Callara (2008) defines values as predominant ideas, thoughts, or feelings that influence one’s conduct or decision-making. Based on this description, my journey as a Nursing student pursuing a higher academic qualification has been guided by both personal and professional values. In this regard, from a young age, my parents instilled in me the need for respect of self and others and the need to maintain honesty at all times. These values molded by path and influenced many decisions, including one of becoming a nurse. I realized from an early age that I had a tendency to connect with people and had a caring attitude, always intending to help others whenever I could. Nursing came across as the best option which would allow me to live the true and genuine side of me, doing what I love, and gaining gratification of the work I have done. The consideration of other individuals’ happiness goes in tandem with that of my own as I find fulfillment in nursing activities. In addition, my belief in the dignity and sacred nature of human life provided the impetus needed to become a nurse.
In this way, I could live out my true calling in life on a daily basis. Once I managed to determine my future career, I managed to combine my two competencies, organizing and analyzing through the consideration of an administration concentration. This alternative would combine my strengths and passion thereby facilitating an all-round fulfillment of my life’s purpose. Therefore, to obtain the expertise I needed to combine both aspects, I decided to pursue a higher accreditation, one with an administration concentration, in order to provide quality services to those needing my help. These decisions are guided by my personal mantra by Steve Jobs, ‘If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.’
Essential 1: Practice Background for Humanities and Sciences
As a Master’s student, I am expected to combine both scientific knowledge and practical applications in relevant areas of intervention. My baccalaureate background has provided the required foundation for understanding the profession on a deeper level while taking into consideration aspects such as analyzing, evaluation, design, and implementation skills relevant to nursing care (AACN, 2011). As such, I have been able to acquire requisite competencies in assessment, problem identification, interventions design, and assessment of aggregate outcomes from nursing care. My competency strength in relation to this nursing essential is that I can easily connect with individuals from different backgrounds. As such, I am able to administer appropriate assistance required by such individuals. However, owing to different cultural complexities of populations, I find it challenging at times to provide the best quality of healthcare unless I work in a collaborative setup that will enable achievement of this aim.
Essential 2: Organizational and Systems Leadership
The exposure provided during my vocational work training provided an ideal environment that facilitated the acquisition of skills that would allow work practice of my expectations as a nurse. In this case, working in such environments encouraged the acquisition of collaborative skills that were provided the guidance in working in team settings. In this regard, my ability to connect with others was further enhanced as I learned collaborative strategies in interprofessional teams through the establishment of effective and respectful communication (AACN, 2011). As such, I am now able to delegate duties and coordinate efforts towards the achievement of common goals.
Having a profound interest for connection has enabled my establishment of relevant working relationships with others. However, language barriers have weakened the communication with patients from different cultural backgrounds.
Essential 3: Quality Improvement and Safety
As a Master’s student, I am able to understand the essence and importance of guaranteeing patient safety. As such, I have been able to connect methods, tools, procedures, safety principles, and performance measures, aimed at ensuring the quality of health care provided to patients. Therefore, by combining the leadership skills learned throughout my coursework, I am able to be an effective leader and change agent, correcting policies and systems that hinder the provision of adequate care to patients.
My analytical skills have enabled me to understand basic safety measures that allow the creation of a safety culture in the work environment (AACN, 2011). In this regard, what I still need to improve on is to be cognizant of new practices and principles in the nursing field, to ensure I provide quality and relevant services to patients.
Essential 4: Translating Scholarship into Practice
The exposure in workplace environment has enabled me to translate my learning outcomes to practical settings. This has facilitated a widened perspective and instilled understanding in relation to my work as a nurse. My Master’s level has taken this learning experience higher as I am able to assess policies at the working environment and evaluate them based on the evidence available, and if such evidence is not available, I can assess the gaps in the health care system and as such propose solutions (AACN, 2011).
Through my research skills, I have been able to propose and implement continuous improvement processes. My analytical nature has been a tremendous strength as I can assess the findings and propose practical solutions to be adopted. On the other hand, the aspect of change management is particularly difficult to implement since change accompanies the element of uncertainty, which is not easily embraced, myself included.
Essential 5: Informatics and Healthcare Technologies
Technology has become part and parcel of today’s world. Its relevance has been felt greatly in the healthcare industry. Being a Masters student specializing in administration, the element of technology has been influential in this capacity. As such, the aspect of electronic records management has improved efficiency and has enabled me to become an effective nurse. The use of these technologies has further facilitated easy decision making thereby increasing the quality of service provided to other health care providers as well as patients.
My organization skills have been enhanced greatly owing to assistive technologies that have helped in organizing relevant data that has provided clarity of rising trends and provided assessment of the same. My weakness with regards to this aspect is based on the evolving nature of technology in which case requires one to be aware of new changes and advancements.
Essential 6: Health Policy and Advocacy
Owing to the influence that legal and political factors have on health, it is imperative for health care practitioners to embrace advocacy actions in the promotion of social justice and an efficient health care system (AACN, 2011). As such, my level of academic accreditation has exposed me to different perspectives and outlooks of different situations and, as a result revealed my role in the promotion of effective policies in order to effect change in the system.
My previous training background as a baccalaureate nurse exposed different social situations that cause disparities in healthcare. As a result, I am well placed to identify these gaps in the system and, therefore, propose appropriate policy changes to cater for these population categories. However, my dislike for bureaucracy is my main weakness with regards to this competency, due to the time spent on policy formulation, assessment and evaluation.
Essential 7: Interprofessional Collaboration
Being a Master’s Nursing student, the identification of the importance of interprofessional collaboration is based on the need to maintain proper and effective communication and cooperation among health care professionals, in the quest to achieve patient and population outcomes. In addition, I have embraced patient and individual value systems as this has governed my relationship with patients to achieve quality healthcare.
I am a good communicator and, therefore, able to facilitate proper collaboration and cooperation among health care colleagues (AACN, 2011). However, my deep emotional connection with others may at times hinder rational and analytical thinking.
Essential 8: Clinical Prevention and Population Health
The underlying essence of a nurse’s role is to ensure a healthy population. In this case, through my higher learning accreditation, I have understood the need for advocating for preventive measures that should be embraced for a healthy population. This aspect is in line with the objective of ensuring a healthy population through prevention interventions.
As a result of my involvement with advocacy activities, I have understood the role that social-economic conditions play in the achievement of a healthy population. Therefore, different income segments of the population should be managed in relation to respective policies. Having specialized in the administration option, my participation in effective proper clinical interventions through policy changes is greatly hampered.
Health Care Delivery
My initial experience on the basis of baccalaureate nursing has provided the ideal conditions for the consideration of the importance of ethics in the profession. As such, I am well placed to conduct my work based on the Code of Ethics that guides my decision-making and maintenance of a proper nurse-patient relationship.
My personal values have provided the impetus for the development of ethical standards that have guided the course of my professional work. My weakness in this relation is the eruption of a conflict that emanates from the difference in value and belief systems with other individuals.
Essential 9: Master’s Level Nursing Practice
Having completed my baccalaureate nursing level, I realized that I would need additional training in order to provide the highest quality of service to patients (AACN, 2011). In addition, the dynamic nature of the health care industry prompted me to be equipped with relevant skills that would be used to address uprising challenges in the course of my work. As such, this consideration has increased my confidence levels, at both personal and professional capacities
Although the journey to achieving the Master’s level of nursing has not been easy, it has been worth it. The progression through the course has exposed many learning points that are practical in nature and can be applied in the context of my work. As such, I can provide quality services to patients.
AACN. (2011). The Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing.
Callara, L. R. (2008). Nursing education challenges in the 21st century. New York: Nova Science Pub.