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

Article Content

I've been reflecting on my nursing career and the changes I've seen in 38 years. I've witnessed and navigated many changes and challenges in that time. Over the years, I've never questioned my commitment or my desire to be a professional nurse. My area of practice has changed several times, the balance between the focus on my career versus my home life has changed, and my commitment to education and advocacy has grown stronger.

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I believe that the biggest obstacle we face in healthcare is our current nurse shortage. I work with many professionals through our local and national professional nursing organizations to better understand what it takes to attract nurses to the profession again. Nationally, enrollment in nursing programs has declined, nurses are retiring earlier, and others have made career changes that utilize their education in areas that take them away from patient and community care. What's the answer? How do we increase enrollment in our education system? How do we encourage and retain these professionals at the point of care? How do we improve engagement and retention in our profession overall? The American Nurses Association believes the answer lies in empowerment. Changing the image of nurses to reflect the role they play in driving healthcare. It's vital that we promote and develop the image of nurses as the leaders they are. The long-held vision of nurses wearing all white and blindly following orders is an inaccurate image that fails to reflect the reality of healthcare. Nurses are the drivers of quality, safety, preventive health, and education that keep our healthcare system functioning and safe for those it serves. Nurses are the advocates for change, progress, and equality in a system that's known for its disparities. Nurses remain the bridge that links rural areas and urban deserts with diverse healthcare modalities that would otherwise be available only to those in more affluent areas.


Nursing Made Incredibly Easy! is dedicated to education, communication, and support for those who are entering the profession, those on their professional journey, and those in the academic arena planning and preparing for their career. We would love to hear from you. What are your thoughts on this topic? What do you believe would make a difference in the shortages we're facing? There must be more to this than financial disparity. Write to us, visit our website, listen to our podcast, and share your thoughts.

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