1) Examine a major change in your life, whether personal or work-related, that you found challenging and difficult to make.
2) Describe the situation in a paper of 1200 words. Include the factors discussed in the module and how they affected your reactions to the change. Include a discussion of how these factors could have been used to make the change easier or smoother.
3) Refer to the assigned readings to incorporate specific examples and details into your paper.
4) Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
5) This assignment uses a grading rubric. Instructors will be using the rubric to grade the assignment; therefore, students should review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the assignment criteria and expectations for successful completion of the assignment.
Personal Changes Paper
One of the constant aspects of life is change, and its everlasting position in the lives of human beings. Change has become a constant that all individuals have to factor into their plans and projections, and subsequently adapt and adjust to when it occurs (American Nurses Association, 2015). As a result of this fact, many people have come to resent change and all that it brings along with it. This denial or rejection of change ironically does very little to delay or prevent said change, and instead only magnifies the challenges that individuals have to go through. As a nurse, the health care industry is one that is consistently engulfed in change.
From changing systems to the development of new health care interventions, all professionals in the health care industry have to prepare for and accept change as it comes (Gruber, Darragh, Puccia, Kadric, & Bruce, 2010). However, this is more often than not easier said than done, and I have personally experienced the difficulty that often comes with embracing change. One of the most difficult situations that I have had to encounter in my life and my career as a nurse came when I had to resume my studies in order to advance my education as a nurse. Undoubtedly, this was one of the most challenging times of my life, but I would be remiss not to mention that it was also one of the most informative and developmental times of my life.
Having been employed as a nurse, I naturally felt satisfied that I was doing my best to facilitate the provision of quality health care services to those that need them most. However, I have always been ambitious and as such I felt that I needed to improve my education in order to advance my career and place myself in a position that would allow me to better impact the nursing industry and contribute to its growth and development.
Consequently, I decided to further my education, but I miserably failed to anticipate exactly how challenging this decision would be. This new state of my life called for me to balance my career as a nurse, my family and personal relationships, as well as my education on virtually every day, which in itself was a significant challenge. While I understood the importance of improving my education, I failed to grasp the importance of making adjustments to my existent habits, routines, and priorities in order to make this new situation work (Barker & DeNisco, 2016). As a result, I ended up feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and perennially exhausted for a few months after my began furthering my education.
Inevitably, the most challenging aspect of this new situation was time management. While I had new important obligations, I still wanted to spend as much time as I used to with my family and friends as well as during relaxation. This caused great stress, and almost made me consider putting my studies on hold. However, I eventually developed a system that allowed me to sort out my priorities in the right way while still availing time for friends, family, hobbies, and relaxation. However, I must admit that while I was still able to make time for such activities, I had to significantly cut down the time I spent of said activities to support my education and career (Gruber et al., 2010). This was undoubtedly one of the hardest changes that I have had to make in my life.
In hindsight, I must admit that while adapting to the new situation was in itself difficult, the biggest challenge was in managing my reactions to said changes, I constantly felt as though I was letting my friends, families, and hobbies down by ‘neglecting’ them. This skewed reaction and perspective played the central role in making the change process significantly harder that it should have been (Barker & DeNisco, 2016).
One of the factors that affected my reactions to the change was my failure to conduct a readiness assessment. Resuming my studies was a major change in my life, and rather than actually assess how ready I was for such change in my life, I assumed that it was simply a matter of enrolling for further studies at the institution of my choice. Had I conducted a readiness assessment, I would have anticipated the difficulties that I would encounter from reducing the amount of time I spent with friends and family as well as on my hobbies (Prosci, 2017). It would have allowed me to anticipate the resistance that I would face from within as well as from those around me and developed appropriate measures to combat said resistance. This would have undoubtedly made the change process much smoother, seeing as the challenges I experienced would have been anticipated as opposed to being surprises.
At the same time, my inability to effectively reinforce change from the start made it significantly difficult for me to adapt to the new kind of life that I had to live. I understood that I needed to attend classes, complete assignments, study, and sit for examinations. However, I failed to understand that all these activities had to have opportunity costs and called for me to sacrifice time that would have otherwise been spent working or mingling with friends or pursuing my hobbies (Barker & DeNisco, 2016).
By understanding some of the restraining forces and change resistance that I would be subjected to, I would have better prepared myself, and in doing so would have likely had a smoother transition as I resumed my education. For instance, using the unfreezing-movement-refreezing approach to change management, I would have been better prepared to tackle this challenge (Current Nursing, 2011). I would have devised a routine that allowed me to reduce the time I spent on hobbies and with friends and family, thereby allowing me to carve out time for the new responsibilities that I was about to take on.
Similarly, I would have slowly adjusted my feelings, behaviors, and thoughts to reflect the new responsibilities and life that I was embarking on. This would have allowed me to be more productive from the start in addition to reducing the stresses that I was subjected to by the new life I was beginning (McEwen & Wills, 2014). Lastly, the refreezing approach would have enabled me to accept and establish the changes in my life as new habits and the standard operating procedure that I relied on. By implementing such changes well before I began my classes, I believe I would have been better equipped to handle the stresses that come with resuming one’s studies while still maintaining an active career.
Change is a constant, and I clearly understood this when I decided to resume my education. However, I failed miserably insofar as preparing myself for said changes was concerned. I underestimated the stresses that would be involved with managing an active career, studies, family, friends, and hobbies. This inevitably caused some confusion in my life, which made the changes difficult and rough.
In hindsight, I should have prepared myself for the changes that were to come with me resuming my studies well before I resumed said studies. This would have inevitably made me better equipped to handle the mental, emotional, and physical challenges that came with resuming my studies while maintaining an active career (Prosci, 2017). It is imperative that any individual looking to undertake serious changes in their life adequately prepares themselves for the difficulties that will come with said changes. In this way, change can be actively managed for success, for individuals as well as organizations.
American Nurses Association (2015). Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements.
Silver Springs, MD: Author. Retrieved from http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/EthicsStandards/CodeofEthicsforNurses/Code-ofEthics-For-Nurses.html
Barker, A. M. & DeNisco, S. M. (2016). Advanced practice nursing: Essential Knowledge for the Profession (3nd Ed.). Boston: Jones & Bartlett.
Current Nursing (2011). Nursing theories: Change theory. Retrieved from http://currentnursing.com/nursing_theory/change_theory.html
Gruber, N., Darragh, J., Puccia, P., Kadric, S., & Bruce, S. (2010). Embracing change to improve performance: implementation of an electronic health record system. Long Term Living: For the Continuing Care Professional, 59, 28-31.
McEwen, M., & Wills, E. (2014). Theoretical basis for nursing (4th Ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Prosci (2017). Change Management – The Systems and Tools for Managing Change. Prosci Inc.
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