How has becoming a nurse changed your life?

  1. 0
    Hi all!
    I have never wanted anything more in my life than to become a nurse. I look up to all of you & I have nothing but respect for nurses. What a great profession to be in! It's seriously my dream, I think about it constantly. I can't wait for my dreams to actually come true. I've ALWAYS wanted to ask this question to current nurses, how how this profession changed your life? Hopefully there are more pros than cons =) I want to hear both! How have you changed since your college/ nursing school years? Is your life much more stable? Has nursing brought tons of opportunities into your life? How does it feel to be financially secure? Share your stories with me, i'd LOVE to hear them!
    Good day!

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  2. 24 Comments...

  3. 6
    Ummm, lets see. Since becoming a nurse I've gained 30lbs, have increased anxiety, and basically want to sleep all day on my days off.

    No, but seriously I wouldn't change my profession for the world. Nursing has made me more compassionate and thankful for life it self. Nursing has opened the door for financial stability. Nursing has given me confidence and I found strength with in myself I never thought I had. Nursing allows me to make someone breathe easier.

    Nursing is a ministry for me. I know God wanted me to be a nurse to promote physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

    Nursing has its' ups and downs. I'm grateful for my career and would not change it for the world.
    uRNmyway, Bezoars, squatmunkie_RN, and 3 others like this.
  4. 4
    Financially Secure? Are you kidding!

    You get jerked around, the high stress negatively affects your health, then God forbid if you use your health insurance and see a doctor or go to the urgent care, you find the insurance coming up with all sorts of creative ways to deny your claim and stick you with the bill! Then they turn around and see we only administer the plan, this is what your employer chose. The money you should be putting into retirement ends up going for medical bills due to the crappy substandard insurance you have and the greedy insurance people trying to get you to give up and pay the bill yourself so they can get a bigger bonus at the end of the year!

    Beware going to urgent cares, because they will bill it as emergency and then your insurance company will deny it as it isn't a true emergency and you'll be thousands of dollars broker for this. What recourse? Not much! The urgent care won't budge, your insurance won't budge, why should they, when they no your trapped and have no recourse! Sure you can file a complaint with the insurance commissioner or attorney general, mabye that will help, maybe not! I'm tired of fighting so hard for the health insurance benefits I pay for!

    If you don't end up with a back injury from the job, just wait and you can look forward to an increased risk of cancer, diabetes, stroke, CAD, etc due to the high stress and shift work! Then you can worry about filing for bankruptcy and losing your home as well, just so some big shot can get richer and his associates can get some extra bonus for the year! Forget about retirement because you won't have any money to set aside for it and even if you do, you'll end up using it before your 59-60 and will be penalized 10% federal and state for that privilege. So much to look forward to in nursing! You make too much money to qualify for any assistance if anything should happen to you so you might as well not go to the doctor and just hope you drop dead so you don't get stuck with the bills!
  5. 2
    Pros: It's much more rewarding to me than my former job as a cube monkey because I can see the difference I make (sometimes, but that's enough for me). I am more able to leave work at work than I did before; after report, I'm done! (No lugging a laptop home and answering emails at 1 a.m.) There are always shifts to pick up, if I so choose, so I have some control over my income.

    Cons: Uncertainty in my work when I was a "star" at my previous job. Hopefully, that will be less of a factor as I gain more experience. I work nights, so the sleeping thing is still an issue, but I'm working that out. Teamwork is much more important in this job than in my previous one, so those who don't share my work ethic sometimes annoy me.
    uRNmyway and Good Morning, Gil like this.
  6. 0
    On the financial security maybe it depends on cost of living? All my family members have been able to save so much and provide for their families. They also have had medical bills to pay, one of them even does it on her own and has 2 children and her own house! I have read some posts that some states really don't pay well in this profession, which surprises me, and thats sad as much as we need nurses. They work really hard and deserve to be compensated.
  7. 0
    Background: I came from a corporate environment, doing human resources. It was vapid and unskilled. I felt my life had no meaning, there was nothing to strive for, limited earning potential, no room for advancement, boring, and just no interest in it.

    Disclaimer: I work in med-surg. My life isn't typical of most RN's. I was financially stable before nursing school and still am (my husband's income is more than 3x what I'd make working as a hospital RN full time). I don't have any debt, trouble paying bills, or financial issues. I don't have children. All my days off can be spent at the gym, working on my BSN, eating out, or playing my favorite video game. I have better health insurance than what's typically offered by healthcare employers, I do not use what my hospital offers.

