1. Pirrung, Joan Marie MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC

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"Although the path to performance excellence varies from one high-performing organization to another, the architectures of each one's success are strikingly similar: purpose, vision, discipline, focus, commitment, measurable results, and a passion for improvement all appear consistently in their profiles" (Covey, 2011). The Society of Trauma Nurses (STN) has such architecture that is constantly assessed and adjusted to meet the members' needs and the needs of the trauma community at large. Every 3 years, the STN board reviews the mission and vision statements to ensure these ideals and principles are being met. From this evaluation, new goals with objectives are developed to set the stage for the next few years. The current board has been engaged in this assessment process and has either expanded upon or developed new goals with associated objectives. Before outlining the new STN strategic plan, I would like to briefly explain the difference between mission and vision statements, as well as strategic planning. Understanding what guides the strategic plan is vital to understanding STN as an organization and explains the motivating factors behind activities and initiatives throughout each year.

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A mission statement defines the purpose of your organization and is actionable (Covey, 2011; Fernandes, 2016). As you have read many times before, STN's mission "is to ensure optimal trauma care to all people globally through initiatives focused on trauma nurses related to prevention, education and collaboration with other healthcare disciplines. The Society of Trauma Nurses advocates for the highest level of quality trauma care across the continuum. We accomplish this through an environment that fosters visionary leadership, mentoring, innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration in the delivery of trauma care." STN's mission statement is present-based and explains why the organization exists. A vision statement explains where the organization is going and steers goal development to move the organization forward (Covey, 2011; Fernandes, 2016). STN's vision statement is "to be the premiere global nursing organization across the trauma continuum." STN's vision statement is inspirational and provides a picture to the future.


Successful mission and vision statements provide a sense of the future for the members of an organization, guide decision making and strategy formation, create a shared purpose, provide guidelines that determine behavior, and inspire emotion (Rigby, 2015). Upon recent assessment of STN's mission and vision statements, the board concluded that our organization exists for the same purpose with a vision that includes trauma nurses across the continuum of care and throughout the world. It is from here that we reviewed the entire strategic plan and refined, changed, or added goals and objectives. Strategic planning is a comprehensive process for determining what your organization should become and how we can best achieve the goals to meet the mission and vision (Rigby, 2015). Outlined in Table 1 is the new STN strategic plan that provides a systematic process to drive initiatives, projects, and collaborative efforts for the next few years while STN's mission and vision remain the same.

Table 1 - Click to enlarge in new windowTABLE 1 The Society of Trauma Nurses' Strategic Plan Finalized December 2016

High-performing organizations know the mission and vision statements, develop goals and objectives to uphold these established ideals, and monitor the progress of board and committee projects to ensure targets are being met. Covey (2011) noted that "boards of successful organizations follow a basic rule: plan the work, work the plan, measure what matters." Past board members of STN created the basis for the current mission and vision of your organization. Over the years, both statements have been slightly altered; however, the vision of being a global trauma nursing organization has held its ground. As the STN membership continues to grow, the board regularly evaluates the strategic plan to ensure that we are meeting the needs of all members along with opportunities for member engagement. It is clear to us that more engaged members increase the success of STN as the premiere global trauma nursing organization. It is our hope that we have developed a strategic plan to inspire your participation and defined an all-inclusive plan to meet the needs of all STN members.




Covey J. (2011). Board basics: A primer for nonprofit board members. Colorado Springs, CO: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. [Context Link]


Fernandes P. (2016). What is a vision statement? Business News Daily Contributor. Retrieved from http:// [Context Link]


Rigby D. K. (2015). Management tools 2015: An executive guide. Boston, MA: Bain & Company Inc. [Context Link]