Advancing my nursing career has always been a personal and professional goal throughout the years. I have been working as a registered nurse for twelve years in various areas of health care including the acute care setting, chronic outpatient dialysis clinics, and now currently an outpatient cardiopulmonary rehab. I have learned and experienced many different aspects of nursing including clinical expertise, leadership development, and collaboration techniques. I decided to pursue my master’s degree in nursing earlier this spring as I felt it was time to broaden my nursing career through expanding my nursing education. I feel I have born characteristics of a leader that have been enhanced through my nursing experience and various roles I’ve held in the nursing profession. I would like to obtain my master’s degree in nursing to aid in opportunities of leadership through director and/or supervisory roles in the nursing field.
As we learned through our reading assignments this week, leadership plays a major role in the APNs scope of practice. We may begin as a novice but must expand our knowledge through personal and professional growth to carry out the expectation of the leadership component of an APN. As defined by Hamric, opinion leadership is leadership by a respectable person in a health care setting that is highly valued by their coworkers and peers. (Hamric, 2014) They possess respect and trustworthiness which influences their peers into change based on their valued status. Opinion leaders must be knowledgeable regarding their specialty and be willing to assist their peers through continued education and clinical practice. (Hamric, 2014) I feel I have qualities similar to that of the opinion leader. I feel I enhance my clinical knowledge through continued educational seminars and renewal of certifications i.e. ACLS, and am valued and respected by my current coworkers. I feel I hold the supervisory position in my current job position without the official title. My coworkers look to me for advice when conflicts arise in our clinical care area and rely on my knowledge to form solutions and guidance to conflicts. I feel this displays trustworthiness and respect from my coworkers as they seek my advice and skills to aid them in their decision-making process. I have also held preceptor roles throughout my career and have always valued teaching graduates new information and techniques to aid in their success as a nurse. I am continually seeking out ever changing Medicare and Medicaid guidelines for cardiac and pulmonary rehab services, thus providing the knowledge to my coworkers. We then meet and collaborate to make changes appropriate to keep with in regulations of CMS guidelines. I feel these are some aspects I currently perform or have performed in my nursing career that are parallel to that of an opinion leader.
I will refer to my days of dialysis in the outpatient setting to examine my situation in which I feIt I portraited that of an opinion leader. I was a charge nurse in an outpatient dialysis center in which I oversaw the pre, during, and post treatments of dialysis patients. Certified dialysis technicians worked under me to provide the direct care of cannulation and monitoring of vital signs for the patients during their treatment. I was one of four charge nurses who worked in the facility. The facility administrator and the clinical nurse manager who had previously been a charge nurse on the floor were continuingly having meetings to discuss the negative aspects of the clinic. The majority of the negative comments were related to the delay in patient treatment time, adverting from policy regarding the timely manner of bleach mixture and, the missing of lab draws. A lot of the problem was due to increasing expectations placed on the technicians in their job role. I took it upon myself to make the bleach prior to patient’s entering the center if I noticed my technician had not made it so we could start the day. I would also help the technicians obtain patient’s weights, and place them in the chairs for the technicians. This showed the technicians I was willing to make our work a team effort to accomplish tasks and have them perceive me as another coworker and not a nurse who dictated orders from his/ her chair on the floor. The technicians greatly appreciated my style of nursing and would help me when duties permitted. Soon I noticed the other nurses began to help the technicians as well. Instead of sitting in the chair watching the technicians do “the simple stuff” they would get up and offer them help. Overtime our delayed treatment times and missed lab draws were significantly lower. I feel through earning the respect and trustworthiness of my peers aided in the foundation of teamwork through the facility, thus reducing problems by addressing them in a non-dictated manner.
Hamric, A. M. (2014). Advanced Practice Nursing An Intergrative Approach. St. Louis: ELSEIVER.