I have been a nurse since 1999. I started out in surgical nursing and went into oncology. I was then asked to be the night supervisor of a 46 bed med/surg/tele unit. I did that for 7 years. I am now a nurse manager of a 65 bed traumatic brain injury facility and I have just started to cross over into the Quality department. Ironically enough, I was just asking my friend last night how I should go about getting my JD so I can be an RN, BSN, JD. Pretty awesome, I think.
Anyway, I have always enjoyed working with male nurses because there is little drama to deal with in the way of gossip. Although, some men can be just as high-maintenance as women! I also like working with male nurses in the acute setting because they were excellent in codes, patient lifting, and protecting others when it came to violent patients. Let me say that the wisest decision I ever made was to work on the busiest floor in the hospital (the one everyone hated) because I learned time-management and critical thinking that has followed me thru my career! I always told new nurses that if they could do 6 months on that floor, they could work anywhere in the world!
I will be honest, I didn't become a nurse because I am interested in saving the world and I am far from a Florence Nightengale type. I became a nurse because I wanted to have skills and contribute, no matter how small, to the world. I have learned that you can't save everyone but even being there for the family at the end of someone's life is contributing. I also wanted job security and a decent living. I have an associate degree and I am about to graduate with my BSN in August. I have earned no less than $70,000 every year since 2002. I never intended to get rich in nursing but I live pretty comfortably. I always like the extra shifts because they pay so well. And let's face it, I wear scrubs
and comfortable shoes every day! Nursing is the most difficult and most rewarding PROFESSION I can think of. It's a lot of work but the pay-off is awesome! I should also add that nursing is also pretty thankless. Every so often, you get the patient or family that couldn't imagine their care without you; others, will chew you up and spit you out. Never a dull moment!
My wish for you is that you find your bliss, get all the skills you can, never say NO to an opportunity, and offer yourself up when you have down-time. All of those moments are learning opportunities that you just store away and before you know it, you are the one everyone comes to when they have a question or need help (or want you to start a difficult IV line!). In nursing, and again, there is never a dull moment.
Good luck to you!