Bold Voices - December 2017 - 22
FROM THE PRESIDENT
22 Our greatest freedom
is the freedom to
choose our attitude.
he winter solstice - Dec. 21 - will soon be upon us. In the Paciﬁc Northwest,
many dread winter's darkest day because it rains. A lot. It's cold, and on the neverending overcast days, the streetlights come on at 3:45 in the afternoon. Folks are
thankful for the pleasant distractions and excitement of the holidays because otherwise we might just curl up and hide under a blanket, much like a bear in a cave, and
refuse to come out until spring!
Having lived in this area for most of my life, I've learned that it is useful to have a different perspective
on this (or, as we say at the AACN Board of Directors' table, "a divergent view"). I believe that Dec. 21 is a
day to celebrate.
From this point forward until the summer solstice, the days get longer; we steadily move toward
lighter, warmer days and the outdoor adventures that come with them. My energy level and demeanor
deﬁnitely improve when I view the solstice through this different lens.
Considering different perspectives is an important skill - and absolutely essential when ways of being
and doing are evolving. In our world of nursing, for example, there is justiﬁable concern about impending
shifts in the nursing workforce.
Nearly 700,000 RNs/APRNs are projected
to retire or leave the labor force soon, resulting
in an alleged "brain drain," because they'll take
their collective wisdom, clinical skills and leadership experience with them. To further complicate things,
serious challenges face people who are just now entering - or hope to enter - the nursing community.
Nursing school enrollment capacities are projected to fall far short of anticipated demands for nurses for
a variety of reasons. The exodus from the bedside is sometimes prompted by heavy workloads, challenging
work environments and the push for nurses to quickly return to school to pursue advanced degrees. This
"churn" - the accelerated rate of relatively new nurses leaving the bedside - deeply concerns academics
and employers. It also profoundly disappoints experienced nurses remaining at the bedside.
Given that we all have the power to change our perspective, I propose that instead of lamenting this
impending and oddly named brain drain, that we view this transition as a brain gain. This shift in
perspective then leads me to wonder, how can we make the most of the gifts these new careerists bring in
the short time that we may have them?
Enthused newcomers to nursing are often quick learners who are adept at technology and social
media. Excited about their chosen ﬁeld, they strive to do meaningful work.
It's refreshing that new nurses aren't afraid to challenge the status quo to make things work better. I welcome
these strong backs, resilient feet, sharp eyes and energetic intellects that power them through their days.
Two shifts in perspective might help us navigate the reality of the churn. First, the ability of young
nurses to learn quickly could mean orientation processes might be expedited without jeopardizing patient
care. Second, we can accept that departure for other career opportunities is often a reality, but we can also
hold ourselves accountable for building fantastic work environments and professional relationships that
could inﬂuence them to stay longer than planned.
When colleagues do move on, perhaps they would enthusiastically and affectionately claim that their
ﬁrst experience as a nurse was the best ever! and encourage others to seek jobs in that particular unit.
WHY is shifting perspective important? It's an effective and innovative way to explore how nursing
can adapt to meet our evolving needs. It's also an energizing way to light the path from our current reality
toward our preferred future.
Please share with me your fresh perspectives on WHY and how we can support our newest nursing
colleagues at GuidedByWhy@aacn.org.
1. Grant R. The US is running out of nurses. The Atlantic, February 3, 2016. Accessed May 2017.
2. Department of Health & Human Services. 2013. The US Nursing Workforce: Trends in Supply and Education. Bureau of Health Professionals.
National Center for Health Workforce Analysis. Accessed May 2017.
3. Flinkman M, Isopahkala-Bouret U, Salantera S. Young registered nurses' intention to leave the profession and professional turnover in early
career; a qualitative case study. ISRN Nurs. 2013:1-12.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Bold Voices - December 2017
Pres Note Front Teaser
AACN Updates Scope and Standards for Acute Care Nurse Practitioners
NTI 2018: Make Your Case for Attending and Register by December
Certification Holiday Reflections
Certified Nurses Day 2018
The Spirit of Giving: One Certified Nurse’s Contributions
Improving Joy in Work
Invest in Yourself With an AACN Scholarship
Disinfectant Use Associated With COPD in Nurses
The Joint Commission Revises NPSG 7 Requirements
Guidelines: Noninvasive Ventilation for Acute Respiratory Failure
High-Risk Vascular Surgeries and Postoperative Myocardial Infarction
FDA Clears MRI System for Premature Babies
New Assay Can Distinguish Bacterial From Viral Infections
Missions of Mercy
How Hospitals Can Save Without Sacrificing Care
DNA Cancer Screening Shows Potential
Smartphone App May Help Screen for Pancreatic Cancer
Cardiologist-Intensivist Model Improves Outcomes
Social Media: Legal and Ethical Issues
Unused Opioids May Pose Health Hazard
AACN’s Facebook Community Weighs In
Conscientious ‘Nudges’ Can Help Patients and Families
Helping ICU Patients With Spiritual Needs
In Our Journals
Bold Voices - December 2017 - Cover1
Bold Voices - December 2017 - Cover2
Bold Voices - December 2017 - Pres Note Front Teaser
Bold Voices - December 2017 - Masthead
Bold Voices - December 2017 - NTI 2018: Make Your Case for Attending and Register by December
Bold Voices - December 2017 - Certified Nurses Day 2018
Bold Voices - December 2017 - The Spirit of Giving: One Certified Nurse’s Contributions
Bold Voices - December 2017 - Invest in Yourself With an AACN Scholarship
Bold Voices - December 2017 - The Joint Commission Revises NPSG 7 Requirements
Bold Voices - December 2017 - High-Risk Vascular Surgeries and Postoperative Myocardial Infarction
Bold Voices - December 2017 - New Assay Can Distinguish Bacterial From Viral Infections
Bold Voices - December 2017 - 12
Bold Voices - December 2017 - 13
Bold Voices - December 2017 - How Hospitals Can Save Without Sacrificing Care
Bold Voices - December 2017 - Smartphone App May Help Screen for Pancreatic Cancer
Bold Voices - December 2017 - Social Media: Legal and Ethical Issues
Bold Voices - December 2017 - Unused Opioids May Pose Health Hazard
Bold Voices - December 2017 - 18
Bold Voices - December 2017 - 19
Bold Voices - December 2017 - Transitions
Bold Voices - December 2017 - 21
Bold Voices - December 2017 - President’s Note
Bold Voices - December 2017 - Cover3
Bold Voices - December 2017 - Cover4