Think Like An Entrepreneur, Act Like A Nurse – Discovering Your Innovative Streak As A Registered Nurse
The Innovation Series
Ayinla Daniel. RN
You Can Do It – Go Beyond Wishing
You will never have enough time to do the things you want to do or the things you should be doing [Am I right?]. Many times, I have friends who lament about the lack of time they have. They complain and wish that they had more time. Well, the good news is that you will never have enough time, you have to create the time your self, it’s all in your hands.
A lot of people have ideas within them that they wish were already living in the material world. They wished, and wishing does not accomplish anything, or it accomplishes very little, at least you get to think about your idea and create mental pictures of it – but that’s just all about it.
Innovation makes the world go round. All industries that you can ever think of, move on the dynamic wheels of innovation. Without innovation, advancements and improvements will not be possible in any industry.
Industries that want to stay in one position are free to neglect the teachings or practice of innovation.
And the beautiful part of it all is that human beings are the ones making it happen, and not aliens or robots.
Nurses occupy an industrial landscape heavily dotted with so many opportunities. The health care industry is a fruitful land, and like I always emphasize when I write about nurses and innovation, that nurses are in the best position to discover innovative ideas, majorly because they are in direct and constant contact with the patient/client, who is the focus of health care practice.
What You Can Do
If you are a registered nurse in any branch of health care, I am pleased to tell you that you can be a part of the innovative army. Let me take you through five practical steps that can help you discover your innovative sides as a registered nurse. Follow me…
Be Open To Learning: Registered nurses are among the most important professionals in the world. I am not saying this because I am one, I am only telling you the truth. But this importance has also created a lot of deficiencies for them. And one of them is the lack of proper recognition [important but unrecognsised], because many of them are extremely occupied, having not enough time for things outside their practice.
But, the whole story has been changing. Mind you, I am writing from a very different perspective, taking into consideration where I practice – Africa.
In Africa, the tradition of innovation among nurses is still a very novel one, and so, many of us are still getting to understand the working mechanisms of the concepts of innovation, as compared to developed countries, where nurses are exposed to the requirements needed to develop a rich innovation culture.
Be open to learning. Be ready to learn. Be willing, Yes, I think I like this word ‘WILLING’. If you have got no will or desire to learn, then I do not think that you are going to make much progress in the business of innovation.
Innovation is the medicine for problems. When problems show up, innovation is the tool that is used to solve them. So, you can simply say that without problems, there may be very little need for the science of innovation. And the art of solving problems is a very tough one, and you need grit, plenty of it to survive the battle of solving the many problems of humanity.
Without a pure hunger to learn, your journey through the innovative paths will be full of many unpleasant hurdles, because, in the place of innovation, we learn to enjoy hurdles. But if you do not have the desire, you will not enjoy these hurdles and if you do not enjoy these hurdles, how do you think you are ever going to make any progress or cause impact?
You should be ready to embrace failure! Yes! In the domain of innovation, we view failure with a different lens. We see failure as fresh opportunities in disguise – camouflaged chances. And genuine desire forms a kind of cushion for “failure falls”.
You should seize every learning opportunity that presents itself to you. Never allow a day to go by without you learning something new along the lines of your interest.
#Imbibe The Habit of Reading: My favorite point. These steps are all practical and realistic. I think they are easy to adhere to. Reading is an important element of development. If you eschew the art of reading, you may not be able to go very far. Do not get me wrong, you will go far, but having a good reading habit is going to improve your learning skill, and learning is the mother of growth and development.
And unfortunately, nurses do not have very robust reading cultures. This may be due to several factors, and lack of time may be among these hurdles. But, I beg to differ. I strongly believe that one can make room for productive activities. If you desire to be productive, then you must put in your all – devote some time daily to attend to productive activities.
Mind you, going to work is not productive if it does not challenge you to learn, to bring out the best in you.
