1. Voss, Robin Smith

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If I were asked to describe myself in just two words, I would tell you that I am a mother and a nurse. I think being good at one makes me better at the other. I can also tell you that I love being both a mother and a nurse. I can't imagine not being either, and I love sharing my experiences from both of these with others.

FIGURE. Robin Smith ... - Click to enlarge in new windowFIGURE.

NAON can be a part of recruitment for nursing in general by identifying roles in orthopaedics that would excite and challenge present nurses-or those considering nursing as a career choice. The orthopaedic field has always given me new roles, new challenges, and new learning opportunities. We need to relay this information to attract good people to become orthopaedic nurses. We will have the opportunity to recruit them into NAON, thereby causing the association to grow.


Nursing is a fine art. It incorporates the elements of soul, mind, imagination, the sensitive spirit, and intelligent understanding. Compassion may provide the motive for many of us, but knowledge is our most powerful tool. As time has progressed, it has become apparent that love and caring alone are not sufficient to nurture health or overcome disease. The head, heart, and hands must unite to provide the foundation of modern-day nursing. It is vital that we use critical thinking in every aspect of nursing.


We are losing the public trust and confidence as our consumers read about the issues of the need for increased patient safety because of medication errors, wrong-site surgery, and medical device reuse. They see us in the media being portrayed as angels of mercy, battle-axes, and naughty nurses. Then what do we say or do when others seem interested in our noble profession:


* If I had it to do over again...


* I would never let my child become a nurse because...


* There are so many other jobs that pay more; the hours are better, no weekends, no holidays, so why...



Instead, we should be telling them that if they are good in math and science they should consider nursing. The profession is for males and females. Nursing has excellent job opportunities and opportunities to work for advanced degrees. Nursing brings many rewarding experiences and opportunities. Every day we make a difference in peoples' lives by giving to those in need.


Nursing is in the middle of a potentially dangerous shortage, and it's time we decided whether we are going to be part of the problem or part of the solution. We must boost the attractiveness of nursing. We need to recruit new nurses, market our profession, and work to pass legislation that helps increase our numbers and makes our professional work environment a safer place. Be involved in the legislative process!! Don't forget how important it is to vote in every election. Stay informed on the issues that affect nursing by reading our government relations report each month (you can find this on the NAON Web site). Call, write, or e-mail your members of Congress. We must come together as a united force, because together we can make a difference. No one knows better than we do the needs of our patients. Remember that we are our patients' advocates, not only in the care setting but also in the legislative arena. We must remember that we are the most trusted members of the healthcare team and we should always strive to foster that image.


I challenge you to love your nursing career as much as I do. Share your wonderful experiences with others. Encourage the new nurses who work with you so that they will learn to love orthopaedics as much as you. Explain to student nurses what it is about orthopaedics that you love so much and tell everyone about NAON and all the benefits you get from being a member. Remember why you went into nursing and work to bring others into this truly wonderful profession.


Now, it is your turn: describe or define yourself.