Robin's Nest President's Column - July 2020

  • Posted on: 2 July 2020
  • By: AMSN

How Does Your Glass Look?
Robin Hertel, EdS, MSN, RN, CMSRN President, AMSN

Several times in the past two weeks I have found myself needing to stop what I’m doing, pause for a moment and take some deep breaths. It’s helped me refocus on the tasks at hand and avoid plunging down a well of self-pity for the manner in which the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted life around me. I’ve also found I needed to unplug from social media for the time being because of the negativity and ill-informed content. Have you felt this way too?

The disruptions seem trivial upon further reflection – the AMSN National Convention was changed from an in-person and virtual conference to an all virtual conference. While I am very disappointed we won’t all be able to gather, share best and current practices, laugh and talk together and hear some amazing speakers the news isn’t all bad. More contact hours will be available for the same price to members, which is a definite plus. Those members who “attend” virtually will also have access to all the content in the Online Library so it isn’t necessary to pick and choose between two or more great sessions occurring at the same time. Most importantly, however, is that all our members and attendees will not run the risk of developing a COVID-19 infection due to travel or convening in crowds. While I won’t be able to see you in-person, I hope you post a pic in the Convention app and tag me so that I can say hi.

In the state in which I live (Kansas), the governor has declared that all people who are out in public are required to wear masks due to increasing numbers of COVID cases. While I applaud her proclamation, I know that there will still be individuals who resist compliance and who will be placing others at risk. I understand that wearing a mask isn’t the most comfortable, and it can make communication a challenge for many. However, I believe the benefits outweigh the inconvenience and I don’t mind (really) that my glasses continue to fog up when I’m shopping for groceries. While I miss going out and gathering with friends or attending sporting events, I also have plenty around the house to keep me busy and I’m working to become mildly proficient at using virtual meeting platforms. I’ve even participated in some online gaming!

While it may appear that I am choosing to look at recent events with a glass half-full approach, I’m actually choosing to be thankful for the glass itself. Sometimes we need to get down to the very basics and take a hard look at the reality around us. I have been blessed to have a job that is secure, a home that I feel safe in, and I can still maintain contact with those who are important to me. If you are experience any of the negative effects of COVID-19, please apply for the Emergency COVID-19 Relief Grant that we have put into place. You can find more information on our new website! Take care of yourself and be safe.

CEO's Corner - July 2020

  • Posted on: 2 July 2020
  • By: AMSN

Words Count
Terri Hinkley, EdD, MBA, BScN, RN, CAE Chief Executive Officer, AMSN & MSNCB

In last month’s CEO Corner, I shared my reckoning with you and my pledge to be a better ally and do my absolute best to ensure AMSN and MSNCB are diverse, inclusive, and equitable organizations. We are committed to doing so, both organizations are fully on board with pledging our commitment. To that end, you will see some additional work in the next couple of weeks and further into the future.

AMSN and MSNCB will be launching their new website imminently, I know we have said this before, but we are literally days away. As part of this new website there will be a pledge page, where we welcome our members and certificants to join us in our pledge to face our own unconscious biases and dismantle any racism within our own organizations and to be a better ally for those that need our support. Please consider joining us in this pledge and publicly demonstrating your commitment to stand with us. More to follow, so keep an eye on your email and your social media for an announcement when this is going live.

AMSN recently received a letter challenging our use of the title MedSurg Matters for our former newsletter, now magazine. The author challenged the comparison of med-surg nursing to Black people and other POC that are being murdered. I’ll be completely honest, because I promised you all I would be. My first reaction upon reading the first paragraph was “But we’ve had this name forever?”

Here’s the awesome part, though.

As I read the rest of the letter, I thought “Wow, my unconscious bias and privilege just raised their heads and you promised to be better”. So, I read the letter carefully and with an open mind and open heart. And in doing so, I recognized that we have an opportunity to do exactly what we said we would do. We can listen, we can learn, and we can change. We can recognize that just because we did something one way before doesn’t mean that’s the way we have to do it going forward. We can be open to hearing from others and challenging the structures around us. And at AMSN and MSNCB, we will.

I share that as an example of how unwitting and unconscious our biases are. How deeply ingrained they are. How pervasive. And as part of the pledge I made to myself and all of you, I share this as another example of how I perpetuated, even just for a second, the inequity that surrounds us.

