Moving Ahead With Your Associate of Science in Nursing Degree
Hollus Forster, RNC-NP
Creating New Year’s resolutions is important for evaluating and guiding your personal, as well as your professional life. And the wisdom for truly achieving resolutions states that small resolves, fulfilled, will take you further than those that are large and un-doable. For instance, to move your career toward a goal, record a resolution that you can accomplish within a couple of weeks, evaluate how fulfilling that resolution made you feel, then make another small resolution to be completed in the next few weeks. Keep this up through the year and maybe you will see that in the end, you can accomplish big things.
Make some achievable resolutions now about your nursing career and see how small steps can move you forward. The ASN degree is a valuable platform to launch an entire lifetime of great work, and here are some possibilities to direct your education and your career for years to come. Make small, do-able resolutions for 2009 that can help you shape your ultimate goals.
Goal: To become the best floor nurse possible
• To approach each patient for one week (or one day) with new enthusiasm and empathy
• To learn all the details of one patient’s case, the medicine, the patient’s social situation, the medications, the procedures the discharge plans and outlook for continued health outside of the hospital.
• Learn the physicians on your floor, what they need or how they expect you to function (try one or two doctors at first, and then expand to others if you feel it helps your care giving).
Goal: To move into an administrative position in your organization
• Offer to write one small procedure or protocol for your department.
• Perform an audit of charts or procedures that your head nurse or manager may need.
Goal: To become certified in a specialty that will further your career
• To check into three different certifications by March 2009
• Choose a certification and look into the time, financial, and personal commitment that it will demand.
• Find one person who is certified in a specialty you are attracted to and talk to them about, the education, how it benefited them, how they like their career path now.
Goal: To further your education by increasing your degree level (BSN, MS, PhD)
• Again, find someone who has a degree you may be interested in. Interview them about what they like about having that degree, how it helped them, how it furthered their career. Also, ask them about the investment of time and money that was demanded for the degree.
• Research degree avenues. On-line programs, campus programs, accelerated programs abound. Explore each possibility for the one that will fit within your life style.
• Review for yourself your options and what they will mean for time, financial considerations, family obligations.
• Decide to register for one class. After you have completed it, evaluate how it makes you feel to have accomplished it. Did even one class expand your horizons and your view of your job? If not, re-evaluate your path. Resolutions are a particular tradition at this time of year. However, personally and professionally, the promises we make to ourselves are better kept if they are achievable. Resolve to take some baby steps in 2009 to set up your career path for years to come.