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Becoming an Influential Nurse Leader

Becoming an Influential Nurse Leader

The celebrations in the United Kingdom, across the pond from the United States, have reached a fevered pitch in recent days. It is the 70th year of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign as monarch, and technically, head of the fifteen-nation Commonwealth. The pomp and circumstance of the Platinum Jubilee in honor of Queen Elizabeth II and all things royal aligns with the historical worldview of giving chiefs, kings, queens, and other rulers a highly honored status. In the world of the present, there remain countries and cultures that assign a celebrity status to their monarchs, as well as to a variety of individuals in other roles. Among these “others” are sports, music, movie stars, and heroes who hold the spotlight for a moment in time. Taking out beloved, well-established global monarchs, I ask you to consider what is required to rise to celebrity status. Is the individual being assigned an exceptional status based on unique characteristics or is prestige entrenched with the role itself? Would you not agree that in many cases it is a combination of both?

What is a Celebrity Nurse?

What exactly is a celebrity nurse? defines the word celebrity as a “famous or well-known person”, “renown,” and “fame.” Synonyms provided on the same website are “distinction, note, eminence, stardom.” WikiHow, a website of the masses, for the masses, built by the masses, and which bills itself as “WikiHow to do anything”, guides those wishing to become celebrities. The essence of that advice is to develop an idealized image of one’s true self and market that to sell the image. In other words, it becomes a concerted journey all about oneself – for the self, by the self, about the future of the self. With social media availability in multiple formats, achieving celebrity status is possible with the right ingredients of image, marketing, and influencing. Of course, none of this instant celebrity stuff, or any celebrity stuff, would be possible without followers. And followers there all, in abundance, especially on social media, and from all walks of life and age groups.

Influential Nurses in History

Contrast this to the role of the nurse. Do you know of any celebrity nurses – nurses who are celebrities because they are nurses, and not because they have a side gig going? NurseJournal lists ten influential nurses in history. The ten famous nurses on the list, along with their contributions, include Florence Nightingale, Clara Barton, and Sojourner Truth. Florence Nightingale is almost universally accepted as the founder of modern nursing. That is historically significant, and certainly significant to nurses. For example, Nightingale holds a revered status and is highly regarded by most if not all nurses. Clara Barton, Sojourner Truth, and the remaining seven on the list are well known to nurse educators who teach in the area of nursing foundations or nursing theory, as they hold an honored status in the halls of significant nurses who have gone before. However, celebrity status? Probably not. I return to my question – are there any celebrity nurses besides Florence Nightingale?

Become an Influential Nurse

The path to achieving celebrity status is typically all about self-promotion. Does that seem antithetical to the essence of being a nurse? In other words, does the idea of self-promotion seem to contrast with the spirit of nursing? It does to me. In light of the recent pandemic, nurses came out strong in self-sacrifice to save as many lives as possible, at great cost to themselves, working long hours, carrying heavy workloads day after day, away from family, and under great risk due to perilous working conditions. And today, nurses continue to do this around the globe, day in and day out, offering nursing care for all those under their purview of responsibility, and beyond. Though noteworthy, by today’s standards of celebrity…. probably not.

Find Your Nursing Specialty

Because nursing has many different specialty areas, the capacity to become an influential nurse across various populations is vast. For example, nursing specialties include the more well-known areas of medical-surgical and ICU nursing, to other specialty clinical areas of community/public health, school nursing, maternal/child, pediatrics, emergency, and psychiatric nursing.

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

Nursing students generally discover their areas of strengths and interests through self-exploration as part of their undergraduate degree. Ottawa University’s accelerated, online Bachelor of Nursing degree (RN to BSN) allows students to gain the skills and education needed to serve on the front lines of health care through real-world experiences in a 100% online setting and eight-week course terms. We also conveniently offer an RN to MSN bridge program for qualified students to enroll in three specified graduate-level courses in place of undergraduate-level courses. Doing so gives students courses completed toward their MSN while earning their BSN at the undergraduate level cost.

  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Don’t forget the sometimes overlooked specialties of nursing administration, case management, and nursing education. Ottawa University’s accelerated online Master of Nursing degree (MSN) empowers graduate-level students to become servant leaders in the nursing profession, improving health outcomes for individuals, families, groups, and communities in diverse population settings. This graduate program offers two concentrations, which include nurse leadership and nurse educator. The Nurse Leadership specialization prepares nurses to pursue management and administrative roles while the Nurse Educator specialization is for nurses who wish to share their clinical expertise in an educator role.

Ottawa University’s Online Nursing Programs

As nurses, we may not achieve celebrity status by current standards, but what we do day in and day out is significant and leaves a legacy of goodness. That goodness comes from the heart of nursing – to provide nursing care to all in need of healing. Should influential nurses, such as nurse leaders and nurse educators, be considered celebrity nurses? My vote is YES!

If you are interested in starting your journey toward becoming an influential nurse and want more information about our RN to BSN or MSN programs, reach out today!

See Also:

What You Need to Know About the Nursing Shortage

MSN Degree Caters to RNs Seeking Career Advancement

Can You Get a Nursing Degree Online

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