Would You Choose Nursing Again?
I have been a nurse for 34 years and don’t really know any other life. I was a community nurse for the first 20 years or so and an educator for the last 10 – 11 years with an overlap of doing both in the middle. I have always loved the work because it is meaningful and helps people turn their lives around. The thing that makes the biggest difference to overall happiness though is whether you are working with a good team. I have worked with some inspirational, committed, dynamic folk. I have also worked with some self interested, ambitious psychopaths who ought not to be allowed anywhere near the public . The problem with nursing is most of us come into it with a vocational desire to care for and help others. Inevitably the real world reality of compromise and pragmatism which helps to maintain your resilience is sometimes just not enough. I turned to education so I could influence some of the frustrating systems and processes that one finds it strangely difficult to influence when you are up to your neck in patients getting the job done. We need to refresh our profession continually with new enthusiastic energetic compassionate individuals. This work is draining and we have to find new ways to carry on so that we never lose our empathy , so we can go on giving a damn.
I went back to school at 35 to pursuit a career in nursing. I graduated when i turned 40 and it was one of my great accomplishments in life. I have been a nurse for 5 years and loving it. Its not an easy job, but very rewarding and character changing. I would do it all over again.
Did you work while you were in school? Did you have money in the bank? I’m 34, $50k in debt, and working a full-time night shift at $10.50/hr. It’s going to be a rough few years ahead.