The President’s Message

The Philippine Nurses Association of Virginia, Inc

President’s Message November 21, 2020

Greetings family, friends, colleagues, and distinguished guests.  It is indeed a special honour and privilege to become the 26th president and celebrate the 42nd anniversary of the Philippine Nurses Association of Virginia with you. I am deeply humbled to follow in the footsteps of so many outstanding filipino nurse leaders. 

During my terms as Education Chair, Webmaster, Newsletter Editor, and President-elect in 2016-2020 I have had the pleasure to work with some of the most dedicated members and leaders on projects that promoted pride and engagement. Ren Capucao, past newsletter editor and UVA phD student directed “A Culture to Care” exhibition that unveiled the professional and racial barriers in immigration and nursing and further revealed the answer of “Why are there so many filipino nurses in Virginia?” In public policy and advocacy, Hilo Laxa, past president 2016-2018 and Araceli Marcial, Founder and president 1978 noted the Virginia Board of Nursing declared that all foreign educated nurses should be identified as a foreign educated nurse while awaiting board licensure. Hilo and Carmina Bautista filed a successful petition that changed the requirement for an applicant from another country to use the designation of ” foreign nurse graduate” on a name tag to the designation of ” RN Applicant”. Angel Deguzman took the helm on advocacy by championing childhood vaccines and rescue efforts during the Taal Volcano crisis.  

Over the next two years we have the capability to advance the mission, vision and values of the PNA Virginia in multiple settings. Nurses are natural educators, advocates, and volunteers with a genuine passion for service. We are known for being the most trusted profession for 10 years in a row according to the latest National Gallup Poll. Together, we are a powerful voice.

Being a nurse on the front line and riding the wave of this pandemic has brought many challenges, fears, and anxieties. I believe I speak for many that as nurses and community servants we continue to unselfishly take the risks to care for others. Covid-19 has not altered our mantra and mindset. Now, more than ever, our greater community depends on our ability to engage, remain focused, and be ready for what lies ahead in our immediate and long-term future. Now is the time to usher in the next era with a vision to Connect, Create, and Collaborate. 

  • Let us encourage member participation with similar interests in committees, elected office, and other volunteer opportunities. 
  • Let us increase the relevance of PNA Virginia to nurses and be seen as the professional nursing association of Filipino American nurses. 
  • Let us educate nurses to understand how decisions are made at the local, state, or national level that impact the ability to practice. 
  • Let us connect and build relationships with our members and highlight stories of their experiences.Let us create opportunities to spread kindness through philanthropy.
  • Let us collaborate in partnerships to support legislative and public policies that have an impact on healthcare.
  • Let us amplify PNA Virginia’s advocacy on behalf of nurses and our community. 

To the incoming officers, with every mission or goal, there must be a mantra or a positive direction that helps us stay the course. With the words of Napoleon Hill, “whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve. If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” You are volunteer visionaries and inspirational change agents!

To my past nursing graduates and soon to be RN’s, stay focused and always keep learning! You are proof of commitment and resilience through this pandemic. 

Past presidents, I thank you for your never ending inspiration, compassion, dedication and promotion of excellence to nursing. As the youngest president I can only humbly hope to impart similar traits of leadership and encouragement.

My sincere thanks to all our generous sponsors and members of the induction committee for your collaboration in making this induction a successful virtual event.

Catherine M. Paler, MSN, RN, PCCN

26th PNAVA President 2020-2022