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Ep202: The Joy of Nursing with Juliana Adams RN, MSN, MA

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When Robert Frost penned the words “the road not taken”, he must have had Juliana Adams BSN MSN MA in mind.

To say that Juliana has done a lot with her nursing career would be a serious understatement.  In her 50 years of healthcare experience, Juliana has worked in several countries, been an author, film maker, ICU and ED nurse, an entrepreneur . . . all as a nurse.

In her latest adventure, Juliana has written the book: The Joy of Nursing which you can view here.

The book recounts many of her experiences as a nurse and provides encouragement and hope for the profession of nursing as a whole.

To learn more about Juliana visit her website here.

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Podcast Transcription

What is going on, everybody? My name is Jon Haws, RN, CCRN with ‘NRSNG.com’. Today, I am with Juliana Adams, RN, MSN, MA, and we’re talking about her brand new book, ‘The Joy of Nursing: Reclaiming Our Nobility’. I’m really excited about this book, you guys. I want you to guys to head over to Amazon, and you can pick up a copy of this book. It’s ‘The Joy of Nursing’.

 

It’s a really exciting book where she tells the stories of nursing and of her personal experiences over the last several decades as a nurse. Really exciting story. Super excited to share this with you, and share Juliana with you. She has so much experience in nursing and so much vision for where we can go as a career. We talked a lot before the episode started, and we talked a lot after the episode about what nursing is and what can happen with this career if we all band together.

 

Really excited to bring her to you guys. Her name is Juliana Adams. All right? Before we get started, as always, guys, we’re here to help you out. We want you guys to succeed.

 

If you head over to ‘NRSNG.com’, you can get on there and you can get our cheat sheets. You can get subscribed to get our cheat sheets every Friday where we give you a resource or a cheat sheet to help you excel in your career on the floor, in school, and as a nurse. You guys, we love you. Appreciate you guys being here, and we’ll talk to you after the episode. Thanks for coming on the show, Juliana.

 

It’s good to be here. Thank you for having me, Jon.

 

You bet. Tell us a little bit about the book and why you chose the title. The subtitle was ‘Reclaiming Our Nobility’. Tell us a little bit about the book and that choice of title.

 

I think for me, the word that I get asked the most is the word ‘Nobility’, and “Where does it come from, and was nobility being lost?” is what I’ve been asked. I think that the choice of the word ‘Nobility’ is so often associated with nursing, and it’s something that we are proud of and we want to make sure that we honor that. One of the ways we can do that is by behaving in the most professional way possible, and that’s knowing that we, each of us are guardians of the profession of nursing. To be a noble profession, to be trustworthy as it is, it requires us to each look inside and say, “Are we being the kind of nurse that in fact would generate a continued feeling of nobility as viewed by other people?” In regards to it being reclaiming it as if it’s being lost, I think that there is some worry within us as a profession which is what we should be doing.

 

That is to look and say, “Are we being the advocates and the stewards to our profession that the public expects us to be?” I think we are. I think that we’re in good shape, and I think that we’re asking the questions that need to be asked.

 

No. Absolutely. Before we started, we were talking about this too, that nursing has come a long way. It’s changed a lot. Education requirements have changed and everything.

 

As we move forward, I think one thing you said to me before we started that I really liked was that our profession is strong enough as nurses. We’re strong people, and our profession is strong enough to allow some of that scrutiny and allow us to say, “Okay. Where are we at and how can we move forward?” I think that I really like that title, ‘Reclaiming Our Nobility’. You think back to Florence Nightingale and the whole purpose of why nursing started, and then making sure that as we progress hundreds of years, past that, and as we continue to progress as a profession, are we remembering our heritage and what we are at our core?

 

It’s interesting. I realize that Florence is somewhat controversial for some people and that they do or don’t believe that she’s maybe the most appropriate or the most relevant person to still use as a role model. I recently did a blog on, “So what is this about Florence that’s made her come alive a hundred years later?” For me, when I look at things, the two aspects I look that she gave all of us, and in fact, the blog is really about that it’s applicable to many professions, not just nursing, and that was that she was incredibly tenacious. This is somebody that worked for 70 years.

