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Seasoned with Sage
Letting Down Colleagues

"Such a waste!"

Those were painful words to hear from a colleague after she learned that I was using my nursing degree in a new way.

For the past year, I've been working in Nursing Informatics at the hospital where I am employed.  It embraces where nursing is headed in the 21st century.

I'm excited about the direction of my career-even if it isn't where I slated it to go when I was in nursing school.

That's why the encounter with my former colleague on the floor I once worked was so difficult.  As I shared how I was enjoying my job and that I would return to school to pursue a master's degree in either nursing education or administration, I never expected such an acerbic response.

"What a waste!"

Now, in a way, it was a compliment because she considered me to be an astute nurse, back during my time on the unit.  But it was also sad, because even though I am advancing myself, I feel as though I have let her down in some way. That I've abandoned "true nursing" by not being there anymore and directly caring for the patients.

But, the truth of nursing is this: In the years to come, it will become a much harder profession, due largely to the aging of the population and the retirement of many skilled nurses. That makes it all the more imperative for nurses to advance ourselves.

What would be a true waste would be never to advance at all.

After that encounter, I was reminded that while you can't forget your nursing roots, it's important to follow your heart, advance professionally, and encourage other nurses to embrace their calling-even if it isn't a traditional nursing role.

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3 Responses to “Letting Down Colleagues”

  1. Kelly Says:

    Unfortunately, many nurses do not share ones enthusiasm for obtaining advanced degrees or changing positions. I too have been disappointed with the lack of support and encouragement from colleauges. I believe that many nurses prefer remaining stationary versus moving forward in keeping up with medical advances and technologies.

    I applaud you for finding something you love and moreover, not being afraid to do something that is not traditional nursing. Good luck…

  2. TroubledNurseFixed Says:

    As is in anything, innovation and change are difficult to accept. However, stay focused, motivated and willing to make a difference as best you can.

  3. socretes3 Says:

    One of the reasons for the nursing shortage isn’t lack of eligable students…it’s lack of teachers. Many nurses who finish school aren’t doing it to teach, they want to treat patients. The more nurses we have who do alternative things with their knowledge (such as teaching) the quicker we can get well educated people into nursing positions. Good luck!

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