Why go nursing?

Nurses General Nursing


I am currently undertaking my masters and am interested in looking at why someone today, with all the careers around, wants to go nursing. What made you take the plung into nursing ?

I am interested in hearing from undergraduates, graduates and clinical nurses.


To all,

I just downloaded your replies to share with the students in the Health Careers class at the large high school where I work as the school nurse. They have asked me speak to them about my job and nursing in general. I will take some of my antique textbooks (1976!) as well as texts I used when working on my health services credential and current resource books and journals.

This June marks 20 years since I became a RN. I have practiced nursing in varied settings, always rewarding and never boring. I will challenge the students to picture themselves and their careers in 2019, 20 years from now.


I always wanted to nurse, from being knee-high to a grasshopper. It may have started as a fascination with the uniform when I was five. A congenital heart condition had me a fairly regular visitor to hospitals from an early age. The injections and investigations certainly didn't put me off! Then I became absorbed by human anatomy and physiology; the sheer wonder of it all. I knew as a teenager I'd have to work with people and, ideallistically at sixteen or so I wanted to make a difference to peoples lives.

I trained in the 1970's, in a system that was entirely hospital based. It had its faults but I loved every minute of it and would do it again tomorrow. What I wouldn't do is undertake the current British method of training which is college based, with very little hands-on nursing and seems to consist of disproportionately large amounts of sociological "clap-trap".

What saddens me most about nursing in Britain today is that nursing seems to have lost the respect of the public in general, our medical colleaques and the government in particular.

For example, everybody but everybody is getting extra pay for working over the millenium New Year holiday or else time off.

In the National Health Service all leave has been banned and we'll be lucky if we get our basic special duty payments.

No wonder there are recruitment problems.

The millenium thing is bloody uncivilised (& stupid) isn't it? Why not migrate British RN - come to Australia - it'll be nice & warm @ that time of year.

To fulfill a need within myself. To be needed and appreciated - I haven't found that in any other vocation. The more I give - the more I get back. Being a nurse has made me more human and humaine. And I love the "bodily function" jokes!!!!!

Why nursing? That is easy, to a point. I got into nursing 10 years after dropping out of H.S. I got the idea while I was hospitalized for induction of labor. The nurse who was taking care of me was named Jonie(Hope it is spelled right)last name started with a T. Any how... during my delivery there were complications and she took over from even the MD. and saved my daughter from severe birth trauma. I was so impressed and thankful for her knowledge and skill. Unfortunatly, my remaining stay was not as impressive. There were times that the nurses seemed not to care, there were times that the nurses did not have a clue. So, I met with Jonie T. and asked for her advice. She told me that alot of nurses "are in it for the money, we need more nurses who honestly care." I enrolled in nursing school 8 weeks later. I have been a RN for 6 years now and love what I do. I do not necessarily love where I do it, or how the "grids" make us work. The money is terrible compared to the other fields I had considered. But the personal rewards that nursing provides are beyond compare. Just a simple thank you from a patient or their family, seeing someone smile that should not be alive, the big hug when a patient goes home... That is why I am a nurse. Yes, we have problems in nursing. For me, the rewards outweight the costs every time...


Cyn...stiring the mix

If you are from Cincinnati, OH - the nurse's name is Johnnie T. and I believe she works at Good Samaritian Hospital. If not, she must be a twin!

I too love my work, I just hate my job sometimes. And, yes, we don't make nearly what we should for what we have to know. As a critical care nurse with 14+ yrs experience I make squat, but when a patient &/or family says "thank you" for taking care of them is something money can't buy. One of the problems is a lot of older nurses seem to forget what it was like to be fresh out of school. I graduated in '83 and I still remember what school was like and starting how out as a new nurse was nothing like school. So let us not eat our young so there will be more of us to positively change healthcare here.


If Ya' Don't Love The Blues, Ya' Got A Hole In Your Soul

Because I like helping people!

P.S. I like bluesboyj's "take" on the difference between loving the work and hating the job. Never thought of it that way before!

I'm a relatively new nurse (3 years), and I'm having regrets about being in nursing. Why nursing? I can't give a easy reply. I work rotating shifts, so my sleep is off. When I am off, I'm too tired to actually do something (except those essential things like Laundry). And I'm constantly thinking of work: will I float today, will we work short, what will I muck up this time. Why nursing? I have no clue.

Specializes in med/surg.

So many reasons: helping people, gadgets galore, who knew being a vampire could be fun and challenging, I love to learn, even better - I love to teach. The teaching started in nursing school - tutoring other nsg students, on the job - pts & families, co-workers even! Security - I realize it comes and goes - but face it someone, somewhere will need a nurse. Travel - pay your dues and be a nurse anywhere. Travel nursing gave me amazing opportunities. To just be there and provide what the pt needs. There are drawbacks - my glasses aren't rose-colored, but show me someone who says they found the perfect job and I'll show you someone who's already on Prozac wink.gif

I started out at a small hospital as a Nursing Aide. Became a Paramedic but my girlfriend was a nurse and it looked interesting. I took the chance on getting into Nursing School and have never looked back. That was 20 years ago and I still do not regret the decision that I made. I don't know, call me silly, but don't we all have something unique within us that allows us to do this job? Not everyone can do it. It takes a very special person to do what we do. I feel honored that I can do this job.

Yes, the work is hard, the hours long, your work goes unappreciated and in todays world you have to deal with business. And to me that is the ONLY reason that I would discourage people from getting into Nursing.

I remember when hospitals were run by Health Care people not Big Business where the bottom line is FAR more important than the health of the patient. This is THE single reason that I want to get out of a profession that I love. I cannot stand to see others hurt or hurting because our society, in the US, has decided to turn its back on what really matters. Your health.

I love being a nurse and consider it a real honor to have been given this opportunity to work in this fascinating field. It is too bad that our society views us still to this day as only assistants when we all know all too well that if it weren't for us the tally would be lots higher than just last year. Can you imagine....God 3,000 Hospital 0.

While I was still in high school and deciding what I wanted to do with my life, my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. He always had glowing accounts of the professionalism of the nursing staff that treated him. He convinced me that I would be the ideal nurse. With his suggestion, I applied and completed nursing school.

I had a wonderful, wonderful experience as a student. I met nurses who were dedicated, compasionate etc. These were the nurses that became MY mentors.

I have worked in nursing for 15 years and for the most part I really enjoy it. It is not a career choice for the mild and meek. I find that there is less and less peer support possibly due to budget restraints.

I also have a daughter who has decided NOT to be a nurse. Why? She has said to family and friends that nurses work too hard and they don't make a great deal of money.

Would I recommend to someone nursing as a profession? Probably, but warn them of some of the occupational pitfalls.

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