By Joan Sevy Majers, DNP, CCM, FACHE

It was the first day of the conference. This was my opportunity to attend since previous commitments before my retirement had precluded travel to this particular national meeting. I was excited after reviewing the agenda. The presentations were focused on the development of leadership science – new knowledge and the application of evidence to the practice. The venue was perfect; the presenters and attendees established their careers as nurse leaders and academicians. I introduced myself to the young lady seated next to me as Assistant Professor Emerita from the University of Cincinnati, who had just retired this past semester. She looked quizzically at me and asked, “So… why are you here?”

I was momentarily stymied- how do I answer that question so someone would understand? I thought about my continued commitment to leadership and case management. How do I describe who I am and why I remain involved in the professional activities I choose despite the transition process to retirement?

There is much currently in the literature about professional role identity. Bordia et al. (2020) state that role identity “provides meaning and a sense of purpose and promotes well-being.” Transitioning into retirement requires adaptation that can be challenging. Exiting work roles need not mean leaving the professional roles developed over time. As a nurse, I remain accountable for personal and professional growth (ANA, 2005). CMSA Standards of Practice (2022) also requires me to maintain competence by engaging in scholarly activities and remaining abreast of the best available evidence to support practice.

My professional roles have evolved into other activities. I have been active with the state and national organizations for Nurse Leaders. I was invited by the national organization to write questions for the certification examination for nurse executives. I would not have been successful in doing so without the current knowledge and skills I have maintained. When I was President of our local CMSA chapter, I was pleased to work collaboratively with the CMSA- Ohio chapters, the Ohio Organization for Nursing Leadership, and the Ohio Hospital Association to successfully mount a campaign to pass the compact licensing bill in the state. I have chaired and still sit on the CMSA Education Committee and work with them to evaluate abstracts submitted for our national conference. I have recently joined a new committee commissioned by the Board to study preparation for the case management role.

How would I answer that question now? Retirement is a transition that has had its bumps in the road. But I might reflect a bit and suggest that I am an “Elder, a person who is still growing, still learning, still with potential and whose life continues to have promise for and connections to the future” (Ledier & Shapiro, 2022, p.98).

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Bio: Joan is a graduate of the first nursing school established in the US on the Nightingale Plan, Bellevue Hospital. She received her BSN and seven years later, her master's. Then, after seven more years, she completed her doctoral degree in 2014. She has over 30 years' experience in nursing leadership. In She primarily assumed administrative roles, but for several years did serve as a leader in case management at the system level, large academic hospital, and a very small rural hospital, as well. During those years she was an interim leader she saw a variety of case management models and consulted on several. In September of 2016, she joined the faculty of University of Cincinnati and has served as the Director for the graduate programs at the College of Nursing at the University of Cincinnati . Joan has been married over 25 years to a VA hospitalist and has one daughter who is a second degree nurse who has completed her own doctoral degree. She manages the ED in a Level I trauma center ED. In addition, she is blessed with a wonderful son‐in‐law who is a teacher and 4 wonderful grandchildren.