Marcus Garvey once said, “with confidence you have won before you have started.” Confidence is an important concept of interest to me when developing a plan to integrate scholarship and practice. It is necessary to first understand the concept at hand by way of definition and research. After extensive dissection of the concept of confidence, a plan of action to incorporate scholarship and nursing practice by way of confidence is needed.
This plan is designed by looking at the importance of the concept to the nursing world. By describing how the concept of confidence is relevant in nursing history and today’s society, it is evident that a plan of integration is needed. Definition
To be able to understand a concept, one must be able to define such. Confidence is used as both a noun and an adjective in the English language; the first known use of the word confidence was in the fourteenth century (Confidence, 2012). Merriam-Webster (2012) lists the following definition of confidence when used as a noun, “faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way.” The term confidence is also used when referring to a relationship of trust between two people.
When speaking of one’s self with the word confidence, the feeling of power and dependence in one’s ability is identified. This concept can be portrayed in both a negative and positive sense. In example, a person who exhibits excessive confidence may be deemed arrogant and depict a negative outlook of themselves. In contrast, a person may demonstrate a positive view of confidence by assuring others with their knowledge of abilities in a calm fashion.
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Merriam-Webster (2012) lists assurance, self-esteem, aplomb, and self trust as synonyms of confidence. In contrast, antonyms of confidence include diffidence, self-doubt, insecurity, and self-distrust (Confidence, 2012). Confidence in one’s self is also referred to as self-confidence or self-efficacy. Perry (2011) relates self-confidence with Bandura’s self-efficacy theory.
In this theory, Bandura describes that self-efficacy is broadened by four factors including competence, vivid experiences, encouragement from others, and stimulation (Perry, 2011). Perry (2011) went on to describe further that confidence levels may lessen at times due to the situation at hand, the surrounding environment, and one’s background of the setting presented. When trying to incorporate scholarship and nursing practice, confidence is a key concept needed to succeed. Integrating Scholarship and Practice
Confidence in Scholarship
Confidence is an important concept when integrating scholarship and practice. Scholarship is identified throughout the learning process, and is ever growing. By continuing my education first from the associate degree to the baccalaureate level, and now pursuing my doctor of nursing practice degree, my level of scholarship is continuously increasing.
Confidence in myself has helped me persevere to each new level and each new course. One can either trust or doubt their own ambition, and this in turn can lead to a negative impact on one’s self. By having confidence in one’s abilities, this aims towards a positive impact. Perry (2011) elaborates that confidence is an important element in nursing education.
Scholarship can be achieved through formal education, as well as hands on experience. When one receives a structured and suitable education, positive effects are seen throughout. Shearer & Adams (2012) list these positive effects as “increased confidence, competence, and improved capacity to practice independently” (p. 40). This in turn endorses safer nursing practice. Throughout the development of scholarship, one’s confidence level towards practice has the potential to increase.
Confidence in Practice
In the same manner as confidence in scholarship, confidence is equally important in practice. As a baccalaureate prepared registered nurse in both the medical-surgical and emergency room settings, having confidence in my actions is essential to the patients receiving care, my fellow employees, and lastly myself. “Confidence in one’s ability directly affects his or her performance” (Perry, 2011, p. 224). In my practice as a provider of care, if I do not feel confident in my ability to perform certain tasks, I seek help from those around me.
Plan for Integration
Scholarship and practice coincide in the field of nursing. Therefore, the concept of confidence is ever present. In order to integrate scholarship and nursing practice by way of confidence, a plan must be developed. The plan to integrate includes:
1. Educate nursing students of each level (ADN, BSN, MSN, DNP) with hands on experiences through use of simulation labs, residencies, and clinical experience.
2. Promote continuing education to further scholarship. 3. Evaluate one’s nursing skills through competencies and self-reflection to determine learning needs. The rationale behind this plan of action for integration of scholarship and practice by way of confidence is to continuously increase one’s knowledge base. An increased knowledge base will in turn reflect on one’s performance in practice. Self-reflection and evaluation will allow one to become familiar with their weaknesses, and what areas they need to improve one.
One’s confidence level will increase, as weaknesses become strengths. Being familiar with one’s skill set will also promote confidence. All in all, a strong scholarship background lays the foundation for successful practice; both of these principles are positive reinforcements for high confidence levels. Significance to Health and Nursing
The concept of confidence exists in the field of healthcare at all times. Perry (2011) states, “low self-confidence makes others uncomfortable of trusted experts when receiving their service, especially in the context of health care” (p. 218). A nurse must be confident in his or her capabilities leading to a trusting relationship with patients. Frequency of performance has been shown to lead to higher confidence levels in nurse practitioners in the emergency room setting (Campo, McNulty, Sabatini, Fitzpatrick, 2008). Confidence is also significant to student nurses or practicing nurses that are furthering their education.
During the beginning of one’s nursing career as a nursing student, the concept of confidence must be initiated. By building on the foundation of scholarship through lectures, coursework, and hands on experiences, the road for increasing confidence is paved. Meechan, Jones, & Valer-Jones (2011) report that patient safety and comfort can be endangered by lack of exposure to clinical skills.
This deficiency in medical capabilities can result in decreased confidence and cause individuals to loose belief in themselves. An analysis performed by Adams & Shearer (2012) lists appropriate course content as a necessity for increased confidence levels in advance practice nurse.
The question of how we “know what we know” has been posed by many philosophers both past and present. One’s knowledge base affects how they react in situations, leading to the idea of intuition. Intuition is often described as an important role in clinical nursing experiences (Rodgers, 2005). Confidence in one’s decisions is the basis for intuition. Perry (2011) describes that people “hold their intuitions with high confidence.”
When looking back on my actions as a registered nurse, my intuition played a position in my decisions. These decisions were based off of the high confidence I had in the respective area of knowledge for the given situation. My confidence levels were based upon education received in the classroom setting, clinical experiences, as well as repetitive similar situations. Confidence is present in the role of all healthcare providers, and has an effect on each patient cared for. Conclusion
Confidence can be defined in many ways, through numerous literature resources. I feel that confidence is an important concept in the integration of scholarship and practice. A plan to integrate the two notions includes education through coursework, lectures, clinical experiences and residencies; continuous education and self-reflection are also important elements in the plan. The results of high confidence levels in nurses include but are not limited to improved patient safety and trusting relationships. This plan of action towards the integration of scholarship and practice has potential for positive outcomes in the field of
Campo, T., McNulty, R., Sabatini, M., & Fitzpatrick, J. (2008). Nurse practitioners performing procedures with confidence and independence in the emergency care setting. Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal, 30(2), 153-170. Confidence. (2012). Merriam-Webster online dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/confidence Laabs, C. A. (2012). Confidence and knowledge regarding ethics among advanced practice nurses.
Nursing Education Perspectives, 33(1), 10-14. doi:10.5480/1536-5026-33.1.10 Meechan, R., Jones, H., & Valler-Jones, T. (2011). Students’ perspectives on their skills acquisition and confidence. British Journal Of Nursing, 20(7), 445-450. Perry, P. (2011). Concept analysis: Confidence/self-confidence. Nursing Forum, 46(4), 218-230. doi:10.1111/j.1744-6198.2011.00230.x Rodgers, B. L., (2010). Developing nursing knowledge: Philosophical traditions and influences. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Shearer, D., & Adams, J. (2012). Evaluating an advanced nursing practice course: student perceptions. Nursing Standard, 26(21), 35-41.