Nursing Portfolio: Reasons Why I Chose Nursing

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Nursing Portfolio

During the part-time Nursing Program at DMACC, the students are required to develop a portfolio to understand what it takes to become a professional nurse. The portfolio will help students’ competency of the nursing profession by identifying the Global Concepts/ADN Student Learning Outcomes, and the ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses. Throughout this discussion, the reader will be informed on the DMACC Nursing program philosophy, what it means to be a professional nurse, my career and educational goals, and a reflection on why I chose nursing as a career.

Why I Chose the Profession of Nursing

The human body is fascinating and has always been intriguing to me since a young boy. During the last year of my high school career, I decided to attend Iowa State University for the Kinesiology program. Nursing crossed my mind multiple times before high school graduation, but the stereotype of this being a female career path trumped the thought process. I first started out in Athletic Training because I wanted to work with high level athletes. After freshman year of college, I switched career paths to Exercise Science. In order to graduate from ISU I had to perform an Internship. During the second semester of my senior year I found an internship with UnityPoint Cardiac Rehab in Des Moines. I worked mainly with nurses while performing the internship and again, the thought process of becoming a nurse came back around. This time, I denied the stereotypical label associated with nursing.

Career and Educational Goals

After completing the Internship with Cardiac Rehab, I was hired as an Exercise Specialist, and the eagerness to continue my education in nursing has far surpassed the doubts. I have already attained many of my career and education goals thus far. The next short-term goal is to complete the nursing program at DMACC while continuing to provide care in Cardiac Rehab. Upon completing the part-time Nursing program, my ultimate goal is to give the knowledge and care to people who are in need. This includes people within the United States and around the world. Helping people is what I love to do. I believe this to be the reasoning why I am on Earth. I see myself working at Iowa Methodist on the telemetry floor and continuing my work in Cardiac Rehab. In my spare time I intend to volunteer in my hometown and communities around the world. I wish to bring evidence-based practices to patients daily and provide quality care to the sick. I aspire to continue my education and grow into the best professional nurse I can be.

Professional Nurse

The first thought came to my mind about being a professional nurse is taking care of a patient with the best care possible one could give. As a nurse it is important be up to date with the correct practices/skills and the patients should be able to trust one’s knowledge based judgment. Each patient deserves to be treated with respect, dignity, and compassion. Not only should you be taking care of your patients, but as a nurse you have to work with your co-workers to make sure the team is overachieving (Potter et al., 2017). Nurses make sure that the doctors are being fair and explaining treatment to them in ways they understand. It is critical to be an educator for the patient and their family. The ability to explain treatment plans, follow up care, and instructions for medications to the best of their knowledge (Potter et al., 2017). Many times in the nursing profession we will be confronted with situations that most will not experience in the lifetimes of their chosen profession. Nurses must know ethics, values, morals, and have the ability to differentiate between cultures beyond that of race or ethnicity and adjust their course of action.

DMACC Nursing Program Philosophy

The DMACC Nursing Philosophy is a mission statement for the students to understand how each of them should be treated and the processes DMACC believes to be important for learning how to become a professional nurse. The first statement includes, “In alignment with the mission and vision of Des Moines Area Community College, the nursing program provides students with a quality, student-centered nursing education designed to build a foundation in cultural understanding, social enrichment, and life-long learning. Students are prepared to provide professional, safe, and culturally attentive nursing care for individuals and families across the lifespan” (“Nursing Student Policy Manual”, 2018-2019). Each student is provided an opportunity to learn the principle practices and basis of nursing in an environment suitable for any one person.

“The nursing faculty believes that all persons have the right to be recognized and respected as unique, holistic beings with inherent dignity and worth. Each individual person has both universal and specific needs and is distinguishable from the family, group and/or community to which they belong. Individuals, families and groups become clients when nursing is engaged to provide care that is desired or needed” (“Nursing Student Policy Manual”, 2018-2019). The students at DMACC are all equal no matter what ethnicity, religion, background, or social economic status they are involved in. This gives the opportunity for each individual to learn to the best of their ability and practice nursing skills with assertiveness.

