where the writers are
Making a Difference

Yesterday I had the pleasure and privilege of witnessing the graduating class of 2012 from the Nursing program at Merritt College. The speakers imparted their last words of encouragement and wisdom as these new nurses-- men and women--would go out into the world to help care for people and to put people at ease when they need it the most, inside of sterile hospitals, that though filled with people, can feel like the human element is missing. I was so proud to be a part of the applause, the tears, the joy, the celebration of these new nurses.

The human element was held high. Don't forget that as you're charting and dealing with instruments--don't forget that there's a human there sitting or lying in the bed. Take the time to ask how they are doing. Take it slow, be mindful, compassionate--and be flexible. These were some of the words of wisdom that were imparted to these nurses. And all the while I was thinking YES. Not only yes, but why aren't these simple human principles practiced in daily life? Too often were in a hurry. Too often smiles are nonexistent. Too often we grow impatient.

As I sat in the audience amongst the families and friends of these graduates, I felt proud and for a few moments I wanted to be a nurse. I wanted to be part of a profession that touches lives. I know nursing is not my path, but being a part of this celebration affirms for me that helping in some way is in me--it always has been--and that I'm no longer able to feel this joy in my own job--at least not to my capabilities and desires.

A week ago I began a process to go in that direction--on a voluntary basis--in the direction of being helpful in a small way, to hopefully brighten someone's day. I hope that along the way, I gain the courage that I need to find a new career path or find a mix that will allow me to both make a living and make a difference. For now, if the process goes well, it will be enough.

8 Comment count
Comment Bubble Tip

Wonderful, to hear!

Hi Rebbecca,

I truly enjoyed your lovely blog about the nursing career! It's wonderful to hear your thoughts with a possible change of direction, as well. A dear friend of mine just finished nursing school after raising two girls who are now in college. She loves it! I'm glad she listened to her heart's calling. It's never too late.


Coincidence?  I've been looking into the possibility of going back to school for my cosmetology teacher's license. It suddenly came to light when I had to massage my face four-times-a-day, ( for my Bell's Palsy). I remembered the whole facial massage I was taught in Beauty school many years ago. It was a good feeling that ran through me, like yours! I imagined how pleasant the feeling is for the client. I had a complete different perspective, this time.


It's a wonderful profession to serve. Whatever we do, to cause a change and making a difference. 


Thank you for sharing, and best wishes with your decision, your choice. XO




Comment Bubble Tip

Hi Catherine, I’m glad you

Hi Catherine,

I’m glad you enjoyed the blog. “Its never too late.” I keep those words nearby, hoping that one day I will find a job that allows me to be the best I can. I’m very grateful to have a job at all, but it’s in my bones that I need to get out of the comfort zone and begin figuring out what to do next, what direction, etc.—which for me seems never ending—I always seem to find myself at this crossroads and I don’t know if I’ve ever really moved beyond it. I count on the fact that it’s never too late and if it takes one month or ten years, I’ll hang on.

I’m so happy to hear about your decision to go back to school for your cosmetology teacher’s license! It’s amazing that your experience with Bell’s Palsy could bring such a wonderful turn of events. I’ve had a few facial massages and it’s the most relaxing and peaceful feeling—all my cares are wiped away for that time. It is incredibly healing, as you know.

Thank you for your insights and for sharing. As we continue along our paths, a quote comes to mind that I believe I jotted down many years ago that was said by Dr. Norman Peal: “Surround yourself with people that bring out the best in you.” That is where I want to find myself wherever I land. I believe that if we are surrounded by encouragement, positive energy, and respect, we in turn are able to bring out the best in others. It becomes a challenge if we are exposed to the opposite and it can grow heavy on our spirits.

All the best to you—and I hope your Bell’s Palsy symptoms are improving.

And thank you for your encouraging words. XO

Comment Bubble Tip

Hi, Rebbecca.  The very fact

Hi, Rebbecca.  The very fact that you are drawn towards becoming helpful makes me suspect that you already are.  Your writing, for one thing, with its gentle insight, is already helpful.  There are so many ways to be helpful.

As for nurses, many of them are wonderful, humane people.  I just wish doctors would take learn from them.


Comment Bubble Tip

Hi Katherine, Thank you so

Hi Katherine, Thank you so very much for your kind words. It makes me happy to know that my writing can be helpful in some small way. I appreciate your insights because sometimes it takes a fresh perspective and sharing, as from you and Catherine, to be reminded. I thank you both for that.

True…if certain doctors could learn how to be more humane from nurses, that would make a big difference.

Thanks for reading and sharing.

Comment Bubble Tip


After raising three children, with two more entering their teens, my single parent mother finally first got her GED and then went on to nursing school, becoming an LPN and an RN. She loved it, thriving as a nurse. Now she's a retired nurse, with many stories and grateful patients. I felt so much pride in her. Teachers, nurses, doctors, firefighters and farmers rank as highly important in our civilization's professionals, along with Moms. 

Glad you found the courage and faith to consider a new path. Good luck to you, no matter where your efforts and dreams carry you.


Comment Bubble Tip

Michael, Your mother is an

Michael, Your mother is an incredible woman. I admire folks that know what they want and they seize it and that she touched people’s lives and has many stories to remember is a gift.

I do try to remember that every profession is necessary to move the world along in some way. But I agree with you about teachers, nurses, doctors, etc. I suppose it also comes down to each individual, their intentions, and how they decide to perform their jobs. I try to remind myself of a lot of different things. It’s all too easy to forget.

Thank you for your good wishes—for reading and sharing.

Comment Bubble Tip

I spent 6 months as a

I spent 6 months as a volunteer EMT in a foreign country . Volunteer , and thus made no money, but it was the most rewarding experiance of my life . From watching other volunteers immediately rush to the front to have the honor of being able to bring a young cancer paitent on what would most likely be her last ride , even though it would mean a 3 hour round trip and no sleep duirng the night, to trying to find the words when someone thanked me for saving her mother's life (we brought her back from having no pulse and not breathing to well enough to get her to the hospital) I learned there was no such thing as "helping in a small way" because everytime you see someone during your volunteer time it is someone who is pain and you would be surprised how much a small thing like smiling at them or making them a little more comfortable brightens  their world and makes it better. And if there is any doubt to what nurses do (and actually reading the comments I see the outpouring of appreciation that people have for nurses) here is great video made by the kids who are being treated in  the Seattle Children's Cancer hospital...notice it is the nurses, not the doctors joining in . You made the world a lot better, even if it seems to you to only be in a small way.

Comment Bubble Tip

Joshua, Thank you so much for

Joshua, Thank you so much for adding your experiences here. You really help to reinforce that when helping, there is no small or big--no matter in what capacity or with what gesture--it's all important. I also appreciate how you show that not only does the recipient gain something, but so does the volunteer or helper, in ways that transcend the obvious.

The video brought happy tears to my eyes. Yes, nurses are vital contributors to our world who remember that above all else, we are human.

Thanks for reading and sharing.