Tracy Flynn

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Tracy Flynn, RN, MSN
Associate Professor
Lewis-Clark State College, Lewiston, Idaho
INA Member Since 2003

I began my career not as a nurse but as a Financial Manager and Certified Public Accountant, working with Sesame Street in New York and small non-profit organizations in Seattle. But though I enjoyed working with these companies, I couldn’t help thinking there was something else out there I was meant to be doing; I just didn’t know what it was yet. It wasn’t until I spent some time at Children’s Hospital that it hit me - I wanted to do what those nurses did - save lives. So that’s how I came to move back to Lewiston, where I grew up, to go to nursing school and I never left. I earned my Master’s in Nursing through ISU, and have taught at LCSC since 1999, absolutely loving every minute of it. My areas of interest are community health and, no surprise here, healthcare policy and finance.

In what ways has membership in INA been valuable to you?
Membership in INA has put me in touch with other nurses who care about the profession as passionately as I do. It’s exciting knowing that what we do makes a real difference for nurses out there. One of my first experiences getting actively involved in INA was serving as moderator for a candidates’ forum in my District during the 2004 election. It was an unbelievable opportunity to educate every one of our Legislators about issues that mattered to nurses, and we found them to be highly receptive. This is an event I’d like to see replicated in every District this election season. In 2007 I had the honor of serving on the Strategic Planning Task Force, working with other INA members to revise our mission statement and develop a strategic plan to guide the INA. This really brought home to me how far-reaching our goals and objectives truly are—and they are within reach! Finally, representing Idaho at the ANA House of Delegates in June was a very valuable experience. It helped me to see how it’s all connected—activities at the District, State, and National level. It takes every one of us to pull together, and we need everyone to get involved!

Why would you encourage other RNs to join INA?
Joining INA brings a fresh perspective to one’s nursing practice, reminding us of those greater issues that have a direct impact on us but that we don’t always have time to focus on in the rush of our day-to-day lives. Things we otherwise might think we were powerless to influence, such as safe staffing levels, fewer needlestick injuries, greater access to care, and dozens of other issues in which the ANA and INA are actively involved. As an individual I may be just a tiny drop in the bucket; but together, we are untold buckets strong!