-Most Importantly Some Good Wine/Vino
The beginning of a new year is a common time to reflect on the previous year, and deciding what goals you would like to accomplish in the next 365 days. This is not a time to be shy about the things that you want in your life. Be bold, intentional, and brave when setting goals for yourself. The sky is not the limit; it is simply the view. Although we tend to start out highly motivated and dedicated to the goals that we have set, we have got be honest with ourselves and realize that often that ambition can fade, and nothing gets accomplished! I want to share with you five methods I utilize to keep myself grounded, motivated, and a realizer of my goals.
Find Yourself a GOAL MATE
What is a GOAL MATE? A goal mate is someone that you have a great connection with that supports, motivates, encourages, and enables you to manifest all of your wildest dreams. It does not matter how far-fetched they may seem, your GOAL MATE will not only hold you accountable but encourage you to jump in and get dirty neck first. Whether you succeed or fail at accomplishing a goal they are there to pick you up if you break your neck for real (just kidding), brush you off, and send you on your awesomely merry way to attempt your next goal. Keep in mind, that in order to be a good GOAL MATE, you need to reciprocate the same energy and tenacity that your partner(s) give to you. It’s important to keep each other focused, interested, and motivated.
Make Clear, Objective, and Achievable Goals
Be clear and intentional about the goals you are setting. It is also important to be specific. Think about where you want to be with your finances, health, career, and love life. Self-love included. Be realistic with your timeline and remember that there are only 12 months in a year, but that is a valuable time that can be leveraged to generate a better you.
Make a Vision Board or Host a Vision Board Party
This is an annual tradition of mine. Each year I invite my GOAL MATES, friends, neighbors, co-workers over to craft vision boards. This is inexpensive and so much fun. All you need is magazines, scissors, glue, posters, your imaginations, and perhaps some wine!
Set Mall Quarterly Milestones
Hold yourself accountable. Think about where you want your progress to be after 3,6, and 9 months. I like to review my goals monthly. This keeps it relevant in my mind. You should review your goals quarterly at a minimum. Think about what is working for you, and what you can switch up.
Look at It
If you do not see your goals periodically, or place your vision board somewhere that you can see it every day. I have my goals on my vision board, iPhone, iPad, and posted in my locker at work. Don’t forget the plans you have made for yourself. Utilize these tools, go forth, and prosper!
Jazmin Nicole is a military officer, obstetrics nurse, advisory board member of Black Nurses Rock Inc., and the founder/CEO of Jazmin Nicole & Co.
For more posts/blogs like this follow me on twitter (@jazminweb), Instagram (@therealjazminnicole_, and Facebook (Jazmin Nicole and Co.)
From the National Association of Indian Nurses of America’s second biannual national conference, held October 22 and 23, 2010, in Houston Texas. Pictured (from left) are the Executive Advisory Board: Vice President Ann Verghese, Secretary Lydia Albuquerque, Treasurer Ammal Bernnard, Past President and Advisory Board Chair Sara Gabriel, and President Omana Simon. The conference’s theme was “Transforming Health Care through a New Lens: Opportunities and Challenges.” Keynote speaker Jean Watson, Ph.D., R.N., endowed Chair in Caring Science at the University of Colorado, shared her vision of holistic caring in nursing practice.
The NAINA is a professional resource for Indian nurses, established in 2006 to address their unique professional, social, cultural, and political needs. It hopes to serve as the official voice of Indian nurses practicing in America and is currently working to “achieve acceptance and recognition among other associations like American Nurses Association (ANA), National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurses Associations (NCEMNA), Trained Nurses Association of India (TNAI), [and] International Council of Nurses (ICN),” says the organization’s mission statement. The NAINA is calling for Indian nurses to unite under the umbrella of the organization, particularly the state-level Indian nurses association found throughout the country, including California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
The NAINA plans to promote political and professional awareness through its website, www.nainausa.com, and through newsletters and other publications.
American nursing history, as it is usually taught, credits Florence Nightingale as the pioneer of the modern nursing model, often excluding the black nurse experience and leaders. But there was another “lady with a lamp,” Jamaican nurse Mary Seacole. She worked as a volunteer nurse during the Crimean War along with Nightingale.
