Judy Schmidt, president and CEO, New Jersey State Nurses Association, answers questions from NJSNA member Benjamin Evans.
Evans: What is the biggest challenge in nursing in the next five years, and how is NJSNA working to overcome it?
Schmidt: The uncertainty of the healthcare environment and the direction of care is our biggest challenge. Are we moving from acute care to community-based care? Whichever way it goes, we will be vocal advocates for the best healthcare system possible and move to adapt to whatever the new model looks like. The New Jersey State Nurses Association will be ready to lead the charge.
We will be vocal advocates for the best healthcare system possible.—Judy Schmidt, New Jersey State Nurses Association
How are you ensuring that NJSNA remains a valuable, relevant organization for nurses?
We give a voice to issues relevant to nurses and public health, such as lifting a ban that prevents the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from studying the impacts of gun violence, and lobbying for the protection of professional titles and multistate licensure for nurses. We amplified our communication strategy and implemented a social media strategy to show more nurses what we are doing. To gain new members, we are developing a young professionals program. This will foster the next generation of leaders.
What motivates or inspires you to lead nurses?
Protecting nursing and advocating for the best patient care possible for New Jersey motivates me to ensure our voice is heard. We must be part of the conversations that will shape healthcare for all Americans while making sure that nursing remains viable in our current healthcare environment. I like being part of the solution and not part of the problem. I love that I get to travel and meet with nurses throughout the state and nation.