A Plethora of Options

I love the word “plethora”.  Watch The Three Amigos – it’s pure genius. Okay, now back to business…

One of the (many) reasons I am so jazzed about a future in nursing is that I can do so much with it!  As someone who is admittedly a bit restless and A.D.D. about life in general, I love the idea of possessing the skills that will allow me to move throughout different settings, work with different kinds of people, and participate in the health care delivery system in such a variety of ways throughout my career.  I can provide direct care, I can manage, I can lead, I can teach.  What could be better than a vocation that allows me so much opportunity and so many jobs?  This is especially true for my program because the graduate component will result in our certification as Clinical Nurse Leaders (CNLs), a new role in advanced practice nursing that endows us with the skills to be problem solvers and team leaders and yet still be in direct contact with clients on a daily basis.  Yesterday I met with my academic advisor and we spent a lot of time talking about the boundless opportunities for nurses, and for CNLs in particular.

There is one requirement, however, that is non-negotiable as I navigate my future.  Relationships.  One of the major reasons I went into nursing was because I saw the difference that a positive relationship with a nurse could make.  My father’s palliative care nurse cried with us when he died and wrote us a beautiful letter about her care and affection for each one of us.  My little cousin’s NICU nurse was at her funeral, months after she had been discharged from the hospital.  I want to be a nurse because I do want to be emotionally invested in the welfare and well-being of my clients and their loved ones.  My previous work was with children with special needs and their families, and I prided myself on the fact that I got to know them all.  Although I have been repeatedly warned about the dangers of getting “too close,” all the great nurses I have known have done exactly that.  Gotten too close and therefore showed us their humanity and their genuine concern and respect for the fact that life is full of both joy and pain.

So that pretty much throws out the window any type of trauma or emergency nursing.  Although I do love a bit of adrenaline to get the blood pumping in the morning, and blood/guts/gore don’t seem to faze me, it’s not enough to keep me going.

The options it leaves behind have the potential to be emotionally and psychologically draining from the perspective of many.  Hospice, critical care, oncology, rehab?  God forbid I would want to be around so much pain and death!

On the other hand, it is an enormous gift and a privilege to be allowed into some of life’s most vulnerable moments, to be trusted by people whose emotions are on a roller coaster and who are reaching out for something meaningful.

God forbid?

No, thank God.

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