Redefining Nursing Care: Persistence is Not for Sissies
Perseverance in nursing care describes the essence of being a nurse. Their commitment to caring is the ultimate driving force why nurses have been persistent in finishing nursing school, passing licensing examinations and overcoming day to day challenges in the job.
Newt Gingrich said, “Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.”
Perseverance is resolve, determination and tenacity. More than endurance, it means a steady and continued action or belief, usually over a long period and especially despite difficulties or setbacks.
Can you think of a situation that happened in your life that caused you to pull this quality out of your tool kit? Learning to walk, for sure, getting through nursing school, definitely, and more recently? Perhaps it was putting up with the stresses and strains of life and work in general.
Can you think of a time when you perhaps could have pulled this quality out, but for whatever reason, didn’t? Perhaps you were even thinking of quitting nursing, gave up on a friendship or broke a commitment. Did it leave you with a feeling of regret?
There is a fine line between being obstinate, which has a more inflexible connotation, and being persistent. The obstinate person won’t take no for an answer. They are often stubborn and refuse to change. The persistent person believes in the long term vision, and therefore, is more motivated to continue the climb, even if it’s uphill. It is much easier to be persistent if you believe that the greater good will arise from the situation.
The world is full of success stories from people who gave it one more try, who didn’t give up, who looked for one more right answer. The world is also full of stories from people who tried to move a new idea forward, tried to meet someone special or tried to get fit, but never quite got there.
Persistence is not an inborn quality in nurses. It is something that we can practice and develop, nurture and cultivate. If you would like to strengthen this characteristic in yourself, ask yourself - what do persistent people do?
Persistent people Believe in themselves
· Get wise council and consider the source when they are being advised or criticized
· Try things many different times and many different ways before making a judgment
· Are open minded, willing to explore, take reasonable risks, and are ok with falling down a few times
· Make sure they get up one more time than they fall down
Do they get hurt, discouraged, disappointed? Do they second guess themselves, question their process, and wonder if they are doing the right things? Absolutely!
Ask anyone who plays a musical instrument. They must put in the time and the sometimes torturous hours of practice to achieve what ends up to be a beautiful result.
A wise friend of mine told her son when he wanted to quit his music lessons, that if he could find one person who quit their music lessons and did NOT regret it, then he could quit his too. It’s no surprise that he couldn’t find a soul who was happy that they had quit, yours truly included. They all wished they had persevered through the tough times and carried on to reap the rewards. Sometimes we don’t have the persistence ourselves, and that is where a very supportive “everybody” comes in very handy.