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!
Are you ready for your next interview?
As a nurse leader I am committed to helping nurses with resumes and interviews. I have seen numerous nurses provide resumes that are not spell-checked. One thing nurses must realize is that despite the fact we are a profession who help people during crucial times we must still present ourselves like any other professional. It is imperative that nurses help each other with interview preparation and resumes. Nurse resume samples are very easy to find on the internet. Search word: “Nurse resume” will result in many examples to choose from. Some helpful hints:
- Adding Clinical Experience is helpful for new graduate nurses who do not have prior work experience.
- An objective should be added to a resume to help recruiters with your area of interest.
- It’s OK to curtail your resume to highlight tasks accomplished if you have a background in various areas.
- Have a friend spellcheck your cover letter and resume.
- Remember to jot down all of your accomplishments when you begin your new role to add to your CV.
- Don’t forget to practice the basic interview questions and have some real examples of patient experiences (from clinical or work experiences).
Nurses must also dress professionally for interviews. I have interviewed nurses who have worn sunglasses and inappropriate attire. New graduate nurses need to invest in business attire (basic black suit) in addition to the other things we often hear of such as stethoscopes, medication books, etc. Our careers are in our hands and it’s important to have a tight grasp on all aspects of it.
Best of Luck!
“SURROUND YOURSELF ONLY WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO TAKE YOU HIGHER” –Oprah Winfrey
This quote appeared on my LinkedIn newsfeed and reminded me of an article I read about a young man who worked with Oprah Winfrey and said she never eats alone. The article indicated that eating with others is a common trait among successful people. I on the other hand, LOVE LOVE LOVE (can’t stress it enough) LOVE (yesJ) LOVE eating alone. I find it peaceful and relaxing. I know all of the owners of the local restaurants in Harlem, NY. After a hard day’s work, I enjoy eating a great meal without talking to be honest. A goal of mine in 2014 is to have new experiences and that ever happen if I continue to choose eating alone (although, I love it).
When I read this quote I had a hard time thinking of the people that can take me to a higher level. I have decided to make a list of 15 people to have dinner with that can contribute to my mind, body and spirit goals for 2014. I plan on challenging myself to not eat alone and force myself and to engage in new conversations. Let’s see where it leads me? My goal is to gain insight on what others are doing and make new contacts. I challenge you to do the same.
Often times we hear of 30 day diets, 14 day spiritual fasts, but we don’t hear about challenges to become social or improve our social lives. I challenge you to think of the people who can help you get to where you want to go. This will of course will require you to know where that is (I’m just sayingJ ). So take some time and think about who can help you reach your goals, or can help you in your current role.
As a nurse leader, I find myself giving more in friendships and mentoring others. Although, I enjoy mentoring and helping friends I would like to engage with people who can also help me get to where I want to be. I challenge you to do the same!
I was so excited to go to the ANA conference since it was being held in Phoenix Arizona and had been so cold in New York City. Unfortunately, it was 55 degrees in Arizona and I didn’t get to go to the pool but the trip was life changing. On the airplane, I got a chance to read Devon Franklin’s book “Produced by Faith”. In his book he talks about the importance of work-spirit balance not work-life balance. This concept hit home since I have been focusing on my faith. Devon Franklin explains, one should combine both work and spirituality to find true meaning and fulfillment in what we do.
My goal is to live a life well balanced in mind, body and spirit. I am committed to developing my mind by taking classes, attending conferences, reading articles and sitting for certifications to help me in my role as a nurse leader. One of the pre-conference sessions was “Learning how to brand yourself”. Nurses pour so much into their profession that they forget to themselves. This session helped us practice elevator speeches, consider publication and brainstorm on dream jobs. I met so many nurse leaders who love their jobs. They enjoy their roles because of the wonderful teams they work with and continue to challenge themselves.
During the conference I decided to go the gym. Exercise really helps me to clear my head and plan career goals. While running on the treadmill I looked over to my right and realized I was running next to a young lady I met at the ANA table. It was a perfect opportunity to network while running. A George Washington University Alumni, her and I talked about GWU and opportunities ANA provides. It was a really motivating, inspiring. She encouraged me to join more professional organizations.
In the past two years, I’ve made strides learning about my faith and using it to keep me charged with everyday tasks. I’ve had colleagues who have blended their spiritual and work life well but I found it challenging at times. By making time to attend events and studying my faith like any other class it is now part of my weekly activities. Attending the ANA conference was an opportunity to meet and learn from nurse leaders from all over the world. I made the best of this experience by saying hello and networking even while at the gym. I encourage you to attend conferences and be open to the entire experience starting on the airplane, you never know who may be sitting next to you or running on the treadmill beside you.
This year’s ANA Quality Conference is in Phoenix Arizona. I met brilliant nurse professionals from all over the world. Karen A. Daley, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN (ANA’s President) opened by charging nurses to remain at the forefront of healthcare reform with actions and strategies to deliver quality patient care. It was amazing to see both small and large hospitals showcasing wonderful things they are doing to advance healthcare.