Though she was not chosen to go to the frontlines in Nightingale’s nursing envoy, Seacole used her own money to travel and care for wounded soldiers.
Other figures of note in the history of nursing include Lawrence Washington, who in 1967 became the first black man to receive regular commission in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. James Derham, a slave from New Orleans, bought his freedom while working as a nurse; subsequently, Derham became the first black person to practice medicine as a physician. In 1931, Estelle Osborne became the first black nurse in the United States to earn a master’s degree, and in 1955, Elizabeth Lipford Kent became the first black nurse to earn a Ph.D. These pieces of history should not be overlooked.
Throughout my years as a nurse, I’ve often found myself looking for a familiar face. I do not see many minority leaders in the workplace. While black RNs and LPNs continue to move up the educational and professional ladders, we seem to have reached a plateau when it comes to executive and leadership positions.
Nurses of all races continue to struggle for equality in the workplace. While attempting to write about this difficult subject, it occurred to me that I might have bitten off more than I could chew. Despite the efforts of multiple parties, including the National Black Nurses Association and the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, research relating to minorities in nursing leadership positions was, at best, dated or nonexistent. More than anything, this reinforced my belief that the subject needs exposure. The goal of this article is to encourage a dialogue within the profession and promote resources for black nurse leaders.
Nurses of color, as well as men, comprise a disproportionate number of nursing professionals compared to the U.S. population. The most current research from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows African Americans and Hispanics represent 4.2% and 3.1% of nurses respectively. (The numbers of Asians, Native Americans, and American Eskimos are considerably lower.) In the larger national population, African Americans and Hispanics comprise a full 25%. Nurses must discuss the issue of race openly and honestly, with love and respect.
Nursing is an excellent career field offering a myriad of varied opportunities and a way to give back to one’s community. It’s also a field requiring ample education. A significant barrier minority youth face when applying for college admission is a lack of preparation for higher studies. Minorities must be exposed to the field while still in elementary and middle school to ensure they see nursing as a viable profession. A universal effort must be made to increase the number of blacks and other ethnic minorities entering nursing programs. Part of that effort falls on the shoulders of current nurses, whose community involvement, advocating for nursing in schools and even at home, can help introduce young people to this promising and fulfilling career. However, completely “leveling the field” in education requires changes in public policy. Vital partnership programs that meaningfully bond nursing schools with local schools and youth organizations are needed to support and develop an education channel. In short, a universal effort must be made to increase the number of blacks and other ethnic minorities entering nursing programs. Nurses can and do make a difference in government policy by contacting their congressional representatives, writing editorials for newspapers and magazines, and working with community organizations to make their voices heard.
According to an April 2000 report prepared by the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice, a culturally diverse nursing workforce is essential to meeting the health care needs of the nation’s population. Black nurses are essential to the provision of health care services and influential in the development of models of care that deal with the unique needs of the black population.
This is not to say that outright racism has prevented nurses of color from moving up, necessarily. But where we see inequality, we must stamp it out.
Understanding how race is viewed in the working environment is an example of a complex task a nurse administrator is expected to deal with. Viewing the nursing profession as a melting pot is a great theory a nurse administrator could embrace and live by. Institutional prejudice in nursing may be grounded in maintaining it as the “all-white female profession.” However, this cannot be allowed.
The lack of black nursing and ethnic leadership has several economic implications as well, propelled by the nursing shortage. Research suggests this multifaceted shortage will continue for several years, increasing in severity and affecting virtually every area of health care. With the increasing need for nurses and nurse educators, employers need to be resourceful, encouraging the recruitment and promotion of minority nurses. Nurses need experience and advance degrees to fi ll faculty vacancies in nursing schools so these programs can expand to meet the current need.
Race remains a serious hurdle in the nursing field for blacks, even those with higher-level educations. I challenge nurses everywhere to reflect and take a closer look at their place of employment. Do they see diverse faces walking the halls? Does every nurse have access to the same opportunities, mentors, networks, and support systems? Can they turn to nurse leaders or mentors from diverse racial backgrounds?
