Board Liaison's Message - May 2020

Board Liaison's Message

You Make a Difference - Happy Nurses Month!

A Note from Sheila St. Cyr, MS, RN, NPD-BC

My esteemed colleagues,

2020. The year started full of anticipation for new opportunities and recognition for nursing. This year is designated as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife by the World Health Organization and observes the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday. As nursing professional development (NPD) practitioners, many of us were anticipating ANPD’s 2020 convention, Aspire… to Envision. What a year 2020 was going to be for us! Who could have fathomed that 2020 would also bring a novel coronavirus pandemic that affects the entire world? These unprecedented times have brought turmoil, anxiety, and fear to the public. Nurses are on the frontline of this pandemic and are collaborating with other healthcare providers to ensure patients receive the best care possible while also trying to allay the fear and anxiety of the public. Nurses are doing what they do best, and we NPD practitioners are doing what we do best!

It is NOT ironic that the theme for the 2020 Year of the Nurse is Lead – Innovate – Excel. NPD practitioners across the world are accomplishing all of these elements during this time. We have had to become creative in preparing and providing just-in-time training and innovative alternate delivery methods for orientation and competency validation with respect to social distancing. For some, it has even meant joining our colleagues at the frontline to provide hands-on patient care. We have had to lead our teams during this time and offer them encouragement. We have excelled in all roles of the NPD practitioner. Through hard work and perseverance, we are proving that we have earned this year of appreciation!

The month of May is now upon us and hopefully we can begin to take a few deep breaths and take time to enjoy Nurses Month. To honor Florence Nightingale's 200th birthday and celebrate the Year of Nurse, the American Nurses Association (ANA), expanded Nurses Week to a month-long celebration with a theme of "You Make a Difference." Florence Nightingale practiced during the Crimean War in the 1850s. As Our Lady with the Lamp affected her patients in a significant way, nurses today are making a difference too. Lillee Gelinas, Editor-in-Chief for the American Nurse journal, reflected on how nursing’s work is sometimes described as “invisible” (Gelinas, 2020, para. 2). The current events surrounding the pandemic have allowed nursing, in all its forms, to come into the spotlight. The public can readily see the efforts, sacrifices, and humility of what we do. I have been amazed and proud of the timely offerings from ANPD and its membership. I am astounded and awed by the individual efforts I have read about from NPD practitioners across the country and the amazing work they are doing. Each of you MAKE A DIFFERENCE! 

Now that National Nurses Week is expanded to a total of 31 days, we have more opportunity to celebrate who we are, what we do, and the contributions we make. ANA has designated a theme for each week in May, including self-care, recognition, professional development, and community engagement. With today’s environment, self-care is that much more important (ANA Enterprise, 2020), and I sincerely hope you take time to engage in some form of self-care. Depending on where you live and the workload you are experiencing, you may not be able to celebrate Nurse’s Month during the designated timeframe. However, you can delay the celebrations and when time, or even energy, permits, take a moment of pause to celebrate you, your team, your facility, and your community.

I want to personally thank you for your efforts now and in the future. For NPD practitioners, the future will likely entail being more creative and innovative in the work we do. I know each of you will meet the challenge head-on and will excel in your endeavors. Happy Nurses Month and thank you for making a difference!

All the best,

Sheila Signature.jpg

Sheila St. Cyr, MS, RN, NPD-BC
Director, ANPD Board of Directors
Controlled Substance Diversion Prevention Specialist
Department of Pharmacy
OU Medicine


American Nurses Association Enterprise. (2020). About Nurses Month.

Gelinas, L. (2020, January 1). Year of the Nurse 2020: How will you celebrate?

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