I saw this on eBay last week. Isn’t it cute? I remember my capping ceremony. I stood in front of a crowded church while reciting the Florence Nightingale Pledge. It’s something that I will never forget. Looking back, I’m amazed that I ever got to take that pledge, or that I made it through nursing school.

I went to nursing school in a small town in Southern Illinois. Racial tensions were high, and the Klu Klux Klan was in its glory. The schoolwork was hard enough, but imagine trying to get through your emergency room rotation as one of your teachers is bragging to the other faculty members about how she was going to crucify a Jew. I’ll give you one guess who she was talking about. This woman screamed at me in front of my classmates, and in her office behind close doors. She constantly told me that she would made sure that I never made it through nursing school. I quietly took her abuse. I was young, inexperienced, and scared, but I was determined to stick it out. I decided that I wasn’t going to give my teacher the satisfaction of running me out of town.

Those events happened many years ago and I’m still standing. I am bulletproof and unbreakable. I am a real nurse.

Iris from “Did I Just Say That Out Loud ????” has started a meme which asks what makes someone a real nurse. I’ve posted my answers, and I hereby tag Kim at Emergiblog, Deacon Barry, Nurse William, and anyone else who wants to play.

Real nurses can talk about all kinds of gross body fluids while eating a meal.

Real nurses can tell a doctor what orders they need to write in a patient’s chart while making the doctor believe that it was their idea to write those orders in the first place.

Real nurses can run a three-minute mile while they are at work in two minutes flat.

When real nurses get together, they grip about work. Sorry, but if you think that today’s hospitals are focusing on how to provide good quality care, you aren’t a seasoned nurse, and you are naive. Hospitals are running their nurses into the ground and real nurses know that hospitals are strictly profit driven.

Real nurses are patient advocates.

Tag, you’re it!