Two years ago when I began my term as AONL President, in my first column for the Voice of Nursing Leadership, I wrote:
Today’s health care environment is dynamic, holding an uncertain future. This requires that nurse leaders be prepared, available and engaged to innovate, transform and lead care wherever it occurs and AONL is uniquely positioned to support you in these efforts.
I never could have predicted that we would experience one of the most unsettling time periods in recent history and how collectively and spectacularly—through natural disasters, civil unrest and a global pandemic—nurses would impact the world.
With compassion and courage, nurses have done more than care for patients. With the expert skill and operational know-how unique to nursing, we mobilized, iterated and advocated for the communities that we serve in a manner beyond the scope of anyone’s wildest imagination.
At great personal cost, nurses provided hope, peace and healing to patients and to each other.
It has been awe-inspiring to witness the steadfastness of this profession.
At great personal cost, nurses provided hope, peace and healing to patients and to each other. . . Because in times of uncertainty, nurses are there.
Because in times of uncertainty, nurses are there. We’ve always been there. Ready to help. Ready to heal. Providing a trusted voice and an honest answer. My deepest thanks to each of you for the lives you touched and the work you do. Let’s continue to be there for each other, our patients and the communities that we serve.
As I end my term as president, I reflect on all of the opportunities that I have had to influence health care and nursing. Some of most notable opportunities include serving on the Health and Human Services Quality Forum, the American Hospital Association (AHA) COVID-19 Pathways to Recovery Task Force and the American Nurses Association National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing.
All the while our board and AONL staff have led two spectacular virtual annual conferences and continued our educational programming, fellowships and committees. This work includes a notable new committee to support diversity and belonging. In addition, we end this year deeply engaged in the development of a new strategic plan for AONL.
I want to thank Robyn Begley, the CEO of AONL and AHA senior vice president of workforce and chief nursing officer, the AONL board, AONL staff and each and every one of you. I have been honored to serve as your president and look forward to partnering with the new board and all of you to lead the transformation of the health of our nation. Finally, I welcome Erik Martin as he transitions to the role of AONL president and leads our organization into the future.