Currently a Nurse Manager on Lerner Tower 7, a vascular/neuro telemetry unit at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Matthew Eckinger, BSN, RN, PCCN, writes about the many opportunities he has had and offers advice to other nurses about ways to take advantage of the many possibilities open to them.
For the last 13 years, I have been a nurse at University Hospitals. I started as a bedside Clinical Nurse and have had the opportunity to get into leadership roles, including my current role as Nurse Manager. The opportunities presented to me as a nurse at UH amazed me. There is so much to learn, see, and do here. This includes participating in our Professional Governance structure, which is probably what really broadened my horizon of nursing at UH and showed me what else is out there, including opportunities for nursing leadership. While the direct bedside nursing care is at the foundation of everything we do in nursing at UH, I would encourage all of our nurses to think about how else they can help impact the profession and grow professionally.
Nurses could, to name a few of the many opportunities available to them, get involved in their unit’s Professional Governance Council, attend a Nursing Quality Committee meeting, and obtain a nursing certification. I also highly encourage all nurses to consider joining a professional nursing organization, such as the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) and our local Lake Erie Chapter. It is through joining a professional nursing organization that nurses have additional opportunities for leadership, education, networking, and service. Through the Lake Erie Chapter of AACN, I have been able to interact with nurses and support our chapter through organization of vendors for our annual Lake Erie Chapter Spring Symposium--an important educational asset for nurses across Northeast Ohio. It has been opportunities like these, among others, that have kept my passion and enthusiasm for nursing alive.