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Board of Directors - Updates

NHNA became one of the founding members of the newly realized North East-Multi State Division (NEMSD).  The NEMSD was incorporated at the end of 2016 and began functioning in 2017.  The planned benefits of the NEMSD are to create savings through the consolidation of certain programs and expenses into a single, larger organization, the enhancement of our membership programs with the hiring of a membership/communications coordinator, and the identification of new, non-dues sources of revenue.  The Board is excited by the potential opportunities the NEMSD offers NHNA and the benefits of collaborating with the nursing associations in Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island and New York.

The Board is very proud of the work that has been done by its members and Commissions.  We would like to share and celebrate our accomplishments with you.  Below is a recap of our various events and activities over the past 12 months.

Conferences and Events

Spotlight On Nursing
On June 15, 2017 NHNA hosted the “Spotlight on Nursing Today 2017”.  Over 50 nurses gathered at our Concord office, and for the first time nurses were also able to participate in this event from their homes via an online conference call link.  This event focused on three issues important to nurses:
  • Challenging the Stigma of Substance Use Disorders, presented by Aita Vonceil Romain, MPH, CPS and Karry LaHaye
  • Taking Air: Educating Healthcare Professionals in Firearms Injury Prevention, presented by Laurie Nolan-Kelley, DNP, MSN, RN, CNL, CEN, TCRN, EMT-P
  • Therapeutic Cannabis 101, presented by Lisa Withrow, APRN, FNP-C, ACHPH

Healthy Nurse Scholarship 5K & Health Fair
On September 24, 2017 NHNA held is inaugural Healthy Nurse Scholarship 5K & Health Fair on the campus of Rivier University.  We had 78 registered participants in the 5K and raised $2300 for our new scholarship fund.  Twenty-two exhibitors participated in the Health Fair, which was open to the public.  Organizations such as Breathe NH, American Heart Asso., and NH Oral Health Coalition, to name a few, shared health information with event attendees.

Annual Meeting & Awards Banquet
The 2017 Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet was held on October 25th, starting at 6:00 pm at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord.  Guests were able to enjoy the Center's exhibits, visit the tables hosted by the event sponsors and view five poster presentations, all while dining on the tapas offerings from Alan's of Boscawen.  The keynote speaker was Carrie Bosela, RN, CPC, CPC-I, Administrative Director of SVO-PSO Vascular Quality Initiative.  Ms. Bosela spoke on "Taking the Lead" in your nursing career.  Attendees earned 0.75 CNE's for this event.

During the Annual Business Meeting portion of the event, members of the Board of Directors and the Commission Chairs presented their annual reports (a copy of this report is posted on the website under Your NHNA Now).  The annual election results were announced and newly elected Board and Commission members were introduced.  The ballot proposal regarding changing the name of the organization from the New Hampshire Nurses Association to American Nurses Association - New Hampshire was defeated, so our name remains unchanged.  A set of 30 proposed Bylaws changes were discussed and unanimously approved.

The NHNA Annual Nursing Awards were presented by members of the Commission on Nursing Practice, Jennifer Johnson and Gene Bois.  The Direct Care Nurse of the Year Award was presented to Laura Cogswell, of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.  The Professional Advancement Award was given to Michelle Gamache of Concord Hospital.  The Nurse Leader of the Year Award was presented to Holly McCormack, CNO of Cottage Hospital.  The Champion of Nursing Award was given to Convenient MD.  Laurie Harding received the President's Award in recognition of her advocacy work on behalf of nurses.  Peggy Gilmore was also recognized as a recipient of the President's Award but was unable to attend this event.

Legislative Town Hall Forum
On January 23, 2018 the Legislative Town Hall Forum was held via webinar at 16 locations around the state.  Almost 350 nurses and nursing students registered to attend this event, but challenging winter weather reduced the final number to 228, with 35 individuals watching the webinar from home for the first time.  Fourteen bills of interest were presented and discussed by members of the Commission on Government Affairs and our panel of experts (Lobbyist Bob Dunn, NHNA President Carlene Ferrier, Denise Nies from the Board of Nursing, Representative Polly Campion and Mary Bidgood-Wilson, Executive Director of the NH Nurse Practitioner Association).

Since January, CGA members have attended and testified at many legislative hearings, as well as provided weekly updates on legislative activity on the NHNA website.

Graduating Student Conference
On March 27, 2018 we hosted the Creating Your Nursing Future 2018 for graduating student nurses at Southern New Hampshire University's Manchester Campus.  Over 170 students attended this day-long event.  Guest speakers included:

  • Sherrie Palmieri, DNP, MBA, RN, CNE, CPHQ speaking on "New Hampshire 2014-2016 RN Workforce Data Analysis"
  • Teresa Knight, MSN, MEd, RN speaking on "Nursing Career Paths and Education"
  • David Griffiths, Senior VP NSO speaking on Don't Become a Case Study: Protect Your License"
  • Bobbie Bagley, MS, RN, MPH, CPH and NHNA's Past President speaking on "The Role of Professional Organizations and Advocacy"
  • Jane Delmar, BS, HR Business Partner for Catholic Medical Center speaking on "Surviving and Thriving During Your Job Search, I can do this"
  • Pamela Kallmerten, DNP, RN, CNL speaking on "Creating Your Nursing Futures: NCLEX Prep for Success"
The students were also informed of what to expect during their first year of nursing practice from a panel of recent nursing graduates and shared insights from a panel of nurses from various areas of nursing practice.  Both panels were organized by Carlene Ferrier, RN, MPH and NHNA President.

