Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Real vs. Fantasy Nurse

I think there is a point in every nursing student or perhaps graduate nurse's career where one comes to the realization that nursing is not what they thought it was going to be. This realization is not much different from the fantasy-turned-reality awakenings that occur in other stages of life: that getting your drivers liscence does not necessarily equal unlimited freedom, or that first love does always not mean happily-ever-after.
Like with most careers, I doubt many people who decide they want to be nurses have ever had a proper introduction to what nursing entails. My idea of nursing was more fantasy than reality based. I read Atonement by Ian McEwan, and swooned over Briony taking care of injured soldiers. And I read lots of Cherry Ames books, and even Chicken Soup for the Nurses Soul. I fantasized about myself selfishly slaving by the bedside, selfishly assisting sick and needy patients in their recovery. And usually (I am ashamed to admit) my fantasies included wearing a starched white uniform and a white nursing cap, like the pictures I had seen of my mother when she was in nursing school.
I guess my real reality awakening occured my first year of nursing school, when all the nurses that knew my mother discouraged me into being a nurse. And my second probably came during my preceptorship, when I worked for eight weeks on a surgical floor. A lot of the nurses seemed tired and jaded and that was a little dissapointing.
I hope that I can always find new ways to be excited and reinterested in my career. I know there is lots of nurses who still love their work, and can't wait to be back to the bedside. I would like to know their secret.
school is soon...the summer is over, and I can't wait until fourth year!! I am almost finished! Nursing school went by so fast, like a blur. Scary stuff.


  1. nursing for most parts has long work days, you're understaffed, demanding patients, whiney family members...and many more aggitating things...but there are days when that patient makes your day. It's like no other high in the world. That carries you through the bad parts of being a nurse. Don't judge one bad experience with a bunch of nurses that probably were having their bad time. Those stories you read in the chicken soup for the nurses book. Those are the warm and fuzzy days that make you realize why you became a nurse. Stay positive..and don't be afraid to try new things. To many nurses pick an area because of the pay not for the love of what they do. Give each area OB, ER, hospice etc a chance..untill you find out where you fit. Good luck

  2. Best of luck in your fourth year. Every profession will have that fantasy and reality, it just varies from those professions to the nursing lifestyle. You have made it this far, don't get discouraged now.


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