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Personal Values and Nursing Practice

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Personal Values and Nursing Practice

At the age of thirteen I remember I could make decisions independently. My father, a military person, was very strict, structured, and conservative and has authority and command in my family. I could say that growing up in a patriarchal family has taught me the value of discipline, respect to elders, honesty, and autonomy. These are some of the values that shaped me as an individual. My late father expected that my sister and I were home at a required time. We were obligated to dedicate our time for school homework and reading books; in addition, we were given certain houseful tasks that must be accomplished in a given set of time. Through him I learned the value of hard work.

On the other hand, my mother was a nurse-midwife and a professor at a university. It was from her, that I learned the values of caring, being compassionate, and the essence of education. While my father was deployed to serve the military, my mother raised me by herself. Her character amazes me as I grow up because she was there for my relatives and friends at any given time. She never ceases to help anyone who was in need. I emulated her openness and availability while she showed me that caring for others is a way to connect with people.

The values that molded and guided me were strong reflections of my parents as well as my life experiences. Doing what is right and wrong was consistent and innate.

A successful leader understands his values, himself, and particularly knows how to operate his strengths and innate gifts. Knowing oneself can achieve true excellence in leadership and become indispensable to his practice (Drucker, 2005; Zenger, Folkman, & Edinger, 2011). I will never forget when I initiated my first cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) at my first job here in the United States. I was a new nurse but I was determined to save the patient’s life. The determination I had was a strong reflection of those valuable teachings I received growing up. The patient survived and I won’t forget when later that day one of the EMS staff came back to thank me for a job well done. That was the moment I realized why I was called for this profession. I knew what I did was right at that moment for that patient. That particular event reminded me of the caring values of those who raised me.

The other elements that is important on learning who I am, what I stand for, my purposes, and where my leadership is heading are my innate gifts and skills. Like what George, Sims, McLean, and Mayer (2007) specified on his article, great leaders must have skills that are reflections of his or her personality, values, life stories and experiences. I believe that these would help in shaping up a strong leadership character in me. Using the feedback and assessment tools on leadership by Zenger et. al (2011), I was able to identify my innate talents and skills for the nursing practice as being a problem solver who could break down complex issues into simpler and focused task. I am a doer that takes initiative and apart from being an independent thinker and go-getter, I am a person who openly accepts challenges. Good leaders can become exceptional by developing their most outstanding skills that already complement what they do best to the highest level (Zenger, et. al, 2011).

I have been working in the long-term care setting for the past 15 years. I became passionate about taking care of the aging population since my father passed away from lung cancer. Since then, I have dedicated my life for my aging mother. And because she is miles away from me (Philippines), caring for the elders here in New York is like taking care of her. Whenever I greet patients in the morning, I feel connected and inspired for the day. I remember that discovering my authentic leadership begins with the understanding of my own life story that provides the framework for my leadership experiences and through it I could find inspiration and make an impact in my role as a nurse leader (George, et. al 2007).

The exceptional skills I mentioned above, together with the strong values I gained are important tools I need to grow my practice. I have learned from the readings in my leadership class at New York University that they must be present and continuously strengthened so that I will grow and flourish overtime. Whenever I receive personal letters of gratitude from patients and their families, I am constantly re-affirmed of my calling. The letters have showed that I have acquired a compassionate and helpful heart with a mind that is open and understanding—traits that I will always keep and apply in my nursing practice and leadership. My ability as a leader is strengthened because of my deep connection to the above traits.

I remember when I got promoted as the Director of Nursing at Amsterdam Nursing Home. I was fairly new to the organization

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