Own it:



Recognize and articulate the value of your nursing expertise

s a nurse, how much blood, sweat, tears, money and time have you invested in your professional development? As a nursing professional in the 21st century healthcare workplace, how valuable do you feel? For many nurses, singing the praises of their value is diffi cult, if not painful. Nurses tend to be task-ori-

ented and outcome-driven when delivering patient care or conducting research. When it comes to manifesting the outcomes we would like to see in our own careers, it can indeed seem like murky water if we’re called upon to convince others why they should value us. Nurses, who want to be valued in the workplace, fi rst must be able to recognize, verbalize and assert their own value from a place of authenticity and positive self-assessment.

Recognize your own value If you’re a nurse seeking a new position, more responsibility, recognition, a grant, a committee

appointment or a promotion, your fi rst crucial task is learning how to articulate your abilities. You should be able to detail, both verbally and in writing, your accom- plishments, credentials, traits and skills that make you who you are as a nursing professional. Feeling reticent about tooting your own horn is under-

standable. However, when you’re focused on professional growth, being overly humble may not be the best strategy for success.

Assess it In assessing the arc of your career, consider how you have grown, the skills you’ve mastered, the

responsibilities you’ve shouldered and the quantifi able and qualifi able achievements you have under your belt. Once you can recognize the aspects of your career that make you an excellent nurse, it’s time to practice speaking clearly and unapologetically about what you’ve done, and then writing it down on paper.

Communicate it Whether you’re preparing a cover letter, touch- ing up a resume, creating a grant proposal or

preparing for an interview that could result in a promotion, what’s called for is assertive and confi dent communication about what makes you the nurse you are. When meeting with a supervisor or manager, be ready to

enumerate your accomplishments. As you sit before a hiring committee, have a mental list of the top skills you bring to the table and the ways that you plan to grow professionally. As you edit your resume, imagine how you can tweak the language, so it’s a powerful document detailing the essentials of your career trajectory.

Own it If you’re uncomfortable with communicating your nursing achievements, it behooves you to own it. You need to become increasingly comfortable with

externalizing it when it’s imperative to do so. Owning one’s value is the fi rst step toward communicating it, and verbal- izing it is a signifi cant step toward having others deservedly recognize your worth. •

Keith Carlson, BSN, RN, NC-BC,’s career advice columnist, is the board-certifi ed nurse coach behind


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