Ten Things I Love About Nursing

It doesn't get any better than this! Nurses Announcements Archive Article

#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.

Specializes in Med/Surg; aged care; OH&S.

Love this, sums up everything I've believed on those good, positive days

Specializes in M/S, MICU, CVICU, SICU, ER, Trauma, NICU.
Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

Thanks everyone........I just had The Shift From Hell last night and it really helped to read over all the positive responses! Eighty percent of my shift was spent dealing with what I've come to call a "Pampers family" (you know, the ones who are full of it and all over your butt!) and not only did I get out of there over an hour late, I was still angry and frustrated when I woke up this morning after fighting the whole battle over again in my dreams.

Then I logged on, read y'all's posts, and now I'm smiling again, remembering that I really DO love my job.:D

Wow, #7 just broke my heart ....

Thank you for this uplifting post...it is nice to read something positive for a change! :up:

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

Well, I also have a list of the things about nursing that really stink......but I think I'll save that for another time ;)

Specializes in Home Health, SNF.


I feel like an idiot, I read the posts but didn't check THE TOP post, written by you. Another great post, and one of the reasons why I really miss you when I don't see you. I'll look closer next time.

You are an inspiration.



Specializes in ICU, Telemetry.

Pampers family....ROFLMAO.

I just spit my soda all over my keyboard, off to get a towel...

All the things that are posted about 'what one loves' is correct. The things that Nurses 'hate' about the profession is never dealt with on the professional level hence no action plan. Talking about a problem for which one can see no hope of fixing, is depressing. Many research articles written recently pointing a definitive finger to the work environment as the overarching reasons Nurses leave the profession (Lisa Black) but.......no one at the frontline with the fortitude or the power to change things. So we write about the things we love to help us endure the pain of the things we hate. No one suffers silently and the shortage speaks for itself.

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

What you say makes a lot of sense, metowe.

However, I am nothing if not an optimist. I'm like a robin with one end of a ten-foot earthworm in its beak---all I need is a little nibble now and again and I can keep going indefinitely. I've been an 'abused' nurse in the past, but now when I find myself in a situation that threatens my serenity, I leave......at my age and stage of life, I've learned to pick my battles, and I no longer have the 'drive' to fight unwinnable ones.

Maybe it's the cowardly way out. Maybe it's just my way of coping with an entrenched system that chews nurses up and spits them out. Either way, I choose not to let the worst of nursing get to me, because it's SO not worth the anguish.

Both the quotes at the end of your blog are a testimony of your continued attempt to do the right thing if not just for your patients. Your conscience is clear and you forge foward. I realize there comes a time in ones life we must choose our battles but...........the worst of Nursing we ALL try to ignore is the cause of the shortage. People like yourself who have a strong moral compass can rise above the entrenched system of lateral violence and tasks that have no added value to patient. To quote Malcolm Gladwell in his book The Tipping Point "The impetus to engage in a certain kind of behavior is not coming from a certain kind of person but from a feature of the environment". I dare to ask... What will it take to change the environment Nurses work within?

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

It sounds like you've got some ideas on this.........Would you be willing to share them with us?