Can you spell your work ethos?

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- I recently attended the Air Force Nurse Corps (NC) annual leadership symposium. During one of the break out sessions, Maj. Gen. Melissa Rank, the Chief of the NC, challenged each member in attendance to write down their work ethos. She specifically asked us to answer this question: what do you believe about nursing leadership and individual patient care?

I know not all of you who will read this article are medics, but you should each have a good idea of what YOUR work ethos is. What is important to you in your daily mission; what motivates you to succeed; what is your important contribution to the team? It was not as easy a task as it sounded. So I thought I would share what I came up with in hopes that it will help many of you create your own written work leadership legacy.

To keep me on track I started with the letters in the word N-U-R-S-I-N-G.

N - Nurturing: I love caring for patients and do believe that caring is the core of nursing. I also enjoy taking care of the staff that do that job first hand now in my place.

U - Underdog: Nurses must often advocate for patients and their families in a system that many entrusted to our care do not understand.

R - Recognition: I believe this is huge for team success; I love being the cheerleader and believe it is important to make time to pat folks on the back for a job well done. Partnering also helps nursing teams to be successful. Nurses must partner with patients, families and with other medical professionals.

S - Skilled: Competence in any job is a must but especially when people's health depends on you! Staff orientation, training, and teaching programs take on added emphasis when you subscribe to this belief.

I - Integrity: I just can't get away from this core value.

N - Nurse Leader: One of the things I love about the nursing career is that there are many different types of nursing available to work in. No matter the environment or nursing job, there is always a chance to step up and lead. I take that challenge and responsibility seriously.

G - Great: I love my job and try to share that passion with those I come into contact with. It is deliberate choice to work on a positive attitude and it takes energy and commitment.

So what is your work ethos? I hope some of you are now putting your pencils next to the word S-P-A-C-E-L-I-F-T or G-R-A-N-D-P-A-R-E-N-T!