Often individual nurses are placed in situations, in meetings, and on committees where s/he is the only nurse. Maybe it’s purposeful by the power-hungry/hoarding nurse or by others needing a “token nurse” (e.g. “We need at least one nurse on this project/board/committee.”) Maybe there is really only room for one nurse on the project. RWJF points out nurses are underutilized in the boardroom and should be included on any and every committee, bringing a different, trusted perspective. If the choice is no nurse or one nurse, always – one nurse.
Lone nurses are common. I’ve been there – at the table, looking around, and suddenly realizing, “Oh shoot. I’m the only nurse here!”
Suddenly the pressure on that single nurse becomes great. The voice of nursing resides with that lone nurse. She must be aware of the nursing issues and voices around her. He could bring other nurses into the mix by referring to them, gaining feedback from them, and inquiring thoughts from them. The lone nurse doesn’t have to be a single voice. She can also be the amplifier of many other voices, bringing the powerful, diffuse energy together into a distilled, focused current of laser-sharp decisions.
Uncle Ben’s words to Peter Parker/Spiderman ring true for nurses, as well: With great power comes great responsibility. The choice is yours.