In case you missed it, The World Health Assembly designated 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse to honor Florence Nightingale’s (the founder of modern nursing) 200th birth anniversary. And boy, did we get just that (and more).
This past March marked my one year anniversary of being an RN. In my 14 months of being a nurse, I have laughed, cried, learned, screamed, learned some more, and developed some great friendships. I started dating a really awesome guy (hi Babe!) and I finally feel settled in as an adult… even though I still live at home, LOL. I’ve had shifts that have completely drained me (physically, mentally, and emotionally), and I’ve had shifts that fly by in the blink of an eye.
As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t think any nurse thought that “our” year would play out the way that it has. Fortunately for me, I’ve only been sent to my hospital’s COVID unit once. I am so thankful for and proud of my friends (and everyone else) in the ICU who have spent these last few months caring for the most critically ill patients in the hospital. Every day that we go to work, we really are giving the year of the nurse a whole new meaning.
Celebrating Nurses Week this year was way different than last year. Last year, I was excited to be two months into my brand new career and celebrating with my new coworkers and friends. When Nurses Week rolled around last week, I didn’t even realize it was already May. It kind of just crept up on me; I only realized it when everyone started wishing me a happy nurses week. I literally responded to someone with, “Oh shit, I didn’t even know.” I know, I’m the worst. I guess in the midst of all this craziness and change, it totally slipped my mind.
I’m grateful and proud to be a nurse every day, but even more in these times. This last year has taught me so much about myself not only as a professional, but as a person. I’ve seen sides of myself that I never knew existed, which is humbling and gratifying.
Cheers to the International Year of the Nurse. Cheers to all my coworkers, colleagues, friends, and other healthcare workers who help make our jobs a little easier (especially Respiratory Therapists!). As we already have been doing, let’s make this year the best- no matter the circumstances that are thrown our way. One of my best friends, Diego, who’s an ICU RN and has spent countless hours in the COVID unit, said it best, “Our community has really pulled through together to make history.” We’re going down in history, and we’re doing it together.
With everything reopening soon, remember to stay safe, wear a mask, wash your hands, and disinfect. To all the healthcare workers and first responders reading this: thank you. Have a wonderful week everyone, and make sure to follow me on Instagram to see my posts and IGTVs!
Top (left to right): Julie Pando, Ceci Novoa, Shane Watkins, Valeria Smith
Middle (left to right): Mike Alfonso, Tiffany Tomas, Julie Pando, Michael Jimenez
Bottom (left to right): Amanda Marrero, Nicki Guerra, Coral Gonzalez, Ceci Novoa