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

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I came across notes to a speech I delivered a few years ago to a group of nursing mentors, preceptors, and educators. My inspiration came from an album by The 5th Dimension (circa 1969) buried in my closet entitled "The Age of Aquarius." The title song speaks of peace, love, understanding, and living in harmony. How do these lyrics relate to nursing? Stay with me here: Think for a moment about the nurses who helped shape your career-the ones who truly made an impact on you.

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First, I'm sure you recall the nurses who nurtured you when you were a new graduate or as you went through a career transition. These special people educated you, coached you, and helped you achieve your personal best.


And then there were the bullies who provided a living example of how not to behave-the ones who were insensitive and highly critical to the point of cruelty. They took pleasure in tearing you down as a way to build themselves up.


Being a catalyst for positive change takes courage and strength of character to confront the intimidators and critics who erode efforts to create a workplace environment that nurtures us, feeds our spirit, raises our self-esteem, and promotes a culture of safety and clinical excellence.


No doubt intelligence and skill are critical for success in nursing, but these qualities alone aren't enough anymore. Excellent core values that help us work well together and in interdisciplinary teams are essential. Nurse leaders must actively address destructive behaviors and mentor staff to develop kinder, gentler, but far more effective approaches to educating and supporting new and seasoned colleagues. These are tough discussions, especially when individuals who are exceptionally talented clinically act as professional saboteurs. Over the long term, these nurses sabotage their own careers because people remember their caustic manner.


We spend so much time at work. We each have the power to make our relationships highly functional and supportive.


Although astronomers don't agree on when the Age of Aquarius will start (or if it's already begun), there's no time like the present to be the catalyst for peace, love, understanding, and living in harmony. Our planet and our profession need it more than ever to assure our survival!


Until next time,


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

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Editor-in-Chief, Nursing2015 Vice President: Emergency & Trauma Services Christiana Care Health System, Wilmington, Del.