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Strengths and Weaknesses

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Every individual has his or her own strengths and weaknesses. How he or she deals with the weaknesses and handles the strengths determines the direction life will take. The nursing profession also requires that nurses be well-equipped with the right skills and competencies to enable them to perform their duties properly (Reeder, 2013; Wuest, 2013). In this essay, I will describe my strengths and explain why I consider them as strengths and also highlight some of the ways I can maintain them. I will also highlight my weaknesses in the essay and describe a plan to address them. The essay will conclude with an examination of three clinical skills I should obtain before leaving the NP program and how I intend to maintain them.

Strengths

One of my strengths is that I am versatile and independent. This implies that I am capable of handling heavy workloads as well as utilizing resources efficiently. I am never afraid of asking for help whenever I need it. Secondly, I am very efficient and time conscious. When dealing with patient appointments, I ensure that I work hard to deliver services to patients to improve their satisfaction levels. This is because patient satisfaction is good to both the hospital and the patient (Reeder, 2013). Thirdly, I am enthusiastic and personable in the sense that I am easy to get along with and make close, lasting relationships with my co-workers.

I consider these three as my strengths because I believe they will help me in my practice as a nurse. For instance, versatility and independence, time consciousness, enthusiasm, and personability are critical skills that can enable a nurse to carry out his or her duties diligently (Reeder, 2013). To maintain these strengths, I intend to work hard every day to ensure that I become effective in my practice as a nurse. Also, I will refer to my nursing code of ethics to stay in touch with what is required of me as a nursing practitioner (Canadian Nurses Association, 2008). 

Weaknesses

My first weakness is that I am not technologically advanced. Despite my understanding of most software, becoming adept to new systems tends to be a challenging task for me. I have to concentrate and refer to IT or other workers to help me if I am inexperienced with the facilities software.

Lab ordering is my second weakness. Though I understand that the process is provider-specific, I tend to either order more labs than may be needed or miss one lab that may be specific such as Iron rather than just an HCT and HGB. I have been working very hard on this weakness and feel that clinical preceptors have already increased my knowledge. I am aware that it will be a continual learning objective when I begin my new career, and the experience I will gain in my position will truly help me become more competent in this area.

Thirdly, I am self-critical. At times, I criticize my inability to know and treat everything at this stage. All preceptors have mentioned I am hard on myself. However, I feel this drives me to learn and continue to educate myself on all up to date health regulations or have resources readily available, so I can treat the patient accurately and create a positive outcome for their health.

Clinical Skills to Gain

Before exiting the NP program, I intend to acquire the following three clinical skills: Incision and draining of polyps in the office with suturing; nail removal, and burn wound dressing changes and treatment.

Plan to Master the Skills

To master incision and draining skills, I intend to continue asking to be included in these procedures and rehearse suturing at home with home procedures provided by preceptors and physicians I currently work with. On nail removal, I feel that it could be essential to attend and participate in more nail removal sessions to sharpen my skills and gain knowledge and confidence. Thirdly, to gain more experience on burn wound TX and dressing, I will volunteer to attend to any new case of burn wound that requires dressing and treatment. I have already spoken with my preceptor, and we have devised a plan to encounter any patients available and if not will do clinical time in the burn unit for four hours with my preceptor to get the experience.

History of Advanced Practice Nurses

According to Donelan et al. (2013), advanced practice nursing emerged in the 1960s when an immense shortage of physicians got experienced in the US. Due to the expansion of heath care services access by Medicaid and Medicare programs, the demand for physicians rose. This saw the inclusion of nurses in the healthcare workforce up to 180,233 in the year 2011 (Donelan et al., 2013). Since then, nurses have been progressively included in the provision of primary care especially in the underserved areas. Various publications on nursing care have predicted an increase in the number of nurses working in healthcare centers in the future. For instance, despite the controversy surrounding the field, most authors on nursing practice defend the fact that it has become part of the hospital system in the 21st century (American Academy of Family Physicians, 2012).

As a nursing practitioner, I see a brighter future in my profession occasioned by the continuous inclusion of advanced nursing into the healthcare systems. I, therefore, believe that I have a lot to contribute towards the advancement of the nursing profession. For instance, I can contribute to the growth of nursing knowledge through sharing with others any new skill or knowledge I acquire (Bastable, 2013). I can further contribute to the extension of nursing information by carrying out detailed researches on nursing matters. According to Wuest (2013), research is the most efficient technique for discovering new ideas. Information from nursing study carries with it the potential to positively impact the care offered to patients in hospitals (Bastable, 2013).                                                       

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