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“The Hardcore Nurse” – Have you read it?

Ingram Publishing | ThinkStock

Ingram Publishing | ThinkStock

Are you a “hardcore” nurse? Nurse blogger Ian Miller has written a powerful post on the subject, outlining what he believes is a list of important criteria for nurses today. We loved the post and knew it would resonate with many of you, so we’re sharing it here.

Here are some excerpts from the article:

“Enough of all the fluff and guff. Enough of all the bitching and backstabbing and bullying and burnt-out cynicism. It is time to step apart and rise above those nurses. It is time to get our profession back on track. It is time to support each other, get serious and get hardcore.”

He continues…

“A hardcore nurse is not hard like a wall, they are hard like a birth. A hardcore nurse gives all their attention and energy to the task and challenge before them. Through careful reflection, introspection, and interaction, the hardcore nurse has penetrated the power and importance their work. They know the very real difference they can make to both their colleagues, and those they care for. They do not squander this response-ability. They do not come to work just to socialize, or to provide the bare minimum standard of care, or to whinge and bitch about their lot. They are not just a nurse, and it is not just a job.

No, a hardcore nurse wields fierce compassion, uncompromising professionalism and aggressive sensitivity. They wade assuredly into the midst of it, embracing the joys and embracing the sorrows. They strive to bring out the best in themselves and those they work with.”

On messing it up but learning to get it right…

“A hardcore nurse refers to basic nursing care as essential nursing care, and practices accordingly. They are fully accountable for their actions and strive to improve their work through study and reflection. A hardcore nurse knows they may make many mistakes and face many difficulties and they guard against this. But a hardcore nurse is not a hard nurse. They see these occurrences not as indications that they are bad, but as feedback that they are truly working amongst the heart of things. A hardcore nurse laughs often. And cries sometimes. And shares both.”

He concludes…

“A hardcore nurse knows that in order to care for others they must first care for themselves. And they know the profundity in reversing that sentence. A hardcore nurse challenges other nurses to become hardcore. A hardcore nurse knows that their path is not something outside of them. Their work is nothing other than themselves.

It is no great deal to become a hardcore nurse…you must simply practice hardcore without delay.”

Read the entire story here, then tell us, are you a hardcore nurse? Do you think it takes a certain type of person and way of doing things to be awesome at your job? Fill us in the comments below!

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11 Responses to “The Hardcore Nurse” – Have you read it?

  1. jafitzge

    I am definitely a hard core nurse. I totally agree with Ian Miller about “enough of all the fluff and guff. Enough of the backstabbing and bullying and burnt-out cynicism”
    In my career I have seen so many nurses be so mean to other nurses and it really disturbs me, how can we call ourselves kind, caring and compassionate people , when we sometimes treat our colleagues like dirt?? I just don’t get it? Why can’t nurses just be kind and nurturing to one another? we are all in the same profession of helping others. Does anyone else see this in the nsg profession? If so please give me some feedback.

  2. ang24

    Sorry but after 10+ years of bedside nursing where I do my best to put my patients needs above all else and being generally hardcore I am exhausted. Backstabbing and self promotion is nearly a way of life in the hospital and precious resources are wasted on useless end of life care and endless defensive practice testing. And what about consultants who want to script the way you talk to your patients? Why not dedicate these resources to adequate staffing so I can actually “hourly round” on patients instead of just telling them I’m going to do that. This is something I did out of common sense for years, I did not need an expensive consultant to tell me to check on my patients. And what is this “getting back on track” you speak of? Those lofty ideals of angels in white with an endless pool of compassion are just that, ideals. Nurse work condition have historically been poor and the economic downturn has been used by hospitals to tighten some of the gains made by nurses after the turn of the century. And nurses are outright nasty to each other at times. It’s like a competition to see who can do the most with the least and get as much credit for themselves as possible. Not only should I have adequate time to care for my patients but I should be able to attend to my basic needs. This is often a challenge and quite frankly I’m tired of it. I have to wonder if other professionals have to gold their bladder so long. I also see common sense being stripped away from the nursing profession as an administrator dictates what priorities I focus on. I actually was asked to change my note at work the other day because I documented that a Fellow did not know the answer to a question that I had and offered me no valid resource to find an answer. Apparently calling out a physician for lack of knowledge is unacceptable, so not only am I told what to speak of but what to chart about as well. The vision statement might say it’s about patient care but in reality it’s more about the organization and it’s success in marketing the “product” that is healthcare. If they could use robots that don’t think for themselves and blindly followed protocol they would. How can you take care of your patients if you don’t take care of your nurses? I really think healthcare in this country is doomed.

