Define your goal at the start.
As I’ve worked on my thesis I’ve been looking for a definition of Expert that I really like, that embodies what I feel the expert nurse should be. It’s been a long search and I’m no closer to identifying a definitive definition.
I’ve realized thought that the definition may be maybe more personal than I expected. For the purpose of a personal pathway to being an expert nurse, your personal definition of where you want to be may take precedence over some academic definition. In some cases it might actually be harmful to be trying to reach this mythical academic definition. There are many darn good nurses out there who won’t meet that textbook definition.
In her book “Becoming Nursey” Katy Kleber identifies her expert nurse as Gandalf the grey.
Good nurses breathe instinct. They breathe discernment. Good nurses can pick out seemingly insignificant things about a patient, interpret an intricate clinical picture, somehow predict a poor outcome, and bring it to the doctor’s attention, literally saving someone’s life.
My personal definition is a cross between Margret Houlihan and Radar O’Reilly from M*A*S*H and Dixie McCall from Emergency. I know what a mashup. For me it’s the knowing things of Radar, the strength or personality of Margret and the quit calmness of Dixi. This finctional mashup is tempered by some real world examples. Some Docs, some nurses, some people not even in health care.
The key for me is realizing this is a jounry along a path and not a destination.
So pick the nurse you want to be and start your path.