Authors

  1. Borger, Angela L.

Article Content

Does everyone else find the end of the year particularly invigorating? I know what you thought I was going to say: "Does everyone else find the end of the year particularly exhausting," right? I have conflicting feelings about the Novembers and Decembers of the years. Along with everyone who bemoans the dark, cold weather, I also find the thankful spirit of Thanksgiving to be grounding and the festive spirit of December to be invigorating. I like thinking about the recap of my year and anticipating all the good things to come in the next year. The past few years have certainly included the Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association (JDNA) in those reminiscent and yet forward-thinking, moments.

  
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I would be remiss not to take time out to thank everyone who continues to help make the JDNA a success. The Journal is a testimony to the passion that many individuals have for dermatology nursing and for the work that we, as dermatology nurses, do. There are myriad ways to contribute to the Dermatology Nurses' Association (DNA) or the JDNA. I would encourage you, as you may do your personal year-in-review assessment, to ask if there are ways you might like to contribute to the success of the organization or the Journal. We'd love to have you participate in the growth of dermatology nursing. As the DNA's Mission Statement says, "The Dermatology Nurses' Association is a professional nursing organization comprised of a diverse group of individuals committed to quality care through sharing knowledge and expertise. The core purpose of the DNA is to promote excellence in dermatologic care" (http://www.dnanurse.org/about/about-dna.html).

 

How are you helping to share your dermatology knowledge and expertise to promote excellence in dermatologic care? Might I suggest we talk about a topic that has been of particular interest to me and my colleagues lately-the topic of being a clinical preceptor for students? I think I may have heard some of you groan. The topic of precepting students has been controversial in my local community lately. The considerations for my nurse practitioner friends are numerous and range from not having enough time in their daily schedule to adequately and properly both see the patients and also teach students; to the economic considerations of taking time to precept students; to the exhaustion that comes with continual student placement; to the newer comments that, with the explosion of many online nurse practitioner programs, the preceptors are more often getting underprepared nurses with little clinical background. These are all likely very valid points. However, I would suggest that there is an alternative to these comments.

 

I would argue that the judicious use of mentoring and precepting is essential to our growth as clinicians and that the best way to stay current and enthusiastic about what we do is to keep engaged in the education of nurses. Not only is knowledge often a two-way street, but many experienced clinicians will tell you that part of their professional development was dependent on being a teacher to someone else. In a very informal query of some of my favorite nursing friends, you will find that they often echo these sentiments about being a nurse preceptor (see Box 1).

 

So, why is this commitment important to dermatology nurses? It is of extreme importance that we, as professional nurses with an expertise in dermatology nursing, be willing to share our knowledge. I look to you, the members of the DNA, as the experts in dermatology nursing and would hope that each one of you is willing to mentor and precept new nursing and new nurse practitioner students when asked. Dermatology nursing will be richer for having dermatology nurses who are willing to say "yes" the next time they are asked to precept a nursing student. Yes, you will need to take extra time and effort in your day to guide, nurture, and share with the nurse new to dermatology nursing. However, I think, if you take the time to do the teaching and education, you may find someone who is as passionate as we are about dermatology and dermatology nursing.

  
Box 1 - Click to enlarge in new windowBOX 1 MENTORING QUOTES

Precepting is only one way to share your dermatology knowledge. It is great for those who love one-to-one interactions. However, there are also other ways you can share your dermatology nursing knowledge. Have you considered writing for the JDNA? Or giving a lecture at the next DNA Convention? For those of you who are particularly ambitious, you could think about writing a book! Perhaps, sharing dermatology nursing information on Twitter is more your speed? What I guess I am urging is to get involved and think about how you personally can share what you know about dermatology nursing.

 

Looking forward to hearing from you,

 

Angela L. Borger

 

Editor in Chief

 

alborger@aol.com