The ability to engage in personal reflection, and to learn from it, is a desirable and healthy quality in any human being but much more in a good nurse. To be able to look into the âmirrorâ and to honestly assess your âselfâ is very difficult and often painful, but has the potential to be incredibly rewarding. Choosing a career requires nothing less than stepping back from what you think you want, to stepping forward toward the mirror and reflecting on âwhyâ you think you want it.
If youâre reading this, I imagine that youâre a registered nurse. You may be in a nursing degree program, or quite possibly someone who is contemplating putting yourself through the rigors and expense of nursing school. Maybe you're preparing to commit to a lifetime of challenging professional nursing practice.
But before you continue down the nursing path, Iâd like you to stand in front of the mirror and ask yourself this question: Why do I want to be a professional Registered Nurse? If the answer is solely because you âcareâ about people, I strongly suggest that you consider a career change.
What Nursing Is Really All About
A lot of people care about others but it doesnât make them nurses. The ability to âcareâ is not owned by the discipline of nursing, although sometimes youâd think so. If you also answer, âBecause thereâs good money in it,â you may be correct in the short term but it wonât carry you through the long haul. Doing something âfor the moneyâ becomes very old very quickly and is rarely, if ever, the reason someone stays in a job.
If however, while looking in the mirror, you find yourself saying things such as:
- âI enjoy science and the opportunity to apply it to improving the human conditionâ
- âI understand that a hallmark of any profession is that it has a defined Code of Ethics by which to guide my nursing practice each and every dayâ
- âI want to contribute to a healthier community by applying evidence-based practice standardsâ
- âI want to be a professional who is committed to being emotionally strong so that I do not permit others to abuse me at any time and in any wayâ
- âI like to share in the power of collaboration with other professional nurses so I am a member of my professional nursing organizationsâ
- âAs I gain personal and professional wisdom by following the ethical and scientific path of the discipline of nursing, I will be able to act compassionately toward others,â
then perhaps becoming a professional registered nurse is for you.
But Where Are the Nurses?
There is a reason that health care, in any of its myriad shapes or forms, cannot exist without the active participation of professional registered nurses.Good nurses are there in hospitals 24/7/365. Weâre in clinics, churches, community centers, schools, mosques, Congress, State Legislatures, Board rooms, and countless other practice settings. We bring nursing knowledge, wisdom and expertise to each and every patient encounter.
This is more than âcaring.â This is the willingness to apply personal strength, professionalism, commitment, education, ethics, and science by those who are able to look in the mirror and honestly answer the question, âWhy do I want to be a nurse?â
What questions did you ask before becoming a member of the nursing community? Leave a comment below, Iâd love to hear from you!