Just One Job…May Change My Life Scholarship #onejob
By Jessica Coia
Being a Nurse
Being a nurse used to be associated with the white starched dress uniform and cap. When you saw someone in that uniform, it meant purity, compassion and care. It also used to mean handmaiden or the “one who takes orders.”
Being a nurse has always meant more than just a piece of fabric. Interestingly, many nurses who move out of nursing and into other jobs leave their nurse title behind as well. Being a nurse doesn’t seem to have the same good feeling that it used to. People think of ‘nurse’ and they think of the bedside nurse. Nursing today is so much more than just working at the bedside. Nurses impact people in many ways and in numerous environments. So, what does ‘being a nurse’ mean to me?
Nursing is a job. It is something that you do for a living. You go to work in a patient care setting such as hospitals, outpatient centers, long term care facilities, home health organizations and perform your duties. At the end of the day, you receive a paycheck for your service. Or perhaps you don’t work in a patient care setting, but you use your nursing skills in other ways of caring.
Nursing is a great job! It is a privilege to work with people from all walks of life and provide them with care. As a nurse, you do things for people that impact them in ways that they remember for a lifetime. When people enter into the healthcare arena for care, they have certain expectations. They are not always at their best. In fact, as nurses see people at their worst. And during the most intimate, challenging and frightening moments in life, nurses are right there by your side.
It’s an incredible job!
Nursing presents many opportunities. In addition to providing good money, it offers flexibility in scheduling and numerous opportunities for different types of employment and promotions. Nursing enables you to learn a specific skill set. You can work on the cutting edge of technology with brilliant people. Nursing offers you the opportunity to serve others, making a difference in the lives of others through care, prevention and wellness.
Nursing is often a springboard to numerous other positions. The skills you learn through nursing are invaluable when transferred into other careers including entrepreneurs, CEOs, business, recruiting, human resources, financial planning, even politics. You name it, there is a nurse doing it. Your nursing career prepares you for anything. Once a nurse, you can handle just about anything!
Nursing means so much more than being a bedside nurse. Being a nurse says something about who you are as a person. As a nurse, there is an implication that you are compassionate, caring, hard- working, ethical, trustworthy. These are all incredible attributes to be known for. If you exhibit these characteristics, they are part of your identity. And they go with you throughout your life and career. Nurses are also critical thinkers, trained observers, problem-solvers, and highly creative.
As a nurse, you get to determine what values you express on the job. There is a difference between advocating, for example, and patronizing. There’s a difference between helping someone versus performing care, assisting, supporting and serving (being in service). You can accept responsibility for the care you give and the tasks you perform and how you perform those tasks. In healthcare, people tend to take things personally. But you need to be able to factor that out of the equation and accept responsibility for what you do and not for what the patient does – or doesn’t do, or for what others do – or don’t do. You decide the kind of nurse you are going to be and what qualities you want to represent regardless of what others do.
Nursing as an identity means that you see yourself as possessing the qualities of a nurse regardless of what job you are doing. Being a nurse holds with it integrity, lifelong learning, excellence, mastery, connection.
This is what being a nurse means to me. It just may change my life!