VA employee named NCNA Practice Nurse of the Year

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 25, 2022

RALEIGH — Nearly 500 registered nurses from across the state gathered in Raleigh on September 15-16 for the North Carolina Nurses Association’s (NCNA) 115th Annual Convention. The event primarily provides an opportunity for professional development, continuing education, and networking, while also serving as a chance to honor nurses and those outside the profession who have made significant impacts on healthcare.

“It seems like every time we get together it gets better. This year, the energy is so high; the engagement, the enthusiasm. It fills my cup meeting new people, seeing them network and connect,” said NCNA President Meka Douthit in a news release. “This is the place where we advocate for education, practice, policy, and so much more. There is something for everybody.”

During the Awards Luncheon, NCNA inducted a past president into its Hall of Fame, named seven award winners, and celebrated the graduation of its 10th Leadership Academy.

Among the honorees is NCNA Practice Nurse of the Year Ladsine Taylor, an NCNA member from Salisbury. As a nurse practitioner at the W.G. Hefner VA Medical Center in Salisbury, Taylor has earned a reputation for being a patient advocate committed to ensuring clinical excellence. In recent years, she has implemented evidence-based programs around fall prevention and gone out of her way to lead interdisciplinary teams designed to help veterans and their families successfully navigate the VA long-term care system. One of the committees she serves on has been credited with implementing policies that assure safe administration of medications. Meanwhile, Taylor has formed life-changing bonds with fellow nurses that she has mentored, demonstrating a positive impact that resonates far beyond the bedside. You can watch her acceptance speech here.

This year’s Convention focused heavily on the state of healthcare in 2022; while society at-large has moved past the coronavirus pandemic, nurses are struggling with serious workforce shortages, burnout, and increasing violence/abuse at the workplace. NCNA’s Statewide Membership Forum, which is designed to help guide the association’s priorities, was dedicated entirely to workplace violence and verbal abuse. Attendees considered the impact these issues have had on their workplace and ways that NCNA can help support a comprehensive culture of safety and zero-tolerance to abuse and violence in healthcare settings.

“Over the past few years, these issues have been getting worse and our members have increasingly been sounding the alarm,” NCNA CEO Tina Gordon said. “Nurses need to be heard and they need to know they’re not alone with their concerns, and I’m glad NCNA was able to support our members by giving them a platform on this incredibly important topic. This conversation gave us critical input we can take to our partners in healthcare systems, at the regulatory level, and in the North Carolina General Assembly to better address these issues.”

Previous Statewide Membership Forums have centered around nurse resiliency and burnout; implicit bias and health inequities; human trafficking; and the opioid epidemic. The Annual Convention typically gives NCNA and its members a chance to prepare for the challenges and opportunities that will shift with the new year, and NCNA feels confident it will continue to gain momentum heading into 2023.

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