So often, when we talk about becoming a nurse or having to take the NCLEX, it is very easy to get caught up in the stress and feel like we are in survival mode. I know that when I start to feel stressed and seem to be focusing on nothing but the difficulties I’m facing, it really helps if I take a deep breath and think about what I love about being a nurse.
Bottom line, nursing is a service profession. At the end of the day, as a nurse, I am helping people. It doesn’t matter if I’m working at the hospital or with my nursing students, what I do impacts the health and quality of life of my fellow human beings and that is very special to me.
Nursing is a diverse and ever-changing profession. No two days are ever the same and once you add in all the available specialties, there is never a shortage of things to learn. Being a nurse that likes research, I am constantly afforded the opportunity to explore new ways of doing things. The constant evolution of health care means that I am challenged to keep learning and developing new skills. It keeps me sharp!
This profession provides a place for nurses with many different strengths. We can work in hospitals, community centers, schools, or homes. We can work with patients from birth all the way through the end of life. We can work with patients, students, and other professions. All we have to do as nurses is find the place that brings out the best in us, where we feel we make the most impact.
Being Part of a Team
Nursing is a team sport. Whether I am working on the floor with colleagues or collaborating with other educators to develop nursing curriculum, nursing gives me the feeling of being part of a team. Nurses know — we have all been there and can lift each other up or help each other through it when times get tough. We all have the same goals in mind (see “Helping People”) and work together to make it happen!
One of the best things about being a nurse is the privilege of being with people in some of their most vulnerable times. I have been present at births and at deaths and each time, it has been a humbling privilege to share those moments with the patients and their families. It is a privilege to help a new mom develop confidence in caring for her newborn. It is a privilege to hold the hand of a patient when it is needed most. It is a privilege to teach the nurses of tomorrow. Being a nurse is a privilege.
I’m sure you can ask a thousand nurses what they love about being a nurse and the variety of responses will astound you. When the going gets tough, take a moment to ask yourself, what do you love about being a nurse? If you are just getting started on your path to becoming a nurse, stop and think, why do I want to be a nurse? What I love about being a nurse might not be the same as what you love about being a nurse, but remembering why we love this profession can help us break through the challenges and enjoy what we are doing.