Igal Zlatkin, 42, currently serves as a coordinator of nursing staff professional development and coordinator of pain management at the Carmel Medical Center in Haifa, Israel, where he has worked for 20 years. He is also a seasoned teacher at Israel Valley Academic College and Haifa University. So, why was his induction into STTI only in 2013?
Excellent question. He also wonders why he didn’t join STTI sooner! “I started my master’s degree studies relatively late, after 15 years into my nursing career. That changed my attitudes toward nursing research,” says Zlatkin. “I became interested in trends in nursing abroad. I felt a need to interact with nursing professionals.” It’s a need that continues as he now pursues his PhD. Also, STTI is unknown among Israeli nurses, as there is no chapter there. Zlatkin hopes this will soon change.
For Zlatkin, membership in STTI has meant interaction with nursing leaders from all over the world and exposure to their achievements. Further, he has been afforded numerous learning opportunities, including attendance at two STTI conferences. The first was in Prague, Czech Republic (2013), at which he was formally inducted into the virtual Phi Gamma Chapter of STTI. The second was in Hong Kong (2014), for which he received an Edith Anderson Leadership Education Grant. Both conferences provided him with multiple ideas about how to improve his hospital’s nursing professional development, as well as courses he teaches.
“Despite the differences between the nurses, there are many common problems we all face in our countries and we can learn a lot from each other,” Zlatkin says. He was motivated by discussion about encouraging feelings of confidence among nurses and improving strategies of novice nurses’ job satisfaction. Not surprisingly, these conversations were comingled with dialogue about measuring evidence-based nursing competencies and effective strategies to prepare nursing students for their licensure examinations. “Plenary and concurrent sessions, as well as conversations with the participants, were very interesting and not only provided useful information, but also inspired to perform actions to improve caring and learning strategies in my workplaces.”
Zlatkin credits STTI with enabling him to better educate nursing students as true change agents. He asserts that nursing professionals must rely on three tenets to perform at their best: interpersonal relationship and communication skills, responsibility, and curiosity and motivation to learn. “We have to learn all the time in order to adjust ourselves to a continuously changing world and treatment strategies,” he says. STTI provides a powerful global community that supports nursing research and provides the knowledge resources necessary for nurses to thrive.