Congratulations! You’ve just completed the 1st leg of your journey to becoming a competent and compassionate nurse. Getting through nursing school is a HUGE accomplishment!!! Congrats...you've earned the right to call yourself NURSE. However, with this title comes expectations with regards to competence and compassion.
I’m not sure you realize this but competence is not a destination – it’s a journey. Successful nurses know... that when you’re done with nursing school, you ain’t done cookin’ yet! You have really only just begun.
You see, the public expects their nurses to be competent – period. They don’t care if you’ve been a nurse for 1 week, 1 year, 10 years or 100! They don’t care if you have a diploma, associates degree, bachelors, masters or even a doctoral degree. They EXPECT their nurses to be competent.
As a graduating nurse, you are already on the path; my recommendation for you is that you STAY on the path.
I study human behavior and in particular, success. The #1 key characteristic of successful people is that they commit to personal development – independent of their job description, employer or academic expectations, or whether or not they are getting paid for it. They get on the path to life long learning and stay there.
You can be the most competent nurse EVER but if you don’t have compassion, we don’t want you here.
Here’s the definition of compassion
It’s the sympathetic concern for the suffering of others with the desire to alleviate it.
When you think about the definition of compassion, it can easily be exchanged for the definition of a nurse.
I’m not sure we can adequately teach compassion. It’s not something you can learn on an online module or from a text book. You’re not going to find a question on the NCLEX asking about the symptoms of compassion or how to treat "dis"compassion.
Yet, when patients come to the hospital, they EXPECT their nurses to be competent but what they want from us is our compassion.
As you celebrate your amazing accomplishments (and they are amazing), just remember that now you’ve joined a profession that the public adores, but with that adornment comes responsibility. Stay on the path to continuous learning to stay competent and extend compassion every day in every way.
And who is the public? We are too.
Thank you for choosing nursing as a profession. Welcome!