Margaret Barton-Burke PhD, RN, FAAN
Margaret Barton-Burke PhD, RN, FAAN

This is my last Working for You column as your ONS president, and I have been reflecting on these past two years. My term completes on May 1, 2016, after the business meeting at ONS Congress. Recently an ONS member wrote and told me I had begun my last 100 days; meanwhile, another member wrote that he wished I could be president for one more year. These are just two examples of the many ways that I have been touched by so many of you during the past two years. The ONS presidency has changed me.

CHANGE has been a theme throughout my presidency. Think about it. The ONS staff leadership changed, bringing on the third chief executive officer in 40 years. The ONS Board of Directors changed the ONS mission, vision, and core values; developed a strategic plan that aligns with the revisions; and created bylaw changes for members’ vote.

In so many ways, it feels like I have been leading an organization that was destined to change and needed to change so it could keep pace with the changing healthcare environment. The January 2016 issue of the Nurse Leaders and Program Development SIG Newsletter focuses on change in the healthcare environment with a coordinator’s message by Thelma Baker, MSN, RN, OCN®, and a reflective article by Angela Adjetey-Appiah, RN, MSN, MPH, MA, FAACM. Both are related to change and worth the read.

Speaking of change, I use a quote at the bottom of my email signature from Mahatma Ghandi that reads, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I like that quote and use it often, because change begins with each one of us: whether it is caring for patients, caring for one another, asking hard questions when we see something is “not quite right,” or just trying to make the world a better place.

My final reflection about change comes from the Bible, the book of Ecclesiastes, or a song by the Byrds titled “Turn, Turn, Turn." Both of these works reference the idea of having a time for everything. When I stepped into the ONS presidency, my only goal was to leave the organization in a better place. Did I think there would be so much change taking place in such a short period of time? Of course not, but as my time finishes as your ONS president, I am pleased to leave ONS changed and poised to be the preeminent organization begun 41 years ago. It has been my pleasure being your ONS president.

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