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Pathway to Presidency: Investing time for experience

The Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) Board of Directors and Nominating and Leadership Development Committee position nominations are quickly ending next week on May 15. With the President-Elect position open for nominations, learn how the current president of the association found her way to the head of the table.

By now, you have probably heard the name "Jill Rye" when discussing ARN. Jill Rye, DNP RN CRRN CNL FARN, is the current President of the ARN Board of Directors (2021-2022). But her path to the Board of Directors (BOD) President role was not an overnight success.

Rye, a Clinical Nurse Leader, Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health System in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, dedicated over three decades of her career to volunteering with the organization and its constituencies. From volunteering to leading, her experience has ranged from Lead Nurse Planner to the President of her local ARN South Dakota Chapter board.

"Each of these leadership roles allowed me to help promote rehabilitation nursing. ARN has been so important to my personal and professional growth over the last 30 years," said Rye.

From there, she found her pathway through to President-Elect of the ARN BOD through the call for nominations. "Serving as President-Elect was a great opportunity to promote ARN's strategic goals to advance rehabilitation nursing."

Meeting the needs of members (and non-members)

As President, Rye's focus remains on promoting and advancing the organization through strategic goals in response to a major member survey from 2019-2020. Rye goes on to state that "it is important to ensure that ARN meets the needs of rehabilitation nurses across the country. I want ARN to be the most valuable professional organization to support rehabilitation nursing."

"We listen to what ARN members and non-members are saying about what is important to them in order to make the changes to meet their needs. The current BOD has done a great job and I look forward to seeing the changes."

Investing time for experience

Rye recognizes the time and commitment needed to serve on the board, no matter the role. However, with leadership opens opportunity. By providing her leadership skills to the organization, Rye has found many opportunities through her experiences.

"It is an amazing opportunity to meet rehabilitation nurses from across the country and make lasting friendships. Each time I serve on a committee, I learn more about the rehabilitation nursing practice and make new friends. It has always been a positive experience and time well invested to promote my leadership skills."

The next generation of leadership

Rye, a veteran of qualifying for nominations, has a broad understanding of who would fit the open roles of the organization. She also makes note that nurses do not need to have advanced degrees or serve in a formal leadership position.

"If you have experience in rehabilitation nursing and have been involved in your local ARN chapter or for ARN in general, you are a great candidate to apply for a BOD position."

"The best candidates feel a commitment to promote and advance rehabilitation nursing. They have a passion for excellence in nursing practice and bring that passion to ARN. Serving ARN on a committee or on the BOD is a great opportunity for any member looking for a challenge and wanting to serve our professional association. "

Friendship like family

"I have made friendships that I will treasure for a lifetime," said Rye. Rye not only credits her colleagues who sit on the board with her, she also mentions ARN Executive Director, Gayle Irvin, MPH CAE, and the internal ARN staff as part of her enjoyment of the role.

"The ARN Staff and current BOD have become an important part of my life. I look forward to our meetings and the opportunity to ensure ARN remains a strong, growing organization that support rehabilitation nurses."

Life outside of ARN

While Rye is not serving on boards or making decisions for the organization, she enjoys the outdoors of South Dakota while fishing, boating, and camping with her husband Dave.

Find your pathway to presidency

Even if you are from South Dakota, we have an ARN Chapter in your area! We encourage you to discover your local ARN chapters and to find where you can get involved locally.

Be the future of ARN. Apply for one of the five open positions in leadership from now until May 15, 2022.

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