A sacred core characteristics exist in you, the nurse and it’s tied to why you chose to become a nurse in the first place. This characteristic is difficult to describe precisely because it’s more than your knowledge or ability required to care for patients. Instead, it transcends expertise and ability. I have heard it said it’s as if you are using your “being” like a bandage to care for the sick and suffering. Nursing is truly a calling, which is why not everyone can become a nurse.

Patients and caregivers affected daily by nurses like you who care for them and their loved ones are deeply appreciative, even if they can’t tell you this at the time. To realize this, one only has to hear some of the stories of what nurses have done for their patients and caregivers, using their nursing skills, incredible kindness, and “being” to care. Nursing chooses nurses, not vice versa. So, what makes nurses so unique?

Vega and Hayes describe nurses as requiring the most up-to-date clinical skills, compassion, and the ability to communicate well. In a nutshell, this is the art and science of nursing.

The ability to perform highly technical skills, communicate well, and be compassionate are commendable attributes in anyone, but to have all three polished in one person is remarkable. But that is what is expected of you, the nurse. That is what you are using daily in your jobs.

Never forget you are a highly skilled scientist and artist at the same time. As such, you deserve the respect and appreciation of your patients and other healthcare providers who work with you. Remember, it’s OK to say no to unacceptable behavior from patients and other care providers who may be unclear about your value to the healthcare team. If you’re in this position and are getting nowhere, speaking with your charge nurse or leader can help you establish strong professional boundaries necessary for your challenging work. 

Never forget, you’ve got this!

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