Ten Things I Love About Nursing

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Ten Things I Love About Nursing

#10 I get to work in the most comfortable clothing on the planet. When I was a nurse manager, I was going through the worst of my perimenopause.....in polyester and double knits, no less. Now I wear soft cotton scrubs, which are essentially pajamas with lots of pockets. Good times!

#9 Sheer variety. There are so many types of nursing that it would take several lifetimes to try them all. Even in my comparatively brief career, I've worked Med/Surg, postpartum, ICU, assisted living, and long-term care. I've been a parish nurse, a floor nurse, a DON, a care manager, and a clinical instructor. What else can you do with a two-year degree that takes you as far and earns you a decent living in the bargain?

#8 Speaking of pay: I know I'll never get rich, especially not in LTC, but I still earn twice the average hourly wage for my part of the country. Works for me.

#7 The opportunity to meet so many different people in so many different situations. I've taken care of politicians, athletes, local celebrities, priests, and hospital CEOs. I've also cared for people at the other end of the spectrum, many of whose stories are equally compelling. I've seen people at their best, and worst. I've seen life begin, and more often, I'm the one to see it end. I've known a 105-year-old lady who had a hip replacement and went on to tour Europe, and a 40-year-old father of two who received a cancer diagnosis, went home, and quietly hanged himself in the family's garage.

#6 OK, so it's corny, but I love taking care of people and helping them resolve their problems. Nothing gives me a bigger kick than to see patients come in who can't even bear weight, and then watch them grow stronger over the weeks or months they're with us, eventually to return home or go to a lower level of care. I also enjoy my relationships with our long-term residents and do everything I can to keep them as healthy and comfortable as possible. Sometimes it's as simple as fetching Marian a bag of pretzels, or as involved as taking digital pictures of Harry's "Resident of the Month" bulletin board, enlarging them on my home computer and making a huge collage to put up on the wall of his room so he can see it every day even after the display is taken down.

#5 Diversity among my co-workers. I used to be pretty sheltered when I was a small-town SAHM. But nurses come in all ages, sizes, colors, and philosophies of life, and I've learned more from those who are vastly different from me than I ever could have from people of similar backgrounds and life experiences. From my Filipino nursing comrades, for example, I've learned a great deal about facing life with optimism and gratitude; and thanks to my Mexican co-workers, I know how to make chicken enchiladas with homemade tortillas and a mean mole sauce!

#4 Learning about all sorts of fascinating diseases and conditions. I've always been part detective, and I love the challenge of piecing together behaviors, symptoms, and other clues to come up with the correct diagnosis and a treatment plan. (An added bonus: doctors usually take me seriously and give me what I ask for, because they know I've done my homework.) Nursing has also forced me way out of my comfort zone, providing frequent tests of my ability to maintain not only my composure but my lunch!

#3 Being a nurse has taught me a great deal of patience, which was in short supply for most of my life. As a child and young adult, I was quick-tempered and apt to go off like a hand grenade at almost any real or imagined provocation; now, when potty-mouthed Martha asks me for the tenth time in five minutes where the (rhymes with duck) she is supposed to go now, I'm not even tempted to tell her.

#2 Nurses are consistently rated among the most trusted professionals in America. That doesn't hurt MY ego one bit.

#1 To paraphrase the old Peace Corps ad: Nursing is the toughest job I've ever loved. I go home every night dragging my fifty-something body out to the car and feeling like I've aged four decades in the past eight hours. My knees and hips ache; my feet burn; my back sings "Aida". But all I need is a resident's smile, a joke, a moment of shared laughter---that, and a good night's sleep---and the bond is recharged, energizing me for each day's ventures into the lives of my favorite people on earth.

Long Term Care Columnist / Guide

I'm a Registered Nurse and writer who, in better times, has enjoyed a busy and varied career which includes stints as a Med/Surg floor nurse, a director of nursing, a nurse consultant, and an assistant administrator. And when I'm not working as a nurse, I'm writing about nursing right here at allnurses.com and putting together the chapters for a future book about---what else?---nursing.

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This is a very cool post, and helps me reaffirm I have made the right decision for my career.

Specializes in interested in NICU!!.

I enjoy your writting and stories!

We often hear what is wrong with Nursing - it is wonderful to read your post about 10 things you love about being a nurse! Great idea!

Specializes in Alzheimers and geriatric patients.

This is really inspiring to me. As a nursing student, I am surrounded by nurses who only speak of the negative. Thank you for taking a moment to remember the positive!

A very nice post. I need some encouragement and guidance regarding a career decision I have to make. I have been offered a CNA job at a long-term care facility. I may have an offer for an interview in 1-2 weeks time for a unrelated job but which pays perhaps 2-3 times better. I have debts to pay and a pragmatic mind-set. I want to be a nurse and ultimately go to school to become a RN. Is it possible to work 3rd shifts as a CNA and then work a full-time job during the day? Has anyone tried this or possibly doing it now? Any advise is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

It's nice to hear reasons aside from money to be a nurse. It reaffirms my interest in nursing. Thank you for your '10 Things I Love...' post.

Specializes in Med/Surg, Acute Rehab.

Hi Viva! Never commented before, but I have always enjoyed reading your posts. This tops them all because it's an upbeat post. Thanks for giving me some good things to help focus on the positive!:loveya:

Specializes in ICU, Telemetry.

My humble additions:

  1. Getting to wear comfortable shoes
  2. Nobody cares what you look like, just how good a nurse you are
  3. The day a family member said, "thanks for saving my husband's life."
  4. Working with people who've got your back
  5. Codes -- the most teamwork you'll ever see

Ditto to all of the above for me, unfortunately I also have a "things I hate about nursing list", it is a lot longer than the love list so I am retired.

Love your post. It's nice to read about the good things and not the bad.... I know there are also a lot of bad things about being a nurse, but the good things keeps me motivated to becoming a nurse even more. Thanks!

Specializes in Oncology, Triage, Tele, Med-Surg.

I adore your attitude. Wish you lived next door to me!