Celebration of nurses starts May 6Written by Sarah Ottney | Editor in Chief | firstname.lastname@example.org
Although Benjamin Irvine was raised by two nurses, he initially wasn’t interested in going into the profession himself.
Instead, the Maumee resident pursued a degree in interpersonal communication and got a job in Colorado with a staffing company that placed nurses.
Despite his proximity to the great outdoors, where he could hike and fly-fish to his heart’s content, Irvine found himself increasingly dissatisfied in the business world.
“Everything going on in my life pointed me to change careers,” he said. “I wasn’t happy with what I was doing and I didn’t want to go through the rest of my life being unhappy like that.”
That’s when he decided to go back to school for nursing, enrolling at Owens Community College.
“As soon as I started it just felt so right,” he said. “It just felt so natural.”
Irvine, 28, a graduate of St. John’s Jesuit High School, said he gets his work ethic from his father and his compassion from his mother.
“That combination serves me really well,” said Irvine, now a registered nurse at ProMedica Toledo Hospital. “At St. John’s, the motto was to be a man for others. … People [in hospitals] are going through the toughest time in their lives and need someone there to take care of them, even just small things. I want to care for them like they were my own family member and go the extra mile.”
His mother, Becky, also an RN, said she was thrilled about her son’s decision to go into nursing.
“He is a real people person and very compassionate. We knew he’d do well. I always tell him, ‘Go out and make a difference today.’ Even if it’s just one person, it makes a difference.”
The American Nurses Association reports 3.1 million RNs in the United States. About 2.6 million are working as nurses with more than 60 percent employed by hospitals.
Irvine said he’s noticed more men choosing nursing as a second career.
“A lot of males don’t look at nursing initially as a career choice. It’s nontraditional. But I guess the numbers are on the rise,” Irvine said.
Kim Holman, clinical teaching faculty at Owens’ school of nursing, said good nurses fulfill the five C’s: commitment, competence, compassion, conscience and confidence. She also added one more: communication.
“You have to have the ability to talk to people. If you don’t have good communication skills or be willing to grow them, it’s hard to be a good nurse,” Holman said.
Nurses also need to be able to think on their feet and be flexible, she said
“If you can’t deal with change, you’re not going to be a good nurse,” Holman said.
Adaptability is key, agreed Stautzenberger College Practical Nursing Department Program Administrator Carolyn Nagy.
“We need to learn if we don’t have a certain piece of high-tech equipment, how do we care for the patient without that piece of equipment?” she said. “Part of what we do here is help students develop critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills.”
Nursing is a field that requires lifelong learning, Nagy said.
“You can’t rest on your laurels from your training 20 years ago,” she said. “Every day there’s something new in the field of medicine.”
The same attributes that draw people to nursing tend to make them community volunteers, Holman said.
“Nurses are usually leaders. They take on projects out of the goodness of their hearts. They put in volunteer hours at schools, churches. They’re not punching a time clock and leaving,” Holman said.
National Nurses Week is observed annually May 6-12.
“Nursing week should be 52 weeks a year,” Holman said. “If it weren’t for nurses, hospitals wouldn’t be able to operate.”
Tags: Benjamin Irvine, Colorado, commitment, compassion, competence, confidence, conscience, field, five C's, Maumee, nurse, nursing, Owens Community College, ProMedica, RN, St. John's Jesuit High School, Stautzenberger College, Stautzenberger College Practical Nursing Department Program Administrator Carolyn Nagy