Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hello blogging world...check out for my updated blog! Thanks so much for reading!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nurse's Tip of the Day

Never underestimate the power of being a responsible and caring parent...or the effects of the opposite.

Yours Nursingly,

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Me and My IV Pole

Let me tell you a little story about me and my IV pole. We are always together and never far apart. He is squeaky and noisy as we walk down the hall. He tries to be so sneaky when he follows me but its no secret at all. Sometimes I want run and play but IV pole is not that way. He is slow and needs my help so we prefer to stay.

Let me tell you a story about me and my IV pole. We are the best of friends you see as I know he really cares for me. He controls the tubes running into deep inside of me. He helps me drink. He helps me eat. He gives me the medicines I need.

This is my story about me and my IV pole. Even though he beeps and beeps and beeps and beeps...I get quite sad when it's the end. As I am on my way, I will turn to him and say, "Until next time dear intravenous friend"

Yours Nursingly,

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fresh Air

Sometimes I find myself taking the simplest things in life for granted. I was talking with one of my patients the other day and they were telling me they went outside for the first time in over eight weeks. It was the first time in eight weeks they were able to take a breath of fresh air, hear all the city sounds, and listen the birds chirping. The weather that day was absolutely beautiful. You know, one of those days where there is not one cloud in the sky, the sun is shining, and the sky is as blue as can be. I could tell how much they enjoyed this through the sheer excitement on their face and in their voice. They were so proud of this accomplishment and I was proud of them too.

As I was leaving their room I thought to myself, "when was the last time I stopped to enjoy a beautiful day? To merely appreciate the fact that every day I walk out my front door and take a breath of fresh air?" I wonder, what other simple things in life have I been taking for granted lately?

Yours Nursingly,

Monday, August 2, 2010

In Your Shoes

Dear child, I wonder what it's like to live in your shoes?

To have to stay in your room because your body can't fight off germs.
To have your long blonde hair fall out piece by piece because of your treatments.
To have to stay in bed because your pain is too much.
To be poked and prodded countless times a day in hopes that some sense will be made of how you are doing.

To step outside for the first time in three months.
To know that you have finished your very last treatment.
To hear from the doctor you are finally in remission.
To know you will be able to enjoy life as a kid again.

Although I do not know for sure, I do know I will be there caring for you each step of the way.

Yours Nursingly,

Thursday, July 22, 2010


At 12:30 this afternoon as I was sitting in my Nursing Orientation I got a txt from my mom that said "You've got mail". My heart started pounding, I became restless, and I am sure my blood pressure sky rocketed. The wait was almost over. I knew when I got home this piece of mail would change my life forever. I've been grumpy, stressed, and sick to my stomach most of the week in anticipation of the information this envelope contained.

Since January, I've felt like I've been jumping through hoops to get to the point where I can write the letters RN, BScN behind my name. The journey I started four years ago was finally coming to an end, but it seemed as there were still so many things keeping me from reaching the finish line. My last term of school was by far the most challenging as it felt like every aspect of my life was turned upside down or moving at an uncontrollable speed. My mission was simple. Finish the term with good marks, study for the CRNE, write the exam, graduate, get my temp RN license, and start my new job.

As each task was crossed off my list, feelings of excitement consumed me as I was getting closer and closer to the finish line. Receiving my degree was overwhelming as I realized that finally all my hard work had paid off. The first time I signed "RN Temp" behind my name instead of my student signature was when it started to sink in that I was working as a nurse.  The best part of it all was that my dreams were actually coming true right in front of my eyes. However, there was only one catch. With one letter in the mail all of it could disappear. I was terrified. I feel like I've been holding my breath waiting for the other shoe to drop all week.

When I finally got home today and opened the mail the first line of the letter read "We are pleased to inform you that you have been successful on your June 2, 2030 Canadian Registered Nurse Examination". I PASSED!!! My reaction was one that I wasn't expecting...usually I'm so excited I can't contain myself with big news like this, but today was different. I just closed my eyes, tilted my head back and breathed a sigh of relief. I finally made it! The marathon is finally over!

I am a Registered Nurse!

Yours Nursingly,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Precious Moments

When someone asks me “what is a nurse” or “what do you nurses do exactly”, I often find myself stumbling over my words and giving some vague answer that I know doesn't do my profession justice.  In my head I think, how can words describe the complexity of this beloved and trusted profession?  If only they could come experience what my day at work is like.  If only they would see how my job is more than following doctor’s orders, giving medications, or changing beds.  If only they could hear what goes through my head when I’m recording a child’s high temperature or analyzing blood work.  If only they could see that the health of an individual is so much more than treating a disease.  If only they could understand the difference taking the time to sit with a patient can make.

​On my second day of work as a new grad I had a one-year-old patient whose diagnosis was still uncertain. This dear child had been poked and prodded time after time and the doctors were still trying to figure out what was going on. It was obvious her mother was concerned and cared for her child, but each time I went in to check on her she was by herself sitting in her crib.  The health care team had been in an out all day taking blood, doing assessments, taking a swab for this and a swab for that.  Each time she would see one of us approach in our yellow gowns and masks she would get restless and fussy.

