Welcome to Nursing News & Advice
Life has plenty of full-circle moments. I never truly understood what that meant until I found myself in a full-circle moment of my own.
I always wanted to be a writer, but that career path didn't work out for me right out of the gate. After 11 years of being a nurse and four years as a family nurse practitioner, I switched careers. I went back to my first passion, writing, and now here we are, full circle: I am a writer who writes about nursing.
As a senior writer for NurseJournal, I couldn't be more thrilled to offer NurseJournal readers insights, advice, and tips on my experience in nursing school and working as a nurse. In NurseJournal's News & Advice section, the articles our writers and I create have you in mind.
Whether you're a student, a long-time nurse looking to advance your career, or a current nurse looking for support and solidarity, this new blog-like section on NurseJournal will have the insights you need to get to wherever you want to go.
My Nursing Journey
My journey to becoming a nurse wasn't a straightforward one, as some of you may be able to relate. I always struggled in school. Math and science were not my strong points, so becoming a nurse never crossed my mind. Writing was my focus.
I was an English major in college and thought I would write for a newspaper or magazine. But after graduating in 2002, the job market was terrible. Facing no luck finding a job, I decided to go back to school to pursue a master's in fine arts with a focus on creative writing.
I immediately emailed one of my favorite English professors for a recommendation. To my disappointment, she wrote back, "Come on, Joelle. It's summer. Enjoy it!" That afternoon, I learned my first lesson in the importance of mentorship: Choose someone who actually cares about your future.
Deflated, I took it as a sign; maybe writing wasn't for me.
Throughout college, my mother, a woman of few words, always found the opportunity to bring up nursing. She was a nurse, and she thought I would be a great nurse too. Generational nursing is a common tradition; many children follow in their parent's footsteps to become a nurse.
Her voice grew louder in my head. I do love kids, I love taking care of people, and nursing is a very rewarding and stable profession. Finally, nursing (and my mother) won me over. In the next three and a half years, I completed my prerequisites, was accepted into a 15-month accelerated nursing program, and worked my butt off (anatomy and physiology is no joke!).
In 2015, I completed my master's in nursing and took my boards while I was eight months pregnant — clearly I love a challenge! After having my son, I worked as a family nurse practitioner in a private doctor's office, then switched to a clinic setting.
During my entire nursing career I always found opportunities to write. I wrote for the internal hospital journals, and on the side, would write freelance articles about nursing. My full-circle moment came when I accepted a position to be a senior writer for NurseJournal. I now get to combine my two passions, writing and nursing, to bring you NurseJournal's News & Advice articles and resources.
Introducing NurseJournal News & Advice
As a nurse, you are going to face challenges. It's inevitable. I faced the challenge of entering a full emergency room, day after day, to see no open beds, angry parents or guardians and administrators, and burnt out doctors and employees. I've witnessed parents losing a child, and patients being newly diagnosed with cancer.
You'll experience rewarding nursing experiences too: the lives you save or the near misses you intercept. A sincere thank you note or a patient saying you inspired them to lose weight and keep a healthy lifestyle — these memories will stay with you for a lifetime.
COVID-19 has heightened positive perceptions of nursing and shone a spotlight on the inadequate compensation, occupational safety, and work-life balance experienced by nurses, according to a survey conducted by NurseJournal.
Additionally, the survey showed that higher pay, better mental healthcare, and safer working conditions were the top solutions to increasing interest in a career in nursing.
We get it, and we hear you: Nursing, though often a calling or a passion-driven career, can be exhausting, especially during a pandemic or if you feel your financial, mental, and emotional well-being and safety aren't being prioritized.
In NurseJournal's News & Advice space, our editorial team has the responsibility to provide support, advice, and affirmation to working and student nurses striving to keep our society safe and healthy every day. Here you will find nursing resources crucial to supporting nurses and nursing students in navigating your own challenges and rewards.
Articles Written With You in Mind
In addition to highlighting nurses making moves in the workforce and beyond in our Nurse Spotlight section, our Ask a Nurse series connects nurses to the questions you have, including advice on how to balance nursing school and work, the best ways to negotiate for higher pay, or any career, school, or lifestyle questions you may have.
For working nurses knee-deep in their career, or new nurses searching for networking opportunities, ways to advocate for equal pay, or what a post-pandemic world may look like for future nurses, find what you need to thrive as a working nurse in our Career Support section.
We provide study resources, student support during COVID-19, and financial aid options in our Student Resources section to nursing students of all backgrounds, wherever you are in your nursing educational journey. We are here to meet you where you're at and help you get to where you want to go.
Finally, in our Lifestyle and Wellness section, you can find articles focused on your mental and emotional well-being, as well as book recommendations, special nurse discounts, tips for surviving your first night shift, or ways to prioritize self-care during the stress of working and living through a pandemic.
Our NurseJournal team of nurse writers, nurse contributors, and expert nurse reviewers bring you relevant, timely advice and nursing news to support you in your nursing journey, wherever you are. All our content is expert driven and data backed, with strict editorial and sourcing practices to bring you accurate content free from bias. Our writers have their own nursing journeys, and we are thrilled to share their journeys with you.
News & Advice is written with you in mind. The goal of the entire editorial staff at NurseJournal is to provide you with resources, affirmation, and clarity. We look forward to supporting you wherever you are in your nursing journey.
Joelle Jean, Senior Writer
Maggie Holland, News & Advice Editor
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