Vanessa Klaus

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Vanessa M. Klaus, RN, MS
Assistant Professor; Fast Track Nursing Program
Idaho State University
INA President-Elect; INA Delegate to ANA

My educational background includes:  BS, Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho; Master of Science (Nursing Education Track), Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho; and Post-Master’s Certificate, Family Nurse Practitioner, Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington.  I have over 30 years of experience in the nursing profession, in both the practice and academic areas.

In what ways has membership in INA been valuable to you? 
Becoming an active member of INA and ANA has been one of the most enlightening and energizing experiences I have had. I have been an inactive member for many years. I started my nursing career very active and involved in INA, and had the tremendous privilege of working with some fabulous nurse mentors, one of which is Grace Jacobsen. Over several years as I narrowed my focus to critical care, I shifted active involvement to the specialty organizations of my areas of practice. I allowed my membership and involvement in INA and ANA lapse. During the past 3 years, I’ve become increasingly aware that a united and collaborative voice must come from all nurses, regardless of specialty organization membership. The one commonality for us all is our foundation in nursing as a profession. I support and advocate for all subspecialties, as this is necessary to stay current and engaged in our different areas of passion. Simultaneously, I must emphatically and tenaciously call for every one of us to unite under our common umbrella, nursing.

The current political and economic crises should resonate within each of us. We all lead busy, stressful, and demanding lives. We all have families that clamor for our time, talent, and treasures. Many of us, using a play of words on a Tim McGraw song, “just want to stay NIGH, sit and watch a perfect world go by”. The problem with that is, nigh our home, families, personal careers and hobbies, leaves us disengaged, inactive and uninformed, and we lose the power and passion that could unite us, propel us, and create that “perfect world” of professional advocacy. The saying “many hands make light the duty” occurs to me. There are a handful of advocates, and so many potential leaders coming up through our ranks, standing and being counted, ready to step up and answer the call.  The leaders of tomorrow need a leader today.

Why would you encourage other RNs to join INA?
We must have a voice and advocate for what we believe to be the dream of caring for ourselves and those within our societies who cannot stand up for themselves. We must be the change that we wish to see in our world. Therefore, we MUST define what exactly what that change looks like.