February 24, 2020

Retracing Personal Career Development in Nursing

In last week’s post, I took stock of where Morning Vitals has gone throughout its first three months. I also expressed my desire to refine its future direction. In connection with that, I have spent a fair amount of time this week thinking and rethinking my nursing career in all its aspects. Here’s where I stand at this point.

Thinking about my nursing career leads me necessarily to consider my entire professional career. I have never been able to–and, in fact, have never tried to–maintain any degree of separation between nursing and any other portion of my career. I think that is as it should be.

I started my career in life science research before I even graduated from college. From college through 2014, including a stint in graduate school in the late 1990’s, I spent about half a career in research. I thoroughly enjoyed many aspects of it and had the privilege of working with some wonderfully intelligent people. In some profound way, research has provided the raw materials for my career in nursing.

However, education has also been important in my career. From about 2003 to 2015, I was blessed with numerous opportunities to teach and support educational programs from elementary to graduate level on topics ranging from methods in biotechnology to physics and advanced mathematics to ecology to the humanities. Every one of those opportunities has influenced my nursing.

Although there have been multiple streams flowing into my current career, I have formed the strong opinion that one of the most significant extended events was joining the community and later the faculty of a small classical Christian school in Indianapolis, Indiana. I lay out the order of events in that way because my wife joined the faculty a year before I did and because, during that year, the welcome we received by the community was so winsome that I eventually taught there part-time while working in research. Indeed, my wife and I have maintained to this day some of the relationships that developed during that period.

If you do not know what classical education is, let alone classical Christian education, please know it is not necessary to understand that to grasp the shear weight of the influence of education on my nursing career. As I mentioned last week, I previously produced a blog on classical Christian education. For reasons that may become clearer in the future, I would like to explore connections between nursing and classical and Christian education here on Morning Vitals.

It has become clear to me in recent years that, although in my life research has been a source of raw materials for nursing, it is actually education that has provided the design specifications and organizing principles for my career in nursing. Again, it is highly likely I will elaborate on the foregoing statement here on Morning Vitals. At this point, please take my word for that distinction because to fully explore the implications of that for any one life would require years if it could ever really be accomplished.

So these two major streams have come together for me in nursing, but I have left out the many minor influences on my career.  However, this blog is intended to be a long project, and I am sure to bring those to light in future posts.  What have been your greatest career influences as a nurse?

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