Recently I was awarded the prestigious 2016 Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers by the Australian Museum. The only bragging you’ll hear is that none of the previous five winners is a nurse, and being the first to represent our profession at anything is always nice.
OK, I’m absolutely thrilled. But the truth is that this award is really about my mentors and their mentors before, who passed down the uncommon wisdom that shaping the next generation is not just a duty but a privilege. For in nurturing these bright people—especially nurses—you are touching, improving, or even saving lives that might not begin until you are dead 100 years.
There’s no more rewarding profession on earth than nursing, which is also gaining traction as a STEM field—for science, technology, engineering, and math. STEM can be a way up for women and minorities, and men of course. But nursing takes a little getting used to. That’s why it’s so essential to begin the mentoring process on campus. And to start it or increase it right now.
Creating nurse leaders is a part of my commitment to global equity in health care. In order to change the trajectory of health across all populations, I want to be able to show nurses what it means to be a leader and then help them discover what it will take to get there.
This is how, together, we will build the talented and resilient nurses who will take it from wherever we leave off. In the meantime, my humble advice:
Be a mentor. Change the world. Rinse and repeat.
Read Dean Davidson’s full blog entry at huffingtonpost.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: PATRICIA M. DAVIDSON
Patricia M. Davidson, PhD, MEd, RN, is dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and a fellow of the Australian College of Nursing, the American Heart Association, the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, and the American Academy of Nursing. She is counsel general of the International Council on Women’s Health Issues and actively involved in the international activities of Sigma Theta Tau International. Follow her on Twitter (@nursingdean).