From the Desk of the INAI President
President’s Message - Shijy Alex MSN, MBA
I am proud to serve the role of the President of the Indian Nurses Association of Illinois (INAI). It is an honor to serve as the President in an organization.
The INAI is here to meet the unique professional, cultural and educational needs of nurses of Indian origin, but more importantly is serves as a great networking opportunity for fellow Indian nurses. The power of networking with your peers cannot be underestimated. Connections formed through attending meetings and seminars, provide opportunities for professional growth, allow for stimulated discussions on challenges we face and also enables us to share our success.
The 2021-2022 executive leadership team and the committee chairs are excited to offer many enriching seminars with CE’s, offer opportunities allowing nurses to serve our community, arrange meetings with professionals that can educate us on legislation that impacts nursing practice and celebrate nurses who have advanced their professional growth through further education and certifications.
There are a myriad of challenges that nurses are facing in our current health care system, which I am sure you all are aware of. Issues such as compensation, workplace violence, staffing shortages, stress and burnout are a few that come to mind right now. Let us as a professional organization discuss these issues so that we are prepared to handle these issues in our daily interactions. Nursing is a demanding profession that requires a lot of dedication and commitment.
I am looking forward to meeting all the Indian nurses in the Chicago land area, to engage and partner with you in making this organization a successful organization that meets the needs of the nurses in the Indian community.
Shijy Alex MSN, MBA
President’s Message - Beena Vallikalam
Happy Holidays and wishing you all a very Happy New Year!
I am so privileged and thankful for being able to serve as the president of Indian Nurses Association of Illinois for the last two years. Now that we are transitioning to new leadership, I would like to reflect on all the activities and to express my gratitude to all who worked as a great team.
Indian Nurses Association of Illinois (INAI) is dedicated to serve as a professional body to identify and meet the professional, educational cultural and social needs unique to nurses of Indian origin and heritage. The association urges the nurses to become proud partners in fulfilling its multifaceted goals and initiatives.
The activities of this association for this term included free /discounted rate CEs, career development opportunities, community outreach, interdisciplinary collaboration, mentoring programs, professional recognition, charity contributions, participation in legislative activities to make changes in healthcare, encourage membership, social events, encouraging community relations and empowering nurses. The team focused on health promotion of the community, professional development and personal growth of nurses and educational and career guidance to nursing students.
The educational activities aligned in trifold track comprised of education, community outreach and charity. The educational events included two APN Pharmacology conferences, Cardiology conference, Physical Assessment Workshop and informational seminars. Participants received a total of 25 CEs for these sessions. Association worked in close conjunction with the community. Community outreach programs included Friends and Family CPR series 9 in 4 different venues) and health fair. INAI was recognized by Cook County Government for our community initiatives. Supporting the education of its members is one of the primary goals of the association. Many of our members have attained higher degrees including terminal degrees and fellowships including one from Harvard. Nurses were recognized for their clinical excellence, leadership and advance nursing practice roles during Nurses’ day celebrations.
Bylaw revision was completed and membership structure updated. There was a 54% increase in life membership, 75% increase in biennial membership, a total of 59% increase. Continuing education contract was signed between the association and APRN World which will provide the opportunity for members to get free/ discounted CEs and certifications.
As a member association of National Indian Nurses Association of America (NAINA), INAI participated in all educational and community outreach programs. INAI has been working in close alignment with American Nurses Association- Illinois (ANA-IL) in its initiatives and is a proud active partner of ICNO (Illinois Coalition of Nursing Organizations). INAI continued the partnership with Grand Canyon University and Chamberlain University. Many of the members of this association have been presenting topics in many other national health care platforms.
This association contributed to the charity initiatives and has stepped up to aid the needy in times of stress and natural calamities especially in the flood relief activities in Kerala, India. We have been proud partners of Sankara Eye Vision and Smile train through the charity contributions. Holiday celebrations promoted social interactions and provided opportunities for the members to showcase their talents. INAI has shown its valuable presence in the community and among nurses of Indian origin and their professional peers.
At this juncture, would like to express my deep gratitude to the great team that I worked with. The input and the wholehearted cooperation, dedication and handwork of the team made this a successful term. I also thank all our members for the continued participation and support and I urge you to bring your friends and colleagues to join this professional association.
I wish the new leadership all the best and pledge the continued support.
