1. Szulecki, Diane

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On this month's cover is Memento Mori, an embroidery by Colorado nurse and textile artist Paula Giovanini-Morris, MSN, BSN, APRN, FNP. The piece was inspired by her experiences working during the COVID-19 pandemic. "The young and the old fell ill; my patients and family members would tell me about their losses," she says. "What struck me most was all the unfinished business that [those who died] would never complete."

Figure. Memento Mori... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure.

Of the piece's imagery, Giovanini-Morris explains that the skull serves as a reminder of mortality, while the head of Medusa represents a harbinger of death. "The message is: do not procrastinate. Live each day as if there may not be another. Do not wait until you are on death's door to say your goodbyes or express your love."


Three years into the pandemic, COVID-19 has claimed 1.1 million lives in the United States and 6.6 million globally. It has also dramatically affected the health care landscape, with nationwide nursing shortages driven by an exodus from acute care and a lack of nursing faculty and clinical sites to prepare the next generation. For more on the current state of nursing, see "Acute Care Workforce Under Stress," the lead story in AJN's annual "Year in Review."-Diane Szulecki, editor