REFLECTIONS: TCNS Membership by Rachel E. Spector, PhD, RN. CTN-A, FAAN

Rachel E. Spector, Ph.D., RN. CTN-A, FAAN

"Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country" President John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961

In 1975 I developed a course, "Culture and Health Care", in the Boston College School of Nursing. I was very much alone as there was no one in my immediate geographic/academic area teaching such a course and there was limited awareness as to the necessity of such a course in a school of nursing. However, a few years later, I learned of Dr. Madeline Leininger, the classes she taught and the doctoral program in the University of Utah; and the Transcultural Nursing Society, which she began with graduates of the program. In 1979 I joined this association, not really knowing what I was going to discover.

As I now reflect on nearly 45 years of TCNS membership, I can phrase Kennedy's comment this way: "Ask not what the Transcultural Nursing Society can do for you – ask what you can do for the society." I must say that I have gotten much more than I have given, but let's explore both sides of this statement.

Given – served on the Board as treasurer and also as president. Served on many committees, most recently the Mentor and Course Development committees and the Scholar Nominations committee.

Taken – In many ways I believe I am who I am professionally because of the TCNS. In this organization I found situations and opportunities I could never imagine:

Peers who shared my passion for -

conducting research into culture bound health beliefs and practices
creating methods for teaching diverse health beliefs and practices
developing pathways to success for students from diverse cultural heritages
finding ways to combat the chaotic social situations we presently find ourselves in
Enduring FRIENDSHIPS with people from all over the world
Travel – Many places in the USA I had never been to and many European countries

And so much more.

I write this primarily for new members to share with you a picture of opportunity, adventure, and excitement that is Transcultural Nursing. Go forward – develop your skills in TCN, make your voice heard with independent contributions in research articles and presentations, be open to the unknown and never be afraid. You will embrace and relish every aspect of Transcultural Nursing!