I was recently named one of “50 Best Women in Business” by NJBIZ magazine. As such I was invited to attend a networking reception for all honorees. Everyone was very friendly and most of us were making an effort to meet and speak with as many of the awardees as possible.
When people heard I was an RN they were very interested to hear more about what I do and about the nursing profession in general or to tell me about someone in their family who is a nurse. Some asked about the “shortage” assuming it existed because no one wanted to be a nurse anymore (see my previous post “Who wants to be a nurse?”). I, of course, set them straight.
Others asked me if I still work in nursing. I always love when someone asks me that so I can give them my spiel. Here’s what I say, “I am very much working in nursing as a speaker and writer. While many people think of nurses working only at the bedside in hospitals, we actually work in many different places doing many different things. I am still a healer, a teacher, and a nurturer in everything I do.” They take a minute to digest that and I add, “Health, wellness, and healing take place on many different levels. I have a very expanded view of who a nurse is and what a nurse does.” It gives them food for thought. It even gives some nurses food for thought.
Be ready to speak passionately and authoritatively about your profession when out in public even when just socializing with friends or neighbors. You have an opportunity to set the record straight and educate and inform people about the full scope of what nurses do. Arm yourself with facts about the profession such as those found on AACNs Nursing Fact Sheet. Here’s an article you may find helpful Talk About What You Do