During that afternoon when I went in to do my hourly check she was alone again, sitting in her crib looking around.  I approached the crib and smiled through my mask and started rubbing her back. She looked at me with her big brown eyes and raised her arms.  At that moment I realized this dear child had likely not been cuddled or hugged much at all that day.  I picked her up and she clung to me with a fierce little grip and laid her head on my shoulder.  She would not let go.  After a few minutes she calmed down and just sat there in my arms.  I will never forget the feeling of this little one hugging me so.

It was humbling to share this moment and be there for her in this way. On my drive home I realized that this is what nursing means.  These precious moments flicker by us so quickly and often go unnoticed, but they are the foundation of everything nurses do.

Yours Nursingly,

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Iron sharpens iron...

Iron sharpens iron. This is talking about how the character of those we spend our time with will rub off on us and our character on them. You may be thinking, how on earth does this apply to nursing school? And yes, it may be a stretch but all I can do is speak from experience. I know firsthand that by surrounding yourself with friends who will push you to be the best you can be, support you, and encourage you (and by you doing the same for them), you will be able to manage the stresses of school and life more effectively and enjoy your experience. On the other hand, by doing the opposite and surrounding yourself with people who are "negative nancies" and not encouraging, your experience may not be as enjoyable.

I was able to live with other girls from my program, which was amazing because we understood the pressures and demands of the program and were able to be there for each other. As well, I have been able to develop close friendships, and through countless coffee and lunch dates have been able to talk about our successes and struggles and be a support and encouragement to one another.

Although I valued and cared for them dearly, I didn't fully understand how privileged I was to have this support until I moved home during my last year and was no longer able to walk across the hall and talk about my day, or drop by a friends house on the way home from school. I really missed them and had to work hard to overcome the distance. It then became about maintaining these friendships and building new ones.

For me, I have seen the value of surrounding myself with people who have inspired me to be a better person...not just a better student. And hopefully I have been able to do the same for them.

Who are you surrounded by? Who are you sharpening?

Yours Nursingly,

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Be well-rounded...

This concept is a pretty simple one, and no it's not encouraging the Freshman 15 many of us experience in first year. All I want to express with this point is try and do more than eat, sleep, breath school. Get involved. Whether it's with an intramural sports team, a club on campus, or something else extracurricular, take the time to get involved with something other than school. Why? Because you never know what doors might open up for you in the future because of the things you are getting involved with or doing as you go through school. Even more importantly, living a balanced life filled with many different things is healthy. It spices life up a bit!

Yours Nursingly,

Monday, May 3, 2010

65 hours + no sleep = BAD IDEA

So here it is...the typical time management speech. We all know that managing your time wisely really helps keep the stress level down, but truthfully how many of us actually do? I'm going to keep this pretty short as the title of this post is pretty clear. I wish I could say I learned this time management lesson the first time, but this is not the case. The moral of the story is leaving three final term papers (all of which were due within 48 hours of each other) until the very last possible moment to start writing is not a healthy choice and can result in absurd behaviour like going without sleep for 65 hours. Let me tell you...your mind starts doing funny things when you've been without sleep for this long :) Unfortunately it took me until fourth year to really understand how good time management makes your life (and I have to assume the lives of those around you) a lot more enjoyable!!

Anyways...I say all that to say be kind to yourself...sometimes we self inflict the school stress upon ourselves by wasting precious time away and not being diligent with our time. Maybe I am the only one who has had this problem but then I remember my all-nighter buddies and know this isn't so.

Yours Nursingly,

Monday, April 26, 2010

Refuel. Refresh. Rejuvenate.

This concept is about taking time for yourself. Things like treating yourself to a mani or pedi, reading a book, taking a nap, going for a walk, hanging out with friends...basically doing things on a regular basis that will refuel, refresh, or rejuvenate you. Self care is one of the most important things anyone can do. I know it sounds selfish, but realistically if you don't take time to relax and are mentally and physically spent, you will not be able to be effective and excellent at the things you do. Learning this as a student is essential in enjoying your nursing school experience, but even more importantly starting a habit of good self-care is something that will infinitely help you when you start working as a nurse. This lesson is definitely one in which I have so much left to learn.

Don't forget to take some time for you!

Yours Nursingly,

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Get inspired...

Have you ever had that giddy feeling after you've heard a really good speaker, watched a movie that pulled at your heart strings, or read a book that instilled some passion in you? Not the post-chick flick giddy feeling, but the one where you feel invincible and ready to take on the world along with your wildest dreams?

Lately I've been getting this feeling a lot. I don't know if it has anything to do with being finished university, but I feel so motivated and inspired to pursue my dreams and make a difference. I know the "I want to make a difference in the world" tends to be cliche, but I feel that most people if they look deep deep within themselves, would find there is a part of them that has this desire. I firmly believe that everyone has a purpose and something that only they can contribute to the world and finding out what that is can often be the most frustrating search of all.

