Craig Kinzer submitted 2020-07-19

Nursing. What this career means to me can not be overstated. I love that every day I get to help people and educate them on the pathophysiology of their specific disease processes. I have been a nurse for the last 5 years in an intensive care unit and every year I learn a little more and the world changes just a little more. However, within the 6 months the world has changed drastically forcing a social isolation which has me running in place. Western governors college will give me the opportunity to advance my career to the next level. Obtaining a Bachelor of Nursing has been the goal from the beginning but now is the time. If I am to socially isolate myself I might as well be bettering myself and my practice. I am a patient advocate, adaptable, and educated. To day is the day that I take steps to learn even more to help my patients and their family members.

Being a Nurse I have many titles patient advocate is the one that means the most to me. Advocating for my patients means explaining procedures to them that are ran through by the physician in 2 minutes. Taking the worry out of someones heart and lifting them to a place of empowerment rather than uncertainty. Advocating means pushing for what the patient needs not what the insurance company things they need. It drives me crazy when making a referral the person on the phone asks about a patient insurance before there name. These are people not a payment source. Advocate is the hardest part of my job because at the end of the day I can only do so much to help patients navigate a system that is full of peaks and valleys. Advancing my career can hopefully help to lessen these peaks and valleys for me and in turn my patients.

Some of the most amazing things about nursing is the never ending ability to change and adapt. I personally have been a member of the AACN, American Association of Critical Care Nurses for the last 4 years. This body of nurses are the cutting edge of evidence based practice. Evidence based practice is the way we learn and develop better and faster way to help patients through an illness or chronic health condition. Having access to this information I am able to reference accredited sources and case studies when sharing information in a hospital setting that will lead to change at the bedside. Most recent, at my local hospital I with the help of some other great nurses implemented an oral health regiment that has decreased hospital acquired pneumonia significantly. This was in part thanks to an article I read last year and I posted it on my locker and would look at it daily to help motivate me to make a change with my patients. Thumbing through the quarterly magazine they send has changed my practice on more than one occasion. If my patients can bear half of their own weight the are sitting in chair for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I will support 100% of someone if tomorrow I only support 99% and the day after that I support less and less until they are ambulating on their own or are back to the patients baseline. Putting a patient in a chair requires very little work most of the time but the rewards are as through you climbed a mountain. This is why I am a nurse because helping someone climb a mountain and stand at the top is the best feeling in the world.

To be educated as a nurse I have found the one thing you have to know is that you can’t know it all and luckily you don’t need to you just need to be able to find the answers. I have no idea if heparin and insulin are y site compatible but I do know that information is available to me through one of many books on the unit or the pharmacist or the internet. Obtaining my BSN will help me to be more educated find the answer to the questions I didn’t even know I had. In the first few years out of nursing school I had a saying “you don’t know what you don’t know.” In truth it was a mantra for many years. Basically, scratching the surface of a new subject I would no nothing about until I do. Educating myself through the years has been a part of nursing. If I don’t learn something everyday I am at work then I wasn’t trying and need to go home and probably sleep.

Nursing is my calling, it is my career, it is my life. I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life other than taking care of my patients. To think my entire career was started by a high school girlfriend encouraging me to join a program with her to obtain our CNA licenses. This course would change my life giving me a well paying job straight out of high school and a few steps away from a career. Continuing my education to obtain my BSN will improve the lives of not just me but every patient that I advocate for, every patient I sit in the chair, and every patient that I educated on their disease process. Money that your foundation has available can help to change many lives and I would to thank you for your time and consideration. I hope this finds you well.