Ruth Thelma P. Tingda, RN, MAN, MM
National President, PNA (2017)
January-June 2017 Issue
Nursing is caring. That is, and will always be the core of nursing – the denial of self for the welfare of others. Given this, nursing is also multi-faceted and thus continuously evolves and adapts – to changing needs and demands, towards its constant goal of delivering quality care. As fast as we acquire new skills and knowledge to meet these demands; more information, better technology, rising needs, will ask of us to do even more. A wholehearted embrace of the role of research in nursing keeps us focused on this path, Research has for its ultimate goal, in nursing and outside of it, quality of life. We acquire new knowledge and use it to improve lives. Because we practice on so many levels in so many different areas, the need for research and research utilization is never more underscored than now. As a global profession, we cannot and should not be limited to knowledge that is considered basic where we are.
From available technology to cultural nuances, to demographics and healthcare environment, the ability to adapt and provide the best care possible is hinged on optimal utilization of research. It is the degree of comfort with, and actual assimilation of research in one’s practice that facilitate the transition from one geographical workplace to another, and one level of proficiency to the next.
Professionally, and even in life generally, we do not stop learning. A mindset that we know all we need to know, or that nobody knows more than we do, limits (if not blocks) personal and professional growth. For a young nurse in her twenties who ventures to practice halfway across the globe after two years with her local hospital, the discovery of the vast amount of information outside of her current arsenal can very daunting and even discouraging. Embracing the reality that there will always be something new that best practices constantly evolve, will keep her stable, and allow her to grow – opening opportunities for her to master her craft, specialize, and be able to define career path she can take for the next 30, 40 years of her professional career.
It bears repeating that the basics of nursing will be constant, but it cannot be overemphasized that the assimilation of new knowledge, technological advances, best practices, may also mean the difference between the nurse and a globally-competitive transformative practitioner in healthcare. Evidence-based nursing is not a concept we crawl through in college and forget as soon as we are done with it. From Florence Nightingale’s rudiments to contemporary applied researches undertaken purposely to solve practice problems and improve healthcare delivery, it is here to stay.