This year's event also hosted a Career Fair, with 24 nurse recruiters and nursing educational organizations sponsoring exhibitor tables.  Students were able to speak with these exhibitors throughout the day, exchanging resumes and career planning ideas.

The event sponsors include: Southern New Hampshire University (Gold Sponsor), Elliot Health Systems (Gold Sponsor), Southern New Hampshire Health (Gold Sponsor), Catholic Medical Center (Gold Sponsor), North Country Healthcare (Gold Sponsor), Cheshire Medical (Silver Sponsor) and University of Rhode Island (Silver Sponsor).

Volunteer Task Force and Committees

Our Steering/Search Task Force successfully recruited a new Nurse Executive Director, Joan Widmer MS, MSBA, RN, CEN, who joined our team in October 2016.

Brianna White MSN, RN, CPN served on the NH Commission to Study the Shortages of Nurses and Other Skilled Health Care Workers for Home Health Care Services and Post-Acute Care Services.  She presented the finding of this Commission at the November meeting of the Board of Directors.

Todd Gardner BSN, RN, continued to serve on the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Intervention, and Treatment.  He presented bi-monthly reports to the Board of Directors on the work undertaken by this Commission.

Cynthia Cohen DNP, RN-BC, CNL was appointed to serve on the Health Care Task Force for the Governor's Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Intervention and Treatment.  Meeting are ongoing.

Sara Kellogg Meade MSN, RN was appointed to serve on the NH Commission to Study Oral Contraceptives over the Counter (established under HB 264).  Meetings occurred between September and November 2017, when a final report was submitted to the Governor.

Meghan Baston MSN, RN-BC was appointed to serve on the NH Commission to Study Current Procedures for Involuntary Commitment (established under HB 208).  Meetings occurred between September and November 2017, when a final report was submitted to the Governor.

The small, but dynamic Nursing News Committee successfully produced our quarterly newsletter, highlighting nursing news and activity throughout the state.  Our Newsletter Editor, Susan Fetzer, welcomes new writers and contributors.  Please contact if you are interested in writing articles for Nursing News.

NHNA Commissions

The Board would like to recognize our dedicated commission members who are working diligently for our organization. Below are the highlights resulting from their hard work.

Commission on Nurse Practice   

  • Examines issues of importance to nurses and develops and presents education programs.
  • Planned and coordinated 2016 Annual Awards Banquet & Events with Pam Cipriano.
  • Sponsored the Spotlight on Nursing Today: 2017 program.
  • Drafted articles for NH Nursing News reporting on innovative programs developed by nurses from around the state.
  • Sponsored the NH Healthy Nurse Scholarship 5K Run on Sept 24, 2017 on the Rivier University Campus.
  • Planned and coordinated the 2017 Annual Meeting & Awards Banquet on October 25, 2017.

Commission on Continuing Education   

  • Serve as Volunteer Nurse Peer Reviewers for the North East Multi-State Continuing Education Unit (NEMSD CE Unit).
  • Reviewed 22% of the 257 CE applications submitted to the NEMSD CE Unit since January 1, 2017.
  • Welcomed three new reviewers: Karen Tollick from Southern NH Medical Center, Kathie Poplar from CMC and Barbara Williams from Frisbee Memorial to the Commission.
  • Aleda Bilodeau, NHNA's former lead nurse planner, retired from the Commission.  She will be missed but we wish her well.

Commission on Government Affairs   

  • Evaluates proposed health care legislation, making recommendations of appropriate legislative action to the Board of Directors.
  • Initiates action of above recommendation, such as letters to legislators, letters to editors, etc.
  • Assists in the development of policy statements on health care issues.
  • Hosted the 2017 Legislative Town Hall Forum webinar at 12 locations statewide with over 110 participants.
  • Provided weekly updates on the NHNA website on the 14 bills being followed during the 2017 legislative session.
  • Hosted a Breakfast for NH Legislators on April 5, 2017 with over 100 legislators passing through to speak with the NHNA members and nursing students present.
  • Participated in meetings with Senator James Gray and other key health care stakeholders to examine the issues of health care workplace violence.
  • Met with Governor Chris Sununu on October 17, 2017 to discuss issues important to nurses in New Hampshire.
  • Participating in meetings through New Futures to support Medicaid Expansion Re-authorization.

The 2017 election results are as follows:

Treasurer (Re-elected)
Barbarajo Bockenhauer, RN, MSN, PMHCNS-BC

Board Member at Large
Catherine McNamara, RN, BSN, MM

Board Member at Large, Recent Graduate
Samantha Warren, RN

Election of Delegate to the ANA Membership Assembly:
          Sherrie Palmieri, DNP, MBA, RN, CNE, CPHQ

Commission Members

Commission on Government Affairs
Rosemary Ridge, RN

Commission on Nursing Practice
Carol Allen, RN, MSN, EdD(c)

Commission on Continuing Education
Lynn Lagasse, MSN, RN, CNE
Julianne van Kalken, MSN, RN
Nancy DeSotto, DNP, RN
Mary Scott, MSN, APRN

To get more details about an event, click on the time posted on the calendar below.