MedSurg Matters will get a new name. The BOD was unanimous in its support for changing the name. We have no idea what it will be yet, but we’ll figure it out. What’s important is that it is a magazine that doesn’t inadvertently cause pain or exclude anyone from our community. I look forward to continuing to improve our organizations and make them truly inclusive organizations where every single member, certificant, and medical-surgical nurse feels welcome, appreciated, and valued.

MSNCB President's Message: As a Nursing Profession, We Must Elect Not to Tolerate Racism

  • Posted on: 10 June 2020
  • By: AMSN

Antoinette Falker, DNP, RN, GCNS-BC, CMSRN, CBN
MSNCB President

As a black woman, my journey in nursing is probably quite different from the journeys of many of my white peers. One of my earliest memories in nursing school was when a white instructor instructed me and my all-white nursing peers that “when bathing a black person do not be surprised when the water changes color because black people are usually dirty.” Needless to say, as an 18-year-old student, I was stunned and at a complete loss for words. As I progressed through nursing school with very good grades, I was chastised for things like my shoes not being polished white enough or my nursing cap not being straight enough. After completing my last clinicals, my instructor took me aside to talk about my need to improve my clinical skills. However, the manager of that clinical division recognized my clinical skills and offered me a position as a GN immediately upon my graduation from nursing school.

In the following years as a bedside clinician, I have had a fair share of patients indicate they do not want to be taken care of by a black nurse. At first it was extremely painful to hear those words from my patients and to recognize that my clinical skills were not the problem, rather it was the color of my skin. Over time, the organizations, I have worked for have clarified their positions that all of their nurses were qualified to provide nursing care and this type of bigotry would not be tolerated. I am very pleased that these policies were enacted, but I am saddened that they needed to be enacted.

In my current role, I still hear concerns from black nurses such as: “Because I am black I am always given the assignments with difficult people because they feel only I can relate to them; I feel that as a black nurse I always have to prove myself and my skills to my peers and my patients; or I feel it is very challenging as a black nurse to move into positions of leadership.”

Truly, in order to rectify these problems, we as a nursing profession must elect not to tolerate racism in any form whether in creating patient assignments or in the hiring process. We need to use our collective voice to help combat systemic racism in all its seemingly innocuous manners including the ways we discuss and provide care to our patients of color. Benjamin Franklin once said: “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”

Now is the time to pledge to take a stand, to speak up and make a difference in our homes, communities, and workplaces against both overt and covert racism:

I pledge to open my eyes, my ears, and my heart to become more attuned to racism in all its forms.

I pledge to stand up against racism in all its insidious practices.

I pledge to speak up even when it is uncomfortable to do so.

I pledge to be the best clinician and the best person I can be.

Please join me in this pledge so we as a community of healthcare providers can be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Robin's Nest President's Column - June 2020

  • Posted on: 8 June 2020
  • By: AMSN

Addressing an Infected Wound: Racism

Robin Hertel, EdS, MSN, RN, CMSRN President, AMSN

As nurses, we are all familiar with the need to debride wounds of necrotic and infected tissues so that the health tissue can continue the healing process. This is basic to our nurse training, our practice, and our science. I find it interesting that a concept as seemingly forthright as ensuring a wound bed has a healthy base and the needed nutrients to heal has not as easily transferred to other areas of our lives.

Wounds that have been covered up and ignored for centuries have finally been brought to light. We have seen blatant racism and inconceivable evil done to a fellow member of the human race. Thanks to the many who were brave enough to call this what it is – murder, and to stand up and say that we, as a People, will no longer tolerate the brutality and the ignorance of racism. I have seen people of all color march day after day, facing the dangers of being shot with rubber bullets, hit with batons and fired upon with tear gas and it breaks my heart. I have watched the news show incidents of looting along with images of police officers kneeling with and hugging protestors – giving the public a mixed message that everything will go back to normal soon.

As we know from the covid pandemic, there is no going back to what was formerly considered “normal”. Now is the time and the opportunity to develop a new normal with regard to managing infection, whether it be bacterial, viral, or racism. And racism is an infected wound; it is a blight upon our country, and it limits the empowerment that all People should experience.

