Never Stop Learning or Loving.

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    When you graduate from nursing school, you are ready to take on the world with your new knowledge and skills, right? That is partially correct; however, when you enter the "real world" of nursing, that's when learning really begins. And the fascinating thing about nursing is you never stop learning.

    No matter which discipline you chose to be a part of, there is a wealth of learning opportunity awaiting you. Listen to those nurses (old and new) around you. Don't assume you have all the answers. If you have questions...ask! Asking someone else for their expertise not only benefits you, it helps to reaffirm their knowledge.

    Take advantage of all of the learning opportunities that are available to you through your place of employment. Don't just do what is expected (like CPR or EKG training). Go the extra mile and learn things that are not required of you. You may be surprised at the new interests that open up for you.

    Practice, practice, practice! Be a team worker and offer to do procedures for other nurses who may be too busy at that moment. It will give you confidence that you, your co-workers and most importantly, your patients will see.

    Give your new position time. It can take several months or more before you know whether this discipline is for you or not. If it isn't, then move on to something else. Possibilities are limitless in nursing. You don't do yourself or your patients any favors by staying in a position that makes you unhappy.

    Read, read, and read some more. Libraries, internet, nursing journals...anything you can. Not everything will be pertinent to your discipline, but you may just read one thing that could save one of your patient's lives.

    And most importantly, SMILE and be yourself. We all have unique gifts that we can give to our patients. Never underestimate how important a touch or a smile may be to someone in your care.

    Trust your instincts. If something doesn't "feel right", check it out. Get a second opinion. It is much smarter to be over cautious when a patient is possibly exihibiting negative signs and symptoms than waiting until it might be "too late". If you feel something, follow your instincts. Don't forget there is skill and knowledge mixed in with those instincts that makes you a good nurse.

    On a personal note, when I left nursing school I was nervous and unsure of my skills (just like 99.9% of all new nurses!). Of course, I attempted to hide my fears. I remember a certain patient that was very difficult and had many things going on with her physical health. She was a retired ICU RN (which made me even more nervous!). I had to do several procedures that I was not familiar with and requested the assistance of another experienced nurse. The patient was visibly irritated and obviously did not enjoy being my "guinea pig". She kept interjecting that "you need to do that like this" or "you're not doing that the way I used to do it". The experienced nurse and I listened politely and even used several of her suggestions. She was eventually discharged to home and several weeks later I received a beautiful card from her thanking me not only for my care but for leading her "in a new direction". She had decided to renew her license and re-enter the work force as a nursing teacher. She has been teaching for five years now. Learn from everyone you can and they can even learn from you!

    You may not change the world, but you may help change the world for one person.

    That is the wonderful thing about nursing. You always learn something new and you can always teach something new to someone else!
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    About yardgnome

    Joined: Jan '08; Posts: 4; Likes: 8
    RN med/surg
    Specialty: 7 year(s) of experience in Longterm care, med/surg

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  3. by   safta24
    Well said. I have retired but cherrish the memory of being
    a nurse & all the possibilities that were there to improve life for others as well as to mprove for me
    I think nursing is the best profession, the most rewarding & in my next life I hope to be a nurse again
  4. by   SeattleRain
    Thanks for writing a very interesting, inspiring post ~ It was so refreshing to read after the depressing
    forum I just read on aides/nurses... Thanks~ Suzi
  5. by   peby
    thank for the very inspiring message..i am a new member in this site as well as a newly BSN grad..hope to read more inspiring message..thank u again
  6. by   NICUrn2B
    Thank you for the beautiful article.

    This is exactly what my Mother tells me almost daily...

  7. by   vsangvikar
    very interesting and inspiring article
    most of the nurses think that once you are graduated then there is no need to study further. study helps you to improve your knowledge and skills.which in return gives you confidance. therefore you also get respect from doctors, coworkers and patients,which I have experienced in my life and 35 years of nursing practice..