This is the post excerpt.
I am starting this blog because I am that RN and so are you. I decided the old saying “nurses eat their young” need to be put out to pasture and as nurses we need to start taking care of our own and setting a new precedent. Teaching them, nurturing them, and helping them reach their fullest potential. Unfortunately, I experienced that old saying first hand straight out of nursing school with my very first job. These blogs will give me and you the opportunity to share our experiences with the world, with nursing students, and with current nurses. It is not meant to bash, belittle, or degrade our profession or each other, but rather to encourage, uplift and support one another. I will write on the topics and things directly affecting nurses today, including myself. I welcome you to join in the discussion, exchange dialogue that will transcend nursing and prosper us in every way. WELCOME to MY world of nursing. Some things may move you, make you cry, scream, hollar, mad or glad. Whatever we do, let’s be the change we want to see in nurses and the nursing profession. I am my sisters keeper and I am that RN!!!!!
Here I am up at 12:46am writing to my fellow RN’s. I started off as a rotation nurse, so I worked both nights and days. That took a toll on my sleep pattern and my body never adjusted. I really wanted night shift and was able to get a new job from 7p-7a. Some nights were hard only when I hadn’t gotten enough sleep during the day. But for the most part I love working the night shift. I’ve always been what my father referred to as a “night owl” and that’s why I loved that shift. Fast forward to getting a job that was solely days. Let me tell you, that was an adjustment. I had to learn to sleep at night and stay awake during the day and boy was that hard. Now, I have the same daytime schedule and my sleep habits are horrible. I’m completely exhausted, but my body won’t wind down and let me go to sleep. So, I’ve been laying here thinking about a million and one things and decided to get up and write about this. Hopefully, I’ll be able to close my eyes after this. I may have to put on my night-time meditation to sooth me and let me wind down and drift off. I have a very early morning appointment so I need to be sleep. I know I can’t be the only one who has this problem….just in general. Someone has got to understand my grief lol. Being tired is one thing….being sleepy is another…..I’m just sleepy. At least I feel my eyes getting heavy now so maybe that’s my signal to sign off and go to bed. Part of nurses problems are turning off work, and taking care of ourselves. That includes proper sleep time….so, don’t be like me. Take the time to get enough rest because you’re no good to yourself or your patients if you don’t. Have a beautiful night all. I’m going to practice what I preach:}
As much as I’d like to be able to say it doesn’t, it most certainly does. As an African-American nurse, I’ve known and felt the sting of racism all too well. Being overlooked, devalued, cast aside, and just not looked at as someone who knows what they’re doing or what they’re talking about. Not to mention that I matriculated at Bethune-Cookman University and am currently in my doctoral program. So, I sit at the table with people who have no college background, but look down upon me because of the color or my skin. Does color matter? Indeed it does. Being an African American woman and nurse, I have to work harder to prove myself, to be able to sit at the table with those who I respect, but are not even as qualified as I am in certain areas. I have to watch what I say and how I say it as not to offend those who are not of the same color. I have to keep calm when everyone else is ranting and carrying on or else I’m considered “an angry black woman.” Along with this, there’s no support from fellow black nurses. They will cut your throat before anyone else. So, yes, I’m angry, but not because I’m black. I’m angry because I’m expected not to show my black magic. I’m expected to be quiet and be spoken over when I try to speak. See, I’m not the overbearing, rude, obnoxious, loud mouth who goes off UNLESS I’ve been provoked to that point. For the most part, I will be quiet before I say something uncensored that’ll cost me my job or jail time. That’s just me. I prefer to breathe, talk to my therapist, reevaluate, strategize, and silently make my moves. I don’t plan to have to answer to anyone forever. I plan to have my own and leverage myself for myself. Color……that word that eludes us, yet is so present and in our faces as black nurses. The divide that keeps us underrated and sometimes disrespected. The term that somehow means unworthy to some. LIES….. I am black….I am a woman….and I am a nurse. All of which makes me pretty spectacular. Color will always be an issue whether done discreetly or directly to your face. It is up to African-Americans nurses, myself included, to make ourselves seen and heard. We are just as important and in some instances, more important because we have a unique perspective in what and how we view/see things. My black is beautiful….I am beautiful, intelligent, and am able to sit amongst the highest and best of them…..not just to learn, but to share and disseminate my knowledge. Everyone’s experience is different. I have experienced racism/discrimination at every place I’ve worked at as a nurse, but I did not choose nursing, nursing chose me. More importantly, God chose me to be His nurse so that He will get the glory and honor out of my life. So, here I am….here I stand….and here I’ll be. Color lines will always be there, but so will we and it is up to black nurses everywhere to break down these barriers so that we are a force to be reckoned with. Color….so many hues….so beautiful. Thank you to all my black nurses worldwide.
