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on SigmaTheta Tau International
February 17, 2004 Print this articleE-Mail this article What is Sigma Theta Tau International and what does it do?Sigma Theta Tau provides leadership and scholarship in practice, education and research to enhance the health of all people. We support the learning and professional development of our members, who strive to improve nursing care worldwide.Why did you decide to run for president of Sigma Theta Tau?Throughout my professional career, I have maintained a belief that creative thinking is a valued requisite skill for nursing scientists, practitioners and educators. I believe that promoting the creative thinking skills of nurses is crucial for the development of clinical reasoning, future thinking and leadership education. I believe these are some of the things Sigma Theta Tau does best. Our six founders formed the honor society in 1922 to maintain the spirit of nursing through the revitalizing social effects of shared knowledge, learning and the joy of service. I believe it is time to renew that commitment.What is the focus of your presidency?My presidential call to action is “Create the Future Through Renewal.” To be in a leadership position, one needs to think creatively, anticipate the future and take care of self. Self-care involves doing the inner psychological work or self-inquiry that helps clarify values, commitments and beliefs. I believe that as self is renewed, it is easier to talk about renewal through attention to service.Service, in turn, is supported by renewal through attention to the scholarship of reflective practice. Reflective practice, in turn, is supported through renewed attention to the knowledge work of science that supports evidence-based care. Evidence-based care, in turn, influences and affects the renewal of society at large through attention to the value of nursing care knowledge worldwide. Finally, as we rediscover and renew our commitments to self, service, the scholarship of reflective practice, the knowledge derived from our science and conversations about the value of nursing knowledge, we will experience renewal of spirit.Tell us about Sigma Theta Tau’s involvement with Nurses for a Healthier Tomorrow.Sigma Theta Tau is one of 43 nursing and health care organizations nationwide that is a part of the Nurses for a Healthier Tomorrow coalition. NHT’s main goal is to help combat the nursing shortage by motivating qualified individuals to seek a career in nursing. The initial campaign in 2001—“Nursing. It’s Real. It’s Life.”—was so successful in recruiting people to the nursing profession that many nursing schools throughout the country had waiting lists for students seeking enrollment. These waiting lists were, in large part, due to the lack of nursing faculty. Therefore, NHT has just launched its second campaign—“Nursing education 85 pass it on.”—to address the nursing faculty shortage issue and focus on how to encourage students, nurses in clinical practice and nurse administrators to consider nursing education on either a full- or part-time basis.What are the challenges facing men in nursing?Raising issues about differences between men and women who pursue nursing as a career often diverts attention from the real issue about the value of care and caring in our society. Imagine a world without nurses—male or female. The opposite of nursing is negligence. Society has a desire for nursing and a fear of negligence. Being a male nurse requires insight, courage and conviction. Men who choose a career path in nursing are more likely to have engaged in serious soul searching about their personal and professional values and beliefs. Humans who engage in intentional soul searching often are sustained by the courage of their convictions in spite of stereotypes, minority status, voice and influence.Most male nurses I know have made a conscious philosophical commitment to the values of care and service. Male nurses embody the courage of their convictions. Nursing is a means for them to align what they believe with what they do. Male nurses make value statements every day because of who they are and what they commit themselves to do.Pesut’s Call to Action Resource Guide can be found at www.nursingsociety.org.
Dan Pesut, Ph.D., APRN, FAAN, is president of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and professor and chair of the environments for health department at Indiana University School of Nursing. He earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Northern Illinois University, his master’s degree in psychiatric nursing from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and his Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Michigan. He can be reached at [email protected].
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