Nursing: How do I love thee?
Lately I have been in a rut of sorts regarding nursing. This happens with most careers probably and had given me a challenge: to come up with things I love about being a nurse, from the serious to the silly. So, let me count the ways:
(10) The pay. Yes, nursing is a job, and yes, I do appreciate the income I receive for working hard. The latest statistics on the Internet state that after around five years, nurses make a median income of about $55,000/year. For me that means that my initial investment of 3 years time in nursing school and about $12,000 tuition has resulted in a pretty nice return.
(9) Job security. Despite the arguments for and against the reality of a nursing shortage, my recent job search exemplifies what I believe: that nurses are in high demand. Searching for a job in a bad economy showed me that even a nurse with an associate degree and less than two years experience can get a job across the country (after multiple offers) sight unseen! The reality is that experienced nurses seem to be a hot commodity in any economy.
(8) Continual learning. It amazes me that no matter if I am on the job or working on an advanced degree, the amount of knowledge I gain in my vocation is truly limitless. If anything, my brain has too much info to absorb! And isn’t continued, lifetime learning a key to staying young…at mind?
(7) The wardrobe. I had a classmate say at graduation—in front of an auditorium full of people: “I know you are all jealous that I get to wear my pajamas to work.” Seriously, could scrubs be more comfortable?
(6) The hours. There aren’t many professions with such flexible hours—from the 8 hour shifts, the 3 or 5 days a week shifts, PRN shifts, 12 hour shifts day or night, office hours, etc.—we nurses have a lot to choose from which makes our lives outside work that much more manageable.
(5) The benefits. As a fulltime nurse, I get great benefits for little out of pocket pay. In this healthcare climate…enough said! (And probably a great topic for another blog!)
(4) The pens! As someone who is a penophile (look it up in the urban dictionary) I have a honest-to-goodness excuse for my love affair with all things that write. Most nurses will protect their pen as vehemently as they protect their stethoscopes—and yes, sometimes their patients. (And dare I say docs pose a threat to at least two of the aforementioned? *wink*)
(3) The people. Specifically, the people I work with are amazing. All kidding aside, working with good doctors is a wonderful collaboration most of the time—and the team of nurses I work with makes my job doable AND enjoyable.
(2) My patients. Yes, the reason I work is ultimately all about serving my patients. If all of the above stuff disappeared, I would still work hard to serve my patients. Without them I wouldn’t have a job, a vocation, or a profession I am growing to love.
(1) Me, the nurse. At the top of the list is who I have become because of nursing. I have learned organization, discipline, deepened my beliefs, held new life in my hands and held the hands of women who have experienced tragedy. I am a changed person—for the better, I believe—because I am a nurse. I thank God every day for this opportunity I have been given. I am a nurse.
Amy is many things: a blogger, a nurse, a wife, a mom, a childbirth educator. She started her journey towards a career in nursing when she got pregnant with her first child. After nursing school and studying "like she has never studied before" she entered the nursing profession eager to get her feet wet. The first years provided her with much exposure to sadness, joy and other complex human emotions. She feels that blogging is a wonderful outlet and a way for nurse bloggers to further build their community. Traditionally, midwives have handed down their skill set from midwife to apprentice midwife. She believes nurses have this same opportunity: to pass from nurse to new nurse the rich traditions of this profession.
By Amy Bozeman