1. Miracle, Vickie A. RN, EdD, CCRN, CCNS, CCRC, Editor, DCCN

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By the time you read this, we will be in the midst of the holiday season. Isn't it amazing how time flies, especially as we get older? Many times it feels like I only recently became a nurse but-I've been a nurse for 28 years. Where has the time gone?


Enough moaning about my lost youth. As we take time to enjoy (and I do mean enjoy) the season, remember to take some time for yourself. I know all of us have parties to give, parties to attend, decorations to hang, religious services to attend, shopping to complete, cards to mail, or gifts to wrap (and I've no doubt left a few items off this list, but you get the meaning).


I would like you to do one more thing. Remember, this is the season of caring, so I want each of you to make a list (in your mind or on paper) of events this past year for which you are thankful. Once you start the list, you may find it hard to stop. The list can include acts you did as a nurse or as an adult outside of the workplace. Then make a list of things you would like to do in 2004. I will get you started.


Things I am grateful for in 2003:


1. My daughter, who graduated from the University of Kentucky.


2. My family, because they are my rock.


3. My many friends, who have remained with me through thick and thin.


4. Healthcare providers, who genuinely care for their patients. (I fell earlier this year and broke my left hand and wrist in four places and I am still in recovery, so I interact with many healthcare providers. I am glad they are there.)


5. Teaching research to nursing students. I like to see eager and intelligent people enter the nursing profession. I try to make them realize research is important and that it can help them provide better patient care.


6. Being there for my neighbor when her mother was extremely ill.


7. Being able to serve as a mentor for students and those thinking about becoming a nurse.


8. My faith.


9. The gentleman who asked me what I did for a living. He smiled when I told him I was a nurse, and said that nursing was a great and noble profession that he admired.


10. Our troops, who so bravely protect what we hold sacred.



Things I would like to accomplish in 2004:


1. Take care of my family.


2. Take care of myself.


3. Do more volunteer work.


4. Take a cruise with my family to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary.


5. Become a better teacher.


6. Be a role model for other nurses and those thinking about becoming a nurse.


7. Be more positive about the future.


8. See more of our troops come home to their families.


9. Attend at least one national meeting. This is a wonderful cure for burnout and the opportunity to network with colleagues.


10. Become more active politically concerning issues that involve nursing, such as seat belt laws, helmet laws for motorcycles, helmet laws for extreme sports, anti-smoking bills, and making prescriptive medicines more affordable.


11. Remain free of injuries and fractures. I have already had plenty.


12. Be less of a klutz.



In 2004 be kind to yourself and others. Too often, nurses are so busy taking care of others that we forget about ourselves. Go out and buy yourself a gift. Encourage young people to become nurses. Remember, we will need them as we get older. Make a commitment to be good to yourself in 2004.


I hope each of you have a happy, safe, healthy holiday season and 2004. Also, I would like to thank the many readers who have sent me get-well wishes following my injury. I treasure each and every one of them.