1. Roush, Karen MSN, FNP, RN

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I want to work triage in a city emergency room, be streetwise and kind.


I want to hold a starving child in Sudan and drip nourishment into his mouth.


I want to be an expert, called upon by the Times to comment on the latest health care issues.


I want to relieve the pain of the mother dying of ovarian cancer.


I want to relieve the pain of her teenage daughter left behind.


I want to race through the halls to answer a code, to feel that adrenaline rush.


I want the patient to live.


I want to find that one tiny remaining vein so an elderly, dehydrated patient can get fluid.


I want to straighten out the sheets, remove every wrinkle, fix the pillow just right-because it is all I have left to offer a dying patient.


I want time enough.


I want to unscramble all the tubing, wipe off a port, and inject a precisely titrated dose of medication.


I want to give report on time.


I want to turn off the respirator of a patient who has suffered too long and leave him in the arms of his family.


I want to learn some amazing fact about the human body. Again.


I want to be honest about prognosis.


I want to be hopeful.


I want to respond to an international disaster, live in a tent, curse the conditions, provide care without modern equipment or adequate supplies, and know it's some of the best nursing I've ever done.


I want to understand.


I want to stand up on a podium in front of the Senate and eloquently, movingly, brilliantly argue for mandatory staffing laws.


I want to tuck a newborn, still wet, into the perfectly fitted place at her mother's breast.


I want to tell a mother whose baby has died how beautiful he was.


I want to teach a patient how to give herself insulin and see her smile when she accomplishes it.


I want to recognize the arrhythmia on the monitor and intervene before the heart flies off into useless flutter.


I want to go back to school.


I want to write a book about all the crazy, terrible, comical, heartbreaking, and inspiring experiences I've had as a nurse.


I want to be a manager. To support and be an advocate for my nurses while still demanding excellence.


I want to drive home satisfied with the finished shift.


I want never again to listen to a toddler's silent chest.


I want to laugh with my coworkers so hard it hurts.


I want to cry until it stops hurting.


I want to teach at a great university, influence generations of nurses to come.


I want to call the patient who has no more time left and tell him we've got a heart.


I want to monitor vital signs, comfort the family of the teenager harboring the offered heart.


I want to earn the respect of my fellow nurse.