A Nurses Commitment Consists of 3 E’s


Are you thinking of becoming a nurse?  Do you think you have what it takes to be a great nurse? Do you know the 3 E’s of nursing commitment?  Nursing is a lifestyle and a commitment that will continue throughout your career.  Even after retirement, you will always be a nurse.  A nurses commitment consists of these 3 E’s education, empathy, and endurance.

As nurses, we are some of the most educated professionals.  You start with the undergrad requirements and continue throughout your career.  Nurses training is extensive and ongoing.  When consider personal career development, extensive training to include theoretical and hands-on nurses have years of education.

In order to be a great nurse, you need to have endurance.  The nursing profession is mentally, emotionally and physically demanding.  Think about the long shifts,  life or death decisions regarding patient care and loss of life due to age or illness.  Nurses may spend hours caring for patients and then lose them and experience a loss.  When considering nursing is this something you can endure?

Can you be a nurse without empathy?  I would say not.  Nurses are caregivers by nature and it is evident when you start clinical training.  As a nurse, we get close to our patient to cultivate a relationship that provides support both medically and emotionally.  If you are that person who feels no empathy for others who suffer a loss then nursing may not be for you.

A Nurses Education

Nurses as professionals are highly educated with most having at least a bachelor’s degree.  As part of a nurses commitment for licensure, you will maintain competency with evolving medical techniques and technology.

Many nurses will choose to further their education and often pursue a master’s degree.  There are also those who go even further and obtain their Ph.D.

Continuing Education

Many if not all states now require continuing education units (CE’s) to maintain a nursing license in that state.  The number and frequency will vary from state to state.

Nurses who want to pursue additional credentialing in specialized areas will find a wealth of courses available. The American Nurses Credentialing Center offers a list of certifications in a variety of areas.  Just a few of those are:

  • Nurse practitioner certifications like psychiatric nursing, gerontological nursing, and family practice.
  • Clinical nurse specialist certifications for pediatrics, psychiatry, and gerontology.
  • Specialty certifications such as home health nursing, school nursing, diabetes management, community health, psychiatry, pediatrics, and mental health.

Conferences & Seminars

Nurses love conferences and seminars where there is the opportunity to participate and gain new insight into the latest new developments in technology and nursing. You can now participate many of them via the internet by webinars saving you money in travel and lodging.  The American Nurses Association (ANA) maintains a current listing of upcoming conferences and webinars.

Then there is Endurance

A nurse needs endurance just to be able to work those long 12-hour shift.  Along with the long shift work there is the mental, physical, and emotional drain. Nursing is not just hand holding and back rubs it is also physically demanding. We are on our feet all day and running from room to room. We are frequently moving patients from a gurney to the bed and helping patients from their bed into a wheelchair.  Many things a nurse does during a shift require physical strength.

Nursing requires you to be on your toes and mentally alert.  It is important to be able to make fast, accurate, informed decisions regarding the course of a patients’ ongoing care.  There will be those times when those decisions are life or death. If you are in a leadership position you may also need to make decisions for the entire team.

How hard is it to remain upbeat, friendly, and positive in order to put a patient at ease no matter how bad your day might be?   Your emotional endurance is tested when a patient is lost.  In many of the nursing specialties, it is important to develop a strong therapeutic relationship even though we know they will not survive.  Specialties like hospice, oncology, and gerontology take a strong emotional endurance.

Of Course Empathy

Can you be a great nurse without empathy?  Part of a nurses commitment is empathy. Empathy for your patients or their families is a requirement.   Even if you have never experienced a loss you have to try to understand what your patient is going through.  You need to know what they are going through physically, mentally and emotionally in order to provide the best care possible.  Some of you may be working with a challenging and difficult population that can make having empathy more difficult such as dementia or mental illness.

Understand the Three E’s

As nurses, we need to understand and embrace the three E’s in order to deliver quality patient care. Nurses are strong people, with endurance, education, and empathy that others may never be able to obtain.  Our education exceeds that of many other types of white-collar workers.  A nurses commitment demonstrate empathy and compassion for others goes even beyond our patients.

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Cheryl Roby, RN

Cheryl J. Roby is a Registered Nurse and retired US Army Reserve Nurse Major. She has more than 30 years of nursing experience and 26 years of military experience in the Army Nurse Corp. During her nursing career, she has traveled as part of her military experience visiting many of the 50 states and to South Korea. She was trained as an Army Medic during the Vietnam era and later as an OR tec. She went on to become a Licensed Practical Nurse and then completed her nursing training as a Registered Nurse. She was then commissioned as an officer in the Army Reserves. She appreciated the challenge of working in various specialties and expanding her clinical and professional skill sets. Her time in the Army Reserves and California National Guard gave her the opportunity to travel to most of the 50 states and work in other medical facilities. During her career, she had the opportunity to work in several specialties to include, OR, Occupational Health, Hospice, Sexual Assault Team, Forensic/ Correctional Nurse, Nurse Case Manager for developmental disabilities, Parish Nursing as well as a Nurse Entrepreneur.

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