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Giving thanks for your nursing career

In honor of Thanksgiving, it’s time to pause for the cause of gratitude regarding your nursing career.

We nurses may sometimes feel beleaguered and undervalued, but many of us will readily admit that there’s little else we’d rather do. Nurses generally love nursing, and that’s no secret.

A chance to give

Ask any number of nurses why they chose nursing, and veritably no one will say they were attracted by the convenient work schedule, the generous vacations or the high salaries.

However, many will share that they chose nursing to serve others, make a difference or contribute to society. As cliché as this may sound, when most nurses say such things, they mean it.

A chance to receive

If you chose nursing because you wanted to be of service, that’s wonderful. If you also find that you’ve actually received more from your work as a nurse than you could ever give, that’s worth acknowledging.

Our patients and their families can be our greatest teachers. Although we think we’re the ones doing the giving, many of us likely feel we’ve gained more than words can say from our nursing role.

When a child with cancer hugs you and says thanks for the bed bath you’ve given him, it strikes a chord of compassion deep in your heart.

When a grieving widower sends flowers to your unit in gratitude for the care your team gave to his wife, your eyes swell with tears of satisfaction and joy.

The emotional and spiritual buoyancy we can experience as nurses is like a balm for our hearts.

A chance to give thanks

Just for this moment, if you pause to consider what you’ve gained from your nursing career, it can take your breath away.

If you’ve been hugged and thanked, good for you. If you’ve saved a life or been privy to healing and recovery, it’s like a miracle on earth. And if you’ve slogged away in the mire of illness, treatment, suffering and pain, you’ve likely been strengthened by the ways in which your humanity has been challenged and awakened.

A chance to look forward

At this time of Thanksgiving, consider your career, how you’ve grown within it, and how your heart and compassion have expanded through the medium of nursing.

You chose this profession for a reason. Nursing is hard work, and not everyone can do it. Look deeply at who you are as a nurse, what you’re trying to accomplish professionally and rededicate yourself to moving your career forward in a way that will continue to expand your skills, increase your knowledge, open your heart and feed you on the deepest possible level.

If nursing is what makes you tick, embrace this next year of your career with awe, curiosity and a desire to embody the best nurse you can possibly be.

By | 2015-11-23T19:10:10-05:00 November 24th, 2015|Categories: Nursing careers and jobs|2 Comments
Keith Carlson, BSN, RN, NC-BC
Keith Carlson, BSN, RN, NC-BC, is the Board Certified Nurse Coach behind and the award-winning blog, Digital Doorway. Keith is co-host of, a popular nursing podcast, and also hosts The Nurse Keith Show, his own podcast focused on career advice and inspiration for nurses. A widely published writer, Keith is the author of “Savvy Networking For Nurses: Getting Connected and Staying Connected in the 21st Century.” He brings a plethora of experience as a nursing thought leader, holistic career coach, writer and nurse entrepreneur.


  1. Avatar
    owelle mary etar November 26, 2015 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    good idear in deed

    • Avatar
      Kathy December 4, 2015 at 1:17 pm - Reply

      Mr. Keith Carlson as one nurse to another nurse you have absolutely enlightened me ! I have been a pediatric nurse for 30 years and have learned so much from my little to biggest children and their parents,siblings, friends relatives. I am a stronger person for it. I thank God & my father and my sister for becoming a nurse. I would do it again and again. Now I have been promoted to assistant nurse manager and look foward to impress my ways of nursing to the next generation of nurses as well as to encourage and support my older coworkers. I am looking foward to spend more personal time with my patients and families and keep giving and receiving. Once a nurse always a nurse! Keep on doing what you are doing !!!

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