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YON 2020 Day 71: Joseph Fornwalt, RN, BSN

From his perspective as a staff nurse at Fairview Hospital, Joseph Fornwalt, RN, BSN, offers advice for those considering a nursing career.

It is difficult to completely define the profession of nursing, as it is a multitude of things. What I can tell you is that it is ultimately rewarding. It also must be an ongoing learning experience. There are not any right or wrong reasons to pursue nursing, but you can be sure that being a nurse will result in a direct outcome on others. Shadowing a nurse or working in any precursor healthcare position can give you an invaluable look into what a career as a nurse can be like. The different opportunities available to nurses are numerous and can vary in location, facility type, job description clinical setting, and schedule.


Interprofessional collaboration is also important in providing comprehensive patient care. Communication is one of the most important skills we have, but there is not one particular way that works with everyone. While you may experience successful communication with one patient, another may need an entirely different approach. That is when nurses use their professional judgement and knowledge about each patient to determine the best way to communicate. The same exists with all healthcare team members. I have come to realize over time that physicians and other team members have their preferences, none of which are right or wrong, and that certain tools and approaches may yield varying results.


Patient care is complex and many individuals are involved. Nurses play an important role in relaying vital information to and from those who are part of managing a patient’s care. The quality of patient care and the patient’s experience can be directly related to how well the team communicates. In order to ensure both good quality care and positive experiences for patients, we need to strive to communicate efficiently.

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