By Cathy Sellergren
Opportunity often is disguised as a seemingly impossible task. While paging through an issue of AACN News earlier this year, I came across information on volunteer committee membership. “What a great idea,” I thought as I placed the issue on my desk, which was already crowded with unread journals and “to do” lists.
A week later, I received an invitation from a local AACN chapter to attend a weekend meeting of the Advanced Practice Work Group. I was soon in a room filled with leaders in critical care nursing, contributing my opinions.
I realized how important our contributions are to critical care nursing and that anyone can make a contribution with minimal effort. I shared ideas from everyday life as an advanced practice nurse in critical care.
Part of our discussion focused on the concept of mentoring for advanced practice nurses. Although I have been a clinical nurse specialist for several years, I am new to the role of acute care nurse practitioner. Finding little to serve as a role model, I knew I would appreciate and benefit from a link to a mentor who could help me through the inevitable rough spots. I also realized how geographic barriers are insignificant—that we all struggle with the same career issues.
I have since signed up for two work groups with which I can work from my home via computer and conference calls. I still feel rejuvenated by my experience with the Advanced Practice Work Group and look forward not only to watching the future of critical care nursing unfold, but to molding it just a bit from my small corner of the world.
Cathy Sellergren, RN, MSN, CCRN, ACNP-CS, is cardiology case manager at Hinsdale Hospital, Hinsdale, Ill. For more information about volunteer opportunities or about mentoring relationships, call (800) 899-AACN (2226).