Every nurse has been there before. You diligently pushed through all the red-tape also known as nursing school. You wonder if you should become a nurse. What if you’re terrible at it and you have invested years of your life to follow a dream that doesn’t turn out to be a dream at all. Instead, it may be your worst nightmare.
Well, there are a few ways to make that decision a little easier on yourself.
I would advise anyone contemplating entering the nursing profession to have some career testing and counseling. The tests are meant to match you with interests and skills for the career you’re most suited for, and the results may surprise you.
If you haven’t yet read the article “Eight Traits of a Great Nurse” then take a look at the traits and see if you can relate to any of them. You don’t need to identify with all of them, but possessing at least three of the traits listed would be a good start on your journey to a successful career as a nurse.
There is an abundance of specialties in nursing to choose from and the wonderful this about nursing is that you can switch specialties when you are facing burnout or just don’t care for the specialty you are working in. www.lvnsalary.org lists dozens of nursing specialties to browse through.
If you know any friends who are nurses ask them to break down “A Day in the Life of a Nurse” for you. Of course, no day is the same, but you will get a feel for the reality of working as a nurse if you get the facts from friends and family that you trust.
Above everything, don’t choose nursing for the money alone. Nursing salaries in the United States are pretty high compared with other countries, so it’s tempting to choose nursing because it pays well. But, I’ve seen so many nurses fail because they chose nursing for the money and not because they wanted to make a difference in patient’s lives and enjoy caring for others.
At least 1/3 of your life will be spent working unless you’re lucky enough to win the lottery or you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. If you want to have a comfortable life you have to work. So you may as well choose a career that you’ll enjoy doing.
As they say, “if you choose a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Such a true statement.
Helping others is a privilege, not a chore. If it feels like a chore then you probably need to reconsider your career choice. Keep on reading the ifs to see what can make you a great nurse.
- If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, and by dirty I mean feces, urine, pus, vomit, and blood.
- If you don’t mind being yelled at by everyone; doctors, other nurses, patients, and their families.
- If you don’t mind smelling some of the worst odors that come from the human body.
- If you care very little about sleep and don’t mind having your sleep interrupted by obnoxious charge nurses who want to you come into work at all hours of the night.
- If you like dealing with argumentative families, testy doctors who believe they’re God and charge nurses who think it’s their job to make your life miserable.
- If you enjoy waiting to go to the bathroom for 10-12 hours.
- If you like crash diets that don’t allow you the time to even think about eating, let alone actually sitting down and having the time to chew real food.
- If you enjoy being kicked, thumped, bitten, scratched, screamed and yelled at.
- If you don’t know the meaning of the work free time, and you like that.
- If you love paperwork, slow computers that eat up half of your day and asking the same stupid medical questions and entering the answers into the same slow computer every single day.
- If you enjoy dealing with life and death situations each day.
- If the concept of going to work in your pajamas intrigues you.
- If you truly want to help people get better and it thrills you to think about the possibility of being a part of one of the best careers in the world.
Regardless of all the negative things that nurses deal with on a day-to-day basis, a great nurse loves every minute of it. They love making a difference in someone’s life. Because being a nurse is not a job, it’s who you are. If that interests you, then YOU MAY MAKE A GREAT NURSE!