1. Fitzpatrick, Melissa A. RN, MSN, FAAN, Editor-in-Chief

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...we unify as a profession and speak with one collective voice on issues that affect our education requirements, competencies, and future. Let's raise the bar and establish the baccalaureate degree as the unequivocal entry level for professional nurses. Advanced education will help us keep pace with ever-increasing patient and family needs.


For each of my 25 years in nursing, I've wondered if we'd solve the age-old entry-level conundrum. Doing so requires that many individuals put self-interest aside and look for a solution that best serves nurses and patients in the long run. As 2003 begins, I'm optimistic that this is the year we'll finally put this issue to rest.


...we celebrate full funding of the Nurse Reinvestment Act (NRA). This Act will help us advance numerous initiatives aimed at the effective recruitment and retention of professional nurses. Continue to communicate with your legislators to ensure that they appropriate funds to make the NRA a reality in 2003.


...we see the number of Magnet hospitals double! Magnet status reflects an organizational commitment to nursing excellence, adequate staffing, exceptional leadership, and care environments in which nurses and patients thrive. Magnet hospital leaders highly satisfy nurses and initiate extremely successful recruitment and retention efforts. Let's see 100 hospitals with Magnet status by the end of 2003!


...we stop giving mere lip service to "zero tolerance" for negative nurse/physician relations. This element remains a significant source of dissatisfaction to nurses and a common denominator in organizations with high nursing turnover. Let's end this once and for all in 2003.


...we project a professional image of nursing to the media and in every personal encounter with family, neighbors, and especially, children. Nurses immeasurably influence the impressions of others. When we reflect a positive and professional image of nursing, it leaves a lasting and favorable mark on those who receive our care and on those who may consider nursing as a career choice.


Look out!

If each of these actions happens in 2003, we'll witness a series of events that catapults nursing to its rightful place at the helm of leadership in the health care industry. After all, we remain the only professionals with patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Let's rise to the challenges at hand and resolve these long-standing issues that have held us back for far too long. In 2003, we'll exude the confidence, competence, and compassion that have always been, and will continue to be, the hallmarks of our profession. Happy New Year!



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