Having a patient say they want to do what YOU do, or receiving Facebook friend invitations from their family are among the happiest side effects of nursing excellence. The first-hand experience of making a real difference in peoples’ lives is one of the main reasons bedside nurses love their incredibly hard — and profoundly important job.
The nurses and other staff at University of California Davis Health Burn Institute Regional Burn Center will remember a recent patient and his loved ones long after the 92 thank-you cards are stored away (though as you can see, the cards are awesome too!). And when their former patient, Mexican truckdriver J. Guadalupe Romo Fonseca says he wishes he was a nurse—after spending some 8 months fighting through third-degree burns, a stroke, and the loss of his leg—it is evident that he had some truly inspiring caregivers.
“He pulled through so many times…”
During any other holiday season, truck driver J. Guadalupe Romo Fonseca would be traveling Northern California roadways, hauling heavy loads alongside FedEx, Amazon, and UPS drivers.
But this year, he’s off the road and thankful to be alive.
“For me, I was dead. I don’t remember nothing for six months,” Fonseca recalled.
That was his reality in November 2020 after a propane stove tank explosion tossed him outside his mobile home in Chico. The Guanajuato, Mexico native was making local hauls before his planned return to family in Mexico for Christmas.
Instead, he spent the holidays — and 235 days total — in the Firefighter’s Burn Institute Regional Burn Center at UC Davis Health. His wife, Berta, and their sons Silvestre and Jesus flew in and remained by his side. Alicia and Carlos, his daughter and other son, were not able to be there in person, but their minds and hearts were with their father.
“When my dad’s boss called and told us about dad’s serious burns on his body, we were just like, ‘Oh my God! Maybe it’s not that bad,’” said Silvestre Romo Llamas. “He is the strongest man I ever met. For me, seeing him like that was hard. It was heartbreaking.”
For the next six months, Fonseca drifted in and out of consciousness while recovering from third-degree burns over 60% of his body. He suffered a stroke, lost his right leg, experienced multiple bouts of sepsis, and underwent more than 10 surgeries.
“Twice I told the family to say their goodbyes. At times, it looked really bad. And then he pulled through. He pulled through so many times,” said Marianne MacLachlan, RN, one of Fonseca’s nurses.
“They were taking care of my dad, but also taking care of us.”
While Fonseca fought for his life, his family found support in MacLachlan and the team of nurses, therapists, and support staff in the Burn Center.
“It was so much love they were showing to my dad. They had great teamwork,” Llamas explained. “They were taking care of my dad but also taking care of us. They were angels for us.”
The Burn Center team consists of more than 25 experts: physicians, nurses, researchers, and administrative personnel who support patients and families in the largest burn treatment center in Northern California.
While it’s their job to care for those with serious burn injuries, doctors and nurses believe their role extends beyond the patient. Tina Palmieri, chief burn surgeon, says that “Patients and families spend many days in the hospital, with multiple operations, dressing changes, and physical therapy sessions. We work with them to envision what the patient can become and then help them get there. Our goal goes beyond survival: it is about helping the patient live a quality life.”
“It’s amazing what you can do for people when they trust you.
In 20 years, I’ll remember them. These are the people who stick with you.”
—Marianne MacLachlan, RN, UC Davis Health
“When you have a patient who’s very sick and not interactive with you, you do all you can to care for them, but you’re also caring for the family. They become the patient, too,” added MacLachlan.
MacLachlan added that of the many patients she has tended to over the years, this family was special.
“I’ve never seen such a beautiful connection with a family. Regardless of whether you speak the same language or not, compassion and love are the same,” she said.
It took a village—of 92 nurses, therapists, and physicians. And his son thanked each one of them with a personal card.
As the only nurse on the unit fluent in Spanish, Adrian Montano, RN bonded with the family and helped them navigate every challenge they faced.
“Everything that could have gone wrong did. But they stood by him and were there every day and very appreciative of staff,” Montano said. “You don’t see families like this very often, not to that extent. Every day they took the time to interact with everyone and get to know everyone.”
