Originally published Saturday, November 25, 2017 at 01:07p.m.

CLARKDALE – Yavapai College Nursing Professor Selina Bliss already has a line of credentials after her name, including Ph.D., and Registered Nurse. She recently added another: President of the Arizona Nurses Association, or AzNA.

“What an honor,” said Bliss, who will serve as the AzNA president for the next two years -- the 26th and 27th years of her YC teaching career. Bliss previously served as the AzNA board’s secretary and has chaired and served on a variety of association committees since the 1990s. She also serves on the board of directors for the Arizona League For Nursing, a professional organization for nursing educators.

Bliss stood for election to head the AzNA because she believes in the organization and its mission: advancing the nursing profession and promoting a healthy Arizona. “I act on my beliefs,” she said. “If you don’t advocate for your profession, nobody else is going to do it for you.”

The fact that Bliss continues to work in the nursing field – at Yavapai Regional Medical Center -- is a full-time nursing educator at the associate-degree level, and lives and works outside of a metropolitan area, gives her a unique perspective as she takes the reins of the AzNA.

“I’m in a period of my life in which I have the opportunity to use my time and talent,” she said, noting that her family and her YC colleagues long have supported her professional and volunteer aims.

Among the AzNA’s ongoing objectives are granting full practice authority for advanced practice nurses, improving healthcare access and ensuring a skilled nursing workforce. Bliss wrote in her introductory letter for the AzNA newsletter that the topic of hospital nurse staffing levels has been a keen interest of hers over the years. She stated that as AzNA president she looks forward to fostering discussions about nurse staffing levels that would be “more healing for patients and more satisfying for nurses.”

Bliss, who teaches leadership and management to second-year YC nursing students, plans to continue her academic, professional and volunteer pursuits for the foreseeable future. In the volunteer arena, she envisions serving in a leadership role for the American Nursing Association, the umbrella organization for the AzNA. “I want to effect change in the nursing profession at the national level,” she said.

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