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New Year’s Resolutions, Old Year reflections

January 1 has come and gone, and you know what that means. People are vowing to lose weight, become more organized, exercise more, be more patient, eat better, and ________ (fill in your own resolution). New Year’s resolutions have been with us for 4,000 years, ever since the Babylonians began celebrating the start of each new planting cycle.

I’m all for New Year’s resolutions. In fact, I seem to like them so much that I make them all the time, even without waiting for January 1. At any rate, the temptation to “resolve” is strong at this time of year! So, here’s a tip: The resolutions most likely to be kept are rooted in reflection. If you have New Year’s resolutions, why not some Old Year reflections?

What have we learned in the past year?

  1.  Compromise works only if both parties actually want to get something done.
  2.  If you have enough money combined with little regard for the truth, you really can fool some of the people all the time.
  3.  If people are pushed hard enough for long enough, they will push back –
    and they won’t care whether they shove the innocent or the guilty out of
  4.  Legislators must take care of what the people want (e.g., jobs) even
    before they take care of what the people need (e.g., health care).
  5.  When the chips are down, people are willing to blame almost anybody but themselves.
  6.  The Institute of Medicine (IOM) really can change. It released a report
    supporting the need for nurses to practice to their fullest educational
  7.  The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future is working,
    enhancing the image of the nurse and encouraging enrollment in nursing
  8.  You can strip search babies and old ladies, but when you start messing with a guy’s “junk” you’ll start a revolution!
  9.  Someone said, “War is hell.” I don’t remember anyone saying that war is endless.
  10.  Compassion is not dead. The entire world responded to the terrible earthquake in Haiti.

What can we resolve for 2011? Well, a resolution must be achievable, and to be achievable, it must be under our control. So perhaps the nursing profession’s best would be to do all in our power to push for full implementation of the IOM recommendations on the future of nursing. A good starting point for that is to get the report and read it. Then let’s carve it up into manageable bits and delegate parts of it to various entities in nursing. An all-out blitz like that just may pay off.


  1. Is allowing nurses to practice to the fullest extent of their education REALLY in nurses’ control? If so, we would have it already!

  2. Nursing has been pushing for this agenda fo decades…I don’t think we can do it alone…How about forming a coalition with other groups???Though we’ve tried that oo!


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