So, I've been a long time lurker and just recently decided to start an account so I could get an answer to this question. I'm seriously considering going to nursing school (I already have one degree) but I've noticed a trend on these forums, and in general, that's got me a little worried. From what I've read, most nurses who work directly with patients seem to talk a lot about how utterly exhausted they are ALL THE TIME. It paints the picture of a very stressed out, caffeine drinking, health care worker with little time for sleep or a personal life. I'm sure that this is most likely an exaggeration...or is it? Forgive me for my ignorance. I'm fully aware that nurses work very hard and have A LOT of responsibility, but being outside of that world, I'm not sure exactly how tough it really is. I'm very interested in medicine and the idea of direct patient contact, but not at the expense of my physical health or my sanity. As a nurse, would you consider yourself to be "pushed to the limit" in the way I described above, or have you found a balance? Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.