Nurse Empowerment - Step #1

Nurses General Nursing


  • by begalli
    Specializes in Critical Care/ICU.

Contributing to nursing's "image" is the way we present ourselves no matter where we are when we're addressing issues within our profession.

A common thread I see among many posters at allnurses is that when one is posting an opinion, relating a stressful experience, or attempting to make a point, the post is frequently ended with "I'm sorry" or "end of rant."

By apologizing for a professional opinion on a hot topic or after posting a statement that includes a serious negative experience with patient or nurse safety issues, please don't minimize or negate your thoughts at the end with "sorry for the rant." It's not a rant and you shouldn't be sorry. It's your professional perspective on an issue important to nursing. Sometimes, to me, when I get to the end of a great post and I see this, it just takes so much away.

I know this is an anonymous message board, but people of all backgrounds from around the world read what is written and discussed here (eg: the AJN article that referenced this website regarding lethal injection). This site represents nurses from around the country and the world so much more than ANY Dr. Phil show ever will.

The definition of rant: to talk wildly and loudly. to scold violently.

The definition of sorry: feeling sorrow, regret or penitence. mournful, sad. causing sorrow, pity or scorn.

So after posting that long story about a horrendous shift that included abusive management, dangerous staffing, and rude doctors, are nurses really "sorry" or "ranting" or are they expressing deep concern for themselves and their profession?

Hopefully when we let our feelings be known in person when trying to evoke change, we are not apologizing at the end of our presentation of valid professional observations.

Communicate confidently! Respecting yourself begets respect from others = power.

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

I do appreciate your point that we should be careful to present ourselves in a way that represents a strong profession. However, sometimes, it is OK to say "I'm sorry..." to indicate that the poster is sorry for not being succinct in his/her comments. The "sorry" is for writing a post that takes a long time to read ... and for perhaps not being totally organized in the presentation/discussion of the ideas expressed.

The poster is not sorry for expressing concern ... or anger ... or whatever ... over a bad situation. The poster is sorry for the lengthy and/or disorganized way he/she has presented. They wrote the post in a high emotional state and, being aware that they may not be expressing themselves professionally, express their regret at the nature of the writing. That's OK and we should accept that.

I think we should reassure those people that we understand their high emotions, we accept it as a part of life, and we can handle that. We can deal with both the emotions of the situation and can also go on to discuss the issues a little less emotionally as appropriate.

But I do think it would be a mistake to stifle's people legitimate need to express the emotion of regret they feel when their emotions produce a post that is not written in the way they would prefer to write it.

There is a "middle ground" here ... and I think we should try to find it.


Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

I know that when i've vented, the apology at the end stems from things i've written looking like a "oh poor me, it's all about me" stance. And no one wants to come across that way, so i think that's why people apologize for a vent.

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