The Many Faces and Many Places of Nursing

Article excerpt

"The many faces and many places of nursing-What does that mean to you?" I asked my friends this question when I first undertook the assignment as guest editor of this issue of Creative Nursing. It was a great way to start a conversation about my favorite subject: nursing. We talked about out-of-the-ordinary roles and locations. Nearly everyone had an excellent idea to share: nurse att orney, nurse legislator, missionary, parish nurse, hospice nurse, nurse midwife, nursing consultant, prison nurse, block nurse, school nurse.

How amazing! How wonderful! I used to tell my nursing students that nursing is a wonderful profession because no matt er what you like to do, you can do it as a nurse. It is true: The roles and locations for nurses are endless because health issues extend into all aspects of our lives and to all locations in the world.

The American Nurses Association reports that in 2004 more than 2.4 million registered nurses were employed in the United States, about one-fourth of them on a part-time basis. Slightly more than half were employed in hospitals, 14.9% in community/public health, 11.5% in ambulatory care, 6.3% in nursing homes, and 2.6% in education (American Nurses Association, 2008). These statistics may explain why the public image of nursing is so frequently limited to hospital or clinic nursing.

For this issue of Creative Nursing we have sought out nurses willing to share their stories about their work in more unusual places. All the authors share their individual passions for their work as nurses, yet there is a universal quality to all the stories because each reflects the values and ethics that are universal to the profession. In the Minnesota state legislature or in a village in F. i, as a volunteer in a long-term care facility in Minnesota or as a parish nurse in Peru, training birth att endants in Sudan or being a clinical examiner for nontraditional students, expanding nursing students?f world view with a trip to Turkey or providing group prenatal care, counseling sex offenders or practicing elder law, helping wounded soldiers in Iraq or troubled Latino youth in St. …