In nursing, it sometimes feels as if you are swimming against a super strong current. This actually once happened to me…I underestimated just how strong a current was while swimming and you have two choices: a) drown or b) become stronger than the current.

When you start out in this profession, it takes time to become strong. There is a learning curve and it takes a while to master it all: your skills, interaction with people from all walks of life, hospital politics, the system…it’s a lot to deal with and juggle. And if you are a little bit ambitious and wish to climb up in the ranks, there are just more and more things to learn and master. 

The shocker is this: even as you get higher up on the nursing ladder, you are often rendered powerless. Because at the end of the day, if something from way up top is decided, you have to do it. And that hierarchy is pretty steep.

So what’s my point?

There will be times that you know that you are absolutely right about something. Absolutely 100% correct about something. Something big or something small, it doesn’t matter. And someone will try to say you are wrong. If and only if you are absolutely certain of what you are saying DON’T BACK DOWN. You fight and show them what you are made of. Because in nursing, your decisions only affect you a tiny bit…but they affect the patient a hell of a lot. 

I am a firm believer in choosing one’s battles. And when it comes to some battles, you look at them and think ‘this is an impossible one’ or ‘nobody will significantly lose or benefit if this one swings either way’. This can sometimes feel demoralizing and that current rears it’s ugly head and you begin to feel like you can’t breathe. But stop, take a few minutes to breathe and keep on keeping on.

But when a significant one rolls around, you get on your surfboard and ride that wave like a pro and show everyone that you mean business and they are the total wipe-outs.

And I am saying this because it happened to me quite recently. Since I’ve been recently promoted, I often feel like I’m drowning and like I don’t know anything and I’m back to square one. But then, it happened: there was a situation and I knew I was right. I was facing a lot of opposition but hey, I do have 11 years of nursing under my belt. It doesn’t always feel that way, but I actually know a lot. A great deal really. And I AM good at my job. I stuck to my guns and I didn’t back down. 

And in the end, I was able to make the opposing party see my point of view and it was my plan of action that took place.

And I won. 

I fucking won. For the first time in a long time, I finally felt on top of my game. I did my happy dance near the nursing station. Admittedly, it was a tiny victory. But it was indeed a victory. And my God, did I need a win.

You want to know what’s the beautiful thing about scoring a win in this profession? It’s that it’s never a win on your own. A win for me is a win for the team, a win for the ward and everyone in it. And winning alone is no fun, right?

Never underestimate what you know and your own strength of character. When you do that, becoming a winner is easy. 

I like riding the waves of triumph. This could become a habit.