 

Just as importantly, she didn’t fight the battle she wanted to fight. She wanted to give good nursing care. She fought the battles that her profession was facing at the time, and went after those areas that she felt affected patient care. What I take from her today and would suggest to anybody entering a profession is look at the problems associated with your professional choice, and be a part of working on those problems, even if it may not be exactly what you wanted to do. If it affects your ability to do the job you want, you went into the profession to do, then you’ve got to put some attention and energy into solving the problems at hand, not just the desirable ones.

 

No. Absolutely, because I mean, nursing has changed and we can’t ignore that. I agree with what you’re saying that what she brought to the career was yes, this veracious appetite for change. I think that at our core, yes, that’s what nurses are good at. That’s what I try to teach our audience too is be willing and be brave enough to raise your voice. Don’t accept the status quo, and make sure we’re always doing the best thing for our patient.

 

I think we’re lucky because our history is so rich. We have a lot of [theorists 00:05:38] to choose from. Even if when you went into school and you thought, “Oh my gosh. That isn’t exactly a big interest of mine”, but I will tell you after years of being a nurse that I think back to some of the theoretical frameworks that I was given that I wasn’t particularly interested in at school, but now how much more salient they are in my life. Depending on the environment you choose to work in, we have a lot of rich people to help guide our practice. You couple that with organizational theory and your personal life theories, and that is what makes you the rich and hopefully the wise person and nurse that you will become and grow on as you move truly from novice to expert.

 

That’s what I actually pulled that quote from your book. I wrote it down here that you talk about this book as your journey from novice to expert. The book starts with you in school getting ready to graduate, and then that first job. Walk us through a little bit of your journey as a nurse. It’s been I think you said about 50 years that you’ve been working in nursing and healthcare.

 

Yeah.

 

Tell us a little bit about that.

 

It’s interesting. I think everybody remembers their first. One of the neat things about being a nurse is there are so many firsts. It isn’t just your first patient and the first person that dies or the first birth. The first just continue throughout your whole career.

 

Really, I’m not sure you could say that about a lot of different positions. I’m not sure that you could find meaning and purpose 20, 30, 40, and 50 years after you’ve been doing the work that you chose to do. That to me is actually the most attractive thing about becoming a nurse. It can change with you all of your life. Certainly, when I think of graduating in 1971, and then starting off at the heart transplant unit at Stanford, I was overwhelmed at that job, and I just continued to take jobs where I was overwhelmed.

 

I went to Europe and worked through an all-German speaking hospital in Northern Germany and Kiel at their open heart surgery place. I worked for the Department of Midwifery in Holland. I didn’t have language behind me, but these jobs gave me a sense of confidence and a can-do attitude that I have taken with me and every single job since then. I took with me also this knowledge that I had to know what I didn’t know, and I had to go out and get the skills I needed and to speak up and ask questions. I learned that at my first couple of jobs and I had really applied at every single job since then.

 

Absolutely. My job before nursing school, I debated going to nursing school for a long time, and I ended up going the business route and get a degree in business. My first job with that was as a buyer for a sporting goods store. After about the first week, I had learned everything I needed to know for that job. The rest of it was just sitting behind a computer screen, bored to death.

 

That’s when I decided like, “Okay. I made the wrong decision. I need to do nursing”, and so I went to nursing school. Like you said, you never stop filling … I mean, how do I say this? You never stop filling a little bit over your head in nursing.

 

There’s so much to learn and to do, and it starts from nursing school. It just continues on. There’s just, I mean, so many avenues and so many things to learn. Just dealing with humans, dealing with patients in that piece of life that they’re in is always different, is always exciting, is always new. I want to talk …

 

I did read in the book that you did have the job in Germany. How did that all happen? What’s the story behind that?

