I've been a nurse for 22 years now and I love what I do. But nursing can be pretty challenging at times and sometimes I wish I would have known a few things about nursing BEFORE I went to nursing school. Here are a few of the things I would have liked to have known:
1. I wish I'd known that 12-hour shifts really meant 14-16 hours a day. Because you can never seem to get everything you need done in 12 hours.
2. I wish I'd known that I would need to have a bladder the size of a semi truck's gas tank. Inevitably every time you have to go pee, someone codes, dies or wants to have a yelling match with you
3. I wish I'd known that the majority of doctors are complete jerks and that's the norm. I'm often shocked when a doctor isn't a jerk.
4. I wish I'd known how much my patients would mean to me and how much I would truly care about them.
5. I wish I'd known how many of my patients I would secretly cry about because they touched my heart in a way that was almost indescribable.
6. I wish I'd known how much I would bore my family and friends about work stories and how often I would fail at attempts to resist the immense urge to talk about think green mucus, rotten decubitus ulcers, toenail fungus, rectal abscesses all the different colors of vomit and the various odors and consistencies of feces, all while at the dinner table.
7. I wish I'd known how stressful nursing would be and how mentally challenging it often is.
8. I wish I'd known how much of a pig sty my house would look on my work days and how tired I would be on my days off.
9. I wish I'd known how much charting was really involved. Charting to chart, because you forgot to chart, so you need to chart and don't forget to chart some more.
10. I wish I'd known that I would love nursing so much. I still do a little happy dance when I write R.N behind my name and I love my patients. I love making a difference in people's lives. I love the craziness. I love every emergency that comes in the doors and the adrenaline rush it gives me to know I'm helping people every day. I love it when my patients walk out healthier than when they came in.
I'm not an accountant, an attorney or in retail sales. I deal with life and death situations every day and I can truly say that it's awesome! I love my life and cannot imagine doing anything different. I feel blessed to be lucky enough to find a career that I'm happy in. The icing on the cake is that I get paid for something that I would honestly do for free.
If I'd of only known what I know now about nursing BEFORE I went to nursing school, I would have chosen to go sooner!
Do you have a comment about this article? Fire away at the bottom in the comments section! Tell us what you wish you'd known BEFORE you went to nursing school. Happy Nursing guys!