Once Fonseca was out of the woods and his discharge was imminent, his family surprised those who had cared for them with an unexpected thanks — handmade cards, created by Jesus Romo Llamas, for the 92 nurses, therapists, physicians and various other staff who tended to their needs.
“The cards were just a little token of appreciation for all the intensive work I saw happening in the ICU.
Staff there gives everything they have so patients and family have another opportunity to be together. I wish I could give more than cards back.”
—Jesus Fonseca, son of J. Guadalupe
“Every so often we’ll get something from a family. But it’s very unusual for them to go out of their way to make something individual for everyone,” Montano said.
“It’s amazing what you can do for people when they trust you,” added MacLachlan. “In 20 years, I’ll remember them. These are the people who stick with you.”
“I’ve never liked hospitals to be honest, but now I’m thinking about being a nurse”
The compassion and care from UC Davis Health nurses not only paved the way for Fonseca’s recovery, they made an indelible impression on Silvestre Romo Llamas and his future.
“I’ve never liked hospitals to be honest, but now I’m thinking about being a nurse,” he said. “It’s incredible how you feel in this situation in such vulnerable moments. I want to help people.”
More than a year after that fateful day when an explosion rocked this family’s world, Silvestre Romo Llamas is taking a home health aide course and Fonseca is learning everything again.
“Since I got out of the hospital, everything was new for me again,” Fonseca said. “I’m doing a lot better. I got my prosthesis and I’m taking my first steps.”
Fonseca says his future, most likely, will not include driving a big rig. He hopes it includes a return home. But for now, gratitude: “This Christmas has special meaning, to be thankful of everything that’s happened through the year.”
Now they look forward to next year when they can return home to Mexico. And they stay in touch through Facebook with the team who healed them.
Are you a “Class of Covid-19” nursing student or grad?Share your experience with your peers, and tell us what it was like to be a student at your school during a global pandemic.Did the experience affect your career goals? Has it changed or reinforced your ideas about what it means to be a nurse? Did it change your life? To share your story with other nurses, students, and prospective nursing students, submit a 400-800 word post to [email protected].
Walking into my first day of Widener University’s accelerated second-degree nursing program, I had zero idea what to expect. Here I was, a 29-year-old military veteran, returning to academia for a 15-month program, in a field that I felt I did not belong. My first degree in political science quickly proved to be unhelpful for the type of career advancement I envisioned. After working as a political staff member for my state representative for several months, I realized it was not for me. I desired to help people. Bring them solace from their pain and to truly impact someone’s life; not shake hands and make inconsequential small talk.
Adapting to a nursing program as a second-degree student was more difficult than I expected, and I learned the hard way in my first semester that I needed to prioritize my studying. It took nights of repetition, a math tutor, and the support of my professor, but I was able to not only stay in the program but succeed academically. When it came time for in-person clinicals in summer 2021, I continued to grow my confidence and skill set. Getting out there in the hospital setting and viewing firsthand what a powerful role we serve, reinforced my drive to go into the nursing profession, and reassured me that I had made the right decision.
I will never forget a particular patient that I cared for during one of my first Med-Surgical rotations at Hershey Medical Center. She was in her 50s, presenting in the hospital with rib pain related to stage IV lung cancer. Just by looking at her, I could tell that she had been through a lot in her life, aside from her diagnosis, and was struggling to hold it together. With years of enduring my own personal trauma paired with military intelligence and corrections training, I have become very good at reading people and their body language; I knew there was something more to this woman.
Though our time together was brief, I was able to quickly build a rapport with her and comfort her for the duration of a routine blood draw. What may have been a simple procedure for most people quickly turned into a physical and emotional struggle for her. In between squeezing my hand and sobbing loudly, she shared with me her years of domestic abuse that left both physical scars and irreversible emotional trauma.
