I certainly did not expect to start my nursing career in a pandemic. Being a new nurse already entails its own set of challenges so adding covid-19 to the mix made for a stressful summer, but a memorable one, too. What a year to become a nurse, honestly. The day I walked into the hospital for my first shift on orientation I was unsure of what to expect but excited to learn. So many new protocols were put in place due to covid (in addition to everything else we need to learn as new nurses) so I was extremely anxious and worried that I wouldn’t catch on quickly enough. To my surprise, I was welcomed into such a supportive environment. The other nurses on the floor were so kind and were always there to respond to my concerns. We soon added each other on social media, and I became real-life friends with not only the younger nurses but the senior nurses as well. They all offered me so much encouragement in and out of the workplace and I am forever grateful. I felt a part of the family after only a few months of working there. They even texted me last week to congratulate me on passing my official licensing exam! I want to share this part of my experience as a new nurse because I know this is not the case for some other nurses, and so I want to express my gratitude. Being surrounded by colleagues who influence you in a positive way makes such a difference. Not all new nurses get along with their coworkers right away, at times there can be such toxic energy between experienced nurses and new nurses. I am so appreciative of the experience I had this year as a new nurse, and I consider myself very lucky. Of course, I had many difficult days as well. I definitely cried on the way home from work a few times, asking myself if I was cut out for this profession. But any time that expressed my doubts regarding my capabilities to my coworkers, they reassured me and told me that I could do it. Our profession has received a huge (and well-deserved) amount of recognition throughout the last few months due to the pandemic. I have learned so much from each of my coworkers, and this summer I saw first-hand just how strong nurses are. I am honored to be a nurse and I hope to one day inspire new nurses like they have inspired me.