Just a Nurse

In the beginning there was this girl…..who wanted to be a writer. It’s the old story of not being able to follow a dream. After some time the beginning gets to be a cliche. But cliches are cliches because they’re mostly true. And this is my truth.

There must have been many young women finishing high school in the 1960s who wanted to be a nurse but whose parents wouldn’t allow it. Maybe they became writers…probably housewives and teachers and secretaries.

Secretary was what my father wanted me to be. He even bought me a portable typewriter. I typed a short story on that darn thing and sent it off to Family Circle. That magazine was publishing short stories in 1959. Yep, I sent that sucker off at the age of 12 and got my first rejection. I kept writing…and writing…and writing…

My father told me not to even apply to any colleges. My family couldn’t afford it. So I didn’t. My English teacher was very upset when she heard I was going to nursing school. “You should go to college.” Really? Er…why didn’t someone tell Pop.

Instead I applied to a nursing school two hundred miles from home.

But in 1965 Easton Hospital School of Nursing in Easton, PA was $500 for the entire three years…including room and board, books and uniforms. I ate $500 worth of food in the hospital cafeteria during the first three months.

This page will be about nursing school and my years in the profession…the 44 years.

I’m writing a memoir of that time…but mostly of the patients.

And of me…

May 2, 2016

This is my graduation picture: white uniform, pin, cap, and (even though you can’t see them) white stockings and white nursing clinics. Of course, I also had the 1968 “cat’s eye glasses.”

Just a nurse 3

Nursing has changed over the last fifty years. At least the way the profession presents itself to the world. Nursing is not all white (either in uniform or race). And it is not all female. One of the classes behind mine had the first male students for Easton Hospital School of nursing.

What I learned in nursing school and in my years as a nurse helped to form my habits…even today.

Although I’m pushing 70 I have what my daughter calls “the nurse walk.” I have to walk quickly, sometimes faster than everyone else.

And I have my I call “an overly developed sense of responsibility.” I automatically assume the responsibility for almost everything…whether I should or not.

Walk fast and make sure you know what has to be done…and do it.

Yep. Some of the things that make a nurse, a nurse.