From the desk of the President

Lydia Albuquerque, DNP, APN, ACNP-BC, CCRN

Email: nainapresident@gmail.com

Dear NAINA Family,

Greetings and good wishes for a Happy New Year! I am honored to be installed as the 8th President of the National Association of Indian Nurses of America. In the next 2 years we would like to create memories that will last a lifetime. Thank you to everyone who participated in our election process. Every vote has been counted and we stand here as your incoming leaders.

2020 was declared as the Year of the Nurse and we cannot forget the legacy left behind by our profession’s founder—Florence Nightingale. Florence prescribed a safe and clean environment during the Crimean War to reduced mortality among the soldiers and was the first nurse who used statistics to interpret data. This year has truly shown the world the importance of our profession. Let us celebrate our unsung heroes and remember those whose sacrifices paved the way for our success.

Though we have come far, we need to build on our future based on the lessons we have learned from the past. I want to acknowledge our seven founding members who dreamt big and made NAINA a reality. I had the opportunity of personally meeting and working alongside each one of them.  I would like to thank our founders Mary Thomas, Sara Gabriel who was our first President, Marykutty Kuriakose, Aleyamma Samuel, Ammal Bernard who is our guest of honor, Anne Varghese and Honorable Dr. Aney Paul all of whom worked tirelessly towards establishing a strong foundation. We will continue to recognize you all as our founders forever.

I would like to take a moment to discuss one of the many lessons I have learned while observing nature. Bees and flies serve unique roles within our ecosystem. Bees are attracted to flowers, from whom they suck nectar to build their honeycombs. They are examples of positive energy and thoughts. On the other hand, flies are attracted towards dirt and rather unsavory things. They are examples of negative energy and thoughts. In an organization, each member must choose which side they would prefer to land upon. I am a firm believer in being a positive force for change within an organization as I know that such a mindset will attract other like-minded individuals.

As an incoming President, I believe

  • Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships;
  • There is no elevator to success, we need to take the stairs;                                                     
  • Even the broken clock is right twice;
  • Resilience is the skill of noticing our own thought, unhooking from unconstructive ones, and rebalancing quickly;
  • Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it; and,
  • In the end we will remember not the word of our enemies but the silence of our friends.

In the next two years NAINA will focus on five pillars—Communication, Advocacy, Research, Education, and Storytelling (C.A.R.E.S).

C- Communication

Globalization has brought changes in the business of a non-profit organization. Our goal is to increase visibility, membership and continue to enhance our brand. We will invest in tools that will improve workflow coordination and reduce silos. Tools such as communication apps, centralized storage space, and dashboard and data management will be part of the strategic plan for the next term. We look forward to increasing the transparency between our organization and its members.

A- Advocacy

 “Advocacy is a pillar of nursing. Nurses instinctively advocate for their patients, in their workplaces, and in their communities; but legislative and political advocacy is no less important to advancing the profession and patient care” (ANA, n.d.).  In our strategic planning goals, we will outline our aspirations for advocacy in local, national, and global arenas while focusing on human rights and becoming a visible force in the legislative process. We plan to send NAINA members to Washington DC to learn more of the legislative process and become more involved in supporting legislation affecting nursing and health care. NAINA will align itself with the ANA’s plan of establishing legislative and regulatory priorities, recommending strategies for the execution of the advancement of a policy issue, and educating members about the political realities as well as advancing NAINA agenda. NAINA will forge ahead with the philosophy of “Making a difference and advocating for others”.

R- Research

Research helps us expand our knowledge and implement evidenced-based practice. Research Interest groups will be created, and the APN committee will work alongside the research committee. This committee will focus on research topics related to the health and well-being of Asian Indian immigrant, social structure, patterns of immigration, effect of COVID 19 on mental health.

E- Educate

This term we will engage and embrace community education alongside enhancing offers from our provider unit. Our education committee chairperson Sandra Emmanuel has been on the roll with our first education offer with contact hour will be in February. Our speaker, Dr. Solymole Kuruvilla, Director of Occupational services at health and hospital services of New York and Advisory Board member will speak on Facts and Fears of the COVID-19 vaccination. My appeal to all experts in your areas of practice is to engage yourselves by sending us your name if you would like to be part of the speaker panel. The need assessment survey will be posted in January. 

