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Whenever we finish an experience, we tend to look back on it for many reasons. For example, we may look back after graduating from college to remember what classes we liked or friends we made. We revisit childhood in our minds to think of the really good times we had and what it was like growing up. And, when we retire, we will probably think back to what we learned, loved, and liked about our careers.

At Friendship Village Tempe, a retirement community in Arizona, there are forty-five retired nurses. They took some time to tell us what they would love for everyone—from new nurses to experienced ones—to know.

“Everyone today must acquire knowledge regarding their own health in order to make wise decisions.”
—Mary Lou Adler, RN, BSN

“Being a nurse uses all the knowledge and skills that you have. Deciding to be a nurse means you have not decided anything yet, because there are so many opportunities in the field.”
—Nancy Dolphin, PhD, BSN

“Problem solving skills can be transferred from bedside care to international leadership in addressing and advocating for health and human rights.”
—Joan A. Newth, RN, BSN

“Nurses can be advocates for family and friends when they are hospitalized to ensure safe, appropriate, compassionate, and ethical care.”
—Rosemary Kessler, RN, BSN, MED

“Since Florence Nightingale established the foundation for nursing, our profession has continued and continues to evolve as an art and a science.”
—Joan A. Newth, RN, BSN

“The number one thing that I would want you to know is that laughter is the best medicine. The number two thing is—that laughter is the best medicine!”
—Marilyn Lehwalder, RN, BSN

The following are from retired nurses who preferred to be anonymous:

“It will never get well if you pick it.”

“Marry a doctor.”

“Old nurses never die, they just lose their—patients—patience.”

What advice would you share with your nursing colleagues? Let us know in the comments!

Michele Wojciechowski

Michele Wojciechowski is an award-winning writer and author of the humor book Next Time I Move, They’ll Carry Me Out in a Box.

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