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.