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

Article Content

In this issue of Nursing made Incredibly Easy!, we celebrate Nurses Week by focusing on wellness. When we think of wellness, we most often think of the physical body, yet as healthcare professionals, we're aware that the state of well-being is so much more. Wellness is a combination of mind, body, and spirit, with each component dependent on the other to function optimally. According to the World Health Organization, "wellness is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity," and mental health is "fundamental to our collective and individual ability as humans to think, emote, interact with each other, earn a living, and enjoy life."

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In this edition, you'll find articles on recognizing compassion fatigue in yourself and others, the power of hope, and resilience in nursing students. These are important topics, and so pertinent to our practice today. The nursing shortage combined with an extended pandemic battle has taken its toll on our colleagues mentally, physically, and spiritually. Many are dealing with their own grief, isolation, illness, or illness of friends and family. And not only are nurses leaving our profession, but student enrollment is also down nationally. Our professional organizations are struggling to empower their membership. At the same time, we've been voted the most trusted profession 20 years in a row.


Where do we go from here? How do we sustain ourselves during this crisis? How do we combat compassion fatigue? How do we find hope in ourselves and still manage to instill hope in those for whom we care? Our students are the future of our profession; how do we support, mentor, and coach our new nurses to avoid early burnout and career changes? To start, we can understand the difference between compassion fatigue and burnout: compassion fatigue refers to secondary trauma, such as experienced in second victim syndrome, whereas burnout is the result of stress, frustration, and anxiety from the work environment. I feel certain that, for many of us, both of these hit home right now.


It's crucial that we arm ourselves with tools to develop resilience techniques, coping strategies, improved communication skills, and networking support to help us maintain our wellness. Does this mean the system isn't flawed or even broken in areas? Absolutely not. Our expressed professional concerns regarding staffing, patient safety, compensation, and quality are important and valid. First and foremost, we must care for the caregivers. Compassion, hope, and resilience aren't tools to assist you with how to take on more; they're tools to help you care for yourself when you find yourself in difficult situations.


I hope you take the time to read, digest, and reflect on the offerings in this issue's Wellness Special. And this Nurses Week, I hope you can find and take the opportunity to celebrate your own and your colleagues' contributions to nursing-the most trusted profession in America.

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