Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC

At the October AHCA/NCAL conference, there was an incredible keynote speaker: Jade Simmons. Her profile shows her to be a born storyteller and a classically trained pianist. So I was excited to hear her speak.  

One thing she said really stood out to me. She was talking about her drive to impress others as an artist. And how her nerves would get the best of her and cause her not to actually be her best. But that changed when she changed her focus. 

She said something like, change the way you think about what you’re doing. That your sense of purpose should not be impressing but rather a focus on impacting others. She said that when you positively impact your audience, that’s when you actually impress them. Wow, mind blown moment!

She’s so right. Performing comedy, if I concentrate on impressing the audience, my timing will be off, I will for sure mess up. But if my goal is to impact the audience by making them smile and laugh, I do much better. Better than my bank who texted me my balance and then added “LOL!” at the end. Neither impressive or inspiring!

How many times do we think about impressing instead of impacting? And let’s face it, we sometimes (probably most times) get nervous when we think of impressing. But never once in my life have I gotten nervous when thinking about impacting people. Everyone wants a purpose in life, I dare say needs a purpose. As leaders, we have a rare opportunity to help others discover what that is and carry it to the next level. 

We are naturally designed to want to achieve, to elevate, and discover a purpose in ourselves. In our profession, think about this as mentoring and inspiring. Doing that requires a breakthrough of sorts. Breakthrough requires innovation, and maybe doing something we’ve never done before — getting out of that comfort zone. 

Let’s all set some goals for the new year. Let’s impact the teams around us. Let’s mentor, let’s impact our residents and families. We don’t need to impress. Heck, what we do for a living is impressive enough. (Or totally insane, it depends on the day!)

Just remember: What you do is impactful, every single day.

Just keeping it real,

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, Senior Director of Clinical Innovation and Education for Mission Health Communities, LLC and 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. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates. 

The opinions expressed in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News guest submissions are the author’s and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News or its editors.