So I’ve shown you what I read every month, and given you an idea on what I think a nurses path to mastery should include.
The one thing I didn’t mention is what really got me started on my path.
There was no sudden epiphany, I can’t really give you a time or date when it happened. But one day I realized I wasn’t as good as I thought I was and I didn’t know as much as I thought I did.
I spent the first 20 years of my career believing that I know more than everyone else. Yeah I know, what an ego. I worked military, civilian, flight, I was teaching, even spent some time covering a President. It started around 2001. A cocky, “no longer young” nurse started working in one of the US premier teaching hospitals. Over an 18 month period, I discovered that just about everyone there knew more than I did and was better than I was. I crammed and got both my CCRN and my CEN. There PROOF that I knew it all!
Nope, didn’t work. Every time I turned around, there was something new, or a skill that I didn’t have. Crap. All that cramming didn’t work. Besides, since I crammed. I didn’t retain all that stuff. Still have no clue what a Balloon Pump waveform means.
Then I started to realize what was different about those nurses, who knew more than I did. They knew in their heart and not just in their brain, that they didn’t know it all. They approached things thoughtfully with the intent to be a better nurse, not just to prove they were better than everyone else. That had been my biggest mistake when I took that those first steps to mastery. I was doing it for the wrong reason.
I won’t argue that my ego still isn’t a strong motivator. But it’s no longer a sole motivator.
So at that moment I took my first real step along my road to mastery.
Have you taken your first step?