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Welcome, Lori Koeppel!

August 5th, 2020 RE: Lori Koeppel joins Wisconsin Director of Nursing Council Leadership Team!  The Wisconsin Director of Nursing Council is excited to welcome Lori Koeppel, BSN, NHA, WCC, DNS-CT as Executive Director Intern.  Over the next months, she will transition into the role of Executive Director as Joey Pettis continues her journey toward retirement. This time will allow Lori ample opportunity to transition into the association and begin connecting with members, committees, and stakeholders. Lori has been a longtime supporter of the Wisconsin Director of Nursing Council, providing educational sessions, actively answering discussion board inquires, and providing assistance to our members.   It is a natural transition for Lori to have a formal role within the organization.   Lori has been running her own consulting company for six years while working on several state committees, being legislatively vocal, participating in leadership training, and many more activities too numerous to mention.   Lori is a strong advocate for nurse leaders and will be a great addition to our organization. As with many organizations, the coronavirus pandemic has required the Wisconsin Director of Nursing Council to look at our association and determine new and different ways to accomplish our mission and vision. (R.A.V.E. for long-term care continuum is our vision to be a Resource, Advocate, Voice, and Educate for long-term care continuum for our membership in this new world.)   Your Board of Directors has been working diligently to find those ways of securing the future of the association, assuring we have consistent and strong leadership is the first and most crucial step.   Sincerely, Mindy Meehean, BSN, DNS-CT, QCP-CTBoard PresidentWisconsin Director of Nursing Council

“What did I do before COVID?”

On this weeks’ WI DON Council’s Support Call, a statement was made, “What did I even do before COVID?”  The statement was so thought-provoking. COVID seems to have taken over our lives and seeps into every thought and decision that we make at home and work.  This week we celebrate Nurses’ Week.  It is the Year of the Nurse in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale.  As I hear many of my nursing colleagues struggle with the new normal that COVID has brought to our facilities, please don’t forget what drew you to the nursing career. The desire to care for people with our technical ability, critical thinking skills, and healing touch is an extraordinary calling.      I encourage everyone during this Nurses’ Week to spend a few minutes doing something that replenishes your soul.  Perform those tasks or functions that bring you joy in your work life.  Be proud of the dedication, compassion, and selflessness that you share.   Laugh a lot! Celebrate a little! During Nurses’ Week, be the “Lady with the Lamp” and seek out the thing you love! Take a moment to love being a NURSE.  Happy Nurses’ Week.   Joey Pettis BSN, RN, WCC, DNS-MTExecutive Director Wisconsin Director of Nursing Council – Education Forum, Inc.

WDONC Testimony for AB76

Scholarship Success!

For Immediate Release                                               Contact: Joey Pettis, Executive DirectorPhone: 877.366.1144 x 2Email: Nursing Scholarship Fundraiser Success Long-Term Care Nursing Symposium 2019 Raises $8,720 Wisconsin – February 28, 2019 – The Wisconsin Director of Nursing Council announces with great excitement that the Annual Nursing Scholarship Banquet Dinner held during their annual Symposium, Tuesday, February 26, 2019, received $4,360 in donations.  This, along with the matching fund donation made by North Shore Healthcare, has earned $8,720 to provide nursing student scholarships to those who are committed to working in the long-term care continuum.  The Wisconsin Director of Nursing Council has had the privilege over the last 26 years to provide $54,000 in nursing scholarships to students pursuing a career in the long-term care continuum.  It is due to the generosity of each of our members and conference attendees that we can provide scholarships.  This year we were presented with an excellent opportunity to increase our funds significantly – North Shore Healthcare matched the money we raise upto $5,000.  The Wisconsin Director of Nursing Council – Education Forum, Inc. will be able to provide at least eight $1,000 nursing scholarships. “We are honored to partner with the Council and award scholarships to nurses who are eager to continue their education and hone their skills in long-term care nursing. We support our direct caregivers and nurses, and we are grateful for the opportunity to help shape the future of those who will provide care to residents,” said Dee McCarthy, Chief Clinical Officer for North Shore Healthcare. Joey Pettis, Executive Director, of Wisconsin Director of Nursing Council, “This year’s banquet was amazing.  Our attendees really stepped up to earn the most we’ve ever made at our banquet.  To also […]

I’m scared. You should be too.

The Closing of Wisconsin Nursing Homes and the Staffing Crisis Needs Everyones Attention. Last Thursday was Valentine’s Day, but that day my heart was breaking. It started as a pleasant Thursday. The facility I consulted with had a deficiency-free survey — a great accomplishment for their team. The WI DON Council received its provider number from the California Board of Registered Nursing.  A wonderful addition to offering continuing education hours to our members.  I was appointed to be a part of the Wisconsin Dementia Task Force on behalf of the WI DON Council. A tremendous honor to advocate for our dementia resident on behalf of our members. All in all, it had been a week of positives.  Then I heard the news.  Word was out that yet another facility in Milwaukee is closing.  The Director of Nursing, one of our members, and her staff are going through the challenge of closing a facility and displacing the elderly from what they know to call home.   It makes me sad. It makes me angry. It makes me worried.  Wisconsin, we should be scared. I’m scared! Why Scared! This announcement makes six nursing home announcing closures in the first seven weeks of 2019. 27 nursing homes closed in 2016-2018.  Many of these closures were related to the  low Medicaid reimbursement rate. When all is said and done, Wisconsin will have lost 33 long term care facilities since 2016. Read on after you have had a moment to digest the figures above. How can we sustain this rate of closure? How can we continue to care for our most vulnerable population,  if homes are not around when they are needed. We all understand the push for home based care, […]