Over the past several weeks, I have had reflected upon my previous actions as a staff and charge nurse, as well as an educator. While I had always believed that I treated every individual the same, with respect and dignity, I remained ignorant of the institutional racism that is built into policies and practices of some institutions. I was shocked and dismayed when I recently read an article by Iheduru-Anderson which spoke of long-term inequities experienced by nurses of color. It gave me pause to realize I was an unknowing participant in white elitism; thinking that racism in nursing was a non-issue. After all, we are colleagues – brothers and sisters who dedicate our lives to the care of others regardless of who they are, where they come from, or what they look like. It is a part of our code of ethics, of the pledge we take as nurses. We have failed to live up to the morality and ethics we attest to and pledge we have made.

I have a unique opportunity as AMSN’s president to give voice to issues that need attention. I am pledging, here and now, to continue to continue to work toward improving the work conditions of all of our nurses. There is no room for complacency or racism in this organization or in our practice.

Reference
Iheduru-Anderson, K.C. (2020). The White/Black hierarchy institutionalizes White supremacy in nursing and nursing leadership in the United States. Journal of Professional Nursing (in press). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.profnurs.2020.05.005

CEO's Corner - June 2020

  • Posted on: 8 June 2020
  • By: AMSN

My Reckoning

by: Terri Hinkley EdD, MBA, BScN, RN, CAE
CEO - AMSN & MSNCB

2020 has been volatile, uncertain, and chaotic and it is only the beginning of June.

I know many of us are overwhelmed, exhausted, anxious, and frightened. That’s OK. It’s okay to feel what you’re feeling, to acknowledge it and work through it. Robin Hertel, AMSN’s President is a passionate advocate for nurse self-care, and as you see often in her Robin’s Nest column, she offers solutions and suggestions for caring for ourselves regularly, but especially in our darkest times. I hope you are all finding ways to sooth your souls as we continue to navigate the world around us.

I have been watching with fascination, pride, and occasionally with horror, the protests erupting in the United States and other countries resulting from George Floyd’s murder. It strikes me that the protests are our collective way of saying enough is enough. Previously, when Black people, or People of Color (POC) were killed we were momentarily outraged but then turned our attention back to our busy lives and pressing priorities, shedding our outrage, and returning to our insular worlds and lives.

It occurs to me that what is different this time is that many of us are seeing disruption in our insular worlds and lives. We might have more time for reflection and action. Or maybe we’re just at the breaking point and we realize that enough is truly enough. Whatever the cause, I am heartened to see an outpouring of support, action and real ownership of the role we have played, as White people, in the systemic and pervasive racism within institutions, power structures, organizations and the very fabric of our society. I do not believe that we can place the blame squarely at the feet of any person, occupation, party or community. I believe now is the time for us all to look inward and be honest with ourselves as to our contributions to the silent racism that has raged around us for centuries.

I have a Black cousin, two Black second cousins and my daughter is in a long term relationship with a POC. I love each one of them. They are beautiful inside and out and I support them on every level. But I have had to face the fact that I have been a passive ally. I do not tolerate overt racism, I call people out when I hear it or see it, but have I done everything I could? Have I done enough? This is my own personal reckoning, and I’m laying it out for you to see. The answer is no, I have not. I promise to do better, to be better and to be a better ally to POC. This is not platitudes; this is my commitment to action.

I share this with you as a form of accountability. I pledge to you that I will, as AMSN’s CEO, do my very best every day to help us dismantle the barriers we have unknowingly perpetuated and make AMSN and MSNCB truly diverse, equitable and inclusive spaces for all. I hope you will join me.

In the coming days AMSN and MSNCB will be launching a platform where you can add your pledges to fight racism and promote inclusion. We will share these pledges on our website and hold each other accountable. We hope you will join us.

Robin's Nest President's Column - May 2020

  • Posted on: 14 May 2020
  • By: AMSN

Robin’s Nest

In Search of Our Greatest Strengths

By
Robin Hertel, EdS, MSN, RN, CMSRN President, AMSN

Although I would typically write about May being Nurses’ Month, I’m going to tell you a story told by a friend of mine. It’s a story that involves a young boy who traumatically lost his left arm. After recovering, the boy decided to study judo and began lessons with an old Japanese master. He trained daily and although he was doing well, after 3 months his master had taught him only one move.

“Sensei,” said the boy, “shouldn’t I be learning more moves?” The master replied, “This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you will need to know.” Although the boy was confused by the master’s words, he kept training and eventually entered a tournament. Surprisingly, he won the first two matches. The third match was more difficult but eventually, his opponent became impatient and charged. The boy deftly used his one move to win the match and advanced into the finals.

