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Leading with Knowledge – Serving with Heart

May/June 2018

Regina Hoefner-Notz, MS, RN, CPAN, CPN, FASPAN
ASPAN President 2018-2019

It is hard to believe conference has come and gone. I am thrilled to currently be serving as your ASPAN president. Thank you for the honor to be of service to this amazing organization. In this Breathline, I have the opportunity to share some of my ideas and thoughts with you.   


I love ASPAN. ASPAN has provided me many opportunities for professional growth, but I have appreciated the research, evidence, standards and the multitude of resources it has given me. It has also given me an extended family of nurses who believe in the potential of greatness: great patient care, great professional resources and great support when things seem impossible.

A Disney princess once said: “A dream is a wish your heart makes.”1 Like Cinderella, sometimes we cannot see our dreams until someone else identifies the dream and you, the dreamer. I didn’t dare to dream this big until others saw something in me I did not see. To me, this is the essence of ASPAN. Nurse colleagues see potential in everything we do. There are those that see it beyond their patients, and graciously invite others to come along for the magic carpet ride. To continue to change, we need education, knowledge and a community of our peers. And driving this magic carpet of change is you and it is me and it is ASPAN.

The Disney princess has changed dramatically over the years from a victim of circumstance to a fighter and warrior. These princesses were able to see a vision beyond their own needs and formulate actions to connect their peoples. I see their vision of connection as an opportunity. It is our chance to come home to ASPAN, by growing our components and supporting our organizational roots.

We need to be present every day so we can be counted to be at the table and to be part of the process that directs patient care. Nurses bring what is best about holistic patient care. We cannot take any moment for granted. Today more than ever, this collective voice called ASPAN defines this specialty practice as caregivers, educators, researchers and nurse leaders. Imagine how valuable ASPAN’s united voice is for that one nurse, alone in a small facility, seeking safe practice for patients. This nurse has the strength of thousands. This nurse has ASPAN.     

My personal dream stems from being part of a marvelous component, an experience every perianesthesia nurse deserves. As a regional director, I had the privilege of visiting other components and to speak to nurses at the bedside, at the very heart of ASPAN’s purpose. We discussed the need to grow and send ASPAN’s message to every nurse who would listen. The resolve to share ASPAN’s core purpose, its values and PRIDE2 will support each of us as we offer service and care to our perianesthesia colleagues. My dream is to lead with knowledge and to serve with heart. 

We are a volunteer organization. I would like to personally invite you to volunteer your time to work with me this year to continue to build this organization. According to research from the federal government’s Corporation for National and Community Service, “People who routinely volunteer about two hours per week live longer and experience better physical and mental health then those who do not.”3 

People mention things that interfere with volunteering, like time limitations and not knowing anyone, but we all get to know each other a little better when we are together at a conference or other event. And, as nurses, we know how much we can do in just two hours. Some hesitate to volunteer because they don’t think they can make a difference, even though so many nurses strongly desire to make a difference. Volunteering isn’t meant to be just about me or you. It’s about contributing to something greater. In a time of social isolation, volunteering creates a human connection with like-minded individuals helping us articulate and live out our ideals.   

People volunteer for various reasons. Two reasons that stand out are the ideas of personal development, seen as stretching ourselves or learning new skills. The other reason is a sense of community, of making the world or my piece of it (in our case, perianesthesia nursing and ASPAN) better.

Every member is important. We must provide a place to welcome all, to teach and to grow ourselves and each other. ASPAN components are the center of our activity. They are our launching off points to something bigger, but they are also our North Star, providing direction, keeping our bearings and guiding us home.

As I speak about volunteering, I must tie it back to my own ideas of leadership and being of service to others. I want to give you my time and energy as your servant leader. Servant leadership seems intrinsic to nursing; how we serve with strength and humility.5 Part of my dream is to seek out the leader in every nurse and encourage each of us to add our special something to this organization. 

Within ASPAN, this means working together to problem-solve and grow new leaders engaging in the activities associated with running our components through education and with the national organization. It means we all take on some responsibility of moving this organization forward for the betterment of all perianesthesia nurses, recognizing that giving is a gift that will motivate others to give, too.  

My goal is to work with you this year, encourage the growth of our components and to humbly support the amazing work we have seen from this organization. I dare to dream big for me and for you. I implore you to reach inside your heart to find that little bit of time to share your knowledge and experience with others. Join with me to continue to create ASPAN’s professional organization as only perianesthesia nurses can. Your home component is your ASPAN heart. Come home to ASPAN and invite others to share this journey with you. This is where heart, service and knowledge come together to live. This is how we will lead with knowledge and serve with heart.


  1. David M, Hoffman A, Livingston J. A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes. [LP Record]. Hollywood, CA: RCA Victor Records; 1949. 
  2. ASPAN’s Core Ideology. Available at: Accessed May 14, 2018. 
  3. Hetterly J. What are the psychological benefits of volunteering? Psych Bytes Web Site. 2017. Available at: Accessed January 19, 2018.
  4. Moeller P. Why helping others makes us happy. U.S. News & World Report Web Site. 2012. Available at: Accessed January 19, 2018.
  5. Greenleaf RK. The Servant as Leader. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership Web Site. 2016. Available at: Accessed January 19. 2018.

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