Becoming a registered nurse (RN) has been a lifelong dream. But as I reflect on the recent addition of those two letters after my name, I cannot comprehend how this has happened so quickly. I landed my dream job on a trauma and surgical unit at my dream hospital. How could this have all worked out? Faith.
Nursing educators, upperclassmen, and colleagues in the field warned me of how fast nursing school goes by. Although the time endured between research assignments and simulation seemed endless, reality in the clinical setting set in almost instantaneously. Nursing courses are nothing like the math or science prerequisites we stumbled through; instead, these courses encourage students to consider and implement ethical and therapeutic principles into professional practice, developing a higher level of analytical understanding.
Attending a Lutheran liberal arts college in the Midwest also helped me see how I could use my profession and skills to serve God and others. Through uncertain times during nursing school, when my classmates and I wondered where we would practice after graduation, I was reassured knowing God had a plan. I had faith that he knew I'd be a good fit in my current position because God knows me and has been with me throughout my life.
I was drawn to trauma and emergency care after being in a rollover car accident shortly before starting nursing school. That experience deepened my desire to pursue a career where I could care for others during the worst and sometimes best experiences of their lives. As a nurse, I can be present while a child is delivered or a wound is packed. I wish to use my hands for God, to heal and touch many lives.
Going into a career with what feels like minimal experience, I sometimes have questioned how a bachelor's program in nursing could qualify anyone for a position of this importance. Through trust and prayer, God reminded me I have all the resources needed to be successful—internally and externally. He will guide me safely through this journey of becoming an experienced nurse.
As a new RN, orientation to the nursing unit ties together the knowledge and skills learned in school. In making this transition, I've depended on Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV): “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave or forsake you.” These words encourage me as I consider that any profession in healthcare requires continued learning, education, and a willingness to adapt to change.
Although I am only a few weeks into my new career, I feel fulfilled and thankful for my education and this profession. The transition to professional practice was scary; however, I've received an abundance of support from amazing co-workers and new colleagues. I trust that God will guide each of us who are new nurses through this anxiety-provoking time and provide strength and wisdom to be successful. James 1:5 (NIV) states, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
I encourage nursing students to work hard and learn as much as possible, but also remember to take a deep breath when needed and take time for yourself. This is a rewarding profession, but one that also can be taxing on your emotional, physical, and spiritual health. Do what is needed to recharge. Whether a part-time or full-time student, a second career student, a parent, or a combination of these, the dream of becoming a nurse is attainable and will come sooner than seems possible.
Words of Wisdom
God alone knows the way to Wisdom, he knows the exact place to find it. He knows where everything is on earth, he sees everything under heaven. After he commanded the winds to blow and measured out the waters, arranged for the rain and set off explosions of thunder and lightning, He focused on Wisdom, made sure it was all set and tested and ready. (Job 28:23-28, The Message)