I recently participated at Stony Brook University’s Alumni Association Diversity Leadership Panel. I was blown away by the number of young women you came to speak to me about the nursing profession. Minorities and males continue to have staggering low numbers in nursing. Participants discussed the power of networking, making the best of opportunities, taking chances, studying abroad and working hard.
Tonight’s event exemplified strong leaders in various professions. Mentorship and Sponsorship was also topics of the night. Do you have a mentor or sponsor? It’s never too late to enter into your dream profession- reach out to someone who doing your dream job.
Skillset +Hardwork + Dedication= An enjoyable career!
Hi fellow nurses,
I am here to tell you that studying doesn’t end when you graduate. If you want to transition well make sure you take a good break before starting your new job and learn as much as possible when you start your new job. Get ready to take a core course for those of you going into specialty areas. Remember to go over your workday/medications when you work so you understand the flow of nursing. Don’t be embarrassed to write down notes to yourself. This will come in handy when you do things like admissions for the first time. Remember at any stage of the game starting a new job takes practice and dedication just like studying for the NCLEX.
As a nurse leader, I have worked in many groups both in academia and work. I can’t begin to tell you the impact being O.P.E.N. has on groups. By being O.P.E.N. I mean: Optimism, Process driven, able to Execute and Non-stop determination to succeed. These factors have been key to my success in leading groups from an outcomes perspective. The Affordable Care Act pay for performance initiatives requires nurse managers to think and function in a way they have never before. As a young leader people are usually startled when they first meet me but within an hour they realize my ability to get the job done. Nursing administration plays a key role in being a change agent with the way care is delivered to patients.
I cant tell you them number of negative nurse leaders I encounter. They either feel their teams are unable to perform or do not provide the vision necessary to accomplish the change that it takes to succeeds in today’s healthcare environment. Nurse leaders must implement performance improvement projects with vigor and optimism. It is imperative that our teams feed off our energy. Optimism must be displayed towards all initiatives if not your team becomes weary. Many leaders want outcomes but do not know how to provide the process to accomplish these goals. This is when the nurse leader must ask for help or hire a consultant to provide your team with resources necessary to accomplish the tasks at hand. Execution needs to occur quickly but not too quick where communication is lost among key members. I can’t tell you the number of projects I have worked on where they are launched without input from key members. Last but not least non-stop determination is needed to reach the goal. This is where transformational leadership comes to play. Nurse leaders must motivate their team members to think outside of the box and remain focused on the goal at hand. My favorite method of performance improvement is implementing Plan, Do, Study, Act models (Shewart Cycle) allowing continuous improvement. I have seen immediate improvement with quality indicators. Team members have also become more engaged. Being O.P.E.N. is all it takes.
Certification exams always made me nervous and choosing nursing as a profession there was no way to hide from them. After attending a review courses, purchasing a ton of review books with paragraphs upon paragraphs didn’t help me to feel prepared to sit for different exams.
I heard many people say do questions but I can’t stress it enough. Questions, Questions, Questions..Practicing questions was the only thing that worked. I completed 50-100 questions per day and read the rationales six weeks before each certification exam. Allnurses.com really helped with me to communicate with other nurses who were preparing for the NCLEX.
Best of Luck!
Prior to becoming a nurse I worked in many different healthcare settings (mostly academic health centers). I began my nursing career in a neurosurgical intensive care unit setting. I loved critical care nursing but I missed the administrative aspect of healthcare. So I decided to follow my passion and apply for a Master of Science in Nursing Administration degree.
As a nurse administrator I get to do what I love on daily basis. Operations, financial management and leading others are a few of my favorite things about being a Director of Nursing. I have been able to find my true self within nursing.
My advice to younger nurses is to explore all of the options nursing offers. At the same time, try to find an area you love to become an expert. I once asked a nurse who won a Clinical Nurse Excellence Award the secret to her success and she said “Staying at the same place has contributed to my success.” Working at the same organization (over 30 years), focusing on her specialty, and building relationships allowed her to become a renowned clinical nurse . As part of a generation X, I understand the need explore and navigate the plethora of specialties but it is important to envision future goals as we execute short goals .
- If you feel stuck, set up meetings with people who do what you are interested in
- Explore options other than what your colleagues are doing- follow what you love!
- Think of the schedule options/flexibility the job or academic program offer. Is it feasible? Will it work with your work schedule? Are you able to learn online or do you prefer a classroom setting?
- It’s OK to not know what’s next. Take your time and enroll in a program or make a move when you have found an area of interest or curriculum that excites you.
Enjoy the ride!