A heart for learning

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Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC
Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC

I was thinking about obstructions to learning while recently working on some educational initiatives. It occurred to me that one of the largest obstacles is a closed heart.

Every one's familiar with the term “Keep an open mind” in relation to learning but maybe we don't think about the heart piece. As healthcare professionals, we should have a love of learning. Now, I realize that I am an educator so learning is in my blood, but I don't just love to teach. I live and love to learn. (When I am done, I guess that's when I'll be dead!)

Now, whatever your faith, there is some excellent wisdom in the Old Testament. In Proverbs 8:11 it is written “for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” (And so cool that in the Old Testament wisdom is always referred to as a “she” … just saying!) But the point is, knowledge is a sacred thing and learning should be desired, not shunned.

But for those of us whose positions include teaching, we do face a lot of resistance. Everything from “I don't have time for learning,” to the attitude, “I know what I need to know and if I need something, then I'll let YOU know.”

Come on people, there is no shame in learning! Some people act as if it is a weakness to learn. But in reality it is a strength (and a desired trait we look for, especially in management positions). No one is too smart for learning. Saying that is actually a foolish thing that will lead one to make some “not smart” choices.

Like, really, if you were drowning, would you turn down the hand of the lifeguard? Would you say something like, “No, I've got this. If I accept your hand, it will make me look weak”?  Of course not.

So why do some in our profession think that accepting training and education will make you look weak? Not accepting is a weakness. But don't wait until you are drowning to accept education offered. I mean, how long can you tread water?

Proverbs 1:20 reads, “Wisdom shouts in the streets. She cries out in the public square.” And 1:23 states, “Come and listen to my counsel. I'll share my heart with you and make you wise.”

Every day I am grateful for the mentors (secret shout out to my personal Obi-Wan) and educators who constantly teach me. Open your heart and accept the wisdom someone will pass on to you. You never know where it will take you.

Just keeping it real,

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, an APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. She has not starred in her own national television series — yet. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.

The Real Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, a 2012 APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.

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