Step Forward — AACN President's Theme

On July 1, President Vicki Good launched Step Forward as AACN’s theme for 2013–2014.

“We lead when we step forward,” Good explains. “Stepping forward starts with just one step at a decisive moment. When we take that first step, we carry out our unique role advocating for patients and their families, so they can move from the darkness of a challenge to the light of a solution.”

Original art designed by Canadian artist Helen D’Souza illustrates key elements of this year’s theme.

A confident figure with outstretched arms strides through the portal at a decisive moment to do the right thing, transforming knowledge into positive action.

Integrity requires us to do the right thing, even when it’s unpopular and we’re not in the majority. It’s our personal code of ethics and a compass that aligns what we do with our deepest values. Integrity reminds us and shows others that we refuse to stay in the shadows and take the easy way out.

Stepping forward leaves an unavoidable wake. Just like a swimmer, our wake can be smooth or it can be choppy. In this case it’s a positive wake as we move forward toward a better future. Our wake represents our personal character, which changes and grows as we experience life.

It becomes our personal legacy as, each and every day, we make valuable contributions to our patients, their families and our co-workers. It’s up to us to decide what kind of wake each of our contributions will leave.

Outstretched hands transfer and receive knowledge. The confident figure is a unifying force that brings the team together.

An internal compass points the way toward decisions informed by our individual moral sense and ethic of care.

“I hope members of our community of exceptional nurses will nominate colleagues for a Circle of Excellence Award, so we may applaud the valuable contribution of their steps forward,” Good says.

Find ideas to implement the theme at work, in your chapter and in other professional activities.

Download graphic resources, and order approved theme art products.

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