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A career development plan is how the nursing profession is perceived by nurses and by the society. Numerous changes in the health care system have created an environment in which individual nurses must take control of their careers and future (Donner & Wheeler, 2001). According to Donner and Wheeler, mapping out one’s career gives them a possibility to continually perform self-assessment and set goals to assist them in professional growth (Donna & Wheeler, 2001). Another part of professional growth is mentoring and sharing information between professionals. This could be organizations, committees, or mentorships at the area of employment. For many years the development of knowledge in nursing sphere was held back by the fact that information was not shared adequately. Currently, there is more collaboration in sharing the best practices and there is more involvement in research. With this in mind it is possible to claim that nursing has become more cohesive and collaborative in the last twenty years (McNeese-Smith, 2000).
I received my nursing diploma in Suffolk, Virginia. My initial plan was to work for a year and then go back to school to acquire my BSN degree. During that time, I started dating and eventually got married to a military man and later we were blessed with a son. Receiving BSN degree was postponed until my son was able to go to school. Because of these circumstances I became disengaged professionally since my focus shifted to being a housewife and a mother. My responsibilities at home did not allow me to develop my career at the time. This went on for a number of years. I always knew I was an excellent nurse. My credentials illustrate my critical thinking skills. My husband was transferred many times so I was able to work with different organizations holding different positions. One of the jobs I had was a director of education at a cetin. The most challenging moment came when I was carrying out my duties here. During one of my orientation sessions a student asked me what college did I graduate from. I was so embarrassed that I had to change the subject. Although this incidence was a turning point for me, I was still unable to pursue my career because of the fulltime job, cost of the classes, and the fear of going back to class after such a long time. At that point in time online education was not available to working people who wanted to continue their studies.
My husband and I moved to Pennsylvania where I started working in Long Term Care as a trainer for the nursing assistance. I received Code of Ethic (Code for Nurses) provided by American Association of Nursing and had a long discussion with the nurse practitioner. We both came to an agreement that it was a nurse’s professional duty and responsibility to continue their professional growth. As nurses, we should learn something new every day to continually grow professionally and improve the quality of life for our patients. Within one year, I was the director of nursing of the Long Term Care Center. I read every journal, article, and federal guideline that was available, but I still had not gone to get my BSN. I was promoted without BSN in 2000 to a position of Nurse Consultant and had no time to go back to school. In 2010 I was diagnosed with cancer and decided that it was time to get the degree which I had wanted for twenty three years. Hopefully, the long wait will be over in July.
Strength Quest Findings and My Current Role
When I completed my strength quest exercise (2010) my husband and I talked about it. I had completely forgotten how it affected me and my career path. I gained some strong points from the strength quest (2010) which include adaptability, futuristic, positivity, relater, and significance.
Adaptability helps one to “go with the flow”. Adaptable people take things as they come and discover the future day at a time. Being a nursing consultant requires one to go with the flow because unexpected tings happen every day. The most important thing is to stay calm, access information as quickly as possible, guide the Director of Nursing in the right direction and allow her to do her job. This becomes a learning experience for the Director of Nursing.
I am a very futuristic individual. It motivates me to see where nursing is headed especially in the sphere of nursing informatics. I see a completely new world opening up for health care especially in instances where one is able to get medical help within minutes and as a result, lives will be saved.
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As a nurse consultant, one must remain positive. When one walks into a building a smile and a greeting are very important. It improves communication with people because a smile given is a smile received whether it is the janitor, maid, nursing assistant, receptionist, or executive director. As I walk in the center I smile and speak to everyone including visitors. This also is a way to be positive and approachable. I use the same attitude when I do educational classes to keep the students engaged.
Relater defines me as I enjoy deep satisfactory relationships. I attempt to engage each of the directors of nursing and clinical education into relations based on honesty, integrity, and creativity for engaging their staff. When we have meetings, my main concern is to take this information back to the living center and share it with the staff.
Nursing Position to which Aspire
I would like to be Clinical Educator in Long Term Care. I read an article about adding options to the nursing program. It stated that the number one reason why nurses did not continue education was the conflict of class time with their working schedule (Tanner, 2012). As an aspiring educator I could bring so much creativity to the job to engage the students. Engaging the students is half the battle and realizing that they have understood the material is truly a gift. The ultimate pleasure is when your student’s mind goes through the critical thinking process. This is a great experience.
Twenty-three years ago I developed a career plan for myself. However, due to lack of revision of personal goals and poor self assessment, it took me long to get my career back on track. Obtaining my BSN from Kaplan University will be the fruit of my hard work during long nights and short weekends but I am determining to achieve this goal. This final quote of Florence Nightingale helps describe my attitude towards nursing “Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion and hard preparation, just as any painter’s or sculptor’s work: for what is it having to do with dead canvas or dead marble compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God’s spirit? It is one of the Fine Arts: I had almost said, the finest of Fine Arts (Quote Garden, 2012)”.
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