Nurse's Watch: Conversations on contemporary nursing,
nursing education, leadership, spirituality and blogging.
~Start date February 2010~

Monday, October 3, 2011

"Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity." ~ Louis Pasteur

I have decided to post my leadership portfolio on my nursing blog, Nurse’s Watch. This blog began as an undergraduate RN-BSN attempt to explore nursing blogs in informatics. It has since included discussions on theory and ethics as I have progressed through my undergraduate RN-BSN program and my Masters in Nursing Education program.
Further, I have discussed how I have used wikis in the classroom and the developed an e-portfolio. These posts have not been written as a showy demonstration of anything that I can do, but as a guide to others who may be called upon to navigate these self-same waters.
    Therefore, Nurse’s Watch will now house my Leadership portfolio. My personal objectives for this course are simple; by the conclusion of this course I hope to have a even clearer idea of my future goals as a nurse and a plan on how to get there! I hope to refine my personal vision to more fully harness the energy and passion I have for nursing. Consequently, I invite you to follow along as I conclude my MSN program and begin the next chapter of my career as a nurse leader with my sights set on a PhD in nursing!
  I feel so very, very fortunate to have been able to attend graduate school. I love nursing; what could be more perfect than teaching others what you love? The program I am attending has been phenomenal. I cannot believe how much I have learned and grown! This program has taught me about a myriad of teaching methodologies that are utilized in the classroom with the accompanying rationale and evaluative techniques. I am ready to teach! However, this program has also developed me as a leader. How, you may ask?
Leading does not necessarily involve holding positions of power (Grossman & Valiga, 2009).  Grossman and Valiga (2009) note that often leadership and management are used interchangeably; they are, however, vastly different. Aroian (2005) reflects “ great leadership demands the ability to create and communicate a personal vision that points the way for others” (p.16). Further, she ends the chapter by noting that educators need to assist students to create and share their visions of the future (Aroian, 2005). Consequently, finding and developing a personal vision is important for me on two levels, as an educator and as an aspiring leader.
Jackson, Clements, Averill, and Zimbro (2009) discussed the attributes of a theory for leadership that involves Carper’s Ways of Knowing. I am intrigued by theories of all shapes and sizes and this one I especially liked. Basically, they observed that just as nurses must practice with a holistic approach to patient care, so must nurse leaders (Jackson et al., 2009). Carper’s Ways of Knowing (1978) includes empirical, aesthetic, ethical, and personal knowing (Jackson et al., 2009). It has been added to through the years with the inclusion of sociopolitical and unknowing ways of knowing (Jackson et al., 2009). Further, Jackson, Clements, Averill, and Zimbro (2009) contrast this leadership theory with the transformational leader. This explorative article concludes with the proposal of a leadership theory that encompasses all the appropriate and theory specific ways of knowing for nurses (Jackson et al., 2009). Over the next few weeks I intend to study this theory and others to increase my understanding and ‘knowing’ of leadership (Jackson et al., 2009).
                                                    The Vision
In order to reach my full leadership potential, there are steps I must accomplish in the short run and the long run. First, I am hoping to secure a full-time teaching position! Once I find my university ‘home’, I want to immerse myself in teaching and also find other areas to contribute in the overall academic environment. Public service is an area that I feel is part of this job as well.
Next, I hope to join my local and national nursing associations. This I would have done before now, except that I have no money for these things at present. Currently, any extra funds are going towards PhD program application fees, transcripts and the GRE! However, lending our voices and talents to our local and national associations ensures that they reflect our values and vision. Also, as Aroian (2005) suggests interaction can bring together people with a common vision and this is what will be needed to set the future course of nursing practice.
Which brings me to my ultimate goal, to begin a PhD program by next summer or fall! Why you may query would I just finish one program and desire to begin another? First, I am afraid if I stop and get out of the paper writing, studying mode I may never wish to return to this level of commitment. More importantly though, I have spent time reflecting upon my ultimate goals and this is where it led me. I asked myself, if I could do tomorrow what I most desire, what would it be? The answer is to teach, lead and write; I love to write. There is only one degree that really supports these goals, and that is a PhD in nursing. Holland (1996) and Schumaker (1998) reflect, “a vision is not just a direction; it also has a destination” (Aroian, 2005, p.22). Consequently, the journey continues. 
                                           Leader as Expert
Frank (2005) notes, “the leader as expert is one who uses multiple ways of knowing for gathering information” (p.25). Further, the expert leader is skillful and knowledgeable; he or she is able to impact their surroundings in a positive and creative way to accomplish goals (Frank, 2005). I have been fortunate to have accumulated quite a bit of life experience; this has led to growth in empirical, personal, ethical, and aesthetic knowing.
Fifteen years in labor and delivery and pediatrics has contributed to empirical knowing, as has my educational background. While Frank (2005) notes that this type of knowledge is an important foundation for leading, “having knowledge of self helps one to use the empirical knowledge gained” (p. 26). Reflective practices experienced during writing and blogging have increased my personal knowing or “knowledge of self” tremendously (Frank, 2005, p. 26). My faith and service opportunities have impacted my ethical knowing. Frank (2005) reports that ethical knowing helps leaders with decision making, while aesthetic knowing beautifully weaves these areas of strength together. I love to reflect, write, garden and create; these experiences have increased my awareness of aesthetic knowing. Consequently, I feel that I am a expert leader due in part to the diversity of my life experiences. Embracing all these facets of my life has increased my ways of knowing and increased my leadership abilities and potential.
Aroian, J. (2005). Chapter 2: Leader as visionary. In H. R. Feldman & M. J. Greenberg (Eds.), Educating nurses for leadership (pp. 16-23). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.  
Frank, B. (2005). Chapter 3: Leader as expert. In H. R. Feldman & M. J. Greenberg (Eds.), Educating nurses for leadership (pp. 24-36). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.  Grossman, S. C., & Valiga, T. M. (2009). The new leadership challenge: Creating the future of nursing (3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company.
Jackson, J. P., Clements, P. T., Averill, J. B., & Zimbro, K. (2009). Patterns of knowing: Proposing a theory for nursing leadership. Nursing Economic$, 27(3), 149-159.

1 comment:

  1. love to read your blog posts. its very hard to find some content for nursing training on internet. however cna become a very expensive job but i don't understand why people don't written on this subject. em a nurse and i understad it