In the final match, the opponent was bigger and more experienced; the boy seemed outmatched. Concerned, the referee was about to stop the match so the boy wouldn’t get hurt but the sensei insisted, “Let him continue.” Eventually the opponent dropped his guard. Instantly the boy used his move to win the match.

On the way home, the boy asked, “Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?” The master answered, “You won for two reasons. First, you’ve almost mastered the most difficult throw in judo. And second, the only defense for that move is for your opponent to grip your left arm.” So, the boy’s biggest weakness had become his greatest strength. (Adapted from “Top 100 Motivational Stories by Meir Liraz)

The coronavirus pandemic can be seen as our biggest weakness. But can we make it become our greatest strength? Perhaps by capturing our personal stories during this pandemic we can discover valuable insights: finding strengths we were unaware we had, how we handle adversity, things that make us laugh despite the chaos, how we’ve found opportunities for growth despite the turbulence. I invite you to share your personal stories with AMSN members by either submitting them to this newsletter or by participating in our podcast, Med-Surg Moments.

My own story involves an epiphany I had this week. I was angry at the universe for all the disruptions that have occurred in my life because of the pandemic. Those who know me will tell you that I am an optimist so this anger was difficult for me to accept. Suddenly I realized that the disruptions and changes really didn’t matter because my family and friends are healthy, we are able to work and don’t have to worry about feeding our families. I was ashamed but I think I grew by remembering that, regardless of the circumstances, we always have something to be thankful for. Perhaps sharing our stories with others will help us heal, help others grow, and help relay to the world that we are med-surg strong.

CEO's Corner - May 2020

  • Posted on: 14 May 2020
  • By: AMSN

The Cost of Caring

by: Terri Hinkley EdD, MBA, BScN, RN, CAE
CEO - AMSN & MSNCB

In 2003, while still living in Toronto, the SARS pandemic hit, and Canada and Toronto were especially impacted. I thought that was the worst I would ever see in terms of the strain on health care providers and my nursing colleagues. I was on maternity leave with my youngest daughter at the time, but I was hearing and seeing frightening and devastating news about how SARS was impacting my colleagues. Nurses and health care providers were overwhelmed, nurses and health care providers were dying. I had no idea it could ever be worse, but clearly I was wrong. You are all experiencing what worse looks like, and if there was ever a time we needed each other, it is now.

If you have heard me speak on my dissertation on second victim syndrome (https://library.amsn.org/amsn/sessions/5228/view) or have listened to my most recent Med-Surg Moments: The AMSN Podcastwith Alissa (https://medsurgmoments.org/ep-32-covid-19-huddle-42420-amsn-covid-19-sup...), you know that I feel passionately about nurse well-being. The ‘cost of caring’ is recognized as an unintended consequence of caring for individuals. For many of us these consequences have traditionally been emotional and psychological, manifesting as burnout, compassion fatigue, second victimization, or moral distress, to name but a few. We can now add physical consequences as a cost of caring. You are risking your health caring for your patients.

Psychological capital is a concept that has been shown in studies to protect you from the negative emotional and psychological effects of nursing (Avey, Luthans, Smith, & Palmer, 2010; Avey, Luthans, & Youssef, 2009; Bao & Taliaferro, 2015; Brunetto, Rodwell, Shacklock, Farr-Wharton, & Demir, 2016; Luthans & Jensen, 2005; Sweet & Swayze, 2017). Psychological capital is made up of four components: self-efficacy, optimism, hope and resilience. Resilience gets a lot of attention in the nursing field for good reason, but it is but one piece of psychological capital. We need also to focus on the other elements and build all four components so that we can protect ourselves psychologically and emotionally from the effects we encounter caring for others.

What is most interesting to me, and critical to any conversation about building protective resources for nurses is the role social capital, or social support, plays in developing someone’s psychological capital. My dissertation was a study of the role social capital plays in combination with psychological capital, on a nurse’s ability to minimize the occurrence of second victimization. It became clear to me that the social support available to a nurse is the single most important factor in protecting that nurse from second victim syndrome. My study confirmed what most of the literature on second victim syndrome found: how we are treated and supported by our colleagues, our supervisors and leaders and the profession overall play a significant role in how we are able to deal with negative events.

I am worried about the mental health of every nurse right now. I feel the psychological impact of COVID-19 will be greater than any of us realize. So, we need each other more than ever right now. To every single nurse: talk to your colleagues, listen to them, be there for them. To all nurse supervisors, managers and leaders: support your staff, listen to them, do what you can to make them feel appreciated, understood and heard. To all healthcare leaders: recognize the severity of the problem, listen, learn, support. We can get through this together. We can only get through this together.

