ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.—Oct. 12, 2016—Striving for excellence through core values, listening and dreaming is critical for nurses.
Core values, which are guiding principles dictating behavior and expectations, are key for achieving nursing excellence. “You need core values to hold together yourself, your organization and your colleagues,” said Dr. Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN, CEO, National League for Nursing. “In schools of nursing we don’t deal with core values until the accreditors come by, then we pull them off the shelf in the closet and dust them off, but I believe you need to have your core values and your mission statement on the tip of your tongue. You need to know what you stand for.”
As an example Malone shared the National League for Nursing core values:
- Caring: promoting health, healing and hope in response to the human condition.
- Integrity: respecting the moral dignity and wholeness of every person without conditions or limitations.
- Diversity: affirming the uniqueness of differences among persons, ideas and values.
- Excellence: co-creating and implementing transformative strategies with daring ingenuity.
These guiding principles give nurses a path to strive excellence, which is tricky to actually achieve, said Malone while delivering the opening keynote “Change and Transformation: Two Sides of the Coin” of the New Jersey State Nurses Association 114th Annual Convention at Bally’s Atlantic City on October 12.
“You are pursuing excellence, it’s not something you grab and hold, it will slip through your fingers,” said Malone, who earned her Master’s degree at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. “It’s something you pursue.”
Listening and reflection provide opportunities to reframe opportunities for transformation, said Malone. “You take things in and reflect on them, you think about them, you evaluate them,” she said. “That gives you the opportunity for the reframing of the system you have in your mind.”
When reflecting and reframing, look inside yourself and find your gifts. Becoming a nurse is one of the most transformative things to happen to an individual. “I don’t have to get up in the morning and wonder why I’m here,” she said. “I know, I’m a nurse.”
With reflection comes dreaming and visioning, said Malone.
“I believe in dreams,” she said. “You should assign some time for dreaming, if you get through your dreaming, you can have vision. A vision without action is a hallucination. When it comes to dreaming, it’s so important there is action.”
Malone’s final pieces of advice for attendees echoed the other speakers, who have focused on civility and incivility in the workplace.
“You don’t have to love everybody you work with, but you have to respect each other,” she said. “You don’t even have to like each other. When it comes to quality patient care, you have to respect each other—that is non-negotiable.”