 

I left, went to the heart transplant unit, and had a fabulous two years there. I was married, and my husband was finishing a doctoral degree in linguistics, so we went over to Europe off and on for the next eight years going back to Stanford, then going back over to Europe. I thought, “Gosh. I don’t know the language, but I know what I’m doing. I can read EKGs”, and it was so …

 

I’m not sure I’d be given the opportunity to, but I’m not sure I would even take the opportunity presently to go and work in a place where I didn’t speak the language, but medications and vital signs were all the same. Again, I just thought “I know what I’m doing, and so I’ll have to fill in the words”. It was a challenging time, but it was such a fun experience to work in a completely different country and delivery system.

 

No. That’s amazing. How long were you over there outside of the States practicing?

 

Six years in all.

 

Oh my goodness. Wow.

 

Yeah. No. It was a long time. Again, it gave me that sense of excitement that “Wait, I didn’t go into this, become a nurse because I wanted every job to look exactly the same. I wanted it to look different”, and I think that’s why I put that kind of lifestyle in front of myself.

 

So cool. Throughout the book, you shared little snippets and little stories from your career and from your life as a nurse. Is there … I know the book shares a lot of these stories, but is there a patient that you can think back on all these years later and say that’s the one kind of patient you’ll always remember?

 

You know what? I think it really was, and it happened early on, and then it certainly happened when I moved into the emergency room and working in an inner-city city and county emergency room at Denver Health, specifically Denver General back then. That was that sometimes, the environment, or many times, the environment was chaotic and it was less undesirable, but there were so many golden moments, what I call ‘Camelot Nursing’. So many times when I realize that with all of the shortage of supplies, being tired, it’s three AM, I have to go to the bathroom, all the stuff that can seem so negative about in a nursing environment. I would look up or look down at where I was and be with a patient and think, “This is what it’s all about. It’s just you and me”.

 

It didn’t matter if the patient was in shackles and was perpetrator of violence, or it was a mom delivering a baby, or it was you and a patient whose life was leaving them. That’s really what it was all about. It was you and them and the skills that you’re providing, yes, but it was just those moments of making eye contact and being there for patients. That’s what is superseded and helped me realize that even though I work in environments that I thought might have been less than ideal, those Camelot nursing experiences are what set the gold bar for me over and over and over throughout my career.

 

Yeah. I think those moments do have been often too. It’s like the whole world slows down. We were talking before the show too like you and I both have never worked med-surg, but in an ICU or in a critical care type setting, you’re seeing people at the very worst moment of their life, and it can be [wreak havoc 00:13:34]. You said something in the book that I liked too.

 

I don’t remember how you said it, but you said, “It’s almost like in the ED or in ICU, things are [to wreak havoc 00:13:43]. It’s very rushed. It’s very loud, but it’s almost like the nurses and the staff thrive in that environment”, like we almost appreciate it. It’s like when you get into that moment with that patient, and even if it’s as crazy as doing a code or whatever like that, you have that little snippet work. Time really stands still, and you can feel that you’re touching someone’s life.

 

Yeah.

 

Those little moments really … I mean, they change you. I mean, they’ve changed me anyway from who I was a few years ago before I went into nursing. It’s just amazing to see how those little tiny moments really shaped you as a person then.

 

I think that’s there … I realized just working out of the country, there’s this bond between nurses. We know what’s great about it. We know what is irritating or what is something that makes us … Our hackles rise about certain situations, but that bond, it’s the same … I feel that with nurses no matter where I’ve been, and I feel it when I’m with a patient.

 

I know when somebody is a nurse that they know what my life is like. They know what that pain and that feeling, that feeling of wanting to make sure that when you walk in the room and say, “Hi. My name is Juliana, and I’m here to make your day better. I’m going to be with you and stay with you”. That’s what I want from nursing, people that have cared for me, and that’s what I know I want to give to patients that I take care of no matter what the environment is.

 

No. I love that. This leads into what I was going to ask you now. I wanted to ask you, what does it mean to be a nurse? What does RN mean to you?

 

You know what? I think it is a recognition that … Again, I think I’ve got some statements that first and foremost, first and last, what patients want from us is something they wanted from us ever since the beginning of the laying on of hands of this profession. That’s compassion. That’s a response to their suffering.

