30 March 2014

GAPFON is born!

HULL, United Kingdom—I have just returned from Switzerland, from the inaugural meeting of GAPFON (Global Advisory Panel on the Future of Nursing). It was a privilege to be there. Established by Hester Klopper, PhD, MBA, RN, FANSA, president of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), GAPFON is chaired by Martha Hill, PhD, RN, FAAN, immediate past dean and professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (USA). The meeting was attended by Patricia ‘Pat’ Thompson, EdD, RN, FAAN, chief executive officer of STTI, a glittering host of global nursing stars … and me! The full list of participants is available in this news article in Reflections on Nursing Leadership, and the work of the panel will become public through various events across the world over the next two years. I intend that the Lancet Commission on UK Nursing will work very closely with GAPFON.

GAPFON was held near Basel in the idyllic town of Mariastein, a Catholic Marian grotto owned and run by the Benedictine brothers and Franciscan sisters. Mariastein means “Maria in the stone,” in honour of reported miracles in which the Virgin Mary was said to have protected children who fell down a cliff and escaped injury. In observance of those events, a statue of the Virgin was placed in a nearby grotto.

We were accommodated in the Hotel Kurhaus Kreuz, and it was the ideal venue for a few days of peace with time to think and begin planning for the future of nursing globally. We were in the mountains, the sun shone every day, and the scenery was beautiful. Apart from the slightly thin air—my excuse for a pounding heart and heaving chest—and the frequent hills in the road, this was an ideal running spot. There was hardly any traffic on the roads, and, on my second run, I left Switzerland and ran into France for around 10 miles. It was the first time I registered two countries on my Garmin webpage on the same day.

Hotel Kurhaus Kreuz
Next week I will be in London for the Research Excellence Framework subpanel meeting, and the rest of the week I will be in Glasgow at the Royal College of Nursing of the United Kingdom International Nursing Research Conference. I look forward to hearing about the latest nursing research, meeting old friends, co-presenting on the use of social media in nursing, and launching Nursing Open.

For Reflections on Nursing Leadership (RNL), published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International. Comments are moderated. Those that promote products or services will not be posted.

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