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!