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Don’t be alarmed. I’m not just “another” nurse-writer trying to post all my grievances to wash away every bit of optimism left in your system. Given the status quo, it’s very easy to spot a nursing article complaining about the dismal conditions of the nursing profession here, there, and blah..blah..blah. I find articles like these less and less appetizing and discouraging, let alone the debilitating effects it could bring to a lot of budding nurses seeking for an inspiration and drive to go on despite all the struggles in a nurse’s life. I want this article to be a breath of fresh air so I want to start with an enthusiastic remark: I LOVE NURSING.
The problem, however, is the fact that it’s just a one-sided love affair.
When I took up Nursing almost five years ago, my career path was undeniably clear: finish the course and decide afterwards whether I would pursue Medicine or look for a fruitful opportunity overseas. Looking back, I realized that I made that decision for myself without any forceful coercion from any of my loved ones. I really wanted to be a nurse and felt like the blueprint of my life dictated me to embrace Nursing with open arms. They always say that plans should be done using a pencil because plans do change and nothing is sure in this world. I almost did it using an indelible pen; that’s how sure I was for the path I’m going to take in life. I had struggled a lot during my nursing studies. However, the passion inside me continued to burn that even the death of my father months before my graduation didn’t stop me from getting my nursing degree and my hard-earned license. I took all necessary trainings and tried my luck to all hospitals I know exist. It didn’t work out. It’s not a walk in the park, you know, but I tried, tried, and tried. Now, years after I decided to be a nurse, an epiphany suddenly brought me back to reality: I LOVE NURSING but Nursing doesn’t love me.
The problem, now, are the questions that keep on bugging me.
Did I take up Nursing for the right reasons? Am I trying to force myself to love Nursing just because I want to work abroad? Do I really love Nursing? Do I feel this because I’m frustrated with Nursing and I’m an unemployed jerk?
These questions kept me awake at night these past few days and I couldn’t help but to look back on how it all began. I took up Nursing because it was in demand back then. The idea of helping people and reviving lives sounded exciting and fulfilling for me that I immediately grabbed the opportunity to pursue it. I wanted to be a hero and make my life useful. This search for purpose and meaning brought me to Nursing but it is during my college years that I felt otherwise; the emptiness and longing that I felt during my clinical rotations were signs that I was still in doubts if I really belong in this industry. I studied hard because I wanted to pass and kept on believing that I really had what it takes to be a nurse. I tried my best to shrug off all the questions I had in mind back then and envied my class mates who were good at what they do because they genuinely love their career choice and not just because they had NO choice. Last week, I was about to start my hospital training but after realizing that I’m half-hearted to pursue it, I quit at the last minute. I have forced myself to love Nursing but it’s about time to let go. I don’t want to live the rest of my life doing something out of convenience and then make regrets when I’m old and graying. Now is the best time to heed my calling and continue to chase what I really wanted in life: TO BECOME A WRITER. I’ve been wanting to earn a Journalism degree but I’m always taken a back because I keep on listening to people who believe that nursing is a far more lucrative career than Journalism. That’s true. But life is all about choices and I think it’s about time for me to stand up for what I really want. I only have one life to live and I better do what my heart longs for regardless of what people might say.
Now, after spending years of bacbreaking studies and realizing in the end that my passion belongs to something else, do I REGRET TAKING UP NURSING?
I believe God has a marvelous plan for each one of us and I didn’t end up to be a nurse for no reason. I’ve learned a lot about life, death, people, and priorities during those times I’ve spent in my nursing school. I’m more versatile now and more open on dealing with different people with different kind of personalities, backgrounds, and beliefs. In addition to that, nothing can compare with the security that you feel for your family and loved ones now that you know what to do during emergencies, you have the knowledge that you can share about life and health, and you have the caring attitude that will see them through sickness and in health.
Being a nurse is not all about wearing white uniforms and the essence of ‘care’ will not just end inside the four corners of the hospital. I know a lot of stories similar to mine because not all registered nurses have the true guts, the drive, and the makings of a real NURSE. We can be a nurse and still pursue other careers that our hearts really belong to and still can make a difference. Nursing is not all about the title and financial rewards; it’s even deeper than just caring for patients and performing doctor’s orders. I still envy those nurses who are doing great despite all the struggles they face. I salute all nurses because nothing can compare with the dedication and bravery that they all show for the sick and dying patients.
I’m still thankful that God allowed me to take up Nursing. Without it, I will never realize that my heart belongs to something else. And wiothout it, I will never learn that life, per se, is a miracle.
I LOVE NURSING but Nursing doesn’t love me. But who cares? I know it’s about time to let go and try my luck somewhere else. I’m currently working as an editor and writer of a famous Filipino blog and also planning to work as a copyeditor and get my Journalism degree in the near future. There is no question that my heart really belongs here but still, NURSING IS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS I HAVE EXPERIENCED IN MY WHOLE LIFE.
Sayonara, Nursing! Until we meet again….