I put both a question mark and an exclamation point on the title of this article because some of you may be questioning your nursing passion, while others may be firm in you professional passion and not need the question mark. Ask yourself what category you fall into and read on.
Three years ago when I initiated my book project, Inspiring the Inspirational: Words of Hope From Nurses to Nurses, I had one main goal in mind - to remind nurses of the positive impact they have on the lives of their patients, patient families, and loved ones every day. I was passionate about this goal!
Now comes the time for you to identify and/or remember your nursing passion.
If you’ve been in nursing for some time, I can assure you that your passion is not money, fantastic work schedules, short work weeks, or because your mom told you to become a nurse. People who enter the nursing profession for these reasons are quickly weeded out.
It is true passionate motivations that keep us in the nursing profession. What is your passion? I have given a great deal of thought to this question and have come up with four common passions I can identify in my colleagues:
Caring. The majority of nurses who stay in nursing fall into this category. Caring nurses possess an innate and high degree of compassion and caring toward other human beings. The need and drive to care for those in need keeps these nurses coming back for more. Is this your passion?
Desire to truly make a difference. Many nurses go into and stay in the nursing profession to make a difference. They are not only passionate about taking care of other human beings and making a difference in their patients’ lives, but strive to make a difference in their facilities, communities, government, and professional organizations. Is that your passion?
Respect and pride. I have yet to meet a professional colleague afraid, embarrassed, or shy about proudly proclaiming, “I am a nurse”! There is an enormous degree of respect and pride that go along with being a nurse. Is that where your passion lies?
Self-actualization. Remember Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs”? Self-Actualization sits alone atop of the needs pyramid (behind physiological, safety, social, and esteem needs). Maslow described self-actualization as “What a man can be, he must be”. This level of need pertains not only to what a person's full potential is, but realizing that potential. Did you become a nurse because you wanted to accomplish a higher degree of education and skill in order to attain self-actualization? Perhaps you stay in the profession to continue your education and continue to excel in skill and knowledge base in an effort to gain self-actualization. Is that your passion?
Words of warning:
If you don’t know your passion, you need to find, ignite, and nurture it!