Nursing is as a profession is a calling that requires one to be committed to serving people. Some of the core responsibilities of nurses are very challenging, and in some cases, one may be called upon to work for long hours to save the lives of patients. As such, in my path towards becoming a professional nurse, I had to put into consideration a number of factors. As Hunt (2015) advises, it is important to understand what a given profession entails before pursuing it. In this paper, the focus is to develop a strategic plan to aid my transition into the role of a professional nurse.
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Strategic Plan to Aid My Transition into the Role of Professional Nurse
The path towards becoming a professional nurse can sometimes be challenging, but when the challenges are properly managed, the outcome is always pleasant. In this strategic plan, I will identify and discuss factors that influence my decisions to pursue this career, developmental changes as one gain advanced nursing education, and opportunities that may be available upon completion of the degree.
Factors Influencing My Decision to Obtain BSN Degree
The decision to obtain a BSN degree has been influenced by a number of factors. One of the main factors is my desire to be part of the team, often involved in complex operations in the theatres. Currently, the hospital’s administration does not allow nurses with lower academic qualifications into such complex operations unless they are assigned minor responsibilities. I also want to become a nurse administrator. I hope that I will become part of the policy-making team so that I can directly influence the quality of care that patients receive in this hospital. The degree will hone my skills in nursing.
How the Role of the Baccalaureate Differs from My Current Role
The role of the baccalaureate differs from my current role in many ways. Currently, my role allows me to make very few independent decisions when handling patients or undertaking a specific responsibility within the hospitals. I am expected to work under direct supervision of the senior staff members at all times. The role will change after gaining the degree. I will be assigned duties that allow me to make independent decisions after making relevant consultations. A holder of a degree in nursing can manage intravenous lines, observe and monitor patients’ condition, take records of progress made by patients, and report to the doctors about the changes observed. They are also responsible for directing and supervising nurse aids. These are responsibilities that I cannot be assigned because of my current academic qualifications.
New Opportunities Available After Degree Completion
When I complete my degree, I believe that a number of opportunities will be available to help me climb the career ladder. One of the best opportunities is to become a nurse administrator. Although most institutions prefer candidates with post-graduate qualifications, the basic requirement is a bachelor’s degree. It means that I will be qualified to take such a position. Another opportunity may be to become a supervisor to the junior nurses and nurse-aids in a hospital setting. The degree also opens avenue for one to become an administrator or a senior nurse at home-care facilities.
Examining the Model of Specialization
Dr. Patricia Benner, one of the nursing theorists, developed a model he referred to as From Novice to Expert to explain the experience that nurses often gain to become experts in this field. The model identifies five different stages that one must go through to move from a novice to an expert. The first stage is the novice or a beginner. One has no experience and is taught general rules about nursing that can be applied universally. The next stage is advanced beginner. Such a person should demonstrate acceptable performance when assigned specific roles (Bradt, 2016). Such a person has gained some level of experience and can recognize recurring patterns. They focus majorly on principles and basic experience. I can place myself in this stage of development.
The time I have taken in college has made me gain relevant knowledge beyond that of a novice. The third stage is identified as competent. In this stage, one should typically have 2-3 years of experience in a given job area. The nurse should be aware of long-term goals and be capable of planning personal actions based on abstract, conscious, and analytical thinking (Hunt, 2015). The fourth stage is proficient. Such a nurse should have a holistic understanding of situations and be capable of decision-making even when faced with emergencies. Their knowledge gained from years of experience makes it possible for them to modify plans based on prevailing forces. The last stage is the expert. Such a nurse no longer relies on rules, guidelines, or principles to connect situations and come up with action plan. Their experience makes their performance highly proficient and flexible.
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Professional Short-Term Goals
In the path towards professional nursing, I have set short-term goals that I indent to achieve within one year. One of the most important goals is to pass this class with distinction to ensure that I take the shortest time in school. I also intend to identify a mentor who will guide me in my career even after graduating from college. During this academic year, I intend to form a small study group of like-minded colleagues with whom we can conduct research and share knowledge.
Professional Long-term Goals
The decision to choose a career in nursing was informed by my strong desire to serve people, especially those who are in pain. As such, I have long-term plans that I intend to achieve in the next several years. First, I am keen on advancing my academic background. In the next five years, I plan to be a holder of master’s degree in nursing (MSN). The strong academic background will enable me to gain skills and experience needed in wide areas of nursing. I plan to become a nursing administrator capable of influencing policies within healthcare institutions such as hospitals and nursing homes. In the next ten years, I plan to be a holder of doctor of nursing practice (DNP) after a successful completion of doctoral degree in nursing (Masters, 2017). At that stage, I plan to become a nurse educator. I will shape the future nurses so that they can offer quality care to their patients.
Challenges and Barriers in Pursuit of the Goals
It is important to appreciate that in my pursuit of my goals (both short-term and long-term) challenges and barriers may emerge that may affect by ability to accomplish them. One of the greatest challenges is peer pressure. I have some colleagues keen on convincing me to consider other careers such as law or actuarial science. They argue that these other careers have better financial rewards. I am active in sports, which often consume part of my time that would have been spent in private or group studies. It is possible that having a family may have an impact on my ability to achieve long-term goals, especially my desire to have a doctoral degree in nursing.
Mentors and Support Systems to Aid in Overcoming the Challenges
I am keen on overcoming the challenges identified above by having a mentor and a support system. As mentioned in the section above, I am in the process of identifying a mentor, someone who already has a doctoral degree in nursing, to guide me in various stages of career development. The mentor will help me overcome peer pressure and how to balance my time between studies and other activities. She will enable me to understand how to continue with my studies and to advance my career even when the burden of family sets in (Claywell, 013).
Becoming a professional nurse takes a process and commitment but it also comes with a number of benefits. I intend to get to the highest level possible in this career of nursing. As shown in this document, I want to become a nurse educator and a policy-maker. I understand that there are numerous challenges that I will overcome such as peer pressure and the need to have some time with the family. However, this career development plan shows that I have mechanisms through which these challenges shall be overcome.
Bradt, G. B. (2016). The new leader’s 100-day action plan: How to take charge, build or merge your team, and get immediate results. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Claywell, L. (2013). LPN to RN transitions. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
Hunt, D. (2015). The nurse professional: Leveraging your education for transition into practice. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
Masters, K. (2017). Role development in professional nursing practice. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.