Our 21st Century Legacy – Nurses Thriving

The Tides Are Turning in Nursing. 


Nursing is ever evolving. Nursing parallels the evolution of the human experience and society’s health, healing and caring needs within the consciousness of the time.

Through history, nursing has designed and provided caregiving individually and collectively for those affected by illness, injury or disability. Nursing involves the balance of each person’s personal, physical and environmental capabilities and resources, while ensuring safety, autonomy, and sustaining the whole person.

In each phase of history, the essence of nursing has been authentic caring.


Over recent decades, the rapid rise of science and technology and the stronghold of business demands have restrained nursing’s collective voice around authentic caring within the healthcare industry.


The tides are now turning; the forces of monetization of caring in healthcare and society’s wellness consciousness are taking hold.

Wellness consciousness is the recognition that health isn’t just absence of disease and illness; it’s mind, body, spirit health, it’s holistic health.

This is nursing’s domain.

Patients are bringing their holistic values into their healthcare encounters, expecting to be seen as a whole person. They are turning to nurses for authenticity and caring connection creating a sense of wellbeing for both patient and nurse.

What Does This Mean For Nurse Leaders?

Understanding these contextual forces brings nurse leaders to a new territory, one of legacy, a legacy of nurses thriving in nursing.

Do we not have an obligation to make standard that which we know will help nurses thrive in nursing?

  • We know that the healthcare industry is a beast to work in, that caring experiences are far too few, and that authentic caring connections heal.
  • We know that there is science behind the solution.

What we have not recognized is the strong influence nurse leaders within healthcare organizations can have in translating nurses’ real time caring experiences into caring literacy with nurses—and simultaneously cultivating nurses’ inner resources.

Academicians and educators have been sounding the benefits of caring science, research and processes to nurses and students for decades — too often falling on deaf ears.

The seas are too rough and the noise is too loud amidst the demands.

Our Legacy

We know that if we nurse leaders want nurses to focus on authentic caring, then we must focus on it as leaders.

Nurse leaders are in the best position and are the only ones with the credibility to make the invisible visible and the unrealistic realistic.

Nurse leaders can ebb the tide of attrition.

Retention is our top priority for nurses, patients, healthcare and society, despite all other worthy priorities nurse leaders are consumed in.

If attrition trends are not reversed, the other priorities won’t matter. We cannot sidestep this looming obligation.

Retention in the 21stcentury calls nurse leaders to turn to nurses and tap into their deep motivations. Help nurses cultivate their inner resources so that they can thrive in nursing.

This is our 21stcentury legacy. We can turn the tide of authentic caring in healthcare and save nurses from leaving nursing. 

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