 

Really, I think patients want to know that the beauty and the sacredness of entering this relationship with us, with us with them, that we are intimate strangers. We may never know each other’s names or remember it, but remembering the contact both for them and for us is what makes this such a noble profession. I think that one of the things I’m still so struck with decades later is that when I’m living and being a nurse, it really I it’s opened up doors for me of thinking … It’s asked me to define, “Are we each other’s brother’s keeper? Is healthcare right?” It’s just it’s the essence of connecting with people, and it is scared.

 

Absolutely. I think like I’m saying earlier too, it really makes you ask difficult questions about life, about humanity, about compassion, about everything, and I thought going into nursing that I had a grasp on those things. I went into nursing a little bit later. I graduated when I was 30. It’s not that I had a good grasp on life.

 

I didn’t realize until probably for the first time the elevator doors opened for my first shift. Like I had no clue what life was. It continues to change. I tried to share that through the podcast and through the blog and through talking to people, more experienced than myself like you with our audience that humility while allowing yourself to ask those difficult questions about life and about nursing and things can really shape your career. I don’t know. I thought I had a good grasp on it going into nursing, and I realized more and more how little I knew and how little I was prepared, but I appreciate that.

 

That’s one of the things I really appreciate about it. We talked about this earlier too. It’s that ever-changing portion of nursing that I think really keeps me interested I guess.

 

Yeah. It’s interesting. I think the science, the excitement, the highly skilled tasks and the roles that we played is alluring for all of us, and I would say and invite anybody that feels that nursing could be a calling for them that they’d be interested in being a nurse to definitely respond to that. I’m subsequently now very intrigued with, “Was my life planned to go back from my doctorate nursing?” As I began that process, I thought, “Wait a minute. Am I doing this because I’m career-building, because this is the direction I want to go?”

 

I actually have a thesis idea that I was very much in love with. Then I thought, “Wait. There are some more fundamental questions that I want to ask”, and so instead, went back for another master’s degree in psychology. It was there that I realized that really, the depth and the beauty, and I had made a documentary. It’s called ‘Exposure Reclaiming the Nobility’.

 

I realized after I did the documentary that the use of the word ‘Exposure’, looking for the truth in nursing, the reality, being candid, that really, what that was, it wasn’t so much an exposure to other people. It was a metaphor for my own life. It was then that I began to look at truly the depth of the nurse-patient relationship. Then, that caused me to look at judgments, projections of people that I’d made. It opened up a level of beauty in being a nurse that I just …

 

It took me by surprise I have to say. I didn’t find it until … Really, I’d been a nurse for many years.

 

Yeah. I didn’t want to ask you about that because I saw that you did end up getting the degree in psychology, and that is kind of a jump a little bit from nursing.

 

Yeah.

 

Yeah, it sounds like your reason was to understand humans and our interaction even more I guess.

 

Yeah. Yeah. That was … I think I looked at it because I was actually at the time in the one job that I said I didn’t like. I was so surprised that after being a nurse for 35 years, I was in a job that I found frustrating, I was disillusioned, and I was actually angry and so surprised that we couldn’t make this position and this nursing experience better.

 

It was really fairly negative reasons that I went on and changed directions, but I will tell you that had I never had that tough job and that disillusionment, it wouldn’t have taken me the directions in life that I then went which were far more satisfying than my original plan in my 20th year, 25th year. I think that happens. Every job has something there to teach you.

 

Yeah. It sounds like that job came … Already after having a good amount of experience in nursing, we hear a lot of new nurses reach out to us that they’re just overwhelmed and not that sure if they should do it. Some of them feel like they made the wrong decision already just month or two into their career. What advice would you share with that new nurse who’s struggling with that?

 

I love that question. I will tell you that I think that before leaving the profession, possibly a job change is something you might want to look at. Before you leave, make sure that something took you to that job, and when you were there, if you think about “Did I learn from this job what I needed to learn?” The example I would give is something you touched on, and that’s the entrepreneurial side. I had started a business with somebody. It was a great idea.

