What made you want to become a nurse?

Nurses General Nursing


Just a positive question for this nursing community: What are the best things about nursing and what do you enjoy the most about nursing?

SO MANY THINGS! (Sorry for the all-caps, this topic makes me really excited).

-We truly do have the most patient contact of any healthcare profession IMO, which allows us to build meaningful relationships with patients (if that floats your boat).

-Depending on your patients and specialty, the work can be very rewarding. I know that several nurses feel underappreciated by their patients and managers. However, working in NICU I often received incredibly rewarding feedback from the families I cared for. I have a bulletin board with all of the cards that I received from NICU parents, and several years later I still get messages from some of them on their kids' birthdays thanking me for my nursing care.

-Nurses have amazing job security, especially once you have experience. Even if you have to move unexpectedly, you can always find a job.

-Unlike most office jobs, as a bedside nurse there is zero expectation that you work from home (beyond maybe reading your email). When you're at work, you're at work, and when you're at home, you're at home. You only work three days a week, and if you choose to work more then you are paid overtime (again, as opposed to most salaried office jobs, where you are expected to work 60 hours a week and get paid for 40).

-Similarly, I think we're well-paid relative to the number of hours we work. I may not be making the same annual salary as my friends in finance; however, my friends in finance are working 70-80 hour weeks. If I worked 70-80 hours a week in nursing (either by picking up crazy OT, or by working two full-time jobs), I'd be earning just as much as they do. I think our compensation is pretty fair considering that I can schedule myself for a 'six-day weekend' every other week without taking any vacation time.

-You can do anything with a nursing degree. If you want to stay at the bedside, you can do that. If you want to work your way up to being a CNO, you can do that. If you want to be a nurse practitioner, the president of a nursing professional organization, a college professor, a camp nurse, a researcher, and IT consultant, a legal consultant, a pharmaceutical rep, an author, you name it--you can do that. Similarly, if you become bored in your specialty, it's relatively easy to branch out and try a new one.

-In general, I find that nurses are proud of our profession, and on the whole are interested in supporting one another. It's less of a cut-throat field and mentality than many other professions (including medicine, as evidenced by the abundance of super-snarky posts on Student Doctor Network).

Thank you for your detailed reply! Great points!

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