Editor's note: Each January AJN examines the major stories affecting nurses and health care during the previous year. This year's top stories aren't too different from those we highlighted last January: the continuing debate over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and how to fix the floundering economy continue to top our list. And while we hoped that Congress would move past its partisan squabbling to address these incredibly important issues, it didn't happen, even among members of the bipartisan deficit “super committee,” which failed to find a compromise solution to reduce the deficit. For nursing, it was all about whether the Institute of Medicine's Future of Nursing report would create change. Clinical news shows that consumers are still wary of vaccines and confused about screening guidelines; on a global level, the focus seems to have shifted from AIDS to noncommunicable diseases.