Each year, National Nurses Week celebrates the profession of nursing and the vital roles nurses play in advancing health care. The annual week of recognition begins May 6, and includes National Student Nurses Day (May 8) and National School Nurse Day (May 9), concluding on Florence Nightingale's birthday (May 12). To learn more about the history of National Nurses Week, click here.
The American Nurses Association sets a theme every year for National Nurses Week. The 2018 theme is "Nurses: Inspire, Innovate, Influence."
In the spirit of this year's theme, the University of Rochester School of Nursing posed a question to our community of nurses:
What advice would you give to future nurses?
We are so pleased to share the insight we received from faculty, staff, alumni, students, and nurses in the Rochester area! We will continue to update this page throughout National Nurses Week with more words of wisdom from nurses.
Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP
Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP: The essence of nursing is service. Always remember that it is an honor and a privilege to serve the people for whom we care. We often enter their lives during their most vulnerable times – and can impact their lives forever. Be passionate about serving!
Molly Stokes, BSN, RN-BC, CNRN
Grow where you are planted. Learn from those with lots of experience how to best care for your patients. Work hard to advocate for those in your care and your co-workers. Reap the rewards of a job well done. Mentor and coach others as you become the experienced one. Don't switch jobs every year or two- get comfortable and gain all you can. Nursing changes constantly. Be curious to learn something new everyday.
Ann Zimmerman, BS, RN
Ann Zimmerman, BS, RN: I would tell future nurses to never stop learning! I would also tell them to role model with exemplary nurses at all stages of their professional career.
Michelle Roach, RN, MSN, PNP
Michelle Roach, RN, MSN, PNP: Never be afraid to ask for help. You will learn something new everyday, embrace it and enjoy what a difference you are making in people's lives.
Amy Webb, BA, BSN, TNCC, ACLS, PALS
Amy Webb, BA, BSN, TNCC, ACLS, PALS: Dive in! Sign up for as many medical-related experiences that you can. Conferences, job shadowing, certifications, and volunteering in the field, are all things that can offer you exposure and knowledge. Nursing is a competitive field. Think of what might set you apart...while giving you opportunities to learn any chance you get!
Janet Scala, RN
Janet Scala, RN: Like so many aspects of patient care, the future of nursing will be exciting, highly technology-driven, and result in better outcomes. Yet, not to be lost in all this is the unique value of the nurse-patient contact. Healing is facilitated not only by the best technology, but also by that unmatched human touch.
As a long-time-ago School of Nursing graduate, my advice is that you not be merely technocrats, but that you keep in mind what is best about the nursing profession - warm, caring, skilled human contact and support."
Rossana Navarra, RN, BS, CPAN
Rossana Navarra, RN, BS, CPAN: As Albert Einstein once said, "the only source of knowledge is experience." I truly believe that at the heart of who we are and what we become as nurses begins with the experiences we have throughout our career. My advice to future nurses would be to have as many experiences as a nurse that you possibly can. We have so many choices on what specialty, what patient population and what setting to work in - diversify yourself and take advantage of many different opportunities.
What you learn in one experience carries on with you into another experience. The value of having done something or having seen something before is priceless. The opportunity to share your knowledge and expertise with other peers is empowering. When you first start out as a nurse you learn the basics. From there, soak in all the knowledge and experiences you can. Then, be ultimately humbled to be able to share your knowledge and experiences with others. After over 26 years here at Strong Memorial Hospital as a nurse I have a story, full of experiences - not only from the different areas I've worked in over the years but also from the amazing nurses I've worked with and more importantly from the patients I've taken care of. Even after all these years my story and my experiences are far from over. I love what I do and I truly feel blessed to have had nursing as my career. I wish you all the best in yours, go out and start your story.
Javauni Forrest, MA, MHC-LP
Javauni Forrest, MA, MHC-LP: Nursing promotes academic and career versatility, while providing an opportunity to impact the lives of the patients we serve. This is a privilege that few other professions offer, so use it as an opportunity to learn and grow as a person and a professional because both are necessary to propel your nursing practice forward.
Maria Marconi, EdD, RN, CNE
Maria Marconi, EdD, RN, CNE: Lean in. Get involved. Don't stand on the sidelines. You've graduated from an amazing program which gave you clinical skills and leadership skills. Become a positive leader in your first job and every job you have in your career. Take what you have learned here, continue to learn from the experienced nurses you will work with to make our health care systems continuously better.
Natalie Liebert, RN-BC, CPHON, BSN
Natalie Liebert, RN-BC, CPHON, BSN: Nursing is a respected and fulfilling calling. As a second-career nurse, my only regret is that I did not find nursing sooner. There are so many opportunities and different areas where one can specialize as a nurse. Now I am able to combine my education and nursing backgrounds as I finish my master's in nursing education - all with the flexibility of scheduling that allows me to spend most days with my young daughter.
Kimberly Olfano: Stay motivated. There will be days when you feel stressed and need to take care of yourself. View every day as a learning opportunity. Be comfortable with imperfection and confident in your assessment and communication skills. Don't be a harsh critic on yourself. Embrace change. Ask for help when you are doubtful and need a second opinion. Treat your nursing colleagues with the utmost respect. You never know how they can help you advice your career. Join committees and become involved. Have your voice heard and don't be afraid to share new ideas for way to improve patient care.