Wishing you all a very happy, blessed New Year ahead!
President’s Message – Beena Vallikalam,RN, MSN, MSEd
I am so thankful that I have this opportunity to serve you as the president of Indian Nurses Association of Illinois. I am so delighted to take on this responsibility and grateful and humbled to do so. Let me thank all my predecessors who held this ship together for all these years; this is our 15th year.
I thank all my team members who have agreed to join hands to lead this association for the next two years. I acknowledge their dedication to the profession and commitment to the association. I express my deepest gratitude and happiness to have all these aspiring nurses in the INAI leadership for this term.
I thank all those who have devoted themselves to the advancement of this profession.
As the nursing is becoming broader and deeper, opportunities are blooming. We need to be aware of the multifaceted issues and ocean of possibilities. For this, we have designed to give updates available through our website, emails, closed social media and online and print media.
We are committed to all our patients, and we are obliged to serve our community as well. Knowledge shared and the skills taught will save lives and will benefit the community as a whole. For this, we are looking at opportunities for the community outreach programs, health seminars, safety and life- saving programs and tips for healthy living.
The nursing profession is evolving with newer health care delivery systems and diverse roles. Of course, the gems in the pool are our clinical nurses. The educational and professional needs for nurses in the clinical, advanced practice and leadership roles vary. With this understanding, we are looking at opportunities to provide unique educational opportunities and career guidance. Our goal is to provide continuing educational credit for the sessions that we offer.
In this new digitalized world where technology is proliferating, we need to keep ourselves knowledgeable to keep up with the rapid stride of these changes. Students and nurses who are trying to advance their education sometimes find it difficult to be in compliance with challenging educational requirements. For this, we are planning to offer assistance in writing skills, research proposals, curriculum support and career guidance.
The strength of any group is its members and their unity. We can keep our shoulders high- together we hosted a beautiful NAINA convention, and proved that we could do anything together. I urge all the nurses to join this professional association. This association is a venue to engage in dialogue, be active participants in policy discussions, share your knowledge and skill sets, advance your career goals and be proud to be a nurse.
2017 is declared as year of healthy nurse and this year’s Nurses day theme is ‘Nursing: The Balance of Mind, Body, and Spirit’. Let us learn together how to balance our lives in this challenging world.
Wishing you all health, peace and prosperity.
Beena Vallikalam, RN, MSN, MSEd
RN, MSN, MSEd
Dear INAI Members,
Happy New Year and very best of everything for 2016! During this holiday season instead of giving long speech I would like to share a story with you all.
One day a very wealthy man was walking on the road. Along the way, he saw a beggar on the sidewalk. The rich man looks kindly on the beggar and asked, “How did you become a beggar?” The beggar said, “Sir, I have been applying for a job for a year now, but haven’t found any. You look like a rich man, sir, if you would give me a job, I could stop begging.” The rich man smiled and said, “I want to help you. But I won’t give you a job, I will do something better. I want you to become my business partner. Let’s start a business together.”
The beggar blinked hard. He didn’t understand what the older man was saying. “What do you mean, Sir?” “I own a rice plantation. You could sell my rice for me in the market. I will provide you the sacks of rice and I will pay the rent for the market stall. All you will have to do is sell my rice. And at the end of the month, as business partners, we will share in the profits” replied the rich man.
Tears of joy rolled down the poor man’s cheeks. “Oh, sir!” he said, “You are a gift from heaven. You’re the answer to my prayers. Thank you, thank you!” He then paused and said, “Sir, how will we divide the profits? Do I keep 10% and you get the 90%? Do I keep 5% and you get the 95%? I’ll be happy with any arrangement.” The rich man shook his head and chuckled. “No, I want you to give me the 10%. And you keep the 90%.” For a moment, the beggar couldn’t speak. When he tried to speak, it was just gibberish. “Uh, geez, uh, WOW! I mean, huh?” The poor man couldn’t believe his ears. The deal was too preposterous.
The rich man laughed loudly. He explained, “I don’t need the money, my friend. I’m already wealthy beyond what you can ever imagine. I want you to give me 10% of your profits so you grow in gratitude.” The beggar knelt down before his benefactor and said, “Yes Sir! I will do as you say. Even now, I’m so grateful for what you’ve done for me!”
