10 reasons why I love nursing


Kathryn Adams for Scrubs

Kathryn Adams for Scrubs

From the Spring 2014 issue of Scrubs

We all have those days when we don’t want to hear the word “nursing.” We’d rather be accountants, administrative assistants or ambassadors to some tiny country that nobody can find on a map.

Most days, though, I love my job. Here, a countdown to the top 10 reasons why I do.

10. We’re constantly surrounded by smart, funny people.

Nurses, doctors, EMTs, anybody in the medical field has to have brains and a sense of humor. Sometimes our humor is morbid, but it’s reliable.

9. Our profession garners instant respect.

Tell people you’re a nurse and see how well they treat you. Tell people you’re a used car salesperson and see how well they treat you. Now compare the two experiences.

8. We cannot be grossed out.

Perfect party trick: Someone tells a story, and no matter how awful it is, you can top it. This talent alone has gotten me more free drinks than I can count at parties. Which brings me to the next point…

7. Nobody, but nobody—not even residents—parties like nurses do.

You want a group of smart, funny, no-nonsense people who can hold their liquor? Invite nurses to your next fete.

6. Nothing is a crisis to a nurse.

Unless you’re experiencing uncontrolled arterial bleeding, have lost a limb 10 miles back or are actually in v-fib, nurses don’t blink twice.

5. Nothing is scary, either.

Audible bleeding might give you pause, as might a lethal heart rhythm, but at the end of the day, you know you won’t be scared away…and can deal with almost anything. If an asteroid were to hit tomorrow, I would want nurses on my team.

4. Watches? We don’t need no stinkin’ watches!

We have an innate sense of time. This is a skill developed over years of having six different medications to administer to three different patients in the space of half an hour.

3. We meet more interesting people than anybody else in the world.

Whether it’s other nurses—I’ve talked to some who served in both World Wars—rodeo clowns, auctioneers, guys who parachuted into Central American countries on covert missions, priests, politicians or just ordinary folks, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting all. Everyone has a story to tell. And I get to hear them!

2. Death is not an unknown.

You see good deaths and bad deaths in this business. You learn what you want for your final days, and you know how to make your own wishes known when your time comes. That relieves a lot of lifelong anxiety.

1. We make a difference.

The realization that, even on my worst day, I made life a little bit better for somebody else? That’s enough to keep me going, to keep me thankful and to make me remember why I love nursing.

Jo, RN, has worked as a neuroscience nurse in central Texas for 10 years. She has been a regular contributor to for over three years, and blogs here. Her hobbies include toe-wrestling, heffalump-hunting and freestyle poutine consumption.

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