I’m sitting here and every time I get to the week I have to go for the meeting involving leadership and management. I get discouraged in advance, provoking anxiety and frustration. Why? Because being a woman of color in a position some don’t believe you deserve to be in and are incapable of doing and make it difficult more than not can be taxing on you mentally and physically. I have always seen or should I say not seen many black nurses and especially those in positions of authority so, I speak life to myself everyday to keep me from bowing out. Bowing out is the easy way out. It’s easier to run than to stand and fight, but I choose to do that everyday. I won’t tell you it’s easy, but I will tell you that it challenges me to my core. I have to remind myself that God is my keeper and He fights my battles. So, this battle is not mine, it’s the Lords so don’t be discouraged. I am praying and preparing for this meeting with optimism and a heart of openness. I will give what I have despite those who oppose me; those who devalue me and/or devalue my input. I am important; I have a lot to offer; I’m intelligent; and worthy to sit at any table. The moral of the story is God does the qualifying and until He says otherwise, I’m going to stay and be the light in darkness. Be Encouraged………Not Discouraged!!!!
So, I’ve lived my life as a people pleaser, trying to make everyone else happy and not myself. I have tiptoed around cautiously trying not to offend anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings. Meanwhile, no one has offered me the same courtesy. I’ve managed to downplay how I feel, what I have to say, and just keep quiet so as not to upset anyone. My blog is MY truth. It’s not about anyone else’s feelings, thoughts, or how they perceive what I’m saying. It is simply my truth. What I won’t do anymore is be silenced, walk on egg shells, be made to feel like my truth is unworthy or unimportant. I will speak it, say it, even shout it because it’s mine and I matter to me. I make no apologies for who God created me to be. I’ve lived my life, lost my virginity to gang rape, molested, had children out of wedlock, made mistakes, fallen, gotten back up, been broken, repaired, sick, and healed, never experienced true love from a man, given until there’s nothing left, I’ve been homeless, no money, food, or car, a single mom and still I’ve risen from the ashes to become who I was meant to be. So, through all these tests and trials, God saw me through these things to be a nurse and I’m proud of that. I have no shame or guilt at this point in my life because everything I’ve experienced has made me one of the most caring, nurturing, loving, lovable, giving, advocate anyone could have as a nurse. My truths lead me to who I am. Nursing is what I was born to do and life has created nursing as my ministry of healing. So, again what I won’t do is dim my light or hide in the shadows to make anyone else feel good. I believe we all go through things that contribute to making us who we are and it is our choice to use these things to lift ourselves and others up. This is who I am…..this is my truth…..that is all!
I work as a nurse and it is indeed my passion, but as a nurse I am expected to know everything, be everything, and be able to do everything. Although I play a dual role as center director and nurse it can be quite difficult to bare at times. It comes with great expectations as it should, but I don’t always feel strong enough to handle it. I sometimes get to the point where there are no words for what or how I feel. It is at these times He reminds me that He, not me or anyone else is my source for all things. It’s not that I forget, it’s that these situations remind me that God is my source for everything. My strength, my courage, my energy, my everything…..He IS! So, no matter what it looks like and/or feels like just remember God is and He will never leave nor forsake you. He is our source for our every need. Let him be your source…..be blessed:}
I know I lie to myself when I say I have no expectations. We all have some level of expectation with anything we do or give. We can’t help it, we’re human and humans are naturally inclined to want something in return. As nurses we give unconditionally and often when we’re overworked, tired, no breaks, no lunch, etc. but we keep giving at all cost. And lets admit it, who wouldn’t want or expect a thank you, a smile, or kind word for all they do and give? I know I appreciate it. And besides that, how many times have you said thank you or given a tip for exceptional service? It’s normal to want and expect something in return and we do ourselves disservice to say we don’t. We cheat ourselves out of the many wonderful blessings we can receive because we don’t expect anything in return. Set expectations for yourself, for your day when you get up, for your performance during the day, for your mental mindset, for your emotional self, and total well being. It’s okay and in fact, I think it’s necessary to your success. It’s called self preservation.
The crazy thing is anyone who wears scrubs are thought to be a nurse. NOT the case so, please don’t be deceived. I and my fellow registered nurses all over the world have worked really hard to get our credentials. We spent endless nights studying, taking test, failing than succeeding, hours with study groups, sacrificed family, friends and leisure; not to mention the amount of money it costs to go to school for 4 years, especially a private school. So, STOP IT!!!! Stop telling people you’re a nurse and own who you are what you’ve earned. If you’re a certified nursing assistant, a medical assistant, a geriatric nursing assistant, or whatever you’ve been certified to do…..CLAIM IT, but don’t claim my title. I worked really hard and let me tell you that included before NCLEX. There were endless test and practice test and test we had to complete before being released to take the NCLEX. So, I am a proud registered nurse with my BSN from The Great Bethune-Cookman University located in Daytona Beach, FL. I was taught by some of the most astute, enriched, and knowledgeable nursing instructors. If you haven’t walked the walk, then don’t talk the talk. I paid the cost to be this boss and if you want the title, then do the work. I have respect for everyone and whatever it is they choose to do, but people please don’t clump everyone in scrubs together. Would you ask the janitor to do your taxes simply because they work at the tax center? Would you ask a patient care tech to assess and diagnose your sick relative because they offered you a glass of water at the hospital? NO, of course not. So, be you and let nurses be who and what they are. No one can do what nurses do, not even doctors; that’s why they rely on us so heavily. Be authentic if nothing else.