Letter from the New NJSNA President
I hope your new year comes with many blessings, no matter how small. As your New Jersey State Nurses Association president, I am here to serve you, the nurses of New Jersey. Over the past year, there have been many challenges in health care and within this nursing community and I am grateful to Kate Gillespie and take many lessons of leadership from her and look forward to having her support as I transition to this role. I truly feel I am blessed to be part of such an amazing nursing community.
During this pandemic, we have been pooling resources and sharing the scientific information as it becomes available. The American Nurses Association recently recognized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the recommended website for COVID-19 information. Many of our health care colleagues have made the videos and produced webinars about the day to day and minute by minute about the emerging challenges of a disease that has unpredictable outcomes despite our best efforts and now variants. Our governor, Gov. Murphy, and Commissioner of Health Judy Persichilli continue to make great efforts to keep New Jersey informed and abreast of advancements regarding the pandemic as they lead an all-out public health effort in our state.
You are amazing! You have shared the triumphs and hardships of working in an environment where our lives are at risk in a way that is unprecedented in the workplace, the community and every aspect of our lives.
At no other time that I can remember, the amount of information has been so overwhelming. Echoing the American Nursing Association, keeping credible sites in the mix is so important. There is also a sense that nurses are feeling isolated, experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder or exacerbation of mental health issues. You are not alone. There are resources that offer help for managing what may seem like an unmanageable time including:
- American Nurses Association Well-Being Initiative
- Mental Health for Nurses
- Virtual Schwartz Rounds: Fostering Compassion, Connection and Community
Being a nurse should never mean shouldering a burden alone. Together, we bring the strength of a gentle ear, a kind wisdom and a commitment to healing. I once heard that when closing an email, they chose to offer a positive message by signing off with “Blue Skies,” as a way of sending off the reader with the promise of a beautiful day.
Mary Ellen Levine, DNP MSN RN
New Jersey State Nurses Association President