It was my 35th nursing reunion this last weekend. Okay, you can do the math. Not one of us is as young as we used to be. As I observed my classmates I began to wonder. What is it that makes a nurse stay in nursing for 35 years despite public outcries of short staffing, poor wages or long hours. It is definitely not the cap, now yellowed and dusty. Nor is it the gold pin that lies locked in the safety deposit box.
The new generation of nurses don’t want to work full time (something about quality of life), our pension sucks, the public has higher expectations for care and weekend nightshifts are always short due to sick calls.
We had the largest turnout yet, 30/50 graduates attended and of those many of us are still working full time in nursing. Is it because we are just poor accountants and unable to balance our budgets? No, it is because nursing defines us.
So, what is a nurse? Regardless of wither we have gained or lost weight, husbands, or children. Regardless of what life has thrown at us and this time, more than a few have experienced the battle against Cancer to emerge victorious, even if only temporarily.
It is our passion for life that defines us as a nurse.