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

Article Content

As we move from a year of incredible leadership and nursing bravery to a new year, what will it bring? I hear over and over that leaders are exhausted from the crises of 2020, and I worry that we'll approach 2021 with a weary mind instead of the usual eagerness toward new goals and dreams. In the spirit of virtualization, let's "zoom" into the new year both actually and metaphorically.

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From the actual perspective, we've learned that Zoom, or whatever meeting platform you're using, isn't so bad. I was one of the recalcitrant folks who waited to embrace virtual meetings in the hope that in-person gatherings would start again soon. Was I wrong! It turns out that there are positives to these platforms-more people can attend than in days of old; video is so much better than audio conference calls; and interaction works using polls, the chat stream, and breakout rooms. This is true whether it's a leadership meeting, shared governance council, 1:1, or even professional conferences. Contests on the coolest background add some spice. And "you're on mute" is our new most-used phrase.


Seven years ago, I wrote my first editorial entitled "Pushing the Envelope" for the January 2014 issue. Maybe you remember it. It seems like a lifetime ago. The focus was on how inspiration, motivation, vigor, and strength kept us and our teams fueled to strive, and push, for continuous growth and momentum. The thrill of that energy made me reflect on how different we start this year. We must combat weariness to prevent dire consequences in our profession, which includes nurses leaving their jobs to find other "easier" opportunities, as well as potential detriments to our ability to provide patient care.


How to do that? Besides the obvious of addressing our mental health and well-being, having purpose comes to mind quickly, and that could be different for all of us. I may find purpose in mentoring others, whereas you may find it in fighting for the staffing budget, others may stay driven by keeping nursing-sensitive quality indicators at zero, and someone else may find joy in leading community health initiatives. It's all good! When you're feeling weary, find something that you still love doing and enjoy being mindful of the happiness and meaning it brings you.


Kevin Sowers, a nurse and president of Johns Hopkins Health, recently presented an inspiring keynote for the American Academy of Nursing's Annual Policy Conference (virtual of course). Talk about joy. He made the case for living our professional and personal lives with purpose, including our own personal accountability for our actions toward that purpose, in a way that made the global audience literally stand and applaud from their desktops. He reminded us that it takes courage and "anything is possible" when we share a common purpose. That makes pushing the envelope possible, too.


We need nurse leadership more than ever from the actual bedside to the now virtual boardroom. Zooming in on 2021, we have a lot of work to do this year. Our local work environments are disrupted and need us. Looking at the bigger picture, we know nursing will be addressing policy issues on health inequities, public health, scope of practice, wellness, workforce, and more. Nursing and nurse leaders are the backbone of healthcare in 2021 and beyond.



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