Stretching beyond your comfort zone
The Institute of Medicine's milestone report, "The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health," advocates that nurses leverage their strengths and serve as major stakeholders in the transformation of the U.S. healthcare delivery system. The report's four key messages outline these expectations:
* Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training.
* Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression.
* Nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other health professionals, in redesigning healthcare in the United States.
* Effective workforce planning and policy making require better data collection and an improved information infrastructure.1
To be a full partner on this new playing field, our profession must undergo a cultural transformation and move beyond previously defined boundaries. That means collectively stretching outside of our comfort zone.
These are exciting times to be a nurse—never before have nurses had the diversity of opportunities found in the job market today. Education, the ticket to success, is a lifelong journey that lays the groundwork for effective intra and interdisciplinary collaboration, strategy development, and clinical excellence.
In line with the Future of Nursing report, we advocate that nurses achieve their personal and professional best. In this edition of Lippincott's Nursing Career Directory, you'll find professional growth strategies that span certification, mentoring, grant writing, Magnet® recognition, and the use of social networking. Those who yearn to travel will find tips for success. In support of professional advancement, we've added an education section to help nurses survive and thrive amid the challenges of going back to school, making tough career decisions, or undergoing a role change.
When you start a brand-new physical exercise routine, you need to stretch to warm up. Stretching beyond your comfort zone might feel painful at first—but remember that stretching increases your flexibility. Don't try to skip this step and jump head-first into the game. Like any worthwhile activity, stretching properly takes time and effort. It's the secret to staying in top condition and the key to avoiding injury. Read on…and don't forget to stretch!
Until next time…
Linda Laskowski-Jones, MS, RN, ACNS-BC, CEN, FAWM
Vice President: Emergency & Trauma Services,
Christiana Care Health System, Wilmington, Del.