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Hope Is Not a Strategy

We are experiencing some of the most challenging times ever seen in our country in terms of divisiveness, anger, senseless violence, and lack of respect for others who are different from ourselves. It can be discouraging to listen to and see the turmoil being experienced every day. In times like these what we may have difficulty maintaining is hope for the future.

We support the patients and families we care for to maintain hope in adverse times. This act of fostering hope can be translated to our own lives—in our daily work settings, with our families, in our communities, and in our society. Hope is essential for believing that the future will be better. But have you heard the phrase “hope is not a strategy”? Simply hoping that improvements will occur in our work environments, in achieving optimal care for patients, or in improving the community discourse is not enough. We must take strength from our hope to drive us to use our voices, working together to move us to action.

The new theme that AACN President Lisa Riggs unveiled at NTI 2018 in Boston is “Our Voice, Our Strength.”1 Whereas this theme is perfect for encouraging action to improve care and advocate for our patients, it also aligns with using our voice to impact challenges we are facing throughout our daily lives. In times like these, it is imperative that we nurture hope, find our voice and strength, and act to find common ground and resolutions to the issues that confront and challenge us all. As noted in a philosophical discussion about Nietzsche’s view of hope, “[r]easonable hope is thus grounded in a trust in one’s capacity to bring about the desired outcome.”2

Acting to find solutions together will ensure that our hope for a better future becomes a reality.

Mary Fran Tracy, PhD, RN, CCNS

  1. Riggs L. Acting our way into a new way of thinking. AACN Bold Voices. 2018;10(7):4.
  2. Bloeser C, Stahl T. Hope. In: Zalta EN, ed. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Spring 2017 Edition. Stanford, CA: The Metaphysics Research Lab; 2017.
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