Recognizing National Nurses Week

National Nurses Week starts on May 6th and ends on May 12th which is Florence Nightingale's birthday. Florence Nightingale is viewed as the founder of modern-day nursing. National Nurses Week is about taking the time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of nurses and take time to acknowledge the accomplishments of nurses in our healthcare systems, schools and in our communities!

We know that many of our community members are nurses themselves or have friends and family members who work in the field of nursing and we want to thank you for all you do! At AtopicDermatitis.net we are lucky that one of our site moderators worked as a Registered Nurse for many years. In honor of National Nurses Week we asked Liz to share more about how she landed in the field of nursing, what being a nurse has meant to her and a little more about her career as a practicing RN.

Childhood dreams of becoming a nurse

Since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a Nurse! I cannot remember wanting to grow up and ever becoming something else! As a very young teenager, I was accepted into a program at a busy metropolitan hospital and given the opportunity to work as a junior nursing assistant. Loving the role from day one, I worked every weekend and summers to my sheer delight, despite the fact that, at that time, the minimum wage was $1.50 per hour!

My career began, as most nurses start off, as an eager Staff Nurse on a busy 40-bed male medical ward. In my assignment, patients were primarily the homeless men in a downtown area of a bustling city. That experience was truly a baptism by fire to nursing, medicine and life in general! It sparked a lifelong passion of service to others. As well, memories of the charming patients and forever friends I hold close in my heart.

Training to become a nurse

My training to become a nurse has always had a profound effect on my behavior - on and off duty. Principles and protocols learned many years ago still motivate and inspire me to strive daily. I credit my nursing training as creating the fabric of my life - both personal and professional. I enjoy riches beyond my imagination all because I entered the incredible field of nursing, starting with meeting my husband! The greatest pride and joys of my life was becoming a mother to three phenomenal children! Add to that the contagion of the nursing profession and its wonderful aspect of flexibility, I tried to juggle family and career, as so many of nurses do.

Wanting to increase family time, the field of School Nursing for me began as a temporary experience; I started as a School Nurse for the local School District. Scheduling was even more complementary to raising children. All the while, continuing to think of this as a temporary spot in my nursing career, I soon found myself delightfully working for many many years in the School Health Offices - advocating, caring, counseling, chronic care, first aid, educating, medicating, long-term planning, medical referrals - for students, staff and families. Dealing with my own medical maladies enhanced the care I rendered. It enabled me to have a third eye and ear to offer and assist those seeking help.

Career experiences as a nurse

When the days in the School Health Offices were like a small pediatric emergency room, with every interaction on every day, an inner voice from my training days would center me and repeat, “When these students see their family, how will they speak of your care? Make it so you are proud of what they will feel and say; what you would want your own children to take away from a nurse who cared for them.” Looking back, time really does fly when one is having fun. Even with hindsight, I would not have changed a day, (well, maybe 1 or 2) because each adventure brought me to the present with the memories of a lifetime to cherish. Each person who touched my days, every child, family, friend, co-worker and administrator, all added to a little girl's dream and the awesome journey in the greatest profession.

How are you celebrating the nurses in your life this week!?

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