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,