1. Section Editor(s): Lockhart, Lisa MHA, MSN, RN, NE-BC

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Nurses Month 2021 is here! After 2020 left its mark on all of us across the globe, we look to lessons learned with the International Council of Nurses' International Nurses Day theme of "A Vision for Future Healthcare" and the American Nurses Association's expansion of Nurses Week to encompass the entire month of May. We've seen firsthand that there are gaps in our system regarding acute care safety and population health. As nurses, what are our next steps? First and foremost, it's crucial that we get healthcare workers vaccinated. The fight against COVID-19 can't be managed without this step.

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Next, we need to focus careful attention on our new workforce group. In this issue, you'll read a wonderful article on making the ICU environment safe for new nurses (see page 22). We need to ensure that educational programs and mentors are available for new graduate nurses and extend our support to each other as we maintain our workforce amidst regional nursing shortages and critical care staffing shortfalls.


Burnout and suicide rates are at an industry high; we must grapple with how to manage this crisis as a team. In the past, I've encouraged you to reach out to professional organizations for support, and I think this is a strategy to consider as we move forward in recovery. Remember your "why." Ask yourself: Why did I choose nursing? Why am I still working in my area? What do I want to see improve to make it a better workplace for new nurses? What role do I play in making the work environment healthy again?


In addition to work-related stressors, many of us have lost family members, friends, and coworkers to the pandemic. Posttraumatic stress disorder is rampant in our community and among our peers. It must be mentioned that keeping yourself healthy is crucial. Mask wearing, social distancing, and getting vaccinated when available to you; seeking emotional support when you need it; and engaging in proper nutrition and exercise can all make a difference in how you manage stress.


Nurses were once again voted America's most trusted profession. Respondents to the December 2020 Gallup poll gave nursing an 89% high or very high score. Not only have we made the top of the list for 19 years in a row, but this is the highest score we've ever attained. Americans continue to value our professional contributions, which is affirmed now more than ever. This Nurses Month, and every day, let's appreciate each other and foster our peers both novice and seasoned.

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