May 6-12 is National Nurses (Nurse’s, Nurses’) Week, and I want to take this opportunity to brag on my favorite nurse (nurse midwife, nurse practitioner) Diane Bond Larson.
It took her a while between starting college as a nursing major in 1981 and becoming an LPN in 1996, but in the meantime, she had a lot of adventures chasing birds around the world.
After our daughter Cedar spent her first six weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in 1995, Diane decided she wanted to be an OB nurse, so she first became a janitor at a hospital (with an MA in zoology), then a medical assistant, then an LPN, then an RN, reaching her goal of working in an OB unit.
She wasn’t satisfied with that, though, so she enrolled in a program to become a certified nurse midwife. After a year delivering babies in New Zealand, she came home to work in St. Cloud and got another certification to be a women’s health care nurse practitioner.
Some of our friends, family, and acquaintances don’t realize what a big deal Diane is. Being a nurse practitioner puts her at the same level professionally as a physician assistant, which means she sees patients (but unlike a PA, with no supervision by a doctor), diagnoses problems (especially those of women’s nether regions), prescribes medication, makes more money than I ever will, and basically fills the role of a primary care physician for hundreds of women in the St. Cloud region.
In other words, she’s kind of a big deal. More importantly, like millions of nurses at varying levels of certification and expertise, she has devoted her life to taking care of people, and she does it with humility, empathy, professionalism, and love.
I’ve known for a long time now that the best decision I ever made was to marry a woman with the compassion, good sense, ambition, and work ethic to become a nurse.
So follow my lead this week and give a heartfelt thanks to YOUR favorite nurse.