1. Stevens, Carol K. BSN, RN, CGRN

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Nurses are accustomed to wearing several different "hats"-fulfilling many different roles-and with the changing times in healthcare, this is definitely an expectation. To survive the rapid changes, flexibility is essential. Fortunately, nurses are creative and can often solve patient care problems with very limited resources.

Figure. Carol K. Ste... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Carol K. Stevens, BSN, RN, CGRN

Some of the driving forces affecting healthcare for all of us are advances in medical technology, biomedical and genetic research, and information technology. Patients are better informed and have a higher expectation of the healthcare professional. So, how can we all stay ahead of this very fast moving force? I would like to offer these suggestions:


* Embrace change by being proactive.


* Take personal control and responsibility for change.


* Participate and accept change to advance the nursing profession.


* Be creative to provide new solutions.


* Be a mentor.


* Connect with the wider environment by joining forces with other organizations.



The theme for my presidential year is "SGNA: Charting a Course for Professional Growth," a fitting goal that will be culminated next May in Baltimore, Maryland, the second largest point of entry for immigrants during the period of mass globalization. Baltimore is a bustling city built on tradition and civic pride, a true American success story. Nurses have many of their own success stories.


I encourage each of you to reach for the stars and support each other to attain your professional goals. To start, baby steps may be necessary and what better way to begin than by mentoring a colleague. Physician Andres Martin (2005) states, "Mentorship is a potentially vital component of successful careers, particularly during their early phases. Part of what makes the process so stimulating for all involved is the realization that a new and different future is being jointly crafted along the way" (p. 1225).


The benefits of a mentorship far outweigh the associated hard work and commitment. Mentoring a colleague enhances self-esteem and self-confidence. Career success, preparation for a leadership role, and strengthening of one's own profession are other benefits of mentoring. Martin (2005) reminds us, "Mentorship is not for the faint of heart and can have painful and difficult phases. Let these not dissuade us from rising to meet its challenges. The initiative, assertiveness, and talent of a younger generation are rare commodities that we can ill afford to waste. Mentorship provides a unique framework to ensure that we do not" (p. 1229).


As I move into the SGNA presidency, let me assure you SGNA has a plan for the future. This well formulated plan includes the following:


* Timely Education to meet our practice needs as defined by our culture in a variety of delivery modes and sites.


* Best Practices to facilitate evidence-based research and its utilization in gastroenterology nursing practice.


* Partnerships/Alliances to be the recognized leader in gastroenterology nursing.


* Culture, so that SGNA's membership and the services it provides to these members, as well as nonmember customers, will reflect the needs of the gastrointestinal (GI) professional community.



Join me and let us set sail on an adventure to grow professionally. We will monitor our progress along the way, make periodic adjustments, and change course if necessary to meet the ever-changing winds in healthcare. With our outstanding leaders and hardworking members, how can we not have a successful journey!!




Martin, A. (2005). Ignition sequence: On mentorship. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 44(12), 1225-1229. [Context Link]