my professional volunteer organization? How can I merge their organizational needs with my own interests and goals?" Perhaps you think along these same lines.

This fall, more than 1,100 of us engaged with one another virtually or in-person to learn and network together at the ARN 2022 Rehabilitation Nursing Conference. Many of you provided educational content in podium or poster presentations and answered the call to volunteer for local ARN chapters and ARN committees.

Another opportunity to be involved is already here!
The ARN 2023 Conference Planning Committee plans practically year-round, and we are excited to offer a hybrid conference again. This time, it will be held in August 2023. The in-person portion of the conference will take place August 14–18 in Providence, Rhode Island. Rhode Island is beautiful and aptly nicknamed "The Ocean State." The conference is a great opportunity to visit the state and extend your time to spend with family and friends. Early bird registration will be opening soon. We need your expertise in the form of abstracts, and we need reviewers for our paper and poster sessions.

A big welcome to our committee members and all our new volunteers.
Along with the Conference Planning Committee, our other committees are meeting over the next month to orient and focus committee work on alignment with the ARN Mission, Vision, and pillars of the Strategic Plan. We appreciate the very strong response to the call for volunteers, and we hope that you will find an opportunity to support ARN with your talent and skills. There are many opportunities to volunteer beyond the committees.

Whether you're volunteering or simply taking advantage of all your member benefits, ARN wants you to know that all of our members are essential to the growth of the organization.

Let's use strategy to keep moving forward.
To continue to grow an association that has been around since 1974 is no small feat. We use many different avenues of growth models, and a strategic plan is one of them. ARN's 2023–2025 Strategic Plan is focused on three strategies: engagement, visibility, and knowledge and practice.

We want to involve you, our membership, in advancing the mission of our organization. By opening two-way communication, we are expanding opportunities to collaborate and communicate with you. We ask you never to hesitate to inform us of what is important and on your mind. The ARN Board of Directors and I are planning opportunities and events to hear and build upon your ideas for our shared vision for ARN's services and future direction. We need to continue to work together, as the rehab nursing community, to position ARN as the leader of evidence-based rehabilitation, nursing education, and practice and to seek opportunities to improve our visibility (another pillar on the plan!).

The ARN Board of Directors and committees are discussing and developing opportunities for sharing our expertise in expanded venues and organizations. Exciting work is underway and will be unveiled in 2023. Some of our current and visible partnerships include those with Chamberlain University and Walden University, where our members receive steep price discounts on tuition. Another way we share visibility of our organization is through our Institutional Memberships. We would like to recognize our current Institutional Members: Platinum Member Encompass Health and Bronze Member Arkansas Children's Hospital.

Knowledge and Practice
We strive to advance rehabilitation nursing through the content that we offer, and we work to ensure that it is based on research, best evidence, and advocacy. ARN committees will be expanding the spectrum of opportunities through the ARN Learning Center, the Rehabilitation Nursing Journal, and research grant opportunities available through the Advancing Science and Practice Committee. These are just a few of the exciting initiatives our Strategic Plan will support within our committee structures this coming year.

Use your knowledge to lead others.
Does all of this fit in with your personal and professional goals? We will need mentors, and my hope is to engage our experienced members, who are the brain trust in helping our less seasoned members grow in their professional career. This will help shape our members into future leaders and provide a strong succession plan for ARN.

I look forward to working with our Board of Directors, our committees, and you this coming year. I also look forward to working on our shared goals together. Have a blessed, safe holiday season. Cheers to ARN in 2023!



ARN Board of Directors President, 2022–2023 

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