By Dr. Colleen Morley, DNP, RN, CCM, CMAC, CMCN, ACM-RN, FCM

We collectively create the meaning of time—it has no predetermined meaning until we give it meaning. To say that something, like time, is a social construction is not to say that it doesn’t exist or it is merely an illusion, but instead that humans have created systems of meaning that creates the concept of time. (Karen Sternheimer, 2016)

December is here!  Just a short note because I know how busy we all are going into this time of the year.

Here in Chicago, we have already had below-freezing days and snow (not my favorite parts) but I do enjoy the month of December.

The quote above interested me related to how important the month of December is; from major cultural observances like Hanukah, Christmas, Pancha Ganapati, and Kwanzaa to winter solstice celebrations and the celebration of a New Year. The symbolism of the “end” of a year and beginning of “new”; the ability to “start fresh” or recommit to something based on time has always appealed to my perspective. (More on that in my January blog) The ‘system of meaning’ assigned to December is rather significant.

We live fast-paced lives and this year has run by us incredibly quickly. December tends to be a very busy and stressful time of the year. Let’s take a moment to stop and reflect on the reasons December is so busy. December is a time to appreciate family and friends through gatherings and celebrations. Planning those celebrations, attending those celebrations can be time-consuming and stressful. Take some time for self-care during this busy season. And take some time this December and enjoy just being with your loved ones.

In appreciation, I would like to say “Thank you” to the case management community, the CMSA community, the CMSA National BOD and PMG staff for all of the support during these 1st 6 months in the role of President. It has been much appreciated and I am looking forward to some incredible times ahead!

Blessings to all and happy December,

Bio: Dr. Colleen Morley, DNP, RN, CCM, CMAC, CMCN, ACM-RN, FCM, is the Associate Chief Clinical Operations Officer, Care Continuum for University of Illinois Health System and the current President of the Case Management Society of America National Board of Directors.  She has held positions in acute care as Director of Case Management at several acute care facilities and managed care entities in Illinois, overseeing Utilization Review, Case Management and Social Services for over 14 years; piloting quality improvement initiatives focused on readmission reduction, care coordination through better communication and population health management.

Her current passion is in the area of improving health literacy. She is the recipient of the CMSA Foundation Practice Improvement Award (2020) and ANA Illinois Practice Improvement Award (2020) for her work in this area. Dr. Morley also received the AAMCN Managed Care Nurse Leader of the Year in 2010 and the CMSA Fellow of Case Management designation in 2022. Her 1st book, “A Practical Guide to Acute Care Case Management”, published by Blue Bayou Press was released in February 2022.

Dr. Morley has over 20 years of nursing experience. Her clinical specialties include Med/Surg, Oncology and Pediatric Nursing.  She received her ADN at South Suburban College in South Holland, IL; BSN at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, FL, MSN from Norwich University in Northfield, VT and her DNP at Chamberlain College of Nursing.


What better way to practice self-care than investing in yourself? Our 1-Hour CE Course "Investing in Yourself: Life-long Learning for Professional Growth" explores the meaning of professionalism, the path to achieving new skills, and growing your capabilities:
Professionals do not concern themselves with deadlines for accreditation but embrace education and learning as investments in themselves.