This presentation is addressed primarily to the changing role of the nurse in child health care from the viewpoint of nursing commitments to practice and education, and the challenges nursing faces today as it fulfills those commitments through change and accepts new ones.
I will address myself to these viewpoints on a continuum moving rapidly from the past to the future. This movement to fulfill nursing's commitments may be described as one that progresses from impotence to impact.
Nursing has at least four commitments: to society, to the health care system, to the profession, and to the individual nurse. For many years nurses sat around cogitating over the definition of nursing. This inertia, best described as "analysis paralysis," has been overcome and nurses are now seriously committed to provide care for people.Caring for people—for children and families, for those in trouble and pain—requires assuming a role of