May 14, 2017

Three Reasons Why I Love Nursing


When I was a nursing student, I had people tell me all about the negative aspects of nursing. If it wasn't my father telling me that working for free (e.g., doing clinicals) was a "scam," it was my friends telling me, "Wiping asses is for suckers." Everyone around me had an opinion about nursing. I remember shadowing a local nurse, and she even had problems with nursing. So with that in mind, please know that I will not be complaining or talking about how much nursing sucks. You came to the wrong blog for that. What I will do is share all the amazing things nursing has brought into my life.

Medical Knowledge 

I have a son with autism, a husband who had a heart attack (and who currently has diabetes as well), and I had gastric bypass surgery and am now suffering from hypotension. Everyone in my immediate and distant family has some chronic or acute condition that needs managing daily. Diabetes, hypertension, stroke, renal disease - you name it - I'm helping a family member manage it. My family members are some sick folks. Nursing gives me the ability to be educated on various disease processes and conditions. I'm not going to pretend I know it all, but I know enough to educate my family members. I know enough to make sure they are caring for themselves appropriately, and I know when I'm being told a boldface lie. My dad had hip surgery, and he tried to tell me that he was cleared to walk without his cane after postoperative day two. Yeah, NO! The point is, when a disease process pops up, I know enough to make sure my family members are doing the proper things and following the given instructions. Knowledge is power and nursing has given me the power to help my loved ones in their times of need.

Work Schedule 

I work three 12-hour shifts per week. If you do the math, that leaves me with four days all to myself. I wouldn't have been able to go back to graduate school if I worked Monday through Friday. With clinical rotations and exams, I can only work three days a week. Three 12-hour shifts equal thirty-six hours a week, which equals seventy-two hours per pay period. I'm a full-time employee working ONLY three shifts a week. Who wouldn't love that? I've worked at many places Monday through Friday, and I was unable to enjoy my life like I am currently. Nursing has given me the opportunity to be financially stable (with full-time pay) and also spend a significant amount of time with my friends and family. I love my schedule.

Yes, I work nights, and yes, I love my schedule. I'm able to work when everyone else in the world is sleeping. Plus, when I get off, everything is just opening up, so I'm able to run errands in the morning. I love the flexibility of my schedule too. I can work my first week's shifts up front (e.g., working Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday), then I can work my second week's shifts on the back end (e.g., working Thursday, Friday, and Saturday). That leaves me with eight blissful days off to do whatever I want. I LOVE my schedule. I love the flexibility nursing has given my family and me. I'm a full-time employee, I get full benefits, and yet I only work three days per week. The only downside is you will have to work some holidays (if you work in the inpatient setting), but hey, I have no problem with that considering what I just told you.

Career Advancement

As a woman, there have been many instances where I was overlooked or ignored for an upcoming position. Even if I were the hardest working person there, it just wouldn't happen for me. I've worked in varying office settings, with most settings being predominately male. I'm not some delicate flower. I can work with men - don't start with that. The problem was that every time I would request a raise or want to advance my position, I would be brushed off and told to be grateful for the position I had currently. It was as if me asking for advancements was an insult. But when men asked for the same thing, they would get the new position plus get praise for stepping up.

Nursing isn't like that. I work in an environment with constant openings for advancement and specialty practice. I never feel stuck. There are always opportunities for nursing professionals. Now, obviously that's based on your job experience and professional goals, but I get offered a job every couple of months (thank you LinkedIn). I never had this type of flexibility and advancement in the traditional job setting (office setting). Someone had to damn near die for a position to open up, and even then, I'd get overlooked. With advancements in technology, the current nursing shortage, and people living longer, the nursing profession isn't going anywhere anytime soon. People will always be sick, seek medical care, and that means my job will always be necessary (until the robots get online, haha).

That's it folks, the main reasons why I love nursing. Every job has its set of issues. No job is perfect, but even so, I chose this career. I'm not stuck or trapped. I'm grateful I work in this profession, and I appreciate what it's given me.