National Nurses Week 2015
Each day in Nurses Week we will feature a blog “What does ANAC mean to you?”
I see so many smiling faces holding our ANAC Proud signs and it not only makes me proud to be a member of this vibrant, diverse and inclusive community, but it also reminds me how I came to know about the work of ANAC.
To sum it up in a word, mentorship is what brought me to ANAC.
My path in HIV started in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where I met a long-standing and ANAC Proud member, Dr. Susan Gaskins. Dr. Gaskins was the first nursing professor to teach me about HIV including the work of ANAC and both our individual and collective potential as nurses to make a difference for people with HIV. At the time, in the early ninety’s, HIV remained a death sentence, yet Dr. Gaskins was able to inspire hope in this young emerging nurse leader. Not long after her class, I became a member and eventually president of Students for the Education and Prevention of AIDS at the University of Alabama. We educated high-school and college students about safer sex and held candle light vigils for World AIDS Day, but more importantly we served as volunteer drivers for patients in rural Alabama to UAB’s 1917 Clinic to receive medical care.
At UAB a nurse practitioner and ANAC member, Dr. James Raper, was leading the fight and it was here, as a senior nursing student, that Dr. Raper showed me the potential for nurses to be clinical leaders in the fight against HIV. Like Dr. Gaskins, Dr. Raper was a proud ANAC member.
Now, as I look back at my journey, I am most ANAC Proud of the mentorship, leadership and dedication of these pioneers and friends. To all the mentors out there – Thank You – you truly make a difference in the lives of your students. You gave us strong shoulders to stand on and our lives are forever changed because of you.
With great admiration for the work of ANAC members everywhere,
Jason Farley, PhD, MPH, ANP-BC, FAAN, AACRN | Associate Professor
Community Public Health
Johns Hopkins School of Nursing
Nurse Practitioner | JH Medicine
Director | AETC for NP Education
President-Elect | ANAC