“Health is a dynamic state of physical, emotional, intellectual, social, cultural, and spiritual well-being. Illness occurs when actual or perceived needs cause significant distress to the client or interfere with the ability to perform desired activities or needs of daily life” (“Nursing Student Policy Manual”, 2018-2019). Health and well-being of the undergraduates are vital to their learning experience. When one is not in good health, the performance is hindered and the student is unable to evolve into a qualified nurse. Quality nurses do not only provide care to the community, but also communicate effectively and efficiently with every team member to meet the standards of professionalism. “Nursing is an art and a science. The art of nursing is the innovative and compassionate delivery of nursing care to all clients. The nurse works autonomously and in collaboration with others to create an environment that empowers the client to strive for their highest level of well-being” (“Nursing Student Policy Manual”, 2018-2019).

“Learning is an active process that is facilitated through the use of a conceptual approach to nursing education and focused on thoughtful application of the nursing process” (“Nursing Student Policy Manual”, 2018-2019). Within the nursing career one must continue their education to be up to date with the evidence-based practices. The focus of DMACC Nursing is to develop understanding of scholarly, academic work through the consructive use of intellectual skills and expertise. Critical thinking plays a vital role to prioritize and make critical decisions in which could result in life or death. This essential skill is developed within the program but continues throughout the past, present, and future experiences of life. “The goal of nursing education is to develop an individual who works within professional and ethical guidelines utilizing the nursing process to make sound clinical decisions and use effective communication to collaborate with the client and health care team” (“Nursing Student Policy Manual”, 2018-2019). The associate degree program prepares students to provide nursing care in diverse settings to patients of different cultures. Upon graduation, one is capable to continue their education through different experiences encountered in the profession of nursing.

Global Concepts/ADN Student Learning Outcomes

Professionalism

“Professionalism is a specialized skill set essential to a performance of a unique and professional role. Main concepts that indicate professional behavior in the nursing profession include accountability, teamwork, and autonomy” (“Nursing Student Policy Manual”, 2018-2019). Creating a professional environment in nursing care will help the overall well-being of each patient being taken care of. This concept involves communicating clearly, being self-reflective, and consistently modeling responsibility, respect, and advocacy. 

Safe Practice

“Safe Practice is health care practice that reduces the risk of harm to patients and providers resulting from the processes, systems, or environments of care through both system effectiveness and individual performance” (“Nursing Student Policy Manual”, 2018-2019). Quality care cannot be done if the one providing the care is not using the safest and best practice known. In order for care to be safe the nurse needs to be engaged in what practice should be used and how to effectively use the practice. An environment with safe practices will ultimately lead to great health and well-being of the patients being taken care of.

Communication

Communication is, “the act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express ideas, thoughts, and feelings to other individuals. Includes both basic and advanced therapeutic techniques. Communication can either be verbal or non-verbal and both are used in the quality of nursing care” (“Nursing Student Policy Manual”, 2018-2019). The ability to communicate properly with team members and interact with patients can help build a relationship on trust, which may prevent mistakes and provide a higher level of care. Increasing communication between members of the team can lessen medical errors and make a positive impact on patient outcomes (Potter et al., 2017).

Culture

Culture is, ‘the accumulated store of shared values, ideas (attitudes, beliefs, values, and norms), understandings, symbols, material products, and practices of a group of people’ (“Nursing Student Policy Manual”, 2018-2019). Culture may help bring new and different ideas to the team which could have make care of patients better than it ever has been. In the nursing field you will see many from around the world who have different lifestyles and beliefs. It is vital to understand this for them to get the best care possible. 

Care across the Lifespan

“Development is the process of change during a client’s life. The sequence includes physical, psychosocial, and cognitive development. The nurse must be aware of the client’s developmental stage to provide age appropriate care and education” (“Nursing Student Policy Manual”, 2018-2019). If one is unaware of the patient’s developmental stage then it will hinder the quality of care. Quality care is necessary across the entire lifespan of an individual and should be taken into consideration when providing care.

Health Promotion

“The process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health” (“Nursing Student Policy Manual”, 2018-2019). Nurses should actively engage in health promotion strategies to maximize optimal health outcomes.  Nurses should be able to apply evidence-based concepts from research to implement effective strategies that promote health and provide quality care.

Nursing Process

“The essential core of practice for the registered nurse to deliver holistic, patient-focused care” (“Nursing Student Policy Manual”, 2018-2019). The nursing process should include education and teaching patients/families about the diagnosis, procedure, etc. This is essential when performing quality nursing care. Assessment, diagnosis, identification of outcomes, planning, implementation, and evaluation. Throughout nursing these concepts are used to develop and implement specific care plans to help patient’s health and well-being.

