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Members In the News, NSLS Member Spotlight, NSLS Success Stories, Leadership Development

Award-Winning Nursing Student Talks Leadership

We featured Domonique Dones in the January Members in the News. The impressive nursing student had just earned the School of Nursing's Student Leadership Award, which recognizes students who demonstrate key leadership attributes while embodying the spirit of the nursing profession.

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville graduate demonstrated leadership skills in multiple ways. As President of the Student Nurse Achievement Program, she helped tutor and mentor other nursing students. She also acted as liaison for the Alumni Advisory Board, the Student/Dean's Advisory Board, and the Diversity Committee. She held leadership roles outside of the School of Nursing as well, including with the Black Student Union.

How did she juggle so many different leadership roles at the same time?

“Time management was a huge skill that I needed," she said. "Being very involved on campus and in nursing school was hard to balance at times, but with a good planner and time management, I did not feel overwhelmed.”

However, she admits it wasn't easy.

“It was a lot of hard work and sacrifice. Going into nursing school, I knew that I wouldn't be able to go to every party or wait until the last minute to study. And now, the hard work has officially paid off.”

Domonique understands how important it is to recognize the wins, no matter how large or small they may be.

When asked about a leader who inspires her, she didn’t have to look very far.

“I look up to my sisters. They’re both nurse practitioners and they have left big shoes for me to fill. As a nursing student, it was important for me to use some of the motivation they’ve given me to help other minority nursing students.”

Domonique's Advice for Future Leaders

As for advice that helped her dismantle obstacles, she said, “Advocate for yourself. As a minority nursing student, there were some obstacles in the way. But regardless of what happened, I advocated for myself and trusted my skills.”

Her positive attitude and optimistic outlook helped her push through boundaries. She also has some advice for others looking to develop their leadership skills.

“Never be afraid. We often underestimate ourselves or sell ourselves short. Always reach beyond the stars and you'll be surprised at how far you can go.”

The theme is clear — stay positive, trust yourself, and push through external circumstances that are out of your control.

As for what's next, her future is bright. She plans on passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to become an ICU nurse while attending graduate school as she pursues a doctorate in nursing, eventually becoming a leader in her field.

Leadership Is Bigger Than Yourself

When we asked Domonique what leadership means to her, her answer was inspiring and practical, and reiterates what she said about being a self-advocate.

“Leadership means to be the voice of you and those around you, no matter what the circumstances might be.”

At the NSLS, it's all about community and building leaders who make a better world. Leadership is contingent on helping others and being a positive force. There's no doubt Domonique has already inspired others and will continue to do so as she keeps working toward her goals.

Looking to improve your time management skills? Read 4 Leadership Development Goals to Set This Year, including time management to help you reduce stress and get more done.