.......and they're (almost) always glad you came.
2012 marks my tenth year here at AN, and sometimes I wonder at the fact that I'm still here after almost a full decade. I've never even held one job for that long! Ten years ago, I was still a relatively new RN in my early 40s, working as a resident care manager in a skilled nursing facility.......all four kids were still living at home, the three youngest in school, and my grandchildren weren't even a gleam in my eye back then. I'd been lurking here since 2000, but had never posted on any Internet forum until I joined AN on September 6, 2002.
That was soon to change. Posting comments and reading the responses caught fire with me almost immediately, and between AN and the San Diego Chargers fan forum that I moderate, I've logged over 25,000 posts over the years. That's a lot of time spent on the computer! No wonder I have arthritis in my fingers, and bursitis in the right shoulder from holding a mouse for hours every day. Aches and pains aside, however, my first loyalty is to this forum right here, because AN is my Internet "home base".....where everybody knows my name.
Not only my name, but me.
What I'm like on good days AND bad. Where I've been. What I've done and where I've done it. Who I love and admire (and who I don't). What makes me tick. What makes me laugh, cry, scream, and come unspooled. And.....what gives me the strength to go on when it feels like I'm on my last. possible. nerve.
This is where my virtual family lives. Like a flesh and blood family, we don't always see eye to eye; some members can be incredibly difficult to get along with; sometimes one will even turn against another, say a few angry words, and leave. It's almost happened to me, more than once. But overall, we help each other and lift each other up, sharing wisdom, experience, friendship, and some of the funniest stories ever told, all along the way. NOBODY but another nurse can know what we go through in this profession; no matter how much our parents, significant others, kids, and other friends love us, they don't get the jokes.......or the heartaches.
This site is, and will doubtless continue to be, THE premier professional nursing site on the World Wide Web. We are cited in nursing journals and other references all over the English-speaking world....an awesome responsibility, in my humble opinion. I didn't always understand or appreciate that fact, but it IS a fact. We elevate the profession by posting accurate and honest information here; we show the world we have a sense of humor by trading "war stories" and funny nursing fails; and we honor the spirit of those who have gone before us, as well as ensure the quality of our own future care, by sharing our trade secrets, tips and tricks with the next generation of nurses.
Thank you, Allnurses.com, for being here and providing a safe place for nurses to get together and be ourselves, both on and off duty. Sometimes, ya just wanna go where everybody knows your name.