3 Stories That Prove Nursing is Worth It

Written by Kate Lopaze

Nursing is not a career for the faint of heart. From managing challenging patients to dealing with emergency situations, it’s a field that demands a lot from those who choose it. For many nurses, though, the breakthrough moments that make it all worthwhile show why so many women and men find nursing as their calling.

Patients can change your life in unexpected ways.

While part of being a healthcare professional is caring for people you may never see again, sometimes the fates align, and you find that there’s a patient to whom you just can’t say goodbye. Nurse Amber Boyd, from New Mexico, found this to be the case when she cared for a newborn baby girl who suffered from severe birth defects. The baby’s parents were out of the picture, and Boyd realized that she could provide the love and care that baby Nicole needed. “Right around her first birthday, she was making progress, [but] her needs were beyond anything anyone could’ve accommodated at home. Her biological parents, their rights were taken away and her twin sister had already gone home with another family. They just weren’t medical professionals and she essentially needed ICU care at home. [The hospital] was looking into medical foster care….I said, ‘Well, that’s something I could do from home…But then I said, ‘This is crazy, am I crazy?'”

Little things can matter as much as big ones.

From comes the inspirational story of a nurse whose above-and-beyond took very little time out of the daily routine, but paid many dividends for one patient.

“One of the women living there had night terrors. She was never able to name that which she feared, but woke every few hours screaming in panic. Her confusion and fear touched my heart as I tried to imagine experiencing her quality of life. I immediately discovered that she would calm down and return to sleep if I spent 10-15 minutes talking to her. Soon thereafter, I discovered that if I came to work 20 minutes before my shift started, held her hand, and talked with her she slept peacefully the entire night through. 20 minutes a day, five days a week out of the life of a student nurse was a small price to pay for her peace of mind.”

Sometimes nursing life is just plain funny.

From “I was performing a complete physical, including the visual acuity test. I placed the patient twenty feet from the chart and began, ‘Cover your right eye with your hand.’ He read the 20/20 line perfectly. ‘Now your left.’ Again, a flawless read. ‘Now both,’ I requested. There was silence He couldn’t even read the large E on the top line. I turned and discovered that he had done exactly what I had asked; he was standing there with both his eyes covered.”

If you too have a nursing tale that is funny/inspiring/illuminating/nursetastic, we’d love to hear it!

About the author

Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.