Nurse Leader Interview
The nursing profession consists of nurses who are qualified to perform general roles like patient care in any medical wards or specific roles like rehabilitation or anesthetist nurses. The expansion in the nursing profession has created many opportunities and career paths for nurses. Some nurse practitioners in the country today have prescribing authorities that allow them to work independently in nursing facilities without the collaboration of physicians. Advances in medical technology have contributed to the increased need for higher earning among nurses. Since nurses spend more time with patients today, they are required to be equally skilled in medical procedures as other healthcare professionals like physicians and doctors. The role of patient advocacy has also promoted the need to include nurses in every decision-making process concerning the patient. This nurse leader interview was conducted on a nurse practitioner who had completed her masters in nursing and was working as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). Nurse M had specialized in spinal cord injury care and the rehabilitation healthcare services offered to patients with these injuries. She agreed to be interviewed for this assignment.
The nurse interviewee is a 45-year-old Caucasian female. She has been working as a professional nurse since 1993 but had been assisting her parents in a community clinic for three years before completing her nursing education. Her career is currently focused on rehabilitation care unit where she assists patients with spinal cord injuries and amputations who require rehabilitation. She is the nurse leader at a public rehabilitation hospital where she has been working since 2017. Nurse M started practicing nursing as a hobby in a community clinic that was run by her parents, who were doctors. She received her Registered Nurse certificate and licensure after completing a two-year nursing program in 1993 and continued working in the community clinic where her parents were based. In 2001, she enrolled in a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) and finished her studies in 2003.
After acquiring her BSN and graduating in 2003, she transferred from the community clinic she was working in and began working as an emergency unit nurse. After working in the emergency department for three years, she was given the role of an assistant nurse leader in this department. She transferred to a bigger facility and continued working as a nurse in the emergency unit. Her decision to transfer to the other facility despite her leadership position in the other hospital was based on the need to acquire further experience and understand the use of advanced technologies that were not available in the other facility. She worked in this hospital for four years until 2010 and took a break from her nursing practice for one year due to an injury that she sustained in a fall while transferring a patient from an ambulance to the hospital emergency unit. After her recovery in 2011, she resumed her work but was transferred to a rehabilitation unit where she received care for her injuries while at the same time assisting other patients who required rehabilitation services. After her complete recovery, she continued working under advanced practice registered nurses, physicians, and doctors.
She worked in the rehabilitation unit for two years before making the decision to advance her studies in this area. She enrolled in a nursing master’s program in 2013 and specialized in healthcare administration. She finished her master’s education in nursing and graduated in 2015. She attained her advanced practice registered nurse licensure after her graduation and resumed working as an APRN in the rehabilitation unit. She was offered a leadership position in the public rehabilitation hospital where she currently works. She still works at the hospital as the nurse leader in the administration unit. The certification listed by Nurse M included Registered Nurse (RN), Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), and Certified Nurse Administrator. She is currently a member of the American Nursing Association (ANA).
Nurse M stated that she mostly works in the rehabilitation unit where she deals with patients with different type of injuries who require physiotherapy and rehabilitation in getting back to their feet. Her work also extends to the surgical and medical wards in the facility in cases where she is required to review patients with spinal cord injuries. She stated that she worked collaboratively with other rehabilitation specialists in the hospital to ensure that all the patients requiring these services were served. Her work in dealing with rehab patients outside the unit entails providing them with patient education about the pathophysiology of their condition and ensuring they understand the need for treatment. Aside from that, her work also entails provision of patient education, and working as a patient advocate. She has worked in the medical and surgical unit in the same facility. Her favorite working setting is the rehabilitation unit. She believes that through her specialization role she is able to provide patients with adequate advocacy and care.
