I want to make myself stand out from the other nurses and make myself more valuable to the hospital. I feel that this will also make me more marketable as a nurse. I’ve read about nurses doing special projects in the hospital and was wondering if this would be a good way to stand out. Do you have any advice?
Yes I do. A great way to stand out from the crowd is to prove yourself as a leader. You can do this by developing or being directly involved in a project on your unit or in your hospital. This project will probably involve planning, data collection prior to the intervention developed, and after. There are people in “Performance Improvement” or “Risk Management” departments to help you with these details. By looking at your own unit you should be able to come up with a topic or area that needs investigation, improvement, or change. For example, find what causes you or your team the most grief; what is everyone complaining about the most; why don’t we get out on time?; or take our breaks?
Another great way to build a project is to look at hospital requirements from agencies like the “Joint Commission” and the “patient safety goals”. One hot topic right now is CAUTI “Catheter Related Urinary Tract Infections”. There is a lot of evidence-based best-practice literature proving that a “Nurse-driven” protocol that reminds and allows us to remove the urinary catheter (without a doctor’s order) as soon as possible. Get a team together, make lists, prioritize, gather information, get your nurse leadership involved, and try it. Your input can make a difference in patient care, making you and your team stand out from the crowd!