I love all of my ads, but this is one of my very favorites.
The funny thing is, when I first saw it, I thought she was giving an obscene gesture!
Then I realized it was a Bulova Watch ad.
I rate the cap an 8/10, losing points for the pointy top which, while unique, must have presented a challenge when it came time to place the stripe upon it.
But the recipient felt like she had the world at her feet and wore that cap with pride.
I had a severe case of writer’s block this week.
Oh, I had a lot of ideas in my “To Blog” folder, but nothing was coming together in my head.
Inspiration comes when you least expect it.
As I sat in my car waiting those last few minutes before going into my department (hey, Journey was on the radio, okay?), one word came into my mind.
What would I say to the new graduate nurses if I was a guest of honor at the pinning ceremonies instead of a worker bee blogger in the Hive of Health Care?
The thoughts began to flow.
And a blog post was born, right there in the car.
To my new colleagues in the graduating classes of 2006.
All the time, sacrifices, stresses, anxieties and insecurities of school are now behind you.
Or are they?
You’re scared? Still?
Afraid you didn’t learn enough? Wondering how you’ll cope with a full assignment, while having the ultimate responsibility? Will you even pass what we used to call “the boards”?
Relax. Those feelings are normal. You will pass the exam for your license. You have learned what you need to know to start your career.
Remember that 90% of what you need to know you will learn on the job. School has taught you how to learn. As a professional, you will learn.
Give yourself at least a year to feel comfortable in your new role. At first, everyday will bring new experiences. You’ll make mistakes. You’ll learn from them. We all will. We all have. Work as much as you can that first year. The more experience you accumulate the more confidence you will have.
Gradually, you will find that you have advanced from running to put out fires as they occur to recognizing the beginnings of a problem before the embers have a chance to heat up. (How’s that for a metaphor?)
Just wait until you act on your first “gut feeling” and save a life.
You are beginning your career in an age of technology unheard of when I graduated in the late ’70s.
You will join your older colleagues in addressing ethical issues unthinkable when we “dinosaurs” graduated.
You will share a collegial relationship with doctors that never used to exist between the professions.
You will work harder with sicker patients than any new graduating class before you; patients that 20 years ago would have been in an ICU.
You are walking into a market that is literally crying out for your skills. Your skills.
And when you look at the older nurses that you work with, remember that they have blazed a path for you in terms of better pay, better benefits and better working conditions. They have fought and are still fighting the good fight for the best working conditions and the safest patient care. Join them.
Ladies, wear that invisible cap with pride. You may not have one, but you earned it.
Gentlemen, you have so much to contribute to the nursing profession. You’ve earned your “cap”, too, but I bet you are glad you don’t have to wear it!
I am proud to consider myself your colleague.
So, as you finish your studies, go celebrate, party like it’s 1999 (not-so-obscure Prince reference) and bask in your accomplishments.
Then get to work.
We need you.