I believe most of you know that I’m a registered nurse. In two weeks it will be a year since I graduated from the university, and started working as a nurse; a few weeks after that I got my license. There are a few things that feel very special for a new nurse (or at least did so to me): the first is graduating, and receiving your brooch. Every nursing school in Sweden has its own brooch, and by looking at it you can tell where the nurse was educated. In the past the brooch was used as proof that you were an educated (today we’d add registered) nurse and it had to be handed back to the school when the nurse died. It was worn at the collar of the work dress, and the brooch and the cap were symbols of the nurses’ professional status. Today most registered nurses wear their brooches on the pocket protector, still as a proud sign of their professional status. We do have to provide a copy of our registration document when we apply for a job though – the brooch alone no longer suffices as authorization, and in most cases our families get to keep it after we die. This is mine:
The other thing is the name badge: Sjuksköterska is the Swedish word for Nurse, and means a registered nurse. It is by law a title only to be used by those who actually are registered nurses. You can however call yourself sjuksköterska if you have one semester left at nursing school (but you’re then working under restrictions) or before your application with the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare have been approved. You can not, however, have Leg. (short for legitimerad – authorized) on your name badge until you have had your license from the SNBoHaW. The day I got to use my name badge with the title Leg. Sjuksköterska on it for the first time was also special to me – and it was a thing noticed by the other nurses at work – I was now a real RN.
I know pride is not a good thing, but I think I may be a little proud of myself for holding on to my goal and getting through university, when I’m not really an academic person. That I have returned to school to specialize in paediatrics is still a surprise to me at times, but it will be worth it – working with children and families is what I want to do. And no matter what happens, and what I do in the future, I will always be a Nurse at heart – it is forever part of my identity.