Patricia Castaldi, DNP, RN, ANEF

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to our NJLN Convention at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City! The theme this year is Treasuring the Past ... Transforming the Future ... Celebrating the Present. We are looking forward to a wonderful experience, thanks to the hard work of the convention committee, led by Co-Chairs, Karen Abbruzzese, RN, MSN and Elizabeth Stitley, RN, MSN.


We again led off with a wonderful annual Workshop that focused on both incivility and compassion fatigue, which are critical issues for nurse educators. The convention has a wealth of excellent speakers and a variety of relevant topics for education and practice. There is also a new format this year for the poster presentations, so we look forward to having you learn about the research that has been done by our colleagues while enjoying an informal evening get-together.

In the spring, we offer a Practical Nursing Student Education day. We have a number of different subjects for this program, such as legal aspects of practice for new licensees, interviewing hints, and stress reduction ideas. Over the past 9 years that this day has been offered, we have had an average of about 300 students who attend. All of the feedback we have received from the participants has been excellent, with the program being very much appreciated by the students, faculty and vendors. This year the LPN day will be held at the Pines Manor in Edison on Wednesday, April 29th, with the theme being Journey into Practice ... Taking the First Steps.

I was fortunate to be able to represent the NJLN at the Constituent League (CL) Meeting at the National League for Nursing Summit in Phoenix, Arizona in September 2014. At the meeting, I presented on board relationships and working together toward your goals. NLN representatives provided helpful information on the changes planned for the NLN website, tips for organizing CL events, and annual reporting. The NLN Summit offers an opportunity to obtain updates on educational practice, as well as connect and network with colleagues from across the country. As an active member of the NLN, I have continued to be on three committees, including those for Public Policy, LPN/LVN issues, and the formation of the new NLN accreditation body (CNEA).

The 2014 Nurse Recognition Awards Gala was a wonderful night where we shared our appreciation of our professional colleagues who have done so much to improve patient care through innovation, creativity, and compassion. The NJLN President’s award was presented to Dr. Ann Marie Sailsman for her contributions to the profession and our organization. Seventeen Nurse Recognition awards were given to nurses from different types of educational programs and practice settings. Ms. Judith Schmidt, NJSNA President and interim Executive Officer also received acknowledgement for her tireless efforts. Over 400 nurses, agency representatives, family members and friends attended in order to applaud these amazing individuals. We also presented $5,000 in scholarships to seven students who are planning to attend programs to acquire RNs, BSNs, and graduate degrees. In November 2015, we will have an extraordinary Gala where we will come together to not only recognize colleagues, but also celebrate a century of our organization's achievements. We hope that you will plan to join us on that evening and be part of something very special.

Officers and board members are active in other organizations throughout the state, including the New Jersey Nursing Leadership Council, New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing, Philippine Nurses Association, Concerned Black Nurses of Newark, and New Jersey State Nurses Association. Through cooperation and communication with these organizations, it has been our goal to promote nursing and quality patient care in New Jersey.

This year marks the NJLN's 100th anniversary! A committee has been working overtime preparing for this landmark occasion. From its inception, the NJLN has been representing nurses from all specialty areas and educational backgrounds. Over the years, we have supported so many nurses in the pursuit of their educational goals, providing thousands and thousands of dollars in scholarship funds. We have watched as these nurses have gone to contribute to the overall excellence of nursing practice in our state, nationally and internationally. The NJLN is also proud to have consistently provided high-quality educational programs for nurses to expand upon their knowledge as educators and practitioners. The support of our efforts comes from our membership, as well as fundraising activities, and individual and corporate sponsors. We are currently working on strategies to improve our financial status and offer more services to our members. I hope that you will continue to support our organization and participate in our events!

I want to thank everyone who has contributed to the success of the organization, including all of the board members, our legal counsel, committee chairs and members, and volunteers. Without all of you, nothing happens. Please check out the names of these very special people in the journal.

Please enjoy the convention and stop by the NJLN booth to say "hello"!

Respectfully submitted,

Patricia A. Castaldi, DNP, RN, ANEF

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