Chasing Dreams

Have you ever had a day where you felt like all you did was run in circles? You barely finish in one patient’s room and you are being requested across the hall or next door? I am sure a lot of us have had that moment where you finally have time to do some charting and then a fellow nurse needs help with a patient. It feels like a never-ending cycle. One step forward, two steps back. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but yet it feels like you aren’t getting any closer to it. Nursing school sometimes feels like this. When you are in the thick of your nursing program it feels like the work is piled as tall as the trees in Redwood National Forest. This sounds like a lot of stress! Truth is, we have all been through it or something similar. 

Why do we do it? Why do we submit ourselves to the heaviness of education? I believe it is because we are all searching for our happiness. We are chasing our dreams. In order to achieve the ultimate joy in our work we must go through the tough times to get there. Have you ever seen a rainbow without first enduring the storm? Sometimes it may seem like our educational path is hard and demanding. You may want to cry, to quit, or even to fail. Times like that cause us to reach for help. Help may come in many forms but probably one of the first helpers is your educator. As a nurse educator, this is one of the challenges we must learn to help our students work through. Being able to consult with students who are feeling the pressures of school is part of our role. Being the sunshine when they are weathering some of the biggest storms of their life. 

One of the most rewarding and humbling conversations I have ever had was with a former student, now a practicing nurse. She sent me an email about 3 months after the semester had ended saying how much I had helped her. She was a student with a shy personality and one who would seek assistance from me privately as opposed to openly in the group setting. She said that my continuous optimism, encouragement, and the fact that I gave positive reinforcement was such a huge game changer for her during the semester. I had reminded her why she wanted to be a nurse in the first place, and she knew she could get through the workload to get there. What an encouragement she had now been to me! Are you chasing your dreams? How would you like to help someone attain their goal of becoming a nurse? Does helping someone reach the point where the rainbow is about to peek out from behind the clouds excite you? If this sparks your interest, reach out to me and I would love to get you started on your rewarding journey to becoming a nurse educator.

About the Author


My name is Colleen Wiley and I am a nurse educator. Growing up I always wanted to be a teacher, but I also had an interest in learning about science. I have always loved helping people which is why I chose to pursue a career in nursing. I spent my time in undergraduate nursing school working as a nurse intern on a medical surgical unit. After graduation in 2005, I worked at the bedside caring for post-operative patients and I loved it! Eventually, I started offering to train new employees and I would also take on nursing students for their clinical preceptorship. It was then that I truly realized my real passion was seeded in becoming a nurse educator! I started working as an adjunct clinical instructor in 2010 and immediately knew this was the path for me. A fire was lit inside of me! That burning feeling of helping others was reignited as I shifted my focus from helping sick and/or recovering patients in the acute setting to helping students learn how to become a nurse. I pursued a graduate degree in nursing education which I earned in December of 2014. I have been working as a nurse educator ever since I took that first leap back in 2010.

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