· By Latoya Smith
Year of the Nurse
Happy New Year and welcome to the Year of the Nurse! We have all the "started at the bottom and now we're here" vibes. It's exciting! It's also perplexing. Here's to forging a more visible path for nurses.
I am surrounded by talented nurses who are enveloped with awesomeness. I see them or talk to them daily. They're my sisters. That's why I'm always taken aback when someone says: "You're a nurse? What do you do?". It's shocking to me because nursing is my world. But it's not everyone else's. It's been 200 years since the birth of Florence Nightingale. We've waited long enough. This is the time, the moment, and the year to shine a light on nurses!
Humble. This is a word that nurses thrive on. We wouldn't dare think of providing care and then expecting accolades. Nurses sometimes have issues balancing doing good works and then then taking credit for them in public. It just feels wrong sometimes. But it's not. You can be humble AND visible. If we want the world to know about the plight of nurses, we have to get out there. There is no way that the world will stand with us on issues of staffing shortages, abuses in the work place, pay, education, training, and patient care if they draw a blank or insert a media contrived idea of what a nurse is when they hear the word "nurse".
We've been here y'all! We've been working. We've been patient. And we've been changing the gain to improve the experience of the healthcare system from patients to providers. The only thing we have to do now, is to let everyone know! Share those awesome nurse posts on your timeline. Tag nurses in like posts. We are all very cognizant of HIPAA. However, don't forget to publicly pat yourself on the back. Welcome to the Year of the Nurse!