Wednesday, May 6, 2009

National Nurse Week

In April 1, 1894, the St. Mark's Hospital Board of Directors authorized the establishment of the first Official Nurses Training School in the Intermountain Region. Mary Edith Newitt was employed as Superintendant of the Training School. The first nurse to come to the school was Miss Anna Stair. Of a class of twelve, only four were graduated. Anna Stair, Ethel Newitt, Florence Bowler and Hattie Durfee. This was a two year program..."
(From plaque at corner of St. Mark's Hospital property 3900 S 1300 E)
One reason I have enjoyed nursing as a career (26 years now!) is because it offers much variety, within a single career. I have worked pediatrics, med-surg, psych, postpartum, newborn nursery in the hospital setting. I have also worked in Head Start as a school nurse for the Health and Nutrition aspect of the program. I have worked in a child and adolescent outpatient psych setting as well as a walk-in emergency clinic. In public health I have worked in Epidemiology, TB and Reproductive Health. I am currently a nurse case manager.

The other reason I have enjoyed this career is because it is a "people" job. I do a lot of patient education and consulting so sometimes I'm a teacher. I do a lot of listening and referral for people with challenges so sometimes I'm a social worker or psychologist. I diagnose (though unofficially because this is not actually part of my scope of practice) when someone I know wants my take on things so my kids call me "Dr. Mom". I spend a lot of time on computers in databases, blogs and online searches so I've learned new skills. I consult in a medical online community as well so I earn some extra mad money in my "spare time". I try to help, and advocate for, the uninsured and am politically active in trying to push for health care reform.

How many careers can boast such a broad variety? If I get bored or just want to try something new, I can. I would recommend this to anyone interested in a rewarding service-oriented occupation. There are almost always jobs available, though they may not be exactly what I want at the time. Shift work gets old but the tradeoffs are worth it.

I have mentioned before that my paternal grandmother was an RN, trained in the St. Mark's Hospital School of Nursing - graduated in 1915. My niece, Michelle, is also an RN. I have a granddaughter who is fascinated by the idea. We'll see what happens....

Clipart from


  1. I 100% agree...and I say, if you are looking for a job...go back to school if you can and be a's never to late and you're never to old.

  2. Thanks to all nurses. Your dedication is valuable and priceless. There is nothing we could do that would pay enough tribute to nurses, but thanks.


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