A Nursing Lens

Is your life focused on nursing? Is nursing the lens through which you view the world? How does your career as a nurse impact the ways in which you interact with the world around you?

The Worldview of a Nurse

I’ve been a nurse since 1996, and with two decades of nursing under my belt, I find that my identity as a nurse has a large impact on my sense of self as a citizen of my community, my country, and the larger global community.

Interestingly, I can also see that I do indeed view life around me through a nursing lens on many levels, and my intrinsic “nurseness”definitely  informs my worldview.

When I consider issues of health (eg: stress, violence, obesity, trauma), I clearly see how my training, education, and experience as a nurse color and influence the ways in which I approach these issues, as well as the opinions I form when considering them.

My training and experience as a nurse on the front lines of impoverished urban communities of color have provided me with deep insight into the causes of poverty, and I view the struggles of particular populations through that lens. In contrast, if I was trained as a lawyer or demographer, my views and opinions might be significantly different than they currently are, or perhaps there would be very interesting overlap.

Your worldview is formed and impacted by many factors, and while nursing is only one of those potential factors, its power in the formation or your worldview is quite significant.

Consider Your Worldview

This is an invitation for you to consider what occurs in relation to the formation or your worldview, opinions, values, and judgments. Your childhood and upbringing certainly have an enormous influence on your opinions and values, as do the communities in which you’ve lived and worked. Your educational experiences, friends, colleagues, family members, and religious upbringing and beliefs also play a huge role. And of course, the impact of the media cannot be denied.

In regards to your role and identity as a nurse, what is important to you? How does nursing effect how you think about your community and its members? Do you see particular societal challenges through your nurse’s lens, or do your faith or family values hold larger sway? And when it comes to health and medicine, how do your opinions about various aspects of these issues differ from that of your friends or family members who aren’t nurses?

These are excellent ideas to consider, and we can accept that our worldview may change radically in ways both large and small throughout our lives. For instance, if we volunteer for a month in a refugee camp in Sudan or Eritrea, our opinions about the plight of ethnic minorities around the world could change considerably. Likewise, if we befriend a homeless person and get to know his story, we may also view other homeless people with a different perspective. Meanwhile, our “nurseness” may further impact our view of both of these potentially life-changing experiences.

An Open Mind and Heart

An open mind and an open heart can work wonders for our opinions, values, beliefs, and judgments.

If your nurse’s heart can remain open, and your nurse’s mind can remain receptive and curious, there’s no end to how your nurse’s lens will change its focus based on what life puts on your plate.

Nurture an open mind and heart while nurturing the fine-tuning and sharpening of your nurse’s lens. It’s a big world out there, and your “nurseness” within that world can have a greater impact than you could ever imagine.


About Keith

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Keith Carlson is a holistic career coach for nurses, award-winning nurse blogger, writer, podcaster, speaker, author, and popular career columnist.

With two decades of nursing experience, Keith deeply understands the issues faced by 21st-century nurses. Keith’s two podcasts, RNFM Radio and The Nurse Keith Show, offer inspiration and practical support to nurses seeking to create meaningful, satisfying lives and careers.

Keith’s message of savvy career management and professional satisfaction reaches tens of thousands of nurses worldwide. Keith can be found on many social media platforms, as well as at NurseKeith.com.