As I reflect on my learning journey so far, I am amazed how fast time seems to pass by. I have six months remaining in my doctoral program in nursing practice and with school deliverables, working and raising a family it’s no wonder.
Some key lessons I have learned from school this summer/fall semester include learning how health information systems and patient care technologies impact health care delivery, safety, transparency, and policy. We also started looking at general data evaluation and analysis as we will utilize and expand in this area more in the spring. I recently implemented my quality improvement project, and what I learned is the importance of thorough planning, time/task management and communication. I led the project and had to get stakeholders on board and balance creating urgency to partners respectfully. I utilized an adapted knowledge to action Indigenous framework for this project which I have never done before in an academic setting. It was challenging putting this information onto a PowerPoint presentation for the project and I found myself experiencing mental roadblocks as I was processing it. I am so grateful to have the support of my mother, the project curriculum authors/instructors, and my supporting organization. I also took two summer institute courses; one was a leaderships class for women and the other a communication news media course. The women in leadership class was interesting. One assignment had challenged us to think about what kind of leader we want to be. But it was related to the readings, and I struggled to find a connection, so I went rogue and found references for Native nursing leadership styles/characteristics. My instructor feedback was to try and get me to identify a specific style. Which I did, it just looked different for her and I’m okay with that.
One large takeaway for me regarding academics at this level is the importance of Native American representation within academics, healthcare providers across each field, research, and publication. We must lead our own health initiatives.
I have been slowly eliminating projects, tasks, or extra work/meetings to create time and space to focus on my fellowship plans. I need to read, think, process, evaluate and reflect. I have articles and books earmarked just for this. I am getting better at resting, if I start to feel tired or exhausted, I no longer try to push through. I have also continued acts of self-care by meditating most days of the week or listening to music to help me focus. I continue to train in karate weekly and started training with a friend and a personal trainer for weight training two days a week. This scheduled activity has been good for me physically and mentally. For me, movement is vital to health, healing, and wellness. I need to hone my mental practice of staying in the present moment and manage my time more efficiently, so my work and studies do not spill into my family and rest time.
Lastly, part of my personal growth work includes community engagement, being a mentor and giving back in ways I can. Developing into the kind of leader that is true to me, my family, culture, and community. I am looking forward to working with my leadership coach on this as well and I have my first meeting with her this week!
Miigwech (thank-you) to my family, friends, and the Bush Foundation for supporting me. I am humbled and grateful.