1. Hathaway, Lisa RN, MSN

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First, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of our readers past and present as Nursing made Incredibly Easy!! enters its sixth year of publication. You'll notice some new features as you browse through this first issue of 2009. In addition to a regular editorial, we've added a Heart Matters column-your place for all things cardiovascular. And upFRONT has gotten a makeover. Now called This just in[horizontal ellipsis], it offers the same great coverage of emerging products, but with a new name and place in the journal. Our constantly evolving world of healthcare has seen its share of changes in 6 years, just as Nursing made Incredibly Easy!! has evolved over time. I'd like to welcome you to share your thoughts with me and invite you to join me as we discuss nurse empowerment.

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What does it mean to be empowered? It's making decisions and effecting positive change that advocates for your patients and yourself as you build your nursing career. Hopefully you feel that you're empowered in your job. But, what if you don't?

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Empowerment conjures up such descriptions as energy, will, and influence. Think of the people you come in contact with each day. Are you influencing them and, in turn, are they influencing you? I see this as a win-win situation. Often, I've felt that I didn't influence my patients, only to find out later that I did have a positive impact on them as they looked to me to for advice and comfort. In healthcare organizations, nurses do influence the environment in which they work even if they're not always aware of it.


Ask yourself these questions: What makes you, as a nurse, believe that you're powerful? Is it your communication skills, your clinical expertise, or your years of experience? If you're a new nurse, do you feel that you have power or do you think it only belongs to those of us who are experienced? I'm sure you've all seen the studies in which nurses don't feel empowered in their work environment or with their colleagues or other members of the interdisciplinary team. Where do you see yourself?


I'm here to tell you that you do have power whether you know it or not!! Whether new to the field or a veteran, you have the power to influence your environment, your patients, and your colleagues. I believe it's part of what we do as nurses. We need to know that we positively influence the care our patients receive, our practice, and the environment in which we work.


So as we say hello to 2009, feel empowered!!


Lisa Hathaway, RN, MSN


Clinical Editor, Nursing made Incredibly Easy!!