Ask the expert: Setting expectations that help enhance the image of nursing

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, June 12, 2009

This week, Shelley Cohen, RN, BSN, CEN, discusses how educators can set expectations for nurses at the organization and how this plays an important role in improving the image of nursing.

Q: How can I establish expectations related to the image of nursing?

A: Educators and managers play a key role in creating an environment that enhances the image of nursing. By setting expectations for the role staff will play and how they are expected to behave, managers and educators can create a nursing image makeover on their unit and within their organization:

Collegiality/team member role. Set expectations for teamwork and a collegial atmosphere by teaching nurses the following tips:

  • Proactively offer to assist other members of the team to demonstrate team commitment
  • Actively become involved in the orientation process of all new staff
  • Welcome and accept new staff by communicating your willingness to help them succeed
  • Don't allow someone else's unacceptable behavior to become your own
  • Do not verbally berate another person in your organization
  • Be open to constructive criticism and feedback
  • Treat all nursing staff-and everyone else who works in the organization-with respect
  • Avoid the use of profanity and unprofessional language or gestures

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