Director Candidate 

Rachael SmithRachael Smith
MSN, RN, CNE, CEN, CCRN, CPEN, TCRN
Connecticut
rachael.ak.smith@gmail.com


 


CURRENT EMPLOYMENT
Three Rivers Community College & Middlesex Health Shoreline Medical Center
Associate Professor & Staff RN

HIGHEST ACADEMIC LEVEL
MSN - Nursing Education, Scared Heart University

WHY DO YOU SEEK A POSITION ON THE ENA BOARD OF DIRECTORS?
I seek a position on the Board of Directors to help give other members the resources needed to find fulfillment as an emergency department nurse.

The ENA has been a steadfast pillar in my life for the past six years. ENA provides me with a feeling of home in the nursing community and gives me a sense of security and belonging

The ENA has helped me find my voice, helped me find my nursing family, helped me advocate nationally, and has helped mold me into a leader. ENA is the reason I am still an emergency nurse.

I want to continue sharing this legacy by empowering ENA members to know that they are not alone in what can be an isolating field. I want to help shine the light on the importance of education, networking, and advocacy to help them grow into their practice and full potential.

HOW IS YOUR ACADEMIC, PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND AND OTHER EXPERIENCES RELEVENT TO THIS POSITION? ELABORATE ON YOUR EXPERIENCE AND HOW IT RELATES TO THE BOARD POSITION.
As an academic educator and a bedside nurse, I feel as though my two passions collide. I continue to care for patients at the point of delivery while staying current in the ever-changing field of nursing. It continues to fill my cup, so to speak, by caring for patients. At the same time, I am actively educating the next generation of nurses as prelicensure nursing students. I feel honored knowing my contributions to my students may stay with them through their careers.
Both position me perfectly to understand what decisions may affect both current practicing nurses and nursing students. Seeing both sides can help determine what the present and future generations of emergency nurses may need and how ENA can help support that need.

OUTLINE THE SPECIFIC SKILLS YOU BRING, OR CONTRIBUTIONS YOU HOPE TO MAKE TO THE ENA BOARD OF DIRECTORS.
I am a great example of ENA’s leadership growth potential.

When I started my journey with ENA, I was shy, timid, and afraid to speak up.
After attending my first conference, I knew that the ENA was a safe place to be myself and to share my experiences with those around me.

ENA helped set me up for success and presented me with opportunities I could have never imagined. I never expected to co-chair a national committee, yet the ENA proved me wrong. My professional growth is a result of my mentors, both members and staff of this organization. I could not have taken the leap without their support, wisdom, and belief in me.

As a potential Director, I hope to help teach, coach, and mentor the next group of emergency nurses to grow into the leaders they are destined to become.

WHAT ENA EXPERIENCE OR ACCOMPLISHMENT ON THE LOCAL, STATE OR NATIONAL LEVEL WOULD MAKE YOU A QUALIFIED CANDIDATE FOR THE BOARD? 
My journey began as a state delegate in 2016; I left Los Angeles refreshed and with so many great ideas. In 2017, I presented “Great Idea! Now What?!?” However, I would not have gotten on stage if it weren’t for the support of the two Planning Committee members who were moderating my session. I was fortunate enough to join the Education Planning Committee a year later. In 2021, I was proud to serve as the co-chair and helped deliver a national conference that turned from in-person to virtual in less than four weeks.

I started as the Education Chair in 2017 at the state level and eventually served as the Connecticut State Council President in 2020. I have been the government affairs co-chair since 2018.

I am proud of the work I have helped accomplish locally and nationally and would love to continue the work on the Board.

PROVIDE A NARRATIVE THAT EXEMPLIFIES HOW YOU DEMONSTRATE THE BOARD COMPETENCIES.
As conference planning members, Teresa Dodge and I created the first “Newbie Meet and Greet” in 2019. At first, we did not see eye to eye, but collaborating on this project helped us understand that we both had the same goal. This collaboration proves our success as co-chairs for the planning committee in 2021. My leadership at the state and national levels has poised me to be professional, strategic and business-minded.

Being at the bedside and teaching prelicensure nursing students, I have a unique perspective of what skills and attributes are essential for success as an emergency department nurse. I noticed many sessions at conference were not geared toward new ED nurses despite that approximately 25% of attendees have less than 5 years of experience. This helped form the new track for EN22 titled “Back to Basics” for new ED nurses to learn and grow at conference.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST DISCLOSURE
No current conflicts disclosed.