In multiple professional fields, specialists are expected to engage in constant communication and bear responsibility for all consequences of their actions for other individuals. The RN BSN program and new information about nursing delivered by professional instructors have encouraged me to take a critical look at my goals and philosophical assumptions and analyze their feasibility and relevance to the present situation in the field and my current research interests. This essay is devoted to the connections between my educational journey, career goals, and changes to philosophical principles that inform my collaboration with patients.
Frankly speaking, my career goals have not changed to a large extent due to several reasons. First of all, when drafting my short- and long-term career goals, I tried to align them with my professional situation and experiences with different types of patients. Secondly, concerning personal characteristics, I would not list myself among easily infatuated individuals who change their minds and preferences as a result of any emotional situations.
My current and updated career goals include gaining new knowledge related to clinical practice and becoming more professional as a surgical ICU nurse within the following two years. Next, five years from now, I expect to possess a Master’s degree in acute care nursing and the necessary patient care and assessment skills to fulfill the role of an acute care nurse practitioner in my current organization. Since the distant future is not that easy to predict, my current ten-year goal is somewhat approximate instead of being very specific. Thus, ten years from the present moment, I wish to be an experienced acute care nurse practitioner holding membership in a few professional organizations.
Changes related to goals are closely tied with changes in my attitudes, behaviors, and practices. The first example is that the short- and middle-term goals have been changed to include staying at my current workplace (John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center). Working here and being part of the team, I have become sure that this organization can provide me with new opportunities for learning. It is because the team consists of highly experienced professionals and encourages me to learn from difficult cases of critically ill surgical patients.
As for the second example, the goal to be an acute care nurse practitioner to care for adult and elderly patients has become even more important for me since these specialists are in demand, which is clear from attractive salary levels (“Top 4 highest paying specialties for nurse practitioners,” 2017). Moreover, I am willing to become more independent in assessing and evaluating patients’ conditions, and the selected role offers this opportunity.
Regarding beliefs informing practice, I have expanded my personal philosophy to include the utmost importance of individualized psychological support and family engagement. As for the first example, my work experiences of the past two years included a lot of observation to keep track of patients’ experiences and reactions to prescribed treatments. From my observations, even the presence of life-threatening conditions and the resulting exhaustion does not make all patients distracted from their psychological issues and needs. Additionally, the RN BSN program has encouraged me to understand the importance of holistic nursing care.
As a result, I have changed my attitudes toward nurses’ roles by recognizing the significance of responding to patients’ spiritual and emotional needs apart from providing treatment. Regarding the second example, the program has improved my understanding of the family’s role in health amelioration. From my recent practice, attention from family members can contribute to patients’ mental stability. Taking this knowledge into account, I have changed my behaviors and practices by educating families on how to meet patients’ psychological needs after discharge.
Apart from specific changes related to practice, the RN BSN program has provided me with the tools needed to become a lifelong learner. I would describe myself as a lifelong learner since the program has encouraged me to become more aware of my key research interests, such as knowledge gaps in wound care, and take action to learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of my approach to conducting research and presenting its outcomes.
The attitudes and characteristics that enable me to engage in lifelong learning include open-mindedness, readiness to recognize new opportunities for intellectual and professional improvement, and responsibility towards patients, families, and colleagues.
Concerning more specific examples of lifelong learning, as a result of the program, I have been able to present the Capstone project to student nurses. This experience and the audience’s reactions have made me set new personal goals, such as becoming more confident as a speaker. As a result, I have started my own research on successful public speaking and use these insights to change behaviors and practices accordingly. The second example refers to attitudes toward lifelong learning. The program has taught me to see opportunities for learning in almost any aspect of my job, ranging from communication with emotionally unstable patients to leadership qualities in interprofessional collaboration.
To sum up, it is valid to say that the RN BSN program has already contributed to my success in the professional field. The necessity of responsibility and the presence of strong ethical and moral principles that encourage a person to maximize others’ well-being are specifically important in nursing, which contributes to the significance of developing personal philosophies. Thanks to this program, I have managed to set realistic career development goals and recognize new opportunities for lifelong learning.
Top 4 highest paying specialties for nurse practitioners. (2017). Web.