Nursing As A Lifetime Commitment For Me
When I first enrolled at CUNY Brooklyn College, I wanted to major in Early Childhood Education. After two semesters, I soon realized that I needed to make a change. I decided to major in Nursing. I switched schools and started taking prerequisites at Nassau Community College to satisfy the nursing requirements. My pre-licensure GPA was 3.35. When it was time to apply to the nursing program, I was optimistic that I was going to be accepted. I was wrong. In those days, admission not only went by GPA, it always went by the number of available seats. The program only had 50 seats and at least triple the number of students enrolled in the pre-licensure track. Since there were students who had a higher GPA, I did not get accepted. I was advised to apply for the following semester. I was devastated. I felt like a failure. I eventually convinced myself that maybe becoming a nurse wasn’t in the cards. I told myself that I was supposed to be dealt a different hand. Since I was always great in Mathematics, I majored in Mathematics at CUNY York College. I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in 2007 and became a NYC Public School Teacher in 2009 teaching High School Algebra. After 10 successful years of teaching, my previous calling hit me in the head like a ton of bricks. I saw an advertisement on WBS TV while watching the news one morning for a new Accelerated Program at Mercer University. Later that day, I went online and filled out the form an received a call within two weeks from Admissions. If I was ever in doubt about what it means for nursing to be a lifetime commitment, I just think about my journey that led me to this point.
Nursing is more than just a job. It is a commitment to our patients, to the healthcare organization that we work, to our colleagues to whom we spend most of our time with during our shift, and a commitment to staying abreast of the practice of nursing. Out of all of these commitments, the number one commitment that cannot be sacrificed is our commitment to our patients. Commitment to our patients is the backbone of the nursing profession. It is our number one priority to care for our sick clients and to promote maintenance and high standards of health. To do this, we must have a desire to make our clients better. Once we have the desire to make things better, than at the very least, our patients will start to get better. The minute we slack off and no longer have that desire we once had to make our patients better, then their health will start to deteriorate.
To ensure health promotion in our clients, nurses need to also have a lifetime commitment to staying abreast of how nursing is practiced. This is how nurses keep track of what techniques should stay in place, needs to be modified, or get rid of completely. This includes ways to promote and restore health, prevent illnesses, and learn effective coping mechanisms that we can teach our clients and their loved ones when faced with a disability or fatality. All of these practices ensure that our patients are continuing to receive the best level of care. It is important to keep in mind that these practices can be based on the perspective of the nurse as well as their client’s input. It is beneficial to see healthcare through both lenses. It shows the patient that their nurse is not only committed to their health but that their nurse is providing the education and support needed for them to make decisions and participate in their care.
Commitment to nursing isn’t just providing the best possible care to our clients and staying on top of what is considered “the next big thing” in nursing. We also have to be committed to our co-workers. It is the expectation that our colleagues provide the same level of care to our patients when we change shifts. This will not go as planned if there is tension in the workplace. A hostile work environment can have negative effects on patient care. Even though this should not be, we are human and tend to carry our emotions on our sleeve. Nurses must be committed to having a positive and productive relationship with our colleagues that is coupled with a mutual respect for one another. First and foremost, this includes accepting individuals as they are (despite spiritual beliefs, sexual orientation, gender and cultural background), affirming their colleagues’ contribution to the quality of work provided, being supportive of one another, maintaining a positive attitude, speaking to your colleagues the same way you want them to speak to you, always talk in a courteous manner, not engaging in blaming one another, back-biting or bickering, and last but not least, do not engage in idle gossip (Stegen, et al., 2019, p. 302). We must communicate in a manner that is beneficial to our clients’ well-being. This can only be done if we promote a healthy work environment.
When we hear the word “commitment”, we tend to think about an intimate relationship. When you think about it, nursing is an intimate relationship. The relationship between nurses and their clients is nothing short of amazing. Their clients probably depend on them more than any other healthcare professional. Why is this the case? Nursing is considered a humanistic profession. This is because nursing is probably the only profession that focuses on the whole client opposed to only focusing on their indisposition or illness. Nurses cater to the uniqueness of their clients while helping them reach their full potential. All of this is done while considering their clients’ needs and wants. Nurses understand that their clients have a right to make choices about their health. Clients are the ones who know first hand how these choices will affect them and their loved ones. Whether or not nurses agree with their clients’ choices regarding their health, one thing is for certain; they are committed to go above and beyond to meet the needs of their clients.