S- Storytelling

We want you tell us your stories and highlight your experiences, your struggles as chapter executive board members, your achievements and what you would like to see us accomplish in the next term. These stories will remind us that while transformations are almost universally assumed to be top-down processes, in reality, NAINA members can make a significant change when they have the right mindset.

While we have much to achieve in the next two years we will prioritize and direct effort towards SMART goals with measurable outcomes. Leadership is about setting others up for success, as well as yourself.

The 10-80-10 principle is often used to describe the completion of a project. The first 10 percent is the beginning, the next 80 percent is the middle, and the last 10 percent is the end. John Maxwell recommends leaders only get involved in the first and last 10 percent of the projects. The rest can and should be delegated to others. It may seem disingenuous to take credit for the entirety of a project when your total effort only amounts to 20 percent of the work, but this breakdown allows leaders to take on more projects while still not being overburdened.

In the first 90 days I will make virtual listening rounds along with my executive team and committee chairs. On the 100th day of office we will finalize the strategic plan based on the information provided by our chapters.

To conclude, I would like to thank God for this opportunity, my excellent Executive Board team, committee chairs and chapter Presidents for walking alongside me to make NAINA shine.

Last, but certainly not the least, I would like to thank my husband and daughter for their support. They have both been enormous sources of encouragement throughout this process and have continued to lend their support in making NAINA shine.

Thank you,
Dr. Lydia Albuquerque

President’s message: Nurses Day 2021
May 15, 2021

Greeting and best wishes to you and your families. Never in the history of the world has life been so focused on the profession of nursing. You have all proven to be compassionate, innovative, and resilient in the face of the biggest public health crisis of this century. Our generation has closely seen death in face of corona virus, and along with that, our generation has also seen God in the face of health. Fearless and tall, you have all stood between the patients, the disease, and even death. You stood in the front rows in the battles against the pandemic, and you are all true superheroes.

The year of the nurse has been extended by the World Health Organization and the American Nurses Association (ANA) because of the impact of the pandemic.  As nurses we are called to Excel, Lead and Innovate. To excel the first step is to practice self- care. Self-care helps you to build resilience. Resilience is your ability to withstand adversity, bounce back from adversity, and grow despite life’s downturns.

You can develop personal resilience by adopting the following. First, practice morning gratitude. Wake up in the morning and even before getting out of bed think of three people who you are grateful for, it could be a mother brother sister or friend, simply be grateful for how they have impacted your life. Second, express gratitude at work, appreciate a co-worker or co-team members, send a thank you note, make a phone call and connect with someone who you care about. Finally, nurture grateful memories.

Other ways to build resilience is to practice mindful behaviors such as two-minute practice. First, stop everything that you are doing and concentrate on one thing that you find relaxing for two minutes. Make a cup of tea and focus on that one chore. Next, schedule worry time, do not keep worrying throughout the day. Third, create kindness around you. It does not cost any money to be kind and compassionate, get involved in community activities such as food drive or caring for the homeless or the less fortunate. Learn to give back to the community through your service.

To excel you must also connect to mentors or serve as a mentor to build future generation of nurses. Utilize all resources to educate your yourselves of the current pandemic and finally Knowledge is power and caring and educating the public about prevention and vaccination is our responsibility.

To lead you must inspire future generations, get social and amplify your voice in the community to impact and bring legislative changes for the nursing profession and our communities. Raise your voice with the media and celebrate nurses and the nursing profession. I have observed many of our chapters engaging in activities that are encouraging and enriching.

As nurses we are rated as the most trusted profession, as the nation’s largest group of health care professionals, we are recognized to inherent leadership skills and apply them in our health care role and setting.  To lead we must inspire the next generation, create equity and build a diverse force of nurses. Exercising leadership skills by becoming an advocate and start serving on nursing boards, share your bedside to boardroom stories and participate in legislative advocacy.

This is the first time we are celebrating our seven founders and I hope it will not be last. This day I am reminded of the first time I met our founders: President Sara Gabriel, Mary Thomas, Honorable Dr. Aney Paul, Ann Varghese, Ammal Bernard and Marykutty Kuriakose,16 years ago at Houston, Texas. Together, they built the National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA) on solid rock, not sinking sand.  