 

It was keeping seniors living at home. This was about 15 years ago, so it was fairly cutting-edge. I had no idea how to set up a business. I mean, it just wasn’t my area, and that one of the reasons I undertook it. I thought, “I haven’t been an entrepreneur yet”, and flew by the seat of my pants, was overwhelmed, made up this price.

 

I will tell you, it’s $500 to go in and provide services, and it wasn’t even doing the hands-on piece. It was coordinating services. The business absolutely took off, and I found out the phone was ringing off the hook, and every time it would ring, I think, “Oh. Oh, darn”. I thought, “You’re not an entrepreneur. This isn’t the right setting for you”.

 

I stayed in the job long enough. I thought, “What am I going to learn about this job?” I thought, “I’m going to stay in this job long enough to find out what makes older the oldest of people that we took care of, people that were in their late 80’s, 90’s. Who were those happy people? What had made them happy?”

 

It was an odd reason to stay for another year. I found those answers out for myself, and then said, “I’m ready to walk away from this and do something different”.

 

Let me ask a … This is a little bit off topic. If you don’t mind sharing, what were a couple of things you learned that made those people a little bit happier than others?

 

Yeah. It’s funny, when I was starting to relate the story, I thought, “Boy, you better have the answer to this because it sounds pretty monumental”.

 

Yeah. That sounds like this is a groundbreaking stuff here.

 

I’ve realized, and I will tell you that because none of this was covered under insurance, the clientele that our little company that this other person and I focused on, everybody actually had assets, and so they were able to pay out of pocket for this care that was somewhat poorly defined. By being poorly defined, it was being defined individually for each of the people that came into the ER at two AM with a broken leg and had children on the East Coast that couldn’t make it out to take care of them.

 

Right.

 

What I found was that if people have something that they care about … That something can be truly a parakeet. It can be a stamp collection. It can be a teacup collection. It can be reading books that you never got around to when you were younger. It can be literally anything if you care about it and you have somebody to communicate that caring with.

 

Whether it’s through computers interestingly for older people or whether it’s by having a child or a family directly in your life, many of these people didn’t have family close by, but they talk to the postman every day, and they had a pet or they had again, something that kept them mentally alive and connected. The smallness of … I hesitate to use the word ‘Small’. It sounds so judgmental, but some of the simple, most beautiful things that people cared about were what gave their life meaning, and so I think that connectivity and having some of your senses be active enough that you can pull in information is something that we want to help all people maintain as long as possible.

 

I love that. That’s great. Now, in my little bit of experience, I guess I’ve seen that too. It’s just having a passion and having people I guess.

 

Yeah.

 

I want to … It scares you ask a tough question. This is from your book. One of the things that … This is a quote from the book, and I really like this. I think this was when you were talking about your career in the ED and talking about some codes and things like that.

 

You said, “For us to stop pushing your death away can evoke thoughts that we did not do enough to save you”. Do you mind just talking about that? I really like that quote. Just talk on that for a minute.

 

We know that death is inevitable, and we know that there are no cures for death, and we know that death is the right path for what might have even brought somebody, and even if it seems young or unexpected. I think when you go into high mode of … It is our jobs. That’s one of the commitments of advocacy for you that we’ve made as nurses, as doctors, as the healthcare team makes. We will do what we can to keep you alive.

 

We want you to know that, but at the same time, switching off when we’re realizing that we’re 50 minutes, two hours into a code, a resuscitation, and it’s not working, that we know that we’re moving toward the direction of letting life take on its own path, that your destiny is going to win out over us. That passion, that fight mode that we get into, we do that because we give you our ego, our strength, our physical, our connectivity with you, but we also know when it’s time to stop. I think that that would extend even onto … I’m sure, Jon, you know this too. After somebody has died, after they have died whether they’re awake all the way until they died or it’s slowly been slipping away, we know that you’re still there with us.

