What I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Nurse

May 6, 2018
I was asked to give some insight into what I know now, wishing that I would’ve known back when I was a brand new nurse.

I’ve had an amazing career in the healthcare field— starting as a tech, a unit secretary and then even in housekeeping before I became a registered nurse. There have been many adventures, and I feel that every move I made over time has made me stronger in the area I was weakest.

1. You will never learn everything during your orientation period.

Every day within your chosen field, your career will be an opportunity to learn something new. One of the most challenging areas I would like to mention is finding a balance between your personal life and your work life. You will have so many things cross your path, and you will meet so many individuals in this walk. Know that they can’t make your walk for you, and it’s what you make of the journey.

Nursing is not an easy profession.

You will have individuals strike out at you, whether it’s a small comment and indifferent or judgemental attitude toward you to make you feel like you didn’t do a good job.

2. People you interact with are struggling with the very same issues.

One of the biggest lessons I learned is that sometimes insecure people will strike out at you to make themselves feel better.

It’s scary to come into a new environment, learn new things, and to feel accepted by co-workers. Try and remind yourself that at one time they were in the same position as you. Seek new experiences and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Take each and every bump you go through to learn and grow from. I say this because while we like to hear positive comments and get praise for what we’re doing, but there are still negative words or actions that someone does you that you won’t forget.

3. Find your work/life balance.

As I said before, finding a balance in your personal life is difficult, but it will help you not carry the baggage from work into your home life. Have a support person, get some rest, exercise, and find your “joy” in life. In this fast pace life of healthcare and the constant changes going on, your attitude towards life will get you through to become the person you were meant to be. Your sense of value comes from within.

It has been a rewarding field, and after 40 years I still have a passion in my heart that I am doing what I need to be doing. Am I perfect? Absolutely not! I have made mistakes, and I would absolutely do them all again.


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