To Be a Nurse…


I am a Nurse…


I don’t think I ever mentioned that here before.

Today seems like a fitting day because it’s the anniversary of my grandfather’s death and he assisted me tremendously by helping to finance my education. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without his help.  I am so very thankful for that. 

And for him.  And I miss him.  And I know he was very proud of me.



I graduated from Loyola University in 1994, so that means this May I will have been a nurse for 20 years…

20 years…

My first year out of college I worked on a Medical-Surgical unit.

The past 18 years have been spent in the NICU.  I’ve been blessed in loving what I do.

nicu photo

In 1997, I wrote an essay for Nurse’s Day.  The theme was “Nurses Have the Courage to Care”.  I was a young, ideological nurse.  But what I wrote, still holds true today.

The Courage to Care

When I was in nursing school, nobody said anything about how hard it would be physically, mentally, and emotionally to be a nurse. No one said anything about the aching back or the sore feet I would have. Nobody told me about how mentally challenged I would be every day and that nothing about my job would ever be routine and, most importantly, they forgot to mention how courageous I would have to be.

Many people ask, “Why would anyone want to be a nurse?” Nurses are, by nature, a caring group of individuals…it is what calls us to this profession. That is the easy part. The hard part is that it
takes a tremendous amount of courage to care for others and give of your self unselfishly and to do what nurses do day after day.

It takes courage to take care of people at their most vulnerable, most human states. It takes courage to face the realities of life, realities that nurses know better than anyone else: that sometimes the world is incredibly unfair, that the human spirit is strong, but sometimes it breaks, and that sometimes, no matter how much high technologic equipment is available, sometimes even babies die.

Nurses are the soldiers at the forefront of it all. We are there when life begins and we are there when it ends. We open our hearts to our patients and their families and they forever become a part of us. We see miracles and heartbreak every day, we are in the middle of it, we are real, we are involved. For our patients, we hear their fears, we feel the struggles, and we can taste their pain. We see the best of human nature and the worst. We save lives every day; we grieve over the losses and triumph over the victories. Sometimes we leave our job in tears yet we still keep coming back. No other profession could ask so much of its participants, but nurses, they give of themselves courageously.

I wish to celebrate all nurses for all their strength to care and the courage to keep giving of themselves to their patients and their profession. And when people ask, “How could nurses do what they do?” The answer is simple: they have the courage to care.  Copyright 1997


Thank you Dzia Dzia!  See you on the other side!








6 thoughts on “To Be a Nurse…

  1. OMG Kathryn, my Brick! Tears are just flowing from my eyes, tears that needed to be shed today – in memory of a loving dad and dziadzia. . . .the photos are just beautiful – thank you for sharing this today. . . . .God bless!

  2. Aww. Such a bitter sweet day. I remember reading your essay the first time and I’m equally moved today to read it again. Your gramps would be proud!

  3. My favorite Dziadzia moment…….”Ok, let me know when she is through being upset”…..I’m sure he is very proud of you for many things, but most of all for the courage to care that you bring everyday in everything you do. That is a real gift.

  4. I love you Kathy and I love and respect what you do. I’ve said it before, I’m proud to say my BFF is a nurse and I brag about you all the time. You are the heroes. BTW, you look like a baby taking care of a baby in that picture. XO

  5. Pingback: Catching Up With Blogging U… | Feathers and Dimes

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