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Seasoned with Sage
Stop Learning. Stop Caring.

Nursing is all about learning.  If you think it's all about the patient, then you're missing the big picture.

I remember one of my clinical instructors praising me for a care plan I had written; it received the highest grade that particular week.  Her caveat: listen and learn during clinical so I could improve.

Laziness prevailed.

The next week, I wrote essentially the same care plan. This time I earned the lowest grade of all the care plans.

I didn't learn, I didn't listen, and I paid for it.

And, if I embraced that "know enough" attitude, I think in the long run the patient would have paid for it, too.

Florence Nightingale pioneered the art that is nursing today, but she was never a "true" nurse.  As my current nursing education instructor says, Ms. Nightingale, one of the first nursing administrators, adhered to the policy that nurses could never stop learning.  If a nurse thought they had learned all there was to know, she frowned upon them.

To stop learning was to stop caring-and to stop being the best patient advocate.

As a nurse, you have the unique opportunity to daily learn something new. Some days you may simply rethink a concept you already thought you mastered-and apply it in a completely new way.

In this way, learning is cyclical.  The things that are taught in school never go away; they just take on a new form.

As a student, I remember fussing about clinical instructors teaching me how to chart the way they did back in the 1800s. I wondered, How can this possibly relate to my current job, now that charting is electronic? Yet, I learned, after some foibles, that I should've heeded the advice. Charting follows many of the same guidelines as centuries ago-just in a different medium.

Change doesn't necessarily mean different, it just means a different way of doing the exact same thing.

And as you put forth effort to learn-as well as allow yourself to be taught by some of those seasoned nurses who you swore you'd never talk to-you'll grow, you'll thrive, and you'll care for your patients better.

But what do you believe?

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