Reflecting on her work as an OB Nursing Professional Development Specialist, Karen Prescott, MSN, RN, CNOR, shares thoughts about her personal growth as well as insights on her role and the pride she feels about the difference she has made to other nurses and patient care.
"Have I made a difference?" is the question I am asked by many nurses reflecting over their careers in the nursing profession. I have been given a multitude of educational opportunities, not only to advance my own education, but also to encourage and support the advancement of nursing education.
Nursing for me has always been about teaching, whether it be at the patient's bedside, classroom setting, or on the nursing units. I have had the pleasure of instructing well over one thousand young men and women entering this noble field. The impact on the continuum of care is felt when that former student comes up to me and says, “Thank you. I am here today because of the support and teaching you provided.”--or better yet, when the new hire is my own daughter.
I have been supported and encouraged to venture out of my comfort zone, learn new things and adapt to change. The old saying of "How will you know if you don't try?" continues to ring in my ears to this day. We as nurses don't do it for the recognition, but over the years the awards I have earned solidify the decisions I have made and the work I do demonstrates how it continues to impact the nursing profession. "Have I made a difference?" I would say based on the accolades given, my student and peer evaluations and ultimately how I feel, the answer is a resounding YES. I am proud to know I was instrumental in bringing about change that impacted patient outcomes and furthered nursing education, but most importantly provided both personal and self-satisfaction.