12 Things Nurses Have to Start Believing

As nurses, there are a lot of things that we need to start believing. Every day we put on scrubs, we should just know some things. Do not let others define you. Never question your worth. There is so much power in nursing…

1. You make a difference. Nurses have to start believing that they change everything. We make a difference to our patients. The compassionate care we provide can coax a patient into heeding our advice, or plant a seed that may later grow into change.

2. You have professional worth. Nursing school wasn’t hell for nothing! Not everyone can be a nurse. We went through years and years of school, were pounded with information from every which direction, and we came out nurses. We have a great responsibility to professionally contribute to our practice and profession.

3. You deserve a seat at the table. If you want a seat at the table (and you should), it’s yours for the taking. Many nurses fought before us to earn us a voice. Not only do we now have a voice, but in many cases, we’re leading the conversation. What do you want to say? What are you saying?

4. Your opinions matter. Our opinions matter just as much—if not more—than everyone else’s. Never believe that your opinions don’t matter. After all, we’re the ones in the trenches. We see things with our eyes, we feel things with our hands. We know what’s really going on around us.

5. Bedside nursing is crucial. Like I said, we’re in the trenches. We’re at the forefront, right in front of the patient. The care we provide is making a difference. No one, not our managers, not our patients, not administration, can do anything without us.

6. You’re a force to be reckoned with. We’re like triple threats! We are smart, we critically think, we work—we work hard! Don’t ever believe that you don’t have power. Nurses have more power than they will ever realize.

7. No one defines you. I often struggle with this one. But no one defines you. Do not ever let anyone tell you what you are or what you’re not. Sometimes it’s other people’s small sightedness that clouds everything. Don’t let it cloud your judgment of yourself.

8. Everyone is human. Everyone makes mistakes, even physicians, and even leadership. No one can be perfect 100% of the time. Give yourself a break.

9. You have so much knowledge. Aside from all those book smarts I was talking about, we possess a lot of bedside knowledge, knowledge that can only be obtained from experience and hands-on time with our complex patients. Our many complex patients…

10. You don’t know everything. You know a lot, but you don’t know everything. Never think that there’s not something else to learn. Nurses have to keep evolving.

11. The work you do is important. You are not just a nurse. You are a healthcare provider that is able to take care of multiple patients at one time and manage all these patients successfully. You try to make people healthier. You try to make people better than they were before they met you. That may mean they’re more educated, or free from disease, or it may just mean that they’re not as sick as they were before. And it usually means all three.

12. Evidence matters. We should always question why we do things a certain way, because if evidence doesn’t back it up, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be doing it that way, it may mean that we need to create the evidence. We have the power to do that. But let current evidenced-based research guide your daily practice, and think of how your knowledge can contribute to the great field of nursing.

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