The Rewards of Being a Nurse

By Jeanne Reeves, RN, BSN, MS
Vice President of Nursing, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

I’ve always found it ironic that nurses receive recognition for doing what they have been called to do: giving of themselves to care for others at the frailest point in their lives and nurture them back to the highest level of health possible. I truly believe that nursing professionals are angels on earth. I’ll bet you are like most nurses I know. Seeing your patients heal and return to full, productive lives is usually reward enough.

Don’t misunderstand me. I am humbled and honored to receive recognition for the job
I do. I have been extremely fortunate to have been recognized as a HealthCare Hero by the Fort Worth Business Press and to have been named to the Texas Nurses Association (Districts 3 and 4) Great 100 Nurses in 2010. It’s gratifying to receive a high-five from your peers, knowing that they recognize how hard the nursing profession is and what it takes to meet and overcome the daily challenges that face us. I like to view these types
of personal awards as recognition not only for me but also for Methodist Mansfield Medical Center and Methodist Health System. Whether it’s a tip of the hat from professional or community organizations or a simple thank you from a colleague during an especially
hard day on the floor, recognition helps us rejuvenate, refresh, and recommit to our
noble profession.

Someone once asked me what advice I would give to fellow nurses that would help them provide award-winning care. Here are five tips:

  • Be committed to your profession.
  • Be the advocate for others — your peers, your colleagues, your patients.
  • Be committed to life-long learning. Stay current on evidence-based research.
  • Persevere. Look beyond daily frustrations.
  • Maintain a constant positive attitude.

These tips are especially important to keep in mind not only if you have set your sights on having your job performance called out for special recognition, but also because all nurses at one time or another reach burnout. If you find that the brilliance of your career is starting to fade, here are some key strategies that will put some sizzle back into your career commitment:

  • Stop. Pause. Find your balance. Take care of yourself through exercise, family time, friends, and personal time. Keep a healthy balance between work and home. You have to have a good sense of yourself and identify when you need relief.
  • Nurture each other. We forget the power of the words “thank you” to each other. I think it’s powerful to lift each other up.
  • Keep an open mind. Sometimes, you may want to step out of your current situation and consider other options. That’s what’s so wonderful about nursing. It offers you the flexibility and mobility of changing roles within the same profession. The possibilities are numerous.
  • Find a mentor — someone who can be your sounding board, someone you trust who can help keep you grounded and keep things real.

If you’re looking for opportunities to go above and beyond and have your dedication recognized, then it’s time to choose Methodist. Learn more by visiting

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