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            The profession of nursing involves providing physical and emotional care to a patient. In all situations of patient care, the patient must be the number one priority. A critical component of nursing practice is to advocate for the patient’s wishes regarding their health and treatment plan without being judgmental.  It is important to give patients all the available information and education but to support their own goals and priorities as well.  Health is not simply the absence of illness. It is the nurse’s responsibility to expand care beyond the patient to include the education and health promotion of family members and members of the community.
            A nurse is able to create an environment which is both physically and emotionally comfortable and safe to promote well-being.  Use of technology, research, observation, and critical thinking is essential to understanding nursing as both an art and a science. Nurses must have the knowledge to physically care for a patient as well as the ability and confidence to step out of textbook boundaries. It should be every nurse’s goal to move beyond the competent and proficient stages of nursing, and reach the expert level where experience has expanded the ability to move beyond a fixed set of rules.
            Nursing is a profession where teamwork is needed in order to provide holistic care to a patient in need. It may involve input from the patient, family, peers and colleagues from other disciplines to put together a plan that will promote the best individualized care. A nurse could be caring for three patients with the same diagnosis, but this does not mean they will be cared for in the same way. A nurse must provide comfort, as well as ensure trust, confidence and confidentiality in order to promote a positive nurse patient relationship. Although advances in technology will continue to take place in the future, it is important for nurses to not lose sight of their roles. It is important that the nurse does not rely solely on technical evaluations to care for a patient. A nurse must be present with the patient to evaluate and observe what the patient needs socially, mentally, spiritually and physically. A piece of technical equipment cannot make these evaluations, and this is why a nurse must always value being at the bedside no matter where technology takes the profession of nursing in the future.
        I am eager to continue my clinical experience so I can find a specialty in nursing that I am passionate about. It is important for me to stay open minded throughout my college curriculum so that I can see where my interests and strengths will be best utilized. Through experience, learning from my patients, peers, professors, and eventually colleagues, I want to become a nurse who is culturally aware and always learning. There is always room for learning, and I hope to be a student and eventually a registered nurse who is always open to new experiences and opportunities to deepen my nursing practice.

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