Nursing does more than pay the bills

I initially chose my career in nursing for financial reasons. One of my friends had become a registered nurse and was making a very comfortable living. When we would get together, i would often ask her questions about the time commitment involved with becoming an rn and what she liked and disliked about the job. Being a close friend, she tried her best to paint an accurate picture for me of what her daily work was all about and certainly didn’t sugarcoat her position. While i was interested in what she had to say, i was much more interested in finding a way to quickly raise my earning potential. I enrolled in a nursing program and worked part time while i went to school. After graduation, i was able to get a job at a senior care facility. I was already prepared for the worst i might encounter and was looking forward to getting my first paycheck.

My first paycheck came and went, and while i was happy to be earning a high hourly wage, my focal point had shifted. You see, for the first time in my working life, i actually looked forward to going to work. It’s not that i ever hated any particular previous job so much that i dreaded coming in, but more that i always viewed work as a necessary evil. Nursing changed that for me.
Everyday, i get to help people. I comfort them when they need to be comforted. I listen when they need someone to talk to. I have a very busy schedule, and not everything i do is rewarding or even pleasant, but there are aspects of this job that make me feel like i am really making a difference to someone. Three months after i started my job, one of our patients unexpectedly passed away. When his family came for the wake and funeral, they made a point to stop by the facility and thank me. Apparently, this man had told them several times of how kind i was to him and how much he appreciated it. Hearing this made me cry, but it also made me happy that my efforts were appreciated.

It’s now been a few years since i first graduated from the nursing program. I’m going to earn an online bachelor’s of science in nursing while i continue at my job. My hope is to eventually become head nurse, although i want to avoid moving into an administrative position. I like spending my workday caring for patients. The feeling i get from my job is worth more than any paycheck could ever be.