Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments (1)

An Amazing Career Evolution: A Nurse’s Tale

Well, this is creepy!

It’s a photo from the Library of Congress‘ digital nursing collection.

It looks like a still from a Hitchcock film.

She’s going to the light….

Actually, she is probably going down to central supply for gauze.

Wouldn’t be surprised if Rod Serling stepped into view…

“Nurse Nell is about to take a step…into the Twilight Zone…”

Oh geeze, now I’m freaking myself out.


I came across a blog post today. I was floored.

I have reprinted it here with permission:

I’’ve come to terms with something recently; I have absolutely NO urge to get my BSN.

I used to think that I should, if I could and that I would. Eventually. Now the kids are virtually grown, I have the time, I could swing the funds and I don’t want it. I’m a bedside nurse. Always have been, with the exception of a foray into psych nursing and telephone triage. It’’s what I love, when you get down to the core of why I’’m a nurse. It’s what I am good at. It’’s what my Associate degree prepared me for.

The thought of writing papers and researching and comparing differing nursing models while dealing with the obnoxious topic of nursing diagnoses makes me comatose. (Good ol’ Sister Callista Roy’s Adaptation Model was good enough for me in school and it is good enough for me now…)

Ironically, I love learning! I read the journals, I love attending classes, and working… requires me to keep up-to-date on all the specialties. I want to increase my fluency in Spanish, take a class on Shakespeare, pick up a violin – maybe even learn to play it, speak Japanese and, well, you get the idea.

But….I’’ve no interest in managing a department, I respect those who can. Teaching is not one of my gifts. I enjoy the hospital environment; I’’ve never been interested in public health nursing. I’’ve never needed a BSN to accomplish what I’’ve wanted in my career.



Sounds like the writer is pretty adamant.  I should be so sure of myself.

And I was.

Back when I wrote this in September of 2005.


So what changed?

I started blogging. Writing about nursing made me think about nursing. Really think about it.  I started reading the blogs of nursing students.  They were so excited to be entering the profession. Excited. I hadn’t felt that way in years. What did they see in nursing that I no longer saw? Why were they sacrificing so much to embark on a career I had come to take for granted?

I wanted what they had.

I would get that BSN.  I only looked at two programs. I chose the University of Green Bay’s BSN-LINC program. To this day I can’t tell you why. It just felt right.

Of course, I’d take it nice and easy and enjoy the process, like your typical Type A personality.

Yeah, right.

Oh, I’ve enjoyed the process. But like Ike and Tina, I “nevah, evah do nothin’ nice. And easy.”

Well, it turns out I love research, am fascinated by nursing theories, get a thrill out of producing a perfect APA paper and think public health nursing rocks.

I’m such a nerd!

Bedside nursing is wonderful,  but there are public health programs to produce, nursing research to conduct and new generations of colleagues to educate.

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll have something to contribute to those areas, as well.

*This blog post was originally published at Emergiblog*

You may also like these posts

    None Found

Read comments »

One Response to “An Amazing Career Evolution: A Nurse’s Tale”

  1. Ed Stern, RN says:

    What makes you a good nurse, a good mentor, a goo educator “, a good leader, and a good resource is not the parchment you hold but the skills you gain (even with or without a formal education), the drive you have and the personality you present.

    A good education can be one too in you med bag, but an education is not always the key

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »