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what is something you wish you knew before becoming a nurse ?

#nurse #nurse-practitioner #healthcare #medicine #nursing

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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Joselin,

My sister-in-law was a nurse (now she teaches nurses). In listening to her stories throughout her career, I have gotten a few insights into the challenges of being a nurse.
- Nurses are expected to be nurses ALL the time. Every friend you have will call you about how they are feeling, even if you are not a nurse in the specific discipline.
- Nursing can be stressful physically because of the nature of how the work is scheduled. If you work in a hospital, it can be 12-hour shifts. Nurses that work for doctors in private practice have a different experience. So you should learn about options in nursing and think about how you see your nursing experience.
- Nurses can specialize but when called upon, you go where they tell you. My sister-in-law was a labor and delivery nurse. But when necessary, you can be sent anywhere. This is what happened (and still happens) in the case of COVID. That can be stressful since you are only really generally knowledgeable about everything when you are in nursing school. Once you choose a specialty, some of your learned skills fade. So staying up to date on all of your nursing skills can take effort.

My sister-in-law has never been anything but a nurse or someone who has trained nurses. She believes in the profession and feels great joy in how she has impacted people's lives. It is her calling and I do not think that she will do anything else. She has a strong support network and she makes time for herself. She separates work from the full life that she leads. She takes vacations, takes care of her mental and physical health, and knows when to ask for help.

I hope that you will join the proud tradition of nursing. Just make sure to remember that the care of others is not more important than the care of yourself.

Gloria
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Michele’s Answer

Honestly, I did not know that I would love being a nurse. I come from a health care family. I went into nursing because I loved my physiology and anatomy class in high school. So I figured that nursing would be a good way to apply the knowledge from these classes but I had not shadowed a nurse or volunteered in a hospital. I actually figured if did not like being a nurse, I could at least support myself and go back to school and become something else.

My first job was at a major teaching hospital. The best and brightest worked there and excellence was expected. I loved it. I joke that I would have worked those first 6 months for free just to get the experience. The part of me inside grew that knew I was able to give my patients compassionate, highly skilled and knowledgable care. I no longer deliver direct care to patients but I still feel the same way.
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Suzanne’s Answer

I'm a retired nurse Joselin and worked for over 33 years in the field of oncology research.
What I wish I had known was the breadth of opportunity for registered nurses. Nurses have far more roles than bedside caregivers in the hospital.
I would have pursued my advanced degree far earlier in my career. Nurses can be educators, administrators, midwives, anesthetists, nurse practitioners or doctorates of nursing. I had no idea. I did specialize in my field and did very well, but it would have been very helpful to have a bigger picture.
If you enter the nursing field, make sure to investigate all possible career opportunities!
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Jorge’s Answer

I am not a nurse but my wife is. She truly loves to help people. She has seen many Nurses get burn out and leave the profession because they had other motivations such as pay or hours or such. If you truly want to help people then you will do okay!
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