Here we are in 2024. Even as I post this in the second month of this year, I remain uncertain how I really feel. There are plenty of signs for optimism yet the underlying feeling of what’s next.
2024 marks my thirty year anniversary as a nurse. Nursing was not my first career. I had many years in hospitality, issuing bail bonds, lifeguarding, and management. When I returned to college to seek a degree in business, one of my instructors inquired in my interest in nursing. At that time there was a severe shortage, and I needed a solid career. I had found my calling. The first 15 years were in the ED in Rochester NY and the last was in emergency management for the state of New York.
As I assume this role as president, I cannot think of all those that led me in my career. Those first that challenged me to decide if my nursing would be a profession or a job, those that nudged me into taking added responsibilities, and those that guided me into ENA. They were all giants to me. I have also been honored to mentor dozens in their budding career and continue to learn from those advancing in nursing.
I have been asked in the past several years why one should belong to ENA. I stumbled through what one would expect, professional development, networking, and resources. What I have concluded is ENA provides confidence. The Emergency Nurse Pediatric Course, (ENPC) ended my night sweats fearing the arrival of a parent with a limp kid in their arms and not knowing what to do. My first state conference in Buffalo NY showed me nurses practicing in NYC, the Adirondacks, and the southern tier were all facing the same challenges, and some had good solutions. My attendance at a national conference led to a professional connection that resulted in an equipment upgrade for our department.
2024 will challenge all aspect of emergency nursing. Staffing issues, supply chain events, weather impacts, workplace violence, political division, and economic strain will challenge our training, education, dedication, and resolve. There is current legislation under development that may fundamentally change how we practice. Join us as we discuss the issues, look at solutions, and learn from your experiences.
Although my current semi-retired status has me far from stretcher side, I shall always identify as an ED nurse.
Patrick M Byrne BSN RN MEP CHEC