It should be obvious to the nursing community that the black nurse is still struggling to achieve executive status in most cases. The proof is in the lack of research on this important subject. It is simply smart business for the nursing profession to draw their leadership from a widely diverse talent pool, one that is sufficiently represented by blacks and other minorities. Many areas of health promotion, education, prevention, and treatment have deeply embedded cultural factors. The advancement of black nurses to executive and leadership positions, because they have firsthand knowledge of these cultural health and lifestyle practices, may help ensure a higher quality of care for the black patient.
According to the American Medical Association, “Disparities in health care exist even when controlling for gender, condition, age, and socioeconomic status.” Recent studies conducted by the AMA show that despite the steady improvements in the overall health of the United States, racial and ethnic minorities experience a lower quality of health services, are less likely to receive routine medical procedures, and have higher rates of morbidity and mortality than non-minorities.
To assist in alleviating racial disparities in nursing, nurse leaders and nurses of all colors must take an active role in standing up for their underrepresented peers. Black nurses will continue to struggle to attain positions of leadership until productive methods to address racial issues are planned and fully implemented. Just like the United States Army has an aggressive and effective recruitment strategy, current leaders in the nursing profession might benefit from adopting some of their effective ideas and practices. These recruiting solutions need to be direct, enforced, and fully funded. Nurses must come together and work together to create and implement solutions that eliminate the struggle for ethnic advancement in nursing. The health of the American nursing profession, in addition to the health of all patients and consumers, depends on the continuous promotion of diverse health care employment, advancement, and education. The time for action is now.
Carnegie, M. (2005). Educational Preparation of Black Nurses: A Historical Perspective. ABNF Journal, 16:1, 6–7. Retrieved from CINAHL with full text database.
Davis, A. T. (1999). Early Black American Leaders In Nursing. Sudbury, M.A.: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Harrington, C., and C. E. Estes. (2004). Health Policy: Crisis and Reform in the U.S. Health Care Delivery System. Sudbury, M.A.: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Mingo, A. (2008). Barriers and Facilitators Affecting African Americans Continuation into Graduate Programs [sic] in Nursing. ABNF Journal, 19:2, 51–63. Retrieved from CINAHL with full text database.
Minority Nurse. (2000). Retrieved June 21, 2008, from: www.mndivi.wpengine.com.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). (2010). www.hrsa.gov.
We received the following message from Kahlil Demonbreun, R.N.C.-O.B., M.S.N., W.H.N.P.-B.C., A.N.P.-B.C., in response to one of our fall 2010 Second Opinion pieces, “Looking for Black Nurse Leaders: A Call to Action,” by Regina G. Goldwire.
“I wanted to take several moments to state how much I enjoyed her article,” Demonbreun writes. “As a nurse of male gender who has practiced roughly 10 years in labor and delivery (holds national certification as an inpatient obstetric nurse), 12 years in women’s health (nationally certified as a women’s health nurse practitioner)—not sure if there are any other males in the country holding those credentials—and nationally certified as an adult nurse practitioner, who is also African American, I agree: ‘The health of the American nursing profession, in addition to the health of all patients and consumers, depends on the continuous promotion of diverse health care employment, advancement, and education.’ The time is now [to recognize] my unique multiple minority status—we are out here!”
Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of articles examining leadership development initiatives at minority nursing associations.
Although she seems to juggle her dual roles with expert finesse, Susan Castor, MSN, RN, CCRN, president of the New Jersey chapter of the Philippine Nurses Association of America (PNAA) and director of patient care services for a post-coronary care unit at Community Medical Center in Toms River, N.J., remembers a time when she actually felt somewhat timid in a leadership position. Castor attributes her newfound assertiveness in part to skills she learned at the PNAA’s Chapter Leadership Institute.
“The Institute gave me the opportunity to meet and work with other nursing leaders from across the country, which was an empowering experience,” she says.
This summer will mark the fourth year the PNAA will hold the Institute (formerly known as the Chapter Leadership Development Workshop) as part of its annual national convention. The 2007 Institute, to be held on July 11 in Anaheim, Calif., is open to the presidents and presidents-elect of each of the association’s 37 local chapters. The PNAA currently boasts approximately 4,000 members nationwide.
