Nurses are educated and trained to care for and treat patients in a variety of settings, but their daily activities, demeanor, and skillsets are critical to their professional development and maturity within this role. Core competencies are essential to nurses’ ability to succeed within these complex roles and requires their ongoing commitment to strengthening their skills and knowledge base. Therefore, an evaluation of nurses’ competencies is important in identifying areas of strength and weakness to accomplish the intended objectives. These issues as related to my professional career to date will be addressed in the following paragraphs and will identify strengths and weaknesses that impact my professional growth and decision-making.
Achieving optimal personal and professional accountability is ongoing throughout my nursing career and requires my full attention and focus to accomplish the intended objectives. Continuing education is very important and has been a constant staple in my career to date, and I have met with my manager on a regular basis to discuss my career goals and aspirations. My ethical responsibility to my patients and to the profession are significant and drive my decision-making in a variety of areas. Unfortunately, I have not yet been involved in external professional development organizations at the desired level due to time constraints; therefore, I must work on my time management skills so that I can continue to explore these options to further enhance my career path and growth within the field. I recognize that ethical responsibility is the core of nursing practice, so every decision that I make must be with the best interests of the patients in mind. I also plan to pursue additional certifications in the future to ensure that I am prepared to address a variety of challenges which impact the nursing profession and how patient care is achieved.
As a nurse, I continue to evolve in my role and this requires my ability to learn new skills, to make new decisions, and to use knowledge to improve patient outcomes. There must be a greater emphasis on understanding areas where I have extensive knowledge and skills, while working towards improving other areas where my skills may be limited. I recognize that I must stand out to become a leader and a visionary within the nursing profession, and this is best accomplished through communication and having an impact on my colleagues and patients. A successful nurse acknowledges when she is wrong and embraces suggestions regarding how to improve a given situation or circumstance. This is a critical component in my ability to expand my career and improve my performance moving forward.
As a nurse, I must remain grounded and realistic in my professional journey and strive to work with others effectively in a leadership capacity (Dickerson, 2014). There must be a greater emphasis on understanding how to best approach specific situations to achieve effective results, while also learning from others regarding how to solve problems and work towards practical solutions. My journey through the nursing profession must remain positive and forward-thinking, while also considering how my own self-image and self-concept may have positive and negative impacts on my career aspirations (Hoeve, Jansen, & Roodbol, 2014). I must learn how to navigate through difficult situations with the intent to produce effective outcomes and to acknowledge the importance of developing strategies with my colleagues that will have a positive and lasting impact on the profession and the patients who are served. In this capacity, I must be flexible in many ways and recognize the importance of an environment where change is part of the daily routine.
One of the key characteristics that I am working on in my career path is to reflect upon my experiences and to work towards improving nursing practice and the patient care experience (Moon, 2013). As a leader, I must demonstrate integrity and support a diverse and multicultural environment that will introduce new ideas and innovation to the discussion. It is also important to hear all sides of the discussion and to acknowledge others who are sharing their knowledge with respect and courtesy. During these conversations, I may have the opportunity to discover the potential of other contributors and may use these experiences as a vehicle to improve their growth over time. A collegial approach to nursing is always welcome because we should be constantly engaged in obtaining new information and in recognizing when knowledge may have a positive and lasting impact on decision-making. Finally, my emotional intelligence is critical to nursing because it allows engagement with patients and colleagues to improve decision-making and overall potential.
As a nurse, I continue to gain new knowledge and experiences that will have a positive and lasting impact on my professional growth and development. I envision my evolution as a leader through a desire to improve communication and to develop practical solutions to common problems, and this requires listening and comprehension of what others are saying when they present their ideas and expectations to solve issues of concern. If nurses do not listen to each other, we will not be successful in achieving our goals. Therefore, as I grow as a leader, I strive to be increasingly effective in communicating with others and in taking the time to listen to their perspectives. This will enable me to identify different solutions to these problems and to make sense of the issues that are most important to the profession.