Thank you to our visionary leaders for the creating an organization of repute for us Indian Nurses in the United States. In short, success comes to people from what we learn from our leaders and what we accomplish both for, and with, them. Thank you for being role models for the future generation of nurses and you have left a legacy that we will carry forward. I also acknowledge our past Presidents Dr Agnes Therady, Dr Jackie Michael, Dr Solymole Kuruvilla and Dr Omana Simon. I also want to give a special thanks to Dr Zachariah for countless years of service since the inception of NAINA. To my fellow Indian nurses, families, and friends. You are living through some of the most challenging times of your lives. It will be natural for you to feel stressed and fearful. The biggest present stressor in the world no doubt is COVID-19. It is essential, however, for you not to let this pandemic take away your hope and courage. Excessive fear and loss of hope can hurt your immunity.

As NAINA we have called for action and are happy to announce that the Tri-Council for Nursing, an alliance between the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the American Nurses Association, the American Organization for Nursing Leadership, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, and the National League for Nursing, have together issued a position statement to raise funds and support nurses in India. Our chapter presidents have also initiated various projects to raise and reach out to our fellow Indians. We have amplified our voices and relief is on its way. I would also like to acknowledge that hospitals, minority organizations, the Texas Nurses association and STTI have been with us every step of the way to support our fellow Indian nurses. Through organizations such as SEWA, Med share, direct relief, and Let us smile, supplies have been sent to India. Above all we keep you in our prayers for a safer and faster recovery.

This past year has taught us hard and valuable lessons, the heroic efforts of our frontline workers, the need for good science and the disparities of justice economics and health among people of color and the fragility of life. May we all learn from these lessons and commit our talent, skill and energy in building a healthier and just world. Wishing you the best, on behalf of my executive board Accamma Kallel, Dr Bobby Varghese, Suja Thomas and Tara Shajan

Happy Nurses Month, God bless.

Thank you.
Dr. Lydia Albuquerque

Thank You

Lydia Albuquerque
DNP, APN, ACNP-BC, CCRN
President

Dr. Lydia Albuquerque currently serves as an Assistant Professor at William Paterson University and as an acute care Nurse Practitioner at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Barnabas Health. She brings in over three decades of experience in nursing education, research and administration. At William Paterson, she teaches at both the undergraduate, and graduate levels. As a faculty member in higher education, she has a robust research agenda and has partnered in grants close to $4 million, with the goals of providing scholarships for disadvantaged students and promoting cardiovascular health among men and women.

Dr. Albuquerque has presented at national and international conferences. She has been published in peer-reviewed journals and is currently collaborating with international researchers to conduct studies relevant to student behaviors and online learning during the pandemic.

She serves on the Publication Committee of the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses and is Vice President of Sigma Theta Tau International Iota chapter. Dr. Albuquerque has received the DIVA award from the Institute for Nurses (IFN), a New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA) which recognizes leaders for their contributions to nursing research, nursing education or administration. In 2020, she was named a finalist for the Nurse of Year award through the March of Dimes organization. She was inducted to the Who’s Who in American Nursing by the Society of Nursing in 2018.

Dr. Albuquerque is the founding president of the American Association of Indian Nurses of America, New Jersey chapter. She has also served within the National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA) since its inception as a Secretary, Advisory Board member, Election officer, founding chair for the APN forum committee, and recently, the Executive Vice President. Dr. Albuquerque has been inducted as the President of NAINA for 2021-2022 with a strong determination and commitment to take this organization to a higher level.

Dr. Albuquerque graduated from the College of Nursing, Armed Forces Medical College, in Pune, India and completed her post-graduate in Nursing from Shreemati Natibhai Damodar Thackersey Women’s University in Mumbai, India. She received her post-master’s degree as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner from Rutgers University and her Doctorate in Nursing Practice from William Paterson University, New Jersey.

A fun, but interesting, fact about Dr. Albuquerque is that she has served as a special duty nurse to the Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, during the Commonwealth Nations Head of the Governments meeting in 1980. Dr. Albuquerque has also airlifted Mrs. Mugabe, wife of Robert Mugabe, the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe for emergency dialysis to All India Institute of Medical Science, New Delhi. Dr. Albuquerque is a retired Indian army officer who places service before self and will do the same for NAINA.