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Nursing Poetry

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"If The World Only Knew"

 by Jan Humes, RN

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We come from all over,
from every upbringing and walk of life
Some from poor, some from rich,
but we all have a common thread

In the beginning,
we have a desire to succeed
at something important in life

In the beginning,
we tell ourselves we need a career
to make a good living
As we grow and mature,
we learn it’s all about giving

Many hours in school,
long nights of study
Denying ourselves family time,
vacations and ‘time for me’

We say don’t worry,
when we graduate with our degree
It will be smooth sailing,
just wait and see

We get our first job and
in the beginning say ‘wow’
But only to realize once again
it’s all about sacrifice

The hours, the toil,
the frustrations and smells
Make us, if only for a moment,
wonder why we went to school to work in hell

We pursue and stick it out over time,
days pass, years pass
Patient after patient,
family after family and something happens

We see life as it really unfolds,
the birth, the death, the sick and the maimed
Those out in ‘the world’ can’t make this claim

Do they know the feeling
of holding and hugging a stranger
on their last day?

It’s two in the morning,
you hear a loved one’s wail
You rush down the hall
only to find their cherished one is gone

You’ll never forget that wail.

As time passes,
you have many good times with your colleagues
You laugh together, you eat together,
and cry together
You work side by side, long hours
and many days
You become dedicated to each other
and your profession

Then one day it happens
You realize you’ve made a career
of dedication and caring
You’re happy and satisfied,
it’s your life, it’s a cause
You’ve seen it all

          If the World Only Knew

We come home at the end of a long day
Sometimes with tears of sorrow,
sometimes tears of happiness
In the end, we’re happy to remain
To keep doing what we’re doing,
to have it our way

We are blessed to see life first hand,
to live life with others
whom may be strangers or brothers.

In the end we are happy to say
we have had a personal invitation
to really experience life in many ways...

          If the World Only Knew

To all student nurses and nurses alike who have the privilege, daily, to engage in and be part of, the healing process of humanity.

Poem Submitted on 11/07/09

About The Author: Jan Humes

Jan Humes is an RN-BSN nursing student at James Madison University in Harrisonburg Va.

  • Born in Clearwater Florida, currently lives in Bridgewater VA

  •  Nurse for 18 years, started as a LPN in 1991

  •  1999 returned to school;  BlueRidge Community College Weyers Cave, VA: Associates Degree graduated Cum Laude

  • 2008 returned to school; James Madison University Harrssionburg, VA to obtain BSN (has 1 semester left).

Jan has worked for a pulmonary doctor, home health and is currently working at Rockingham Memorial Hospital Harrssionburg, VA on the Oncology Med/Surg Unit which she enjoys.

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**Nursing graphic at top of this page has been provided by Twogrannies @