1. Section Editor(s): Raso, Rosanne MS, RN, NEA-BC

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Did you know that Argentina has an official government position called the Secretary for Strategic Coordination of National Thought? The concept behind the position is to build networks among academics and intellectuals. You're probably considering this as yet another example of typical governmental excess, and there's plenty of Argentinians who feel the same. But how does this job title relate to nursing leadership? After listening to and interacting with amazing nurse leaders, one can't help but be awestruck by the depth of national nursing thought and action. We have so much to be proud of in nursing that using the position of Strategic Coordinator of Nursing Thought as a metaphor seems appropriate.

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You've no doubt heard the term "thought leader." Of course, you instinctively reflect on past and present national nurse leaders in scholarship, service, research, policy, academia, government, practice, and more. Such brilliance and passion! They're our exemplars, our role models, and our sources of inspiration. To think that there are people who still believe nurses only pass pills and bedpans, and nothing more... We must do a better job of marketing our talent and we must believe in ourselves in the same light-you don't have to be a renowned trailblazer to be a thought leader.


Have you been passionate about a practice approach or a management process, or even a question needing an answer? What about an innovative idea from your staff or yourself? Have you learned everything about it, convinced your colleagues and staff of the right thing to do, shepherded the change, and presented it to a wider audience? Do your colleagues come to you for your wisdom on the topic? Then YOU are a thought leader, an expert by definition, and probably a transformational leader as well. You don't have to have an audience with the President to be in a celebrated group of thinkers.


There's tremendous value in humility, as we've talked about before; however, this month we focus on the beauty of boldness and expertise actively shared with our community, which can be life-changing and certainly work-changing. It's the world of making a difference at a bigger level than an individual one. If you're a nurse leader, you've entered this territory. Be proud and find your niche for greatness. You owe it to yourself and our profession.


Recognize the excellence around you and build your own network. This can even take the form of a virtual network from reading and following blogs. Thought leaders are a critical part of what impacts us. Just a random review of the work of the latest American Academy of Nursing fellowship inductees reveals a plethora of greatness: biological and clinical research, multimillion dollar grants, advancing the health of underserved and at-risk populations, prolific publications, promotion of advanced practice utilization at the top of one's license, and clinical translation of research into practice. Awesome leadership!


Nursing is so broad and impactful that the Strategic Coordinator of Nursing Thought would be quite busy. What are you doing to create your legacy? The potential for thought leadership extends to everyone. Try this for a New Year's resolution: Be proud and make a difference.



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