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Celebrating Nursing

by Judith Mathews, RN, Ph.D.

"This is the Age of Aquarius," the zodiac symbol of a man carrying water to drink. How appropriate to call this year the "Age of Aquarius" of nursing, in light of the September 11 tragedy and the severity of the shortage of nursing. The country needs our expertise and commitment more than ever and we need each other to fulfill our responsibilities to the communities that we serve.

Nursing is an awesome profession if one perceives it as a calling, not as a job. The dedication that nursing demand needs a committed individual with a sense of caring and hope. Nursing is a privilege that is granted by each patient who needs our expertise to become well and/or maintain health and well being.

It is time to celebrate who we are and what we do! There should never be a moment that we regret the years of practicing this art form. Nurses need to celebrate our accomplishments; we need to sit back and reflect the difference that we make in peoples' lives.

Nurses have been given a gift, the gift of patient caring and ministering to people. People need us in every facet of illness and health. The greatest joy in this profession is to witness individuals' restoration to health because of our efforts, and the thank you from the family for giving ourselves to the commitment of recovery.

So let's sit back a moment and reflect and evaluate what we do and do well in our profession. To celebrate nursing just a day or a week is not enough; we must commemorate nursing every day all of the time!

How many times have you . . .
  • cried with a family who just lost a loved one
  • swaddled a newborn that is trembling from withdrawal of substance abuse
  • taught the family how to manage at home after discharge
  • researched a problem in patient care and you improved that quality of care
  • written a nursing care plan to include all the essentials of individualized care
  • attended an in-service education program to update your practice
  • voluntarily worked overtime so that clients would be safely cared for in the midst of the nursing shortage
  • rocked a pediatric toddler when he is sobbing for his/her mommy/daddy
  • exhausted yourself physically and mentally by caring for more patients because a nurse called out ill
  • returned to school to prepare yourself for a health system that demands the knowledge for the complexity of human lives and family within a community.
  • screamed with joy when parents had their first child after years of infertility.
  • wiped the brow of someone who is dying of cancer with a cool cloth.
  • met clients innermost needs that encompass mind and soul
  • mentored young nurses into the profession
  • laid on hands and deeply touched a human life
Nursing is priceless! The twenty-four hours a day care is a prime factor in the lives of human beings. The health system cannot do without us. The years of education and practice are rigorous and you must applaud yourself for your accomplishments.

  Geriatric Nursing
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