Kentucky Nurses Association

Nursing organization relies on volunteers and prioritizes safety to help improve life during COVID-19

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We are pleased to shine the spotlight on the Kentucky Nurses Association (KNA), an exceptional Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ Champion.

KNA is all about helping Kentucky nurses. They’ve been doing it for years, operating at a good pace and achieving their goals. But when things took a turn during the COVID-19 pandemic, the word “helping” took on a whole new meaning.

For KNA, it meant reminding nurses of community support by displaying orange ribbons and bows all across the state. Helping meant working with the University of Louisville School of Engineering to create and distribute much-needed face shields for the state’s nurses. And it meant raising funds to purchase 13,000 bottles to hold and easily distribute 345 gallons of - hand sanitizer made and donated by statewide liquor distilleries.

“We’ve done so much over the past year, we just haven’t stopped,” said Chief Executive Officer Delanor Manson, MA, BSN, RN. “We’re always thinking, ‘What else can we do?’”
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Now that the COVID-19 vaccine has rolled out, KNA is helping on the frontlines there, too. They recently sent out a call for both nurses and nonclinical volunteers to work a mass vaccination clinic, which requires 120 people a day to run. When the clinic kicked-off, volunteers distributed about 1,000 vaccines in its first week. By the second week, the goal was to hit 1,000 vaccinations each day. Currently, the clinic distributes about 1,300 vaccines a day.

Nursing and Learning
With the implementation of physical distancing guidelines, helping nurses in person became more difficult in 2020 — but not impossible. Today, KNA has dedicated an entire section of their website to nurse well-being, focused on both general and COVID-19 resources. The majority of the resources are free and accessible to both members and nonmembers.

Since nurses are one of the most trusted health professionals, they’re expected to have the answers to patients’ questions. To know those answers, nurses have to treat learning as a never-ending quest. That’s especially true during the pandemic with the rapidly changing discoveries about the virus and the new vaccines. To help keep nurses in-the-know, KNA offered a series of 21 courses covering COVID-19 and the vaccines.

Another way the organization helps nurses is by making ANA Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ content accessible to members. Nurses who are a part of KNA get access to the HNHN blogs and challenges through KNA’s social media channels, inclusive mobile app, and a monthly e-Newsletter sent directly to members’ email inboxes.

Nurses can also take advantage of KNA’s monthly virtual Movie Nights. Each event showcases a different movie related to healthcare and social justice, and nurses can earn contact hours for continuing nursing education by watching and completing an evaluation. The most recent showing was a film titled “Intersection of Social Justice and Healthcare: Incarcerating US.”
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Volunteering
KNA is predominantly made up of volunteers. Without those willing to give up their time and talents, most of the recent events, fundraisers, donations, and resources would not have happened. It’s the selfless act of hundreds of volunteers that improves the lives of Kentucky nurses.

“We get a lot of retired nurses who contact us and say, ‘I can’t sit on the sidelines anymore,’” said Delanor. “When we started recruiting for the mass vaccination clinics, we had 75 people contact us and ask, what else can I do to help?”

That’s what KNA is all about: helping. And they don’t plan to stop anytime soon.

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Posted by Holly E Carpenter, RN, BSN on Mar 3, 2021 2:15 PM America/Chicago

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