 

We don’t treat your body or anything that we’ve just experienced with you as being something that’s just, “That’s what we do. We’re used to it”. You are still with us. I would want loved ones to know if they’ve ever lost the life of somebody in the ER or in an ICU or hospital setting, we know that that person before us is somebody’s wife, brother, husband. We know that that person’s body means something to somebody, and it does to us too.

 

Yeah. I do like how you said that because I think … I mean, we’ve been talking a lot about … What am I trying to say here? About human nature and about our connection with humans.

 

I think that connection between nurse is maybe a curse because we all have somewhat that different view on wife than what people are, and I think that you’re right. When people die in a hospital, and as a nurse, we continue to care for that person, to care about that family and to care about what’s going to happen now to this family or to this husband or to this … I do think that that’s one of the things I always tried to really share with the family members after someone died. Take your time. Say goodbye, and my care doesn’t stop. As soon as that patient dies, I don’t just move on and I’m not just done.

 

Yeah.

 

I continue to care for that person, clean them, take care of them, prepare them for everything that’s going to occur after that. My care doesn’t just stop there, and so I won’t another one down, giving an assignment. We continue to care and to take care and to really deeply care about those people.

 

You know what? We have to get good at suffering and we have to get good at death. Even if you hear people make jokes about some of the stuff that we see and do in hospitals, the whole place of where humor fits in is fascinating. To some degree, I think you have to walk in our shoes to understand that “How can that sound that we’re respecting people’s dignity when in fact we make comments that sound possibly very cruel?” I would tell people that “We do keep you covered, and we do recognize that your body and the way we are interacting above you when you’re laying down in the patient role”. We do keep in mind that if that were me, how would I want you to be caring for me?

 

I think that people question, “If you’ve been doing this line of work, doctoring, nursing for years, do you get hard? Do you get so good at it that it doesn’t have any meaning for you?” I would say, “No. I don’t think that happens for the majority of us”. When it seems to happen, that’s when team members circle the wagons and start helping people see that maybe their response is they need some time or distance away from what they’re doing because it isn’t from not caring that people do behaviors that may look less sympathetic or kind. It’s usually from caring too much.

 

Yeah.

 

It’s similar to burnout.

 

Yeah, and that’s one thing I’ve talked about it. I’ve talked about compassion fatigue a few times. It’s like we go into this because we care, and then, yeah, I think there do come those moments for all of us where it’s like “Man, I don’t know if I can handle it anymore”.

 

Yeah.

 

I think people do revert to anger or to humor or to whatever. I mean, that’s the nice thing about nursing is I think it is structured in a way as a career where you can take some time off or you can switch things up until you get that energy back to go and to do what you need to do on the job.

 

One of the questions I thought was so interesting I was asked years ago … At the time, it seemed so bizarre, and now, it makes perfect sense. That was the question, and this would be something I would say to any new nurse that “When will you know when it’s time for you to leave?” You think, “I just started this job. I’m not sure I’ll know it”. I would say you will know it.

 

One of the ways that you keep vibrant and keep excited and keep your compassion fatigue recognizable, but not where it feels overwhelming is to keep on updating your vision of what you need to be, what kind of nurse you need to be for yourself. If you work in an environment where you can do that, then you may not want to leave, but if you can’t be the nurse that you want to be that meets your own role models and the vision you’ve had, and it may need to be updated, may need to be questioned personally, but be the nurse that you need to be.

 

I love that. I think that’s perfectly said because I have seen people come … They always thought they want to do trauma or ICU. They come into ICU, and it’s just clearly not making them happy. They’ll move to a different floor, and they thrive, or they move to a different setting or they go to school again or update their resume or whatever, and they thrive.

 

I think not being afraid to make those jumps is important because you get into it, and like, “I always wanted to do this. I always wanted to do this”, and you can force it where it’s really just probably not the right thing for you.

 

Right. I’d agree.

 

I wanted to ask, after so many years in nursing and so many different careers in nursing, so many different avenues, is there anything you would do if you can rewind the clock that you would go back and do differently?

