CEO's Corner: Happy Pride Month!

Terri Hinkley
Happy Pride Month!

AMSN continues to work tirelessly to bring value to our members and customers. As you’ve likely seen, we’ve rolled out podcasts, videos and new webinars. We’re building new online learning courses in behavioral health for medical-surgical nurses, significantly increased our advocacy and legislative activities and continue to explore ways we can support you as you navigate the increasingly complex and rapidly-changing work environment.

Doing so requires significant strategic thinking and foresight. What will nursing look like in 2 years? In 5 years? What will med-surg nurses need to help them in the workplace? How will the nursing students in school today be prepared for the changing practice environment? There aren’t answers to these questions, at least not yet, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t critical to consider. Now I don’t know anyone with a crystal ball, so we’re left to try and understand today’s work environment and how external factors are likely to affect it. In the world of strategic thinking and foresight, these factors are called ‘signals’. We, at AMSN, are continuously scanning the external environment for such signals to understand how they will impact you and your profession in the future.

To do so takes a lot of expertise and experience. We are not doing this alone. AMSN has an exceptional board made up of committed medical-surgical nurses from a variety of backgrounds and practice settings. We have hundreds of volunteers that have contributed their expertise and experience to the work we are doing. We can’t do it without them. You see, diversity improves the decision-making process. As one of my George Washington University doctoral professors noted in a publication on strategic thinking, “Diversity of age, gender, education, experience, organizational tenure, knowledge, and skills has been found to enhance work group creativity, judgmental quality and overall outcomes” (Goldman, 2012, p. 28).

In fact, many scholars and experts in strategic thinking have identified the team involved in decision-making as one of the strongest indicators of success. It is not enough to have a smart ‘leader’ making the decisions for an organization. Teams, made up of diverse individuals willing to critically debate opportunities before reaching consensus on a decision, increase the success of an organization. Collectively we are better thinkers and make better decisions than we do individually. That’s because we bring a variety of perspectives, lived experiences and expertise together in committees, task forces, teams, and our boards of directors, which enable us to consider many alternatives that might not be apparent to one individual. The greater the heterogeneity of the team, the better.

So, let us remember to value and embrace those that are ‘different’ than we are. Let us welcome them to the table and learn from them. Let us truly strive to ensure that we are representative of all people in the work we do. AMSN is committed to increasing the diversity and inclusion of its staff, board, volunteers and members. We have so much we can learn from all of you. As we celebrate Pride Month, let us celebrate all that diversity and inclusion can do to make us stronger and better…as nurses, as leaders, and as people.

Goldman, E. (2012). Leadership practices that encourage strategic thinking. Journal of Strategy and Management, 5(1), 25-40. doi:10.1108/17554251211200437

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