During my 44 years at Winona State University I’ve had the blessing of knowing and teaching many thousands of students. Most of my students are in the business school but I have known many who graduate in other disciplines.
In my opinion nursing is one of the best collegiate majors. Nursing is a calling to serve those who are ill. The skills of nurses are absolutely necessary in our society whether they are applied in an operating room, a hospital, or in an extended care facility. Finally, compared to other majors nurses do well financially and enjoy both job security and mobility. With financial discipline nurses have an income that allows them to quickly pay back their student loans and live a very comfortable life. A nurse can find a job almost anywhere in the world. A friend of mine was a nurse in Riyadh and decided to relocate to Albuquerque. He sent an email to a hospital in Albuquerque and they hired him in just a few days.
Being a nurse is very hard work and includes plenty of risk. When a nurse goes to work for an 8 or 12 hour shift there’s no goofing around. Attention to detail is paramount and one mistake can cost a life. With Covid 19 it is a foregone conclusion most nurses will test positive before this episode is over. This is a WAR and its front line fighters are nurses.
In school some nurses take the ceremonial Nightingale Pledge. The beginning of the pledge goes like this: “I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug…..”
Three days ago I noticed a young lady walking through my back yard on her way to dump some recyclables in the bin. She lives in the house next door which I rent to college students. Her name is Madison, but I call her Maddy. As I stuck my nose out of the door to say hello she informed me that she was moving out. I asked about her plan and she said, “I graduated from the Winona State University nursing program last December. I am headed to Rochester (MN) where I will start my full time job as a nurse at the Mayo Clinic!”
Despite the fact that she is entering a full-blown pandemic, this healthy young lady’s brisk walking style and big smile exuded her excitement to be a nurse. I honor her choice of a profession and am in awe of her bravery. In this time of doubts there is one thing of which I am absolutely sure. Maddy will indeed be a great nurse!