Doing the Hard Work

Fair warning: this is about my wife Carin’s graduation today. It is an understatement to say that I am proud of her as she graduated from St. Vincent’s College in Bridgeport (CT) with a nursing degree. What started as a casual conversation about three years ago culminated in the walk across the stage, the handshake and the diploma.

Roll back three years.

Me: So, what kind of work do you think you might do after the kids are in school full time?

Carin: I don’t know.

Me: Have you ever thought about nursing? You are amazing with your hands, something I noticed when you have to care for the kids.

She took it from there. She inquired, applied, enrolled, got 75 pounds worth of textbooks, studied, studied and studied some more. And passed! But there is more to the story. As she was taking full time classes, she also worked in the medical center as a Student Nurse Technician, a title that really means Nurses Aid and amounts to bed pans, commodes, soiled linens and the other work that the nurses don’t want to do – or don’t have time to do – themselves.

She did that work, did it well and got noticed. She worked as if she already had the Registered Nurse job. She carried herself that way, treated her patients and coworkers well and responded in tough situations in a way that was above her title and pay grade. She was offered a Registered Nurse job.

I am amazed by what she has accomplished and by her demonstrated determination to succeed. She has worked hard and has earned the prize. Congratulations, Carin! I am proud of you and we can all learn something from what you have done. The world will be a better place with you caring for others as a Registered Nurse.