Writing creatively and methodically has become a daily part of my work as a nurse, I never would have imagined that, those years ago when I first began my career. The only writing I saw myself doing at that time was writing Care Plans and Patient Notes. When I first started nursing everyone had a 4-ink pen, the color of ink you used depended on what shift you worked. That was our tool for all the writing we completed. Now, a nurse in most health care settings could probably make it through any shift without a pen, and that’s okay. The advent of the electronic health record has changed the writing process of nurse’s notes.
But it’s not just what I use to write with that has changed over the years; my writing has changed in what I want to share to other nurses and health care professionals. Certainly the patient note has not lost its significance, but now my writing is more focused on educating and supporting the health care worker in the pursuit of evidence-based practice and quality patient care.
Speaking with several of my classmates over the past week, we have all expressed struggles with completion of our scholarly work that represents our DNP project. It can be frustrating with rewrites, repeatedly resubmitting the (dreaded) IRB application and back to editing again. But I am discovering that learning happens in this process as well, each round of edits my work becomes clearer and reflects what I want to share, and I become more comfortable with a skill that will stay with me a lifetime.
So my advice to anyone taking this path – spend time becoming familiar and comfortable with writing – in any form – even a blog. I read a bit of advice the other day that suggested spending 20 minutes every day just writing – anything! Now that piece of advice is kind of hard to avoid as I finalize the last bit of my doctoral project study, every day I will be writing. But it is a worthy pursuit, as it is important to share the scholarly work that we discover in our practice, for what good does knowledge serve if it is not shared!
Ecstatic, relieved, happy…long sigh…fulfilled, content…maybe feeling like a cartwheel? I have submitted my final Practicum Log & Journal in my doctoral program!
I am a little sad that I have not kept up with my blog over the past few months, but when balancing everything, some things just had to go to the bottom of the list. It’s time to pick this back up though and share more of my journey.
I mention balance, and that has been a GINORMOUS lesson throughout my studies. (Yes, ginormous is a word; I checked it out on the Internet!) The title and purpose of my blog really says it all, there are many facets to my life, each important, each sometimes more demanding, and each always fulfilling. The DNP (Doctor of Nurse Practice) is the degree that I have almost attained. There is an understanding and an expectation that those of us who take this path are willing to take a leadership role in health care in our country (greatly needed) and for some of us even on a global level. So learning balance is really part of the DNP Essentials that are at the heart of our practice.
If you read a lot on this subject of leadership, you will find many opinions, suggestions, and thoughts on character traits. I am developing my own opinions and suggestions – and balance is foremost in my mind right now. As much as I love nursing I am still a mom, a daughter, and well, I do have a personal life (maybe?). Balance becomes very important; knowing when to let one facet of your life take center stage for a moment and the other areas move stage right or left…not forgotten…just not center stage…the Balancing ‘Act’…pardon my pun! So, I keep balancing; keep moving forward, and keep anticipating what’s down the road ahead of me.
What’s up next?
Ahhh… the dissertation! Yes, the final stages of writing before Form & Style Review with my committee, and then the FINAL DEFENSE of my doctoral project. So the road continues and I am excited to discover what is ’round the next bend!