4 Reasons to Love Bedside Nursing

Why stay when it feels like everyone is leaving?

Bedside nursing is the bedrock of acute care. In this article are four unique aspects of bedside nursing that make it an amazing career, as well as some inspirational ideas to make bedside nursing an even more enjoyable experience.


Why stay when it feels like everyone is leaving?

It's a tumultuous time in nursing right now. Headlines about health care right now are not good. Google reveals that Nurses are quitting in record numbers, and health care is in crisis. As a nurse reading those headlines, it can feel like the ship is sinking, and the wise thing to do would be to find yourself a life raft and jump! This whole crisis landscape creates a toxic working environment for those of us who are left in the trenches. However, the worst thing to do in a crisis is panic. So let's take a moment, enjoy a deep breath and focus on the positives.  Why stay at the bedside? Here are four fabulous things about bedside nursing to help you go to your next shift with a smile on your face and a bit of pop in your step.

You Are Essential

Talk about job security! As demand for nurses continues to increase, so does the pay, making the entrance salary for nursing one of the best in the marketplace. The next time you joke about taking a job at a coffee shop, remember; you would have to work a whole lot more hours there to make what you make in one shift as a Nurse.

Nursing has changed a lot over the past 1000 years, but the profession persists because people will always need Nurses. Without nurses, there is literally no health care.

You Are Skilled

There are few things more satisfying in life than being able to perform difficult tasks with expertise. Ever hit a difficult vein on the first try? Then you know exactly what I'm talking about. Ever caught a complication in a client early and prevented devastating sequelae of clinical consequences? Exactly. Being able to come home after a shift and think, "I saved someone's life. They will be alive tomorrow because of the actions I took today." That's pretty epic.

You NEVER Work From Home

Once I've changed out of my scrubs, I'm done. The whole time I'm working, I'm getting paid. I don't ever have to take time away from my family to 'finish something up' or 'quickly take a call.' I don't have to check my emails in my off time. When I'm off, I can go anywhere in the world because I am not at work, and work doesn't follow me.  The corporate world does not function like that.

You Are Not Alone

I love being part of a team because there is always someone else around to ask for a second opinion or observe a different way of performing a skill. My team makes me better.  When I talk with people about the corporate working environment, I'm always astonished to hear about how competitive it is. Everyone is trying to take credit and climb the corporate ladder while still collaborating on projects together. Talk about workplace politics!

As a nurse, we are part of a team, and the team you work with determines the environment you experience. On really good teams, there are no 'my patients and your patients.' They are OUR patients. You can work in horrible conditions and have a completely different experience if you are part of a solid team. We are all in the same foxhole, and the sooner we truly embrace this mindset, the stronger nursing will be.

So go and be the nurse that brightens the whole department. Be the person that your coworkers are happy to see at 0700. Positive attitudes really are that powerful. 

Laura-Lee Nuttall RN, BSN, CNCC-C with 18 years experience.

2 Articles   5 Posts

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7 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac surgery. Has 6 years experience.

I love your confidence that this will make any burned out nurse feel less burned out. 

Laura-Lee Nuttall, BSN

2 Articles; 5 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, Clinical Instruction. Has 19 years experience.
FAB_RN said:

I love your confidence that this will make any burned out nurse feel less burned out. 

I've been in this game a long time. I can tell you with confidence that the attitude you go to work with is contagious to your team. If you want articles on burnout - there are loads of those. This isn't meant to address burnout. I'm trying to give permission to nurses to feel something positive about their careers again. If you're feeling burned out - I'm sorry you're feeling that way. There are LOTS of resources and options out there. Don't stay stuck in a position you can't feel positive about. 

Has 5 years experience.

This is an excellent reminder that bedside nursing is not always the horror that a lot of nurses make it out to be. I have worked a few different places, and the team at the hospital has been the best environment I have had. We throw in together, cry together, and laugh a lot. Great article!

Specializes in ICU. Has 7 years experience.

I appreciate this article and have always appreciated bedside nursing. It's a beautiful thing to be placed in these patient situations as their backbone and advocate.

We are working with patients at sometimes what seems to be their most vulnerable times. It's rewarding and humbling to be of service to them.

Thank you for this post 🙂 


915 Posts

Has 9 years experience.

Loved this!! 💓💓💓

The key here is Team. 1,000,000,000,000%

It can make or break your shift especially when you have a very difficult patient load. 

Now I've had those times when I've worked with coworkers who seemed to disappear when I needed help the most (I try not to schedule when they're working LOL) and I say to myself, you know what, they never help me, I'm not helping them..

But here's the thing.  Nursing is not like that, a lot of us, we just don't roll like that.  And do you want to know why?  Because at the end of the day, it's not about tit for tat or anything like that, it's about the patients.  We NEVER want to see anyone die, and we also don't want to see anybody injured.

So for those of you who are already Major Team Players 👏👏👏

And for those of you who are not "will you won't you, will you won't you, join the dance"


4 Articles; 2,394 Posts

Specializes in New Critical care NP, Critical care, Med-surg, LTC. Has 11 years experience.

Another reason to love bedside nursing is the very direct impact you have with your patient. I am new to my NP role and I'm not willing to give up my bedside per diem job yet because I don't get the same level of satisfaction from developing a plan of care and placing orders. It's probably because I'm still nervous, all the time, and feel like I may never really feel comfortable, but whatever the reason, I'm keeping my bedside a few times a month to keep that role that I enjoy.