Tracey Motter, DNP, RN, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs for the Kent State University College of Nursing, shares her insights with those interested in the profession of nursing. She also suggests ways to keep one’s passion for nursing alive.
Everyone says it takes a special kind of person to be a nurse, but we need all kinds of people to choose nursing. We need people who are committed to helping others, who are confident and assertive decision-makers—bedside nurses. We need people who are team players yet strive to become leaders—nurse managers and administrators. Nursing needs people who may not relish physical care but are intrigued by the way the mind works—mental health nurses. Nursing needs people who might consider themselves shy but are smart and enjoy learning how the human body works and interacts with medications and procedures—nurse anesthetists. Nursing needs those who think big, encompassing big ideas, groups, and changes—public health and healthcare policy nurses. Nursing also needs people committed to educating future nurses—nurse educators.
Many career options are available to those interested in nursing. Regardless of your chosen specialty, working as a nurse takes commitment, resilience, perseverance, and a strong sense of self. Nurses thrive when they can help others, take care of themselves, and commit to lifelong learning.
Although nurses may, at times, encounter frustrating work situations or suffer from personal exhaustion, being a nurse offers many solutions. Nurses have critical thinking skills that allow them to develop solutions, which can change the way patients receive care or policies that dictate the organizational environment. Strong in numbers, nurses can organize with others who share their views and lobby for change. If your spark for one kind of nursing goes out, try another. Some nursing career changes may require additional education, but many do not.
Other ways to maintain excitement in nursing are by joining a professional organization, working with others who share your passion, and learning new ways to provide care, maybe through participation on a research project. My very favorite way to stay passionate about nursing is by reminiscing with other nurse friends to share our many happy, sad, funny, and heartbreaking nursing stories. The connection you feel with other nurses is a one-of-a-kind experience that can keep you engaged with nursing for a lifetime.