• Debra Berry

Living My Passion

I have been a registered nurse for nearly fifty years. For the last fifteen years of my nursing career, I practiced nursing and worked in the world of palliative and hospice care, the care of terminally ill individuals.

I was pulled into the intimate world of the dying individual and their family out of need for a job. I had no inkling it would change my life. I had no inkling it would clarify for me my passion and purpose.

This year, I did not renew my nursing license. It felt time to let go and set aside my professional role and title of “Registered Nurse.” Although I continue to care for individuals, at the end of life and their families, I do not act as their nurse. Now, I have more freedom and time to be with them. I continue to be someone who honors their dignity and choices. Someone who holds a space for their hope. Someone who gives patience and compassion. Someone who allows them to be vulnerable without judgement. Someone who laughs and prays, dances and sings, and showers them in kindness. And someone who lets them know what a gift they are to me, “It is my privilege and pleasure to care for you.”

From a very young age, I knew I wanted to be a nurse. I knew I wanted to help and care for people, so nursing seemed the right career. I never expected to receive all the lessons and love I have experienced as a nurse, for this I am grateful. But what I am truly grateful for is discovering it is not a title, a license, or a career defined my passion. It was so simply the comfort and care for the terminally ill individual and their family.

How did you discover your passion?

How do you express and act on your passion?


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