Change can be hard; we become comfortable with habit and familiarity. The longer you stay in one place, the harder it is to leave. I feel strongly that in order to grow, one must be open to, and adapt to, the challenges of change. I (especially) advocate for trying new things in one’s career, such as earning professional certifications, or going back to school to pursue a higher degree. I have written many letters of recommendation endorsing fellow nurse friends and colleagues whom I truly believed had the potential for great things in the field of nursing for other positions, promotions, or awards… even if that meant that they would be leaving my own unit/organization for bigger and better opportunities. I encourage and applaud them for being brave to try something new, and would never hold someone back from fulfilling their highest potential. As a nurse leader, it is my responsibility to raise others “up”, and I am proud to do so, just as it was done for me by my mentor, Nicole; she taught me many things about leadership and change, and led by example. Nicole also re-introduced me to the rare genius and leadership lessons from Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln on Leadership (Phillips, 1992).
“I have simply tried to do what seemed best each day, as each day came.” –Lincoln
Some of Lincoln’s greatest quotes have held the test of time and have proven to be especially true and powerful in our current political climate.
“A house divided cannot stand“- Lincoln
Yes, change can be difficult, but believe in yourself and your ability to overcome obstacles and take control of your future. Confidence comes from stepping out of your comfort zone and expanding one’s experience, expertise, and perspective in other areas. In my 30-year nursing career I have worked in many sub-specialty areas in the world of Pediatrics. I was never afraid of change; it actually sustained my love of nursing. I was challenged with each and every opportunity. These different experiences have proven to be invaluable to a nursing career well-lived and loved; I wish the same for you!
I honestly don’t know what my future looks like now that I am faced with my own physical limitations, but I know that I will do my best to adapt to whatever changes need to be made in order to continue my work, in one way or another, in this amazing profession of nursing.
Phillips, D.T. (1992). Lincoln on leadership: executive strategies for tough times. New York: Warner Books