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How Many People Really Love Their Nursing Job And Why?


I am taking pre-rews and want to be a nurse but so many people are discouraging me telling me that I have too much of a weak stomach and wont be able to do it, however I have talked to people on this site and they say you get used to it. People are telling me about the bad things about the job and I guess I am just looking for some uplifting so I know I am on the right track and continue what I am doing - I just feel so discouraged

I am just starting as an aide, and not even a CNA yet, but here is what I have found:

Yes, the job can be hard, dirty, smelly, trying, you may feel underappreciated by patients and doctors and family, and the hours and pay may be less than desirable sometimes. Notice CAN BE and SOMETIMES.

That said, there is something about helping someone who can't help themselves that makes you feel good. Cleaning someone while doing your best to allow them to have some dignity, and caring for someone who may not have anyone else to care for them and can't care for themselves has its own intangible reward. You are making a difference in peoples lives, and in LTC particularly at the end of life.

It has been said on this board that if you are going into nursing for the good pay and 3 day work week, go into something else (I am paraphrasing). I have held many many other jobs in my life, and none of them comes CLOSE to being as rewarding as this. I guess it is just the "warm and fuzzies" that I get that makes the difference.

Best of luck...



Specializes in ER, ICU, Education.

I agree with David. Go work as an aide and then you will see if it's for you. One's perspective completely changes when you begin to learn how the body works.

It stops being 'oh my God that's a lot of blood' to 'oh my God I better do something or this guys is going to die,' and you actually know what to do.

My husband who was the biggest wimp on the planet - but very smart - could not stand to hear the war stores of the ER or watch surgeries on TV. But we had a few changes occur in our life and he found himself out of work and he started to consider nursing. My advice was go work as an aide and see if you can do it. He did - in home health and then he went on to get in RN. That was 10 years ago.

Yes, there are days (or nights) when you come home and feel like you've been run over by a truck, but you can almost always take something positive away from it. I helped someone be more comfortable, I helped a family member gain a better understanding of the real prognosis of their loved one, or if you're lucky I helped save a person's life tonight, etc...

Despite some of the negative comments on this board that you will read, nursing is one of the most respected professions. Not because it's all roses and saving lives, but because it's difficult work that many don't think they can do, but they hold high respect those who do. Yes some doctors can be you know whats, but who cares?! That is the exception not the rule.

Many of the nurses who speak negatively on this board are folks who are A) are just venting because they need too; or B) really need to take a break from nursing because they are burn out and not doing anyone any good (there is nothing worse then being sick and having a hateful, angry nurse take care of you!), or C) are the ones who went into nursing for all the wrong reasons and can't handle the stress of it.

Only you can decide if it's right for you - so go work as an aide and give it a try. What's the worse that can happen? You find out you don't like it? That's actually a good thing because you will at least know and you can then move on.

Good luck!

I have been an RN now for 4 months now. I love it! There are times that are difficult, but the good drastically outweighs the bad.

I love people. I love the stories they have. I love taking care of truly ill people. Being able to give medicine to take their pain away and having them say thank you. Sitting down and listening to them tell you about their day, how frustrated they may be with their illness.

I like listening to their personal stories. I have met some wonderful people. I was recently taking care of a man with cancer, older man. He was also in CHF. His feet were the biggest feet I have ever seen! Anywhoo, I accidently made the comment..."do you live with your wife?" and he told me his wife was dead. She died 2 years priorwhile he was ion surgery. So we sat for about 15 minutes and talked about his wife. He told me about what they used to do when they were younger...etc. It was great! It gave him so much happiness to talk about it with me! And it made me happy that i could share that happiness with him.

I just love nursing. I love the scientific part of it and I love the caring part of it. It is sooooo awesome!

When I was ending my nursing education, I had severe doubts about my ability and if this profession was really for me, but I think everyone has those doubts at some point. Because it is hard. It can be very hard on a person, metally, physically, emotionally. But the doubt passes over time and soon you realize what an awesome and rewarding career it is. I love it! I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!

Good Luck!

luvschoolnursing, LPN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 23 years experience.

Loved it for a few years, got discouraged, hated it, went back to get my BSN and school nurse certification, got a school nurse job, love it again.

I guess what I'm saying is the field is so broad there is something for everyone who has an interest in nursing and you're never stuck in a job you hate if you're not afraid to try something new. Good luck!!


Specializes in Neonatal ICU (Cardiothoracic). Has 9 years experience.

I love my job. I went from being a CNA in LTC to a tech in the hospital, to a full fledged RN/BSN in the NICU. Though I get discouraged and exhausted some days at work, every day I go back, I learn something new, or get a chance no matter how small to make a difference in someone's life.


nyapa, RN

Specializes in Jack of all trades, and still learning.

There are some pretty horrible things about nursing which from what you are saying you have already seen on these boards. But as others have said, this is a place where we come to say things and we are anonymous. Everyone here either knows where we are coming from, or are willing to listen to us, and provide comfort and / or advice

That being said:

Nursing is still a great career. Ppl may say you yourself have a 'weak stomach'; but out in the community you are probably dealing with ppl you love, care about and know, and that affects you differently, I find.

What I love is making someone feel comfortable and or worthwhile. It is a great feeling to walk into a room and see their faces light up when they see you. What I love is being able to help someone gain some control over their lives. And something as simple as helping someone who is incontinent feel less distressed is really important to me.

