Giving Thanks

This year has been less than what we had hoped for in many ways.  Covid-19 has had an effect on all members of our society.  Our older populations have missed out sharing moments with family and seeing their loved ones. Children have missed out on school and sporting events.  Some have missed out on graduations, celebrations, and gatherings to celebrate accomplishments.  Still others never got to experience many “firsts”. The first day of kindergarten, first day of college, or the first day at a new job.  We are living in a world of newness.  Literally everything we do looks different than it did a year ago.  We are wearing masks nearly everywhere we go.  We can’t hug or even shake hands.  We must keep distance from everyone we encounter. 

In spite of all of this, all of the darkness Covid-19 has created, I found myself thinking about how thankful I am. Thankful that we have found ways to survive despite this disease.  Thankful for the time that quarantine provided for me to spend with my husband and children making memories that were much different than our busy lifestyle prior to quarantine.  But most of all, I feel an intense sense of thankfulness for each and every frontline worker.  Gratefulness for the nurses I have taught and are now working to care for those affected by Covid-19.  As I see their stories shared on social media, I am overcome with emotion about how this is affecting each of them.  Their selfless attitude and willingness to do what needs to be done, all while putting their own lives, and that of their families, at risk.  This is the exact description of what being a nurse means.  Words cannot express the gratitude I have for each and every one of them. 

As an educator, you know with each changing season comes a new group of learners.  What you don’t think of is how many lives you will impact over the course of time.  There is a feeling of pride that comes from working hard to teach them all they need to know about being a nurse and seeing them live it out in their lives.  It is such a rewarding feeling to know you have helped educate the minds that are doing the heavy lifting during this awful time in our country.  What impact have you had on Covid-19?

Thank you to every single person who is working to reduce the spread, care for the sick, and keeping America moving forward through this pandemic.  You are making a difference and you are appreciated!

Are you interested in impacting the lives of future nurses by becoming a nurse educator? Learn more about earning your online Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Educator degree from Walsh University.

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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