I am TNA.
Article Type: Personal account
Subject: Nursing (Practice)
Nurses (Practice)
Author: Gooch, Michael D.
Pub Date: 09/22/2009
Publication: Name: Tennessee Nurse Publisher: Tennessee Nurses Association Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 Tennessee Nurses Association ISSN: 1055-3134
Issue: Date: Fall, 2009 Source Volume: 72 Source Issue: 3
Topic: Event Code: 200 Management dynamics
Product: Product Code: 8043100 Nurses NAICS Code: 621399 Offices of All Other Miscellaneous Health Practitioners
Geographic: Geographic Scope: Tennessee Geographic Code: 1U6TN Tennessee
Accession Number: 208458681
Full Text: I am a Flight Nurse with Vanderbilt LifeFlight and an Emergency Nurse Practitioner at River Park Hospital in McMinnville and Maury Regional Medical Center in Columbia, Tenn. I received my undergraduate degrees from Columbia State Community College and Middle Tennessee State University. I completed both my Masters and Post Masters at Vanderbilt University. I have devoted the entire 11 years of my nursing career to caring for ill and injured patients. Nursing and especially emergency care have been a passion of mine for many years.


During my career, I have experienced many sad, but also joyous, interactions with patients and their families. One memory that always comes to mind was when I was deployed as part of the medical relief effort after Hurricane Katrina. I was stationed in the ravaged city of New Orleans. Many patients shared their stories, as well as asked mine. One particular patient shared that she had lost everything; all she had were the clothes on her back. She reached in her pocket and pulled out a $20 bill and offered it to me to thank me for my service. I graciously declined and completed her care. This moved me and confirmed my passion for nursing.

I began my nursing career in the Emergency Department in my home town of Pulaski, Tenn. I soon learned the importance of autonomy, leadership, continuing education, and scholarship. Nursing is not all about giving medications, following orders, or writing in charts. Nursing is about caring for people in their time of need. It's about being compassionate when someone needs help; it's about being a stranger who cares. The nursing profession is founded and based on those and several other principles. These foundations are supported by the Tennessee Nurses Association, whose sole purpose is to represent us, the nurses of Tennessee. We vary in our specialties, our backgrounds, and our ambitions. However, we all share the same passion--nursing. We are nurses, we are providers, leaders, educators, researchers, and most of all, we are patient advocates.

TNA is Tennessee's nursing advocate and represents us in this complicated healthcare system in which we practice today. TNA is our voice in government; it helps direct healthcare policies, and protects our practices and our profession. Our profession has to stay on top of the ever-changing aspects of healthcare. We have to be advocates for our patients and our profession at all levels. TNA is our activist. I have been a member of TNA since I obtained my RN license in 1997. During this time, I have seen TNA promote and support nursing, and especially the area of Advanced Practice Nursing. TNA has protected the sanctity and the name of our profession. TNA strives to maintain our professionalism and support and promote patient safety. As a member of TNA, I am more informed about the issues that face nursing, along with the challenges I face as an Advanced Practice Nurse. TNA works to protect my autonomy as a Nurse Practitioner. I have become a more responsible and informed clinician thanks to TNA--every nurse's voice and advocate.

I am Michael, I am a Nurse, and I am TNA.

by Michael D. Gooch, MSN, RN, ACNP-BC, FNP-BC, CFRN, CEN, NREMT-P
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.