The Keys to Inclusive Leadership in Nursing (KILN) program has opened up so many doors for me. Through KILN, I became involved in the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA). KILN sponsored a trip for me to attend the NSNA Annual Convention in 2010. There, I met with the Massachusetts Student Nurses Association (MASNA) President. She was so impressed with me that she recommended I apply for a position on the Board of Directors. I took her advice; and luckily, I was elected Vice President for MASNA for the 2010-2011 term. Since I have been in MASNA, I arranged blood drives with the Massachusetts General Hospital. I helped raise money for the Walk for Jimmy Fund every year. I also plan conferences, with 200 attendees and speakers ranging from the Tufts Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer to the President of the Massachusetts Nurses Association.
I became very comfortable in my ability to lead and I felt ready to be the President for the 2011-2012 term. I have been impressed by how well I handle my responsibilities as President. I am happy to be able to contribute to the development of the nursing profession at such an early stage in my nursing career. None of the opportunities presented to me would have been possible without KILN. I feel lucky to be part of such an amazing program because KILN supports me emotionally as well. It can be stressful to be in such leadership roles, and KILN provides mentors who take the time to talk to the students to make sure they are having a good experience and are not feeling overwhelmed. I don’t know where I would be without KILN; but I know that I have come a long way because of KILN. Thank you.
Last year, as a professional development activity for KILN, I attended the Massachusetts Student Nurses Association Fall Conference. After seeing the MASNA members and hearing about what they do to support their fellow nursing students, I became motivated to become more involved as a student nurse. KILN has afforded me the opportunity to be part of the NSNA for the past three years, which I had not been using to my full advantage. In addition, KILN has provided me with the skills to become a strong and confident leader in my community so I was excited to join MASNA and take on a role of leadership!
During the following year current President, Sabianca Delva, supported me in joining MASNA and I became the Vice President for the 2011-2012 term. Becoming an active member of MASNA has truly aided my development as a nursing student and nursing professional. My goals for MASNA are to provide programs representative of current professional interest and concerns of student nurses and to be a strong student association for students all over the state of Massachusetts. Furthermore, through MASNA I have learned the importance of belonging to a nursing association, networking, and supporting my fellow nurses in any way that I can.
Our first event of the year was our Fall Conference, which many of the KILN scholars attended! The fall conference gave students the opportunity to hear speakers such as the President of The National Nurses United and the president of the Massachusetts Nursing Association, partake in a mini NCLEX review course, and ask questions to a new-grad panel. You can read more about the Fall Conference in the blog post written by fellow KILN scholar Cassandra Hernandez.