“We wanted to offer our chapter presidents an orientation tailored to our organization’s mission and vision,” says Reynaldo (Rey) Rivera, MA, EdM, RN, CCRN, CNAA, BC, ANP, former co-chair of the PNAA’s Education Committee and director of nursing and special programs at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City.
Rivera, who is an accredited trainer in Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” based the PNAA program on concepts he learned as a chapter advisor for the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.
“Our Institute offers training in skills that benefit our chapter leaders both personally and professionally,” he explains. “In addition to learning how to recruit and retain new members, we teach [leadership skills such as] empathetic listening and relationship building.”
After gathering feedback from past participants, the PNAA recently decided to expand its leadership training initiative. This year, the newly renamed Chapter Leadership Institute will cover five critical areas: communication, member retention/ recruitment, education, accreditation and clinical issues. Perry Francisco, RN, MSA, PNAA Education Committee chair and manager of physician education for Sentara Healthcare in Norfolk, Va., will coordinate and direct the 2007 Institute, whose theme is “Back to Basics for a Stronger Foundation.”
“We developed a curriculum that we believe will be helpful to leaders who have undergone the training in past years as well as those who are taking it for the first time,” Francisco says. “Part of the training includes a discussion of best practices. Our leaders also have the opportunity to meet with their peers and discuss how they oversee activities in their respective chapters.” PNAA national president Rosario-May Mayor, RN, MA, director of performance improvement at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in Bronx, N.Y., says the Institute helps PNAA chapter presidents build skills that aren’t typically taught in nursing school.
“Our chapter presidents come from a variety of clinical backgrounds,” she notes. “Some are staff nurses, others are supervisors. While many have undergone leadership training, others have not.” Mayor has noticed that the PNAA chapters operate more consistently since the leadership training was first offered four years ago. She credits this to workshops on topics like developing bylaws and reviewing rules of the organization.
“The Institute offers a terrific opportunity for our chapter presidents to hone their leadership skills while also brainstorming ideas on topics such as fundraising, recruitment and retention,” she says.
“We are particularly excited about one of our presenters this year,” Mayor adds. “Sumi Haru, a former officer of the Screen Actors Guild, will present the communication piece. She will focus on the art of public speaking and presenting oneself in public—how to articulate well and engage the audience.”
Mayor is one of thousands of nurses from the Philippines who migrated to the United States in the 1960s and ‘70s. Today, in response to the current nursing shortage, U.S. medical facilities are continuing to recruit large numbers of nurses from the Philippines to fill staffing gaps.M
Today’s new immigrant nurses face a more complex health care system and stricter immigration rules than their counterparts of 30 or 40 years ago. The PNAA chapters strive to help this new wave of nurses arriving from the Philippines and provide support as they adjust to life in a new country. “The goal of PNAA is to meet the professional and personal needs of Filipino nurses across the United States and to provide mentoring activities for migrating nurses from the Philippines as well as new nursing graduates,” Mayor says.
While the PNAA is working to establish a formalized national mentoring program, many of the association’s chapters currently offer informal mentoring activities and acculturation classes to help recent immigrant nurses make a smooth transition into their new lives and jobs.
Even seasoned nurses like Susan Castor have reaped the benefits of having mentors within the PNAA organization. “Going back to school and achieving my master’s degree was one of my biggest accomplishments,” she says. “I hadn’t considered the possibility of attaining my master’s in nursing until I spoke with some of my PNAA colleagues. Their support and encouragement was invaluable.” In turn, Castor now makes it a priority to reach out to other Filipino nurses about the many benefits of PNAA membership. “Recruiting new members to PNAA is a way to secure future nursing leaders,” she says. “PNAA has not only allowed me to foster many new connections but to also reconnect with several of my former nursing school classmates [from the Philippines].”
Mayor says part of the PNAA’s mission is to emphasize the need to orient foreign-born nurses to the American health care system as well as the need to help America’s majority population increase its understanding of ethnic minority groups in today’s increasingly multicultural nursing workplace. “It’s important to dispel myths,” she emphasizes. “For example, many nurses don’t realize that a large number of Filipino nurses are U.S. citizens. We see part of our role at PNAA as promoting positive images of Filipino-American nurses.”
