1. Spear, Marcia DNP, ACNP-BC, CWS, CPSN, CANS

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What we spend, we lose. What we keep will be left for others. What we give away will be ours forever. - David McGee

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The American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses (ASPSN) created the Plastic Surgical Nursing Foundation (PSNF) at the 41st annual convention in Boston. The establishment of the PSNF at the 41st Annual Convention marked a professional milestone for the ASPSN. Establishing the Foundation provides a funding method for charitable activities, professional education, and research for our members, affiliated corporations, and the overall community of the ASPSN. The vision of the Foundation is to foster growth and development of nurses dedicated to the specialty of plastic surgical nurses through education and research funded by donations from individuals, corporations, and health care providers. Establishment of the PSNF signifies a commitment to our members and our constituents through the creation of a financial entity that allows members to develop a proud legacy and "pay it forward." This permanent endowment, entrusted to the Foundation, complements and supports the work of the ASPSN and other health care professionals in the care of plastic surgical patients. With funding efforts permanently established, the ASPSN and its members are in a better position to provide benefit to individuals and corporations, as philanthropy is encouraged throughout the plastic surgical nursing community. Many small donations paired with larger donations and grants can make a very powerful funding source. This funding vehicle provides a service for donors with varied interests and at various levels of giving.



The PSNF was created and operated by the ASPSN to oversee research and education. The purpose of the PSNF is to raise and disseminate funding for educational and research activities related to plastic surgical nursing to further advance the care of our patients. The PSNF is committed to being the leader in overseeing research and education in plastic surgical nursing. The PSNF shall have five board members and collectively they will be called the Board of Trustees. The ASPSN Board of Directors have appointed Past Presidents Sue Kunz, RN, CPSN, Barby Weber, RN, CPSN, and LuAnn Buchholz, RN, CPSN (R), as the current Board of Trustees to facilitate the organizational processes and groundwork with the assistance of PRRI staff. The Board of Trustees will promote philanthropy and oversee, organize, and maintain the integrity of scholarship and research grant monies entrusted to the Foundation in order to carry out the vision and mission.



The PSNF endeavors to support the philosophy and purposes of the PSNF through the following objectives:


* To promote excellence in plastic surgical nursing through increased educational opportunities.


* To provide scholarships to plastic surgical nurses (should they be members of the ASPSN) in order to pursue advanced degrees and enhance their profession.


* Secure resources to enable plastic surgical nurses to improve care to their patients and the public with grants and scholarships.



Pay it forward is an expression that describes the beneficiary of a good deed repaying it to others instead of to the original benefactor. This is not a new concept. The ASPSN has for the past several years selected an organization or charity to honor during our National Convention with charitable events and donations in order to "pay it forward." The phrase has been found to date back to 317 BC when a prizewinning play called Dyskolos in Athens in 317 BC was recovered and republished in 1957. Benjamin Franklin rediscovered the concept as well as Ralph Waldo Emmerson. It is believed that Lily Hardy Hammond coined the phrase in 1916 that is used today when she wrote, "You don't pay love back; you pay it forward" (Hammond, 1916, p. 209). Another example of the phrase was when Woody Hayes, a successful football coach from Ohio State University in the 1970s and 80s, actually misquoted Emerson as having said, "You can never pay back; but you can always pay forward." The movement has ignited passion for many causes and is being used by many organizations and charitable causes. The PSNF is adopting this concept and urging members to pay it forward. The PSNF will be the recognized charity by the ASPSN at our National Convention 2016. Many organizations depend on private contributions in the form of monetary gifts, volunteer efforts, or other tangible donations. The PSNF will not be any different. Philanthropy will be encouraged among our membership, and a culture of giving will be encouraged.


The PSNF will offer a venue for charitable donations to promote education and research that have not been previously available or encouraged. What makes individuals want to give? I remember hearing all too often while growing up, "It is more blessed to give than receive." It is not what one gives or how much one gives that can change a life and "pay it forward." Success in life is more than wealth but is more about the conscious legacy you leave behind including your professional community. Many donors want to know that the things they care about will be supported long after they retire and are gone and may be the only motivation necessary for giving. A donation to the foundation will make sure the gift will do good work, now and in the future, in promoting nursing education and research to enhance the specialty of plastic surgical nursing. Giving to a greater purpose gives life purpose and meaning. It can give one that warm fuzzy feeling that is never a bad thing. One can find peace by selflessly giving to make the world a better place.


Feelings of happiness and life satisfaction have been strongly associated with active participation in social and community life. The act of donating or doing voluntary or charitable work has a positive effect on the giver's health (Vaccaro, 2014). Personal and professional benefits will surely abound those who give a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation. As our "pay it forward" charity for 2016, I encourage each of us to give at least a monetary gift or greater for a very generous and prosperous first year for our Foundation. Again, the old phrase "what goes around, comes around" has to be true. Giving is an investment in the future of plastic surgical nursing and will surely enhance its as well as your individual professional and personal growth as we pay it forward.


Respectfully submitted,




President, ASPSN




Hammond L. (1916). In the garden of delight. New York: Thomas Y Crowell & Co. [Context Link]


Vaccaro A. (2014). The potential health benefits of philanthropy. Soins, 791, 35-36. [Context Link]