A Note to my 19-year-old self….


I am currently in the process of packing up my house in preparation to move into our new home.  The great thing about going through “your stuff”…..and believe me finding some kind of joy in packing takes some looking.….anyway…..the great thing is that you come across items that are markers to where you are today, and the journey of how you got there.

Among my treasures was a box of my Maternity Clothes, last worn in 1992.  Not sure what the plan for those were, but I am sure when I tucked them safely away there was one. Needless to say they did not make the “Keep Pile” and they have a new home at Value Village in the “Vintage Maternity Wear Section”.

I also came across my application to the Misericordia Hospital School of Nursing, dated February 12,1981. The application was returned to me after my graduation, in hopes, I guess that someday I would look back and reflect.  My Autobiography is hand written on a piece of lined loose-leaf paper, a far cry from the on-line applications available today.  In one section I was to write my reason for choosing Nursing as my Career.

Here is what I wrote:


I have chosen nursing as my career goal for a number of reasons. Firstly I have a sincere desire to serve humanity and be sympathetic to the needs of others. Nursing would enable me to meet a broad range of people and help not only the patient but the patients family as well. When I achieve my goal I would be part of a physical and emotional environment to promote recovery. There would be nothing more rewarding and personally satisfying then knowing I played an active role in helping a fellow human being.

Fast forward 32 years…..February 12, 2013……(check out the date…..CREEPY!!)  Did I achieve my career goal?  I really think I did……..In reflecting back over my career I see that I really did find my place to meet my goals.   I tried a variety of Nursing position. In the last 18 years, I have been in Nephrology Nursing.  I enjoy Nephrology Nursing because I interact with the same patients and families over a number of years.  Lets face it, I see my patients more than I see some of my own family members.  For most patients it is 4 hours 3 times a week.  I get invited into their lives, and they become a part of mine.  I meet a wide variety of people. With the team of health care professionals on our unit we create an environment to promote both physical and emotional health.  There very few professions that have the privilege of allowing you to sharing in this journey of life.  That is how I truly feel…..privileged. Nursing has also encouraged me to be a life long learner, and to celebrate the courage of the human spirit.

If I was applying for Nursing today I do not think my reasons would be much different. Looking back at my 19-year-old self who wrote that application I think she should be very proud of the career she has had…..so far……and believing that the best is yet to come.

The pictures are of me on my Graduation Day with my younger Brother Tom, who is also a Registered Nurse!!!!

Yours in Nursing,

Heather Dean


2 thoughts on “A Note to my 19-year-old self….

  1. You have inspired me to reflect on why I chose nursing as a profession. It is always good to stop and do milestone checks to ensure that we are heading in the path we want to travel.

  2. Not only are you a wonderful nurse, you are a beauitful person . You always seem to find time to encourage all of us around you . At the end of the day I am so pround to not only have you as a fellow employee but as a friend as well.

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