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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. 


Vision Board

Many years ago, I sat down and made a vision board (vision page). Davis (2021) at Psychology Today and founder of The Berkeley Well-Being Institute says that Vision Boards do not have a great deal of scientific research to document their effectiveness. But initial research has shown their strengths especially in relation to setting and meeting goals. To make a vision board you should ask yourself these questions: "What really matters to you? What gives you meaning? Who do you want to be? Who do you want to help? And how do you want to spend your time?" (Davis, 2021)

Looking at my vision board you can see that I have always wanted to teach and educate nurses. The first picture is of a person jumping a chasm to get from one side to another on a rocky landscape. Symbolically, this represents the distance between being a teacher and reaching my students. It has taken me many years to figure out how to talk to nursing students so they can understand. For instance, I have met and had instructors who were highly intelligent but who could not bring it down to the nursing student level. If your audience cannot grasp the concept, then you are wasting your time and your words.

The second picture, the Golden Gate Bridge and the water beneath it hold a strange place in my heart. Water has a special place in my life as I grew up on a river and spent every summer on a sailboat in the ocean. But what is more important than water is a bridge connecting bodies of land. Symbolically, to me, this means I want to be a bridge for new nurses to find their way from beginners to expert nurses. The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most beautiful but controversial bridges in the world. It is one of the number one places in the world that people commit suicide. Beauty and tragedy, beginnings and endings, love and hate are represented by this bridge. Thousands come every year to take pictures from the bridge and more than 1,200 people have died by jumping. I have walked across the bridge and have almost jumped during dark times in my life. Because I made it through the other side I understand and recognize depression and hopelessness in students. if you are feeling hopeless, please reach out and talk to me or someone else supportive in your life. 34 people who have jumped and lived all share the same sentiment, the minute their feet went over the railings they wished they had not done it.

The meaning behind the quotes; the first quote comes from a man who overcame so many obstacles in his journey in medicine. In college he became a triple amputee due to an accident. Before he became a hospice and palliative care doctor, he was a patient. Perspective has always intrigued me especially in regard to patients. As I have said in other letters if you cannot put yourself in the patient's place and see from their eyes you will not be able to connect with them effectively. How I see my patient is more important than what I see. Seeing their values and goals helps to know how to reach them. For instance, in home health I met patients who had to make decisions about whether they were going to spend their money on recommended medications or food. My job as a homecare nurse was to help them decide which medications they absolutely had to have and those not so important. Without their perspective I could not have helped them adequately.

The second quote comes from a video made by The Cleveland Clinic. Again, we are talking about "perspective". Have you ever thought about all of the people who walk through the halls and doors of the hospital near you or where you work? Every person has a story and sees medicine and nursing through their eyes at that moment. As nurses we get to be with people at the best and worst moments of their lives: birth and death. And everything in between. People all over the world want the same thing, health and to be in their own residence surrounded by family and friends.

What will you put on your vision board? Send me a picture when you finish it.

Davis, T. (2021, March 21). What Is a Vision Board and Why Make One? | Psychology Today.

The Cleveland Clinic. (2019, August 9). Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care | Jewish Healing Center Los Angeles. Https://

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