Senior vice president & chief nurse executive

Education: The work of a lifetime Learn to educate yourself to stay current and relevant

rom our fi rst days in elementary school we’re told we have to go to school so we’ll be smart when we grow up. We’re told to pay attention, study hard, do our homework and get good marks so one day we’ll graduate, go to college, get a good job and make lots of money. These are big messages for little people. But as we move through middle and secondary school, college, perhaps graduate school, vocational training or advanced education we come to understand the truth in those early messages and appreciate that learning is the work of a lifetime. Graduations don’t end it; neither do the degrees we earn, the jobs we land, the salaries we make or the promotions we get. None of these things mean we’re done or that learning can stop. In nursing, we hear about lifelong learning all the time. We learn about



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formal and informal educational opportunities, and we try to avail ourselves of as many as possible. In order to grow, increase our knowledge and hone the skills we need, we must see education as something that’s goes on forever. No degree is a terminal degree. There are always additional ways to learn, educate ourselves and do what is necessary to stay current and relevant. Ask those who are really successful — the more important their work is, the more important they’ll say lifelong learning is to that work. We know our value as professional nurses. We want to make meaningful

contributions to nursing and healthcare and have a real impact on society and the world. Think about the role education and lifelong learning play in that. We’re entrusted with the lives of others, and we take the trust they’ve placed in us seriously. We work as part of interprofessional teams whose members are well-educated and credentialed in their specialties, many at the master’s degree level and higher. We’re seen as leaders, and we’re most often the ones heading up the team and taking responsibility for the direct care patients receive. We must be as educated as they are. At, continuing education is at the heart of our company mission. We

believe in it, promote it and do all we can to make it available. Several times each year we focus our magazine issues on education and learning, both in the class- room and the workplace. We provide current information on nursing programs, looking at new and innovative models; what’s trending in advanced education or online degree programs; what’s changing in credentialing or certifi cation program requirements; and what nurses are doing to educate one another on best practices. In this issue, you’ll read about TeamSTEPPS, the evidence-based teamwork

system designed to optimize care through better communication and teamwork and the role interprofessional education has in it. You’ll also meet an RN inventor who created the NoNo Sleeve, a product designed to eliminate opportunities for medical errors involving at-risk arms by creating a visual barrier to inform staff not to use the arm. A well-known proverb says, “You’re never too old to learn,” and it’s proven true

all the time in nursing. New grads are getting older, older nurses are working longer and nurses at all phases of their careers are continuing to educate them- selves because they believe education truly is the work of a lifetime. •

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