I love the profession of nursing. I genuinely believe that nursing is one of THE greatest professions out there. Period.
We have such a diverse number of career path choices, and have few limitations when considering a lateral career change. We can move to different aspects of our profession without great burden.
But as much as I want to express my unwavering fervor for everything nursing, there are aspects of this profession that give me pause.
Would I ever discourage someone from being a nurse?
I think the answer would be a resounding “no,” but I would follow or even preface my answer with some warnings about certain aspects of our profession.
These aspects are not unique or entirely different from those of most other careers out there. The red tape you have to walk along and the bureaucratic hoops you have to jump through are just as exhausting. We spend a great deal of time defining and defending our jobs, instead of actually doing our jobs.
If I had to issue a list of warnings, these would be the things to think about before you take the head-first plunge into nursing:
- You better grow thick skin, because the browbeating is endless, from all walks of life.
- Our profession IS mostly women (it’s a fact, not an opinion). Like it or not, there IS a cattiness to the atmosphere. Not all nurses can be trusted. There is always drama.
- The hospital environment is like a soap opera. “These are the days of our lives” is a surreal joke. Some people never actually leave high school.
- Your job does become your life. Figure out a way to keep them separate.
- You impact lives. Real human beings and their well-being is at stake. Calling off, not caring and shortcutting affects lives. If you can’t accept that heavy responsibility, do not become a nurse.
- Whatever you do, don’t dare think Hollywood’s definition of a nurse is accurate in any way, shape or form.
- Don’t do this for the money. You’ll waste everyone’s time, and you’ll end up putting someone at risk for injury.
- Contrary to what you may think, not everyone can actually DO this job. It’s not all pills, poop and plungers.
It’s a short list, but an important one. Would you every discourage someone from becoming a nurse? I’d love to hear why.
For more Career Advice for Nurses pick up the latest issue of Scrubs magazine, available at a retail store near you!