A couple months ago one of my nursing colleagues commented about how the world needs more people to act on important issues. Her exact words, “Pick an issue you’re passionate about and get to work!” Granted, I think most of the time we get tired and what energy is left goes to taking care of important errands or chores at home; even worse if you have kids. On the flip side, I think the rewarding nature of taking steps to make a difference even in our own communities, especially as nurses, give those extra hours worth.
When I started out in nursing I knew that mental health was my niche and wanted to advocate for expanding services and promoting more awareness in society. A component to that included the fulfillment and joy I got from talking to people about my passion for improving these things. Two years ago I was on a plane and sat next to a very nice woman. She was the type of person that strikes up a cool conversation at random that can last for hours. I ended up sharing my background and mentioned my love for talking in front of people, motivating kids to go after their dreams and helping others achieve better levels of wellness. She disclosed to me her former life as a psychologist turned college director for a University in Portland, OR. Her job involved working with a program, Future Connect, at Portland College which guided first generation college students to have success in their educational endeavors. She ended up inviting me to speak with one of the classes on a topic, anything I wanted. Months later, I met these gleaming-eyed students and engaged them with explaining my work and encouraging persistence toward dreams. Most of these students had already started their pre-nursing studies and felt excited about the prospects of becoming nurses. Eventually, some of the students asked to interview me and talk to them individually about helpful tactics in getting through nursing school. This opened up a door for me, and since then I’ve had the blessing to keep offering support in that capacity.
Sometimes we don’t know how to get involved or what to get involved with. That’s where our creativity comes in. It does not always have to be nursing related either. A good friend of mine had a job as a nurse but also had a passion for the environment and spreading the news about environmental detriments in current events. She became an environmental journalist, doing freelance articles and investigations that continue to be widely received in that sector. Everyone has an area that they feel deeply for. Go out and do whatever it takes to spread your passion and making a bigger difference in the world!