The Many Hats of Nursing. A new appreciation for a profession as old as time.

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Nurse’s Week has a bit of a different feel for us this year. Having spent our entire careers in a large hospital setting, you become quite used to banners, and cookies, and free BBQ in the parking lot to celebrate NURSES! In a company of two-the fanfare is not quite as great…although, it has allowed us to reflect on the amazing opportunities we have had to work with nurses from every discipline. Here is who we have had the privilege to work with:

The High School Student: Setting themselves apart from their peers, they are taking advantage of opportunities that most of us only dreamed about as teenagers. Understanding the hard work that is required to be a nurse allows them a chance to focus early in their academic careers.

The Nursing Student: Proudly sporting the word NURSE on a T-shirt, a hat, a bumper sticker, and even shoe laces…but whose passion for the profession is contagious!

The New Graduate: Signing their name with a trailing “RN” when signing a check or a restaurant tab. The one who is terrified and the most impressionable and who needs to be reminded that seasoned nurses have bad days too!

The Academic Faculty: Those who are growing the future of nursing by delivering relevant, challenging, and holistic education to students. These are the nurses responsible for ALL other nurses reaching their full potential in this profession.

The Clinical Educator: These nurses are often overlooked; they work tirelessly to make sure that the clinical staff are competent to serve their patient population. This requires them to strike a perfect balance between the mission statement of the organization and keeping management happy.

The Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (NP, CNS, CNM, CRNA): Although we love our doctors, it is very refreshing to be cared for by an Advanced Practice Provider that was trained in holistic care. APRNs are empathetic to the bedside nurse and really understand the continuum of healthcare from diagnosis to management.

The Informatics Nurse: This role is not one that is a commonly known to the general public. Times have changed and we need nurses that help spearhead and manage healthcare technology through a system. When they get involved… all of nursing is benefits!

The Nurse Manager: Productive vs. Non-Productive hours and balancing a budget…doesn’t sound very warm and fuzzy…but it is imperative that nursing understands how to balance a budget and run their business effectively so they can not only support their staff but ensure fiscal viability.

Nurses in the C-Suite: The other side of nursing. We have all worked with the nurses in leadership that we loved…and who had a pulse on the true needs of both the organization and the bedside nurses….a true advocate for our profession!

The Volunteer Nurse: Those who donate time and resources to make a healthier and more empowered community. This may be serving as a camp nurse over the summer, an MRC volunteer in a disaster, teaching community CPR classes, or serving as a missionary. We believe that it is our responsibility to serve the community with the gifts we have been given.

Finally, The Nurse Consultant. We won’t say that the Nurse Consultant role is the best in nursing….that would be bias. We have served in so many roles that have allowed us to understand a little about a lot. This translates into a wealth of competencies and drives the empathy behind our practice. Nurse Consultants have the privilege to support our amazing peers and advocate for the profession as a whole within other healthcare organizations.

Nurses may have different levels of education, serve different patient populations, and hold different initials behind their name…. but at the end of the day we all share a common goal….to provide safe and quality patient care and continue to advocate for our profession as it grows around us. Happy Nurses Week to each of these roles and thank you for your daily contribution to our great profession.

“I am of certain convinced that the greatest heroes are those who do their duty in the daily grind of domestic affairs whilst the world whirls as a maddening dreidel.”

― Florence Nightingale

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