Nursing is a physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing career. People that enter this particular career should do so only if they have a desire to help others and not only for the financial benefits. Many days are thankless, and nurses need to draw on their core values to keep them from burning out. It is a great loss when nurses lose their passion and leave their careers. The hiring institution, the patients, and the nurse all lose.
When I chose nursing as a career I was at a crossroads in my life. I had been an office manager and bookkeeper. It was a job but not a career. I had taken some time off from work to be a stay-at-home mother but when the time came to find another job the world had changed. I needed an advanced degree and skills I did not possess to do the same job for less money than when I left. Needless to say, I got very upset that day.
I refused to go back to a job that I considered a job and not a career where I had to invest so much time with minimal reward. I took a step back to evaluate my life. Luckily, I had my husband to support us so I could take this time. I was speaking to a friend one day who happened to mention she was going to nursing school. It was like a bell went off in my head. I did care for my grandmother for many years when I was younger, and the medical field had always interested me. I immediately went to my local community college and met with a counselor who told me school starts next week for prerequisites and I never looked back. It was the best decision of my life and my personal philosophy of nursing.
Every day that I am at work is a mental challenge that I relish. I love taking care of people and my reward is when I see the difference I have made in their lives. It’s not always a good day. People are sick and some die but if I made them feel better then I have succeeded.
The core of nursing is and always should be quality care which coincides with Florence Nightingale’s beliefs as well. The definition of a nurse has evolved since Florence Nightingale’s time. Nurses’ education and nurses’ scope of practice has evolved as well. Florence Nightingale lived during the Victorian age when respectable and wealthy women did not have careers. After many years of resistance, Florence Nightingale was able to open the School of Nursing. One of her requirements for a nurse was a strong moral character. She followed her student’s behavior throughout the training course and was swift and severe in punishment if said student strayed from proper behavior. This requirement has remained a fundamental base of nursing, honesty and good moral character since nursing is considered one of the most trusted professions. And has become my personal philosophy of nursing.
Nightingale’s agenda was always sanitation and prevention. After Nightingale’s success in the Crimean War, she used her newfound success and notoriety to push her agenda for public reform with help from her brother-in-law and support from Queen Victoria herself. Her notoriety had reached the United States and she applied those same principles during the Civil War. She also started the movement toward home health nursing.
So, Florence Neutingell in her work as a nurse is an example for me in this profession. People like her are role models, I would like to devote myself to this work with the same passion and philosophy because this is my conscious choice.