Nursing: How do I love thee?

heart-in-handsLately 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.

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