President's Video: Starting Now: Renewed Hope

Jul 25, 2022

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In the inaugural video of her term, AACN President Amanda Bettencourt introduces the new AACN theme, shares a powerful personal account, and encourages nurses to tell others their own stories.

Hi everyone. I'm thrilled to start my term as president and to serve our community of exceptional nurses, and I'm excited to share my thoughts on AACN's new theme for the year: Starting Now.

It's been a challenging and exhausting two-plus years, but Starting Now is about rebooting ourselves. It's about moving forward with renewed hope, because hope transforms us. Hope helps us see the opportunities for positive change in every moment of our lives. We will never forget the massive challenges and suffering the pandemic has brought, but at the same time it's also really important that we celebrate the triumphs and tell our stories.

In my NTI address, I recounted a personal story of a difficult professional experience from when I was a newer nurse. That experience changed me and set my career on a whole new course. All because someone helped me to find light in that dark time, to uncover hope and start on a new path. I really encourage you to share with others and tell your own stories. You never know who might be hugely impacted by the experiences you share.

For many of us, it might feel like we've been wandering in a dark cave for the past two years. But Starting Now, we have found a way forward and we are on our way out of it.

As an organization, besides continuing to produce the top notch resources, conferences and certifications you're accustomed to, AACN is also deeply committed to advancing advocacy about what matters most to nurses and patients. Right now, we know what nurses want most is to work in healthy environments with appropriate staffing. And our advocacy work is in high gear, leading national level groups aimed at finding new and lasting solutions to these long-standing and unacceptable issues. Each of you — and I — know firsthand that it is impossible to deliver safe care to patients when there are not enough nurses. And our patients deserve better.

Starting Now, we all can become bold and relentless advocates for doing the next right thing. Where are our opportunities for advocacy? Everywhere. In our communities. In public and private forums. In social media and traditional media. With our family, with our neighbors, with our friends. And, let's remember, we also need to advocate for ourselves and to support each other as colleagues, because sacrificing our own well-being benefits no one.

As a community this year, let's break some new ground and create a future for ourselves and our patients that is stronger and more beautiful than ever before. Let's not be afraid to ruffle some feathers along the way, because we know what we need to thrive in this profession and to deliver the care our patients absolutely deserve.

Let's do this together: Starting Now.

What does Starting Now mean to you? How will you embrace renewed hope and shine a light for others? I'd love to hear about it.Please write to me at