The Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA), representing 228,000 registered nurses (RNs) in Pennsylvania, announces the retirement of Chief Executive Officer Betsy M. Snook, MEd, BSN, RN effective December 17, 2021. During her 15-year leadership of PSNA and its supporting non-profit organization, the Nursing Foundation of Pennsylvania (NFP), Snook has worked to ensure that nurses and future nurses shape healthcare through professional advocacy, education, and networking.
Snook was hired by the association following roles as president of Med-Ed Consulting, chief nursing officer of Sunbury Community Hospital, and academic chair and instructor of the Allied Health Division of Central Pennsylvania College. The Bloomsburg University and Lycoming College graduate is also a dynamic speaker, serving as keynote for the Sigma Theta Tau International – Theta Zeta Chapter at Bloomsburg University, sitting as a health policy panelist for Villanova University, and speaking on behalf of the nursing profession at countless state and national events, visits with Pennsylvania state representatives, and health-related testimonials in front of various legislative committees.
Snook, in a letter announcing her retirement to PSNA and NFP Board and Trustee members, said “it has been both an honor and pleasure to serve the registered nurses of our Commonwealth,” as well as have had the opportunity to work with valuable staff, board members, and volunteers.
“Over the past 15 years, Betsy’s forward-thinking initiatives positioned the association to provide high-quality, timely resources and support for nurses in Pennsylvania,” states PSNA President Dr. Deb Cardenas, DNP, MSN, RN, Paralegal, CPHQ. “She has been a tireless advocate for nurses through state-level meetings with elected officials, an active voice in the media, and a reliable partner through national partnerships with the American Nurses Association. The PSNA Board of Directors and NFP Trustees sincerely thank Betsy for her dedication. Her visionary leadership will be missed.”
PSNA has named an executive search committee to find Snook’s successor.
During her service, Snook led PSNA and NFP in the following successes:
- Increased PSNA membership by 226%
- Released two national award-winning videos to promote the work of PSNA and the Code Blue Safe Staffing initiative and, most recently, a “Nurses in Crisis” video calling for urgent citizen action to reverse dramatic losses in nursing professionals due to unsafe working conditions, the COVID pandemic, and repeated natural disasters and emergencies
- Awarded over 150 education and research scholarships to nurses and nursing students
- Held two NFP Black & Gold Gala events, raising money to support nurses’ education
- Grew the NFP through established gifts, endowments, and scholarship programs
- Set the groundwork for the Pennsylvania Nurses Middle College to increase diversity within the nursing profession and establish a school-to-college-to-career pathway for high-school students
- Provided nurses with confidential virtual listening sessions with post-traumatic stress experts during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as distributed hundreds of 3D-printed face shields and PPE to nursing facilities and COVID units across the Commonwealth
- Led 24 specialty organizations in developing the PA Action Coalition to promote a healthy Pennsylvania through improvements in the quality, accessibility, and safety of nursing
- Celebrated PSNA’s 110-year anniversary, highlighting PSNA’s enduring role as the advocate and defender for hundreds of thousands of caregivers and their patients
- Created a Young Nurse Professional membership for new-to-practice RNs, with resources to support career advancement, networking opportunities, and leadership experiences
- Transitioned PSNA members to a digital app and social platform for real-time access to conversations, announcements, and connections
- Published position statements on workplace violence, human trafficking, nurse fatigue, and medical marijuana
- Provided important testimony in the legislature on topics like CRNA Scope of Practice, Ebola, medical marijuana, and conscious sedation
- Secured PSNA’s CE Center as an initial approved provider for education on the recognition of child abuse for mandated reporters and medical marijuana for prescriptive certification
- Successfully advocated for the passage of Mandatory Overtime, Nurse Title Protection, and the Nurse Licensure Compact
- Lobbied for safe staffing standards in Pennsylvania, most recently partnering with other healthcare organizations and state representatives to promote the 2021 Patient Safety Act
- Partnered with Governor Ed Rendell in the Prescription for PA bill, setting integrated practical strategies to increase access to healthcare, decrease the cost of insurance, and improve the quality of care
- Received ANCC accreditation for the PSNA Approver & Provider Units, illustrating the association’s recognition of high-quality continuing nursing education, inter-professional continuing education, transition to practice programs, and skills-based competency programs
- Earned PANO’s Standards for Excellence for NFP, which promotes the highest standards of ethics and accountability in non-profit governance, management, and operations
- Began the process of opening PSNA membership to LPNs to promote collaboration and mentorship opportunities
- Created the Star Leadership Institute to enhance leadership competencies, the role of leadership within complex health systems, and the value of inter-professional and interdisciplinary collaboration
- Developed the Legislative Ambassador Program, a grassroots advocacy network of nurses from across Pennsylvania who represent professional nursing’s voice in the Pennsylvania General Assembly
Again, the PSNA Board and NFP Trustees thank Betsy for her service and dedication to nurses, our members, our volunteers, and our staff.