Louisville and its organizations must be intentional about the efforts to place women in senior level positions. Organizations need to look at their history and make intentional decisions to recruit, promote and retain qualified women.
Delanor Manson, MA, BSN, RN, CEO at the Kentucky Nurses Association, Kentucky Nurses Foundation and the Kentucky Nurses Action Coalition
HEN is proud to celebrate Women’s History Month by highlighting a healthcare leader in our region who has positively influenced and enriched our community. The Women’s History Month 2022 theme, “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope,” is both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and also a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history.
We talked to Delanor Manson, MA, BSN, RN, CEO at the Kentucky Nurses Association, about projects she’s most excited about, her proudest accomplishment and advice she has for young women starting out in the healthcare industry. Highlights are below.
What do you do on a daily basis for KNA?
I lead and direct the Kentucky Nurses Association which speaks for and is responsible to 89,000 Kentucky nurses. Nurses are the largest profession in Kentucky and 53% of the healthcare workforce.
I am also the CEO of the Kentucky Nurses Foundation and the Kentucky Nurses Action Coalition. On a daily basis we provide education for re-licensure, education on the legislative issues that impact nurses and the health of Kentuckians, provide mentoring and coaching for members and manage the image of nurses. I am on various boards and committees to speak for and represent the total nurse population no matter where nurses practice or where they work.
I also manage the KNA vaccine and testing KNA mobile missions in collaboration with the LMHWD.
What initiatives are you most proud of at KNA?
The legislative priorities for 2022 are paramount to the health of Kentuckians. All five are essential.
- Resolving the nursing shortage that includes an image, re-branding and gratitude campaign for nurses.
- A school nurse in every school, every day, all day. The KNA has testified in Frankfort about this most important issue and has an active School Nurse Task Force that dedicates its time to this initiative.
- Removing the restrictions on prescriptive authority (CAPA-CS HB 354) on advance practice nurses that will also enhance access to health care for those throughout Kentucky including underserved areas where nurse practitioners are the only healthcare providers.
- Implementing COVID mitigation strategies including but not limited to including but not limited to masking, vaccination and workforce support.
- Increasing access to trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs).
The theme for 2022 is “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” How does your team at KNA work to provide healing and hope to the people in our community?
The KNA mobile missions teams have provided over 18 education sessions for nurses by nurses on COVID 19 and the vaccine changes as they have occurred.
- We recruited more the 1,200 nurses to work at the first mobile vaccine clinic in Kentucky.
- We have provided clinical sites for nursing students throughout the pandemic at the LouVax and at testing and vaccine clinics.
- We delivered over 8,000 COVID tests, and over 8,000 COVID vaccines.
- We developed a program for mental health support titled Kentucky Nurses Helping Nurses (KNHN).
- We proposed mandatory continuing education for nurses to support the mental health of nurses by educated every Kentucky nurse on how to prevent nurse suicide and a second class for implicit bias training to enhance the health care that all Kentuckians receive.
- The KNA has provided over 100 listening sessions in the community to hear the community concerns and to provide answers to the questions.
Advice for other women who want to excel in the healthcare industry?
Learn as much as you can. Be a beacon and champion for other women. Demonstrate greatness at every opportunity. Write yourself in the script and do not wait for someone to see your greatness.
Who inspires you?
I prefer to focus on the traits of those that inspire me versus a particular person. I am inspired by innovators who are not afraid to challenge the past or the present. I am inspired by those who know history and are calculated risk takers. I gravitate toward those who are of the mindset that because it has not been done does not mean it cannot be done, it just means I have not tried or succeeded yet.
How can Louisville continue to empower and develop women leaders?
Louisville and its organizations must be intentional about the efforts to place women in senior level positions. Organizations need to look at their history and make intentional decisions to recruit, promote and retain qualified women. Those organizations should seek outside guidance on how to level the field so woman get the chance to be leaders using equity as the standard not equality.
I would like to end my comments by using a song by Kev Mo- Put a Woman in Charge.