An honor to run with Her Honor

By Roger Watson | 10/25/2016

RNL blogger runs in Washington, D.C., and clocks best time for his age category.

Roger WatsonRONALD REAGAN AIRPORT, Arlington, Virginia, USA—Between my previous entry—from Italy—and this one, which follows my visit to Washington, D.C., I had two days in the UK, one day at home and then a day in London at “the mother of parliaments” to attend the launch of Triple Impact, the outcome of the report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health (APPG) on nursing’s contribution to global health. I was invited as one of those who provided evidence to the APPG.
 
The report was presented by Lord Crisp and others also spoke, including Janet Davies, RN, FRCN, chief executive officer of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and Frances Hughes, DNurs, RN, ONZM, chief executive officer of the International Council of Nursing (ICN). I thought it ironic that they were united here given RCN’s decision to quit the ICN several years ago, a move I consider very nearsighted. Following the meeting and before taking the train home, I had a very special treat when I was taken for drinks to The Athenaeum, the most prestigious club in London, by member Anne Marie Rafferty, CBE, PhD, FAAN.
 
Washington, D.C.
Next day, I returned to London with my wife to stay overnight before flying to New York and then on to Reagan National Airport in Arlington, the nearest airport to Washington, D.C. I avoid Washington Dulles International Airport, which, despite the Washington tag could be situated (in my humble opinion) a lot closer to Washington.
 
Loredana SassoWe were in D.C. for the American Academy of Nursing’s (AAN) 2016 Transforming Health, Driving Policy Conference and induction ceremony for new fellows of the academy. Together with Mark Hayter, PhD, RN, FAAN, I sponsored the first Italian to be inducted, Loredana Sasso, MSN, RN, FAAN. We had a thoroughly good time, and I showed my wife the sights of Washington, from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial. We took in a few museums, the White House, and the Vietnam War memorial. We also visited Arlington Cemetery, my first time there.
 
At the AAN conference, I had the most wonderful time running into old friends and making new ones. Old friends included: Frank Shaffer, EdD, RN, FAAN, chief executive officer of CFGNS; Afaf Meleis, PhD, RN, FAAN, former dean of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania; Rita Pickler, PhD, RN, FAAN, nurse scientist at The Ohio State University and one of my fellow Journal of Advanced Nursing editors; Jean Watson, PhD, RN, FAAN, nurse theorist and Distinguished Professor of Nursing from the University of Colorado; Cathy Catrambone, PhD, RN, FAAN, president of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International; and Susan Gennaro, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean and professor at Boston College’s William F. Connell School of Nursing and editor of Journal of Nursing Scholarship.
 
Three old friends were inducted into the American Academy of Nursing: Dawn Downing, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor of nursing, Columbia University, New York, and long-standing colleague formerly in the UK; Ying Wu, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of nursing at Peking Capital Medical University, Beijing, China; and Esra Al Khasawneh, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of nursing at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman. One new friend I was delighted to meet was Sean Clarke, PhD, RN, FAAN, associate dean of nursing at Boston College.
 
American Academy of Nursing conference photoThe induction ceremony was a triumph, and Mrs. Watson and I sat with a delegation of 14 Italians who were there to support Professor Sasso. The Italians were great company. One of the “upsides” for me was that my wife had a large selection of handsome tuxedoed Italian men with whom to dance while I got on with the serious business of running quality-assurance tests on a bottle of Yeungling beer, made by the oldest brewery in the United States.
 
Running in D.C., but not for office
Naturally, Mrs. Watson and I took our running shoes with us, and we had a very pleasant run around Crystal City. The running triumph was finding a local ParkRun and working out how to get there. ParkRun started in the United Kingdom but has spread across the world. There are three in D.C., and the ambition is to start one in each ward of the city. We chose an amazing event to attend as Muriel Bowser, mayor of Washington, D.C., joined us on the morning of the run as a way to promote her campaign of fitness in the city. I met Her Honor, shook her hand, and spoke to her. She ran the 5k course with us. I was very pleased to do a time of 22:34, coming in 14th out of 98 runners and first in my age category. Mrs. Watson came in first in her age category, too. I don’t think I can top that for this entry, so I’ll end there.
 
John Adams
As I was finalising this entry and on the verge of submitting it for posting, I received news that a great friend and scholar, John Adams, PhD, RN, formerly of Homerton College, University of Cambridge, had just died. John was a mental health nurse and historian and one of the most entertaining public speakers I have had the privilege to know. In retirement, he had taken to writing obituaries of our departed colleagues, and I joked with him recently—while he was in poor health—that he would live long enough to write mine. Dear John, requiescat in pace.
 
Roger Watson, PhD, RN, FRCP Edin, FRCN, FAAN, professor of nursing at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom and a frequent visitor to Australia and China, where he has visiting positions, is editor-in-chief of Journal of Advanced Nursing and editor of Nursing Open.
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