Updated: Mar 27, 2022
Denetra talks leading through nursing science. She shares her journey of lessons learned through conversations, experiences and story-telling.
Leading through nursing science is a phenomenon embedded in experiences from many levels of nursing, practice and research. —Denetra Hampton
Over the past three years, nothing has tested our research and data more than the global pandemic. More and more nurses are using the term, NURSE SCIENTIST in their social media taglines and resumes. The reason? The global pandemic has a significant focus on science and nursing, which created a phenomenon around the role of nurses from clinical acumen to research and medicine. So, our work in research, and our data on people and communities was placed on display; giving a reflection of who we were as leaders.
Let's be clear, nursing science has many levels, from knowing the primary purpose of a chest tube to implementing research in our communities. But the nurse who has acquired a PhD in research wears the title of the nurse scientist. A bit mysterious and seemingly insurmountable to most nurses, particularly nurses of color, due to the lack of mentorship and sponsorship, it is the badge of honor for the profession. The world sees our nurse scientist as our leadership.
To my point, The Biden Administration, tapped a nurse, Rear Adm. Susan Orsega, MSN, as acting U.S. surgeon general, after asking Vice Adm. Jerome Adams, MD, to resign. Mary Wakefield, PhD, RN, was appointed to the Biden Transition Team, as well as Jane Hopkins who was appointed to the coronavirus task force. There are great expectations in nursing leadership.
As the world elevates in diversity and grapples with social injustice challenges, the profession of nursing has been forced to reckon with its own historical data on racism and injustices. We have come far, but we still have a long way to go. The global pandemic tested our leadership. We failed.
Nurses on the frontlines continue to operate in a season of fear and uncertainty. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed burdens on the profession as a collective that will be a part of our history forever. Nursing leadership has been challenged to keep nurses motivated as well as maintain a positive outlook for the future of the profession. It has been difficult, as more and more nurses leave the field and lose hope for a brighter future in the profession.
I have hope. I believe that the nurses who have been serving in this profession understand what and who we are. I am hopeful that the next generation will rise up and give voice to the many changes that will prepare us for the next pandemic. I have hope, that diversity and inclusion will be a mainstay and elevate us to a global table. I have hope.