1. Ribbons, Joan RN

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I am an RN, one not recommending nursing as a career. That is, until recently. I was reading the February 2005 issue of HHN, and when I read "A Highly Public Tribute Aims to Elevate Nursing," I found that I no longer am one of nursing's sad statistics. Why? Because I have a new job in home care, and I love it!! I want to thank both Dr. Milone-Nuzzo and Ms. Shaddox for bringing home care to my attention through their article.


I have been an RN since 1976. I went to a hospital diploma program because my parents told me to. I did not want to be a nurse and was motivated by my father telling me to "do what I can do now, and do what I want to do later." He knew I would always have a job.


Dad was right; I've always had a job. I've raised four children, mostly as a single mom. My eldest daughter graduated from college 2 years ago, and my second daughter graduated from Penn State University (PSU) in May. Two more graduated high school this June and both are going to PSU. I've always looked at nursing as fun and found that I usually was the only one with that attitude. Eventually, I "burned out." When I decided to make a full-time career change this year, I discovered home health nursing ... by accident. I saw an ad in the paper for a "new position for an RN full time" and applied.


Within 2 weeks, I knew I had found my niche. I was challenged and excited and working with professionals with healthy attitudes. I realized that I am a teacher. I recall my co-workers and clients frequently commenting on my teaching skills. Reading of the PSU program in the article, I realized I wanted to complete my BSN and teach home care nursing. I have applied to PSU previously but financially and emotionally could not find a way. I am now motivated to try harder, and who knows, maybe I'll be graduating along with my children!! Thank you for helping me put everything in perspective and realize the goals I have, and to work on attaining them.


Joan Ribbons, RN