1. Bean, Kathy B. PhD, RN, CNS, CGRN, APRN, BC, Editor

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I always spend some time at the end of the calendar year reflecting on the previous months. This year has been a bit overwhelming for me, I must admit-personal and parental illness, marital strife, and another career change. It's almost a relief to see that my score on the Holmes and Rahe Stress Inventory Scale (Holmes & Rahe, 1967; available at falls in only the "moderate stress" range. Of course, based on Holmes and Rahe's (1967) work, that means I have a 50% chance of future illness. It is also estimated that it will take one year to replenish the energy expended in adjusting to any of the changes described in the scale. I guess I'd better focus on increasing my protein intake over the next few months!!


Truthfully, however, despite the stress of the past few months, I am so very cognizant of the blessings I have received alongside the trials. Friends have gone out of their way to comfort and console me, still checking on my frame of mind months after a challenge hit. Despite the pain of the insults and losses, I am constantly reminded that I am valued and loved by others who I so much admire and love. For me, reflection is just one more affirmation that there is often joy that comes alongside pain-and often, the joy would not be as intense without the pain.


Reflecting on this past year in relation to Gastroenterology Nursing, we have had another incredible year (and it just keeps getting better and better). I am thrilled with the number of quality submissions we have received. Our expanded reviewer panel has done a tremendous job selecting valuable and worthy manuscripts for publication. The Editorial Board celebrated the accomplishments relative to our last strategic plan and established new goals for 2007-2009. Many of you who have attended the "Writing for Publication" workshop at the annual course have followed through with your commitment to submit a manuscript, and our publication team at Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams and Wilkins is at the top of the list in terms of quality, professionalism, and flexibility.


Our Society also has many accomplishments to boast of. In particular, we made a decision this year to implement a best practice of the top associations in the United States by empowering our Board of Directors to elect our executive board. I continue to be amazed (and grateful) at how progressive and dynamic our nursing organization is.


I hope you too will pause for a few moments of reflection, looking at your personal and professional accomplishments, trials, and challenges. I truly believe that life happens to us, good and bad, but we always have the ability to learn from those experiences and find the pearl that is buried in that ugly oyster. Reflection is a powerful tool for helping us to find purpose and meaning in our life. And while you are at it, encourage your patients to use this tool as well to think about what they've learned through their healthcare experience, and how they can make a difference for others. Listen and act on what they may choose to share with you. I suspect if you use the power of reflection, you just may be celebrating an outstanding 2008 at this time next year!!




Holmes, T. H., & Rahe, R. H. (1967). The social readjustment rating scale. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 11, 213-218. [Context Link]