The Capacity to Make a Real Difference
A Letter from President Susan Groenwald
Forty-eight years ago this fall, I enrolled in a diploma nursing program at a school two towns over from mine. I chose nursing for a simple reason: my mother had always wanted to be a nurse. She encouraged me to follow that path, and the dutiful daughter that I was, I obliged.
At that time, I thought I was simply preparing for a job. I had no idea how far nursing would take me over the next five decades – from staff nurse to my current position as president of Chamberlain College of Nursing – or that I would find my career so fulfilling on so many levels.
Not long after I began my career, I realized a powerful truth: Nurses have the capacity to make a real difference. We are what former Institute of Medicine President Harvey, MD, PhD, calls “a linchpin for healthcare reform” – connected to everyone and everything, and uniquely positioned to implement systemic change. Joanne Disch, PhD, RN, FAAN, chair of Chamberlain’s Board of Trustees, remarks that nurses view healthcare through a unique lens that includes the person, family and community.
Whether it’s at the bedside of a patient or in the boardroom, an extraordinary nurse is equipped with the perspective, skills and knowledge to make a profound impact on healthcare. That is exactly the type of nurse that we at Chamberlain aim to prepare – the extraordinary nurse who will transform healthcare.
We do it through our approach to education – Chamberlain Care®. We believe that students thrive when they have faculty and staff who believe in them and provide the resources they need to be successful. We take extraordinary care of our students and teach them how to take extraordinary care of the people and families entrusted to their care.
In each issue of The Chamberlain, we will share stories of the amazing work that students, faculty and alumni are doing – work that demonstrates just how extraordinary they are. We’ll examine some of the issues that are affecting the nursing industry today and explore the educational environment that’s shaping the nurses of tomorrow. In this first issue, we’re also covering a topic that is near and dear to me – the need for nurses to pay attention to their own wellness needs, so that they can bring their best selves to the job every day.
As nurses and nurse educators, we have an enormous responsibility – one that is reflected in the name of our magazine. The word “chamberlain” is derived from the Middle English word chaumberlein, which means “chief steward.” Today, more than ever, the nurse is the chamberlain, the coordinator of care at the center of the patient experience. Likewise, our faculty and staff are the chamberlains of their students’ education, ensuring that students have the resources to succeed and the skills and knowledge to deliver extraordinary care.
Susan L. Groenwald
PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN
President, Chamberlain College of Nursing