1. Chinn, Peggy L. RN, PhD, FAAN

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Recently I moved into an old house that has been cared for and loved by its owners for over 150 years. Still, when I moved in, it needed some special touches of rehabilitation. Getting organized to prepare this issue of ANS (19:4) seemed appropriate to my surroundings-repair people coming in and out, folks splashing paint on walls while music filled the air and sent new vibrations through the old walls, and a list of new appointments to make for yet more repair people to show up another day. Every day and night I learn more about the old house's idiosyncrasies-a creak here, a squeak in the floor there, a door that shuts a bit oddly, windows that work part way, a draft that needs to be tracked down. But despite its quirks and oddities that have come with years of withstanding use and abuse, the old house has grown lovely and rich in character.


As the demographics of illness continue to change to reflect greater incidences of chronic illness, as well as greater possibilities for recovery from devastating injury, nurses have an increasingly important role to play in health and wellness care that focuses on rehabilitation and recovery. Just as my old house challenged my ingenuity, the creativity and ingenuity that nurse scholars can bring to this important aspect of nursing have yet to be stretched to their limit.


Nursing's fundamental philosophy is consistent with a view that would bring people to a new future in the aftermath of challenging, sometimes devastating life events. As the articles in this issue of ANS demonstrate, nurses work diligently to bring new life, new possibilities, new ways to approach challenges. Nurses facilitate the regaining of function, listening and reflecting on the meaning of experiences, exploring of the shifts in ability and what these mean, repairing what can be repaired and learning how to adjust what cannot be repaired. I have witnessed nurses rejoicing in the newly found abilities that come with great struggle and commitment as a new life story emerges out of adversity.


The knowledgebase that is emerging in the area of rehabilitation and recovery reinforces these idealistic philosophical commitments. The tragedies of life that call for rehabilitation and recovery call for this kind of idealism, for the real circumstances seem overwhelming. Hope and vision for a new future may be one of the greatest gifts that a nurse can bring to a person who faces a tragedy. The articles in this issues of ANS illustrate many possibilities for bringing idealistic vision to situations of despair and hopelessness. These authors bring to light a shift away from a mechanistic, "fix-it" approach to care, toward viewpoints and approaches to care that are rich with meaning and hope for a new life. It is my hope that these articles will inspire all of us to see new possibilities for practice and to begin to bring the best of the philosophies of rehabilitation into many aspects of nursing care.


Peggy L. Chinn, RN, PhD, FAAN