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This site is for student nurses or nurses starting out. Letters to a Young Nurse are blog posts written like letters to help you find your way and make your journey as a nurse less difficult. 


The Reason Why

Updated: Jul 15, 2023

Hello! If you are in nursing school, are a new nurse, or you have been working for a few years these letters are for you. It is terrifying to start a new job, but you have the added stress of having a patient's life in your hands. What you learn today, and what you learn on your first job(s) are essential foundations to becoming a GREAT nurse.

Before I offer more advice about how to be a great nurse, I want to you to take a few minutes today and think about why you want to be a nurse. What made you choose this profession as opposed to being a teacher or a nun? 50 years ago, there were only 3 acceptable professions for women: nursing, teaching and serving God. Women entering the work force today have so many more options than your mothers and grandmothers. Today you could be a chef, a policewoman, an engineer, a CEO and so many more.

Go back to when you were 10 years old, before you were influenced greatly by culture, TV, movies and other things. Think back to what you envisioned your life to look like, not what you should be, but what you could be. I hear so many stories from students who chose this career path because of taking care of a loved one when they were growing up. Other students want to make the world a better place by caring for others. And there are some students doing it for the money.

I admit that I became a nurse because I needed a steady income. I watched my grandmother and mother do well as nurses. But doing it for the money does not sustain you. The money helps you to survive but not to thrive. I found that when I looked for the places where I could help others learn, I would thrive. This job will take everything from you, your health, your time, your back, your feet, your youth. You get the idea. I worked a double (16 hours) recently and I could hardly get out of the chair at the end of 2nd shift. Nursing others has broken me in ways I cannot begin to describe. But it has also given me a motivation and a desire to get out of bed every day and keep going back.

In your toughest moments, now and in the future, what keeps you coming back will be the reasons why you started this journey in nursing. Write your reason(s) down and put the paper in a place you look at every day. And every time you look at that sheet of paper you will keep going back. I don't want to scare you, but this profession is tough no matter what job specialty you choose. What is your why? The answer will sustain you. Take it from someone who has been there, done that. I keep coming back to help you learn and become great. Keep doing it.

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