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Hear from our heroes: Advice to new nurses

Hear from our heroes: Advice to new nurses

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Brittany Evans and her coworkers at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Photo provided by Brittany Evans

For the fourth consecutive year, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is honoring nursing professionals with Nurses: The Heart of Health Care program — a contest, section and recognition event. Three independent judges review 100 finalists each year and select nine winners, the 10th winner being chosen by our readers. 

Some of our 10 nurses are seasoned professionals and some are just a few years in, but they offered valuable advice to anyone just starting out or considering entering this amazingly rewarding career:

AARON STOVER - Trauma-Neuro ICU at Mercy Hospital St. Louis

“Be sure this is something you’ll want to do because it’s not always easy — but it’s always rewarding. I see new grads starting their career and it can be a bit overwhelming for them at times.”

ADMIR BRKIC - Critical Care at Mercy Hospital St. Louis

“Just do it — nursing is so challenging in so many ways, but the reward is endless.”

BRITTANY EVANS - Pediatric Oncology and Hematology at St. Louis Children's Hospital

“Be yourself. Be scared. We are humans, too. Be honest. Don’t get wrapped up in black and white nursing. There are grey areas.”

CONSTANTIN PELTS - Emergency Department at SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital 

“Do not be afraid to ask for help. It does not make you a bad nurse [because] there are times when we get complicated patients [and] we do need help. Doing it all on your own creates stress — make sure you take care of yourself. If we can’t take care of ourselves then we can’t take care of our patients.”

DEBBIE SCHWEISS - Geriatrics & Dementia Care at Dolan Memory Care

“I look at new nurses in the hospital or ER and they have to spend so much time on the computer inputting information on their patient. I know this is important, but if I had one bit of advice to give, it would be: Don’t forget what you got into nursing for. Don’t forget to listen, and make sure you give [patients] the time they deserve. Show them that you care and will do your very best for them.”

E’LISA MOSS - Float Pool at SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital

“Be assertive. Be confident in your practice. Routinely evaluate your skillsets.”

MONICA CROSS - Oncology Research Certified Nurse at Mercy Hospital St. Louis

“When I meet new nurses or nursing students I always tell them, ‘Before you get started, write down why you want be a nurse. What is your happy thought about nursing school?’ Because I’m here to tell you, that you will find a point in the middle of nursing school that you are going to want to quit. It’s hard. So I want you to open up your happy thoughts in the darkest moments and remind yourself why you’re doing it, because sometimes you lose sight of it... If you are truly called to be a nurse, there will not be another profession as rewarding.”

This content was produced by Brand Ave. Studios. The news and editorial departments of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had no role in its creation or display. For more information about Brand Ave. Studios, contact

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