A nursing tree

Nurse tree - three generations of nurses

Our family nurse tree is growing – soon to be 3 generations strong!

I could tell you my story, but I would rather tell you a piece of my mother’s story.

Her story was my inspiration for becoming a nurse.

As a single parent, with three young children, life was difficult. Somehow, my mother managed to work full time, attend nursing school, and still provide us with enough love that we never felt neglected.

Some of my early memories include sitting at a little table in our tiny mobile home eating supper. My baby sister would be crying while my brother and myself would be arguing and complaining.

My mother, genius that she is, would settle us by saying that she needed our help to practice for school. She would say that she needed to know what it would be like to have a patient that was blind. My brother would jump up and allow her to blindfold him. Then she would sit him back down to the table and encourage him to eat as a blind man.

Of course this was fun for a hyperactive boy!

Not to leave me out, she would tell me that some of her patients had no arms. She would bind my arms in slings and ask me how I was going to be able to eat that way.

We would try our hardest to eat our meals with our handicaps, giving all of us a good laugh.

We would eat all of our supper and she would take care of my baby sister.

It was an honor to watch her receive the Nightingale Award for Clinical Excellence, as she graduated from the top of her practical nursing class.

Then life got better and we grew older.

When I was in grade school, my mother decided to return to school to pursue her RN degree. I remember coming home from 6th grade complaining about my spelling words. She would laugh and tell me that she would help me, but then I would have to help her with her spelling words.

I remember thinking how awful it was that you had to have spelling words even in college.

After that first night with words that I couldn’t pronounce, much less spell at that time, I came to realize that there were tougher things in the world than learning to spell words like abdicate.

Flash cards became my best friend, because my mom used her flash cards every night. Night after night, she would stay up and study. Never did she let us forget that we were loved and that everything she was doing, was to provide us with a better future.

Before my mother, there was no one in my family with an education. No other member of my family had even received a high school diploma. My mother not only received her GED, but now has several college degrees!

It was her determination and perseverance that pushed me to not only graduate high school, then on to college for practical nursing and finally – just as she did – college for registered nursing.

I am now director of nursing in a long term care facility, with a specialty in wound care. My mother is a certified dialysis nurse, currently continuing her education to advance her degree.

Remember my baby sister?  She is also a nurse now!  She is a BSN with a specialty in wound care.

My sister-in-law is attending nursing school.

And… my daughter will be beginning college this year to pursue her nursing education. She will be the third generation not only to attend the same college, but also to become a nurse.

All of this started with one woman, tying her kids up so that they would eat their supper!

I love you mom and I am so very, very proud to have had a mother like you!

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