There’s an imaginary line that one crosses when becoming a nurse. This line divides the floundering nursing student from the confident and experienced nurse. After four months of nursing, I found myself wondering where it could be found so I could cross it. Everybody around me already accepted me as a bright and talented nurse, yet I had doubts. I could manage patient care assignments calmly and efficiently, but I sensed that nursing wasn’t as superficial as checking off items on a list. Sooner or later, I’d face a more complex situation, with no instructor nearby to give me confidence.

That’s the first paragraph of the August Reflections column, “The Letter,” which was written by Melanie Patterson, a mental health supervising RN at a hospital in the Pacific Northwest. It’s about making the extra effort for a patient who might otherwise have been forgotten in his isolation.

Was there a moment, an event, a time when you began to feel confident in whatever your nursing role might be?—JM, senior editor

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