“Why Be a Nurse?” – Have you read it?

Fuse | Thinkstock
Fuse | Thinkstock

In a recent article for The Huffington Postprofessor Paula Cohen explained why, in spite of all the heartache and stress, it’s important for people to continue to become nurses…and why the career is trending up.

It’s pieces like this that we love sharing, as we hope the inspirational words help uplift and motivate you on your toughest days on the job.

Here are some excerpts from the article:

As a professor at a major research university, I am in a position to keep abreast of career trends. I see many of my students seek high-paying jobs in finance and consulting; I see others apply to law school, medical school, and competitive internships. But I have also noted a new trend that doesn’t fit the high-paying, high-prestige profile: nursing.

One example of a friend switching to nursing:

My acquaintance, Katie Fitzpatrick, a younger woman and an Ivy League graduate, has worked for the three years since her graduation at a New York hedge fund. She doesn’t dislike her job, she says, but she doesn’t feel suited to it. “I had never before considered nursing,” she told me, “but one day I came across an article about nurse practitioners and everything sort of clicked. It was the first time I said — I want to do that!”

Why it’s happening:

Nursing appears to be one of the nation’s fastest growing occupations, with a rapidly aging population and increases in medial advances. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing is one of the fastest growing professions in the country. Jobs for registered nurses are projected to increase by over 29 percent by 2020, the result of a 40 percent increase in demand.

Why it’s really happening, though:

While many professions involve working with the abstract, the derivative, and the representational, nurses deal with the concrete and the real. They monitor elemental excrescences and processes: urine and phlegm, breathing and swallowing. They provide palliatives for pain, and comfort in the face of injury and aging. They work with bodies at their most vulnerable, which is to say their most human. When so many jobs relegate life to the remote and the virtual, nursing, as my colleague explained, sees “the distance between the intellect and the body so beautifully diminishing.”

Read the rest of the article here, and then tell us: Why do you keep returning to work as a nurse? What inspires you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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