Pediatric nursing has been my career for 36 years and I tumbled into it quite unexpectedly. My first job was in an adult ICU and after growing restless I took a traveling nurse position in Hawaii, also taking care of adults. When that assignment was completed I returned to the mainland and landed an interview at UCSF in the Neonatal ICU, not having any idea if I would like the work. At that point I just needed a job. It was my great fortune to discover I loved the NICU. After taking several positions within the unit I looked to other services and was hired to work with the Pediatric Surgeons in their postnatal program. That was 20 years ago and I have never felt the need to find a different position. Every day is both challenging and rewarding. There is always something to learn and always something to do better. I have found my “work family,” to borrow a phrase from a colleague. It is my hope that each of you will find your “work family” and a satisfying role for yourself. The fabulous benefit of being a nurse is the ability to move around within the field. Sometimes in a new institution or a different role in your current place of work. One can move up the clinical or administrative ladder or create a new role if there is an unmet need. Post graduate education affords even more opportunities. It seems to me the possibilities are almost endless. Nursing is not a stale career.
Nursing has been the right work for me. It takes so little effort to do the right things. To be respectful of patients and families and to take their needs seriously and help them with what they want, not necessarily what I think they need. The rewards are priceless experiences that are enriching and life changing.
It is APSNA’s responsibility to help you with what you need, not what we think you need. It is our mission to serve you by promoting excellence in pediatric surgical nursing practice through educational offerings, nursing research, professional collaboration, and peer support. We respect our members and want to meet your professional needs in a way that is helps you succeed in your nursing career.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out and tell us if we are or are not meeting your needs. Consider getting involved! There are so many ways to be a part of APSNA. Some of these include becoming a Mentor or requesting a mentor, SIG membership, Board membership and committee participation. To stay relevant APSNA needs and wants your participation.
Barb Bratton MSN, PNP-BC
APSNA President 2017-2019