Staff Nurse – Cardiothoracic Stepdown Unit
New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Hospital
NYU Meyers College of Nursing – Class 2017
It’s a little weird because I always had nursing in the back of my mind. When I graduated from high school, I wanted to be a physical therapist but things changed along the way. My mother had gotten sick and I started to spend more time in the acute care setting. Seeing nurses function peaked my interest and it made me begin to wonder if I had chosen the right career path. After careful consideration and a long thought process, I decided to pursue a career as a registered nurse. It really felt like the right thing to do based on what I wanted for my career.
As far as nursing goes, I think the continuous learning is probably my favorite part about it all. Between new interventions, equipment and research, there’s always something new to learn. It keeps the mind fresh and the profession exciting. I love that part of coming to work. Furthermore, I enjoy the visual progression from patients. Most patients can’t even walk when they first arrive to the unit. Seeing them build up to the little things like eating solid food and brushing their own teeth gives me a sense of pride knowing I assisted in them in reaching that point. I think my least favorite part of nursing is finding the balance when you’re having a busy night. We all know about time management and prioritizing but it’s a different ball game when you’re actually in the field and you have to apply the skills. It’s pretty difficult but you get better as time goes on.
I think that in order to engage more men to join the nursing work force, it’s imperative to explain and highlight the options that are available. From informatics to academia and everything in between, there are endless opportunities to make an impact on whatever sector that the potential nurse chooses. There are some things to be aware of. Although it’s 2018, there’s STILL a bit of a stigma that surrounds nursing which leads many to believe that it’s a “woman’s job”. That couldn’t be more misleading. I acknowledge the fact that when I walk into a room, some of my patients tend to look a little surprised when they ask “Are you going to be my nurse?”. I only see it as an opportunity to prove that I’m going to provide the best care possible for as long as I’m handling the care of the patient. Every shift is a new opportunity to do something great. As long as I step onto the unit with that mindset, there’s a strong chance that I’m going to have a good shift.
I’m grateful for the NYC Men in Nursing and the platform that has been created for nursing students, new graduates, and experienced professional to come together to share their thoughts, experiences and ideas for future nursing. This organization is going to continue grow as potential members embrace the concept that their contributions make a difference. I’m extremely grateful for the support I’ve received and I’m doing my best to pay it forward to the new class of nurses. It’s very difficult to start as a new nurse because while you work so hard in school to grasp concepts, there’s still so much to learn when you finally make it to the patient care unit.
I can’t say with certainty that I know what I want as far as advancing my nursing career is concerned. I love what I do, but in the same breath I think I may want to do more. It is a gift and a curse to have so many options. Nonetheless, I’d like to take my time with this process. It’s only been about sixteen months and I know I’ve come a long, long way but I’m prepared to continue at the bedside until I’m absolutely sure I know what I want.
The beautiful thing about nursing is that there’s always room for growth. There are plenty of chances to leave your mark and the right chance will display itself in one way or another. I hope to inspire and help guide new nurses about survival in the beginning stages in the profession. I’m not the best teacher but if I can lead by example and teach people about my experiences, I can make a difference I’d be proud of.
I’d like to thank NYC Men in Nursing for the feature and allowing me to share my story.