Gone are the days when nurses give up their seats for the paternalistic doctor. It’s not that we don’t respect the importance and role that the physician plays in the space of medicine; we just respect ourselves more than we did a couple decades ago. As nurses, we’ve begun to lean into our moxie. We’ve always had it. Always. Yet as a profession, we now expect a seat to be saved for us.
Most of the nurses who donned the starched white caps, bright-white polished shoes, and matching white support hose are either retired or edging towards it. These are our modern-day Nightingales who fought through their own fear to care for AIDS patients, who implemented universal precautions and PPE even though we didn’t want to offend our patients by wearing gloves or a mask. These seasoned nurses, who are horrified when young nurses call the physicians by their first names, mold and guide young residents and teach them how to be part of a team. These nurses invented moxie.
Our work environment includes nurses spanning four generations. Think about all that has changed in our world and cultures in the past 50 years; now consider the nursing profession in those changes. We’ve gone from re-sharpening our hypodermic needles to artificial intelligence predicting when a patient is going to crash. We used heat lamps and sugar on open wounds and now use lab-grown skin transplants. Not only have nurses seen it all, but we are the ones to test and retest the evidence-based theories to improve patient outcomes. Moxie.
Millennials and Zoomers are stepping into the world of healthcare, more advanced and more diverse than ever before. Globalization has instilled in them a sense of entitlement in the right way; they believe that their ideas matter and should be heard. These are the generations that will break the cycle of lateral violence in nursing because they were raised as sheepdogs vs. sheep. These nurses are taking moxie to the next level.
No matter where you are in your nursing path, let your moxie shine. Advocate for your patients, yourself, and your profession. Respectfully and professionally speak up. Look for your seat at the table of change and innovation in your circle. If there isn't a seat, create one. Whether you're seasoned and nearing the end of your career or just getting started, share your wisdom, and allow space for one another's moxie to have room to grow.