Shriners Children's Nurses: Passion, Integrity and Innovation
By Sally Martens, Ph.D., FNP-C, Shriners Children's Lexington
Becoming part of the Shriners Children’s family has been the cornerstone of my nursing career. I began my journey with Shriners Children’s as a nursing student at the Cincinnati facility. I took my first nursing position at the Northern California facility and now I am a proud member of the Lexington Shriners Children’s family. Passion, integrity and innovation are three essential nursing qualities that I have continued to develop over the past decade as a Shriners Children’s nurse.
In the beginning of my journey as a nursing student, it was evident from my very first day on the burn unit that Shriners Children’s nurses are special. The outstanding personal integrity, combined with the passion that the Shriners Children’s nurses demonstrated for their patients , was inspiring. At the core of my dream to become a nurse was the desire to help children regardless of their background. I knew that I wanted to be part of an organization whose nurses were the embodiment of integrity and passion, and whose mission sought to care for children from all backgrounds regardless of their ability to pay.
My passion for our pediatric patients inspired me to continue my education as I became a nurse practitioner five years ago, and most recently received my Ph.D. in nursing. As an orthopedic and burn nurse practitioner I was able to have a greater influence in teaching and orienting new nurses, as well as creating a more inclusive and respectful environment. Respect is an integral part of integrity in nursing, and I have made it my professional mission to make sure every patient, family member, volunteer and member of our multidisciplinary team feels valued, included and respected.
My dissertation work enabled me to cultivate my sense of innovation as I sought to improve the psychosocial care and development of pediatric patients with physical differences and disabilities. Whether wearing a nurse, nurse practitioner or nurse researcher hat, passion, integrity and innovation are the core essential qualities of our nursing care.
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