And so that was what happened. Each day, the beggar now dressed a little bit better, operated a store selling rice in the market. He worked very hard. He woke up early in the morning and slept late at night. And sales were brisk, also because the rice was good quality. And after 30 days, the profits were astounding.
At the end of the month, as the ex-beggar was counting the money, and liking very much the feeling of money in his hands, an idea grew in his mind. He told himself, “Gee, why should I give 10% to my Business Partner? I didn’t see him the whole month! I was the one who was working day and night for this business. I did all this work and I deserve the 100% profits!” A few minutes later, the rich man was knocking on the door to collect his 10% of the profits. The ex-beggar opened the door and said, “You don’t deserve the 10%. I worked hard for all this. I deserve all of it!’’ And he slammed the door.
If you were his Business partner, how would you feel? This is exactly what happens to us, God is our business partner. God gave us life-very single moment, even single breath, every single second, God gave us talents- ability to talk, to create, to earn money. God gave us body- eyes, ears, mouth, hands, feet, heart. God gave us mind – imagination, emotions, reasoning and language.
Suffering is the common denominator we encounter every day. In the darkness of suffering, nurses can bring light to their patients. Any smallest act of kindness and compassion in our daily practice can change a patient life. As we have a right to exist in this universe we have a duty to acknowledge and accept the co-existence of others and an obligation to work for the pro-existence of our fellow human beings. Nursing hands helping hands and helping hearts and minds also can be used to help ourselves and to reach out others.
Wish you all very best of everything for 2016.
Mercy Kuriakose, MSN, RN
Dear INAI Members,
It is with great joy that I have taken on this appointment as your next President of the Indian Nurses Association of Illinois. As many of you know – I have been a member for quite some years now and have been blessed with the many opportunities and friendships that I have come across. I am extremely grateful for your entrusted confidence and very fortunate to be in this position that allows me to continue giving back to an association that has given me so much.
This association has grown in its reputation, members, and priorities. We are now considered a premier organization within the greater nursing community of Chicago and Illinois. Our focus on professional development has been enhanced every year. Our bonds and commitment to the Indian Nursing Community has only grown stronger. As President of this association, I want to lead by serving you and not by serving me. This is a great responsibility and it is with humility that I will do my best for our nursing community.
As President – I am proud to announce my priorities for my 2 year term: professional develop and education, coordination and mobilization for our association members, promotion of higher education among Indian nurses. All these priorities are rooted in a wider vision: that this association will be dedicated to the professional growth of its members. We want to see more Indian Nurses with higher education, more responsibilities in their workplaces, and taking up more leadership roles when possible.
The success of any association does not rest with one individual. It takes an entire team to see us through this transformation. Together, with all of the new team members, we will continue to convey and expand the association’s mission and vision.
I thank you again for your trust and confidence in me. I want to be available to all of you, so please, do not hesitate to talk to me or contact me. God bless you all. Thank you and Happy Holidays!
Mercy Kuriakose, MSN, RN
December 21st, 2014
Dear INAI Members,
I would like to wish you all Happy Holidays and a prosperous year in 2015. The Christmas & New Year season is well known for peace, joy, sharing and gratitude. All of these components are included in the profession of nursing. We as nurses provide patient care involving all these elements throughout our profession. A famous nursing theorist, Dr. Jean Watson said that nursing is a caring profession. Nursing is not just to provide tasks. It is about providing holistic care to our patients. According to Val Saintsbury, “Nurses dispense comfort, compassion, and caring without even a prescription”. This aspect of the nursing profession makes it different from other professions. According to Donna Wilk Cardillo, “Nurses are the heart of healthcare”. The truth is that there is no other profession that is highly multitask oriented like nursing. There aren’t any hospitals that can function without having a nurse. Nursing believes in having a higher power from the universe and creates a healing environment while caring for patients. A component of spirituality is also visible in the nursing profession. Nurses are professionals who have knowledge, compassion, and a caring attitude. Let us thank God almighty for all the graces and favors that we have received in 2014. Let us strive to be the most caring and healing nurses who can touch our patients’ lives. Let us also aim to be strong patient advocates by using our wisdom and knowledge.
Finally I would like to thank all of you for providing me and my team continuous support for the last 2 years. Without the support given by many, we would not have been able to have a successful term. As I sign off, I encourage you all to continue providing support for the next team and wish all of them the best of luck.
On behalf of INAI Executive Board,
Ajimol Lukose, DNP, RN-BC