When I started nursing school, I couldn’t imagine why anyone would ever leave the nursing profession. Taking care of patients gave me purpose. I often said if I didn’t have a family, I would have worked every single day of my life. And while I put my husband through law school, I literally did work every single day for four whole years, my days off few and far between. I can’t even say I regret it. I loved my patients, and I still do. No career could be better than serving people in their time of need. I love the fact that a bond can be formed in one short shift, and years later patients will still stop me in the grocery store and tap me on the shoulder at restaurants. “You were my nurse!” They always exclaim with a smile on their face. And I laugh and nod and say what I always would say…it’s hard to recognize you now that you’re not pregnant!
But as the years have flown by, I have gotten older, and to be honest, I didn’t realize it would happen so fast. As a new nurse, I use to wish with everything in me that I could have just one thing: experience. And now, with a little experience in my pocket, I understand why people leave the nursing profession. What no one told me as a new graduate nurse is that I would go through my career and sometimes feel worthless at work, no matter how hard I tried and regardless of my intentions. What no one told me as a new graduate nurse is that I would go through my career and sometimes feel robbed of a voice, sometimes unsure and uncertain if my voice was as important as the physician in front of me, or the administrator above me. And I know I am not alone. What every nurse out there should know is that we all share the same struggles, and our voice is stronger than we sometimes realize. Think of yourself as a new grad, and think of where you are now. Think of everything you have experienced in your career as a nurse and know that your voice has power. Every time you feel as if you have no work worth, think of everything you have done with your voice. Think of what we could do with our collected voice. Even when others around you do not see or hear the voice within you, remember that it is still there. The next time you are in public, a patient may tap your shoulder and remind you that you were their nurse. They remember you. They remember the care and compassion you gave. Tomorrow as we all head to work, think of what you will say with your nursing voice. And remember: Do not ever let others define who you are as a nurse.
Until my next delivery ❤