Keeping Your Compass Pointed North

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Advocacy, education, leadership development, research, and partnership. It seems it was just last week that the Society of Trauma Nurses (STN) held its 20th Annual Meeting in St. Louis, MO, and these topics were being discussed. Indeed, these five terms are the pillars in the STN strategic plan. It was these terms that members were focused on as they met with colleagues and exchanged new and exciting ideas. It was wonderful to see old friends and to make new ones. Spring has come and gone, and we are now in the days of summer. Many of us will travel this summer on vacations and use maps, compasses, the stars, GPS devices, or your smartphone to point you in the right direction. No matter what type of navigation device you use, may you have safe, fun, relaxing, and memorable journeys.
As I discussed in my presidential talk, we are all traveling on a road pursuing our professional journeys as trauma nurses. On that journey, we all need to have a compass to make sure that we are headed in the right direction so that we can find our true north. I would like to invite you to use STN as your compass on your professional journey as a trauma nurse. No matter where you are on that journey, STN has the ability to assist you to be on your right road. I hope those who were fortunate enough to attend the annual meeting were able to have thought-provoking discussions with peers and the STN leadership. The ability to connect, be educated, and inspired are the reasons that I have kept coming back to STN's annual meetings for years.
Joan Pirrung, past president of STN, wrote about the STN strategic plan and how it is the compass that the Board of Directors (BOD) utilizes to stay on our path to true north (Pirrung, 2017). STN is looking to inspire excitement about trauma nursing in the novice to expert nurse. We are looking to promote active membership engagement and evolve as an organization to meet changing membership, professional, and generational expectations.
Trauma nursing occurs wherever nurses care for injured patients. It takes place throughout the continuum of care from the prehospital environment through the resuscitations, surgery, recovery, rehabilitation, and return to the community. Trauma nursing includes advocating for the patient care—including local and national legislature—providing prevention education, and conducting research to further practice. Trauma nursing occurs in prehospital settings, trauma centers, rural hospitals, clinics, homes, churches, schools, sporting and scouting events, and military environments. Regardless of the geographic setting, remote, rural, urban, suburban, or whether a hospital has trauma designation or not, the trauma nurse is a core team member and responsible for the coordination and delivery of trauma care.
With our compass needle pointing north, the BOD moves toward advocacy, education, leadership development, research, and partnership—These five words are what inspire the STN BOD to move ahead with projects that are meaningful to the membership and the profession of trauma nursing. The BOD is always looking for ideas that help members perform in their work environment to the best of their ability. The BOD looks for initiatives that are interesting, are causes or ideas that members will care about, and will make a difference in whatever aspect of trauma nursing they are involved.
STN recognizes that time is a very precious thing and that its members are busier today than ever. Their days are long and full with 12-hr shifts and sometimes lengthy commutes. Their calendars are packed with family, friends, school, and other responsibilities.
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