Board Liaison's Message
Are You an OWL?
A Note from Sheila St. Cyr, MS, RN, NPD-BC
My fellow nursing professional development (NPD) practitioners,
During this time of the year, I, like many others, embark on spring cleaning adventures! Going through closets, drawers, and cabinets, determining what I still need and what can go. It is always interesting and fun to see what I find hidden away. This spring, I came across an old hospital t-shirt. We all have them—probably many of them—in our drawers or closets. The t-shirt was from a one-time program the education department at my facility developed many years ago for nursing students between their junior and senior year of nursing school.
The program was the brainchild of the director of education at the time, Jaye Robertson. She handed her idea over to me, the education manager, and the professional development specialist, Anna Powell, to build the curriculum and implement the Ownership, Wisdom, and Leadership (OWL) Program. During the summer program, each element was explored and encouraged in the participants. Each OWL was then assigned to a unit and a nurse preceptor to learn the workings of the unit and the role/function of a registered nurse. From these experiences, they were learning to “own” the role of a nurse. They also had planned opportunities to gain wisdom from other departments in the hospital, such as pharmacy, lab, and respiratory therapy. Those experiences were meant to grow interprofessional relationships and gain understanding/wisdom of how other departments function. Lastly, they were provided opportunities to see how nurses act as formal and informal leaders at all levels of the organization. As I sat holding the t-shirt and reminisced on the program and the participants, it dawned on me that as NPD practitioners, we encourage and demonstrate those three traits of ownership, wisdom, and leadership daily. They are at the core of what we do and what we role model to others. NPD practitioners are OWLs!
While I was able to purge many items during my spring cleaning, this item was placed back in the drawer to act as a reminder of my responsibility to own my practice, to gain/share wisdom each day, and to provide/role model positive leadership. I know, more than likely, I will go through these same steps, relive the same memories and be reminded of how important the role of the NPD practitioner is next spring when I pull this t-shirt out. I look forward to it and to the other historical treasures I might find! To all of you NPD OWLs out there, thank you for exhibiting these very important traits! I am honored and humbled to be a part of the specialty of nursing professional development.
All my best,
Sheila St. Cyr, MS, RN, NPD-BC
Controlled Substance Diversion Prevention Specialist
Department of Pharmacy