Suzanne S. Prevost, PhD, RN, COI
“The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.”
— John Buchan
This quote, from a famous historian and former Canadian governor, captures one of the most important challenges for the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) and the nursing profession. Nurses make up the largest segment of the professional health care workforce in the U.S. and around the world. Nurses are on the front lines of health care delivery, providing the most intimate care to patients and their families, often seven days a week, and 24 hours a day.
Professional nurses possess a unique combination of scientific knowledge, technical skill and human compassion. Several public opinion polls have identified nurses as the most trusted profession. Furthermore, nurses understand the needs of individual patients and families, as well as the health care needs of larger populations, and they know how to navigate complex bureaucratic systems to address these needs. Yet strangely, nurses tend to be underrepresented in the highest ranks of leadership within health care delivery systems, institutions of higher learning and public policy arenas.
Nurses must step up and use their expertise to improve the quality of care to individual patients, the processes in health care delivery systems, the education of health care providers, and the policies that govern this work. STTI members are ideal candidates to accept this challenge. Our members are selected on the basis of their scholarship and leadership potential. We take pride in the fact that our members are among the best and brightest nurses in the world; and we are committed to helping them become highly influential leaders who improve world health. As we look to the future, one of our primary goals within Vision 2020 is “The honor society will continue to be a thought leader in creating and sharing knowledge and in developing leadership resources.”
STTI offers a wide range of leadership resources, including mentored development programs, publications, web-based resources and continuing education programs. During September, members will have the opportunity to convene in Indianapolis, Ind., USA, for our Leadership Forum, where they will learn about successful innovations from nurse leaders in practice, education and public service. Participants will be challenged to develop their individual leadership potential and increase the impact of their local chapters.
Tracks within the Leadership Forum will provide individualized leadership development for students, clinicians and educators. A fourth track will be devoted to leadership in community service and service learning. We hope you will join us to share your leadership journey, enhance your future potential, and learn new strategies to strengthen your local chapter. We look forward to seeing many of you at this important event. If you cannot join us in person, we hope you will share your leadership challenges and successes on The Circle. We can all benefit from the wisdom and experiences of our members. As John Buchan said, “… the greatness is already there.”
Suzanne S. Prevost, PhD, RN, COI
Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International