By Lisa Parker-Williams DNP, MBA, RN, CCM
Recently, I decided to see what came up when I googled the phrase" four major nursing areas."
To my surprise, some beautiful images appeared, and four items under a caption titled Nerdy Nurses were listed. These items included nursing practice, administration, education, and research (Nerdy Nurses, n.d.). Google has a unique way of presenting information.
Most of my career has been in nursing practice. What I have learned, seen, and experienced is invaluable. However, I consider the opportunities I missed in nursing administration, education, and research. I did have some administration positions, participated in studies, and contributed to educating nurses along the way; however, my concentration focused on nursing practice.
According to the Nurse Journal, nurses have 35 top specialty careers, including nurse administrator, nurse educator, nurse researcher, and medical-surgical nurse (Nurse Journal, 2022). There are so many opportunities in nursing to explore; however, how many of us take advantage of them?
While studying for my doctorate, I was introduced to a book by Kouzes and Posner (2017) titled The Leadership Challenge. As I was reading this book to complete the necessary assignments, I began to understand the character traits of leaders and how leaders develop great organizations.But how did that apply to me as an individual-Could I be considered an organization?
Around that time, my colleague and friend Colleen Morley, DNP, RN, CCM, CMAC, CMCN, ACM-RN, FCM, introduced me to Dr. Jose Alejandro-White, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, FAAN. We discussed nursing, leadership, and the importance of staying current to remain relevant. Jose made the statement, "You are your own brand" It finally clicked. I am my brand which is my organization!
Every good organization possesses time management, communication, goal setting, the ability to delegate and work under pressure, self-motivation, analytical thinking, attention to detail, decision-making, and strategic planning (Indeed Editorial Team, 2021).
I understand the characteristics of good organizations, but what are the characteristics of a good brand? I googled the phrase "qualities of outstanding brands”. These terms appeared as audience knowledge, uniqueness, passion, consistency, competitiveness exposure, and leadership (GOOGLE, n.d.).
Imagine the uniqueness of my organization, my brand if I could have included specific contributions to nursing administration, education, and research.
To answer the question, what would be your area of practice if you had to pursue nursing again?
My answer is create your own path with your own unique combination of skills and experience. Go after what interests you. If you are not sure what that is? Google it!
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Bio: Lisa Parker-Williams has over 30 years of nursing experience. Lisa received her BSN from Long Island University and has a diverse background which includes Medical-Surgical Nursing, Oncology Nursing, High-Risk TB and AIDS, Operating Room, Home Care, Case Management, and currently Population Health. Lisa's love for Homecare led her to case management and finally population health. Lisa received her MBA in Risk Management from St. Peter's University and her DNP in Leadership from Rutgers The State University. Lisa is a Care Transformation Coach at Horizon BCBSNJ.
GOOGLE. (n.d.). qualities of outstanding brands - Google Search. Www.google.com. Retrieved May 15, 2023, from https://www.google.com/search?client=avast-a-2&q=qualities+of+outstanding+brands&oq=qualities+of+outstanding+brands&aqs=avast.0.69i59.3j0j1&ie=UTF-8
Indeed Editorial Team. (2021, February 23). What Are Organizational Skills? (With Examples). Indeed Career Guide. https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/organization-skills
Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2017). The leadership challenge : How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations. Hoboken, Nj Wiley.
Nerdy Nurses. (n.d.). FOUR MAJOR NURSING AREAS - NERDYNURSES. Sites.google.com. https://sites.google.com/site/nerdynursesc/chapter-4/four-major-nursing-areas
Nurse Journal. (2022, March 3). The 35 Best Specialty Career Choices For Nurses - NurseJournal. Nursejournal.org. https://nursejournal.org/articles/best-specialty-career-choices-for-nursing/#nurse-advocate