1) ADVOCATE. Value what you do. Never miss an opportunity to educate or articulate the value nurses bring to the health care team—to the public, a patient or our health care colleagues. If you don’t value what you do, no one else will.
2) LEAD. Be professionally engaged. Read, discuss, and compare notes and knowledge in your workspace, in your facility, and on the local or national level. Understand the issues our profession is facing: the implications of the Affordable Care Act; changes in clinical practice; concerns of license portability; the education level for entry-level practice; online programs; and Doctorate of Nursing Practice as the entry-level for advanced practice. Do you belong to a professional organization? Get involved in groups that will help you better understand the profession, its successes and its challenges.
3) CARE. Find a mentor; be a mentor. It is a powerful relationship. RNs, reach out today to a student or junior nurse and offer to be there to guide them. To the younger nurses, keep us on our toes by challenging us professionally. We are counting on you to keep us moving forward as a profession. Collectively, we are a force to be reckoned with. We all have the privilege and responsibility of growing America’s next generation of nurses.
To the nearly three million licensed registered nurses in America, thank you for the contributions that you make in advocating, leading and caring to provide safe, quality health care. Happy National Nurses Week.