1. Wright, Kathleen MSN, RN, C, CWOCN

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Pivotal Moments in Nursing: Leaders Who Changed the Path of the Profession


By Beth Houser and Kathy Player. Indianapolis, Ind: Sigma Theta Tau, 2004. ISBN 1-930538-11-1. 286.pages.


Have you ever wondered what impact your nursing practice might make on the future of the profession?


On your peers or preceptees? On the patients and families whom you touch every day? Do you want to strengthen your leadership skills and function more effectively as a "player" at the healthcare table?


The authors of this text, both registered nurses with postbaccalaureate degrees, envisioned a document that would inspire and encourage nurses to "take the lead," by providing personal reflections and insights of 12 individual nursing leaders. These leaders transformed their personal values and beliefs into professional influences that sparked creativity and renewal in the individuals, communities, and organizations whom they touched!! The readers come away with a sense of professional renewal, and inspiration to develop their own personal leadership skills!!


Each chapter is dedicated to an individual who has impacted the nursing profession. Chapter 1 tells the story of Loretta Ford, who pioneered the development of the nurse practitioner role in the mid-1960s. As the advanced practice roles in nursing continue to evolve, her pearls of wisdom, such as "Get to the table and be a player or someone who does not understand nursing will do that for you," still hold true today. Chapter 2 is dedicated to Shirley Sears Chater, the first woman nurse commissioner of the United States Social Security Administration. She discusses the career/home life balance in 2 ways: "either/or," where you choose between the professional pathway and that of a wife and mother, or "both/and," where you can enjoy a family life while being a professional. As Shirley notes, "while it was not always easy, the support services I established and the friendship of my colleagues made it possible." What a role model for those of us who want that "both/and" choice to "have it all"!!


Other nursing leaders highlighted in subsequent chapters include Joyce Clifford, Luther Christman, Vernice Ferguson, Ada Sue Hinshaw, Faye Glenn Abdellah, Sue Karen Donaldson, Margretta Madden Styles, Rheba de Tornay, Claire Fagin, and Linda Aiken. The text also has 3 appendices, the first of which provides introspective questions for the reader to ponder about personal "leadership challenges" and potential responses, similar to those highlighted throughout the text. The second appendix provides biographical summaries of the identified nursing leaders, while the last appendix provides resources for additional information on leadership.


I would highly recommend this text to any nurse or healthcare professional seeking to "recharge" and grow professionally!!