Later this week February 14th, is Valentine’s Day – the internationally recognized holiday that variously inspires young children to try their hand at making an original card expressing at least admiration for other children, and compels adults to exchange gifts symbolizing their adoration of one another. Putting aside the commercialization of a day with deep roots in Roman religious festival traditions, I would like to consider ways in which we as nursologists can express, in our actions and deeds, our fundamental respect – and yes, our love, for the discipline to which we have committed our professional lives, and for many, our personal lives as well.
So in the spirit of the best traditions of Valentine’s day – here are a dozen and one ways to love our discipline!
- Express appreciation every day to a nurse who has made, or makes a difference in your life.
- Form a small support or interest group with a few nurse colleagues to work on a persistent challenge you are facing; include early-career nurses who are so vulnerable to these challenges.
- Recognize ways in which racism and other forms of discrimination are expressed in everyday ways in your work environment, acknowledge your part, and explore ways to resist and transform these situations.
- Practice the fine art of “active listening” whenever you encounter a nurse colleague whose point of view differs from your own, explore common ground and build bridges of understanding.
- Reach out to a nurse who is hurting, discouraged, or fearful for any reason; listen to their story, and pledge to continue to listen.
- Settle on your own clear and succinct explanation of what nursing is all about; express this to at least two other people every day, and notice their responses to refine your message.
- Read one article every month, or two books a year, to learn about nursing history and the nurses who made significant contributions to our discipline.
- Practice one or more self-nurturing activity every day, such as physical activity (walking, yoga, tai chi), meditation, play and laughter, saying “no” as a complete sentence!
- Resolve to speak the truth of nursology to power at every possible opportunity.
- Use every avenue possible to communicate with the public – with your local community leaders, the media, and politicians.
- Love and care for the earth and its animal creatures as you would your most cherished patient; take at least 3 opportunities each day to teach others to love and care for the earth and for animals.
- Join at least one nursing organization and work to create needed changes in our discipline and in healthcare. AND
- Follow Nursology.net, share the site far and wide, and participate in sharing ideas to shape the future of nursing/nursology.
Brandon Blaine Brown