    • JackieChandoo

      Very well said.

      • Nephretite

        Very well stated. After 10+ years as a nurse. This is what the healthcare organization as a whole has become. Patient advocate..yeah right. It’s become a glittering facade to feed to young ones, until they get out of school and place you in an assembly line. Patient safety…what a joke. It is quite saddening and unfortunately, it will get worse.

    • 30yrRN

      I completely agree with Ang. Been a nurse for 30 years and have seen healthcare degrade. The bullshit that I have to put up with like the scripting and the useless e- medicine ( virtual docs) on the night shift is just so depressing. And the so called shared governance committees which look good on paper, but the administration still controls everything and overlooks our ideas. And take away all ancillary help and make the nurse do it all and then we get punished for an infection or a skin issue and have to attend a peer review to discuss how we could have prevented it. Give us the help to do our jobs!!!!! We get blamed for fall outs and lack of reimbursement but are not given the help to accomplish what we should . So unbelievably frustrating and can’t wait to retire. Have to somehow make it another 10 years. God help me!

    • Nephretite

      Would like to use your statement on my blog.

  3. Ian speaks the truth in this article. I think the line about knowing to take care of themselves is particular important and unfortunately is often missed by many nurses. How on earth do you expect to care for others if you don’t care for yourself first?

  4. TiredPuppy

    I’m a nurse w/ 42 years of service. I recently spent the night on a brand new telemetry unit and I was just appalled. The nurses was so understaffed that it was pitiful. I can not tell you how many times I just wanted to get up out of bed and help them…so I could off-load some of their stresses. I rarely used my call light and darn near messed the bed waiting for someone…anyone to wander in to my room. The nurses did an admirable job of trying to hide their frustrations, but when your pager goes off every minute and you have to stop what you are doing to mute it, it does not take long for a seasoned professional to know when the nurse involved has just about had it! I’m really saddened by the losses our profession has incurred. It’s no longer possible to just go on duty, do a good job and go home w/ some satisfaction. It scares me to consider what future nurses will encounter, who will be their role models and who will stand up for them as they make a mistake in the process of learning.

  5. abright123

    Ian speaks boldly regarding the philosophy of hardcore nursing. Well, Ian’s bio makes me assume he can no longer take the HARDCORE life. Turning yet to giving advice away from the bedside and direct patient care. It is easy to blog out opinions when your not currently affected by the current trends of bedside nursing in America in some facilities. More and more data is coming out exposing the frustrations nurses face when providing patient care. I don’t no a single nurse that got in to this profession asking to be overworked, underpaid, disrespected by management and staff. Patient EXPERIENCE drive payment more than outcomes. What voice nurses had gained is slowly be dissolved to where patients and family direct care almost even more than physicians. I agree nurses should take care of themselves,but it is almost impossible when you are demanded to work overtime, take additional patients, duplication of work and documentation., deprived of basic needs such as eating and tolieting. Unless you have a union and if you are located in a at will state that word is banned from your vocabulary. So IAN before you decide to declare war on a false perception of bedside nursing again, I challenge you to let me direct you to an assignment and let’s see if you feel So AlPHA NURSE!

  6. nurse2005

    I have only been a nurse since 2005 and I have seen a lot of changes MOSTLY bad changes. When I first started nursing I was excited and couldn’t wait to get to work wanted to make a difference, because I had seen some pretty bad nursing examples…..oh well now I see why….nurses are so overworked and under appreciated!!! Most people now expect you to wait on them hand and foot when they are under your care, like they are in the HILTON or something, I don’t get it, or I do get it…..nursing now is a business its ALL about marketing and money!!! WHAT THE HECK? Florence Nightingale would be so traumatized!!! IM OVER IT FOR SURE!!!

  7. nurse2005

    ONE MORE thing, I have seen so many new nurses coming right out of school, some are good, but mostly I have seen HAVE NO COMMON SENSE!! if ONLY you could buy common sense….so many are in it for the money, due to the economy,,,,ugh it just stinks…

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