While you are learning the art of reading, at first it may not be very interesting, but as you move on, making progress, you will find out that the art of absorbing knowledge begins to become a part of you, and before you know it, it becomes a delight.
I have written some articles about the subject of reading, you can have a look at one of them here, which I believe will be able to help you, and I am also preparing some more articles along these lines, specially tailored for nurses [BIAS! HAHAHAHA].
What does reading do for or to you? Amongst some benefits of reading, one important thing reading does to you is to expose you to the adventures of others who have gone ahead of you. With the tool of reading, you can enter into the minds of people who are doing what you admire. You get to see how they think, and you also learn from their journeys.
If you have refused to imbibe the culture of reading, due to anything, well, I encourage you to revoke that stance and decide today that reading will become one of your most enjoyed growth activities in the whole universe.
#Look For Your Interests & Follow Them: Innovation has a very strong tie with the entrepreneurial world. When you want to innovate, you must have seen a problem that you want to solve, and with solving problems comes rewards, two elements that can not be separated. I may be more focused on individual innovative development while picking concepts from corporate innovative teachings and using them to drive home my points to allow nurses to understand the basic concepts of innovation.
Search for your interests. There should be something or somethings that catch your attention. For me, my interests seem to span through the world of digital health technologies, and I have been able to use some other skills that I am developing to help me amplify this interest like the writing skill is helping me share my passion with others.
What are you interested in? Don’t tell me you do not have any interests or you do not know. Human beings are designed to respond to something. It almost looks like God deliberately built a special organic magnet in us that attracts us to the things that we were built for. So, get busy, begin to search for that thing that you were made for, it is in you.
When you have found your interests, follow them, don’t just find them, and abandon them, making your tent among those fellows who wish all day. No, you must be ready to follow your interests. Remember that you still have to build that interest. You have to study it and learn more about it because it is wider and deeper than you can ever imagine.
And as registered nurses, there are a lot of things that will surely capture your attention. If you desire to function by the bedside, I assure you that there are things that will attract your interest there. There are problems in clinical nursing that have not yet encountered a solution, or there may be solutions, but there are not efficient, and this exposes another facet of innovation, where we strive to improve on already functioning problem-solving systems to make them work better.
If you do not love clinical nursing, which I do not think you should hate, because clinical nursing is the foundation of anything you want to do in the area of innovation in nursing practice, there are other opportunities out there in the wide world of health care practice. Open your heart and behold them!
So, what are you going to do now that you have heard this? What decisive actions are you going to take? You can innovate, you can also solve problems. No one’s too small to be a key that opens the innovative doors that have been locked for ages!
I want you to even pay closer attention to the next point because it is the cornerstone of this message.
#The Power of Community: You need people. Your dreams need continuous inputs from others. An idea in your heart will not come to life without you pushing it out. An idea that you have pushed out will not have a future with you keeping it all to your self. You must embrace the power of the community to help you.
Think Like An Entrepreneur – Act Like A Nurse.
The entrepreneur thinks about the ‘CLIENT’. In health care practice, if you want to make progress in the world of innovation, you should also think about the client, but, think more about the practitioners. The health care industry is extremely different from other industries, in that there must be ‘satisfaction’ from both the client’s side and the practitioner’s side, and seeking ways to create this balance provides more opportunities for innovation.
I stumbled upon an article on Entrepreneur that offered these thoughts to employees:
- What does the customer want, need, desire?
- What are the customer’s pain points and frustrations?
- How can each team member improve interactions with clients to serve them better, faster, or with less drama?
Good methods, but in health care practice, we strike a healthy balance of interaction between the client and the practitioner, both of them should be satisfied.
In the cooperate world, there is heavy attention on the client, while also giving adequate attention to goods and service, which is a good approach, seeing that the client is everything, so to say, but in health care practice, if we give too much attention to the client, we may be shifting the balance, which is not advisable.
