In the spirit of Emergency Nurses Week (Oct. 5–11), the second video in our 1 in One Hundred Million series is a compelling profile of Vanessa Barrett and the daily life-and-death challenges she faces as an ER/trauma nurse for a Level III trauma center.
Gaylyn (Gaye) Timiney MSN, RN is currently Senior Clinical Operations Consultant at Kronos
What you didn’t know then but what you do know now is that nursing is all about the journey, no matter what road you take it’s clearly a journey. You didn’t know that those experiences would build upon each other and paint a clearer picture of their meaning and slowly reveal how you could make a difference in someone’s life. You didn’t know watching a child suffer would lead you to understand why adults behave the way they do. You didn’t know you would learn tolerance at a greater level. You didn’t know you could have compassion to those who seem unlovable. You didn’t know that everything you learned in kindergarten wouldn’t be enough to be a nurse. It’s a journey that never ends and one that is not forgotten to those you serve. This journey requires your best walking shoes because you will always be a nurse!
Terra Johnson MSN, BSN, RN is currently a Healthcare Services Portfolio Consultant at Kronos
Hello Newbie ..
Congratulations! You have been accepted into nursing school. You are about to embark on an exciting and rewarding profession – truly a calling and not a job. Nursing … what a unique opportunity to have an impact on people’s lives. It is often frustrating, challenging, emotional, humbling and often times literally dirty. But at the end of the day you can rest assured that you have made an impact on someone’s life.
As you begin your studies and then career, there will be days when you want to scream, cry, laugh, throw your hands in the air and even quit. DON’T! It will all be worthwhile when a patient or family member looks you in the eye and says “Thank You”. At that moment, you will know you made a great decision to become a nurse.
Jocie Strong MSN, RN, PCCN is a Healthcare Strategist at KronosDear Jocie,
As a new nurse manager, you have only just started to understand the many competencies needed to become a successful nurse leader. You decided to pursue leadership after seeing how organizational inefficiencies and hospital-centered policies could negatively influence care, while small patient-centered changes could make a world of difference to your patients. Over the next few years, as you face these patient satisfaction and quality care issues head on, you will be inspired by the resilience and creativity of your nursing staff when faced with a revolving door of challenges, by the patients and their family members who become “unit family” through their extended stays, but never give up hope that they will soon leave healthier than they came, by your senior nurses who remember a time before achieving Magnet status and who take Shared Governance as a serious opportunity to improve care to patients, mentor new nurses, and enhance the work environment and culture, and finally, by the experienced nurse leaders around you, who will teach you that nursing leadership, like bedside nursing, is all about building relationships. Appreciate the relationships and the contributions of those around you – they will ultimately shape and define you as a nurse leader.
Clint Hurt RN is currently a Solution Consultant at Kronos
You made it. You are a nurse. You have a BSN. You have a career that can take you anywhere you want to go. With this career choice you have made, comes responsibilities that you will not know what to do until that time comes. What they didn’t teach you in nursing is real life experience. How will you react to a code, someone choking, or bleeding? Also, how will you react to your first death? Will you know how to comfort the family members of the deceased? Will you know how to console yourself? These are essentials that you will need to figure out on your own during your career as a nurse.
Nursing is a career that can take you many places. Are you ready for the journey? In Nursing, you can be a Staff Nurse, Charge Nurse, Assistive Manager, Manager, Director and so forth up the chain to CNO. Are you ready for the long hours and missing events of your life and family? Nursing is a choice that you accepted. You can now choose what position you will take along the way. You will even get offers outside of the Hospital setting. Are you prepared to handle all things that come with nursing? With each event that you are involved in will get you trained for the next level. Keep expanding your knowledge and role in Nursing. The know you more the better you will become as a nurse and as a person. Don’t just settle for the first opportunity that comes along. Research it and make an educated answer like what they taught you in the school of Nursing and you nursing job. Ask questions, listen, and watch what others are doing in each situation. That will be a good way to learn. I know you are going to make it. Remember, this is a journey. You will get out of it what you put into it.
Chris Haviland MS, BSN, RN is currently a Senior Workforce Solution Consultant at Kronos
Never forget why you entered Nursing… to help people. Keep your eyes open and never stop learning. Don’t be distracted by those who are there to just punch a clock and collect a pay check. Your nights will be long and shifts may seem endless, but when it is all said and done, that extra 5 minutes you spend to comfort a patient or hold a hand while someone passes will come to be the times you will never forget. Like that smile from the mom who was able to see their son walk for the first time after a horrible diving accident, they, too, will never forget you. And when you think that you cannot take on anymore, take a deep breath and know that your smile and compassion mean more to that family than you can even start to imagine.
You are going to go far to help people within the realm of Nursing. No matter the path you take, remember why you entered Nursing and do your best to inspire others to do the same.
Megan Schramm BBA, RN, CNOR, RNFA is a Solution Consultant at Kronos
Dear New Grad Nurse Megan,
You have no idea right now, but oh, the places you will go! Don’t be disappointed by what you perceive to be an unimportant and unexciting first job in a nursing home… The lives you touch and those who touch you will teach you that regardless of our skills and certifications, taking the time to listen, to be there for our patients and to truly understand their struggles are some of the most important things a nurse can do. As you move onward and upward in your career, never forget that- regardless of where this adventure takes you.
Also, remember to be strong, yet humble. There will be many times where you will have to “stick to your guns” to make sure your patients are cared for in the best possible way… Take confidence in the knowledge and experience you will gain but remember- it takes a strong person to ask for help and admit they do not know something. You will have the privilege to work with some of the “best and brightest” in the business- learn from them and don’t be surprised when they learn a thing or two from you.
Lastly, never forget that allowing patients to see your “human” side is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. Don’t be afraid to cry when the hospice resident passes away holding your hand, to participate in a family prayer before surgery, to suture the tail back on the teddy bear of a pediatric patient or to share the joy when you hand a new dad his son following a successful emergency C-section.
Most importantly, a nurse is not WHAT you are it is WHO you are… the amazing things you will be able to do, the strength you have yet to discover you possess, the experiences you will have…. Will help to create the person you are to become.
Your Older Self