NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INDIAN NURSES OF AMERICA (NAINA): A PERSONAL REFLECTION
Sara Gabriel, RN, MSN, MBA - President, NAINA
It is with great pleasure we announce the formation of a professional nursing association for all nurses of Indian origin and heritage in America. The newly created organization known as the National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA) united all existing State Indian Nursing Associations and all of its members under one umbrella for the first time.
History of professional Indian nursing in America started with the major migration of nurses in the early 70s and 80s. Those who came over during this period had to overcome multitude of problems and difficulties to get established their new life in this land of opportunities. Many of them sacrificed their professional goals and aspirations for the sake of family over here and or in our homeland.
Over the years, through hard work, dedication and perseverance we have proven our professional abilities and succeeded in attaining key leadership roles in almost all fields in nursing and health care. At present, you can see Indian nurses in every part of this country, effectively contributing and is an integral part of the main work force. With higher education and commendable work record, they are competing and attaining higher positions. Many of them hold very highly visible leadership and administrative positions in Hospitals, Universities and other health care facilities all over this country. Many of them work as senior hospital administrators, Directors, Director of Nursing, Deans, Professors, Scientists, Business owners, Consultants, and Advance Nurse Practitioners to name a few. We, the Indian nurses are making an impression among our American colleagues both at personal and professional level. With committed parents and highly successful children the basic Indian family unit is a role model for many of the American communities now.
Yet up until now, Indian nurses were not very successful in uniting under one professional body to champion our own unique nursing causes and challenges. Many times in the past, nurses remained passive and let others run with our nursing issues and problems. In our quest to establish at personal or professional level, we were not able to give much attention to our profession or our own community specific nursing issues. Unlike many other ethnic minority nurses in this country, we were not very successful in uniting or in organizing a national nursing association. The few brave ones who tried to unite or to initiate changes were either not successful or not able to sustain the initial success due to lack of support and commitment from fellow nurses, families and or the community at large.
With the formation of NAINA, Indian Nurses started a new chapter in our professional nursing history in America. As a result of the tireless efforts, hard work, commitment and dedication of few Indian nursing leaders during the past two years, we were able to establish a National Association for all nurses of Indian origin and heritage in America.
Aney Paul (NY), Ann Varghese, (Dallas, TX), Ammal Bernard (Miami, FL), Sara Gabriel (Chicago, IL), Marykutty Kuriakose, (Chicago, IL), Aleyamma Samuel (NJ), Mary Thomas (Houston, TX) was instrumental in fulfilling this long awaited dream of a national association into a reality for our nurses. Their unique contributions and commitments will remain as an integral part of the history of NAINA and they will always be remembered as the pioneers of this association.
After numerous phone calls, emails and business conference calls, a national committee was formed with the Presidents and two other delegates from all State Associations to formulate and processes all aspects of the organization. With countless hours of work, and with a successful and commendable democratic election processes by the committee, the first officers of NAINA was put in place. Finally, on December 6, 2006 the National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA) was incorporated as a non profit organization in the State of Illinois, USA.
The mission and Goals of NAINA
NAINA was organized and incorporated with unique mission and goals.
Our mission is to establish and maintain a national organization of professional nurses of Indian origin and heritage in order to educate, identify and pursue their unique professional, social, and cultural needs.
Our primary goal is to unite all Indian nurses as a professional body under one umbrella at National level. NAINA would be the official voice for Indian nurses inside and outside America for their general professional nursing issues and problems.
We will strive to achieve acceptance and recognition among other associations like American Nurses Association (ANA), National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurses Associations (NCEMNA), Asian American Pacific Islander Nurses Association (AAPINA), Trained Nurses Association of India (TNAI), International Council of Nurses (ICN), American Medical Association (AMA0, American Hospital Association (AHA) to name a few.
We want to utilize all available resources at local, national and international level to enhance professional advancement and financial support for our members
Through newsletters, websites, and other timely publications, we want to educate and to empower our nurses. We want to promote political awareness of relevant health laws, fund availabilities, professional regulations, practice standards and labor laws that have an impact on our ability to continue to practice nursing here. We also want to provide accurate information and changes with professional nursing, health care laws and health policies in America, which will enable aspiring Indian nurses to process and follow their dreams to migrate to USA.
To promote our mission and fulfill our goals various offices and committees were established.
The first officers NAINA- the Executive Board, The Advisory Board and The Committee Chairs-
Sara Gabriel, RN, MSN, MBA NAINA President, (Chicago, IL)
Aney Paul, RN, MS Vice President, (NY)
Aleyamma Samuel, Vice President, (NJ)
Ann Varghese, Secretary (Dallas, TX)
Bridget Vincent Joint Secretary, (Philadelphia, PA),
Mary Thomas, Treasurer, (Houston, TX)
Ammal Bernard Joint Treasurer, (Miami, FL)
The success of an organization depends on the unity and commitment of its members. Equally important is the number of members the association has and the member strength we can derive from it to bring our issues to the forefront to achieve favorable outcomes. It is a well known fact that the politicians and legislatures evaluate the issues considering the positive and negative impact on the number of people affected before passing the law and policies. To achieve our goals we need unity and commitment from all Indian nurses.
Indian Nurses Associations of New Jersey, Houston, Dallas and Miami had been functioning well over a decade now. Along with them the Associations from Chicago, New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Detroit (Total of nine) are united under the umbrella of NAINA now. Initiatives are under way to establish nursing associations in Tampa (Florida), California, Oklahoma, and Washington D.C. Nurses of Indian origin and heritage, and licensed to practice nursing in America and its territories can become a member of this association. It is our goal to establish new associations through out this country and we are diligently working towards that goal.
We come from an ancient country of rich traditions, high moral values and cultural heritage. Let us unite at national level as a unified body of professional nurses from India regardless of our State of origin, age, gender, or language we speak. Many other minority and ethnic nurses have united, organized at national level and are functioning very well for a long time in this country. Let us stand hand in hand and be recognized with other ethnic and minority nursing associations like Hispanic Nurses, African American Nurses, Philippine Nurses, Nurses from other Asian countries like Korea, Japan and Thailand to name a few.
With the rapid economic growth and development, India has become a major player in the global market. The western world has finally awakened by the English speaking, highly talented and bright Indian work force. We are finally positioned in a fare plane with other major industrial countries in every thing including health care. Medical tourism and affordable health care is pushing our country to the forefront and quality of our nursing and health care is being showcased in the world market already. It is high time we nurses speak and be seen as a united body to address the new high tech challenges as well as to embrace the new opportunities. Let our voice be heard through NAINA for nursing and let it become the first step towards an international nursing organization for all Indian nurses from all over the world.
With that vision in mind, I appeal to each and every Indian nurse in America to either join your local associations and if you currently do not have one, to start organizing your own. We have received so many blessing personally and professionally from this land, it is time we reciprocate our blessing by helping our profession. Let us be instrumental in resolving common nursing professional issues in our native land as well as in our adopted country.
I also would like to take this opportunity to appeal to each and every member of our community, spiritual and business leaders, professional and cultural organizations for your continued support for nurses. Nurses were the pioneers of our community and they played a major role in attaining migration for majority of our community. They were the steady source of income for many of our families in the past and still continued. Support them, encourage them and help them to attain their full potential. Recognize their efforts, reward their contributions, enhance their abilities, appreciate their worth and remember their sacrifices. Above all do not forget to honor the deserving nurses as you honor other
civic and community leaders.
Most importantly to my fellow nurses, let us be proud of our profession, our nurses and their accomplishments which are many. Let us support each other so we may also enjoy the rewards of our efforts. Let us work together for us, our profession, our children and all future generations to come.
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