7 nursing myths

Your assumptions are wrong

"Nurses got it made! They make a lot of money for what they do...."

Easy to think if your NOT A NURSE

I am here to dispel the top 7 myths I hear all the time about nurses

In order to really understand what it means and what it is like to be  a nurse, you must walk a few days in a nurses shoes. When I hear false assumptions about nurses it makes my skin crawl. I am here to stand up for the millions of nurses who make up the Number 1 trusted profession in this country. After 20 years of nursing here are my top 7 myths...

nurses have great hours

I must admit about 5% of nurses have great hours, but what about the rest??

If working all night or weekends or on Christmas morning is great, then you are correct! Where else can you work expecting your shift to end at 7 in the evening, however it was so busy it takes you an additional 2 hours to get done? Nurses work crazy hours and crazy amounts of time. When people need to be taken care of, nurses often put their personal commitments and family life on hold to cover holes. Nurses can be on call and asked not to leave. Nurses often work for places that never close their doors. Think about that. Many nurses worked years on evening and night shift to finally land the day job so they can see their loved ones during reasonable hours. 

People don't plan their sickness and nurses must be ready at all times!

nurses aren't paid well

Nurses earn over 50K a year to start. For a two-year degree this is great money. From there nurses can continue earning, learning, and advancing in salary. Nurses can work all the hours they want. This field has plenty of opportunity if you want to work just 20 hours a week or over 60! Although the work is extremely challenging and difficult, overall the pay is competitive. Nursing has certainly treated me well. For more on nursing pay check this out - Registered Nurse Salary

all nurses are women

As a male, this is one of my favorite! As a student I would get asked "After graduation you will be a male nurse?"

The truth of the matter is the nursing profession is connected to the female gender. Although females make up a majority of nurses, many males are in the profession and doing just fine. 

Just like women are doctors and lawyers, men are nurses. So, get over it people!

nurses aren't as smart as doctors

This is no way a bash at our physician colleagues, rather to shoot down a myth about nurses. Many nurses could easily  pass medical school and excel as great physicians. Nurses tend to stick with nursing because of the pride they feel at the bedside providing the actual care for the person. Nurses go on to continue learning and advancing in their profession. Many excel on their units and grow into practitioners. Nursing school is challenging and not everyone that enters passes. Like medical school, nursing school is a combination of science, lecture, labs, clinical time, projects, and time served. Nursing schools are selective and require strict criteria to enter and graduate. Yes, doctors are smart, but don't underestimate the nurse!

nurses are the grunts

People assume nurses are the workers who provide all the grunt tasks. First off, I don't believe in "grunt work". Nurses are there to help people period. Whether you need to be cleaned up after being sick or bathed, nurses care for the sick and dying. It is important to look much further than the tasks nurses may be involved in and what they do all around. Nurses plan care with their patients and physicians, pharmacists, and therapists. Nurses belong to committees to improve conditions and how care is delivered. Nurses become vice presidents and even CEO's of many healthcare organizations. Nurses sit on boards to help decide on political issues. Nurses do way more than put patients on bedpans!

nurses can fix everything

This is very flattering, however nurses can't fix everything. We are human beings who trained in nursing and just want to help. We can't place our hands on you and heal a wound or instantly take away your pain and sorry. I wish this was the case. We can be there for you, provide medications to help you get better and feel less pain. We can't predict the future but we can teach you how to be safer and things to do to avoid danger. We mean well when you are in need and we can't fix you. Again, we don't have magic powers but we can be magical in our care and attention if you allow us.

nurses like to cause pain

Nurses may have to do things that cause pain in order to get you better. The sting of the needle as it goes into your shoulder or vein does hurt, but the medication will help you get better. Too many times I have heard "ouch, you like hurting people!" as I have rolled a patient with a broken hip to avoid pneumonia or skin breakdown. It is truly one of the hardest parts of the job and we certainly don't like it. Unfortunately if we don't do things that cause pain or discomfort, you may become worse. We don't like causing pain but we do like getting people better.