Nursing is changing, as well as the healthcare system and everyone in it.
In 2010, Healthcare Reform opened the doors for nursing to become partners and leaders in improving the healthcare system. This inspired the IOM report on the Future of Nursing to define how nursing could meet these new challenges.
By that time, the research had confirmed that quality of care depends on nurses. With the ACA expanding access to millions of patients, this became a Call to Action to transform the nursing profession to meet these growing societal and healthcare needs.
The IOM recommendations included: nurses practicing to the full extent of their education and scope, improving education systems, full partnership with physicians and other leaders in redesigning care, and workforce planning and policy making to be based on an improved information infrastructure.
These are exhilarating opportunities for the nursing profession.
Yet these rapid changes, on top of existing nursing domain confusion over balancing technology versus human caring demands, brings new levels of tension.
Nursing care is now reliably measured and nursing is accountable for its practice. The stakes are higher than ever and is creating inordinate pressures on you, the frontline nurse leaders and bedside nurses.
Your jobs involve balancing these organizational demands and role changes, along with increasing clinical complexities.
You often identify that your job leaves you feeling overwhelmed, vulnerable and discouraged.
Yet in times like these, there are extraordinary opportunities for personal and professional growth. When everything changes, change everything. I have found this to be a true statement (and a wonderful book with the same title, by N.D. Walsch).
This is an opportunity for nurses to save themselves, by taking a journey inward to discover and mend how these daily complex work forces challenge you personally, and spark reactions and emotions that are unproductive and even unhealthy at times.
Your job is not an ordinary job. You face life and death situations that require keen self-awareness, knowledge and skills to survive and thrive.
Nursing is vital to society.
And this is a rescue mission for nurses. A Hero’s Journey.
This can change everything and give you voice to what matters most, to what and who you are as a nurse, how to get what you need, and become your best nurse self.