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Nursing Metamorphosis: The Journey of a Registered Nurse

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By Monica Florita, R.N.

Do you do “Throwback Thursdays” on your journey as a nurse? Have you thought for a second why did you pursue nursing as your profession? Some of us just end up taking Nursing just for fun, monetary reason, parental decision, or because it’s the new trend. But there are also individuals who personally chose this profession to help the sick and the needy.

Every one of us possesses that innate desire to care for each other, no matter what race or upbringing we may have. That desire pushed us to take a course that will be life challenging and changing, and will touch the lives of others. If you have that in mind, then you made the right decision.

How did you end up here? How did you become a registered nurse who everyone adores? Like a butterfly undergoing ‘Metamorphosis’, your transformation is a long, painful journey right? But would you agree that it’s definitely worthwhile?

Do you remember these?

The Egg Phase

Best part: You started to have a goal in life.

Butterfly eggs can be minuscule. Like an egg, you are still the tiny teeny, cute thing your mother brought into this world. You probably got sick, and a pretty nurse took care of you, and you adored her. That’s why when you were asked to answer the question in a slam book, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ You answered, ‘To be a nurse someday.’

The Caterpillar Phase

Best part: Obtaining a high school diploma

Skipping the tedious high school part and fast-forward to your graduation, you’ve received the most important paper in your life: your high school diploma. You’re now thinking deeply about what career or course you’d take.

Like a caterpillar, your job at this phase is to eat and eat and eat. Food consumed at this time is stored and used later when you enter college. When I say eat and eat, don’t take it literally, or you’ll end up being physically obese. Instead, be intellectually full.  You have to ‘eat your brain out’ (Not your heart this time). Knowledge is power. Remember, caterpillars can grow 100 times their size during this stage. So you can also progress in your knowledge and skills and be that great nurse, or more.

How did you even end up in nursing? You’re probably the most caring person in your group of friends. You’ve probably sucked at Math and thought nursing has no math–well, you’re wrong. Your eyes probably rolled with a dollar sign because of the competitive salaries nurses have. Another reason could be because you pay close attention to subjects related to nursing.

Whatever your reason, it doesn’t matter. It can change you know. Once you’ve discovered the humanity in what you do, you’ll eventually have a change of heart and say, ‘Hey I am a nurse, I touch lives, and I’m proud of it.”

So for nurse wannabes, remember that a solid foundation in nursing (or anything for that matter) is your knowledge and interest to grow. Your future in nursing starts in high school. You are the caterpillar that is slowly crawling to a twig and preparing to be a chrysalis (pupa stage).

The Pupa Phase

Best part: Understanding and experiencing Nursing like you didn’t know before.


Do you still remember the first time you step into a university? You still have no definite direction. Like a caterpillar weaving a chrysalis, the university is your sheath and training ground. It will mold you into the skilled nurse you are meant to be.

Am I the only one who was amazed to know that the ABC’s (Airway, Breathing, Circulation) of life doesn’t just end at preschool? Oh, okay, we both are. It’s hilarious to realize that nursing acronyms and abbreviations make our communication out of this world, that an average person would think you’re passing secret codes to plant a bomb in the hospital or something.

Do you remember how Nursing subjects blew your mind? In Anatomy and Physiology, you learned that a simple smile moves quite a lot of muscles at once. You found in Microbiology that bacteria do not all do harm, but mostly do good, and you forgave them from that time on. Can you recall your first IV insertion? How a vein seemed like someone who borrowed money from you and when you need to see it, it disappears? How frustrating, right? But as you keep practicing, eventually it’ll be as easy as breathing–with a patent airway.

SEE ALSO: 10 Nursing School Clinical Exposure Tips for Student Nurses

The latter years of nursing make you focus on the ways to patient care. Community exposure taught you the health status of the people that you didn’t know before. You appreciated the things you have, especially your health as your wealth.

Your pupa may be suspended from a branch, hidden in leaves or buried underground. You’re probably like that. You may feel like a hermit – hidden and with poor social life. You don’t have time to think of going to malls or concerts because you are busy making your nursing care plans for your patients. You have to make little sacrifices for a greater value. During this time, you may sometimes think that it’s not worth it, that nothing changed in you. Little did you know that you are growing rapidly inside of your chrysalis, and you became more than what you think of.

You are ready now to get out. The groundwork is now prepared, and you are ready to fly. After finishing school and deciding to take the Licensure Examination for Nurses, you can be what you are destined to be.

The Butterfly Phase

Best part: Being a Registered Nurse makes you inspire others.

Might aswell get a butterfly tattoo, right?
Might aswell get a butterfly tattoo, right?

In this stage, your wings are now ready to explore the horizon. Oops! You’re still young, don’t get excited about flying high, you still need to enhance some skills. Getting your license must not be the end of all. Developing these skills makes you more effective in rendering care:

  • Communication skills. Communication builds rapport. Hear your patient’s thoughts. From there, you can plan the appropriate care.
  • Critical-thinking skills. Every patient has a unique case so you must learn to identify a problem, find suitable solutions and evaluate for its effectivity.
  • Compassion. Nurses should have sympathy and empathy for their patients to render efficient nursing care. You must able to feel to heal.
  • Detail oriented. Since nurses deal with lives of other people, details are critical— may it be the spelling of names, IV line tags, or dosage medications, one must be really careful not to commit any mistake that may harm the patient.
  • Emotional stability. We don’t want you to cry first before the relatives of the dying. You should not run first outside during emergency cases. Patients come first; you must learn to control your emotions and set it on proper conditions.
  • Physical stamina. Nurses have difficult tasks that may include lifting heavy patients, standing for extended periods of time and facing difficult, stressful situations. A healthy and sound mind is your investment in this kind of profession.

When you learned these skills, you’ll become an adult butterfly. An adult butterfly’s job is to mate and reproduce. In butterflies, it’s to reproduce, for Registered nurses, it’s to replicate. An excellent nurse produces another great one – inspiring a newbie to be like you is also your job. There is no better legacy you can leave than having been remembered as a nurse everyone would like to be. Be proud you’re a nurse, the future depends on you.

Congratulations you are now a registered nurse! Raise your head up. It’s not a simple way to passing the exam and surviving all endeavors. Another chapter of our life started. You’re a butterfly now; your beautiful transformation is ready to inspire and be inspired. Prove your worth. It’s not an easy journey after all.

So what now? Go and multiply.


Monica Florita is a registered nurse in the Philippines. She worked in hospitals before deciding to be an Occupational Health nurse. She considered writing a hobby as useful in imparting knowledge and inspiration to members the nursing profession.

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