I’ve been reading a lot of books lately on successful business strategies and the topic of mission statements often comes up.
It got me wondering, can nurses benefit from having a mission statement? Many of you already do, but you don’t even realize it. A mission statement can be derived from your philosophy of nursing. For example, what does being a nurse mean to you? What makes a good nurse? Answer these questions and there is the beginning of your mission statement.
Why Would a Nurse Want a Mission Statement?
Quite simply, because it adds meaning to what you do. This can be a great help, especially to those who are suffering from nurse burnout. If you take a moment to reflect on your mission statement, it could serve as a source of inspiration on those days when you just feel like you are just running around in circles, and not really accomplishing anything.
Here’s an example: As a recovery room nurse I often felt dragged down by all the repetitive, meaningless tasks that I was required to do (charting vitals Q 15 minutes, fetching ginger ale and crackers, removing IVs, etc). What if instead of dwelling on these things, instead I focused on the following mission statement:
For all of my patients, I am going to help them to be in control of their health care process. This would include:
- Making sure they know when and with whom to schedule a follow-up appointment.
- Making sure they have the proper educational tools; e.g. if they have a nephrostomy tube placed, do they know how to care for it? If they have a pacemaker placed, are they aware of what the settings are, and what these settings mean?
- Do they need copies of their lab values for their personal records?
- Have the doctors answered all of their questions related to the procedure?
Sure, most of these things are part of the job anyway, but if I view them in the context of my mission statement, it might make my job more meaningful, and hence, more satisfying.
If you had to choose a mission statement as a nurse, what would it be?