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6 words on nursing

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Is it possible to describe any career in 6 words? If it is, what about nursing?

I think I’m up to the task, so here are the 6 real words that define my nursing career:

1. Work. Look, many of us went into nursing because it was our “passion” and our “dream.” Shortly after hitting nursing school, we find that nursing is a work-us-to-the-bone profession. It’s spiritual, emotional, psychological, intellectual, PHYSICAL work. Yeah, it is a good work, but it is a lot of work.

2. Hard. Let’s combine “hard” and “work” here and you get my point. But really, nursing is hard in a way that is indescribable to lay people, doctors, management, the media. And it is difficult in different ways for us all. While I struggle with my NOC hours and some of the ethical stuff I see at work, other nurses struggle with critical thinking, nursing pay, customer service, you name it.

3. Vocation. What I mean is, you are either called to nursing or you are crazy. I personally don’t believe anyone can survive this field if they want nothing more than a paycheck.

4. Beautiful. I see the very best in people all around me, on a daily basis. I see miracles in medicine, I see peace in death, joy in childbirth. Nursing gives me a window into the amazingly beautiful.

5. Heartbreaking. I see the worst, too.

6. Challenging. For me, nursing has been the biggest challenge of my life. I am challenged to care for people with excellence when I am sleepy at 3AM. I am challenged to make life and death decisions before I have even had my coffee. I am challenged to live up to the standard truly great nurses (think Florence, Clara and Dorothea) have laid before me when sometimes I just want to sit at the nurses station, snack and gossip. I am challenged to value the lives that have been placed in my hands when sometimes even I forget that nursing is not just a job.

What are your 6 words about nursing?

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Amy Bozeman

Amy is many things: a blogger, a nurse, a wife, a mom, a childbirth educator. She started her journey towards a career in nursing when she got pregnant with her first child. After nursing school and studying "like she has never studied before" she entered the nursing profession eager to get her feet wet. The first years provided her with much exposure to sadness, joy and other complex human emotions. She feels that blogging is a wonderful outlet and a way for nurse bloggers to further build their community. Traditionally, midwives have handed down their skill set from midwife to apprentice midwife. She believes nurses have this same opportunity: to pass from nurse to new nurse the rich traditions of this profession.

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