When it was all over, she thanked me for listening and apologized profusely for her behavior. I reassured her that it is my job to be here and listen. She seemed so grateful that someone would take the time out of their day to simply care. Hearing her testimony and bearing witness to her scars made me take a moment to appreciate where I have been. My past was nothing compared to what this woman had gone through and I was inspired by her story.
Throughout the morning, I was sure to be attentive to her needs. She felt nauseated from her chemotherapy medicine and ran the call bell often. Sometimes it was for the emesis basin to throw up in, pain medication, or to get cleaned up from voiding on herself. I did not look at her as a chore or just another patient, I just did my best to make her as comfortable as possible.
I went home that day a better person because I met her. I will never forget what she taught me and although she will never know, her memory will follow me throughout the rest of my nursing career. I never want to look at my patients as their diagnosis or just another body, because each one of them has a story to tell, just like her. I am thankful I was led to this opportunity for a new career and although I might struggle and the process is strenuous, the lives I can impact will always make it more than worth it.
This is the second part of our interview with Nurse of the Week Richard Onyait, RN. Richard was an orthopedic clinician in Uganda (where a clinician is equivalent to a PA in the United States), when at age 32 he had to flee the country to protect himself and his family. He came to the US six years ago, determined to start a new life, and no less determined to continue caring for patients.
After arriving in Wisconsin to provide live-in care for a Madison resident, he used his first few paychecks to enroll in a CNA program. From there, he continued caring for his live-in patient while also working full-time in an assisted-living facility. Once he had saved enough, he enrolled in the BSN program at Herzing University-Madison, where he continued as a live-in caregiver while studying for his BSN. He graduated in December 2020, and is now working in the ED of a Madison hospital. Click here to see Part One of the DailyNurse interview with Richard.
DailyNurse: Now, you were an orthopedic clinician long before you enrolled in nursing school. So, during your four years at Herzing U-Madison, the classes must have covered a number of things that you already knew from experience and your original training. I’m just wondering, in addition to the value of earning your BSN and license, were there times when you thought, “I’m glad for myself that I’m studying this and learning this?”
RichardOnyait: Yes, there is a lot that I learned. I would like to say I had the basic template, but I needed to build on it. My prior training gave me the template, as it were, for nursing, anything in health care, physical therapy, as a physician, and so on.
I had to shift my thought process to a nursing perspective. Because during training, even during exams, I had the instinct to go for the physician’s options, which are not the nursing options, and I struggled with that. But eventually, I trained my mind to think and act exactly like a nurse. It’s part of the basic template of keeping the patient safe, professionalism, respect, integrity, compassion, empathy, beneficence, veracity. I just needed to put [those elements] in the right place and using them as a nurse.
DN: The pandemic started during your last year of school? How did that affect your senior year?
Richard: Well, it was an interesting one, because I was doing a mental health clinical, and they had to stop the in-person, clinical sessions. We were almost at the end of it, with maybe two or three weeks to the end of the clinical. And then we had to transition from in-person clinical to virtual clinicals.
My school created a program that still allowed us to do some clinical work, except it was virtual, which was a big shift. Because I love the interaction with my patients. It’s beyond just administering medication. It’s a relationship. There is something every patient has that is unique to them. Just like each of us, has something unique in us. And if you are able to interact with a patient, you can create a harmony or harness that inner being in them. And I missed that a lot during the virtual clinic. Because you are talking to a screen image, and you miss the human presence of the patient. In person, you can see their feelings, and they can feel your emotions too.
There is a therapeutic occurrence that communicates beyond just ‘I have your ciprofloxacin to help with the bacteria that’s affecting you.’ When you say those words, there is an inner being in you, that speaks to the silent inner being of that patient. And it creates healing. So this is something that I really appreciate during in-person clinicals.
DN: Can you recall one of your most meaningful interactions with a patient?
Richard: Oh, yeah. During my last internship rotation, about two months ago, I had a patient in the oncology unit who decided to leave against medical advice. She signed the form and was ready to leave my preceptor. I tried to talk to her and explain the ins and outs of leaving against medical advice, that you won’t be able to access this, you’re going to miss that. Still, she said that she was leaving.
