Compared to many of my colleagues, I am a relative newcomer to the Brigham, with just 13 years of service. I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by nursing and allied support colleagues who took the time to answer my many questions, share their knowledge and collaborate. It was these frequent interactions that led me to not only become a better critical care nurse, but also to challenge myself in ways I had not considered.

My most moving memory is from almost 12 years ago – when I saw the confidence my nurse director, Shaun Golden, had in me after I applied for the nurse educator position.

To prepare, I read the professional literature daily and discussed cases with the experts around me. At BWH, we have complex, challenging and interesting patients as well as clinical situations that were like what I was reading about in the literature. From that realization, I tried my hand at writing for professional nursing journals, and submitted abstracts for local, regional and national nursing conferences. I was fortunate enough to find some success there.

I will always treasure my colleagues in the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit, my fellow nurse educators, all the incredible nurses I’ve had the privilege to work with over the years from all departments for their confidence in me and faith in what I could achieve. Most especially, I will remember that any success I’ve enjoyed as a nurse educator would not have been possible without the confidence and support that Shaun gave me, and for that I will always be grateful.

Vince Vacca, MSN, RN, CCRN, Clinical Nurse Educator, Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit