National Nurses Week 2014
Celebrating National Nurses Week and Nurse Leaders Everywhere
According to the World Health Organization, there are over 19 million nurses in the world. Over three million of those nurses are here in the United States, each of whom strives to be a role model for caring, compassion, and clinical skill. During National Nurses Week, we celebrate these men and women for the dedicated work they do in the tradition of the world’s most famous nurse innovator.
“I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse.”
This quote is credited to Florence Nightingale, the woman who transformed the nursing profession in ways that still apply. During her 90 years (1820-1910), she pioneered the concepts of nursing research, public health, and health care reform.
Nightingale also shared an understanding of holistic nursing as a practice that addresses the whole person in the healing process. In her book “Notes on Nursing: What It Is, What It Is Not,” she also puts forth that it is the nurse leader who has responsibility for ensuring that right action is taken.
“Let whoever is in charge keep this simple question in her head (not, how can I always do this right thing myself, but) how can I provide for this right thing to be always done?”
A recent article in Advance for Nurses sparked a discussion on effective leadership skills. Beyond the personal traits required to thrive in a visible role in a high-pressure environment, nurse leaders should also demonstrate the following:
• Critical thinking and goal-setting skills
• The ability to communicate and collaborate
• The willingness to solicit and accept feedback
• Empathetic listening skills
• The desire to support and mentor others
While some leadership traits may come naturally, most must be earned through hands-on experience and formal learning opportunities. Today’s nurses have the benefit of RN-to-MSNprograms that can elevate their management skills in order to become successful clinical and system leaders.
“Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better.”
Choosing the right degree program to grow your skills depends on your future goals. Do you want to be a trailblazer in nursing research? Become a CNO with a seat at the executive table? Educate other nurses or become certified in a practice specialty?
Many nurses find that the flexibility and convenience of online education make their dreams of career advancement easier to achieve. Just imagine what Florence Nightingale might have done with modern technology at her fingertips!