DN: Why did she want so desperately to leave?
Richard: Well, she was frustrated. They were doing all these tests but couldn’t seem to figure out exactly what was going on with her. She felt like she just needed to GO. But she had many things going on with the cancer. She had respiratory issues.
So, I asked my preceptor, ‘Can I go in and give it another shot?’ And she said, ‘She’s all yours.’ I knocked at the door, thinking it was gonna take 10-15 minutes, but we talked for an hour. Somehow, she opened up about how she felt, and I shared some of my own personal experiences, telling her, ‘Hey, we’ve had a lot of difficult times, but you have come about five steps along your own journey. We don’t know how many steps are left ahead. But you can choose to take those five steps back and go back to square one, by leaving. And then you’ll have to start all over—if you’re lucky enough to start again—and you will start from zero. Or you can choose to build on the five steps you have already taken. Take one more, and hope that that is the last one and take the next one. And hope that is the last one and take the next one and just keep building on it. Because you don’t know how many more you have left to go. But we know that if you take the next one, it’s going to make it better. And the next one will make it better. And every day you take that step it keeps getting better, until you are at a point where you actually are good to go in a very good and stable situation.”
DN: And did she stay, or did she go?
Richard: Eventually she still decided to leave. I escorted her to her car and everything. And I told her, ‘You know, if you can get back here, please do, because we need to take care of you and help you feel better.’
She went home and in two days, she had to call an ambulance to pick her up. She made it back to the same unit, and I was able to interact with her again. And one thing I remember her saying, is ‘The thing that brought me back was not the medication, but the words that you told me. That’s what gave me the strength and courage to come back and seek treatment.’ And she bought me a box of chocolates [and after some back-and-forth, the bemused Richard gratefully accepted it]. And she kept telling me, ‘just be the person that you are. What you say speaks to me in a special way. Pills can’t do that.’
DN: That’s why people trust nurses so much. When you need it most, their special combination of communication skills, empathy, and emotional IQ can lift you up. And so many patients must feel like that woman.
Richard: It happens everywhere. It happens in the ER, all the time. For instance, with patients who have been brought in after an overdose. The way the nurse interacts with them [can be healing] and remind them that their lives matter, they’re not just ‘drug overdose cases.’ We don’t always have a lot of time, for sure. But I always believe there is a silent talk that goes on between the nurse and the patient, even when you just offer somebody a pill. ‘Hey, I brought your Tylenol for the pain.’ The way you say and offer it can help heal the person as much as the pill itself.
“In life we all have a purpose for ourselves, but you also have a purpose as part of humanity. We have to do something special for each person, for the greater good of humanity. And for me, I find my purpose in caring for people whose lives are challenged by sickness, disease, disability. That’s where I fit in, in the jigsaw. I don’t fit anywhere else.”
DN: How is the COVID situation in Madison? Have they told you to expect when you start on Monday?
Richard: Well, the numbers have fairly been on a downward trend, but I expect to take care of COVID patients. The interesting thing about COVID is, when it struck, it kind of reminded me of the Ebola epidemic in Africa.
There is a lot of similarity. And I remember having this conversation with the gentleman I was taking care of when he was asking me, ‘Why do you want to go out and be an ED nurse in the middle of a pandemic?’ I told him, one of the things I feel I do best is helping people stay focused or stay calm and helping them recover in those moments.
I mean, in life we all have a purpose for ourselves, but you also have a purpose as part of humanity. We have to do something special for each person, for the greater good of humanity. And for me, I find my purpose in caring for people whose lives are challenged by sickness, disease, disability. That’s where I fit in, in the jigsaw. I don’t fit anywhere else.
