Happy Nurses Month!

Angels walk among us
AMSN President’s May Message for the AMSN Blog

As we celebrate another Nurses Month this May, I want to thank each of you for your sacrifices and your dedication to our patients, their loved ones, and each other.

Nursing is a wonderful profession which allows us to touch the lives of those we care for but also those we work with each day.  Some of my most valued friendships are with my nursing colleagues who have been with me through thick and thin.

When you reflect on your career this Nurses Month, consider those who have picked you up when you were down, supported you through the good and bad times, and made you laugh when you really needed it.

When you reflect on your career this Nurses Month, consider those who have picked you up when you were down, supported you through the good and bad times, and made you laugh when you really needed it.

I believe nursing is much easier because of our teams, and when a team is high functioning there is the potential to provide an even higher level of care and compassion to patients. 

When I think about nursing teams, I think about our nursing leaders. I have shared before that I spent 12 years of my nursing career as a nurse manager.  It was one of the hardest, but most rewarding roles I have had in my nursing career.

I would like to recognize those currently working in this role during Nurses Month. Thank you for everything you do for your teams every day; I know all you do may go unnoticed, but it is very important work and I appreciate your hardships and triumphs.

The nurse manager role is unique because the level of responsibility is high and there is not a set path to learning how to be a manager like there is when learning how to become a nurse. There is no residency program for nurse managers and generally the role is learned while it is being performed.

There are resources and support for learning the nurse manager role, but one must know how to find and utilize the resources. Long story short, it can be a very steep learning curve with little support. 

For me, growing into the nurse manager role was very similar to growing into the medical-surgical nurse role. When I was first off orientation as a new graduate nurse, there were some days or weeks when I didn’t think I was doing anything right, but then there were moments when everything clicked.

After a while, I knew what to do in most situations when caring for the patients assigned to me, or I knew which resources to call upon to help me find the solution to a new problem. I became a nurse manager after being a clinical bedside nurse for 6 years, and it was like starting over again. 

I found my work leading my team just as rewarding as caring for patients at the bedside. 

I had to learn so many new things that I had little to no exposure to when caring for patients. As I transitioned from caring for patients to caring for my staff members, I gained competence and confidence. I was able to connect with the staff and supported them however I could so that they could focus on caring for patients. I found my work leading my team just as rewarding as caring for patients at the bedside. 

As you celebrate Nurses Month with your colleagues, thank your nurse leaders (especially your manager!) this month.

Many are working extra hard to provide you rewards and recognition this month to ensure you feel valued and validated for everything you provide patients and your organizations. They are an important part of your unit and deserve recognition too.    

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