President's Video: Co-Creating Our Path Forward

Feb 15, 2022

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In a video message, AACN President Beth Wathen recognizes the physical, emotional and mental exhaustion nurses face and addresses the ongoing staffing crisis.

Hi Everyone,

Times are tough right now, and it's sometimes hard to know what to say or even how to say it. I want you to know that I understand the extreme exhaustion and fatigue you're facing. I feel it. I've heard it from you at chapter meetings, and I've seen it firsthand among my colleagues in the PICU where I work.

We're exhausted physically, emotionally and mentally. We're experiencing compassion fatigue, moral injury and despair at levels we've never felt before. And we're also confronted with a staffing crisis that will have lasting impacts on our nursing workforce, on nurse well-being and on patient outcomes.

It's challenging to determine how best to support each other through these crises. So AACN will be hosting a series of live listening sessions and virtual town halls. I invite you to join us at these interactive online forums and to share your current experiences, your questions and even your frustrations. We'll talk about the ways we're collectively advocating for ourselves through AACN's voice at increasingly influential tables, and we'll explore how to co-create our best path forward.

We'll record these sessions; so if you can't make a live event, that's OK. You'll be able to find the recordings on our website.

We have so much to be proud of in what we've accomplished on the front lines of this pandemic, but these accomplishments have taken a significant toll on us. We know we still have challenges ahead. We'll continue using our bold and knowledgeable voices to advocate for what we need to keep our patients and ourselves safe.

Together we are stronger. Our AACN community is intertwined, and we will find our way forward rooted in strength.

Do you have a question for Beth? Please write to her at