STORIES
September 28, 2021

Nurse Alice Pens Letter To “Future Nurses Who Are Feeling Discouraged”

Nurse Alice Pens Letter To “Future Nurses Who Are Feeling Discouraged”
Alice Benjamin
By: Alice Benjamin Chief Nursing Officer & Correspondent

Dear Future Nurse,

I know you’ve been seeing and hearing a lot on the blogs, social media, and on television about how your future colleagues are tired, burned out, understaffed, not feeling valued or compensated and how some are contemplating leaving or have left the bedside, resulting in the nursing shortage.

The truth is, there has been a slow-growing nursing shortage for a while now, but the pedal hit the metal once the pandemic happened – compounding the effects of compassion fatigue, unsafe staffing ratios, being overworked and underpaid while we put our lives on the line during a deadly pandemic. And in that process, it exposed how much more broken our healthcare system is. Not only does it not properly care for or service those who need healthcare, but it’s also done a horrible job at retaining, supporting, and protecting the vast majority of those who work in it – NURSES.  

There are over 4.2 million nurses, making us the largest segment of the healthcare workforce. And not only that, but we are the only health professional role that works in every and any space possible. Wherever there is a patient need, you will find nurses. This includes anywhere from schools, to correctional facilities, home health, hospitals, in flight, in the military, government and so many more. 

But before I get into that, I want to let you know – you are needed so please don’t give up on your dream to become a nurse. And I don’t just mean we need you as an FTE or warm body to fill an empty staff position but need your light and energy to help illuminate the pathway for where the nursing profession is going. We need your passion, excitement, innovation, and creativity to inspire, empower and enact change that will improve our profession. 

So let’s talk about your journey. Many nursing students I know are second-guessing their career choice. They’re worried about not getting through nursing school because of all the stops and starts and transitions there have been in classes and clinicals. Some are worried that nursing school will not prepare them to become nurses and that hospitals will just throw you to the wolves as you orient and onboard. These are real feelings with real consequences. Has this happened to some, yes - but I promise we’re working on it! And I will fight for you. We’re fighting for you now so please don’t abandon the dream. We will need you as future nurse leaders to continue the charge not only for yourself but others. And then you as a  nurse leader will one day pass the baton to another nurse leader.

So think back to why you first wanted to become a nurse. Hold onto that dream. Fight for that dream. Live out your dream. You are not alone. We are stronger together. And together we can get through this. 

Sign the pledge to help change the future of nursing!

P.S. If you have a question or need to vent, email me at [email protected] 

From your future nurse colleague,

Nurse Alice

@asknursealice

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