I love my work and work my love – perioperative nursing. I believe strongly that I have made a difference to my patients, colleagues and the profession at every level of my career. I have been blessed with a supportive family, including a husband who knew I was capable of achieving my dream of becoming a nurse, even though I started at age 27. When I graduated from high school in 1963 I did not have the grades to enter a college nursing program. I worked as a surgical technologist, raised my family and attended college while matriculating in my associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing programs. Each degree took me 5 years going to school part-time at night.
I have practiced as a perioperative nurse for 43 years in the roles of staff nurse, clinical nurse specialist, educator, OR manager, director of surgical services, safety consultant, podium presenter and author. I was also very active in AORN at the local and national levels. I was elected AORN national president 2005-2006. The patient has always been at the center of every opportunity afforded me. Education was of primary importance to support and grow my own and my colleagues’ professional matrix, the foundation of competence and safe, quality patient care. The research on and use of evidence-based practice continues to focus on the difference we make for patients every day. I believe nursing is a mission and in that context I nurse in the hospital, from the podium, at meetings, in the legislature, on the pickle ball court, with colleagues, friends and family as patient has a broad definition. I live perioperative nursing.