Our latest Nurse of the Week has a truly American story. A freshly graduated BSN from Herzing University-Madison, he began work in January as an ED nurse in Madison, Wisconsin. Richard Onyait was born in Uganda and worked there as an orthopedic clinician (roughly equivalent to a PA in the US). Six years ago, Richard came to be regarded as a dissident by authorities and was forced to flee the country for the safety of himself and his family. Upon his arrival in the US, he decided to become a nurse. DailyNurse spoke with Richard shortly after he took his NCLEX. To see the second part of this two-part interview, click here or use the link at the end of this post.
DailyNurse: So, how did the NCLEX go?
Richard: I was issued the license this morning.
DN: Congratulations! And you have a position already as an emergency department RN?
Richard: Yeah. They were basically waiting for my license. I will be starting on Monday.
DN: With your previous experience as an HCP, I guess you sort of knew you were going to pass the NCLEX.
Richard: Yes, I believed in myself.
DN: Do you still have family in Uganda?
Richard: Yes. I actually don’t have family in the US.
DN: Have you been going back to visit since you moved here?
Richard: I grew up in a city of about a million people. [Which we are concealing to protect his family in Uganda. -ed].
I was born an only child. And then somewhere along the way at 10 years old. I lost my dad. Which was part of the inspiration that drove me to study nursing and healthcare in general.
DN: What happened to your father?
Richard: Well, when I was 10 years old, my father was involved in a motor vehicle accident and sustained multiple injuries. He was treated at the local hospital. And it was during that time when the nurses took care of him that I was inspired by the compassion, the care, the love they showed in caring for him. Eventually, he succumbed to the injuries and passed on.
But that was where my inspiration came from to enter nursing school and study healthcare. So it was a painful moment for me to lose my dad, but it was also an inspirational moment that opened my eyes to serving humanity when they are broken down by illness, disease, accident, or old age. I like to call it the time that I received my calling into service.
“It was a painful moment for me to lose my dad, but it was also an inspirational moment that opened my eyes to serving humanity when they are broken down by illness, disease, accident, or old age. I like to call it the time that I received my calling into service.”
DN: You were only 10 years old?
Richard: Yeah. That wasa hard time. Because my father was my everything. He was the breadwinner at home. My father provided for everything I needed. From clothing to eating to going to school, he was a friend of mine. So it was a hard thing for me.
DN: At that at that age, too. You lost the person who just seemed to make the world safer.
Richard: (With some emotion) Yeah, it still brings tears to me sometimes. It’s a loss.
DN: So, you experienced two major life events at the same time, and when you grew up, you worked as an orthopedic clinician in Uganda. Did you work in your hometown?
Richard: No, I ended up working in the capital city, Kampala, at the National Referral Hospital.
DN: When and why did you decide to leave and come to the US?
Richard: Well, my journey to the US wasn’t one of choice. It was one of escaping the claws of a dictatorship that is currently ravaging Uganda. I had to find another home, not by choice, but by necessity.
DN: It sounds almost inconceivable to someone who has never lived outside the US. We know that Uganda is a dangerous and repressive police state, but the reality is hard to fathom.
Richard: It’s a story that I have come to be able to verbalize, but I only share it with a few close friends I’ve made here. They’re the only ones who understand where exactly I came from and what happened to me.
But what is happening to many young men in Uganda is unthinkable, and some of them are not lucky like I was. It’s still happening. It’s not like it’s over. And, for the sake of the safety of my family, I prefer not to share too many details in public. Because my family still lives in Uganda and giving out a lot of those details would simply be too dangerous for them.
“What is happening to many young men in Uganda is unthinkable, and some of them are not lucky like I was. It’s still happening… And, for the sake of the safety of my family, I prefer not to share too many details in public.”
DN: Well, we won’t even mention the name of your hometown. But how did you end up in Wisconsin?
Richard: When I came to the US, I lived in Boston with the friend of an acquaintance who knew what had happened to me. It was the bitter cold winter of 2015. [Having come from Africa,] I remember feeling like my ears were dropping off, and the cold biting my fingers!
