Servant-leadership in Nursing

Monday, August 10, 2015

--For tonight's post I am going to be taking a little time off and letting Christine work her magic. I am so blessed to have her alongside me in my nursing journey and I want to share her wisdom with you all as well. Her description of servant-leadership in nursing is amazing and I really could not have said it better myself. --
Hey guys! Tonight I want to share with you servant-leadership in nursing. As nurses, or nurses to-be, we have chosen a unique profession that puts ourselves at the very bottom of our priority list when it comes to care. We are advocates for our patients when they cannot speak for themselves, for families who are scared and often times left out of care, and lastly for ourselves when we go through rough waters. Megan and I are fortunate enough to be a part of a nursing program that emphasizes servant-leadership, advocacy, and deep respect for every patient, family, colleague, and manager that we encounter. 
Often times we are unable to always see or know what other people are going through. It is our job and privilege to incorporate and demonstrate our knowledge, skill and behavior of evidence-based practice nursing to properly and fully serve our patients and their families. Every aspect of our nursing practice should exist to integrate sound reasoning, deep analysis, and ethical decision making with the application of core nursing theory to advocate for others, as well as ourselves.
It is also our great privilege to fully embrace the calling that is nursing. Not everyone can do our jobs with graceful compassion, day in and day out (night in and night out too) with a smile on our faces. Even when it feels like the world is on top of us and we feel like quitting because we are, after all, simply human. Not many have the honor of saying they brought comfort to a family in mourning, or great joy to a patient in time of healing. We can bring comfort, peace, unity, and understanding to every person we encounter. That is a true gift.
As Florence Nightingale once described nursing as a “divine imposed duty of ordinary work” and we are the ones fortunate enough to serve. However, that requires us to take responsibly of our actions when we mess up, not if. We are held to a standard of dignity, integrity, and accountability. For this, we must go forward, do our “ordinary work” in extraordinary ways.
Lastly, as nurses, it is our great pleasure to incorporate relationships with our patients and families while embracing our willingness to serve others in the midst of life circumstances. We should strive to continually model the characteristics of a servant leader including humility, courage, forgiveness, and discernment.
Each day I spend with a patient and their family, I feel incredibly honored that I can share a part of their journey with them. Every patient, whether pleasant and joyful or requiring tremendous patience and understanding, has a story we cannot fully comprehend. But how lucky are we that we can be with our patients and their families during such a vulnerable time, in sickness, in death, or in new life? That, truly, is a gift we should all embrace and cherish as servant-leaders.

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