In addition to encouraging you to build your social support, AMSN has recorded a webinar “Coping Through the Crisis: An Introduction to EFT for Bedside Nurses” (lhttps://library.amsn.org/amsn/sessions/6229/view) that can help you manage your stress and anxiety. This webinar was recorded April 9, 2020 and is provided free of charge for all nurses. Please feel free to share with your friends and colleagues.

Avey, J. B., Luthans, F., Smith, R. M., & Palmer, N. F. (2010). Impact of positive psychological capital on employee well-being over time. J Occup Health Psychol, 15(1), 17-28. doi:10.1037/a0016998
Avey, J. B., Luthans, F., & Youssef, C. M. (2009). The additive value of positive psychological capital in predicting work attitudes and behaviors. Journal of Management, 36(2), 430-452. doi:10.1177/0149206308329961
Bao, S., & Taliaferro, D. (2015). Compassion Fatigue and Psychological Capital in Nurses Working in Acute Care Settings. International Journal for Human Caring, 19(2), 35-40.
Brunetto, Y., Rodwell, J., Shacklock, K., Farr-Wharton, R., & Demir, D. (2016). The impact of individual and organizational resources on nurse outcomes and intent to quit. J Adv Nurs, 72(12), 3093-3103. doi:10.1111/jan.13081
Luthans, K. W., & Jensen, S. M. (2005). The linkage between psychological capital and commitment to organizational mission: A study of nurses. Journal of Nursing Administration, 35(6), 304-310.
Sweet, J., & Swayze, S. (2017). The multi-generational nursing workforce: Analysis of psychological capital by generation and shift. Journal of Organizational Psychology, 17(4), 19-28.

Legislative Brief March 2020

  • Posted on: 9 March 2020
  • By: AMSN

The Administration’s proposed $4.8 trillion 2021 budget cuts med-surg nursing funding priorities – and AMSN and The Nursing Community are working to restore the funding. In its 2021 budget released Feb. 10, the Administration proposed:

• Eliminating all Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Programs, except the Nurse Corps;
• Reducing Nurse Corps funding by $5.5 million for a total of $83.135 million;
• A nearly $3 billion or 10% cut to the National Institutes of Health;
• Reduction in National Institute of Nursing Research for a total of $156.804 million; and,
• Lowering funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) by about a quarter, to $355 million.

Who will deliver health care today and tomorrow if the need for nurse workforce development, research and innovation is not met now? AMSN and nurse groups were successful in 2019 reversing major cuts – but this is a new year with a new challenge. In response to these deep cuts, AMSN and the Nursing Community Coalition to which AMSN belongs are communicating with Congress this clear message: Reverse the cuts and support nursing priorities for better health and access to care.

Watch your email inbox and the AMSN Med-Surg Nursing Advocacy Hub community for opportunities to take action and be heard!

What are AMSN’s advocacy plans and how can med-surg nurses engage? AMSN Legislative Team chair Yalanda Comeaux, MSN, MJ, RN, CMSRN, and legislative consultant Frank Purcell conducted a live webinar on this topic last fall, titled “Be Heard for Your Patients: Health Policy & Advocacy for Med-Surg Nurses.”

Now it’s available for AMSN members through our online library! This one-hour program will educate you as a med-surg nurse about the fundamentals of advocacy, AMSN’s agenda, and AMSN’s advocacy plans for now and the future that invite your engagement and support your profession! Visit the online library here: https://library.amsn.org/amsn/search/0/query?q=Be%20Heard%20for%20Your%2....

CEO's Corner - March 2020

  • Posted on: 9 March 2020
  • By: AMSN

Setting Our ‘Site’ on Growth and Innovation
Terri Hinkley, EdD, MBA, BScN, RN, CAE
Chief Executive Officer, AMSN & MSNCB

By now most of you know that AMSN is working on a new AMSN website. I’ve talked in a couple of my columns about AMSN’s new website and AMSN President Robin Hertel told attendees about it at our convention in September. Well, it’s been a labor of love and we’re finally getting to the finish line with our development and content, so I thought I’d tell you about our new website and what you can expect when it goes live early this spring!

