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 “mirror” and to honestly assess your “self” 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 “why” you think you want it.
If you’re reading this, I imagine that you’re 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, I’d 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 “care” 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 doesn’t make them nurses. The ability to “care” is not owned by the discipline of nursing, although sometimes you’d think so. If you also answer, “Because there’s good money in it,” you may be correct in the short term but it won’t carry you through the long haul. Doing something “for the money” 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:
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. We’re 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 “caring.” 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, “Why do I want to be a nurse?”
What questions did you ask before becoming a member of the nursing community? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!