It is essential to get inspired because often as nurses we give, give, give so much and don't necessarily receive much in return. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but what I am saying is it can often leave our emotional, mental, spiritual "tanks" feeling empty. When we are exhausted and spent it becomes easier to forget the reason why we do what we do or why we are striving for whatever dream. Purposefully taking time to do something that will refuel the fire or fill the tank will help keep our passion for whatever we are doing alive. There really isn't one thing that you can do to be inspired as it will be different for each one of us...whatever it is, take some time to rejuvenate that passion and remind yourself of the reason why you are doing what you do.

When I was in third year I was running myself so thin and very stressed. If someone had asked me the reason I went into nursing or if I was excited to be in the program I honestly have no idea what I would have told them. My mom had bought me the book A Nurse's Story by Tilda Shalof just because she thought it looked like a good read. During my third year I reread this book as well as another book she wrote called The Making of a Nurse. These two books helped me remember why I love the profession of nursing, helped me refocus and get through the rest of a very tough year, and ultimately inspired me to become a nurse like Tilda. My view of nursing was changed forever and I can't begin to describe all the lessons I learned. Her stories and the wisdom she gained from her experiences helped me to see nursing for what it truly can be and I fell in love with the profession all over again.

Since then, I've taken more time to "get inspired" in all sorts of different ways. Letting yourself be inspired takes time and practice, but I assure you it is worth it and so necessary to continue to strive for excellence in whatever you do. With that I ask...have you been inspired lately?

Yours Nursingly,

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Take time to smell the roses...

Let's take some time and think about what it means to do more than "just survive" nursing school. I believe that your nursing educational experience should be one full of learning, growing, and transformation. I feel that by just "getting through it" you may miss out on many opportunities and not realize the full potential of what nursing school can be.

The nurse you are when you enter the program is 100 times different than the one you are when you leave. Similar to life, I feel that nursing school is a journey where you discover who you are as a nurse through ups and downs and through the many opportunities you are given. So how then, amongst the piles of papers and assignment, late nights and early mornings, and the stress we all feel at times can we fully enjoy our nursing education?? 

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have some helpful hints and essentials that I think are crucial in doing more than "just surviving". They are in no particular order, and you can take them or leave them...these are just valuable lessons I learned. 

Let's begin with the first one...take time to smell the roses.

Do you ever get that feeling that life is going by at an uncontrollable pace and sometimes you wish it could all stop for a moment so you can enjoy a moment or catch your breath? I think "taking time to smell the roses" may be one of the most important ideas to keep in mind as you go through the program, and life in general. Too often I find myself working to achieve the highest mark or trying to be involved with every extracurricular activity I can or working at a job. I seem to want to do everything and be involved with as much as I can. My days are often planned to the minute, starting early and ending late, and my down time consists of the minutes before my head hits the pillow. Even then I find my mind racing about what the next day holds. This past year I packed my schedule so tight it felt like I hardly had room to breathe. Even though I was doing things I loved, because I was run so thin I no longer enjoyed what I was doing and wasn't as effective as I could have been. When I came to this realization I was disappointed that at times I didn't fully enjoy what was going in my life. I was too focused on getting the next thing done, whatever it was. When I was finally able to slow down and make a conscious effort to enjoy life, I found myself being more effective and enjoying what I was doing.

I know it's easier said than done, but taking time to stop and enjoy the exciting things that are going on in your life whether it be personal or academically is crucial. What's the point of doing all sorts of things if you never have time to enjoy them?

Yours Nursingly,

Monday, April 12, 2010

It's more than just surviving...

We all have probably seen or heard the sayings "nursing school: bootcamp for your brain" or "Hey, you look exhausted you must be in nursing school" or "I'm a nursing student, can I have my life back?", and even though they may be close to the truth...shouldn't we be doing more than just surviving our nursing school experience?

Here are a few helpful hints and nursing school essentials I will elaborate on over the next few days that I think are crucial for doing more than 'just surviving' your nursing school experience.

1. Take time to smell the roses.
2. Get inspired.
3. Refuel. Refresh. Rejuvenate.
4. 65 hours + no sleep = BAD IDEA.
5. Be well-rounded.
6. Iron sharpens iron.
7. Look up.
8. Never say never.

Now I know these are all fairly corny and sound slightly ridiculous...but just give me some time to explain myself. You can do more than just survive nursing school! I promise!

Yours Nursingly,

The journey of becoming a nurse...

After four years of hard work, determination and countless sleepless nights I have finally completed nursing school. I've been in a state of euphoria for days now and I can't believe university has come to an end. Looking back over the last four years and thinking about the person I was entering first year and the person I am now, I cannot help but be amazed by how much I have changed. Going through this program has taught me so many crucial life lessons that will stay with me forever.

I'm sure we all can look back on different situations in our lives and wish we could've known then what we know now, but that's not how life works. It's a journey, a process, a fight, an adventure, and it's such a wonderful thing. The experiences we have, the struggles and the victories, shape who we become. My hope is from reading this you will be encouraged and learn from some of my experiences. If my experiences and what I have learned can help even one person or encourage them or bring a smile to their face, I am satisfied. I am by no means an expert or renowned scholar, but sometimes the simplest lessons or gentle reminders are the ones that can help the most. Enjoy :)

Yours Nursingly,