Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Are You an Original?

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Are You an Original?

Article excerpt

Are you an original, or do you even want to be one? Perhaps an even better question for most nurse educators is: Is it too late to be an original? Does creativity really peak before the age of 35 as many commonly believe?

I was recently given a copy of Adam Grant's Originals: How NonConformists Move the World (Viking, 2016). Grant provides many encouraging examples of how we can foster originality in ourselves and in others, for example, our students and our more junior faculty. The positive message is that creativity and originality have bimodal peaks, reflected both in young geniuses and old masters.

For many of us, it may be too late to be labeled a young genius, but we should be on the lookout for those new nurse educators who have the characteristics of originals. Basically, according to Grant, originals are people who are creative and take the initiative to make their visions a reality.

Think about the nurse educators who implemented accelerated BSN programs for college graduates with degrees in other disciplines, and those who argued for substituting simulation experiences for clinical rotations in hospitals. Think about those educators who substitute international clinical experiences for experiences in the United States to meet challenges for preparing nurses as global leaders in health care, and those who teach students to practice mindfulness to reduce the anxiety and stress they experience when providing care. They are all originals from our current retrospective view.

To be an original at any age, one must be curious, tinker constantly around the edges, ask new questions, and ask: Why not? …

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