I believe this about Nursing…

I believe that there is no coincidence that nursing (a profession created by women) has had to prove itself over and over to be fully recognized as such. If say, JOHN Nightingale had written the book “Notes on Nursing,” there would be no doubt about whether our job (supported or not by evidence-based practice) was a profession.


I believe nursing is the leading profession in building relationships with people. I believe when a nurse looks at an obese patient, we see someone who has become a victim of a system that super sizes meals that leave people starving for real food; for foods that heal.

I believe nursing is teaching. It is engaging in meaningful conversations about the realities, the truths about people’s lives and their struggle beyond high blood pressure or the disease that’s wrapped around their bones. Sometimes… what’s really crippling a patient… is a simple lack of human touch.

I believe that there is no coincidence that hope is a nursing diagnosis. As “hokey” as some may find it, hope is the only thing left …when there is nothing left. And, should a patient find herself on the edge of being hopeful, it is the nurse that pulls her through to believe that while there may not be a cure, we can always heal.

I believe nursing and presence go together like hands in sterile gloves because we know that here, that now; this moment is the only real time we have… to stop.
To ask the hard questions.
To listen.
To hold a hand.
To sit in silence.

You see, pressure ulcers of the heart exist, they’ve been eating away at the flesh of our emotions, interrupting our mental health status, affecting mind, body and spirit. Nursing is fully aware that angina could be related to a broken heart. Nursing knows that there are spiritual ailments greater than cancers.

Nurses know that human disregard is contraindicated to healing.

I believe nursing helps the patient realize the difference between “take care of yourself” and “care for your Self.” Nursing educates the patient, makes them aware of the control they have over their lives, and helps patients regain their autonomy.

We have the responsibility of helping patients find their voice in one of the most vulnerable settings in the world. That is powerful beyond measure.

And should a patient not have the ability to speak, nursing is ultimately the advocate that stands grounded in protecting the patient with everything she can. Including her Life.

Submitted to the RWJF NCIN essay contest.