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Meeting of the Minds

The first day of the ACNL annual meeting brought together nurses from across the state.

The annual meeting of the Association of California Nurse Leaders got under way in Sacramento today with committee meetings, registration and an opening reception hosted by BJ Bartleson, MSN, RN, chief nursing officer at Shriners' Hospital for Children Northern California and 2010 ACNL president.

Maryann Cone, MSN, RN, COO at a Sharp Grossmont Hospital in San Diego, introduced work done by the Vision of Nursing committee, while Rae Charos, MSN, RN, CNO at St. Joseph's Medical Center, Stockton, shared work done by the Leadership Development committee.

Group committees spent the afternoon strategizing with an eye toward 2011. Incoming president Beth Gardner, MS-HCM, RN, chief nursing officer at Hemet Valley Medical Center, reminded committee members to consider where ACNL could lead and collaborate in the ongoing healthcare debate. Pat McFarland, MSN, RN, FAAN, ACNL CEO, shared an overview of the Institutes of Medicine Future of Nursing report, noting the roles of nursing are going to change. ANCL must be the nursing leadership organization across the continuum.

"It is the best time for the profession of nursing," McFarland said. "And now is the time for nursing leadership to be leaders in healthcare. We have to think differently and bring the business case to our partners in business and in the community."

She noted nursing will change the paradigm of healthcare across the country, using the four Cs: clarity, commitment, collaboration and communication.

"ACNL exists to ensure the future nursing workforce has nurse leaders," she shared. "To that end, we provide our members with educational opportunities that can be used to get the message out that nursing is changing. We have to ask our staff nurses what we can do to help them move forward."

The president's reception is a great way to ease into ACNL's annual meeting. Nurse leaders from across the state took advantage of the evening's networking to renew old acquaintances and make new friends. Bartleson was celebrated by a bevy of ACNL members, including long-time friend and former ACNL president Donna Kistler, MSN, RN.

"BJ and I started working together, went to graduate school together and served on the ACNL board together," Kistler said. "She has been an inspiration and a wonderful leader for our organization."

Monday's events kick off with a keynote message from healthcare advocate Selinza Mitchell, RN, followed by a host of educational sessions, along with a warm welcome from more than 100 exhibitors.

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