Nurses week this year has brought up some emotions for me. Historically, this week is not a big deal to us. Nurses are “celebrated” by their employer with some trinket or cookout acknowledging everything we do to make them look good. In reality, nothing we do is to make our employer look good. We take care of people, because that’s what we do. And most of us take great care of people.

For many of us, we take such great care of everyone else in our lives, that we don’t always take care of ourselves. We drag ourselves to work, sick and or tired, because we don’t want to let our colleagues down. Patient care needs to happen whether there are 4 nurses or 7. And we’ve all been there when it’s a 4 nurse day…

We support each other through some tough stuff. We see things that most people couldn’t imagine. It could break your heart. Or spirit. Or both. But we do take care of each other. We make jokes about things that other people would be appalled about. A necessary defense mechanism, otherwise we couldn’t do our jobs.

I think we all go through phases of burnout. But a great thing about nursing is that you can change specialties and still be a nurse. A different setting can give you a second wind. And you are still a nurse.

My journey the last five months has brought me to another fork in my professional road. I’m setting the stage for transition into the next phase of my career.  The career track I’m on is going to separate me from my nurse colleagues. But I am still a nurse. I will always be a nurse. And I will always support other nurses.

So my nurse colleagues, if you decide that you want out of the setting your in. I can help you. And I want to. Because I am a nurse. And nurses take care of each other.

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