What keeps you in the nursing profession?

  1. I responded to a poll today asking how long have you been a nurse. I struck me that many of the responses were positive in reagrds to nursing as a career choice. I would love to hear why you stay in nursing.

    We all recognize that there are frustrations. I like to try to look at the positives and ask you to do the same. i found some of the comments to the poll for length of time in nursing energizing. i know there are lots of us out there who like nursing and (gasp) admit to it, but so frequently it's overshadowed by our complaints. (Yes, I'm as guilty as the next nurse). Please help me to feel good about our profession by sharing your positive thoughts.
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  2. 33 Comments

  3. by   frankie
    gardengal,
    i have stayed in nursing because i have loved almost all the jobs i have had as a nurse. the ones i didn't love - well, i had to leave them behind. nursing has variety - cardiac, rehab, hospice, home care, administration, teaching, health care policy, ...the list goes on. or you can just be a general old nurse - work and know alot of stuff about alot of things. the patients are dear to me. in over 25 years of healthcare, i can't really say there are too many patients i disliked. less than 10. in nursing you get to know people on a different level. the nursing level. you help them in so many ways. there is always something to learn. there are baby nurses to protect when new. you can go to school forever. nursing is accepting of who/what you are - some people think this is not true, but just look at nursing theory - you can operate from many different places (theory wise). and yes, i complain, but not about nursing; i complain about non - nurses who seem to want to restrict nursing/nurses. thanks for the opportunity to say YES to nursing. frankie
  4. by   flaerman
    Gardengal,

    Have been on the job since I was GN in Jan/88, have worked M/S, Oncology,ICU,PCU/CVSD and now ER. I felt good about being a nurse back when I was a student in those days days when we paid to do it and didn't get paid. I have worked in 3 states and maintain all licenses even if I never return because this is something that I did and accomplished, also went to school only with the students loans so I paid for my education as well. The beauty has always been when something is no longer fun or exciting anymore I do something else. ER allows me to do soup to nuts nursing from peds to geriatrics and encompasses all my knowledgs and experience gained in nursing. I admit there are times when it can be frustrating to do especially with the current state of ER's in this country, but I live for the critical situations, and the truly sick folks I see and treat in whom you can see that have made a difference. I have laughed and cried with and over my patients throughout my career and will continue to do so. My practice ideal is to treat my patients with the respect and caring that I would want shown to me and it works well and will continue to. I also mentor new nurses in hopes that I rub off on them to help to protect the future of "OUR PROFESSION". So you go girl and keep on keepin' on. :roll --Paul
  5. by   deespoohbear
    The money?

    All kidding aside, I like to be able to help people. I love trying to figure out what is wrong with someone one and how I can improve their situation. Nursing and medicine fascinate me. Watching someone come into the hospital sick as a dog, and leave feeling better and stronger. Being with someone who has struggled vigilantly with cancer and helping them and their family as their time draws near. Watching parents welcome a newborn baby with total awe and joy. Believing that miracles still happen....:angel2: :angel2:
  6. by   kmchugh
    I have not won the lottery yet, and therefore cannot retire to concentrate on golf with the attention it deserves. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to break my family of their bad habits (wanting a roof over their head, eating, wanting clothing, etc).

    Kevin McHugh
  7. by   Audreyfay
    Nursing is my calling. Like Frankie, the jobs I grew tired of, I left behind. The good jobs were hard to leave when I moved. But in nursing, I have been able to work in 6 states, and many specialties. Where else can you do the same thing, but still draw on your knowledge. The best days are when a patient thanks me for something I did to help them, or a day a doctor compliments me on something, or refers another patient specifically to me because he agrees with my philosophy, or a day when I feel like I accomplished something special and felt happy with the work I accomplished. I like to see people be successful because of something I was able to light in them. I never plan to retire. This is too much a part of me to ever let it go.
    Audrey, RN, MSN, Certified Diabetes Educator
  8. by   CANRN
    As FRUSTRATED as I get sometimes, I can't imagine what else I would do other than nursing...at least at my age now! LOL

    I'ts a love/hate thing with me, there are days I go home and think I'll never make it, and then there are the days when you do something for someone to make their day better, or make a good call when you see something going wrong and it makes it all worthwhile.

    I can't imagine doing anything else.....winning the lottery sounds good though! That would make me never go back! LOL
  9. by   sjoe
    1) The possibility that the NEXT job will be tolerable.

    2) $$$$$$$, and

    3) inertia.
    Last edit by sjoe on Oct 13, '02
  10. by   live4today
    Hmmmmm....let's see..........I stay in nursing because I was born to be a caregiver.....so if I'm not a doctor.....I've got to be a nurse......and I'm a damn good nurse, too. :kiss

    Another concept to consider is:

    MCDONALDS VERSUS NURSING.......

    MINIMUM WAGE VERSUS A NURSING SALARY.......

    Yep.....nursing is for me!
  11. by   cactus wren
    Why do I stay in nursing?
    well, here`s a story
    This weekend I had a 43 year old terminalbreast cancer patient, was in icu, Dopamine drip, scared, in pain ( 8/10). I got her on a morphine drip, convinced doc to let me titrate it to get the pain controlled.She has mets everywhere and a nasty draining wound on heer chest that requires frequent dressing changes. Also a FULL CODE, pet patient request........
    I spent 2 12 hour shifts with her and her husband, talking, rubbibg her feet( very swollen) Dopamine didn`t do squat.....total urine for 12 hours+35cc.
    Yesterday, I sent her home on hospice, DNR on chart, her pain 1-2/10, morphine drip still running,she is relaxed, and doing some of the work she now accepts she needs to do(has 4 children,ages 10 to 18} I walked with her out to the transfer van, with her husband, he hugged me all the way ...today he sent me a dozen lovely roses....
    THAT`S why I`m still a nurse..........I made a difference.....
  12. by   Sleepyeyes
    I used to tease my mother, an artist, about nursing being an art because a lot of us nurse as an artist paints--art for art's sake.
    It's not about pay or about patient personalities; to us, it's noblesse oblige.

    Professional nurse standards have encouraged nurses to make sacrifices above and beyond the call of duty, and to even deny our personal needs for job security and equitable pay. Our sense of duty to the greater good far outweighs the practicalities of labor-management issues.

    With that in mind, I nurse because I want my life to count for something. I want to make a positive difference in someone else's life. It could be something as simple as the pt. who came to us with CP who really needed to grieve and be comforted on the loss of her spouse. It might be something as dramatic as watching a person in full arrest come back to life after a post-op MI. Sometimes it's something as simple as getting the IV on the first try that makes a difference to a pt. Or helping a frightened young woman have a baby.
    It's always a challenge intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I put my whole self into my work, and no other job has satisfied me as much or felt as important to do.
    I love nursing and I am honored that I was called to do it.
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Because I love what I do (OB) and I work on my own terms when I want to,no more and no less and the money is a helluva lot better than what I made in the military. I really feel born to it.
  14. by   apols_uk
    as they say if you dont like heat stay out of the kitchen.

    this is my calling and i loved it. ive been fried, stirred on the pot

    due to stress and pressure but i do love it and proud to be a nurse. cry with them in their pain. laugh with them in their joy
    being with them in times of fear and doubt its very rewarding though this is a very thankless job but that what makes me stay

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