Insight February 27, 2023

February Ally Spotlight with the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing

February ally spotlight with the organization for associate degree nursing

Each month, Social Mission Alliance (SMA) highlights the important work done by our allies.

This month, we spoke to the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN) about their organization and collaboration with the Social Mission Metrics Initiative. Read below for our interview with OADN’s new Chief Executive Officer, Rick García.


Tell us about OADN’s work and mission.

Rick Garcia
Rick García, Chief Executive Officer of OADN

OADN is the national voice and a pivotal resource for community college nursing education and the associate degree pathway. Our vision is to expand networks that promote leadership, collaboration, and advocacy to further enrich nursing education and the communities we serve. As the national advocate for the over 1,100 associate degree nursing programs across the country, OADN works to advance excellence in nursing education and community college pathways into registered nursing careers. OADN provides continuing education opportunities, leadership development programs, research engagement, and advocates for the needs of associate degree nursing programs to leaders in government and influential organizations.

Q: Can you tell us about OADN’s partnership with Social Mission Alliance and the Social Mission Metrics team? How did this partnership begin?

OADN became involved with Social Mission Alliance in 2018, and OADN has been an active participant in the development of the social mission of associate degree nursing since that time. The OADN Social Mission Task Force was created to support this critically important work. The task force quickly began its work by completing a survey of OADN members to assess the inclusion of social mission in their curriculum. The survey results validated that ADN programs include social mission and social determinants of health in their curriculum.

[In 2019, OADN and Social Mission Alliance formed a partnership through Social Mission Metrics Initiative (SMMI) which] strengthened our collaborative effort to assess the feasibility of adapting the SMMI self-assessment to ADN programs. This work was led by OADN’s Social Mission Task Force and began with a pilot program utilizing the original SMMI survey at five ADN programs, followed by focus groups with participating program leaders. After promising results from the initial pilot, an associate degree version of the SMMI survey was fielded to 17 ADN programs. The survey was adjusted based on participant feedback, lessons learned from the broader SMMI, and input from the OADN Social Mission Task Force.

The result of this multi-year effort is a ready-to-go ADN Social Mission Self-Assessment survey.

Q: What do you hope to learn from this collaboration?

The data generated through this collaboration will shed light on the contributions that the associate degree pathway makes to communities throughout our country regarding social mission. OADN member schools contribute to an environment that promotes self-care, personal health, and the well-being of students while engaging them to address social determinants of health of their patients, families, and communities. OADN anticipates collecting this much needed data through the cross-sectional Social Mission Metrics Initiative will afford greater insight to the national importance of the associate degree nursing pathway.

Q: What does Social Mission look like for ADN programs and how can schools be held accountable to advancing Social Mission?

ADN programs are deeply embedded in their local communities, so our students are uniquely positioned to understand and adapt to many issues confronting their patients such as: availability of affordable housing and public education; convenient transportation services; neighborhood and community safety measures; food insecurity concerns; and access to quality health care.

Q: What do you hope schools take away from this self-assessment?

OADN members will be able to use their own institutional self-study data for inclusion in their annual reports to their national nursing accrediting body. The social mission within ADN programs will identify the intersection of managing conflict between personal and professional responsibilities, evaluating the workplace environment to determine level of health and well-being, and the identification of environments that promote self-care, personal health, and the well-being of students. Through this Social Mission Metrics Initiative, OADN member schools will be able to have much needed data to inform and guide their own efforts to advance social mission.

SMA would like to thank Rick Garcia and OADN for taking the time to talk with us, and for their continued commitment to social mission. Read more about the collaboration between the Social Mission Metrics Initiative and OADN.

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