By VI-AN NGUYEN
Nursing is often ranked among America’s most stressful careers, thanks to the job’s notorious long hours, physical exhaustion, and emotional toll. So when a nursing student in South Burlington, Vermont, found a veteran nurse’s touching, anonymous note of encouragement—along with a $10 Starbucks gift card—tucked inside a licensing exam study guide at Barnes and Noble, she felt moved to share it online.
“I’m assuming that if you’re thumbing through an NCLEX book that you’re probably nearing the end of nursing school,” the note, which was posted to social news site Reddit and has gone viral, begins. “I want to start by saying that you should be so proud of yourself! You’ve worked so hard to get here, and I promise you, it’s so worth it. I’ve been a nurse for 12 years and can’t imagine doing anything else.”
The handwritten letter included some thoughtful advice about how to deal with the stresses of a nursing career. “I want to let you know that the first year or two out of school is the hardest. But don’t give up and remember why you decided to become a nurse in the first place,” the note reads. “Be patient, and don’t beat yourself up. Don’t take things personally and when you’ve had a difficult situation, try to leave work at work.”
The note continues: “Two more very important things to remember are 1, be proud to be a nurse, and 2, believe in yourself. Also trust your instincts—they’re usually right!”
The letter ended with a pre-exam pep talk—along with the Starbucks gift card. “So grab some coffee and study for the NCLEX. I’m certain you’ll do fine,” the note says. “You’re going to be a great nurse! Remember, be proud and believe in yourself! You can do it!”
The note is signed: “XOXOXO, another nurse.”
Amazingly, although the moving gesture was anonymous, the letter-writer and the student who found it connected online. “My wife put that letter in the book. South Burlington VT, right?” Reddit user TreeBore posted.
“YES!!! South Burlington VT!!! That’s awesome,” the original poster replied. “It was an amazing find, tell your wife thank you and that it really has inspired a lot of people, including my girlfriend. She takes her test tomorrow!”
“We both wish your girlfriend all the luck in the world!” TreeBore responded. “She will do fantastic.”
Several other nurses chimed online to say how spot-on the letter was. “As a registered nurse, who is working a night shift as I type this, this letter is exactly correct,” one commenter said. “Prioritization and believing in yourself are key when becoming a new nurse. Don’t let intimidation affect you. You will be amazed how much you will grow from your first day on the job compared to a year later.”
Another commenter agreed: “I would never have gotten where I am now if it weren’t for adherence to the things she listed in the note.”