Over the years I have collected a number of cards, recipes, and small gifts from patients and colleagues at work and school. When I’m having a rough day I sit down and go through my “I am a Great Nurse Box.” Something about it reminds me why I started in this profession and renews my love for it. My box holds memories, memorials, and accomplishments – anything that reminds me anything special.

Below are some of my favorite items from my “I am a Great Nurse” box. They might look like nothing to you, but they are everything to me, which is what makes them so special.

This is a picture of a chai recipe a family I became close to hand wrote for me. Chai is my favorite beverage and the patient’s family member would bring a thermos of homemade chai every day and leave a warm cup on my desk <3

The above card is from an orientee I had in the CSICU. We became very close and I absolutely cherish her words. I know she is an incredible nurse and person. She’s probably out changing the world somehow at this point.

These are “You are Critical to Care” thank you cards we gave to each other one shift during a travel contract I took. Some of them make me laugh and they really brightened the mood of the unit.

This is another handwritten thank you letter from a patient’s family member. I will never, ever forget our time together and knowing her story warms my heart.

This was an unexpected thank you card I received for presenting a literature review to a corporate council. I felt insecure before presenting and worried what I had wasn’t good enough. This card was a reminder to forget my own affliction of Imposter Syndrome.

Finally, a year or so ago, my colleagues and I were having a really hard semester. Our professor had us write one nice thing about each other on a piece of paper. Now, this sounds extremely juvenile for doctoral students and we scoffed at the assignment. But, all of us admit, it really helped us. To this day, this piece of paper hangs on my refrigerator as a reminder to keep going.


So these are some of my favorite things. What are some of yours? How do you preserve your nursing memories?


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