It’s My Turn–Not Waiting to Be Picked

I’ve been pretty tenacious at going after opportunities to exercise my passion–promoting growth of others in the NP role which I so love! But for some reason, I just realized that one opportunity that I’ve wanted to develop for years has remained on the sidelines. A textbook to inspire each individual NP to recognize, seize, and develop opportunity, inspiring and developing others along the way. A book with a focus on individual leadership.

NP education has missed the bullseye when it comes to leadership content for most NPs if course descriptions and textbook outlines are accurate. Published course foci describe leadership within an institution. Leading change at a system level. Being an executive leader. If they they emphasize individual leadership, e.g. taking responsibility for achievement, authenticity, seizing opportunities, engaging others in your story, developing and mentoring others, curating a meaningful network or tribe, and simply being brave (or faking that part until you make it), it isn’t apparent and recent graduates do not describe this content. While the books used in these programs may acknowledge in a few sentences that leadership exists beyond the vacuum of an institution, they focus on the publicized course content–I’m unsure which came first, chicken or egg.

Several years ago when preparing for a leadership talk, I searched NP/nursing books for relevant content to include and Eureka! There was little or none. I would create it! I reached out to a publisher whose catalog includes NP relevant books to share a brief outline of a leadership book that I believed to be more relevant and important in individual development. She felt the need was real, but their decision would boil down to a couple of details. Would faculty see a way of incorporating this in their courses? Would content be relevant to both students and practicing NPs?

For a number of reasons, I put the book idea on the shelf and it sat, to gather dust. I’ve done a good bit of leadership development in the ensuing time on 1:1, small groups, and some keynote and concurrent sessions. But this has remained on my mind. A few days ago while talking to an individual about the need to take the leap of leadership…grabbing opportunities rather than waiting to be picked–I was struck by how often I thought about this book, but wasn’t walking the walk.

Today I am starting on this book. I am co-editor of a popular clinical text and have a history of writing books, chapters, articles, and papers….and also mentor others in the writing process. So no excuse for not creating the content so that it will be available to the individuals who may choose it. I’ll do due diligence for any potential publisher to determine the level of interest in this content being available to academic NP program. But either way, it is happening.