It all started out quite innocently. As a child, I was always accused of being “argumentative, bossy, opinionated and a loud mouth. More recently, I have been described by others as articulate, smart, forward thinking and a go-getter. See what just happened there? Change the way you listen to what you are labeled as, and the sky is the limit.
When you hear a nurse described, what adjectives do you hear? Kind, caring, patient, honest, “an angel”. Now, what about when you hear a lawyer mentioned? Is he or she called pushy, conniving, self-centered, and dishonest?
The Difficult Kid
So exactly how did I morph from a difficult kid to a kind and caring nurse, too pushy again in a short span of 30 years? I didn’t. I stopped listening to the negative titles about myself and turned them into assets. Argumentative became willing to discuss both sides of the argument. Bossy became assertive and Opinionated is really just being certain of what your stance is, and confidently articulate it.
I started out in my career as a young and idealistic RN. Ready to cure the ills of the world, and on so many levels, I did just that. I was a helper, a listener, and a healer. My best moments in nursing came in the form of a simple gesture, a smile, two Tylenol.
In the meantime, I was learning, growing and recognizing my talents. Over the course of the next 25 years, I found a passion for rendering care to patients from all backgrounds and all walks of life. Talents that were untapped rose to the surface as my career grew and I became a leader, a teacher, a caregiver, and most importantly a better person because I dared to challenge myself to learn more, know more and make that all-important difference.
My nursing career began as a Medical-Surgical nurse in 1979. It was a great start to my career; however, I wanted more excitement, a faster-paced shift and that feeling of making a difference. Medical-Surgical nurses who are “life timers” are some of the most extraordinary nurses I know. It was just not for me. There was this fire in my gut that told me there was something better suited for my personality and passion ahead.
Throughout the 80’s and 90’s, I grew as a nurse and a person. I became a wife. And then a mother. I pushed my career forward as I was offered new opportunities for Telemetry, Critical Care, and Emergency nursing. Each step of my “career ladder” as they used to call it brought me to heights of self-awareness and expertise I did not know existed. I embraced each opportunity to grow as if it were my last chance.
As I digress, I am thinking it’s hysterical that we called it a “career ladder”…I hate heights. I did not realize the heights I was achieving were all rungs on my ladder that brought me from the bedside to the sidebar in courtrooms all over New England.
You can become anything you desire if you are a “Pushy” go-getter. You can be recognized as an expert if you put in the time to become educated and mostly, grow in self-awareness while expanding your career profile. Profile your greatness and when it dulls, shine it up. Get ready to give 100% of your best self to others. Be aware of the trends that might open up an opportunity for you that you never imagined could happen. Make your “Bossy” work for you!
Today, I am working in healthcare part-time as a Certified Infection Preventionist (CIC) and growing my legal business at Mercury Rising LNC. It is an exciting time as I work a few hours a week as an IP and spend my “time off” growing my Legal Nurse Consulting business into my retirement plan.
I know one thing: this bossy, pushy, little girl has grown in unimaginable ways to become an RN expert in medical legal consulting and I am looking forward to the next rung, and the rung after that.
What is your next career ladder rung? Do you hate heights like me? Will you climb up slowly so as not to lose your footing? Will you confidently ascend the ladder of your career, never looking back? It’s up to you!
I can give one piece of advice to finish out this blog….DO it. Just know your assets, and use those labels and titles to move forward, climb upward and be successful. You’ll go places you never imagined. I miss the bedside. But I love the sidebar. Nursing is a never-ending journey.