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15 ways nursing will change your life

The nursing profession is changing. The average age of nurses and the average number of years of nursing experience both are decreasing. As a nurse with close to a decade of experience, I’m considered old.

I often wonder what the newer generations think they are getting into when they choose our profession. What do they think their job will be like? What do they think we actually do? How do they decide and say to themselves, “That’s what I want to do, that’s what I want to be”? I’ve recently discovered a lot of nurses are finding out the hard way what nursing is really like.

This is the REAL world of nursing:

1. Your feet will hurt.
2. Your back will ache.
3. You’ll start grinding your teeth in your sleep (if you didn’t already start in nursing school).
4. You’ll NEED to be in shape for this job.
5. This job will make you cry.
6. This job will scare you.
7. Many patients will not like you.
8. Most patients will test your limits.
9. Many patients are not nice. In fact, they’re downright mean.
10. You’ll rarely hear a “thank you.”
11. Your job is never done.
12. What you do directly affects others, ALL the time.
13. No one notices what you do–until you don’t do it.
14. You won’t get home on time. Hardly ever.
15. You’ll be the medical “go to” person for everyone on the block (sometimes at midnight on a Tuesday).

Sounds pretty bad, huh? This is why we constantly repeat the phrase, “Nursing is not for everyone.” You have to be tough in order to thrive in our world. The greatest thing about our profession, though, is that the benefits of our work GREATLY outweigh the risks.

But here are 15 ways nursing will change your life:

1. Your heart will grow 10 times its normal size.
2. Your compassion will exponentially expand.
3. You’ll develop strength where you once were afraid.
4. You’ll learn to push past your limits.
5. You’ll become resourceful.
6. You’ll develop keen decision-making skills.
7. You’ll become comfortable with being uncomfortable.
8. You’ll truly empathize and understand what loss really is.
9. You’ll impact human lives.
10. You’ll truly make a difference.
11. You’ll meet and befriend some amazing people.
12. You’ll find that the rare “thank you” and/or hug is worth it all.
13. You won’t do this job to be noticed.
14. You won’t do this job expecting to leave on time.
15. You’ll be proud to tell people you’re a nurse.

Sounds pretty good, huh? This is why we constantly repeat the phrase, “Nursing is not for everyone.”

The things that make our profession so tough are also the very same things that make this profession amazing. If it were easy, wouldn’t everybody be doing it?

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