Nurses should be proud of what they do. It’s not high-brow, and it’s not pretentious. There is such thing as genuine pride in one’s work.
So the next time you have to wipe something disgusting off of something else equally gross, remember these points!
1. Respect. It’s simple. Almost everyone respects nursing as a profession. Nurses are at the forefront of healthcare, and who wouldn’t appreciate that? Anyone who has been hospitalized or had any medical issues can attest to the role nurses has played in their lives.
2. Expertise. Nursing is not a profession of platitudes. It’s full of complex skills, tough decisions, and has a tough learning curve (I doubt there was ever a nursing student who was fully ready for their first job!). You really have to have a good head on your shoulders to be a nurse.
3. Responsibility. Not only is nursing tough, nurses are also faced with tough responsibility. Sure, other jobs can be tough – finances, education, and other industries – but in healthcare, lives hang in the balance, and none more so than in nursing.
4. Salary. Nurses are paid well. At its core, how much someone gets paid is a reflection of how valuable and necessary their work is. Salaries of nurses have steadily grown over the last decades – I bet nobody in the 50’s would have every guessed nurses could be making three figure incomes!
5. Camaraderie. You make great friends in nursing, because nurses…make for great friends! Through of the constant stresses of nursing school, teamwork on the unit, and just the energy and flexibility nurses have to have, the friendships you forge as a nurse are solid and real.
6. Patient Relationships. The connection you feel when doing a great job caring for patients, and hearing their appreciation…it is a form of self-actualization (to quote Maslow, our favorite psychologist!). Yep…the feeling you get from a good nursing career can make the meaning of your life. That’s pretty amazing.
7. Reliability and Trust. Remember in all the old movies, when a person starts choking, everyone yells: “Is there a doctor in here?!” Now, I wouldn’t be surprised if people would yell “Is there a nurse in here?!” We’re just as good in an emergency. We’re trained for it.
8. Humanitarianism. Lastly, nurses can come home and rest assured after a long shift, and even a long career. Why? Because nursing is noble, and at its simplest, good. Nursing, and all of healthcare, is altruism on a large scale. And that is something that makes us uniquely human.
Kevin is an RN and President of Brilliant Nurse, which holds Live Online NCLEX Review workshops every week and is gearing up to offer a full NCLEX course.