1. Section Editor(s): Laskowski-Jones, Linda MS, RN, ACNS-BC, CEN, FAWM

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If I had to name one attribute that can help nurses survive and thrive personally and professionally, it would be resilience. The dictionary defines resilience as "an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change." Equally important, in my view, is being resilient-"capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation or rupture."1 Opposite characteristics include the antonyms inelastic, rigid, and stiff. It's a pretty safe bet that you can easily envision where you and those you know typically place in this spectrum.

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We're in an era of rapid change due to multiple, complex, and often interconnected forces from healthcare reform, technology, the economy, government regulation, safety standards, and the continuing advancement of our own profession, just to name a few. The pace of this change is fast and furious-it shifts us from the known and comfortable into a state that's unknown and uncertain. How well we respond links back to the quality of resilience.


Only a few of us find exhilaration in riding the leading edge of change because it breaks routine and offers new potential. Most people approach change with varying degrees of anxiety and trepidation while attempting to discover how it will impact them before jumping completely on board.


Then there are the cave dwellers-the people who are consistently against virtually everything. I'm sure you know some of them. Enough said.


So how do you build resilience? Start with an open mind about change. Tamp down any instant urges to be negative. Yes, there are always pros and cons-it's helpful to actually list them on paper to see both sides of situations with balance and objectivity. Grace, tact, and diplomacy also work wonders in influencing people engaged in the change process to want to work with you to make things better. Think of ways you might turn the "con" into a "pro" for yourself. That could take some thinking-out-of-the-box creativity, but it's well worth the effort.


I hope that you can carve out some "you" time this busy holiday season to relax, rejuvenate, and ponder the challenges of the New Year ahead. Consider strengthening your resilience as a gift you give to yourself!


Until next time-


Linda Laskowski-Jones, MS, RN, ACNS-BC, CEN, FAWM

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Editor-in-Chief, Nursing2013 Vice President: Emergency & Trauma Services Christiana Care Health System, Wilmington, Del.




1. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. 2013. [Context Link]