Published in ANA Nurses’ Week https://anayearofthenurse.org/storybook/chapter2.php.
I knew since I was a child that I would be a pediatric healthcare provider — I carried my medical bag and never hesitated when asked. I did in fact become a pediatric hematology/oncology nurse. I loved the authenticity and joy and integrity of caring for children who did not have ulterior motives to keep from healing. And oncology nursing was a brilliant combination of highly technical practice combined with enduring relationships with the patients and their families.
Over the years, it began to really affect me that, despite dozens of scheduled and PRN medications to treat symptoms, my patients still experienced troubling symptoms. I learned to advocate more for holistic practices to better care for the broader needs of my patients. I found that there was not a lot of research upon which to advocate. So, I decided to go to school to pursue my PhD so that I could create evidence to improve patient care. I graduated with my PhD in 2008, had my first child one month later, and have been exceptionally grateful to work as a clinical nurse researcher ever since. My days are joyfully (and nerdly) filled with helping clinicians explore opportunities for better patient care; and we have many discussions about holistic theoretical frameworks to ensure we are treating the whole person. I am so grateful to be a nurse.