Happy Nurses Month

Let's Demand!
Let’s Celebrate Nurses Month Differently This Year

CEO’s May Message for the AMSN Blog.

National Nurses month is here. It’s the third year in a row that it has been celebrated for one month instead of one week.

Normally a time to recognize and celebrate the hard work nurses do every day of the year, this year’s celebration feels different, somehow. Maybe it’s the two years of the pandemic.

Maybe it’s the perception that we’ve gone from being heroes to being ‘actors’ lying about the severity of COVID, being verbally and physically assaulted for administering vaccines and doing our jobs.

Maybe it’s the risk of going to prison for making an error. It certainly has been difficult to be a nurse for the past couple of years.

Maybe it’s the risk of going to prison for making an error. It certainly has been difficult to be a nurse for the past couple of years.

Read: The AMSN Statement on RaDonda Vaught Conviction.

Has it only been the past couple of years, though? Thinking back, it’s been tough for our profession for far longer than that.

Moral distress, moral injury, burnout, staffing issues, workload issues, being verbally and physically abused…these issues have existed for my entire 35-year career in nursing. We’ve faced these issues for much longer than the past 2 years.

As has been said elsewhere and often, the pandemic shone a light on these issues and for many, was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

When faced with a challenge or a problem, I tend to focus on solutions and action; that’s just what I do and who I am.

So, my question to all of you is: What do we do about it?

Let’s demand better. Nurses are the lifeblood of health care, and with the shortages we are experiencing right now, we have more power than we ever had before. Let’s leverage that power to redesign and envision a future for nursing, and health care, one that serves patients better and involves nurses in key decisions.

Let’s demand that our safety is a priority. Let us never again settle for being verbally or physically assaulted, and let’s demand that our workplaces have clear policies, including pressing charges when needed, to safeguard their employees.

Let’s demand that shared governance efforts empower nurses to participate in decision-making. It is not enough to have a seat at the table.

It is not enough to have a seat at the table.

Nurses understand health care and the challenges and opportunities inherent in it better than almost any other healthcare provider. Let’s take that insight and expertise and make recommendations.

Let’s innovate care models and imagine new staffing models that are designed to improve patient outcomes and nurse retention.

Let’s demand that technology is designed, built, and implemented so that it becomes a resource to healthcare professionals rather than a barrier. Ensure that nurses are part of the development process and testing. Conduct focus groups and trials led by nurses and listen to their input.

I am continuously impressed with the expertise and passion of nurses. I have no doubt that we have the collective knowledge, skills, and abilities to drive change.

Let’s demand better.


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

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