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The practical nursing graduation outcomes are goals to set standards for becoming the best person and nurses the students can become. The goals are intended for students to retain the information presented throughout the nursing program and be able to apply what was learned to provide quality care. The program will teach students how to become thorough, professional, and perform evidence-base practices in their career as a nurse.

The Provisions of the ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses

Within the ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses there are nine provisions. These provisions encapsulate the words in which nurses should live and abide by on a day to day basis. This code is utilized in today’s healthcare systems because it states the principal values and dedication of the nurse understandably (ANA, 2015).

Provisions

Provision 1. “The nurse practices with compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth, and unique attributes of every person” (ANA, 2015). As a nurse you should treat all the patients with respect as a human being and should not be mistreated in any way no matter the circumstances or situation. Every person is different in various ways and their care should not be based off of these differences.

Provision 2. “The nurse’s primary commitment is to the patient, whether an individual, family, group, community, or population” (ANA, 2015). Demonstrating focus and perseverance on with the care of patients is critical and should not be influenced by any distractions. Every person deserves the best care one nurse can provide.

Provision 3. “The nurse promotes, advocates for, and protects the rights, health, and safety of the patient” (ANA, 2015). Providing care directed by the physicians is not all a nurse executes. Patients have rights and a nurse has to respect the decisions one makes. The safety of each patients comes first and education should be provided about their health.

Provision 4. “The nurse has authority, accountability, and responsibility for nursing practice; makes decisions; and takes action consistent with the obligation to provide optimal patient care” (ANA, 2015). The nurse has to take responsibility of their actions no matter the outcomes. Evidence-based practices are performed to provide superlative management and education to each individual.

Provision 5. “The nurse owes the same duties to self as to others, including the responsibility to promote health and safety, preserve wholeness of character and integrity, maintain competence, and continue personal and professional growth” (ANA, 2015). Education shall continue after completion of the NCLEX or nursing courses. As a nurse it is necessary to be consistent with the best and most current evidence-based practices. An important role is to continue promoting healthy lifestyles to each patient and the community.

Provision 6. “The nurse, through individual and collective effort, establishes, maintains, and improves the ethical environment of the work setting and conditions of employment that are conducive to safe, quality health care” (ANA, 2015). Working with the team members to provide a safe and effective work environment will demonstrate efficient care. You should know the roles of your team’s members and who to contact when needed.

Provision 7. “The nurse, in all roles and settings, advances the profession through research and scholarly inquiry, professional standards development, and the generation of both nursing and health policy” (ANA, 2015). Evidence-based practices should be performed throughout the nursing field and each action should have a professional reasoning as to why it was performed. The nurse needs to understand how to be scholarly and professional on a day to day basis.

Provision 8. “The nurse collaborates with other health professionals and the public to protect human rights, promote health diplomacy, and reduce health disparities” (ANA, 2015). It is important to continue educating the public about specific health concerns to reduce and prevent risk factors associated with disease. Educating the patient’s family members will help spread knowledge about certain health concerns and it is the nurse’s duty to provide education.

Provision 9. “The profession of nursing, collectively through its professional organizations, must articulate nursing values, maintain the integrity of the profession, and integrate principles of social justice into nursing and health policy” (ANA, 2015). Ethics, morals, and laws must be incorporated with the care provided to each patient. The nurse should be professional on all levels of communication.

Conclusion

Professionalism, communication, caregiver, collaborator, teacher/educator, and an advocate are just some of the responsibilities a nurse learns throughout the course of the DMACC Nursing program. I have talked about why I chose the nursing field, what my career and educational goals entail, and what being a professional nurse means to me. Also, I described and reflected on the DMACC Nursing Philosophy, Global Concepts, and the nine provisions of the ANA Code of Ethics for nurses. In the reflection, I have included how each of the topics influence the nursing field and why a nurse should continue using these concepts for creating a safe environment in every health care system.

References

American Nurses Association. (2015). Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements. Silver Spring, MD: American Nurses Association.

Nursing Student Policy Manual. (2018-2019). Retrieved April 19, 2019, from Des Area Community College (DMACC) https://www.dmacc.edu/programs/nursing/Documents/studentpolicymanual.pdf

Potter, P. A., Perry, A. G., Hall, A., & Stockert, P. A. (2017). Fundamentals of nursing. Ninth edition. St. Louis, Mo.: Mosby Elsevier.

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