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Too Busy?

Witt, Catherine L. MS, NNP-BC

doi: 10.1097/ANC.0b013e3182778bb8
Letter from the Editor

The author declares no conflicts of interest.

Catherine L

Catherine L

We love to complain about how busy we are, especially around the holidays. It is true that we are busy. We have work to attend to, families who need us, cooking, cleaning, shopping, and appointments. Many of us are in schools so we add papers and discussion postings to the mix. In addition to all of that, we strive to keep up with knowledge and research in our profession. It is no wonder that organizations, including professionally focused ones, have difficulty finding volunteers.

Many people, of course, do volunteer in their church, community, schools, and other areas. Professional associations could not run without volunteer efforts. Yet, it is not always easy to find people to help out, even for short-term projects. Is this really because they are already too busy to add 1 more thing? You may have heard the term-–if you want something done, ask a busy person. I often find this is true—that the people who are already busy are willing to step up and answer the call for help, leaving a fair number that answer very few calls.

There is no question that volunteering aids the communities and organizations affected. It has also been shown to have a positive effect on individual well-being.1 In fact, volunteering can provide a counterbalance to stress.1 Those who volunteer learn new skills, meet new people, and can use those activities to build credibility and visibility in their chosen career. In addition, volunteering often leads to a role identity that encourages more volunteering-–in other words, one activity can lead to others and enhance feelings of empathy and personal well-being.1,2

Membership and involvement in professional organizations, in particular, have been shown to increase job satisfaction, decrease work-related stress, and decrease depression.1,2 Many volunteers I have met through the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) have expressed this phenomenon that as they became more involved in NANN, they were less frustrated with day-to-day work problems and stress.

It is certainly true that most volunteers you meet are busy. One study looked at characteristics of volunteers and noted that those who volunteer in professional associations are more likely to volunteer in their communities. Those who volunteered also tended to progress higher in their career ladder, and the higher their career, the more they volunteered.2 Although they are busy, they are not too busy to give their time and expertise to benefit others.

There is no doubt that all of the volunteers who participate in the success of NANN and the success of Advances in Neonatal Care are busy people. As you look at the editorial board and our list of reviewers, you recognize many of the names as people who have volunteered a lot over the years. They have not only contributed to the success of the organization and publications, but added to their personal satisfaction and enhanced their career opportunities as well. They are no less busy than those who do not volunteer, but they were willing to step up and help where needed. They provide a valuable service. Without the work of the series editors, the editorial board, and the peer reviewers, this journal could not be a reality. Please thank them for their hard work and consider joining them on the list next year.

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1. Thoits PA, Hewitt LH. Volunteer work and well being. J Health Soc Behav. 2001;42:115–131.
2. Nesbit R, Gazley B. Patterns of volunteer activity in professional associations and societies. Int Soc Third-Sector Res. 2012;23:558–583.
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Peer Reviewers

Maureen Allen, BSN, RN, IBCLC

Pamela Almeida, MS, NNP-BC

Carol Andrew, EdD, OTR

Muhammad Aslam, MD

Cindy Barney, MS, NNP-BC

Sandra Beauman, MSN, RNC

Bobby Bellflower, DNSc, NNP

Amy Bieda, MSN

Robin Bissinger, PhD, ARPN, NNP-BC

Brenda LaLa Black, BS, OTR

Marianne Bracht, RN, RSCN

Angie Burd, MSN, APN-C, RNC, CCNS

Jennifer Callen, MS, NNP-BC

Angel Carter, MSN, RN, NNP-BC

Patricia Clifford, MSN, RNC

Garris Keels Conner, DSN, RN

Margaret Conway-Orgel, MS, NNP-BC

Stacy Dalgleish, MN, NNP-BC

Charlene Deuber, DNP, NNP-BC

Darcy Doellman, BSN, RN, CRNI

Anne Engan, RN

Terry Griffin, MS, NNP-BC

Deborah Guglietti, MSN, NNP-BC

Gina Heiss-Harris, DNPO, NNP-BC

Kerstin Hedberg Nyquist, PhD, RN

Diane Hoditch-Davis, PhD, RN, FAAN

Ashley Hodges, PhD, WHNP-BC

Pat Hummel, RNC, MA, NNP-BC, PNP

Irene Hurst, PhD, MSN, RN

Lori Jackson, ND, CCRN, NNP-BC

Alta Kendall, BSN, RNC-NIC

Cheryl King, CCRN, MS

Amy Koehn, MSN, NNP-BC

Nancy Kraft, MSN, NNP-BC

Karen Lasby, MN, RN

Gretchen Lawhon, PhD

Elizabeth Lawrence, MSN, NNP-BC

Brandy Lipscomb, MSN, NNP-BC

Katherine Logee, BSN, RN

Ashley Darcy Mahoney, PhD, NNP-BC

Rosalie Mainous, PhD, ARNP, NNP-BC

Barbara McFadden, MSN, NNP

Rose McGonigle, MSN, NNP-BC

Kathryn McLean, MSN, NNP-BC

Susan Meier, MSN, NNP-BC

Linda Merritt, MS

Keitha Mountcastle, EdD, NNP-BC, CNS

Kristan Natale, BSN, RN

Jean Newbold, MS, MBA, PNP, CNS, RNC

Teresa O'Neill, PhD, APRN, RNC

Leslie Ann Parker, PhD

Barbara Pappas, MS, NNP-BC

Ann Gibbons Phalen, PhD, CRNP

Rita Pickler, PhD, PNP, RN

Judith Polak, MSN, NNP-BC

Lynn Rasmussen, PhD, NNP-BC

Maureen Reilly, RRT

Terry Roff, BSN, RNC-NIC

Lori Bass Rubarth, PhD

Connie Rusk, MS, NNP-BC

Angela Ryan, RN

Haifa Samra, PhD, RN

Ann Schwebel, MSN

Elizabeth Sharpe, MSN, NNP-BC

Joan Renaud Smith, MSN, NNP-BC

Suzanne Staebler, DNP

Natalie Sweeney, MS, CNS, RN

Ema Urbanski, BSN, RNC

Diane Veprauskas, RNC

Brenda Walker, MSN, RNC

Brittany Wall, MSN, NNP-BC, CPNP-PC/AC

Tamera Wallace, MS, NNP-BC, CNNP

Carol Wallman, MS, NNP-BC

Cynthia Weiss, RNC

Carolyn West Jones, MSN, NNP-BC

Rosemary White-Traut, DNS, RN, FAAN

Pamela Whitlow, MS, NNP-BC

Susan Wilcinski, MS, NNP-BC

Valeri Willis, RN

Cathy Wishba, MS, RN

© 2012 National Association of Neonatal Nurses