 

I have to tell you, I have made so many zigzags in nursing. I have given things up, try … I worked for a pharmaceutical company because I thought it sounded really interesting, and I found out I didn’t like it, and left. No. I left positions when I, like I say got something out of them, stayed long enough to justify being [oriented 00:34:47] by them, and then left when I knew that it was right for me.

 

No. I really think that one of the things we each have to do in being guardians of this profession is that we’d ask ourself, “Would someone choose to be a nurse after meeting me in the position I’m doing?” If I think the answer is no, then that’s where we’re lucky enough to be able to leave the job and work on a cruise ship or work in a prison or work out in summer camp. We can make that choice, but “Would someone after meeting me want to be a nurse?” That’s been a subtle behind the scenes question that I ask myself, and I’d suggest that that’s a barometer of … I don’t know. A barometer of …

 

Career-moving journey.

 

Yeah. Yeah. Sort of that personal commitment that you want to be the best that you can be because we are in this sacred relationship of working with people.

 

I do. I like that. I wrote that down too. “Would someone want to be a nurse after meeting me?” I think that’s a great question to ask if …

 

Okay.

 

I think that that … The beauty of nursing is if I’m not happy in one field, I can do another field. Let me find the field in nursing where I thrive and people will look at me and say, “Man, I should have chose nursing”.

 

Yeah. That is it, Jon. That’s so true. That’s when I titled my book ‘The Joy of Nursing: Reclaiming Our Nobility’. Somebody said to me “I think it sounds like nursing sucks” is what they said at some of the things you have to do. I said, “No. This is about the joy of nursing, being able to work in a field where you feel inspired”, I said.

 

Yeah. I’ll be honest. I’ll be honest. One of the reasons I didn’t want to do nursing was because I didn’t want to clean patients. I didn’t want to wipe butts all day.

 

That was one of the big things. When I was contemplating nursing, I was like, “Yeah”. People will say that to me now. I’ll tell people like, “You should check out nursing if you’re not happy with your career”. I don’t want to wipe butts. What I didn’t realize back then is that that is such … I mean, you do do that if you’re a floor nurse. Right?

 

Yeah.

 

That happens.

 

Yeah, we do it, didn’t we in critical care too?

 

Exactly. You do it a lot, but that’s not what nursing is. I mean, nursing is, it’s a calling. It’s a profession. It’s so much beyond that. It’s dealing with humans and all that to where I would just say those little hard things about nursing almost become negligible when you look at the whole, big picture of what it is that …

 

Yeah.

 

Yeah, and I wouldn’t change the career. I still don’t like doing it, but I wouldn’t change the career because of it.

 

Yeah. Yes, and it’s just like don’t you love it when somebody says, “I can’t stand the sight of blood”, and I say, “Then, you know what? You can be a nurse and you won’t be in contact with blood. Go to a third world country. Go ahead, and there’s so many frontiers. Go and do research. Go and do teaching”.

 

There’s so many things you can do that if you don’t like one aspect of it, to me, working in a bank or as an attorney with some contentious, fighting, algorithmically president setting job would be horrible for me”.

 

Yes. Exactly. I’m glad that I had the chance to do the cubicle thing for a short time because it made me … There was just no way I would ever go back, and I knew that. It was in my mind.

 

Like I knew what the alternative was no matter how hard the day was or a shift was. It’s almost like when you have those hard days, those hard shifts, there’s … Maybe this is the whole thing that we have a different language as nurses, like there’s a sense of pride too. Like you walk out to your car after the shift and you’re exhausted and you’re tired, but it’s almost like you hang your head high because it’s like, “I’m awesome”.

 

Yeah. I agree. We can walk out of your jobs, and truly, our jobs are not going to be computerized. There are aspects of it that there are, and that’s wonderful in many ways because there’s so much information and opportunity because of the information we have, but our job, our caring, that isn’t going to be taken away. There are plenty of other jobs within the whole healthcare system that I think are at risk, and I think we can say, “Wait. As nurses, there will always be a job for us”.

 

Look at one of the reasons we have the shortage is because we have so many places where nurses are wanted, needed, and are making a difference. That’s just I see continuing. I don’t see that getting less. The job may change, but the need for nurses, I think we made great choices, and I would encourage anybody to look at it as a profession.

