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10 inspiring quotes that’ll make you even more proud to be a nurse!

iStockphoto | Thinkstock

iStockphoto | Thinkstock

What’s it really like to be a nurse? The inspiring film “A Nurse I Am” answers that question by featuring four compassionate, caring nurse role models who are deeply committed to their patients and profession.

Every year, Cherokee Uniforms holds a scholarship program based on the film. Entrants are asked to write an essay in response to “A Nurse I Am,” and the 10 winners each receive a $2000 scholarship to put toward their nursing education. Here are 10 quotes drawn from this year’s winning essays that are sure to inspire you…whether you’ve been a nurse for years or are just getting ready to begin your nursing journey!

10 inspiring quotes that’ll make you even more proud to be a nurse!

1. “I know I will be a good nurse, but I want to be more than that. I want to be a nurse who makes a change in my community; one that improves the lives of my patients through quality, compassionate, culturally centered patient care. That is what being a nurse means to me.”

Jaime Contreras, Riverside Community College

2. “As a nurse I will have many responsibilities, but I need to take time to build relationships with patients, communicate effectively, and learn how I can best treat the person based on their personal needs and values. Nursing requires compassion, critical thinking, and communication. These qualities strengthen the trust people place in nurses, and make all proud to say, ‘A nurse I am.’”

Allison Williams, Cedarville University

3. “Caring for others is demanding intellectually, physically and emotionally, and health is a continuum over the lifetime. It triples out into communities and measures quality of life. As a nurse, I will help individuals and families confront the most dynamic issues of their lives and build communities of care.”

Theresa Jepsen, Mesa Community College

4. “For me, cultural competency extends beyond an understanding of racial and ethnic values that inform health care beliefs; it also means aligning my moral compass to a respect for individual worth, an understanding of the psychosocial and physical effects of addiction, a suspension of judgment, a commitment to honesty and individual safety, and a passion for empowering communities often excluded from health care access.”

Ashley Smith, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, School of Nursing

5. “A nurse must understand who their patients are, rather than merely understanding what they are or what health issues they may have. I must take the time and effort to listen to my clients voice their values and experiences, as well as their problems, to progressively move toward being culturally competent and so that I can be an advocate rather than an obstacle in their care.”

Richard Thai, Baldy View Regional Occupational Program

6. “As a nurse I will endeavor to emulate the nurses featured in [A Nurse I Am] by striving to provide culturally competent care, and to remember how incredibly valuable cultural knowledge and sensitivity are in building a trusting relationship with my patients. I will strive to always remember to ask when I don’t know, be open minded when things are unfamiliar, and to try to find a way to accommodate my patients’ beliefs.”

Hayley Colleran, Curry College

7. “Diversity nourishes and strengthens a community. Respect and compassion for diversity, varied cultural backgrounds and complex life stories are essential practical qualities of an expert nurse. Understanding a patient’s story allows the nurse to care for each patient in a unique and appropriate way, and I strive to respect each patient’s culture as I learn and grow in my nursing practice.”

Mary Thies, Oregon Health and Science University

8. “As Ardis Bush read her poem, ‘A Nurse I Am’ at the end of the full length video, I sat with tears trickling down my cheeks, reflecting on the emotional journey these nurses undertake each day with the patients and families in their care, and how these lives are forever intertwined – no matter how long or fleeting the contact might be, or how their backgrounds and beliefs may be different – the words and actions of these patients and nurses leave a permanent impression on each other.”

Jennifer Wattles, University of Missouri – St. Louis 

9. “In a world of rapidly diminishing borders and indistinct cultural norms, it is imperative that nurses discover what’s important to each patient when developing a proper plan of care. Establishing a strong, trusting foundation through meaningful dialogue and interaction is vital. Answers will not always be clear, but we must be willing to learn and be humble enough to seek correct information. When patients experience effort to understand them, their personal door may open ever so slightly and we must recognize and seize that moment. If I can truly get to know patients, I can and will deliver culturally competent care.”

John Haddock, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill School of Nursing

10. “It has been theorized by Leininger (2006) that discordance between professional, western medicine and cultural care practices may lead to a culturally non-congruent care that may affect the client’s recovery, health and well being. For…any client, I will certainly provide culturally sensitive and competent care because they are the reason for the existence of our healthcare system.”

Jesus F. Beltran, Oakland University

Read the inspiring essays by the 2013 winners of the A Nurse I Am Scholarship Program here.

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