Counting down to Nurses Week: Free tool to help improve the professional image of nursing

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, April 14, 2009

As HCPro continues its countdown to Nurses Week, our focus moves to improving the image of nursing. Bedside caregivers are at the forefront of healthcare every day as they care for patients and families and interact with physicians and peers. So isn’t it time to set high standards and improve the image of nursing?

During your Nurses Week preparation, put celebrating the profession on your list of activities and empower nurses to take control over their image.

Start by giving staff nurses pointers on how to present a positive image inside and outside of the organization. You can do this by downloading and handing out this week’s free tool “Tips for elevating the image of nursing” by Karen L. Tomajan, MS, RN, BC, CNAA, CRRN, director, nursing quality and special projects at INTEGRIS Baptist Center in Oklahoma City. The tool teaches nurses how to effectively project their best professional image in every interaction. For example, it encourages nurses to present a professional image by:

  • Identifying yourself as a professional nurse. Keep your name tag visible. Introduce yourself by your full name, and tell people you are an RN or LPN.
  • Preparing and practicing a 30-second “elevator” speech about your role as a professional nurse. Communicate how you have made a difference for patients in your care.
  • Describing your independent actions to prevent complications and save lives. Many patients and families believe that all nurses do is follow doctors’ orders. When you intervene to address a problem, let them know how your actions made the difference.

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