Do you feel the passion for nursing you had in the beginning?

The stress of daily nursing experience is often very different from your original desires and images of nursing. Where did the passion go? What was it that inspired you to become a nurse? How many of those passionate elements are present in your day as a 'real' nurse?

In today's high stress nursing environment it is often difficult to be at the bedside, doing the nursing care you love to do. The care that keeps your passion high. In fact, working for long periods outside of alignment with your passion leads to nurse burnout.

The flame rising from the Nightingale Lamp reminds me of the tremendous heat and energy that passion inspires. Passion is a force that carries you through the difficult times. Passion provides the fuel that drives through barriers to achieve your vision.

Re-Joining these four moments can re-kindle that flame.

• The first moment you knew you wanted to be a nurse
When did you imagine being a nurse? What were the elements that attracted you to that role? Did you see nurses on TV? Did you play nurse with your friends? Perhaps mom was a nurse. What sparked your interest in nursing?

• The person who inspired you to be a nurse
Who influenced you to be a nurse? Someone you expected, a mentor, parent, teacher or guidance counselor? Did you volunteer in a hospital? What did you do or say that inspired you? Who kindled the flame?

• The feeling you had at your pinning ceremony
What were your feelings on pinning day? Do you remember the ceremony? What did you wear, a white uniform or special dress? What touched your heart? What stands out vividly about the symbols and experience, saying The Nightingale Pledge, the admiration of your family and friends, the pride in accomplishment? How did this experience fan the flame in your heart?

• Your vision of yourself nursing
When you envisioned yourself as a nurse, what were the images that came to mind? What was the ideal image of you acting in the nursing role? Did you see yourself at the bedside, a person's smile because you helped them in some way? Did you see yourself in a particular setting with children, birthing, in a MASH unit? Where did the fire burn brightest in your mind?

Are you feeling your passion again? Here is a quick tip for keeping the flame alive!

Find a symbol or image that represents your passion and carry it with you in your pocket or purse, or display it prominently in your office to keep your nursing passion aglow!