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NPs Lighting the Way

Shooting Stars

Candice Rettie, PhD 0 528
It is midnight dark. Streaks of light race across the sky.  In mid-August, despite being a buffet for mosquitoes, I love to watch the Perseid meteor showers.  The first time I experienced the magic of a “falling star” I was 5 or 6.  I’ve been hooked ever since.

It’s not too much of a stretch to say that’s also my experience with nurse practitioners. I’m hooked on NPs.  Although by education, training and experience, I am an educator and psychologist, it’s now my profound pleasure to be a part of the NP world.  I see NPs wherever I look.  Part of that is because of my position with the Consortium, of course, but it is much, much more. 

Improving Environments for Learning

The Future is Now; What next?

Candice Rettie, PhD 0 539

Throughout the Consortium’s 2018 First Annual Conference, we heard about emerging best practices in postgraduate NP training, interprofessional training and practice, and the national landscape for workforce development.  There were collegial breakouts on curriculum, evaluation, mentorship, on creating and sharing evidence, and on being a program director.  As we work to create the learning environments we need, we are weaving the fabric of excellence.  A common thread in our community is sharing – connectedness.

And it’s in the air.  In April, the Macy Foundation sponsored a conference on Improving Environments for Learning in the Health Professions.  Representatives from all the health professions, educators, practitioners, administrators and researchers convened to identify and disseminate best practices through “actionable recommendations” focused on improving learning.  They identified current state research and practice in health professionals’ education, and developed actions to improve that education.  

Work Life Balance? Really?

Finding Happiness at Work and at Home

Candice Rettie, PhD 0 591
When asked about work life balance, Jeff Bezos replied that his work life and personal life isn’t compartmentalized into two competing entities. Instead of viewing work and life as a balancing act, Bezos said, it's more productive to view them as two integrated parts.  “It’s not a balance,” he said, “It actually is a circle.”

As novice practitioners enter full-time practice and as new grads enter their postgrad training, managing competing demands is essential.  It is also stressful and exhausting.  How do we support novice practitioners during this complicated time in their lives?  How do we help them as they try to create, or refine, a personal life during this intense and stressful period of professional training? There is no easy answer.  

Each person has to find his or her strategy for integrating personal values with professional demands.  A crucial role for program directors, faculty, preceptors, staff, and near-peers is to validate each trainee’s evolving professional identity in a way that allows him or her to incorporate personal values and interests. It is one of the many potential gifts of a training program – providing a variety of accessible models for how to be true to our multifaceted selves as professionals, as community members, and as individuals with personal lives.

Mentoring -- A Safe Harbor

Elective Performance Improvement

Candice Rettie, PhD 0 1145

You know those meetings where one person does all the talking? Might be a well-intentioned expert. Might be an opinionated know it all.  For whatever reason the spark that fuels discussion just never happens. People get bored; they check their cell phones; respond to texts.  It is painful for everyone.

And then there are those inspiring discussions that are dynamic and insightful, with pregnant pauses and intense focus. Ideas shared. Suggestions offered. Solutions discovered. It’s seeing Washington DC's Japanese cherry trees blossom almost overnight after a spring rain, as in the accompanying picture taken by Redd Angelo on Unsplash. Awesome. Breath taking. Beautiful. Transformative.

As with my experience in acquiring new skills in creating an atmosphere that encourages dynamic and informative discussions in an online course, effective mentoring is transformative and truly a gift that impacts the future. Whether as a recipient or provider, it is an opportunity to be taken.

North Star: Leading the Way Forward

Nurse Practitioners as Leaders in Interprofessional Practice

Candice Rettie, PhD 2 926
Nurse practitioners and other health care professionals navigate the implementation of healthcare by adhering to the North Star of interprofessionalism.  As with the North Star, Nurse Practitioners may not be the biggest or most noticeable “star in the night sky”, but Nurse Practitioners are anchors in delivering interprofessional, evidence-based and high-quality care that is culturally sensitive.  Interprofessional care is a hallmark of their practice.  It’s a mandate to offer patient-centered, comprehensive care to the most vulnerable among us.  Read more about the intersection of musings on the North Star as an essential navigational tool, how Nurse Practitioners serve as the North Star for interprofessional practice, individually and collectively, and the implications for accreditation.