1. Section Editor(s): Newland, Jamesetta PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FAANP, FNAP

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"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."

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-Edith Lovejoy Pierce


This is a favorite quotation often cited to usher in the New Year. I always like to learn something about an author that may provide context to their words, but I was unable to find any confirmed information about Ms. Pierce. I only know that she was an English poet (possibly named after a British nurse). I am challenging everyone to seize the opportunity of a new year, and begin chapter one of your personal and professional journey. Be bold, and "write" your own book in 2013.


Opportunities abound for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to take a more defining role in establishing new models of healthcare to meet the needs of people in the United States. If predictions are accurate, the surge in newly insured individuals within the next few years will fracture our current healthcare system, secondary to the inherent deficiencies in workforce capacity. Opportunity! Start writing!


The future of nursing

It is important for NPs to reflect on the key messages and recommendations from the 2010 Institute of Medicine's report, TheFuture of Nursing. Efforts have been underway, especially at the state level, to implement change. One key message in the report states that, "Nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other health care professionals, in redesigning health care in the United States." The report also encourages stakeholders to, "Prepare and enable nurses to lead change to advance health." Leadership training for nurses at all levels must be expanded in nursing schools and in the workplace to provide the necessary skills to function more effectively in different settings, on interprofessional teams, and with diverse populations.


We can all recall nurses-past and present-who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership. They are few, however, considering the fact that there are over 3 million nurses in the United States. The call now is for all nurses to acquire leadership competencies regardless of their level of education. APRNs are especially called to become leaders in providing primary care to the community. Opportunity! Start writing!


Nurses as decision makers

The country just had a presidential election. Other public officials at every level were also elected. Decisions are made daily in public, private, and governmental agencies that affect the wellness of the nation and the nursing profession. Nurses need to be sitting at the tables with decision makers, and decision makers should make every effort to ensure a spot at each table for a nurse leader. According to the American Nurses Association, there are seven nurses in the U.S. 112th Congress, all in the House of Representatives. This is leadership in policy making at a very high level, but even a local town board would be enriched by the perspective and expertise of a nursing leader. Opportunity! Start writing!


Write your own book

Books can become outdated very quickly, or they can remain timeless treasures with words that never lose their relevance. The APRN role has evolved over time and is still adapting to meet the needs of the populations we serve. We have been innovative in developing healthcare delivery models that work. Changes to the healthcare delivery system are inevitable, and APRNs are preparing for change through education, training, and creating more options for tomorrow's leaders-not just for nursing, but for the entire healthcare industry. A new year is almost here. Opportunity! Start writing!


Jamesetta Newland, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FAANP, FNAP

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