Happy Nurses Week 2021 from Pacific College of Health and Science Nursing Programs! This week, we are happy to be celebrating nursing and our call to care.
As we reflect on the COVID19 pandemic of 2020-2021 and look forward to emerging from it, nurses may have many experiences and feelings that we need to integrate as part of our healer’s journey. For myself, it has been helpful to remember the times I have felt called to be a nurse and to be a witness to other’s suffering while holding them in a space of caring and healing.
My initial call to care in nursing happened in my mid-20’s when I was still discovering myself and who I wanted to be. I fell in love with nursing, and really with being with patients and their loved ones, during my ASN program clinical experiences. I later felt called to begin practice as a hospice nurse after years of working on medical-surgical units and witnessing how poorly end-of-life care was performed. I found a passion for the mystical-spiritual elements that envelop the end-of-life and dying process and I truly think of myself as a hospice nurse who has stepped away from the bedside for a while, with hopes to return to that practice in the future.
When we care for ourselves, we recognize our call to care and we renew our commitment to caring for both ourselves and others in deep and meaningful ways. Perhaps some of my greatest healing occurred when I was called to work as a parish nurse. While it was an 18-month experience, it greatly impacted my journey as a wounded healer, nurse, and educator. My role as a parish nurse coincided with my dissertation writing process which focused on Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring, and my healing journey greatly impacted my understanding of how we as healers evolve, change, learn, and grow in the presence of others.
When I think about all of the challenges facing our profession and the need for nurses’ healing that has arisen from the effects of the pandemic, I think of providing all nurses with the resources and experiences to help them renew themselves to fully answer the call to care. This calling to care for others also happens in the community and with others as our witnesses. Included here are some links that may be of assistance on your journey shared with other nurse-healers who are on their path. Please explore them for yourself and share them with others as we support the healing process.
In Peace, Love, and Light,
Carey S. Clark, Ph.D., RN, AHN-BC, RYT, FAAN
Director of Nursing
Chair, Medical Cannabis Certificate Program