The Next Shift is a new series of stories written by experienced RNs to provide advice that can help guide the next generation of nurses. The series is presented by The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future.
I have been an RN for 35 years, and it has been a rewarding career. Many people have touched my heart. I think you should always be empathetic to your patients and their needs and be an advocate for them. Nursing is a tough job; the long hours and stress can wear you down. Remember to take care of yourself and never stagnate. Learn all you can and try to stay abreast of all the latest technology. Continue your education, join committees and be a part of the constant change in the healthcare field. Be an advocate for fellow nurses. Most importantly, keep a sense of humor and work as a team. It will make the job run a lot smoother.