The Philippine Nurses Association of America (PNAA) serves as a bridge between Filipino nurses in the United States and their colleagues in the Philippines. “We promote a culture of excellence and education in our activities,” says PNAA president Rosario-May Mayor, RN, MA. “We work with the motherland on a variety of initiatives.”
This year, PNAA leaders are rejoicing in the news that thousands of nurses in the Philippines who hope to work in America will no longer have to travel abroad to take their U.S. licensing exams. On February 9, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) announced that it had selected Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, as a new international site for administration of the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). The test center in Manila—the first of its kind in the Philippines—is expected to open in mid 2007.
“This is excellent news for Filipino nurses and the nursing profession as a whole,” says Mayor.
Passing the NCLEX is essential for obtaining a nursing job in the United States. Up until now, due to the lack of a test site in the Philippines, Filipino nurses had to go to places like Hong Kong, Seoul or Saipan (one of the Northern Mariana Islands) to take the exam, paying hundreds of dollars in travel costs out of pocket. And that was in addition to paying the required exam registration fee.
“When Philippine nurses travel to Hong Kong or Saipan to sit for the NCLEX exam, their dollar layout may be anywhere from $1,200 to $1,500,” Mayor explains. “In addition to the $350 registration fee, examinees have to pay $500-$600 for airfare, plus pay for a hotel room, food, etc. And if the nurse fails the exam—which is a distinct possibility—he or she has to travel back there again in six months to retake it.”
PNAA leaders were actively involved in helping to make the idea of a NCLEX testing center in the Philippines a reality. Their advocacy efforts began five years ago, at a time when the NCSBN was looking into the possibility of offering the licensing exam outside the U.S. and its territories for the first time. (The NCLEX has been offered internationally since January 2005.)
“In 2002, the PNAA first approached the NCSBN with the idea of offering the NCLEX in Manila,” Mayor says. “It seemed logical that Manila [should] be among one of the pilot areas outside of the U.S. to offer the exam, since Filipino nurses make up between 50% to 60% of examinees worldwide.”
According to the NCSBN, approximately 25,518 Filipino nurses holding combined immigrant visas and work permits traveled to the U.S. to work between 1988 and May 2006. Mayor says the number of Filipino nurses taking the NCLEX-RN® was over 9,000 (35% of total examinees) in the 1990s, and more than 15,000 (60%) in 2006.
Initially, the NCSBN had some serious concerns about Manila’s suitability as a test site. There were worries about political instability, exam security issues (software piracy is a major problem in the Philippines) and the recent proliferation of inferior-quality “diploma mill” nursing schools that were churning out thousands of poorly prepared graduates to meet the huge demand for Filipino nurses in the United States.
PNAA leaders—including Mayor, past president Filipinas Lowery and president-elect Leo-Felix Jurado—worked as part of a coalition of U.S. and Philippine organizations that helped address these concerns. Some of the other groups involved in these efforts were the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA)—the PNAA’s counterpart in the homeland—and the Manila-based Commission on Filipinos Overseas, which has been working with the Philippine government to improve some of the conditions that had originally raised red flags.
The PNAA, too, is working to help ensure the continued flow of only qualified and well-trained nurses from the Philippines into the American health care system. In a recent interview with the Philippine News, Mayor expressed her disappointment about the controversial results of last summer’s Philippine nursing board exams , where it was discovered that test questions were leaked to some students prior to their taking the exam. She is also concerned that the passing rate for the Philippine board exam is still alarmingly low—only 42%.
“It is an embarrassing percentage and tends to mirror the deteriorating quality of nursing education in the Philippines,” Mayor says.
While she believes the test question leakage was an isolated case, Mayor attributes the low scores to the ongoing diploma mill problem. Some nursing schools in the Philippines have increased their enrollment beyond what their capacities and resources can handle, she explains. Because of their student overflow, these schools resort to hiring new graduates as teachers, effectively removing the clinical experience requirement that is essential to being a nursing instructor.