Then, I met a lawyer who suggested I go to the Boston Medical Center for refugee health and humanitarian rights. He recommended me and I set up an appointment. I went, and one young lady there, Jenna, even taught me how to dress for the cold. She was an amazing lady.
It took over a year and a half to get any work authorization. Oh, boy. I was craving to do something to contribute to the home that was hosting me, and I just didn’t have the means.
DN: So what was the very first job you got paid for here?
Richard: I was hired to take care of a gentleman who had MS. I got the job through a friend who was caring for that man but had to take some time off. Because he knew about my orthopedic degree, he asked if I could take over for him after I got work authorization.
Once I saved enough money, I enrolled at a small school in Framingham to get a CNA certificate. I was just trying to start. And this way I could work in an assisted living facility, which was more stable employment. So, I took the very first money I earned and paid it to the CNA school.
DN: Did you find a nursing home position?
Richard: Yes, in Framingham, a place called Valley Farm. I worked there for some time. This was also when I met the gentleman who ended up bringing me to Wisconsin.
DN: Nursing in assisted living is hard, hard work for not very much pay.
Richard: Yeah. It is hard work. I was trying to make ends meet, get a second job, so I applied to multiple agencies. One of them recommended me to this gentleman, who, unfortunately, had gotten shot in Wisconsin. He likes to say he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but he was shot in his face and got paralyzed from the neck down.
DN: How old was he at the time?
Richard: I think he was 50 years old. And he was doing rehabilitation at Spalding. So the agency referred me to his family in Boston, and I met with them and met him as well. He needed care during the day, about 8.00 am to 4.00 pm, while his family was at work. I took care of him during those hours, drove him to his rehabilitation appointments and other appointments that he had during the day. And during that time, of course, we interacted, built a relationship, and became friends. For a few months down the road, after finishing with him at 4.00 pm, I then went to the nursing home and worked from 7.00 pm to 7.00 am.
DN: (Sigh) Nurses seem tireless!
Richard: Well, I basically was not sleeping. I left his place at four. I went home, took a shower. You know, if I took a nap for an hour, and then got ready to go to the nursing facility and work.
DN: So, why did the gentleman end up going to Wisconsin—with you in tow?
Richard: That’s where he originally lived, and he wanted to go back to be closer to his daughter. He asked if I could go with him for two months, allow him to settle in and get a new caregiver, then train the new person, come back to Boston, and move on.
I hadn’t been anywhere [in the US] except Boston, so I told myself, give it a try. You never know what you find there. But after I came to Wisconsin on my two-month contract, he wasn’t able to find another caregiver. There was no one else to care for him and he was living alone.
DN: At that point, did you decide to settle down in Wisconsin and study for your BSN?
Richard: After two months, he said, ‘Hey, I still haven’t found somebody. Can we extend this agreement for another month or so, until I can find somebody? Or would you be willing to move to Wisconsin and live here for whatever time that you can be here with me?’ I thought about it, asked a few friends, and it felt like a move that would help me gain some independence… and get some sleep!
When the man asked me to stay, I told him that I have ambitions, so I don’t think I can [be his live-in caregiver] for the entirety of my life. I have a profession I’ve always loved. And by that time, I had told him what had happened to me in Uganda, and the situation that led me to the US. So he knew I would try and push myself and start going to school so I could do more.
So, I went back to Boston, to pick up the few things I had there, and came back to Wisconsin to live with him as a home caregiver. And that’s what I’ve been doing all through nursing school, until about two weeks ago, when I moved out.
DN: Did your home-care patient finally find someone who could maybe not replace you, but take care of him?
Richard: Yes; he found a person about a month ago. Since then, we’ve been training and going over the routines with the new caregiver – you know, everything that needs to be done until they get comfortable together.
DN: When you have a talent or affinity for something like nursing, you feel the need to exercise it.
Richard: Yes. I felt like there was a lot I could offer, but I didn’t have the credentials. Even when we went to appointments—for instance, one Sunday at a hospital appointment, his suprapubic catheter got blocked. The hospital was trying to find a urologist to come and change it, scan it, and so on.
