Nursing is “my thing.” Since day one, I have never ever once regretted becoming a nurse and choosing this as my profession! I love taking care of people and I love impacting lives on a daily basis! Meeting patients, their families, getting to know their stories, and being a little part of it brings me nothing but joy!
The Unexpected Question
When I interviewed to become a nurse, one of the first questions that was asked to me was, “what are your future career goals?” At that moment in time, I hadn’t even thought about it. I had worked so hard to get through nursing school and get a job that I didn’t really have a future plan? “To be a really good nurse” was my thought! I remember talking about getting my bachelors eventually, but they quickly moved into masters and nurse practitioning. I was a little thrown off by these comments, but I just went with it. That was the first of many encounters about that topic during my career thus far.
In my short 3 years of nursing, I’ve experienced and felt the push for furthering education and heading back to school to become x, y, or z. Don’t get me wrong, I think that is great, but I can’t help but think, “what about the bedside nurses?” If we all go back to school, where will all off the the good nurses be? Where will any nurses be? Who will take care of the patients? I’m finding it more and more common for nurses to not even step on the floor and go straight to NP school. That’s a crazy concept for me to grasp, as I have learned SO much in 3 years that would be helpful with going back to school!
The Push from Society
I’m by no means against going back to school and furthering my career, but I can’t help but feel people think I’m crazy or doing myself a disservice for saying that I am staying at the bedside for the long haul! The bedside nurse TOTALLY has its place and WE NEED GOOD NURSES! I feel new nurses and nursing students are being led down these paths to go straight for their NP and other higher degrees. No one is investing and taking care of the bedside nurse position like they used to. It seems to be becoming a “temporary position.” I don’t like that view at all!
We need to be encouraging nurses to be GREAT nurses and strong nurses! I also think the present situation of healthcare is running nurses away from the bedside! It’s a combination of the push from society to further careers and the business that is affecting MY position as a bedside nurse!
The Frontlines of Health Care
I LOVE being a bedside nurse! I truly feel the bedside nurse has a TON of value. We are the front line of care! We’re the ones taking care of these patients and getting them from point A to point B. I feel like this position is becoming de-valued because of the societal push for career advancement. It’s almost like it’s assumed you’re going to go back to get your NP or PhD, it’s just a matter of when? Some also are tired of the run around and want to make more and “work less.” I get that, but I can’t help but feel we are somewhat devaluing this beautiful position!
Side note: I love my nurse practioners and advanced nurses, but I’m just saying that it isn’t for everyone! I admire those who have gone through those programs and received those degrees! You guys are super hard working and amazing, and I just want to give you that credit you deserve because YOU ROCK!
You Are Not “Just A Bedside Nurse”
I admire the hard work and contribution that bedside nurses bring! They are some of the strongest, brightest, most hardworking individuals I have ever met! If you are at the bedside and feeling this way, I want you to know that I have the upmost respect for this position and you’re not alone. I know how hard you work and the devotion you have to what you do. THANK YOU!
You are not “just a bedside nurse.”You are an advocate. You are an Engineer. You are a caregiver. You are a dietary liaison. You are a case worker. You are a friend. You are listener. You are a therapist. You are a drug dealer. You are a plumber. You are a jack of all trades and you are QUITE amazing!
My Simple Life Goals
The bedside nurse is not for the faint and weak hearted. You are live savers and your position matters the most in my eyes! Don’t let the opinions and influences from others make you feel any different! I’m a huge advocate of bedside nursing, and think it’s an amazing place to be! It’s conducive to family life and really just having one outside of work! I love it!
My goals in life are to be an amazing nurse, amazing wife, and amazing mother. I want nothing more than that! I’m perfectly content in my position and love encouraging and supporting others in the same!
It Has It’s Place
If you are feeling like everyone around you is going back to school and advancing their career, and you’re just feeling like you need to be doing something bigger and better, I want you to hear me out. There IS a place for the bedside nurse! It is okay to be content where you are at. This position matters and is a beautiful place to be. It’s where lives are saved and changed. It’s where OUR lives are impacted and changed.
Thank you to all of the bedside nurses working their tails off and devoting all of their time and energy to taking amazing care of patients. You are beautiful. You are strong. And YOU MATTER! We are an integral part of healthcare and you should never feel that this position just “isn’t enough.” It is more than enough, and so are you in what you do!
Your Heart Is Mine,