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Sue Verrillo, MSN ’03
JHNAA Vice President

I am so excited to give you an update on all the activities that have been going on with the restructuring of the Johns Hopkins Nurses’ Alumni Association Membership Committee.

Network with Regional Committees

Several alumni who attended this get-together are now participating in a new regional committee

If you remember seeing the U.S. map in the previous issue of Vigilando, then you are aware that we have started regional committees. Since October 2009, we’ve established committees in the following cities or states: San Diego, CA; Seattle, WA; Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Philadelphia, PA; Wisconsin; and Texas.

The Membership Committee is focusing on enfolding the Gen X and Gen Y graduates as active JHNAA members by using an evidence-based, triad approach of networking, mentoring, and providing educational opportunities. Networking is being addressed through the activities of the regional committees. Face Book® pages are being set up for each regional committee to facilitate communication. We have updated the database of alumni who work at Johns Hopkins Hospital and their specialties, to use as a resource for students who are interested in that specialty. We have held networking events for the graduating seniors to speak with alumni who work in a variety of venues.

Become a Mentor

The mentoring program is under development. Again, we have done an evidence-based literature review, attended a webinar on mentoring, and consulted with Dr. MaryAnn Fralic, DrPH, RN, FAAN, our local expert on mentoring. We have also spoken with Associate Dean Sandra Angell, to gain her perspective of how a mentoring program could enhance the nursing student’s experience at the school. We hope to have the mentoring program pilot ready to roll out by mid August.

We would like to roll out the pilot locally first. If you are an alum, living in the Baltimore area and willing to be a mentor, please contact Melinda Rose (mrose@son.jhmi.edu) or me (sverrill@jhmi.edu) to sign up. You need to be able to commit an hour of your time every other week to contact or meet your student.

According to the literature, students felt like they gained meaningful social relationships with their mentors, developed insight into the nursing profession, and their mentors helped them navigate various career options. Mentors felt like they gained a way to keep connected with nursing, and a new awareness of current trends and nursing issues. Mentors also found their relationship with the student to be energizing because their discussions became the spark to share their values and beliefs as related to nursing and nursing care (Sword, Byrne, Drummond-Young, Harmer and Rush, 2002).

Check Out Educational Offerings

Educational opportunities are being planned starting with the Alumni Weekend in September. We are hoping to podcast our keynote speaker’s talk on the School of Nursing website. In that way, alumni from all over the country can participate in the weekend, even if they cannot make it to Baltimore. We are looking into the possibilities of also making some of the educational offerings available to alumni from the day of education being held.

Think Big

We hope you will get involved and support our efforts to bridge the generations by joining or even starting a regional committee in your area or by becoming a mentor. Contact me (410-614-5912, sverril1@jhmi.edu) or Melinda Rose (410-955-4285, mrose@son.jhmi.edu) to volunteer; you’ll be so glad you did. I’d like to leave you with this thought, as I look at the sign on my office door: This is no time to think small. We’re thinking big and need your help to make it happen.

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