As it was a Sunday, though, we waited a long time, and they kept going around. I was there looking at him, like, ‘this is something I can basically do in less than five minutes.’ But they are trying to find somebody and it’s taking hours. And I know that he’s in distress from the retention, is feeling uncomfortable, and I can see he’s a little sweaty. So I asked them, ‘hey, do you have any catheters around?’ They said, ‘we do have cutters, but the urologist has to do it.’ I told them, “Well, this is between me and my patient. He knows I can do it, and he trusts me. Can you just get me the catheter, and everything that I need? And we’ll do it on our own in our room.’
DN: What did they say?
Richard: They refused to do it, at first, but then [my patient] demanded it. Mm-hmm. Eventually, they succumbed. And they gave me a catheter, sterile gloves. I did it, and he was good. The next day, they went in and redid everything! But at least it was okay for the day.
DN: I thought they would have screamed about insurance and things like that.
Richard: Oh, there was a lot [of screaming]. I think my patient had to sign off on some documentation.
The beauty of nursing is that no two career paths are going to be exactly the same, which is why we get such a variety of responses whenever we ask nurses why they love being a nurse.
If you’re feeling a bit burned out in your current role or maybe just need some inspiration to remind yourself why you got into this amazing career in the first place, check out what some of your fellow nurses had to say about it.
1. “Nursing is a profession that keeps on giving, with endless opportunities for specialization. I became a nurse in 1982. At that time, the scope of work was much more narrow. Today, clinicians can choose exactly what kind of care they want to provide and where they want to provide it, such as in the home working with patients one-on-one.” —Kathy Pfeiffer, RN, BSN, Director of Pediatric Clinical Operations, BAYADA Home Health Care
2. “It’s great to be a nurse in 2018 because the health care system in the U.S. is changing rapidly and nurses are in a position to not only be part of this change, but to be leaders. The opportunities for nurses at this time in history have never been greater.” —Nancy Brook, MSN, RN, CFNP, Nurse Practitioner/Mentor, Stanford Healthcare
3. “I have never been bored as a registered nurse because I never know what the day will bring. With a nursing degree, you can go anywhere in the world and help anyone—it’s universal.” —Kelly Hebel, RN, BSN, MBA, Kaiser Permanente in Aurora, Colorado
4. “I have been a nurse for 24 years and currently work as a pediatric clinical manager. It’s a great time to be a nurse because as technology advances, so does the profession. Better technology leads to better patient care, and when you can make a difference, it’s easy to love what you do.” —Crystal Joan Lee, RN, Clinical Manager, BAYADA Home Health Care
5. “I appreciate the variety it offers. You can choose to nurse at the bedside, be a teacher and mentor, or manage in a hospital or clinic. You can roll out programs or coordinate patient care as part of a multidisciplinary team. I’m also grateful that I can be part of a dedicated team of people who all want the best for our patients.” —Catherine Parsons-Goudberg, RNC, MSN, Roseville Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente Northern California
6. “It’s great to be a nurse in 2018 because nurses are standing on the edge of greatness. The demand for nurses in the coming years is going to be incredible and will put us in a position to make positive changes for health care and our patients. The awesomeness of nursing is starting to be recognized by industries and policymakers that previously had overlooked us. We are starting to stand up and show our value in solving the problems we face in health care and innovation. The future of nursing is bright, so watch out!” —Joan Spitrey, RN, MSN, CCRN, TheNursingTeacher.com
7. “It’s great to be a nurse in 2018 because in a world that is changing so fast, a nurse is sometimes the one person to hold a hand and explain all that is happening in terms that the anxious—and sometimes confused—patient can understand.
Nursing is as old as time and ever-changing to meet the needs of complex patients. Nursing is part of the health care team that has the skills and compassion to make even the scariest of situations seem better.” —Kathy Reda, RN, BSN, Emergency Department, Newton-Wellesley Hospital