Just a nurse: This tribute to labour and delivery nurses is a must-read

Just a nurse

This anonymous piece of writing about the value of labour and delivery nurses is going viral, as people are reminded of just how indispensable and committed nurses are, and the big role they play in supporting families through life-changing times.

“I’m just a nurse”

Houston Registered Nurse Susan Jolley posted this tribute to her Facebook page earlier this week and it’s well and truly captured the imagination of parents, grandparents, doctors and nurses (and probably others!) across the globe.

Nurses are so very, very often overworked and undervalued, and this post beautifully addresses just how skilled they are and what a vital role they play in the care of women and their families during these huge, transformative times.

“I am just the nurse who was there during the birth of your child.”

“I am just the nurse who held your hand, looked you in the eye, and made you feel like the strongest woman in the world…”

More than just a job

The writing highlights the multitude of details that labour and delivery nurses are vigilantly watching for, the long hours they put in, the physical toll, their genuine affection for the parents and babies in their care and the challenging and often heartbreaking elements of their work, as well as the triumphs.

It truly shows that nursing is so much more than a job, it’s a demanding, often all-consuming and (at times) rewarding life commitment.

The post has prompted over 9000 supportive comments and over 53 000 shares, making it crystal clear that thousands of people want to express their gratitude and respect for the nurses who look after them.

“THE most important medical profession, in my opinion. After 5 pregnancies with 3 being successful ending in healthy deliveries via c-section (after labouring completely and pushing for 2 1/2 hrs with the first), I’ve been in a lot of these scenarios and I’m forever grateful for my nurses,” one mum commented.

“Appreciation for all my labour and delivery nurses. Without their expertise my babies and I may have not survived. I’m grateful for their love and compassion and willingness to put up with women in their worst moments,” another mum posted.

“Hats off to all nurses, you really don’t realize what they go through to be there for you or your family. Nurses miss so much with their family to make sure you are there for your family,” a grateful follower wrote.

You can read the full post below – and perhaps share with your favourite – much more than just a nurse – nurse?

Thanks so much to Susan for sharing this and starting such an important conversation.


I am just a nurse

I am just a nurse. A Labor and Delivery nurse. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Well…

I am just the nurse who was there during the birth of your child.

I am just the nurse who held your hand, looked you in the eye, and made you feel like the strongest woman in the world.

I am just the nurse who recognized that you had severe preeclampsia and got an order from your physician for magnesium sulfate to prevent you from seizing.

I am just the nurse who carefully monitored your breathing WITH MY STETHOSCOPE because I know the possible complications.

I am just the nurse who vigilantly monitored your baby’s heartbeat and recognized that he was in distress.

I am also just the nurse who had you on the OR table by the time your doctor was in the parking lot to deliver a healthy baby.

I am the nurse who took photos of your baby because you were all alone… Even though I should really be charting and doing about a hundred other things.

I am just the nurse who’s family has to experience another day without me because I stayed 3 hours late to see you through a difficult delivery.

I am just the nurse who maintained your dignity and made you feel comfortable when you were at your most vulnerable.

I am just the nurse who convinced your OB to give you more time before performing a cesarean section.

I am also just the nurse who waited as long as possible to call your OB for delivery so that he wouldn’t cut an episiotomy.

I am just the nurse who held your hand and cried with you when you came through triage… and your baby had no heartbeat.

I am just the nurse who hasn’t had ANYTHING to eat or drink since my cup of coffee I drank this morning when I woke up… at 5am.

I am just the nurse who will let you leave grip marks on her arm while you are getting your epidural, while repeating to you, “You are doing an amazing job. Almost there. You can do it.”

I am just the nurse who reassured a teenage mom that she can be an amazing parent and still get an education.

I am also just the nurse who stood by you while you handed your baby to his adoptive mother. I held you steady. I watched you tremble. My heart ached for you.

I am just the nurse who knows that preventing the primary cesarean helps prevent future cesareans and all of the associated risks for each future pregnancy and, therefore, will do everything in my experienced power to encourage your baby to position herself correctly in your pelvis.

I am just the nurse who held your hand and told you, “She is beautiful. I am so so sorry for your loss.” My heart ached for you. I wanted to hold my children and never let them go that night… but they were already sleeping because I stayed late to be with you.

I am also just the nurse who cried the entire drive home and who’s husband doesn’t even have to ask how my day was.
He knows.


Every day.

I felt your joy.
I felt your pain.
I wiped your tears.
I calmed your fears.
I kept your secrets.
I taught you how strong you are.
I saved your life.
I saved your child’s life.
My body aches.
My heart aches.

And I love every minute.

I am JUST a Labor and Delivery nurse.

~ anonymous

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