Mark Lamers from Online Nursing Degrees.org contacted me for an interview. Mark, I’m flattered. People tell me that I give good interviews because I’m very opinionated. Mark asked some thought provoking questions and one of them really stood out. He asked me about something that I wrote on my blog a long time ago. The post read, “I was also taught that anyone willing to work long, hard hours could obtain the American Dream. I’m a nurse for life, which means I’m not going to retire. In other words, I’m going to die with my Nurse Mates on.” Mark asked, “At this point in your career, it is safe to say you’ve worked long hard hours as a compassionate caregiver. In retrospect, is that American Dream now your story? What would provide the happy ending? What were the necessary steps to get there?

Answer: Yes Mark, I am living the American Dream thanks to my parents and to my nursing instructors. I learned my work ethic through their example. My parents worked hard and made sacrifices so I could have a better life, and my teachers passed on their knowledge and wisdom when I was under their tutelage. With their support I was able to work weekends as a nursing assistant which allowed me to gain extra bedside nursing experience and graduated as one of the top students in my class. My life is blessed thanks to those who came before me and prepared the path that I followed.

People who want to be a nurse must understand that the profession is demanding. I have worked countless weekends, night shifts, and holidays, and I have trudged through blinding snowstorms, hurricanes, and floods to get into work. Personal issues must be set aside. Patient care always comes first. Nursing also has its rewards. Nurses bear witness to the most intimate moments in a patient’s life. I’ve held newborn babies in my arms, and I’ve held the hand of the dying. I’m honored that I’ve been a part of so many lives.

What would provide my happy ending? I hope that I can keep just one nurse from throwing in the towel by passing on what I’ve learned. I am going to die with my Nurse Mates on because it’s who I am. Once you are a nurse, you are a nurse forever.

I’ll let you know when the whole interview is posted.