What does it mean to be a nurse? Nursing is a profession that everyone knows about on the surface, but hardly anyone knows about it deep down. Unless you’re studying for a degree in nursing or you are already a nurse, it’s unlikely you’ll understand just why being a nurse is so important to those who take that step or what it really means at all.
However, trying to know a little more about this is important. It will be hard to decide whether or not you want to be a nurse or if you could handle the work involved if you only have a surface-level understanding of what it all entails. With that in mind, read on for a little more insight into what it means to be a nurse so you can make a more informed decision.
There Are Challenges
As a nurse, you are going to come across new challenges every single day. This might be due to a shortage of nurses, meaning you need to work harder, or perhaps there are difficult patients to handle. Maybe it’s just that you are tired from the night shift you just finished. Perhaps you’ll see a lot of grief in one shift. No matter what it is, there is one thing that can be for certain; when you’re a nurse, you can expect challenges no matter whether you have a quiet day at work or a busy one. They might be small or large, but they will always be there.
Although there is nothing you can do to remove these challenges from your working life (it’s what being a nurse is all about in many respects), there are certainly ways that you can deal with them in a better way. Rather than becoming overwhelmed, for example, you need to take a step back and employ critical thinking to come up with an answer. You also need to know how to ask for help when you can’t come up with an answer. Nursing is about teamwork, so never be afraid that you’re on your own.
Try to imagine a world without nurses. It would not be a pleasant place for the sick and injured to be. It would not be a pleasant place for their friends and family either. Nurses do a hugely important job, and they are absolutely essential to everyone, no matter who you are, why you need medical care, or what your background is.
If you want a job, that will mean you are showered with praise, and you get rewarded with pay with no abuse thrown in your direction at all; there are perhaps other roles for you (although nothing is guaranteed, of course). If you want to be a nurse, then you need to understand the irony; even though nurses are essential and healthcare would not run smoothly – if at all – without them, this doesn’t mean some people are able to respect them. However, if you can look at the bigger picture and know that, despite what might be happening, you are doing something good and worthwhile, you’ll be able to continue and be happy about it.
We don’t want to give the impression that being a nurse is all hardship and upset with no rewards at all – this is far from the case. In fact, being a nurse is rewarding in itself, meaning that just by having the job in the first place, you will feel as though you are adequately recompensed for any hard work you have to put in.
Of course, having a fair salary is also important, and this is something that nurses can achieve. Although not as high as in some professions, it is perfectly possible to have a good career and make enough money to enjoy life when you are a nurse, despite what rumors often suggest.
On top of this, there are other rewards in nursing too. One is that you will be helping people every day, ensuring they are as comfortable and positive as they can be even if they are unwell. Another is that you can choose to go into nursing at any time; older nurses are just as needed as those fresh out of high school, which is why there are online BSN programs for non nurses to allow everyone the chance at a career they really want.
When you think about it, there are a number of different rewards for nurses, whether they are monetary ones or more abstract ones. It all depends on what you are looking for in a career.
You’ll Make A Difference
When you ask the question about what it really means to be a nurse, there is one thing that stands out above everything else; that is, you will make a difference. It might be a minor difference that the patient all but forgets about later on, or it could be a massive difference that allows the patient to change everything and turn their lives around. No matter what it is, it’s going to be important – you are making someone’s life better when you are a nurse. In fact, you are making many different people’s lives different multiple times a day. There aren’t many other careers in which you can say that is true.
This is why many people choose to become nurses. They want to help people, and this is the most direct way they can do it. Even though the hours are long, and the patients might grumble, and the shifts are difficult (at least at first) to cope with, it feels so good to help people and to make a real difference in their lives that it is all worth it.
Not only will you make a difference in your patients’ lives, but you’ll also make a difference in your own life. You’ll be able to do something you love and work towards additional qualifications allowing you to be ambitious at the same time. You will become a better version of yourself, and you’ll gain a huge amount of knowledge at the same time. When it comes to nursing, it’s the kind of career that you can enjoy for life, and once you find your place within the healthcare profession, you’ll know you’re going to do well.