Dear Nurses, Feel Empowered!

 In Nurses Weekly

An empowered nurse is a healthy nurse, and now more than ever, nurses need to become empowered to make changes for the overall health and wellbeing of all nurses in our state and throughout this nation. In light of the current challenges our profession is facing related to the coronavirus, we need to become empowered to makes changes that will enable us to work safely in our profession. Belonging to our state’s professional nursing organization, the New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA), is the first step in becoming empowered to make changes politically, which will, in turn, make changes to ensure our safety, health and wellbeing. Please go to njsna.org and learn about the many benefits of becoming an NJSNA member. And please take a look at Dr. Margarita David’s message below on becoming an empowered nurse.

Empowerment: Is there a secret formula?

What does it mean to feel empowered? Does it mean to be courageous enough to be a leader or someone who stands up for what is right without the fear of repercussions? I asked my 7-year-old daughter what she understood when she heard the word “empowerment,” and this was her response: “Not being afraid to say what you need to say, as long as it is in a nice way and making sure you get what you want at the end.” If empowerment was as simple as my daughter defines it, so many positive changes could happen in health care.

Nurses are well educated on the different nursing theories that guide our practice and how to think critically in the clinical setting, but are we adequately prepared to lead? Are we prepared to be part of a conversation that promotes practice and policy changes in any of the nursing specialties we decide to specialize in? Not being prepared to lead could be the reason why so many nurses feel a lack of autonomy and powerless in their jobs?

How can we do better to have a chair at the table of leadership and decision making? An even better thought is to have nurses become empowered enough to get their own tables and chairs and start the conversation. Feeling empowered to make a change comes with the strength of believing in a cause worth fighting for and understanding the importance of autonomy and teamwork that provides the confidence to speak up for change. Yes, there are a lot of questions, but these questions should trigger the empowering feeling of becoming knowledgeable enough to become influential and courageous to find your voice sufficiently.

Here are some empowerment strategies that you can use to help in your personal growth:

  1. Believe in yourself as this will give you the courage to take a stance in what you feel strongly about. I live by the following motto: “Your only obstacle is you.”
  2. Think positive as this will provide the force needed to attain the goals you want to reach, while negative energy will slow you down and disorganize your thoughts.
  • Surround yourself with encouraging and positive people who will be an asset to your growth, serve as an inspiration to your path and provide you with the motivation needed to achieve your goals.
  1. Setting priorities keeps you focused and allows you to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You will feel empowered only when your objectives are clearly aligned with the goals in your head.
  2. Dedication, reflection and meditation are essential parts of feeling empowered as it takes hard work and a focused attitude to get things done. However, stress and an unclear head can be overwhelming. Therefore, it is crucial also to meditate and think of positive coping strategies that you can use when the empowerment path meets obstacles that you will defiantly overcome.

Stay focused, positive and dedicated fellow Healthy Nurses!

Dr. Margarita David and the Healthy Nurse Healthy New Jersey Team

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