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18 love notes to nursing

karandaev | iStock | Thinkstock

karandaev | iStock | Thinkstock

Heading to work day in and day out can oftentimes lead to a roller coaster in the morale department. Although I love my job, the night before a shift just the thought of having to get up and spend 13 hours of the next day cooped up in a hospital sounds less than appealing.

I think nurses can easily get lost in a degree of job apathy or career burnout, if you will. Realistically, a rather poignant stigma found throughout our profession is that of burnout — the old wives tail that “mature” nurses are crabby and overworked.

I frequently get asked the cliché question, “So why did you become a nurse?” and decided to finally compose a list of the reasons why I so love this profession. I feel so very fortunate to have the letters RN behind my name. And I may even print a copy of my “love notes to nursing” to keep with me at work when the going gets tough, just to remind myself of how fortunate I really am.

Love notes to nursing

  1. What other profession allows you wear the most comfortable uniform known to the professional world? Does it get any better than scrubs?
  2. There is nothing more special than becoming attached to a sick patient who recovers and returns in their robust form for a visit with words of gratitude for the care you provided at their most difficult time.
  3. Three day work week. End of story.
  4. Opportunities in the field are remarkably endless. Interested in oncology? Pediatrics? Rehab? Mental health? Critical care? Infusion clinics? Cardiology? Orthopedics? I could work in some/all of these specialties if I so desire.
  5. One of my favorite moments is praising and supporting new parents as they bathe their post-surgical infant for the first time.
  6. My metabolism never gets bored of all of the goodies that families bring to the nurses station.
  7. Ever cried at the mailbox? I did, after opening up a handwritten thank you card from the parents of a child that had passed away. They were thanking me for the care I provided their child. What they don’t know is that I thank them daily for the life lessons I have gained through their experiences.
  8. Thanks to night shifts, I now consider getting a full night’s rest one of life’s greatest pleasures.
  9. I have adopted a rather large, loving extended family consisting of patients and families that have lengthy hospital admissions. I am thankful for each of them and treasure the Christmas cards I receive from these “family” members.
  10. There is nothing more gratifying than being deemed a patient’s favorite nurse.
  11. I have successfully adorned my entire refrigerator with art and pictures drawn by my little hospitalized Picassos.
  12. There are plenty of professions where you get to advocate for your client, but there is something different, and something special, about advocating for someone’s life.
  13. My work does not go unnoticed, sometimes unbeknownst to me. The greatest flattery as a nurse? Being nominated and featured in a publication, Atlanta Hospital News, and not seeing it until after print.
  14. The working relationship between doctors and nurses is superb, and I feel strongly that my suggestions and concerns about care are taken into account with each decision that is made.
  15. I work in a profession that puts no cap on learning, each day is filled with new and exciting learning experiences.
  16. Nursing and medical research are strongly correlated, and I love my organization’s commitment to striving to provide the best practice of care based on evidence-based practice.
  17. I will forever be convinced that children are the most resilient of all human beings.
  18. Most importantly, I love my profession because as long as I have made a child’s day a little bit better, I know I have succeeded.

Thank you, fellow nurses, for all you do!

Nicole Lehr
Nicole Lehr is a pediatric nurse. She can be described in three adjectives: content, thankful and fortunate. All credit for the aforementioned description can be given to the love she has for her profession as an RN. She graduated from University of Florida with her Bachelor’s in Nursing and moved to Atlanta to work at the Cardiac Stepdown Unit at Children’s — her dream job.

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