How many of you started your career with little or no nursing education and training then worked your way up?
I am, at the tender age of 40, returning to school myself and this is because I decided I wanted my nursing degree before my son received one. Despite that, what I have noticed is that even without my degree, my ambition, drive and hard work has kept me from very little that I have wanted in life, so far. I wanted to make a decent life for myself and my son and that is what I have done.
So far, this career plan in nursing has allowed me to work in hospitals, jails, home health, clinics, (sometimes more than one at a time) psychiatric partial hospitalization, and most recently allied health education management. I was able to pay off all of my debt, buy a car and home, and eventually got married and settled down. The initiative and passion displayed in my every day work was noticed. I was placed in extraordinary positions and have had what I believe to be a blessed career. I have had the opportunity to learn at the feet of wonderful leaders. I have taken every moment, on and off the clock, to study them. I have had the opportunity to work with MBA's, a year later, I had that job.
How does this occur? I was more invested in the outcome. I will be honest. I am an LPN and in a culture of nursing where ASN and BSN are fighting for the right to enter nursing, this career, to me, seems an amazing blessing.
So how have I managed to thrive and what set me apart from the pack?
Read. Read educational related material from positive authors who will assist you. Examples of a few would be: Steve Covey, John Maxwell and Tony Robbins. Like the computer adage goes, GIGO - Garbage In = Garbage Out. Well, the opposite is true, Good In = Good Out.
Self-confidence. No one will take you seriously unless you choose to have confidence in yourself and your abilities. Life is about the choices we make. I choose to have a good day based on making the best outcome of what is presented. Look and feel your best. No one will respect you and your talent until you believe you are worthy of this courtesy. So treat yourself well!
Specialize. When CPR training came up, I offered to become an instructor. Later, I became a training center faculty, then a training site coordinator. I have set up and assisted in training's for multiple colleges and staff.
Certification. Continuing Education in nursing will speak to your specialty, interest and legitimacy in any field. They say you were willing to spend your personal time to study and pay for an exam above and beyond.
Volunteer. Nursing and volunteering can gain for extra committee where talents can be noted. Any task where there was an extra hand needed, specialty training, I took. Sometimes you just get to learn on these committees but it still is worth the work.
I have devoted years of my life to complete my education as a nurse. I believe in its power to help a person gain confidence and a foot hold in the real world. I also am proof that the sum of a person is not the initials behind their name. Education without passion is useless.
By Luanna Banghart