Dear Mideast Region WOC Nurse friends and colleagues,
On February 26th and 27th, the Mideast Region WOC board members gathered to examine our future as a region and the many challenges that are facing the members of the MER. We had one question we needed to address, “How can we better serve our members?”
The process started in March of 2021 when we began to examine the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) facing our region. The analysis of this “SWOT” was very revealing and brought to light our needed areas of focus. But before we dug into the details, we decided we needed to take some steps back and take a bigger picture look at our region from the perspective of defining our Purpose.
The MER has a history of developing successful conferences and continues to have strong finances. To ensure our members have a positive experience, time to network, learn current evidence and obtain contact hours, the board and committee work diligently for you. The education is selected carefully to help you accumulate the Professional Growth Program (PGP) points needed for re-certification if you wish that process. However, the challenges go beyond education and the latest products to help patients and supplying education for PGPs. Fundamentally, we were asking the question, “Are we just a conference planning organization, or are we more?”
To tackle this, we read the book, “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek, to understand how to effectively develop a definition of our purpose and “why” for our organization. At the strategic planning retreat, we started to examine our “why” considering the challenges we are facing in our SWOT discovery. We found we know “What” we do, and we even know “How” we do it. What we needed was a compelling “Why” to shape our future direction and give us a theme and focus for our planning.
With great excitement, we have a “Why” statement we believe will give us direction in many of our initiatives going forward and give us focus for future planning. Our “Why” statement is simply this: “To share our passion to elevate your profession.”
To Share Our Passion to Elevate Your Profession
Here is why we came up with this. As we discovered in our SWOT, WOC nurses are facing many challenges along with providing many benefits in healthcare organizations. So, as servant leaders we want to invest in others by cultivating strategic relationships.
First, our profession is beginning to experience an identity crisis within healthcare institutions which is usually a result of budget issues, post COVID burnout or a lack of understanding of the importance of the WOC nurse role. We believe we have an opportunity to help our members elevate their professions within healthcare and educate the leadership in our healthcare institutions to understand the risk they take by not using the expertise only a WOC nurse can provide.
Second, we need to be more effective at reaching nurses outside of the WOC profession. Our certification brings enormous expertise to the nursing profession that can be highly attractive to nurses that want to make a direct and long term impact in the lives of patients. We are facing increased baby boomers retiring, and we need to bring new people into our profession.
Third, we have significant experience and expertise to share within our society and in the MER. With that said, we need to tap into this expertise to mentor the future leaders within MER.
Finally, we have members that are doing incredible things within their organizations, and we need to recognize the impact they are making at those institutions. This also presents an opportunity for the MER to promote the importance of WOC nurses to the rest of the medical profession.
After identifying the key challenges, and developing our “Why,” we have five goals we will work on over the next 1-3 years.
Goal 1: Develop a marketing plan that shares our passion by boosting social media presence, reaching out to nurses beyond MER, promote the great things MER is doing and promote the importance of the WOC role in healthcare. We will be forming a marketing task force to identify the expertise we need for this goal, and we are asking our members to join this effort by lending any marketing or social media help you can give.
Goal 2: To share our passion for the WOC role, we want to establish a formal mentoring program for new nurses and others that want to improve their leadership skills at their healthcare organizations and guide them on how to elevate their role.
Goal 3: For WOC nurses to elevate their role, we want to provide more leadership training at conferences, webinars and written communication. We want to help our members advocate for the role, lead others, and lead up with management, while being better influencers within their organizations.
Goal 4: To continue to elevate the profession and gain the respect the role deserves; we have set a goal of defining the professionalism needed to differentiate the WOC nurse within their organizations. This will be included in conferences, webinars, and other communication.
Goal 5: To acknowledge the accomplishments of WOC nurses, we are planning to revamp our scholarship and awards program that focuses on the meaningful and measurable accomplishments our members are making in healthcare. This shares our passion and elevates the profession with a focus on our unique roles in healthcare. We desire to see this become a nationally recognized award that brings a “wow” factor to what we all do in our unique roles.
Our vision is for our members to be recognized as the most valued and respected leaders in healthcare. We will be updating you soon as we continue to shape these goals. If you find the “why” and our goals compelling to you, we will need your help. Look for opportunities to make our vision a reality. We look forward to partnering with you as we “Share our passion to elevate your profession.”
President Mideast Region of the WOCN® Society