 

Let’s ask this question. As parting wisdom, parting advice, what would you tell the new nurse or the student who’s in school right now and contemplating how hard it is, if they made the right decision? What would be your wisdom to that person?

 

I would say that you have made an outstanding choice and that you will find a richness. It will exceed your expectations. If you’re presently feeling disillusioned, find out. Engage in dialogues of discontent. Find people that are interested in exploring your position that you’re in and looking at problem solving it because there’s so much you can do. Go out and do it.

 

Absolutely. There’s so much in nursing. The book is ‘The Joy of Nursing: Reclaiming Our Nobility’. Where can people find the book?

 

It can be purchased on Amazon. It’s been floating in and out of being the first and the second new hot release within the last 40 days that it’s been out. That was a very nice surprise. It would be great if you would purchase it through ‘Amazon.com’ or it’s also available through Steamboat Springs Publishing.

 

Okay.

 

Those can be found on the internet.

 

Perfect. Your name is Juliana Adams, so you’re going to go to Amazon. Type ‘Juliana Adams’ in or ‘Joy or Nursing’ or if you go now, it’s on the hot new sellers.

 

Yeah. ‘The Joy of Nursing’ has been picking it up, and I thank you.

 

Absolutely. Thank you. I think people will find a lot of wisdom in this book.

 

Thanks. Thanks, Jon.

 

All right, guys. I hope you enjoyed that episode. I hope you get a chance to head over to Amazon and pick up her book. It’s ‘The Joy of Nursing’. Her name is Juliana Adams.

 

You guys, I appreciate you being here. I appreciate you being part of the NRSNG family. We’re really building something great here. We’re revolutionizing. We’re changing the way nursing education is done, and we’re doing everything that we can to give you the confidence and the tools that you need to succeed in nursing school and in life.

 

Again, a big thank you for being here. Be sure to check us out over on social media, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat. If you go over to Snapchat, our username is ‘NRSNGcom’. We post random cheat sheets and things up there as well. You guys, thank you so much for being here.

 

We appreciate all that you do. We’re here to help you on your journey to becoming a nurse. With that said, you guys know what time it is now. It’s time to go out and be your best self today. Happy nursing.

 

Date Published - Jun 13, 2016
Date Modified - Jun 14, 2019

Jon Haws RN

Written by Jon Haws RN

Jon Haws RN began his nursing career at a Level I Trauma ICU in DFW working as a code team nurse, charge nurse, and preceptor. Frustrated with the nursing education process, Jon started NRSNG in 2014 with a desire to provide tools and confidence to nursing students around the globe. When he's not busting out content for NRSNG, Jon enjoys spending time with his two kids and wife.

One Comment

  1. Avatar

    Juliana Adams

    Jon, I have a really big favor to ask of you. We briefly discussed prior to my interview with you my blog on my website that was coming out stating “It’s harder to Become a Nurse than a Doctor,” Well, to my surprise my blog got picked up by Sanjay Gupta the CNN medical Go To person. He placed it on his site June 24th by medpagetoday – “Is it Harder To Become a Nurse or a Doctor”

    This site has a huge following (1.4 million) It is now ranked as the 5th most read article on their site as of today!
    This was a nice surprise, but I want it to be understood for what it does say. I am not saying that it’s harder being a nurse than a doc but what the article says is that with nearly 5X’s more RN applicant’s, it’s harder to get into a BSN program than there are positions available. Buzz is good but I want it to be read accurately.
    Here is the direct link to the article: http://www.medpagetoday.com/nursing/Nursing/58718 ( it is an MD site with a nursing piece to it. and it’s on the MD page that it was listed today as being the 5th most read article)
    Jon, do you think you, your group, your nrsgn following could respond to this? I wanted this to be a source of inspiration and pride for nurses and an FYI to the public. I’m hoping that someone comments on my last sentence in this piece. Nursing is NOT a default profession, nurses work REALLY hard to become nurses!
    Thanks, Juliana

    Reply