How a matching funds donation will support more nursing students looking for a career in long-term care continuum   For Immediate Release                                               Contact: Joey Pettis, Executive DirectorPhone: 877.366.1144 x 2Email: Wisconsin – February 4, 2019 – The Wisconsin Director of Nursing Council announces with great excitement that North Shore Healthcare has offered to match funds raised for our Nursing Scholarship Fundraiser & Raffle up to $5,000.  The Wisconsin Director of Nursing Council has had the privilege over the last 26 years to provide $52,000 in nursing scholarships to students pursuing a career in the long-term care continuum.  It is due to the generosity of each of our members and conference attendees that we can provide scholarships.  This year we have been presented with an excellent opportunity to increase our funds significantly – North Shore Healthcare has offered to match the money we raise to $5,000.  “North Shore Healthcare is excited to help sponsor the 2019 scholarships awarded by the Council to nurses in long-term care. One of our organization’s core values is competence, and we believe in supporting our nurses in furthering their education to ensure the best possible care is given to our residents. We are equally supportive of all nurses and individuals who want to continue their education or enter the field of long-term care. By matching dollar for dollar the amount raised by the raffle for the scholarships, we are doing our part to assist those who are as passionate about long-term care nursing as we are,” said Dee McCarthy, Chief Clinical Officer of North Shore Healthcare in Glendale, WI.  Joey Pettis, Executive Director, of Wisconsin Director of Nursing Council, “I have no words.  We are so grateful to be able […]

Nurse Leader Blog: LTC Nursing is Honoring Our Elders’ Rights, Dignity and Choices

Joey Pettis, Executive Director, wrote a Nurse Leader Blog post for AADNS.  LTC Nursing is Honoring Our Elders’ Rights, Dignity, and Choices By Juzell (Joey) Pettis, RN, DNS- CT, WCC, DWC – July 14, 2017 Originally posted at American Association of Director of Nursing Services blog date July 14, 2017  I started my career as a nurse in 1972 in a small rural hospital where nurses were generalists and often learned by trial and error. I first learned that I did not want to be an OB nurse or care for pediatrics. My first OB patient was having her fifth child and thank goodness told me everything that I needed to know. I mention this experience because it taught me to listen to my patients, because they know their body and what is happening to it. “Listen and learn” is a message I have carried with me all the years of my career.  After working in the generalist role, I realized that I wanted to be good at something and not just kind of good at everything. This led me to taking a position as the Emergency Room and Operating Room Supervisor at a Regional Trauma Center in Oklahoma. This was certainly my dream job. I became an excellent technician and could start IVs, intubate, and assist in these amazing trauma cases. I was happy, young, and full of adrenaline from these experiences. But my husband’s career took a turn and we had a great opportunity, so I left what I was sure was the career I wanted.   We moved to Texas, and I tried to be a “stay at home” mom but that only lasted for about two months before my husband and children […]

Caregiver Career Program

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services released the memo below regarding a Caregiver Career Program to help address the CNA staffing crisis that Wisconsin is facing. While we know more is needed, the Wisconsin Director of Nursing Council applauds this action to help bring more CNA’s into the workforce. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 28, 2017 Contact: Elizabeth Goodsitt, 608-266-1683 Jennifer Miller, 608-266-1683 Wisconsin Launches Caregiver Career Program Innovative program to help recruit, train, and retain nurse aides In an effort to attract and retain more nursing home caregivers, Wisconsin is launching an innovative program called the Caregiver Career Program. The Department of Health Services (DHS) has received federal approval to move forward with the more than $2.3 million investment to implement the Wisconsin Caregiver Career Program, designed to add up to 3,000 nurse aides to the workforce, in this high demand field. “We recognize that Wisconsin needs committed caregivers for our state’s most vulnerable adults,” said Secretary Linda Seemeyer. “As our population ages, it becomes even more critical that we invest in our workforce, so those served in nursing homes get the best quality of care.” DHS is developing the program in partnership with nursing homes, LeadingAge Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Health Care Association, and the Wisconsin Technical College System. The program will offer training and testing at no cost to students, and also implements a $500 retention bonus for nurse aides, after six months on the job at a nursing home. The program will also include a marketing and recruitment plan to not only increase the number of people entering caregiver careers, but also increase awareness about the value of caregiving and the change caregivers can make in the lives of Wisconsin’s elders. Nurse aides provide […]

Exhibitor Referral Bonus

Earn a $25 Referral Bonus in the form of an Amazon Gift Card when you refer an Exhibitor who registers for Symposium 2017! Here is a link to our Exhibitor Prospectus you can forward your favorite supplier, vendor or consultant. There is no limit to how many Exhibitors you can refer. Well… We can only fit 30 more Exhibitors so there’s that. That’s a lot of gift cards! LOL. Below are the Exhibitors from 2016 (they wouldn’t be eligible for a referral). Hopefully, this will give you an idea of who is missing out on meeting decision makers. * Exhibitor must register and complete the purchase. Gift Card will be given after the Exhibitor Showcase. Exhibitor must use the referral’s name on the registration form. The Exhibitor must not have exhibited in the last 5 years. Other restrictions apply. Rules and Restrictions can be updated without notice.