There’s a beautiful poem penned by an anonymous author that begins:
“Choose an attitude of gratitude
Apply throughout the day
With an attitude of gratitude
Things will flow your way
Give thanks for things that happen
Appreciate experiences anew
Look to your inner guidance
To tell you what to do…”
At this wintry time of year, we have the opportunity to look ahead toward a new year and evaluate the past steps we have taken. In nursing, we are constantly looking forward, changing our practice related to evidence-based research, and applying what we’ve learned toward patient care. Simultaneously, we look back toward our founders (i.e. Florence Nightingale, Imogene King, Jean Watson, etc.) and what they saw as keystones in nursing practice. Improve the environment, grow and develop, and express a caring attitude.
Our Cambridge nursing students have the ability to learn new skills, improve old ones, and become part of healthcare teams in our communities. Life is full of challenges, and nursing school allows the student, faculty, and administration to realize the full circle of education… start with a problem, define some solutions, implement those solutions, and then reassess for how those worked… or didn’t. The gracious attitude we take toward learning encompasses “when at first you don’t succeed”, “do unto others”, and a million other lessons we learn throughout our lives.
An attitude of gratitude comes in realizing that you are a part of a profession like no other. We are present at the beginning and ending of life. We are present through all of life’s transitions. We assist our patients through very dark times, while simultaneously celebrating victories with others. The gratitude comes in having the occasion to play a special role for our patients, their families, and communities in which we live. As educators, faculty has the ability to educate, guide, and facilitate up and coming healthcare workers, and it is with gratitude that they perform those responsibilities.
It is with a grateful heart that we end 2016 and begin anew in 2017… and hopefully for many years to come. We are grateful for students who want to learn and we are grateful for faculty who love to teach. We are grateful for collaboration, camaraderie, and friendship; student to student, student to teacher, teacher to teacher, etc.
Happy New Year! Onward and upward…