Aug 15, 2023
AMSN President's Message, August 2023
This August, we are welcoming a new member to our AMSN team. Matt Fenwick, MBA, has been selected as the new AMSN Executive Director. He started on August 14, 2023, and he will be jumping right in as we approach the Annual AMSN Convention on September 21-23, in Las Vegas. Matt has experience working with nursing organizations and comes to us after working with the American Organization of Nurse Leaders (AONL). We look forward to working with Matt to continue advocating and supporting medical-surgical nurses in the coming years.
In my travels this summer, I have run into some friends and colleagues who I have not seen in many years. It makes me consider the friendships we forge in life and in nursing and how meaningful they are. At each stage of my life, friendships have been short — like less than a year. I’ve also had friendships that have lasted a few years, and now well over 20 years. It always amazes me how quickly you can fall into a conversation with a good friend, even if you have not seen each other in many years. The same applies for nursing colleagues. While in Denver, I was able to connect with a former co-worker and nurse from the University of Colorado Hospital. It was so nice to talk about what has changed, what has stayed the same, and the new improvements the hospital has made for the nurses since I worked there over 10 years ago. Also, I was able to connect with a few nurse leaders I worked with in Chicago a few months ago. They discussed the post-COVID environment and the impact on nursing in a larger city. We reminisced about our peers and caught up on what everyone is up to this year. Currently, I have a new set of co-workers with whom I work to improve patient outcomes and nursing workflows. Also, we provide support and mentorship to each other to help navigate the ever-changing healthcare environment.
Each year, our employee engagement surveys ask: Do you have a best friend at work? I am lucky to be able to say yes to this question in the many places I have worked in my career. In fact, my work friends get me through the tough times in nursing, which there have been many in the last few years. I used to think this question was awkward and not relevant to my practice. However, now I have a better understanding of how important it is to have a best friend at work. In nursing, friendships are made in many ways. As co-workers, you connect over stressful situations, difficult patients, and changes made that you may agree with or not. You learn about each other, not only as nurses but as people. We celebrate together, we grieve together, and become our own family over time.
I encourage you to reach out to a nursing friend over the next few months. Have a talk on the phone, meet for coffee and a chat, or send them a quick text just to check in on them to let them know you care. In September at the AMSN Annual Convention, I plan on meeting up with an old colleague and mentor. I can’t wait to share what we have been up to over the years, reminisce about our early nursing days, and how we can help each other in the future.