Finding their calling: What it means to be a nurse


 In this article:

  • At Providence, our nurses live out our mission of caring for the whole person – body, mind, and spirit.

  • Hear Me Now is a program that gives a space for patients, loved ones, and caregivers to share their stories.

  • We highlight stories from Providence nurses, who talk about why they were called to be a nurse and how their experiences have shaped them as a caregiver.

At Providence, we’re on a mission to care for the whole person – body, mind and spirit. One of the best ways to see this care in action is through our nurses.

This month, we’re highlighting stories from several of our Providence nurses. They share what called them to be a nurse, their nursing philosophies, and how their experiences have shaped the care they offer.

All stories are part of the Hear Me Now program, through the Institute for Human Caring. Hear Me Now gives patients, loved ones, and caregivers a sacred space for storytelling and emphasizes the human element of health care.

Whole-person healing

Janice Peters, RN, is pretty sure she witnessed a miracle. Years ago, she had a patient who was nearly paralyzed from a brain tumor. He was on steroids and nearing the end of his life. His hope was to go home, but he couldn’t physically get on the plane. After meeting with the chaplain and praying together for over two hours, he was able to get up and travel home. Hear Janice recount this incredible story of spiritual healing to Nancy Jordan, Ed.D., Associate Vice President, Mission Leadership Institute.

Listen to Whole-person healing

“I’m not ready for palliative care!”

Rebekah Riemer, RN, is a palliative care nurse, who has been part of the palliative care team at Providence as both a caregiver and a patient. Her first exposure to palliative care was when her grandmother was diagnosed with a form of leukemia. Then, nine months later, Rebekah was diagnosed with a similar disease. She talks with Colin Scibetta, M.D., Associate Medical Director, Providence Institute for Human Caring, about how palliative care helped her through and how it changed her as a nurse.

Listen to “I’m not ready for palliative care!”

A nurse goes in for open heart surgery

A few years ago, Lindsay Burrell, RN, an intensive care (ICU) nurse, was in a place she never thought she’d be – lying in a hospital bed, intubated, getting open heart surgery. Her first thought was, “Me? But I’m a nurse. I take care of these patients.” For Lindsay, the experience gave her a new outlook on what patients go through. Listen as she talks with her mom, Julie Baker, RN, also an ICU nurse, about her time as a patient and how nurses can have a big impact on healing.

Listen to “A nurse goes in for open-heart surgery

A call to nursing

Some people know they want to be a nurse at a young age. For James McAvoy, RN, the calling didn’t come until later in life – after a traumatic event. When he found out his mom’s cancer had returned, worse this time, he went out for a drink. Later that night, he was attacked. The only part he remembers is waking up in the ICU. From the experience, he felt called to turn the darkness into light. Hear his chat with Nathan Buck, Providence Volunteer Program Supervisor, about why he became a nurse, how he hopes to equalize medical care and his spirituality.

Listen to “A call to nursing

Remembering Randy

For Anna Seaver, RN, CHPN, her journey to becoming a hospice nurse started when she lost her 3-year-old son Randy in 1981. At the time, she didn’t have much support. So, she decided to find a way to help improve communication between parents with terminally ill children and doctors – to offer resources to people experiencing overwhelming grief. Now, as a hospice nurse, she’s able to help others and ease their way. Listen as she talks with her long-time co-worker Beth Gafur, RN, about her story and the importance of quality hospice care.

Listen to Remembering Randy

The life of a nurse

Linn Bartram, RN, and Dicki Franklin, RN, both knew they wanted to be nurses at a young age. Together, they have over 75 years of experience in home health care. Through the years, they’ve worked together, visiting people in their homes and helping them get the care they need without coming to the hospital. Listen as Linn and Dicki share some of their favorite memories, including a visit to Mother Teresa at the Carmelite Monastery.

Listen to “The life of a nurse


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Related resources

Celebrating what it means to be a nurse

Providence to support local home-based palliative care efforts

Driven to serve


This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.


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