LiveSmart: A Career in Nursing – Fulfill the Desire to Care

[This piece was written by Mary – Jane Araldi, MSN, RN, Director of Memorial College of Nursing, and Susan F. Birkhead, DNS, RN, Director of Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing.]

Ask any nurse why he or she chose to go into nursing and nearly all of them will tell you it is because they desired a career that involved taking care of others. Most nurses didn’t fall into the profession accidentally – they made a voluntary choice to become a clinician with compassion.

As caregivers and health care educators, nurses are in an ideal position to improve quality of care and address patients’ physical and emotional well-being. That proximity and personal connection plays a critical role in patient outcomes, both in the hospital and in the community.

From a patient’s perspective, a great nurse is security, comfort and a cherished partner on the journey through the health care system. To the parent of a critically ill child, a nurse is a health care professional with whom they have entrusted their most treasured possession. To the family of a dying patient, a nurse is the gift that will support them with comforting words, a gentle hand and open heart. To the physician, a nurse is a trusted colleague and partner in the incredible experience of healing.

Nurses have the opportunity to practice in a wide array of specialties. Nurses can work in a traditional hospital setting, including areas such as medical, emergency, surgical, critical care, and women’s and children’s health. Or, nurses may want to work in the community in areas such as skilled nursing and elder care, addictions and behavioral health, hospice, home care, and continuing care. Others may feel they can best provide care in family health clinics and educational settings, such as in primary schools or at institutions of higher learning.

Regardless of the location, in every interaction, the nurse focuses on helping the patient achieve his or her optimal level of health. Individualized care is a priority, delivered with thought, warmth and concern. And the very best nurses provide compassion and caring not only for their patients, but for the families of patients, and their fellow caregivers.

Being a nurse is a privilege earned through hard work, education, and commitment. A great nurse takes that privilege and does the extraordinary!

For more than a century, Memorial College of Nursing and Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing have provided students with specialized knowledge, technical skills and caring values, preparing them for fulfilling and rewarding careers in nursing.

Both schools are located on hospital campuses, offering students seamless access to clinical experiences. And, because both schools are affiliated with St. Peter’s Health Partners, the region’s most comprehensive network of health care and community services, students participate in a variety of clinical settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, physician offices, and daycare centers.

For more information, call Memorial College of Nursing at 471-3260 or Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing at 268-5010.

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