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  1. Pirrung, Joan Marie MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC

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When I joined the Society of Trauma Nurses (STN) almost 15 years ago, I did not envision being on the board, let alone the president. I joined STN to connect with trauma colleagues from across the nation in an effort to gain knowledge on how to manage a trauma program from a different point of view. I quickly learned there was much more to STN. The networking was easily accomplished, and with it came opportunities to educate on a variety of topics both clinically and programmatically, collaborate with multiple organizations, and mentor other trauma nurses in varying roles. Looking back over the years, there has been an astounding growth in what STN offers. The organization was established by trauma program managers in an effort to support the manager role and the many aspects involved in leading a trauma program. The founding trauma nurses should be commended on this visionary initiative as they created a solid base for the rest of us to build upon and which now supports all aspects of trauma nursing across the continuum of care. The national impact that STN is having on trauma nursing is phenomenal, and I know we have many opportunities to foster the future for all of our members.

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This next year will be no different than those of the past in that STN will continue to assess and meet the needs of the membership. There will be continued growth and expansion of existing initiatives. The first growth spurt for this year was evident in the record number of attendees at the STN annual conference in April. Conference participants spread themselves out among all of the pre- and postconference workshops, plenary sessions, and concurrent sessions; an indication that there were a variety of topics to meet the needs of both clinical and programmatic trauma nurses. There is no doubt that we have started our new year off in the right direction!


So what does the future of STN hold for you this coming year? Following is a glimpse of a few new goals established for the next year. Embedded throughout the goals is my promise to you that we will be successful. I encourage you to find what interests you, become involved, and take advantage of what STN has to offer.


Keep in mind that the goals are built to follow the STN mission, which is to be the premiere global trauma nursing organization across the continuum and to ensure optimal trauma care to all people, globally. Two additions to the board are the clinical director-at-large and expansion of the finance committee. The clinical director-at-large will assist in outlining the trauma nurse's role across the continuum of trauma care and direct educational offerings that are curtailed to specific nursing areas and specialties. This addition aligns with STN's endeavor to attract the more clinically engaged members. All of the STN educational offerings are continually evaluated and updated to ensure current trauma care practices. The expansion of the finance committee provides opportunities for succession planning and further membership involvement, especially for those interested in aspiring to a board position.


There is a plan to assess and compile common criteria for trauma program managers in an effort to provide a comprehensive toolkit that will outline the functions and roles of managers across the nation. Through prior membership surveys and discussions on the STN communities, it is evident that trauma program managers have a host of roles and responsibilities. The toolkit will attempt to assist new managers in understanding their role and perhaps enhance or expand the role of established manager positions in other centers.


The advanced practitioners will see expanded partnerships and workshop development on educational programs and resources. All of our partnerships with various organizations will continue to strengthen and expand over the next year. Keep your eyes on the STN website and monthly newsletters for updates.


Before wrapping up, I would be remiss in not highlighting the Trauma Certified Registered Nurse (TCRN) examination. The preparatory course committee members are motivated to provide an all-inclusive program in an effort for success of all test takers. The energy level surrounding the certification examination is high, and trauma nurses should be proud of this much needed recognition.


It is an exciting time for STN and trauma nursing. I cannot possibly summarize all of the initiatives in a one-page document. This is a flavor of a few new projects to pique your interest in the hopes of inspiring you to frequent the website, utilize the tools online to meet your needs, and entice you to get involved. I will forever be honored and humbled to have been elected as your president over the next year. I am confident that you have elected board members who are passionate to continually evaluate trauma nursing needs and provide tools for you to improve your role no matter where you work, what role you fulfill, or which credentials you carry behind your name. I challenge you to add TCRN behind your current credentials and join STN in its mission to be the premiere global trauma nursing organization.