Nurse M became a nurse because of her passion to help those in need. While helping her parents in their community clinic, she developed the zeal to care for vulnerable people. While she had the opportunity to follow her parents’ footsteps and pursue medicine, her passion was focused on nursing. After beginning her studies as a nurse, her passion intensified and she continued working as a nurse and advancing her education at every opportunity.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Nursing
She stated that some of the advantages of being a nurse included getting the opportunity to interact directly with patients from different backgrounds, having a wide range of patient care skills that can be applied in different settings, and personal satisfaction. Besides, she also stated that nursing allowed her to give back to her community in a way that she could not have achieved while working in a different field. Some of the disadvantages that she associated with nursing included working long hours, burnouts, and inability to heal every patient based on the nature of their health complications.
While working as a registered nurse in the rehabilitation unit, she admired the work done by advanced practice nurses. They communicated effectively to patients about the course of their illness and the need for exercise and other forms of physical exercise that encouraged her to advance her education. They were few nurses working as APRNs in the rehabilitation unit, which also challenged her to advance her education. She decided to pursue the opportunity to gain extra experience and knowledge in this field.
Changes in the Profession
She stated that the role of the nurse in healthcare facilities had increased over the years. She also stated that nurses were more involved in patient care through advocacy as compared to the period when she was starting her career. Moreover, she stated that there was increased collaboration between nurses and other healthcare practitioners and that the roles of nurses had extended to incorporate geriatric care and other specializations. She also acknowledged the increase interest in providing nursing care to underprivileged communities. She believed that increased availability of healthcare services had contributed to improved health status in the community. Other changes in the nursing profession included the use of evidence-based practice and increased focus in nursing research.
Professional Goals for the Next Five Years
She stated that she was planning to acquire a doctorate in nursing with a focus in nephrology care. She also stated that she wanted to advance her education in emergency care provision to increase her flexibility in the nursing field. Nurse M stated that her goals were attainable and would expand her role in the nursing profession.
Important Issues in Nursing/Specialization
Although the nursing profession has evolved over the years, she believed that nurses should be given more opportunities to work independently in clinics and be offered full prescription authorities. She believed in the recommendation in the Institution of Medicine report that advocated for attainment of higher education among nurses, specialization, and attainment of leadership position in hospital and policy making institutions. She believed that having more nurse leaders in government position and policy-making boards would increase nursing recognition and promote the resources allocated to nursing education. She stated that inadequate number of working nurses, which contributed to burnouts, affected the nursing specialty. She further noted that understaffing could be resolved by encouraging more high school graduates to pursue nursing as a career and dedicating resources to better nursing education practices such as the use of virtual simulations and access to nursing research.
The incident that made her question her role as a nurse occurred after she suffered a fall while transferring a patient from an ambulance to the emergency unit where she was working. She sustained back injuries that required surgical and physiotherapy treatment. She stated that during her recovery period, she was not sure whether she would be able to resume her work as a nurse despite her passion in serving her patients. After her recovery, she was concerned that she would not be as effective in caring for her patients as she was before her accident. After resuming her role as a nurse, other nurses supported her and encouraged her to advance her education.
Although she stated that many events in her career had made her happy, she stated that the obtained the most personal gratification during her early career stages while she was working with her parents. While she was not qualified as a nurse during that period, she managed to follow the instructions issued to her and helped many patients recover from their sickness. She narrated an event whereby she was cleaning a diabetic foot wound for an elderly man who did not have any other family member to care for him. He left her a gratitude note after being discharged, an action that made her more passionate about helping people.
The most interesting aspect about interviewing Nurse M was her journey as a nursing practitioner. She began her career as her parents’ assistant, and over the years, she has gained more knowledge and experience in nursing. Through her work, she has managed to help hundreds of patients from different settings and backgrounds while at the same time experiencing the advances that have taken place in the nursing field. Her nursing journey has inspired me to advance my practice as a nurse. Although she faced numerous challenges after her accident and break from the nursing profession, she continued pursuing her goals. Her commitment to the nursing profession had also encouraged me to work hard and support the IOM nursing recommendation. Moreover, I also plan to find an area of specialization that interests me in patient care. The interview has been an eye-opening experience that has enabled me understand the importance of nurses in the community.