AMSN’s new website is completely redesigned with you in mind. When the Board of Directors approved this project, they were clear they wanted a fresh, attractive, user-friendly interface that was mobile-friendly and easily navigated. We decided the best way to do that was to involve our members in the process. We contracted with web designers that specialized in user experience and cutting-edge technology. Our user experience consultant conducted focus groups, surveys, tree-test task exercises and usability testing. What does that mean? It means the website was designed based on your input and feedback, so it will contain the information you need/want and is structured in a way that makes sense to you.

Next, we did a complete content analysis of our current website. Our current website contains so much rich information but some of the content needs to be refreshed. Some of it is buried within a large amount of content, which makes it very difficult to find. Our content specialist went through every single page of the website and identified the content that would be important to keep and update – and determined the content that could be retired. Our content strategy also identified how we would present content and how we would share external content. The content on the new website will be relevant, important, insightful and will contain the necessary context for your practice. We’re still working on the content migration, but we’re thrilled with how it’s coming along.

We are also interested in sharing member stories on the new site. In our “Membership” section, we’ll have places to announce a job move or promotion (Members on the Move), and to share your personal stories about nursing life (In Your Own Words). Until those sections are ready, please drop us a line with your update or story to membership@amsn.org!

Lastly, our architecture team worked on the structure, design, and format of the website. This has been a labor of love, for sure! We’re thrilled that we’ve been able to build some critical integrations to improve your experience. If you are a member or customer of AMSN and you’re logged into your AMSN account, you will see content that is relevant to you, your role, and your interests. So, if you haven’t updated your account profile recently, please head over to amsn.org/membership and make sure we have the most current information about you. We also are excited about our search functionality on the new website. It’s a proprietary search functionality that spans all the properties for AMSN, whether it be on the website, the online community, the online library, podcasts or blogs and consolidates the search results from all these properties right in the website. It’s ground-breaking and brings all the content and resources AMSN has – right to your fingertips.

We appreciate your patience as we finalize the new website. It’s been over a year-long project and the staff have worked diligently to bring this new website to fruition. It has taken longer than expected but we know that it will be worth it. Stay tuned, it won’t be much longer now…and soon we’ll all be enjoying a fabulous web experience!

Robin's Nest President's Column - March 2020

  • Posted on: 9 March 2020
  • By: AMSN

Celebrating Certification!
Robin Hertel, EdS, MSN, RN, CMSRN President, AMSN

I’ve shared my story about my first convention with you previously. What I haven’t told you about that convention is that my colleague and I also attended the AMSN Certification Review Course prior to the start of convention and then stayed over an extra day to sit for the certification examination which was in a paper and pencil format. Our days were spent in class and our evenings were spent studying and quizzing each other. On the day of the exam, we were both quite nervous although we finished feeling okay about how we did. The wait for results was longer then, about 6 weeks, and we both were anticipating and fearing the notification at the same time.

While my experience is most likely different from yours, several things remain the same. Nurses who obtain specialty certification in their field of practice are dedicated to providing the best patient care they can. They demonstrate this commitment to nursing and their patients by preparing for and receiving certification. In addition, certification – and recertification, validates competency in the specialty of medical-surgical nursing and demonstrates a mastery of knowledge and skills, establishing the nurse as an expert in their field.

Other benefits of certification include opportunities for career advancement and mobility, with additional benefits of additional pay in some cases and better patient outcomes. Studies have demonstrated links between specialty certification and improved quality of care which lead to better patient outcomes. Nurses who have specialty certification serve as role models for their colleagues and for students. I have been a CMSRN for more than 15 years and I still stand a little taller and have a sense of pride every time I add those initials behind my signature.

March 19th is Certified Nurses Day. It is a day to celebrate the accomplishment of going above and beyond the standard of care, of your accomplishment and dedication to lifelong learning and improved quality of care. I hope the facility or unit you practice on celebrates this one day in recognition of all that certified nurses bring to the table. In most cases, this is a voluntary rather than a mandatory requirement. I recently made a call to notify a unit of their achievement of the PRISM Award and I was so pleased to learn that 71% of the nursing staff on this particular unit held a specialty certification!

Now that’s commitment and a great reason to celebrate!

If you are interested in learning more about certification, products that help with certification preparation including test questions or review courses, please visit the AMSN website. There is a tab on the website that will take you to these resources as well as information on the FailSafe Certification Program; this is a program designed for facilities that want to promote certification. I encourage you to check it out!

Regardless of where you are on your certification journey, take some time to celebrate you and your ongoing commitment to the specialty of medical-surgical nursing!

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