Throughout my profession and personal journey, I have always attempted to better myself. It is not so much that I am unsatisfied with my current state, but more so a desire to do something more and to be a part of something bigger than myself. It is the reason that I started writing and being involved in social media and nursing and writing about lateral violence. It is also the reason that I am a contributing editor to MyRealityTech.com. It seems only logical that I do the same in nursing and the natural progression is to move into administration and management.
I have been met with mixed opinions on this topic.
Personally, I feel it’s only a natural progression to my nursing path. I see issues I would like to make an impact on , both in nursing care and healthcare in general, and don’t feel I have the voice I need or the power needed in order to facilitate the type of change needed in my current role as a surgical nurse. Currently, I am the proverbially big fish in a small pond. I want to be a part of the team, but what I really want to do is be a resource for the team.
I have been so well received by the current group of nurses I work with. It’s been so uplifting to see what teamwork are as compared the the hostility and egos I faced initially in my nursing career. Not all nurses eat their young, in fact, most nurses embrace their help with open arms and are relieved to see another person who wants to care for others. It does, however, feel like these passionate, committed nurses get ignored.
I once had a nurse that told me that if I didn’t specifically do “bedside care” that I wasn’t a nurse. She said “you would be wasting your nursing education” in regards to my desire to be an nurse informacists. I found this to be very narrow minded and was sadden that she had this opinion of the specialty, and apparently many other specialties. With so many diverse areas for a nurse to practice, there is something for everyone. And bedside care, especially long term, is not for everyone.
In fact, according the the 2008 HRSA National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses, only 61.4% of nurses function as a staff or charge nurse, 12.4% function as management/administration, the other fourth practice in various settings from school nurse, consultants, and other various roles. A miserable 1.6% of practicing nurses are educators, and a tiny 0.3% are nurse informacists.
Remember to not disparage your fellow nurses career paths. While we all have our opinions about what proper nursing is, our profession is diverse and collaborate for a reason. The bottom line is that we all have an opportunity to make an impact on healthcare in a positive way. We should embrace this and be helpful to one another, and encourage those who do have the desire to become leaders a helping hand and words of encouragement, while reminding them to not forget where they came from.
There are problems in our profession, no doubt, but there are also incredibly skilled nurses whose dedication to their profession needs to be recognized. They also need to be able to have a voice, even if not a public one, to let their concerns be know and have the ability make suggestions or recommendations to remedy the issues.
Patient satisfaction and outcomes can be directly tied to the happiness of the nurse in their job and the availability of resources. If nurses are made to feel more valued, then we will want to perform better.
I hope that I can hope to make some impact on the care of patients through the care of nurses. We have to take care of each other if we expect to take care of anyone else, after all.