You spend your days in hospitals, doctor’s offices, clinics and assisted living centers caring for others or working in completely new settings as travel nurses. You help bring new life into the world and are there for patients and families when life is ending. You act as advocates, friends and teachers.
Here are eight (more) reasons why nurses are awesome.
You are a critical part of every hospital
You’re often the first person to greet a patient, take her vital signs, and record symptoms and concerns, which makes it possible for doctors to see others and quickly receive an update when they’re ready to evaluate that person’s condition. Without nurses to coordinate care, administer medications and instruct patients on ways to prevent further injury or illness, physicians would be unable to do their jobs as effectively or adequately provide help to those in need.
You don’t need a professional wardrobe
No power suits or uncomfortable heels required for your office job. You get to spend your shift in soft, flexible scrubs and supportive shoes — and, at some facilities, you get to pick the color or pattern for your scrubs and further customize your look.
You help patients smile
Most patients don’t look forward to heading to the doctor’s office or the hospital and often are experiencing stressful, scary situations. You can’t always take the pain or worry away, but you can be a friendly face and help those you come in contact with to smile and feel more at ease while they’re there.
You see people recover and become healthy
While there are some patients who’ll walk out the hospital doors and never see you again, there are other patients who will be treated for chronic diseases or will recover for weeks from an injury and need your care. Throughout your time as a nurse, you might see patients lose weight and begin eating healthier, quit smoking or recover from alcoholism, and even learn to walk again following a critical injury. If you work in a NICU or PICU, you’ll see babies learn to eat and breathe on their own or toddlers develop and learn to speak or hear sounds. It’s incredibly rewarding to watch a patient grow and change and know you had a hand in his care.
You never stop moving
No need to jog in place to log enough steps for your Fitbit competition with family: Nurses walk an average of four to five miles per shift. Though this may lead to some sore feet and legs at the end of the day, it also helps you stay active and keep in better shape, especially if you try to walk a lot on your days off as well.
You are a trusted professional
Did you know nurses have ranked at the top of Gallup’s Honesty and Ethics in Professions poll for more than 15 years? In 2015, 85 percent of responders ranked nurses’ honesty and ethical standards as “very high/high,” and the numbers are consistent each year. It feels good to be in a respected profession where most patients trust your judgment and do believe you act ethically.
You can explain what a doctor can’t
Some patients are intimidated by doctors or are unable to ask all the questions they’d like to during an appointment thanks to time constraints or a lack of courage. As a nurse, you can help a patient better understand her care and answer any questions she might have because she’ll generally feel more comfortable asking you (and have more time to ask you as well).
You can work in a variety of settings
Most nurses work in hospitals or doctor’s offices, but you can find jobs at nursing homes or assisted living centers, through home health agencies, at small corporate onsite clinics or with large corporations, at elementary or high schools and universities, and even at veterans’ homes and government-run institutions. Permanent and travel nursing jobs are available in every state, which makes this career a versatile one.
Check out 10 Reasons It’s Great to Be a Nurse for more ways nurses rock — and tell us why you love your job below!