From State to National Convention: Paving the Way for Future PNANJ / PNAA Leaders

State Level 1Joy DuarteBy:  Joy Solomon-Duarte, MSN, RN, PNP | Chair, PNANJ Scholarship Committee

At the state level:

The Philippine Nurses Association of New Jersey (PNANJ) has a long standing practice of having student attendees during its annual conference. Organization leaders and educators use this opportune time to expose their students to timely topics congruent with theoretical and clinical discussions; introduce and network the students to various healthcare leaders; and  socialize them to the organization’s education, outreach, and other  volunteer activities.  It is also hoped that early exposure of these      students will attract them to        become future members of PNANJ and PNAA.

With palpable changes in economy over the past few years, as well as burgeoning financial  obligations for a student nurse, it has become difficult for students to afford conference fees. Through an innovative “pilot” model abstracted by Joy Solomon-Duarte, Chair of PNANJ scholarship, with support from Majuvy Sulse 2012-2014 PNANJ President and as well as PNANJ educators and leaders, 10 nursing students were awarded conference scholarships and attended the PNANJ spring convention focused on The New Imperative for Nurses: High Accountability and High Reliability Care on May 18, 2013 at Renaissance at Woodbridge, Iselin, New Jersey.

The students were engaged throughout the conference. Following is a reflective feedback from one student attendee:

From: Janelle Rebustes []
Sent: Monday, May 20, 2013 12:27 AM
To: Jovita Solomon-Duarte
Subject: Re: PNANJ May 18th Event
Dear Ms. Solomon-Duarte,
For myself and on behalf of the Rutgers Students, we would like to thank you for the immense generosity that was extended to us. I admit that I was excited but nervous to attend, but was received so warmly that the apprehension instantly disappeared. The quality of the conference was excellent and I felt that I benefited a great deal. The best part was that I got the opportunity to peek into an organization with such a great cohesion, vision, and initiative. Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us, I truly appreciate it!

Kind Regards,
Janelle Rebustes
PNANJ extends deep gratitude and appreciation to all supporters (listed below) who made it possible for the    10 nursing students to gain knowledge and exposure at the state level.

Students School Supporter

Mark Polon Caldwell College Gayle Pearson
Aldreen Venzon Essex County Community College Majuvy Sulse
Kelly Serrano Caldwell College Purie Salar
Kim Laura Po Rutgers University Joy Solomon-Duarte
Aiko Edrolin Rutgers University ( formerly UMDNJ) Lolita Jacob
Janelle Rebustes Rutgers University Belle Villafuerte
Kimberly Tolentino Rutgers University Rebecca Graboso
Ramon Trinidad Rutgers University Sally dela Merced
Lovegem Santillan Trinitas School of Nursing Laura Garcia
Sheena Sumallo Rutgers University Nini Jurado

At the national level:

Mindful of decreasing number of immigrants as its primary source of membership, PNAA recently announced the    formation of Student Nurse Forum. New Jersey nursing students namely Mark Polon, Aldreen Venzon, and Kelly Serrano attended the 34th PNAA national convention held in Cleveland, Ohio on July 24 – 28, 2013. Financial support for hotel and lodging were provided by Pete Ruben Calixto from California, Romy de Vera from Florida, Dr. Leo Felix Jurado and Majuvy Sulse from New Jersey. The students’ conference fee without lunch was provided by PNAA.

State Level 2

Ernie Rosas (PNAAF President), Vicky Navarro (PNAA President), Atty. Arnedo Valera, Kelly Serrano, Dr. Peter Berhaus (Speaker), Pete Calixto (Past PNAA President), Mark Polon and Aldreen Venzon.

Past research and published literatures documented the benefits of early socialization and mentoring program to the participant’s personal and professional development. Considering the average age of Registered Nurses, PNAA hopes that the student nurse forum will not only serve as  membership pipeline, but as an avenue to pave the way for future PNANJ/PNAA leaders.

Mark Polon and Kelly Serrano obtained their BSN this past May 2013 from Caldwell College. Both were 2012-2013 officers of the NJ Nursing Student Association: Mark being the Treasurer and Kelly as the Pulsebeat editor, the online newsletter of the Association. Mark & Kelly are preparing for their NCLEX licensure examination scheduled on August 2013 and will move on for their masters hopefully in Spring 2014.

Aldreen Venzon received his Associates in Nursing Science from Essex County College, passed NCLEX a week before coming to Ohio and is continuing his BSN at New Jersey City University this Fall 2013. He is the current Pulsebeat editor for the NJ Nursing Student Association for 2013-2014.

Majuvy Sulse is committed and pledged her support for the PNAA Student Forum and has selected educators namely Jovita “Joy” Solomon-Duarte, Rebecca Graboso, and Laura Garcia as Student Nurse task force members with Dr. Jurado as the Adviser. Ms. Sulse affirms that the task force will definitely need more members as it evolves.

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