    Pros of nursing: Feel like I am truly helping others, feel that my life has meaning and I'm an important person, work is interesting and always busy, always learning new things, lots of flexibility, lots of earning potential, and potential for advancement both professionally and with education. Some days at work are stressful but my life does not feel stressed as other posters have said. I have not gained weight. I love the flexibility of shift work, that I can do weekends sometimes. Nursing is wonderful.
  8. 2
    I want to hear both! How have you changed since your college/ nursing school years?

    I think I have grown up over the years. I appreciate my health, my life and what I have even though it's not perfect. I realize it could be a lot worse!

    Is your life much more stable?
    My life has never been unstable but I do have a stable job, or at least I hope I do. With cutbacks it's a scary world, even for nurses.

    Has nursing brought tons of opportunities into your life?
    I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of depts over the years. That's been cool. The hospital where I work is wonderful to work for. I can be as involved as I want to be and I love to have a voice. My hospital appreciates and welcomes opinions and we strive for good working conditions. I even like my DNS.

    How does it feel to be financially secure?
    Well, I'm not in the poor house, but I don't consider myself financially secure. Of course I have circumstances that keep that from happening. Anyway, I do feel like I make a decent wage though. No complaints there.

    I love being a I did suffer from severe burnout. I quit for almost 5 yrs only to have to return because of a sick spouse. Only then did I rediscover the joy of nursing with a facility that allows me to be the best nurse I can possibly be. I work 36 hrs a week doing 12 hr shifts. I do committees that keep me more than busy, but that is my own personal choice.
    Last edit by tokmom on Jan 31, '12
    hitthefloorrunning and donsterRN like this.
  9. 0
    I have much more anxiety although that is being replaced by apathy at times. It can be very stressful and draining, I feel like the job is isolating because I used to have to listen to ex friends whine about their office jobs but I can't mention the stress of the dnr/ full code, family cant make up their mind, drs don't want to deal with it patients. Or young patients paralyzed due to a mva, the stress of having a patient go bad who should be in the icu but no one is dealing with it, or they are and you still have 5 patients depending on you with family memembers chasing you down the hall because baths aren't done or they want drinks for the visitors. TO sumarize I feel like I have to keep that to myself becuase outsiders don't want to hear the reality or "can't deal with hospitals, death, dying and misery" and anyone in it doesn't want to deal with it on their day off. Pretty much all I want to do is sleep,watch tv or eat. I feel realllly tired when I do have off.Since I work nights that limits what I can do on my nights off since I insist on attempting to maintain a similar schedule. But compared to what I was making before the money is better and it is just myself to support. If it were a family of 5 the money would really not be that great.
  10. 0
    THere are oppurtunities though. You have to be willing to relocate, don't think as a new grad you will be able to jump around LA or NYC hospitals from the ER to LD to ICU in a breeze but you will eventually be able to find ways to change around where you work and there is a need for some sort of nurse in almost every community.
  11. 8
    I can't think of a single part of my life that being a nurse has not changed. Some of it is probably attributable just to growing older, but nursing has definitely had its impact on the way I view the world.

    My faith has become deeper as the years have passed, and I see more and more that we truly are 'fearfully and wonderfully made'. I've developed more patience than I ever thought possible, but also have to admit I'm much more jaded than I used to be. I've seen people at their best, more often at their worst. I've stayed on my feet for 14 hours without so much as a pee break. I'm old and tired now; my back and joints hurt, but I'm also wiser and more accepting of people as they are, rather than what I wish them to be.

    I've learned that I really do have what it takes to do this. I've discovered that I loveloveLOVE root-cause analysis---one of the best parts of my job is investigating why things happen, e.g. why my 93-year-old patient keeps falling despite multiple med changes and other interventions. I've also learned that words and actions have consequences......that I can't get away with making excuses or failing to follow up on my promises.

    As for financial security.....I've never had that and never will, but at least I earn enough to keep a decent roof over our heads, pay the bills, and eat in the same month. I didn't even have that much for the first 40 years of my life, so I'm grateful for the lifestyle my nursing wages make possible. Wealth is all relative anyway; when we made $6000 a year, we had nothing. Now that I make over 10 times that amount, we still have nothing.......only more expensive "nothing", like cable TV with all the channels, Internet, wi-fi, smartphones etc. Funny how the "needs" always manage to meet or exceed the available funding!

    I don't regret becoming a nurse. I wish I'd started out a little younger so I could throttle back a little now; 50-hour weeks are tough when you're in your fifties and not in the best of health. But I love having a good reason to get out of bed in the morning, and I still have enough of my heart and soul invested in nursing to keep going for the foreseeable future.

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