Happy NICU Anniversary

It's hard to believe today marks my first anniversary since starting this amazing career as a neonatal intensive care unit nurse.  I don't know where the year has gone, but in all honesty, I'm glad it's over.  I look back and see the growth, and I anticipate much more in a now more peaceful, settled frame of mind.  In honor of the ups and downs nurses experience during their first year, I'd like to share something I wrote back in November of 2012.  I pray it blesses the newbies, wherever you may be..... Sometimes being new is so hard.

When we think of “brand new” we imagine something fresh, something unblemished; we picture stamina and beauty.  Just think of how wonderful it is to get a new car or a new house.  But sometimes “new” isn’t so wonderful.  Sometimes it is very challenging.

I see this illustrated every time I go to work.  I see babies that are brand new having difficulty.  They may have respiratory challenges, gastrointestinal complications, or cardiac insufficiencies.  These situations are not what mothers prepare themselves for when they find out that they are growing their precious little miracles.  Mothers and fathers picture a brand new baby with ten little fingers and ten tiny toes.  They decorate nurseries, have baby showers, pick out clothes and car seats.  They don’t imagine days, weeks or even months in an intensive care nursery.

I think of this often as I encounter experiences as a new nurse.  It was all so very exciting at graduation, and then of course, after passing NCLEX.  But now is the time that the celebrations are over and I’m confronted with the challenges of not just being a new nurse, but being a new employee, trying to connect with a group of people that are already connected.

Life experience has taught me that the Lord will bless this endeavor of mine as I continue to use it for Him.  I remember back to when I was twelve years old and sang publicly for the first time.  I was absolutely terrified, but my desire to sing was greater than my fear, so I pushed through each time until one day, I didn’t feel that way anymore.  The same feelings accompanied me as I prepared for my first speaking engagement.  I felt so unequipped; so short on knowledge; so empty of substance.  But God met me where I was.  He took my desire to be used for Him and He blessed each offering I had to give.

As I drive to work with feelings of inadequacy and apprehension, I remind myself that I’ve been here before.  I remind myself that my confidence is in the Lord and that He called me to be a nurse, so He has equipped me to succeed.  Everything takes time.  Yes, I may have butterflies in my stomach from time to time, I do even today when I sing or speak, but that urge to vomit will surely pass!

Yes, being new can be so hard, but so rewarding.  We discover new things about ourselves and our walk with God.  We stretch ourselves beyond our comforts of convenience and familiarity.  We become reliant, not on our own abilities and talents, but on the One who entrusted them to us.

Jeremiah 17:7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.”

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