All innovation products and services introduced into the health care industry must have near equal attention on the client and the practitioner, and all others directly or indirectly involved with the care and management of a client or patient, because they are all important.
Sorry for the little diversion there.
The community will provide your idea with the right temperature to incubate and hatch it. You get to INTERACT, LEARN AND GROW amid professionals who have gone ahead of you, or who are also trying to begin their innovation journey, their presence serves as a source of inspiration for you.
You may be scared of people stealing your ideas. That’s a good phobia, but what you should be more scared of is you not working hard enough to bring your ideas to life. How do you save guard your ideas? It’s simple, keep your ideas to your self and keep learning, until you are sure that you want to take the idea to the next level.
Seek healthy mentorship. Take note, I called it healthy mentorship, and you have to seek them. Some mentorships are not healthy at all. Instead of offering help, they drain those who seek help, and only a few people are ready to sincerely take on the role of being mentors, especially in the area of innovation, not to talk about innovation in nursing practice.
You can get your self involved with virtual nursing innovation groups, though most of these groups require that you have a paid subscription, which grants you access to some very good services that can help you bring your dreams to life.
Nihub is one community that I am used to, I have gone through their services, and I think it is cool.
What nurses in Africa should start doing is to begin the process of creating Innovative Communities that encourage innovation in registered nurses, and this is one goal of Care City, we are striving hard to design an innovative community in Africa that inspires registered nurses to do more in the field of health care innovation.
Join an online course that teaches the concepts of innovation. Care City is also working hard to build courses that are tailored to meet the innovative needs of registered nurses in Nigeria & Africa, we are bound to kick off with our maiden Bootcamp pretty soon, to get more details, check us out here.
#Do It, Just Do It: I will not say too much here, because I believe that I have said several things in other points that have given this point enough color and substance.
But that notwithstanding, let me talk a bit on this point.
The virtue of just getting up, pulling your self by your bootstraps and doing, is one virtue that can make a significant difference in your innovation journey.
Afraid of failure? Read the last extra point. Failure is the bread of winners. When you fail, it is a sign that you have a lot of work to do, and if you refuse to address those deficits, be rest assured that you are going to fail again.
Pay close attention to the idea forming in your heart. Write it down, learn more about it, do some research, begin to connect, and watch your journey.
I will write a more elaborate article that describes in more detail how you can nurture an innovative idea that is building up inside you.
#Do not Allow Fear Stop You: An extra point just for you. Fear, one enemy that has stopped brilliant ideas from coming to life. Fear is like a mighty gate with heavy locks that stands right in front of you, towering high, high, high above you.
But because you always stay far away from your fear, you never muster enough courage to come so close to see what the gate is made up of. One, it’s got no hinges, and two it’s made up of cardboard. What does that make it? An unworthy opponent. That’s all.
If you allow fear to stop you, then you may have succeeded in allowing the most insignificant obstacle from preventing you from becoming what you were designed to become.
We are all bound to face one kind of fear or the other as we journey through life. Once there’s a challenging situation in front of us, it is almost natural to have the presence of fear lurking somewhere around. When an opportunity is about to come our way, many times, fear seems to suddenly show up!
You have to refuse to listen to the chants that come from the vocal cords of failure.
The fear of making mistakes is also an important issue to look out for when you want to start the innovation journey. If you have a phobia for mistakes, then this journey may not be the right one for you, you had better go elsewhere and find something more “mistake-free” to do.
Innovation is fun. The art of solving problems with methods that have value to the client, and also takes into serious consideration the practitioner, because, in my own philosophy, I strongly believe that those who serve these services to the client are also been served by these services, in one way or the other, especially in the health care industry.
Nursing innovation is a lot more fun, because of its nature of being novel, engaging & challenging.
Watch out for my next article, I have some good information for all my colleagues out there who are planning to be part of the innovative army. You can also share this article with friends and communities that you feel may benefit from the information and experience in it.
See you soon, stay safe.
You can read other editions in The Innovation Series:
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