Blog Post 10.29.2015  MJ Goolsby

The NP Tribe

I recently re-read Seth Godin’s lessons on leadership, summarized in Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us (2008). Tribes is written largely as a manifesto; it is thought-provoking and motivational. Godin describes a tribe as a group of individuals who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea. As NPs, we share a passion for the collective ability of those practicing in the NP role to contribute to the health of our communities. While we do not have to all turn to one individual leader, in order to reach the full potential of the NP role, we need to affiliate with others through practice and leadership organizations at the local, state, and/or national levels, forming and functioning as a Tribe.

Moreover, we must realize that leaders are not “born” but rise to the occasion by being willing to step-up and facilitate connections and actions. We all have that capacity. Godin frequently uses the terms “rabble rousers” and “heretics” to describe leaders—terms that well-describe our NP role founders and many of our current leaders. And in today, these are important characteristics. So how does Godin describe leader?

Blog Post 9.1.2015  MJ Goolsby

With great power comes great responsibility (Voltaire).  Those of us who enjoy the awareness of and opportunities for NP practice owe great debt to our NP-founders and leaders who have spent 50 years grasping earlier golden moments and advancing health care.  Our responsibility is now to our patients, as well as to future NPs and those they will serve.  This blog series is a call to action to NPs to pay it forward in a number of ways, such as preparing others through preceptorships and mentorships, supporting advocacy efforts, continuing to demonstrate and document outcome excellence, staying engaged in professional life, remaining centered yet skeptical, and continually planning and preparing for future needs. My call to action is incomplete, but includes a number of challenges for readers. The list is fairly long, but think of actions that are missing.


Blog Post 7/16/2015 MJ Goolsby

This is part 2 of a blog series based on a keynote presentation: It’s a Great Time to Be an NP—Our Golden Moment! where I reviewed select factors making 1965 and today Golden Moments for the emergence and success of the NP role, with as actions we should take to secure our contributions to healthcare.  My topic was influenced by the words of William Samuel Johnson, “to improve the golden moment of opportunity and catch the good that is within our reach, is the great art of life.”  See part 1, below.

So what is it about the past couple of years that leads me to call this another Golden Moment and a Great Time to be an NP?  Several come to mind and I expect that readers will think of others that I omit.  My list is broad but not all-inclusive.

Blog Post 7.09.2015  MJ Goolsby

This is the first in a blog series, based on the keynote presentation I made at TNP’s 2014 conference: It’s a Great Time to Be an NP—Our Golden Moment! I took the opportunity to briefly remind my audience of the historical situations that made the mid-1960’s a Golden Moment for the creation of the NP movement, to identify factors that currently present another Golden Moment, and to present a call to action to ensure that we act accordingly now and the future, as “to improve the golden moment of opportunity and catch the good that is within our reach, is the great art of life” (William Samuel Johnson). 

In this installment, I’ll again provide a brief overview of the events leading up to 1965, that golden moment of 50 years ago, that our NP founders so proactively recognized in establishing the first NP program.  However, we cannot look at 1965 in isolation and so  . . . Where to start? 

For the purpose of this essay, we start with the 1950’s, which may well harken the emergence of modern medicine and modern nursing.  While many of us look back at the 1950’s nostalgically, this decade was, in fact, a time of change. 1949 was the peak of the post-WWII Baby Boom and the following years continued a trend of population growth.  The 1950’s witnessed the dawn of the Space Age and new technologies. The Korean War, beginning in 1950, placed nurses near the front line in MASH units, where they were exposed to a new and challenging environment and, by necessity, functioned in a new and expansive scope of practice. During the 1950’s we witnessed the emergence of new miracle drugs such as penicillin and streptomycin, as well as the early triumph over polio. Medical technologies exploded with advancements such as heart-lung machines, which influenced medical and surgical practices and, ultimately, nursing advancement with the growing need for nursing critical care. Academic nursing evolved with the growth of university-based programs that imparted more scientific content and focused increasingly on knowledge versus technical skills.  While the ADN was introduced, so was there a growth in advanced nursing degrees and nursing faculty needs.

Blog Post 11/4/2013 MJ Goolsby

This weekend, we turned back time, figuratively, at least.  As I thought about the difference in falling back and leaping forward, I began reflecting on the past several months in the healthcare environment.  So much is going on, everything moving forward.  Constant discussions regarding the growing gap in access to care, the potential held by the NP role in easing the gap, the future of ACA, and what all this means for the individual patients and for the population.  The lack of evidence-base for NP scope of practice restrictions continues to receive news coverage.


I recently set a goal to identify one or more articles supportive of the NP role weekly and to share through my Linked In pages. What I learned is that this isn’t a difficult task.  It is a rare day when some article does not meet my criteria of describing NP role’s potential as it relates to improving healthcare of the patients and communities we serve.


We cannot turn back time.  As a young discipline, approaching the 50 years mark, we must continue forward.  And we are perhaps at a tipping point. Take advantage of the information in the press to raise discussions among your patients, colleagues, policy-makers, and others. Let’s enhance the broad understanding of the NP role.  Scan the environment for opportunities and challenges.  Continue to connect with patients, engaging them in their care and authentically demonstrating who you are as a healthcare provider.   Seek evidence to support high quality, patient-centered care on a daily basis.  Learn from those NPs who have gone before us and the influences they’ve made.  However, we have no need to turn back time. . . . Let’s continue demonstrating the significance of NP care on a daily basis.