The most wonderful thing is watching someone leave the hospital who has been diagnosed with a poor outcome. I always think then "you proved them wrong!".Sometimes healing occurs independently of what you do or expect.

Facing dying is very hard. This is one area where it is hard to be objective, because it is something that hits the very core of us all. But this is where the skill of listening helps. You can't always solve problems. Nursing teaches you to accept that. And this area is often where a nurse needs to be an advocate. Rather than sitting in a hospital receiving chemo for example, the person may wish to spend their last days travelling around the country. Doctors love saying, you must have this done, you must have that done. Patients have the right to know exactly the effects of 'this and that' and be able to make that informed decision for themselves.

So consider it. And to expose yourself to it, do do something that others have suggested if you think that is right.


Specializes in RN- Med/surg.

I love my job. I was girly, with a very weak stomach, but a heart to help people when I decided to try being a CNA. I almost quit a few times..but am glad I stuck it out. You can get used to almost anything. Not only do I love my job, but I make a good living, and have job security. If you want to...just go for it.

locolorenzo22, BSN, RN

Specializes in Ortho, Neuro, Detox, Tele.

I worked management in health care for 3.5 years....planned activities for young/old people with mental illness, and got so I HATED it by the end. I HATED not being able to do everything I really wanted, I hated having to be the bad guy at the end of the day, just everything about it really made me mad.....

Then I went to NS. I love taking care of patients, spending time while talking to them about their lives, families, helping them understand what is going on...etc. I work as an aide in the hospital and I really know I do make a difference. I help people understand how to get around, try to keep their minds off of subjects, treat them with dignity...that's all we can do...

my advice? Get a healthcare job in a field you think you are interested in...like anything else, the only way to learn is to get in there and do it...

I would say definitely try a tech job while going through school. I really love my job and when I first graduated I didn't think I was going to follow through with it. I was terrified. The job is really rewarding. I especially love the patients that everyone says are grumpy or grouchy. I always manage to get them to warm up to me. I had one man who was an old grouch and I had him three nights in a row. I turned to him when I was in his room and said "Yippee, I'm back tonight, isn't that exciting to you?" He was laughing so hard. Things like that really make me love my job. I was going to be a pharmacist but I am so happy I didn't because I was absolutely miserable as a pharmacy tech in the end. I is so rewarding to help people when they are most vulnerable. I also had a weak stomach but like my dad said (who is a firefighter and has seen a lot crazier things than I have), you realize these people need you and you put your fears aside to help them and make them more comfortable.

al7139, ASN, RN

Specializes in Emergency. Has 5 years experience.


I have been a nurse since May of this year. Prior to nursing school, I worked as a Vet Tech for about 15 years. I have always from a young age been fascinated by medical stuff, and vet med worked for me at the time. As I gained knowledge in veterinary medicine, I began to look toward more challenging roles. I ended up being promoted to manage an animal hospital in the city I live in now. Although the pay was great, the work sucked. I missed being "in the trenches" with the hands on patient care, and I was bored with animal medicine after so many years. At the time I decided to resign and go back to school for something, my father got diagnosed with terminal metastatic stomach cancer. I spent the next 7 weeks helping my dad so my mom could continue to work to retain their insurance. I remember the staff at the oncologists office, and the hospice nurse who came to the house were so caring and supportive, and there for us no matter what time of day or night. Yes the family was sad and grieving when my dad died, but the nurses we worked with in that 7 weeks helped us make it so much easier for my dad and us. It left such an impression on me that I knew that I wanted to be a nurse after that. I enrolled in college and started the next semester. I have relatives in the health care field, and they all said that I should work as a CNA before deciding, but I had already made up my mind. I did work as an aide in my first year of nursing school, but it just confirmed what I already knew: This is the career for me.

My point is this: I don't have an iron stomach. Some things really gross me out and they always will. I cannot be in the same room with someone who is vomiting because I will vomit. I have a hard time with sputum. And, never ask me to do something that involves eye surgery (I don't know why, but I can't handle it). But, although these things bother me, I can still do my job as a nurse, I have just found ways to deal with it. It does get easier the more experience I get. I can even deal with a pt who is projectile vomiting without puking myself.

The upside that makes up for all the yucky stuff I have to deal with is this: When I leave the hospital after my shift, I know I have given the best I have to offer to help my patients. I don't always like my patients (or their families), but I have treated them well and given them the care they need. I have eased their pain. I have saved their life due to my assessment of the situation. I have cared for a dying patient as if they were my own family member. I have helped the dying patients family accept the inevitable, and shown them that although it is a time to mourn, it can also be a time of celebration of a family member that was special.

It is a hard job that we choose to do. I do occasionally sound negative. Mostly it is just because I need to vent, not because I hate what I do. I love being a nurse. I wouldn't do anything else. Yes, the pay is good, the hours can be good as well, but I think that I would do this even if it didn't pay well and the hours sucked because the rewards far outweigh the negative things.

If you just want the fat paycheck, choose another career. If you really want to make a difference in the lives of others, and you have a caring nature and have the ability to be empathetic, then nursing may be the career for you.

If you have never worked in the medical field, I definitely would recommend working or volunteering at a hospital just to be sure it is the right path for you to take.

Your weak stomach may or may not get better with experience, but I know nurses who have worked for 20+ years that still get grossed out by stuff, so don't let that stop you.

Good Luck!


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