27 January 2010

Courage, conflict engagement and communities of practice

I love think-tank invitations. Recently, I was invited to participate in an emerging community of practice around conflict engagement in health care. The sponsoring organization is Emerging Health Care Communities (EHCCO). Besides the fact that there were many diverse and interesting people engaged in this three-day event, I was impressed that the conveners invited Etienne Wegner to introduce the group to the idea of a community of practice.

Nurses have been tacitly using and developing communities of practice around specific issues for some time. Making the principles and practices of cultivating a community of practice more explicit enables the evolution of new ideas and promotes mastery of understanding social learning, identity, belonging, relationships and the value of community in advancing learning, growth, change and new knowledge.

Perhaps, you are interested in developing a community of practice around an issue you are passionate about. Cultivating communities of practice requires attention to open dialogue, different levels of participation and diversity of thought, opinions and ideas, as well as commitment to the community that is evolving.

A highlight of the event for me was an award ceremony where my good friend and colleague Phyllis Kritek was recognized for her work in conflict engagement. It takes courage to engage and stay with the conflict resolution process. It also takes attention to communication and conflict resolution skills that can be used in any context. Phyllis blogs for a group known as Disruptive Women in Health Care. Perhaps, some of the posts and issues raised in the Disruptive Women in Health Care forum will give you the courage to engage in conflict resolution around issues that matter to you and the nursing profession at large.

For Reflections on Nursing Leadership, published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International.

05 January 2010

2010 International Year of the Nurse

Are you keen on making New Year’s resolutions? I suspect most of us think of personal resolutions, and then some of us think of professional resolutions. One of my professional resolutions is to promote 2010 as the International Year of the Nurse. This is the centennial year of Florence Nightingale’s death (1820-1910).

To commemorate and honor Ms. Nightingale and her contributions to modern nursing, the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International, the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health and the Florence Nightingale Museum in London have collaborated in creating a campaign to increase public awareness of the impact, influence and leadership nurses bring to health initiatives around the world. The campaign builds on the United Nations Millenium Development Goals.

Become involved in this effort by signing the Nightingale Declaration. Consider contributing and sharing stories related to the work that you do! Encourage your friends and colleagues to visit www.2010IYNurse.net and participate in the yearlong celebration. Create celebrations and other activities in your hometown and add them to the calendar of events! I hope to attend the Commemorative Global Service at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. on 25 April 2010. This is one of my professional New Year’s resolutions that will last all year long!

For Reflections on Nursing Leadership, published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International.