Welcome to the world of nursing. As you embark on your new career, know that you have made a wise and wonderful choice to give of yourself to help make a difference in someone's life every day. Nursing is one of the most rewarding and yet challenging careers. It can be a thankless job and at the same time, nursing can bring you countless hours of joy and some of the most heart-felt love.
Nursing is one of the most physically and emotionally demanding careers. You will require a great deal of physical stamina and a strong sense of humor to perform your daily duties. Nurses combine the art of caring with a broad scientific knowledge base to provide care, promote wellness, and improve the lives of their patients. It takes strong communication skills, both written and oral, combined with a scientific mind and a warm heart and soul to form the foundation for a good nurse.
You will learn to laugh and to cry with your patients, to share their joys and disappointments and sorrows. They will all touch your life in very different ways and some will become a part of you forever. Nursing is a lifelong learning experience. You will learn something new every day. You will teach your patients how to improve their lives, to become responsible for their own outcomes, and to be independent in their own health care.
You will learn many new techniques and skills and nurture many talents and abilities, some of which you never knew you had. You will become competent and lose your fear and feelings of inadequacy as you grow into your new profession. You will also experience many negative aspects and encounter nurses who are burning out. Your enthusiasm could help them to rediscover why they chose nursing and how to make nursing important again in their own lives.
This book is based on the experiences of many nurses and is meant to help you to understand that you are not alone in your feelings at any stage of your career. Every nurse was once a new grad. Every nurse has had just as many firsts as you will: first shot, first birth, first death, first error, first patient, first special moment when it all makes sense. Share in their triumphs and failures as you grow into one of the finest professions.
Always smile and be honest. Consider how you would like to be treated if you were in this predicament and never take care of someone in a manner less than what you would demand for your loved ones. Set the bar high and demand excellence; mediocrity is common and boring and unacceptable. Be professional.
Always remember to recharge your own batteries. Take care of yourself so that you have the strength and stamina and desire to care for others who need you. Learn from your mistakes and move on. Enjoy your career and always keep track of your accomplishments and successes. Find something positive about every day. If you ever lose track of why you became a nurse, think back to these moments and your doubts will fade. Good luck and thank you for becoming a nurse.